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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/400

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392
Correspondence.

and placing a finger of the other hand in the angle of the wards and the stem, continue turning the key towards herself until the vessel arrived, or until the tide turned and its coming was, for a time, hopeless. The object of the winding motion was to bring the vessel home. If, however, the person was watching the departure of a ship, the key would be turned in the same manner, but in the contrary direction, viz., from the holder, which act was supposed to invoke good luck for the vessel and the crew. I have little doubt that the custom is still (1891) observed, though now probably to only a very limited extent." I should be glad if any member could give other examples of a similar custom elsewhere.

Great Yarmouth.
W. B. Gerish.
 


"THE SIN-EATER."

To the Editor of Folk-Lore.

Sir,—In connection with Mr. Hartland's article on "The Sin-Eater" in Folk-Lore for June 1892, the following occurrence at a funeral near Market Drayton in Shropshire may interest you.

The funeral took place on the first of this present month.

The minister of the chapel where the deceased woman had been a regular attendant held a short service in the cottage before the coffin was removed.

The lady, who gave ms the particulars, arrived rather early, and found the bearers enjoying a good lunch in the only downstairs room. Shortly afterwards the coffin was brought down and placed on two chairs in the centre of the room, and the mourners having gathered round it the service proceeded. Directly the minister ended, the woman in charge of the arrangements poured out four glasses of wine and handed one to each bearer present across the coffin, with a biscuit called a "funeral biscuit".