Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/166

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156 Collectanea.

walked backwards and forwards, or sometimes joined hands in such a manner that the face of one looked away from the face of the other, and they then went round in a circle, of which their hands were the centre.

Essex. — On Friday Hill, between Chingford and Woodford, old men have often seen a spirit of a woman dressed in white; others have seen spirits in long white dresses flying about in the air. The latter have also been seen in Chingford old churchyard.

(Told in 1872.)


I can laugh, I can sing, I can drive away care,
I've enough for myself, and a little to spare;
If a friend by chance should come by this way,
We'll make him as welcome as the flowers in May.

I heard the above sung by a boy at English Bicknor, Gloucestershire, in 1880.

Hertfordshire. — At Weston, two stones in the churchyard, 14 ft. 7 inches apart, are said to be the head and foot stones of the giant Jack o' Legs, who is there buried with his body doubled up. He lived at Baldock, — where, as he walked along the street, he would look in at the first-floor windows, — and thence he shot an arrow, saying that where it fell he wished to be buried. It fell in Weston Churchyard, and, in its flight, knocked away a corner of the church tower.[1]

(Told in 1883.)

Near Stevenage are six barrows by the roadside. My father, John Emslie, was told, in 1835, by Mr. Williams, baker, of Stevenage, that in an adjoining wood are seven pits and one barrow. The devil, having dug out six spadefuls of earth, emptied them beside the road, thus making the six barrows. He then returned to the wood, dug another spadeful of earth (thus making the seven pits) and, walking along with this spadeful, dropped it and thus made the solitary barrow, which, I was told in 1883, had long since been cleared away. (1875, 1883.)

Isle of Wight. — At Centurion's Copse, near Brading, there was formerly a tree, at the root of which a large treasure was said to be buried. This treasure could only be got at by rooting up the tree with twelve white oxen; in no other way was it possible to

  1. Compare Robin Hood's grave at Kirklees, and Little John's at Hathersage.