Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/358

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


32 2 Hampshire Folklore.

At Abbots Ann within the last few years a garland was hung up after the funeral of a young girl. The garland consists of a paper crown with five white paper gloves, and is laid on the coffin. The crown is made of rosettes fastened on a wooden frame.

I came in to East Worldham one afternoon when a funeral was taking place. All the village had assembled along the road, and everyone wore at least some scrap of black. And at East Meon I once saw a child's funeral. The tiny coffin was covered with white satin, and was carried by children. All the village children followed in procession, even tiny tots who did not in the least under- stand that the occasion was not one for smiles and laughter. Unfortunately a distant train had to be caught with but small margin of time, and I was obliged to hurry away. East Meon is such a remote, such a comparativel} un- touched corner, that I felt I might be missing much of interest in hurrying past, perhaps the pathetic sight of broken toys placed on the tiny grave, — for the provision thus of spirit toys for the spirit child to play with is not an idea foreign to the county. At least it was done only a few years ago, Mr. Heanley informed me, at Monxton.

These had a single glove, a kerchief, or a collar attached to them, with a poem, the name of the deceased, and the date. At Ham, on the death of a betrothed person, man or woman, a wooden crown with paper rosettes and paper gloves was hung in the church. At Eyam, I was told that the custom had continued to within the last sixty or seventy years, but there are no relics left, and the present holder of the living could give me no information on the subject. At Ilkeston, fifty or more are said to have been hanging in the middle of the last century, and I have a note of seven " Virgins' Garlands" hanging in 1900 at Minsterley. The garlands consisted of wreaths and gloves hung from a heart-shaped shield, with initials of the dead virgins and the dates of their deaths, which were from 1554 to 1751. I have heard of the custom also in the following places, but so far have not been able to verify the facts: Bolton in Craven, 1783; Bromley, 1747; St. Paul's Cray, 1794; Stanhope, Durham, no date; Shipton and Grey's Foot, between Wrexham and Chester, 1785 ; Walthem, in Fanland Hundred, Lanes, no date; Walsingham, no date.