« הקודםהמשך »
decorations, others were intermingled. One of the Matlock garlands has yellow rosettes, while at Acton Burnell one was “covered with narrow strips of white paper and black ribbon, adorned with black rosettes” (Shropshire Folk-Lore, 312).
Of the articles suspended in the framework, the gloves were the most constant, and appear to have been the one thing essential to a proper garland. There were generally two suspended from the inside of the apex, but this was subject to great variation; and, as already noticed, at Ashford only one was used. In the Minsterley specimen, three pairs of paper gloves of ordinary size were attached
to different parts of the framework; while at Abbot's Ann, near Andover, cartridge-paper cut into the form of long gloves or gauntlets are attached to ends of the rods in the circle, and a fifth to where they meet in the centre of the crown” (Inf. of the Rector, the Rev. J. B. Fenwick).
Occasionally real gloves have been employed, as in the instance of the “Lover's Garland” preserved in Astley Abbot's Church, Shropshire, which contains a pair of white kid gloves in memory of Hannah Phillips, who died on the eve of her marriage, and was buried May 12th, 1707 (Shropshire Folk-Lore, 311). By a curious perversion, the Shropshire Directory affirms it was Henry Phillips who “ died in 1707, when presenting himself at the altar to be married. The lady to whom he was about to be united survived him but a short period.” (quoted in the Reliquary, xxvi, 239). A paper kerchief or collar (for it is uncertain which was intended to be repre sented) commonly, but not invariably, accompanied the gloves.
According to the Antiquarian Repertory, iv (1809), 664, the gloves, etc., “were many times intermixt with gilded or painted empty shells of blown eggs, as further ornaments, or, it may be, as emblems of bubbles or bitterness of this life"; and this has been accepted as authentic by several writers. It is, however, copied verbatim from an article “On Burial Garlands" in Gent.'s Mag. of 1747, 264-5, where no authority for the statement is recorded, no example cited, and is uncorroborated by any other person.
The same article affirms that some "garlands had only a solitary hour-glass hanging therein, as a more significant symbol of mortality.” This also appears in the Antiquarian Repertory, and has been quoted by various writers as though based on fact (Dr. Oliver in Gent.'s Mag., 1829, i, 417; Journal of the B. A. A., xxxi, 194); but evidently founded on the following statement :-The Gent.'s Mag. of 1746, 640, contains “an account of an Hour-glass, found in a grave in Clerkenwell Church-yard,” in 1718. The sexton while digging a grave unearthed a coffin, so rotten as to fall to pieces at once, when there was " found an hour-glass close to the left side of the scull.” There is not the slightest intimation of its having formed a portion of a garland. Now the author of the article in the vol. for 1747, already noticed, after recording he had seen garlands placed in graves “in many places,” adds : “I doubt not but such a garland, with an hour-glass, was thus placed in the grave at Clerkenwell, which, at the rotting and falling in of the coffin, must consequently be found close to the scull, etc.”-an assumption that has led to error.
At present, no authentic instance has been cited of an hour-glass forming a portion of the contents of a funeral garland. Although, as Dr. Oliver states, on
suspended “inscriptions were frequently written, containing the name and age of the deceased, with verses expressive of the domestic virtues for which she had been remarkable,” very few of such inscriptions have come down to us. Two have already been noticed; that at Ashford was written on the kerchief, but authors mention it to have been usually inscribed on the gloves. No traces of any exist in the Matlock specimens. A very curious one may here be noticed : a garland in the church of Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk, " hangs from the south wall of the nave.
It is a large oval lozenge, surmounted by a small heart. On the side facing the chancel is written the name of Mary Boyce, in plain black letters. Above the name are cross-bones, and a skull and arrow, thus :
On the side of the west door is written :
Her death is thus recorded in the Burial Register in 1685:
“Mary, ye daughter of William Boyce, Nov. 15th” (Folk-Lore o Suffolk, Folk-Lore Society, 1893, 54-5).
The garland was almost invariably carried in front of the coffin, and usually by two maidens dressed in wbite, by whom it was borne on a stick or wand. At Ashford the bearers had been companions or dearest friends of the deceased, and this probably was the general rule as far as it could be carried out. At Abbot's Apn they were clothed in white dresses with white hoods, and were "of the same age as the deceased.”
A singular custom is reported to have been in vogue in East Yorkshire ,where " at the funeral of a maiden,
a pair of white gloves used to be carried at the head of the procession, by a girl about the same age and as much like the deceased as possible . . . The gloves bore the maiden's name, age, and date of death” (Folk-Lore of East Yorkshire, by J. Nicholson, 1890, 8). It will be noticed that no garland is mentioned, only one attendant is recorded, and whether the gloves were real or of paper does not appear. In the Comical Pilgrim's Pilgrimage, the garland is reported as “carried by a young woman on her head,” but four others hold the ends of the streamers attached to it, .“ before whom a basket of herbs and flowers is supported by two other maids, who strew them along the streets to the place of burial.” According to Dr. Oliver, at Clee, Lincs., the procession was headed by "children . . . habited in white, and arranged in pairs."
Some of the popular ballads issued in the early part of the seventeenth century (of which examples will be found in the Roxburghe, Bagford, Pepysian and other collections), demonstrate it to have been customary at that period to use fresh flowers for the garland, etc.; and the ceremony was made far more imposing than at a later date, by a larger number of white-clad maidens taking part in it. For example, the first portion of one, entitled * The Bride's Buriall," printed in 1603, thus describes the ceremony :
“ And now this Lover lives
A discontented life,
A Maiden and a Wife.
Of Lillies there was made,
And on her Coffin laid :
Did beare her to the ground;
And made a solemne sound.
For hungry wormes a prey :
. Soc., i, 186-9).
There is a rude wood-cut at the head of the ballad, showing the coffin covered with a black pall, on which is placed the funeral garland. Six maidens habited in white, with their hair loose, are represented as though bearing the coffin. It is probable that it is intended to show the latter in the church during the service, when it was customary to lay the garland upon it, as was certainly the practice at a later day.
Another in the same collection, headed “ Two Unfortunate Lovers; or, A True Relation of the lamentable end
of John True and Susan Mease,” has an impression from the same block; and at the funeral of the latter, who is termed " the patterne of true love,” we are informed
" Six maids in white, as custome is,
(Ibid., ii, 644-8. The same woodcut also does duty as an illustration to “ The True Lovers Lamentable Overthrow,” in the Bagford Ballads (Ball. Soc., i, 154).
A different illustration accompanies “ The Obsequy of Faire Phillida”; the coffin, borne by four men, is covered with a black pall or hearse, on which seventeen wreaths are shown.
At the funeral “ many shepheards—