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Christmas Quiz 2015 answers
Tis the season to be… all doomy and gloomy!
Whose last words were allegedly ‘bugger Bognor’? (1)
King George V
What is the literal meaning of the word Cenotaph? (2)
3. ‘And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.’ .
Who is the author of this phrase and what is extraordinary about his funerary monument? (2) John Donne. As many of you pointed out, he is buried upright to be ready for Judgement Day, so his monument shows him wrapped up in his shroud. However this monument also survived the burning of the original St Pauls in the Great Fire of London to be displayed in the current St Pauls. It fell through the floor where it is generally accepted that a thick layer of ash saved it from further damage. If you look carefully, the base is slightly singed.
‘It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand.’ – what is ‘it’, who is it pointing at and in which book will you find it? (3) Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, pointing at Scrooge’s grave in ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. (Thanks to those of you who pointed out that the illustration shows this, but in the story it points at Scrooge’s body and then at the grave)
5. What was the name of the first woman to be mauled to death by a tiger in England, and where will you find her tomb? (2) poor Hannah Twynnoy, who is buried in the churchyard of Malmesbury Abbey.
6. Who met a watery end because of a willow tree – or was it suicide? (2) Ophelia, In Hamlet by William Shakespeare
7. What is scratched into the window of Croick Church, and why? (3). Messages relating to the Clearance of Glencalvie and neighbouring parts of the Highlands. The Minister figured prominently in the execution of this 1845 act. The people who scratched them would not enter the church because of this, but camped out briefly in the churchyard to try to get some shelter from the elements.
8. Whose remains were recently discovered under a car park in Leicester and where do they now lie? (2) Richard III, now buried in Leicester Cathedral
9. Where does the last man to be beheaded at the Tower of London lie buried (or most of him, at any rate) - who was he and why was he condemned to die? (3)
Chris Gidlow who works for Historic Royal Palaces gives this detailed answer:
“Hmm. At or in Last man in was Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, buried in St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower, executed for Treason (raising a rebellion against Elizabeth I). However, noting the Scottish bent, you may mean Simon Frazer< Lord Lovat, last man beheaded on Tower Hill, he also is buried in St Peter ad Vincula, executed for Treason, supporting the Jacobite Rebellion against George II. (you mentioned somewhere else but we are pretty sure we have him)”.
I certainly meant Simon Fraser, but I am equally sure that the lead coffin containing his body was opened in Wardlaw Mausoleum crypt during the 1960s/70s. An eyewitness and direct descendent told my mother and myself, who lived nearby for some years, that the body was present (wearing crumbling red velvet), minus head. As historical accounts of the time show some unwillingness to carry out the execution of the Old Fox at all, is it likely that his head was buried quietly at St Peter ad Vincula rather than being publicly displayed as was the previous custom? I’d like to think so…
10. What is remarkable about this sentence? “The angel clasped her hands and touched the skull and cross-bones with her wings, as the last grains ran through the hourglass and the handbell tolled.” (2)
This foxed most of you. It is not a quotation you will find on Google but a construct. Angels, clasped hands, skulls & cross-bones, wings, hourglasses and handbells all appear on gravestones (C18th and earlier) as memento mori. See www.facebook.com/KirkmichaelTrust during 2016 - a new project!
11. Which fictional parental grave carries a biblical inscription taken from 1 Corinthians 15:26? (2) The grave of Harry Potter’s parents, James and Lily Potter. It reads: ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.’
12. Where will you find these words, and who wrote them? (2)
Good friend, for Jesus' sake forebeare
To digg the dust enclosed heare;
Bleste be the man that spares thes stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones
Shakespeare’s tomb in Stratford on Avon, and the author is anonymous, not Shakespeare himself, which caught some of you out.
13. What do Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison all have in common? (1)
They are all buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.
14. When is an indication of religious conflict simply a matter of how you cross your legs? (2) There were two schools of thought on this one. Here is Chris Gidelow’s response: A fictional explanation of cross legged knights’ effigies as ‘crusaders’. This is cobblers. Cross legged effigies include Robert Curthose and William the Marshal. And not Richard the Lionheart.
And Sarah Dunton’s:
Crossing one’s legs in an Orthodox church is considered to be disrespectful and shows you to be too comfortable and lax. Both feet should stay firmly on the floor in order to “let us be attentive” !
15. Complete the two missing lines of this famous toast (and who is it by?) (2):
Here’s tae us!
Wha's like us?
And they’re a’ deid
Mair's the pity!
This famous toast is by Robert Burns. Oh yes it is.
16. In which cemetery can you find a locked mausoleum believed by some to be a fully functioning time machine? (2) Brompton Cemetery, London, mausoleum of the Courtoy family.
17. Why is Isabella and the Pot of Basil a favourite subject of classical art? (2)
Liked Colin’s response to this one:
BECAUSE IT GAVE THE ARTISTS A CHANCE TO WALLOW IN ALLEGORY!! DYING
ROSES ON THE FLOOR SYMBOLISING THE END OF LOVE – HEARTS AND SKULLS ON
THE URN SYMBOLIZING LOVE AND DEATH – THE VIGOROUS GROWTH OF THE BASIL PLANT REPRESENTING NEW LIFE FROM DEATH (REGARDLESS OF THE HEALTHY DOSE
OF IRON AND FERTILISER NOW IN THE POT !) HOLLMAN HUNT’S WIFE WAS PREGNANT
WHEN SHE POSED FOR THE PAINTING – YES … NEW LIFE FOLLOWING DEATH – THAT’S
18. Who (or what) was buried once in Maynooth, County Kildare, and a second time at the National Stud of Ireland? (2) Arkle the Racehorse. Not Shergar as far as we know!!
19. Who supposedly refused to leave his master’s grave in an Edinburgh kirkyard for 14 years? (1) Greyfriar’s Bobby
20. Why is the fifth stone in this row of British First World War graves (located in the town cemetery of Bavay, France), white instead of brown? (2)
Here is Chris’s very thorough response:
I feel I know everything about the man in the white grave except why. He was (Walter) James Turner, Private 55197 of the North Staffordshire Regiment. Born in Old Weston, Huntingdon, where he is also commemorated in the church. He was the son of Peter James Turner and Eliza Turner. He was only 19 when he and his company were struck by a shell and killed on 8th November 1918, having just left their billet in Bavay. His body was found by your grandfather, Captain Thomas Westmacott. His mother chose the grave style and the inscription ‘He gave his life for his loved ones at home’. All I can think of is that the red-brown graves were supplied by the commune of Bavay to Commonwealth war graves specifications, but when the additional instruction to include his age (and thus a slightly different design – these are added in red pen to the document) the War Graves commission had to provide the replacement in standard white stone.
The simple answer is however that the local brown sandstone is highly prone to damage. This was stone provided by the commune at the time of burial but it subsequently deteriorated (and a few others will follow soon). The white one is simply a later (more familiar in style) replacement in the CWGC Portland stone. All are likely to be replaced over time. I’m going to have some explaining to do in Bavay next time I am over as a number of you rang or emailed the Mairie – don’t hold your breath!
THANKS ALL WHO ENTERED AND WELL DONE to our three runners-up:
Artist Clare Blois from Beauly
Chris Gidelow from Historic Royal Palaces in London
Artist Sarah Dunton from here in Fortrose
and BRAVO to our 2016 winner:
Designer Colin MacConnachie from Peebles.
Runners-up can choose a selection of shortbread/and/or/oatcakes
Winner gets both plus cake!
© Interpretaction 2015