Daily (?) Captain Cox–“Book of Riddels” and “Seven Sororz of Wemen”

The extreme rarity / unavailablity of the following two entries made a variation in format seem advisable   8)


PEDIGREES:   BOOK OF RIDDELS — Mr. Furnivall reports not having seen a copy of this book personally, and being unable to access the copies known by another scholar to exist.       Printings were not recorded in the Stationers’ Registers before those of 1629, 1631, and 1660.     The second scholar, John Payne Collier, did see one or more  of the extant printings, and includes descriptions of several riddles and other passages, in his entry on “The Book of Riddels” in his “A Bibliographical and Critical Account of the Rarest Books in the English Language”.      The pages with the entry are bookmarked here:   http://books.google.com/books?id=20cJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA264&lpg=PA264&dq=Edward+Allde+booke+of+mery+riddels&source=bl&ots=Xj25G530Me&sig=CGxYND-SKo1X5-UuORmBR-f9kFE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BefKUfqtAq6-4AOC24CIBg&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Edward%20Allde%20booke%20of%20mery%20riddels&f=false

However, Mr. Furnivall also includes Collier’s entry in its entirety, with attribution, in the pages of “Captain Cox: His Ballads and Books”.       One sentence was of interest to me, from a research methodology / logical deduction standpoint: he cites a riddle which mentions a particular church, which was known to have burned down in 1561, as supporting evidence (in addition to Laneham’s mention of it in his list of Captain Cox’s repertoire) of the book’s existence in some form prior to the year of the church’s destruction.

Another riddle is rather unique in its construction:

“Fifty and five and a hundred and one,

So hight my lady at the Font Stone”.

The Answer is “LUCY”.         This only makes sense if you substitute the Roman numerals   (L  + V + C + I), and take period letter-substitution of “v” and “u” into account;   Collier’s copying of the riddle does render the numbers with the Roman numerals, not the English words.     However, the RHYME only makes sense if you look at the L and SAY “fifty”, and so forth.


SEVEN SORRORZ OF WEMEN (SEVEN SORROWS OF WOMEN):    Mr. Furnivall, and his source for so many other works, Mr. Halliwell,  “are not acquainted” with any book by this title.     Certainly the real and perceived foibles of women were a recurring theme in many stories from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.     My own cursory search turned up many entries and works on the theme of “the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady / The Blessed Virgin”, but nothing else.        As a “consolation prize”, Mr. Furnivall offers up a collection of titles on that theme, collated in Volume 4 of  William Carew Hazlitt’s “Remains of Early Popular Poetry”:   1)  The Payne and Sorowe of Evyll Maryage,   2)  The Boke of Mayd Emlyn,   3)  The Schole-house of Women,  4)  The Proud Wyve’s Pater-noster,   5) A Merry Jeste of a Shrewde and Curste Wyfe lapped in Morelles Skin,   6)  A Treatyse shewing and declaring the Pryde and Abuse of Women Nowadayes, and 7)  A Glasse to Viewe the Pride of Vaine-Glorious Women.      Some of these works are covered elsewhere in this blog.


Volume 4 of “Remains of Early Popular Poetry” is at Internet Archive:      http://archive.org/details/remainsofearlypo04hazluoft




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