9* S. XL FEB. 7, 1903.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
regias " in 1748? On what grounds was the degree thus specially conferred, and what was his connexion with the laird of Cumloden, in Galloway? What was the parentage of John Murdoch, Bishop of Castabala inpartibus and Vicar Apostolic of the western district of Scotland (1833-65); and how was he con- nected with the family of Murdoch of Cumloden, whose arms he adopted on his seal ? Replies can be sent to me direct.
T. M. FALLOW. Coatham, Redcar.
- NOBILIAIRE DE NORMANDY.' Under this
title a single volume by Gabriel O'gilvy (sic) (who is catalogued in the British Museum Library as Henri G. O'g.) was published in 1864 by W. Allen & Co., of Stationers' Hall Court. The work is in French, and was apparently intended to be completed on an extended scale, since this is entitled Vol. I., and its contents include only A Butin. It closes with the words 'Fin du premier volume." What is known of the author, who doubtless, in spite of the intrusive apostrophe, was of Scotch descent ? Why was a French work on a French subject published in London ; and was it ever continued into later volumes ? I do not find the publishers' names in the ' London Directory ' of 1900.
W. C. J.
MAGIC RING. In the fifteenth chapter of
- Silas Marner ' George Eliot speaks of a
"famous ring that pricked its owner when he forgot duty and followed desire." Can any of your readers explain the allusion 1
[We recall the story vaguely. Some person accepted gladly such a ring, and found after a time its monitions intolerable.]
WITNESSING BY SIGNS. In the church registers of this parish there is a memorandum dated 1627 to the effect that the vicar had read the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, "and gave his assent and consent there- unto " in the presence of certain persons whose names are underwritten. Two of these witnesses have made their marks, and their names are written by the same hand that wrote the memorandum. The marks divide the Christian name from the surname. The one mark is of the arrow-head type ; the other consists of a circle, from the right of the circumference of which is drawn a horizontal line, with two short vertical lines from its lower side near the end furthest from the circle. When did the now usual cross take the place of these more com- plicated signs ? FRANCIS R. RUSHTON.
" CYCLE ALITIES." A tradesman in this town has lately announced in his window that he deals in " cyclealities." Is not this a newly coined word ? If so, should it not be regis- tered in the pages of * N. & Q.' for the benefit of posterity ? A. J. DAVY.
[We insert, hoping that posterity will repudiate
PICTURE BY MARTINEATJ. Can any one inform me where is 'The Last Day in the Old Home,' a large and remarkable oil painting by R B. Martineau, which I well remember in the International Exhibition of 1862 ? It is described in Redgrave's 'Dictionary' as "a highly laboured production, a drama of the artist's own invention." Martineau died in 1869, and some of his works were exhibited a year or two afterwards. I suppose the pic- ture would be engraved, as cheap process reproductions are in the shops ; but I have never seen the print itself. W. B. H.
SETTING OF THE SEVEN STARS. Hearing a lady say, " I wish the Seven Stars would set," and receiving an evasive answer to a demand for the meaning, I should be glad if a reader could satisfy my curiosity. I might add that it was a Devonshire lady. W. CURZON YEO.
[The rising of the Pleiads, or seven stars, was supposed to indicate the time of safe navigation. What their setting signifies or symbolizes we know not. A verse of a sort of mystic song of numerals runs, " Seven are the seven stars in the skies."]
HALLOWE'EN PRACTICE. On upper Deeside it has been the practice from time imme- morial for men and boys to run from house to house on Hallowe'en, carrying blazing fir torches, called "sownicks," and at each house visited they were regaled with " broken milk" i.e., milk whipped with a bundle of birch twigs until it assumed a knotty con- sistency. What do the torches and milk symbolize ; and is the practice followed by Celts elsewhere ? A. R. Y.
[Hallowe'en customs are numerous. Bearing fir torches is one of them. For a practice at Balmoral analogous to that you describe, which was witnessed by Queen Victoria in 1873, see 4 th S. xii. 485.]
THE ORIGIN OF THE TURNBULLS. The fol- lowing is a quotation from Hector Boece, 'Scotorum Historicse,' first published in 1526 :
For after the beast felt himself sore wounded by hunters he rushed upon the king, who, having no weapon in his hand, had surely perished if rescue had not come. Howbeit, in his distress one came running unto him, who overthrew the bull by plain force and held him down till the hunters came that killed him outright. For this valiant act the king endowed the aforesaid party with great posses-