The snake was as much revered in Britain as in all other corners of the world, and no disrespect was implied in describing him as a worm. Hence the family of Wyrmings, and such geographical traces as Wormington, Wormingford, and even Ormskirk and Great Orm's (or Worm's) Head. The Earnings were adherents of the earn or eagle; the Everings or Eoferings of Eofer, the wild boar, whose home was at Eversley. Raveningham and Cockington are said to bear the name of the old lords of the soil, the sons of the raven and of the cock; while the Fincings of Finchingfield and the Thryscings of Thrushington, are said to represent the families who adopted the Thrush and the Finch as their totem.
Altogether there appears good reason to infer that the reverence for birds and beasts, fishes and reptiles, which excites our compassionate wonder in reading of poor untutored savages, such as these Samoans, was once a powerful influence in our own British Isles.
Sunday Evening, 30th September.
It is finally settled that I am really going on to Tahiti. From what I have told you, you can fully understand that Samoa would not be an inviting place in which to lie stranded for an unlimited period; and though I, individually, have received the greatest possible kindness from many of the foreign residents, and from the Samoan chiefs of both parties, still the whole atmosphere is tainted with lies and the strivings of self-interest, and is altogether unwholesome. So I have definitely accepted the invitation so repeatedly and heartily given, and to-morrow I am to return on board the Seignelay.
- See an interesting article on the origin of clan names in Britain, 'Cornhill Magazine,' September 1881—"Old English Clans."