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386


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th B. XL MAY IG, 1903.


soon after 1600. He died in 1620, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Eichard Bennet, who was also possessed of a fine house at Kew, afterwards owned by Frederick, Prince of Wales. As Richard Bennet did not die till 1658, he was the owner of Babraham at the date of the Letters. He died there, leaving no male issue, and was succeeded by his brother, Sir Thomas Bennet, who was created a baronet in 1660.

In Letter Ixvii., p 305, Sir John Grenville's sister is said to be the wife of Col. Thornhill, but in the pedigrees the name of Joan Gren- ville's husband is Col. Thornton. A refer- ence to the manuscript would clear up this point.

In Letter Iviii., p. 276, Dorothy Osborne describes how Lady Sandys went to Win- chester races with Col. Tom Paunton. The editor of the Letters is unable to identify this person. But he must surely be the celebrated Col. Pan ton, the biggest gambler of the day, and a man that no husband of that time would have chosen as the companion of his wife. Col. Panton was the possessor of land in the Haymarket and Piccadilly, and it is from him that Panton Street derives its name. He died in 1681. His daughter married Henry, Lord Arundel of Wardour, after whom Wardour and Arundel Streets are named. A good account of Thomas Pan ton's building operations is given in Mr. Wheatley's 'London Past and Present,' iii. 25. W. F. PRIDEAUX.

AN AUTHOR'S CURIOUS MISTAKE. The ascription by Mrs. W. C. Earle, in her new volume, * A Third Pot-Pourri,' of some lines relating to Milton's blindness, to the great Puritan poet himself, is hardly excusable; but it is, after all, a small matter when one recalls that only two years ago a London evening journal actually printed the entire poem ' Milton's Prayer of Patience ' as a "recent discovery." Mrs. Earle evidently imagines the lines were written by "Milton in his old age " ; they are, in reality, the work of an American lady, Mrs. Elizabeth Howell, nee Lloyd, who died in 1896. Some of her poems appeared in the Wheatsheaf, 1852 ; but the one with the title given above, and consisting of eleven four-line stanzas, is the best known. JOHN GRIGOR.

HAWKE AND THE BATTLE OFF TOULON IN 1744. It is stated in many books, and is repeated in the short biography of Hawke in the ninth edition of the ' Encyclopedia Britannica,' that for breaking a way* from the line of battle, although he thereby succeeded


in capturing an enemy's ship (the Spanish Poder, i.e., Power), the one achievement in the action, he was tried by court-martial and dismissed the service, into which he was soon afterwards reinstated by the king. Capt. Prof. Burrows has, however, disposed of this story (which first appeared, he thinks, in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1760) in his 'Life of Edward, Lord Hawke.' He was not one of the officers tried by court-martial after the action. A few weeks later he was placed in command of a squadron of line-of-battle ships on delicate service in the Mediterranean. Charnock was probably the first to throw dis- credit upon the story that Hawke had been cashiered. It is properly ignored in the account of him given in the 'Dictionary of National Biography,' as also in ' Chambers's Encyclopedia.' W. T. LYNN.

Blackheath.

BRITANNIA THEATRE, HOXTON. The pass- ing of what for so many years was known as the Great Theatre, Ho'xton, is an event of considerable interest to most old London theatre-goers. Those whose memories can carry them back a quarter of a century or more will doubtless remember the time when a visit to Mrs. Lane's theatre was one of the things many lovers of the stage regularly undertook at least once in the season. The huge building, packed literally from floor to ceiling with a most enthusiastic audience, has been vividly described by Dickens in one of his sketches, and certainly was a sight well worth seeing.

Starting in the early thirties as an un- obtrusive little theatre standing in a small garden, the Britannia, after an exceedingly chequered career, succeeded in rivalling in seating capacity every theatre in London with the exception of Drury Lane. The name of Dibdin Pitt, the author of ' The Beggar's Petition 'and a number of popular melodramas, must always be largely asso- ciated with the ultimate success of " the great theatre," which had its own dramatists, amongst whom Hazlewood, Macdermott, Edgar Newbound, and Mrs. Lane herself will be long remembered, though old play- goers will recollect the lady perhaps best when she played and sang as Miss Sara Wilton. Tom Sayers played clown there in the early sixties, and a host of names well known to a past generation have been iden- tified with the Britannia Theatre.

The last time I visited it, a few years back, it was no longer the same place ; its glory had all departed, and the performance as well as the audience marked but too plainly its