⚡ Personal Narrative: Crucian Christmas Carnival

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Personal Narrative: Crucian Christmas Carnival

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But more than a year on, says Torsten Voigt, a sociologist at RWTH Aachen University in Germany who has researched burnout, this initial expenditure of energy may be catching up with us. People in lower-paid jobs are in fact at particular risk of burnout, precisely because they are given less resources and less support. The world in which burnout was initially conceived was quite different to the one we live and work in today. The gig economy, automation, smartphones, zoom calls have transformed the way many of us work. Though the World Health Organisation has not defined burnout as an occupational disease, the symptoms of burnout have become medical. Living through the pandemic has been making us sick. Any primary-care doctor will tell you that the physical-health toll of collective trauma — high blood pressure, headaches, herniated discs — have become quite common.

And this has been before many people have returned to the office or resumed their pre-pandemic schedules. The mental-health crisis of the pandemic is also very real. According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a staggering four in 10 adults reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, a quadrupling of the pre-pandemic rate. More than one in four mothers reported that the pandemic has had a major impact on their mental health. I do not suppose that people in Malta have been spared the crisis, though the percentages may be different.

This may be little comfort to those suffering, but this moment may pose an opportunity to rethink our roles at work and to reconsider our relationship with work — not just on an individual level, but on a societal one. Addressing burnout in a systemic way could mean reducing workloads, redistributing resources, or rethinking workplace hierarchies. One suggestion, is to give people more autonomy in their roles so that they can play to their individual strengths — fitting the job around the person rather than making a person fit into the job. But it could also mean grappling with broader inequalities, in the workplace and beyond.

This could mean improving a toxic company culture, adapting parental leave and childcare policies, or introducing more flexible working. It could be offering more social support to parents and carers. It could mean making sure everyone has decent working rights and a living wage. Making system changes is difficult. Feeling like a zombie. Frans Camilleri 6 min. Same Author Social. Frans Camilleri posted yesterday. Notify of. Inline Feedbacks. Most Read. Social The changing face of poverty Frans Camilleri posted yesterday. Subscribe for updates. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Manage consent. Close Privacy Overview This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website.

Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Necessary Necessary. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. He died in , on his way to visit Pope Clement V.

Among English alchemists of the fourteenth century may be mentioned Cremer, abbot of Westminster the disciple and friend of Lully , John Daustein, and Richard, who [25] both practised and wrote upon the "hermetic philosophy," as it was termed. John Dee born , the warden of Manchester College, and his assistant, or "seer," Edward Kelly born , were both avowed alchemists. Ashmole says of him, that "some time he bestowed in vulgar chemistry, and was therein master of divers secrets: amongst others, he revealed to one Roger Cooke 'the great secret of the elixir' as he called it 'of the salt of metals, the projection whereof was one upon a hundred.

Dee and Sir Edward Kelly were so strangely fortunate as to find a very large quantity of the elixir in some parts of the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. Dunstan, in the tenth century. After his return he dined with my Lord of Canterbury, where at that time was at the table Dr. Brown, the physician. They fell in talk of Kelly. Sir Edward Dyer, turning to the archbishop, said—'I do assure your Grace that that I shall tell you is truth: I am an eye-witness thereof; and if I had not seen it, I should not have believed it.

I saw Master Kelly put of the base metal into the crucible; and after it was set a little upon the fire, and a very small quantity of the medicine put in, and stirred with a stick of wood, it came forth, in great proportion, perfect gold, to the touch, to the hammer, and to the test. Brown answered, after his blunt and huddling manner, 'The gentleman hath spoken enough for me. Brown, 'he said he would not have believed it except he had seen it; and no more will I. Professor De Morgan observes that "Alchemy was more than a popular credulity: Newton and Boyle were amongst the earnest inquirers into it.

Homberg made gold by introducing light into the pores of mercury. Amongst the works of the Hon. Robert Boyle vol. After the fire had gone out, Boyle found in the crucible a yellow-coloured metal, possessing all the properties of pure gold, and only a little lighter than the weight of the materials originally put in the crucible. From these proofs of the credulity of great men, let us turn to the encouragements vouchsafed to alchemy and its adepts by the Kings and Parliaments of England. Raymond Lully visited England on the invitation of Edward I.

Katherine, in the Tower of London, he performed in the royal presence the experiment of transmuting some crystal into a mass of diamond, or adamant, as he calls it; on which Edward, [28] he says, caused some little pillars to be made for the tabernacle of God. It was popularly believed, indeed, at the time, that the English king had been furnished by Lully with a great quantity of gold for defraying the expense of an expedition which he intended to make to the Holy Land. Edward III. That this pretended science was much cultivated in the fourteenth century, and with the usual evil results, may be inferred from an Act passed 5 Hen. It is probable, however, that this statute was enacted from some apprehension that the operations of the multipliers might possibly affect the value of the king's coin.

Henry VI. These impostors practised with admirable success upon his weakness and credulity, repeatedly inducing him to advance them money wherewith to prosecute the operations, as well as procuring from him protections which he sometimes prevailed upon the Parliament to confirm from the penalties of the statute just mentioned. In this document the object of the researches of these "philosophers" is described to be "a certain most precious medicine, called by some philosophers 'the mother and empress of medicines;' by some, 'the inestimable glory;' by others, 'the quintessence;' by others, 'the philosopher's stone;' by others, 'the elixir of life;' which cures all curable diseases with ease; prolongs human life in perfect vigour of faculty to its utmost natural term; heals all healable wounds; is a most sovereign antidote against all poisons; and is capable of preserving to us and our kingdom other great advantages, such as the transmutation of other metals into the most real and finest gold and silver.

Fauceby, however, [30] notwithstanding his power of gold-making, did not refuse to accept a grant from the king, in , of a pension of l. We come now to the two most distinguished of Lancashire alchemists, both knights, and at the head of the principal families of the county. They seem to have been actively engaged together in the delusive pursuit of the transmutation of metals; and, self-deceived, to have deluded the weak king with promises of wealth which never could be realised. The former was the younger of two sons of Henry de Trafford, Esq. The elder son, Henry, dying at the early age of twenty-six years, this Edmund succeeded as his heir about King Henry V.

Their only son, Sir John Trafford, knighted about , in his father's life-time, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Ashton, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Knight; whilst Sir Edmund's youngest daughter, Dulcia, or Douce, married Sir John Ashton, a son of Sir Thomas, in ; so that the two families were connected by this double alliance. The date of his death is [31] not known. Sir Edmund Trafford died in Their supposed power of transmuting the baser metals into gold had great attractions for a weak king, whose treasury was low, and who was encumbered with debt. They were not mere adventurers, but men descended from ancient families, opulent, and of high estimation in their native county. Fuller found in the Tower of London, and copied, [22] a patent granted to these two knights by Henry VI.

The two knightly alchemists, doubtlessly imposing on themselves no less than on their royal patron, kept the king's expectation wound up to the highest pitch; and in the following year he actually informed his people that the happy hour was approaching when by means of "the stone" he "should be able to pay off his debts! Such are some of the most notable facts in the practice of alchemy as connected with Lancashire.

It will naturally be asked if alchemy is still practised in this county? We can only say, that if it be it is in very rare instances, and with the greatest secrecy. The more chemistry is known—and the extent to which it has been developed within the last twenty years is truly marvellous—the more completely it takes the ground from under the feet of a believer in alchemy. It is not like astrology, which accepts the facts of the true science of astronomy, and only draws false conclusions from true premisses. Alchemy could only have sprung up at a period when all the operations of the chemist's laboratory [33] were of the most rude, imperfect, and blundering character; when the true bases of earths and minerals and metals were unknown; when what was called chemistry was without analysis, either quantitative or qualitative; before the law of definite proportions had been discovered; when, in short, chemistry was a groping in the dark without the help of any accurate weight or measure, or other knowledge of the countless substances which are now so extensively investigated, and so accurately described in the briefest formulas.

A man, to become an alchemist in the nineteenth century, must study only the hermetical writings of past ages, shutting both eyes and ears to all the facts of modern chemistry. It is scarcely possible at this day to find such a combination of exploded learning and scientific ignorance. Hence we conclude that alchemy is in all probability, from the very nature of things, an obsolete and forgotten lore. Astrology literally the Science of the Stars , is now understood to signify the mode of discovering future events by means of the position of the heavenly bodies, which has been termed judicial astronomy. This quasi science found universal belief among all the nations of antiquity except the Greeks. Among the Romans it was eagerly cultivated from the time of the conquest of Egypt.

In the second century the whole world was astrological. All the followers of Mohammed have ever been, and still are, believers in it. The Church of Rome has repeatedly condemned the art, but popes and cardinals rank amongst its votaries. The establishment of the Copernican system was the death of astrology. The last of the astrologers was Morin, best known as the opponent of Gassendi. The latter in youth had studied and believed in the art, but afterwards renounced and written against it. Morin, who worked thirty years at a book on astrology, and who disbelieved in the motion of the earth, repeatedly predicted the death of Gassendi, but was always wrong, as he was in foretelling the death of Louis XIII. Since his death, in , the pseudo-science has gradually sunk, and has not since, it is believed, been adopted by any real astronomer.

Roger Bacon and other early English philosophers were believers in astrology, no less than in alchemy. In Lancashire the most remarkable practisers of the art were Dr. Dee was the son of a wealthy vintner, and was born in London in At the age of fifteen he was entered at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he seems to have devoted himself to the study of mathematics, astronomy, and chemistry; displaying great assiduity and industry. In he was strongly suspected of being addicted to "the black art," probably from his astrological pursuits; and having taken his degree of A.

Shortly after the accession of Mary, he was accused of "practising against the queen's life by enchantment ;" the charge being founded on some correspondence between him and "the servants of the Lady Elizabeth. On the accession of Elizabeth, Dee was consulted by Lord Robert Dudley respecting "a propitious day" for the coronation. He says, "I wrote at large and delivered it for her Majesty's use, by the commandment of the Lord Robert afterwards Earl of Leicester , what in my judgment the ancient astrologers would determine on the election day of such a time as was appointed for her Majesty to be crowned in. Nothing can better mark the belief in astrology than the fact that Queen Elizabeth's nativity was cast, in order to ascertain whether she could marry with advantage to the nation.

Lilly, some eighty years later, declares [25] that he received twenty pieces of gold, in order that he might ascertain where Charles I. In Dee again visited the Continent, and was presented to the Emperor Maximilian, probably on some secret mission; for Lilly says, "he was the Queen's intelligencer, and had a salary for his maintenance from the [36] Secretaries of State.

He was a ready-witted man, quick of apprehension, and of great judgment in the Latin and Greek tongues. He was a very great investigator of the more secret hermetical learning alchemy , a perfect astronomer, a curious astrologer, a serious geometrician; to speak truth, he was excellent in all kinds of learning. So strong was the popular belief in his neighbourhood that he had dealings with the devil, that in a mob assembled, broke into his house, and destroyed nearly all his library and collections; and it was with difficulty that he and his family escaped the fury of the rabble.

In October, , by the Queen's command, he had a conference with Dr. Kelly also acted as Dee's amanuensis, and together they held "conversations with spirits. Hence Butler says—. In a Polish noble, Albert Lasque, palatine of Siradia [? Sieradz] being in England, Dee and Kelly were introduced to him, and accompanied him to Poland. He persuaded them to pay a visit to Rodolph, king of Bohemia, who, though a weak and credulous man, is said to have become disgusted with their pretensions.

They had no better success with the king of Poland, but were soon after invited by a rich Bohemian noble to his castle of Trebona, where they continued for some time in great affluence, owing, as they asserted, to their transmuting the baser metals into gold. Kelly is said to have been sordid and grasping, without honour or principle. Lilly asserts that the reason of many failures in the conferences with spirits was because Kelly was very vicious, "unto whom the angels were not obedient, or willingly did declare [answers to] the questions propounded.

He died in In the Queen appointed Dee warden of Manchester College, he being then sixty-eight years of age. He resided at Manchester nine years, quitting it in for his old abode at Mortlake, where he died in , aged [38] eighty-one, in great poverty, and leaving a numerous family and a great many printed works and forty unpublished writings behind him. John Booker, a celebrated astrologer of the seventeenth century, was the son of John Bowker commonly pronounced Booker , of Manchester, and was born 23rd March, He was educated at the Manchester Grammar School, where he acquired some acquaintance with Latin.

From childhood he showed an inclination for astrology, and amused himself with studying almanacks and other books on that subject. After serving some time to a haberdasher in London, he practised as a writing-master at Hadley, Middlesex; and was subsequently clerk for some time to the aldermen at Guildhall. Becoming famous by his studies, he was appointed Licenser of Mathematical Publications, which then included all those relating to the "celestial sciences. James's Church, Duke's Place, London, where the following monument was erected [39] to him by Ashmole, who was one of his greatest admirers:—"Ne oblivione conteretur Urna Johannis Bookeri, Astrologi, qui Fatis cessit 6 idus Aprilis, A.

Hoc illi posuit amoris Monumentum, Elias Ashmole, Armiger. He was a very honest man; abhorred any deceit in the art he studied; had a curious fancy in judging of thefts; and was successful in resolving love questions. He was no mean proficient in astronomy; understood much of physic; was a great admirer of the antimonial cup; not unlearned in chemistry, which he loved, but did not practise; and since his decease I have seen a nativity of his performance, exactly directed, and judged with as much learning as from astrology can be expected.

His library of books came short of the world's approbation, and were sold by his widow to Elias Ashmole, Esq. Lilly and Booker were frequently consulted during the differences between the king and the parliamentary army, and were once invited by General Fairfax, and sent in a coach-and-four to head quarters at Windsor, to give their opinions on [ i. Booker became famous for a prediction on the solar eclipse of , in which year both the king of Bohemia and Gustavus, king of Sweden, died. Booker's works chiefly tracts or pamphlets were about fifteen or sixteen in number. The only work now worth notice is his Bloody Irish Almanack London, , quarto , [40] which contains some memorable particulars relative to the war in Ireland. He failed, however, to predict the Rebellion of , or that of ; and though under the years and he predicated "Sea Fights and Death of Fish," no hint of the "South Sea Bubble," the great event of those years, can be found amongst his prophecies.

He entertained no doubt of an "eclipse of the moon, moving subjects to seduction [? If we close here our notices of Lancashire Astrologers, it is not because we suppose the class to be wholly extinct. But those to whom we have so far referred, were well acquainted with astronomy, and erred only in superadding the delusions of astrology to the truths of that real science. The class still remaining in Lancashire, chiefly in country districts, are with very few exceptions greatly inferior in knowledge, and, mixing up the arts of the so-called sorcerer or conjuror with the deductions of the so-called "astral science" of which they are blundering smatterers, often ignorant of the very elements of astronomy , [41] they do not merit the name of astrologers, but should be classed with the numerous "wise men," "cunning women," and other varieties of fortune-tellers, who have not even the negative merit of being self-deluded by the phenomena of a supposed science; but are in their way mere charlatans and cheats, knowingly cozening their credulous dupes of as much money as they can extort.

Some notices of this class will be found in later pages. It is not with Bells generally, but only with Church Bells, and not with all their uses, but only such of them as are superstitious, that we are called upon to deal here. The large church bells are said to have been invented by Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, in Campania whence the low Latin name of Campana , about A. Two hundred years afterwards they appear to have been in great use in churches. The priests anciently rung them themselves.

Amongst their superstitious uses, were to drive away lightning and thunder; to chase evil spirits from persons and places; to expedite childbirth, when women were in labour; and the original use of the soul-bell or passing-bell was to drive away any demon that might seek to take possession of the soul of the deceased. Grose says that the passing-bell was anciently rung for two purposes: one, to bespeak the prayers of all [42] good Christians for a soul just departing; the other, to drive away the evil spirits who stood at the bed's foot and about the house, ready to seize their prey, or at least to molest and terrify the soul in its passage.

By the ringing of the bell they were kept aloof, and the soul, like a hunted hare, gained the start, or had what sportsmen call "law. Till about , it was customary at Roman Catholic funerals in many parts of Lancashire, to ring a merry peal on the bells, as soon as the interment was over. Doubtless the greater the clang of the bells, the further the flight of the fiends waiting to seize the soul of the departed.

There are some monkish rhymes in Latin on the uses of church bells, some of which are retained in the following doggerel:—. The following verses the spelling modernized further illustrate the subject: [28] —. Wynkin de Worde [29] tells us that bells are rung during thunder-storms, to the end that the fiends and wicked spirits should be abashed, and flee, and cease the moving of the tempest. There is a custom in some Lancashire parishes, in ringing the passing-bell, to conclude its tolling with nine knells or strokes of the clapper, for a man, six for a woman, and three for a child; the vestiges of an ancient Roman Catholic injunction.

At the death of a man three bells should be rung, as his knell, in worship of the Trinity, and for a woman, who was the second person of the Trinity, two bells should be rung. The great bell which used to be rung on Shrove-Tuesday [44] to call the people together for the purpose of confessing their sins, or to be "shriven," was called the "Pancake Bell," and some have regarded it simply as a signal for the people to begin frying their pancakes.

This custom prevails still in some parts of Lancashire, and in many country places throughout the North of England. Another bell, rung in some places as the congregation quits the church on Sunday, is popularly known among country people as the "pudding-bell," they supposing that its use is to warn those at home to get the dinner ready, as, in homely phrase, "pudding-time has come. The Curfew Bell [ couvre feu , cover-fire] is commonly believed to be of Norman origin; a law having been made by William the Conqueror that all people should put out their fires and lights at the eight o'clock evening bell, and go to bed. In one place the sexton of a parish was required to lie in the church steeple, and at eight o'clock every night to ring the curfew for a quarter of an hour.

The curfew-bell is still rung at Burnley, Colne, Blackburn, Padiham, and indeed in most of the older towns and many of the villages of Lancashire. It has nearly lost its ancient name, and is a remarkable instance of the persistence of an old custom or usage, long after all its significance or value has ceased. It is now merely called "the eight o'clock bell. Opposite the Cross-slack, on the sands near Blackpool, out [45] at sea, once stood the church and cemetery of Kilgrimol, long since submerged.

Many tales are told of benighted wanderers near this spot being terrified with the sound of bells pealing dismal chimes o'er the murmuring sea. Among the dim traces of an extinct worship of Bel, or Baal, the ancient sun-god, perceptible still among Celtic peoples, especially in Ireland and Scotland, are the three festival periods when fires are kindled on eminences in honour of the sun. The Chaldee Bel and the Hebrew Baal alike mean "Lord;" and under these names worship was paid by the old Asiatics to the sun, whose light and heat-giving properties were typified by fires kindled on the tops of high hills. In parts of Lancashire, especially in the Fylde, these traces of a heathen cult still linger. Two such fires were kindled by one another on May-day Eve in every village [46] of the nation, as well throughout all Gaul as in Britain, Ireland, and the outlying lesser islands, between which fires the men and the beasts to be sacrificed were to pass; from whence came the proverb, 'Between Bel's two fires,' meaning one in a great strait, not knowing how to extricate himself.

One of the fires was on the cairn, and the other on the ground. On the eve of the 1st of November all the people, out of a religious persuasion instilled into them by the Druids, extinguished their fires. Then every master of a family was religiously obliged to take home a portion of the consecrated fire, and to kindle the fire anew in his house, which for the ensuing year was to be lucky and prosperous. Any man who had not paid all his last year's dues to the Druids was neither to have a spark of this holy fire from the cairns, nor dared any of his neighbours let him take the benefit of theirs, under pain of excommunication; which, as managed by the Druids, was worse than death.

If, therefore, he would live the winter out, he must pay the Druids' dues by the last day of October. The Midsummer fires and sacrifices were to obtain a blessing on the fruits of the earth, now becoming ready for gathering; as those on the 1st of May, that they might prosperously grow; and those on the last of October were a thanksgiving for finishing their harvest. But in all of them regard was had to the several degrees of increase and decrease in the heat of the sun. At the cairn fires it was customary for the lord of the place, or his son, or some other person of distinction, to take the entrails of the sacrificed animal into his hands, and walking bare-foot over the coals thrice, after the flames had ceased, to carry them to the Druid, who waited in a whole skin at the altar.

If the fire-treader escaped harmless, it was reckoned a good omen, and welcomed with loud acclamations; but if he received any hurt, it was deemed [47] unlucky both to the community and to himself. The ceremony practised on May-day Eve, of making the cows leap over lighted straw or faggots, has been generally traced to the worship of this deity. The Irish have ever been worshippers of fire and of Baal, and are so to this day. The chief festival in honour of the sun and fire is upon the 21st [24th] June, when the sun arrives at the summer solstice, or rather begins its retrograde motion. Accordingly, exactly at midnight, the fires began to appear; and, going up to the leads of the house, which had a widely-extended view, I saw, on a radius of thirty miles all around, the fires burning on every eminence.

I learned from undoubted authority that the people danced round the fires, and at the close went through these fires, and made their sons and daughters, together with their cattle, pass the fire; and the whole was conducted with religious solemnity. The 1st of November was considered among the ancient Welsh as the conclusion of summer, and was celebrated with bonfires, accompanied with ceremonies suitable to these events, and some parts of Wales still retain these customs. A town in Perthshire is called Tillee Beltein — i. Near it are two Druidical Temples of upright stones, with a well adjacent to one of them, still held in great veneration for its sanctity.

The doctor describes the drawing of bits of a cake, one part of which is made perfectly black with charcoal, and he who draws the black bit is considered as "devoted to Baal, and is obliged to leap three times through the flame. The custom existed in the Isle of Man on the eve of the 1st of May, of lighting two fires on a hill-top, in honour of the pagan god Baal, and of driving cattle between those fires, as an antidote against murrain or any pestilent distemper for the year following.

It was also customary to light these fires on St. John's Eve June 23rd , and up to the present time a stranger is surprised to see on this day, as evening approaches, fires springing up in all directions around him, accompanied with the blowing of horns and other rejoicings. These fires were in honour of Beal , or Bealan , latinized into Belenus , by which name the Gauls and their colonies denoted the sun; and to this time the first day of May is by the Irish called La Bealtine , or the Day of Belen's Fire.

A field near Poulton in which the mummery of the "Teanlay" was once celebrated a circle of men standing with bundles of straw, raised on high with forks , is named "Purgatory" by the old inhabitants. Formerly this custom was not confined to one village or town of the Fylde district, but was generally practised as a sacred ceremony. What is a Boggart? A sort of ghost or sprite. But what is the meaning of the word Boggart? Brand says that "in the northern parts of England, ghost is pronounced gheist and guest. Hence bar-guest , or bar-gheist. It is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon gast , spiritus, anima. Drake, in his [50] Eboracum , says Appendix, p. I suppose it comes from Anglo-Saxon burh , a town, and gast , a ghost, and so signifies a town sprite. You descend, clinging to the trees, and scrambling as best you may, and now you stand on haunted ground!

Tread softly, for this is the Boggart's Clough, and see, in yonder dark corner, and beneath the projecting mossy stone, where that dusky sullen cave yawns before us, like a bit of Salvator's best, there lurks that strange elf, the sly and mischievous Boggart. I see him coming; oh no, it was only a hare bounding from her form; there [51] it goes—there! Perhaps the best story of this clough is that graphically told by Bamford [42] of three friends seeking by a charm consisting in gathering three grains of St.

John's fern seed there , to win for one of them the love of a damsel who was indifferent to him. There is scarcely an old house, or hall, of any antiquity in Lancashire, that cannot boast of that proud distinction over the houses of yesterday, a ghost or boggart. Radcliffe Tower was haunted by a black dog; perhaps in commemoration of the Fair Ellen of Radcliffe, who, by order of her stepmother, was murdered by the master cook, and cut up small, and of her flesh a venison pasty made for her father's dinner!

Smithells Hall , near Bolton, was formerly haunted by the ghost of the martyr George Marsh, whose stamped footstep indenting a flagstone, is still shown there. Ince Hall stands about a mile from Wigan, on the left-hand of the high road to Bolton. About a mile to the south-east stands another place of the same name, once belonging to the Gerards of Bryn.

The manor is now the property of Charles Walmsley, Esq. The two mansions Ince Hall and Ince Manor House , are sometimes confounded together in topographical inquiries; and it is not now certain to which of them properly belongs a tradition about a forged will and a ghost, on which Mr. Roby has founded a very graphic story, in his Traditions of Lancashire. There are the Boggart of Clegg Hall , near Rochdale; the Clayton Hall Boggart, Droylsden; the Clock House Boggart, in the same neighbourhood; the Thackergate Boggart, near Alderdale; and many others: indeed they are too numerous for us to attempt a full enumeration.

Higson observes [43] that few sombre or out-of-the-way places, retired nooks and corners, or sequestered by-paths, escaped the reputation of being haunted. Many domiciles had their presiding boggart, and feeorin' [fairies] swarmed at every turn of the dark old lanes, and arch-boggarts held revel at every "three-road-end. Aqueous nymphs or nixies , yclept "Grindylow," and "Jenny Green Teeth," lurked at the bottom of pits, and with their long, sinewy arms dragged in and drowned children who ventured too near.

On autumnal evenings, the flickering flame carburetted hydrogen, spontaneously ignited of the "Corpse Candle," "Will-o'-th'-Wisp," or "Jack" or "Peg-a-Lantern" for the sex was not clearly ascertained , performed his or her fantastic and impossible jumps in the plashy meadows near Edge Lane, to the terror of many a simple-minded rustic.

Fairies, also, were believed to commit many depredations; such as eating the children's porridge, nocturnally riding out the horses, loosing the cows in the shippon, or churning the milk whilst "calving," by the fireside, and stealing the butter; and hence, behind many a door, as yet observable in Clayton, both of dwelling and shippon, was carefully nailed a worn horse-shoe, believed to be a potent counter-charm or talisman against their freaks and fancies. There were certain localities in the township of Droylsden notorious as the rendezvous or favourite promenades of boggarts and feeorin', which after nightfall few persons could muster pluck sufficient to linger in, or even pass by, for—. Manifestly pre-eminent was "th' owd Green Lone," which "Jem Hill, th' king o' Dreighlesdin," used to assert "swaarmt wi' fairees, witches, un' boggerts, un' which nob'dy could mester bur hissel'.

Herds of four-footed boggarts used to issue from a pit at East End, in form resembling [54] "great big dhogs, wi' great glarin' een, as big as tay-cups. At last, being exorcised by an array of divines, it was laid for a time, beneath its favourite tree. A field-path from Fairfield to Ashton Hill-lane was nightly traversed by a being of another world, mostly representing a shadowy lady, draped according to whim, either in a loose white robe, or in rustling black silk. For a certain distance she glided in advance of the pedestrian, and then, by suddenly vanishing, most likely left his hair standing on end.

At one of the Greenside farms a murder was said to have been committed in the shippon; and the exact spot was supposed to be indicated by the impossibility of securely fastening a cow in one particular boose; for, however carefully its occupant was chained overnight, next morning she was sure to be found at large, and once was actually discovered on the shippon balks. Thither, it was believed, the cow had been carried by supernatural agency; but, be that as it may, it was necessary to lower her cautiously down, with the aid of ropes and blocks.

At a cottage adjoining, a boggart varied its amusements by drumming on the old oaken chest, still preserved; or, growing emboldened, shook the hangings of the bed, or rustled amongst the clothes; the alarmed occupants sometimes in despair rolling up the coverlet, and unavailingly whirling it at their invisible tormentor. At a neighbouring farm-house, amongst other vagaries, the boggart would snatch up the infant, whilst asleep between its parents, and, without awakening them, would harmlessly deposit it on the hearthstone, downstairs.

These pranks becoming insufferable, the help of a clergyman from the parish church was obtained; and fortunately, with the aid of counter-spells and incantations, he succeeded in laying the spirit for ever, declaring that,. Even yet one room in the mansion is named "the Bloody Chamber," from some supposed stains of human gore on the oaken floor planks; which, however, in reality are only natural red tinges of the wood, denoting the presence of iron.

Even since the formation of the new road, J. W——, the last of the ancient race of boggart-seers in the township, used to combat with feeorin' between East End and Droylsden toll-gate; but as he died a few years ago without bequeathing his gift, he happily carried with him his mantle to the grave. At a period just within memory, oft, after sunset, has the weary and tardy pedestrian quickened his speed on approaching some lonely place, by remembering how its tutelar spirit or Boggart could assume at will the shape of a rabbit, dog, bear, or still more fearful form.

On its appearance, of course, the wayfarer fled in affright, and from fear and unwonted exertion, often reached home utterly exhausted. Next day the story would be widely circulated through the thinly populated district, detailing at length and of course gathering minuteness and improvement in its transmission , how "Owd Yethurt o' Grunsho," or "Lung Tum woife," "th' neet afore wur welly ta'en by a great black Boggart, wi' great lung hurms, un' a whiskin' tail, [56] un' yure as black as soot, un' rowlin' e'en as big as saucers. Straight, well-paved roads; increased intellectual activity in useful channels, informing the minds of one locality with the ideas of another, the publication of scientific works; and lastly, according to one aged unbeliever, the introduction of "Owd Ned [the steam-engine], un' lung chimblies; fact'ry folk havin' summat else t'mind nur wanderin' ghosts un' rollickin' sperrits.

These humbler classes of boggarts are by turns both useful and troublesome to the farmers of the district where they choose to reside. Syke Lumb Farm, near Blackburn, is reputed to be still visited by one of these anomalous beings, and many of his mad pranks are still talked of and believed in the neighbourhood. When in a good humour, this noted goblin will milk the cows, pull the hay, fodder the cattle, harness the horses, load the carts, and stack the crops.

When irritated by the utterance of some unguarded expression or mark of disrespect, either from the farmer or his servants, the cream-mugs are smashed to atoms; no butter can be obtained by churning; the horses and other cattle are turned loose or driven into the woods; two cows will sometimes be found fastened in the same stall; no hay can be pulled from the mow; and all the while the wicked imp sits grinning with delight upon one of the cross-beams in the barn.

At [57] other times the horses are unable to draw the empty carts across the farm-yard; if loaded, they are upset; whilst the cattle tremble with fear, not at any visible cause. Nor do the inmates of the house experience any better or gentler usage. During the night the clothes are said to be violently torn from off the beds of the offending parties, whilst invisible hands drag these individuals down the stone stairs by the legs, one step at a time, after a more uncomfortable manner than we need describe.

Hothershall Hall, near Ribchester, was formerly the scene of similar exploits; but the goblin is understood to have been "laid" under the roots of a large laurel tree at the end of the house, and will not be able to molest the family so long as the tree exists. It is a common opinion in that part of the country that the roots have to be moistened with milk on certain occasions, in order to prolong its existence, and also to preserve the power of the spell under which the goblin is laid. None but the Roman Catholic priesthood are supposed to have the power of "laying an evil spirit," and hence they have always the honour to be cited in our local legends.

Sometimes, too, they have the credit of outwitting the goblins; and many an old farm residence has the reputation of having thus been freed from these imps of darkness till they can spin a rope from the sands of the Ribble. The mansion at Towneley does not escape the imputation of having its " Boggart ," although its visits are now limited to once in seven years, when its thirst for vengeance has to be satisfied by the untimely death of one of the residents at the Hall. A Sir John Towneley is supposed to have injured the poor of the district, nearly four hundred years ago, by "laying-in" a considerable portion of common to his park, and, as a punishment for this offence, his soul is said to haunt the scenes of his oppression.

The peasantry still aver "that the old [58] knight's spirit, being unable to rest, wanders about the mansion, and may be heard over the very parts taken in, crying, in most piteous tones—. The popular story of "The Boggart Flitting" is common to both Lancashire and Yorkshire; and indeed to most of the nations in the North of Europe. Of boggarts the Rev. William Thornber observes, [46] that there were several different kinds, having their haunts in that part of the Fylde near Blackpool; as, for instance, the wandering ghost of the homicide or the suicide; that of the steward of injustice, or that of the victim of a cruel murder; again, the lubber-fiends, the horse-boggarts, and the house-boggarts, or industrious, yet mischievous imps, haunting dwellings.

He names, "The headless Boggart of White-gate Lane," as a sample of the first class. So was "The Boggart of Staining Hall," near Blackpool, said to be the wandering ghost of a Scotchman who was murdered there near a tree, which has since marked the deed by perfuming the soil around with a sweet odour of thyme. Of another kind were those whose appearance was the forerunner of death in some families. The Walmsleys, of Poulton-le-Fylde, he adds, were haunted by a boggart of this description, always making its appearance with alarming noises before the decease of one of the family.

Of the lubber-fiends, house-boggarts, or brownies, so [59] strikingly described by Milton, [47] Mr. Thornber mentions the ancient one of Rayscar and Inskip, which at times kindly housed the grain, collected the horses, and got them ready for the market; but at other times played the most mischievous pranks. The famous "Boggart of Hackensall Hall" had the appearance of a huge horse, which was very industrious if treated with kindness. Every night it was indulged with a fire, before which it was frequently seen reclining; and when deprived of this indulgence by neglect, it expressed its anger by fearful outcries.

The following story is told and believed by some persons in Hornby. The Park Mistress may be supposed to be the ghost of Lady Harrington, who committed murder three hundred years ago. Margaret Brackin was born in , and died in The dialect is that of the locality:—. Having fallen into conversation with a working man on our road to Holme Chapel, we asked him if people in those parts were now ever annoyed by beings of another world. Affecting the esprit fort , he boldly answered, "Noa! You can go and see for yoursel', if you loike. Will's a plasterer, and the house is in Burnley Wood, on Brown Hills. Edwin Waugh, in his story of " The Grave of Grislehurst Boggart ," [49] says, the most notable boggart of the hilly district towards Blackstone Edge, was the Clegg Ho' Boggart, still the theme of many a winter's tale among [62] the people of the hills above Clegg Hall.

The proverb, "Aw 'm heere agen, like Clegg Ho' Boggart," is common there, and in all the surrounding villages Boggarts appear, however, to have been more numerous than they are now upon the country side, when working people wove what was called "one lamb's wool" in a day; but when it came to pass that they had to weave "three lambs' wools" in a day, and the cotton trade arose, boggarts, and fairies, and feeorin' of all kinds, began to flee away from the clatter of shuttles.

As to the Grislehurst Boggart, here is part of the story as told to Waugh, or by him:—"Whau it isn't aboon a fortnit sin' th' farmer's wife at the end theer yerd seed summat i' th' dyhed time o' th' neet; an' hoo war welly thrut eawt o' bed, too, besides—so then" Dasent's introduction to his Popular Tales from the Norse. The writer knows an old man, R. He alleges the practice of his grandfather and father in support of his method; and states with much confidence that—"Perliment didn't change t' seeasuns wen thay chang'd t' day o't' munth.

Dee's Diary Camden Soc. Curiosa , quoted by Thomson, p. For a list of Boyle's works connected with alchemy, see the Philosophical Epitaphs , by W. Thornber's History of Blackpool. John Higson's Notices of Droylsden. These are usually supplied for a consideration by the fortune-tellers, astrologers, or "wise men" of a neighbourhood. The following is a correct copy of one of these documents which was found over the door of a house in the neighbourhood of Burnley.

Its occupier had [63] experienced "ill luck," and he thus sought protection from all evil-doers:—. Another individual, well known to the writer, was so far convinced that certain casualties that happened to his cattle arose from the practice of witchcraft, that he unconsciously resorted to Baal-worship, and consumed a live calf in the fire, in order to counteract the influences of his unknown enemies. At the same time, almost every door about his house had its horse-shoe nailed to it as a charm, to protect all within it from demons and witches. A sort of superscription was in large and unknown characters, and inside the paper was nearly covered with a species of hieroglyphics, mixed with strange symbols; and in the top left corner a table or square of thirty-six small squares, filled with characters in red ink, the great bulk of the writing being in black ink.

The charm belongs to Jeremiah Garnett, Esq. Richard Garnett, of the British Museum, in May, It is this gentleman's explanation, with a very few additions and corrections by the present writer, the substance of which is now appended:—The table in the top corner is a sort of magic square, called by astrologers "The Table of the Sun. In a tablet, or space at the top of the paper, flanking this table, are five mystical characters, or symbols, in red ink. The first consists of the symbols of the sun, and of the constellation Leo, which, in astrology, is "the sun's own house," and where, of course, he is supposed to have the greatest power. A word in black-ink cyphers, under these symbols, is Machen , the cabalistic name of "the third [or fourth] heaven;" and the Archangel Michael being supposed to preside over the sphere [and to be the "Angel of the Lord's Day"], his seal, or cypher, is introduced below these symbols—a series of joined lines and swirls, like some long word written in one of the older English shorthands.

In astrology, every planet is supposed to have two beings, or spirits, attached to it, and called its Intelligence and its Spirit. The last figure which contains in a sort of quartering the word sigil , seal is "the seal of the Sun" himself, in astrological language. All these symbols show that the charm was meant to be put in operation on a Sunday, that being the day of the Archangel Michael, as well as of the sun. These symbols and table occupy the upper third of the paper, the remaining two-thirds being filled with the words of the charm itself, in fourteen lines, of a sort of cypher-writing, in which the five vowels are represented by a sort of arbitrary character, as are most of the consonants, g, l, m, n, and p, being written as Greek letters.

The fourteen lines may be thus rendered in ordinary letters; and it may be supposed that whoever pronounces the incantation, makes the sign of the cross wherever it is indicated in the writing:—. It will be seen that the first three lines of this charm are a sort of gibberish, with an admixture of Greek and Latin words, constituting in itself a charm, supposed to be efficacious in expelling or restraining evil spirits. With the fourth line, then, we begin our translation. Matthew, at the twentieth verse, 'By faith ye may remove mountains: be it according to [my] faith,' [51] if there is, or ever shall be, witchcraft [or enchantment] or evil spirit, that haunts or troubles this person, or this place, or this beast [or these cattle], I adjure thee to depart, without disturbance, molestation, or trouble in the least, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

In a charm cited in the Heptameron, or Mercurial Elements of Peter de Abano, these are called "the three secret names. The third which is also the last word in the second line of the charm is one also frequently in use amongst Talmudists and Jewish writers, meaning literally "four-lettered," as descriptive of the sacred and unpronounceable name "Jehovah," written in Hebrew by four letters. The word is here endorsed, as if to authenticate the whole charm, and to show that it is the production of an artist who understood his business; for "tetragrammaton," and "fiat," are words of such potency, that a charm without them would be of no efficacy whatever.

The Rev. Richard Garnett adds to his account of this charm in May, :—"I should think that the document is of no great antiquity, probably not more than thirty or forty years old. It was doubtless manufactured by some country 'wise man,' a regular dealer in such articles. There are, I believe, several persons within twenty miles of Blackburn, who still carry on a trade of this sort. Amongst other charms against evil may be named that of our ancestors, who, when eating eggs, were careful to break the shells, lest the witches should use them to their disadvantage.

We do the same for a similar reason; it is accounted unlucky to leave them whole. They avoided cutting their nails on a Friday, because bad luck would follow; but we have improved upon their practice, and lay down the whole theory as follows:—. Most grandmothers will exclaim, "God bless you! These lines may be taken either as charms or spells to produce the effect predicted; or as omens or warnings of the results to follow. In most parts of Lancashire it is customary for children to repeat the following invocation every evening on retiring to bed, after saying the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed:—. The influence of the " evil eye " is felt as strongly in this county as in any other part of the world, and various means are resorted to in order to prevent its effects.

In Lancashire our boys spit over their fingers in order [70] to screw up their courage to the fighting point, or to give them luck in the battle. Sometimes they do this as a sort of asseveration, to attest their innocence of some petty crime laid to their charge. Travellers and recruits still spit upon a stone and then throw it away, in order to insure a prosperous journey.

The ancients performed certain rites and ceremonies at the changes of the moon; and hence that luminary has added some curious items to the popular creed. Old Mother Bunch's Garland is an authority on these matters, and amongst many other things it teaches expectant females who desire to pry into futurity, to cross their hands on the appearance of the new moon, and exclaim—. We have noticed, in the introductory chapter, various other minor charms and spells to avert evil, or "bad luck," and to secure "good luck" or fortune for a coming period, usually a year.

I remember as a child sitting out of doors on an evening [71] of a warm summer or autumn day, and repeating the crow charm to flights of rooks, as they winged home to their rookery. The charm was chanted so long as a crow remained in sight, their final disappearing being to my mind strong proof of the efficacy of the charm. The lady-bird is placed upon the child's open hand, and the charm is repeated until the insect takes to flight. The warmth and moisture of the hand no doubt facilitate this, although the child fully believes in the moving power of the charm. The lady-bird is also known as lady-cow , cow-lady , and is sometimes addressed as " Cusha-cow-lady. One of the present editors has often joined in the lady-bird charm, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where it ran—.

According to a MS. Say this fifteen days together, twice a day; morning early [72] fasting, and in the evening full.

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