Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/395

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ii s. XL MAY 15, MS.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


The village dates from 1780-90, and had, at one time, a number of priests. A great deal of the business was done at ' The Queen's Head Inn.'

5. " Taking the lane across from ' The Queen's Head,' a right-of-way path is struck by which the visitor reaches the low or new Carlisle road. The old Sark Toll -Bar, where marriages took place from 1830 to 1856, will be seen here, also the boun- dary between the two kingdoms, ' The Sark.' The visitor can return by this road to Gretna Green, a mile distant."

With reference to paragraph 3 I may add that among the curios stated to be shown are a register of marriages (probably a frag- ment), an old anvil, " priests' " chairs, and some hats of special design which the "priests " wore " upon state occasions.

Forbes's book has further value in that it contains numerous illustrations, including a striking reproduction of a portrait of David Lang, the Gretna "priest." Lang is described in the narrative as " a tall man of spare build with a pale bloodless counten- ance." There are notes also upon Joseph Paisley, " the grand old man " of Gretna, who kept a small grocery shop there, and did much " priest's " work. He was enormously stout, and by contemporaries he has been described as being " an overgrown mass of fat, weighing at least 25 stone." Paisley lived to be well over 80. He is buried in Gretna Churchyard, where there is a memo- rial "stone to his memory.

Thomas, Lord Erskine, the Chancellor, married his housekeeper at Gretna Green. The ' D.N.B.' says, " At some time not ascer- tainable, he married at Gretna Green a Miss Mary Buck." Forbes's book says that the marriage took place in October, 1818, and that the lady's name was Sarah Back " of York Buildings, London."

Lord Dundonald in his famous ' Auto- biography' admits that he married in 1812 Miss Katharine Corbett Barnes, and this against the wishes of his relatives. He states that the marriage took place at Annan. This may have been an oblique reference to Gretna Green, which is only a few miles from Annan. Mr. Forbes's book says defi- nitely that Lord Dundonald was married at Gretna.

The origins of Gretna marriages are not without interest. They were the immediate sequel to the Fleet marriages. It may be as well to quote a paragraph from The Gentle- man's Magazine for February, 1735. This paragraph shows the feeling that was rising in London with regard to Fleet marriages. It states that

" many ruinous marriages are every year practised in the Fleet by a set of drunken, swearing parsons,


with their myrmidons that wear black coats, and pretend to be clerks and registrars to the Fleet, plying about Ludgate Hill, pulling and forcing people to some pedling alehouse or brandy shop to be married."

Between 1750 and 1754 there was a great outcry against clandestine marriages. In 1750 Henry Gaily published ' Some Con. siderations upon Clandestine Marriages/ This was followed in 1753 by Lord Hard- wicke's Act (26 George II. c. 33), and various literature arose around it. Henry Stebbing,. a famous vicar of Bedenhall, wrote

  • A Dissertion on the Powers of States to deny

Civil Protection to the Marriages of Minors made- without the Consent of Parents or Guardians,.' 1755,'

and another work by the same writer was ' Enquiry into the Force and Operation of the- Annulling Clauses in a late Act for the better preventing of Clandestine Marriages,' 1754.

James Tunstall published

  • A Vindication of the Powers of States to pro*

hibit Clandestine Marriages under the pain of Absolute Nullity,' 1755.

Lord Hardwicke's Act came into force in 1754, and from that time those who wished to get married secretly or in a hurry had to rush across the border, and seek the protec- tion of the Scotch law. Thus rose the fame of Gretna. A. L. HUMPHREYS.

187, Piccadilly, W.

DREAMS AND LITERATURE (11 S x. 447,. 512 ; xi. 32, 326). In Frank Seafield's 'The- Literature and Curiosities of Dreams,' Lon- don, 1885, vol. ii. p. 229, eleven lines in verse, declared to have been composed by Thomas Cromwell,Ph.D.,F.S.A.,in his sleep after taking an anodyne on account of a painful illness on the night of 9 Jan., 1857,. are given from his ' The Soul and the Future Life : Appendix VIII. : On Literary and Other Composition in Dreams.' Whether the verse is of any literary value I am not qualified to say.

At the second reference MR. M. H. DODDS speaks of his nurse having used to warn him that had he wanted a dream to come true, he should never tell it to any one. Similar opinion appears to have obtained among the olden Japanese, who believed in one's infallibly missing a good luck, or even in his incurring an irreparable subversion of fate,, in case he makes his dream known to any- body unversed in oneirocriticism. This i& evident from the following quotations :

" Once upon a time there lived in the province of Sado a certain Tomo no Yoshio, who was a servant of a sub-provincial governor. One night he dreamed he was standing with his feet set on the Western and Eastern Cathedrals of the city of Nara. Upon