Vita, Veritas, Victoria

Mural on Sandy Row, south Belfast, Northern Ireland, commemorating the siege of Derry and depicting the arms of that city.  (Copyright © 2013 Extramural Activity.)
Mural on Sandy Row, south Belfast, Northern Ireland, commemorating the siege of Derry and depicting the arms of that city. (Copyright © 2013 Extramural Activity.)

Religion’s Never Mentioned Here

Gates in the Peace Line at Lanark Way, between the Shankill and Springfield Roads, west Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Gates in the Peace Line at Lanark Way, between the Shankill and Springfield Roads, west Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Barefooted Tatterdemalions

Woodcut depicting James Rivington being hanged in effigy, as it appeared in Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer, April 20, 1775.
Woodcut depicting James Rivington being hanged in effigy, as it appeared in Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer, April 20, 1775.

It cannot have escaped the notice of the most inattentive observer, that this country has been brought to its present state of distress and confusion, chiefly by the art and industry of pretended patriots, both in England and America, who were stimulated by indigence, avarice, or ambition, to embroil the government, and mislead the people. The Pennsylvania Ledger or the Philadelphia Market-Day Advertiser, February 28, 1778.

THE REBELS (1778)
(sung to the tune: Black Joak)

THE REBELS.

YE brave, honest subjects, who dare to be loyal,
And have stood the brunt of every trial,
Of hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns:
Come listen awhile, and I’ll sing you a song;
I’ll show you, those Yankees are all in the wrong,
Who, with blustering look and most awkward gait,
‘Gainst their lawful sovereign dare for to prate,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

The arch-rebels, barefooted tatterdemalions,
In baseness exceed all other rebellions,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
To rend the empire, the most infamous lies,
Their mock-patriot Congress, do always devise;
Independence, like the first of rebels, they claim,
But their plots will be damn’d in the annals of fame,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

Forgetting the mercies of Great Britain’s king,
Who saved their forefathers’ necks from the string;
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
They renounce allegiance and take up their arms,
Assemble together like hornets in swarms,
So dirty their backs, and so wretched their show,
That carrion-crow follows wherever they go,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

With loud peals of laughter, your sides, sirs, would crack,
To see General Convict and Colonel Shoe-black,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
See cobblers and quacks, rebel priests and the like,
Pettifoggers and barbers, with sword and with pike,
All strutting, the standard of Satan beside,
And honest names using, their black deeds to hide.
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

This perjured banditti, now ruin this land,
And o’er its poor people claim lawless command,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
Their pasteboard dollars, prove a common curse,
They don’t chink like silver and gold in our purse;
With nothing their leaders have paid their debts off,
Their honor’s, dishonor, and justice they scoff,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

For one lawful ruler, many tyrants we’ve got,
Who force young and old to their wars, to be shot,
With their hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.
Our good king, God speed him ! never usèd men so,
We then could speak, act, and like freemen could go;
But committees enslave us, our Liberty’s gone,
Our trade and church murder’d; our country’s undone,
By hunting-shirts, and rifle-guns.

Come take up your glasses, each true loyal heart,
And may every rebel meet his due dessert,
With his hunting-shirt, and rifle-gun.
May Congress, Conventions, those damn’d inquisitions,
Be fed with hot sulphur, from Lucifer’s kitchens,
May commerce and peace again be restored,
And Americans own their true sovereign lord.
Then oblivion to shirts, and rifle-guns.
God save the King.

(Originally published in The Pennsylvania Ledger, 1778.)
Lyrics: Captain Smyth, Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers.

Two Kings’ Heads Not Worth a Crown

Counterstamped Spanish American 8 Real coin issued by Treasury with a value of 4s. 9d. to supplement a deficiency in British silver coins; the original coin, a 1787 F.M. 8 Real from the Mexico City Mint, Mexico. Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Counterstamped Spanish American 8 Real coin issued by Treasury with a value of 4s. 9d. to supplement a deficiency in British silver coins; the original coin, a 1787 F.M. 8 Real from the Mexico City Mint, Mexico. Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

SPANISH DOLLARS. Some of your readers are old enough to remember the time when Spanish dollars circulated in this country. They were made current in Britain by stamping them with the head of the sovereign, George III. The punch by which this was done was about the size of the king’s head, or “duty mark,” on silver plate. I have just met with the following epigram on this subject, which is worth preserving in your pages. I quote from a letter of Robert Southey’s, dated April 26, 1797, printed in Joseph Cottle’s Reminiscences of Coleridge and Southey, 1847, p. 210:

I supped last night with Ben Flower, of Cambridge, at Mr. P.’s, and never saw so much coarse strength in a countenance. He repeated to me an epigram on the dollars, which perhaps you may not have seen:–

“To make Spanish dollars with Englishmen pass,
Stamp the head of a fool on the tail of an ass.”

A.O.V.P.

— Notes and Queries, 3rd S. IX. May 5, ’66.

SPANISH DOLLARS (3rd S. ix. 368.) — Your correspondent has committed an error in this couplet, which spoils the sense. The tail of an ass is nothing. On these dollars the head of George III., in an octagon cartouche, about three-eighths of an inch by one quarter of an inch, was stamped upon the neck of Charles III., and this gave point to the line, which should be:

“To make dollars current and legally pass,
Stamp the head of a fool on the neck of an ass.”

H.W.D.

— Notes and Queries, 3rd S. IX. June 2, ’66.

In 1797 an attempt was made by the Treasury to supplement the deficiency of silver coinage by the issue of Spanish dollars, and half, quarter and eighth dollars, countermarked on the obverse with the bust of George III, the stamp, a small oval one, being that used by the Goldsmiths’ Company for stamping the plate of this country. These counterstamped dollars, &c., have on one side the bust of Charles III (or IV) of Spain, and on the other the Spanish arms. The dollar was to be current at 4s. 9d., which gave rise to the saying “two kings’ heads not worth a crown.” On account of the numerous forgeries of this counterstamp, another one was adopted in 1804. It was somewhat larger, octagonal in shape, and with the head of the king as on the Maundy penny of the time. This stamp also was soon counterfeited. In the same year the Bank of England received permission to issue a dollar of the current value of 5s., and this permission was extended in 1811 to pieces of the value of three shillings and eighteen-pence. […] Dies were also prepared for pieces of the value of 5s. 6d. and 9d., but none were issued for circulation.

— Herbert Appold Grueber, Handbook of the Coins of Great Britain and Ireland in the British Museum, p. 150.

Let Ten Thousand Influences Rain Down

Altar in Lady Chapel of St. Mary's, Ryde, featuring an image of Our Lady of Walsingham, designed by A.W.N. Pugin.
Altar in Lady Chapel of St. Mary’s, Ryde, featuring an image of Our Lady of Walsingham, designed by A.W.N. Pugin.

“Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For the winter is now past, and the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land … the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come.” It is the time for thy Visitation. Arise, Mary, and go forth in thy strength into that north country, which once was thine own, and take possession of a land which knows thee not. Arise, Mother of God, and with thy thrilling voice, speak to those who labour with child, and are in pain, till the babe of grace leaps within them! Shine on us, dear Lady, with thy bright countenance, like the sun in his strength, O stella matutina, O harbinger of peace, till our year is one perpetual May. From thy sweet eyes, from thy pure smile, from thy majestic brow, let ten thousand influences rain down, not to confound or overwhelm, but to persuade, to win over thine enemies. O Mary, my hope, O Mother undefiled, fulfil to us the promise of this Spring. John Henry Newman, The Second Spring sermon, preached 13 July 1852, in St. Mary’s, Oscott, in the first Provincial Synod of Westminster.

MacFadyen’s Cave

Loch Awe and Creag an Aonaich at the Pass of Brander.
Loch Awe and Creag an Aonaich at the Pass of Brander.

MACFADYEN came from Ireland (Eirin) to Cantyre (Cinn-tìre), with a following of 1400 men, to assist King Edward in his efforts to conquer Scotland. From Cantyre he made his way to Lorne (Lathurna), where he was joined by a party of the MacDougalls. When the Knight of Lochow (Loch-odha) heard of his coming, he sent a messenger to inform Sir William Wallace of it, who was at the time in Perthshire (Siorramachd Pheairt). Sir William was not slow in marching to meet the enemy. The two hosts encountered each other in the Pass of Awe (Atha). MacFadyen and his men were defeated and routed. He, and as many of his officers as escaped with him, hid themselves in a cave in the face of a rock called Creag-an-aoinidh. Sir William sent the Knight of Lochow and a party of men in pursuit of the fugitives; and having found them in the cave, they cut off their heads, and placed them on stakes on the top of Creag-an-aoinidh. This cave is called MacFadyen’s Cave to the present day.

The battle between Wallace and MacFadyen took place in 1300.

Makfadyane fled, for all his felloun stryff
On till a cave, within a clyfft of stayne
Wnde Cragmore, with fyftene is he gayne
Dunkan off Lorn his leyff at Wallace ast;
On Makfadyane with worthi me he past
He grantyt him to put them all to ded:
Thai left nane quyk, syne brocht Wallace his hed;
Apon a sper throuch out the feild it bor.
The Lord Cambell syne hint it by the har;
Heich in Cragmore he maid it for to stand
Steild on a stayne for honour off Irland.

Henry the Menstrel, Buke Sewynd, 858-868.

— Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).

They Have Never Heard of the True Church

Crown of thorns woven by Varina Davis for her husband. Now in Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans, the object formally hung in the study of Jefferson Davis, above a photograph and autograph inscription of Pius IX, sent to the president while he was prisoner at Fortress Monroe.
Crown of thorns woven by Varina Davis for her husband. Now in Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans, the object formally hung in the study of Jefferson Davis, above a photograph and autograph inscription of Pius IX, sent to the president while he was prisoner at Fortress Monroe.

Perhaps this is the night for prayer meeting, for the parsons taking advantage of this period of calm are indefatigable in their efforts to draw the soldiers together to sing psalms and assist at prayer; hundreds and thousands respond to their call & the woods for miles resound with the unscientific but earnest music of the rough veterans of Lee’s Army; in doleful contrast to the more enlivening notes of the initiated, the chorus of the ‘mourners’ may often be recognized, for conversions among the non religious members of the army are of daily occurrence and when they establish themselves upon the ‘mourners’ bench, it is evident to all how deep and loud is their repentance. There is something very solemn in these immense choruses of earnest voices, and there are, I am sure, hundreds of these honest soldiers truly sincere in believing that they are offering their most acceptable service to God; for they have never heard of the True Church, or if they have, their attention has not been sufficiently drawn to the right which She alone has of teaching mankind the only true mode of worship. Some of the parsons or chaplains are very zealous and persevering in assembling the soldiers to prayer, especially the chaplain of the eleventh Va, and the seventh. The chaplain of the eleventh Regt. held in high esteem by all, whether members of religion or not; for, they say, in times of action, he is as bold as the bravest and is to be seen in the first and fiercest battles consoling and assisting the wounded. Florence McCarthy of Richmond, Chaplain of the 7th Inf. is also distinguished for his preaching and zeal among the soldiers. They say he told his congregation the other day, that when they heard the doors and windows of the church slamming while the minister of God was preaching, they might be sure that the devil was at work trying to hinder the faithful from listening to the divine Word. Some might very naturally presume from this that his Satanic majesty was most at large during the blustering month of March than at any other time in the year. Joseph Durkin, S.J., ed., John Dooley, Confederate Soldier: His War Journal.