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CURIOUS ASSEMBLY RULES.
BY WILLIAM ANDREWS, F.R.Hist.Soc.
preserved among the objects of interest the following quaint regulations for conducting an assembly at Derby in the olden time. We made a transcript, thinking the rules would prove entertaining to our readers :
RULES TO BE OBSERVED IN THE LADIES ASSEMBLY. I. No Attorney's Clerk shall be admitted. 2. No Shopkeeper, or any of his or her family shall be admitted,
except Mr. Franceys. 3. No lady shall be allowed to dance in a long white apron. 4. All young ladies in Mantua's shall pay as. 6d. 5. No Miss in a Coat shall Dance without Leave of the Lady of
the Assembly. 6. Whoever shall transgress any of these rules shall be turned
out of the Assembly-Room. Several of the above-mentioned Rules having of late been broke through, they are now Printed by our order, and signed by Us, the present Ladies and Governors of the Assembly.
Anne Barnes, Bridgett Baily,
Hester Mundy. From our friend Mr. Llewellyn Jewitt, F.S.A., the well-known littérateur, we have a few notes, which fix the period of the Assembly, as well as furnishing historically interesting information. We are told Mr. Henry Franceys, in favour of whom the exception of Rule 2 was made, was a man of mark in those days. He could gain access, and so could his family, to this select " Assembly," while no other "shopkeeper" could! The fact is, he was a wealthy man, and one whom the town, in return for his public spirit and for his excellent dinners and entertainments, delighted to honour. In 1734, when an Alderman of the Borough of Derby, he gave an entertainment to several ladies and gentlemen at his own house, in honour of the marriage of the Prince of Orange and the Princess Royal. After supper was ended, the healths of the Princess Royal and the Prince of Orange were drunk in Burgundy. Then was brought in a salver of orange-coloured cockades, which were distributed among the company. The healths of the Royal Family being cheerfully drunk in the same liquor, the night was concluded with great joy. In 1745, some of the distinguished persons in the retinue of the Pretender lodged at his house; and in 1747, the year he died, Mr. Franceys was made Mayor of Derby-an office which his father, William Franceys, had thrice held. Mr. Franceys' shop was in the Corn Market.
REPORTS ON THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE,
GEOLOGY.--BY B. B. WOODWARD.
HE “dead season," as it is called, whatever its effects might
have been on London society last year, was anything but a dead season as regards science, and the British Association Meeting, though duller and less interesting than usual to the general public, was, in a corresponding degree, of greater import to the scientific world. In the Geological Section (C.) a series of most valuable papers was read, and though doubtless known by this time to most of our readers, they cannot be passed by in silence.
Prof. Young alluded, in his opening address, to the great need in which this science stands of a proper terminology; a want in which it stands alone, and which has led to much confusion with regard to the meaning of the terms employed. Thus the name “Devonian' has been given to beds that in England contain a certain series of fossils, and the same term is also employed to denote those deposits which in South Africa or Australia contain a like series of fossils; thereby conveying the idea that these beds are of one and the same age when they may have been, and in all probability were, deposited at widely separated periods of time. Then, on the other hand, deposits containing entirely distinct assemblages of fossils were in all probability being laid down at the same time, and that to a greater extent than has hitherto been believed. The Greensands, part of the Chalk, as well as portions of the Wealden, and possibly even of the Purbecks, may thus have been in course of formation at the same time; so that, in calculating the amount of time required for the building up of this earth's crust, a period of time really common to two or three formations has been reckoned more than once, and a greater period of time allowed for than absolutely necessary.
The “Glacial Epoch" of course occupied a prominent place, although a milder climate of geological opinion seems, happily, to be at last fairly setting in. The Duke of Argyle, who has all along held moderate views with regard to this question, read a paper in which he maintained that all the principal physical features of Scotland were formed prior to the “Great Ice Age,” at a period when the land stood much higher than at present; and that the work of the succeeding cold epoch had simply been to wear down pre-existing hills and deepen pre-existing valleys. The presence of erratic blocks could be accounted for solely by the agency of floating ice during the reemergence of the land, after a period of subsidence, without invoking the aid of an enormous ice-sheet, or of stupendous glaciers; an inference which is borne out by the positions which these blocks occupy, as well as by the presence of raised beaches at distinct levels, indicative of intervals of repose during the upheaval of the land, and which are as perfect at the present day as if only recently formed.
We have only to turn to a paper by Mr. John Milne, on "Ice and Ice-work in Newfoundland,* to see how fully these conclusions are borne out by a study of the forces now operating on that coast; wherein the author shows most clearly that floating and coast-ice are capable of producing quite as much effect on the land as a glacier, especially if that land be gradually rising; and points out that there is a possibility of a sequence in the work of ice-action. The subject of coal and our coal
measures was also much discussed at the Glasgow meeting. Professor Hull proposed a new division of the seven different stages into which these beds are divided, namely to extend the middle carboniferous, and include under that term all the strata from the Yoredale rocks up to the Gannister beds, and thus to utilise a break in the palæontological sequence for the purpose of classification. Professor W. C. Williamson spoke of the abundant and well-preserved flora of the coal-measures as likely to become the battle-field on which the question of evolution with reference to the origin of species would be fought out. Recent researches in this flora show that parts of the same plant have received different specific and even different generic names. A notable instance is to be found in the case of the Calamite, casts in mud or sand of the pith of this gigantic Equisetum having been considered to belong to a different species, whilst its foliage has gone under the generic names of Asterophyllites, Sphenophyllum, &c. A specimen of this plant with the bark on has recently been obtained by Professor Williamson, which exhibits the following structure :"a nucleal cellular pith surrounded by canals running lengthwise down the stem; outside of these canals, wedges of true vascular structure; and lastly, a cellular bark.” Professor Williamson also considers that the Lepidodendron and Sigillaria are merely different species of the same genus, or the different ages of individual plants.
* “ Ice and Ice-work in Newfoundland," by John Milne, Esq., F.G.S., Geol. Mag. July-Sept. 1876, pp. 303, 345, 408.
A paper was also read by Dr. Anton Fritsch on the remains of some Labyrinthodonts, fishes and insects obtained by him from the upper coal-measures, or gas-coal of Bohemia. The beds in which they occur are probably passage beds, the fauna being of Permian, and the flora of Carboniferous types.
A wonderful little shell about an eighth of an inch square has been found in the lower carboniferous limestone of East Lothian, N.B.* It was found attached to fragments of encrinite stems, &c. by regular bands, looking very much as if it had been tied on. Microscopical examination showed that these bands were a curious adaptation of the spines which characterise the genus to which it belongs (i.e. Productus), and which grew round the object to which it adhered, not infrequently completely encircling it. In some cases the encrinite has grown over the shell and its attachments, just as a tree will gradually grow over and conceal any foreign substance, such as an iron band, placed round it when young. It is not at present quite certain whether this adherent Productus is a distinct species, or merely young
of another. It seems not a little strange, considering the thorough way in which the geology of these islands is being worked out, and the number of observers constantly at work, that anyone not a resident
* Quarterly Journal Geol. Soc., vol. xxxii. p. 454, November, 1876.
should be able to find an opportunity of giving us any information concerning the geology of our own country ; but M. Ch. Barrois, of Lille, has not only found that opportunity, but has made the best possible use of it. This indefatigable observer, who has already worked out the chalk of the Isle of Wight, and the foldings of the axis of the Weald, has now published a memoir on the upper cretaceous beds of England and Ireland,* in which he gives an elaborate table correlating the different layers of the chalk as it occurs in the different parts of this country, and in France, and shows that the palæontological zones into which it has been divided in the latter country by M. Hébert, are also applicable to it in this. M. Barrois considers that the chalk sea was neither so uniform nor so wide-spread as hitherto believed; and maintains that the basins of London, Hampshire, Northern England, and the Irish-Scotch basin were gulfs opening from the North Sea. of
“ The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy,” that for years were a bone of contention amongst some of our eminent geologists, form the subject of an article, by Professor Tyndall, which appeared in the last number of the Popular Science Review. These remarkable “ roads” are the former beach of a large lake, that was retained in this glen and the three neighbouring ones by a barrier of ice across their mouths. As the ice melted the level of the water was lowered, each pause in this subsidence of the waters, that was of any duration, being marked by the formation of a beach, parallel of course to the one above, and thus giving rise to this remarkable series of terraces. But the paper itself must be read to see how this apparently difficult problem in physical geology was solved in this simple manner, after many unsuccessful attempts.
The geology of the district around the Dead Sea has at length been worked out by M. Louis Lastet, a son of the late eminent French geologist. This bulky memoir | forms the third volume of the “Voyage d'exploration à la Mer Morte, &c.” by the Duc de Luynes. The principal rocks met with in this region are crystalline
*« Recherches sur le terrain crétacé supérieur de l'Angleterre et de l'Irlande," par Ch. Barrois : Lille, 1876.
† A review of this memoir, with a corrected reproduction of the table, will be found in the Geol. Mag. for November, 1876.
# Exploration Géologique de la Mer Morte, de la Palestine et de l'Idumée : Paris (London : Williams & Norgate).