Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/11

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11 S. XL JAN. 2, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES,


LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY 2, 1915.


CONTENTS. -No. 262.

NOTES: An Analogy bo Sir Thomas Browne, 1 Th Literary Frauds of Henry Walker the Ironmonger, 2 Holcroft Bibliography, 4 The Prologue to ' East wan Hoe.' 5 Printing at Pontypool "From China to Peru, 6 Poem attributed to Dr. Johnson The Founder of th Hulme Trust" The Day " " Cousamah," 7

QUERIES : Name of Play Wanted, 7 William Thompson d. 1775 Botolph Lane Nathaniel Cooke Sir Everarc Digby's Letters Saluting the Quarter-deck Bishop Douglas's Virgil : The Sibyl, 8 Oliver Cromwell o Uxbridge Henry CrowntieM Old Etonians " The Piraeus mistaken for a man " East Anglian Families Elizabeth Stainton Newnham Family Luke Robinson M.P. Williamson of Annan, 9.

HEPLIES : Lieut. -Col. Thomas Carteret Hardy, 10 Th Kingdom of Fife Beszant Family Detectives in Fiction 11 Fielding's ' Tom Jones ' : its Geography Medalli< Legends 'The Titled Nobility of Europe 'Heraldry o Lichfield Cathedral Fire and New-Birth, 12 Authoi Wanted Borstal The Height of St. Paul's Shake speariana : " Hallooing "Alphabetical Nonsense, 13 " Holy Thursday "Modern Advocate of Druidism De Tassis, the Spanish Ambassador temp. James I. Regent Circus, 14 Scots Guards: Regimental Histories Wild Huntsman Early Steam - Engines, 15 George IV.'s Natural Children Timothy Skottowe, 16 Quotations Wanted Moyle Wills " Thirmuthis," 17 - O'Neill "Spiritual members "" Sound as a roach "" Madame Drury" " We'll go to Kew in lilac time " Kentish Tokens Baptism of Clovis, 18.

NOTES ON BOOKS : Whitaker's Almanack and Peerage Papers of the Hampshire Field Club ' The Library Journal Winter's Pie' 'The Cornhill.'

Notices to Correspondents.


AN ANALOGY TO SIR THOMAS BROWNE.

FOB those attracted by the works of Sir Thomas Browne the following coincidence may prove of interest. In the essay which forms a sort of supplement to his * Urn Burial,' Browne relates that while certain persons were digging in the vicinity of Brampton, England, they came upon a curious method of burial. About three-quarters of a yard below the surface of the ground was found u square, about two yards and a half on each side, surrounded by a brick wall. This wall measured a foot through, and was coloured red, although there was no masonry of any kind visible. The square was of the same substance as the wall ; in fact the square and wall evidently consisted of one solid piece, which had been burnt into the correct shape. On this wall there were thirty-two holes about 2 in. in diameter, on two of which were found pots, mouth downwards. In these pots, however, nothing was discovered beyond a quantity of water, and in one of


them a deposit a " great lump of an heavy crusty substance." This substance might very probably be the remains of the body of a buried person, which the action of the water had changed into the form of crust.

Upon exploring further, it was found that the square had three successive floors about two feet below one another. Pots were dis- covered in some of these floors corresponding to the one described above, although some of them were found to be entirely empty. Sir Thomas Browne makes no conjecture as to what race these pots belonged to, or in what period they were placed in position. He simply says that " what work this was we must as yet reserve unto better con- jecture."

It is at this point that I bring in my peculiar coincidence. While on a visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, some four years ago, the one custom that appeared to me very- strange was the method of burial there practised. Instead of interring the dead below the surface of the ground, as has been the custom of the majority of Christian peoples throughout modern times, they bury their dead in a wall built around the outside of the cemetery. This wall is about six feet in width, and, besides encompassing the burial-ground, also crosses the cemetery through the centre. It is divided into sections, each section being about two feet square at the mouth, and about as deep as the wall itself. When a person dies they place the corpse in a copper casket, tapering it both ends, with a top that can be opened. When the corpse is within, the casket is hermetically sealed, and placed in the section of the wall belonging to that particular family, and then the mouth of the section is cemented up. When another member of

hat family dies the section is broken open,
he casket removed and opened, the bones

)f the preceding corpse dumped out on the loor of the section, and the second corpse >uried in precisely the same manner as was he first. This continues for years, until inally the section contains nothing but the >ones and dust of many a victim of death. Vhen the section is full it is closed up, never o be opened, and another section is designed or the use of that family.

This is done because the Mississippi River ften overflows, as a result of the spring rains nd floods, and submerges the city with everal feet of water. Obviously, if people rere buried sub terra, the cemetery would ecome a breeding-ground for diseases of all inds, and terrible results might ensue.