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FIENNES, Celia [1662-1741] -- English diarist

Relationship to me: 14C7
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Motivated chiefly by an intense curiosity, she undertook a number of journeys through England in the period 1685-1703. Her remarkable journal of those travels was lost for more than 140 years and was rediscovered only in 1885 and republished in 1888 as Through England on a Side Saddle.

That journal is now prized as a particularly insightful picture of late 17th century England, and Fiennes joins diarists Defoe, Evelyn and Pepys as important sources for understanding daily life in those times.

She is often identified with the nursury rhyme, "Ride a Cock Horse". Banbury, a small town in Oxfordshire, was the family seat, and the phrase "on a fine horse" is construed to be a corruption of "up a Finnes horse".

Ride A cock-horse
To Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady
On a white horse
With rings on her fingers
And Bells on her toes
She shall have music
Wherever she goes
 -30-
 

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