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James Callow Folklore Archive

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ORIGIN OF "LYNCHING"

MANY YEARS AGO, WHEN IRELAND WAS UNDER THE RULE
OF THE SPANIARDS, THE SON OF A MAYOR LYNCH IN
IRELAND FELL IN LOVE WITH A MAIDEN WHO WAS BETROTHED,
AGAINST HER WILL, TO A SPANIARD. THE LYNCHED BOY KILLED
THE SPANIARD AND, ACCORDING TO LAW, SHOULD HAVE BEEN HUNG
FOR HIS CRIME. BUT THE PEOPLE OF THE TOWN THOUGHT SO HIGHLY
OF HIM THAT THEY REFUSED TO HAVE A TRIAL TO HANG HIM,
HIS FATHER WAS VERY CONSCIENTIOUS AND FELT THAT AS MAYOR
HE HAD A DUTY TO PERFORM. SO HE TOOK THE LAW INTO HIS OWN HANDS
AND HUNG HIS OWN SON. AND THAT IS HOW THE WORD "LYNCHING"
CAME TO HAVE THE MEANING IT HAS TODAY.

Submitter comment:

MRS MCCLOSKEY HEARD THIS WHEN SHE LIVED IN BELFAST, IRELAND.
ABOUT 1915

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETYMOLOGY ; IRELAND ; Lynch ; Lynching ; Origin

Subject headings: SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 01-13-1964

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