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CONTENTS.-No. 237. NOTES:-'Berrow's Worcester Journal,' 21-The Governor of Malta in Midshipman Easy,' 22-Webster a Contributor to Overbury's Characters,' 23-Anne Brontë"Sandwich spoils " in 1457, 24-The Chronicle of the Kings of England' - Shrovetide Throwing at the Cock, 25- William Sydenham, M.D. - Fenimore Cooper: a Coincidence-Rectory House of St. Michael, CornhillLines quoted in Jonson's Poetaster,' 26-Royal Ladies as Colonels-in-Chief-"The weakest goes to the wall "A Misquotation in Thackeray: Colman, Goldsmith, and Gray, 27.
QUERIES:-Judith Cowper: Mrs. Madan, 27-William Bell Scott-Medallic Legends-Old Etonians - Recent Work of Fiction Sought-Portrait of Dryden-" Galleon" in English Verse, 28-Merchant Adventurers: Muscovy Company-Fildieu-Wall-Papers-" There's some water where the stags drown"-Folk-Lore Queries: Robins and Swallows - Author Wanted - Alexander Innes, D.D.— F. Chapman-Childe or Child Family, 29—“ The d-d strawberry" -McJannet Surname, 30.
REPLIES: Registers of Protestant Dissenters, 30 "Speak to me, Lord Byron "Wildgoose, 31-" Condamine"-Cromwell's Illegitimate Daughter, Mrs. Hartop "trawn chaer"-Moore of Winster, 32-Military Machines-Encaustic Tiles - Biographical Information Wanted-John Curwood-Alexander Smith's 'Dream
thorp-Voltaire on the Jewish People-Centenary of the Cigar-Register of Marriages of Roman Catholics, 33W. Baker T. Crane-Lethe, 34-"Ragtime "-HeartBurial-De Glamorgan-Clack Surname, 35- Ethics of the Dust" Master" and "Gentleman" during the Seventeenth Century Duke of Sussex: Morganatic Marriages, 36-The Times': Bananas-Loch ChesneyStubbs's Trade Protection Agency - Napoleon III. at Chislehurst - Balnes, Laleham, and Littlyngton, 37Southwark Bridge-Announcements in Newspaper Office Windows-Old Etonians-The Great Eastern-Pallavicini, 38.
NOTES ON BOOKS:- London'-'London Survivals' 'Bannockburn'—' The Burlington Magazine.' Booksellers' Catalogues.
'BERROW'S WORCESTER JOURNAL.'
THIS paper has always appeared once a week, and to its present-day title the following assertions are added: "Established 1690. The Oldest Newspaper in Great Britain. Largest and leading county paper."
Up to the year 1836, no claim of this kind was attached to the title of Berrow's Worcester Journal, but to its issue for 22 Sept., 1836, which professed to be "No. 6982,' the statement was added 'Established This claim was continued up to and inclusive of "No. 8909," published on 26 July, 1873.
But in the following week's issue, "No 9381," for 2 Aug., 1873, the claim was altered to "Established 1690." No explanation was given either of this alteration, or of the cause of the jump of 471 numbers in one week.
Finally, to the title of its issue for 24 Jan., 1885, professing to be "No. 9980," the journal added the second claim: "The Oldest Newspaper in Great Britain "; the third claim, with which I am not concerned, being added later.
that the numeration is, and has always been, A simple calculation will convince any one incorrect, from the year 1836 downwards. If No. 6982 appeared in 1836, the paper must have commenced in 1722. And if the paper's present-day numeration is more accurate, it must have commenced in 1693.
In Jan., 1890, Berrow's Worcester Journal seems to have celebrated a sort of bicentenary, and reprinted its articles on the subject as a pamphlet (illustrated), with the title of 'The Oldest English Newspaper.'
From this pamphlet it appears that a passage in the book of one Worcester historian, Valentine Green, has been the cause of all these errors.
Valentine Green was born on 16 Oct., 1739. He was by profession an engraver, and was 25 years old when the first edition of his work appeared in 1764, with its then title of A Survey of the City of Worcester.' In this he says:
From the best information it is conjectured that a public paper was established in Worcester as early as the commencement of the Revolution. .That Worcester was among the earliest, if not the first of the provincial cities that opened this important and ready channel of communication of foreign and domestic intelligence is clearly ascertained.
"It will be seen in the next section that the magistracy of this City very early pledged themselves, in their corporate capacity, to favour and support the public measures taken to rid the nation of a tyranny that had been found inimical to its liberty and happiness. This was, doubtless, the period that gave birth to the weekly Worcester of succession those publications were first issued, paper. It is uncertain, however, in what order whether monthly, weekly, or what day of the month or week, or in what form, folio, quarto, or otherwise; but in June, 1709, they assumed a regular and orderly appearance in a small folio, containing six pages, which formed a weekly number, published every Friday, and were printed by Stephen Bryan, under the title of the Worcester Postman."
Dr. Nash's two immense volumes constitute the authoritative history of Worcester. He quotes Green; but severely disregards all his assertions about the Worcester paper. In 1903 the Rev. J. R. Burton published the second volume of his valuable 'Bibliography of Worcestershire,' and on p. 5 says:
"In 1662, an Act restricted printing to London York, Oxford, and Cambridge; it was renewed again in 1679 and 1685, and finally expired in
1695. Before this latter year, then, it was impossible for a book to be printed in Worcester except surreptitiously, and after Oswen (a sixteenth-century printer) nothing has certainly been produced there until 1708."
The (quinquennial) Act in question was 13 and 14 Car. II. c. 33. It can be seen in 'The Statutes at Large.' It, however, was not renewed in 1678, owing to Titus Oates's plot. But it was in full force again from 1680 to 1695. Nothing, therefore, printed openly in Worcester before the year 1695, and nothing is known to have been printed surreptitiously even when the Act was not in force. J. B. WILLIAMS.
I propose to show that this Governor of Malta was not Sir Alexander Ball, but Sir Thomas Maitland.
1. The Governor was much amused at the triangular method of fighting a duel, with three parties engaged at the same time, which was adopted by the Midshipman at the suggestion of Mr. Tallboys, the gunner. Capt. Wilson says to his First Lieutenant : "I dine at the Governor's to-day; how he will laugh when I tell him of this new way of fighting a duel!" To which Mr. Sawbridge replies: Yes, sir, it is just the thing that will tickle old Tom" (chap. xviii.). 2. The Governor is addressed and spoken of as "Sir Thomas " (chaps. xxii., xxviii.,
Now it is known that Maitland's nickname among his officers, civil and military, was 'King Tom "or Old King Tom." the character of the Governor of Malta, as In addition to the argument from names, depicted in the novel, is exactly that of Sir Thomas Maitland, who was noted for his eccentricities and arbitrary conduct. Sir Charles Napier, who had served under him for six years, describes him as a rough old despot." He had, too, a sort of grim
humour, and was fond of a joke, more especially a practical joke. He took strong fancies and antipathies-was a good friend and a good hater. In the book Jack, as soon as he had given him an account of the grotesque duel, at which he "had laughed ....till he held his sides," became a first favourite, and afterwards, whenever Mr. Midshipman Easy had been through any other extraordinary adventure or was contemplating some fresh escapade, he used to say to himself, "I've a famous good yarn for the Governor," or "It would be a good joke to tell the Governor." So did Capt. Sawbridge console himself on one of these occasions for stifling his instinct to assert discipline and spoil sport with the reflection: "There'll be another yarn for the Governor, or I'm mistaken." But with all his faults Maitland was a man of sound judgment and prompt action, and he had a kind heart. He gave Mr. Midshipman Easywhom he invited to make a home of Government House while he was detained at Malta -very good advice, and helped to prevent him from spoiling his career.
Like his predecessor Sir Alexander Ball, Sir Thomas Maitland died in office at Malta, so that the following incident proves nothing either way. The Governor promises to pay Jack a visit at his house "if ever I come to England again." On which the author comments: "But Sir Thomas never did go back to England, and this was t'eir final adieu."
It is, of course, chronologically inaccurate to make Maitland Governor of Malta during the period in which the Midshipman was serving in the Mediterranean, when England was at war with Spain as well as with France. Peace had been concluded with Spain in 1809. Maitland came to Malta from Ceylon, where he had been for six years Governor, in 1812 or early in 1813, and died there in 1824. But, as Mr. Hannay himself points out in his Introduction to Newton Forster,' Marryat "cared as little as Lever for mere