Other orders of knighthood used the scallop shell as an ornament, viz., that of St. James of Holland, the badge and collar being formed of escallops. It was instituted in 1290 by Florian II., Comte de Hollande, but it was abolished with the Roman Catholic Religion. J Louis IX. of France, or St. Louis, as he was generally called, instituted an order of knighthood, called the "Ship and Escallop Shell," to induce the French nobility to accompany him in his pilgrimage to the Holy Land; but it did not long survive its foundation.§ He quitted Paris the 12th June, 1248, to embark at Aigues-Mortes, in Languedoc, a town which he had founded that he might have a seaport on the Mediterranean. He also embarked at that place on his unsuccessful crusade in 1270, having assembled a fleet of 800 galleys, and an army of 40,000 men.
* 'Ordenes Militares,' fol. 5. note, Prescott's ' Ferdinand and Isabella,' vol. i. p. 274. † 'Heraldry of Fish'.
‡'Collection Historique de la Chevallerie,' par A. M. Perrot. § 'Heraldry of Fish'.
Louis XI. of Prance, about 1469, instituted the order of knighthood and honour of St. Michael, which, in England, at least, was distinguished by the name of "Order of the Cockle,"* (the common name in olden times for the escallop of pilgrims being the cockle). The robes were ornamented with a profusion of escallop shells. Strutt gives the following description, from a manuscript inventory, of the robes at Windsor Castle in the reign of Henry VII.: "A mantell of cloth of silver lined with white satten, with escallop shells. Item, a hoode of crymsin velvet, embraudered with escallop shelles, lined with crymson satten" ('Horda Angel-cynnan,' vol. iii, p. 79).*
In 1566, Charles IX. of France sent an ambassador, Monsieur Rambullet, with the order of the "cockle," to the king consort, Lord Darnley, who received the same in the chapel of the palace of Holyrood.†
The following description of the apostle St. James, patron of Spain, given by Bernard Picart, may not be uninteresting to some of my readers. He says St. James, patron of all Spain, has rested for these 900 years past in the Metropolitan Church of Coinpostella. The image of this blessed apostle is upon the high altar; it is a small wooden bust, with forty or fifty white tapers constantly burning before it. Pilgrims kiss it three times, and put their hats upon the head of it, with abundance of respect and devotion. There are thirty silver lamps always burning in the church, and six large silver candlesticks five feet high, which were given by Philip III. There are five platforms of large freestones, for walking all round the church, and above it is another of the same kind, where the pilgrims ascend and fix some remnant of their clothes to a stone cross, which is erected thereon. They likewise perform another ceremony as singular as this. They pass under this cross three times, through such a small hole that they are obliged to slide through with their breasts against the pavement, so that such as are never so little too fat must suffer severely, and yet through they must go if they will obtain the indulgence thereto affixed. This is the strait gate of the gospel, through which the pilgrims enter into the high-road of salvation. Some who had forgotten to pass under the stone cross have gone back five hundred leagues to perform this ceremony.* Mr. Street, in his 'Gothic Architecture in Spain,' states that even in that country, the old belief of the power of the bones of St. James of Compostella to work miracles appear now practically to have died out, and that there are no longer great pilgrimages to his shrine. However, at Santiago do Compostella, he saw one professional pilgrim with his rags covered with scallop shells, whom he had previously seen begging at Zara-goza; and in one of the Plazas at Santiago an old woman was selling scallop shells. The doors in Toledo are studded with many and fanciful forms of door-nails, of very quaint and beautiful shapes, and, occasionally, they have reference to the object or history of the building; for instance, any building in any way connected with Santiago has the nails in the form of scallop shells.* The custom of bearing scallop shells as a badge of pilgrimage, is more widely spread than is usually supposed, for Sir Rutherford Alcock mentions their use on the sleeves of many of the Japanese pilgrims to the Cone of Fusiyama, in the island of Japan. In China, the valves of Pecten Japonicus are used as small shovels. Shells were used by the Romans to ornament their dwellings, and the "Fountain of Shells," described in Sir William Gell's 'Pompeiana,' was decorated with the Tyrian murex and the scallop. Mr. Damon tells us that there is still standing, in a villa at Pompeii, a fountain decorated with the shells of the Mediterranean, one species of which, viz., Murex Brandaris, retains its colour and general freshness, and is not to be distinguished from living examples. In an interesting paper on a 'Collection of recent shells discovered among the ruins of Pompeii, and preserved in the Museo Borbonico at Naples,' published in the 'Geological Magazine,' vol iv. No. 7, July, 1867, Mr. Damon calls our attention to the following, and says, that "Among the many singular discoveries made in the ruins of Pompeii, and deposited in the Museo Borbonico, in the city of Naples, are a variety of shells, principally species now found in the Mediterranean Sea, amongst them Pecten Jacobceus, and so far of interest as an illustration of the persistency of certain known species within the historic period, no difference whatever being observable between the disinterred, and living specimens. On a close examination I observed, besides those from the neighbouring seas, species from distant countries, for example, Conus textiles. Triton femorale, Meleagrina margaritifera (Pearl-Oyster), species only found in the Indian and Eastern Seas. I think, therefore, that this may be regarded as part of a Natural History collection. Assuming the truth of this conjecture, its antiquity is without precedent. Did the original proprietor form one of a Natural History Society at Pompeii, of which the distinguished Naturalist, Pliny, who perished at Pompeii, was a member ? It would also be curious, in these days of research for priority of names, to know how they were described. Such a discovery might disturb existing nomenclature, and increase the perplexity already felt in naming collections. But laying aside fanciful conjectures, the collection is further instructive from the condition and perfect preservation in which the specimens are found, after an interment of nearly 1800 years".
* 'Medii Aevi Kalendarium,' by R. T. Hampson, vol. i. bk. ii. pp. 356, 357.
† 'History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland,' by John Knox.
* 'Religious Ceremonies,' by Picart, p. 432.
* 'A Summer in Spain,' by Mrs. Ramsey, p. 102.
The scallop is figured on the coins of Saguntum, which are of Phoenician time, the dolphin being on one side, with the letters s.a.g. w. under, and the scallop on the reverse; and Florez, in his'Medallas de Espaņa,' Parte 2, 1728, says of these coins, "These (the dolphin and the scallop shell) allude to Neptune and Venus, for as the dolphin is sacred to Neptune, so is the shell to Venus,* as the daughter of the sea, and also for the pearls it engenders, applied to the adornment of women. This shell is most appropriate for the impress of a maritime city, from the utility enclosed within it, and its application to diverse uses, either from its seed for jewels, or as a delicacy for the table, for the precious tints with which it is coloured, for its use as a medicine, and for ostentation in virtue of its ornamental pearls".
* 'Faveas concha Cypria vecta tua,' Tibullus, lib. iii. El. 3, etc.
Real scallop shells are used in the baptismal service for pouring water over the child, though the shell is usually of silver gilt, and in private baptism a wooden shell is frequently adopted. "Baptismal shells," are mentioned in a list of the ornaments of the church in the fifteenth century, and they are still used in some churches.
The following are a few recipes for cooking the scallop : -
Wash them six or seven times in clean water, then set them on the fire to stew in their own liquor; take the fish and beard them very clean, let the liquor settle, and strain it off, and take warm milk, and wash the fish very well; then take the liquor, some good gravy, and crumbs of bread; set it on the fire, and when the bread is a little stewed, take a quarter of a pound of butter, and roll it in fine flour to thicken it; then take an anchovy, a little mace and nutmeg; put in your fish and boil it half a dozen times, and serve it up".*
"To stew Scallops - Boil them very well in salt and water; then take them out and stew them in a little of their own liquor, a glass of white wine, and a little vinegar; add some grated bread-crumbs, and the yolks of two or three hard eggs minced small; stew all together till they are sufficiently done; then add a large spoonful of essence of anchovy, and a good piece of butter rolled in flour; or stew very gradually in a rich white sauce, with thick cream, until quite hot, without being allowed to boil, and serve with sippets". *
* From an old MS. Book. - C. C. W.
Clean them from the shell; take off the beards, as also the black marks they bear; then cut them into four pieces. Fry some bread-crumbs with butter, pepper, and salt, to a light brown colour; then throw in your scallops, and fry all together for about three minutes and a half, taking care to shake the frying-pan, all the time. Last of all, press them tight into shells or a dish, and brown them with a salamander, and send them to table".†
One gallon of scallops drained from the liquor; put them into a bowl of salt and water, take immediately out; measure the liquor and take as much vinegar as liquor; a tablespoonful of peppercorns, one of cloves, one of salt, a small tea-spoonful of mace, boil them about three minutes, pour on the liquor after it has boiled five minutes; cover, and let stand".‡
The heart is the only part used. If you buy them in the shell, boil and take out the hearts. Those sold in the markets are generally ready for frying or stewing. Dip them in beaten egg, then in cracker-crumbs (or bread-crumbs), and fry in hot lard".§