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usual cock's-comb. Some jesters carried a staff with a fool's head at the end of it; others a staff from which was suspended a blown bladder with a few peas in it.

The most careful research has failed to unearth any document giving an account of the witty sayings (if any) of these fools. CHAS. WM. F. Goss.

Bolton on the Aln.

HE village of Bolton, or Boulton, so spelt in old records, has acquired some fame as being the place where the Earl of Surrey's army mustered before their final march to Flodden. It is distant about five miles from Alnwick, at which town the Earl was joined by his warlike son, the Lord Admiral. After a Council of War had been held, the army moved to Bolton. Their march was in a direct line over Alnwick Moor, past the Cloudy Crag. They descended what was known at that time as Aberwick Moor, and crossed the Aln by a ford of the same name, encamping in front of the village of Bolton upon ground in every way suited to the purpose. While the army lay here, it was joined by the Lancashire and West Riding men.

A black letter tract printed by Richard Fawkes, of St. Paul's Churchyard, some time between the years 1513 and 1530, places Bolton in Glendale, a mistake easily accounted for, as perhaps at that time the Vale of Whittingham was considered a part of Glendale. The tract referred to says:-"The v daye of Septembre his lordshyp in hys approchynge nyghe to the borders of Scotlande mustred at Bolton in Glendayll and lodged that nyght therein yt felde with all his armye. The nexte daye beynge the vi daye of Septembre the kynge of scottes sent to my sayd lor of Surrey a harolde of his called Ilaye, and demaunded if that my sayde Lorde wolde iustefye the message sent by the sayd pursevaunte ruge cros as is aforesayd sygnefyinge that if my lorde wolde so doo it was the thynge that mooste was to his Joye end comforte. To this demaunde my lord made answere afore dyuers lordes knyghtes and gentylme nyghe iij myles from the felde where ys the sayde harold was apstoynted to tary by cause he shulde nat vewe the armye that he commaunded nat oonly the sayde Rugecros to speke and shewe the seyde werdes of his message. But also gaue and comytted unto hym the same by Instruccyon sygned and subscrybed with his owne hande."

This herald was quartered at a place called "The Mile," a farm house

1889.

standing in a commanding position near a range of the Cheviots named "The Ryle Hills." This place is quite three miles distant from Bolton, and a long way off the line of march that the English army took. There is little doubt that the Scottish herald had been met at Hedgley Ford on the Breamish, and conducted to "The Mile," where he was kept a prisoner until the return of Ruge Cros, who had been sent by the Earl of Surrey with a challenge of battle to the Scottish king. This ford is about three miles from Bolton, and there very likely a strong guard was posted. It is rather remarkable that the fields behind the village of Bolton still bears the name of "The Guards." The old road by which the army marched leads direct to Hedgley Ford, and no doubt guards were posted along the road to the ford. On the return of Ruge Cros, the Earl of Surrey divided his army. The Lord Admiral, with nine thousand men formed the vanguard; the Earl himself led the rearguard. "That Stanley might the vanguard wield" had been refused by the stern Earl. But on that side the Earl of Surrey

Was deaf, for why, he could not hear;
For being moved by Stanley's glory,
His rancour old then did appear.

Quoth he, "The King's place I supply,
At pleasure mine each thing shall bide."
Then on each captain he did cry,

In presence to appear that tide.
Thus Stanley, stout, the last of all,
Of the rereward the rule did wield;
Which done, to Bolton in Glendale
The total army took the field.

All Lancashire for the most part,

The lusty Stanley stout did lead
A flock of striplings, strong of heart,

Brought up from babes with beef and bread.

A spot where such an event took place must be of interest to many at the present time. It will be seen from the accompanying sketch that what was called Bolton Moor at that time is beautiful in situation, as well as being in every respect adapted for the mustering

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close to the field where the host lay, and tradition says that the commanders and a number of the officers took communion in the chancel of the old chapel. Fortunately, the old chancel is left intact; the nave was re-built about forty years ago, and had a transept added to it.

Apart from the incident of Surrey's army being encamped there, the spot is extremely interesting. An ancient leper hospital stood in the ravine behind the chapel. It was surrounded partly by water and a morass. A few years ago, a very fine British urn was dug up close behind the chapel, when a grave was being made. I have heard of no relics being found on the ground where the army encamped; but coins, of various dates, have been found plentifully in fields adjoining the spot.

The old Aberwick ford, where the army crossed the Aln, lies further down the river than the bridge seen in the sketch. The old chapel is hidden by the trees on the right. I am indebted for the sketch to Mr. H. P. Taylor, of Shawdon. JAMES THOMSON.

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fleets were not only superior on the open seas, but also masters of the Channel and the North Sea, both of which were literally swarming with American and French privateers. Commerce was, in fact, almost at a standstill. The English fleet was helpless: the commanders thereof could only hope to keep the enemy at bay.

Local shipping was, of course, open to many and great dangers, and the Newcastle Chronicle of the period records instances of the capture of vessels bound for Shields by a noted privateer named Daniel Fall, who commanded the cutter Fearnought, of eighteen four-pounders. This redoubtable sea-wolf had experienced little difficulty with many of his captures; but when he attacked the Alexander and Margaret, of North Shields, commanded by David Bartleman, a native of Tyneside, he found a foeman worthy of his steel. Particulars of the engagement appeared in the Newcastle Chronicle at the time. From these it seems that the fight took place near the Floating Light off Yarmouth, and lasted three hours. The enemy was beaten back three times, but, returning the fourth time, accomplished his object. Captain Bartleman was severely wounded, while his mate was killed. The Alexander and Margaret was hulled in about thirty places, and so was compelled to strike her colours Being ransomed, she was taken into Yarmouth, where the injuries of the brave captain received attention. Notwithstanding that the best medical assistance was obtained, he died from his wounds. The hero was accorded a public funeral at Yarmouth. A tombstone

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"Twas great;

"His foe, though strong, was infamous,

"The foe of human kind.

"A manly indignation fired his breast.
"Thank God, my son has done his duty."

This interesting memorial of a daring and heroic action is kept in preservation by the inhabitants of Yarmouth. David Bartleman was a son of Alexander Bartleman, who, more than a century ago, carried on business as a shipowner and brewer at North Shields.

Mr. J. W. Carmichael painted a picture of the fight, which picture is now in the possession of a descendant of the Bartleman family, Alexander Bartleman Davidson, master mariner, of Newcastle.

The North-Country Garland of Song.

By John Stokoe.

CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING.

HE influence of the Scottish Kirk in restricting the celebration of Christmas festivities in the Border Counties has left our repertoire of carols, either religious or festive, very small indeed; and even those ditties that have been favourites in the North-Country appear equally popular in the South, and to be the common property of the English people.

The carol known as "Christmas Day in the Morning," after delighting the men and women of a bygone age at their social gatherings, has experienced the usual fate of a popular favourite, and has been relegated to the children of later generations as the melody of a popular round game.

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Christ mas Day in
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas Day in the morning?
Our Saviour Christ and his ladye,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
Our Saviour Christ and his ladye,

On Christmas Day in the morning.
Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas Day in the morning?
Oh, they sailed into Bethlehem,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
Oh, they sailed into Bethlehen,

On Christmas Day in the morning.
And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
And all the bells on earth shall ring,

On Christmas Day in the morning.
And all the angels in heaven shall sing,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
And all the angels in heaven shall sing,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
And all the souls on earth shall sing,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
And all the souls on earth shall sing,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
Then let us all rejoice amain,

On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
Then let us all rejoice amain,

On Christmas Day in the morning.

Dr. Edward F. Rimbault, in his "Collection of Old Nursery Rhymes," first published about fifty years ago, gives the following words to the same melody:

I saw three ships come sailing by,
Sailing by, sailing by,

I saw three ships come sailing by,

On New Year's Day in the morning.
And what do you think was in them then,
In them then, in them then,
And what do you think was in them then,
On New Year's Day in the morning?
Three pretty girls were in them then,
In them then, in them then,
Three pretty girls were in them then,

On New Year's Day in the morning.
And one could whistle, and one could sing,
The other could play on the violin,
Such joy there was at my wedding,
On New Year's Day in the morning.

J

Captain Wiggins.

JOSEPH WIGGINS, F.R.G.S., whose energy and enterprise have demonstrated that, through the supposed impenetrable ice-bound Arctic Seas there is, at a certain period of the year, a waterway, from which vessels can ascend large navigable rivers thousands of miles long, and penetrate into the very heart of Siberia, opening up an enormous and hitherto almost untouched field for western commerce, is a native of Norwich. His father, who bore the same name, was one of three brothers, all coach proprietors. They were the first to establish the system of running from Norwich to London, or from London to Norwich, in one day, which was considered at that time a remarkable achievement.

The future navigator went to sea at thirteen years of age, joining at Lynn a Sunderland sailing brig, belonging to his uncle, the late Mr. Joseph Potts, of Sunderland, builder, and trading to the Baltic and America. He was apprenticed to that gentleman for five years, and he made such good use of his oppor

Captain Wiggins.

tunities that by the time his apprenticeship expired he was mate of the vessel. At twenty-one he was master of a Sunderland sailing vessel engaged in the Mediterranean trade. When steam became the order of the day, he passed an examination so that he became qualified to command a steam vessel. At the age of twenty-seven he got the command out of London of the largest steamer of that time, the Victoria,

of 4,000 tons burden. He had subsequently great experience in running steamers in the China, Atlantic, and other trades, finally commanding his own vessels in the Southern Seas.

Captain Wiggins afterwards retired from the sea, and took the Examinership of the Board of Trade for the port of Sunderland, his duties being to examine captains and mates of the merchant marine in navigation and seamanship; but this post he resigned in 1874, after he had held it for six years, in order that he might realise a wild dream, as it was then believed to be, of opening out by sea a commercial route to Siberia.

Chartering a vessel called the Diana, an Arctic yacht built for sporting, Captain Wiggins on the 3rd of June, 1874, proceeded direct to the North Cape and thence to Vardo. As early as the 24th of June, he passed into the Kara Sea; but that was too early, for he found an abundance of ice, yet he cruised all round and surveyed the land for eight weeks. Then he worked half-way up the Gulf of Obi, and assured himself that it was all open water. It was not his business to ascend the rivers, because he knew they were navigable, and that there were large vessels upon them to take passengers and merchandise up the country for two or three thousand miles. Having demonstrated the practicability of the sea route, he returned safely home, after exactly three months' absence. It was owing to this successful voyage, and to the principles thus laid down by Mr. Wiggins, that Professor Nordenskjold was enabled in the following year to make his first voyage to the Yenesei, and ultimately his celebrated voyage along the Siberian coast and round Behring's Straits home.

But Wiggins could not afford to charter such a vessel as the Diana every time he went out. So for his next venture he purchased a little craft, a Yarmouth cutter, towards the fitting out of which one liberal gentleman, the late Mr. Edward Backhouse, of Sunderland, gave him £100. She was named the Whim, because, on taking her into the Wear to have her fitted, he overheard a conversation between a couple of seamen, one of whom explained to the other that this was "Captain Wiggins's whim." The Whim had the honour of going to the Kara Sea, but no further, for he could not attempt to ascend any of the rivers with her. But he had again demonstrated that that sea was open, and so he returned to England more hopeful than ever.

The third voyage was made with the Thames, which Captain Wiggins was enabled to purchase and fit out owing to a Russian gold mine owner and another gentleman having each presented him with a thousand pounds towards the cost of his next expedition. She was built at Berwick, and sailed through the Kara Sea in the middle of July. Some detached ice blocks lay about, but there was nothing to mar her progress; and, entering the mouth of the Yenisei, Captain Wiggins carried the British

flag for the first time in the world's history up that river to Yeniseisk, a distance of upwards of 3,000 miles. At Yeniseisk he arrived one Sunday, when thousands of people flocked down to the river to watch the arrival of the strange vessel. From this voyage Captain Wiggins returned home at the beginning of 1889.

A fourth expedition was undertaken by the gallant ravigator a few months later. Setting sail from the Thames on the 4th of August in a vessel called the Labrador, Captain Wiggins in due course again arrived at the mouth of the Yenisei. Here, however, he met with another misfortuue. The river steamer he had expected there failed, for some reason or other, to put in an appearance. So, after remaining ten or twelve days, he landed a portion of the cargo of the Labrador, and once more sailed for England, reaching London about the 15th of October.

Thus ends for the present the intrepid attempt of Captain Wiggins to open commercial intercourse with Siberia by way of the Kara Sea.

North-Country Fairies.

HE oldest fairy tale in the world is believed to be the one written on papyrus by a Pharaonic scribe, for the edification of the young Egyptian Crown Prince, Seti Manephta, the son of Pharaoh Rameses Mi-amun, who ruled in Thebes fourteen hundred years before Christ, and at whose court Moses was educated. This curious papyrus was unfolded by a learned German in 1863, and a literal translation of its contents was read by him to a Berlin audience in the winter of that year-thirty-two centuries after it had been written.

A good-sized library would be required to contain all the rich fairy literature that the fertile human imagination has invented since the days of Moses and Aaron, Jannes and Jambres. Fickle fancy has no more pleasant field to revel in; but we must not allow her to roam to a distance here. We must stay at home and speak only of our own North-Country Fairies.

Brand, in his "Antiquities," under the heading "Fairy Mythology," had gathered together a mass of interesting items, but most of them are drawn from places more or less far away. All he says with regard to the "good people" in this part of the country is :-"I have made strict inquiries after fairies in the uncultivated wilds of Northumberiand, but even there I could only meet with a man who said that he had seen one that had seen fairies Truth is hard to come at in most cases. None, I believe, ever came nearer to it than I have done."

Mr. Henderson, in his "Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England," has likewise but few references to

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1883.

the fairies of the two North-Eastern Counties. He tells us, indeed, of the Elf Stone, which "is described as sharp, and with many corners and points, so that, whichever way it falls, it inflicts a wound on the animal it touches." 'Popular belief," he adds, "maintains that the elves received these stones from old fairies, who wore them as breast-pins at the fairy court, and that the old fairies received them in turn from mer-maidens." They are in reality flint arrow heads, fashioned by our ancestors in what is known as the Stone Age, and now familiar to all frequenters of local museums, where they may be seen of all shapes and sizes.

We are most of us familiar with those curious natural phenomena called Fairy Rings. Some attribute them to the growth of fungi, spreading from a centre; others think they are caused by lightning; but the vulgar opinion is that they are spots where the fairies have been dancing in a ring by moonlight, and have trodden down the grass with their tiny feet, for they are diminutive creatures, about the size of children five or six years old.

Friday is the witches' Sabbath, but Wednesday is the Sabbath of the fairies. Every Friday, however, the "good people" divert themselves with combing the beards of goats.

In the olden time, it was not uncommon for the kitchen wench in a farm-house to discover, when she rose with the sun or before it, that the floor had been clean swept, and every article of furniture put into its proper place, by some kind sleight-of-hand fairy during the night. These were the days when great part of this country-side was still in a state of nature-bogs undrained, fields unfenced, leys untilled, and the inhabitants almost as rude and untutored, in the schoolmaster's sense, as Zulus or Maoris. But now the servant girls get no such supernatural help, but must do the needful work themselves.

Formerly fairies were much addicted to stealing the most beautiful and witty children they came across, and leaving in their places such brats of their own as were prodigiously ugly and stupid, mischievously inclined, or of a peevish and fretful temper. These elfish imps were termed Changelings. Some will have it that the "good people" could only exchange these weakly illconditioned elves for the more robust children of Christian parents before baptism, and that they could not do so even then if a candle was always kept burning a night in the room where the infant lay.

The fairies used to be heard patting their butter on the slope of Pensher Hill, when people were passing in the dark. A man once heard one of them say, "Mend that peel!" Next day, going past again, he found a broken peel lying on the ground. So he took it up and mended it. The day after that, when going along the road with a cart, he saw a piece of bread lying on a stone at the root of the hedge, at the identical place, with nice-looking fresh-churned butter spread upon it; but he durst neither eat it himself nor give it to his horses. The consequence

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