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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/58

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s. ix. JAN. is, 1902.

ROBERT SHIRLEY. (9 th S. viii. 244, 433.)

IT should be noted that the Wiston branch of the Shirley family always spelt the name Sherley. The founder of the Wiston family was Ralph, the only son of Ralph Shirley, of Ettington and Shirley, by Elizabeth his second wife, daughter of Sir John Blount and sister of Walter, Lord Montjoy. He succeeded to the family property in Sussex and Buckinghamshire on the death of his father in 1466. These estates had been in- herited by the Shirleys by their descent from the noble house of Braose of Bramber, by the marriage of Sir Hugh Shirley, great- grandfather of Ralph, with Beatrix, sister and sole heir of Sir John de Braose, Knt., of the younger branch of the baronial house of that name, Lords of Bramber and Knep Castles in Sussex, and of Brecknock and Gower in Wales.

This Ralph Sherley, of Wiston, &c., was the great-grandfather of Sir Thomas, the father of the three celebrated "Sherley brothers," of whom Sir Robert was the youngest. The late Mr. Evelyn Philip Shirley, of Ettington (which was bequeathed by the first Earl Ferrers to his eldest son by his second wife and his heirs in 1717), wrote a memoir, 'The Sherley Brothers, 3 which was published for the Roxburghe Club in 1848. On p. 59 he writes :

"The period of R. S.'s marriage is not exactly known : it must have taken place previous to 1607, as it is recorded in Nixon's pamphlet of that year, tho' not without considerable exaggerations and inventions. The lady was Teresia, the daughter of Ismael Khan, a Circassian of noble birth and Chris- tian faith. She was, on the authority of her husband, related to one of the Circassian wives of King Abbas ...... ; according to Nixon two children were

the issue of this marriage, born in Persia, to one of whom the king stood godfather ; the same veracious author informs us that Shah Abbas was half inclined by Sherley's arguments to embrace the Christian faith To strengthen which hope, 3 he adds, ' Robert Sherley hath also erected there a church called after his own name, in which he hath divine service as duely read, as here it is on this side the seas.' "

These assertions, Mr. E. P. Shirley adds, "are entirely without foundation, and 'more fit ' as Cartwright writes in 1611, 'for a stage for the common people to wonder at than for any man's private studies.' Malcolm, vol. i. p. 559, misunder- stands this passage and quotes it as an authority

  • havmg stood

In the same memoir (pp. 78-9) Mr. E. P Shirley states that the firstborn and only son was born in the autumn of 1611, and was

named Henry, after the Prince of Wales, who, with the queen, stood sponsor.

Sir Robert's letter to the prince, asking him to be godfather, is preserved in the Harleian Collection (MS. 7008, 73). Nothing is known as to what became of the son, ex- cept that he was alive in 1614.

Sir Robert himself died at Casbin, in Persia, 13 July, 1628, and after his death his widow retired to Rome, whither she transported his bones in the year 1658, as appears from a Latin inscription on a large slab of marble in the church of Santa Maria della Scala in that city. From certain papers preserved in the convent of that church it appears that Lady (Teresia) Sherley survived till the year 1668, when she died, and was buried in the same tomb as her husband ; it is decorated with the coat of Shirley, and round it are eleven others connected with the family.

Facsimile copies of the engraving which LADY RUSSELL describes are not uncommon ; at any rate, I have purchased some for Is. Qd. or 2s. each. Under the Latin inscription are the words : "A Facsimile from the Original : Penes Th. Brand Hollis Armig. March J. F. Sculp 1789."

For further particulars I would refer LOBUC to 'Stemmata Sherleiana' and 'The Sherley Brothers,' both by Mr. E. P. Shirley ; also vol. xi., Journal Royal Asiatic Society (May, 1840), and ' The Three Brothers,' by an anonymous author, published by Hurst, Robinson & Co., London, 1825 ; also to the various State Calendars, Domestic, Venetian, East Indian, &c., and Records of theEast India Company.

If there is any special point on which LOBUC desires information, I should be glad to communicate with him privately if he will address a letter through the Editor, as I have copies of various contemporary accounts by Parry, Cartwright, and others.


"KATHMATH," A PRECIOUS STONE (9 th S. viii. 464). Perhaps a form of cadimirus, " a species of precious stone " (Ducange). This, however, takes us no further with the mean- ing of the word. Might I suggest that it is from katimia for kadimia, the mineral we know as cadmium, which the ancients con- fused with that which we know as cobalt? Cobalt was used to make a blue glass or smalt which was used by the ancients for enamel. The fine permanent blue pigment of the Egyptians is smalt, and doubtless the Romans, who were famed enamellers, used the same material, and from them the mediaeval workers derived it. " Kathmath," therefore,