1903 February Footnotes

[1] The ossuary, or charnel house, is located in the crypt of St Leonard’s church in Hythe, Kent.  The church claims to have ‘the largest and best preserved collection of ancient human bones and skulls in Britain’.  According to a drawing dated 1787, the bones were supposed to be those of ‘Danish pirates slain in battle, while a handwritten footnote on an 1860s illustration referred to them as ‘men who fell in the battle of Hastings’. Another theory claimed that they were Anglo-Saxons killed in battle; it has also been suggested the remains might be those of victims of the Black Death. None of these theories are supported by any other evidence and it is now thought the bones are those of Hythe residents who had been buried in the churchyard over a period of many years but were exhumed when the church was extended in the 13th century.

[2] Old Mortality is a novel by Walter Scott set in the period 1679–89 in south west Scotland.   It was the last novel written by Scott before the malady which tormented his stoicism in 1817-1820.

[3] The Luck of Barry Lyndon is a picaresque novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, first published as a serial in Fraser’s Magazine in 1844, about a member of the Irish gentry trying to become a member of the English aristocracy.

[4] Marie Fillunger (1850 – 1930) was an Austrian operatic singer.

[5] John Nevil Maskelyne and George A. Cook were two of the most popular British Magicians in the late Victorian period. As a duo they created illusions through slight of hand and were popular with audiences accross London. They established their own theatre, The Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, and performed there regularly. Their shows included comedy, illusion and conjuring and as can be seen they billed themselves as ‘Royal Illusionists and Antispiritualists’.

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