Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Forgotten English- Englottogaster

Englottogaster: One who speaks from his belly; a ventriloquist.
                   ___William Turton's Medical Glossary, 1802

Early Ventriloquism

About the yeare of our Lord, 1554, a wenche who came form Glocester named Elizabeth Croft, about the age of eighteene yeares, stoode uppon a Scaffolde at Poules Cross all the sermon tyme, where shee confessed, that she being moved by dyvers lewde persons thereutno hadde upon the fourteenth of Marche laste, before passed coutnerfaited certayne speaches in an house without Aldersgate of London, throughe the whyche the pople of the whole city were wonderfully molested, for that all men mighte heare the voice but not see hir person. Some saide it was an Angell, some saide a voyce from heave, and some the Holie Ghost. Thys was called the Spirite in the Wall...The penance being ended and the people satisfied, the officers of the Courte tooke the woman and shut hir for a tyme in the prison, but after did shee returne to her owne countrie, and was noe more hearde of.

                                 ---Adin William's Lays and Legends of Gloucestershire, 1878

Source: Jeffrey Kacirk's Forgotten English calendar for Monday March 14, 2011

Image Source: See Mike Draw.

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