Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/508

This page needs to be proofread.

418 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 S.X.MAY 27, 1922. Church is still available. Such a collection of " facts " and " figures " would be of great interest and value if published. I heartily wish the question of the authorship of ' Gentleman Jack,' &c., could have been settled in the same manner as that of "Bos." If Mr. Church had only asked Mr. Lloyd, and received his reply, what a great saving of labour and conjecture would have been effected ! The question has been a burning one for years and remains practically unsolved. Mr. Church was perhaps wise in not writing his series of articles upon " penny dreadfuls." That they brought wealth to their publishers is beyond a doubt. Mr. E. Lloyd amassed a big fortune upon their foundation. Mr. Edwin J. Brett left a real and personal estate of 76,538. His fine collection of arms and armour realized 11,773 18s. 6d. in a seven days' sale at Christie's, commencing March 18, 1895 ; another portion, at Messrs. Robinson and Fisher's, realized 3,605, March 20, 1896; and another, also at Messrs. Robinson and Fisher's, June 24, 1902, 1,430. The late Sir Francis Laking, of the London Museum, kindly gave me these details in 1918, so they can be treated as " accurate." The reason for my applying to him upon the subject was a desire to correct a statement, widely circulated, to the effect that a sum of 30,000 was realized from the sales, which, it will be seen, was incorrect. Mr. Brett met several " pitfalls " in his quest for his hobby. His son told me of his father's once going to some old castle upon the Rhine after some " fine old armour " (?) offered to him by some German baron, for which he paid 800 ; but when he had it examined by an expert, he was told it was not worth 30s. for the railway fare to London. It was a faked lot of " duds." I have not been able to find out whether Mr. W. Harrison left a fortune from his .publications ("penny dreadfuls") or not; in fact his death is not recorded in any book of reference I have so far read. In Mr. Thomas Frost's work, ' Reminiscences of a Country Journalist,' published 1886 (B.M.L., Press Mark 10854, F.F.13), is men- tioned a visit paid by the author to Mr. Harrison's private residence at Shortlands, Kent, in connexion with his taking up the editorship of The Gentleman's Journal and Youth's Miscellany, published in 1869-72 by W. Harrison and E. Viles ; and in this connexion I may mention that my eye was caught by an account in The Evening News of the 6th inst., under the heading ' 80,000 House Ghost,' describing weird noises, heard at nights, in an empty mansion near Valley Road, Shortlands. The paragraph ends up : " The house was built for a Mr. Harrison, a London publisher, more than fifty years ago, and cost 80,000." It would be very interesting to know if this refers to Mr. W. Harrison (publisher, of Salisbury Court). Perhaps some local reader could throw light upon the matter ? It would, indeed, be rather singular, to say the least, if there were two gentlemen of the same name, both publishers, living in so small a village as Shortlands at the same period. Perhaps an old directory of Kent may give the desired information. May I also inquire if any reader can give any information regarding the Emmett family, all the members of which were engaged upon the publication of " penny dreadfuls " and similar literature ? There were William Laurence, Henry Charlton, Robert, George (of ' Tom Wildrake's School- days ' and ' Shot and Shell ' fame), and Sophie four brothers and one sister, all of whom became famous in literature for boys of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. I should also like some account of Charles Fox, who published The Boy's Standard and The Boy's Leisure Hour at 4, Shoe Lane, Fleet Street, in the seventies and eighties. Surely these have not all passed into oblivion. Any information will be gladly received, not only by myself but by " hundreds " of " old boys." FRANK JAY. 21, Fircroft Road, Upper Tooting, S.W.I 7. WROTH FAMILY (12 S. x. 372). W. P. C. L. will find a full account of the Wroth, Wrotham , or De Wrotham family in Archceologia Cantiana, vol. xii., pp. 310-316, with a pedigree from William de Wrotham, who married Maud de Cornhill, and was Con- stable of Dover Castle 1170, down to Major - General Robert Wroth, whose issue became extinct in 1770. John Wroth of Wrotham in Kent paid his " aid " at the knighting of the Black Prince, 20 Edward III. A daughter of Sir Anthony Bering married, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, a Wroth of Essex, in the archaeological publications of which latter county I am sure further particulars will be found. There are also pedigrees of the Wroth family in the Harleian Society Visitations of Essex in 1558 and 1612. PERCY HULBURD.