HAPPY LAND DRUIDS
(I have always been intrigued by the name of this plot of land, so when I began to research Park Square I decided to include it. When I found the following deed I wondered if the land acquired its name from its association with the “Druids and Nymph Lodge“?
(If anyone can offer a different explanation I would be pleased to hear about it!)
(please click on images for magnification)
1863 May 1st
WARD TO NYMPH LODGE 1st May 1863 Between Thomas WARD of Ossett Mason 1st Part and Richard MEGSON, Robert GIGGAL, John CONYERS all of Ossett Trustees of the NYMPH LODGE Number 24 of the United Ancient Order of Druids held at the George Inn Ossett the other part. Of and Concerning all those 5 cottages situate on Ossett. Middle Common formerly in respective occupation of Francis SCOTT John HEMINGWAY Randolph WIILBY and ””””””but now in the respective occupation of John SMITH the said Thomas WARD & John MANNERS together with rights appts. etc. (Ref: 1863 XE 698 743)
(on the 1910 Valuation Map these are Plot Nos. 692; 693; 694 & 695)
The Ancient Order of Druids, Nymphs Lodge No. 34 was a Benevolent Society set up to provide cash benefits to its members if they could not work due to illness.
Standing, fourth from the left is Gerald WILSON , the grandfather of Stephen Wilson (‘Ossett History’ – www.ossett.net) and his younger brother Austin Wilson (sitting, extreme left). (photo: courtesy of Stephen Wilson)
(I must admit I don’t think they look such a ‘happy lot’!)
It is not widely known that Winston Churchill was a Druid. In the early 20th century as a young man he dabbled with various organisations, most notably the Freemasons and his initiation into Druidic rites appears to have stemmed from this.
This photograph in Stuart Piggot’s book The Druids shows a young Churchill flanked by a number of men, some wearing druid robes and others in ordinary suits. According to the inscription this photograph shows Churchill’s initiation into the Albion Lodge of the Ancient Order of Druids in August 1908 at Blenheim, his family home.
Elsewhere in The Druid Tradition, Phillip Carr-Gomm describes the same photograph while stating it was Churchill’s initiation into the Ancient and Archaeological Order of Druids.
(More information is available about the Druids on ‘wikipedia’)
JOAN P SMITH
© JOAN P SMITH 2015