Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

QUERY: Holly berries

Posted on by royvickery |

On 14 February 1812  the Rev. William Holland, vicar of Over Stowey, Somerset,  noted in his diary [1],  ‘a man came from Kilve to fetch my Holly berrys for Mr Harford’.

Harford appears to be the Bristol banker C.J. Harford, who in 1803 described ‘the finding of a Bronze Age hoard on or near the Quantock Hills and of the Polden Hills hoard of Iron Age horse-harness’ [2].

Any explanations of this would be greatly appreciated.  Why would Harford want holly berries? One assumes the date, 14 February, Valentine’s Day is of no significance.

1. Jack Ayres (ed.),  Paupers & Pig Killers: The Diary of William Holland, A Somerset Parson, 1799-1818, 2003: 231.

2. L.V. Grinsell, The Past and Future of Archaeology in Somerset, Somerset Archaeology and Natural History 115: 29-38, 1971.

Image: cultivated, Canterbury Crescent, Brixton, London Borough of Lambeth, March 2023.

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