NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. MARCH 22, 1902.
sources. In Gothic art a simple cross within a circle almost invariably marks the nilnbus that surrounds the sacred head. Miss Twining, in her 'Symbols and Emblems of Early and Mediaeval Christian Art' (1885), gives an illustration of an instance of this from a sixth-century mosaic in the church of S. Lorenzo at Rome. Pugin, in ' Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament' (1868), has beautiful illuminated illustrations of various nimbi for the Eternal Father, our Lord, our Lady, for apostles, and for saints respectively. Those for our Lord he describes as "a circular halo
within it a cross, more or less enriched,
and sometimes extending beyond the circum- ference." Although neither sunflowers nor any other flower occur behind the head of Christ crucified, Pugin tells us the nimbi of angels often have "an outer circle of quatre- foils, like roses, interspersed with pearls."
HARRY HEMS. Fair Park, Exeter.
ULISSE BARBIERI (9 th S. ix. 149). Not only is Edmondo di Arnicis not dead, but he has recently composed an ode on Victor Hugo. MR. McGovERN refers to him as a prolific author. Certainly in a book he has written about his impressions of the French capital he shows himself possessed of a marvellous capacity for producing an infinite amount of mellifluous matter with a minimum of meaning. Some critics think that his work 'La Vita Militare' will live as literature. It is well worth reading, and contains two chapters (one describing a march under a blazing sun, and the other the attitude of an Italian officer towards his manservant) which are very striking and not easily forgotten. T. P. ARMSTRONG.
Ulisse Barbieri, who was living in 1878, and of whom De Amicis speaks in his book 'Memorie,' died in the year 1900 of a cancer. See De Gubernatis, ' Dizionario degli Italian i Viventi.' BARON ALBERTO LUMBROSO.
THE OLDEST BOROUGH IN ENGLAND (9 th S. ix. 9, 114). The first existing charter of Shrewsbury is that granted by Richard I. in the first year of his reign, 1189, 11 November, a lithographed facsimile of which may be seen in Owen and Blakeway's 'History of Shrewsbury.' These authors say :
" We are sure that a written charter of Henry II once existed, for it is mentioned in one by his son John, and it protected the free customs of the bur- gesses of Salopesbury by a penalty of 101. denounced against any who should presume to violate them but that document has long since perished (at
least as long ago as the reign of Elizabeth, when the charters were copied into a quarto volume), and that of Richard I. is the earliest now preserved in the archives of the Corporation." Vol. i. p. 82.
There are two charters of John, both in the first year of his reign : one, 13 April, dated Farendon; the other, 20 April, dated Westminster. In the first of these is a recital of the free customs of Henry I. and a con- firmation of the charter of Henry II. The date of Henry I.'s charter is not mentioned in John's, but as he died in 1135, it must have been granted before that date.
Lancaster may claim to be "the oldest town in the North, and possibly in England," on the strength of a charter granted in 1193, but I think Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to use a common expression, can go one better, for we have here a copy of a charter of .King John, dated 9 February, in the second year of his reign, confirming a charter granted by his father, Henry II., who died on 6 July, 1189. It is quoted by Brand (' History of Newcastle, 5 vol. ii. p. 133) as follows :
"Johannes Dei gratia, &c. Sciatis nos concessisse et presenti carta contirmasse burgensibus nostris de Novo (Jastello super Tinam et omnibus eorum rebus quas ipsi potermt assecurare suas ease doini- nicas, quietanciam de theolonio et passagio et pon- tagio et de ausa et de omnibus aliis consuetudimbus per to tarn terrain nostram et prohibemus ne quis eos inde vexet vel disturbet super ioristactura nostra sicut carta Henrici Regis patris nostri rationabiliter testatur," &c.
"From a copy remaining," adds Brand, "in the archives of the Corporation of Newcastle, collated with the original in the Tower of London by N. Punshon, Esq., under-sheriif of Newcastle. 5 ' KICHARD WELFORD.
The Town Clerk of Lancaster makes this claim for his borough on the ground of a charter dated 1193. I enclose, however, translation of charter granted to the Borough of Oswestry, 1190, by William Fitzalan. It is generally called the "Charter cwtta" i.e., the short charter. As will be borne in mind, the Fitzalans are now represented by the Duke of Norfolk, Baron of Oswaldestre." The other branch of the family, " Walter Fitzalan," is the ancestor of the Stewarts, having left Oswestry for Scotland :
" Let these present as well as future generations know that I William, son of William, son of Alan, have received under my hand and protection my burgesses of Blanc Minster by name, those who have received messuages in my borough for the sale of my merchandise, and I will defend them against all [persons] as far as I lawfully shall be able.