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when the practice of bearing a garland of special form, such as has been used during the last three centuries, first commenced. We may, however, feel assured that natural flowers were employed for the decoration up to a comparatively late period. Indeed, the Rev. M. E. C. Walcott affirms, that the substitution of artificial ones did not take place until the commencement of the last century (Notes and Queries, 5th Ser., i, 12).

We pass on to describe the funeral garlands of this county (Derbyshire), premising that, although similar in their general form, the details of their construction, how carried in the funeral procession, etc., varied much in different villages.?

The first on our list is Ashford Church, where five of these garlands yet remain suspended from the roof of the north aisle. Within living memory the number was seven. Although they are much dilapidated, and the greater portion of their more perishable decorations have disappeared, yet enough remain to show the main features of their construction; and, notwithstanding many years elapsed between the oldest and the most recent, they possess a striking resemblance to each other, and were evidently framed on one model. The following is a brief description of one of these garlands when completed, together with the mode of construction.

The framework in each consists of two pliable pieces of thin wood, crossing each other at right angles in the centre, where they are bound together. The four free ends are bent downwards, and attached to a horizontal wooden hoop. A second hoop is fixed to the vertical portion, a short distance above the former, and the whole is secured firmly together at all the points of contact, so that the shape assumed is that of a skeleton helmet. The dimensions of the five vary from 15 ins. to 18 ins. in height, and from 11 ins. to 13 ins. in breadth.

Each horizontal hoop is encircled with a slip of white

1 Much of the information relating to Derbyshire Garlands is taken from papers in the Reliquary, by Mr. Llew. Jewitt and Mr. J. S. Briggs, and from Dr. Cox's Churches of Derbyshire. The Rev. J. B. Fenwick has kindly supplied several facts respecting the Garlands at Abbot's Ann Church, near Andover.

goffered paper, about twice the breadth of the hoop, and tied in the centre with a piece of narrow black ribbon. The uprights are concealed by long slips of pleated white paper, black bordered and with toothed edging, which hang down like streamers for several inches below the lower hoop, and terminate in semi-rosettes with bows of black ribbon. To the apex and junction with the upper hoop (and in some to the lower one also) are attached at the points of junction folded rosettes. These complete the external decorations.

From the inside of the apex are suspended a single white long-armed glove, and a kerchief (or collar), of white paper, which do not project beyond the base of the framework.

That one or other of these suspended articles usually bore an inscription recording the name and date of death of the maiden in whose honour the garland had been constructed, together with some lines of poetry, is fairly certain.

We have the testimony of Mr. Llew. Jewitt that, in 1860, the following lines appeared on the kerchief of one:

“Be always ready, no time delay,
I in my youth was called away ;
Great grief to those that's left behind,
But I hope I'm great joy to find.

Ann Swindel,
Aged 22 years,

Dec. 9th, 1798." With the exception of a small portion containing the terminal lines

time delay,

ed away,

the remainder has perished.

The Burial Register contains this entry of her interment:

“ 1798. Dec the 12. Burd Ann Daug' of Ralph and Mary Swindel.”

As her name is entered in the Register of Baptisms on June 2nd, 1776, her age at the time of death was twentytwo, and serves to corroborate the correctness of Mr. Jewitt's statement.

[graphic]

W. N. Statham, Photographer, Matlock Bridge.)

FUNERAL GARLANDS IN MATLOCK CHURCH.

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