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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/304

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246 NOTES AND QUERIES. i ax i. iw His friends now grieve and all regret He's paid so soon great Nature's debt. And as their grief they mutual share Mutual admire parental care That caused this monumental stone To make his noble virtues known. Bequiescat in Pace. NOTE. All the"s" letters are formed thus: "f." JOSEPH DAVIS of Boston in North America Master and Supercargo of the American brig Cherub died at this place 27th Septr 1820. 46 This stone upon which the tears of a widow and brother have fallen on the other side of the Atlantic is laid by their care To mark the spot which it covers as the GRAVE of one whom to know was to love. and to testify their gratitude to those STRANGERS who shewed to a man who deserved them the rites of Hospitality while he was living and of religion when he was dead. Here Are deposited the mortal remains of JOHN ANDERSON Esqr Commander of Annamaboe Fort aged 36 years who met his death at Danish Accra on the 27th December 1833 By the accidental discharge of a gun In the hands of one of his most intimate friends This marble is erected as a token of the liveliest Esteem and of sincere regret Felt by the unfortunate author of his untimely fate Bequiescat in pace. M. E. LORENA. 73, The Bidge, Accra. " GRAVE " AND " GRESSOM." On a very recent order Daper of the House of Commons stood the following notice of a question : Maior Christopher Lowther, To ask the Minister of Agriculture, whether he is aware that, according to a survey taken in the 1 2th year of Queen Elizabeth's reign by the direction of Her Majesty, there is a custom in the manor of Holm Cultram, Cumberland, which rHrT+s that every tenant appointed by the jury or collector for his turn for the year be the lord's grave, i.e., bailiff, and shall yearly collect and gather the rents, revenues, and issues within his charge within the said lordship, and further that tenants are liable to pay the running gressom at the end of every five years according to the ancient custom of the said lordship, which the grave has also to collect ; that this custom is still in force ; and whether, in view of the fact that a tenancy is rendered very irksome by the obligation to collect rents and gressom, he will introduce legislation for the compulsory enfranchisement of all lands held upon that or similar customs. [ Tuesday , 1 4th March . ] Not only an archaeological but a philological interest attaches to this question ; and the two old words specially included therein invite attention. In the * N.E.D.,' the first definition of " grave," in the sense indicated here, is "a steward, a person placed in charge of property," but this is described as obsolete. An alternative defini- tion is : "In certain parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, each of a number of administrative officials formerly elected by the inhabitants of a township." The illustrative quotations range from c. 1200 to 1710; 'but there is none for "lord's grave," though, quaintly enough, there are two, respectively of 1524 and 1527, for " our lady greyffs " in the former, and " owr lady grayves " in the second instance. As to " gressom," it is to be noted that gressome is given in the ' N.E.D.' as " variant of gersum" the second and pertinent definition of which, as a substantive, is " a premium or fine paid to a feudal superior on entering upon a holding." Illustrative quotations for this meaning are given from 1389 to 1851 ; and it is specially interesting to note that in one of 1708, from ' Termes de la Ley,' " Gersum " is declared to be " an obsolete Word, for a Fine or Sum of Money." In view of its present use, as well as the present use of " grave," it seems rash to attempt authoritatively to label any word as " obsolete." For " running gressom " in Major Lowther's question there is no illustrative quotation in the * N.E.D.,* but it seems to be constructed on the same principle as " hanging gale," a term which was freelv used by politicians when dis- cussing the Irish land difficultv forty years ago. ALFRED RQBBINS. SHAKESPEARE AND THE PELICAN LEGEND. The legend of the pelican is found, as Wright noted, in ' Batman vppon Bar- tholome ' fed. 1582), fol. 1866 : The Pellican louath too much her children. For when the children bee haught, and begin to waxe hoare, they smite the father and the mother