Anecdotes and Traditions: Illustrative of Early English History and Literature, Derived from Ms. Sources

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William John Thoms
Camden Society, 1839 - Anecdotes - 166 pages
 

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This volume is the Annual Report of the Camden Society for 1838-39 in which several historical writings are published. It contains the Society's report, membership list etc.

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Page 2 - What things have we seen Done at the ' Mermaid ? ' Heard words that have been So nimble, and so full of subtle flame, As if that every one from whence they came Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest, And had resolved to live a fool the rest Of his dull life.
Page 91 - Sirftt, which they say is laid over the midst of hell, and describe to be finer than a hair and sharper than the edge of a sword...
Page 10 - WE, the Auditors appointed to audit the Accounts of the Camden Society, report to the Society, that the Treasurer has exhibited to us an Account of the Receipts and Expenditure...
Page 34 - Your lamb shall be without blemish a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
Page 94 - COCKLE BREAD Young wenches [Aubrey loquitur] have a wanton sport which they call moulding of Cockle-bread, viz., they get upon a table-board, and then gather up their knees and their coates with their hands as high as they can, and then they wabble to and fro, as if they were kneading of dowgh, and say these words, viz. : My dame is sick and gonne to bed, And I'le go mould my Cockle-bread.
Page 50 - ... What d'ye buy ? For here it is to be sold." I have beauty, honour, grace, Fortune, favour, time, and place, And what else thou wouldst request, E'en the thing thou likest best ; First let me have but a touch of your gold. Then come to me, lad, Thou shalt have What thy dad Never gave ; For here it is sold.
Page 29 - Jonson was at a tavern, and in comes bishop Corbet (but not so then) into the next, room. Ben Jonson calls for a quart of raw wine, and gives it to the tapster ; Sirrah !' says he, ' carry this to the gentleman in the next chamber, and tell him I sacrifice my service to him.
Page 26 - And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the Acts of Solomon ? And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
Page 34 - And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you s to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
Page 105 - CHAPTER XXXIV The king, therefore, for his defence Against the furious queen, At Woodstock builded such a bower As never yet was seen. Most curiously that bower was built, Of stone and timber strong ; An hundred and fifty doors Did to this bower belong : And they so cunningly contrived, With turnings round about, That none but with a clew of thread Could enter in or out.

About the author (1839)

William John Thoms initiated the term "Folk-Lore" into the study of "Popular Antiquities" or "Popular Literature" in a letter printed in the Athenaeum, August 22, 1846, and charted a course for its study. He envisioned reconstructing the ancient pagan mythology of Britain in the same fashion the Brothers Grimm had done earlier in Germany. This was his central contribution to mythology and folklore but by no means his only one. In fact, while he supported himself as a clerk in the secretary's office at Chelsea Hospital (until 1845) and then as a clerk in the printed-paper office of the House of Lords (until 1863), he was a leading participant in antiquarian societies, elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1838, and appointed secretary of the Camden Society the same year. He was also a council member of the Percy Society. Thoms's main work as a literary antiquarian was as an editor, and it is important to note how strongly he advocated the need for careful scholarship in collecting folklore, always demanding exact dates, page references, and full titles for actual texts, rather than the vague allusions that had previously been common. In addition to using the Athenaeum to launch folklore as a field of scholarship, Thoms continued to promote the field in Notes and Queries, which he founded in 1849, and for which he served as sole editor until 1872. Thoms also established a correspondence with George Laurence Gomme in the publication, beginning in 1876, which resulted in the formation of The Folk-Lore Society two years later.