Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/526

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518


NOTES AND QUERIES. B> s. XL JUNE 27, 1003.


And we may therefore conclude, that they either take it for their real enemy, the hawk, or that it does, now and then when it can, feast upon any of them which may by accident fall into its clutches." Stanley, 'Familiar History of Birds,' 1835, i. 186.

"One of the oldest of the Welsh fables, which, accounting [sic] for the nocturnal habits of the owl and bat, and more especially for the scorn with which other birds treat them, teaches us how the dove and the bat being on a journey together, and coming late in the evening to the dwelling of the chief of the owls, sought and received a shelter. Then, supper being ended, the bat broke forth into a loud and laudatory strain on the wisdom and virtues of their entertainer, attributing to him qualities which it was well known he never possessed. This over, the dove, with modest dignity, simply thanked the owl for his attentions and hospitality, on which both the Amphitrion and the parasite flew violently at her, accusing her of insulting ingratitude, and so drove her out into the dark and stormy night. When the morning dawned, the dove flew to the court of her king, who, in great wrath, passed an edict, enacting that from thenceforth the owl and the bat should never presume to fly abroad until the sun was down, under pain of being attacked and beaten by all other birds. For a corroboration of this tradition, we need only observe the conduct of the small birds when a hapless owl which has so numerous a family, that the short summer nights will scarcely enable her to supply them with food- ventures to steal forth when the sun is a little clouded over at noon, to satisfy the cravings of her hunger." Chambers^ Edin. Journal, 1851, xv. 253.

I should like to learn the origin and ap- proximate date of this Welsh fable.

ADRIAN WHEELER.

For birds gathering about the owl see Julian, ' De Natura Animalium,' i. 29 : Kcu rj y\av vvKTUp aypvirvci, &c., TOVS 6pi>i6a<s eX/cei KOU Kadifa TrA^criW cavTrjs ( = aves allicit eas- que sibi adsidere facit), &c.

DR. MAX MAAS.

Munich.

GlLLYGATE AT YORK (9 th S. XL 406, 457).

ST. SWITHIN answers my question by asking another, which is said to be characteristic of a Scotchman, but ST. SWITHIN is no Scotch- man, or he would know that for the first half of the last century the name of the month of July, which figures so prominently in the tablet attached to the gate or archway in the wall of St. Mary's Abbey, was pronounced filly, with a soft g, not as in gillie in Gaelic. This he avoids, and pitches upon St. Giles, because Francis Drake mentions it as a tradition that as St. ^Egystus bequeathed his name to him, so he gave his name to the street called Gillygate, and not to the arch or gateway aforesaid. But I have sufficient knowledge of bricks to know that there is not a brick in this short street, which runs parallel with the city walls, that is much more than two hundred years old. This was part of Bootham, one of the forty parishes of


York, now unified. As a Scotchman born, though except for my name, which seems a sweet morsel in his mouth, your correspondent could not know this, I detected the sound in the word, and naturally sought for some other meaning than the name of a month, and this I think is to be found naturally enough in the significant word lilium, a term used in fortification, and substituted for it when there was a wave of ill feeling against continental nations. Guicciardini tells us that the chief council of Henry VII. was an Italian, and it is reasonable to suppose that all things Italian were in favour in 1503, even to the names of sally-ports. We have some such species of defence in Scott's 'Quentin Durward,' the plot of which novel is laid about that time. This is my direct reply. But what I wrote to ' N. & Q.' for was that my inquiry might elicit some further light on this matter from some of the learned people into whose hands your very widely read paper falls week after week the wide world over. We have, annually, also a gala (with an Eng- lish, not a Gaelic a) held in June, but no one speaks of anything but a gala, so I very much doubt whether July the month is really a memento of the coming and going of a princess, or is a substitute for some more remote name such as I have suggested. In ray humble opinion it is an archaeological question, and thought bestowed upon it may bring new facts to light and improve our knowledge. But the tone must be kept pure and free from personality, for the writer, though not a professional scribe, represents a class of people who only occa- sionally venture into the literary arena, with, it may be, only one idea, and that is to con- tribute an item to the general stock.

P. M. CAMPBELL. 33, Vyner Street, York.

"Gillygate is a street so called from a

parish church which antiently stood in it, dedicated to St. Giles "; so says Drake in his ' Eboracum,' 1736, p. 255. It is not a solitary instance. The borough and manor of St. Giles, near the city of Durham, comprise a street called Gilligate, in which stands the church of St. Giles. The name Gilligate is taken, almost certainly, from that of the patron saint of the parish church. The borough and manor were known as "of St. Giles " and " of Gilligate " interchangeably. There was also a bridge in the immediate neighbourhood which was known as Giles Bridge or Gillsbridge. See more in Surt. Soc. Publ.. xcv. and xxxviii. 221, 277.

W. 0. B.