Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/353

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ii s. ix. MAY 2, 19U.J NOTES AND QUERIES.



WE must request correspondents desiring in- formation on family matters of only private interest to affix, their names and addresses to their queries,

  • n order that answers may be sent to them direct.

THE ROLL OF THE BABONETS. The Supple- ment to The London Gazette of 20 .Feb. last, which consists of ' The Roll of the Baronets,' merits the consideration of genealogists. In 1905 a Committee was appointed

44 to report what steps should be taken to safe- guard the status of the holders of Baronetcies, and 'to prevent the assumption of the title Baronet by persons who have no right thereto."

This Committee

" was satisfied that a certain number of persons had assumed the title of Baronet, either wrongfully, or on very doubtful basis,"


" recommended the preparation by the Home Office of a Roll of Baronets to include all persons who should for the future be officially recognized and entitled to the dignity."

This Roll is now before us, and claims to consist of

" an Alphabetical List of the Baronets of England, of Ireland, of Scotland, of Great Britain and Ire- land "-

presumably of those

  • ' who should for the future be officially recognized

and entitled to the dignity."

At first sight this will be regarded as a welcome spring-cleaning of the neglected and chaotic gallery of Baronets, but is it so in reality ? On looking further into the report I find that

" the Committee of 1905 did not contemplate that strict proof of his right to the title should be exacted from every person claiming to be a Baronet."

Moreover, we discover that the Home Secre- tary concurred in this view, and recom- mended that

" a wide discretion should be allowed, so that all who can fairly be said to have a good title should be enrolled."

We then learn that a good title may consist of

" unchallenged use of the title for several genera- tions, although doubts may be, entertained respecting the descent or even the creation of the dignity"

(The italics are mine.) It would be in- teresting to know whose challenge would invalidate the good title, and why the mere fact of a challenge can have this effect ; also, how many generations of usage are necessary to obtain a good title in spite of the fact that the Baronetcy in question

may never have been created, or that the claimant may not descend from the grantee. It would be interesting if Dr. Round, whose assistance in the publication of the Roll is acknowledged, would explain these difficult points, for they have doubtless received due consideration. P. D. M.

THE YOUNGER VAN HELMONT. (See US. vii. 307, 378, 468 ; viii. 54 ; ix. 86, 128, 169, 207.) In the sketch of F. M. van Helmont's life given in Van der Aa's ' Biographisch Woordenboek,' a letter of the philosopher Leibnitz is quoted as follows :

"Cebon M. van Helmont est deloge 1 sans trom- pette et sans carillon, mais j'espere que sa cousine ne laissera pas de lui faire des obseques dans quelque e*glise. S'il n'y en avait pas d'autres, on pourrait peut-etre obtenir dispense a Wolfen- butel pour les faire dans le jardin de Saltzdulen, ou M. le due le voulait ensevelir vivant."

.From what letter of Leibnitz is the extract taken, and to what circumstances do the last seven words refer ? Also can any informa- tion be given in regard to F. M. v. H.'s association with the brother - Dukes of Braunschweig- Wolf enbiittel, Rudolf August and Anton Ulrich ?

In the sketch of the elder Van Helmont given in ' La Biographie Universelle, An- cienne et Moderne,' written in 1817, it is stated that at that time family papers, letters, and the like were in the possession of a great-nephew of J. B. van Helmont. Are descendants alive to-day, and do they reside in Belgium ?

The following entry is given in the ' Lon- don Term Catalogues,' Easter Term, 1711 ( Arber's Reprint, iii. 674) :

" (F. M.) van Helmont's Macrocosm. His Seder Olam. Man and his Diseases. Devine (sic) Being. 200 Queries. His Pre-existence. Sold by S. Clarke in Burchin lane."

I believe that this is only a bookseller's advertisement, intended as an -aid in dis- posing of surplus stock of books which were actually published at an earlier date, and that it does not prove that editions of the works in question were published in 1711. Thus in the Term Catalogues, Hilary Term, 1701 (Arber's Reprint, iii. 227), after listing the English edition of F. M. v. H.'s ' Thoughts ipori Genesis,' " Printed for S. Clark in Lombard Street," it is added, " where you may have the rest of his Books." These others, I suppose, are the works listed under the Easter Term, 1711, because I can find no evidence for any editions of the works in question for 1711. Supposing this surmise to be correct, the entries given under 1711 refer to the following works : 'Macrocosm'