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  • The Copper Piece Spell March 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Copper Piece Spell

    Location: this spell is attested in a court case from 1856 (Anon 1856) from the West Riding of Yorkshire. The spell had been carried out by a famous Leeds cunning man, Harrison, and his client, William Dove, had unfortunately graduated onto murder on the advice of his master, a crime for which he would later […]

    Coulrophobia and Cricket July 2, 2013

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Coulrophobia and Cricket

    There are many reasons to loathe the English but cricket is not one of them. Cricket, according to the romantics, was the game that the squire would play with their tenants, small time farmers and landless labourers on the village green on distant Sundays in the eighteenth century. Trevelyan wrote with pardonable exaggeration: ‘if the […]

    Jesus Christ and an Egg from Leeds March 18, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Jesus Christ and an Egg from Leeds

    Beachcombing has recently become curious about a passage in Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (160). ‘A panic terror of the end of the world seized the good people of Leeds and its neighbourhood in the year 1806. It arose from the following circumstances. A hen, in a village close by, […]