Page images
PDF
EPUB

8

d

in the 18th year of the same monarch, 1439, amongst several questions minuted for discussion the following one occurs: “Si Thomas Halle sit tertius (2) serviens attendens (3) maiori et qualia vadia habebit respecta : i. e. “ Whether Thomas Halle should be the third Sergeant attendant on the Mayor, and what wages he should have postponed.” In the following year, the 19th of Henry, the Sixth, 1440, Thomas Halle again attended the convocation as a member of the Corporation, and it was then decided (Thomas Halle having been

( previously elected) “ Quod Thomas Halle tertius (4) claviger habeat de maiore et communitate pro salario suo (5) vi. viii, et esculeta sua et liveratus de maiore:" i. e. “ that Thomas Halle, the third mace-bearer should receive from the mayor and commonalty as his salary six shillings and eightpence, and his food and livery from the mayor."

mayor.” The name of Thomas Halle does not afterwards appear in the Leger Books of the Corporation of Salisbury.

Here arises the question, whether, from a review of these entries in the Leger of the Corporation of Salisbury, we may not justly conclude, that they apply to distinct persons of the name of Thomas Halle, and whether either of them was of the family of John Halle. In the 15th and 19th years of Henry, the Sixth, 1436, and 1440, Thomas Halle is specially noted as attending the convocation as a member of the Corporation. In the 18th year of the same King, 1439, we find, that Thomas Halle was a candidate for the menial office of third sergeant, or mace-bearer, and in the following year, 1440, that, having been elected, he was awarded the wages of 6s. 8d. from the Corporation, and it was also decided, that he should be found in food and livery by the mayor, and yet at this meeting it appears, that Thomas Halle attended as a member of the Corporation! That Thomas Halle, the Corporator, and Thomas Halle, the third Sergeant, or Mace-bearer, were separate persons is, I think, so evident, that it is indisputable. It is highly improbable, that Thomas Halle, the member of the Corporation, should become so sunk into poverty, and so abject in mind, (however I may be reminded of the adage “ necessitus non habet legem") as to seek and accept so inferior an office from his fellowcorporators, or that the members of the corporation should elect one of their own body to serve them in such a capacity, and he himself be present as a corporator at his own election ! For these valid reasons we may, I repeat again, consider it, gentle reader, as most conclusive, that Thomas Halle, the Corporator, and Thomas Halle, the third Sergeant, or Mace-bearer, were indeed distinct persons; but (admitting this, the question then arises, whether Thomas Halle, the member of the Corporation, was not of the family of John Halle, and this, I think, he was,—that he was indeed his father. It is impossible to ascertain this point, or the births, marriages, and deaths, of any of this family from a reference to parochial registers, as they were not instituted before the 30th year of Henry, the Eighth, 1538, a period, when in all

a

probability the family of Halle of Salisbury was in name extinct. That 7'homas Halle, the Corporator, was the father of John Halle is at least by a comparison of dates extremely probable ; his name does not appear in the Leger after the 19th year of Henry, the Sixth, 1440, nor is that of John Halle to be found there before that date, as his name first appears in the 22nd year of that monarch, 1443, and he was probably elected a member of the Corporation on the death of his father, Thomas Halle, or on the occasion of some other early vacancy, as only three years elapse between the last entry of the one and the first entry of the other name, and, it is probable, an earlier occasion may not have occurred after his admission for the mention of the name of the son. I cannot however on this probable, yet problematical, testimony admit Thomas Halle, the Corporator, into the pedigree of John Halle, a question, you will say, gentle reader, de lanâ caprina,yet I think otherwise. As the humble historian of the family of Halle, and of their ancient halle, it is my duty to yield every possible, every probable, elucidation, but not to state as fact that, which cannot be proved.

I must now close this general mention of the family of John Halle, as I reserve its ascertained members, John, Twilliam, Chrystian, and Joan to be severally spoken of in my subsequent Essays.

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

It is truly very difficult to dissipate the mist, with which the Origin of Heraldry is enveloped. I, gentle reader, cannot hope to do so. Whilst some limit the science to the origin of personal arms as the distinguishing mark of the individual, others extend their view to the first rise of standards as the insignia of nations, and tribes. There can however be no doubt, that the adoption of personal arms was much posterior to that of the national, or general, ensign; but, admitting this, we must, I think, also grant, that the one was both the precursor, and the introducer, of the other.

In this essay therefore I shall endeavour to trace the Origin of Heraldry from the adoption of the national, or general, standard to the appropriation of personal, and hereditary, coatarmour.

D

As the prototype again of national insignia we may perhaps with propriety refer back to the more early ages of the Jews. I allude to the blessing pronounced by Jacob on his twelve sons, who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, and who from that time probably took distinctive insignia. He seems to point out the lion as the characteristic of Judah. He thus says, “ Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion ; who shall raise him up?"* Some may think these remarks to be very vague, but, that the twelve tribes did use distinctive standards appears yet more clearly: “ And the Lord spake unto Moses, and unto Aaron, saying, every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by their own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.”+

Although the progressive use of the national standard cannot be precisely ascertained from the lapse of ages, and the want of the means of definite record, yet it seems to be generally admitted, that the following nations took their distinguishing characteristics : viz.

The Egyptians
The Athenians
The Gauls.

a Bear
The Romans

an Eagle The Franks

a Lion The Saxons

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

an Ox
an Owl

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

.

.

a Horse.

* Genesis xlix. 9.

+ Numbers ii. 1, 2.

« PreviousContinue »