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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/190

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Near Launceston is the ancient house of Tresmarrow that belonged to Sir Hugh Piper, Governor of Launceston Castle under Charles I. By the marriage of Philippa, daughter and heiress of Sir Hugh, the house and property passed into the Vyvyan family; then it passed to a Dr Luke, whose wife was a Miss Vyvyan. He sold it to an old yeoman farmer of the name of Dawe, and it remained in the Dawe family till about five years ago, when it was again sold.

Now, in a niche in the old buildings for centuries was to be seen a human skull. All recollection of whose it was had passed away. One of the Dawes, disliking its presence, had it buried, but thereupon ensued such an uproar, such mighty disturbances, that it was on the morrow dug up again and replaced in its recess. The Dawe family, when they sold Tresmarrow, migrated to Canada, and have taken the skull with them.

There was a "screaming skull" at Waddon, in Dorsetshire, about fifty years ago, kept respectfully in a recess on the stairs; but as it was liable to be fractious and cause disturbances in the house, it was given to the Dorchester Museum, where it now is. The story about it is that it was the head of a negro, and it bore on it the mark, of