Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/792

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a fort here on the north bank of the Welland, round which a town existed when in 922 King Edward fortified the opposite side of the stream. It passed again into Danish hands and was one of the five boroughs recaptured by Edmund Ætheling in 941. The priory of St Leonard was a cell of Durham, and a charter of Edgar dated 972 mentions a market and a mint. In the reign of Edward the Confessor Stamford was a royal borough governed by twelve lawmen, reduced in 1086 to nine, and divided into six wards. The Norman castle, built before 1086, was thrice besieged by Henry II. while Duke of Normandy, but only yielded in 1153. Two years later he granted it and the manor to Richard Humet; forfeited by his son it was given to John, earl of Warenne, in 1206. In 1337 it passed to William de Bohun, earl of Northampton, and thence to Edmund Langley, afterwards duke of York, finally reverting to the Crown on the death of Cicely, duchess of York. Elizabeth granted it to the first Lord Burghley. The barons met here in 1215 on their march to London, and in 1309 a parliament was held at Stamford. In 1256 Henry III. gave the burgesses freedom from tolls, the right of receiving tolls and immunity of their goods from arrest, privileges confirmed and enlarged in the following year. William, earl of Warenne, in 1275 permitted the burgesses to choose their chief officer or alderman, who was still sworn in at the manor court as late as 1615 and was first called " mayor " in 1663. Edward IV. incorporated Stamford by the name of the alderman and burgesses in 1461 and granted the town immunity from all external jurisdiction and gave it a common seal. The charters have been frequently confirmed. As early as 1292 Stamford was well known for its monastic schools, and in 1333 was chosen as the headquarters of the students who seceded from Oxford, and an Early Decorated gateway remains of Brasenose Hall. The attempt to establish a regular university was prohibited by royal authority. The defeat of the Yorkists here was followed by the decay of the castle in the reign of Richard III., and the history of the place henceforth centred chiefly round the family of Cecil, whose ancestor, David Seyceld, settled here about 1566. Stamford occasionally returned two members to parliament from 1295 until 1832. The representation was reduced to one by the act of 1867, and was abolished in 1885. The fairs are of ancient origin, and are mentioned in 1245 and the reign of Edward I. These are the May fair, town fair, and spring fair, and fairs on various dates representing Candlemas, mid-Lent, the feasts of Corpus Christi, St James and SS. Simon and Jude. A market is still held every Friday. In 1182 there were dyers, weavers and fullers here, but these were only the usual home industries. In 1822 silk throwsting was successfully carried on, but this has long ceased.

See E. C. Mackenzie-Walcott, Memorials of Stamford, past and present (Stamford, 1867); John Drakard, The History of Stamford in the County of Lincoln, comprising its ancient progressive and modern state (Stamford, 1822); Charles Nevinson, History of Stamford (Stamford, 1879); Victoria County History: Lincoln.

STAMMERING, or Stuttering, a spasmodic affection of the organs of speech in which the articulation of words is suddenly checked and a pause ensues, often followed by a repetition in rapid sequence of the particular sound at which the stoppage occurred. Of this distressing affection there are many grades, from a slight inability to pronounce with ease certain letters or syllables, or a tendency to hesitate and to interject unmeaning sounds in a spoken sentence, to the more severe condition in which there is a paroxysm of spasms of the muscles, not only of the tongue and throat and face, but even of those of respiration and of the body generally. To understand in some degree the explanation of stammering it is necessary to consider shortly the physiological mechanism of articulate speech. Speech is the result of various muscular movements affecting the current of air as it passes in expiration from the larynx through the mouth. If the vocal cords are called into action, and the sounds thus pro- duced are modified by the muscular movements of the tongue, cheek and lips, we have vocal speech; but if the glottis is widely open and the vocal cords relaxed the current of air may still be moulded by the muscular apparatus so as to produce speech without voice, or whispering (see Voice). In both cases, however, the mechanism is very complicated, requiring a series of nervous and muscular actions, all of which must be executed with precision and in accordance. In vocal speech, for example, it is necessary that the respiratory movements, more especially those of expiration, occur regularly and with nice adjustment to the kind of articulate expression required; that the vocal cords be approximated and tightened by the muscles of the larynx acting with delicate precision, so as to produce the sound of the pitch desired; that the rima glottidis (or aperture of the larynx) be opened so as to produce prolonged sounds, or suddenly closed so as to cut off the current of air; that the movements of the muscles of the tongue, of the soft palate, of the jaws, of the cheeks and of the lips occur precisely at the right time and to the requisite extent; and finally that all of these muscular adjustments take place with rapidity and smoothness, gliding into each other without effort and without loss of time. Exquisite co-ordination of muscular movement is therefore necessary, involving also complicated nervous actions. Hence is it that speech is acquired by long and laborious effort. A child possesses voice from the beginning; it is born with the capacity for speech; but articulate expression is the result of education. In infancy, not only is knowledge acquired of external objects, and signs attached in the form of words to the ideas thus awakened, but the nervous and muscular mechanisms by which these signs or words receive vocal expression are trained by long practice to work harmoniously.

It is not surprising, therefore, that in certain cases, owing to some obscure congenital defect, the co-ordination is not effected with sufficient precision, and that stammering is the result. Even in severe cases no appreciable lesion can be detected either in the nervous or muscular mechanisms, and the condition is similar to what may affect all varieties of finely co-ordinated movements. The mechanism does not work smoothly, but the pathologist is unable to show any organic defect. Thus the co-ordinated movements necessary in writing are disturbed in scrivener's palsy, and the skilful performer on the piano or on any instrument requiring minute manipulation may find that he is losing the power of delicate adjustment. Stammering is occasionally hereditary. It rarely shows itself before the age of four or five years, and as a rule it is developed between this age and puberty. Men stammer in a much larger proportion than women. It may occur during the course of nervous affections, such as hysteria, epilepsy or locomotor ataxia; sometimes it follows febrile disorders; often it develops in a child in a feeble state of health, without any special disease. In some cases a child may imitate a stammerer and thus acquire the habit. Any general enfeeblement of the health, and especially nervous excitement, aggravates the condition of a confirmed stammerer.

Stammerers, as a rule, find the explosive consonants b, p, d, t, k and hard g the most difficult to articulate, but many also are unable easily to deal with the more continuous consonants, such as v, f, th, s, z, sh, m, n, y, and in severe cases even the vowels may cause a certain amount of spasm. Usually the defect is not observed in whispering or singing; but there are exceptions to this statement. In pronouncing the explosive sounds the part of the oral apparatus that ought suddenly to open or close remains spasmodically closed, and the stammerer remains for a moment voiceless or strives pitifully to overcome the obstruction, uttering a few successive puffs or sounds like the beginning of the sound he wishes to utter. The lips thus remain closed at the attempted utterance of b and p; the tip of the tongue is pressed against the hard palate or the back of the upper front teeth in d and t; and the back of the tongue presses against the posterior part of the palate in pronouncing g hard and k. In attempting the continuous consonants, in which naturally the passage is not completely obstructed, the stammerer does not close the passage spasmodically, but the parts become fixed in the half-opened condition, or there are intermittent attempts to open or close them, causing either a drawling sound or coming to a full stop. In severe cases, where even vowels cannot be freely uttered, the spasm appears to be at the rima glottidis