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St Thomas's Eve


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(20/21 December).

A love divination designated for this night, involving the use of an onion, has varied little for 300 years. In Mother Bunch's Closet (1685: 7) the instructions are:Take a St Thomas onion, and peel it, and lay it in a clean handkerchief and lay it under your head … and as soon as you be laid down … say these words:Good St Thomas do me rightAnd bring my love to me tonightThat I may look him in the faceAnd in my arms may him embrace.Then in thy first sleep thou shalt dream of him that shall be thy husband.

Take a St Thomas onion, and peel it, and lay it in a clean handkerchief and lay it under your head … and as soon as you be laid down … say these words:

A Victorian example from Derbyshire says the onion should be stuck with nine pins, and has a slightly longer verse (Long Ago 2 (1874), 21). In modern Lincolnshire, the girl says:Good Saint Thomas see me rightLet me see my love tonightIn his clothes and his arrayThat he wears most every day.(Sutton, 1997: 204)Wright and Lones, 1940: iii. 198–9.

(Sutton, 1997: 204)

Wright and Lones, 1940: iii. 198–9.


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