King of The Gypsies - England - Boswells - James Boswell

James Boswell

Is buried in Rossington, near Doncaster in Yorkshire. Langdale's "Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire" (1822), says:- "In the church yard, was a stone, the two ends of which are now remaining, where was interred the body of James Bosvill the King of the Gypsies, who died January 30, 1708. For a number of years, it was a custom of Gypsies from the south, to visit his tomb annually, and there perform some of their accustomed rites; one of which was to pour a flagon of ale upon the grave." This is similar to the ritual of "stalling the rogue" mentioned by Thomas Harman and in The Beggars Bush and by Bampfylde Moore Carew. A legend says that Boswell lived in Sherwood Forest helping travellers and Gypsies. Also that his grave was opened some months after his burial so that his black cat could be buried with him, and that a ghostly cat still appears on the churchyard wall. A tradition was reported of annual visits to the grave of Charles Boswell near Doncaster for more than 100 years into the 1820s, including a rite of pouring a flagon of hot ale into the tomb. This may be same person. the grave is situated by the main door leading to the church, shaded by a dark oak tree. It is now covered in moss, but is still readable. The words "King Of The Gypsies" will lie there for ever more, whereas the mystery of the black cat is still unsolved. - information on the grave by A. Needham - P. Needham, of St. Michaels church.

Read more about this topic:  King Of The Gypsies, England, Boswells

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