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

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g* s. ix. JAN. 4, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


CONTENTS. No. 210.

NOTES : Mercian Origins, 1 Jubilee of the 'Leisure Hour,' 3 Kipling in America, 5" Rather " -Romney and the Royal Academy Jews and Patriotism Black Bottles for Wine" Padge," 7.

QUERIES : Epitaph at Cliff e Toiitine Weeks's Museum ' Crispe Beau Brummel and B. d'Aurevilly Knocker Family, 8 Brandon, Executioner Musicians' Company of the City of London Arms of Dutch East India Com- panyFourth Duke of Grafton St. Briavel Painted Tiles Warlow Family Oldest Borough in England- Morgan of Arkstone Rev. J. Taunton Impey Bishops' Signatures " Knevel," 9 ' I/Art de Prccher,' 1683 Lowndes Motto Gee Family Pearls a Cure for Corns, 10.

REPLIES : Pins in Drinking Vessels, 10 Staunton, Wor- cestershire Castor-Oil Plant Horn Dancers Manx Gaelic, 11 "God speed you and the beadle " " Shim- moz/el " Dickensiana : Mrs. Gamp, 12 Barbara John- ston Orchestra or Orchestre Pomeroys of Devon Crossing Knives and Forks, 14 Barras Birthplace of Beaconsfield Harvest Bell, 15 Surnames derived from French Towns "Spatchcock" Fire kept Burning, 16 Comic Dialogue Sermon Arms of Scotland Beaulieu as a Place-name "Outrider," 17 Dissington Family Bottled Ale : its Invention, 18.

NOTES ON BOOKS : Wilkins's Caroline the Illustrious ' Burke's ' Peerage and Baronetage ' Reviews and Magazines.

Notices to Correspondents.


THE following notes, gathered from Bede and the * Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,' have been put together in the hope of contributing something to elucidate the early history of Mercia. The Mercian supremacy over the greater part of England lasted about 200 years (640-820), and although it may have been a loose Home-Rule arrangement, leaving great liberty to the subordinate or associated states, yet it must have had its effect on the gradual unification of the English peoples. For example, it may turn out that the " large hide" is Mercian, and the "small hide" Kentish, the squire and the yeoman, to use later terms, being the respective ideals of the landowning freeman. One of the earliest Mercian charters is a grant of a five-hide estate by Wulfhere (Birch, ' Cartularium, i. 53). One important document has come down to us to show how Mercia was composed, the 'Tribal Hidage.' It will be assumed here that the solution proposed in 9 th S. vii. 441 is in the main correct, but it may be pointed out that Mr. Corbett's solution in the Transactions of the Royal Historical

Society for 1900, which makes the total to be 144,000 hides, assigns 100,000 to England south of the Humber, for he supposes the irst 44,000 to belong to Northumbria, viz., Bernicia, 30,000, and Deira, 14,000.

The first question is, What was the terri- tory originally occupied by the Angle tribes mown as the Mercians? We have Bede's answer that the North Mercians had 7,000 lides and the South Mercians 5,000, and that the Trent divided them (iii. 24). The ' Tribal Hidage' gives us the Lindes farona with Hseth feld land, 7,000 hides, and Nox gaga, 5,000 ; and it has been already suggested that the latter district is a portion of the 7,000 hides of the Wocen ssetna, occupying 'roughly speaking) the present counties of Leicester and Northampton. The Lindes Earona have their country defined by the " parts of Lindsey," and Hseth feld land seems to be used for the whole district on the west side of the Trent from Hatfield and Hatfield Chase to the south of Nottinghamshire. The part of Bassetlaw Hundred adjacent to York- shire was known as the Hatfield division, either because it was originally part of Hat- field, or at least bordered upon it ; and in the latter alternative the old " Heath field " must have stretched down to the borders of Derbyshire. On marking on a map the North Mercians over the northern half of Lincolnshire, the south-east corner of York- shire, and Nottinghamshire, and the South Mercians over Leicestershire and Northamp- tonshire, it will be seen how well the alloca- tions fit in with Bede's description. It will also become evident that the Mercians entered England by the Humber and settled on its shores and along its tributaries the Don and Trent, the latter giving easy access into the centre of the country.

Another means of fixing the area is afforded by considering the districts occupied by fehe surrounding states. The Mercians occupied the "mark," or district separating the pro- vinces of the Northumbrians, East Angles, and West (or South) Saxons, and we have clues as to the extent of these provinces. The Humber, it appears from Asser (a. 867) and Geoffrey of Monmouth (ii. 7), was the name, not only of the estuary now so called, but of the Ouse at least as far as York. Thus the limit of Northumbria is fixed not at the southern border of Yorkshire, but at the Ouse; yet it probably always embraced what is called the Ainsty of York, between the Ouse, Wharf e, and Nidd, for it was to this district that the Northumbrian saint Hieu retired (Bede, iv. 23). Westward of this, to the south of the Wharf e or the Nidd,