Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Salem 1692

House of John Procter, Witchcraft Martyr,
1692, by William P. Upham (1902)
Project Gutenburg
"It is well known that the victims executed as witches on Gallows Hill in Salem, in 1692, were thrown into mere shallow graves or crevices in the ledge under the gallows, where the nature of the ground did not allow complete burial, so that it was stated at the time that portions of the bodies were hardly covered at all. It was natural that the relatives of those thus cruelly put to death and left practically without burial, should, where they were able and courageous enough for the dangerous undertaking, remove the bodies to their homes for interment. It is the tradition that this was done in several cases, secretly and during the night, that it might not incur the opposition of the frenzied and deluded people. This removal was made by the children of Rebecca Nourse, and a beautiful monument now marks the spot to which her body was removed. There is a similar tradition in the Procter family, and there is good reason to believe that his body was removed in a similar manner. But if so, the necessary secrecy with which the sad duty was performed has caused the place where he was buried to be known only by the slender thread of tradition which I have mentioned."

No vault

Municipal Cemetery - Ventnor
© Godric Godricson

Wooden Cross

Municipal Cemetery - Ventnor
© Godric Godricson

Bonchurch

All Saints - Bonchurch
© Godric Godricson

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Catholic Blessing of a new cemetery



Catholic Blessing of a new cemetery

Elizabeth Kent Died 29th October 1929


Saint Lawrence New Church - Isle of Wight
Elizabeth Kent Died 29th October 1929
© Godric Godricson  

 

William Glendower Mackenzie 1845 -1913

Saint Lawrence New Church - Isle of Wight
William Glendower Mackenzie
© Godric Godricson
© Godric Godricson  

Celtic Cross

Saint Lawrence New Church - Isle of Wight
© Godric Godricson  
 

"My Dear Wife"


Saint Lawrence New Church - Isle of Wight
© Godric Godricson  
 


Mixed collection

Saint Lawrence New Church - Isle of Wight
© Godric Godricson  
 

Saint Lawrence New Church - Isle of Wight



Saint Lawrence New Church - Isle of Wight
Frances Dorothy Scott
© Godric Godricson  
 

Fallen Cross

Municipal Cemetery - Ventnor
© Godric Godricson

William Henry Emes Mitchell 1849-1918

Monday, 29 October 2012

All flesh is dust


A Treatise on Relics - John Calvin
(1870) - Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson  





"The first Christians left the bodies of the saints in their graves, obeying the universal sentence, that all flesh is dust, and to dust it must return, and did not attempt their resurrection before the appointed time by raising them in pomp and state. This example has not been followed by their successors; on the contrary, the bodies of the faithful,  in opposition to the command of God, have been disinterred in order to be glorified, when they ought to have remained in their places of repose awaiting the last judgment."

A heap of bones

A Treatise on Relics - John Calvin
(1870) - Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson  





"As every, even the smallest Catholic church has a heap of bones and other small rubbish, what would it be if all those things which are contained in two or three thousand bishoprics, twenty or thirty thousand abbeys, more than forty thousand convents, and so many parish churches and chapels, were collected  into one mass? The best thing would be not merely to name, but to visit them. "

William G Sledge Lunner Died 2nd May 1915

© Godric Godricson  



John Dobson - HMS Baccante. Died 31st october 1907

© Godric Godricson  

Ernest Elliott Died 6th June 1907

© Godric Godricson  

Railings - Godshill

© Godric Godricson  

Chapel of St. Benedict - Westminster Abbey

1. Archbishop Langham, 1376.
2. Countess of Hertford, 1598.
3. Dr. Goodman, Dean of Westminster, died 1601.
4. Son of Dr. Sprat, 1683.
5. Cranfield, Earl and Countess of Middlesex, 1645.
6. Dr. Bill, first Dean under Q. Elizabeth, 1561.
Under the Monuments of Deans Goodman and Sprat, was interred (Dean Vincent), the late Dean, 1815.


In the Chapel of St. Benedict is an ancient tomb of stone, having formerly a canopy of wood, on which lies the effigy of Archbishop Langham, who, as the Latin epitaph round his tomb sets forth, “was Monk, Prior, and Abbot of this Abbey; afterwards elected Bishop of London; but Ely being then also vacant, he made choice of that see; that he was Primate and Chancellor of England; Priest-Cardinal, afterwards Bishop-Cardinal, of Preneste, and Nuncio from the Pope; and that he died on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen, in the year 1376, on whose soul God have mercy, and grant him the joys of heaven for the merits of Christ.”

Historical Description of Westminster Abbey:
Its Monuments and Curiosities
Project Gutenburg

The wilderness that is Fakenham


© Godric Godricson 


Saint Egwin -Burial in Church

Book of The Lives of the Fathers,
Martyrs, and Principal Saints
Alban Butler (1895)
Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson
He was of the royal blood of the Mercian kings, devoted himself to the divine service in his youth, and succeeded in the episcopal see of Worcester, in 692. by his zeal and severity in reproving vice, he stirred up some of his own flock to persecute him, which gave him an opportunity of performing a penitential pilgrimage Rome. Some legends tell us, that setting out he put on his legs iron shackles, and threw the key into the river Severn, others say the Avon; but found it in the belly of a fish, some say at Rome, others in his passage from France to England. After his return, with the assistance of Coenred or Kenred, king of Mercia, he founded the famous abbey of Evesham, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin. After this he undertook a second journey to Rome, in the company of Coenred, king of the Mercians, and of Offa, of the East Saxons, who gave up their temporal principalities to labor with greater earnestness to secure an eternal crown. St. Egwin died on the 30th of December, in 717, and was buried in the monastery of Evesham. His body was translated to a more honorable place in 1183, probably on the 11th of January, on which day many English Martyrologies mark his festival

Buried under the hearth

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson




Bones, both human and of animals, have been found under hearthstones of houses. When we consider that the hearth is the centre, as it were, and most sacred spot of a house, and that the chimney above it is the highest portion built, and the most difficult to complete, it seems easy to understand why the victim was buried under the hearthstone or jamb of the chimney.

Charles Grant Seeley - Gatcomb

Saint Olave - Gatcombe, Isle of Wight
© Godric Godricson

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Chumleigh Church, North Devon

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson
There is an interesting custom prevailing in Roumania to the present day which is clearly a remnant of the old idea of a sacrificial foundation. When masons are engaged building a house they try to catch the shadow of a stranger passing by and wall it in, and throw in stones and mortar whilst his shadow rests on the walls. If no one passes by to throw a shadow the masons go in search of a woman or child who does not belong to the place, and, unperceived by the person, apply a reed to the shadow and this reed is then immured. In Holland frequently there has been found in foundations curious looking objects something like ninepins, but which in reality are simply rude imitations of babies in their swaddling bands—the image representing the child being the modern substitute for an actual sacrifice. Carved figures of Christ crucified have been found in the foundations of churches. Some few years ago, when the north wall of Chulmleigh Church in North Devon was taken down there was found a carved figure of Christ crucified to a vine.

East Anglian Prejudice


Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson








Yet there are prevalent ideas or notions, about the churchyard and its sleepers, as deep-rooted as any wild superstition, and perhaps as difficult to solve, or to trace to any rational source. I would here mention one of the most strange, and probably one of the most prejudiced notions to be met with relating to burial in the churchyard. I refer to the East Anglian prejudice of being buried on the north side of the church. That this prejudice is a strong one, among the country people in certain parts of England, is proved by the scarcity of graves, nay, in many instances the total absence of graves, on the north side of our churches.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Superstition

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson
In country districts, more than in towns, superstition is rife with regard to our Churchyards. The variety and form of this superstition is well nigh ‘Legion,’ and though many of my readers may enjoy an Ingoldsby experience when read in a well-lighted room, surrounded by smiling companions, few of them, after such an experience would care to pay a visit alone to some neighbouring churchyard, renowned for its tale of ghostly appearances. This will, I think enable me to show that by far the larger number of churchyard superstitions are purely chimerous fancies of the brain, and do not owe their origin, or existence, to any other source, be that source a wilful fraud, or imposition, designed to produce fear, or merely the imaginative delusion of some overstrained, or weak brain, which called first it into existence.

Blue Gravel and pine needles


© Godric Godricson


Friday, 19 October 2012

Saint Pega and the relics of a saint

 
Book of The Lives of the Fathers,
Martyrs, and Principal Saints
Alban Butler (1895)
Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson
She was sister to St. Guthlack, the famous hermit of Croyland, and though of the royal blood of the Mercian kings, forsook the world, and led an austere retired life in the country which afterwards bore her name, in Northamptonshire, at a distance from her holy brother. Some time after his death she went to Rome, and there slept in the Lord, about the year 719. Ordericus Vitalis says, her relics were honored with miracles, and kept in a church which bore her name at Rome, but this church is not now known. From one in Northamptonshire, a village still retains the name of Peagkirk, vulgarly Pequirk; she was also titular saint of a church and monastery in Pegeland, which St. Edward the Confessor united to Croyland

Ratcliffe Vault - Godshill

© Godric Godricson
© Godric Godricson

Thursday, 18 October 2012

St. Gervasius and St. Protasius

A Treatise on Relics - John Calvin
(1870) - Project Gutenburg



"The sepulchres of these two saints were discovered at Milan in the time of St Ambrose, as testified by him. This fact is confirmed also by the evidence of St Jerome, St Augustine, and several others; consequently Milan maintains its possession of the real bodies of these saints. Nevertheless, they are likewise to be seen at Brissach in Germany, and in the Church of St Peter at Besan├žon, besides an immense number of different parts of their bodies scattered throughout the land, so that each of them must have had at least four bodies. "

Floral tributes

© Godric Godricson

© Godric Godricson

© Godric Godricson

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A place of dread

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson  Alfred Cresswell, West Lexham
"......to the ignorant, and unlearned in these things, the Churchyard often becomes a place of dread, and it may be, some of the strange behaviour sometimes seen there arises from this inner feeling of awe, which in their ignorant superstition they are wont to carry off in the spirit of daring bravado.

From a close study of the subject, I am led to conclude that the common unchristian idea, that the churchyard is ‘haunted,’ whatever that may mean to a weak or ignorant person, has much to do with it. The evil report, once circulated, will be handed on to generations yet unborn, until the simple origin, which at first might have been easily explained, becomes clouded in mystery as time goes on, and the deep rooted feeling of horror spreads around us, until even the more strong-minded among us, feel at times, somewhat doubtful as to whether there may not be some truth where the popular testimony is so strong".

Saint John the Baptist - Niton

St John the Baptish - Niton

© Godric Godricson

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Saint Odhran - Buried alive

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson




It is said that St. Odhran expressed his willingness to be the first to be buried in Iona, and, indeed, offered himself to be buried alive for sacrifice. Local tradition long afterwards added the still more ghastly circumstance that once, when the tomb was opened, he was found still alive, and uttered such fearful words that the grave had to be closed immediately.

Saint Boniface - Bonchurch

© Godric Godricson

Monday, 15 October 2012

First burial in a graveyard

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson
Even at the present day there is a prejudice more or less deeply rooted against a first burial in a new churchyard or cemetery. This prejudice is doubtless due to the fact that in early ages the first to be buried was a victim. Later on in the middle ages the idea seems to have been that the first to be buried became the perquisite of the devil, who thus seems in the minds of the people to have taken the place of the pagan deity. Not in England alone, but all over Northern Europe,  there is a strong prejudice against being the first to enter a new building, or to cross a newly-built bridge. At the least it is considered unlucky, and the more superstitious believe it will entail death. All this is the outcome of the once general sacrificial foundation, and the lingering shadow of a ghastly practice.

Grimm, in his “Teutonic Mythology,” tells us that when the new bridge at Halle, finished in 1843, was building, the common people got an idea that a child was wanted to wall up in the foundations. In the outer wall of Reichenfels Castle a child was actually built in alive; a projecting stone marks the spot, and it is believed that if this stone were pulled out the wall would at once fall down.

Ecclesiastical Curiosities

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson
Among all classes of English people there are mixed feelings relating to our churchyards. They are either places of reverence on the one hand, or superstition on the other. The sacred plot surrounding the old Parish Church carries with it such a host of memories and associations, that to the learned and thoughtful it has always been God’s Acre, hallowed with a tender hush of silent contemplation of the many sad rifts and partings among us. We almost vie with each other in proclaiming that deep reverence for this one sacred spot, so dear to our family life, and affections, by those mementos of love which we raise over the resting-places of our lost ones gone before. This is strangely apparent in the stately monument, where the carver’s art declares the virtues of the dead, either by sculptured figure, or verse engraven, as well as in the ofttimes more pathetic, and perhaps more beautiful, tribute of the floral cross or wreath culled by loving hands, and borne in silence, by our poorer brethren, as the only offering, or tribute, their slender means allows them to make. Be sure of this one fact, that our English Churchyards are better kept—more worthy of the name of God’s Acre than in the times past, for what is a more beautiful sight, than to see the kneeling children around the garden grave of a parent, or a child companion, adorning the little mound with flowers for the Eastertide festival. Here we have a living illustration of the truth of the concluding words of our Great Creed: “I look for the Resurrection of the Dead and the Life of the World to come.”

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Scraps of St Andrew's body

A Treatise on Relics - John Calvin
(1870) - Project Gutenburg




"It is true that the bits and scraps of St Andrew's body, scattered in various places, counterbalance, in some measure, the superiority of St Matthias; for he has at Rome, in St Peter's Church, a head, and a shoulder in that of St Chrysostom, an arm at St Esprit, a rib at St Eustache, I do not know how many bones at St Blaise, and a foot at Aix in Provence."

Saint Martin Jewish Cemetery


Saint Martin Jewish Cemetery

Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe - Burial within Church

Book of The Lives of the Fathers,
Martyrs, and Principal Saints
Alban Butler (1895)
Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson
He would abate nothing of his usual austerities without an absolute necessity. In his agony, calling for his clergy and monks, who were all in tears, he begged pardon if he had ever offended any one of them; he comforted them, gave them some short, moving instructions, and calmly breathed forth his pious soul in the year 533, and of his age the 65th, on the 1st of January, on which day his name occurs in many calendars soon after his death, and in the Roman; but in some few on the 16th of May,—perhaps the day on which his relics were translated to Bourges, in France, about the year 714, where they still remain deposited.His disciple relates, that Pontian, a neighboring bishop, was assured in a vision of his glorious immortality. The veneration for his virtues was such, that he was interred within the church, contrary to the law and custom of that age, as is remarked by the author of his life. St. Fulgentius proposed to himself St. Austin for a model; and, as a true disciple, imitated him in his conduct, faithfully expounding his doctrine, and imbibing his spirit.