NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. XL APRIL is, 1903.
THOMAS HOOD. In beginning the memoir of Hood which prefaces the "Eversley Edi- tion" of his poems, Canon Ainger takes exception to "the abbreviated form of his Christian name," on the ground that " there is no evidence that he was known in his lifetime even to his intimate friends as 'Tom' Hood." The poet's son was generally spoken of as Tom Hood the Younger, which may be partly responsible for the extent to which his father has come to be known by the abbreviated form. But I have recently come across a scrap of such evidence as Canon Ainger speaks of, where Southey, in inter- chap, xv. of 'The Doctor/ mentions Tom Hood, Tom Moore, Tom Campbell, Tom Cribb, &c., as though such names were commonly current. That was in 1837, during Hood's lifetime; and one of Hood's friends used the abbreviated form shortly after his death, for Douglas Jerrold wrote in Punch (5 September, 1846), " Tom Hood has capitally said of certain teetotalers that they think they have a right to believe themselves Beauties, simply because they are not Beasts." WALTER JERROLD.
THE JEWS IN ENGLAND. The marriage at the Mansion House on Tuesday, the 7th of April, of a daughter of the Lord Mayor, reminds us that it is the first time that a marriage with full Jewish ritual has been solemnized at the Lord Mayor's official residence. The ceremony took place in the gilded Egyptian Hall, a beautiful canopy being erected, beneath which the bride and bridegroom were united. The celebrant was the Chief Rabbi (Dr. Adler), assisted by Prof. Gollancz, I. Samuel, and R. Harris, of the Bayswater Synagogue. Y. Z.
' THE PRIME MINISTER AT WHITTINGHAME. In an article in the Pall Mall Magazine for March, descriptive of the residence of Mr. A. J. Balfour at Whittinghame, Prestonkirk, East Lothian, N.B., is the fol- lowing remarkable passage, referring to Whittinghame in the time of Elizabeth :
" In the castle [of which the keep alone remains at the present time] were four men : Morton, his cousin, Archibald Douglas, and brother of the pro- prietor of Whittinghame, Maitland of Lethington,
^w *. v^*,4.. AO.IJV*. until, uctitv wtts ui -L/ctrnicyj trie Kings husband [sic], and their talk boded him no good. - Ihe Prime Minister at Whittinghame,'
We are further informed that when Mr. James Balfour, the first Balfour of Whittinghame, purchased the property there was no mansion house the old tower ot the Douglases
not being exactly suitable as a residence, and he at once set about building the present Whittinghame House. It was erected in 1818 from designs by Smirke, the architect of the Royal Exchange in London. The edifice is of light grey sandstone, similar to that of which a great part of the new town of Edinburgh is constructed, and still retains its original purity of colour. But the house can hardly be described as beautiful or exceptionally interest- ing from an architectural point of view. It does convey, however, an effect of spaciousness, com- bined with solidity. Its eastern front is Gothic in style ; its western front is not on Classic lines, but is perhaps more pleasing than the other. In 1871 Mr. Balfour, a year or two after attaining his majority, began to make considerable alterations to the building ; among other things he added greatly to the attractiveness of the western side of Whit- tinghame House."
The author's architectural criticism is of a singular character, and he does not appear to be aware that there have been no fewer than three architects of the name of Smirke and another Smirke, a painter of some eminence. Whittinghame House was built from the designs of Sir Robert Smirke, R.A., who was not the architect of the Royal Exchange in London, which is due to the late Sir William Tite, M.P.
It is strange that so many inaccuracies should have been allowed to pass unnoticed in a high-priced periodical like the Pall Mall Magazine. JOHN HEBB.
HOUSE OF COMMONS' " SESSIONS." Some very interesting comments occur in an article in No. 3936 of the Athenceum on phrases commonly used in the United States con- cerning our Parliament. It is justly re- marked that Americans use " session " where we use "sitting," and it might have been added that Americans say Congress is in session when we should say that Parliament is sitting. Another fact deserved notice, which is that it was once customary in this country to speak and write of "sessions "of the House of Commons, meaning the sittings during the session, which, as is well known, is the period between the assembling of the House and its prorogation. This is equiva- lent to the idea conveyed in Quarter Sessions and Petty Sessions. I have seen in unpub- lished letters of the first Mrs. Sheridan fre- Suent reference to the " next Sessions " of the ouseof Commons, and I think that letters
the same word is employed in the like sense. Having mentioned Mrs. Sheridan, I may add that, among the many anecdotes of her illustrious husband, there is one which the writer in the Athenceum, who is evidently a master of Parliamentary practice, might elucidate. It is to the effect that, when