The Natural History of Wiltshire eBook

John Aubrey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Natural History of Wiltshire.

Mrs. Mary Norborne, of Calne, a gentlewoman worthy of belief, told me that Mr....  White, Lord of Langley’s grave was opened forty years after he was buried.  He lay in water, and his body not perished, and some old people there remembred him and knew him.  He was related to Mrs. Norborne, and her husband’s brother was minister here, in whose time this happened.

Mrs. May of Calne, upon the generall fright in their church of the falling of the steeple, when the people ran out of the church, occasioned by the throwing of a stone by a boy, dyed of this fright in halfe an hour’s time.  Mrs. Dorothy Gardiner was frightened at Our Lady Church at Salisbury, by the false report of the falling of the steeple, and died in... houres space.  The Lady Jordan being at Cirencester when it was beseiged (anno atatis 75) was so terrified with the shooting that her understanding was so spoyled that she became a child, that they made babies for her to play withall.

At Broad Chalke is a cottage family that the generation have two thumbes.  A poor woman’s daughter in Westminster being born so, the mother gott a carpenter to amputate one of them with his chizel and mallet.  The girl was then about seven yeares old, and was a lively child, but immediately after the thumb was struck off, the fright and convulsion was so extreme, that she lost her understanding, even her speech.  She lived till seventeen in that sad condition.

The Duke of Southampton, who was a most lovely youth, had two foreteeth that grew out, very unhandsome.  His cruel mother caused him to be bound fast in a chaire, and had them drawn out; which has caused the want of his understanding.

[This refers to Charles Fitzroy, one of the natural sons of King Charles ii. by his mistress, Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland.  He was created Duke of Southampton in 1674; became Duke of Cleveland on the death of his “cruel mother “in 1709; and died in 1730.-J.  B.]

Mdm.  Dr. W. Harvey told me that the biteing of a man enraged is poysonous.  He instanced one that was bitt in the hand in a quarrell, and it swoll up to his shoulder, and killed him in a short time. [That death, from nervous irritation, might follow such a wound is not improbable:  but that it was caused by any “poison” infused into the system is an idea too absurd for refutation.- J. B.]


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