« PreviousContinue »
and Colgreney in the county of Wicklow, are descended from a sister of Count Hamilton. There is a portrait of him at Seaford. Lord Kingsland, related to him in the same manner, had portraits of the two brothers, and also of Madame de Grammont: one painted in her early youth, another taken in her advanced age: these Hamiltons were of the Abercorn line.
I am rejoiced to find that your History of Scotland under the House of Stuart is ready for the press. I shall wait its appearance with impatience; and I shall expect with equal impatience the appearance of your General History. Deep and extensive erudition, assiduous research, and luminous arrangement, render your productions inestimable to the lovers of historic truth. If you have read the Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland, and the Strictures on the History of Ireland, by Dr. Campbell, I am sure you will lament with me the death of the author. His Revolutions of Ireland (part of which work is already printed) will, I believe, be edited by Mr. Ledwich, a writer with whose merits you are not unacquainted. Another work, on a plan somewhat similar, is now, I understand, in the press, by a writer not yet known to the literary world.
You do me the honor to inquire how I am employed at present I am not engaged in any literary occupation; but I have it in contemplation to prepare for the press a very curious anonymous Tour in Scotland, Ireland, and England, in the year 1635, now in my possession. It is written with good sense, minute information, and
great simplicity of manner.
The Irish part I can illustrate from my own notes made during different tours. The whole work would probably make an octavo volume of 250 pages. I have not yet determined where I shall publish it; but I presume I shall be able to find some bookseller in London who would undertake the publication at his own risk. Before I conclude, Sir, give me leave to express a hope, that the rise and progress of the stage in Scotland has found a place in your General History. It is, I think, a most interesting subject. The feeble attempt which I made, in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy for 1788, to trace the history of the Irish stage, only serves to show my love of the subject, and inability to treat it.
MR. PINKERTON TO THE EARL OF BUCHAN.
Hampstead, Sept. 25th, 1795.
I have the pleasure of informing you, that most of the tracings and drawings received from your lordship are either engraved, or in the hands of the engravers. Trotter has executed finely your great ancestor, Regent Mar.
The Mary of Guise I have since seen at Devonshire House; and the plate is now rendered similar to the original. Mr. Taylor is a great improver, as we have found to our cost in the Kensington pictures, which he has drawn so unlike, that we are forced to employ other artists. Mr. Herbert now goes on with great spirit; and
two or three parts, of eighteen portraits each, will appear next winter.
I hope your lordship will have the goodness to send us a few more subjects the approaching winter. Your own Lady Mary Stuart, wife of the Treasurer Mar, and Alexander Erskine, his son, would be acceptable. Your ancestor, Lord Cardross, 1675, is an eminent character, of whom a portrait would be valuable.
Cardinals Innes and Beaton, &c. I have not yet got, though I wrote to my agent to pay for them.
I beg to remind your lordship of Lee, the ambassador. I can now speak with certainty of the procedure of the work, and answer for the artists employed; so that I hope your lordship will continue your kind attention to it.
MR. PINKERTON TO THE EARL OF BUCHAN.
Hampstead, Oct. 19th, 1795.
Within this week I have luckily discovered in private hands the portrait of James IV. with a falcon on his fist, mentioned in the catalogue of the pictures of Charles I. It is an interesting piece; and the falcon renders it singular and picturesque. It has the arms, motto, and J. IV. in black letter; so that nothing can be more authentic. Mr. Trotter is to copy and engrave it forthwith. I wish the proprietor to let this unique piece be copied polygraphically each copy will be a guinea or two:
in that case I should buy one; and perhaps your lordship might like another.
Is there any arms or name on Buchan the Constable's picture? I should be much obliged for a tracing of the arms on your James IV.
Traquair and Gilmour came safe to hand. The last tracing of Buchan is not yet come. But the will is now before me, and I shall return it by the next letter. I am sorry that on this and other occasions your lordship's goodness has communicated papers which the brevity of the work prevents being used. It is, my lord, an account of portraits, rather than of persons; and the notices. are short and heraldic. No one looks into Birch's Illustrious Heads for the lives, which are quite thrown away; and it had been better if he had given an account of the paintings. Our work only pretends to explain who the person is, and to identify the portrait. Such being the case, I should be very sorry to give your lordship additional trouble in remitting papers, while we are already so much indebted to your generous and truly noble spirit for the portraits.
MR. DOUCE TO MR. PINKERTON.
Dec. 15th, 1795.
When capital is meant by the old statutes, they express it by goods: otherwise it is so much per
the word " serples" used for an upper garment, or surplice, (superpellicium ;) and therefore I conceive "serpis" to be a contraction of it; but if, in your quotation, serpe is to be taken as an ornament of gold or silver, my conjecture falls. I believe "leure" to be a strap (lorum) to which something was fastened about the habit. In the time of Henry VI. and VII. it is common to see a cap hanging by a strap on the shoulder; but I do not know if that was a part of dress at the time your term occurs.
By stat. 3. Edward IV., c. 5, no yeoman (after the year 1465) may wear any bolsters or stuffing in his doublet; nor any one under the degree of a knight any coat or jacket that shall not be long enough to cover his privy members and posteriors. None under the degree of a lord to wear shoes or boots with pikes passing two inches. There are in this statute exceptions in favor of clerks, judges, scholars of universities, henchmen, heralds, minstrels, and players of interludes.
24th Edward IV.
Stowe, sub anno 1465, says it was proclaimed throughout England, that the pikes of shoes or boots should not exceed two inches, on pain of cursing by the clergy, and forfeiting twenty shillings, &c. "Before this time," says he, "and since the year 1382, these pikes were of such length, that they were fain to be tied up to their knees with chains of silver gilt, or at least with silk strings." What authority Stowe had for this assertion does not appear. I have never yet observed this fashion in any ancient illumination.