Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/402

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. MAY 17, 1902.

piece, and bears the device of a winged figure, with a wreath, and the inscription "By the Mercy of God."

P. J. F. GANTILLON. Hawthornden, Cheltenham.

SHERES : KNYVETT : DOWNES (7 th S.iii 348). Can the first name be identical with that of Sears or Sayers 1 See Burke's ' Vicissitudes of Families,' third series, p. 288, article ' The Pilgrim Fathers,' where we are told that " Richard Sayers's wife, Anne Bourchier, daughter of Edmund Knyvet, Esq., of the ancient family of Ashwelthorpe, co. Norfolk, incurred the lasting displeasure of the Knyvets, because she clung faith- fully to her husband in his adversity her descent

in the female line was from Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners, K.G., fourth son of William, Earl of Ewe, by Anne Plantagenet, his wife, granddaughter of King Edward III."

The story goes on to tell of Richard Sayers's flight to Amsterdam, and his grand- son's ultimate voyage to America as one of the Pilgrim Fathers, where he founded a family, one of whose representatives was the Hon. David Sears, a senator for Massa- chusetts. Sir Bernard Burke quotes from a " little volume of singular interest and fasci- nation by Edmund H. Sears, entitled ' Pic- tures of the Olden Time.' "

R. J. FYNMORE. Sandgate, Kent.

ST. CLEMENT DANES (9 th S. vii. 64, 173, 274, 375 ; viii. 17, 86, 186, 326, 465; ix. 52, 136, 252). If I may sum up the discussion as to St. Clement Danes in a few words, I would say that it seems established

1. That the church was dedicated to the saint as patron saint of the Danes and Norse- men, who derived their knowledge of him both from the Teutonic colonists, whether Goths or Saxons, as Busbecqius says, of the Crimea and from the great church of the Northern nations at Rome erected over the Oratory of St. Clement, in which the inci- dents of his life and martyrdom in Dacia were represented in frescoes dating from A.D. 863.

2. If a Danish or Norseman colony was established in the Vicus Dacorum, afterwards represented by Aldwych Street, near the church, it was probably founded shortly after Alfred had made peace with the Danes at Wedmore and the conversion of their leader Guthrum. This date renders a dedication to St. Clement very natural.

3. Aldwych Street, of course, bears a name connected with the termination -wick, but whether the termination is, in this instance, of Latin or Scandinavian origin it is not easy to determine, In other parts of England

the meaning of the termination may usually be gathered from the geographical position of the locality.

4. The choice of St. Clement as patron saint of the Danes opens up the much wider question why very early saints e.g., St. Andrew in Russia and Scotland, St. Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury, St. James and St. John Mark in Spain and Portugal, St. Lazarus and his sisters in Provence, and the like are so often identified with peoples and localities with which they can never have had any real connexion, and with which they are not identified even in the apocryphal Gospels and Acts. This subject would well repay detailed investigation, as, for instance, the legends connected with Glastonbury may contain a germ of truth in connexion with the early Roman lead mines in the Mendips. H.

" YCLEPING" THE CHURCH (9 th S. viii. 420, 486 ; ix. 55, 216). Referring to the criticism of ST. SWITHIN, although I gave our local term as " clipping the tower," it must be understood that by " tower " we mean the entire fabric we have no detached towers ; and an " accommodating imagina- tion " is not necessary, inasmuch as the setting " four square " is so uncommon that church towers so placed can have had no part in the original practice. The fact remains that " clipping the tower" i.e., the tower and church was not long ago practised by joining hands and dancing round it, in the same manner as that conventionally understood as dancing round a maypole.


This interesting ceremony was observed at St. John's Church, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, on 27 June, 1895. The children of the National schools, carrying wands bedecked with flowers and greenery, marched to the church, where a short service was conducted by the rector, the Hon. Canon Pelham.

" After the service the' children, standing out- side the west door, sang ' The Parish Song ' and a hymn. Then, forming a ring round the church, they, at a given signal when the bell had tolled three times stepped forward and touched the walls of the edifice. The rector explained to the congregation in the church, before the 'clipping* took place, that they were going to resuscitate an old English church custom the custom coming from the Midland counties of ' clipping the church, which meant embracing the church. The reason he believed in the old custom was this : That every child in the parish should feel in his or her early days that the church which their forefathers had placed for God's glory and honour was theirs ; not belonging to one particular class of people, and certainly not to the clergyman, but that it was the church of the parishioners,"