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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/330

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322


NOTES AND QUERIES,


. XL A, 25, MOB.


cerning the woman's death. But they refused to confess, alleging that they knew nothing of her death. Then the said Philip " took the said Roger de Horsinton all the way with him to the oricilum of the aula of Henbury, and, there threatening the said Roger, said he would put him in prison unless he would confess about the death of the said woman, of whom he knew nothing.' *

This Philip Bacun was bailiff, or chief officer, of the hundred of Henbury, and it may be that the aula of Henbury was the church of that village, t But what was the oricilum ? We need not hesitate to conclude that it was the auricle, or external ear, " wider at the west end than the east," the oriel (French oreille, ear) through which the accused man or defendant confessed his misdeeds to the officer who sat behind the lattice. Du Cange mentions the late Latin oricularius for auri- cularius, a word which, he tells us, means " one entrusted with secrets, a counsellor."! Dr. Russell Sturgis, in the excellent and comprehensive 'Dictionary of Architecture' which he is now publishing, says that the "hagioscope" is "called also Squint, and more rarely Loricula." Dr. Sturgis does not tell us from what source he gets loricula, but it cannot be the Latin for " breastplate." In the books to which 1 have access I have been unable to tind the word, and think that we ought to read I'oricula.

In attempting to extort confession from these men the bailiff was only following the Roman law, for

" the main object of the inquisitorial procedure which grew up under the empire was to discover, either by means of torture, or by interrogatories or otherwise, whether the defendant could be induced to confess the charge made against him."

In the thirteenth century bailiffs were often clerics ( 4 Pontef ract Chartulary,' ii. 342, 360).

The enclosed chancel of a parish church will remind us of the Roman secretarium or secretum, in which from the fifth century


  • ' Idem. Philippus predictum Rogerum de Hor-

sinton secum duxit usque ad oricilum aule de Hem bur', et ibidem minando dictum Rogerum dixit quod ipsum poneret in prisona nisi de morte dicte mulieris recognosceret, de qua nil scivit."

t Spelman (s.v. aula) refers to certain Rolls of Edward 1. which contain the formula "aula ibidem teuta tali die," c. This is the only instance which Du Cange can quote of the use of the word in the sense ot "Court Baron." But was not the Court Baron itself held in church ?

J " Auricuiarius, secretorum consents, Consilia- ritttf." He also gives *' Auricularius, coraKovo~Ts

Auricularius, id eat Secretarius, ab auricula,

quia secreta solent dici in aure."

Smith's 'Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities,' *.v. ' Confessio.'


causes were exclusively heard, the public being shut off by cancelli and curtains.* An English vocabulary of the tenth or eleventh century mentions "the chancel behind the high altar," and translates the word gesceot, among other names, by secretarium.^

But are we justified in supposing that the aula at Henbury was a church? I would reply to that question by another. If the aula was not a church, what was it; and where else did the court sit in this little village of Henbury if not in the church or chancel ? In late Latin a frequent meaning of the word is '* church,"! and in an English inscription of the year 1056 a parish church is described as regia aula, royal court. There is no connexion between the words aula and kail, but even if it should be proved that ** the aula of Henbury " was a " hall- mote," or court held in a manorial hall, we still have to do with a court of justice which contained an oricilum, at which confession was extorted from culprits or defendants. Moreover, this court at Henbury belonged to the Bishop of Worcester, || and as late as the thirteenth century it is almost impossible to distinguish between the civil and the ecclesiastical court. It is not likely that the bishop had two courts in such a place, and if churches could use the ordeal by fire at this period we need not be surprised to find in them oriels for use in confession not the confession which the moral delinquent now makes to a priest, but that which a man accused of a legal crime once made to his judge. The oriel in a church is the con- fessional, and no confessional boxes have ever been found in England.

Mr. H. V. Baker, of Henbury, tells me that there is no "squint " in Henbury Church. Is the approximate date of the building known, and does it contain transepts, side chapels, or a central tower ? S. O. ADDY.

[Loricula= breastplate is, we think, sound Latin.]


BURTON'S 'ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY.

(See ante, pp. 181, 222, 263.)

ENOUGH examples have now been given

to prove that, quite apart from his neglect to

collate the early editions, Mr. A. R. iShilleto

was often wanting in care and knowledge in

  • Smith's 'Diet.,' ut supra, s.v. 'Auditorium.'

t " Propitiatorium, uel sanctum sanctorum, uel secretarium, uel pastoforum, gesceot baeftan )>8em heah-weofode." Wright- Wiilcker, ' Vocab.,' i. 186.

See Du Cange, s.v.

Archceologia, vol. 1. p. 70. Cf. "Basilica, cinges hof uel cyrce." Wright- Wiilcker, 'Vocab. 1

II ' Rotuli Hundredorum,' i. 169 a*