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LONDON:
JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 4, OLD COMPTON ST., SOHO.

NORTHAMPTON:
ABEL AND SONS ; G. N. WETTON.

OUNDLE: R. Todd.--BRACKLEY: A. GREEN.

1851.

OF

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UNIVERSITY 20 APR. 1940 OF OXFORD

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LONDON :

JOSEPH RICKERBY, PRINTER,
SHERBOURN LANE,

CITY.

PREFACE.

The following little work is intended to embrace a collection of the lingual localisms; popular superstitions, fairy-lore, and other traces of Teutonic heathenism, to this day preserved among the rural population of Northamptonshire.

The curious dialects of Northamptonshire have hitherto escaped investigation; and with the exception of two short glossaries, appended to the Village Minstrel, and Poems illustrative of Rural Life and Scenery, of John Clare,* the subjoined collections are now, for the first time, printed.

In the Folk-lore division, it has been thought expedient to confine our notices, for the most part, to the

*

* To these must be added a few words incidentally introduced in Morton's Natural History of the County.

more uncommon and less known of our popular superstitions. The gleanings concerning the fairies will,

. probably, be read with interest, as bringing to light some new particulars concerning this fast disappearing branch of our popular mythology; and as exemplifying the elfin creed, not only of Northamptonshire, but that of the surrounding counties, including Warwickshire, in which most of the legends here given are well known.

These untutored relations of our peasantry derive additional claim to our attention when we consider the possibility of their having amused the infancy of Shakspeare, and the more than probability that the vague creations of his rustic neighbours supplied the foundations upon which were reared the sublime conceptions of a Midsummer Night's Dream!

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