[ilds] sacring-bell (OED)

Godshalk, William (godshawl) godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu
Sat May 1 09:51:58 PDT 2010

"sauncing bell"

The phrase has been identified as Raleigh's.

But I wouldn't bet more than $100 on the id.


W. L. Godshalk *
Department of English    *           *
University of Cincinnati*   * Stellar Disorder  *
OH 45221-0069 *  *
From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf Of Bruce Redwine [bredwine1968 at earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 1:31 PM
To: Charles-Sligh at utc.edu; ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Cc: Bruce Redwine
Subject: Re: [ilds] sacring-bell (OED)


Thanks for the citations from the OED and the 1850 dictionary.  Apparently "sauncing bell" is a variant of "sacring bell," although the OED doesn't note as such, but that's undoubtedly an oversight.  See  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altar_bell.  I'm not familiar with the term in Catholic liturgy; I assume it's also an uncommon usage in the Anglican service.  So, what's Durrell's source?  "Heytpood's Rapt of Lucrcc" (sic)?  Which must be a botched spelling of Thomas Heywood, who did compose The Rape of Lucrece (1608).

The human mind is a wondrous thing, particularly LD's, but it's hard for me to imagine the old guy lugging around a liturgical term from his days in London (or earlier) and using it in 1959, when writing Clea.  Has anyone tried to account for L. Durrell's weird vocabulary and to generalize that into a theory about him and his method of composition?


On Apr 29, 2010, at 5:06 PM, Charles Sligh wrote:

sacring-bell (OED, 2nd edition)

1. A small bell rung at the elevation of the host.
1395 E.E. Wills (1882) 5, I bequethe a chales and a pax~bred,..and a
sacrynge belle. 1449 Churchw. Acc. Yatton (Somerset Rec. Soc.) 90 For
a rop for the sacryng bell, iiiid. 1502 Acc. Ld. High Treas. Scot.
(1900) II. 343 Item, for tua small sacryne bellis, tane at ane cremar.
1584 R. SCOT Discov. Witchcr. V. iii. (1886) 76 He heard a little
saccaring bell ring to the elevation of a morrowe masse. 1846 R. HART
Eccl. Rec. 225 The sacring bell, which was rung at the elevation of
the host. 1884 Sunday at Home Feb. 102/2 No latticed
confessional{em}no sacring bell.

   ¶2. In post-Reformation times, sometimes applied to a small bell
rung to summon parishioners to morning prayers, or to mark the point
in the Communion Service at which the people should go up to communicate.
1598 DRAYTON Heroic Ep. III. 71 Who would not rise to ring the
Mornings Knell, When thy sweet Lips might be the sacring Bell? 1641 I.
H. Petit. agst. Pocklington 2 He hath caused a Bell to be hung up in
his Chancell, called a Sacring Bell, which the Clarke always rings at
the going up to second Service. 1766 ENTICK London IV. 75 A lantern,
which..incloses the sacring-bell, to call the parishioners to prayers.
sacring (OED, 2nd edition)

Also 3-6 sacringe, 4 sakryng, -ring, 4-6 sacryng(e, sakeryng(e, 5
sacryn, sacreng, sakering(e, saycrying, sac(c)aring, Sc. sacryne. [f.
SACRE v.1 + -ING1.]

   1. The consecration of the eucharistic elements in the service of
the mass. Sometimes more fully, the sacring of (the) mass.
1297 R. GLOUC. (Rolls) 6818 Ri{ygh}t atte sacringe he stod as be lowe In
{th}e churche at westmunstre. 13.. Coer de L. 222 And whene the belle
began to ryng The preest scholde make the sakeryng, Out of the kyrke
sche wolde away. c1375 Lay Folks Mass Bk. (MS. B) 400 {Th}en tyme is
nere of sakring, A litel belle men oyse to ryng. c1380 WYCLIF Serm. Sel.
Wks. I. 137 Bitwene {th}e sacringe of {th}e masse and {th}e {th}ridde
Agnus Dei. c1451 AGNES PASTON in P. Lett. I. 217 And on Friday after
sakeryng, one come fro cherch warde, and schoffe doune all that was
thereon. 1482 CAXTON Trevisa's Hidgen IV. xxxii. 222b, The grayel and
the offretory sholde be sayde to fore the sacrynge [MSS. sacrement; L.
sacrificium]. 1550 CRANMER Defence 101 What made the people to
runne..from altar to altar, and from sakeryng (as they called it) to
sakeryng? a1571 JEWEL On Thess. iii. 5-10 (1594) 90 It is a small matter
to looke vp and holde vp thy handes at the sacring. 1584 R. SCOT Discov.
Witchcr. XV. xxvii. (1886) 376 Words..written in the canon, or rather in
the saccaring of masse. 1626 Scogin's Jests (? 1680) 12 By and by the
Bells were tolled for sacring, and Scogin hied him to Church lustily and
merry. 1871 ROSSETTI Poems, tr. Villon's Mother's Service to our Lady
ii, Oh help me, lest in vain for me should pass..The blessed Host and
sacring of the Mass.

   {dag}b. concr. Used for: The consecrated elements.
c1290 S. Eng. Leg. I. 358/105 Muche folk {th}are was in Rome {th}at in
guode bi-leue nere Ne bi-lieueden nou{ygh}t {th}at {th}e sacringe ore
louerdes licame were. 1448 M. PASTON in P. Lett. I. 72 [The Parson of
Oxened] being at messe in one Parossh Chirche, evyn at levacion of the

   2. The ordination and consecration of persons to certain offices, as
those of bishop, king, queen, etc.
1297 R. GLOUC. (Rolls) 2318 Ac him sulf him crounede & made him king so
His sacringe was lute wor{th} & na{th}eles it was ydo. c1380 WYCLIF Wks.
(1880) 393 {Th}e clerkis han many grete & smale perquisitiuys,..as..for
halowynge of chapels..& for sacrynge of ordres, & fulle many mo. c1450
Merlin vi. 105 We wolde that his sacringe and coronacion be respite to
Penticoste. 1496 Dives & Paup. (W. de W.) VII. xviii. 305/1 Yf the
offycer of ye bysshop axe of custome ony gyft..in sacrynge of
bysshopes..yf they yt sholde be..sacred gyue theym suche gyftes..is it
symonye. 1672 TEMPLE Ess., Govt. Wks. 1731 I. 98 The Sacring of the
Kings of France (as Loysel says) is the Sign of their Soveraign
Priest~hood, as well as Kingdom. 1814 SOUTHEY Roderick XVIII. 107 For
acclamation and for sacring now One form must serve. 1902 Q. Rev. July
356 The fullest development of the service for the sacring of the French
Kings is contained in the Coronation Book of Charles V.

   {dag}3. gen. The action of consecrating. Obs.
1610 W. FOLKINGHAM Art of Survey Ep. Ded. 2, I will screw-vp this Key
with the prostrate sacring of my selfe..at the Shrine of your gracious
Clemencie. 1613 PURCHAS Pilgrimage II. viii. 136 Elias Leuita describeth
the forme of sacring or hallowing their Teraphim in this sort.

   4. Comb. as sacring time, SACRING-BELL.
1482 CAXTON Trevisa's Higden VIII. xix. 414 The lyeutenaunt..forth with
commanded that euery man shold kepe his wepen in his hond sacryng tyme
and other. 1577-87 HOLINSHED Chron. III. 946/2 Those that..held not vp
their hands at the sacring time. 1594 T. BEDINGFIELD tr. Machiavelli's
Florentine Hist. (1595) 198 The time of the execution should be at the
sacring time of Masse.

A dictionary of archaic and provincial words (1850)
SAUNCE-BELL. A sacring-bell. See Sacriny.
Now what Is love I will the tell.
It la the fountaineand the well.
Where pleasure and repentance dwell;
It is perhaps, the sancing-bell,
That rings all into heaven or hell.
And this Is love, as I heare tell.

Heytpood's Rapt ofLucrccc, I. 3

Charles L. Sligh
Assistant Professor
Department of English
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
charles-sligh at utc.edu

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