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that: “ The first notice of an ancient bridge dates about 950), and curiously enough comes out of the record of execution by drowning, at London Bridge, of a woman who was compassing the death of a nobleman by sticking pins in a wax image of bim : a species of witchcraft then and afterwards common enough, and in the shape of “ill-wishing' or 'overlooking still believed in in some country districts.
As this kind of necromancy was supposed to bring about the fatal result, that the intended victim should pass slowly away in some mysterious manner, the punishment was in proportion; and the woman was secured at low water, and drowned as the tide rose.' This remarkable case is also spoken of by Kemble in his Introduction to the Codex Diplomaticus Ævi Saxonici, vol. i, p. lix.
Waxen images were believed in Scotland to have been used by witches to work their hellish purposes. In 968 King Duff only saved himself from a mortal sickness, by discovering in time, and breaking, a wax figure of himself melting away at a witches' fire at Forres, in Murray. For this treasonable act, several witches were immolated.
Marigny, the cruel persecutor of the Knights Templars in the early part of the fourteenth century, was himself charged with being a sorcerer, and having striven to murder Louis X of France, and others, by fashioning images of them in wax and then stabbing them with pins; and for which crime he was gibbeted at Montfaucon. John Gower (ed. 1532, f. 138) tells us of one who
through the craft of artemage,
Of waxe he forged an Ymage ;” and that others did the like in the poet's time, and subsequently, we have many instances.
În Grafton's Chronicle, p. 587, we find record that Roger Bolinbrook, a necromancer, and Margery Jordane, the Witch of Eye, at the request of Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, devised a waxen image representing King Henry VI, which by their sorcery a little and little consumed, intending thereby in conclusion to waste and destroy the King's person.
In the year 1470, the Earl of Mar, twelve women, and
several wizards, were burnt at Edinburgh for melting a waxen image of James III, King of Scotland.
In Dr. Babington's translation of Hecker, on the The Dancing Mania (p. 38), there is mention of one of the most extraordinary purposes to which the waxen image was ever applied : namely, in the cure of St. Vitus's Dance. The great Paracelsus, who flourished in the first half of the sixteenth century, considered one form of this disease was due to the imagination, and therefore, " the patient was to make an image of himself in wax or rosin, and by an effort of thought to concentrate all his blasphemies and sins in it. Without the intervention of any other person to set his whole mind and thoughts concerning these oaths in the image ; and when he had succeeded in this, he was to burn the image so that not a particle of it should remain.” This appears to be the only instance of the waxen image being fashioned for commendable purposes.
The Court of Queen Elizabeth was much distracted by a supposed attempt to kill, or at any rate discomfort, the royal lady by aid of wax and pin. 'The learned Dr. John Dee records in his Diary, that his “careful and faithful endeavour was with great speed required (as by divers messages sent to me one after another in one morning) to prevent the mischief which divers of her Majesty's Privy Council suspected to be intended against her Majesty's person, by means of a certain image of wax, with a great pin stuck into it about the breast of it, found in Lincoln's Inn Fields.” The good and wise Doctor was able by his skill to allay the fears of her Majesty and her Privy Council.
Ferdinand Stanley, Earl of Derby, who died by poison, April 16th, 1594, is thus spoken of by Andrews in his continuation of Henry's History of Great Britain, p. 93 : “ The credulity of the age attributed his death to witchcraft. The disease was odd, and operated as a perpetual emetic; and a waxen image, with hair like that of the unfortunate Earl, found in his chamber, reduced every suspicion to certainty.”
Shakespeare makes allusion to the waxen image superstition in two of his plays. Proteus, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, ii, 4, says :
love is thaw'd,
And Melun, in King John, v. 4, exclaims, after he is wounded :
“Have I not hideous death within my view ?
King James, in his Dæmonology (Bk. II, chap. v), tells us that: “ The devil teacheth how to make pictures of wax and clay, that by roasting thereof, the persons that they bear the name of may be continually melted or dried away by continual sickness.”
Monsieur Cyrano de Bergerac, in his Satyrical Characters and Handsome Descriptions, in Letters, translated out of the French by a Person of Honour, 1658, p. 45, makes the Magician say, among other things : “I teach negromancers to destroy their enemies by making a little image in wax, which they, throwing into the fire, or pricking, the original is sensible of these torments that they expose the image to.”
That the superstition respecting the waxen image and torturing it with pins had not quite vanished in the days of our grandfathers, is proved by the following extract from the Diary of the Times of George the Fourth, London, 1838, vol. i, p. 294, published by Colburn. Of the Princess of Wales it is said: “After dinner her Royal Highness made a wax figure as usual, and gave it an amiable addition of large horns; then took three pins out of her garment and stuck them through and through, and put the figure to roast and melt at the fire. The Princess indulges in this amusement whenever there was no strangers at table, and she thinks her Royal Highness really has a superstitious belief that destroying this effigy of her husband will bring to pass the destruction of his royal person. What a silly piece of spite !” How well is the desire of the Princess expressed in the following quartet :
“Prick every pin, and wax melt,
And to death my victim send." We have now had a glimpse of the pin in proverb, omen, and as an instrument of brutal and malignant spite; and it is curious to observe how its various powers are severally set forth in doggerel rhyme. It is a perfect marvel how and why this insignificant little implement has gained such an exalted eminence in popular superstition; but its elevation may in some degree be due to the fact that the pin is found in every household and in every pathway, and is therefore a ready means whereby witchcraft may be supposed to work its ends for good and evil. Much as is here adduced regarding pin-lore, we may
be sure that it is not a tittle of what might be gathered on the subject : and many doubtlessly could easily augment the tiny“ packet of pins” now offered for acceptance, together with the waxen image.
· A PLEA FOR THE PRESERVATION OF
MANORIAL COURT ROLLS.
BY W. E. FOSTER, ESQ., F.S.A.
HONORARY MEMBER OF THE SPALDING GENTLEMEN'S SOCIETY.
(Read at the Peterborough Congress, July 18th, 1898.)
I want to call your attention to the
tures they contain of the daily lives of our forefathers, and even of their thoughts and feelings. I do not expect to lay before you any views of our manorial system with which you are not already perfectly familiar, but I may perhaps succeed in showing that illustrations of the practical working of such system lie close to our hands, and may be gathered with less labour than is generally supposed.
The documents to which I have referred fall into two classes : 1st, the yearly accounts of rents and profits rendered by the Reeve or Bailiff, and which may be said to exhibit the manor in a state of rest; and 2nd, the Court Rolls, which, by recording the proceedings of the Court Baron, show the machinery of the manor in motion.
From very early times, the Crown was most exact in keeping an account of its possessions, and about the middle of the 13th century, we find not a few of the great religious houses—always the most prudent and methodical of landlords—also keeping a written record of what was done in their courts, and reducing into