Curialia Miscellanea, or Anecdotes of Old Times / Regal, Noble, Gentilitial, and Miscellaneous: Including Authentic Anecdotes of the Royal Household, and the Manners and Customs of the Court, at an Early Period of the English History

Curialia Miscellanea, or Anecdotes of Old Times / Regal, Noble, Gentilitial, and Miscellaneous: Including Authentic Anecdotes of the Royal Household, and the Manners and Customs of the Court, at an Early Period of the English History

Samuel Pegge
Samuel Pegge

Author: Pegge, Samuel, 1704-1796
Great Britain — Court and courtiers — Early works to 1800
Anecdotes — Great Britain
Curialia Miscellanea, or Anecdotes of Old Times
Regal, Noble, Gentilitial, and Miscellaneous: Including Authentic Anecdotes of the Royal Household, and the Manners and Customs of the Court, at an Early Period of the English History

Rev. Samuel Pegge, LL.D F.S.A.
Born 1704; Died 1796.
Engraved by Philip Audinet from an Original Painting by Elias Needham 1788 in the Possession of Sir Christopher Pegge, M.D.
Published by Nichols, Son & Bentley, Jan. 1, 1818.

Curialia Miscellanea,

English History.



Author of the “CURIALIA,”


Portrait of the Rev. Samuel Pegge, LL.D. Frontispiece.
Whittington Church lix.
Whittington Rectory lxii.
Whittington Revolution House lxiii.


The publication of this Volume is strictly conformable to the testamentary intentions of the Author, who consigned the MSS. for that express purpose to the present Editor[1].
Mr. Pegge had, in his life-time, published Three Portions of “Curialia, or an Account of some Members of the Royal Houshold;” and had, with great industry and laborious research, collected materials for several other Portions, some of which were nearly completed for the press.

Mr. Pegge was “led into the investigation,” he says, “by a natural and kind of instinctive curiosity, and a desire of knowing what was the antient state of the Court to which he had the honour, by the favour of his Grace William the late Duke of Devonshire, to compose a part.”
Two more Portions were printed in 1806 by the present Editor. Long, however, and intimately acquainted as he was with the accuracy and diffidence of Mr. Pegge, he would have hesitated in offering those posthumous Essays to the Publick, if the plan had not been clearly defined, and the Essays sufficiently distinct to be creditable to the reputation which Mr. Pegge had already acquired, by the Parts of the “Curialia” published by himself, and by his very entertaining (posthumous) “Anecdotes of the English Language;”—a reputation which descended to him by Hereditary Right, and which he transmitted untarnished to a worthy and learned Son.
It was the hope and intention of the Editor to have proceeded with some other Portions of the “Curialia;” but the fatal event which (in February 1808) overwhelmed him in accumulated distress put a stop to that intention. Nearly all the printed Copies of the “Curialia” perished in the flames; and part of the original MS. was lost.
A few detached Articles, which related to the College of Arms, and to the Order of Knights Bachelors (which, had they been more perfect, would have formed one or more succeeding Portions) have since been deposited in the rich Library of that excellent College.

The Volume now submitted to the candour of the Reader is formed from the wreck of the original materials. The arranging of the several detached articles, and the revisal of them through the press, have afforded the Editor some amusement; and he flatters himself that the Volume will meet with that indulgence which the particular circumstances attending it may presume to claim.—If the Work has any merit, it is the Author’s. The defects should, in fairness, be attributed to the Editor.
J. N.
Highbury Place, Dec. 1, 1817.
⁂ Extract from Mr. Pegge’s Will.

“Having the Copy-right of my little Work called Curialia in myself, I hereby give and bequeath all my interest therein, together with all my impressions thereof which may be unsold at the time of my decease, to my Friend Mr. John Nichols, Printer, with the addition of as much money as will pay the Tax on this Legacy. I also request of the said Mr. John Nichols, that he would carefully peruse and digest all my Papers and Collections on the above subject, and print them under the title of Curialia Miscellanea, or some such description.—There is also another Work of mine, not quite finished, intitled Anecdotes of the English Language, which I wish Mr. Nichols to bring forward from his Press. Samuel Pegge.


PARENTALIA: or, Memoirs of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Pegge, compiled by his Son Page ix-lviii
Appendix to the Parentalia:
Description of Whittington Church lix
Description of Whittington Rectory lxii
Description of The Revolution House at Whittington ibid.
Origin of the Revolution in 1688 lxiv
Celebration of the Jubilee in 1788 lxv
Stanzas by the Rev. P. Cunningham lxxi
Ode for the Revolution Jubilee lxxiii
Extracts from Letters of Dr. Pegge to Mr. Gough lxxiv
Memoirs of Samuel Pegge, Esq. by the Editor lxxvii
Appendix of Epistolary Correspondence lxxxiii
Hospitium Domini Regis:
or, The History of the Royal Household.
Introduction Page 1
William I. 6
William Rufus 18
Henry I. 24
Stephen 38
Henry II. (Plantagenet) 48
Richard I. 63
Henry IV. 68
Edward IV. 69
Extracts from the Liber Niger 71
Knights and Esquires of the Body 73
Gentleman Usher 74
Great Chamberlain of England 76
Knights of Household 77
Esquires of the Body 79
Yeomen of the Crown 84
A Barber for the King’s most high and dread Person 86
Henxmen 88
Master of Henxmen 89
Squires of Household 91
Kings of Arms, Heralds, and Pursuivants 95
Serjeants of Arms 97
Minstrels 99
A Wayte 101
Clerk of the Crown in Chancery 103
Supporters, Crests, and Cognizances, of the Kings of England 104
Regal Titles 109
On the Virtues of the Royal Touch 111
Ceremonies for Healing, for King’s Evil 154
Ceremonies for blessing Cramp-Rings 164
Stemmata Magnatum: Origin of the Titles of some of the English Nobility 173
English Armorial Bearings 201
Origin and Derivation of remarkable Surnames 208
Symbola Scotica: Mottoes, &c. of Scottish Families 213
Dissertation on Coaches and Sedan Chairs 269
Dissertation on the Hammer Cloth 304
Articles of Dress.—Gloves 305
Ermine—Gentlewomen’s Apparel 312
Apparel for the Heads of Gentlewomen 313
Mourning 314
Beard, &c. 316
Origin of the Name of the City of Westminster 320
Memoranda relative to the Society of the Temple in London, written in 1760 323
Dissertation on the Use of Simnel Bread, and the Derivation of the Word Simnel 329
Historical Essay on the Origin of “Thirteen Pence Half-penny,” as Hangman’s Wages 331
Custom observed by the Lord Lieutenants of Ireland 349


The Rev. Samuel Pegge, LL. D. and F.S.A. was the Representative of one of four Branches of the Family of that name in Derbyshire, derived from a common Ancestor, all which existed together till within a few years. The eldest became extinct by the death of Mr. William Pegge, of Yeldersley, near Ashborne, 1768; and another by that of the Rev. Nathaniel Pegge, M.A. Vicar of Packington, in Leicestershire, 1782.
The Doctor’s immediate Predecessors, as may appear from the Heralds-office, were of Osmaston, near Ashborne, where they resided, in lineal succession, for four generations, antecedently to his Father and himself, and where they left a patrimonial inheritance, of which the Doctor died possessed[2].
Of the other existing branch, Mr. Edward Pegge having [1662] married Gertrude, sole daughter and heir of William Strelley, Esq. of Beauchief, in the Northern part of Derbyshire, seated himself there, and was appointed High Sheriff of the County in 1667; as was his Grandson, Strelley Pegge, Esq. 1739; and his Great-grandson, the present Peter Pegge, Esq. 1788.
It was by Katharine Pegge, a daughter of Thomas Pegge, Esq. of Yeldersley, that King Charles II. (who saw her abroad during his exile) had a son born (1647), whom he called Charles Fitz-Charles, to whom he granted the Royal arms, with a baton sinister, Vairé, and whom (1675) his Majesty created Earl of Plymouth, Viscount Totness, and Baron Dartmouth[3]. He was bred to the Sea, and, having been educated abroad, most probably in Spain, was known by the name of Don Carlos[4]. The Earl married the Lady Bridget Osborne, third Daughter of Thomas Earl of Danby, Lord High Treasurer (at Wimbledon, in Surrey), 1678[5], and died of a flux at the siege of Tangier, 1680, without issue. The body was brought to England, and interred in Westminster Abbey[6]. The Countess re-married Dr. Philip Bisse, Bishop of Hereford, by whom she had no issue; and who, surviving her, erected a handsome tablet to her memory in his Cathedral.
Katharine Pegge, the Earl’s mother, married Sir Edward Greene, Bart. of Samford in Essex, and died without issue by him[7].
But to return to the Rev. Dr. Pegge, the outline only of whose life we propose to give. His Father (Christopher) was, as we have observed, of Osmaston, though he never resided there, even after he became possessed of it; for, being a younger Brother, it was thought proper to put him to business; and he served his time with a considerable woollen-draper at Derby, which line he followed till the death of his elder Brother (Humphry, who died without issue 1711) at Chesterfield in Derbyshire, when he commenced lead-merchant, then a lucrative branch of traffick there; and, having been for several years a Member of the Corporation, died in his third Mayoralty, 1723.
He had married Gertrude Stephenson (a daughter of Francis Stephenson, of Unston, near Chesterfield, Gent.) whose Mother was Gertrude Pegge, a Daughter of the before-mentioned Edward Pegge, Esq. of Beauchief; by which marriage these two Branches of the Family, which had long been diverging from each ether, became reunited, both by blood and name, in the person of Dr. Pegge, their only surviving child.
He was born Nov. 5, 1704, N.S. at Chesterfield, where he had his school education; and was admitted a Pensioner of St. John’s College, Cambridge, May 30, 1722, under the tuition of the Rev. Dr. William Edmundson; was matriculated July 7; and, in the following November, was elected a Scholar of the House, upon Lupton’s Foundation.
In the same year with his Father (1723) died the Heir of his Maternal Grandfather (Stephenson), a minor; by whose death a moiety of the real estate at Unston (before-mentioned) became the property of our young Collegian, who was then pursuing his academical studies with intention of taking orders.
Having, however, no immediate prospect of preferment, he looked up to a Fellowship of the College, after he had taken the degree of A.B. in January 1725, N.S.; and became a candidate upon a vacancy which happened favourably in that very year; for it was a Lay-fellowship upon the Beresford Foundation, and appropriated to the Founder’s kin, or at least confined to a Native of Derbyshire.
The competitors were, Mr. Michael Burton (afterwards Dr. Burton), and another, whose name we do not find; but the contest lay between Mr. Burton and Mr. Pegge. Mr. Burton had the stronger claim, being indubitably related to the Founder; but, upon examination, was declared to be so very deficient in Literature, that his superior right, as Founder’s kin, was set aside, on account of the insufficiency of his learning; and Mr. Pegge was admitted, and sworn Fellow March 21, 1726, O. S.
In consequence of this disappointment, Mr. Burton was obliged to take new ground, to enable him to procure an establishment in the world; and therefore artfully applied to the College for a testimonial, that he might receive orders, and undertake some cure in the vicinity of Cambridge. Being ordained, he turned the circumstance into a manœuvre, and took an unexpected advantage of it, by appealing to the Visitor [the Bishop of Ely, Dr. Thomas Greene], representing, that, as the College had, by the testimonial, thought him qualified for Ordination, it could not, in justice, deem him unworthy of becoming a Fellow of the Society, upon such forcible claims as Founder’s kin, and also as a Native of Derbyshire.
These were irresistible pleas on the part of Mr. Burton; and the Visitor found himself reluctantly obliged to eject Mr. Pegge; when Mr. Burton took possession of the Fellowship, which he held many years[8].
Thus this business closed; but the Visitor did Mr. Pegge the favour to recommend him, in so particular a manner, to the Master and Seniors of the College, that he was thenceforward considered as an honorary member of the body of Fellows (tanquam Socius), kept his seat at their table and in the chapel, being placed in the situation of a Fellow-commoner.
In consequence, then, of this testimony of the Bishop of Ely’s approbation, Mr. Pegge was chosen a Platt-fellow on the first vacancy, A. D. 1729[9]. He was therefore, in fact, twice a Fellow of St. John’s.
There is good reason to believe that, in the interval between his removal from his first Fellowship, and his acceding to the second, he meditated the publication of Xenophon’s “Cyropædia” and “Anabasis,” from a collation of them with a Duport MS. in the Library at Eton—to convince the world that the Master and Seniors of St. John’s College did not judge unworthily in giving him so decided a preference to Mr. Burton in their election.
It appears that he had made very large collections for such a work; but we suspect that it was thrown aside on being anticipated by Mr. Hutchinson’s Edition, which was formed from more valuable manuscripts.

He possessed a MS “Lexicon Xenophonticum” by himself, as well as a Greek Lexicon in MS.; and had also “An English Historical Dictionary,” in 6 volumes folio; a French and Italian, a Latin, a British and Saxon one, in one volume each; all corrected by his notes; a “Glossarium Generale;” and two volumes of “Collections in English History.”
During his residence in Kent, Mr. Pegge formed a “Monasticon Cantianum,” in two folio MS volumes; a MS Dictionary for Kent; an Alphabetical List of Kentish Authors and Worthies; Kentish Collections; Places in Kent; and many large MS additions to the account of that county in the “Magna Britannia.”
He also collected a good deal relative to the College at Wye, and its neighbourhood, which he thought of publishing, and engraved the seal, before engraved in Lewis’s Seals. He had “Extracts from the Rental of the Royal Manor of Wye, made about 1430, in the hands of Daniel Earl of Winchelsea;” and “Copy of a Survey and Rental of the College, in the possession of Sir Windham Knatchbull, 1739.”
While resident in College (and in the year 1730) Mr. Pegge was elected a Member of the Zodiac Club, a literary Society, which consisted of twelve members, denominated from the Twelve Signs. This little institution was founded, and articles, in the nature of statutes, were agreed upon Dec. 10, 1725. Afterwards (1728) this Society thought proper to enlarge their body, when six select additional members were chosen, and denominated from six of the Planets, though it still went collectively under the name of the Zodiac Club[10]. In this latter class Mr. Pegge was the original Mars, and continued a member of the Club as long as he resided in the University. His secession was in April 1732, and his seat accordingly declared vacant.
In the same year, 1730, Mr. Pegge appears in a more public literary body;—among the Members of the Gentlemen’s Society at Spalding, in Lincolnshire, to which he contributed some papers which will be noticed below[

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Curialia Miscellanea, or Anecdotes of Old Times / Regal, Noble, Gentilitial, and Miscellaneous: Including Authentic Anecdotes of the Royal Household, and the Manners and Customs of the Court, at an Early Period of the English History
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