Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/21

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ii s. ix. JAN. 3, i9i4.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


DUNSTABLE LARKS (11 S. viii. 469, 515). The neighbourhood of Dunstable has long been celebrated for its skylarks. They breed on and near the hills in vast numbers, and professional " larkers " catch them in nets of a large size, sometimes carried by two men. In the season the larkers start work at seven o'clock in the evening, arid return at one or two o'clock in the morning. They can catch from 300 to 400 larks in one night. They send the larks to London : some alive in small cages, others <lead for the poultry shops. There is prac- tically no call for them now in Dunstable, although the demand is said to have been great at the hotels and inns in coaching days. If the London demand could be made to cease, the Downs at Dunstable would not be defaced by lark-catching vagrants. It is locally reported that about oO,000 Dmistable larks are sent to London annually. See ' Dunstable : its History and Surroundings/ by Worthington G. Smith, F.L.S., 1904. A. H. W. FYNMORE.


" Dunstable larks " appears in the late Vincent Stuckey Lean's ' Collections,' 1902, i. 36. The reference is " F.W.," meaning Fuller, * Worthies.'

In this book, in the chapter on ' Bedford- shire,' is a paragraph on ' Larks ' :

" The most and best of these are caught and well dressed about Dunstable in this shire. A harmless bird whilst living, not trespassing on grain ; and wholesome when dead, then tilling the stomach with meat, as formerly the ear with music. In the winter they fly in flocks, probably the reason why Alauda signified! in Latin both a lark and a legion of soldiers, &c." Thomas Fuller's 'History of the Worthies of England,' a New Edition, Notes by P. Austin Nuttall, 1840, i. 165.

Evidently Dunstabie larks were famous before Swift's time. Perhaps when he made Gulliver compare the flies of Brob- dingnag with Dunstable larks he was think- ing, not only of their size, but also of how they " fly in flocks."


JAMES MORGAN (11 S. viii. 389, 471). I can add a little to G. R. B.'s information. James Morgan had a son, Dr. Morgan, who had three sons and a daughter, none of whom married. The last survivor left money to my father, Major Thoyts of Sul- hamstead, and other members of that family, and left his property at Mortimer to a dis- tant relative of the name of Morgan, who sold it in the eighties. James Morgan married at Mortimer, 14 April, 1737, where

the Parry family were all buried. The Mortimer estate came to him with his wife. He was of an old Carnarvonshire family, and inherited the Welsh property from his maternal uncle, Erasmus Lewis of Aber- corthey.

I did not try further to trace the Morgans, but I ascertained that Dr. Morgan, son of James Morgan, married, 10 Oct., 1771, Mary Anne Thoyts. He was Prebendary of Gloucester and Rector of Llantrissant, as well as Vicar of Mortimer. Probably these were family livings. E. E. COPE.

Finchamstead Place, Berks.

WORDS AND PHRASES IN ' LORNA DOONE ' (11 S. viii. 427, 524). Our attention has been called to the query at the former reference, in which we were much interested by reason of our having asked MR. W. A. WARREN, a well-known educationist of Huddersfield, to compile for us an abridged, annotated edi- tion of * Lorna Doone ' for schools, as a higher standard Reader. We sent on to MR. WARREN a marked copy of your valuable paper, and he replies as follows :

I can make out a few of the queries. No doubt with a little time one could get at the rest :

4. "John the Baptist, and his cousins," c. No,

not a charm. Herbs, no doubt probably "St. John's worts." There are a number of St. John's worts, all esteemed good herbal remedies.

"Wool and hyssop." Wool = blankets or flannel ; hyssop for sweating.

5. "Mum their down-bits" = preen their downy

fronts. " Mum " = to chew ; hence chewing bits of down.

6. "Playing at... shepherd's chess." The old village

and the farmhouse game of " fox and geese."

7. The saplings grow from the stumps ; the

weaker saplings are cut oft', and one left. The

young saplings or shoots are "stools," and they

are often "stooled" too close together on the



THE WILD HUNTSMAN : HERLOTHINGI (11 S. viii. 487). In answer to K. H. I expect the story of Herne the Hunter in Harrison Aiiisworth's novel of ' Windsor Castle ' is an English version of the German story of the Wild Huntsman.


POLYGLOT ' RuBAiviT ' (11 S. viiL 469). Dole's Variorum Edition, 2 vols. (Boston, Joseph Knight Co., 1896), or Dole's Multi- Variorum Edition, 2 vols. (Boston, L. C. Page & Co., 1898), are probably the volumes to which MR. E. F. McPiKE refers.