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It being disclosed by the preceding conveyances, and by inspection of the licences of alienation, that Sir Thomas Leighe of Hoxton House had been in possession of this ground and house which had formed part of the dissolved priory of Holywell or Haliwell, I referred to the last edition of Dugdale's Monasticon; but the additions made to that work, under“ Haliwell,” being “a particular of the grant,” did not assist or further my inquiries ; for as no portion of this part of Holywell Nunnery was in 36 Hen. VIII. granted to Webb, the person who was the grantee of the site of the Nunnery, I conceive that the particulars of the original grant of this portion of the Monastery are lost. However, I found the inquisition taken by the escheator or feodary upon the death of Sir Thomas Leighe, the father of Lady Mountjoy, by which it appears that this part of Holywell Nunnery was conveyed by Lord Wriothesley to Leigh, with other possessions of the Nunnery. I was unable to find any enrolment of the conveyance to Sir Thomas Leighe from Lord Wriothesley : the reader must therefore be content with the description of these premises as given in this inquisition, which was taken 25 November, 35 H. 8, whereby it was found that Sir Thomas Leighe died seised of land in Shoreditch, Holywell, Hogsden, and Hackney, all of which had thentofore formed part of the possessions of the dissolved Nunnery or Priory of Holywell: amongst these occurs the following description of the beforementioned ground, viz. :
" One other close there, inclosed with a stone wall lying on the South side of the House or mansion of the Lord Earl of Rutland.”—(Translation.)
So that I do not find this piece of land commonly known or called by the name of the Curtain till the 9th Eliz. (1566) when it would seem the “Curtain" imparted a name not only to the “House, lodge, or tenement,” but to the piece of land adjoining, called “the Curtain close;" but I make no observation upon this,
not desiring to add any suggestion of mine own, as the previous intelligence upon this fact is so meagre.
In Ellis's History of Shoreditch (4to. Lond. 1798) I find nothing concerning this Curtain, which in the Inquisition of the 35th H. VIII. not long after the dissolution is described as a close inclosed by a stone wall, save the following entries in the Parish Register, which allude to the Curtain and to some of the histrionic dwellers at Holywell : as the book has been so long in print, I have only extracted those entries which may serve to render this article somewhat complete :
“ Joane Dowle, the wife of Isaac Dowle, buried the 19th of Februarie. Curtayn.” (1580.)
“ Oliver Stiddard, the sonne of Thomas Stiddard, bapt. 17 Feb. Curtaine." (1582.) “ John Aynsworth (the player). Sept. 28, 1582."
Agnes Beal, the daughter of Richard Beal, was baptized. June 6. Curtaine." (1583.)
“ Richard Tarrelton was buried the Sep. 3, 1588. Halliwell Street." (the then name of the present High Street of Shoreditch.]
Humphrey .... from the Curtaine Garden, buried the 25th of Aprill. Curtaine.” (1592).
“James Burbege, the sonne of Cuthbert Burbege, buried the 15th Julye, 1597.”
“ James Burbedge was buried the 2d of February, 1596, from Halliwell.
“ Richard Burbadge, Player, was bur. 16 March, 1618-19. Halliwell Street.?
This description is retained in the parish Register to this day.
There are many other entries concerning Burbage's family, as well as in the Parish Register of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate. 1620-1625.
George Wilkins' (Poet), Aug. 9th, 1613, buried.”
Margery, the daughter of William Banister, and Jane his wife, was bur. 31 January (1639) from the Curtaine House."
John, the Sonne of Wm. Hyemarth, and Joane, his wife, was baptized the same day, from the Curtaine House, 15 March, 1639."
“ Cuthbert Cowlye, the sonne of Richard Cowlye, was baptized the 8th day of May, from Allins.” (1597.)
With regard to the site of the Curtain, it may be traced in an engraved Survey or Map of Shoreditch, 1745, as a court called Curtain Court : in later maps of London, the road or street in front of this court is called or described as Curtain ” to within the last fifty years. A new road, constructed some thirty or forty years since, in the immediate neighbourhood, still bears the name of the Curtain Road.
The etymology or derivation of the word Curtain is to be drawn from the mediaval Latin.
Ducange (ed. Paris, 1733), under the word Cortina, CurTINA, describes a Curtain as being minor curtis, seu rustica area, quae muris cingitur. The words Cortis, or Curtis, he describes as “ Atrium, implurium ædificiis cinctum, nostris Court." -CURTIS MONASTERII, and Cortis CÆNOBII are words, he informs us, signifying the inner court or cloisters of a monastery (a quadrangle). Indeed, in addition to the numerous authorities he quotes for this interpretation, he cites “ Vita Burchardi Wormiacensis Episcopi — Curtim suo muro, civitatem instar castelli
He was the author (with W. Rowley and John Day) of “The Travels of the Three English Brothers, Sir Thos. Sir Anth. and Mr. Rob. Shirley," a tragi-comedy, London, 1607: likewise of "The Miseries of enforced Marriage,” London, 4to, 1607, 1629, 1631.
2 The Maps of Shoreditch given in the editions of Stow, 1722 and 1754, do not allude to this court by this name. The Survey of 1745 was, as I am informed by the Curate, a Parochial Surrey, and consequently the most correct.
circumdedit. From CURTINA, the diminutive of Cortis, or CURTIS, we have the term Curtain in fortification, as well as Curtain, a vail or tapestry, which was so termed from being hung around the nave or choir of a monastery on solemn occasions, thereby inclosing it. In the recently published Chronicles of Jocelin of Brakelond, edited by the Camden Society, the chronicler, in describing the effects of a fire occasioned by the carelessness of his fellow monks, says, in self-gratulation, " What would it have been had the church been curtained ?" [sed quod fieret si cortinata esset ecclesia ?]' In fo. 9 of the Registrum de Clerkenwell, Cott. MSS. Faustina, B. II., fo. 9, occurs the donation of Arnulph de Curtona ; but as this is a detached circumstance, I draw no particular inference from it beyond the existence of a place or house called “The Curtain” in the 12th century.”
THOMAS EDLYNE TOMLINS. Islington, March 9, 1844.
Chron. Jocelini de Brakelond, fo. 152, p. 79, of the printed copy, and p. 31, col. 1, of the Translation.
? Cortis vel Curtis nomen pro toto vico, qui villæ alicui magnificæ accesserat accreveratque, à Scriptoribus nostris acceptum fuisse, docet Valesius ex plurimis vicorum nominibus in Court desinentibus, qualia sunt præceteris Bettonis Cortis non una, Betancourt; Hunulfi Curtis, Hormcourt; Alamannorum Curtis, Aumencourt: Harecortis, Harcourt; et alia quas indicat in Notitia Gall. pp. 416, 418, 419; in Præfat. pp. xix. et xx. Ducange, voce Cortis. ed. 1733, p. 1106.
ART. IX.-Mr. Campbell's Life of Shakespeare.
In Mr. Campbell's Life of Shakespeare, prefixed to Moxon's edition, in one volume, 1838, there is a beautiful passage relating to “ The Tempest,” in which, however, a singular oversight is committed, which it may be worth while to point out. It occurs where the author of “ The Pleasures of Hope” is speaking of “ The Tempest” as our great dramatist's last work, and drawing a parallel between Prospero burying his magic staff and drowning his book, and Shakespeare laying aside what Milton calls his " singing robes," relinquishing the magic art he had so long practised in connection with the stage, and retiring to his native town. Mr. Campbell's expressions, and no better could well be chosen, are these :
· The Tempest,' however, has a sort of sacredness; as the last work of the mighty workman. Shakespeare, as if conscious that it would be his last, and as if inspired to typify himself, has made its hero a natural, dignified, and benevolent magician, who could conjure up spirits from the vasty deep, and command supernatural agency by the most seemingly natural and simple means. — And this final play of our poet has magic, indeed ; for what can be simpler in language than the courtship of Ferdinand and Miranda, and yet what can be more magical than the sympathy with which it subdues us? Here Shakespeare himself is Prospero, or rather the superior genius who commands both Prospero and Ariel. But the time was approaching when the potent sorcerer was to break his staff, and bury it fathoms in the ocean
• Deeper than did ever plummet sound.' That staff has never been and never will be recovered."
lxiii. After copying this very charming passage, we can hardly bring ourselves to find any fault with it; but, nevertheless,