Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/300

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292


NOTES AND QUERIES [9 th s. XL APRIL n. iocs.


freshe malte made into drynke, and to certyn poore people to the value of nd. a peece."

The object of the bequest taking this form in preference to the impersonal "poor man's box" may probably be found in the con- temporary will of an Essex lady (1549) :

"And if it so be that they [special masses and dirges] cannot be suffred by the Kyng's lawes, then I wolle that all soche sommes of money as should be there distrybuted for diriges or soche services be given to the poore people where most nede ys. A preest of good and honest conversation to praye for my soule and all my frends soules, if the Kyng's lawes wolle so suffre yt, and yf yt be not suffred by the Kyng's lawes than I wolle that the money shoolde be so given to uch a preest for the said ii years be distrybuted by myn executours in deedes of Charitie to poore folke."

The same attachment to Catholic faith and practice evidently moved the peer's widow and the humble Sussex yeoman the same submission to authority in Church and State, however it might be regarded as Erastian in these later days, and doubtless the same sense of the break-up of much that had hitherto soothed and comforted them in their trials.

Four years later we find the reaction in full vigour under Mary, when Alice Ryckwater, of Telscombe (from internal evidence seen to be mother of John Ryckward of that place before mentioned), leaves (14 April, 1557) " iiis. mid. to the byeing of a vestment for the said church,^xviiid to buy llb. wax to brene before the Sepulchre." Whatever may have been the views of her son as revealed (or concealed) in his will, evidently his mother gladly conformed to the old ways, and as she leaves legacies to a number of sons anc daughters, she was probably not alone in her satisfaction at the turn events had taken.

The next extract, made 25 November, 1558 just eight days after the accession of Gooc Queen Bess, is of a similar tenor :

"I, Julian Rycward of Telscombe, of good anc

K' r t remembrance, but onely sycke in bodye, glory to Almightie God bequethe my soul unto

Almighty God, my only Creator, Redemer anc Savior, and my bodye in the Ch. of Telscombe tc be buried. 1 pay to the high altar therein nr tythes negligently forgotten. To the mother churcl at Chichester vid. 1 will be sayd at my buriall placebo and dirige and vi masses, and the peopl to be honestly refreshed yt come to the church t pray for my soule and all Xren soules. Item, bequethe to the aforesaid church a towell iiii yard long and sufficient money to buy ornaments for th said church."

His valuation was 30J. 15s. He evidentl had no misgivings as to coming religiou changes, and doubtless got his masses eve

the church did not long retain the " orna ments." It was not till more than six month later that the reformed office books came int


gal use, and with them the almost entire isuse of the synonym of Mass for the Eng- sh Communion service. It is perhaps note- worthy that even this zealous Catholic has o reference to the saints, but a decidedly Evangelical declaration of faith.

A generation passes away before another will of this family crops up, and in May, 588, the Armada year, we find that Thomas lickwoord, of South Mailing, " sicke in odye, but of p'ft memorie, thanks be to 3od," bequeaths his soul " to Almighty God, ny maker arid Redeemer, and my bodie to he earth to the poore of South Mailing xs., f the Clyffe (Lewes) xs., of Ringmer 13s. 4dL"

These legacies are doubtless a far-off echo

f the request for the prayers of the poor

yhich his forefathers had been accustomed

o make ; and the same may be said for

Edward Rickward, of Twineham, who (12 Ap.,

627), " being sicke in bodye, but of perfect

memory, for wh I prayse God," commits his

' soule into the hands of God my heavenly father,

toping through the mercies of Jesus Christ, my

nly Saviour and Redeemer, to be made partaker

f everlasting happiness in the kingdom of heaven,

and my bodie to the earth whence it came, to be

" uried at the discretion of my Exor."

3e gives 10s. to the parish of Hurst and 5s. each to various poor widows.

In the same year John Rickward, of East- bourne, leaves 20s. to that church ; but although I have copies of wills in each generation from that time, I cannot find any further trace of posthumous almsgiving. A certain warmth of religious expression, natural, perhaps, in so conservative a class as yeomen and churchwardens, runs down to a late date, but the old avowed fellow-feeling with their poorer neighbours seems to have died out with the loss of those devotions which, however they may have been ex- aggerated and turned to superstitious uses a fact admitted by all parties nevertheless had a tendency to widen the circle of a man's interests beyond his own immediate family, so as to include the welfare of his neighbours, rich and poor. G. RICKWORD.

Colchester.

Probably the custom of adorning graves with flowers on Palm Sunday, which still obtains in Monmouthshire, and was noticed 6 th S. ix. 285, is a survival from pre-Reforma- tion times. Palm Sunday was sometimes called Pascha Floridum (4 th S. xi. 275), and on that day the churchyard cross was decorated with flowers, and a procession of the Host took place, during which flowers were strewn. Similarly the custom (men- tioned in 3 rd S. vii. 275) of distributing cakes