Filed under superstition

Witch Test

A lot of the fuss about witchcraft was due to the lack of sensible people in the areas affected, who could put an end to the nonsensical allegations. This is from a collection of articles Ringing Church Bells to ward off Thunderstorms and otr Curiosities from the original Notes and Queries: This is from February, 1759: … Continue reading

Cricketers and Ghosts

I’ve always thought that sports people are a rather sensible lot, but I guess there’s always an element of luck in what they do, which may leave them open to superstition. But here’s a small article from yesterday’s I that made me wonder what’s going on in cricket: “Pakistan cricketer Haris Sohail was left “visibly … Continue reading

Punishing a Corpse

This is more from The rise & fall of the house if Medici: Following the murder of Giuliano & attempt on his brother Lorenzo, DW Medici: “Jacopo de’Pazzi, so overcome by despair at the failure if the plot that he boxed his own ears and threw himself on the floor in despair and rage, managed … Continue reading

Opposition To Henry

I was surprised at the apparent lack of opposition to the religious reforms in England, but opposing the king was treason, so few dared speak out. There were many clerics who argued in favour of traditional religion, some churches refused to take down shrines or put them back after hiding them. Pilgrimages continued in some … Continue reading

Mannes Gere

Sir Thomas More wrote against pilgrimage sites, noting the shrine of St Valley in Picardy, specialising in genital disorders, impotence, & infertility, where “all theyr offrynges, that hinge about the walles, none other thyne but manned here and women’s here made in wax. “

Prayer or Spell?

“I Bind unto myself the Name The Strong Name of the Trinity By invocation of the same The Three in One and the One in Three” This looks to me like a spell bit it is from St Patrick’s breast plate, part of  the modern Anglican service. As Eamon Duffy writes in Stripping of the … Continue reading

Rogation Celebrations

Where this survives, it is a walk of the boundaries, of the parish, but it used to be far more important. They rang bes to scare devils away. It was to ensure fertility if the fields, established Connections between heaven & their parish, and by walking with neighbours gave a chance to settle disputes, forgive … Continue reading

Witchcraft in Christianity

Much of written history is about how the great and good control and manipulate the poor, but the more interesting parts are when the apparently ignorant and powerless make use of what they are given to create something very different. In the book ‘The Stripping of the Altars, Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580 by Eamon … Continue reading

Astronomy and the Sea

The book I’m slowly swimming through, shaping Time, is slow work because it keeps making me think of other things it highlights. Like the fact that accurate astronomy was known by the ancients, almost 2,000 years ago, but for most of European history, sailors relied on deep local knowledge and guess work. If they used … Continue reading