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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/194

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Brome was proved during the restoration of the church, some forty-five or fifty years ago, when Brome's tomb was opened and the skeleton discovered minus the head.

Now, we may ask, Why did Brome desire his head to be kept in the house? He was assuredly possessed with a traditional idea that it would be good for him, or for the household rather, td have his head as its guardian and overlooker of the household. Thus the head of Bran the Blessed was taken to London and buried where now stands the Tower; and it was foretold that so long as it remained there no invasion could be made of Britain. In a fit of vainglorious temerity King Arthur dug it up, saying that he chose not to hold the island except by his own prowess; and I have heard of a Black Forest farmer who desired to be buried on a hill commanding his whole land, so that he might see to it that the labourers did their work properly.[1]

Ivar the Boneless, King of Northumbria, when dying, ordered his body to be planted in a great mound, where he might watch and protect the confines of the kingdom, and he declared that Northumbria would not be

  1. Precisely the same thing occurs in an Icelandic saga.