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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/233

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12 S. X. MAI;. 11. 1 922.1 NOTES AND QUERIES. 187 then as now. In the Ac worth brass (1513) in Luton Church, recently raised from the floor and set up against the wall, there occurs in the marginal inscription the word Timor, of which the accompanying print is a faithful copy. In the letter " i " there will be seen the fragment of brass referred to. It has been suggested that this is but a scrap of pitch or dirt collected in the in- cision, but I have personally handled and examined it on two or three occasions, and can unhesitatingly assert that it is a piece of brass not cut away as it should have been. The importance of this discovery lies in the fact that it clearly demonstrates that in engraving the broad stroke of a letter, as, for instance, the "i " in question, the crafts- man cut an incision with a V-pointed tool down one side of the stroke and then another down the opposite side, thus producing two clean outside edges, but, owing to the narrow width of the graver, failing to clear away the slip of brass between, in the centre of the stroke. This had afterwards to be cut away with a third cut down the centre, vrhich is the precise process employed to-day. A general examination of lettering in many old brasses that have passed through my hands has confirmed my view of the early existence of this method of engraving. WALTER E. GAWTHORP. 16, Long Acre, W.C.2. A NOTE ON THE ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLE, ANN. 897. PREDATORY bands of Danes from East Anglia and Northumbria had been harassing Wessex and the south coast in their war- ships which they had built some years before. To counteract these attacks, King Alfred ordered the construction of long ships, of a type which he himself considered the most useful. They had sixty or more oars and were nearlv twice the size of the Danish ships, being of greater displacement, swifter, and steadier. Some time during 897, six Danish ships raided the south, doing great damage all along the coast, especially in Devonshire I and the Isle of Wight. Alfred ordered nine i of his ships to go and attack them, and the i English fleet discovered the Danish ships | in a harbour, and, by sealing up the entrance, blockaded them. Three of the Danish ships were cfrawn up on the shore, the crews being inland, and the other three ships attacked the English. In the ensuing fight two of the Danes were sunk, the third escaping with only five men left alive. At this time the English ships ran aground in a most inconvenient position. Three of them were stranded on the same side as the three Danish ships, the other six being ! aground on the opposite side of the channel. As the tide ebbed many furlongs from the ships, the crews of the Danish ships attacked the three English ships on the same side, with the result that seventy-two of the allied English and Frisians and a hundred and twenty Danes were slain. When the tide again reached the ships, the Danes rowed away first, because the flood tide floated them before the English could push off (ascnfan), the greater size and consequent heavier displacement of the English ship& requiring more w T ater to j float them than the smaller and lighter Danish ships. The Danes were not able to j row round the coast of Sussex owing to I their damaged condition. Two of them i were driven on the shore, the crews being taken to the King at Winchester and hanged, while the remaining ship's crew, severely wounded, reached East Anglia. A certain amount of doubt has hitherto existed as to the exact location ^of this naval battle. Poole Harbour in Dorset and a haven in the Isle of Wight have been I put forward. It is suggested here that the | battle took place in Southampton Water. The Chronicle states that the ships were stranded on opposite sides of the channel. This could not be the case in an. open har- I bour. Southampton Water is approximately one and a half miles broad at full tide, and three-quarters of a mile broad at low water, the statement that the tide ebbed many furlongs being strictly true. The Danish ships must have been beached on the west side of the Water, because on this side the tide recedes fela furlanga. It must be remembered that there are