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Molly Cule
292762.  Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:50 am Reply with quote

Women in Elizabethan England left out fresh water so that fairy childre could be bathed, if none were available they might use the milk or the beer.

s - the encyclopedia of everything

Molly Cule
292763.  Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:53 am Reply with quote

In the Western Highlands you will find hollow stones called grugach stones into which milk for the gruagach - local fairy - was poured so the fairies would not harm the cattle and would protect the area. You could also leave them cake or cream, so long as there was ample to keep the fairy happy.

Molly Cule
292769.  Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:04 am Reply with quote

In the 12th century a small boy and girl were found wandering in a spot in Suffolk called the 'Wolfpits'. They looked like ordinary children but were green. They would eat only beans and spoke a strange language. Once they started to learn English they said they were from 'The land of St Martin', there, the light was weak and from their home they could see a city across the river. They said they had been looking after their father's flocks when they heard bells and walked towards them, they came up into the upper world and found themselves in Suffolk. The boy died from distress, the sister lived and eventually married a man from Kings Lynn. The town is now called Woolpit and the village sign shows the small children on it.

Molly Cule
292775.  Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:11 am Reply with quote

Changelings, ugly fairy babies left in place of human babies. Could be a fun topic. There is a story of Martin Luther recommending that a boy of 8 who had a huge appetite and a bad temper, should be thrown into the water by the Prince of Anhalt. The Prince refused. Luther was pleased the next year when the changeling baby died.

There was a rumour that Charles I was a changeling. He was a sickly and restless child. His Scottish nurse said she had seen an old man with a cloak bending over his cradle in Dunfermline Castle.

There were lots of spells to summon your own baby back from Fairyland. The most common was to put someone fairies disliked in the baby's cradle, like a sword (!), mistletoe, bags of meal and potatoes.

297248.  Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:05 am Reply with quote

Gnomes are banned from the Chelsea Flower Show under RHS Article 15, which forbids “highly coloured gnomes, fairies or any similar creatures, actual or mythical for use as garden ornaments.”

S: “A little history of British gardening” by Jenny Uglow (Chatto, 2004).

“Actual or mythical” ... ?

Links: Flora

Last edited by MatC on Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:42 am; edited 1 time in total

297289.  Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:32 am Reply with quote

That's nice. This whole topic interweaves with foundlings, fairy tales and fungi (via fairy rings).

297537.  Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:08 pm Reply with quote

At the risk of boring on about Iceland, it is a country where belief in fairies (elves, dwarves & the like) is very high among the populace. Casting around, various sites give various figures so accuracy is hard to judge, but from personal experience I would say it would be hard to find anyone in Iceland who was actually certain that they didn't exist. A good 10% are firm believers. A major road project just outside Reykjavik was delayed at fair cost while a large boulder was carefully moved, as it was believed to be the home of some elves. The Icelanders were proud to have done this - I was shown the rock! Elsewhere I did see what looked like small votive sites at rocks in pretty remote places and was told that these were 'offerings' to the fairies who lived there.

The Icelandic Christmas time involves the thirteen Yultide-Lads. These were originally childsnatchers but have been tamed down in more recent times as elf-like mischief makers. In the thirteen day run up before Christmas they 'visit' the homes of children at night - leaving a present if the child has been good and making mischief if not.

Frederick The Monk
304017.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:03 am Reply with quote

Between 1658 and 1663 four deaths in the register of the parish of Lamplugh in Cumbria record the cause of death as "Frightened to death by fairies".

s: The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England's Legends, from Spring-heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson

Frederick The Monk
304025.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:12 am Reply with quote

And it's not only fairies that worried the good folk of Lamplugh. In the same period seven deaths were due to being ‘bewitched’ while three women were drowned for witchcraft. One unlucky man was drowned when led into a horse pond by a ‘will of the whisp’.

Almost no-one in the village seemed to die a normal death - over one Christmas one victim ‘overate himself at a housewarming’ while two guests died from drinking the squire’s wife’s cordial water.

Other peculiar deaths include:
Crossed in love
Took cold sleeping at Church
Attacked by the Parson’s bull
Choked from eating barley
A frying pan and pitchforks duel

304028.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:14 am Reply with quote

There have been suggestions that changeling stories were an early folk explanation for autism.

304471.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:59 pm Reply with quote

Lamplugh sounds a bit like Midsomer. Somebody call John Nettles.

Frederick The Monk
304866.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:31 am Reply with quote

It's about the only MO they haven't tried - death by fairies.

304968.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:57 am Reply with quote

In southern Ireland, agrarian rebels known as White Boys, whose nighttime musters attracted hundreds of followers, even called themselves "fairies", as much to bolster morale as to intimidate their adversaries

At Day's Close, A. Roger Ekirch.

Also mentioned here, as part of a list of transvestite protests; not particularly relevant to anything, but interesting, I thought.

304997.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:17 am Reply with quote

Which sort of very vaguely links to Stonewall, at post 57365

Frederick The Monk
305251.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:33 am Reply with quote

The fist recored use of the term fairy to mean homosexual occurs in the American Journal of Psychology in 1895 (Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. VII. 216):

This coincides with what is known of the peculiar societies of inverts. Coffee-clatches, where the members dress themselves with aprons, etc., and knit, gossip and crotchet; balls, where men adopt the ladies' evening dress, are well known in Europe. ‘The Fairies’ of New York are said to be a similar secret organization.


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