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THE SOMERY FAMILY. MR. URBAN,-The fact mentioned by your correspondent H. S. G. in your number of December last, of one of this family being called John Pycard, alias Somery, goes far to remove a difficulty appearing in Testa de Nevil, pp. 40, 41, where it is said that Robert Pipard held half a fee in Kington, co. Worcester, of the barony of Roger Pichard; for as we read elsewhere of no such barony, we may now infer that it was the barony of Roger Somery. Nash ("Collections for Worcestershire") tells us that a Robert Somery had lands in Kington 23 Edw. I., and Nicholas Somery 28 Edw. III., in which latter year I find from Habingdon's MS. in the library of the Society of Antiquaries, that Thomas Somery also had lands here conjointly with John Somervile; and in Nash (App. Ixix.) it appears that in 7 Henry VI. the heirs of John Somervile and Thomas Somery had one fourth part of a knight's fee in Kington, which the said John and Thomas formerly held. It appears also from Nash that the property here which the Somerviles held conjointly with another family was the manor and patronage. Now what strikes me is this, that on the expiration of Robert Pipard's estate here it reverted to Pichard, alias Somery, and afterwards fell to the lot of a younger branch. But Pichard must have held it of the Lacy's, who had it at the time of the General Survey; and this will appear evident from what Nash tells us in regard to Bishampton, five hides of which were held of Hugh de Lacy by John Picard, who leased them to Robert Pipard; and in like manner as in Kington, the Somerys appear afterwards having lands in Bishampton.

In 1209 Milo Picard says, (Rot Lit. Pat.) "Know &c. that I have received Milo, son of John Picard, my brother, in custody, from Walter de Lacy, my lord, &c." In Testa de Nevil it is said that Milo Pichard held in Standun, co. Hereford, four hides of Sir Roger Picard, scil. of the honour of Wybreles, formerly of Walter de Lacy, by the service of one knight. Milo Picard occurs in 1221 in relation to half a knight's fee in Sapy, co. Worcester.

This name of "Milo" occurs also joined with "Somery." Milo de Somery occurs in connection with Hampshire in 1209. He was one of the knights serving in Ie'and in 1210, (Rot. de Prestito.) Milo de Somery had lands in Cambridgeshire, and had also lands in capite of the honour of Boulogne (Bouou') in right of his mother, a daughter and co-heiress of Lucy, (her sister being mother of Robert Pinkney, whose name occurs in the baronage.) His son and heir was Roger de Somery in 1229, (Excerpta e Rotulis Finium.)

Writers on the baronage tell us that

Ralph Somery, Baron of Dudley, had fifty knight's fees in 3 John, yet a very few years after his son succeeded to only ten and a half fees. Now I find (Rot. de Oblat. et Fin.) that Roger de Somery had fifty knight's fees in 3 John Could Ralph have been mistaken for this Roger? I presume Roger was ancestor to the Earl of Winchester. However, we are further told that Roger Somery, Baron of Dudley, had fifty-one fees, 29 Hen. III. He succeeded to the barony in 13 Hen. III., and could not have been the Roger of 3 John. The mention of the latter has "Gloucester" in the margin. Collins (Peerage) says that Thomas Lord Bubeley (who died in 1243) married a daughter of Ralph Somery, Lord of Campden, co. Gloucester, and niece of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. Perhaps this Ralph was father of the Earl.

The subject of this family is certainly, as your correspondent remarks, a very difficult one. The printed records contain very frequent mention of the Somerys, but nothing to identify them with the Pichards except what I have stated.

As to Adam de Somery, whose seal is mentioned by H. S. G., he was perhaps the same Adam de Somery who is mentioned in the printed "Fine Rolls" in 1199, also twice in 1198, in relation to Essex and Hertford. I find also, in connection with Herts, Alan de Somery in 1199, and John de Somery in 1217; also John de Somery, member for Herts, 1307; Richard de Somery de Herts occurs in 1322; and Stephen, son and heir of Roger de Somery, previously, in 1235. This was probably the same Stephen who, I find, held lands in capite in Essex and Hertford, and whose heirs in 1239 were his three sisters and his n phew, whose mother's name was Muriel, (Excerpta e Rot. Fin) Now I find in Testa de Nevil, "Domina Muriela de Somery" holding a knight's fee in Kent, the same county in which your correspondent places Pycard, alias Somery, of Bexley, that place being in Kent. I should think, however, that John, who was concerned with the Bishop of Chichester, lived a little too late to be the same John who married the heiress of Gervase Paganel. As to the arms of this Paganel, there seems no doubt that they were two lions, for his brother, also a baron, bore them. Banks assigns both them and the cinquefoile to Gervase Paganel. The" Rolls of Arms" of the reign of Edw. II., published with the "Parliamentary Writs," gives to Sire Miles de Pychard-Gules, a fess or, between three scollop shells.

As the inquisition on the death of Robert Somery, Earl of Winchester, relates to lands in Ireland, I think he must have been connected with the Barons Perceval of that kingdom. A. 2.







"A COLLECTION of essays, under the title of Terra Filius, was published in two volumes 12mo., in 1726", by Nicholas Amhurst, who on account of his irregularities had been expelled from St. John's. These essays contain much low abuse, and are destitute of all pretensions to wit or humour. Like most other satires of a local and personal nature, they are now fallen into that contempt which their malignancy and virulence so justly deserve." Such are the flippant, one-sided terms in which the learned editor of the Oxoniana has thought proper to dismiss one of the wittiest productions of the last century; a work whose merits, however, have more recently had the good fortune of being vindicated at the hands of a less partial judge. "Amhurst's Terra Filius," says Mr. Hallam, ("Constit. Hist.," iii. 335,) "is a very clever though rather libellous invective against the University of Oxford in the time of George the First; but I have no doubt it contains much truth." With the dictum of the philosopher of history we unreservedly coincide. Amhurst's papers, though occasionally tainted with the coarseness which English literature and English thought had inherited from the Saturnalia of the Restoration, are redolent of wit and humour in every page; while at the same time they are characterized by a pretty equal admixture of truthfulness and exaggeration: truthfulness, in his general descriptions of usages, manners, and events of the day; exaggeration, wherever the personal character of his enemies, real or fancied, is concerned.

Amhurst was elected from Merchant Taylors' School to a Scholarship at St. John's College, Oxford, in the year 1716: his expulsion, the result of

It had been a custom of some antiquity in the University of Oxford, for a member of the University, under the name of Terra Filius (son of the earth), to mount the rostrum at the public acts, and amuse the audience with an oration replete with satire, scandal, and secret history. Occasionally this license was abused to such an extent, that the speaker got into serious trouble for the freedom of his language; and about the end of the reign of Queen Anne the Terra Filius was dispensed with altogether. Antony à Wood gives numerous particulars relative to the Terra Filii of different periods, in the Ath. Oxon., vols. i. and ii. Ayliffe says that the "sportive wit of the Terra Filius had its first origin at the time of the Reformation, the object being to expose the superstitious practices of the Romish Church."

It was originally published in half-weekly numbers (fifty in all) in 1721; and a second edition was published in 1726.

• Mr. Walker, of New College, we believe.

repeated embroilments with the college authorities, bears date the 29th of June, 1719. If we are to credit his own version of the story, as related in the preface to his Poems, and reiterated at greater length in No. 45 of the Terra Filius, he was persecuted solely for the liberality of his sentiments, and his attachment to the cause of the Revolution and of the Hanoverian succession, in a community where Jacobites and Non-jurors in heart formed the large and all-powerful majority. That this alleged severity, however, was too well justified by the systematic irregularity of his conduct, his repeated violations of University discipline, and his insolent behaviour towards the college authorities, the President more particularly, there can be little doubt; though at the same time, it is far from improbable that he was none the more recommended to the ten Fellows-out of fourteen-who voted for his expulsion, by his obtrusive and ostentatious Whiggery, his satirical vein, and his loudly professed hatred of the Stuart dynasty and its academic supporters.

Thrown wholly upon his own resources, and animated probably as much by self-interest as by motives of revenge, Amhurst penned the series of papers now under notice; in the pages of which, while he attacks the Oxford dignitaries with bitter malignity and exaggeration, he loses no opportunity, when occasion offers, of appealing to the sympathy of his fellow-Whigs, and of representing himself as suffering martyrdom for the assertion of anti-Jacobite principles. His appeals, however, were uncared for by Walpole and his underlings; who were all of them far too busily engaged in showering their golden favours among the parliament-men of the day, to heed the cries of a starving garretteer. But the day of retribution came, and, as an instrument in accelerating, however tardily, the downfall of the minister, Amhurst had his sweet but profitless revenge. Abjuring his former political creed, we find him in 1728 or 29 editor of "Fog's Journal," a violent opponent of the Walpole administration; shortly after which, under the auspices of Pulteney and Bolingbroke,-the man whose name and reputation, in the Terra Filius, he had more than once attacked, he became, with the assumed name of Caleb D'Anvers, the working editor of the " Craftsman;" the great end and object of whose ably written pages was the political extinction of Walpole and his adherents. This effected, and the moment now at hand when he might look for some reward through the agency of his titled, and, so far as Pulteney was concerned, now influential coadjutors, he was doomed to experience the fate too frequently, and perhaps deservedly, experienced by men of genius, who have prostituted their abilities in furthering the intrigues or gratifying the malice of mere politicians,-great, maybe, in name and station, but infinitesimally little in heart.

In the very moment of his triumph, Pulteney turned his back upon the able penman who had so powerfully contributed towards ensuring his success. Nicholas Amhurst had served the frigid statesman's turn, and was now done with; his reward was neglect, penury, and a premature death, accelerated by chagrin and a broken heart. He died penniless at Twickenham in 1742, and his body was only rescued from parish sepulture by the kind offices of an humble friend, Richard Francklin the publisher:

"Miscellaneous Poems," published in 1720, a book now rarely to be met with. The preface is ironically dedicated to Dr. Delaune, President of St. John's.

In the preface to his Poems (1720), he tells us that he is reduced to writing for his bread, and is lodging in an upper room in Fleet-street, over the shop of Richard Francklin, his publisher.

fidelis ad urnam, from his own pocket he defrayed the cost of the luckless satirist's coffin and journey to his long home. Amhurst's descendants, it is said, are still living in Newfoundland. Premising with this brief notice of the clever but unscrupulous writer of this amusing work, a man respecting whom but few particulars have survived to our day, we propose to present to the reader's notice a few of the more striking passages in it which bear reference to men, manners, or events at the University of Oxford in the early part of the last century. Wherever he indulges in personalities, his words, be it remembered, must be taken cum grano: his truthfulness on such occasions is more than questionable. Trap, Warton, Keil, Charlett, Hole, Morley, Dobson, and even the doubly vilified Delaune, were all of them probably-Jacobites at heart though they may have been-men of at least respectable character, and such of them as still survive in the memory of posterity have suffered nothing in public estimation from the disparaging traits of Nicholas Amhurst.


We may form some estimate of the length and breadth of Amhurst's effrontery and assurance from the fact that, because Dr. Mather of Corpus, the then Vice-Chancellor, had, to use his own words, "publicly branded and forbidden his book, as a libel upon the University," he therefore dedicated it to the said John Mather, as having already interested himself in the work in so public and so signal a manner." This persecution, however, he is quite reconciled to share in common with such men as Antony à Wood and Thomas Hearne; the Athena of the former and the Camden's Elizabeth of the latter having found with the Oxford dignitaries no better reception than his own Terræ Filius.

Beginning "where every freshman begins, with admission and matriculation," our satirist inveighs (No. 3) with an energy unsurpassed by their most zealous opponents in more recent times even, against the weighty and multiplied oaths that were in his day imposed upon the youthful student on his first initiation into the mysteries of Alma Mater1 :

"If he comes elected from any public school, as from Westminster, Winchester, or Merchant Taylor's, upon the foundation of any college, he swears to a great volume of statutes which he never reads, and to observe a thousand customs, rights, and privileges which he knows nothing of, and with which, if he did, he could not perhaps honestly comply. He takes an oath, for example, that he has not an estate in land of inheritance, nor a perpetual pension of five pounds per annum, though perhaps he has an estate of ten times that value.-To evade the force of this oath, several persons have made their estates over in trust to a friend, and sometimes to a bedmaker; as a gentleman at Oxford did, who locked her up in his closet till he had taken the oath, and then dispossessed the poor old woman of her imaginary estate, and cancelled the writings."

We then come to the formalities of matriculation, and the contrivances that were formerly resorted to by the Jacobite portion of the community, not at Oxford only, but at other places as well, for evading the stringency of the oath of allegiance to the Hanoverian dynasty :

"Within fifteen days after his admission into any college, he is obliged to be matriculated, or admitted a member of the University; at which time he subscribes the Thirty-nine Articles of religion, though often without knowing what he is doing, being ordered to write his name in a book, without mention upon what account; for which he pays ten shillings and sixpence. At the same time, he takes the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, which he is pretaught to evade, or think null: some have thought themselves sufficiently absolved from them by kissing their thumbs, instead of

Though aware of the claim, we do not concede to Cambridge any title to a monopoly of this appellation.

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