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110


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. XL FEB. 7, im.


sions, and his lineage to this day is called of the Turnbulls."

The above is a cutting from an old but unknown newspaper. Is it a true quotation ? The story is found in various authors on Border history ; but can it be found in Hector Boece's ' Scotorum Historic^,' or is it fiction ? ALEXR. TURNBULL.

SANS PAREIL THEATRE. Can any of your readers inform me what was the Sans Pareil Theatre, Strand? It is mentioned on the title-page of a song by J. G. Black well, and I imagine it existed about the year 1810 ; but I can find no record of it. Was it the same as Dibdin's Sans Souci Theatre ?

W. BARCLAY SQUIRE.

[On 27 November, 1806, a theatre, first founded in 1802 by John Scott, proprietor of a dye called "True Blue," was opened, after having been enlarged, under the title of the Sans Pareil, which name it bore till 1819. It is now known as the Adelphi.]

MISTLETOE BERRIES. A note as follows is appended to Washington Irving's paper on 'Christmas Eve' in his 'Sketch-Book':

"The mistletoe is still hung up in farmhouses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases."

Brand also mentions the "plucking off a berry at each kiss." The good old custom of kissing under the mistletoe is happily still rife, but I have never heard of the berries being plucked. Has this part of the ceremony lapsed entirely 1 JOHN T. PAGE.

CURRAN FAMILY. I am anxious to trace my father's ancestors. His grandfather and great-grandfather came from London before 1762 at least, the younger man did, for he was married in Boston in the latter part of that year. What I want to find out first is the record of the baptism of my father's grandfather, showing who were his parents. His father's name I know, but not his mother's. (Mrs.) MARY H. CURRAN.

Bangor, Me.

ADELPHI SOCIETY OF LONDON. Can any of your readers supply me with particulars of the above society? On a medal issued by

/ s ? c ,! ety m the ei g ht eenth century there is a Welsh motto ; hence my query. I want to know if the society had any relation to Wales

D. M. R,

PASTED ScRAPs.-Most people from time to time have wished to detach old pasted scraps or cuttings. Is there any way in which this

ne Ai SMYTHE PALMER -


ST. MARY AXE. (9 th S. x. 425.)

BY a curious coincidence, on the same day that my former note on this subject appeared in print, I received the last part of the Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (vol. i. N.S. part iv.), and found it contained an 'Enquiry as to the Name of St. Mary Axe,' by Mr. Stephen Darby. I was glad to find * that Mr. Darby shared my scepti- cism with regard to tne usually accepted derivation of the name, and that he cited the parallel case of Maidenhead, which, originally Maidenhyth or Maidenheth, has been derived by Leland and others from the head of a British maiden, who was held to have been one of the 11,000 virgins belonging to the company of St. Ursula, murdered in Cologne on their return from Rome. Mr. Darby very aptly asks :

"May it not be quite as likely that the name of St. Mary Axe has as little connexion with the holy Relic as has that of the Town of Maidenhead with the memory of the holy Virgin whose decapitation was said to have been effected by it ? "

Mr. Darby also refers to the documents in the 'Rotuli Hundredorum' to which I drew attention, in order to show that in early times the church was known as St. Mary "atte Nax. " From this fact he draws the inference that "Nax" may possibly be " nacs," an abbreviation of "nacnes," the old English word for "strips," and that in this there may be an allusion to strippers or skinners, the church having been also known as " St. Mary Pelliper."

Mr. Darby proceeds to state that he re- ferred this question to the [late] Rev. Pre- bendary Earle, of Oxford, who very kindly gave it his consideration :

"Whilst he could not entertain the idea of 'nax'


being a corruption of ' nacnes,' he explained that

ht

ved of t place.


Attenaxe might be written ' At-ten-axe ' ; and he approved of the suggestion of ' axe ' as a petitioning


Mr. Darby having also equated "axe" with the A.-S. dcsian, to ask, which is a form of dscian, Prof. Earle remarked :

" This connexion strikes me as not impossible ; there was A.-S. oe.sce=enquiry, and cesc-stede, place of enquiry, which by metathesis would become ax. If there is anything in this it suggests an old heathen seat of divination ; an oracle, which was superseded by a Christian church."

Prof. Earle was also good enough to add :

" It is the only suggestion I ever met with that I could entertain 3 [i.e., as to the origin of the name of St. Mary Axe]. He would not hazard a positive