Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/239

This page needs to be proofread.



dictionary, he may moreover show when each class of un- words began, with some chrono- logical lists and data as to the older and more frequently used examples in each class. But to attempt to load himself with " all the possible words " in un- would be to try to close the parabola, or grasp the infinite, in which the greater the effort and the vaster the result, the vaster and the more con- spicuous the failure. J. A. H. MURRAY. Oxford.

ST. MARY AXE (9 th S. x. 425 ; xi. 110). I am glad to find that MR. J. HOLDEN MAC- MICHAEL accepts the view that the name of this church is not necessarily derived from a " holy relic " preserved in the building, though I think there are difficulties in the way of believing Stow's statement that it was so called "of the sign of an axe over against the east end thereof." Personally I may say that my affection for the old chronicler would induce me willingly to accept his theory if I thought the evidence warranted it. It did not escape my notice that it was Cunningham who was the first to contradict Stow on this point ; but as the contradiction was repeated in Mr. Wheatley's 'London Past and Present,' which is stated on the title-page to be " based upon 'The Handbook of London' by the late Peter Cunningham," and is, in fact, an enlarged edition of that work, I preferred to cite Wheatley rather than Cunningham, just as I would prefer to cite the 1754 edition of Strype's Stow rather than that of 1720. The sign of the "Axe" was certainly not uncommon in London, and in Ogilby and Morgan's map of London, 1677, we find not only the well-known " Axe Inn " in Alderman- bury, but "Axe Alley ' and two "Axe Yards," all of them doubtless derived from the signs of taverns or beerhouses. But I do not know of any instance of a church deriving its name from a sign, and I think it doubtful if the sign of the " Axe " was so old as the early days of the Plantagenets. MR. MAC-MICHAEL thinks that it was probably derived from the arms of the Company of Wheelwrights, but this was not a very ancient company, as it was not incorporated till 3 February, 1670, and a livery was not granted till 1773. As the " Rotuli Hundredorum" date from the beginning of the reign of Edward I., arid the church had evidently then been in existence for some time, it may be asked if any of the City guilds possessed at that date armorial bearings. MR. MACMICHAEL asserts that the church of St. Mary Axe is not the only instance of a church stated by Stow to be named after a trade sign ; but here, with

deference, I think he has misunderstood the language of the chronicler, for Stow makes no mention of a church of St. Mary Coney- Hope, but merely says that at the end of Coney-Hope Lane there was a chapel dedi- cated to Corpus Christi and St. Mary. These are the exact words of the chronicler, which I quote from the 1603 edition of the ' Survey ' the last published in the author's lifetime at p. 265 :

" West from this Counter [in the Poultry] was a proper Chappell, called of Corpus Christi, and saint Marie at Conie hope lane ende, in the Parish of saint Mildred, founded by one named lonirunnes, a Citizen of London, in the raigne of Edward the third, in which Chappel was a Guild or fraternitie, that might dispend in lands, better then twentie pound by yeare : it was suppressed by Henrie the eight, and purchased by one Thomas Hobson, Haberdasher, he turned this Chappell into a faire Warehouse and shoppes, towardes the streete, with lodgings ouer them. Then is Conyhope lane, of old time so called of such a signe of three Conies hanging over a Poulters stall at the lanes end."

It is plain from this extract that it was the lane which derived its name from the sign, and not the chapel. But this is, of course, merely a side issue, and to my mind the chief argument against the statement that the designation of St. Mary Axe is derived from a sign is the employment of the Latin preposition apud, which is properly only applied to persons and places.


MRS. GLASSE (9 th S. xi. 147). With refer- ence to Mrs. Glasse's famous cookery book, although the date of the first London edition (folio) is always stated to be 1747, this same date appears on the title-page of the second edition. Were the two editions brought out in the same year? This seems so unlikely that I think there must be an error some- where. I have never seen a copy of the folio edition, but possess one of the second. This does not bear Mrs. Glasse's autograph in facsimile, as do subsequent editions, but the list of names of subscribers includes those of " Mrs. Glasse, Carey Street," and " Mr. Glasse, Attorney-at-Law." RACHEL E. HEAD.

57, Wynnstay Gardens, Kensington, W.

It is surprising that any one can have imagined Mrs. Glasse to be a mythical personage. She was well known to our great- grandmothers as an authority on cookery. The good lady was for years credited with making a ponderous joke a propos of the cooking of a hare. She was supposed to have said, First catch your hare," instead of " case," which she does in the directions. We had what, if I remember rightly, was the first edition j but after being much damaged