Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/993

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

and is the ancestor of the sheriff, the shire-reeve. In addition to the sheriff there were several kinds of reeves, and we are told in the body of laws known as the laws of Edward the Confessor that it is “multiplex nomen; greve enim dicitur de scira, de wapentagiis, de hundred is, de burgis, de villis." Thus we hear of port-reeves, burg-reeves, and tun-reeves, while the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions high reeves. It was the tun-reeve or reve of the township who with four other men represented the township in the courts of the hundred and the shire. In free townships he was probably chosen by the inhabitants; in dependent townships by the lord. A little later there were manor reeves, these being elected by the villains; according to Fleta, their duties were to attend to the cultivation of the land, and to see that each villain performed his proper share of service. The reve of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales was doubtless a steward or bailiff, something equivalent to the grieve in Scotland to-day.

In early English the word reeve was sometimes used as a translation for the prefect or governor of Roman and Jewish times. Some authorities have thought that there is some connexion between the Anglo-Saxon gerefa and the German Graf, but Max Müller (Lectures on the Science of Language, 1885) is inclined to doubt this. J. M. Kemble (Saxons in England, 1876), who goes at length into the history of the reeve, connects the word with féfan or réfan, to call aloud, this making him the original of the bannitor, or pro claimer of the court. At the present time the word reeve is sometimes used to describe a foreman or overseer in a coal mine. It is also used in Canada for the president of a village or town council.

REEVES, JOHN SIMS (1818-1900), English vocalist, was born at Woolwich on the 26th of September 1818, and received his musical education from his father, a musician in the Royal Artillery. At the age of fourteen he had progressed so far as to be appointed organist of North Cray church, and could play the oboe, bassoon, violin, and violoncello. He seems to have studied medicine for a year, but changed his mind when he gained his adult voice: it was at first a baritone, and he made his earliest appearance at Newcastle in 1839 in various baritone parts. He studied with Hobbs and T. Cooke, and, his voice having become a tenor, he appeared under Macready's management at Drury Lane (1841-43) in subordinate tenor parts in Purcell's King Arthur, Der Freischütz, and Acts and Galatea, when Handel's pastoral was mounted on the stage with Stanfield's scenery. Four years were spent in study on the Continent, under Bordogni in Paris and Mazzucato in Milan, and his début in Italian opera was made at the Scala as Edgardo in Lucia. He reappeared in London in May 1847 at a benefit concert for'Vincent Wallace, and at one of the Ancient Concerts in the following month, his career on the English operatic stage beginning at Drury Lane in December 1847 in Lucia, under the conductor ship of Hector Berlioz. In Balfe's Maid of Honour he created the part of Lyonnel in the same season. In 1848 he went to Her Majesty's Theatre, singing in Linda di Chamounix; and in the autumn of that year, at the Norwich Festival, made a great sensation in “The enemy said,” from Israel in Egypt, a song in which the finest qualities of his ringing voice could be appreciated. From his first appearance at the Sacred Harmonic Society in the following November he was recognized as the leading English tenor; and in Costa's Eli and Naarnan the tenor parts were written for him. His first Handel Festival was that of 1857, and the effect of his wonderful declamation in the Crystal Palace was a main attraction of this and of many subsequent festivals. His retirement from public life, at first announced as to take place in 1882, did not actually occur till 1891, when a farewell concert for his benefit was given at the Albert Hall. His savings were invested in an unfortunate speculation, and he was compelled to reappear in public for a number of years. He at Worthing on the 25th of October 1900.