Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/214

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [Q' h s. x. SEPT. is, 1902.


days the tailor, with his apprentice, travelled through the country, stopping at country houses or farmhouses to do any necessary repairs or make up new clothes from materials supplied. The pay was eighteenpenoe a day, with board and lodging, it the job It. ted. The custom prevailed nearly all over England, and still remains in the West as well as in the Scottish Highlands. But what is the origin of this curious phrase?" To this question the following was the reply : "A correspondent sends us a Scotch interpreta tion of the curious phrase 'whipping the cat' as applied to the tailor who worked in the house of his customer. The itinerant tailor in old days in Scotland had a weakness for 'going on the spree. When at work next day, he was in a mood of ill- natured penitence, embittered by remorse of con- science, and, ' being with himself at war, he forgot the shows of love^ to the poor cat, getting relief from his misery by whipping it away from its com- fortable quarters among the cloth, &c., where the tailor crossed his legs on the floor, and in the vicinity of the indispensable hot 'goose.' Hence the nickname of ' whip-the-cat ' was given to the itinerant tailors as a class, and the craft of making clothes out of homespun from house to house came to be called ' whipping the cat.' "

CHARLES HIATT.

"THIRTY DAYS HATH SEPTEMBER. "The following appears in the Publishers' Circular of 12 July :

"AN IMMORTAL VERSE.

"The most widely known and oftenest quoted verse in the English language is

Thirty days hath September,

April, June, and November.

February hath xxviii. alone,

And all the rest have xxxi.

It is the one thing learned at school that nobody forgets, the one aid to memory that really helps remembrance. Yet probably no one person in a hundred thousand who habitually use it in every- day life recollects or has ever known the name of its author. Richard Graf ton, who wrote this im- mortal poem, was one of the earliest and most dis- tinguished of English publishers. He embarked in the business only about sixty years later than Caxton, 'the father of English printing,' and between 1539 and 1553 brought out 'The Great Bible' (Matthew's), ' Coverdale's Translation of the New Testament,' ' Actes of Parliament,' and other books. The name of Grafton has lately been rescuec from obscurity, and made familiar to the reading public at least, by a firm of New York publishers who have established the Grafton Press, thereby reviving a title honoured 350 years ago."

The poem will be found in Grafton ' Abridgement of the Chronicles of England, 1572, and so far from the author being for- gotten, I have only to refer to 'N. & Q., 4 th S. vii. j 6 th S. x. ; 8 th S. iii., iv., v. ; also to two long biographical notices of the works written and published by him given in ' Tim perley's Dictionary of Printers and Printing.

EVERARD HOME COLEMAN.

71, Brecknock Road.


HALF PENNY FOR HALFPENNY. I believe ! am right in saying that from time imme- morial the accepted way of writing the name of the coin which represents two-fourths of a penny was "halfpenny," until some alien nfluence in the designing of our postage stamps gave official sanction to " half penny." This fresh coinage is authorized in the Ed- wardian stamp recently issued. I do not know what advantage " half penny " can give that " halfpenny " was unable to achieve. It is a pity that if the suspended crown of the stamps did descend on the royal head it would have a tendency to slide down to the nose. The disposition of light and shade in the medallion strikes me as being somewhat phenomenal. The illumination that falls on the face ignores the background, excepting just at the point where the chin would be likely to cast a shade ; and the glow which comes Prom somewhere on the right side of the medallion leaves the back of the head in shadow. " The light that never was on sea or land" must have suffused the studio.

ST. SWITHIN.

BURIALS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY. I have seen it stated in the press that since Dr. Bradley became Dean of Westminster, twenty years ago, only ten persons have been buried in the Abbey, of whom two were poets (Robert Browning and Lord Tennyson), one an archbishop (Trench), two architects (George Edmund Street and John Loughborough Pearson), a scientist (Charles Darwin), a Queen's printer (William Spottiswoode), a statesman (William Ewart Gladstone), and two women (Lady Louisa Percy and Mrs. Gladstone). I venture to point out, how- ever, that one name has been omitted from this list, namely, that of the sixth Duke of Northumberland, who died 2 January, 1899, and was interred a week later in the family vault of the chapel of St. Nicholas. It has further been remarked that there is hardly room left for another half-dozen great men to be buried in the national Valhalla ; but this is surely a ridiculous exaggeration.

ALGERNON ASHTON.

WAVERLEY ABBEY, SURREY. The Surrey Archaeological Society are trying to find by excavation how far these monastic buildings extended ; but they do not appear so far to have followed up, or even begun upon, the site of the boundary wall, which is clearly shown in Buck's ' View,' reproduced on p. 88 of 'Abbeys around London.' If this were done it would be the means of saving time and money, as it would show beyond which point it is not necessary to excavate and.