Page images
PDF
EPUB

istence, for if they do it for one they must | lieve that all things are alike known to do it for all?

them. To bring the point then to an issue, I bave adopted this Socratic mode of let them be asked for the leading particuelucidating any meaning, Mr. Editor, lars in the French Papers which are nest for the purpose of inducing your fair to arrive; let thema be asked on the Mon. readers to think; those who think, seldom | day, who is to be in the next Saturday's think wrong,—the want of thought is the | Gazette; or let them be a.ked for a list of handmaid of error.

those who shall be carried to Bow-street in If they my amiable countrywomen, the evening,-but no! that last question after answering these questions to them- || would be superfluous, as it has been often selves, are of opinion that no man can proved that these folks are uot able to foretel any thing respecting the stars ex- | foretel the operations of the law. Whilst čept their motion and relative positions in therefore fate has denied them that species consequence, much less can they believe of knowledge of most importance to them. that the twirling of a coffee-cup, or the selves, surely no person after a moment's turning up of a card, shall enable any one consideration will believe that they have to dive into the secrets of futurity. If | been favoured with a supernatural knowthere are any persons, however, who can || ledge respecting others, a knowledge of no still believe that this book of futurity, this use but as they can turn it to their own prospective knowledge is really open to advantage. these impostors, they must of course be.

L.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF HERALDRY AND GENEALOGY,

ILLUSTRATIVE OF ANCESTRY AND GENTILITY.

Of all the passions of the human mind, , selves wives amongst the “ Daughters of whether nurtured by habit, acquired through Men,” a phrase which, according to the orien. prejudice, prompted by vanity, or actually tal figurature language, implies a difference of arising from what may almost be called an in- origin, or rather of immediate desceut. nate principle of our pature, there is not one But in leave conjecture for some kind of whose antiquity runs higher, and of course certainty, it may be observed, that iu examinwhose origin is more obscure, than a love of | ing the history of the most distant ages, we Genealogy, from whence Heraldry bas sprung, find that even those nations whose progress dud on which it is still dependent. From the towards civilization was yet but in its infancy, universality of this passion, in all ages and in had a bigh sense of the claims of ancestry, and all countries, it is indeed evident, that it either were stimulated to heroic action's by a rememis an original principle in itself, or that it brance of the deeds of their progenitors. Inemanales immediately from principles im deed this bias, or partiality, was so powerful na planted in man at his first creation ; a circum- animating the whole body of the people to stance which furnishes a most curious para enterprizes of bigh daring for the public dux for metaphysicians, as it appears from good, in prompting to energy in council, and - lichice that the first man was created and im- to cool intrepidity in execution, that the bued with principles which in bim could never , chiefs of the warlike clans, and even the be brought into action. Pere Menestrier who, senates of the little infantive republica according to the French custom, has refined cherished it with an holy zeal. It was ingraftrather too much on this idea, says that Adam || ed on their religion by the deitication of their was placed in a worse situation than 'his de. | ancieni beroes, and intimately mingled with scendants, inasmuch as he could neither amuse their social and domestic policy ou the monùhimself with Heraldry nor Genealogy; without ments of the state, in the pages of the bis. however going seriously to this extreme, vetorian, and in the songs of the bard ! must allow that family distinctions really exist There never was a period in which Britaia ed before the flood, as we read in sacred Serip- i was more im periously called on to avail ber fure of the “Sons of God," taking to thew-| self viot only of the virtues but eten of the

prejudices of lier sons, than at the present formed us so that even our errors may be pro' moment; in thus addressing her fajrest daugh. | ductive of virtue. ters, I look to them not ouly as the pride and It bas indeed been too much the practice ornament of the present day, I view them not with modern sceptics, to consider eveu naonly as the comfort and sulace of the present tional attachment as puerile and contracted; generation, but as the mothers of the succeed. || their bosoms, they boasted, were glowing with ing one; it is their task “ to teach the young an universal philanthropy, wbilst their ac. idea how to shoot,” to prompt to virtue, and tions in many instances have proved that they even make the passions and prejudices of their were solely guided by principles of selfish little ones subservient to vational glory, hap- || aggrandisement, by envy towards superior piness, and security. The love of home, the talent or superior furtune; or by an insane pride of noble, nay of honest ancestry, must vanity, which in its consequences has con. always lead to true patriotism; these passions, Jucted so many of them to the scaffo!d and to if cultivated in early youth, will remain despairing suicide! through existence; be it therefore the design If it be allowed on all sides, and proved in. of the following lectures not only to prompt, | deed it is by general custom, that the feeling but to enable the fair sex of all ranks in life, to of virtuous importance derived from illustrie instil this principle into their little ones; we ous or ancient descent, is laudable in i self shall consequently consider the subject in the and beneficial to society, it will be more emimost familiar manuer, divested as far as pos. | nentiy so when the individual can separate sible of the mere terms of art, and explained | bimself from the general mass, when his fa. by practical illustratious of its uses and cus inily anvals are ascertained by authentic re. toms at the present day.

cords, not only proving their antiquity, but Eveu in the earliest ages, the pride of an. also tracing a long line of illustrious projeçestry, though a general principle, soon be- nitors; this he feels as a perpetuity of suc. came a particular one; as particular families | cession, which it behoves bim to continue, from superior virtue, or superior prowess, be as a trust which he must transmit uuim paired came separated from the great mass of the to his posterity; and this sensation is not conpeople, the same spirit becaine more peculiarly fiued to high titled lineaye alone, for the ac. theirs; they caught the national enthusiasm, curate observer of mankind will find it pervade and with an ardent desire to render an illus- | the boson of the simple cottager, who cuntrious line, yet more illustrious, they gallantly templates with honest satisfaction the memory braved the sword of tyranny in the field, or set of a respected grandsire, his predecessor, per• bounds to domestic oppression by their energy | haps, in his straw-built cot. and prudence in the council; in their turos This appears, indeed, to be the genuine mean. resisting the encroachments of an ainbitious ing, the patural interpretation of tbat par. oligarchy, or the wild theories of the unprio- tiality for national and family ancestry, so cipled leaders of a turbulent democracy. Such universally felt, which forms the great prin. was, such has been the progress both of states | ciple of the social compact, which in our and of individuals; and such is the general regard for our family biuds us more strongly sentiment of all nations at the present day, | to our country, and which in the gratification with the exception of a neighbouring state, of our patriotic pride renders that family even during the short lived reign of a visionary | dearer to us. philosophy.

It is true we must feel the warmest affecIu tracing the descent of particular families, tion for our more immediate progenitors; yet from a general ancestor, it has been urged that when we contemplate the actions of those little reliance could be placed on the catalogue who lived in earlier times, even the obscurity of his virtues, whether banded down to us by ) which surrounds them imparts a portion of tradition, or preserved in the legends of sublimity to the most unimportant; the glow monkish credulity and prejudice ; but even of our tenderest passions is kindled; the allowing that to be the case, yet if his de. memory of the days that are gone becomes scendants are indeed stimulated to virtue by more interesting, and the instructions which their high fancied notions of family importance, may be drawn froin them is rendered more or even by a general spirit of national pride, persuasive. This general feeling makes the surely the prudent statesman and the true history of our own country more particularly philosopher will hail the generoas sensation, || interesting, and gives peculiar force to those and admire the goodness of that Being, who | periods of it wbich mark the origią or the in our imperfect and probationary state has progress of public economy and of domestic

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

detail; for in these we trace the different iu- || liar love for the Church, however we may
terests and principles, as well as the inodes smile at it althe present day,was notwithstand.
and manners which have given rise to, and in ing etficacious in promoting the love of re-
their turo have arisen from the chequered | ligions order among the great body of the
events in the ever varying annals of human na. people, which tbough obscured by the supersti-
ture. With these the sciences of Heraldry and ition of the time, was beneficial in the promo.
Genealogy are closely connected; and from tion of virtue and good manners; at the same
these the most important lessons either of time that their spirit of independence, even
civil polity or of domestic arrangement may | under William, but more particularly under
be drawn); avd we may with propriety acknow bis successors, laid the foundation of that
ledge, that when we contemplate the civil, general liberty now so deservedly our happy
niilitary, and ecclesiastical niemoirs of these boast.
kingdoms, we will find a more illustrious lu the general remembrance of times so in-
groupe of characters in each department, and teresting, Genealogy enables us to apply these
a richer fund of meritorious examples than | occurrences more particularly to oar proge-
in any other, without exceptivg even Inperialnitors, whilst Heraldry affords us the most
Rome herself, and in her best days ; for those satisfactory proofs; and it must surely be ac-
of her citizens who most cherished liberty | ceptable then to trace the origin of those an-
at home, were but the tyrants of the sur. cestors whose memories will thereby be re-
rounding nations in subjecting them to the deemed from oblivion, and recommended to
military and political dominion of that mis- our contemplation and imitation, and to
tress of the world.

whom we are not only indebted for many of
If there is no study more useful, so there the blessings which we now enjoy, but in
is no task more grateful, than that which many instances for the names we bear ;-of
hands down to posterity the memory of those ancestors who amid the gloom of sáper.
those great and good deeds, and of those stition and the darkness of feudal institutions,
spirited achievements which mark the glories laid the foundations of our present political
of our ancestors; and though the great mass happiness on the broad basis of general British
of our population is descended from a mixture freedom, combining together the rights of per-
of the ancient British and of the Saxon blood,sonal liberty, of personal security, and of per.
yet there is scarcely a family, even of modern sonal properly.
peligree, which is not connected with the It is a pleasing thing to observe, that a
Norman descent. Those hardy sons of the spirit of genuine research into genealogical
frozen wilds of Scandinavia, who made the and topographical knowledge begins to form
hosts of France to tremble at their incursions, such a prominent feature in the literature of
Jost nothing of their love of liberty, and de- | the present day; this is not confined to the
'generated not from the hardihood of their bighly-enobled, but is now become peculiarly
ancestors, even in the fertile plains and under interesting to all those in wbom the pride of
the mild climate of Normandy; and when the ancient ancestry is prompted by the spirit of
national dislike in this country to the usorper modern opulence; it hecomes tberefore more
Harold, prompted William to establishi his particularly a leading feature for La Belle
claims, founded alike on the general wish and Assemblée, where the useful and the enter-
on the will of the Confessor, his followers iaining, the utile et dulce of literature should
brought with them the same rough spirit of || alwa, s be united.
independence. The advantages which we de We have already hinted at the early ob.
rive from tbese occurrences, even at the pre-scurity of our Heraldic and Genealogical An-
sent day, are very great ; for the Normans in nals; this, however, destroys not their ia-
their desire to participate in the good fortunes | terest, for remotest antiquity acts upo. the
of their Duke, either by grants of forfeited mind with a secret charm. Like the lofty
lands, or liy intermarriage with the Saxou mountain whose head is lost in clouds, and
heiresses, stripped their own country of all which creates a sublimity by it's uncertain
its valoar and of all its learning; the einigra | altitude, or as objects in the far-stretched
tion not being confined to the poteut Barons horizon, whose rugged outlines are softened
alone, but einbracing all those eminent for into obscurity by the distance, it forms a
sanctity and learning, at the head of whom back-ground of magic scenery to the picture
Anselm avd Lanfranc were not the least cou of haman life, in which the light and shade
picuvus.' Though onr Norman ancestors had are so intimately blended, that the weary eve
beert 'lately converted to Christianity, yet their delights to repose on it, undisturbed by the
piety was not tbe less ardent, and their pecu-glare and glitter of the nearer objects; yet

the judicious observer is nou offended should cease ; or rather, here must it cominence; fur, the daring painter, by one bright ray of sun- on his arrival, about half a century before the sline, break in upou these softened tints, if Christianæra, the inliabitants were merely a few this one ray should barmonize with the re- wandering tribes, possessing little beyond their neral effect.

arms and a strong spirit of independence; por Such then is the object of our présent lec- was it until after a long series of warfare that tures, slightly to sketch the origin of Eng. the Romans were enabled to call themselves lish ancestry, to examine into the nature of masters of the Island. This possession, how. personal Heraldry, to develope the origin of ever, merely extended to the soil, as the Brisirnames, and to analyse the reasons for their tons disilaining slavery, fed into the fortresses adoption; tually, tu gratily a laudable curio uf Wales and Corowall, and it is likely were sity in those wbose time and opportunities also the progenitors of the Picls and of some will not permit a more elaborate rescarch, lu tribes of the Scots, by some of the inore facilitate, or rather to prompt to genealogical worthern aborigines flying beyond Cheriut and heraldic inquiry, and to blend some por- and the Twecl, preferring liberty among the tion of amusement with some novelty of in- barren muuntains of Caledonia, lu the fertility sruction.

of their native plains, under the lash of a cou. As far as regards' family and sirname, in the

queror. progress of men and manners in Britain pre. It is natural to suppose that the long posvious to the Norman settlement, little is session of Britain by the Roman legions, known; tben, indeed, families became more mixed a great portion of Roman with the distinct, because property, by the introduction British blood; this connexion however ceased of the feudal for the allodial system, hecame in the latter days of the Roman empire, and more regular in its descent, and because at the legions being withdrawn), the country was that time, or very soon after, the general i left to the aboriginal inhabitants, and to ibe adoption of bereditary Heraldry gave addi-mixed descendants of the two nations. A new tional accuracy to the annals of the Genea

source of ancestry however louk place in tlie logist.

days of Vortigern by the arrival of the Saxou Amongst the ancient inbabitants of this auxiliaries under Hengist and Horsa; these country, and indeed in all others in a simple adventurers were from Sallaud, and baving state of civilization, names were used singly, il secured a fuoting in England, they settled in and confined to one individual; and though we Keut, where they founded the first kingdom are ignorant of their etyinology, we inay in- of the Saxon Heptarchy, and where, of course, fer that they were descriptive of sone parti- it is natural to suppose that much of their cular qualities in the bearer, as is the case in blood remains at the present day. ali savage nations known at the present day: The success of these invaders induced a some of these names are preserved by Cæsar number of their countrymen to sail for the and the succeeding historians, and may yet be northern part of Britain ; after plundering the found in the pedigrees of Wales and Coro- eastern coast of Scotland, they arrived off wall; the want of a family sirname, however, Northumberland, landed and soon occupied would render accuracy impossible, even if the the country as far as the Frith of Forth, where intermediate descents had been detailed in they firmly established themselves, their pos. written evidence.

terity remaining to tlie present day. It is That the original germ of British ancestry || supposed indeed, from the facility with whicha was from Gayl and Belgium, is now considered || they made this settlement, that this part of as beyond a doubt. Previous to the coming the country was at that period totally depo. of Cæsar, Britain was unknown to the world of pulated between the two walls of Severus and Jetters; not totally so indeed, as there are some | Antoninus, in consequence of the contests beslight notices of it in works written previous tween the Piets and Britoos; and we thus see 'to Cæsar's time ; but though the Phænicians, it inhabited by a new race, whose languge aud or at least the Carthaginians had visited the whose posterity may be considered as totally south-western parts of the Island in search of distinct from their neighbours for many cenJead and tin, yet no extensive accounts of its turies afterwards. state or even of its situation, were committed Saxoo settlements were shortly after formed to writing, as we find that Cæsar's informa-in Sussex, Hampshire, Dorsetshire, and part tiot respecting it was received from the bar. of Devon, and the Britons having retired to barous and ignorant inhabitants of the shores the western provincer, succeeding adventurers opposite to the Kentish coast.

from the Elbe, and other rivers of Germany, Here then all genealogical research must of wbich all that part was then called Saxony, found no difficulty in securing themselves on ed, that the great mass of the population was the eastern coast, and at last became so nu- formed by the incorporation of the descend. merous that they were able to penetrate into ants of these different nations, in the same the interior, so that is a short time all the manner as the language became a general comeastern and iniddle parts of Britain, as well as pound from the different dialects. This inthe soutbern coast were peopled by a new deed seeins completely satisfactory for the inrace, who calling it the land of ingles, the vestigation of our general origin, and shews name of the first adventurers, have left to us that even at the present day, those of Saxon the general appellation of Engleland, or Eng. or even of Norman nomenclature may yet lavid. Such were the ancestry of a great part boast of the ancient British blood; and this of var modern population; nothing, however, il consideration will refer more particularly to is known of their genealogy, or of their dif- the western parts of England, as well as to ferent families, with the exceptiou of those Wales and Cornwall. who sat on the different thrones; but even Tbe Saxons having parcelled out the lands there the descent was so little attended to, the upon that principle afterwards called allodial, succession being generally repudiated either affixed uew names to the different districts and by force or fraud, that liitle dependence can subdivisions, thus giving to the Britvns as well he placed on the genealogies which trace a as to their mixed posterity, a new nomencla. descent from these princes. As sirnames also, ture; it is also worthy of remark here, that or arms, which are the most accurate guides where the Saxovs found do peculiar properties in the investigation of genealogy, bad not yet in their lands to justify an allusive name, it come into use, we must be content to remain was customary for them to impose on them in ignorance of the particular facts, trusting the names of the proprietors; but in direct Bulely to general deductions from history, ge- opposition to this was the custom afterwards neral similarity in language and in person, introduced by the Normans, of giving the and the derivative etymology of our modern name of the lands to the proprietor ; it is also

a curious fact, that the ancient Britons of Tu the ninh century we find a nrw stock of Cornwall and Wales, iu assuming distinguishancestry arising from the incursions of the ing names, adopted modes entirely different Danes; it is vol our plan bere indeed to trace from each other; the former taking their thien through the various stages of history, appellatives from the places of their residence, nor can we confine their probable descendants the latter vever using more than the patroto any specific part of Britain, as their settle. nynuic sp, until the reign of James the First. ments were both in the southern and northern We have us seen that the south westera districts; but there is no doubt tbat this new parts, extending from Hampshire to Somerset race when first establisherl, formed a distinct and so ou to Cornwall, were tbe liabitations of part of the population, though their descend- thie Saxons; Kent, Essex, and the eastern ants, by frequent intermarriages with the counties as far as Cambridgeshire were over. Sasons, bave lost many of their peculiarities run by tbe Augles, as was also that interior of accent and of person; the paines of these district called Mercia, comprehending sixteen original settlers may lonever still be traced of the most central counties; whilst all the in our modern sirnames, such as Henderson, eastern lands, north of the Humber were sel. Anderson, Jauson, &c. &c. It is worthy of tled by the Jutes with a proportion of Angles; remark, however, that some of the latter cu- to the west of all these were the ancient lonies which settled on the castern coast, have Britons, and to the north, the Scots and descendants in the mountainous parts of York- Picts, the latter of whom being entirely defeat. shire and Duslam, where the inhabitants may | ed, became incorporated with the Scots, be distinctly traced from the original stock. thenceforth forming one nation. Dua general view however of this new popula- Such is the genealogical origin of the greater tion, we are not to suppose that the Britons part of our modern population, with the adwere entirely expatriated from the districts dition of some Danish and of much Norman occupied by ir; as few women were brought blood; it is true that in later times, a great from Saxony of Denmark, the new comers of change has taken place from the intimate concourse intermarried with the patives. We may vection with the sister kingdoms, and from also observe that a new language is now sprung the subsequent great influx of foreigners ; that up throughout the island, and as in this lan- part of the question shall, however, be cog. guage we meet with a large proportion of the sidered iu future lectures in conjunction with ancient British, and even some remains of the the Heraldic Analysis Roman tougues, il inay be rationally conclud.

nis.

ܙܕܠ

« PreviousContinue »