REVIEW.-Excerpta Historica.


that found Thisle, 51. [Holinshed calls "Sebastian Gabato, a Genoas sonne, torn in Bristow,' and they were Bristol ships which went the voyage-"This yeare (1502) were brought unto the King three men taken in the new found islands, by Sebastian Gabato. These men were clothed in beasts' skins, and eat raw flesh, but spake such a language that no man could understand them; of the which three men, two of them were seene in the King's court at Westminster two yeares after, clothed like Englishmen, and could not be discerned from Englishmen."] Sept. 30. To the merchants of Bristoll that have bene in the Newe-founde Launde,



[blocks in formation]

The next article is the will of the celebrated citizen of London, Sir William Walworth, dated 1385. His bequests in money to the church and ecclesiastics amounted to about 390/-a sum exceeding by 120, that left to his family and kindred. To the poor he left about 651; for his funeral expenses 40.; to his apprentices, servants, and friends, about 1621. He left books of divinity to three several religious com munities; and some law-books to his brother. He had previously founded a College for a Master and nine Chaplains, in the church of St. Michael, Crooked-lane.

Next follow a high-spirited letter of James of Douglas, the Scottish Warden of the Marches, to King Richard the Second, in 1384; and a petition of Thomas Haseley to Henry the Sixth, for a reward for capturing Thomas Payn, one of the Lollards, who, it is stated, intended to have released the King of Scots from his prison in the castle of Windsor. It appears that his services were duly appreciated; and that he was liberally pensioned.

A list of New-year's gifts presented by King Henry VI. in 1437, to his principal relations and nobility, affords a curious description of various articles of jewellery; and a grant of the same reign by which an incumbent whose parsonage had been blown down in a storm, was allowed to keep 201. which had been found among the crevices of the old building, shows how vigilantly the King's interests were watched, when such a windfall was claimed as


"treasure trove." The place was "Noenstoke "-i. e. Meon Stoke, in Hampshire.

The next is an elaborate genealogical essay on the family of Swinford, the issue by her first husband of Katherine, first the concubine, and afterwards the third Duchess, of John of Gaunt. In consequence of her known intercourse with the Duke of Lancaster, the legitimacy of her son Sir Thomas Swinford was doubted; and was therefore certified by letters patent of 13 Henry IV. which are here printed. The epitaph stated by Weever to have been placed over the grave of her father in St. Paul's cathedral, appears to have been overlooked. His words are "Near Sir John Beauchamp's tomb (commonly called Duke Humphrey's), upon a faire marble stone inlaid all over with brass (of all which nothing but the heads of a few brazen nails are at this day visible), and engraven with the representation and coat-arms of the party defunct, thus much of a mangled inscription was of late time to be read: Hicjacet Paganus Roet, miles, Guyenne Rex Armorum, pater Catherine Ducisse Lancastrie -." He adds, that the name of Sir Payn's second daughter was "Anne, who was marEnglish poet,"-not Philippa, as elseried to Geffrey Chaucer, our famous where stated (see Excerpta, p. 155).

Next follow some contemporary verses on the state of political parties Part is another piece of the same detemp. Henry VI.; and in the Third scription. The Standards borne temp. Henry VIII. are continued in both Parts.

The Second and Third Parts are divided in a very curious series of papers relative to the Tournament between Lord Scales and the Bastard of Burgundy in 1467, and some minor feats of chivalry which took place at the same time. These articles are very authorities;* and are succeeded by two elaborately compiled from a variety of other papers illustrative of the reign of King Edward the Fourth: the Marriage of the Princess Margaret to the Duke of Burgundy in 1468, and the Will of Anthony Earl Ryvers, 1483.

Among a variety of shorter articles which compose the remainder of the

* In p. 213 "horribiliter" should surely be "honorabiliter❞—a mistake arising from a contraction in the original.


Third Part, are most conspicuous, an account of Riots at Norwich, during which the Cathedral was consumed, in 1272; some documents relative to the Crusade taken by Edward the First in 1269, and his attempted assassination at Acre; and the Will and Funeneral of Queen Anna of Cleves.

We have reserved to be mentioned last, an article of general interest, as Queen Anne Boleyn is one of the characters in English history whose sex and misfortunes obtain almost universal sympathy. It is the letter of a Portuguese gentleman who witnessed her execution; and which has remained, unknown to English readers, in the archives of the monastery of Alcobaça, in Portugal, whence it is now extracted through the favour of Lord Viscount Strangford. The very penitent speech of Lord Rochford is given at considerable length; and the last moments of the Queen are then described as follows:

REVIEW-Logan's Scottish Gael,

"After this, on the next Friday, which was the 19th of the same month, the Queen was beheaded according to the manner and custom of Paris, that is to say, with a sword, which thing had not before been seen in this land of England. And a scaffold, having four or five steps, was then and there set up. And the unhappy Queen, assisted by the Captain of the Tower, came forth, together with the four ladies who accompanied her; and she was wholly habited in a robe of black damask, made in such guise that the cape, which was white, did fall on the outer side thereof. And then she besought the Captain of the Tower that he would in no wise hasten the minute of her death, until she should have spoken that which she had in mind to say; which he consenting to, she said as followeth :


true service to me,

"Then, with her own hands, she took her coifs from her head, and delivered them to one of her ladies, and then putting on a little cap of linen to cover her hair withal, she said, Alas, poor head! in a very brief space thou wilt roll in the dust on this scaffold; and as in life thou didst not merit to wear the crown of a queen, so in death thou deservest not a better doom than this. And ye, my damsels, who, whilst I lived ever showed yourselves so diligent in my service, and who are now to be present at my last hour and mortal agony, as in good fortune ye were faithful to me, so even at this my miserable death ye do not forsake me. And as I cannot reward you for your pray you take comfort for my loss; howbeit, forget me not; and be always faithful to the King's Grace, and to her whom with happier fortune ye may have as your Queen and Mistress. And esteem your honour far beyond your life; and in your prayers to the Lord Jesu, forget not to pray for my soul.' And being minded to say no more, she knelt down upon both kuees, and one of her ladies covered her eyes with a bandage, and when they withdrew themselves some little space, and knelt down over against the scaffold, bewailAnd ing bitterly and shedding many tears. thus, without more to say or do, was her head stricken off; she making no confession of her fault, and only saying, 'O Lord God, have pity on my soul;' and one of her Ladies then took up her head, and the others the body, and covering them with a sheet did put them into a chest which there stood ready, and carried them to the church which is within the Tower, where, they say, she lieth buried with the others.

"Good friends, I am not come here to excuse or to justify myself, forasmuch as I know full well that aught that I could say in my defence doth not appertain unto you, and that I could draw no hope of life from the same. But I come here only to die, and thus to yield myself humbly to the will of the King my Lord. And if in my life I did ever offend the King's Grace, surely with my death I do now atone for the same. And I blame not my judges, nor any other manner of person, nor any thing save the cruel law of the land by which I die. But be this, and be my faults as they may, I beseech you all, good friends, to pray for the life of the King my Sovereign Lord and yours, who is one of the best princes on the face of the earth, and who hath always treated me so well that better could not be : wherefore I submit to death with a good will, humbly asking pardon of all the world.'

"The Council then declared that the Queen's daughter was the child of her brother; and that as the child of a private person, the child be forthwith removed from that place; and that the King should again receive that Princess who was the daughter of the former and the true Queen, as his own and real daughter, and as being his successor in the kingdom. And the King did so receive her with the utmost graciousness."

The Scottish Gael; or Celtick Manners, as preserved among the Highlanders; being an Historical and Descriptive Account of the Inhabitants, Antiquities, and National Peculiarities of Scotland, more particularly of the Northern or Gaelic Parts of the Country, where the singular habits of the Aboriginal Cells are most tenaciously retained. By James Logan, F.S.A. Edin. 2 vols. 8vo. Plates.

IT is observed by Du Cange, that where we cannot explain ancient manners and customs by reference to the Classics, we must ascribe them (at least in Gaul and Britain) to a Celtic

[merged small][ocr errors]


origin. That this opinion is correct, it need only to be observed, that where History does not exist, we must judge by remains, which is no more than decision by phenomena in natural philosophy, and by circumstantial instead of positive evidence in jurisprudence. Of all that can be collected in authors coucerning the Celts, there is no defect of literary information in the works of Pezron, Pelloutier, &c.; but the misfortune is, that this information is neither complete nor satisfactory, because the existing evidences ascend beyond history. Under such circumstances, the best that can be done is to congregate the evidences of all kinds existent, and to form conclusions from the whole. The danger is mere hypothesis; but no learned man does that, no more than a prudent one draws cheques upon a banker where he has no assets. In all ancient nations, two things are sure to occur, superstition and barbarism. The Celts were composed of nations who were advanced beyond the savage to the pastoral state, but no further. Pezron makes the Celts synonymous with the Titans and Cyclopes of mythology, and the giants of Scripture. Now this we believe to be the fact; for most certain it is that the celebrated structures of Tyrins and Mycenæ are ascribed by him to Celts, Titans, and Cyclopes, as one and the same race; and there are remains of a temple at Agrigentum, where these giants are personified, as facings of piers. Moreover, it is to be observed that Cyclopes is not derived from xvxhos and w; but from cheklubes, chekelelubes, a name given to them from the Phoenician chek, a bay, and lilybæum. This was a promontory, and the best illustration of their primitive habits is that of Virgil in reference to Polyphemus, and the earliest, as to profane history, that of Homer in the ninth Odyssey. They were pirates and cannibals. When Moses sent out the spies, he found that in Palestine there were giants, children of Anak, who dwelt in tall and fenced cities; and Cluver adds that agriculture was introduced there by the conquering Israelites. That the Canaanites expelled by Joshua, formed the hycsos or shepherd Kings of Egypt, and were (as to a certain portion of

REVIEW.-Logan's Scottish Gaël.


them at least) the builders of Tyrins and Mycenæ, is authenticated by history. There is, in short, no reason to think but that the earliest notices of the

Celts are to be found in the Pentateuch description of the giants and Canaanites, and Homer's account of the Cyclopes. Hence it ensues, that analogies have been found to stone circles, pillars, &c. in both Moses and Homer, and no where else. If objection be made to this identification of the Celts and Cyclopes, as affirmed by Pezron, we add that Appian makes the Celts to be descendants of Celtus, a son of the Cyclops Polyphemus, which Celtes or Celtus, seconded by his brothers Illetus and Gala, made himself master of all the country known under the name of the Celtic region. Now it is noticeable that this colonization illustrates Herodotus (Euterpe, 33), where he says that the Ister (i. e. Danube) rising in the country of the Celts by the river Pyrene, divides Europe in two parts; but the Celts are beyond the pillars of Hercules (i. e. beyond Gibraltar). From hence, then, we think that they came into Spain, Gaul, and Britain. As to the etymon from Celtes and Celtus, we answer that Asia was named, according to Diodorus, from Asia, daughter of Oceanus, and wife of Japet, Europe from Europa; and that if we ascend from history to mythology, we shall find numerous instances of

Valpy's Fundamental Origin of Greek Words, p. 154, note 8.-Rzv. GENT. MAG. January, 1831.

such derivatives. It is very true that by punning upon a word in different languages, we may give a thousand origins, but it is always our rule to be guided by the authors nearest the times, and by contemporary practices. It is to no purpose allegating, that these were only mythological beings, for that is only true if they are allegorical personifications. With regard to the origin of the Celts, that cannot be true; nor is it true that Polyphemus owed his name to mere mythology; for Homer mentions a valorous Prince of the same appellation.

The difference between the manners and customs of the Celts (indicated by the Gauls, Germans, Spaniards, Bri tons,) from those of the Roman empire, confirms the statement of Herodotus, that the Danube was the partition line between the Celts or Western Europeans, and, according to Diodorus (see Rennel's Herodotus, i. 55), the Scythians on the east.


Such are our opinions. We mean not to controvert those of others, but we believe in the statement made, viz. that by the giants of the Septuagint, the Titans and Cyclopes of mythology (i. e. Homer's Cyclopes), and the nations expelled by Joshua, we are to understand the earliest known ancestors of the Celta. We also believe that there was an emigration which caused the occupation of the west of Europe, and might have been headed by a son of that terrific savage Polyphemus, an idea not more monstrous than that the bugbear of children Boh, was derived from a relative of Odin so denominated. Mr. Logan very properly observes (i. 3), that

REVIEW. Logan's Scottish Gaël.


"To derive the term Celta from hills,' or woods,' or waters,' or from western or northern position, when the people so designated occupied all parts of an extensive continent, and filled its islands, is manifestly absurd. It has been supposed that the Greeks applied the term to denote the milky whiteness of the skin; but in this point the difference between the two people seems insufficient to give rise to a designation which the Celts retained as their own proper name."


Now we as much believe that there might have been a man named Celles, as one named Romulus; and we know that it was an ancient custom to name places from persons, and to invest them with a mythological history, like popish saints with a legend.

The word Celts certainly ascends to that period when the " Geographie Mythologique," as it is called by Ravaut de S. Etienne and the French antiquaries, prevailed to such an extent, that in the name of a place we could find the imaginary founder, as in France, Francus son of Antenor; in Thoulouse, Tolus; in Nismes, Nemausus, and so forth. Mythological as this may be, it is the real origin of the most ancient names of places.

In Chapter II. Mr. Logan treats of Britain, and the origin of its ancient inhabitants. He will not admit, that the Scilly Islands were the Cassiterides of the ancients. Major Rennel is of opinion, that the term Cassiterides ought to be extended to Cornwall at least; and Herodotus certainly knew the British Islands in part, as being the place from whence the Phenicians, and from them the Greeks, had their tin, without which they could not harden their copper so as to make it answer the purposes of iron, in weapons or in armour. Diodorus Siculus (L.


v. c. 2) has some curious particulars respecting an island near the British coast, to which carriages laden with tin came at low water, in order to its being embarked on vessels for the Continent (Rennel's Geogr. of Herodotus, i. 4). Dr. Withering, in his Memoirs, mentions discoveries of axes, &c. made in the Cornish mines, which clearly prove that they were worked in the early periods alluded to; and we think that there has been a time when carriages could pass at low water from the main land to St. Michael's Mount. The word "Brettannia," says Mr. Logan (i. 39), is first mentioned by Aristotle; and Borlase asserts, that no British word begins with B as a radical (p. 40). Now, we who have more respect for our old friend Sammes, than our brother antiquaries are willing to allow him, do think that the term was taken from the Phenician BARATANAC or BRATANAC, significant of the tin and lead found in these islands. (See Sammes, p. i.)

As to Albion, a preceding Greek appellation, it ascends to the æra of the

mentioned; for there was a giant AlMythological Geography" before bion, who was with Hercules when he was beat at the foot of the Alps. Cassiterides, according to Sammes (p. 2), also signified the same, as Bratanack, the Tin Islands. Of the Celts and Cymri, we have spoken in our review of Major Rennel's Geography of Herodotus. Eratosthenes first gave a rude idea of the form of Britain, but was ignorant of the existence of Ireland; unknown to the Greeks during the and Major Rennel suspects, that it was time of their independence. Strabo knew of it, but has greatly erred in the situation of it; and the first writer who approximates to correctness in that particular is Pliny. Rennel, ub. sup. i. 53, 54.

Pausanias has (Attic. p. 32, ed. Sylb.) νησον Ὠκεανος έχει των Βρεττανων. But in Arcadic. (273) BOLTтavia. Britannia was not therefore the original word.


CHAPTER III. relates to the Aboriginal forests, and mentions some curious discoveries of their remains now submerged under the sea.

CHAPTER IV. is devoted to the Population, Person, Dispositions, Military Education, and Institutions, &c. of the Celts. This is a very interesting Chapter.

[ocr errors]

REVIEW.-Logan's Scottish Gaël.


CHAPTER V. Customs in War, and Military Tactics. The word hubbub had the following origin:

"It was also usual to convey intelligence, by one or more persons ascending an eminence, and there raising a loud shout, which being heard at a distance by others, was reported to those who were farther distant, and in this manner information was transmitted with surprising expedition. This practice was continued among the Irish and Welch, until late times, and was called the Hubub. In Wales, when any thing hap; pens, a person goes to an eminence and Those who hear it do the same, and the country is speedily in arms.' Bub in Gaelic is a yell." Literal Translation. Offspring of the chiefs

there cries the Houboub.

Of snorting steeds, high bounding, King of Spears !

Strong arm in every trial,
Ambitious heart without dismay,
Chief of the host of severe sharp-

pointed weapons,

[ocr errors]

Cut down to death,

[blocks in formation]


It might have astonished (were there not invidious feelings existent in all ages) any Scotchman, at any time, to hear it affirmed that Macpherson's Ossian was a forgery. To any person acquainted with the Highlands and Caledonian manners, the hypothesis was even silly. In p. 161, we have a copy of a war song, which the Rev. Mr. Gallie, of Kincardine in Ross, communicated to the Highland Society, from book of Fingal, as translated by MacIt is to be found in the 4th memory. pherson, and we shall place the literal translation in contrast with Macpherson's paraphrase.

Macpherson's Paraphrase.

Son of the chief of generous steeds High-bounding,

King of Spears,

Strong arm in every perilous toil, Hard heart that never yields,

[blocks in formation]
« ElőzőTovább »