Monday, March 12, 2012

John Aubrey

English antiquarian John Aubrey was born on March 12, 1626.  Aubrey was the discoveror of the Avebury henge.  Some of Aubrey’s correspondence ties in to the work of Sir Walter Scott.  From John Britton’s “Life of John Aubrey…”:

‘In the same year Aubrey was collecting information concerning the mysterious noises which disturbed the Parliamentary commissioners at Woodstock (1) and we find that in 1651 he witnessed the execution of Christopher Love, on Tower Hill, on a charge of high treason.  “I did see Mr. Christopher Love beheaded on Tower Hill in a delicate clear day; about half an hour after his head was struck off the clouds gathered blacker and blacker, and such terrible claps of thunder came, that I never heard greater,” Miscellanies  Chapter on Omens.  The superstition here countenanced by Aubrey was implicitly believed by the inhabitants of Kingston St. Michael seventy years ago; when a thunder storm, occurring immediately after the execution of a murderer near the parish, was a special indication of divine anger. 

(1)  See a letter addressed to Aubrey on March 11, 1649, and printed by Aubrey in his Miscellanies.  The same topic has afforded Sir Walter Scott the groundwork for his interesting romance of Woodstock.’

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