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Five questions about May – Quick Quiz answers

We asked you five quick trivia questions about May. Here are the answers:

  1. Brian May is most famous for being a rock guitarist, but was awarded a doctorate in 2007. In what field was his research?
    Astrophysics. May started his doctoral research immediately after graduating in the late 1960s, but Queen got in the way. Nevertheless he still managed to co-author a couple of academic papers in the early 1970s.
  2. “Here We Go Gathering Nuts In May” – one theory has it that “nuts in May” may be a corruption of “knots of may”. What is may in this context?
    Hawthorn blossom. The flowers grow in corymbs (clusters) of between five and 25. The petals are edible; the fruit (haws) can be eaten raw but are also used in preserves and to make wine.
  3. What was notable about Victorian constitutional theorist Thomas Erskine May’s tenure as 1st Baron Farnborough?
    It’s the second shortest-lived peerage in British history. The newly-created Lord Farnborough died just a week after the Letters Patent issued in May 1886, leaving no heir to become the 2nd Baron. Erskine May’s treatise on Parliamentary practice is still regarded as an authoritative reference work by several national parliaments.
  4. When match manufacturers Bryant & May acquired Gloucester-based S.J. Moreland & Sons in 1913, which brand name did they thereby acquire?
    England’s Glory. The battleship depicted on the front is HMS Devastation, commissioned in 1873 and broken up in 1908. Bryant & May’s parallel brand north of the Border is Scottish Bluebell.
  5. Where is Scotland’s Isle of May?
    Towards the north of the outer Firth of Forth. It’s a National Nature Reserve and has no permanent inhabitants, although ferries run from Anstruther and Crail in Fife from May to September.

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