Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/163

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Scraps of Folklore collected by John Philipps Emslie.

[The late Mr. J. P. Emslie was a Londoner by birth, and an engraver by profession. He was accustomed throughout his h'fe — 1839-1913 — to make sketching excursions on foot in different parts of England, and to enquire into the local folklore by the way. What he heard he recorded in two small i2mo notebooks, one dealing with London and its environs, the other with the country at large, which have now been presented by his executors to the Folklore Society. They will be placed in the Society's library, and the similar books containing topographical drawings, which accompanied them, in the London County Council's Museum. The following Notes represent the contents of the general commonplace book, arranged under counties by Miss Frances Henley of Charlton Kings. It will be seen that they consist chiefly of scraps of local legend, though here and there occurs the description of some celebration of which Mr. Emslie was an eyewitness. That of Bonfire Night at Lewes in 1899, where he tells us he saw men running through the flames, is especially worthy of note. The first-hand character of the evidence, and the early date of some of the records, give a value of its own to the little collection, begun before any Society existed to encourage the work, and patiently gathered together through so many years.

Mr. Emslie was an original member of the Folk-Lore Society and for some years had a seat on the Council. He contributed several notes to the earlier volumes of Folk-Lore, and gave the device which with the motto Alter et idem has figured on the