de expens' nuncior' et cok' Regis Edwardi," &c., and in the glossary this explanation of the word is given:
"Cokinus, Coquinus.—'Homo vilissimus nec nisi infimis conquinæ ministeriis natus,' says Ducange. Charpentier adds beggar. Here it means the lowest kind of messengers or errand-boys, like sculls or scullions in colleges."
But this is too low an estimate of the class.
Having disposed of this passage, I wish now to draw the attention of your readers who have taken part or interest in the late discussion in your pages upon certain surnames, to the bearing which this extract, and others expressive of the individuals there referred to, has upon that numerous series of names ending in "cock;" about which so many, and, for these regenerate days, some singular suggestions have been made. The discussion was, I believe, commenced in the Gentleman's Magazine for May, 1837; and, in the number for the same month in the following year, J. G. N. suggested that many of those names might be referred to forms of "Coc, koc, le coq, which occur in records as abbreviations of coquus, cocus—cook."
How cavalierly the suggestions thus afforded by Mr. Urban's pages were treated by Mr. Lower, your readers will see who refer to the pages of that gentleman's work upon English Surnames, indicated in the author's last communication to you ("N. &. Q.," Vol. v., p. 509.). But their faith in the improvement "N. & Q." has so greatly contributed to effect in such matters, will not however let them be deterred by the terms there used from pursuing the subject. It will be seen that my present contribution will modify the view taken by J. G. N., but also, to a considerable extent, support it.
I am not aware that any attempt has been made to show how early these names were used. I can refer to several instances of the names "Wilcoc" or "Willecok," and "Badecok," two complete examples of the kind, in the documents of the reign of Edward I.
Those of your readers who are members of the Camden Society have now before them a copy of a document in which the first of those names occurs several times. I refer to the small Household Roll of John of Brabant while at the English court, which is printed in the last volume of the Camden Society's Miscellany.
No one doubts that by far the greater part of the names in question were originally corrupted forms of Christian names, with a suffix. Mr. Lower has done good service in showing thus much. And any one who refers to the list in the Royal Wardrobe Account of 28 Edw. I., and especially those who can also consult other similar manuscripts, will admit that it would be quite possible that any Christian name might have been so used; so numerous must have been the class of persons called "cokini." I will not further trespass upon your space with specimens of names so manufactured, as they can be formed with ease upon the first name "Wilcoc" from "Wille le cok,"—the contracting mark being dropped. The final letter "k" is of importance, as distinguishing the derivative from the parent word "coquus;" from what period, and why, is doubtful. That there is but little early documentary evidence of the names in their complete state, might be attributed to the inferior class of the individuals so designated.
Mr. Lower's sole explanation of the terminal in question is, that it is a diminutive like "kin;" and in justice to that view, I must not pass over the evidence afforded by the Brabant Roll of a case where the two names seem to be interchanged. One of Prince John's pages is named on the roll "Hankin" (p. 7. line 3.); while, on the Wardrobe Account three years previous, where the servants are specified by name, "Hancock" is there, who is most likely the same person. It will also be seen, that whereas in the Wardrobe Account the armourer's name is "Giles," and the barber's "Walter" (see notes to the Brabant Roll), the foreign scribe of the account dubs them "Gilkin"
and "Woterkin." In following up his argument upon this subject, Mr. Lower speaks of a person being called "Little Wilcock," as an instance of complete tautology: if, however, it is meant by this (as it seems to be), that a diminutive name was only applied to a diminutive in person, or only expressed such a one, I am sure he will find very many differ from him, as affection or familiarity was at least as likely to have originated its use. Thus, Peter de Gaveston would surely not be deprived of his knightly fame because he was called by Prince Edward "Perot" (Pierrote a Pierre). Thus also came "Amyot" from Amy, "Launcelot" from Laurence, "Gillot" from Giles. And "kin" has as much right to be so considered. But there being already these two diminutives in ordinary use as to names of persons, there surely was no occasion to apply to the same purpose a syllable which (with a mark of contraction) certainly had a direct meaning, and expressed a vocation; and which has very rarely been otherwise used in a diminutive sense.
My object is not so much to advocate any particular solution as regards these names, as to submit evidence bearing upon the subject, with such explanations as have occurred to me.
In the Report from the Select Committee (of the House of Commons) on the Post Office in 1844, Sir F. Palgrave makes the following note on the word Cokinus, which occurs in some documents supplied to the Committee, and printed in their Appendix:
"The word Cokinus, in the Wardrobe Accounts of the latter half of the thirteenth century, is used to signify a 'messenger;' but in what the Cokinus differed from the Nuncius and the Garcio—the other terms employed in their accounts to signify the bearers of letters or messages—does not appear."
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
The habit of this celebrated author, to annotate in the margins of books which he was reading, must be well known to many of the subscribers of "N. & Q."
I have in my possession a curious little volume of notes, &c. in Mr. Coleridge's handwriting, of course very highly prized, from which extracts were made in vol. i. pp. 274-5., &c. of Coleridge's Literary Remains, collected and edited by his nephew, H. N. Coleridge, Esq., 4 vols., 1836: Pickering.
But, in addition to this volume, I have a few with S. T. Coleridge's pencillings in the margins. The following is selected from Dr. Parr's celebrated Spital Sermon, and is appended to one of his (Dr. Parr's) notes, wherein he says:
"Upon the various effects of superstition, where it has spread widely and thriven long, we can reason from facts. But in the original frame of the human mind, and in the operation of all those usual causes which regulate our conduct or affect our happiness, there seems to be a most active, constant, and invincible principle of resistance to the approachments of atheism. 'All nature cries aloud' against them, 'through all her works,' not in speculation only, but in practice."
Mr. Coleridge's annotation upon the foregoing opinion of the learned Doctor is as follows; and I select it as a specimen of Coleridge's astonishing recollection of any opinions he had formerly promulgated, which might have called any laxity of principle, religious, moral, or political, into doubt, and of his extreme anxiety to refute or explain them:
"I never had even a doubt in my being concerning the supreme Mind; but understand too sufficiently the difficulty of any intellectual demonstrations of