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which has perplexed our dictionary-makers, is
only a little cloth, from nappe.
Sc. 3. p. 66.
HOR. Hold Peter, hold; I confess treason.
The real names of these combatants were John Daveys and William Catour, as appears from the original precept to the sheriffs still remaining in the Exchequer, commanding them to prepare the barriers in Smithfield for the combat. The names of the sheriffs were Godfrey Boloyne and Robert Horne; and the latter, which occurs in the
page of Fabian's chronicle that records the duel, might have suggested the name of Horner to Shakspeare. Stowe is the only historian who has preserved the servant's name, which was David. Annexed to the before mentioned precept is the account of expenses incurred on this occasion, duly returned into the Exchequer. From this it further appears that the erection of the barriers, the combat itself, and the subsequent execution of the armourer, occupied the space of six or seven days; that the barriers had been brought to Smithfield in a cart from Westminster; that a large quantity of sand and gravel
was consumed on the occasion, and that the place of battle was strewed with rushes. Mr. Steevens has inferred from the above record that the armourer was not killed by his opponent, but worsted, and immediately afterwards hanged. This, however, is in direct contradiction to all the historians that have mentioned the circum
stance, who, though they differ in some particulars, are certainly agreed as to the death of the accused by the hands of his servant. Halle's words are, "whose body was drawen to Tyborn and there hanged and beheaded;" a mode of expression which, though ambiguous, seems rather to refer to the previous death of the party. Fabian, Grafton, Stowe, and Holinshed, state that he was slain. It is possible that Mr. Steevens, in making the above inference, conceived that because the man was hanged he must necessarily have been alive at the time of his execution: but
the mercy of the law on this occasion certainly made no such distinction; and the dead body of the vanquished was equally adjudged to the punishment of a convicted traitor, in order that his posterity might participate in his infamy. Indeed the record itself seems decisive; for it states that the dead man was watched after the battle was done, and this probably means before
it was conveyed to Tyborn for execution and decapitation. The same rule was observed in cases of appeal for murder, as we learn from the laws or assizes of Jerusalem made there in the fourteenth century; by which he that was slain or vanquished from cowardice in the field of battle, was adjudged to be drawn and hanged; his horse and arms being given to the constable. See Thaumassiere Assises de Jerusalem, ch. 104. and Selden's Duello, p. 30. The hanging and beheading were confined to cases of murder and treason; in a simple affair of arms the vanquished party was only disarmed and led forth ignominiously from the lists.
Since this note was written, the whole of the curious record in the Exchequer has been printed in Mr. Nicholls's valuable and interesting work entitled, Illustrations of the manners and expences of antient times in England, 1797, 4to. As intimately connected with the present subject, the following extract cannot fail of being acceptable. It is taken from Gaguin, Gestes Romains, printed at Paris by Ant. Verard, without date, in folio, a volume of extreme rarity, and is part of the ceremony of an appeal for treason as regulated by Thomas Duke of Gloucester, high constable to Richard the Second. "Et si la dicte
bataille est cause de traison, celluy qui est vaincu et desconfit sera desarmé dedans les lices, et par le commandement du conestable sera mis en un cornet et en reprehencion de luy sera traisné hors avec chevaulx du lieu mesme ou il est ainsi desarmé parmy les lices jusques au lieu de justice, ou sera decolé ou pendu selon lusaige du pays, laquelle chose appartient au mareschal veoir par fournir par son office, et le mettre a execution," fo. 148:-that is, "If the said battle be on account of treason, he that is vanquished and discomfited shall be disarmed within the lists, and by the au thority of the constable put into a little cart; then having received a proper reprimand he shall be drawn by horses from the spot where he has been disarmed, through the lists, to the place of public execution, and there hanged or beheaded according to the custom of the country: which matter the marshal, by virtue of his office, is to see performed and executed."
Scene 1. Page 74.
SUF. I think, I should have told your grace's tale.
On this expression Dr. Johnson remarks that
majesty was not the settled title till the time of King James the First." In a note to vol. i. p. 97, of the lives of Leland, Hearne, and Wood, it is said that our kings had not the title of majesty in the reign of Henry the Eighth; and another note in Dr. Warburton's edition of the Dunciad, b, iv. 1. 176, states that James was the first who assumed the title of sacred majesty ;' all which information is unsupported by authority.
On the other hand, Camden more correctly says, that "majesty came hither in the time of King Henry the Eighth, as sacred majesty lately in our memory. Remains concerning Britain, p. 198, edit. 1674, 8vo. Selden, referring to this passage, wishes it to be understood so far as it relates to the title being "commonly in use and properly to the king applied," because he adduces an instance of the use of majesty so early as the reign of Henry the Second. In a letter from queen Elizabeth to Edward the Sixth, she signs "Your majesties humble sister," and addresses it "To the kinges most excellent majestie." Harl. MS. No. 6986. In the same volume is a most extraordinary letter in Italian to Elizabeth, beginning, "Serenissima et sacratissima maesta," which shews that Camden, who wrote what he says above early in 1603, must rather refer to Elizabeth than James the First.