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James

A sovereign; a jacobus. A gold coin circulated in the reign of James I. Worth about 25s.

James

(St.). Patron saint of Spain. At Padron, near Compostella, they used to show a huge stone as the veritable boat in which the apostle sailed from Palestine. His body was discovered in 840 by divine revelation to Bishop Theodomirus, and King Alfonso built a church at Compostelia for its shrine. According to another legend, it was the relics of St. James that were miraculously conveyed to Spain in a ship of marble from Jerusalem, where he was bishop. A knight saw the ship sailing into port, his horse took fright, and plunged with its rider into the sea. The knight saved himself by “boarding the marble vessel,” but his clothes were found to be entirely covered with scallop shells.

In the Acta Sanctorum (xi. 37, etc.) we are told, that in Clavigium scarcely a stone is found which does not bear the form of a shell; and if these stones are broken up, the broken bits have also the forms of shells.

In Christian art this saint has sometimes the sword by which he was beheaded, and sometimes he is attired as a pilgrim, with his cloak covered with shells. (See above.)

St. James (the Less).
His attribute is a fuller's club, in allusion to the instrument by which he was put to death, after having been precipitated from the summit of the temple.

St. James's College.
So called from James I., who granted a charter to a college founded at Chelsea by Dr. Sutcliffe, Dean of Exeter, to maintain priests to answer all adversaries of religion. Laud nicknamed it “Controversy College.” The college was a failure, and Charles II. gave the site to the Royal Society, who sold it for the purpose of erecting the Royal Hospital for Old Soldiers, which now exists.

St. James's Day.
July 25th, the day of his martyrdom.

The Court of St. James or St. James's
The British court. Queen Victoria holds her drawing-rooms and levés in St. James's Palace. Pall Mall; but Queen Anne, the four Georges, and William IV. resided in this palace.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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