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the Welsh churches.” He also says: “In North Wales, pence and half-pence (in lieu of little rolls of bread), which were heretofore, and by some still are, given on these occasions, are now distributed to the poor, who flock in great numbers to the house of the dead before the corpse is brought out. When the corpse is brought out of the house, laid upon the bier, and covered, before it be taken up, the next of kin to the deceased, widow, mother, daughter or cousin, (never done by a man,) gives, over the corpse, to one of the poorest neighbours, three 2d. or four 3d. white loaves of bread, or a cheese with a piece of money stuck in it, and then a new wooden cup of drink, which some will require the poor person who receives it immediately to drink a little of. When this is done, the minister, if present, says the Lord's prayer, and then they set forward for church. The things mentioned above as given to a poor body are brought upon a large dish over the corpse, and the poor body returns thanks for them, and blesses God for the happiness of his friend and neighbour deceased.” This custom is evidently a remain of the SinEating, q. v.
It appears from the Statistical Account of Scotland, v. 523, that at Glasgow large donations at funerals are made to the poor, “which are never less than five pounds, and never exceed ten guineas, in which case the bells of the city are tolled.”
In Dives and Pauper, First Precept, chap. 63, we read : “ Dives. What seyst thou of them that wole no solemnyté have in their buryinge, but be putt in erthe anon, and that that shulde be spent aboute the buriyng they bydde that it shulde be yoven to the pore folke blynde and lame?—Pauper. Comonly in such prive buriynges ben ful smalle doles and lytel almes yoven, and in solemne buriynges been grete doles and moche almessel yoven, for moche pore people come thanne to seke almesse. But whanne it is done prively, fewe wytte therof, and fewe come to axe almesse! for they wote nat whanne ne where, ne whom they shulde axe it. And therefore I leve sikerly that summe fals executoures that wolde kepe alle to themself biganne firste this errour and this folye, that
Alnus. See examples in Halliwell's Dict., p. 47.
wolden make themself riche with ded mennys godes, and nat dele to the pore after dedes wylle, as nowe all false executoures use by custome.”
Blair's GRAVE. It having been a current opinion in the times of heathenism that places of burial were frequently haunted with spectres and apparitions, it is easy to imagine that the opinion has been transmitted from them, among the ignorant and unlearned, throughout all the ages of Christianity to this present day. The ancients believed that the ghosts of departed persons came out of their tombs and sepulchres, and wandered about the place where their remains lay buried. Thus Virgil tells us that Mæris could call the ghosts out of their sepulchres; and Ovid, that ghosts came out of their sepulchres and wan. dered about; and Clemens Alexandrinus, in his Admonitions
I “ The auncient fathers, being veri desirous to move their audience unto charitve and almose dedes, did exhorte them to refresh the poore and to give almoses in the funeralles, and yeares myndes of their frendes and kynnesfolkes, in stedde of the bankettes that the paynymes and heathen were wont to make at suche doinges, and in stedde of the meates that they did bring to their sepulchres and graves.” The Huntyng of Purgatory, by Veron, 1561, f. 106.
to the Gentiles, upbraids them with the gods they worshipped ; which, says he, are wont to appear at tombs and sepulchres, and which are nothing but fading spectres and airy forms.!
We learn from Moresin” that churchyards were used for the purposes of interment in order to remove superstition. Burial was in ancient times without the walls of cities and towns. Lycurgus, he tells us, first introduced gravestones within the walls, and, as it were, brought home the ghosts to the very doors. Thus we compel horses that are apt to startle, to make the nearest approaches we can to the object at which they have taken the alarm.
Strutt tells us, in his Manners and Customs, English Æra, i. 69, that “before the time of Christianity it was held unlawful to bury the dead within the cities, but they used to carry them out into the fields hard by, and there deposit them. Towards the end of the sixth century, Augustine obtained of King Ethelbert a temple of idols (where the king used to worship before his conversion), and made a burying-place of it ; but St. Cuthbert afterwards obtained leave to have yards made to the churches, proper for the reception of the dead."
In Articles to be inquired of in the Ordinary Visitation of the Right Worshipfull Mr. Dr. Pearson, Archdeacon of Suffolke, 1638, under the head of Churchyards, we read : “ Have any playes, feasts, banquets, suppers, church-ales, drinkings, temporal courts or leets, lay juries, musters, exercise of dauncing, stoole-ball, foot-ball, or the like, or any other profane usage been suffered to be kept in your church, chappell, or churchyard ?”
Churchyards are certainly as little frequented by apparitions
i "Marin sæpe animas imis excire sepulchris,
Virg. Bucol. viii. 98. “ Nunc animæ tenues-sepulchris-errant.” Ovid. Fasti. Admonit. ad Gent. p. 37. The learned Mede observes, from a passage of this same ancient father, “ that the heathens supposed the presence and power of dæmons (for so the Greeks called the souls of men departed) at their coffins and sepulchres, as though there always remained some natural tie between the deceased and their relicts."
?" Cæmeteria hinc sunt. Lycurgus, omni superstitione sublata, et ut vanæ superstitionis omnem eveleret è mentibus suorum formidinem, inhumari intra urbem et sepulchra extrui circa deorum templa," &c. Papatus,
and ghosts as other places, and therefore it is a weakness to be afraid of passing through them. Superstition, however, will always attend ignorance; and the night, as she continues to be the mother of dews, will also never fail of being the fruitful parent of chimerical fears. So Dryden :
“When the sun sets, shadows, that show'd at noon
But small, appear most long and terrible."
« Now it is the time of night,
That the graves, all gaping wide,
In the church-way path to glide." There is a singular superstition respecting the burial in that part of the churchyard which lies north of the church, that still pervades many of the inland parts and northern districts of this kingdom, though every idea of it has been eradicated in the vicinity of the metropolis. It is that that is the part appropriated for the interment of unbaptised infants, of persons excommunicated, or that have been executed, or that have laid violent hands upon themselves. In a curious and rare tract, entitled Martin's Month's Mind, that is, a certaine Report and true Description of the Death and Funeralls of olde Martin Marreprelate, the great Makebate of England, and Father of the Factious : contayning the Cause of his Death, the Manner of his Buriall, and the right Copies both of his Will and of such Epitaphs as by sundrie of his dearest Friends were framed for him, 4to. 1589, we read : “ He died excommunicate, and they might not therefore burie him in Christian buriall, and his will was not to come there in any wise. His bodie should not be buried in any church (especiallye cathedrall, which ever he detested), chappell, nor churchyard; for they have been prophaned with superstition. He would not be laid east and west (for he ever went against the haire), but north and south ; I thinke because · Ab aquilone omne malum,' and the south wind ever brings corruption with it.”
Dr. Lawrence, 1640, observes, “Christians distinguished their oratories into an atrium, a churchyard ; a sanctum, a church; a sanctum sanctorum, a chancell. They did conceive a greater degree of sanctitie in one of them than in
another, and in one place of them than another. Churchyards they thought profaned by sports, the whole circuit both before and after Christ was privileged for refuge, none out of the communion of the kirke permitted to lie there, any consecrate ground preferred for interment before that which was not consecrat, and than in an higher esteem which was in an higher degree of consecration, and that in the highest which was nearest the altar.”
In the Wise and Faithful Steward, or a Narration of the exemplary Death of Mr. Benjamin Rhodes, Steward to Thomas Earl of Elgin, &c., by P. Samwaies, his Lordship’s Chaplain, 1657, p. 27, we read : “ He requested to be interred in the open churchyard, on the north side (to crosse the received superstition, as he thought, of the constant choice of the south side), near the new chappel.” Rhodes was interred in Malden church, in Bedfordshire.
In White's History of Selborne, p. 322, speaking of the churchyard, that writer observes: “Considering the size of the church and the extent of the parish, the churchyard is very scanty; and especially as all wish to be buried on the south side, which is become such a mass of mortality, that no person can be there interred without disturbing or displacing the bones of his ancestors. There is reason to suppose that it once was larger, and extended to what is now the vicarage court and garden. At the east end are a few graves, yet none, till very lately, on the north side: but as two or three families of best repute have begun to bury in that quarter, prejudice may wear out by degrees, and their example be followed by the rest of the neighbourhood.” Sir John Cullum, in the History and Antiquities of Hawsted, co. Suffolk, 1784, p. 38, says : “ There is a great partiality here to burying on the south and east sides of the churchyard. About twenty years ago, wben I first became rector, and observed how those sides (particularly the south) were crowded with graves, I prevailed upon a few persons to bury their friends on the north, which was entirely vacant; but the example was not followed as I hoped it would, and they continue to bury on the south, where a corpse is rarely interred without disturbing the bones of its ancestors. This partiality may perhaps at first have partly arisen from the ancient custom of praying for the dead; for as the usual approach to this and most country churches