Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 42 pages of information about Notes and Queries, Number 46, September 14, 1850.
“A man had been condemned to be hung for murder.  On the Sunday morning previous to the sentence being carried into execution, he contrived to commit suicide in the prison by cutting his throat with a razor.  On Monday morning, according to the then custom, his body was brought out from Newgate in a cart; and after Jack Ketch had exhibited to the people a small model gallows, with a razor hanging therefrom, in the presence of the sheriffs and city authorities, he was thrown into a hole dug for that purpose.  A stake was driven through his body, and a quantity of lime thrown in over it.”

Will any correspondent of “NOTES AND QUERIES” give a solution of this extraordinary exhibition?  Had the sheriffs and city authorities any legal sanction for Jack Ketch’s disgusting part in the performances?  What are the meaning and origin of driving a stake through the body of a suicide?

A.G.

Ecclesfield

* * * * *

REPLIES

COLLAR OF SS.

If you desire proof of the great utility of your publication, methinks there is a goodly quantum of it in the very interesting and valuable information on the Collar of SS., which the short simple question of B.  (Vol. ii., p. 89.) has drawn forth; all tending to illustrate a mooted historical question:—­first, in the reply of [Greek:  Phi.] (Vol. ii., p. 110.), giving reference to the Gentleman’s Magazine, with two rider-Queries; then MR. NICHOLS’S announcement (Vol. ii., p. 140.) of a forthcoming volume on the subject, and a reply in part to the Query of [Greek:  Phi.]; then (Vol. ii, p. 171.) MR. E. FOSS, as to the rank of the legal worthies allowed to wear this badge of honour; and next (Vol. ii., p. 194.) an ARMIGER, who, though he rides rather high on the subject, over all the Querists and Replyists, deserves many thanks for his very instructive and scholarlike dissertation.

What the S. signifies has evidently been a puzzle.  That a chain is a badge of honour, there can be no doubt; but may not the Esses, after all, mean nothing at all? originating in the simple S. link, a form often used in chain-work, and under the name of S. A series of such, linked together, would produce an elegant design, which in the course of years would be wrought more like the letter, and be embellished and varied according to the skill and taste of the workman, and so, that which at first had no particular meaning, and was merely accidental, would, after a time, be supposed to be the initial letters of what is now only guessed at, or be involved in heraldic mystery.  As for [Greek:  Phi.]’s rider-Query (Vol ii., p. 110.), repeated by MR. FOSS (Vol. ii., p. 171.), as to dates,—­it may be one step towards a reply if I here mention, that in Yatton Church, Somerset, there {249} is a beautifully wrought alabaster monument, without inscription, but

Follow Us on Facebook