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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/241

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12 S. X. MAR. 11, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 195 THE CAP OF MAINTENANCE (12 S. x. 151). I gather from the note at the foot of this query that previous discussion of this subject elicited no certain information. It occurs to me that even a purely private account may prove of use and satisfy SIR WILLIAM BULL, although what I have to relate is mere family legend told from father to son till it reached me. My family is one of the very few entitled to bear on its crest the " cap of maintenance." In my private history of the Holme family for the guidance of my descendants is the* account of how the cap became our insignia and also what it betokened. A very ancient docu- ment states : In the year of the incarnation of our blessed Lord and Saviour one thousand 67 at the time that William the Conqueror brought his Army into Britain's Isle, many lords and gentlemen came along with him. Amongst those was a certain gentleman out of the County of Stock- holm,* a valiant young squire whose name was John, being one of very handsome conduct, and being taken notice of by the General himself who made him captain in his Army. This extract is to specify the man. The legend as formerly written down and handed through generations is as follows : The General chose out John de Houlme " for his great and valiant manhood " and rewarded him with great estates, at the same time he placed his own cap upon his head, adopting him as " King's Son." The cap denoted that when- ever " the King required support he must attend with one knight and his equipment and five men-at-arms, all to serve as long as it was the wish of the King for them to do so. If we accept this " family tradition " as correct, the origin and meaning of the " cap " is made clear. In Stephen's time, when the art of heraldry was systematized, the original blue cap was delineated with a border of ermine peaked in front and with two turned-up tails behind. As a kind of corroboration of this legend- ary account I may say that when King John adopted this City and County of Newcastle as a King's Borough he gave to its governors a blue " cap of maintenance," which cap was in later years long hidden not being

  • In 780 the great-ancestor of this John, viz.,

the Sieur de Houlme of Houlme, near Rouen, sailed with Hollo to the River Tyne and wintered near Newcastle (then Monkchester), and in 781 or 782 sailed to Northmandie and conquered Charles the Simple, gaining thereby the North Coast of France, and in 1066 this John de Houlme came over with the Conqueror, so that the record ought to read " out of Rouen although of descent from a Scandinavian family called Stockholm." understood. Some years ago I mentioned to Alderman Holmes the fact that Newcastle once possessed, as did Exeter, a cap of maintenance. A search was made and at the bottom of a box of old and forgotten documents, papers and sundry trifles as he informed me a blue cap very old and shabby and with ragged edges as though part had been torn off, was discovered, and he further stated would be renovated and restored to its proper position. I hope that these rambling remarks will instigate some of our antiquarian friends to further investigations. RICHARD H. HOLME. Could there be any objection to taking the word " maintenance " in the sense of " support " or " mount " coming from maintenir ? The cap or hat of " main- tenance " would then be, originally, the bonnet of costly stuff upon which a crown or coronet was supported. Its subsequent use, by itself, as a distinction might be comparable to the use of the ribbon on which a medal is hung as equivalent to the medal. Thence to its being conferred separately would be an easy development. E. R. Schiller, in ' William Tell ' (1307), relates how Gessler set up the Austrian cap of maintenance on a pole, to which all the people were to do obeisance, and the story centres round Tell's refusal and his being in consequence ordered to shoot at the apple placed on his son's head. This " chapeau of maintenance " had been recently given to King Albert of Austria by the Pope. Tell having shortly afterwards shot dead the Governor, Herman Gessler, the pole was pulled down, and the people wanted to destroy the cap, but their leader, Walter Fiirst, said : No ; preserve it rather. 'Twas late the instrument of tyranny, Hereafter let it be the sign of Freedom ! Query, did the French revolutionists adopt it for that reason ? ROBERT PEABSALL. CHALK IN KENT AND ITS OWNERS : RYE, CORNHILL, VlLERS, Si. CLAIR (12 S. X. 151). The recital of the gifts to the monks of Col- chester, according to the inspeximus charter of 1253 (Cal. Charter Rolls), throws a little light. Roger de Vilers gave half an acre in Chich (St. Osyth) ; Hamo, his brother, two parts of the tithes of Walcra and all of