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Manny’s birthday book – February 1

February 1, 2011

Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book for ChildrenMy grandmother, who I called Manny, had a birthday book.  I’m posting the entries throughout the year, as they appear.

When one month changes to another, there is a colour-plate page inserted, with a whole page colour drawing by Kate Greenaway.  For these times, the name appears on one side of the plate, and then the plate and the dates appear in the next opening.

This is one such time:

Jean Law born 1 February

Jean Law born 1 February

From Manny’s Birthday Book:  February 1 – Jean (?) Law

Is this Queen Elizabeth, may I ask,

With her ruff, and her cushioned head?;

No, for this lady still proudly walks,

And Queen Elizabeth’s dead.

Charming little verse for children.  I prepared the text for a number of this series of posts at the same time, and once I got the formatting right, I copied and pasted this verse into subsequent drafts, to use as a place marker and template.  As I typed in the different verses for each post, I would highlight the existing line, and type in the new line.  You would be surprised how many ‘And Queen Elizabeth’s dead’ as a last line, works for.  Mostly in a funny way.  Naturally, in the early 1920’s, the Queen Elizabeth Kate Greenaway was talking about was Queen Elizabeth I, who certainly was dead by then.  The baby who would become Queen Elizabeth II was not born until 1926.

A Jean Law was born in 1906 in Perth (1906/897 WA). If she is the right person, she would be six years older than Manny.  She doesn’t appear to have married or died in Western Australia.  Law is not a family name that I’m aware of.  Perhaps she was an older sister of one of Manny’s friends, or an older daughter of family friends, who she admired.

But the L in Law looks remarkably like the first letter of the first name.  Is ‘Lean Law’ a name.  Another quick check of the index provides Lionel L Law, born Roebourne WA 1912 (1912/5 WA).  Is ‘Lean’ a nickname for Lionel?  Leon or Lion perhaps?  He did get a bit heavy handed with the ink – it’s hard to tell.

Lionel L Law doesn’t make another appearance in the BDM indexes or in the Metropolitan Cemetery Board’s online index.

If you think you know who Jean Law/Lean Law is, please comment and let me know.

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