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Immuring

(Latin). Burying in a wall. The Vestal virgins among the Romans, and the nuns among the Roman Catholics, who broke their vows of chastity, were buried in a niche sufficiently large to contain their body with a small pittance of bread and water. The sentence of immuring was Vade in pace, or more correctly, Vade in pacem (Go into peace —i.e. eternal rest). Some years ago a skeleton, believed to be the remains of an immured nun, was discovered in the walls of Coldingham Abbey.

The immuring of Constance, a nun who had broken her vows, forms a leading incident in Scott's poem of Marmion.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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