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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

In connection with the theological hazards of childbirth, I have this
quotation (unsourced) from The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Names,
introduction, page xxxvi

"Before we leave the pre-Reformation period there are one or two details
which may be noted. ... It was the custom for a midwife to christen quick
children before birth [presumably if a part of the child had emerged as in a
breeches birth where birth-cord strangulation was a real hazard] when it was
feared that they might not be delivered alive. They were given neuter names
such as *Vitalis*, *Creature*, *Chylde-of-God*."

Does anyone have any more information - such as a mediaeval source - for
this statement ?

Brenda M.C.
----- Original Message -----
From: "francine nicholson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: [M-R] Burial of unbaptised infants


"Where a mother died in childbirth, without the infant being delivered, she
(the mother) could not be buried in consecrated ground because the child was
unbaptised, and both would have been buried with other unbaptised infants."

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