St Barnabass

(11 June) Ox-eye Daisy has some connection with this feast day, presumably only because it is the Midsummer Daisy, and as such a herb of St John. St Barnaby's Thistle is Centaurea solstitialis, and must have got the name because it blooms about now, or is said to bloom about now, for surely this is a July/August flower? Rose, lavender, woodruff and box were used for church decoration on St Barnabas's Day, and the officiating clergy wore wreaths of roses; so, indeed, did the choristers (Tyack). See, for instance, the churchwardens' accounts of St Mary-at-Hill, in London, during Edward IV and Henry VI: "For rose garlandis and woodroff garlandis on St Narnabe Daye, xj d". "Item, for two doss di boise garlands for opresetes and claekes on Sr Barnabe Day, js. Vd".

One of the versions of the Glastonbury Thorn legend is that Joseph of Arimathea had a walnut staff, which he planted. It rooted, and always flowered on St Barnabas's Day (Tongue. 1965). The earlier description, by Camden, has the tree only putting forth its leaves on this day.

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