What is a "Bonny Brier-Bush" case?

+6 votes

All the source says is:

c 8 William, 1689, d 1712.  This was a "Bonny Brier-Bush" case.  The young man was greatly beloved and sorely lamented.  Jonathan, above, notes that he named his first son, born later in 1712, for this young cousin.

I did a Yahoo! search and found a poem that seemed to be about some young persons fooling around under the bush, then worrying who was going to love them in the future.  I've never been good at translating poetry and stuff, but the poem left a lot unsaid.  Did someone kill William for fooling around with their daughter?

There was also reference to an old Scottish story and another poem by Burns.  This one was more about a young couple from different classes.

WikiTree profile: William Nutting
in The Tree House by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (536k points)

1 Answer

+8 votes
Best answer

It just means a young man with apparently every advantage and a bright future ahead of him who tragically dies young.

"Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush" is a collection of Scottish stories by Ian McLaren. To us it now seems ridiculously over-the-top in sentimentality and pathos but they lapped up this sort of thing in Victorian times.

I believe it refers specifically to: "the very pathetic and very gracefully written story, "A Lad o' Pairts," with which the book opens. A Drumtochty lad, whose talent has been first recognised by his teacher, justifies the expectations formed of him by carrying all before him at the English University to which he is sent. But the strain is too much for him. He returns to his mother to die."

You can read it online here http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7179

by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
selected by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz

Well, thank you Matthew.  I wanted to add some sort of explanation on the profile and I think a bit of a quote from the book would be good.  I was being lazy and trying to avoid reading the entire thing because I am easily side-tracked and hence, my genealogy scholasticity suffers.  I also cannot easily make up my mind and would not be able to guess which story was the one.  I can make up arguments pro and con anything.  And yet, somehow I was able to select a husband.  It took 41 years, but I selected one.

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