A Historical Greenwich Bookmark
Why do we never find ourselves using that lovely hand-tooled leather affair that Auntie Joan got us for Christmas when we need bookmarks? I always end up using a bit of torn-off envelope, a till receipt or, if I’m really feeling swanky, the swing-ticket from some long-ago purchased garment. It’s not that I don’t have some really great bookmarks, given to me by lovely people who know I like to read; they’re just never to hand when I need one.
And thus was it ever so, thank God. Whilst reading one of my older volumes last night, I discovered that some unnamed Greenwich individual had done exactly the same thing as me, using a slip of paper to mark the beginning of the chapter they’d got up to just shy of two hundred years ago.
It looks like some kind of diary entry or memo. I can’t make it all out – so any handwriting experts here – please tell me the bits I can’t work out or if I’ve transcribed wrongly – it appears to say the following (bits I can’t read in Xs) :
And that’s it. Nothing on the back, but neatly torn, perhaps with a ruler, to make a bookmark.
I don’t really get it, to be honest. I’m not very in-the-know about church ‘establishments’ and what (presumably) extra-well-behaved Roan School boys would gain from ‘being on the establishment.’ Of course, John Roan still lives on today, in the school and the street name just behind St Alfege’s church – Roan owned much of the land around there, if memory serves. But I’m guessing there aren’t many pupils ‘on the establishment’ these days, even if it exists.
Can anyone who knows about such church-type things explain this memo to me?
I have decided never to use a proper bookmark again. From now on I will use cryptic cyphers that will intrigue future Phantoms. I have been known to occasionally leave the odd fortune-cookie motto in library books, for the kick of it, but little messages from the past about everyday things, just slipped between the pages, is far more fun…
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