Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/37

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9* s. v. JAN. 13, i9oo.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


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objects in the form of animals and triangles, thick and very plainly designed ; but the character of each is quite clear, though only j the upper part of the animals is developed, the lower being a solid mass ; and thus each can stand upright like chessmen. The animals are : 1. Bull, with the horns lying flat on the head. This, therefore, I conclude cannot be Apis, for his horns are upright, so as to receive the disc, moon, or world between them. I identify this with Taurus. See drawings of Apis and Serapis (or Osiris) in Sharpe (' Egyptian Mythology,' 1863, pp. 15, 12). Length l in. 2. Sheep, or Aries. 3. Goat, or Capricornus. 4. Lion, or Leo. 5. A thick triangle, like a well-stuffed cushion ; from its two top corners proceed two infant heads. The lower angle is surrounded by a cord-like mark as of a string or ribbon, the two ends being shown. This would be Gemini two infants made one by being wrapped together in one case, swathed as infants used to be, and still are by some in France, probably in honour and imitation of Artemis of Ephesus (see engravings of this Artemis on medals of Antoninus and Corn- modus in 'De la Religion des Anciens Remains,' pp. 85, 86). The string below would be to tie the swathings. 6. Two more bulls. 7. Another sheep. 8. Three triangles larger than the former, and without heads. These have concentric rings round them numbering four and five. Would these refer to planetary orbits, the numbers denoting to the initiated what planets they referred to, and to be used in magical rites and incanta- tions? As to the animals, it seems the Egyptians played for money at chess (see an engraving of this game in the Art Journal, 1863, vol. ii. p. 6) and at draughts. The immense antiquity of chess is undoubted. See its connexion with the zodiac and planets in a sheet entitled 'The Zodiacal Chess-Board,' by J. H. S. (Taunton, Barnicott, 1899). The owner of the objects, after consideration, inclined to the view of their being zodiacal, and remarked that they showed signs of having been kept in a bag. A set of Indian chessmen I possess came to me in their native silk bag instead of as with us in a box. Is this a correct con- clusion ; and are similar objects in any public museum 1 A. M.

DE BENSTEDE OR BENSTED FAMILY. I am collecting all the information 1 can regarding this family, and shall be very grateful for any particulars your readers may have. The name Berated frequently occurs in the registers of All Saints', Maidstone, Kent, and


I should like to know whether they are connected with the De Benstedes of Ben- nington, co. Herts. I may say that I have seen Clutterbuck's 'History of Hertfordshire ' and also Morant's 'History of Essex.' The life of a Mr. Bensted was given in Temple Bar as discoverer of the big ichthyosaurus described by Dr. Mansel. I should very much like to know the exact reference. Any notes relating to this family would be greatly esteemed. CHAS. H. CROUCH.

Nightingale Lane, Wanstead.


THE ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH COINAGE.

(9 th S. iv. 431, 504.)

I BEG to offer some additional notes on this subject. But first let me thank PLAN- TAGENET for his very useful reference to the fact that in Wiltshire a bay of a barn is known as a shilling.

Prof. Maitland has made calculations which show that " some force, conscious or uncon- scious, has made for * one pound, one hide.' "* It will hardly be doubted that the force was conscious, or that the correlation of houses, acres, and monetary units was the result of design.

It has been seen that in my table the pound corresponds to the hide of 120 acres. In the 'Domesday of St. Paul's,' compiled in the year 1222, the sums paid by the various tenants exactly correspond, in many cases, to the sums given in the table. Thus on p. 4 a list of the libere tenentes and the sums paid by each is given :

s. d.

The first tenant holds half a hide, and pays 10 The second tenant holds two out of three

parts of a virgate, and pays 34

The third tenant holds a virgate and a half,

and pays 7 6

The fourth and fifth tenants hold a quarter of

a virgate each, and pay respectively ... 13

Then some variations follow, and afterwards the same scale of payment begins again. Such payments are sufficiently numerous to deserve notice.

For fiscal or other purposes land with its appurtenances is regarded as worth so much a year. Thus we find such expressions as solidata terroe^ a shillingsworth of land, or deneriata terrce, a pennyworth of land.

"There seems no room for doubt," says Prof. Maitland, "that hiwisc and the more abstract kiwscipe mean a household, and very

  • ' Domesday Book and Beyond,' p. 465.

t " Solidatus, a shyllyngworth" (Wright- Wiilcker, ' Vocabularies,' 612, 37).