The past few days have been more than a little hectic – on Friday our group of re-enactors were involved in a Commemoration Service for Katherine of Aragon – King Henry VIII’s first wife – who is buried in our Cathedral on this day in 1536.
On Saturday and Sunday we were providing Tudor re-enactments in our local museum and yesterday and half of today [Tuesday] I’ve been involved in a number of bits and bobs. The result is – no fictional story put together for this posting. All is not lost though. I’ve raided some of my files in the cupboards and found some little pieces that may be fact – but they can equally be faction or fiction. I’ll leave it to you – the reader – to decide what they are.
The first one was recorded in the mid-1930s but probably dated from many years earlier and is about the naming of a baby daughter at the baptismal font.
When the priest asked the father to ‘Name this Child’ the proud father said it clearly and the girl-child was baptised. When, however, the priest began to record the little girl’s name in the Baptism record book he was not too sure how to spell it. He knew what it sounded like but was it to be written ‘Doris’ or was it ‘Dorys’ – but there again, it could be ‘Dorice’. So he asked the father – ‘How do you spell your child’s name?’ The response was of little help when the father said. ‘Naay, master – I’m just like you; I can’t spell it naayther!’
The entry in the register is said to list all three spellings!
On a totally different line – with confirmed origin – this is something that we should all remember wherever we live in the world. This is written by John Ruskin who lived 1819 to 1900 and remains so so true today.
‘It is unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little.
When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all.
When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – that cannot be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
Now – just to round off today’s set of stories – I’d like to tell you one that comes from Derbyshire, probably in the 1800s. You may find the contents useful!
A farmer’s wife was looking to hire a new maid-servant and asked a number of young girls of the village to come and see her. In this way all had the chance to show their skills and for the lady to assess their capabilities. When her husband’s man-servant heard what she was going to do he said he would show her how to select the best of the applicants.
The farmer’s wife was happy to let him do this. He then took a besom brush [a broom made from a bundle of twigs tied to a stouter pole] and laid it across the path that the maid-servant applicants would cross on their way to the house. She and he then watched the applicants as they came for consideration.
The first girl who came kicked the besom aside as she walked up the path. The man-servant said: ‘She is an idle slut and cannot, or will-not, bend her back.’
The next girl to arrive jumped over the besom. The man-servant said: ‘She won’t do; she’ll skip her work.’
The last girl to come picked up the besom and placed it in the corner out of the way. The man-servant said: ‘That is the girl for me. She will be careful, industrious and tidy.’
She was hired – and was perfect in every way!