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mas, there is not a barn unoccupied, and hemisphere. At the beginning of Janu-
that every parish hires_fiddlers at the ary the earth is at its least distance from
public charge. On Twelfth-day, the the sun, which is proved by measuring
fiddler lays his head in some one of the the apparent magnitude of that luminary
girls' laps, and a third person asks, who by means of an instrument called a
such a maid, or such a maid shall marry, micrometer, his disc being now about
naming the girls then present one after 32 minutes of a degree; whereas
mother; to which be answers according at the opposite season, or at the begin-
to his own whim, or agreeable to the ning of July, near our Midsummer, his
intimacies he has taken notice of during apparent diameter is only about 31
this time of merriment. But whatever minutes. The coldness of winter there-
he says is as absolutely depended on as fore does not depend on the distance
an oracle; and if he happens to couple of the earth from the sun, but on the
two people who have an aversion to each very oblique or slanting direction of his
other, tears and vexation succeed the rays; less heat falling on any given part
mirth. This they call cutting off the of the earth, than when the rays fall more
fiddler's head; for, after this, he is dead direct. From the slanting direction of
for the whole year.

his rays they pass through a more dense
It appears from the Gentleman's Ma- region of the atmosphere, and are some-
gazine, that on Twelfth-day 1731, the what intercepted; while another cause
king and the prince at the chapel royal, of the cold is the shortness of our days
St. James's, made their offerings at the and the length of our nights; the sun
altar, of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, continuing only about seven hours and a
according to custom, and that at night half above the horizon, while he is absent
their majesties, &c. played at hazard for for about sixteen hours and a half.
the benefit of the groom-porter. These This position of the earth relatively to
offerings which clearly originate from the sun is exemplified in the Popular
the Roman church, and are not analogous Lectures on Astronomy, now delivering
to any ceremony of the church of Eng- at the Assembly-room, Paul's Head,
land, continue to be annually made; with Cateaton-street, by Mr. John Wallis, ou
this difference, however, that the king is Tuesday and Thursday evenings. His
represented by proxy in the person of explanations of this noble science are
some distinguished officer of the house familiarly and beautifully illustrated, by
hold. In other respects the proceedings an original and splendid apparatus de-
are conducted with the usual state.

vised and constructed by his own hands.
It consists of extensive mechanism and
numerous brilliant transparencies. Mr.
Wallis's lectures on Tuesday and Thurs-
day next, the 18th and 20th of January,
1825, are under the patronage of the
Lord Mayor. Here is a sure mode of
acquiring astronomical knowledge, ac-
companied by the delightful gratification
of witnessing a display of the heavens
more bewitching than the mind can con-

ceive. Ladies, and young persons espe-
Midwinter is over. According to as- cially, have a delightful opportunity of
tronomical reckoning, we have just passed being agreeably entertained by the novelty
that point in the earth's orbit, where the and beauty of the exhibition and the
north pole is turned most from the sun. eloquent descriptions of the enlightened
This position is represented in the dia. lecturer.
gram above, by the direction of the
terminator, or boundary line of light and
darkness, which is seen to divide the The holly with its red berries, and
globe into two equal parts; the north the “fond 'ivy,” still stick about our
pole, which is the upper pole in the houses to maintain the recollection of the
figure, and all parts within 324 degrees, seasonable festivities. Let us hope that we
being enveloped in constant darkness. may congratulate each other on having,
We now trace the sun among the stars while we kept them, kept ourselves within
of the constellation Capricorn or sea-goat, compass. Merriment without discretion
and it is winter in the whole northern is an abuse for which nature is sure to

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punish us. She may suffer our violence of rustic life than to the comparative for a while in silence; but she is certain to refinement of our own, this contest be. resume her rights at the expense of our tween fire and water must have atforded health, and put us to heavy charges to great amusement. maintain existence.


1772. “An authentic, candid, and cir. January 7.

cumstancial narrative of the astonishing St. Lucian. St. Cedd. St. Kentigernw. transactions at Stockwell, in the county St. Aldric. St. Thillo. St. Canut.

of Surry, on Monday and Tuesday, St. Lucian,

the 6th and 7th days of January, 1772,

containing a series of the most surThis saint is in the calendar of the church of England on the following day,

prising and unaccountable events that 8th of January

ever happened ; which continued from He was a learned

first to last upwards of twenty hours, Syrian. According to Butler, he corrected the Hebrew version of the Scrip

and at different places. Published with

the consent and approbation of the tures for the inhabitants of Palestine,

family, and other parties concerned, to during some years was separated from

authenticate which, the original Copy the Romish church, afterwards conformed to it, and died after nine years

is signed by them."

This is the title of an octavo tract pubimprisonment, either by famine or the lished in “ London, printed for J. Marks, sword, on this day, in the year 312. It bookseller

, in St. Martin’s-lane, 1772," further appears from Butler, that the It describes Mrs. Golding, an elderly Arians aftirmed of St. Lucian, that to him lady, at Stockwell

, in whose house the Arius was indebted for his distinguish

transactions happened, as a woman ot ing doctrine, which Butler however unblemished honour and character; her depies.

niece, Mrs. Pain, as the wife of a farmer ST. DISTAFF'S DAY, OR ROCR-DAY.

at Brixton-causeway, the mother of seveThe day after Twelfth-day was ral children, and well known and recalled because it was celebrated in ho- spected in the parish; Mary Martin nour of the rock, which is a distaff held as an elderly woman, servant to Mr. in the hand, from whence wool is spun and Mrs. Pain, with whom she had lived by twirling a ball below. It seems that two years, having previously lived four the burning of the flax and tow belonging years with Mrs. Golding, from whom to the women, was the men's diversion in she went into Mrs. Pain's service; and the evening of the first day of labour Richard Fowler and Sarah, his wife, as an after the twelve days of Christmas, and honest,industrious, and sober couple, who that the women repaid the interruption to lived about opposite to Mr. Pain, at the their industry by sluicing the mischief- Brick-pound." These were the subscribmakers. Herrick tells us of the custom ing witnesses to many of the surprising in his

transactions, which were likewise wit

neszed by some others. Another person St. Distaff's day, or the morrow after who bore a principal part in these scenes Twelfth-day.

was Ann Robinson, aged about twenty Partly work, anı partly play,

years, who had lived servant with Mrs. Ye must on S. Distaff's day:

Golding but one week and three days. From the plough soone free your teame, The “ astonishing transactions” in Mrs. Then come home and fother them.

Golding's house were these : If the maides a spinning goe,

On Twelfth-day 1772, about ten o'clock Burne the flax, and are the tow; in the forenoon, as Mrs. Golding was in Bring in pailes of water then,

her parlour, she heard the china and Let the maides bewash the men

glasses in the back kitchen tumble down Give S. Distaffe all the right,

and break; her maid came to her and Then bid Christmas sport good-night.

told her the stone plates were falling And next inorrow, every one

from the shelf; Mrs. Golding went into To his owne vocation.

the kitchen and saw them broke, Pre

sently after, a row of plates from the In elder times, when boisterous diver- next shelf fell down likewise, while she sions were better suited to the simplicity was there, and nobody near them; this


astonished her much, and while she was to Mr. Gresham's was

a tray full ct thinking about it, other things in different china, &c. a japan bread-basket, some places began to tumble about, some of mahogany waiters, with some bottles of them breaking, attended with violent liquors, jars of pickles, &c. and a pier noises all over the house; a clock tum- glass, which was taken down by Mr. bled down and the case broke; a lan- Saville, (a neighbour of Mrs. Golding's ;) tern that hung on the staircase was he gave it to one Robert Hames, who thrown down and the glass broke to laid it on the grass-plat at Mr. Gresham's; pieces; an earthen pan of salted beef but before he could put it out of his broke to pieces and the beef fell about; hands, some parts of the frame on each all this increased her surprise, and side flew off'; it raining at that time, Mrs. brought several persons about her, among Golding desired it might be brought whom was Mr. Rowlidge, a carpenter, into the parlour, where it was put under who gave it as his opinion that the a side-board, and a dressing-glass along foundation was giving way and that the with it; it had not been there long before ñouse was tumbling down, occasioned by the glasses and china which stood on the the too great weight of an additional side-board, began to tumble about and room erected above: “so ready,” says fall down, and broke both the glasses to the narrative, “are we to discover natu- pieces. Mr. Savile and others being ral causes for every thing !"

asked to drink glass of wine or rum, Mrs. Golding ran into Mr. Gresham's both the bottles broke in pieces before house, next door to her, where she fainted, they were unc:rked. and in the interim, Mr. Rowlidge, and Mrs. Golding's surprise and fear inother persons, were removing Mrs. Gold- creasing, she did not know what to do ing's effects from her house, for fear of or where to go; wherever she and her the consequences prognosticated. At maid were, these strange, destructive cirthis time all was quiet ; Mrs. Golding's cumstances followed her, and how to maid remaining in her house, was gone help or free herself from them, was not up stairs, and when called upon several in her power or any other person's pretimes to come down, for fear of the dan- sent: her mind was one confused chaos, gerous situation she was thought to be lost to herself and every thing about her, in, she answered very coolly, and after drove from her own home, and afraid some time came down deliberately, there would be none other to receive her, without any seeming fearful apprehen sie at last left Mr. Gresham's, and went sions.

to Mr. Mayling's, a gentleman at the Mrs. Pain was sent for from Brixton- next door, here she staid about three causeway, and desired to come directly, quarters of an hour, during which time as her aunt was supposed to be dead ; nothing happened. Her maid staid at this was the message to her. When Mrs. Mr. Gresham's, to help put up what few Pain came, Mrs. Golding was come to things remained unbroken of her mistress's, nerseif, but very faint from terror. in a back apartment, when a jar of

Among the persons who were present, pickles that stood upon a table, turned was Mr. Gardner, a surgeon, of Clapham, upside down, then a jar of raspberry jam whom Mrs. Pain desired to bleed her broke to pieces. aunt, which he did; Mrs. Pain asked Mrs. Pain, not choosing her aunt should him if the blood should be thrown away; stay too long at Mr. Mayling's, for fear he desired it might not, as he would of being troublesome, persuaded her to examine it when cold. These minute go to her house at Rush Common, near particulars would not be taken notice of, Brixton-causeway, where she would enbut as a chain to what follows. For the deavour to make her as happy as she next circumstance is of a more astonish- could, hoping by this time all was over, ing nature than any thing that had as nothing had happened at that gentlepreceded it; the blood that was just man's ouse while she was there. This congealed, sprung out of the basin upon was about two o'clock in the afternoon. the floor, and presently after the basin Mr. and Miss Gresham were at Mr broke to pieces; this china basin was Pain's house, when Mrs. Pain, Mrs the only thing broke belonging to Mr. Golding, and her maid went there. It Gresham; a bottle of rum that stood by being about dinner time they ali dinea it broke at the same time.

together; in the interim Mrs. Golding's Among the things that were removed servant was sent to her house to see bow

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things remained. When she returned, stood the tumbler, and a candlestick. A
she told them nothing had happened since case bottle then flew to pieces.
they left it. Sometime after Mr. and Miss The next circumstance was, a ham, that
Gresham went home, every thing remain- hung on one side of the kitchen chimney,
ing quiet at Mr. Pain's: but about eight raised itself from the hook and fell down
o'clock in the evening a fresh scene to the ground. Some time after, another
began; the first thing that happened ham, that hung on the other side of the
was, a whole row of pewter dishes, chimney, likewise underwent the same
except one, fell from off a shelf to the fate. Then a Aitch of bacon, which hung
middle of the floor, rolled about a little up in the same chimney, fell down.
while, then settled, and as soon as they All the family were eye-witnesses to
were quiet, turned upside down; they these circumstances as well as other per-
were then put on the dresser, and went sons, some of whom were so alarmed and
through the same a second time: next fell shocked, that they could not bear to stay,
a whole row of pewter plates from off At all the times of action, Mrs.Golding's
the second shelf over the dresser to servant was walking backwards and for-
the ground, and being taken up and put wards, either in the kitchen or parlour, or
on the dresser one in another, they were wherever some of the family happened to
thrown down again. Two eggs were be. Nor could they get her to sit down
upon one of the pewter shelves, one five minutes together, except at one time
of them flew off, crossed the kitchen, for about half an hour towards the morn-
struck a cat on the head, and then broké ing, when the family were at prayers in the
to pieces.

parlour; then all was quiei; but, in the
Next Mary Martin, Mrs. Pain's ser- midst of the greatest confusion, she was
vant, went to stir the kitchen fire, she got as much composed as at any other time,
to the right hand side of it, being a large and with uncommon coolness of temper
chimney as is usual in farm houses, a pestle advised her mistress not to be alarmed or
and mortar that stood nearer the left hand uneasy, as she said these things could not
end of the chimney shelf, jumped about be helped.
six feet on the floor. Then went candle “ This advice,"it is observed in the nar.
sticks and other brasses : scarce any thing rative, surprised and startled her mistress,
remaining in its place. After this the almost as much as the circumstances that
glasses and china were put down on the occasioned it. “For how can we suppose,
floor for fear of undergoing the same fate. says the narrator, “that a girl of about

A glass tumbler that was put on the twenty years old, (an age when female ti floor jumped about two feet and then midity is too cften assisted by superstition,) broke. Another that stood by it jumped could remain in the midst of such calá about at the same time, but did not break mitous circumstances, (except they protill some hours after, when it jumped again ceeded from causes best known to herself,) and then broke. A china bowl that stood and not be struck with the same terror as in the parlour jumped from the floor, to every other person was who was present. behind a table that stood there. This These reflections led Mr. Pain, and at the was most astonishing, as the distance from end of the transactions, likewise Mrs. where it stood was between seven and Golding, to think that she was not altogeeight feet, but was not broke. It was ther so unconcerned as she appeared to be." put back by Richard Fowler, to its place, About ten o'clock at night, they sedo where it remained some time, and then over the way to Richard Fowler, to desire

he would come and stay with them. He The next thing that followed was a mus came and continued till one in the morn tard-pot, that jumped out of a closet ing, when he was so terrified, that he and was broke. A single cup that stood could remain no longer. upon the table (almost the only thing re

As Mrs. Golding could not be persuadmaining) jumped up, flew across the ed to go to bed, Mrs. Pain, at one o'clock, kitchen, ringing like a bell, and then was made an excuse to go up stairs to her dashed to pieces against the dresser. A youngest child, under pretence of getting tumbler with rum and water in it, that it to sleep; but she really acknowledged it stood upon a waiter upon a table in the was through fear, as she declared she parlour, jumped about ten feet and was could not sit up to see such strange things broke. The table then fell down, and going on, as every thing one after another along with it a silver tankard belonging to was broken, till there was not above two or Mrs. Golding, the waiter in which had three cups and saucers remaining out of a

flew to pieces.




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considerable q'uantity of china, &c. which six and seven o'clock on Tuesday mornwas destroyed to the amount of some ing. At Mrs. Golding's were broken the pounds.

quantity of three pails full of glass, About five o'clock on Tuesday morning, china, &c. Mrs. Pain's filled two pails. the 7th, Mrs. Golding went up to her The accounts here related are in the niece, and desired her to get up, as the words of the narrative,” which bears the noises and destruction were so great she attestation of the witnesses before mencould continue in the house no longer. tioned. The affair is still remembered by Mrs. Golding and her maid went over the many persons : it is usually denominated way to Richard Fowler's: when Mrs. the “ Stockwell Ghost," and deemed Golding's maid had seen her safe to inexplicable. It must be recollected, Richard Fowler's, she came back to Mrs. however, that the mysterious movePain, to help her to dress the children in ments were never made but when Ann the barn, where she had carried them for Robinson, Mrs. Golding's maid-serfear of the house falling. At this time vant, was present, and that they wholly all was quiet: they then went to Fowler's, ceased when she was dismissed. Though and then began the same scene as had these two circumstances tend to prove that happened at the other places. All was this girl was the cause of the disturbances, quiet here as well as elsewhere, till the scarcely any one who lived at that time maid returned.

listened patiently to the presumption, or When they got to Mr. Fowler's, he be- without attributing the whole to witchcraft gan to light a fire in his back room. One lady, whom the editor of the EveryWhen done, he put the candle and candle- Day Book conversed with several times on stick upon a table in the fore room. This the subject, firmly believed in the witchapartment Mrs. Golding and her maid craft, because she had been eye-witness had passed through. Another candle to the animation of the inanimate crockstick with a tin lamp in it that stood byery and furniture, which she said could it, were both dashed together, and fell to not have been effected by human meansthe ground. At last the basket of coals it was impossible. He derived, however, lumbled over, and the coals rolling about a solution of these “ impossibilities” from the room, the maid desired Richard the late Mr. J. B-—, at his residence Fowler not to let her mistress remain in Southampton-street, Camberwell, tothere, as she said, wherever she was, the wards the close of the year 1817. Mr. same things would follow. In conse B

said, all London was in an upquence of this advice, and fearing greater roar about the “ Stockwell Ghost" for a losses to himself, he desired Mrs. Gold- long time, and it would have made more ing would quit his house; but first beg- noise than the “Cock-lane Ghost," if it ged her to consider within herself, for her had lasted longer; but attention to it graown and the public sake, whether or not dually died away, and most people beshe had not been guilty of some atrocious lieved it was supernatural. Mr. Berime, for which Providence was deter- in continuation, observed, that some years mined to pursue her on this side the after it happened, he became acquainted grave. Mrs. Golding told him she would with this very Ann Robinson, without not stay in his house, or any other person's, knowing for a long time that she had been as her conscience was quite clear, and she the servant-maid to Mrs. Golding. He could as well wait the will of Providence learned it by accident, and told her what in her own house as in any other place he had heard. She admitted it was true, whatever; upon which she and her maid and in due season, he says, he got all the went home, and Mrs.Pain went with them. story out. She had fixed long horse hairs

After they had got to Mrs. Golding's, a to some of the crockery, and put wires pail of water, that stood on the floor, boil- under others; on pulling these, the “moved like a pot; a box of candles fell from ables” of course fell. Mrs. Golding was a shelf in the kitchen to the floor, and they terribly frightened, and so were all who rolled out, but none were broken, and the saw any thing tumble. Ann Robintable in the parlour fell over.

son herself, dexterously threw many of Mr. Pain then desired Mrs. Golding to the things down, which the persons presend her maid for his wife to come to sent, when they turned round and saw them, and when she was gone a!l was them in motion or broken, attributed to quiet; upon her return she was immedi

unseen agency. These spectators were ately discharged, and no aisturbances all too much alarmed by their own dread happened afterwards; this was between of infernal power to examine any thing,

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