9"- s. ix. FF.B. is, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
that William (who was apparently son o: Arthur) Clapham, Lord of Dente (or Denton "called so from y c River Dent") and Sud brough (Sedbroughe or Sedbrough, a baronj given him by William the Conqueror), in the West Riding of Yorkshire, had by gift of th< same king " certain hydes of Land juxta Cam berwell besides Lambithe where he buildec the Clappsham or Clapsam near London in the year of our Lord 1066." The MS. con tains also extracts in Latin from 'Floria- censis Wigorn : his Chronicle,' with other references to Osgod Clapa (or "Clapham"; and the death of Hardicanute in June, 1042, of drunkenness at the marriage feast oi Osgod's daughter and a noble Dane at "Lam- beth, near Clapham."
As the above bears upon the subject of some of your correspondent's statements herein, but is not in accord with the same, I give it for what it is worth, without expressing any opinion in the matter.
W. I. R. V.
COL. PRIDEAUX, in his most interesting defence of the traditional derivation of wick from vicus, has pointed out the comparative absence of compounds of "street"- and "castle" in the nomenclature of Southern Europe. Is not the explanation simple? In Southern Europe the great roads were very numerous and were built to con- nect pre-existing centres of habitation. In Northern Europe the Roman roads, like the railways in North America, created centres of population along their course, to which names like "Ad Decimum," " Stone- street," &c., might be applied, just as " Rail- head " figures on colonial maps to-day.
As for "castle," few centres of population in Italy (although some did in Spain and Portugal) sprang up on the site of Roman camps. When castro is used in an Italian name it usually marks the site of a post- Roman military settlement, whether Lombard, Saracenic, or German, intended to overawe the native population. Of course, turris is found in Southern Europe, as fortified towers became numerous in the periods of disturb- ance after the fall of the Roman empire. May I ask COL. PRIDE AUX, in view of his last remark as to vicus being used for villages built along the seashore, whether he would derive names like Harwich, Ipswich, Dun- wich, Wick (Caithness), from vicus. or vik= bay ? H.
If homonyms of different origins can dwell together in unity by the score in the pages of our dictionaries, why cannot the -wichs and -wicks in England of Norse and Saxon
and Latin origin be allowed to run their course 1 ? Attempts to assign one origin to them appear to be irrational. I italicize England, because the amount or intensity of Roman influence at a certain time per unit of area was probably greater there than in Germany. The littoral and estuaries of England and North-West Europe lent them- selves to the Norse influence ; inland of that sphere may very well have predomi- nated the Saxon and Latin influence, in England especially. H. P. L.
"RATHER" (9 th S. ix. 7). The use of this word by Tennyson proves that it is notobsolete in literature, while in the dialects the great repository of old English it is not even obsolescent. Here in Somerset rathe or rave is the common form by which early maturity or forwardness in growth is expressed, when speaking of either young persons, cattle, or fruits. " A rave spring " (early) is the usual phrase. ' ' Your children be rave, sure 'nough," " A rave piece of wheat," may be heard con- stantly (see also 'West Som. W. Book,' E.D.S., p. 616). As an adverb, such as Tennyson's use, I have never heard it spoken. The pronunciation is invariably with long a, as in pave, and the old th has mostly become v, though we preserve the former in the name of a well-known early apple, " the rathe-ripe."
In the comparative the word is equally common, though confined to the same limita- tions of use respecting time or season. This shows the true conservatism of the dialect, for in Mid. Eng. rathe and soon were alterna- tive terms (see * Promp. Parv.'). The country folk never by any chance use rather, as in modern English, to express preference. We should always say "I'd so soon," or "I'd sooner have one o' they " ; never " I should prefer." So the broad a in the modern rathw is as unknown as the common slang affirma- tive " Rather ! " in reply to any ordinary question ; e.g., "Were you there last night ? " " Rather ! " As a superlative, ravest would be well understood, and, if needed, constantly used. "They be the ravest sort ever I'd
a-got," "Mr. 's young stock be always
the ravest in the market." It is unsafe to pronounce any old English word obsolete. F. T. ELWORTHY.
The "positive degree" of this adjective still lingers in the west of England. You may hear of a " rathe piece of oats." There s also an early apple, the "rathe-ripe," now
- rown somewhat scarce. This adjective
lupplies a noteworthy instance of the stead- astness with which poorer folk adhere to ancient pronunciation, while the more edu-