Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
The old Puritans aren’t generally known for their rollicking laughs; yet when it came to naming their children, they seemed to have the most roguish sense of humour. Not satisfied with biblical names, some sought to give their children whole bible verses or edifying slogans for Christian names:
‘Job-Raked-Out-Of-The-Ashes,’ ‘Search-The-Scriptures,’ or ‘Fly-Fornication’ for example. Surely no child could be so-named with a straight face.
Perhaps the best-known example was ‘Praise-God’ Barebone, a member of the Nominated Assembly in Cromwell’s day.
‘Praise-God’ got off lightly, though – his brother was called ‘Christ-Came-Into-The-World-To-Save’ Barebone. Nevertheless, he decided to exact his revenge on his son, naming him ‘ Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned’ Barebone. Unsurprisingly, people found it easier to refer to the son simply as ‘Damned’ Barebone. Yet, for some reason, ‘Damned’ preferred to be known as Nicholas, and it is under that name that he founded London’s first fire insurance company and fire brigade
If you’d like some more Puritan advice in naming your child, maybe one of the following can inspire you: