Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/177

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the couple who were married on the corre- sponding line in the adjoining column. Each page of this list is signed by the curate and the two churchwardens at foot, as having been examined and found correct.

I confess that the whole proceeding seems to me monstrous, and possibly, if a title or inheritance were at stake, the courts might hold that this copy of a portion only of a missing register could not be accepted as evidence. As to the suppression of the witnesses' names, apart from other objections, the whole picturesqueness of an entry is gone when the materials for reconstructing that family party have been taken away.

H. G. K.

JOHN DYKE ACLAND, DIED 1778 Is it known whether this soldier and politician was ever at Harrow School? "J. D. Acland " is apparently cut upon one of the panels in the fourth-form room ; but the first letter may be only a clerical error for "T.," and the tenth and eleventh baronets (Sir Thomas D. Acland) were undoubtedly at the school.


St. Margaret's, Malvern.

DESCENT OF THE TSAR, At the time of the Crimean war it was stated in various news- papers that the Tsar of Russia was a lineal descendant of Jingis Khan. Can this be proved, or was it a mere guess or fable 1

N. M. & A.

SIR WILLIAM DAMSELL OR DANSELL was one of the knights made at the coronation of Queen Mary in 1553. M.P. for Arundel in 1555, and for Hastings 1563-7. His will proved in 1582 in P.C.C., wherein he is described as " of London." Any informa- tion as to his parentage, &c., will oblige. I believe that at one period he was on the Council of the Welsh Marches.


APPLE-TREE FOLK-LORE. Why is the apple- tree specially connected with Christmas ? That it is so the ancient rites of our cider counties bear witness. Moreover, con- tinental customs show that the same belief is held abroad.

To begin with, in Courland apple-trees are struck with a stick on the first day of Christ- mas, so that there may be a good crop of fruit (W. Mannhardt, * Der Baumkultus der Germanen/ p. 276). And in Swabia a violent wind at Christmas foreshows a fruitful year (Birlinger, ' Volksthumliches aus Schwabeu,' vol. i. p. 466), while in Voigtland they say : " If the wind shakes the trees well at Christ- mas there will be much fruit." Also : " If

much * Rauchf rost ' is on the trees there will be much fruit" (Kohler, 'Volksbrauch im Voigtlande,' pp. 341, 342). The wind is also imagined to be potent in Berry, where it is said :

Plus les avents sont venteux Plus les vergers sont plantureux. For the peasant asserts that high winds blowing during " les avents de Noel " render the trees fruitful (Laisnel de la Salle, ' Croy- ances et Legendes du Centre de la France,' vol. ii. p. 279).

The Montenegrins place the remains of the Christmas log between the boughs of young fruit-trees to promote their growth ('Der Baumkultus,' p. 225).

According to Baader (' Volkssagen aus dem Lande Baden,' p. 47), apple- trees bloom, cast their flower, and bear fruit during the Christmas matins ; and from Gerard's ' Land beyond the Forest' (vol. ii. p. 44) we learn that on Sylvester Night that is, New Year's Eve bright moonlight means full granaries among the Transylvanian Saxons, which seems an allied belief, as does the German notion which teaches "so many stars to be seen in the heavens on Christmas night, so many 'Mandeln' of corn at harvest" ('Der Baumkultus,' p. 234. See also ' Volksthum- liches aus Schwaben,'i. 465). The Normans, it may be remarked, will tell you, " If the sun shines on St. Eulalia's day there will be more than enough apples and cider" (F. Pluquet, ' Contes Populaires de FArrondisse- ment de Bayeux,' deuxieme edition, p. 130), the Voigtlanders being of opinion, according to Kohler (p. 341), that when Michaelmas falls in a waxing moon much fodder will grow in the following year. M. P.


(9 th S, ix. 67.)

IN the first canto of 'England's Reforma- tion,' a Hudibrastic poem, generally known by the title of ' Ward's Cantos,' the following lines occur :

A blessed race !

Race like its parent, whom we find A man to every vice inclined, Revengeful, cruel, bloody, proud, Unjust, unmerciful, and lewd; For in his wrath he spared no man, Nor in his lust spared any woman.

The writer (Thomas Ward, 1652-1708) in a note refers us to Dr. P. Heylin as his autho- rity for the saying. But on consulting the atter's principal work, the 'Ecclesia Re- staurata; or, the History of the Reformation of