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Popular Superstitions - A Murderer's Charm
They are to preserve travellers from accidents on the road, headaches, falling sickness, fevers, witchcraft, all kinds of mischief, and sudden death.
Popular Superstitions - Burial On South Side Of Church
We all know the general custom, practice, or superstition, if you please, of interring the dead on the South side of our churches, in preference to the North side ; so much so, that this latter place is never dug open but to throw therein poor unfortunate strangers who may happen to die in the parish, and those who sign their own felo de se.
Death Scented Flowers
I have found it a popular notion among that class of people to whom we are most indebted for the preservation of much interesting folklore country cottagers that the peculiar scent of the hawthorn is 'exactly like the smell of the Great Plague of London.'
Faculty Of Abrac
I was extremely entertained and delighted with the copy of that antient and venerable manuscript concerning Free-Masonry with which you first obliged the publick in your September magazine, and which is since unartfully printed in various shapes.The brotherhood were so well pleased with it that there was not a Magazine to be got in Norwich, and orders were given for a fresh supply.
Bird Lore
In the animal kingdom birds have come in for a full share of legendary lore. Thus the owl has given rise to widespread superstitions, and has ever been considered a bird of ill-omen, and its unexpected appearance a portent of death and disaster.
Custom Of Plucking Geese Alive
A friend told me lately, that in a cold winter a year or two ago, as he was riding over the moors near Bridgewater, in Somersetshire, he saw a great number of geese dead upon the moors ; and upon enquiring into the cause of it, he was informed that it was the custom of the people there, every year, to pick the down off the geese while they were alive, in order to sell it.
Duck Superstition
Dec. 24. An instance of horrid barbarity, coupled with gross superstition, lately occurred at Hoo, in Kent. A farmer having a duck in his possession which layed eggs of a dun colour, the animal was immediately considered unlucky, and a resolution taken to dispose of it. A distemper, just at the time, broke out among the farmer's cattle, which was attributed to the ill-fated bird.
White-bird A Presage Of Death
Among other plagiarisms idly charged against that gifted poet Lord Byron, is the incident of the White-bird, recorded in 'Don Juan,' hovering over a death-bed. Permit me to observe, that if his lordship is liable to censure on this account, so must the author from whom he is said to have derived it.The White-bird, in presage of death, is a traditionary agent that superstition has made use of for centuries.
The Hoopo
The vulgar in our country formerly esteemed it a forerunner of some calamity. Pennant, however, says it visits these islands frequently ; but not at stated seasons. It is found in many parts of Europe, in Egypt, and even as remote as Ceylon. The Turks call it Tir Chaos, or the messenger bird, from the resemblance its crest has to the plumes worn by the Chaous, or Turkish couriers.
On Vulgar Errors In Natural History
As arts and sciences make very perceptible advances in Europe after every ten years, an Encyclopaedia or magazine, wherein to register our new stores, becomes, of necessity, a periodical publication. But as these dictionaries contain not only what is new, but generally a system of all that is known, both new and old, upon every article, they are too bulky and expensive for common use.
Cuckoo Rhyme
You may assure Mr. Dickinson, p. 4, the notion of the Cuckoo, in part, subsisting by sucking the eggs of other birds, does universally prevail ; and, though it is not noticed by authors of notoriety, there is a humble production, entituled 'Songs for Children,' which has inculcated it for many years, if not for many generations, in the following stanzas.
Pigeons' Feathers
Superstition has done much mischief in the world in the days of our forefathers ; and perhaps, in some instances, their children of the present day are not quite exempted from its influence. May I be permitted to select the following as a specimen ?
A Provincial Dislike To Game How To Be Accounted For
If you ask a countryman in the Southwest part of the kingdom to dine, he objects to any kind of game which comes to your table, and says, in his provincial dialect, I never eats hollow fowl; under which term he includes hares and rabbits, as well as wild fowl, and every kind of poultry.
It appears to me that a cruel practice has too long subsisted with regard to a very harmless part of the animal creation, whose wrongs cry out aloud for redress.The poor persecuted creature to which I allude is the hedgehog. or urchin; concerning whom (fatally for him) an opinion prevails; which I more than suspect to be altogether groundless, viz., that this little animal has both the inclination and the power to milk the cow.
Horse-shoes Nailed On Ships
A correspondent asks if any of our nautical readers can furnish a plausible reason for the prevailing custom of fixing a horse-shoe on the foremasts of ships in his Majesty's service, and whether it is a common practice in other vessels, as it has been often seen in the ships of war in the royal dockyards.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft
I HAVE been impressed with an idea that it would be neither uninteresting nor unprofitable to collect from our ancient annals and historical resources some particulars relating to the existence and disappearance of witches.
Popular Superstitions - Repeal Of The Witch Act
Since you have already done the fair sex justice, as to their political capacities, and professed your readiness to do it, upon all other occasions, I must put you in mind of one endowrnent, for which they have been famous in all ages; I mean the spirit of prophecy.The oracles of the ancient Sibyls (who were all women) have acquir'd such an established reputation in the world, that they will for ever do honour to our sex.
Popular Superstitions - On Sorcery And Witchcraft
One of the vain and groundless pretentions of the ancient professors of sorcery and witchcraft was, that they could raise, controul, and dispose of the winds.
Popular Superstitions - Science Of The Middle Age Attributed To Magic
Arts and sciences, philosophy and civilization, are well known, generally speaking, to have had their origin in the East. The frequent journeys of the inhabitants of Europe during the latter end of the twelfth, and in the thirteenth centuries, into those distant climes, in the Crusades, gave birth to several species of knowledge then scarcely known. Ignorance is the enemy of improvement.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Cheshire
London, Aug. 30, the following paragraph appear'd in the newspapers. Middlewich, Aug. 28.There is risen up in this country a great doctress, an old woman, who is resorted to by people of all ranks and degrees, to be cured of all diseases ; she lives four miles from hence, and has been in this great fame about 2 months; she has several hundreds of patients in a day out of all the country round for 30 miles.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Herts (the Witch Of Tring)
At Tring, in Hertfordshire, one Bdd, a publican, giving out that he was bewitched by one Osborne and his wife, harmless people above 70, had it cried at several market towns, that they were to be tried by ducking this day, which occasion'd a vast concourse.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Lancashire
The murders lately committed at Tring, of which you have given us several new particulars in page 198 of your last magazine, have revived the controversy concerning the reality of witchcraft and enchantment, which appeared to have been determined in the negative by the general consent, to which the sanction of the legislature has been lately added by a repeal of the statute of James I.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Leicestershire
On the monument of Francis, sixth Earl of Rutland, in Bottesford Church, Leicestershire, it is recorded, that by his second lady he had 'two sons, both which died in their infancy by wicked practices and sorcery.' The circumstances which gave rise to this supposition were briefly these.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Somersetshire
The following are Copies of Depositions as to certain charges of witchcraft, made in the county of Somerset, in the year 1664. The originals appear to have been wholly written by the magistrate before whom they were sworn.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Suffolk
The county of Suffolk was remarkable for the number of Witches which were known to practise their diabolical arts in it. Baxter says he knew more than a hundred at one time. The famous trial of Sir Matthew Hale, at Lowestoft, is well known. The present case is found in a copy of Baxter's 'World of Spirits,' and was probably preserved for another edition which did not appear.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Surrey
In the vestry of Frensham Church, Surrey, hangs a huge cauldron, hammered out of a single piece of copper, supposed by Salmon to be a remain of the antient parochial hospitality at the wedding of poor maids. Aubrey supposes it to have been used for the Church Ales. Tradition reports it to have been brought from Borough Hill, about a mile hence.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Wiltshire
One Susanna Hannokes, an elderly woman, of Wingrove, near Aylesbury, was accused by a neighbour for bewitching her spinning-wheel, so that she could not make it go round, and offered to make oath of it before a magistrate ; on which the husband, in order to justify his wife, insisted on her being tried by the church Bible, and that the accuser should be present.
Popular Superstitions - Witchcraft In Yorkshire
An industrious workman at Sheffield, who had saved seventeen guineas by his labour in working at the steel furnace of Messrs. Hague and Barkin, had the whole stolen out of his house in the night of the 27th of April last.The poor man, almost in despair, employed the crier to make known his loss, and added that if the money was not returned by such a day, he would nextways apply to the Copper street conjurer, and proclaim the thief.
Popular Superstitions - Witches In Scotland
The following scarce pamphlet, entitled 'News from Scotland,' etc., was communicated by a constant reader. The singularity of it will justify the republication. The title runs thus : 'News from Scotland, declaring the damnable life and death of Doctor Fian, a notable Sorcerer, who was burned at Edenbrough in January last, 1591.'
Steeplechasing And Hurdle Racing
In writing of 'steeplechasing,' the first thing which strikes one is the absurdity of the name that has been accepted as descriptive of the sport. One cannot chase a thing that does not run away, and steeples are not itinerant. But the origin of the word is sufficiently clear. 'Steeplechases' were first of all spins across country, and some prominent landmark had to be named as a goal.
Steeplechase Courses
Prior to the establishment of the National Hunt Committee, steeplechase courses were just what the managers of meetings chose to make them. There were temptations to err in both directions-in that of excessive ease and of excessive severity ; in the former, because the owner of the half-schooled hurdle jumper might be, and often was, tempted to enter for steeplechases, there being really nothing that the creature could not easily jump ; in the latter, because a dangerously big fence would attract a sensation-loving crowd.
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