The mysterious Alice Phenix, 1716

Another “discovery” from Chapel-en-le-Frith parish register: “Upon March the 12 1716 there came a young girl about 13 years of age whose name was Alice Phenix who came to this town to ashop for half a stone of towe for her master being an apprentice with William Ward of the Peak Forest she went from this town in the evening and calld at Peter Downs house who lived then at Laneside then sent her away in good time to have gone home but she turned again and was found at the house where they were going to but Peter calld her in and sent her to bed with his daughter next morning calling her up very soon sent her away but as they were going to plow found her again and his son did chide her very ill and she seemed then to make hast home but sitting down between two rutts in George Bowdens part on Peaslowe sat there that day and next and Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Munday till noon two of which days the 15 and 16 was the most severe snowing and driving that hath been seen in the memory of man this girl was found about one a clock on Munday by William Jackson of Sparow pit and William Landin his neighbour in the forest they carried her to the same house back againe to Peter Downs house and after she had got some refreshment and a little warm milk could warm her self at the fire afterwards and could turn her and rub her legs with both her hands and after was carried to her masters house that night and is now well but a little stiff in her limbs but eat no meat these six days but was very thirsty and slept much”. What was her story, I wonder? Why did she not want to go home? This one was spotted by me (and others before, no doubt) and was, I gather, put in print in 1898 in “Old English Social Life as Told by the Parish Registers” by Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer. (Another one for the Unusual Names list!”)

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