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DEATHS, PARISH REGISTERS OF. Cromwell, earl of Essex, who was the chief instrument of Henry VIII. in the suppression of monasteries and abbeys, was the institutor of parish registers of deaths, births, and marriages, A.D. 1536; but they were more formally compiled in 1593, after the great plague of that year. A tax was levied on deaths and births in England, 23 George III. 1783.
DEATH'S HEAD. An ancient female order, instituted in Germany in the 17th century. It was revived by Louisa Elizabeth, widow of Philip Duke of Saxe Mersburgh, 1709.-Aspin.
DEBTORS. See Bankrupts, and Insolvents. Debtors have been subjected to imprisonment in almost all countries and times; and until the passing of the later bankrupt laws and insolvent acts, the prisons of these countries were crowded with debtors to an extent that is now scarcely credible. It appeared by parliamentary returns, that in the eighteen months subsequent to the panic of December 1825, as many as 101,000 writs for debt were issued from the courts in England. In the year ending 5th January, 1830, there were 7114 persons sent to the several prisons of London; and on that day, 1547 of the number were yet confined. On the 1st January, 1840, the number of prisoners for debt in England and Wales was 1732; in Ireland the number was under 1000; and in Scotland under 100. DECEMBER. In the year of Romulus this was the tenth month of the year, called so from decem, ten, the Romans commencing their year in March. Numa introduced January and February before this latter month, in 713 B.C., and from thenceforward December became the twelfth of the year. In the reign of Commodus December was called, by way of flattery, Amazonius, in honour of a courtezan whom that prince passionately loved, and had got painted like an Amazon; but it only kept the name during that emperor's life, between A.D. 181 and 192. The English commenced their year on the 25th December, until the reign of William the Conqueror. See article Year.
DECEMVIRI. Ten magistrates, who were chosen annually at Rome to govern the commonwealth instead of consuls; first instituted 450 B.C.-Livy. The decemviral power became odious on account of their tyranny, and the attempt of Appius Claudius to defile Virginia, and the office was abolished, the people demanding from the senate to burn the decemviri alive. Consuls were again appointed, and tranquillity restored.-See Virginia. DECENNALIA. Festivals celebrated by the Roman emperors every tenth year of their reign, with sacrifices, games, and largesses, instituted by Augustus, 17 B.C.-Livy. DE COURCY'S PRIVILEGE. The privilege of standing covered before the king, granted by king John, to John De Courcy, baron of Kinsale, and his successors, in 1203. Sir John De Courcy was the first nobleman created by an English Sovereign, 27 Henry II. 1181; and was entrusted with the government of Ireland, in 1185. The privilege accorded to this family has been exercised in most reigns, and was allowed to the baron Kinsale, by William III., George III., and by George IV., at his court held in Dublin, in August, 1821.
DECRETALS. The second part of the canon law, or collection of the pope's edicts and decrees. The first of these that is acknowledged to be genuine by the learned, is a letter of Syricius to Himerus, the bishop of Spain, written in the first year of his pontificate, A.D. 385.-Howel.
DEDICATIONS. The dedication of books was introduced in the time of Mæcenas, 17 B.C., and the custom has been practised ever since by authors to solicit patronage, or testify respect. Maecenas was the friend and privy counsellor of Augustus Cæsar, and he was so famous a patron of men of genius and learning, that it has been customary to style every minister of a sovereign prince, imitating his example, the Mæcenas of the age or country in which he lived.-Valerius Paterculus, Hist. Rom. DEDICATION OF CHURCHES. Of the dedication of churches, we meet in the Scriptures, under the Jewish dispensation, with the dedication of the tabernacle and of altars. It was also used in heathen worship. The Christians, finding themselves at liberty under Constantine, built new churches, and dedicated them with great solemnity, in A.D. 331 et seq.
DEEDS. They were formerly written in the Latin and French languages: the earliest known instance of the English tongue having been used in deeds, is that of the indenture between the abbot and convent of Whitby, and Robert, the son of John
Bustard, dated at York, in the year 1343. The English tongue was ordered to be used in all law pleadings in 1362. Ordered to be used in all law suits in May, 1731. DEFENDER OF THE FAITH. Fidei Defensor. A title conferred by Leo X. on Henry VIII. of England. The king wrote a tract in behalf of the Church of Rome, then accounted Domicilium fidei Catholicæ, and against Luther, who had just begun the Reformation in Germany, upon which the pope gave him the title of Defender of the Faith, a title still retained by the monarchs of Great Britain: the bull conferring it bears date Oct. 9, 1521.
DEFENDERS. A faction in Ireland, which arose out of a private quarrel between two residents of Market-hill, July 4, 1784. Each was soon aided by a large body of friends, and many battles ensued. On Whitsun-Monday, 1785, an armed assemblage of one of the parties (700 men), called the Nappagh Fleet, prepared to encounter the Bawn Fleet, but the engagement was prevented. They subsequently became religious parties, Catholic and Presbyterian, distinguished as Defenders and Peepo'-day-boys: the latter were so named because they usually visited the dwellings of the Defenders at daybreak in search of arms.-Sir Richard Musgrave. DEGREES. The first attempt to determine the length of a degree is recorded as having been made by Eratosthenes, about 250 B.C.-Snellius. The first degree of longitude was fixed by Hipparchus of Nice (by whom the latitude was determined also), at Ferro, one of the Canary islands, whose most western point was made the first general meridian, 162 B.C. Several nations have fixed their meridian from places connected with their own territories; and thus the English compute their longitude from the meridian of Greenwich.-See Latitude, Longitude, and the various Collegiate degrees. DEISM. This denomination was first assumed about the middle of the sixteenth century by some gentlemen of France and Italy, in order thus to disguise their opposition to Christianity by a more honourable appellation than that of Atheism.-Virot's Instruction Chrétienne, 1563. Deism is a rejection of all manner of revelation : its followers go merely by the light of nature, believing that there is a God, a providence, vice and virtue, and an after state of punishments and rewards: it is sometimes called free-thinking. The first deistical writer of any note in England, was Herbert, baron of Cherbury, in 1624. The most distinguished deists were Hobbes, Tindal, Morgan, lord Bolingbroke, Hume, Holcroft, and Godwin. DELEGATES, COURT OF. Until lately the highest of all the Ecclesiastical courts. Appeals to the pope in ecclesiastical causes having been forbidden (see Appeals), those causes were for the future to be heard in this court, by statute 24 Henry VIII. 1532; and soon afterwards the pope's authority was superseded altogether in England.-Stowe. This court was abolished, and in lieu of it appeals now lie to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, as fixed by statute 3 and 4 William IV. August 14, 1833.
DELFT. This town was founded by Godfrey le Bossu, and is famous for the earthenware which is known by its name, and which was first manufactured here in A.D. 1310. It was the birth-place of the renowned Grotius.
DELHI. The once great capital of the Mogul empire; it is now in decay, but contained a million of inhabitants, in 1700. In 1738, when Nadir Shah invaded Hindoostan, he entered Delhi, and dreadful massacres and famine followed: 100,000 of the inhabitants perished by the sword; and plunder to the amount of 62,000,000%. sterling was said to be collected. The same calamities were endured in 1761, on the invasion of Abdalla, king of Candahar. In 1803, the Mahrattas, aided by the French, got possession of this place; but they were afterwards defeated here by general Lake, and the aged Shah Aulum, emperor of Hindoostan, was restored to his throne.
DELICATE INVESTIGATION. The memorable investigation, so called, into the conduct of the princess of Wales, afterwards queen of England as consort of George IV., was commenced by a committee of the Privy Council, under a warrant of inquiry, dated May 29, 1806. The members were lord Grenville, lord Erskine, earl Spencer, and lord Ellenborough. The inquiry, of which the countess of Jersey, sir J. and lady Douglas, and other persons of rank were the promoters, and in which they conspicuously figured, lasted until the following year, and led to the publication called The Book," which was afterwards suppressed.-See Queen.
DELPHI. Celebrated for its oracles delivered by Pythia, in the temple of Apollo, which was built, some say, by the council of the Amphictyons, 1263 B.C. The priestess delivered the answer of the god to such as came to consult the oracle, and was supposed to be suddenly inspired. The temple was burnt by the Pisistratidæ, 548 A new temple was raised by the Alcmæonidæ, and was so rich in donations that at one time it was plundered by the people of Phocis of 20,000 talents of gold and silver; and Nero carried from it 500 costly statues. The first Delphic, or sacred war, concerning the temple was 449 B.C. The second sacred war was commenced on Delphi being attacked by the Phocians, 356 B.C.-Du Fresnoy. DELUGE, THE GENERAL. The deluge was threatened in the year of the world 1536; and it began Dec. 7, 1656, and continued 377 days. The ark rested on Mount Ararat, May 6, 1657; and Noah left the ark, Dec. 18, following. The year corresponds with that of 2348 B.C.-Blair. The following are the epochs of the deluge according to the table of Dr. Hales.
Some of the states of Europe were alarmed, we are told, by the prediction (!) that another general deluge would occur, and arks were everywhere built to guard against the calamity; but the season happened to be a fine and dry one, A.D. 1524. DELUGE OF DEUCALION. The fabulous one, is placed 1503 B.c. according to Eusebius. This flood has been often confounded by the ancients with the general flood; but it was 845 years posterior to that event, and was merely a local inundation, occasioned by the overflowing of the river Pineus, whose course was stopped by an earthquake between the Mounts Olympus and Ossa. Deucalion, who then reigned in Thessaly, with his wife Pyrrha, and some of their subjects, saved themselves by climbing up Mount Parnassus.
DELUGE OF OGYGES. In the reign of Ogyges was a deluge which so inundated the territories of Attica that they lay waste for near 200 years; it occurred before the deluge of Deucalion, about 1764 B.c.-Blair. Buffon thinks that the Hebrew and Grecian deluges were the same, and arose from the Atlantic and Bosphorus bursting into the valley of the Mediterranean.
DEMERARA AND ESSEQUIBO. These colonies, founded by the Dutch, were taken by the British under major-general Whyte, April 22, 1796, but were restored at the peace of 1802. Demerara and Essequibo again surrendered to the British under general Grinfield and commodore Hood, Sept. 20, 1803. They are now fixed English colonies. DENARIUS. The chief silver coin among the Romans (from denos æris), weighing the seventh part of a Roman ounce, and value sevenpence-three-farthings sterling, first coined about 269 B.C., when it exchanged for ten asses (see article As). In 216 B.C. it exchanged for sixteen asses. A pound weight of silver was coined into 100 denarii.-Digby. A pound weight of gold was coined into twenty denarii aurei, in 206 B.C.; and in Nero's time into forty-five denarii aurei.—Lempriere. DENMARK. The most ancient inhabitants of this kingdom were the Cimbri and the Teutones, who were driven out by the Jutes or Goths. The Teutones settled in Germany and Gaul; the Cimbrians invaded Italy, where they were defeated by Marius. The peninsula of Jutland obtains its name from the Jutes; and the general name of Denmark is supposed to be derived from Dan, the founder of the Danish monarchy, and mark, a German word signifying country, i. e. Dan-mark, the country of Dan.
Christian II. is deposed, and the independence of Sweden acknowledged A.D. 1523 Lutheranism established by Christian III. 1536 Danish East India Company established
by Christian IV. Christian IV. chosen head of the Protestant league Charles Gustavus of Sweden invades Denmark, besieges Copenhagen, and makes large conquests
The crown made hereditary and absolute 1660 Frederick IV. takes Holstein, Sleswick, Tonningen, and Stralsund; reduces Weismar, and drives the Swedes out of Norway . 1716 et seq. Copenhagen destroyed by a fire which consumes 1650 houses, 5 churches, the university, and 4 colleges The peaceful reign of Christian VI., who promotes the happiness of his subjects 1730 Christian VII. in a fit of jealousy suddenly confines his queen, Caroline Matilda, sister of George III., who is afterwards banished. See Zell Jan. 18, 1772 The counts Struensee and Brandt are seized at the same time, on the charge of a criminal intercourse with the
queen; and the former confessing to
avoid the torture, both are beheaded for high treason April 28, A.D. 1772 The queen Caroline Matilda dies at Zell May 10, 1775 Christian VII. becomes deranged, and prince Frederick is appointed regent. 1784 One-fourth of Copenhagen is destroyed by fire. . June 9, 1795 Admirals Nelson and Parker bombard Copenhagen, and engage the Danish fleet, taking or destroying 18 ships of the line, of whose crews 1800 are killed. The Confederacy of the North (see Armed Neutrality) is thus dissolved,
April 2, 1801 Admiral Gambier and lord Cathcart bombard Copenhagen, and seize the Danish fleet of 18 ships of the line, 15 frigates, and 37 brigs, &c. Sept. 7, 1807 Pomerania and Rugen are annexed to Denmark, in exchange for Norway Commercial treaty with England. Frederick bestows a new constitution on his kingdom
DENNEWITZ, BATTLE OF. In which a remarkable victory was obtained by marshal Bernadotte, prince of Ponte Corvo, (afterwards Charles XIV., king of Sweden) over marshal Ney, prince of Moscow, September 6, 1813. In this battle the loss on the French side exceeded 16,000 men, and several eagles; and the defeat of Napoleon
at Leipsic, on the 18th of October following, closed the series of reverses experienced by his arms in the memorable and disastrous campaign of this year. DENIS, ST. An ancient town of France, six miles from Paris to the northward, the last stage on the road from England to that capital,-famous for its abbey and church, the former abolished at the Revolution; the latter desecrated at the same epoch, after having been the appointed place of sepulture of the French kings, from its foundation by Dagobert, in 613. This church is a beautiful gothic edifice, not large, but constructed in the purest taste. On the 12th October, 1793, the republicans demolished most of the royal tombs, and emptied the leaden coffins into the dunghills, melting the lead for their own use. By a decree of Buonaparte, dated Feb. 20, 1806, the church (which had been turned meanwhile into a cattle-market!) was ordered to be cleaned out and redecorated as "the future burial-place of the Emperors of France." On the return of the Bourbons, some more restorations were effected, and when the duke de Berry and Louis XVIII. died, both were buried there-thus reconsecrating it, for a time, to the old dynasty. It will probably be similarly used for the Orleans family.
DEPTFORD. The hospital here was incorporated by Henry VIII., and called the Trinity-house of Deptford Strond; the brethren of Trinity-house hold their corporate rights by this hospital. Queen Elizabeth dined at Deptford on board the Pelican, the ship in which the illustrious Drake, the first British circumnavigator, had made his voyage round the globe, April 4, 1581. The Deptford Victuallingoffice was burnt Jan. 16, 1748-9; the store-house, Sept. 2, 1758; the Red-house, Feb. 26, 1761; and the King's-mill, Dec. 1, 1775.
DERBY STATE TRIALS. Brandreth, Turner, Ludlam senior, Ludlam junior, Weightman, and others, convicted, at this memorable commission, of high-treason, October 15, 1817; and Brandreth, Turner, and the elder Ludlam, executed, Nov. 6, following. Twenty-three were tried, and twelve not tried.-Phillips. Twentyone prisoners were indicted at Derby for the murder of several miners in the Redsoil mine; but were acquitted on the ground that the mischief was not wilful, March 23, 1834.
See Londonderry. The bishopric of Derry was first planted at Ardfrath; from thence it was translated to Maghera; and, in 1158, it was transferred to Derry. The cathedral, which was built in 1164, becoming ruinous, was rebuilt by a colony of Londoners who settled here in the reign of James I. The see is valued in the king's books, by an extent returned in the 15th James I., at 2507. sterling; but it is one of the richest sees in Ireland.-Beatson.
DESPARD'S CONSPIRACY. Colonel Edward Marcus Despard, a native of the Queen's County, in Ireland, and six others, were executed in London on a charge of high-treason. Their plan was, to lay a restraint upon the king's person on the day of his meeting parliament, January 16, 1803, and to destroy him, and overturn the government: a special commission was issued on February 7, and they all suffered death, February 21, 1803. DETTINGEN, BATTLE OF. Between the British, Hanoverian, and Hessian army, commanded by king George II. of England, in person, and the earl of Stair, on one side, and the French army, under Marshal Noailles and the duke de Grammont, on the other; the first 52,000 and the latter 60,000 strong. The French passed a defile which they should have been contented to guard; and the duke de Grammont, heading the French cavalry, charged the British foot with great fury, but were received with such intrepidity that they were obliged to give way, and to repass the Mayne, and were defeated, losing 5000 men, June 16, 1743. "DEVIL AND DR. FAUSTUS." Faustus, one of the earliest printers, had the policy to conceal his art, and to this policy we are indebted for the tradition of "The Devil and Dr. Faustus." Faustus associated with John of Guttemberg; their types were cut in wood, and fixed, not moveable as at present. Having printed off numbers of copies of the bible, to imitate those which were commonly sold in MS., he undertook the sale of them at Paris, where printing was then unknown. As he sold his copies for sixty crowns, while the scribes demanded five hundred, he created universal astonishment; but when he produced copies as fast as they were wanted, and lowered the price to thirty crowns, all Paris was agitated. The uniformity of the copies increased the wonder; informations were given to the police against him