Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/162

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NOTES AND QUERIES. rs* s. x. A. 23, 1902.


his grandmother's (Nest's) family, there are many conceivable reasons which may have led him to pause before speaking of the Earl of Gloucester as an illegitimate son of Henry I. or of Nest. Otherwise, as the earl, even if not a son, was certainly a kind of stepson of Nest, would he not have mentioned this latter relationship in his so-called exact account of his grandmother and her con- nexions 1

For many years there has been controversy as to Robert's maternal ancestry. Some have stated that Henry was the son of Nest rather than Robert. Sandford, Collins, Debrett, and others support the claims of the latter, and Betham, in his genealogical tables, makes both Robert and Henry the sons of Nest. At the last reference it is stated that this Henry was killed in 1157 in Anglesey, but it is said elsewhere that he was killed there in 1197, which, if correct, puts out of court the state- ment that he was Nest's son.

It has been variously said that Nest's father was Jestyn, Rees ap Gryffy ths, Reese ap Theo- dore, and Rhys ap Tewdwr. The last named would appear to have been most probably Nest's father, as stated by MR. BAYLEY, and not Jestyn, as mentioned by me, at the last reference. RONALD DIXON.

46, Marlborough Avenue, Hull.

PRICE OF EGGS (9 th S. ix. 147, 277, 412). "As good a bargain as an egg is for a penny" has other significance in the twentieth cen- tury than that which it bore in the sixteenth. Last winter so-called fresh eggs were selling at a shop in York at five a shilling. As they used to say in Lincolnshire, " eggs is eggs " nowadays. The judicious Johnson, in his 'Journey to the Western Islands,' has a passage that is pertinent :

" When Lesley two hundred years ago related so punctiliously that a hundred hen eggs new laid sold in the islands for a penny, he supposed that no inference would possibly follow but that eggs were in great abundance. Posterity has since grown wiser, and, having learned that nominal and real value may differ, they now tell no such stories, lest the foreigner should happen to collect not that eggs are many, but that pence are few."

I think it is likely that the eggs of old were much smaller than those we now get from hens of high degree. A generation ago, I remember being astonished at the minute- ness of the eggs served up at Alexandria. A man heard with amusement and surprise a lady asking there for half a dozen eggs with her matutinal coffee, but when he saw what was brought in execution of the order, he felt that her demand was not so very unjusti- fiable. There is such noise in Oriental


poultry yards during the hours one would fain devote to sleep that one is apt to be sarcastic at the breakfast-table at the array of undersized eggs. ST. SWITHIN.

" ROCK -BOTTOM PRICES" (9 th S x. 26). Common in large commercial undertakings = prices at the irreducible minimum. " Other freight wars, covering much less territory than the present, have gone to rock bottom before any attempt has been made to restore rates. American Newspaper." Quoted in 'A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant,' compiled and edited by Albert Barrere (Ballantyne Press, 1890). H. C. WILKINS.

19, Gloucester Street, Coventry.

I have before me a circular of a Notting Hill chemist who uses the phrase " bed-rock prices." Bed-rock is tbj solid rock under- lying the looser materials of the earth's sur- face. Both locutions refer to the idea of lowness, and so cheapness. I always under- stood that these were American phrases ; but upon referring to Dr. Funk's ' Standard Dic- tionary 'an excellent American lexicon I find no reference to these terms.

GREVILLE WALPOLE, M.A., LL.D.

Kensington.

CHOCOLATE (9 th S. viii. 160, 201, 488 ; ix. 53, 213, 488). Walter Churchman's patent for preparing chocolate, mentioned at the last reference, bears date 24 January, 1730, and is numbered 514 in the series of patent speci- fications printed by the Commissioners of Patents. Churchman was also the inventor of a pump or machine for raising water, which he patented on 21 March, 1733, No. 539. Per- haps one of your Bristol correspondents can say whether anything is known locally of Churchman, who is simply described as "citizen of Bristol." Is he to be regarded as the founder of an industry for which that city has since been made famous by the Fry family ? On 7 May, 1795, Joseph Storrs Fry, "of the city of Bristol, chocolate maker," obtained a patent (No. 2,048) for " roasting cocoa nuts. As a further contribution to the subject I may cite a patent for making chocolate granted to James Workman, "of the city of London, chocolate maker," on 10 February, 1725, No. 474. R. B. P.

If MR. PRIDEAUX will consult ' Cocoa, All About It,' by Historicus (Sampson Low & Co., 1896), he will find a mass of additional historical information re chocolate, also a reference to a work by Joseph Acosta in 1604, in which mention is made of the use of chocolate. J. P. S,

Automobile Club, Paris,