Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/257

This page needs to be proofread.


9'"S. IX. MARCH 29, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


249


made for other purposes, and whether any similar ones were struck for other battles of the Peninsula. The victory of Barrosa was a great one. Lieut. General Thomas Graham, afterwards Lord Lynedoch, deserted by the Spanish commander La Pena and his forces, in less than two hours completely de- feated the French under Marshal Victor, and captured Generals Rufin and Rousseau, various officers. 420 rank and file, took six cannon, and killed about 3,000 men. The eagle of the 8th French Light Infantry Regi- ment was taken by Sergeant Patrick Master- son, of the 87th Regiment, and, as this was the first eagle captured in battle in the Peninsula, he was promoted to be lieutenant. A medal was struck and issued to certain officers (see Memo., dated Horse Guards, November, 1811). HERBERT SOUTHAM. Shrewsbury.

EARLE. I should be glad to obtain any information relating to James William Earle and George Earle, who were respectively admitted to Westminster School in 1817 and 1819. The latter is said to have been a son of Edward Earle, of High Ongar, Essex.

G. F. R. B.

HULME FAMILY. My father, Thomas Hulme, lived in his youth in Marchington, Staffordshire. He had two brothers, George and John. I wish to learn something of the family, and shall be grateful for infor- mation about it. E. M. H.

Ithaca, New York.

ERSKINE. I am desirous of ascertaining or being placed in the way of ascertaining some particulars as to Alexander Erskine, who in 1648 represented Sweden at the sign- ing of the Treaty of Miinster, the close of the Thirty Years' War. Some few details are given as to his history in J. Hill Burton's

  • Scot Abroad ' (1864) in the chapter headed

'The Statesman,' for though Erskine was primarily a soldier, his services were chiefly conspicuous as a politician. Anderson, in his 'Scottish Nation,' 1877, vol. ii. p. 145, states that he was of the family of Erskine of Kirkbuddo, cadet of the house of Dun, that he was ennobled in Sweden, and that his descendants were settled at Bonn in Germany. Burton says he died childless in 1657, but refers neither to the date nor place of his birth. There are two engravings pur- porting to be his likeness, or which one before me gives the idea of a fancy portrait. It was published in London, 1796, in octavo, and may be one of a series of portraits. Another of greater interest is in the Scottish


National Gallery, one of a series of all the ambassadors at the Treaty of Miinster, en- graved by C. Galle, jun., after Von Hulle. The bust is surmounted by a coat of arms and a coronet. The charges on the coat have no similarity to the well-known Argent, a pole sable, of Erskine, but seem to copy or follow the three crowns of Sweden and the lion rampant of Norway quarterly. They may have been specially granted to him by Gustavus Adolpnus. Terburg's celebrated picture in the National Gallery of the signa- tories of the Treaty of Miinster contains no doubt Erskine's person, but I do not know of any key to the various personages of the assembly. W. C. J.


CHRONOGRAMS.

(9 th S. ix. 127.)

THE question as to the originator of these curious and sometimes very useful devices is, I fear, insoluble. At this distance of time we cannot fix upon any one person as the absolute inventor, or attempt to give the name of the author of the first chronogram. His contemporaries did not trouble themselves to hand down his name to us, and I fear that no trouble of our own would enable us now to discover him. However, we know when chronograms first came into fashion, and also what led up to their being used. Our good friends the literary monks deserve, I think, the credit of having prepared the way for the future chronogram. Every large monas- tery had a scriptorium, and often when a scriptor, who had been for many weeks or months hard at work on a precious manuscript intended for some library, at last came with joy to the end of his labour, he would proceed to crown his work by a jingling leonine distich which included in it the date of the completion.

Thus, for instance, a fine Codex membraneus of the Latin poet Statius in a Thuringian monastery had this distich at the end : Bis quingento bis trino, bis quoque bino Nascentis Christi, Thebaia, scripta fuisti,

which told the knowing ones that the MS. was written in 1010. For (2 x 500)+(2 x 3;+ (2 x 2) amounted to that figure even in days when Cocker was unknown. There are hundreds of similar examples in mediaeval times, on sepulchral monuments as well as on MSS., and while these were the fashion chronograms were non-existent. Later on the Roman numerals crept into the inscrip-