Sweet William

(Dianthus barbatus) The name has exercised the imagination of commentators in the past. The French name is oeillet (oeillet de poète, Rambosson calls it), and this may have been corrupted into Willy (Friend. 1883). Archdeacon Hare said that it is dedicated to St William, whose feast day is 25 June, and that "sweet" is a substitute for "saint". Others thought that the Childing Pink (Dianthus prolifer, or Kohlrasuchia proliféra, as it is called these days), is the original of the Saint Sweet William, for it was said that the "saint" was only dropped since the demolition of St William's shrine in Rochester Cathedral (Dyer. 1889).

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