Two Green Children Of Woolpit Having Other World Origin
One can visualise the confusion triggered by the duo found in one of the Wolfpits set up by the villagers of Woolpit in 12th century. It was said that the village Woolpit derive its name from repeatedly falsifying pronunciation of wolfpits surrounding the village. At that time, wolfpits were a usual first line of defence against the wandering wildlife in the forests of rural England, especially wolves. The Children of Woolpit were two siblings with Green Skin Colour who mystically make their appearance in Suffolk in the early 12th century.
The Children of Woolpit were two siblings with Green Skin Colour who mystically make their appearance in Suffolk in the early 12th century.
The unexpected appearance of the Green Children took place during the reign of King Stephen who wad enthroned in 1135 as per the written historical sources.
Shocked villagers unexpectedly found the children standing at the edge of a field. Their clothes made from unknown material and the language they spoke was difficult to understand.
The names of the children were not recorded. They were starved but didn’t eat any food given to them.
Warm hearted villagers brought raw broad beans, which they eat quickly. The children live only by eating beans for many months before they acquired the taste of bread.
In 12th century at the time of harvest, a boy and girl found in a wolfpit near the village Woolpit. Both the children were siblings. The girl was elder than the boy. Besides their skin , their eyes were also green. The two children dressed in a uncommon style in the 12th Century. Their clothes were made from unknown fabric.
Both children were afraid. They were unable to understand the common language of that time and place. They talked each other in an unfamiliar language.
They were malnourished initially, they didn’t consume food according to their obvious hunger because of beans. But later they were able to consume common food. The two children slowly lost green skin and become normal hue.
The girl learnt English and able to talk about her homeland. Then she replied :
“We are inhabitants of the land St. Martin, who is judged with unusual reverence in the country which gave us birth.”
“We are unaware ; we remember that on a certain day when we were feeding our father’s flocks in the fields, we heard a sound, such as we are now usual to hear at St. Edmund, when the bells are chiming; and while listening to the sound in a respect, we became on sudden, as it were, entranced and found ourselves among you in the fields where you were reaping.”
“The sun does not rise upon our countrymen; our land is little cheered by beams; we are contented with the twilight, which, among you, lead the way of sun rise, or follow the sunset. Moreover, a certain radiant country is seen, not far distant from ours, and divided from it by a very considerable river”.
She revealed that neither of their sibling had any idea how they went in Woolpit.
Some view this as a folk tale that explain a mythical meeting with native of another world below their feet or extraterrestrial, while others accept it as genuine. It may be altered records of historical incident that require further investigation.
The young boy got sick and died while the girl adjusted well to her new life.
She was christened and worked for some time until getting married to a man at King Lynn, in the neighbouring territory of Norfolk. As per the records, she took her name as ‘Agnes Barre’ and the man whom she married was an ambassador of Henry II. However these details have not been verified..
Possible Explanations :
• Medical Condition
An explanation purposed that the kids were normal. They were suffering from Hypochromic Anemia, more commonly known as Chlorosis (Greek word ‘Chloris’, meaning greenish-yellow). This state is caused by insufficient nutrition which affect the colour of red blood cells, resulting a typical green colour on the skin.
This theory give light in the dark. It suggests that when the children were found initially, they were malnourished. When their diet change,the green colour of their skin have lost .
The description given by the green children witnessing otherworldly origins are justified as mistake or confused memories of event due to shock, hunger or malnourishment. The inconsisting issue with this theory is why the children reacted so odd to normal food even in hunger, they refused to eat anything except raw green broad beans.
Another theory suggests that their green colour skin was due to arsenic poisoning. This theory is that the green children were possibly orphaned heirs and were poisoned with arsenic by dishonest guardians and were left to die in the forest.
• Historical Speculations
Paul Harris wrote in Fortean Studies (1998) about his supposition that The Green Children were Flemish orphans, probably from a nearby place known as Fornham St. Martin, which was disconnected from Woolpit by the River Lark. He somehow drew support from the historical oppression of Flemish immigrants during the reign of King Henry II where many were killed near Bury St. Edmunds. He additionally speculised that the children might run into Thetford Forest, maybe it seemed like permanent twilight to the afraid siblings and they entered into one of the underground mine passages in that area which led them to the Woolpit. He also justified their strange outfit and language were definitely Flemish clothing and dialect.
There is no record of any underground passages connecting Thetford Forest and Woolpit, records reveal that the rock mines were mainly cramped to the area of Thetford Forest. Thetford Forest is approximately 50 kilometres from Woolpit and it would be impossible for two malnourished children to cover that distance successfully on foot.
Many find it hard to believe that not a single villager including Sir Richard De Calne who was well-educated and extensively travelled, had ever seen Flemish clothing or heard the Flemish dialect, specially considering the huge arrival of Flemish immigrants at that time.
Some critics have suggested that it was debatable for the Flemish to have immigrated with their families on the historical basis, the Flemish who were mistreated during King Henry II reign were not so much immigrants but fortune soldiers who were paid to fight for the King.
• Out of this World
The initial link between The Green Children with extra terrestrials dates back to 1621 when Robert Burton suggested in “The Anatomy of Melancholy” that the green children “Fell From Heaven”.
This was further expounded by Francis Godwin, the Bishop of Hereford and also a historian, in his speculative fiction “The Man in the Moone” which was published in late 1638.
Credit for the most detailed theory involving the green children and extra-terrestrials goes to astronomer Duncan Lunan. In his book “Children of the Sky” published in 2012, he assumed that the children were a part of an extra-terrestrial settlement experiment.
Briefly, Duncan Lunan speculated that the green children were fortuitously expelled from their home planet and beamed to Woolpit. With his extra-terrestrial settlement experiment theory, he further pinpointed that there maybe genetically modified alien plants which served as a food source for the planet’s inhabitants as the cause for the children greenish complexion.
• Contemporary Influence:
Despite the cagey truth for centuries , The Green Children of Woolpit have been the inspiration for a number of literatures over the time across the world. To name but a few:
1. 1934: Book titled “The Green Child” by Sir Herbert Read.
2. 1965: Book titled “Strange Destines” by John Macklin.
3. 1978: Book titled“Slice of Suffolk” by Bob Roberts.
4. 1980: Book titled “The Girl Green as Elderflower” by Randolph Stow.
5. 1994: Book titled “The Green Children” by Kevin Crossley-Holland and Alan Marks.
In spite of whether The Green Children of Woolpit are a part of cultural folk tale, an evidence for the existence of extra terrestrial beings or a version of an actual occurrence, they continue to puzzle people over the centuries. In fact, many have tried to track Agnes Barre’s descendants, to conclusively discover if the green children really ever lived. However, any descendants have eluded discovery thus far.
In this consideration, there is strong hypothesis that the Earl Ferrars is descended from Agnes Barre, as the De Ferrars family comes from a intermarried branch of The Devereux family. This branch of Devereux family included Anne Barre (the daughter of Sir John Barre) by goodness of her marriage to Sir William Devereux in 1351.
It is said that there is a evidence which suggest that Agnes Barre might not have gotten married. Records also give specific clues for the identity of Agnes Barre’s spouse roughly state that she married a senior ambassador of King Henry II. Based on the timeline, the only traceable senior ambassador having Barre name was Richard Barre, who was chancellor to the King Henry II, Ministry of Ely and A Royal Justice. Taking into the account that Richard Barre retired nearly 1202 to become an Austin Canon at Leicester, it is highly improbably that he could have married to Agnes Barre.
After looking all evidences, The Green Children of Woolpit are likely to remain an interesting mystery for a very long time, if not forever.