21st April

Born: Prince George of Denmark, consort of Anne, Queen of England, 1653; James Harris, Earl of Mansesbury, statesman, 1746, Salisbury; Samuel Hibbert Ware, M.D., scientific writer, 1782, Manchester; Reginald Heber, poet, Bishop of Calcutta, 1783, Malpas, Cheshire; Thomas Wright, historical and antiquarian writer, 1810.

Died: Alexander the Great, B.C. 323, bur. Alexandria; Diogenes the cynic, B.C. 323, Corinth; Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109, Canterbury; Peter Abelard, eminent French scholar, 1142; Jean Racine, French dramatic poet, 1699; David Mallet, poet, 1765, Drury Lane, London.

Feast Day: St. Eingan, or Enean, King of Scots, about 590. St. Anastasius, surnamed the Younger, patriarch of Antioch, 610. St. Anastasius, the Sinaite, anchoret, after 678. St. Benno, abbot of Clynnog, in Carnarvonshire, 7th century. St. Malrubius, martyr, of Ireland, 721. St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109.


Few English prelates have exercised so great an influence on the politics and on the literature and learning of their age, as Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born at Aosta, in Piedmont, about the year 1033, and exhibited from a very early age a strongly marked love for learning and a monastic life. As these tastes were sternly opposed by his father, young Anselm secretly left his home, and after wandering in Burgundy and France full three years, he at length reached Bec, in Normandy, and entered himself in the school which had just then been rendered famous by the teaching of Lanfranc. Here he soon distinguished himself by the rapidity with which he acquired learning; but, when pressed to become a teacher himself, he preferred the monastic state, and became a monk in the abbey of Bec in the year 1060; six years afterwards he was chosen prior of that abbey, and in 1078 he was still further advanced to the high office of abbot.

During this period he wrote most of his important works, nearly all of a theological character, which soon spread his fame through Western Europe. His piety and numerous virtues were at the same time so remarkable, that his brethren in the abbey of Bec believed him to be capable of working miracles. His friend Lanfranc had been made Archbishop of Canterbury, and soon after Anselm became abbot of Bec he paid a visit to England, and passed some time at Canterbury. He again visited England in 1092, at the invitation of Hugh, Earl of Chester, who chose to establish monks from Bec in his newly-founded monastery at Chester.

At this time the see of Canterbury had been vacant about four years, King William Rufus having refused to fill it up, in order that he might retain the revenues in his own hands, and it appears that the English clergy had been already looking to Anselm as a suitable successor to Lanfranc. It is probable that he had already become known as a staunch champion of the temporal power of the Church. During Anselm's second visit to England, the urgent expostulations of the prelates had overcome William's selfishness; and early in 1093, while Anselm was still in England, the King announced his election to the archbishopric of Canterbury. Anselm at first refused the proffered honour, but his reluctance was overcome by the persuasions of his clerical brethren, and he was finally consecrated on the 4th of December. The archbishop and the king quarreled at Christmas, not much more than a fortnight after his consecration. The subject of dispute was the heriot then usually paid to the king on the decease of the archbishop, Anselm refusing to give so large a sum as the king demanded. A second quarrel soon followed, occasioned by Anselm's attempt to restrain the king from trespassing on the rights of the Church. On the return of the king from Normandy, in November 1094, a third dispute arose, on a subject of still greater moment in regard to the papal supremacy in England.

Urban II had been elected Pope on the 12th of March 1088, but he had not yet been officially acknowledged by the English monarch, for the papal election had been disputed. Anselm had recently written a learned book, his treatise De Incarnatione Verbi, which he had dedicated to Pope Urban, and he now demanded the king's permission to go to Rome to receive the pallium from the pope's hands. The king not only refused, but burst into a violent passion, declaring that no one was acknowledged pope in England without the king's consent. Anselm refused to yield this point, and a grand council of prelates and nobles was held, in which nearly all the English prelates took part on this question with the king against the Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon afterwards the king acknowledged Pope Urban, and Anselm received the pallium, and was outwardly reconciled with the king; but other quarrels soon occurred, and in 1097 Anselm obtained with difficulty the king's permission to proceed to Rome. He remained in Italy some time, and in the spring of 1099 he went to Lyons to wait there the effect of the pope's expostulations with William Rufus, but Urban died (July 1099) before this could be known, and the king himself was killed in August 1100, while Anselm was still at Lyons.

Anselm was recalled by Henry I, and taken into favour, but he had now become the unflinching champion of the temporal power of the Church of Rome, and we can hardly excuse him for being himself the cause of many of his quarrels with the crown, since, in spite of all that King Henry was willing to do to conciliate the Church, Anselm remained on no better terms with him than with his predecessor. On Anselm's return to England began the great dispute on the question of the investiture. The prelates of the Church had been accustomed to receive from the hands of the sovereign the investiture of the ring and crozier, by which the temporalities of the see were understood to be conveyed. The pope had been long seeking to deprive the king of this right, the question it involved being simply whether the clergy in England should hold their estates, and be the subjects of the king or the pope. The council of Rome in 1099, at which Anselm was present, declared against the secular power, and decided that any layman presuming to grant such investiture, or any priest accepting it, should thereby incur sentence of excommunication. On Anselm's return to England, it would have been his duty to receive the investiture from the new monarch, but, when required to do so, he absolutely refused, referring the king to the acts of the council. Henry was; equally firm in withstanding this new encroachment of the court of Rome, and the question was finally referred to the new pope, and Anselm again repaired to Rome, where he had been preceded by an envoy from the king.

Pascacius II decided against the king, but Anselm, on his way back, was met by a message from King Henry intimating that he would not be allowed to enter England, and he again sought an asylum at Lyons. The dispute between the king and the pope was at last settled by mutual concession the secular sovereign being allowed the right of exacting homage, but not of investing, and Anselm returned to England in the autumn of 1106. He spent the remainder of his days in reforming abuses in the Church and in writing books, and died, 'laid in sackcloth and ashes,' on the 21st of April 1109, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. With the exception of his violent and unyielding advocacy of the temporal power of the Church Anselm's character was no less exemplary as prelate than as a man. He was a person of great intellectual powers, and it is to him really that we owe the introduction of metaphysical reasoning into theology, and therefore a new school fin the latter science. His works have always held a very high rank in the Catholic church.


The water-marks adopted by the old paper makers to distinguish their own manufactures have engaged the attention of antiquaries particularly bibliographers as by their aid a proximate date to books or documents may be obtained. In courts of law such evidence has been of use, and especially so when brought to bear or cases of forgery, where the paper could be proved of much more modern date than the document purported to be.

One of the earliest paper marks consists of a circle surmounted by a cross, resembling those borne in the hands of sovereign princes or coronations or state occasions, and typical of the Christian faith - the cross planted on earth. This very interesting mark is met on documents as early as 1301.

The papers manufactured in the Low Countries, for the use of the first printers, have a great variety of marks, and shew that the new art soon gave impetus to the trade of the paper-makers. Many of them were the marks or badges of noble families, whose tenants fabricated the paper. Thus the letter P and the letter Y, sometimes separate and sometimes conjoined, are the initials of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (who reigned from 1419 to 1467), and his wife Isabella, daughter of John, King of Portugal (married 1429), and whose name was, in accordance with the custom of the age, spelt Ysabella. The letter P had been used alone as a paper-mark from the time of the Duke Philip de Rouvere (1349), so that for 116 years it had been a national water-mark. Other symbols of the house of Burgundy also appear; particularly the single fleur-de-lys, which was the peculiar cognizance of this important family, and is borne on the shield of arms of the famous Jean-sans-peur. The Unicorn, the Anchor, and the Bull's head, were also badges of the family. The Unicorn was the supporter of the armorial bearings of the Dukes; it was typical of power and purity, and Monstrelet relates the fondness of Duke Philip for displaying it on all occasions. The Bull as typical of power, and the Anchor of stability and hope, were part of the fanciful imaginings with which the great of the Middle Ages delighted to indulge themselves.

It is a very curious fact, that some of the most ancient technical terms used in the first printing-offices, are still employed by modern printers. We all at the present day ask for paper in accordance with the ancient distinctive water-marks of qualities or sizes. The fleur-de-lys just alluded to has long been the distinctive mark of deny paper; but a still more curious instance occurs in the foolscap paper, originally marked with a fool's head, wearing the cap and bells, such as the privileged jesters of the old nobility and gentry appear to have worn, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. This curious mark distinguished the paper until the middle of the seventeenth century, when the English paper-makers adopted the figure of Britannia, and the continental makers other devices.

Equal in general interest is the post-horn; from which post paper takes its name. This mark was in use as early as 1370. It sometimes appears on a shield, and in the seventeenth century is surmounted by a ducal coronet, in which form it still appears on our ordinary writing paper.

An open hand sometimes surmounted by a star or cross; with the fingers occasionally disposed as if in the act of giving the pastoral benediction of a Churchman, is one of the oldest paper-marks. It was in use at the commencement of the fifteenth century and probably earlier. It occurs on letters preserved in the Record Office of that early date, and constantly appears on books which issued from the presses of Germany and the Netherlands, in the very infancy of the art of printing; continuing to a comparatively recent date, and giving the name to what is still called hand paper.

Most of our readers will no doubt be familiar with the small square quartoes, known as pot-quartoes which were extremely popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, for printing editions of plays and pamphlets; and which will be more familiar to modern readers as the size chosen for the publications of the Camden Society. This paper takes its name from the pot or tankard in common use at the time of its original manufacture. It was particularly characteristic of Dutch paper, and is found in the account books of Matilda, Duchess of Holland, still preserved at the Hague. It continued to be used on paper of different forms and sizes, made in the Low Countries, and is found on the paper of books printed at Gouda, Lou-vain, Delft, and other places in the Netherlands, during the fifteenth century.

The excellence of Dutch paper, its purity and durability, have never been excelled. Dr Dibdin, that genuine bibliomaniac, speaks of the music of the rustle of leaves when turned over in a good old book. The modern papers, though whiter and more beautiful to the eye, obtain their qualities by chemical agencies that carry the elements of decay in them; and equal in name only the coarser looking but stronger papers of a past era.


'Some write (their ground I see not) that Sunday's thunder should bring the death of learned men, judges, and others; Monday's thunder the death of women; Tuesday's thunder plenty of grain; Wednesday's thunder the death of harlots; Thursday's thunder plenty of sheep and corn; Friday's thunder, the slaughter of a great man, and other horrible murders; Saturday's thunder a general plague and great dearth.'