10 MARCH 1928, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—It was interesting to me to read recently in your article " What's in a Name ? " the anecdote of the infant baptized " Virgo Maria," as I was the officiating clergyman

on that occasion. .

I was, in the year 1872, in charge of the parish .of St. - Clement's, Oxford, the Boiled Rabbit," as the churth

Used to be called. It was a favourite church, especially for baptisms, not only for parishioners, but amongst inhabitants of neighbouring parishes ; and I remember that the inewia- bent of one of these latter held this fact for a grievance.

On the occasion referred to, when I asked the godparents

to name the child, the mother replied, " Virgo Maria." ',I hesitated a moment and asked .her to repeat it, which she did, but as I saw. no reason to 'ease; I baptized the infant accordingly. When the service was ended I inquired what made them give the child that name, and whether they knew what it meant. The mother -replied that she did not, and gave the explanation correctly recorded by your contribut4.

I then told her what the name meant,.and added; " You will call her Maria,' will yon not ? " She replied : " Oh I yes, Sr."i The foregoing can, of course, be corroborated by any person who will take the trouble to examine the St. Clement's Register of Baptisms for 1872.

But where and how did your contributor become acquainted with the facts, which, so far as he goes, he states quite correctly ? I do not remember ever having committed then' to print, and it is a far cry from 1872 to 1928.-I am, Sir, &c., Medlea, The Grove, Coulsdon, Surrey. A. C. DOWNER;