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Full text of "Brand's popular antiquities of Great Britain. Faiths and folklore; a dictionary of national beliefs, superstitions and popular customs, past and current, with their classical and foreign analogues, described and illustrated"

II b 



1 



T. 

Professor of th 

A. 3,353.51 


Kittivci'sitir yHrr<ivj) 


THi, Gli-i OF 

F. CRANE, 

B Rotiiaitce Languages and Literatures, 


:i-8|irr/.of 



Cornell University Library 

DA 110.B81 

V.1 

Bfancl's popular antiquities of Great Bri 




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MARJ15 194? 



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FAITHS . . . 

AND 

FOLKLORE. 







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A SUPERSTITION OF THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. 

On Christmas Eve it is refuted in some districts that cocks crow alt night, and thus scare away 

evil spirits for future days. 



miND'S POPULAR ANTIQUITIES OP GREAT BRITAIN. 



Faiths and Folklore 



A DICTIONARY J 

OP 

■^mm^'mAi.^ IKUEFg, SUPEBSTinCNS AND FOPTJLAB 

'• -u^mn, r*A:HT and curbbnt. with irHEIR 

r.|.A:<j?IOAL AND FOBBIGN ANALOGUES, 
f>gSCBIBED AND ILLUSTRATED. 



«ii«».>'« 4 wssr jtmnoir or »thb popular antiquitiss of ojri^x 

m-'tjifs'^m' mAfio asd slijs, lamqevt extended, colmsoTsn, 

mu'vmt mwv to tbs presenj: time, and ypir 

nmST Aj.PHABETICALLr AMRANOED. "'**' 



BY 

V* C A K E W H A Z L I T T. 



e 



/A TWO VOLUMES— VOL. I. 



Lordom: New York; 

REEVES & TURNER CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS. 

MCMV. 




A SUPERSTITION OF THi: MONTH OF DECEMBER. 

'."'^ i:., ....'«*) Kit it h refuted in c roiz all tight, a«rf th«$ scare avMy 



BRAND'S POPULAR ANTIQUITIES OF GREAT BRITAIN. 



Faiths and Folklore 



A DICTIONARY 

OF 

NATIONAL BELIEFS, SUPEESTITIONS AND POPULAE 

CUSTOMS, PAST AND CUEEENT, WITH THEIE 

CLASSICAL AND FOEEIGN ANALOGUES, 

DESCEIBED AND ILLUSTEATED, 



SS 

FORMING A NEW EDITION OF "THE POPULAR ANTIQUITIES OF GREAT 

BRITAIN" BY BRAND AND ELLIS, LARGELY EXTENDED, CORRECTED, 

BROU^T DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, AND NOW 

FIRST ALPHABETICALLY ARRANGED. 



BV 

W. CAREW HAZLITT. 



e 



IN TWO VOLUMES— VOL. I. 



London: New York: 

REEVES & TURNER. CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS. 

MCMV. 



PREFACE. 

It is very rarely indeed that a book on Popular Antiquities or 
any other analogous topic so commends itself to the public, and so 
maintains its rank and estimation, as to continue to be the 
recognised source of reference in successive editions during more 
than a century and a half. 

The present work, from its first appearance under the auspices 
of the Rev. Henry Bourne in 1725, and under the title of 
Antiquitates Vulgates, has so largely and essentially partaken 
of the anecdotal character, and so much depends on detail, 
not only for the confirmation of statements, but for the 
maintenance of interest, that an Editor, whatever he may do 
in the withdrawal of positive redundancies, is scarcely able 
to emulate the judicial conciseness of Buckle in his History 
of Civilization or the rhetorical and imposing periods of 
Macaulay. A compiler of a picture of Ancient Manners and Opinions 
on a documentary and lexicographical principle or basis, besides a 
bare statement of facts, has, as it were, to call witnesses, and 
record their depositions for the benefit of the reader. His personal 
views and experience are apt to be of service in chief measure in the 
choice of authorities and in the arrangement of evidence. Much 
of the charm in a book of the present class must necessarily lie in 
more or less copious and varied illustration, and its value and use 
would be impaired by lending to it the character of a summary or 
digest. The reader in this case prefers to form his own conclusions, 
and to linger over descriptive passages. 



VI PREFACE. 

John Brand, as Secretary to the London Society of Antiquaries, 
and as a zealous collector of old and curious books during a long 
series of years, while such things remained within the reach of 
persons of moderate resources, enjoyed the opportunity of selecting 
extracts illustrative of the subject, which he had made his own in 
the character of successor to the author of Antiquitates Vulgares; 
and so far as an amplified republication of Bourne went, 
he lived to bring out in 1777 a more complete edition, 
yet on the same narrow and imperfect lines. During the 
latter years of his life, however, he proceeded to accumulate 
material for an undertaking on a larger and more com- 
prehensive scale, and at the time of his death was in 
possession of a large body of MSB. collectanea of unequal value, 
eventually secured by a firm of publishers, and placed for editorial 
purposes in the hands of Sir Henry Ellis, of the British Museum. 
Ellis found, no doubt, amid the pressure of official work, 
considerable difficulty in reducing the whole to anything like method 
and form; but he accomplished what he could, and presented the 
world with the result in two large quarto volumes in 18 13. 

When I in 1869 entered on an examination of this text, I was 
disposed to exercise a free hand in every way ; but I remember that 
I was dissuaded from going so far as my own feeling prompted me 
by the idea on the part of some of my advisers that to interfere 
with the work of such eminent antiquaries too drastically was little 
less than sacrilege. I have only once regretted the course, which 
I actually took thirty-five years ago — and that is ever since. 

As material Brand's extracts had, and have, their undoubted 
worth, nor is the text of Ellis much more than rough copy; 
but it was found requisite on the former occasion to rearrange 
and collate the whole, and in once more re-editing the volumes on a 
new principle certain matter, from the discovery of better information 
and other causes, proved superfluous or undesirable. 



PREFACE. VU 

The sectional arrangement, which has hitherto prevailed in 
regard to the book, unavoidably interfered with its use as a ready 
means of acquiring the desired particulars about any given subject, 
more especially as it constituted one of the exigencies of such a 
method to repeat in substance, even in the laboriously revised text of 
1870, certain statements and, which was yet more inconvenient, to 
make it necessary for the referrer to collect the full detail, of which 
he might be in search, from two or three divisions of the three-volume 
work, under which they were perhaps not inappropriately ranged. 

The new plan has been one of Disintegration and Redis- 
tribution, and will have, it is trusted, the effect of bringing more 
promptly and handily within reach the details connected with the 
enormous number of subjects, with which the Dictionary deals. At 
the same time, an excess in the way of subdivisions of matter or 
entries has been, so far as possible, avoided, as such a course has a 
necessary tendency to scatter references up and down the volume, 
and to interfere with the view of a subject in all its bearings. 

By reason of the new lexicographical form, which the Popular 
Aniiquitus takes, a very considerable body of additional matter has 
been introduced from a wide variety of sources, sometimes, in justice 
to those authorities, in an abbreviated form with a reference. But, as 
a rule, the accounts of customs and other topics, where they occurred 
in the Editor's Brand of 1870, were already more copious and satis- 
factory. Nothing, however, has been taken from other works, unless 
it was directly connected with the subject-matter of the present 
undertaking. 

In the edition of 1 870 I thought it desirable to intersperse 
occasional quotations and extracts from modern sources, in order to 
shew the survival of customs and beliefs, and this feature has now 
been considerably developed, as it seemed of importance and interest 
as establishing the two-sided aspect of these matters in a large 
number of instances and the fact, not always realized, that we have 



Vm PREFACE. 

not yet, after all these centuries and in the face of our boasted 
education and enlightenment, outlived the prejudices of our 
ancestors. 

Numerous cross-references will be observed to the Glossary of 
Nares, 1859, the Dictionary of Halliwell, i860, and Davis's 
Supplementary Glossary, 1881. The Editor did not see the utility 
of repeating or borrowing information elsewhere so readily accessible, 
and in some cases of a glossarial character rather than cognate to 
the immediate object. The value of this class of entry lies in its 
collateral service as a sort of index to the body of facts or state- 
ments readable elsewhere. 

Two other publications by the present writer run on very 
parallel lines: his edition of Blount's Jocular Tenures, 1874, and 
of Ray's Proverbs (second and improved edition), 1882. Many 
collateral illustrations of the topics embraced in the volume before 
us occur in those two works, to which I must frequently content 
myself with directing the reader. 

Since the first recension of the archaeological labours of Blount, 
Bourne, Brand, and Ellis was published by me, the critical and com- 
parative study of Popular Mythology has, under the auspices of 
the Folk-Lore Society, been elevated into a science. It was 
impracticable, even had it been expedient and proper, to incorporate 
with these pages facts and opinions based on this higher and deeper 
view of the topics before me, and my volume has to recommend 
itself to attention and favour mainly as a repository, more or less 
methodically assorted, of all the substantive information, which it 
has been in my power to collect and to reduce, in this second essay, 
to a reformed system. 

There may be said perhaps to be three periods or stages of 
development in the case of our national popular archaeology : i. the 
early school of lexicography and writing, when philology and ety- 
mology were very imperfectly understood : 2. the age of the more 



PREFACE. IX 

modern antiquaries and glossarists when this study was placed on a 
very improved footing, but was still limited to superficial or pima 
facie evidence : and 3. the quite recent Folk-Lore movement, when in 
all these matters a latent sense is sought and sometimes found. 

Whatever view may be taken of a large proportion of the 
obsolete or moribund usages and superstitions, of which the follow- 
ing pages attempt to constitute a record, it is certain that on two 
broad and solid grounds they deserve and demand commemoration. 
For in the first place they very importantly illustrate the writings 
and policy of our ancestors alike in their absolute and in their 
relative aspects, and secondly they render it more possible for us to 
judge the amount and degree of progress in knowledge and culture, 
which have been attained in the intervening time, and of which we 
are in actual enjoyment. 

It is quite a moot question indeed, if not something more, 
whether the stricter scientific platform will ever extinguish or indeed 
seriously affect the public interest in this class of antiquities as 
described in the ordinary fashion on more or less uncultured lines. 

In reference to some of the authorities quoted it may be desirable 
to meet the allegation that they are too slight and untrustworthy, 
by pointing out that for the immediate and special purpose, 
authenticity and bona fides being presumed and granted, the minor 
popular writers are precisely the class of witnesses and vouchers, 
which we require to assist us in elucidating the statements and 
views of those of a higher reach. 

The authors quoted naturally and necessarily often belong to 
the school brought up side by side with the notions and beliefs, of 
which I am treating, and in not a few cases were partakers of them. 
It is necessary, however, to guard against accepting secondary or 
unscientific testimony for more than it is in its nature worth, and it 
is on that account that I have endeavoured, so far as it lay in my 



X PREFACE, 

power, to arrange the text of this recension agreeably to the 
principle of proportion or degree of contributory weight. 

The governing aim has been to accumulate and arrange to the 
best advantage and in the most convenient shape as large a body 
as possible of real or supposed matters of fact on all branches 
of the subject, with which I deal; and in re-editing the 1870 book, 
to adapt it to an improved state of knowledge, I trust I have been 
fairly successful. 

It is to be remarked that the moral and conclusion derived from 
a perusal of the following pages are not perhaps likely to be of a 
very flattering nature, so far as regards either the opinions and 
intelligence of former ages or their educational progress. Amid 
a vast amount of material and detail, which can hardly fail to prove 
entertaining and valuable, there is much, too much, even as we draw 
near to our own epoch, which bespeaks a prevalence of low mental 
development arising, no doubt, in great measure from a faulty 
system of teaching both in a secular and clerical direction. Modern 
principles of instruction will gradually extinguish most, if not all, 
of the foolish prejudices and superstitions recorded here, and while 
it will be an unquestionable blessing, that such a chcinge should 
occur, it also seems desirable that we should possess in a tolerably 
complete shape the means of comparison between the Older and the 
Newer Life of this Empire. 

It is hardly too much to say that, in scrutinizing many of the 
headings in the Dictionary, the average reader may have to reflect, 
before he is assured that the views or accounts contained under them 
refer to the country known as Great Britain ; yet how many of these 

customs and corruptions yet survive ! 

W. C. H. 
Barnes Common, Surrey, 
September, 1904. 



NATIONAL FAITHS 
AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



Abbot of Bon Accord. — The 

Aberdeen name for the Lord of Misrule. 

Abbot of Unreason. — The Bco- 
tish name for the Lord of Misrule, q.v. In 
Scotland, where the Reformation took a 
more severe and gloomy tiirn than in Eng- 
land, the Abbot of Unreason, as he was 
called, with other festive characters, was 
thougnt worthy to be suppressed by the 
Legislature as early as 1555. Jamieson 
seems to have thought, however, that 
the abolition of these sports was due rather 
to the excesses perpetrated in connection 
with them than to the Reformation. Per- 
haps this may be considered almost as a 
distinction without a difference. 

Abingdon, Berks. — For a custom 
after the election of a mayor here, see the 
Gentleman' s Magazine for Dec, 1782. 

AbrahaLm-Men, itinerant beggars, 
who ranged town and country after the 
Dissolution of Monasteries and the absence 
of any other system of poor-relief. There 
is some illustration of this subject in Hoz- 
litt's Popular Poetry, 1864-6, iv, 17 et. se., 
in Harraan's Caveat, 1567, &c.. Compare 
Tom of Bedlam. 

Advertisements and Bills. — 
The Poster for a wide variety of purposes 
is known to have been in use in England, 
nc less than in France and Germany, at an 
early period, and shared with the Cry and 
Proclamation the function of notifying 
approaching events or official ordinances. 
Hazlitt's Shakespear : The Man and the 
Writer, 2nd ed. 1903, pp. 102-3. This 
method of notification also prevailed to- 
ward the latter end of the reign of Eliza- 
beth in respect to theatrical performances, 
which were announced on advertisements 
affixed to conspicuous places ; but the 
modern play-bill was a much later comer. 
There is an Elizabethan broadside recently 
discovered among some old MSS., setting 
forth the particulars of a tilting match at 
Westminster, to be held in honour and 
vindication of a certain lady, whose beauty 
and accomplishments the challenger was 
prepared to defend against all opponents. 
Hazlitt's Collections and Notes, 1903, v. 
Gallophisus. 

Adventurer. — A partner in a voy- 
age of discovery or colonization. Adven- 
turers on return were persons who lent 
money before they started on one of these 
enterprizes, on condition that they should 
receive so much profit, if they returned 
home. 



Admiral of the Blue, a sobriquet 
for a tapster, from his blue apron. Com- 
pare, as to the blue apron, Hazlitt's Gar- 
den Literature, 1887, pp. 9-10. The gar- 
dener and fruit-grower, however, still 
cling to blue paper, as a material for 
covering their baskets of produce. 

Adoption. — Several or our sovereigns 
adopted children offered to them^ and then 
contributed toward their maintenance, 
but did not necessarily, or indeed usually, 
remove them from their parents' roof. 
Very numerous illustrations of this custom 
might be afforded. In the " Privy Purse 
Expenses of Elizabeth of "Eork," May, 
1502, we have, for instance, this entry : 
" Item the xijth day of May to Mawde 
Hamond for keping of hire child geven to 
the Quene for half a' yere ended at Bstre 
liistpast. . . . viijs." 

>Epiornis or Epiornis. — An ex- 
tinct bird of Madagascar, of which an egg 
was discovered in an alluvial deposit in 
1850. by M. d'Abbadie. It is said to be 18 
or 14 inches long, and to have six times the 
capacity of that of the ostrich. The Epi- 
ornis seems to be identifiable with the Uoc 
or Bukh, which is mentioned by Marco 
Polo. But it is doubtful whether this 
enormovis creature really exceeded in size 
the great apteryx or moa of New Zealand, 
also extinct. A specimen of the egg was 
sold in London (November, 1899) for £44, 
described as about a yard in circumfer- 
ence, a foot in length, and of the capacity 
of 150 hens' eggs. Compare Hoc. 

Aerolites, the modern name and 
view given to the mediseval and ancient 
fire-balls, firedrakes, dracones volantes, 
thunderbolts, &c. Their nature is at pre- 
sent generally better understood, although 
wo have yet to learn their exact origin. A 
very intelligent writer says, speaking of 
the matter of falling stars : " Amongst our 
selves, when any such matter is found in 
the fields, the very countrey-men cry it 
fell from Heav'n and the staries, and as I 
remember call it the Spittle of the 
Starres." He adds : " An Ignis fatuus has 
been found fallen down in a slippery vis- 
cous substance full of white spots. They 
stay upon military ensigns and spears : 
because such are apt to stop and be tenaci- 
ous of them. In the summer and hot re- 
gions they are more frequent, because the 
gcod concoction produces fatnesse." 
White's Peripatetical Institutions, 1656, 
p. 148. Compare Fire-drahe. In an 

B 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



oflBcial account of Bendothey, co. Perth, 
wiitten in 1797, it is said : " The substance 
called shot stars is nothing else than 
ficsted potatoes. A night of hard frost, 
in the end of autumn, in which those 
meteors called fallen stars are seen, re- 
duces the potatoe to the consistence of a 
jelly or soft pulp having no resemblance to 
a potato, except when parts of the skin of 
the potato adhere below undissolved. This 
pulp remains soft and fluid, when all 
things else in Nature are consolidated by 
frost : for which reason it is greedily taken 
up by crows and other fowls when no other 
sustenance is to be had, so that it is often 
found by man in the actual circumstance 
of having fallen from above, having its 
parts scattered and dispersed by the fall, 
according to the law of falling bodies. This 
has given rise to the name and vulgar 
opinion concerning it." Stat. Ace. of 
Scotl., xix., 351. 

jCtites. — The JEtUcs, or Kagle Stone, 
was regarded as a.charm of singular use to 
parturient women. Lemnius says: "It 
makes women that are slippery able 
to conceive, being bound to the 
wrist of the left arm, by which from 
the heart towards the Ring Finger, 
next to the little Finger, an artery 
runs : and if all the time the woman 
is great with child, this jewel be worn on 
those parts, it strengthens the child, and 
there is no fear of abortior or miscarry- 
ing." — Occult Miracles of Nature, 1658. 
p. 270. Lemnius tells us elsewhere, that 
"the jewel called jEtites, found in an 
eagle's nest, that has rings with little 
stones within it, being applied to the thigh 
of one that is m labour, makes a speedy 
and easy deli^ ery ; which thing I have 
found true by experiment." Lupton 
speaks of " Jitites, called the Eagle's 
stone, tyed to the left arm or side ; it 
brings this benefit to women with child^ 
that they shall not be delivered before 
their time : besides that, it brings love be- 
tween the man and the wife : and if a 
woman have a painfull travail in the birth 
of her child, this stone tyed to her thigh, 
brings an easy and light birth." Else- 
where he says: "Let the woman that 
travels with her child, (is in labour) be 
girded with the skin that a serpent or 
snake casts off, and then she will quickly 
be delivered." 

Asatha's Letters, St. — Bishop 
Pilkington observes : " They be superstiti- 
ous that put holiness in S. Agathes Letters 
for burning houses, thorne bushes for 
lightnings." Burnyn'ge of Paules Church 
in 1561, 88, 1563, I. 8 and G. i. 

Afternoon Music. — In Brooke's 
" Bpithalamium," inserted in England's 
Helicon, 1614, we read : 
" Now whiles slow Howres doe feed the 
Times delay, 



Confus'd Discourse, with Musicke mixt 

among, ,, 

Fills up the Semy-circle of the Day. 
In the margin opposite is put "Afternoone 
Musicke." . ,, 

Ag'nes Day or Eve, St.— (Jan. 
21 ) St. Agnes was a Roman virgin and 
martyr, who suffered in the tenth persecu- 
tion under the Emperor Diocletian, A.p. 
306. In the office for St. Agnes Day in 
the " Missale ad usum Sarum," 1554, this 
passage occurs: " Hec est Virgo sapiwis 
quam Dominus vigilantem invenrt, Ihe 
Gospel is the parable of the Virgins. The 
" Portiforium ad usum Sarum" declares 
that Agnes was the daughter of immacu- 
late parents, — Cujus mater Virgo est. 
cujus pater fceminam nescit,^ and that she 
was so deeply versed in magic, that it was 
said that Christ was her spouse. The fes- 
tival of St. Agnes was not observed with 
much rigour in Germany in the time of 
Naogeorgus ; but he describes the celebra- 
tion at Rome on this anniversary as very 
solemn. It was customary to offer two 
lambs in remembrance of the legend at 
the high altar ; these were taken by the 
priest and kept till shearing time, when 
their fleeces were used for palls. The same 
practice was noticed by Jephson the tra- 
veller in Italy in 1794. The life of this 
Saint was written by L. Sherling (i.e.. 
Daniel Pratt), in prose and verse, and 
printed in 1677. On the eve of her daj- 
many kinds of divination are practised by 
virgins to discover their future husbands. 
It is called fasting St. Agnes' Fast. The 
following lines of Ben jonson allude to 
this : 

" And on sweet St. Agnes' ni^ht 
Please you with the promis'd sight, 
Some of husbands, some of lovers, 
Which an empty dream discovers." 
She was condemned to be debauched in 
the public stews before her execution ; but 
her virginity was miraculously preserved 
by lightning and thunder from Heaven. 
About eight days after her execution, her 
parents going to lament and pray at her 
tomb, they saw a vision of angels, among 
whom was their daughter, and a lamb 
standing by her as white as snow, on which 
account it'is that in every graphic repre- 
sentation of her there is a lamb pictured 
by her side. 

Burton, in his "Anatomy," also speaks 
of this sort of divination, and Aubrey, in 
his "Miscellanies," directs that "Upon 
St. Agnes' Night you take a row of pins, 
and pull out every one, one after another, 
saying a Pater Noster, sticking a pin in 
your sleeve, and you will dream of him or 
her you shall marry." This anniversary is 
known in connection with the celebrated 
poem by Keats. In the bishopric of Dur- 
ham, the country people have the follow- 
ing address in use : 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



" Fair St. Agnes, play thy part, 
And send to me my own sweetheart, 
Not in his best nor worst array. 
But in the clothes he wears every day : 
That to-morrow I may him ken, 
From among all other men." 
I have observed that in Cornwall, where 
we should speak of St. Agnes, they say St. 
Anne, as if the two names, if not persons, 
were the same. Yet females are sometimes 
christened Agnes Anne. 

Ag'ues. — Aubrey furnishes an infal- 
lible receipt for the cure of an ague : Write 
this following spell in parchment, and 
vToar it about your neck. It must be writ 
triangularly : 

Abracadabra 
Abracadabb 
Abracadab 
Abracasa 
Abracad 
Abraca 
Abrac 
Abra 
Abr 
Ab 
A 
With this the writer affirms that one at 
Wells in Somersetshire had cured above a 
hundred of the disease. He gives another 
specific for the same purpose a little fur- 
ther on : " Gather cinquefoil in a good as- 
pect of 'U to the 2 i>nd let the moone be in 
the mid-heaven, if you can, and take 

of the powder of it in white 

wine. If it be not thus gathered 
according to the rules of astrology, 
it hath little or no virtue in it." 
Other superstitious cures follow for the 
thrush, the toothache, the jaundice, bleed- 
ing, &c.— Miscellanies, ed. 1857, 133, 134, 
137, where farther information may be 
found. Blagrave prescribes a cure of 
agues by a certain writing which the 
patient weareth, as follows : ' ' When Jesus 
went up to the Cross to be crucified, the 
Jews asked Him, saying. Art thou afraid? 
or hast thou the ague? Jesus answered 
and said, I am not afraid, neither have I 
the ague. All those which hear the name 
of Jesus ahout them shall not he afraid, 
nor yet have the ague. Amen, sweet Jesus, 
Amen, sweet Jehovah, Amen." He adds : 
" I have known many who have been cured 
of the ague by this writing only worn 
about them ; and I had the receipt from 
one whose daughter was cured thereby, 
who had the ague upon her two years." 
To this charact, then, may be given, on the 
joint authority of the old woman and our 
doctor, " Prohatum est." — Astrological 
Practice d'Physic, p. 135. In Ashmole's 
Diary, 11 April^ 1681, is preserved the fol- 
lowing curious incident : " I took early in 
the morning a good dose of elixir, and 
hung three spiders about my neck, and 
they drove my ague away. Deo Gratiaa I" 



Ashmole was a judicial astroloprer, and the 
patron of the renowned Mr. Lilly. Par 
nohile fratrum. In Pope's Memoirs of P. 
P. Clerk of the Parish, is the following : — 
"The next chapter relates how he dis- 
covered a thief with a Bible and key, and 
experimented verses of the Psalms that 
had cured agues." Douce notes that, in 
his day, it was usual with many persons 
about Exeter, who had the ague, " to visit 
at dead of night the nearest cross road five 
different times, and there bury a new-laid 
egg. The visit is paid about an hour be- 
fore the cold fit is expected ; and they are 
Eersuaded that with the egg they shall 
ury the ague. If the experiment fail, 
(and the agitation it occasions may often 
render it successful) they attribute it to 
some unlucky accident that may have be- 
fallen them on the way. In the execution 
of this matter they observe the strictest 
silence, taking care not to speak to any 
one, whom they may happen to meet. — 
Gentleman's Magazine, 1787, p. 719. I 
shall here note another remedy against the 
ague mentioned as above, viz., by break- 
ing a salted cake of bran and giving it to 
a dog, when the fit comes on, by which 
means they suppose the malady to be 
transferred from them to the animal." 
Compare St. Germanus. 

Aldate, St. — Hearue, in his Diary, 
informs us that this personage was a 
bishop of Gloucester, living in the time of 
Hengist, whom he slew ; and a part of Ox- 
ford is still named after him. But his ex- 
istence is questionable. Diary, 1869, ii., 
285. 

Ale. — Ale, or eale, A.-S. (a form not yet 
obsolete) seems to be considered as signifi- 
cant in the present connection of nothing, 
more or less, than a merry-making. " That 
alb is festival appears from its sense in 
composition," says Warton ; " as amongst 
others, in the words Leet-ale, Lamb-ale, 
Whitsun-ale, Clerk-ale, and Church-ale. 
Leet-ale, in some parts of England, signi- 
fies the dinner at a oourt-leet of a manor 
for the jury and customary tenants. Lamb- 
ale is still used at the village of Kirtling- 
ton in Oxfordshire, for an annual feast or 
celebrity at lamb-shearing. Clerk-ale oc- 
curs in Aubrey's ' History of Wiltshire,' 
printed in 1847. Church-ale was a feast 
celebrated for the repair of the church, or 
in honour of the church saint. In Dods- 
worth's Manuscripts, there is an old inden- 
ture, made before the Reformation, which 
not only shews the design of the Church- 
ale, but explains this particular use and 
application of the word ale. . . But Mr. 
Astle had a curious record about 1575, 
which proves the Bride-ale synonymous 
with the Weddyn-ale.* .... Among 
Bishop Tanner's MSS. additions to Cowel's 
' Law Glossary,' in the Bodleian Library, 
is the following note from his own coUeo- 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



tions : ' a.d. 1468. Prior Cant, et Com- 
missarii visitationem fecerunt (Diocesi 
Cant, vacante per mortem archipiscopi) et 
ibi publicatum erat^ quod potationes ractse 
ia ecclesiis, vulgariter dictse Yelealys, vel 
Bredealys, non essent ulterius in usu sub 
pcena excommunicationis majoris.' ". For 
Scot-ales, give-ales, leet-ales, bride-ales, 
clerk-ales, &c., see " Archseol," vol. xii. p. 
11-77. In the MSS. Papers of Aubrey, 
under date of 1678, it is said that " in the 
Easter Holidays, was the Clerk's ale for liis 
private benefit and the solace of the neigh- 
bourhood." "Antiquarian Repertory." 
No. 26. Mr. Denne, in his " Account of 
stone figures carved on the porch of Chalk 
Church" (" Archseol." voL xii. p. 12,> 
says : '' the Clerks' ale was the method 
taken by the Clerks of parishes to collect 
more readily their dues ." In the Church 
Times about twenty years ago, appeared 
the following account of the matter by 
Mr. PopOj which may be considered worth 
preservation : — " We read of Scotales and 
give-ales, appellations thought to be used 
synonymously ; but their meanings are dis- 
tinct. Scotales, as the word imports, were 
maintained by contribution of those re- 
sorting to them. Thus the tenants of 
South Mailing in Essex, which belonged to 
the Archibishop of Canterbury, were at 
keeping of a court to entertain the lord or 
his bailiff with a feast, or an ale, and the 
stated quotas toward the charge were, 
that a man should pay 3id. for himself and 
his wife, and a widow Ijd. In Terring, Sus- 
sex, it was the custom to make up a Scot- 
ale of sixteen pence halfpenny, and allow 
out of each sixpence three halfpence to find 
drink for the bailiff. There were also 
feasts in which the prefix Scot was 
omitted, and instead thereof, leet-ale, 
bride - ale, clerk - ale, and Church - ale. 
To the first contributed all the re- 
sidents the second was defrayed by 
the relatives of the happy pair, who were 
too poor to buy a wedding dinner. The 
Clerk's-ale was at Easter, and was the 
method taken to enable clerks of parishes 
to collect the more readily their due. (Au- 
brey's Hist., Wilts). From an old inden- 
ture, before the Reformation, is seen the 
design for a church-ale. " The parishion- 
ers of Elveston and Okebrook (Derbyshire) 
agree jointly to brew four ales, and every 
ale of one quarter of malt betwixt this and 
the feast of St. John the Baptist next com- 
ing. That every inhabitant of Okebrook 
be there. That every husband and his 
wife shall pay twopence, and every cot- 
tager one penny, and all profits and advan- 
tages shall be and remain to the 
use of the church of Elveston. And 
the inhabitants of Elveston shall brew 
eight ales betwixt this and the said 
feast of St. John, at which feasts 
or ales the inhabitants of Okebrook shall 



come and pay as before rehearsed." These 
different contributions were mostly, in a 
greater or less degree, compulsory. But 
thd giveales were the legacies of individuals 
and differed from the Scotales in that they 
were entirely gratuitous ; though some 
might be in addition to a common giveale 
before established in the parish. The his- 
tory of Kent gives many instances in the 
parishes of Hoo, Snodland, Cowling, Wa- 
teringbury, and others, e.g., : — " St. 
Mary's, Hoo, Test. Will Hammond, ' Also 
I will that specially my feoffees ana exors. 
see that the Yeovale of St. James's be kept 
for ever, as it hath bin here aforetime.' " 
Hoo, Alhallows, Test. John D.evell. ' All- 
soe 1 will that the geavalle of Alhalows in 
Hoo have one acre of land after my wife's 
decease to maintain it withall, called 
Pilchland, and that it be done after 
the custom of olde time." At Cow- 
ling, Test. Tho. Love and Tho. Tomys. 
"I will that my wife Joane shall 
have house and my daur [ ? day were] 
land to keep or doe a yevall on St. James's 
day, to which yevall I bind it (the land) 
whosoever have it without end." Giveales 
differ also materially from Scotales in their 
having been blended with notions of a 
superstitious tendency ; for the bequest 
was often to the light or altar of a saint, 
with directions to sing masses at the obit, 
trental, or anniversary of the testator's 
death. Lands were settled for the per- 
petual payment of the legacies thus appro- 
priated. The parish of St. John, Thanet. 
is possessed of 15 acres acquired by a le- 
gacy bequeathed for a giveale by Ethelred 
Banen in 1513, who willed that ' ' such a 
yearle yeovale should be maintayned while 
the world endureth." It was evident that 
a man in high glee over " a stoup of 
strong li(iuor " was not an unusual sight 
within the precincts of a church. At St. 
Mary's, Chalk, near Gravesend, William 
May, in his will, 1512, gave, inter alia. To 
every godchild he had in Kent 6 bushels of 
barley ; if 4 of them could bear him to the 
church 6d. each ; his executors to buy 2 
new torches for his burial, 2d. each to men 
to bear them. That his wife make every 
year for his soull an obit in bread 6 bushels 
of wheat, in drink 10 bushels of malt, in 
cheese 20d., to give poor people for the 
health of his soull. His wife to continue 
the obit before rehearsed for evermore. 
These give-ales on obsequies, as on dedi- 
cations, allowed great freedom in sports, 
dissolute dances in churches and church- 
yards, and this is particularly instanced in 
the churchyard of St. Mary, Chalk. " 'The 
porch has a grotesque carving in the por- 
trait of a jester grasping a jug, while his 
principal is exercising his talents as a pos- 
ture maker, and two other faces appear on 
whom the sculptor seems to have bestowed 
such an indelible smirk, that in spite of 



"ZT^TD PUFlfZAR CUSTOMS. 



cori'osion by time and weather, to the al- 
most loss of features, the smile is yet vi- 
sible. In the centre is a niche formerly 
occupied by the figure of the Blessed 
Virgin. The whole subject is doubt- 
less intended to realise a feast in 
the precincts of the church on the 
dedication carried on whilst a private 
Mass was being performed at the 
altar." (Archceologia, 1794). At many 
other churches grotesque figures are 
mixed up with sacred subjects. At 
St. Mary^s Church, Chalk, her statue 
was demolished by the iconoclasts of 
the 17th century ; although possibly 
there might not be at that time a 
parishioner aggrieved, or in whose mind 
the image would have excited an idolatrous 
propensity. But the grotesque figures es- 
■caped the hammers of those pious reform- 
ers, whose tender feelings were not hurt 
with the view of a toper and hideous con- 
tortionist carved on the front of a house 
of prayer, notwithstanding, in their own 
■conceits, they held purer doctrines, were 
sanctimonious in their devotions and stric- 
ter in their morals than other men. Com- 
pare Whitsuntide. 

Ale-House. — Ale-houses are at pre- 
sent licensed to deal in tobacco ; but it was 
not so from the beginning ; for so great an 
incentive was it thought to drunkenness, 
that it was strictly forbidden to be taken 
in any ale-house in the time of James I. 
There is an ale-house licence extant, which 
was perhaps circa 1630 granted by six 
Kentish justices of the peace : at the bot- 
tom the following item occurs : " Item, you 
shall not utter, nor willingly suffer to be 
uttered, drunke, or taken, any tobacco 
within your house, celler, or other place 
thereunto belonging." See Hazlitt's Btii. 
■Coll., General Index, 1893. v. Alehouse, 
and Lemon's Cat. of the Soc. of Antiqua- 
ries' Broadsides, 1866. 

Ale-Stake, or Bush. — The former 
term is found in very early use, as in 1375 
the Mayor and Aldermen of London im- 
posed restrictions on the extent to which 
a,lestakes might project over the highway. 
Riley's Memorials, 1868, p. 386. Bansley, 
in his "Treatise on the Pride and Abuse of 
"Women," circa 1550, says: 

" For lyke as the jolye ale house 
Is alwayes knowen by the good ale 
stake. 

So are proud Jelots sone perceeved to 
By theyr proude foly, and wanton 
gate." 
Comp. Bush. 

Allhallow Even, vulgarly Hall E'en 
or Nutcrack Night. Hallow Even is the 
vigil of All Saints' Day, which is on the 
first of November. In the Roman Calen- 
dar I find under November 1 : " The feast 
of Old Fools is removed to this day." This 
was also known as Souleraass Day, or cor- 



ruptly, Salmes Day, which latter form oc- 
curs in the " Plumptou Correspondence," 
under 1502. Comp. Hallowe'en. 

AM Fours. — A game at cards, said in 
the Complcat Gamester, 16&), to be very 
much played in Kent. But in the time of 
Queen Anne it appears from Chatto (Facts 
and Speculations, 1848, p. 166), to have 
shared with Put, Cribbage, and Lanterloo 
the favour of the lower orders. Comp. 
Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, p. 11. (ii.) A 
sport for the amusement of children, where 
a grown-up person goes a quatre pattes, 
and allows a child to ride on his back. 
Masson, in his Napoleon et les Femmes, 
describes that great man doing this to 
please his nephew, the future Emperor. 

AII-Hlallo\fvs.. — See Hallowe'en and 
Hallowmass. 

All-Hid. — See Levins' Manipulus, 
1570, p. 293. In Love's Labour Lost, writ- 
ten, before 1598, iv., 3, this is called " An 
infant play." In Hamlet, Act iv., so. ii., 
the Prince of Denmark says : "... The 
Iving is a thing," upon which Uuilderstein 
rejoins, " A thing, my lord?" whereupon 
Hamlet adds: "Of nothing. Bring me to 
him. Hide, fox, and all after." This is 
supposed to be an allusion to the sport 
called All Hid. Steevens tells us that it is 
alluded to in Decker's " Satiromastix : " 
" Our unhandsome-faced poet does play at 
bo-peep with your Grace, and cries Alt-hid 
as boj's do." In " A Curtaine Lecture," 
1637, p. 206, is the following passage : " A 
sport called All-hid, which is a mere chil- 
dien's pastime." 

All in the Well, a juvenile game de- 
scribed by Halliwell (Vict. 1860, in v.) as 
glayed in Newcastle and the neighbour- 
ood. 

All Saints. — See Hallow-e'en and 
Hallowmass. 

Alsatia, a popular name for White- 
friars, while it enjoyed the privilege of a 
sanctuary. Shadwell's Squire of Alsatia, 
Scott's Fortunes of Nigel, and Ains- 
worth's Whitefriars, illustrate this point. 

Altar. — Selden remarks : " The way of 
coming into our great churches was an- 
ciently at the west door, that Men might 
see the Altar, and all the Church before 
them ; the other Doors were but pos- 
terns." Table Talk, ed. 1860, p. 131. 
Moresin tells us that altars in Papal Rome 
were placed toward the east, in imitation 
of ancient and heathen Rome. Papatus, 
117. Thus we read in Virgil's Eleventh 
^Eneid : 

" lUia ad surgentem couversi lumina 
Soleni 

Dant fruges manibus salsas." 
Comp. Bowing. 

Ambassador. — A trick to duck 
some ignorant fellow or landsman, fre- 
quently played on board ships in the warm 
latitudes. It is thus managed : a large 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



tub is filled with water, and two stools 
placed on each side of it. Over the whole 
is thi'own a tarpaulin, or old sail : this is 
kept tight by two persons, who are to re- 
present the King and Queen of a foreign 
country and are seated on the stools. The 
person intended to be ducked plays the 
Ambassador, and after repeating a ridicu- 
lous speech dictated by him, is led in great 
form up to the throne, and seated between 
the King and Queen, who rising suddenly 
as soon as he is seated, he falls backward 
into the water. 

Ampoule, St. — See Oraal. 

Amulets. — There appears to be some 
ground for supposing that the most an- 
cient amulets, sentences from Scripture, 
Giiginatsd in the uspge of burying portions 
of the sacred writings with holy men. A 
paper on the subject is printed in 
the Antiquary for 1896. Burton has 
the following passage: "Amulets, and 
things to be borne about, I find pre- 
scribed, taxed by some, approved by 
others : looke for them in Mizaldus, Porta, 
Albertus, &c. A ring made of the hoofe 
of an asse's right fore-foot carried about, 
&c. I say with Renodeus they are not 
altogether to be rejected. Piony doth help 
epilepsies. Pretious stones, most dis- 
eases. A wolf's dung carried about helps 
the cholick. A spider, an ague. &c. . . . 
Such medicines are to be exploded that 
consist of words, characters, spells and 
charms, which can do no good at all, but 
out of a strong conceit, as Pompon atius 
proves, or the Divel's policy that is the 
first founder and teacher of them." A7ia- 
tomy, 1621, 476. Among Mr. Cockayne's 
" Saxon Leechdoms," there are some, as 
it may be supposed, for bewitcfied persons, 
in the form of amulets held to be efiicaci- 
ous. One is as follows : "Against every 
evil rune lay, and one full of elvish tricks, 
write for the bewitched man tnis writing 
in Greek, alfa, omega, Ivesum, Beronike 
[Veronica]." Another is: "Take a 
bramble apple, and lupins, and pulegium, 
pound them, then sift them, put them in 
a pouch, lay them under the altar, sing 
nine masses over them, put the dust into 
milk, drip thrice some holy water upon 
them, administer this in drink at three 
hours, at nine in the morninp'. etc." 
From the middle ages gems and rings have 
been regarded and employed as amulets 
and charms. The belief in their virtues, 
which were n amerous and varied, was fos- 
tered by the churches, and a rich store has 
descend.ed to our times. The gems bear- 
ing the effigy or figure of Pegasus or Bel- 
lerophon was held to confer courage, and 
was prized by soldiers. Those engraved 
with Andromeda reconciled differences be- 
tween men and women. The image of 
Mercury I'endered the possessor wise and 
persuasive, and so on. Roach Smith's 



BicUorough, 1850, p. 90-92. The ruby 
was supposed to be an amulet against poi- 
son, plague, sadness, evil thoughts, and 
wicked spirits ; and, most wonderful of 
all, it warned its wearer of evil by becom- 
ing black or obscure. Brahman traditions 
describe the abode of the gods as lighted 
by enormous rubies and emeralds. The 
magical properties of the sapphire are 
rated as high as those of the ruby. It was 
sacred to Apollo, and was worn by the in- 
quirer of the oracle at his shrine. During 
ihe Middle Ages it continued in high esti- 
mation, because it was supposed to pre- 
vent evil and impure thoughts and it was 
worn by priests on account of its power 
to preserve the chastity of the wearer. St. 
Jerome affirmed that it procures favour 
with princes, pacifies enemies, and obtains 
freedom from captivity ; but one of the 
most remarkable properties ascribed to it 
was the power to kill any venomous reptile 
that was put into the same glass with it. 
H. B. Wheatley. The turquoise was be- 
lieved to be a protection from falls, and 
the amethyst against intoxication. Jasper 
cured madness, and agate was an antidote 
to the poison of scorpions and spiders, be- 
sides being beneficial to the eyes. Lemni- 
us remarks, " So coral, piony, misseltoe, 
drive away the falling sioknesse, either 
hung about the neck or drank with wine. 
Eosmary purgeth houses, and a branch 
of this, hung at the entrance of 
houses, drives away devils and con- 
tagions of the plague, as also ricinus, 
commonly called Palma Christi, because 
the leaves are like a hand opened wide. 
Corall bound to the neck takes oif turbu- 
lent dreams and allays the nightly fears of 
children. Other Jewells drive away hobgob- 
lins, witches, nightmares, and other evill 
spirits, if we will believe the monuments 
of the Antients." — Occult Secrets of 
Nature, 1658, p. 270. But coins with the 
effigies of saints, such as the gold angels, 
and the George nohle, or the touch-pieces 
in gold and silver, in the English series, 
were also credited with the power of guar- 
dianship against sickness and casualties. 
The George noble, with its legend taken 
from a hymn by Prudentius Tali Dicata 
Signo Mens Fluctuare Nequit, was sup- 
posed to protect the wearer who sus- 
pended it round his neck, against acci- 
dents in riding ; and perhaps the 
peculiar rarity of the half noble of this 
type may indicate its more general uses 
for the purpose aforesaid. A curious gold 
florin, with the Madonna and Child on re- 
verse, struck by one of the Dukes of 
Gueldres, is still preserved in the original 
gold box, and is supposed to have been 
carried on the person as a charm. Haz- 
litt's Coins of Europe, 1893, p. 200. In 
cr.ses of trepanning for epilepsy, the por- 
tions excised were formerly employed as 



ANU fUfUUAR CUSTOMS. 



amulets against the disease. Hering has 
the following: "Perceiving many in this 
oitie to weare about their necks, upon the 
region of the heart, certaine placents or 
amulets, (as preservatives against the 
pestilence), confected with arsenicke, my 
opinion is that they are so farre from 
effecting any good in that kinde, as a pre- 
servative, that they are very dangerous 
and hurtfull, if not pernitious, to those 
that weare them." — Preservative against 
the Pestilence, 1625, sign. B. 2 verso. 
Cotta inserts " A merrie historie of an 
approved famous spell for sore eyes. By 
many honest testimonies, it was a long 
time worne as a Jewell about many necks, 
written in paper and enclosed in silke, 
never failing to do soveraigne good when 
all other helps were helplesse. No sight 
might dare to reade or open. At length 
a curious mind, while the patient slept, by 
stealth ripped open the mystical cover, and 
found the powerful characters Latin : 
' Diabolus efifodiat tibi oculos, impleat 
foramina stercoribus.' " — Short Dis- 
coverie, 1612, p. 49. In "Wiltshire, a lemon 
stuck with pins, and in Lincolnshire the 
heart of an animal similarly treated, 
were, so lately as 1856, treated as amu- 
lets against witchcraft. — Notes and 
Queries, 2nd S., i., 331, 415. It was a sup- 
posed remedy against witchcraft to put 
some of the bewitched person's water, 
with a quantity of pins, needles, and nails 
into a bottle, cork them up and set them 
before the fire, in order to confine the 
spirit : but this sometimes did not prove 
sufficient, as it would often force the cork 
out with a loud noise, like that of a pistol, 
and cast the contents of the bottle to a 
considerable height. In one of the Essays 
of Montaigne, where he refers to the mar- 
riage of Madame de Gurson, we see that 
the fear of a spell being cast upon the 
couple, when they had retired to their 
chamber, was met, when the company had 
assembled in the room, and the bride and 
bridegroom had partaken of the spiced 
wine, by Jacques Pelletier producing his 
amulet, which defeated the enchantment. 
Douce has given wood engravings of se- 
veral Roman amulets : these were intended 
against fascination in general, but more 
particularly against that of the evil eye. 
Such, he observes, are still used in Spain 
by women and children, precisely in the 
same manner as formerly among the 
Romans. — Illustr. of_ Shakespear, 1807, i., 
493. Mungo Park, in his Travels, speak- 
ing of "certain charms or amulets called 
Saphies, which the negroes constantly 
wear albout them," says: "These saphies 
are prayers or sentences from the Koran, 
whicn the Mahometan priests write on 
scraps of paper and sell to the natives, 
who suppose them to possess extraordi- 
nary virtues. Some wear them to guard 



against the attack of snakes and alliga- 
tors : on such an occasion the saphie is en- 
closed in a snake or alligator's skin, and 
tied round the ancle. Others have re- 
course to them in time of war, to protect 
their persons from hostile attacks : but 
the general use of these amulets is to pre- 
vent or cure bodily diseases, to preserve 
from hunger and thirst, and conciliate the 
favour of superior powers." He informs 
us in another place, that his landlord re- 
quested him to give him a look of his hair 
to make a saphie, as he said he had been 
told it would give to the possessor all the 
knowledge of white men. Another person 
desired him to write a saphie • Mr. Park 
furnished him with one containing the 
Lord's Prayer. He gave away several 
others. These saphies appear to have cor- 
responded with the " chartes of health," 
mentioned in some of our own early 
writers. The same, speaking of a Maho- 
metan negro who, with the ceremonial 
part of that religion, retained all his an- 
cient superstition, says that, "in the 
midst of a dark wood he made a sign for 
the companjr to stop, and, taking hold of 
an hollow piece of bamboo that hung as 
an amulet round his neck, whistled very 
loud three times ; this, he said, was to as- 
certain what success would attend the 
journey. He then dismounted, laid his 
spear across the road, and, having said a 
number of short prayers, concluded with 
three loud whistles ; after which he list- 
ened for some time as if in expectation of 
an answer, and receiving none. said, the 
company might nroceed without fear, as 
there was no danger. — See Caracts, 
Charms, Magic, &c 

Anagram. — An anagram has been 
defined to be "a divination by names, 
called by the ancients Onomantia. The 
Greeks referre this invention to Lyooph- 
ron, who was one of those they called the 
Seven Starres or Pleiades ; afterwards (as 
Tiitnesses Eustachius) there were divers 
Greek wits that disported themselves here- 
in, as he which turned Atlas for his heavy 
burthen in supporting Heaven, into 
Tolas,, that is, wretched. Some will main- 
tain, that each man's fortune is written in 
his name, which they call anagramatism 
or metragramatism : poetical liberty will 
not blush to use E. for JE., V. for W., S. 
for Z. That amorous youth did very 
queintly sure, (resolving a mysterious ex- 
pression of his love to Rose Hill 1 when in 
the border of a painted cloth he caused to 
be painted as rudely as he had devised 
grossly, a rose, a hill, an eye, a loaf, and a 
well, that is if you spell it, ' I love Rose 
Hill well.' " Worcester, in his " Dic- 
tionary," gives a somewhat more sat- 
isfactory account of the meaning of 
the word and thing. " An i^nagram,"' 
he says, "is a word or sentence 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



of apt significance, formed by trans- 
posing the letters of another word or sen- 
as Mst vir qiii adest, formed from 
Pilate's question Quid est Veritas?" Mr. 
Wheatley's monograph "Of Anagrams," 
1862, should also do consulted, as well as 
the Editor's extensive Additions in the 
Antiquary. 

AncientSi — The governing body at 
Gray's Inn corresponding to the Benchers 
of the two Temples and Lincoln's Inn. 

Andrew's Day, St. — (November 
30). The patron saint of Scotland. The 
legend of St. Andrew, with that of St. 
Veronica, in Anglo-Saxon, has been 
edited for the Cambridge Antiquarian 
Society (8vo. series) by Mr. Goodwin. A 
liife of St. Andrew, from a MS. in the 
Bibliotheque Imperiale at Paris, is given 
in "Chronicles of the Picts and Scots," 
1867. It is a mere summary or sketch. A 
second and more lengthy narrative, from 
Harl. MS., 4628, occurs in the same vo- 
lume. The reduction to nudity in 
this case must not be supposed to 
have been intended (primarily, at 
least) as an act of indecency, but 
rather as a relict of paganism. The 
ancients, our own Saxon forefathers not 
excepted, seem to have made an absence 
of clothing in some instances part of their 
religious rites, and the same idea was 
found by early travellers prevailing 
among the inhabitants of the American 
continent. — See Ourselves in lielation to 
a Deity and a Church, bv the present Edi- 
tor. 1897, pp. 92, 97. Luther says, that 
on the evening of the Feast of St. An- 
drew, the young maidens in his country 
strip themselves naked ; and, in order to 
learn what sort of husbands they shall 
have, they recite a prayer. — Colloquia 
Mensalia, part i. p. 232. The prayer was : 
" Deus Deus meus, O Sancte Andrea, 
effice ut bonum pium aciiuiram virum ; 
hodie mihi ostende qualis sit cui me in 
Jixoiem ducere debet." Naogeorgus prob- 
ably alludes to the observances noticed 
above as to nuditv, when he says : 

" To Andrew all the lovers and the lus- 
tie wooers come, 

Beleeving, through his ayde. and cer- 
tain ceremonies done, 

(While as to him they presentes bring, 
and conjure all the night. ■> 

To have good lucke, and to obtaine their 
chiefe and sweete delight." 
We read, that many of the opulent 
citizens of Edinburgh resort to Dud- 
ingston parish, about a mile distant, 
in the summer months to solace them- 
selves over one of the ancient homely 
dishes of Scotland, for which the place has 
been long celebrated. The use of singed 
sheeps' head boiled or baked, so fre- 
quent in this village, is supposed to have 
arisen from the practice of slaughtering 



the sheep fed on the neighbouring 
hill for the market, removing the car- 
cases to the town, and leaving the 
head, &c., to be consumed in the 
place. Singed sheeps' heads are borne in 
the procession before the Scots in London 
on St. Andrew's Day. Hasted, speaking 
of the parish of Easling, says, that, "On 
St. Andrew's Day, Nov. 30, there ia 
yearly a diverson called squirril-hunting 
in this and the neighbouring parishes, 
when the labourers and lower kind of 
people, assembling together, form a law- 
less rabble, and being accoutred with 
guns, poles, clubs, and other such weapons 
spend the greatest part of the day in pa- 
rading through the woods and grounds, 
with loud shoutings ; and, under the pre- 
tence of demolishing the squirrils, some 
few of which they kul, they destroy num- 
bers of hares, pheasants, partridges, and 
in short whatever comes in their way, 
breaking down the hedges, and doing 
much other mischief, and in the evening 
betaking themselves to the alehouses, fi- 
nish their career there, as is usual with 
such sort of gentry." — " Hist, of Kent," 
folio ed. vol. ii. p. 757. At Stratton, in 
Cornwall, on this anniversary, at a very 
early hour a number of youths pass 
through the different parts of the town to 
the accompaniment of the blowing of a 
remarkably unmelodious horn, the fearful 
strumming of tin pans, &c., driving out, 
presumably, any evil spirits which haunt 
the place — greed, fraud, drunkenness, 
gluttony, and their companions. The 
hand-bell ringers follow, gently inviting 
more acceptable spirits — content, fair 
play, temperance, chastity, and others. 
After a suitable pause, the church bells 
ring out, in peals of eight, a hearty wel- 
come to these latter. 

Andrew's Well, St. — Martin, 
speaking of the Isle of Lewis, says 
that, "St. Andrews' Well, in the vil- 
lage of Shadar, is by the vulgar natives 
made a test to know if a sick person will 
die of the distemper he labours under. 
They send one with a wooden dish, to 
bring some of the water to the patient, 
and if the dish, which is then laid softly 
upon the surface of the water, turn round 
sun-ways, they conclude that the patient 
will recover of that distemper ; but if 
otherwise, that he will die." — Western 
Islands of Scotland, p. 7. In a French 
version of the romance of Bevis of Hamp- 
ton there is an allusion to the pilgrimage 
on foot to St. Andrew's Well as of equal 
efficacy to that to Mont St. Michel in 
Brittany for the removal of certain physi- 
cal troubles. This was St. Andrew's, in 
Fifeshire. Michel, Les Ecossais en France, 
1862, ii., 498. 

Angrellca. — See Nares, Glossary, 
1859, in V. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



Angrels or Genii. — Bourne says: 
" The Egyptians believed that every man 
Had three angels attending him : the Py- 
thagoreans, that every man had two ; the 
Romans, that there was a good and evil 
genius." — Butler's " Angel bad or tute- 
lar." " Every man," says Sheridan in 
his notes to " Persius," (2d. edit. 1739, p. 
28) " was supposed by the ancients at his 
birth to have two Genii, as messengers 
between the gods and him. They were 
supposed to be private monitors, who by 
their insinuations disposed us either to 
good or evil actions ; they were also sup- 
posed to be not only reporters of our 
crimes in this life, but registers of them 
against our trial in the next, whence they 
had the name of Manes given them." Few 
are ignorant that Apollo and Minerva 
presided over Athens, Bacchus and Her- 
cules over Boeotian Thebes, Juno over 
Carthage, Venus over Cyprus and Paphos, 
Apollo over Rhodes ; Mars was the tutelar 
god of Rome, as Neptune of Taenarus ; 
I)iana presided over Crete, &c., &c. St. 
Peter succeeded to Mars at the revolution 
of the religious Creed of Rome. He now 
presides over the castle of St. Angelo, as 
Mars did over the the ancient Capitol. 
Hereupon Symmachus, Against the Chris- 
tians, says : " The divine Being has distri- 
buted various Guardians to cities, and 
that as souls are communicated to infants 
at their birth, so particular genii are as- 
signed to particular societies of men." 
Moresin tells us that Papal Rome, in imi- 
tation of this tenet of Gentilism, has fabri- 
cated such kinds of genii for guardians 
and defenders of cities and people. Thus 
she has assigned St. Andrew to Scotland, 
St. George to England, St. Denis to 
France, St. Egidius to Edinburgh, St. 
Nicholas to Aberdeen. Popery has in 
manv respects closely copied the heathen 
mythology. She has the supreme being 
for Jupiter, she has substituted angels for 
genii, and the souls of saints for heroes, 
retaining all kinds of daemons. Against 
these pests she has carefully provided her 
antidotes. She exorcises thera out of 
waters, she rids the air of them by ringing 
her hallowed bells. &c. The Romanists 
have similarly assigned tutelar gods to 
each member of the body': as, for instance, 
the arms were under the guardianship of 
Juno, the breast, of Neptune, the waist, 
of Mars, the reins, of Venus; and so on." 
The following extract from " Curiosities, 
or the Cabinet of Nature." by Robert Bas- 
set, 1637, r>. 228, informs us of a very 
singular office assigned by ancient super- 
stition to the good Genii of Infants. The 
book is by way of question and answer : 
" Q. Wherefore is it that the childe cryes 
when the absent nurses brests doe pricke 
and ake?" ' A. That by dayly experience 
is found to be so, so that by that the nurse | 



is hastened home to the infant to supply 
the defect : and the reason is that either 
at that very instant that the infant hath 
finished its concoction, the breasts are re- 
plenished, and, for want of drawing, the 
milke paines the breast, as it is seen like- 
wise in milch cattell : or rather the good 
genius of the infant seemeth by that 
means to soUicite or trouble the nurse in 
the infants behalfe : which reason seemeth 
the more firme and probable, because 
sometimes sooner, sometimes later, the 
child cryeth, neither is the state of nurse 
and infant alwayes the same." The 
Negroes believe that the concerns of the 
world are committed by the Almighty to 
the superintendence and direction of sub- 
ordinate spirits, over whom they suppose 
that certain magical ceremonies have 
great influence. A white fowl suspended to 
the branch of a particular tree, a snake's 
head, or a few handsful of fruit, are offer- 
ings to deprecate the favour of these tute- 
lary agents. 

Aneling'. — Among the articles of ex- 
pense at the funeral of Sir John Rud- 
stone. Mayor of London, 1531, given by 
Strutt, we find the following charges : 
"Item to the priests at his ennelling, 9s. 
Od. ; to poor folke in almys, £1 5s. Od. ; 
22 days to 6 poor folke, 2s. Od. : 26 days to 
a poore folke, 8d." Enne.lUnfj is the ex- 
treme unction. Comp. Nares, Glossary, 
1859, in V. 

Anne's Well, near Notting:- 
ham, St. — Deering says : " By a cus- 
tom time beyond memory, the Mayor and 
Aldermen of Nottingham and their wives 
have been used on Monday in Easter 
week, morning prayers ended, to march 
from the town to St. Anne's "Well, having 
the town waits to play before them, and 
attended by all the Clothing and their 
wives, i.e., such as have been Sheriffs, and 
ever after wear scarlet gowns, together 
with the officers of the town, and many 
other burgesses and gentlemen," &c. — 
Sist. of Nottinqham, 125. 

Anthony of Egrypt or Thebes, 
St. — This eminent man, sometimes 
called The Great, has been occasionally 
confounded with his namesake of Padua, 
and the eiror appears to be of old stand- 
ing, as there are early representations, 
where the Egyptian saint is exhibited 
with a firebrand in his hand, with 
flames beneath him, and a black hog, 
the symbol of gluttony and sensua- 
lity, under his feet, so that he may 
have been regarded as the arch- 
enemy of the Qualities characteristic of 
the animal, rather than as the patron or 
protector of it. In the " Memoirs of Ar- 
thur Wilson," the historian and drama- 
tist, written by himself, the erysipelas is 
called St. Anthony's fire, and such con- 
tinues to be its common or vulgar name; 



10 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



it has received certain others ; Ignis 
sacer, rual des artus, ergot, &c., and it was 
not unknown to the ancients. In the 
Cleveland country, the disease, instead of 
St. Anthony's fire, is known as Wildfire. 
The alleged reason was that the people of 
Dauphiny, cured by the saint of this 
complaint, gave it his name ; but the real 
fact seems to be, that the disease sprang 
from his penury and physical under- 
nourishment, and that the sufferers in this 
province were apt to be cured by being 
received into the Abbey of St. Antoine at 
Vienne, where they were properly fed. 
Sir John Braniston notes the death of his 
daughter-in-law ElizabotJi Mountford, 
9th December, 1689, and describes this 
complaint, to which she seems to have suc- 
cumlbed. " She had been very ill," he 
says, " with a distemper called St. An- 
thonie's fier, her eyes, nose, face, and 
head swelled vastly ; at length it took her 
tongue and throat." — Autobiography, p. 
348. 

A writer in the Globe newspaper, 
March 6th, 1899, observes :" Une of the 
most picturesque customs in Mexico is 
that of blessing animals, called the bless- 
ings of San Antonio. The poorer class 
take their domestic animals of all kinds, 
dogs, cats, parrots, sheep, horses, burros, 
&c., to be sprinkled with holy water, and 
to receive through the priest St. An- 
thony's blessing. It is the custom of the 
common class to clean and bedeck their 
animals specially for this blessing. Dogs 
are gaily decorated with ribbons tied 
around their necks. Sheep are washed 
thoroughly until their fleece is as white as 
snow, and then taken to the father to be 
blessed. The beaks of the parrots are 
gilded. Horses and burros are adorned 
■with garlands. 

Anthony of Padua, St., Abbot 
and Confessor. — Riley furnishes the sub- 
stance of the oath exacted in 1311, 4. Ed- 
ward III., from the Renter as to the 
swine of the House of St. Anthony or An- 
tonine, whereby that official was re- 
strained from making the privilege en- 
joyed by such animals a cover for begging 
or alms, and from putting bells round 
their necks, or suffering others to do so in 
regard to their property to the extent of 
his power. Memorials of London Life, 
1868, p. 83. Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 
1881, p. 19. The exemption from 
the ordinary regulations in regard 
to vagrant swine also prevailed in 
mediaeval times with perhaps greater 
latitude. Hazlitt's Venetian Bepublic, 
1900, ii., 352. Bale, in his " Kynge 
Johan," says: " Lete Saynt Antoynes 
hogge be had in some regarde." There is 
an early notice of the legend of St. An- 
thony and the pigs to be found in the 
" Book of Days '' under January 17. In 



"The World of Wonders," translated 
from Stephanus, p. 57, is the following 
translation of an epigram : 

"Once fed'st thou, Anthony, an heard 

of swine, 
And now an heard of monkes thou 
ifeed'st still; 
For wit and gut alike both charges bin : 
Both loven filth alike : both like to 
fill 
Their greedy paunch alike. IS or was 
that kind 
More bestly, sottish, swinish, then this 
last. 
All else agrees : one fault I onely find. 
Thou fedest not thy monkes with oaken 
mast." 

The author mentions before persons " who 
runne up and downe the country, crying, 
" Have you anything to bestow upon my 
lord S. Anthonies swine?" 

Apostle Spoons. — It was anciently 
the custom for the sponsors at christenings 
to offer gilt spoons as presents to the 
child : these spoons were called Apostle 
spoons, because the figures of the twelve 
Apostles were chased or carved on the tops 
of the handles. Opulent sponsors gave 
thj whole twelve. Those in middling cir- 
cumstances gave four ; and the poorer sort 
contented themselves with the gift of one, 
exhibiting the figure of anjr saint in hon- 
our of whom the child received its name. 
It is in allusion to this custom that when 
Cranmer professes to be unworthy of being 
sponsor to the young Princess, Shake- 
spear makes the King reply, " Come, 
come, my lord, you'd spare your spoons." 
In the year 1560, we find entered in the 
books of the Stationers' Company: "A 
spoyne, the gyfte of Master Reginold 
Wolfe, all gylte, with the picture of St. 
John." Ben Jonson also, m his "Bar- 
tholomew Fair," mentions spoons of this 
kind : " And all this for the hope of a 
couple of Apostle spoons and a cup to eat 
cfiudle in.''' So, in Middleton's " Chaste 
Maid in Cheapside," 1630: " Second Gos- 
sip : What has he given her ? What is it, 
Gossip ? — Third Gossip : A f aire high- 
standing cup and two great postle spoons, 
one of them gilt." Again, in Davenant's 
"Wits," 1636: 

" My pendants, carcanets, and rings, 
My christening caudle-cup and spoons, 
Are dissolved into that lump." 

Again, in the " Noble Gentleman," by 
Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" I'll be a gossip. Bewford, 
I have an odd Apostle spoon." 

Shipman, in his " Gossips," is pleasant 
on the failure of the custom or giving 
Apostle spoons, &c., at christenings : 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



It 



"Especially since Gossips now 
Eat more at christenings than bestow. 
Formerly, when they us'd to troul 
Gilt bowls of sack, they gave the bowl ; 
Two spoons at least ; an use ill kept ; 
'Tis well now if our own be left." 

Comp. Nares, Glossary, 1859, and Halli- 
well's Bid., 1860, in vv. 

Apparitions. — "The Chylde of 
Bristowe," the romances of " Sir Ama- 
das " and "The Avowynge of King 
Arthur," Shakespear's " Hamlet," the 
ballad of " William and Margaret," Dry- 
den's " Oymon and Iphigenia " (a very 
ancient fiction in a comparatively modern 
dress), may be mentioned in passing, as 
fair samples of the various shapes which 
the inhabitants of the Land of Shadows 
have taken from time to time at the bid- 
ding of poets, playwrights, novelists, and 
balladmongers. Scott has sufficiently de- 
monstrated, in his "Letters on Demon- 
ology and Witchcraft," that the appear- 
ance of spectres to persons in their sleep, 
and even otherwise, can in most cases be 
explained on the most common-place 
medical principles, and originates in men- 
tal illusions engendered by undue indul- 
gence or constitutional debility. A great 
deal of learning in connection with our 
popular superstitions generally is in that 
work most entertainingly conveyed to us ; 
but I do not feel that I should be render- 
ing any substantial service by transplant- 
ing thence to these pages detached 
passages illustrative of the immediate 
subject. The "Letters" should be read 
in their full integrity, for they are 
among the most admirable things Scott 
has left. In connection with the subject 
of apparitions, may be cited the visions of 
the Holy Maid of Kent, and the vision of 
John Darley, a Carthusian monk. The his- 
tory of the former is perhaps too familiar 
to need any recapitulation here. Darley 
relates that, as he was atending upon the 
death-bed of Father Raby, in the year 
1534, he said to the expiring man : " Good 
Father Raby, if the dead can visit the 
living, I beseech you to pay a visit to me 
by and by : " and Raby answered, " Yes," 
immediately after which ho drew his last 
breath. But on the same afternoon about 
five o'clock, as Darley was meditating in 
his cell, the departed man suddenly ap- 
peared to him in a monk's habit, and said 
to him, " Why do you not follow our 
father?" "And I replied," Darley tellse 
us, " ' Why? ' He said, ' Because he is a 
martyr in heaven next to the angels.' 
Then I said," says Darley : " 'Where are all 
our other fathers who did like him ?' He an- 
swered and said' They are all pret^ well, 
but not as well as he is.' And then I asked 
him how he was, and he said 
'Pretty well.' And I said, 'Father, 



hall I pray for you ? ' To which he 
eplied, I am as well as need be, but 



shall I 
rep 

prayer is at all times good,' and with 
these words he vanished." On the follow- 
ing Saturday, at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, Father Raby reappeared, having this 
time a long white beard and a white staff 
in his hand. " Whereupon, says Darley, 
"I was afraid, but he, leaning on his 
staff, said to me, ' I am sorry that I did 
not live to become a martyr;' and I an- 
swered, that I thought he was as well as 
though he had been a martyr. But he 
said, ' Nay, for my Lord of Rochestpr and 
our father were next to the angels.' 1 
asked ' What else ? ' He replied, ' The 
angels of peace lamented and mourned un- 
ceasingly ; and again he vanished." The 
"Lord of Rochester" was, of course. 
Bishop 1' isher. A curious and interesting 
account of the pretended visions of Eliza- 
beth Barton, whoso case excited so strong 
a sensation in the reign of Henrv VIII., 
will be found in Mr. Thomas Wright's 
Collection of Original Letters. On the 
Suppression of the Monasteries, 1843. In 
" The Death of Robert Earl of Hunting- 
ton," 1601, Matilda feels the man who has 
been sent by King John to poison her and 
the abbess, and says : 

" Are ye not fiends, but mortal bodies, 
then?" 

The author of the popular ballad of " Wil- 
liam and Margaret" (quoted in the 
;' Knight of the Burning Pestle," 1613), 
in describing Margaret's ghost, says : 

" Her face was like an April morn, 

Clad in a wintry cloud : 
And clay-cold was her lily hand, 

That held her sable shroud." 

In Aubrey's Miscellanies, 1696, there 
is the well-known tradition of Lady 
Diana Rich, daughter of the Earl of Hol- 
land, beholding her own apparitioUj^ as 
she walked in her father's garden at Ken- 
sington, in the day-time, shortly before 
her death, and of her sister experiencing 
the same thing prior to her decease. The 
former lady was in bad health at the time, 
a^ fact which may partly account for the 
circumstance. It may be recollected that 
at an abbey not far from the residence of 
Sir Roger de Coverley was an elm walk, 
where one of the footmen of Sir Roger saw 
a black horse without a head, and accord- 
ingly the butler was against anyone going 
there after sunset. In this legend have 
we the germ of Captain Mayne Reade's 
Headless Horseman? Gay has left us a 
pretty tale of an apparition. The golden 
mark being found in bed is indeed after 
the indelicate manner of Swift, or rather 
is another instance of the obligation of our 
more modern writers to the ancient story- 
books), but yet is one of those happy 



12 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



strokes that rival the felicity of that dash 
of the sponge which (as Pliny tells us) hit 
off so well the expression of the froth in 
Protogenes' dog. It is impossible not to 
envy the author the conception of a 
thought which we know not whether to 
call more comical or more pointedly satiri- 
cal. Comp. Ohosts, Spirits, &c. 

Apollonia's Day, St. (Feb 9.)— 
In the Comedy of Calisto and Melibcea, 
circa 1520, in Hazlitt's Dodsley, i. : 

"It is for a prayer mestres my de- 

mandyng, 
That is sayd ye hatie of Seynt Appolyne 
For the toth ake wher of this man is in 

pyne." 

In the Conflict of Conscience, by N. 
"Woodes, 1581, this "virgin and martyr," 
it is said, should be invoked in cases of 
toothache. 

Apple-Howling:. — ^In several coun- 
ties the custom of apple-howling (or Yul- 
ing), to which Herrick refers in his " Hes- 
perides," is still in observance. A troop 
of boys go round the orchards in Sussex, 
Devonshire, and other parts, and forming 
a ring about the trees, they repeat these 
doggerel lines : 

" Stand fast root, bear well top, 
Pray God send us a good howling crop ; 
Every twig, apples big : 
Every bough, apples enou ; 
Hats full, caps full. 
Full quarter sacks full." 

Hasted says : " There is an odd custom 
used in these parts, about Keston and 
Wickham, in Rogation Week ; at which 
time a number of young men meet to- 
gether for the purpose, and with a most 
hideous noise run into the orchards, and 
incircling each tree, pronounce these 
words : 

' ' Stand fast root ; bear well top ; 
God send us a youling sop, 
Every twig apple big, 
Every bough apple enow." 

For which incantation the confused 
rabble expect a gratuity in money or 
drink, which is no less welcome : but if 
they are disappointed of both, they with 
great solemnity anathematize the owners 
and trees with altogether as significant a 
curse. " It seems highly probable that 
this custom has arisen from the ancient 
one of perambulation among the heathens, 
when they made prayers to the gods for 
the use and blessing of the fruits coming 
up, with thanksgiving for those of the 
preceding year ; and as the heathens sup- 
plicated Eolus, god of the winds, for his 
favourable blasts, so in this custom they 
still retain his name with a very small 
variation ; this ceremony is called Youling, 
and the word is often used in their invo- 



cations." Comp. Twelfth Day, Wassail 
and Yule. . , 

Appleton-Thorn. — Mr. Wilbra- 
ham, in his "Cheshire Glossary," 1826, 
says : " At Appleton, Cheshire, it was the 
custom at the time of the wake to clip and 
adorn an old hawthorn which till very 
lately stood in the middle of the town. 
This ceremony is called the Bawm- 
ing (dressing) of Appleton Thorn." 

April Fools. — Maurice, speaking of 
" the First of April, or the ancient Feast 
of the Vernal Equinox, equally observed 
in India and Britain," tells us: "The 
first of April was anciently observed in 
Britain as a high and general festival, in 
which an unbounded hilarity reigned 
through every order of its inhabitants ; 
for the sun, at that period of the year, 
entering into the sign Aries, the New 
Year, and with it the season of rural 
sports and vernal delight, was then sup- 
posed to have commenced. The proof of 
the great antiquity of the observance of 
this annual festival, as well as the pro- 
bability of its original establishment in an 
Asiatic region, arises from the evidence of 
facts afforded us by astronomy. Although 
the reformation of the year by the Julian 
and Gregorian Calendars, and the adapta- 
tion of the period of its commencement to 
a different and far nobler system of theo- 
logy, have occasioned the festival sports, 
anciently celebrated in this country on the 
first of April, to have long since ceased : 
and although the changes occasioned, dur- 
ing a long lapse of years, by the 
shifting of the Equinoctial points, 
have in Asia itself been productive 
of important astronomical alterations, 
as to the exact era of the com- 
mencement of the year ; yet on both 
continents some very remarkable traits of 
the jocundity which then reigned, remain 
even to these distant times. Of those pre- 
served in Britain, none of the least re- 
markable or ludicrous is that relic of its 
pristine pleasantry, the general practice 
of making April-Fools, as it is called, on 
the first day of the month ; but this 
Colonel Pearce proves to have been an 
immemorial custom among the Hindoos, 
at a celebrated festival holden about the 
same period in India, which is called 'the 
Hull Festival.' During the Hull, when 
mirth and festivity reign among the Hin- 
doos of every class, one subject of diver- 
sion is to send people on errands and ex- 
peditions that are to end in disappoint- 
ment, and raise a laugh at the expense of 
the person sent. The Huli is always in 
March, and the last day is the general 
holiday. I have never yet heard any ac- 
count of the origin of this English custom ; 
but it is unquestionably very ancient, and 
IS still kept up even in great towns, though 
less in them than in the country. With 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



13 



us, it is chieiiy confined to the lower class 
of people ; but in India high and low join 
in it ; and the late Suraja Doulah, I am 
told, was very fond of making Huli Fools, 
though he was a Mussulman of the high- 
est rank. They carry the joke here so 
far, as to send letters, making appoint- 
ments in the name of persons who, it is 
known, must be absent from their house 
at the time fixed upon ; and the laugh 
is always in proportion to the trouble 
given.' The least inquiry into the ancient 
customs of Persia, or the minutest ac- 
quaintance with the general astronomical 
mythology of Asia, would have taught 
Colonel Pearce that the boundless hilarity 
and jocund sports prevalent on the first 
day of April in England, and during the 
Huli Festival of India, have their origin 
in the ancient practice of celebrating, 
with festival rites the period of the Ver- 
nal Equinox, or the day when the new 
year of Persia anciently began." Ind. 
Antiq., vi., 71. Cambridge tells us that 
the first day of April was a day held in 
esteem among the alchemists, because 
Basilius Valentinus was born on it. In 
the North of England persons thus im- 
posed upon are called " April gowks." A 
gouk or gowk is properly a cuckoo, and 
is used here metaphorically in vulgar 
language for a fool. The cuckoo is in- 
deed everywhere a name of contempt. 
Gauch, in the Teutonic, is rendered stul- 
tus, fool, whence also our Northern word, 
a goke or a gawky. In Scotland, upon 
April Pool Day, they have a custom of 
"hunting the gowk," as it is termed. This 
is done by sending silly people upon fools' 
errands from place to place by means of 
a letter, in which is written : 

" On the first day of April 
Hunt the Gowk another mile." 

A custom, says "the Spectator," prevails 
everywhere among us on the first of April, 
when everybody strives to make as many 
fools as he can. The wit chiefly consists 
in sending persons on what are called 
"sleeveless errands, for the "History of 
Eve's Mother," for "pigeon's milk," 
with similar ridiculous absurdities. He 
takes no notice of the rise of this singular 
kind of anniversary. But Dr. Pegge, in 
the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1766, 
has a tolerably plausible conjecture that 
the first of April ceremonies may be dedu- 
cible from the old New Year's Day rejoic- 
ings. New Year's Day formerly falling on 
the 25th March, the first of April would 
have been the octaves on which the pro- 
ceedings may have terminated with some 
such mummeries as these. A writer in 
one of the papers, under date of April 1, 
1792, advances a similar theory, not aware 



that he had been anticipated. In 
"The Parson's Wedding," the Cap- 
tain says: " Death I you might have left 
word where you went, and not put me to 
hunt like Tom Fool." So, in Defoe's 
" Memoirs of the late Mr. Duhcan Camp- 
bel," 1732, p. 163: "I had my labour for 
my pains ; or, according to a silly custom 
in fashion among the vulgar, was made 
an April-Fool of, the person who had en- 
gaged me to take these pains never meet- 
ing me." In the " British Apollo," 1708, 
is the following query: — "Whence 
proceeds the custom of making April 
Fools ? Answer. — It may not impro- 
perly be derived from a memorable 
transaction happening between the 
Romans and Sabines, mentioned by Dio- 
nysius, which was thus : the Romans, 
about the infancy of the city, wanting 
wives, and finding they could not obtain 
the neighbouring women by their peace- 
able addresses, resolved to make use of a 
stratagem ; and accordingly Romulus in- 
stituted certain games, to be performed in 
the beginning of April (according to the 
Roman Calendar), m honour of Neptune. 
Upon notice thereof, the bordering inhabi- 
tants, with their whole families, flocked 
to Rome to see this mighty celebration, 
where the Romans seized upon a 
great number of the Sabine virgins, 
and ravished them, which imposition 
we suppose may be the foundation 
of this foolish custom." This solu- 
tion is ridiculed in No. 18 of the same 
work as follows : 

" Ye witty sparks, who make pretence 
To answer questions with good sense. 
How comes it that your monthly Phoe- 
bus 
Is made a fool by Dionysius P 
For had the Sabines, as they came, 
Departed with their virgin fame. 
The Romans had been styl'd dull tools, 
And they, poor girls ! been April Fools. 
Therefore, if this ben't out of season. 
Pray think, and give a better reason." 

Poor Robin, in his " Almanack for 1760," 
alludes to All Fools' Day, and to the prac- 
tice of sending persons "to dance Moll 
Dixon's round," and winds up with the 
query — ^Which is the greatest fool, the man 
that went, or he that sent him? The fol- 
lowing verses are hardly perhaps worth 
quoting : 

"While April morn her Folly's throne 
exalts : 

While Dob calls Nell, and laughs be- 
cause she halts ; 

While Nell meets Tom, and says his tail 
is loose. 

Then laughs in turn, and calls poor 
Thomas goose ; 



H 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Let us, my Muse, thro' Folly's harvest 

range. 
And glean some Moral into Wisdom's 

grange, 
Verses on several Occasions, 1782, p. 50 

Hone, in his Every Day Book, of course 
mentions this custom, and illustrates it by 
th-3 urchin pointing out to an old gentle- 
man that his handkerchief is falling out of 
his tail-pocket. The French, too, have 
their Alf Fools' Day, and call the person 
imposed upon " an April Fish," Poisson 
d'Avril. Minshew renders the expression, 
" Poisson d'Avril," a young bawd ; a page 
turned pandar ; a mackerell ; which is thus 
explained by Bellin^en : " Je sgay que la 
plus ijart du monde ignorant cette raison, 
I'attribue a une autre cause, & que par- 
ceque les marchands de chair humaine, ou 
courtiers de Venus, sont deputez a faire 
de messages d' Amour & courent de part 
et d' autre pour faire leur infame trafific ; 
on prend aussy plaisir a faire courir ceux 
qu'on choisit a ce jour-la pour objet de 
raillerie, comme si on leur vouloit faire 
exercer ce mestier honteux." Ihid. He 
then confesses his ignorance why the 
month of April is selected for this purpose, 
unless, says he, " on account of its being 
the season for catching mackerell, or that 
men, awaking from the torpidity of the 
winter season, are particularly influenced 
by the passions, which, suddenly breaking 
forth from a long slumber, excite them to 
the pursuit of their wonted pleasures." 
This may perhaps account for the origin 
of the word " macquereau " in its obscene 
sense. Leroux, " Dictionuaire Comique," 
tom. 1., p. 70, quotes the following:- — 
" Et si n'y a ne danger ne peril 
Mais j'en feray votre poisson d'Avril." 

Poesies de Pierre MichauU. Goujet, Bib- 
lioth. Franc, tom. ix., p. 351. The Festi- 
val of Fools at Pans, held on this day, 
continued for two hundred and forty 
year's, when every kind of absurdity and 
indecency was committed. This was prob- 
ably a legacy from Pagan times, when, 
according to the authorities presently 
cited, the Calends of January were set 
apart by all the early Christians for a 
species of loose festival. Conf. " Monta- 
cut. Orig. Eccles." pars prior, p. 128. 
"Maeri Hiero-lexicon," p. 156; "Joannes 
Boemus Aubanus," p. 265 (all quoted by 
Brand). One of the Popes prohibited these 
unholy rites on pain of anathema, as ap- 
pears from a Mass inserted in some of the 
old missals, "ad prohibendum ab Idolis." 
The French appear to have had an 
analogous usage on another occasion : 
envoit au Temple les Gens un pou 
"A la Saint Simon et St. Jude on 
eimvie demander de Nefles (Medlars) 
a fin de les attraper & faire noiroir 



par des Valets."— /SouraJ Antiq. de Parts, 
vol. ii., p. 617.— DoucB. The Quirinalia 
were observed in honour of Komulus on 
the 11th of the kal. of March ; that is, the 
19th of February. "Why do they call 
the Quirinalia the Feast of Fools? Either 
because they allowed this day (as Juba 
tell us) to those who could not ascertain 
their own tribes, or because they per- 
mitted those who had missed the celebra- 
tion of the Fornacalia in their proper 
tribes, along with the rest of the people, 
either out of negligence, absence, or ignor- 
ance, to hold their festival apart on this 
day." Plu. Qusest. Rom. ; Opera, cum 
Xylandri notis, fol. Franc. 1599, tom. ii., 
p. 285. The translation was communi- 
cated to Mr. Brand by the Rev. W. Wal- 
ter, of Christ's College, Cambridge. The 
custom of making fools on the 1st of April 

?revails among the Swedes and Spaniards, 
n Toreen's " Voyage to China," he says : 
" We set sail on the 1st of April, and the 
wind made April Pools of us, for we were 
forced to return before Shagen, and to 
anchor at Riswopol." For a similar 
practice at Venice see Hazlitt's Venetian 
Eepuhlic, 1900, ii., 793. 

Apprentices. — We are to infer that 
it was anciently usual for apprentices to 
collect presents at Christmas in the form 
of what we call Christmas-boxes, for Au- 
brey, speaking of an earthern pot dug up 
in Wiltshire in 1654, tells us that it 
resembled an apprentice's earthern 
Christmas-box. — Miscellanies, ed. 1857, 
p. 212. In " Pleasant Remarks on 
the Humours of Mankind," we read : 
" 'Tis common in England for Prentices, 
when they are out of their time, to make 
an entertainment, and call it the Burial of 
their Wives." This remains a common 
expression. 

Arbor Judse. — See Elder. 

Archery.— With the history of this 
exercise as a military art we have no con- 
cern here. Fitzstephen, who wrote in the 
reign of Henry II., notices it among the 
summer pastimes of the London youth : 
and the repeated statutes from the 13th 
to the 16th century, enforcing the use of 
the bow, usually ordered the leisure time 
upon holidays to be passed in its exer- 
cise. Sir T. Elyot, in his "Governor," 
1531, terms shooting with or in a long 
bow "principall of all other exercises," 
and he adds, " in mine opinion, none may 
bee compared with shooting in the long 
bowe, & that for sundry vtilities, yt come 
theroft, wherein it incomparably excelleth 
all other exercise. For in drawing of a 
bowe, easy and congruent to his strength, 
he that shooteth, doth moderately exer- 
cise his armes, and the other part of his 
body : and if his bowe be bigger, he must 
adde too more strength wherin is no lesse 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



1 5 

the see costes or marchis for agayns Scot- 
lad /kepyng crosebows for theyr defence/ 
Dor to no marchautes hauyng croseboweB 
& handgoniiys to sel only /nor to non host 
loggyng any ma bryngyng them in to his 
house, but the forfetur to be onely vpon 
the brynger." Among the Churchwar- 
dens' accounts of St. Laurence Parish, 
Heading, 1549, is the following entry: — 
" Paid to Will'm Watlynton, for that the 
p'ishe was indetted to hym for makyng of 
the Butts, xxxvis." Ibid. St. Mary's 
Parish, 1566: " Itm. for the makyng of 
the Buttes, viijs." Ibid. 1622 : " Paid to 
two laborers to playne the grounde where 
the Buttes should be, vs. vjd." 1629 : 
" Paid towards the butts mending, ijs. 
vjd." Among the accounts of St. Giles's 
Parish, 1566, we have: "Itm. for carry- 
ing of turfes for the buttes, xvjd." 1605 : 
" Three labourers, two days work aboute 
turfes for the butts, iiijs." " Carrying ix. 
load of turfes for the butts, ijs." "For two 
pieces of timber to fasten on the railes of 
the buttes, iiijd." 1621: "The parish- 
ioners did agree that the Churchwardens 
and Constables should sett up a payre of 
buttes called shooting butts, m such place 
as they should think most convenient in 
St. Giles Parish, which butts cost xivs. 
xjd." Wood, in his "Bowman's Glory," 
1682, has republished some of the statutes 
relating to archery ; but the earliest which 
he gives is of the 29 Hen. VIII. A re- 
markably curious tract is printed by Wood 
in the same volume, called " A Remem- 
brance of the Worthy Show and Shooting 
of the Duke of Shoreditch (a man named 
Barlow, whom Henry VIII. jocularly so 
entitled^ and his Associates, &c., 1583." 
Queen Elizabeth was fond of this sport, 
and indulged in it, as Henry Machyn the 
Diarist informs us, during her visit to 
Lord Arundel at Nonsuch, in the autumn 
of 1559. "The v day of August." says 
Machyn, " the Queens grace removyd 
fiom Eltham unto Non-shyche, my lord of 
Arundells, and ther her grace had as gret 

chere evere nyght and bankettes 

as ever was sene On monday the 

Quens grace stod at her standyng in the 
further park, and there was corse 
after — ." Upon which Mr. Nichols quotes 
Hunter's "New Illustrations of Shake- 
speare," to show that shooting with the 
cross-bow was a favourite amusement then 
and afterward among ladies of rank. 
But this fact had been already sufficiently 
demonstrated by Strutt, who has shown 
that in England women excelled and de- 
lighted in the use of the common bow and 
cross-bow from a very early date. "In 
the sixteenth century we meet with heavy 
complaints." says Strutt, " respecting the 
disuse of the long-bow, and especially in 
the vicinity of London." Stow informs 
us tliat before his time it had been cus- 



valiant exercise then in any other. In 
shooting at buttes, or broade arrowe 
markes, is a mediocritie of exercise of the 
lower partes of the bodye and legges, by 
going a little distaunce a measurable pase. 
At couers or pryckes, it is at his pleasure 
that shoteth, howe faste or softly he lis- 
teth to goo, and yet is the praise of the 
shooter, neyther more ne lesse, for as f arre 
or nigh the marke is his arrow, whan he 
goeth softly, as when he runneth." No 
one requires to be told, that a few years 
after the appearance of Elyot's " Gover- 
nor," the learned Ascham devoted an en- 
tire treatise to this peculiarly national 
subject. His " Toxophilus " was pub- 
lished in 1545, and is still justly celebrated 
and admired. The regulations connected 
with the practice of archery constantly 
underwent alteration or modification. 
The common " Abridgement of the Sta- 
tutes " contains much highly curious 
matter under this, as under other heads. It 
is sufficiently remarkable that by the Act, 
12 Bdw. IV. c. 2 (1472), each Venetian 
merchant, importing wine into England, 
was required to give in with each butt 
" four good bowstaves," under the penalty 
of a fine of 6s. 8d. for each default. This 
demand was enlarged, 1 Richard III. c. 
11, in the case, at any rate, of Malvoisin 
or Tyre wine, with every butt of which 
ten bowstaves were to be reckoned in, un- 
der pain of 13s. 4d. By 19 Hen. VII. c. 
2, all bowstaves of the length of six feet 
and a half were admitted into England 
free of duty. The price of a bow, by 22 
Edw. IV. c. 4, was not to exceed 3s. 4d. 
under pain of 20s. fine to the seller. In 
the Robin Hood collection, printed in 
Hazlitt's Tales and Legends, 1892, p. 312, 
there is an account of a shooting at Not- 
tingham, under the greenwood shade, to 
which all the bowmen of the North were 
fieely invited to repair, and the prize to 
the winner was a silver arrow, feathered 
with gold. Robin won the award. We 
are to regard this narrative of a four- 
teenth century incident as one edited by a 
late-fifteenth century writer, namely the 
compiler of the Little Gest. By 6 Hen. 
VIII. cap. 13, it was ordered : " That non 
Shote in any crosebow nor handgon ex- 
cepte he haue possessyons to the yerely 
valew of ccc. marke or els lycence from 
hensforth by the kynges placard vnder 
payne of .x li. ye one halfe to the kynge 
and the other halfe to hym that wyll sew 
for it / and ye forfetour of the same cros- 
bow or handgonne to hym that wyll sease 
hit by accyon of det / and yt non kepe 
any crosebowe or hand gonne in his house 
on payne of iprisonment & of forfetour to 
the kynge .x li. . . prouydyd alway that 
this acte extend not to crosebow makers / 
nor to dwellers i wallyd townes within vii. 
myle of the see / and other holders on 



i5 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



tomary at Bartholomew-tide for the Lord 
Mayor, with the Sheriffs and Aldermen, to 
go into the fields at Pinsbury, where the 
citizens were assembled, and shoot at the 
standard with broad and flight arrows for 
s;omes ; and this exercise was continued 
for several days : but in his time it was 
practised only one afternoon, three or four 
days after the festival of Saint Bartholo- 
mew. Stow died in 1605. After the 
reign of Chas. 1., archery appears to have 
fallen into disrepute. Davenant, in a 
mock poem, entitled " The long Vacation 
in London," describes the attorneys and 
proctors as making matches in Finsbury 
Fields : 

" With Loynes in canvas bow-case tied, 

Where arrows stick with mickle pride ; 

Like ghosts of Adam Bell and Clymme ; 

Sol sets for fear they'll shoot at him !" 

A correspondent of the " Cientleman's 
Magazine" for August, 1731, notices the 
ancient custom among the Harrow boys, 
of shooting annually for a silver arrow 
of the value of £3; this diversion, he 
states, was the gift of the fovmder of the 
school, John Lyon, Esq. About 1753, a 
society of archers appears to have been 
established in the Metropolis, who erected 
targets on the same spot during the Eas- 
ter and Whitsun holidays, when the best 
shooter was styled captain, and the second 
lieutenant for the ensuing year. Of the 
original members of this society, there 
were only two remaining when Barrington 
published his Observations on the Statutes 
in the " Archaeologia." It is now incor- 
porated in the Archers' Division of the 
Artillery Company. In the latter half of 
the 18th century, the taste remained dor- 
mant ; in the earlier part of the next 
one the Toxophilite Society started at Old 
Brompton, Robert Cruikshank being one 
of the members ; and of late years the 
movement has exhibited symptoms of new 
vitality, and archery-clubs are established 
in almost every part of the country. The 
bow, howeverj has ceased for ever to be a 
weapon of offence. It has been resigned 
entirely to the ladies, who form them- 
selves into Toxophilite associations. Arch- 
ery forms one of the subjects of a series of 
papers on our Sports and Pastimes, con- 
tributed to the Antiquary. 

Arches, Court of, the original 
Consistory Court of the see of Canterbury, 
held in Bow Church, or St. Mary De Arcu- 
hus. See Nares, Glossary, in v. 

Aries, earnest money, given to serv- 
ants at hiring as a retainer. See Halli- 
well in V. 

Armorial Bearings in Inns.— 
See Pegge's Curialia, 1818, p. 349. 

Arthur, King:. — "A game used at 
sea, when nearing the Line, or in a hot 



latitude. It is performed thus: a man 
who is to represent King Arthur, ridicul- 
ously dressed, having a large wig, made 
out of oakum, or some old swabs, is seated 
on the side, or over a large vessel of water. 
Every person in his turn is to be ceremoni- 
ously introduced to him, and to pour a 
bucket of water over him, crying:. Hail, 
King Arthur ! If, during this ceremony, 
the person introduced laughs or smiles, 
(to which his Majesty endeavours to excite 
him, by all sorts of ridiculous gesticula- 
tions), he changes place with, and then 
becomes King Arthur, till relieved by 
some brother tar, who has as little com - 
mand over his muscles as himself. ' — 
Arthur O'Bradley. See Nares, Glossary, 
1859, in V. 

Arthur O'Bradley..— See Nares, 
Glossary, 1859, in v. 

Arthur's Show. — A sort of drama- 
tic spectacle presented before Queen Eliza- 
beth at Mile-End Green, in 1587-8. See 
Black's History of the Leathersellers' 
Company, 1871, p. 65, and Hazlitt's Mono- 
graph on Shakespear, second edition, 
1903. 

Arvals. — In the North of Eng- 
land, at funerals, a particular sort 
of loaf, called arvel - bread, is dis- 
tributed among the poor. — Brockett, N.C. 
Gloss.. 1825, p. 7. Mr. Atkinson notices a 
special kind of bread formerly made at 
Whitby, for use at the arval-suppers ; he 
describes it as " a thin, light, sweet cake." 
It has occurred to me that the game of hot 
cockles, of which Aubrey has left us a 
tolerably good description, originated in 
the practice of kneading one of these 
funeral loaves, as the rhyme with which 
the girls used to accompany the supposed 
moulding of cockle-bread, begins — 

" My dame is sick and gonne to bed. 
And lie go mould my cockle-bread — " 

And it is not an unreasonable supposition 
that, in course of time, the reason of the 
thing was lost, and the practice degener- 
ated into a stupid and indelicate female 
sport. At the funeral of John Bagford, 
1716, Mr. Clifton, a vintner, gave four 
bottles of sack to be drunk by the guests. 
Moresin, Papatus, tells us that in Eng- 
land in his time they were so profuse on 
this occasion, that it cost less to portion 
off a daughter, than to bury a dead wife. 
These burial feasts are still kept up 
in the North of England, and are there 
called arvals or arvils. The bread distri- 
buted on these occasions is called arvil 
bread. The custom seems borrowed from 
the ancients, amongst whom many ex- 
amples of it are collected by Hornman. — 
D^ miraculis Mortuorum, c. 36. This word 
occurs in " The Praise of Yorkshire Ale " : 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



17 



" Come, bring my jerkin, Tibb, I'll to 
the Arvil, 

Yon man's ded seny sooun, it makes me 
marvill." 
—P. 58. 

Hutchinson thus mentions the Arval 
Dinner: "On the decease of any per- 
son possessed of valuable effects, the 
friends and neighbours of the family 
are invited to dinner on the day of 
interment, which is called the arthel 
or arvel dinner. Arthel is a British 
word, and is freqviently more correctly 
written arddelw. In Wales it is written 
arddel, and signifies, according to 
Dr. Davies' Dictionary, asserere, to 
avouch. This custom seems of very dis- 
tant antiquity, and was a solemn festival, 
made at the time of publicly exposing the 
•corps, to exculpate the heir and those en- 
titled to the possessions of the deceased, 
from fines and mulcts to the Lord of the 
Manor, and from all accusation of having 
used violence ; so that the persons then 
convoked might avouch that the person 
died fairly and without suffering any per- 
sonal injury. The dead were thus exhi- 
bited by antient nations, and perhaps th? 
custom was introduced here by the 
Romans. — NorihumbeTland, ii. 20. Com- 
pare Funeral Customs. 

These funeral entertainments are of 
very old date. Cecrops is said to have in- 
stituted them for the purpose of renewing 
decayed friendship amongst old friends, 
&c. 

Ascension Eve. — By his will, 
Droved in December, 1527, John Cole, of 
Thelnetham, Suffolk, directed that a cer- 
tain farm-rent should be applied yearly 
to the purpose of providing " a busshell 
ind halffe of malte to be browne and a 
hushelle of whete to be baked to fynde a 
drinkinge upon Ascension Even everlast- 
inge for ye parishe of Thelnetham to 
drinke at the crosse of Trappetes." 

Ascension Day. — It was a general 
custom formerly, and is still [1903] ob- 
served in some country parishes, to go 
round the bounds and limits of the parish, 
on one of the three days before Holy Thurs- 
day, or the Feast of our Lord's A.>!cension, 
when the minister, accomnanied by his 
churchwardens and parishioners, were 
wont to deprecate the vengeance of God, 
beg a blessing on the fruits of the earth, 
and preserve the rights and properties of 
the parish. It is the custom in many vil- 
lages in the neighbourhood of Exeter to 
'hail the Lamb,' uoon Ascension morn. 
That the figure of a Iamb actually appears 
in the east upon this morning is the popu- 
lar persuasion : and so deeply is it rooted, 
that it hath frequently resisted Ceven in 
intelligent minds) the force of the strong- 
est argument. The following supersti- 



tion relating to this day is found in Scot's 
"Discovery of Witchcraft," 1584: "In 
some countries they run out of the doors 
in time of tempest, blessing themselves 
with a cheese, whereupon was a cross 
made with a rope's-end upon Ascension 
Day." — " Item, to hang an egg laid on 
Ascension day in the roof of the house, 
preserveth the same from all hurts." 
"Yesterday being Ascension Day, work 
was entirely suspended at Lord Penrhyn's 
extensive slate quarries near Bangor. The 
cessation of work is not due to any religi- 
ous regard for the day, but is attributable 
to a superstition, which has long lingered 
in the district, that if work is continued 
an accident is inevitable. Some years ago 
the management succeeded in overcoming 
this feeling and in inducing the men to 
work. But each year there was a serioui 
accident, and now all the men keep at a 
distance from the qunrries on Ascension 
Day." — Times, April 11, 1888. Ascension 
Day is thus described in Googe's Nao- 
georgus, 1570 : — 

" Then comes the day when Christ as- 
cended to his fathers seate. 
Which day they also celebrate, with store 

of drink and meate. 
Then every man some birde must eate, 1 

know not to what ende, 
And after dinner all to Church they come, 

and there attende. 
The blocke that on the aultar still till then 

was scene to stande. 
Is drawne vp hie aboue the roofe, by ropes 

and force of hande : 
The Priests aboute it rounde do stande, 

and chaunte it to the skie. 
For all these mens religion gi-eat in sing- 
ing most doth lie. 
Then out of hande the dreadfuU shape of 

Rathan downe they throw 
Oft times, with fire burning bright, and 

dasht asunder tho, 
The boyes with greedie eyes do watch, and 

on him straight they fall 
And beate him sore with rods, and breake 

him into peeces small. 
This done, tho wafers downe doe cast, and 

singing Cakes the while, 
With Paners rounde amongst them put, 

the children to beguile. 
With laughter great are all things done : 

and from the beames they let 
Great streames of water downe to fall, on 

whom they meane to wet. 
And thus this solerane holiday, and hye 

renowmed feast, 
And all their whole deuotion here is ended 

with a ieast." 
The unique Venetian pageant, La Sensa, 
commenced on this day, and lasted a fort- 
night. It was a fair, where every descrio- 
tion of property, including pictures by 
Titian and Tintoretto, were offered for 



is 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



sale. Its attractions were as multifarious 
as those at Nijny Novgorod, and more 
elegant and refined. — Hazlitt's Venetian 
BepuUic, 1900, ii., 355, 756. 

Ash.— Gilbert White, writing at the 
end of the eighteenth century, informs us 
that " In a farm yard near the middle of 
this village (Selborne) stands, at this day, 
a row of pollard-ashes, which by the seams 
and long cicatrices down their sides, mani- 
festly shew that in former times they have 
been cleft asunder. These trees, when 
young and flexible, were severed and held 
open by wedges, while ruptured children, 
stripped naked, were pushed through the 
apertures, under a persuasion that by 
such a process the poor babes would te 
cured of their infirmity. As soon as the 
operation was over, the tree, in the suffer- 
ing part, was plastered with loam, and 
carefully swathed up. Jf the parts coa- 
lesced, and folded together, as usually fell 
out, where the feat was performed with 
any adroitness at all, the party was cured ; 
but, where the cleft continued to gape, the 
operation, it was supposed, would prove 
ineffectual. Having occasion to enlarge 
ray garden not long since, I cut down two 
or three such trees, one of which did 
not grow together. We have several per- 
sons now living in the village, who in 
their childhood were supposed to be 
healed by this superstitious ceremony, de- 
rived down perhaps from our Saxon an- 
cestors, who practiced it before their con- 
version to Christianity. At the south 
corner of the Plestor or area, near the 
Church, there stood, about twenty years 
ago, a very old grotesque hollow pollard- 
ash, which for ages had been looked upon 
with no small veneration as a shrew-ash. 
Now a shrew-ash is an ash whose twigs or 
branches, when gently applied to the limbs 
of cattle, will immediately relieve the 
pains which a beast suffers from the run- 
ning of a shrew mouse over the part 
affected : for it is supposed that a shrew- 
mouse is of so baneful and deleterious a 
nature, that wherever it creeps over a 
beast, be it horse, cow or sheep, the suffer- 
ing animal is afflicted with cruel anguish, 
and threatened with the loss of the use of 
the limb. Against this accident, to which 
they were continually liable, our provi- 
dent fore-fathers always kept a shrew-ash 
at hand, which, when once medicated, 
would maintain its virtue for ever. A 
shrew-ash was made thus : ffor a similar 
practice see Plot's Staffordshire) : Into 
the body of the tree a deep hole was bored 
with an auger, and a poor devoted shrew- 
mouse was thrust in alive, and plugged in, 
no doubt, with several quaint incantations 
long since forgotten. As the ceremonies 
necessary for such a consideration are no 
longer understood, all succession is at an 



end. and no such tree is known to subsist 
in the manor or hundred. As to that on 
the Plestor, ' the late Vicar stubb d and 
burnt it,' when he was Way-warden, re- 
gardless of the remonstrances of the by- 
standers, who interceded in vain for its 
preservation, urging its power and effi- 
cacy, and alledging that it had been 

' Religione patrum multos servata 
annos.' ' 
The sap of the ash, a powerful astringent, 
was formerly given to the Highland chil- 
dien, not only as a medicine, but because 
it was supposed to be efficacious as a pre- 
servative against witchcraft and its allied 
influences. The ash itself was thought to 
be possessed of certain virtues by the herd- 
boys of the same district, who entertained 
an idea, that they might throw a stick of 
it at their cattle without injury. Comp. 
Charms. 

Ash Wednesday.. — Durandus, in 
his "Rationale" tells us, Lent was 
counted to begin on that which is now 
the- first Sunday in Lent, and to end on 
Easter Eve ; which time, saith he, contain- 
ing forty-two days, if you take out of them 
the six "Sundays (on which it was counted 
not lawful at any time of the year to fast), 
then there will remain only thirty-six 
days : and, therefore, that the number of 
days which Christ fasted might be per- 
fected, Pope Gregory added to Lent four 
days of the week before-going, viz. that 
which we now call Ash Wednesday, and 
the three days following it. So that we 
s-3e the first observation of Lent began 
from a superstitious, unwarrantable, and 
indeed profane, conceit of imitating our 
Saviour s miraculous abstinence. Lent is 
so called from the time of the year wherein 
it is observed :Lent in the Saxon language 
signifying Spring, being now used to sig- 
nify the Spring-Fast, which always begins 
so that it may end at Easter to remind us 
of our Saviour's sufferings, which ended 
at his Resurrection. Ash Wednesday is 
in some places called " Pulver Wednes- 
day," that is, Dies pulveris. The word 
Lentron, for Lent, occurs more than once 
ia the edition of the " Regiam Majes- 
tatem," 1609. Sir H. Ellis mentions that 
Lenten-tide for spring, when the days leng- 
then, occurs in the Saxon " Heptateuch," 
1698. Exod. xxxiv. 18. There is a curi- 
ous clause in one of the Romish Casuists 
concerning the keeping of Lent; it is 
" that beggars which are ready to affam- 
ish for want, may in Lent time eat what 
they can get." This, which is the first 
day of Lent, Caput Jejunii, is called Ash 
Wednesday, as we read in the Eesta Anglo- 
Romana, p. 19, from the ancient ceremony 
of blessing ashes on that day, and there- 
with the priest signeth the people on the 
forehead, in the form of a cross. The ashes 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



19 



used this day in the Church of Rome, aro 
made of the palms blessed the Palm Sun- 
day before. In the " Festyvall," 1511, 
fol. 15, it is said: "Ye shall begyn your 
faste upon Ashe Wednesdaye. 'Ihat daye 
must ye come to holy chirche and take 
ashes of the Preestes hondes, and thynke 
on the wordes well that ho sayeth oyer 
your hedes, (Memento, homo, quia cinis 
es; et in cinerem reverieris), have myndo 
thou man, of ashes thou art comen, and to 
ashes thou shalte tourne agayne." In a 
convocation held in the time of Henry the 
Eighth, mentioned in Fuller's "Church 
History," p. 222, " Giving of ashes on 
Ash Wednesday, to put in remembrance 
every Christian man in the beginning of 
Lent and Pennance, that he is but ashes 
and earth, and thereto shall return &c., is 
reserved with some other rites and cere- 
monies, which survived the shock that at 
that remarkable era almost overthrew the 
whole pile of Catholic superstitions. In 
a proclamation, dated 26th Feb. 30 Henry 
VIII., we read: "On Ashe Wenisday it 
shall be declared, that these ashes be 
gyven, to put every Christian man in re- 
niembraunce of penaunce, at the begyn- 
nynge of Lent, and that he is but ertbe and 
ashes." On the 9th March, 1550-1, a pro- 
clamation was published against the use of 
flesh on "ymberyng days," as well as in 
Lent, &c. " Mannerlye to take theyr 
ashes devoutly," is among the Ptoman 
Catholic customs censured by John Bale in 
his "Declaration of Bonner's Articles," 
1554, signat. D 4 verso, as is, ibid. D 2 
verso, "to conjure ashes." In "The 
Doctrine of the Masse Book," 1554, fig. 
B 3 verso, we find translated the form of 
" The hallowing of the ashes." The Masse 
Book saith, that upon Ash-Wedensdaye, 
when the prieste hath absolved the people, 
&c.. then must there be made a blessynge 
of the ashes, by the Prieste, being turned 
towards the East. In the first prayer is 
this passage : "Vouchsafe to blesse and 
sanctifie these ashes, which because of 
humilitie and of holy religion for the clen- 
syng out of our trespaces, thou hast ap- 
pointed us to cary upon our heades after 
the manner of the Ninivites." And after 
directions to sprinkle the ashes with holy 
water, and another prayer, this Rubric is 
added: "Then let them distribute the 
ashes upon the heades of the Clarckes and 
of the lay people : the worthier persons 
makyng a sygne of the Crosse with the 
ashes, saying thus : ' Memento, homo, 
guod cinis,' &c." In Bp. Bonner's "In- 
junctions," 1555, signat. A 1 verso, we 
read, " that the hallowed ashes cyven by 
the Priest to the people upon Ashe Wed- 
nisdaye, is to put the people in remem- 
brance of penance at the begynnynge of 
Lent, and that their bodies ar but earth, 



dust, and ashes." In Howes's edition of 
Stow's "Annales," 1631. 1547-8, oc- 
curs: "The Wednesday following, com- 
monly called Ash Wednesday, the use 
of giving ashes in the Church was also 
left throughout the whole Citie of 
London." Lord North, in his " Forest of 
Varieties," 1645, p. 165, in allusion to this 
custom, styles one of his essays, " My 
Ashewednesday Ashes." The ancient dis- 
cipline of sackcloth and ashes, on Ash 
Wednesday, is at present supplied in our 
Church by reading publicly on this day 
the curses denounced against impenitent 
sinners, when the people are directed to 
repeat an Amen at the end of each male- 
diction. Enlightened as we now think 
ourselves there are many who con- 
sider the general avowal of the justice 
of God's wrath against impenitent sinners 
as cursing their neighbours : consequently, 
like good Christians, they keep away from 
church on the occasion. 

"The peasantry of France," sajs 
the Morning Chronicle, March 10th, 
1791, "distinguish Ash Wednesday in 
a very singular manner. They carry 
an effigy of a similar description to 
our Guy Faux round the adjacent villages, 
and collect money for his funeral, as this 
day, according to their creed, is the death 
of good living. After sundry absurd mum- 
meries, the corpse is deposited in the 
earth." This may possibly be a relic of 
the same usage. Armstrong, in his " His- 
tory of Minorca," says, " During the car- 
nival, the ladies amuse themselves in 
throwing oranges at their lovers : and he 
who has received one of these on his eye, 
or has a tooth beat out by it, is convinced, 
from that moment, that he is a high fav- 
ourite with the fair one who has done 
him so much honour. Sometimes a good 
hand-full of flour is thrown full in one's 
eyes, which gives the utmost satisfaction, 
and is a favour that is quickly followed by 
others of a less trifling nature." — "We 
well know that the holydays of the antient 
Romans were, like these carnivals, a mix- 
ture of devotion and debauchery." — 
" This time of festivity is sacred to plea- 
sure, and it is sinful to exercise their call- 
ing until Lent arrives, with the two 
curses of these people, abstinence and 
labour, in its train." Aubanus tells us of 
a custom in Franconia on Ash Wednes- 
day, when such young women, he says, as 
have frequented the dances throughout 
the year are gathered together by young 
men, and, instead of horses, are yoked to 
a plough, upon which a piper sits and 
plays : in this manor they are dragged 
into some river or pool. He suspects this 
to have been a kind of self-enjoined volun- 
tary penance for not having abstained 
from their favourite diversion on holidays, 
contrary to the injunctions of the Church. 



20 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Ashton Fagrot.— At Lidiard Law- 
rence, between Bishoi)'s Lidiard and 
Stokegomer, Somersetshire, it has been a 
custom at Christmas to burn what is 
known as the Ashton Fagot, perhaps a de- 
signation or name derived from Long Ash- 
ton in the same county. A quart of cyder 
was originally provided for those — a 
limited company — who witnessed the cere- 
mony, as the fagot, in reality a bundle of 
sticks hooped together, disappeared in the 
flames, the hoops successively bursting 
with the heat. The cyder seems to have 
developed into a carouse at the local inn, 
and as lately as 1902, one of the specta- 
tors was brought before the magistrates 
for disorderly conduct, and the Bench pro- 
nounced the custom a bad one. It has 
the aspect of being a form of the Yule-log. 

Ass. — There is a superstition remain- 
ing among the vulgar concerning the ass, 
that the marks on the shoulders of that 
useful and much injured animal were 
given to it as memorials that our Saviour 
rode upon an ass. " The Asse," says Sir 
Thomas Browne, "having a peculiar mark 
of a Crosse made by a black list down his 
back, and another athwart, or at right 
angles down his shoulders, common opinion 
ascribes this figure unto a peculiar signa- 
tion : Since that beast had the honour to 
bear our Saviour on his back." In 
the " Athenaeum," about forty years 
ago, appeared the following: — "The 
popular belief as to the origin of the 
rniark across the back of the ass is men- 
tioned by Sir Thomas Browne, in his 
I Vulgar Errors,' and from whatever cause 
it may have arisen it is certain that the 
hairs taken from the part of the animal 
S') marked are held in high estimation as 
a cure for the hooping-cough. In this 
metropolis, at least so lately as 1842, an 
elderly lady advised a friend who had a 
child dangerously ill with that complaint, 
to procure three such hairs, and hang 
them round the neck of the sufferer in a 
muslin bag. It was added that the animal 
from whom the hairs are taken for this 
purpose is never worth anything after- 
wards, and, consequently, great difficulty 
would be experienced in procuring them : 
and, further, that it was essential to the 
success of the charm that the sex of the 
animal, from whom the hairs were to be 
procured, should be the contrary to that 
of the party to be cured by them." 

Assumption of the Virgin 
Mary (August 15). — Naogeorgus de- 
scribes the consecration of the herbs on 
this festival by the priests of Germany, 
and laments the nourishment of popular 
ignorance and prejudice by such means, 
as the herbs when blessed or sanctified 
were held to be efficacious in witchcraft 
and magic, and if cast into the fire, to 
afford protection from malignant influ- 



ences : " far otherwise," as the writer says 
truly enough, " than nature of the Worde 
of (Sod doth tell."— Pop. Kingdom, by 
Barnaby Googe, 1570, p. 55. Bishop 
Hall, in his Triumphs of Home, p. 58, also 
tells us, " that upon this day it was cus- 
tomary to implore blessings upon herbs, 
plants, roots, and fruits." 

Aston, Birming'ham. — A writer 
in the " Gentleman's Magazine " for Ve- 
bi uary, 1795, gave the following account of 
a custom which took place annually on the 
24th of December, at the house of a gentle- 
man residing at Aston juxta Birming- 
ham : " As soon as supper is over, a table 
is set in the hall. On it is placed a brown 
loaf, with twenty silver threepences stuck 
on the top of it, a tankard of ale,with pipes 
and tobacco ; and the two oldest serv- 
ants have chairs behind it, to sit as judges 
if they please. The steward brings the 
servants, both men and women, by one at 
a time, covered with a winnow-sheet, and 
lays their right hand on the loaf, exposing 
no other part of the body. The oldest of 
the two judges guesses at the person, by 
naming a name, then the younger judge, 
and lastly the oldest again. If they hit 
upon the right name, the steward leads 
the person back again ; but, if they do not, 
he takes off the winnow-sheet, and the 
person receives a threepence, makes a low 
obeisance to the judges, but speaks not a 
word. When the second servant was 
brought, the younger judge guessed first 
and third ; and this they did alternately 
till all the money was given away. What- 
ever servant had not slept in the house the 
preceding night forfeited his right to the 
money. No account is given of the origin 
of this strange custom, but it has been 
practiced ever since the family lived there. 
When the money is gone, the servants have 
full liberty to drink, dance, sing, and go 
to bed when they please." Can this be 
what Aubrey, in a passage elsewhere 
quoted from his "Natural History of 
Wiltshire," calls the sport of " Cob-loaf 
stealing? " 

Astrologer. _ Puller has this pas- 
sage : " Lord, hereafter I will admire thee 
more and fear astrologers lesse : not af- 
frighted with their doleful predictions of 
dearth and drought, collected from the 
Collections of the planets. Must the earth, 
of necessity be sad, because some ill- 
natured Starr is sullen? As if the grass 
could not grow without asking it leave. 
Whereas thy power, which made herbs be- 
fore the stars, can preserve them without 
their propitious, yea, against their malig- 
nant aspects." Oood thoughts in Bad 
Times, ed. 1669, p. 37. A prose writer of 
the same period observes : " Surely all as- 
trolgers are Erra Pater's disciples, and 
the Divil's professors, telling their 
opinions in spurious senigmatical doubtful 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



21 



teannes, like the Oracle at Delphos. What 
». blind dotage and shamelesse impudence 
is in these men, who pretend to know more 
than saints and angels? Can they read 
other men's fates by those glorious charac- 
ters the starres, being ignorant of their 
owneP Qui sibi nescius, cui prsescius? 
Thracias the sooth-sayer, in the nine years 
drought of Egypt, came to Jiusiris the 
Tyrant and told him that Jupiter's wrath 
might bee expiated by sacrificing the 
blood of a stranger : the Tyrant asked him 
whether he was a stranger : he told him 
he was, 

" Thou, quoth Busiris, shalt that 
stranger bee. 

Whose blood shall wet our soyle by 
Destinie." 
If all were served so, we should have none 
that would relye so confidently on the fals- 
hood of their Ephemerides, and in some 
manner shake off all divine providence, 
making themselves equal to God, between 
whom and man the greatest difference is 
taken away, if man should foreknow 
future events. — Browne's Map of the 
Microcosme, 1646, sign. D 8 verso. Sir 
Aston Cokain, in his Poems, 1658, has a 
quip for the astrologers : 

To Astrologers. 
Your Industry to you the Art hath given 
To have great knowledge in th' outside of 

Heaven : 
Beware lest you abuse that Art, and sin. 
And therfore never visit it within." 

The quack astrologer has been thus por- 
trayed : "First, he gravely inquires the 
business, and by subtle questions pumps 
out certain particulars which he treasures 
up in his memory ; next, he consults his 
old rusty clock, which has got a trick of 
lying as fast as its master, and amuses you 
for a quarter of an hour with scrawling 
out the all-revealing figure, and placing 
the planets in their respective pues ; all 
which being dispatch'd you must lay down 
your money on his book, as you do the 
wedding fees to the parson at the delivery 
of the ring ; for 'tis a fundamental axiome 
in his art, that, without crossing his hand 
with silver no scheme can be radical : then 
he begins to tell you back your own tale in 
other language, and you take that for 
divination which is but repetition. . His 
groundless guesses he calls resolves, and 
compels the stars (like Knights o' th' Post) 
to depose things they know no more than 
the man i' the moon : as if Hell were ac- 
cessory to all the cheating tricks Hell in- 
spires him with. . . . He impairs God's 
universal monarchy, by making the stars 
sole keepers of the liberties of the sublu- 
nary world, and, not content they should 
domineer over naturals, will needs pro- 
mote their tyranny in things artificial, 
too, asserting that all manufactures re- 



ceive good or ill fortunes and qualities 
from some particular radix, and therefore 
elects a time for stuing of pruins, and 
chuses a pisspot by its horoscope. Nothing 
pusles him more than fatal necessity : he 
is loth to deny it, yet dares not justify it, 
and therefore prudently banishes it from 
his theory, but hugs it in his practice, yet 
knows not how to avoid the horns of that 
excellent dilemma, propounded by a most 
ingenious modern Poet : 

"If fate be not, how shall we ought 

fore-see. 
Or how shall we avoid it, if it be? 
If by free-will in our own paths we move. 
How are we bounded by decrees 

above?'" 

— Character of a Quack .Istrologer. 1675. 
He, we are told, ' offers, for five pieces, to 
give you home with you a talisman against 
Mies ; a sigil to make you fortunate at 
gaming ; and a spell that shall as cer- 
tainly preserve you from being rob'd for 
the future ; a sympathetical powder for 
the violent pains of the toothache." Ibid. 
sign. C. verso. Some years ago, a periodi- 
cal entitled The Astrologer was set up in 
London, for the purpose of casting the 
horoscopes of correspondents, and furnish- 
ing intelligence connected with astrology. 
Its success was great ; but in fact that 
very success it was, which killed it. The 
pressure of applicants was so enormous, it 
is said, that the post brought the letters 
for the editor in sacks, and the undertak- 
ing had to be given up. It is diffiuclt to say 
when the belief in divination by the stars 
will be extinguished or expire : at present 
that belief is entertained by a numerous 
body of people^ educated and uneducated, 
whose enthusiasm and credulity remain 
unabated. Henry, speaking of astrology, 
tells us, "Nor did this passion for pene- 
trating into futurity prevail only among 
the common people, but also among per- 
sons of the nigliest rank and greatest 
learning. All our kings, and many 
of our earls and great barons had 
their astrologers, who resided in their 
families, and were consulted by them in 
all undertakings of great importance. Of 
this," he says, " we meet with a very curi- 
ous example in the account given by 
Matthew Paris of the marriage of Frede- 
rick Emperor of Germany and Isabella sis- 
ter of Henry III. a.d. 1235. The great 
man kept these to cast the horoscopes of his 
children, discover the success of his de- 
signs, and the public events that were to 
happen." "Their predictions," he adds, 
" were couched in very general and artful 
terms." — History of Great Britain, iii., 
515, and iv., 577. " Nocte vero prima qua 
concubit Imperator cum ea, noluit earn 
carnaliter cognoscere, donee competens 
hora ab astrologis ei nunciaretur." M. 



22 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Paris, p. 285, ad ann. 1235. Bishop Hall 



" Thou damned mock-art, and thou brain- 
sick tale 
Of old astrologie " — 
" Some doting gossip 'mongst the Chaldee 

wives 
Did to the credulous world thee first 

derive : 
And superstition nurs'd thee ever sence, 
And publisht in profounder arts pretence : 
That now, who pares his nailes, or libs his 

swine. 
But he must first take counsell of the 

signe." 
— Virgidemiarum, lib., ii., sat. 7. As- 
trology is ridiculed in a masterly manner 
in King Lear, 1608. Mason mentions in 
his list of the then prevailing supersti- 
tions : "erecting of a figure to tell of 
stolne goods. Philip Henslowe has a 
receipt " To know wher a thinge is that 
is stolne : — Take vergine waxe and write 
upon yt ^ Jasper ^ Melchisor <J« Bal- 
thasar ^ and put yt under his head to 
whome the good partayneth, and he 
shall knowe in his sleaj)e wher the 
thinge is become." — Diary, ed.. 184:5. 
Johnson, speaking of Hudibras, says : 
" Astrology, however, against which 
so much of the satire is directed, 
was not more the folly of the 
Puritans than of others. It had at that 
time a verj; extensive dominion. Its pre- 
dictions raised hopes and fears in minds 
which ought to have rejected it with con- 
tempt. In hazardous undertakings care 
was taken to begin under the influence 
of a propitious planet ; and, when the 
King was prisoner in Carisbrook Castle an 
astrologer was consulted as to what hour 
would be found most favourable to an 
escape." " Astrology," says " a person 
of honour," " imagines to read in the con- 
stellations, as in a large book, every thing 
that shall come to pass here below, and 
figuring to itself admirable rencounters 
from the aspects and conjunctions of the 
planets, it draws from thence conse- 
quences as remote from truth as the stars 
themselves are from the earth. I confess 
I have ever esteemed this science vain and 
ridiculous ; for indeed it must be either 
true or false ; if true, that which it pre- 
dicts is infallible and inevitable, and con- 
sequently unuseful to be foreknown. But. 
if it is false, as it may easily be evinced 
to be, would not a man of sense be blamed 
to apply his mind to and lose his time 
in, the study thergof ? It ought to be the 
occupation of a shallow Braine, that feeds 
itself with chimerical fancies, or of an 
impostor who makes a mystery of every 
thing which he understands not, for to 
deceive women and credulous people. — 
Courtier's Calling, 1675, p. 241. Agrippa 
exposes astrology as the mother of heresy, 



and adds : " Besides this same fortune- 
telling astrology not only the best of 
moral philosophers explode, but also 
Moses, Isaias, Job, Jeremiah, and all the 
other prophets of the ancient law ; and 
among the Catholick writers, 8t. Austin 
condemns it to be utterly expelled and 
banish'd out of the territories of Chris- 
tianity. St. Hierome argues the same to 
be a kind of idolatry. Basil and Cyprian 
laugh at it as most contemptible. Chry- 
scstome, Eusebius, and Lactantius utterly 
condemn it. Gregorj;, Ambrose, and Se- 
verianus inveigh against it. The Council 
of Toledo utterly abandon and prohibit it. 
In the Synod of Martinus and by Gregory 
the younger and Alexander III. it 
was anathematized and punished by the 
civil laws of the Emperors. Among the 
ancient Romans it was prohibited by 
Tiberius, Vitellius, Diocletian, Constan- 
tine, Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodo- 
sius, ejected also, and punish'd. By Jus- 
tinian made a capital crime, as may ap- 
pear in his Codex." — Vanity of Sciences, 
p 98. He pleasantly observes of astrolo- 
gers, that "^undertaking to tell all people 
most obscure and hidden secrets abroad, 
they at the same time know not what hap- 
pens in their own houses and in their own 
chambers. Even such an astrologer as 
Henry More laught at them in his epi- 
gram: 

" The Stars, ethereal bard, to thee shine 

clear, 
And all our future fates thou mak'st 

appear. 
But that thy wife is common all men know. 
Yet what all see, theres not a star doth 

show. 
Saturn is bliude, or some long journey 

gone. 
Not able to discern an infant from a stone. 
The moon is fair, and as she's fair she's 

chast. 
And wont behold thy wife so leudly em- 

brac't, 
Europa Jove, Mars Venus, she Mars 

courts. 
With Daphne Sol, with Hirce Hermes 

sports. 
Thus while the stars their wanton love 

pursue. 
No wonder. Cuckold, they'll not tell thee 

true." 

It appears that figures were often erected 
concerning the voyages of ships from Lon- 
don to Newcastle, &c. — Gadbury's Nauti- 
cum Astrologicum, 1710, pp. 93, 123, &c. 
We are told in one place fliat the predic- 
tion was verified; the ship, though not 
lost, had been in great danger thereof, 
having unhappily run aground at New- 
castle, sprung a shroud, and wholly lost 
her keel. In another, there is a figure 
given of a ship that set sail from London 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



23 



towards Newcastle, Aug. 27, 11 p.m., 1669. 
This proved a fortunate voyage. " As in- 
deed,^' saith Gadbury, " under so auspici- 
ous a position of Heaven it had been 
strange if she had missed so to have done ; 
for herein you see Jupiter in the ascen- 
dant in sextile aspect of the sun ; and the 
moon, who is Lady of the Horoscope, and 
Governess of the Hour in which she 
weighed anchor, is applying ad Trinum 
Veneris. She returned to London again 
very well laden, in three weeks time, to 
the great content as well as advantage of 
the owner." I have to observe here that 
the shipowners in the Newcastle trade are 
now much wiser than to throw away 
money on such fooleries, and, with much 
greater propriety, when things augur ill, 
apply to the assurance office, in prefer- 
ence to that of the diviner or fortune- 
teller. 

Dallaway tells us that astrology was 
a favourite folly with the Turks. 
" TJlugh-bey," he says, "amongst very 
numerous treatises is most esteemed. He 
remarks the 13tK, 14th, and 15th of each 
month as the most fortunate ; the Ruz- 
nameh has likewise its three unlucky days, 
to which little attention is paid by the 
better sort. The Sultan retains his chief 
astrologer, who is consulted by the Coun- 
cil on state emergencies. When the treaty 
of peace was signed at Kainargi in 1774, 
he was directed to name the hour most 
propititous for that ceremony. The Vi- 
zier's Court swarms with such impostors 
It was asserted that they foretold the 
great fire at Constantinople in 1782. 
There was likewise an insurrection of the 
janissaries which they did not foretel, but 
their credit was saved by the same word 
bearing two interpretations of Insurrec- 
tion and Fire. It may now be considered 
rather as a state expedient to consult the 
astrologer, that the enthusiasm of the 
army may be fed and subordination main- 
tained by the prognostication of victory. — 
Tour to Constantinople, p. 390. 

There are even literary gentlemen 
who seeks counsel of their astrologer 
before they undertake a new ven- 
ture, and when they desire to know 
the most propitious time for publica- 
tion. A lady informed the present 
writer that, before she was married, 
she consulted Professor AVilson, ot 
the Caledonian Road, who asked her the 
hour of her birth and other questions, 
and after elaborate calculations men- 
tioned certain circumstances which 
■were untrue. He then made a second 
experiment, placing her nativity half 
,an hour later, and then related some 
matters which had really occurred to 
.her. and others which had not, and never 
did — particularly, that she would have 
plenty of money. 



Astrology, Judicial, or Astro- 
nomy. — ^In "Dives and Pauper," 1493, 
Signat. E 2, we meet with the following: 
" Or take hede to the Judicial of Astron- 
omy — or dyvyno a mans lyf or deth by 
nombres and by the Spere of Pyctagorus, 
or make any dyvyning therby, or by Son- 
guary or Sompnarye, the Boke of Dremes, 
or by the boke that is clepid the Apostles 
lottis." The author adds: "And alle 
that use any manner wichecraft or any 
misbileve, that all suche forsaken the feyth 
of holy Churche and their Cristendome, 
and iDicome Goddes enmyes and greve God 
full grevously and falle into dampnacion 
withouten ende, but they amende theyra 
the soner." Zouch says, mentioning 
Queen Mary's reign : " Judicial astrology 
was much in use lon^ after this time. Its 
predictions were received with reverential 
awe : and men, even of the most enlight- 
ened understandings, were inclined to be- 
lieve that the conjunctions and opposi- 
tions of the planets had no little influence 
in the affairs of the world. Even the ex- 
cellent Joseph Mede disdained not to 
apply himself to the study of astrology." — 
Ed. of Walton's Lives, 1796, p. 131. 

Auctions. — The earliest Roman auc- 
tions were held suh hasid, to indicate that 
the proceeding were carried on under 
public or official authority. — Smith's 
Diet, of Gr. and Bom. Antiq. 2nd ed., v. 
Hasta. During the middle ages, and down 
to comparatively modern times, the auc- 
tioneer continued to be known as the suh- 
hastator, and an auction as the Asta. 
— Lacroix, Moeurs et TJsaoes. 1872. p. 337. 
But the trumpet and bell also came into 
use, as well as the crier. At Venice, in 
the fourteenth century, we find the bell 
and the cry (campanella and incanto), and 
there it was said that a sale was held by 
the bell, as in England in the 17th cen- 
tury the parallel expression was "to sell 
at the candle." Among the Anglo-Sax- 
ons time-candles appear to have been 
known. The Venetians, in the case at all 
events of official or Government sales, re- 
quired guarantees for the payment of the 
money offered by the highest bidder. — 
Hazlitt's Venetian Sepvhlic, 1900, ii., p. 
355. The svstem of selling by inch of 
candle is still retained at Broadway, Dor- 
setshire, when the annual lease of a 
meadow is sold in this way. The biddings 
started at £3. and the candle expired at 
£8 4s. Od.— Daily Mail, Jan. 10. 1903. 
Comp. Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, p. 
100. A Dutch Auction has become a 
mere phrase rather than an usage. It sig- 
nifies the practice of quoting an upset 
price, and descending by bids, until a 
customer occurs, whose maximum has been 
reached. 

Augrim Stones. — Counters form- 
erly used in arithmetic. See Halliwell in v. 



24 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Avenor. — From Fr. avoine, the per- 
son who, in great towns, formerly had the 
superintendence of the horse-meat. See 
Halliwell in v. 

Babies in the Eyes.. See Nares, 
Glossary, 1859, in v. In Braithwaite's 
" Two Lancashire Lovers," 1640, p. 19, in 
Camillus' speech to Doriclea, in the Lan- 
cashire dialect, he tells her, in order to 
gain her affections, ' ' We han store of 
goodly cattell; my mother, though shee 
bee a vixon, shee will blenke blithly on 
you for my cause ; and we will ga to the 
dawnes and slubber up a sillibub ; and I 
will looke babbies in your eyes, and. picke 
silly-comes out of your toes : and we will 
han a whiskin at every rush-bearing, a 
wassel cup at Yule, a seed-cake at Fastens, 
and a lusty cheese-cake at our sheepe- 
wash; and will not aw this done bravely, 
Jantle woman ?" In her answer to this 
clown's addresses, she observes, among 
other passages, " What know you but I 
may prove untoward, and that will bring 
your mother to her grave ; malce you, 
pretty babe, put finger ith' eye, and turne 
the door guite off the hinges." The above 
romance is said to have been founded on a 
true history ; the costume appears to be 
very accurate and appropriate. 

Bachelor's Buttons. — There is a 
rustic species of divination by bachelor's 
buttons, a plant so called. There was an 
ancient custom, says Grey, amongst the 
country fellows, of trying whether they 
should succeed with their mistresses by 
carrying the bachelor's buttons, a plant of 
the lychnis kind, whose flowers resemble 
also a button in form, in their pockets : 
and they judged of their good or bad suc- 
cess by their growing or not growing there. 
Notes on Shakespear, i., 108. Bachelor's 
buttons are described as having been worn 
also by the young women, and that too 
under their aprons. " Thereby I saw the 
batchelors butons, whose vertue is to make 
wanton maidens weepe, when they have 
worne it forty weekes under their aporns 
for a favour." — Greene's Quip, 1592, re- 
print Collier, p. 10. 

Backg^ammon. — See Tables. 

Bads^r-in-the-Bas'. — In the 
tale of Pwyll Prince of Dyved, in the 
Mabinogion, an account is furnished of 
the alleged circumstances under which 
this game was first played, where Rhian- 
iion persuades Gnawl, the son of Olud, to 
put his feet into the bag to tread down the 
food within, and he finds himself over- 
head in it, whereupon all present kicked 
the bag with their foot, or struck it with a 
staff. Every one as he came in asked, 
" What game are you playing at thus?" 
"The game of Badger-in-the Bag," said 
they. And then was the game of Badger- 
in-the-Bag first played ." Ed. 1877, p. 
350. 



Bads^er-the-Bear. — A rough game 
played by boys, and described by Halliwell 
in V. 

Bagatelle. — A well-known game 
played with one black and eight coloured 
or white balls, and a cue and mallet^ and 
somewhat following the lines of billiards, 
but without pockets in the table. It is. 
said to have been well established in 1827. 
Its origin is uncertain, but it is said not 
to be I'rench, although the name is so. It 
is played with variations. 

Baker's Clem.. — ^At Cambridge the- 
bakers have an annual supper, which is 
called "The Bakers' Clem." A corres- 
pondent of "Notes and Queries" (Cuth- 
bert Bede) testifies to its celebration ia 
1863. 

Baker's Dozen. — Originally a. 
Devil's Dozen. Comp. Nares, Glossary,. 
1859, in v., and see Numbers. 

Ballad • Monger. — Braithwaite,. 
describing a ballad-monger, in his Whini- 
zies, 1631, writes : By this time they 
(his ballads) are cashiered the City, and, 
must now ride poast for the countrey : 
where they are no lesse admir'd than a. 
gyant in a pageant : till at last they grow 
so common there too, as every poore milk- 
maid can chant and chirpe it under her 
cow, which she useth as an harmlesse- 
charme to make her let downe her milke." 

Bail-Money. — See Nuptial Usages. 

Bali. — In the Odyssey, Nausicaa,. 
daughter of the King of Phosacia, is re- 

E resented playing at this game with her 
andmaidens ; and there are Greek coins 
where a girl is seen engaged in the same 
sport. At a period posterior to Homer, it 
was known as Phoeninda. Sophocles the- 
tiagedian, in his play of Nausicaa, dis- 
tinguished himself in the performance by 
his skill at the game. Playing at ball, as. 
early as the fourteenth century, is de- 
nounced by a bishop of London as one of 
the ways in which the precincts of St> 
Paul's Church, London, were then dese- 
crated (1385) ; and this disorderly and 
licentious condition of affairs continued 
during centuries. There used to be a 
practice of rolling a ball down the table' 
after dinner ; it is thought that this was, 
when a match had been recently played, 
where the ball was used, and the victori- 
ous party, to whom it belonged, thus ex- 
hibited it as a trophy. 

Balloon. — This was played with an 
inflated ball of leather, which was struck 
by the arm, the latter being protected by 
a bracer of wood. In "Eastward Hoe," 
1605, Sir Pretonel Plash is represented as 
having a match at balloon with my lord 
Wliackham for four crowns. Donne also 
mentions it : 

" 'Tis ten a clock and past; all whom the 

mues, 
Baloun, tennis, diet, or the stewes 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



25 



Had all the morning held, now the second 
Time made ready, that day, in flocks are 
found." 

And in a writer of somewhat later date 
it is coupled with several other diversions 
of the period: "also Riding the Great 
Horse, Running at a ring. Tilts and Tour- 
naments, are noble exercises as well as 
healthy, and becoming his (the gentle- 
man's) grandeur. In like manner, Balon, 
Quintan, Stop-Ball, Pitching of a Bar, 
Casting of a Weight, are healthy and laud- 
able." — • The Gentleman's Companion, 
1676, p. 136-7. Randolph, in his eclogue 
on the revival of the Cotswold Games by 
Dover, seems to speak of balloon as a sort 
of football. The whole passage is curious : 

" Colin, I once the famous Spain did see, 

A nation famous for her gravity. 

Yet there a hundred knights on warlike 

steeds 
Did skirmish out a fight arm'd but with 

reeds ; 
At which a thousand ladies' eyes did gaze, 
Yet 'twas no better than our prison-base. 
What is the barriers but a worthy way 
Of our more downright sport, the cudgel- 
play? 

—Works, 1875, 621. 

Balls, Three.— The three blue balls 
prefixed to the doors and windows of 
pawnbrokers' shops, (by the vulgar hum- 
orously enough said to indicate that it is 
two to one that the things pledged are 
ever redeemed) were is reality the arms of 
the Medici family, a branch of whom, with 
many other Lombard houses, settled in 
London at an early date, and concen- 
trated themselves chiefly in a quarter 
which was called after them Lombard 
street. But in the Medici cognizance 
there are six balls. On a Brabantine coin 
anterior to the rise of the Medici appear 
nine balls. 

Bal lock.— See Halliwell in v. 

Bally- bleeze. — Speaking of the 
Cleveland word Bally-bleeze (a bonfire), 
in his Glossary of that dialect, 1868. Mr. 
Atkinson remarks : "It need scarcely be 
added that any assumption of an etymo- 
logical connection between the name Baal 
and this word bally-bleeze must be ground- 
less. Even in the Gaelic form haltein, 
while tein is eqxiivalent to our bleeze, Dan. 
hlysse, Sw. hlosse, &c., I doubt if Oal be 
radically distinct from E. bale, Sw. bal, 
&c. In other words, I do not for a moment 
suppose the worship of Baal, any more 
than that of Balder, or Apollo, or Phoe- 
bus, considered as persons with distinct 
ethnic names, was intended in these bale- 
fires. It was the worship of the Sun-god 
simply, and his name not even hinted at 
in that of the fire-rites involved." 

Banbury Cross — Halliwell, in his 
Nursery Rhymes, prints two versions of 



" Ride a Cock-horse," but does not give 
the following, which was often repeated to 
the present Editor, while he was on his 
nurse's or mother's knee, with an action 
suited to the words : 

' Ride a cock-horse 

To Banbury-Cross, 

To see an old woman 

Ride on a white horse. 

Rings on her fingers. 

And bells on her toes. 

And she shall have music 

Wherever she goes." 

Which appears to indicate some custom in 
cidental to Banbury Mop or Michaelmas 
Statute Fair, where perhaps some female 
character on horsebacK was one of the per- 
formers in a procession or sport. The sug- 
gestion is offered, that there was some 
local imitation of the Godiva pageant. 

Banks's Horse. — See Halliwell in 
V. At Hereford Midsummer Fair, in 1640, 
there was, it seems, a fellow, a second 
Bankes, who exhibited a dancing horse ; 
for in the account book of Mrs. Joyce 
Jeffries under this year occurs a payment 
to him. — Archceotogia, xxxvii. 

Banns. — The following account of 
this subject is derived from the informa- 
tion of my friend Mr. Yeowell : Notes and 
Queries, 4th S. i., 149-50. "We learn 
from TertuUian, Ad Vxorem, De Pudici- 
tia, c. 4, that the Church, in the primitive 
ages, was forewarned of marriages. The 
earliest existing canonical enactment on 
the subject, in the English Church, is that 
in the 11th canon of the synod of West- 
minster or London, a.d. VMO, which en- 
acts that ' no marriage shall be contracted 
without banns thrice pviblished in the 
church, unless by the special authority of 
the bishop.' Wilkins' Concilia, i., 507. 
It is supposed by some that the practice 
was introduced into France as early as the 
ninth century ; and it is certain that Odo, 
Bishop of Paris, ordered it in 1176. The 
council of Lateran, in 1215, prescribed it 
to the whole Latin Church. Before pub- 
lishing the banns, it was the custom for 
the curate anciently to affiance the two 
persons to be married in the name of the 
Blessed Trinity ; and the banus were some- 
times published at vespers, as well as dur- 
ing the time of mass. In the early ballad 
of liobin Hood and Alhn a Dale we have a 
curious reference to the banns, where the 
bishop says, in answer to Robin : 

" That shall not be, the bishop he said : 
For thy word shall not stand ; 

They shall be three times askt in tlie 
chuich. 
As the law is of our land." 

Banyan Day..— See Davis, Siippl. 
Glossary, 1881, in v. 

Barbara, St.— (December 4). Al- 
though Nicholas, in his ' ' Chronology of 



26 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



History," on the authority of Arundel 
MS. 155, seems to indicate the existence 
of two saints of this name, I doubt if he 
is not in the present case making two per- 
sons out of one, and if St. Barbara of 
Heliopolis in Egypt, who is mentioned in 
the " Anniversary Calendar " as mar- 
tyred in A.D. 306, and whose life is in the 
" Golden Legend," as well as in a sepa- 
rate biography printed by Julian Notary 
in 1518, where she is styled virgin and 
martyr, is not, in reality, the only cano- 
nized lady of this name. It was formerly 
the usage at York to preach a sermon in 
St. William's Chapel on St. Barbara's 
Day, and Davies, m his " Extracts from 
the Municipal Records of York," 1843, 
jiientions a payment of two shillings to a 
Bachelor of Divinity for this purpose in 18 
Edw. IV. "In time of thunder," re- 
marks Aubrey (1678), "they invoke St. 
Barbara. So Chaucer, speaking of the 
great hostess, says that her guests would 
cry St. Barbara, when she let off her gun." 
Barbers. — The sign of a barber's 
shop being singular, has attracted much 
notice. It is generally distinguished by 
a long pole, with coloured bandages de- 
picted on it, instead of a sign. The true 
intention or that partjr-coloured staff, it 
is explained correctly in the " Antiqua- 
lian Repertory, was to shew that the 
master of the shop practiced surgery, and 
could breathe a vein as well as mow a 
beard : such a staff being to this day, by 
every village practitioner, put into the 
hand of a patient undergoing the opera- 
tions of phlebotomy. The white band, 
which encompasses the staff, was meant to 
represent the fillet thus elegantly twined 
about it. In confirmation of this opinion 
the reader may be referred to the cut of 
the barber's shop in Oomenii " Orbis pic- 
tus," where the patient under phlebotomy 
is represented with a pole or staff in his 
hand. And that this is a very ancient 
practice appears from an illumination in 
a missal of the time of Edward I. I find 
the following odd passage in Gayton : 
"The barber hath a long pole elevated; 
and at the end of it a labell, wherein is in a 
fair text hand written this word Money. 
Now the pole signifies itself, which joined 
to the written word makes Pole-money. 
There's the rebus, that Cut-bert is no- 
body without Pole-money. — Festivous 
Notes, 1654, p. 111. Lord Thurlow in 
his speech for postponing the farther read- 
ing of the Surgeons' Incorporation Bill, 
July 17th, 1797, to that day three months, 
in the House of Peers, stated " that by a 
statute still in force, the barbers and sur- 
geons were each to use a pole. The bar- 
bers were to have theirs blue and white, 
striped, with no other appendage ; but 
the surgeons', which was the same in other 



respects, was likewise to have a ga!ley-pot 
and a red rag to denote the particular 
nature of their vocation." 

Stephanus ridicules the " gr9SS0 ig- 
norance" of the barbers: "This puts 
me in minde of a barber who after 
he had cupped me (as the physician 
had prescribed) to turn away a catarrhe, 
asked me if I would be sacrificed. 
Sacrificed? said I. Did the Phisi- 
tion tell you any such thing? No 
(quoth he) but I have sacrificed many, who 
have bene the better for it. Then musing 
a little with myself I told him. Surely, Sir. 
you mistake yourself, you mean scarified. 
O Sir, by jfour favour (quoth he) I have 
ever heard it called sacrificing, and as for 
scarifying I never heard of it before. In 
a word I could by no means perswade him, 
but that it was the barber's office to sacri- 
fice men. Since which time I never saw 
any man in a barber's hands, but that 
sacrificing barber came to my mind." — 
World of Wonders, transl. by R. C, 1607, 
p. 125. Rowlands, in his "Pair of Spy- 
Knaues," 1619, describes the humours of 
" A Fanatical Knaue," and pictures him 
giving directions to his servant : 

" First to my barber, at his bason signe. 
Bid him be heere to-morrow about 
nine." 
As to the barber's chair and basin, see 
Nares, Olossary, 1859, in v., and under 
Basin, where it is shown that barbers' 
basins were hired by the mob, when any 
infamous person was carted, in order, by 
beating them ahead of the procession, to 
draw the attention of spectators. " The 
Barbers' Chaire," says Gabriel Harvey, in 
the Trimming of Thomas Nash, 1597, " is 
the verie Roy all-Exchange of newes, bar- 
bers the head of all trades." He adds, a 
little farther on: "if they be happie, 
whom pleasure, profit, and honor make 
attaine to happiness. ... if at home and 
happie, then barbers with great facilitie 
at worke, they are in pleasing conference ; 
if idle, they pass that time in life-delight- 
ing musique." The beating down the bar- 
bers' basins on Shrove Tuesday, I have 
not found elsewhere than in Fennor's Pas- 
qvils Palinodia, 1619 : — 

' ' It was the day of all deys in the yeare, 
That unto Bacchus hath his dedication, 

When mad-brained prentices, that no men 
feare, 
O'erthrow the dens of bawdie recrea- 
tion : 

When tylors, cobblers, plaist'rers, smiths, 
and masons 

And every rogue will beat down Barbers' 
basons. 

Whereat Don Constable in wrath appeares. 

And runs away with his stout halbar- 
diers. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



" It was the day whereon both rich and 

poore 
Are chiefly feasted with the self-same 

dish, 
When every paunch, till it can hold no 

more, 
Is fritter-fill'd, as well as heart can wish ; 
And every man and maide doe take their 

turne, 
And tosse their pancakes up for feare they 

burne, 
And all the kitchen doth with laughter 

sound, 
To see the pancakes fall upon the ground. 

"It was the day when every kitchen 
reekes. 
And liungry bellies keepe a Jubile, 
When flesh doth bid adieu for divers 
weekes. 
And leaves old ling to be his deputie. 
It was the day when PuUen goe to block. 
And every spit is fiU'd with bellie timber, 
AVhen cocks are cudgel'd down with many 
a knock, 
And hens are thrasht to make them 
short and tender ; 
When country wenches play with stoole 

and ball, 
And run at barly breake untill they fall." 

The subsequent is from Greene's "Quip 
for an upstart Courtier," 1592 : " Barber, 
. . . when you come to poore Oloth- 
bieeches, you either cut his beard at your 
own pleasure, or else, in disdaine, aske 
him if he will be trimd with Christs cut, 
round like the half of a Holland cheese, 
mocking both Christ and us." In " Wits, 
Fits, and Francis," 1595, we read: "A 
gentleman gave a gentlewoman a fine 
twisted bracelet of silke and golde, and 
seeing it the next day upon another gentle- 
womans wrist, said it was like a Barber's 
girdle soon slipt from one side to 
another." Steevens remarks: " It was 
formerly part of a barber's occupa- 
tion to pick the teeth and ears. So 
i.i the " Trimming of Thomas Nashe, 
Gentleman," 1597, Gabriel Harvey 
says to his antagonist^ who taunted 
him (Harvey) with being the son of 
a barber: "for thoughe (as I am a 
ciiurgian) I could pick your teeth for the 
other stinkinge breath, yet this I durst 
not meddle with " ; and in Herod and 
Antipater " 1622, Tryphon the barber 
enters with a case of instruments, to each 
of which he addresses himself separately : 

"Toothpick, dear tooth-pick: ear-pick, 
both of you 

Have been her sweet companions ! " &c. 
Austin, in his poem entitled Urania, 1629, 
seems to suggest that barbers sold books — 
at all events popular ones ; for, speaking 
<rf a volume of amatory or satirical pro- 
ductions, he writes that in either case : 



27 

— this would take, 
each Barbours shop 



Eu'n like Tobacco, 
would make 

A sale of it ." 

Gay, in his fable of the goat without a 
beard, thus describes a barber's shop : 
"His pole with pewter basons hung 
Black rotten teeth in order strung, 
Rang'd cups, that in the window stood, 
Lin'd with red rags to look like blood. 
Did well his threefold trade explain, 
W^ho shav'd, drew teeth, and breath'd a 
vein." 
In the British Apollo, 1708, there is a 
solution of the custom of combining the 
two trades of barber and surgeon, which 
has, perhaps, more humour than weight : 

"In antient Rome, when men lov'd 

fighting, 
And wounds and scars took much de- 
light in, 
Man-menders then had noble pay. 
Which we call surgeons to this day. 
'Twas order'd that a huge long pole. 
With bason deok'd, should grace the hole 
To guide the wounded, who unlopt 
Could walk, on stumps the others hopt : — 
But, when they ended all their wars. 
And men grew out of love with scars. 
Their trade decaying ; to keep swimming. 
They joyn'd the other trade of trimming; 
And on their poles to publish either 
Thus twisted both their trades together."' 

In the North of England, within living 
memory, the two callings of barber and 
bookseller were occasionally united. Al- 
though it does not strictly belong to the 
province of popular antiquities, it may be 
useful to refer to the paper in Pegge's 
Cvrialia, 1818. "on the Barber for the 
King's most High and Dread Person." 
There used to be in barbers' shops, hung 
up against the wall, a thrift-box, into 
which each customer was supposed to put 
a trifle. Comp. Curfew. 

Ba.rg'uest, The or Great Dosr- 
flend. — In Beaumont and Fletcher's 
Thierry and Theodoret, i., 1, we have: — 

" Let night-dogs tear me. 

And goblins ride me in my sleep to jelly, 
Ere I forsake my sphere." 

In the North of England ghost is pro- 
nounced " guest." This appears to be an 
oflFshoot or side-growth of the Nature-cult 
prevalent among the Romans, and after 
them among the Spaniards (Current 
Notes, August, 1856, p. 72), and the word 
barguest is evidently synonymous with the 
Celtic baarge, which is still used for a sow 
(the Roman numen porcinum), by the 
peasantry of Exmoor. The streets of New- 
castle-upon-Tyne were formerly, accord- 
ing to vulgar tradition, haunted by a 
nightly guest, which appeared in the 



28 



NATIONAL FAI'IHS 



■hape of a mastiS dog, &o., and ferri 
lied such as were afraid of shadows. 
This word is a corruptioD of the Anglo- 
S^axon Tan, spiritus, anima. Brand heard, 
when a boy, many stories concerning it. 
The bar-guest is the " Bongeur d'Os " of 
Norman folk-lore, and the boggart of Lan- 
cashire, both great dog-spirits, which 
Erowl about in the night time, dragging 
eavy chains behind them. The authors 
of "Lancashire Folk Lore," 1867, say: 
" Near Blakeley, in Lancashire, is a 
romantic spot, still known as the ' Bog- 
gart Hole,' the position of which may seem 
to militate somewhat against Drake's ety- 
mology of Barguest — burh, a town, and 
gast, a ghost, that is, a spirit haunting 
towns. The fact is, however, that this 
derivation is not at all likely to be correct 
on other grounds, for the Lancashire and 
Yorkshire boggart or barguest was, from 
all the evidence wo have, an ubiquitous 
goblin, who did not restrict himself to any 
particular localities." The appearance 
of the barguest is still considered in Lan- 
cashire a " certain death sign," and " has 
obtained the local names of Trash and 
Skriker," say the authors of " Lancashire 
Folk Lore." This dog-spirit may be the 
malignant influence referred to under the 
name of Fray-bug, in a curious extract 
from a letter of Master Saunders to his 
wife, 1.55.5, TJrinted in the "Dialect of 
Craven," 1828. Under the name of boggle 
this incubus or spirit is introduced into 
the " Fly ting Betwixt Montgomery and 
Polwart," written about lo80. Sir Pa- 
trick Hume of Polwart is made to say 
to Montgomery : 

" Leaue boggles, brownies, gyr-carliiigs, 
and gaists ; 

Dastard, thou dafies, that with such 
divilrie mels." 
Perhaps the Cleveland beeagle fa 
scarecrow), the Whitby beagle (the 
same), and the other Yorkshire foi'ms 
boggle, bogle, or bogill (same as bogie?) 
hoc, beggar, hull heggar, are merely 
varieties of the boggart or barguest. 

Gibbon says, in reference to Hun- 
niades. Regent of Hungary, 1441-52, " By 
the Turks, who employed his name to 
frighten their perverse children, he was 
constantly denominated Jancus-Lam, or 
the Wicked. See farther, Lucas, Studies 
in Nidderdale, pp. 145, et segq; and Davis, 
Svppl. Glossary. 1881, p. 39, and comp. 
Bichard Coeur de Lion. 

Barley-break. — Jamieson, in his 
" Etymological Dictionary," calls this " A 
game generally played by young people in 
a corn-yard. Hence called Barlabraeks 
about the stacks, S. B." (i.e. in the North 
of Scotland.) " One stack is fixed on as 
the dule or goal ; and one person is ap- 
pointed to catch the rest of the company 



who run out from the dule. He does not 
leave it till they are all out of his sight. 
Then he sets off to catch them. Any one, 
who is taken, cannot run out again with 
his former associates, being accounted a 
prisoner, but is obliged to assist his cap- 
tor in pursuing the rest. When all are 
taken, the game is finished ; and he, who. 
was first taken, is bound to act as catcher 
in the next game. This innocent sport 
seems to be almost entirely forgotten in 
the South of S. It is also falling into desue- 
tude in the North." The following de- 
scription of Barley Break, written by Sir 
I'hilip Sidney, is taken from the Song of 
Lamon in the " Arcadia," where he re- 
lates the passion of Claius and Strephori 
for the beautiful L'rania, and shews the 
English practice: — 

— " She went abroad, thereby, 
At barley brake her sweet, swift foot to. 
try. 

A field they goe, where many lookers be. 

***** 

Then couples three be streight allotted 

there, 
They of both ends^ the middle two doe flie : 
The two that m mid-place Hell called. 

were. 
Must striue with waiting foot and watch- 
ing eye, 
To catch of them, and them to Hell to 

beare. 
That they, as well as they Hell may 

supplye ; 
Like some which seeke to salue their 

blotted name 
With others blot, till all doe taste of 

shame. 

There may you see, soon as the middle, 
two 
Doe coupled towards either couple make, 
They false and fearfuU do their hands 
vndoe ; 
Brother his brother, friend doth friend 
forsake. 
Heeding himselfe, cares not how Fellow 
doe. 
But if a stranger mutuall helpe doth take : 
As periur'd cowards in aduersitie, 
With sight of fe^re from friends to. 
fremb'd doe flie." 

Another description of the sport occurs in 
Barley-hreake, or a Warning for Wantons^ 
1607 : 
" To barley-breake they roundly then 'gan 

fall : 
Baimon, Euphema had unto his mate : 
For by a lot he won her from them all : 
Wherefore young Streton doth his fortune- 
hate. 

But yet ere long he ran and caught her 
out, 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



29 



And on the backe a gentle fall he gaue her. 
It is a fault which iealous eyes spie out, 
A maide to kisse before her iealous father. 

Old Elpin smiles, but yet he frets within, 
Euphema saith, she was vniusly cast, 
She striues, he holds, his hand goes out, 

and in : 
She cries, Away, and yet she holds him 

fast. 

Till sentence giuen by another maid, 
That she was caught, according to the law : 
The voice whereof this ciuill quarrell staid, 
And to his make each lusty lad 'gan draw. 
Euphema now with Streton is in hell : 
(For so the middle roome is alwaies cald) 
He would for euer, if he might, there 

dwell ; 
He holds it blisse with her to be inthrald. 

The other run, and in their running 

change : 
Streton 'gan catch, and then let goe his 

hold, 
l^luphema, like a Doe, doth swiftly range, 
Yet taketh none, although full well she 

could. 

And winkes on Streton, he on her 'gan 

smile. 
And faine would whisper something in 

her eare. 
She knew his mind, and bid him vse a wile. 
As she ran by him, so that none did heare. 

Some other pastimes then they would 

begin ; 
And to locke hands one doth them all 

assummon. 
Varietie is good in euery thing, 
Excepting onely Gods and earthly 

women." 

Drayton introduces fairies playing at 
this: 

" At barly-breake they play 

Merrily all the day. 

At night themselues they lay 

Vpon the soft leaues — " 
This was perhaps rather a stretch of poetic 
licence. Suckling also has given the fol- 
lowing description of this pastime with 
allegorical personages : 

"Love, Reason, Hate did once bespeak 
Three mates to play at barley-break. 
Love Folly took, and Reason Fancy ; 
And Hate consorts with Pride, so dance 

they ; 
Love coupled last, and so it fell 
That Love and Folly were in Hell. 

The break; and Love would Reason 

nieet, 
But Hate was nimbler on her feet; 
Fancy looks for Pride, and thither 
Hies, and they two hug together: 
Yet this new coupling still doth tell 
That Love and Folly were in Hell. 



The re.st do break again, and Pride 
Hath now got Reason on her side; 
Hate and lancy meet, and stand 
Untouch'd by Love in Folly's hand ; 
Polly was dull, but Love ran well, 
So Love and lolly were in Hell." 

BaHji-hreok is several times alluded to in 
Massiiiger's Plays. The subsequent is 
from Herrick, p. 34 : 

" Barhj-Break ; or. Last in Hell. 
AVe two are last in hell : what may we 

feare 
To be tormented, or kept pris'ners here : 
Alas, if kissing be of plagues the worst. 
We'll wish, in hell we had been last and 
first." 

Comp. Nares, Olossary, 1859, in v. Barli- 
breah. 

Barnabas, St. — In the Church- 
wardens' account of St. Mary at Hill, 
London, 17 and 19 Edward IV.. the follow- 
ing entry occurs: "For Rose-garlondis 
and woodrove garlondis on St. Barnebes' 
Daye, xjd." And, under the year 1486: 
" Item, for two doss' di bocse garlands for 
prestos and clerks on Saynt Barnabe daye, 
.is. xd." Under 1512 occurs: "Reed, of 
the gadryng of the Maydens on St. Barna- 
bas' Day, vi. s. viijd." And among the 
disbursements of 1512 we have: "Rose- 
garlands and lavender, St. Barnarbas, i.s. 
vjd." In the same accounts, for 1509, i.s. 
the following: " For bred, wine, and ale, 
for the singers of the King's Chapel, and 
for the clarks of this town, on St. Barna- 
bas, i.s. iijd." CoUinson, speaking of 
Glastonbury, tells us, that, "besides the 
Holy Thorn, there grew in the Abbey 
Church-yard, on the north side of St. 
Joseph's Chapel, a miraculous walnut tree, 
which never budded forth before the feast 
of St. Barnabas, viz. the eleventh of June, 
and on that very day shot forth leaves, 
and flourished like its usual species. This 
tree is gone, and in the place thereof 
stands a very fine walnut tree of the com- 
mon sort. It is strange to say how much 
this tree was sought after by the credu- 
lous ; and, though not an uncommon wal- 
nut. Queen Anne, King James, and many 
of the nobility of the realm, even when the 
times of monkish superstition had ceased, 
gave large sums of money for small cut- 
tings from the original." The original 
tiee was mentioned in the metrical Life of 
Joseph of Arimathea, 1520 : 

" Great meruaylles men may se at 
Glastenbury 

One of a walnot tree that there doth 
stande 

In the holy grounde called the semetery 

Hard by ye place where Kynge Arthur 
was foude 

South fro losephs Chapell it is walled 
in roude 



30 



JMAilUNAL li-AlTUa 



It bereth no leaues tyll the day of Saynt 

Barnabe, 
And than that tree that standeth in the 
grounde 
Sproteth his leaues as fayre as any other 
tree." 

And Manningham, in his Diary, May 2, 
1602, speaking of Glastonbury, says : 
" There is a walnut-tree which hath no 
leaues before Barnabies Day in June, and 
then it beginns to bud, and after becomes 
as forward as any other." The diarist 
was indebted for this piece of intelligence 
to a friend. According to the old style, 
this was Midsummer Day, and hence came 
the proverb : 

" Barnaby bright, Barnaby bright 
The longest day and the shortest night." 

Barnaby bright is the popular name of 
the lady-bird in some localities, probably 
from this insect being seen more about St. 
Barnabas' Day than at any other. For 
two other curious particulars relative to 
this day the reader may be referred to the 
" Book of Days (June 11)." 

Ba.rna.cles. — Suaverius refers to 
barnacles in his MS. Diary (1535), giving 
an account of English and Scotish 
customs, &c. : There are trees (he 
says) in Scotland from which birds 
are produced : he is told it is un- 
doubtedly true ; those birds which fall 
from the trees into water become ani- 
mated, but those which fall to the ground 
do not ; the figures of birds are found in 
the heart of the wood of the trees and on 
the root ; the birds themselves (which are 
very delicate eating) do not generate. 
"There are." (says Gerarde, in his 
"Herbal," edit. 1597, p. 1391) "in the 
North parts of Scotland certaine trees, 
whereon do grow shell-fishes, &c., &c., 
which, falling into the water, do become 
fowls, whom we call Barnakles, in the 
North of England Brant Geese, and in 
Lincolnshire Tree Geese," &c. It seems 
hardly conceivable that so gross an error 
in natural history could so long have pre- 
vailed, as that the barnacle, a well known 
kind of shell-fish, which is round sticking 
on the bottom of ships, should when 
broken off become a species of goose. Yet 
old writers of the first credit in other re- 
spects have fallen into this mistaken and 
ridiculous notion : and we find no less an 
authority than HoHnshed gravely declar- 
ing that with his own eyes he saw the 
feathers of these barnacles "hang out of 
the shell at least two inches." 

"That Scottish barnacle, if I might 

choose, 
That of a worme doth waxe a winged 

goose." 

Hall's Virgid. iv. 2. 



"- 'Like your Scotch barnacle, now 

a block, 
Instantly a worm, and presently a great 
goose." 

Marston's Malcontent , 1604. 

" My meal hath done. Avoided for the 

nonce ; 
I wrong the devil should I lick their 

bones. 
That fall is his ; for when the Scots 

decease, 
Hell, like their nation, feeds on 

barnacles. 
A Scot, when from the gallows-tree got 

loose. 
Drops into Styx, and turns a Scotland 

goose." 

Cleveland's Hehel Scot, 1647. 

The best account of these mythical 
creatures is to be found in Drayton's 
Polyolbion, Song xxvii. 

Barnwell Fair— The reputation of 
this Fair does not seem to have been very 
good in Heywood's time, for in his " If 
you know not me," &c., 1605, that writer 
makes Hobson say : 

"Bones a me, knave, thou'rt welcome. 

What's the news 
At bawdy Barnwell, and at Stourbridge 

fair? " 

The place was so called, savs the editor of 
" England's Gazeteer," 1751, (enlarged 
from Adams' "Index Villaris." 1690), 
' ' from the wells of children or beams, be- 
cause they used to meet here for sport on 
St. John's Eve ; so that it came at last to 
be what is now called Midsummer Fair." 
It is to be concluded that the deplorable 
fire which, in 1727, committed dreadful 
havoc among the spectators at a puppet- 
show in a barn, happened at this season. 
The scene of one of Scogin's jests is laid 
at Barnwell Fair. 

Barring: Out.—See Bromfield and 
Eton. But the usage does not seem to 
have been limited to these places. 

Bartholomevtf Baby in de- 
scribing " a zealous brother," Braithwaite 
says: "No season through all the yeere 
accounts hee more subject to abhomina- 
tion than Bartholomew f aire : their drums, 
hobbihorses, rattles, babies, iewtrumps' 
nay pigs and all, are wholly ludaicall." 
The roasted pigs at St. Bartholomew's 
lair are also noticed in "Poor Robin's 
Almanack " for 1677. " Poor Robin " for 
1695 has this passage : " It also tells farm- 
ers what manner of wife they shall 
choose, not one trickt up with ribbens and 
knots like a Bartholomew Baby, for such 
an one will prove a Holy-day wife, all 
play and no work. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



31 



And he who with such kind of wife is 
sped, 

Better to have one made of ginger- 
bread." 

—Whimzies, 1631, p. 300. 

In Nabbes's "Totenham Court," 1638, p. 
47, is the following: " I have pack't her 
up in't, like a Bartholomew-babie in a 
boxe. I warrant you for hurting her." 
Bartholomew, St., the 
Apostle. — (August 24). 

[* "Da waes fe eahtofe datg pses kalendes 
Septembres, pe man au ba tid wurSati Sue 
Bartholomei pass apoftoles, pa fe eadiga mer 
GuSIac com to paere forefprecenan ftowe, to 
Cruwlande." — Anglo-Saxon Verfton of the Life 
cf St. Guthlac, ed. Goodwin, p. 22-4.] 
Gough mentions an ancieut custom at 
Croyland Abbey, of giving little knives to 
all comers on St. Bartholomew's Day. 
This abuse, he says, "was abolished by 
Abbot John de Wisbech, in the time of 
Edward the Fourth, exempting both the 
abbot and convent from a great and need- 
less expence. This custom originated in 
allusion to the knife, wherewith St. Bar- 
tholomew was flayed. Three of these knives 
were quartered with three of the whijDS so 
much used by St. Guthlac in one coat 
borne by this house. Mr. Hunter had 
great numbers of them, of different sizes, 
found at different times in the ruins of the 
abbey and in the river. We have engraved 
three from drawings in the Minute Books 
of the Spalding Society, in whose drawers 
one is still preserved. These are adopted 
as the device of a town-piece, called the 
• Poores Halfepeny of Croyland,' 1670."— 
History of Croyland Abbey, p. 73. In 
Stephens' " Essayes and Characters," 
1615. we read : " Like a booksellers shopne 
on Bartholomew Day at London : the stalls 
of which are so adorn' d with Bibles and 
Prayer-bookes, that almost nothing is left 
within, but heathen knowledge." 

Bartholomew Fair. — In a tract 
entitled, "Bartholomew Faire or variety 
of fancies," 1641, occurs this account : 
"Bartholomew Faire begins on the twenty- 
fourth day of August, and is then of so 
vast an extent, that it is contained in no 
less than four several parishes, namely 
Christ Church, Great and Little St. Bar- 
tholomewes, and St. Sepulchres. Hither 
resort people of all sorts and conditions. 
Christ Church cloisters are now hung full 
of pictures. It is remarkable and worth 
your observation to beholde and heare 
the strange sights and confused noise in 
the faire. Here, a knave in a fooles coate, 
with a trumpet sounding, or on a drumme 
beating, invites you to see his puppets ; 
there, a rogue like a wild woodman, or in 
an antick shape like an Incubus, desires 
your company to view his motion : on the 
other side, hocus pocus, with three yards 



of tape, or ribbin, in's hand, showing his 
art of legerdemaine, to the admiration and 
astonishment of a company of cocko- 
loaches. Amongst these, you shall see a 
gray goose-cap, (as wise as the rest), with 
a what do ye lacke, in his mouth, stand in 
his boothe, shaking a rattle^ or scraping 
on a fiddle, viith. which children are so- 
taken, that they presentlie cry out for 
these fopperies : and all these together 
make such a distracted noise, that you 
would thinck Babell were not comparable 
to it. Here there are also your ganiesters 
in action : some turning of a whimsey, 
others throwing for pewter who can 
quickly dissolve a round shilling into a 
three halfepeny saucer. Long Lane at 
this time loolis very faire, and puts out her 
best cloaths, with the wrong side outward, 
so turn'd for their better turning off : 
and Cloth Faire is now in great request : 
well fare the alehouses therein, yet better 
may a man fare, (but at a dearer rate} 
in the Pig-Market, alias Pasty-Nooke, or 
Pye-Oorner, where pigges are al houres of 
the day on the stalls piping hot, and would 
cry (if they could speak), ' come eate me.' 
The fat greasy hostesse in these houses in- 
structs Nick Froth, her tapster, to aske 
a shilling more for a pig s head of a 
woman big with child, in regard of her 
longing, than of another ordinary cumer. 
Some of your cutpurses are in fee with 
cheating costermongers, who have a trick, 
now and then, to throw downe a basket jf 
refuge peares, which prove choake-peares 
to those that shall loose their Hats or 
Cloakes in striving who shall gather 
fastest. 

Now farewell to the Faire : you who are 
wise. 

Preserve your purses, whilst you please 
your eyes." 

The pickpockets and cutpurses did not 
spare anyone. In "A (Javeat for Cut- 
purses," a ballad of the time of Charles 
I., there is the following illustration : 
" The players do tell you, in Bartholomew 
Faire, 
What secret consumptions and rascals 
you are ; 
For one of their actors, it seems had the 
fate 
By some of your trade to be ileeced of 
late." 
Gayton says in his Art of Longevity, 1659, 
p.3: 
— " (As if there were not Pigg enough) 
Old Bartholomew with purgatory fire, 
Destropes the Babe of many a doubtful!' 

Sire." 
And speaking of plums, he adds : 
"If eaten as we use at Barthol'mew tid«. 
Hand over head, that's without care or 

guide, 
There is a patient sure." 



32 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Pepys, under date of August 25, 1663, 
says: "It seems this Lord Mayor (Sir 
John Robinson) begins again an old cus- 
tome, that upon the three first days >)f 
Bartholomew Payre, the first, there is a 
match of wrestling, which was done, and 
the Lord Mayor there and the Aldermen 
in Moorfields yesterday : second day, 
shooting ; and to-morrow hunting. And 
this oflBcer of course is to perform this cere- 
mony of riding through the City. I think 
"to proclaim or challenge any to shoot. It 
seems that the people of the fayre cry out 
upon it, as a great hindrance to them." 
Sir John Bramston, in his Autohiography, 
p. 315, under the date of 1688, refers to 
the annual custom by which the Lord 
Mayor proclaimed St. Bartholomew Fair 
on that Saint's Eve, and riding past New- 
gate was accustomed to receive from the 
keeper or governor a cup of sack. In Wit 
and Drollery, 1682, p. 227, we have: 

■■' Now London Mayor, in Saddle new : 
Rides into fair of Bartholomew : 
He twirles his Chain, and looketh big, 
As he would fright the head of Pig: 
Which gaping lies on greasy stall — " 
Xadies were fond of attending Bartholo- 
inew Pair. In a little work printed in 
1688, it is observed: "Some women are 
for merry-meetings, as Bessus was for 
■duck ; they are ingaged in a Circle of Idle- 
ness, where they turn round for the whole 
year, without the interruption of a serious 
hour, they know all the players names & 
are intimately acquainted with all the 
booths in Bartholomew Fair. — The 
T,ady's New Year's Gift, or Advice to a 
Daughter, p. 187. In 1711, an attemnt 
was made without success to extend the 
duration of the fair to fourteen days, and 
a tract was published and sneciall.v ad- 
dressed by the author to the civic authori- 
ties, to oppose and denounce the pro,iect. 
It is said, on the authority of Mrs. Piozzi, 
that, during a whole year, Andrew John- 
son, the doctor's uncle, kept the ring here, 
where the boxing and wrestling took place, 
and was not once beaten. Perhans hig 
nephew inherited from him his burly ap- 
pearance. In Current Notes for Febru- 
pry, 1851, are some memoranda by 'Theo- 
dore Hook, from a copy of Ackerraann's 
Microcosm of London, in one of which he 
t'otes the occupation of the site of Bar- 
tholomew Pair by Billinqsqate Market. 
Charles Lamb, in one of his letters to 
•Coleridge, speaks of the Wordsworths 
being in town, and of his having been 
their guide over the Pair, in September, 
1802. Rimbault, in his " Book of Songs 
pnd Ballads." 1851, has printed from rare 
musical works two or three ballads illus- 
trative of the old usages and scenes at 
Bartholomew Pair. The entertainments 
-appear, from all accounts, to have been of 



the most various description, with a view, 
doubtless, to the satisfaction of every 
taste. The puppet-shows and drolls in- 
cluded St. George and the Dragon, Guy of 
Warwick, Judith and Holofernes, Robin 
Hood (an opera), the Quaker's Opera, 
Susanna and the Elders, Dives and Laza- 
rus, Punchinello, The Devil and the Pope, 
and the Whore of Babylon. The charac- 
ter of the performances at Bartholomew 
Fair, a little later on, seems to have been 
singularly heterogeneous ; for Strutt 
quotes a bill of the beginning of the eigh- 
teenth century, which announces that, 
" at Heatly's booth, over against the 
Cross Daggers, will be presented a little 
opera, called The old creation of the world, 
newly reviv'd, with the addition of the 
glorious battle obtained over the French 
and Spaniards by his Grace the Duke of 
Marlborough." During the reign of 
George II., the class of entertainment 
changed somewhat, if we are to judge 
from the contents of the " Stroler's Pac- 
quet Opened," 1741, which purports to be 
a collection of the drolls played at South- 
wark and other fairs at that time. These 
pieces, sufficiently contemptible in their 
construction, were, in most cases, formed 
out of old dramas. Down to the year 
1854 it was customary for the representa- 
tive of the Merchant Taylors' Gild to 
proceed to Cloth Fair, which immediately 
joined Bartholomew Fair, and test the 
measures used for selling cloth there by 
the Company's silver yard. This very an- 
cient practice expired with the institu- 
tion. Hazlitt's Livery Companies of 
Tendon, 1892, p. 280, where a facsimile of 
the yard is engraved. For a more 
particular account of this fair the reader 
may be referred to Memoirs of Bartholo- 
mew Fair, by the late Professor Morley, 
8v., 1859, with illustrations by Pairholt 
Also see Hone's Every Day Booh, i., 1572. 
Bobin Hood and the Quaker's Opera were 
printed in 1730 and 1728 respectively with 
the music. 

Basil.— In the second part of the 
^ecrets of Alexis of Piedmont, translated 
py W. AVarde, 1563, there is this entry: 
To make that a woman shall eate of 
nothing that is set vpon the table. "Take 
a little grene Basil, & when men bring 
the dishes to the table, pvt it vnderneth 
them, yt the woman perceiue it not: for 
men saye that she will eate of none of that 
which is in the dishe where \nder the 
Basill lieth." The family of aromatic 
plants, so-called, has long been recognized 
among the Hindoos as of virtue in pro- 
tection from malaria, like the Australian 
eueahptus, and from the attack of the 
mosquito, and their great or sup- 
posed efficacy in either case was 
naturally very important in tropical 
regions unprovided with other safeguards 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



33 



from contagion with masses of decayed 
animal and vegetable refuse. 
Basilisk. — See Cockatrice. 
Basset. — In a MS. song purporting 
to proceed from a lady of honour in Queen 
Flizabeth's days, the supposed speaker, 
enumerating her virtues and claims to re- 
spectful remembrance, says : 

" I never bought cantharides. 

Ingredient good in Passett, 
Nor ever stript me to my stayes 
To play ye Punt att Bassett." 

Sir Samuel Tuke, in the Adventures of 
Five Hours, 1671, an adaptation from 
Calderon, speaks of the chairmen as en- 
gaged a las pintas, the same game as this, 
where Diego is made to say : 

They are deeply engaged 

A las pintas, and will not leave their 
game, 

They swear, for all the dons in Seville. 
— Hazlitt's Dodsley, xv. 265. 

Bastard. — A species of wine. Com- 
pare examples from old writers in Nares, 
Glossary, 1859, in v. 

Bats. — Willsford supplies this item of 
intelligence: "Bats, or flying mice, come 
out of their holes quickly after sunset, 
and sporting themselves in the open air, 
premonstrates fair and calm weather." 
Nature's Secrets, 1658, p. 134. Compare 
Weather Omens. 

Battledore or Shuttle-cock.— 
It is as old as the fourteenth century. 
Skelton has the expression, "Not worth 
a shyttle cocke." Strutt, in his " Sports 
and Pastimes, illustrates it by a draw- 
ing of that period lent to him by Douce. 
Manningham, in his Diary, Feb. 1602-3, 
notes: "The play at shuttlecocke is be- 
come soe much in request at Court, that 
the making shuttlecocks is almost growne 
to a trade in London." Manningham re- 
lates an odd anecdote in connection about 
Lady Eflingliam. Armin, in the "Two 
Maids of More-Clacke," 1609, says : " To 
play at shuttlecock methinkes is the game 
now." It was a favourite amusement 
with Prince Henry, who died in 1612. In 
his " Horso Vacivse," 1646, Hall observes: 
" Shittle-Cock requires a nimble armo, 
with a quick and waking eye ; 'twere fit 
for students, and not so vehement as that 
waving of a stoole, so commended by Les- 
sius." A somewhat similar amusement 
is mentioned in the Journal of the Asi- 
atic Society for 1835, as followed in 
Bengal. The game is now known as 
Battledore and Shuttlecock, and is almost 
exclusively a juvenile recreation, though 
it is sometimes played by grown-up per- 
sons in the country on wet indoor days. 
Stevenson, in his Twelve Months, 1661, 
under October, says: "The Shuttle-cock 
and Battledore is a good house exercise. 



and occupies the Lady before she be 
drest." 
Battle Royal. — See Cock-Ftghting. 

Bawdry.. — Wallis, in his essays on 
the Privileges of the University of Ox- 
ford," printed in "Collectanea Ouriosa," 
notices that by a charter of 37 Hen. VI. 
the Chancellor had the power of banish- 
ing to a distance of not more than ten 
miles all whores, and of imprisoning them 
if they returned. The subsequent ex- 
tract from a proclamation of Henry VIII., 
April 13, year 37, will be thought curious : 
" Furthermore his Majesty straightlie 
chargeth and commandeth that all such 
Householders as, under the name of 
Baudes, have kept the notable and marked 
Houses, and knowne Hosteries, for the 
said evill disposed persons, that is to saie, 
siich Householders as do inhabite the 
Houses whited and painted, with Signes 
on the front, for a token of the said 
Houses, shal avoyd with bagge and bag- 
gage, before the feast of Easter next 
comyng, upon paino of like punishment, 
at the Kings Majesties will and pleasure." 
The punishment for this offence was ri- 
ding in a cart through the parish where it 
was committed, and sometimes through 
the adjoining ones also, with a paper at- 
tached to the back or front of the dress, 
descriptive of the particulars, and a basin 
ringing before them to draw the attention 
of the people to their disgrace. Occa- 
sionally the culprit went on horseback. 
The examples given by Stowe and others 
of this class of chastisement are not only 
very numerous; but we cannot fail to be 
struck by the great frequency of cases, 
where parents were guilty of the crime 
towards their own offspring, and of the 
respectable position of many of those who 
were implicated. The publication of the 
delinquency on a sheet of paper pinned 
to the person was common to many other 
crimes, such as perjury, &c., but then it 
seems to have been more usually fixed over 
the culprit's head. In 1560-1 a woman 
who had sold fish contrary to law, was led 
about London on horseback by the beadle 
of Bridewell with a garland on her head, 
strung with these fish, and others hanging 
from the saddle, both before and behind 
her. In Strype's edition of Stow, 1720, 
Book i. p. 258, we read, that in the year 
1555, "An ill woman, who kept the Gfrey- 
hound in Westminster, was carted about 
the city, and the Abbot's servant (bearing 
her good will) took her out of the cart, as 
it seems, before she had finisht her punish- 
ment, who was presently whipped at the 
same cart's tail for his pains. '^ In 1556, 
" were carted two men and three women. 
One of these men was a bawd, for bring- 
ing women to strangers. One of the 
women kept the Bell in Gracechurch 



34 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Bull beside London-stone ; both bawds and 
whores." In 1559, "The wife of Henry 
Glyn, goldsmith, was carted about London 
for "being bawd to her own daughter." 
It is remarked with much probability fti a 
Note upon Dekker's " Honest Whore," 
that it was formerly a custom for the 
Peace-ofiBcers to make search after women 
of ill-fame on Shrove-Tuesday, and to 
conSne them during the season of Lent. 
So, Sensuality says in Nabbes' masque of 
" Miorocosmus," act 5: "But now wel- 
come a Cart or a Shrove-Tuesday's 
tragedy." Overbury, in his " Charac- 
ters," speaking of " a Maquerela, in 
plaine English, a bawde," says: "No- 
thing daunts her so much as the approach 
of Shrove-Tuesday." Ihid., speaking of " a 
roaring boy," he observes, that "he is a 
supervisor of brothels, and in them is a 
more unlawful reformer of vice than pren- 
tices on Shrove-Tuesday." In Deklier's 
play of "Match Me in London," Bilbo 
says, " I'll beate down the doore, and put 
him in mind of Shrove-Tuesday, the fatall 
day for doores to be broke open." The 
punishment of people of evil fame at this 
season seems to have been one of the 
chief sports of the apprentices. In a 
Satyre against Separatists, 1642, we read : 

"-; The Prentises — for they 

Who, if upon Shrove-Tuesday, or May- 
Day, 

Beat an old Bawd or fright poor Whores 
they could, 

Thought themselves greater than their 
Founder Lud, . . . 

They'r mounted high, contemn the humble 
jplay. 

Of Trap or Football on a Holiday 

In Finesbury-fieldes — " 

Bay - Tree. — Parkinson writes : 
"The Bay-leaves are necessary both for 
civil uses and for physic, yea, both for the 
sick and for the sound, both for the living 
and for the dead. It serveth to adorne 
the House of God as well as man — to 
crowne or encircle, as with a garland, the 
heads of the living, and to sticke and 
decke forth the bodies of the dead : so 
that, from the cradle to the grave, we 
have still use of it, we have still 
need of it." Paradisus Terrestris, 
1629, p. 426. In "A strange Meta- 
morphosis of Man," &c., 1634, it is ob- 
served, that " hee (the Bay) is fit for halls 
and stately roomes, where if there be a 
wedding kept, or such like feast, he will be 
sure to take a place more eminent then 
the rest. He is a notable smell-feast, and 
is so good a fellow in them, that almost it 
is no feast without him. He is a great 
companion with the Rosemary, who is as 
good a gossip in all feasts as he is a 
trencher-man." Among death omens the 
withering of bay trees was, according to 



Shakespear, reckoned one. Thus in Rich- 
ard II : 

"'Tis thought the King is dead; we 

will not stay. 
The bay trees in our country are 

all wither'd— " 
L^on which Steevens observes that " Some 
or these prodigies are found in Holinshed, 
' In this yeare, in a manner throughout 
all the realme of England, old Bale Trees 
withered, &c. "' This we also learn 
from Lupton, " Neyther falling syck- 
nes, neyther devyll, will infest or hurt 
one in that place whereas a bay 
tree is. The Romaynes calle it the 
Plant of the good Angell," &c. Sir 
Thomas Browne observes that the 
Christian custom of decking the co£Sn 
with bay is a most elegant emblem. It 
is said that this tree, when seemingly 
dead, will revive from the root, and its 
dry leaves resume their wonted verdure. 
William Browne, in a sonnet to Coelia, evi- 
dently .alludes to some ancient love-omen 
or portent, still current in his time, in 
connexion with the rind of the laurel : 
" Fair Laurell, that the onelye witnes 

art 
To that discourse, which vnderneath thy 

shade 
Our grief e swolne brests did lovinglie 

impart 
With vowes as true as ere Religion 

made : 
If (forced by our sighs) the flame shall 

fly 

Of our kinde love, and get within thy 

rind. 
Be warye, gentle Baye, & shrieke not 

bye, 
When thou dost such vnusuall feruor 

finde." 
Hazlitt's edit, ii., 288. 

Beadsmen.— See Blue-Gowns. 

Beans, Relig^lous use of.— The 
choosing of a person King or Queen by a 
bean found in a piece of a divided cake, 
was formerly a common Christmas gambol 
at the English and Scotish Courts, and 
in Ijoth English Universities. " Mos ino- 
levit et viget apud plurimas nationes, ut 
in profesto Epiphanise, seu trium Regum, 
in quaque famifia seu alia Societate, sorte 
vel alio fortuito modo eligant sibi Regem, 
et convivantes una ao geni alitor viventes, 
bibente rege, acclamant : Rex, bibit, bibit 
Rex, indicta multa qui non clamaverit." 
See the " Sylva Sermonum jucundissi- 
morum," 8vo. Bas. 1568, pp. 73, 246.— 
Douce. In Ben Jonson's "Masque of 
Christmas," the character of Baby-Cake 
is attended by "an Usher bearing a great 
cake with a bean and a pease." These 
beans, it should seem from the following 
passage in Burton's " Anatomy of Melan- 
choly ' were hallowed. He is enumerat- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



ing Popish superstitions : ' ' Their Brevi- 
aries, BuUes, hallowed beans. Exorcisms, 
Pictures, curious Crosses, Fables, and 
Babies." Democritus to the Reader, p. 
29. edit. fol. Oxf. 1632. Bale, in his 
" Yet a Course at the Romysh Foxe," &c. 
Signat. L. 11, attributes to Pope Eutici- 
anus, "the blessynge of Benes upon the 
Aultar." 

In the "Anniversary Calendar," 
there is an amusing extract from 
Teonge's " Diary " (1676), giving an ac- 
count of a cake they made on board his 
ship ofi the Morea. He (Teonge) says : 
' ' The cake was cut into several pieces, 
and all put into a napkin, out of which 
«very one took his piece, as out of a lot- 
tery, then each piece was broken to see 
what was in it, which caused much laugh- 
ter to see our lieutenant prove the cuck- 
old." Probably the piece which contained 
the bean is referred to. In "A World 
of Wonders," 1607, a translation by R. 
C from H. Stephanus, " Apologied'llero- 
dote," there are some curious extracts 
from the " Quadragesiraale Spirituale," 
1565. Thus, chap. 2: "After the sallad 
(eaten in Lent at the first service) we eate 
fried Beanes, by which we understand con- 
fession. When we would have beanes well 
sodden, we lay them in steepe, for other- 
wise they will never seeth kindly. There- 
fore, if we purpose to amend our faults, 
it is not sufficient barely to eonfesse them 
at all adventure, but we must let our con- 
fession lie in steepe in the water of Medi- 
tation." " And a little after : We do not 
use to seeth ten or twelve beanes together, 
but as many as we mean to eate : no more 
must we let our confession steepe, that is, 
meditate, upon ten or twelve sinnes onely, 
neither for ten or twelve dayes, but upon 
all the sinnes that ever we committed, 
even from our birth, if it were possible to 
remember them." Chap. 3 : " Strained 
Pease (Madames) are not to be forgotten. 
You know how to handle them so well, 
that they will be delicate and pleasant to 
the tast. By these strained pease our 
allegorizing flute pipeth nothing else but 
true contrition of heart." " River-water, 
which continually moveth, runneth, and 
floweth, is very good for the seething of 
pease. We must (I say) have contrition 
for our sins and take the running water, 
that is, the teares of the heart, which must 
runne and come even into the eyes." The 
soft beans are much to our purpose : why 
soft, but for the purpose of eating? Thus 
our peas on this occasion are steeped in 
water. In the " Roman Calendar," I find 
it observed on this day, that "a dole is 
made of soft beans." I can hardly enter- 
tain a doubt but that our custom is de- 
rived hence. It was usual amongst the 
Romanists to give away beans in the doles 
at funerals : it was also a rite in the 



funeral ceremonies of heathen Rome. Why 
we have substituted peas I know not, un- 
less it was because they are a pulse some- 
what fitter to be eaten at this season of 
the year. They are given away in a 
kind of dole at this day. Our popish an- 
cestors celebrated (as it were by anti- 
cipation) the funeral of our Lord on 
Care Sunday, with many superstiti- 
ous usages, of which this only, it should 
seem, has travelled down to us. Durandus 
tells us, that on Passion Sunday "the 
Church began her public grief, remember- 
ing the mystery of the Cross, the vinegar, 
the gall, the reed, the spear," &c. Among 
the " Cries of Paris," a poem composed 
by Guillaume de Villeneuve in the thir- 
teenth century, and printed at the end 
of the poem printed by Barbazan. Ordene 
de Chevalerie, beans for Twelfth Day are 
mentioned: " Gastel a feve orrois crier." 
There is a very curious account in Le 
Roux, Dictionnaire Comique, tom. ii., 
p 431, of the French ceremony or 
the " Roi de la Feve," which explains Jor- 
daen's fine picture of " Le Roi boit." 
Bufalde de Verville " Palais des Cuneux," 
edit. 1612, p. 90. See also Pasquier, Re- 
cherches de la France, p. 375. To the ac- 
count given by Le Roux of the French 
way of choosing King and Queen, may be 
added, that in Normandy they place a 
child under the table, which is covered in 
such a manner with the cloth that he can- 
not see what he is doing ; and when the 
cake is divided, one of the company, taking 
up the first piece, cries out, " Pabe 
Domini pour qui?" The child answers, 
" Pour le bou Dieu : " and in this manner 
the pieces are allotted to the company. If 
the Dean be found in the piece for the 
" bou Dieu," the King is chosen by draw- 
ing long or short straws. Whoever gets 
the bean chooses the King or Queen, ac- 
cording as it happens to be man or 
woman. Urquhart of Cromarty says, 
(" Discovery of a most exquisite jewel, 
&c." 1651, p. 237) : " Verily, I think they 
make use of Kings — as the French on the 
Epiphany-day use their Roy de la fehve, 
or King of the Bean ; whom after they 
have honoured with drinking of his health, 
and shouting aloud " Le Roy boit, Le Roy 
boit," they make pay for all the reckon- 
ing ; not leaving him sometimes one peny, 
rather than that the exorbitancie of their 
debosh should not be satisfied to the full." 
And elsewhere (Stephanus, World of Won- 
ders, transl. by R. C. p. 189), we read of 
a Curate, " who having taken his prepara- 
tions over evening, when all men cry (as 
the manner is) the King drinketh, chant- 
ing his Masse the next morning, fell asleep 
in his Memento ; and when he awoke, 
added with a loud voice. The King drink- 
eth." 
There is a great deal of learning 



36 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



ia Erasmus's Adages concerning the religi- 
ous use of beans, which were thought to 
belong to the dead. An observation which 
he gives us of Pliny, concerning Pytha- 
goras's interdiction of this pulse, is highly 
remarkable. It is "that beans contain 
the souls of the dead." For which cause 
also they were used in the Parentalia. 
Plutarch, also, he tells us, held that pulse 
to be of the highest efficacy for invoking 
the manes. Ridiculous and absurd as 
these superstitions may appear, it is yet 
certain that our Carlings deduce their 
origin thence. Erasmi Adag. in "A 
fabis abstineto, Edit. fol. Aurol. AUob. 
1606, p. 1906; and Spencer " De Legibus 
Hebrseorum," lib. i. p. 1154. But the 
latter seems to have thought that the 
reason for the Pythagorean doctrine was 
the use of beans and other vegetables at 
funeral repasts, and their consequent pol- 
lution. In the Lemura, which was ob- 
served the 9th of Mayj every other night 
for three times, to pacify the ghosts of the 
dead, the Romans threw beans on the fire 
of the altar to drive them out of their 
houses. There were several religious uses 
of pulse, particularly beans, among the 
Romans. Hence Pliny says, "in eadem 
peculiaris Religio." Thus in Ovid's 
;' Fasti," B. V. 1. 435, where he is describ- 
ing some superstitious rites for appeasing 
the dead : 

" Quumque manus puras fontana pro- 

luit unda ; 
Vertitur, et nigras accipit ore fabas. 
Aversusque jacit : sed dum jacit, Hsec- 

ego mitto 
His, inquit, redimo meque meosque 

fabis." 

Thus also in Book ii. 1. 575 : 

"Turn cantata ligat cum fusco licia 

plumbo : 
Et septem nigras versat in ore fabas." 

Bear the Bell, To.-A writer in the 
"Gentleman's Magazine" says: " A bell 
was a common prize : a little golden bell 
was the reward of victory in 1607 at the 
races near York ; whence came the pro- 
verb for success of any kind, ' to bear away 
the bell. ' " Lord North alludes to this 
custom : 

" Jockey and his horse were by their 

Master sent 

To put in for the Bell 

Thus right, and each to other fitted 

well, 
They are to run, and cannot misse the 

Bell." 

Forest of Varieties, 1645, p. 175. Another 
old writer remarks : " Whoever bears the 
bell away, yet they will ever carry the 
clapper." Paradoxical Assertions, by R. 
H., 1664, p. 4. ' ' 



Bear-Baitingf. — Bear-baiting ap- 
pears anciently to have been one of the 
Christmas sports with our nobility. " Our 
nobility," says Pennant, in the " Zoo- 
logy," " also kept their bear-ward. Twenty 
shillings was the annual reward of that 
ofiicer from his lord, the fifth Earl of 
Northumberland, ' when he comyth to my 
Lorde in Cristmas, with his Lordshippes 
beestes for making of his Lordschip pas- 
tyme the said twelve days.' " Uilpin, in 
his "Life of Cranmer," tells us: "Bear 
baiting, brutal as it was, was by no means 
an amusement of the lower people only. 
An odd incident furnishes us with the 
proof of this. An important controver- 
sial manuscript was sent by Archbishop 
Cranmer across the Thames. The person 
entrusted bade his waterman keep off 
from the tumult occasioned by baiting a 
bear on the river before the King; he 
rowed however too near, and the perse- 
cuted animal overset the boat by trying 
to board it. The manuscript, lost in the 
confusion, floated away, and fell into the 
hands of a priest, who, by being told that 
it belonged to a Privy Counsellor, was 
terrified from making use of it, which 
might have been fatal to the head of the 
Reformed Party." In a Proclamation " to 
avoyd the abhominable place called the 
Stewes," dated April 13, 37 Hen. 8, we 
read as follows: " Finallie to th' intent 
all resort should be eschued to the said 
place, the Kings Majestie straightlie 
chargeth and comaundeth that from the 
feast of Easter next ensuing, there shall 
noe beare-baiting be used in that Rowe, 
or in any place on that side the Bridge 
called London Bridge, whereby the accus- 
tomed assemblies may be in that place 
clearly abolished and extinct, upon like 
paine as well to them that keepe the 
beares and dogges, whych have byn used 
to that purpose, as to all such as will re- 
sort to see the same." Accompanying 
Lily the grammarian's Antibosstcon, an 
attack on Whittinton the grammarian, 
printed in 1521, is a woodcut, three 
times repeated, of a bear worried by 
six dogs. Maitland, in his Early 
Printed Books at Lamheth, 1843, pp. 316- 
18, has done his best to explain the alle- 
gory and the origin of the terms. In Lane- 
ham's "Letter from Kenilworth," 1575, 
we have the following curious picture of a 
bear-baiting, in a letter to Mr. Martin, a 
mercer of London : — 

"Well, syr, the Bearz wear brought 
foorth mtoo the Coourt, the dogs set too 
them, too argu the points eeuen face to^ 
face; they had learned counsell allso a 
both partz: what may they be coounted 
parciall that are retaind but to a syde? 
I ween no. Very feers both ton and 
toother & eager in argument : if the dog 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



37 



in pleadyng woold pluk the bear by the 
thi'ote, the bear with trailers woold claw 
him again by the skalp ; confess & a list, 
but a voyd a coold not that waz bound too 
the bar : And hiz coounsell tolld him 
that it coold bee too him no pollecy 
in pleading. Thearfore thus with fend- 
ing and proouing, with plucking and 
tugging, skratting and byting, by plain 
tooth & nayll a to side & toother, 
such esspes of blood & leather waz thear 
between them, az a moonths licking I ween 
wyl not recoouer ; and yet remain az far 
oout az euer they wear. 

"It was a Sport very pleazaant of theez 
Ijeastz ; to see the bear with his pink nyez 
leering after hiz enmiez approoch, the 
uimbleuess & wayt of ye dog to take hiz 
auauntage, and the f ors & experiens of the 
bear agayn to auoyd the assauts : if 
he war bitten in one place, hoow he woold 
pynch in an oother to get free : that if 
'he wear taken onez, then what shyft, with 
byting, with clawyng, with rooring, toss- 
ing & tumbling, he woold woork to 
wynd hym self from them : and when he 
waz lose, to shake his earz twyse or thryse 
wyth the blud and the slauer aboout his 
fiznamy, waz a matter of a goodly releef." 
In Vaughan's "Golden Grove," 1600, 
we are told: "Famous is that example 
which chanced neere London, a.d. 1583, 
on the 13th Daye of Januarie being Sun- 
day, at Paris Garden, whei-e there met to- 
gether (as they were wont) an infinite 
number of people to see the beare-bayt- 
ing, without any regard to that high Day. 
But, in the middest of their sports, all 
the scaffolds and galleries sodamely fell 
downe, in such wise that two hundred 
persons were crushed well nigh to death, 
besides eight that were killed forthwith." 
In The Merry Wires of Windsor, Shake- 
pear makes Slender speak of a bear-baiting 
as "meat and drink" to him, while 
Anne Page says she is afeard of it. 
In "The Life pf the reverend Father 
Bennet of Canfilde," Douay 1623, p. 11, 
is the following passage: "Even Sunday 
is a day designed for beare bayting and 
ei-en the howre of theyre (the Protestants) 
jservice is allotted to it, and indeede the 
tyme is as well spent at the one as at the 
other." R. R. was at least an honest 
■Catholic ; he does not content himself with 
equivocal glances at the erroneous Creed, 
but speaks out plainly. 

Bear's Cubs.— Thomas Vaughan. 
■otherwise Eugcnius Philalethes, observes; 
"I shall here gainsay that gross opinion, 
that the whelps of bears are, at first lit- 
tering, without all form or fashion, and 
nothing but a little congealed blood on 
lump of flesh, which sffterwards the dam 
■shapeth by licking, yet is the truth most 
evidently otherwise, as by the eye-witenss 



of Joachimus Rheticus, Gesner and others, 
it hath been proved. And herein, as in 
many other fabulous narrations of this 
nature (in which experience checks report) 
may be justly put that of Lucretius thus 
rendered by Vaughan: — 

" ' What can more certain be than sense 
Discerning truth from false pretence.' " 

Brief 'Natural History, 1669, p. 87. 
Browne places this among his "vulgar 
Errors ;" but Ross, in his " Medicus Medi- 
catus," affirms that " the bears send 
forth their young ones deformed and un- 
shaped to the sight, by reason of the thick 
membrane in which they are wrapt, which 
also is covered over with so mucous and 
flegmatick matter, which the dam con- 
tiacts in the winter time, lying in hollow 
caves, without motion, that to the eye it 
looks like an unformed lump. This muco- 
sity is licked away by the dam, and the 
membrane broken, and so that which before 
seemed to be informed, appears now in 
its right shape. This is all that the an- 
tients meant, as appears by Aristotle, 
who says that in some manner the young 
Bear is for a while rude and without 
shaj)e." 

Beaulieu, Witch of. — See .l/nri/ 
Vore. 

Beaver.- -"The Bever," observes 
Vaughan, " being hunted and in danger 
to be taken, biteth off his stones, knowing 
that for them his life only is sought, and 
so often escapeth : hence some have de- 
rived his name. Castor, a castrando seip- 
sinn ; and upon this supposition the 
Egyptians in their hierogliphics, when 
they will signify a man that hurteth him- 
self, they picture a bever biting off his 
own stones, though Alciat in his emblems 
turns it to a contrary purpose, teaching 
us by that example to give away our purse 
to theeves, rather than our lives, and by 
our wealth to redeem our danger. But 
this relation touching the bever is un- 
doubtedly false, as both by sense and ex- 
perience, and the testimony of Diosco- 
rides, lib. iii. cap. 13, is manifested. First, 
because their stones are very small, and 
so placed in their bodies as are a bore's, 
and therefore impossible for the bever 
himself to touch or come by them : and 
secondly, they cleave so fast unto their 
back, that they cannot be taken away, 
but the beast must of necessity lose his 
life, and consequently most ridiculous is 
their narration who likewise affirm that 
when he is hunted, having formerly bitten 
off his stones, he standeth upright, and 
sheweth the hunters that he hath none 
for them, and therefore his death cannot 
profit them, by means whereof they are 
averted, and seek for another." — Brief 
Natural History, p. 89. An early essayist 
refers to this belief without seeming to 



38 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



question the accuracy of it. " The beauer, 
when hee heares the houndes, he knows 
for what they hunt, and immediately to 
secure his skinne, he biteth of his stones. 
Nature hath taught both it and vs how to 
preserve ourselves — ." — Tuvill's Essays, 
1609, I. 3 verso. 

Bed. — Ady says : " It appeareth still 
among common silly country people, how 
they had learned charms by tradition 
from Popish times, for curing cattel, men, 
women, and children ; for churning of 
butter, for baking their bread, and many 
other occasions ; one or two whereof I will 
rehearse only, for brevity. An old woman 
in Essex, who was living in my time, she 
had also lived in Queen Maries time, had 
learned thence many Popish charms, one 
whereof was this ; every night when she 
lay down to sleep she charmed her bed, 
saying : 

' Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
The bed be blest that I lye on ; ' 

a,nd this would she repeat three times, re- 
posing great confidence therein, because 
(as she said) she had been taught it, when 
she was a young maid, by the Church-men 
of those times. — Candle in the Dark, 
1659, p. 58. This idea may have 
had its germ in St. John's Gospel, xx., 
12. In Cornwall, an experiment was once 
made on some poor, who were coaxed with 
great difficulty into confessing what they 
said the last thing before they got into 
bed, and it was a varied and extended 
form of the above, namely ; 

" Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
Bless the bed that I lie on. 
Four Angels around my bed. 
One to foot, and one to head. 
And two to carry me when I'm dead." 

Bede's-Well.— About a mile to the 
west of Jarrow (near Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne), there is a well still called Bede's 
AVell, to which, as late as the year 1740, it 
was a prevailing custom to bring children 
troubled with any disease or infirmity ; a 
crooked pin was put in, and the well laved 
dry between each dipping. My informant 
has seen twenty children brought to- 
gether on a Sunday, to be dipped in this 
well, at which also, on Midsummer Eve, 
there was a great resort of neighbouring 
people, with bonfires, music, &o. — Brand's 
Newcastle, ii., 54. 

Bedfellow. — Men used formerly to 
sleep together, even those of rank, as 
Henry V. and Lord Scroop, and it was so 
abroad. We find Charles VIII. of France 
and the Duke of Orleans occupying the 
same bed. See Hazlitt's Venetian Bepub- 
lic, 1900, ii., 43. Compare an interesting 
note in Nares, 1859 in v., Halli well's 
Diet., 1860, in v. and Span Counter, infra. 



Bedlamer. — Bedlamer was a name 
for a Fool. He used to carry a horn. 
Quaere, if thence the expression horn- 
mad." See Braithwaite's " Boulster Lec- 
ture," 1640, p. 242. Comp. Tom of Bed- 

Bedlam Beggars.— See Halliwelt 
in V. 

Beer. — " A booke howe to brewe- 
all sortes of beere,' was licensed at 
Stationers' Hall in 1591, but is not 
at present known. See Hazlitt's Biou 
Coll. Gen. Index, Beer, Gallobelgicvs, 
Wine, and Y -Worth. Three halfpenny 
beer and single beer are mentioned 
in the Churchwardens' and Chamber- 
lain's Accounts of Kingston, Surrey, 
24 Hen. VII., and provided for the enter- 
tainment at the King-Game and Robin 
Hood. A kilderkin of each cost together 
2s. 4d. The term Doctor Dowhle Ale is. 
applied to a dissolute person in a poem, 
printed by Hazlitt (Popular Poetry, iii., 
296, et seqq.) The subjoined passage' 
seems to be nothing more than an Jillitera- 
tion intended to convey a complete devo- 
tion to beer — he wants nothing but the 
ale-tap and toast, till he is laid under the- 
turf: 
' ' Call me the sonne of Beere, and then. 

confine 
Me to the tap, the tost, the turfe ; let 

wine 
Ne'er shine upon me." 
Eesperides, 1648, p. 87. Comp. Halli- 
well's Diet, in v. Putting a cold iron 
bar upon the barrels, to preserve the beer 
from being soured by thunder, has been 
noticed in another section. This is par- 
ticularly practiced in Kent and Hereford- 
shire. 

Bees. — A vulgar prejudice prevails in 
many places of England that when bees 
remove or go away from their hives, tha 
owner of them will die soon after. A 
clergyman in Devonshire informed Mr. 
Brand, about 1790, that when a Devonian 
makes a purchase of bees, the payment is 
never made in money, but in things, corn 
for instance, to the value of the sum agreed 
upon. And the bees are never removed 
but on a Good Friday. In "The Living; 
Librarie," translated by John Molle, 1621, 
we read: "Who would beleeve without 
superstition (if experience did not make 
it credible), that most commonly all the 
bees die in their hives if the master or 
mistress of the house chance to die, except 
the hives be presently removed into some 
other place. And yet I know this hath 
hapned to folke no way stained with 
superstition." Hilman observes, respect- 
ing bees : " The tinkling after them with 
a warming pan, frying pan, or kettle, is 
of good use to let the neighbours know 
yon have a swarm in the air, which you 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



39 



claim wherever it lights ; but I believe of 
very little purpose to the reclaiming the 
bees, who are thought to delight in no 
noise but their own." — Tusser Bedivivus, 
1710. ed. 1744, p. 42. I found the follow- 
in the "Argus," a London newspaper, 
Sept. 13, 1790: "A superstitious custom 
prevails at every funeral in Devonshire, 
of turning round the beehives that be- 
longed to the deceased, if he had any, and 
that at the moment the corpse is carry- 
ing out of the house. At a funeral some 
time since at Cullompton, of a rich old 
farmer, a laughable circumstance of this 
sort occurred : for just as the corpse was 
placed in the herse, and the horsemen, to 
a large number, were drawn up in order 
for the procession of the funeral, a person 
called out, ' Turn the bees,' when a ser- 
vant who had no knowleclge of such a 
custom, instead of turning the hives 
about, lifted them up, and then laid 
them down on their sides. The bees, thus 
hastily invaded, instantly attacked and 
fastened on the horses and their riders. 
It was in vain they galloped off, the bees 
as precipitately followed, and left their 
stings as marks of their indignation. A 
general confusion took place, attended 
(vith loss of hats, wigs, &c., and the corpse 
during the conflict was left unattended ; 
nor was it till after a considerable time 
that the funeral attendants could be ral- 
lied, in order to proceed to the interment 
of their deceased friend." The necessity 
of inviting bees to the funeral of their 
late owner, having previously apprised 
them of his decease, and of clothing the 
hive in mourning, is a very common and 
familiar superstition still, or at least very 
recently, cherished in many parts of Eng- 
land. The correspondents of " Notes and 
Queries " have contributed to assemble 
very numerous examples of its existence. 
The bees are thought to have a presci- 
ence of the death of their master ; but 
formal notice of the event, and a summons 
or renuest to serve his successor, are 
thought to be essential to the preservation 
and welfare of the insects. 

Beg'gar my Neighbour. — A 
well-known simple game at cards, where 
the two players divide the pack, and the 
winner is the one, who succeeds in getting 
the majority of court cards, especially 
knaves. Whether Taylor, the water-poet, 
intended the allusion to it in his Motto, 
1621_, seriou.sly, he cites it there. And see 
Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, in v. 

Beggar's Bush Fair.— This was a 
fair held at Rye in Sussex on St. Bartholo- 
mew's Day, by virtue of a charter granted 
in 1290 by Edward I. It was not origi- 
nally appointed for that date, but was 
altered to it in 1305 ; the mayor used to 
bo chosen on the same anniversaiy. Beg- 



gar's Bush lay just above the hospital 
grounds ; the fair was limited to stalls 
kept by small pedlars, and has been long 
discontinued. While it lasted the lord of 
the manor of Brede claimed, through 
his steward, a trifling fee from each stall- 
keeper by way of nominal rent ; but he 
ceased to attend in consequence of having 
been once roughly handled, and driven 
out of the place. A ring which, so lato 
as 1878, was still to be seen in a field 
near the King's Head Inn, was the last 
memento of the practice of bull-baiting, 
formerly usual on this occasion. The last 
bull-baiting is said to have been about 
1808. It seems very probable that Beau- 
mont and Fletcher's play of Beggar's 
Busli, printed in the folio of 1647, but 
acted as early as 1622, was so called from 
the locality near Rye, as Fletcher was a 
Rye man. 

Beggar's Clack-Dish. — The 
beggars, it is observable, two or three 
centuries ago, used to proclaim their want 
by a wooden dish with a moveable cover, 
which they clacked, to shew that their 
vessel was empty. This appears from a 
passage quoted on another occasion by 
Grey. Grey's assertion may be supporled 
by the following passage in Middleton's 
"Family of Love," 16u8: — 

" Gar. — can you think I get my living 
by a bell and a clack-dish? 

Dry fat. By a bell and a clack-dish? 
How's that? 

Ger. Why, by begging. Sir," &c. 
And by a stage direction in the second 
part of Heywood's "Edward IV." 160U : 
" Enter Mrs. Blague, poorly drest, beg- 
ging with her basket and clap-dish." 

Beifry.^Election of a mayor there. 
See Brightlingsea. 

Bell, Book, and Candle. — The 
solemn form of excommunication under 
the Romish Church. — See Nares, 1859, 
in V. 

Bell Corn. — A small perquisite be- 
longing to the clerk of certain par- 
ishes in North Wales. Pennant's White- 
ford and Holywell, 1796, p. 100. It 
seems to have been connected with the 
service for ringing the Passing and other 
bells. 

Bellman.— See Nares, Glossary, 1859, 
in v., where his function in blessing slee- 
pers as ho passed their doors on his round, 
is noticed. 

Bellman of tho Dead.— Till the 
middle of the 18th century, a person called 
the Bell-man of the Dead went about the 
streets of Paris, dressed in a deacon's robe, 
ornamented with deaths' heads, bones, and 
tears, ringing a bell, and exclaiming, 
" Awake, you that sleep ! and pray to God 
for the dead ! " This custom prevailed 
still longer in some of the provinces, where 



40 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



they permitted even the trivial parody, 
" Prenez vos femmes, embrassez-les." — 
Voyageur a Paris, i., 71. 

Bells. — It is well known that before 
the present principles of horology were 
established, a clock was nothing more than 
a piece of striking machinery, moved first 
by hydraulic pressure, and afterward by 
the action of a bell. Hence in German, 
Anglo-Saxon, French, and other languages 
the same word stood, and still stands, for 
a bell and for a clock. Hazlitt's Venetian 
Sepuhlic, iv., 344-6. The ancients had 
some sort of bells. I find the word," Tin- 
tinnabula," which we usually render bells, 
in Martial, Juvenal, and Suetonius. The 
Romans appear to nave been summoned 
by these, of whatever size or form they 
were, to their hot baths, and to the busi- 
ness of public places. In the account we 
have of the gifts made by St. Dunstan to 
Malmesbury Abbey, it appears that bells 
were not very common in that age, for he 
says the liberality of that prelate con- 
sisted chiefly in such things as were then 
wonderful and strange in England, among 
which he reckons the large bells and organs 
he gave them. An old bell at Canter- 
bury took twenty-four men to ring it; an- 
other required thirty-two men ad sonan- 
dum. The noblest peal of ten bells, with- 
out exception, in England, whether tone 
or tune be considered, is said to be in St. 
Margaret's Church, Leicester. When a 
full peal was rung, the ringers were paid 
pulsare Classicum. Durandus tells us 
that, ' ' when any one is dying, bells must 
be softly tolled, that the people may put 
up their prayers : twice for a woman and 
thrice for a man : if for a clergyman, as 
many times as he had orders, and at the 
conclusion a peal on all the bells, to distin- 
guish the quality of the person for 
whom the people are to put up their 
prayers. A bell, too, must be rung 
vrhile the corpse is conducted to 
church, and during the bringing it out of 
the church to the grave." This seems to 
account for a custom still preserved in the 
North of England, of making numeral dis- 
tinctions at the conclusion of this cere- 
mony : i.e., nine knells for a man, six for 
a woman, and three for a child, which are 
undoubtedly the vestiges of this ancient 
injunction of popery. — Bationale, lib. i., 
c. 4. It appears from an account of Killin 
narish, co. Perth, printed in the end of 
the 18th century, -in Sinclair's Statistical 
Account, that at that time there was a 
bell "belonging to the Chapel of St. 
Fillan, that was in high reputation among 
the votaries of that Saint in old Times. 
It seems " (says the writer) " to be of some 
mixed metal. It is about a foot high, and 
of an oblong form. It usually lay on a 



grave-stone in the Church-yard. When 
mad people were brought to be dipped in 
the Saint's Pool, it was necessary to per- 
form certain ceremonies, in which there 
was a mixture of Druidism and Popery. 
After remaining all night in the Chapel, 
bound with ropes, the bell was set upon 
their head with great solemnity. It was 
the popular opinion that, if stolen, it 
would extricate itself out of the thief's 
hands, and return home, ringing all the 
way." It is added: "For some years 
past this bell has been locked up, to pre- 
vent its being used for superstitious pur- 
poses. It is but justice to the Highlanders 
to say that the dipping of mad people in 
St. Fillan's pool and using the other cere- 
monies, was common to them with the 
Lowlanders. " The origin of the bell," 
pursues the author of the above narrative, 
" is to be referred to the most remote ages 
of the Celtic Churches, whose ministers 
spoke a dialect of that language. Ara 
Trode, one of the most antient Icelandic 
historians, tells us, in his second chapter, 
that when the Norwegians first planted a 
colony in Ireland, about the year 870, ' Eo 
tempore erat Islandia silvis concreta, in 
medio montium et littorum : tum erant 
hie viri Chi-istiani, quos Norwegi _ Papas 
appellant : et illi peregre profecti sunt, 
ex eo quod noUent esse hie cum viris Eth- 
nicis, et relinquebant post se Nolas et 
Baculos : ex illo poterat discerni quod 
essent viri Christiani.' Nola and Bajula 
both signify handbells. Far in the 19th 
century it is curious to meet with things 
which astonished Giraldus, the most credu- 
lous of mortals, in the 12th. St. Fillan is 
said to have died in 649. In the tenth 
year of his reign, Robert the Bruce 
granted the Church of Killin in Glendo- 
chart, to the Abbey of Inchaffray, on con- 
dition that one of the canons should offici- 
ate in the Kirk of Strathfillan." The bell 
of St. Mura, or Muranus, which long be- 
longed to the Abbey of Mabian, near Innis- 
bowen, c. Donegal, founded in the 7th 
century, during the reign of Abodle Slaine, 
was said to have descended from Heaven, 
ringing loudly, but that as it approached 
the earth, the tongue detached itself, and 
returned whence it came, till the bronze 
object was deposited in some holy recep- 
tacle. This bell was regarded with pecu- 
liar veneration by the local peasantry, and 
especially as a medium for mitigating the 
pains of childbirth. It was eventually 
sold to the late Lord Londesborough, and 
is figured (the size of the original) in 
Miscellanea Orapliica, 1857, plate xxx. 




lowing monkish rhymes on bells in "A 
Helpe to Discourse," edit. 1633, p. 63 : 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



41 



^'En ego Campana, nunquam denuntio 

vana, 
Laudo Deum verum, Plebem voco, con- 

grego Clerum, 
Uefunctos plango, vivos voco, fulmina 

frango, 
Vox mea, vox vitee, voco vos ad sacra 

venite. 
Sanctos collaudo, tonitiua fugo, funera 

claudo, 
Funera plango, fulgura frango, Sabbatha 

pango : 
Escito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco ci'uen- 

tos." 
Misson, in his "Travels," says : " Ringing 
of bells is one of their great delights, 
especially in the country. They have a 
Ijartioalar way of doing this ; but their 
<!hinies cannot be reckoned so much as of 
the same kind with those of Holland ami 
the Low Countries." By the will of a 
mercer of London, named Donne, de- 
posited in the Hustings Court, the tenor 
bell of Bow Church, Cheapside, used long 
to be rung every day at six o'clock in the 
morning and eight in the evening. Mr. 
Tanswell has furnished the following ex- 
tiacts from the Churchwardens' Books of 
Lambeth: — "1579. Payd for making the 
great clapper to a smithie in White 
•Chapel, it waying xxxi. lb. et dim. at vid. 
the pounde, 15s. dd. 1508. Item, the olde 
great belle that was broken in the time of 
Roger Wynslo, Rychaid Sharpe, and John 
Lucas, churchwardens, in 1598, did con- 
tain in weighte xiiii. cwt. one quarter, and 
xxii. lb. 1623. Payd for ryngynge when the 
Prince came from Spain, 12s. 1630. June 
27. To the ryngers the day the Prince was 
baptized, 3s. 1633. October 15. Payd for 
ryngynge on the Duke's birthday, 7s 
1705. Ap. 10. Gave the ringers when the 
:s;ege of Gibraltar was raised, 15s." — ffis- 
tory of Lambeth, p. 108. Du Cange 
quotes an authority to shew that in th'j 
time of Charles IV. of France, 1378, the 
ringing of bells was recognized as a royal 
salutatioUj and Kennett seems to estab- 
lish that in this country it used, in the 
fifteenth century at least, to be looked 
upon as an affront to a bishop if the bells 
were not set in motion on his ap- 
proach to any town within his dio- 
cese. — Continuator Kangii, Anno 1378, 
Kennett MS., a.d., 1444, quoted by 
Ellis. In " Articles to be inquired of 
within the Archdeaconry of Yorke (any 
year till 1640), I find the following: 
"Whether there be any within your 
parish or chapelry that use to ring bells 
superstitiously upon any abrogated holi- 
day, or the eves thereof." The custom of 
rejoicing with bells on high festivals, 
"Christmas Day, &c., is derived to us from 
-the times of popery. The ringing of bells 
<on the arrival of emperors, bishops, ab- 



bots, &c., at places under their own juris- 
diction was also an old custom. Whence 
we seem to have derived the modern com- 
pliment of welcoming persons of conse- 
quence by a cheerful peal. In the Chur';h- 
wardens' Account of Waltham, 34 Hen. 
VIII. there is this: "Item, paid for the 
ringing at the Prince his coming, a 
Penny." In similar accounts for St. 
liaurence's Parish, Reading, is the fol- 
lowing article under 1514. " It. payd for 
a galon of ale, for the ryngers, at the 
death of the Kyng of Scots, ijd." The re- 
joicing by ringing of bells at marriages of 
any consequence, is every where common. 
On the fifth bell at the church of Kendal 
in Westmoreland is the foUov.ing inscrip- 
tion, alluding to this usage : 

"In Wedlock bands. 
All ye who join with hands 

Your hearts unite ; 
So shall our tuneful tongues combine 

To laud the nuptial rite." 
Nicolson and Burn's Westmoreland and 
Cumberland, i., 620. " I remember once 
that in the dead time of the night there 
came a country-fellow to my uncle in a 
great haste, intreating him to give order 
for knocking the bells, his wife being in 
labour, (a thing usual in Spain), my good 
curate then waked me out of a sound 
sleep, saying, Rise, Pedro, instantly, and 
ring the bells, for child-birth, quickly 
quickly. I got up immediately, and as 
fools have good memories, I retained the 
words quickly, quickly, and knocked the 
bells so nimbly, that the inhabitants of 
the town really believed it had been for 
fire." — The Lucky Idiot, transl. from Que- 
vedo, 1734, p. 13. The small bells which 
are seen in ancient representations of her- 
mitages were most probably intended to 
drive away evil spirits. On the ringing of 
bells for this purpose, much may be col- 
lected from Magius " de Tintinnabulis." 
Brand writes: " Durandus would havi" 
thought it a prostitution of the sacred 
utensils, had he heard them rung, as I 
have often done, with the greatest im- 
propriety, on winning a long main at 
cock-fighting. He would, perhaps, have 
talked in another strain, and have repre- 
sented these aerial enemies as lending 
their assistance to ring them. In 1461 
is a charge in the Churchwardens' Ac- 
counts of Sandwich for bread and drink 
for " ryngers in the gret Thanderyng." 
In "The Burnynge of Paules Church in 
London," 1561, we find enumerated, 
among other Popish superstitions : " ring- 
ing the hallowed belle in great tempestes 
of lightninges." Aubrey says : "At Paris 
when it begins to thunder and lighten, 
they do presently ring out the great bell 
at the Abbey of St. Germain, which they 
do believe makes it cease. The like was 



42 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



wont to be done heretofore in Wiltshire. 
When it thundered and lightened, they 
did ring St. Adhelm's bell at Malmesbury 
Abbey. The curious do say that the ring- 
ing of bells exceedingly disturbs spirits." 
Miscellanies, p. 148. Our forefathers, 
however, did not entirely trust to the 
ringing of bells for the dispersion of tem- 
pests, for in 1313 a cross, full of reliques 
of divers saints, was set on St. Paul's 
steeple to preserve from all danger of 
tempests. In 1783, Frederic II. of 
Prussia prohibited the ringing of bells 
on such occasions. — News-letter of Nov. 3, 
1783, cited by Brand. — Bering advises 
that "the bells in cities and townes be 
rung often, and the great ordnance dis- 
charged ; thereby the aire is purified.; — 
Certain Bules for this time of Pestilential 
Observance, 1G25. In Googe's translation 
of Naogeorgus, we have the following lines 
Oil the subject : 

" If that the thunder chaunce to rore, and 

stormie tempest shake, 
A wonder is it not for to see the wretches 

how they quake, 
Howe that no fayth at all they have, nor 

trust in any thing. 
The Clarke doth all the bells forthwith at 

once in steeple ring : 
With wond'rous sound and deeper farre, 

than he was wont before. 
Till in the loftie heavens dark, the thun- 
der bray no more. 
For in these christned belles they thinke, 

doth lie such powre and might 
As able is the tempest great, and 

storme to vanquish quight. 
I sawe myself at Naumburg once, a towne 

in Toring coast, 
A belle that with this title bolde hirself 

did proudly boast : 
By name I Mary called am, with sound I 

put to flight 
The tliunder-crackes and hurtfull stormes, 

and every wicked spright. 
Such things when as these belles can do, 

no wonder certainlie 
It is, if that the Papistes to their tolling 

alwaj'es flie. 
AThen haile, or any raging storme, or tem- 
pest comes in sight. 
Or thunder boltes, or lightning fierce, that 

every place doth smight.'"' 
The popular rhyme of Oranges and 

Lemons, in connection with church bells 
is too well known for repetition ; but 
ws are told that there was in the 
eighteenth century a notice at Chis- 
wick that from the music of the bells there 
could be made out " My dun cow has just 
calved." Sir Richard Phillips, Walk from 
London to Eew, 1817, p. 212. The bells of 
our early churches, cs well as the general 



fabrics, were under the supervision of the 
consistory court of the diocese. On the 
24th October, 1617, the parochial authori- 
ties at Stratford-on-Avon were cited to 
appear at Worcester to answer a charge of 
having allowed the Church of the Holy 
Trinity and its bells to fall out of repair. 
Extracts by J- 0. Halliwell from the Ves- 
try Book of the Church of the Eoly Tri- 
nity, 1865, p. 19. 

The large kind of bells, now used 
in churches, are said to have been 
invented by Paulinus, Bishop of Nola^, 
in Campania, whence the Campana of 
the lower Latinity, about the 400th 
year of the Christian sera. Two hun- 
dred years afterwards they appear to 
have been in general use in churches. Mr. 
Bingham, however, thinks this a vulgar 
error ; and at the same time he informs us 
of an invention before bells of convening 
religious assemblies in monasteries : it 
was going by turns to every one's cell, 
and with the knock of a hammer calling 
the monks to church. This instrument was 
called the Night Signal and the Waken- 
ing Mallet. In many of the colleges at 
Oxford, the Bible-clerk knocks at every 
room door with a key to waken the stu- 
dents in the morning, before he begins to- 
ring the chapel bell. A vestige, it should 
seem, of the ancient monastic custom. The- 
Jews used trumpets for bells. The Turks 
do not permit the use of them at all : the 
Greek Church under their dominion still 
follows their old custom of using wooden 
boards, or iron plates full of holes, which 
they hold in their hands and knock with a 
hammer or mallet, to call the people to- 
gether to church. Durandus tells us, " In 
testis quae ad gratiam pertinent, Cam- 
panse tumultuosius tinniunt et prolixius. 
concrepant." — Batioiiale, lib. i. cap. 4, 
p. 12. At Venice and elsewhere, in the- 
beginning of the fourteenth century, we 
find bells employed in lieu of clocks, and 
the hours of the day and night were- 
divided and notified by this process. A 
decree of the Venetian Council of Ten 
in 1310, ordered, "that no person whoso- 
ever shall be suffered without special 
licence to walk abroad after the third bell 
of the night. Hazlitt's Venetian Bepub- 
lic, 1900, ii., 606. But this was part of an 
exceptional restriction, as it was during an 
acute political crisis. 

China has been remarkably famous 
for its bells. Father Le Comte tells, 
us, that at Pekin there are seven 
bells, each of which weighs one hundred 
and twenty thousand pounds. Comp 
Ditchfield's Old English Customs, 1896, ch' 

XV. 

Bells, Baptism of.— Bells were a 
great object of superstition among our 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



43 



ancestors ; each of them was represented 
to have its peculiar name and virtues, and 
many are said to have retained great 
affection for the churches to which they 
belonged and where they were consecrated. 
AVhen a bell was removed from its original 
and favourite situation, it was sometimes 
supposed to take a nightly trip to its old 
place of residence, unless exercised in the 
evening, and secured with a chain or 
rope.— Warner's Hampshire, ii., ICiJ. In 
an Italian Ordinale of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, one of the miniatures represents the 
blessing of the bell by the bishop, or pre- 
late, attended by his clergy, and by a 
person who wears a beard, and carries his 
cap in hand — apparently a lay attendant. 
The bell is laid on a cushion or ottoman 
and is apparently of large dimensions. 
The presiding dignitary holds the service- 
book before him, and reads from it the 
service, which follows in the text ; he in- 
vokes the divine blessing on the water with 
which the bell is to be baptised. Egel- 
rick. Abbot of Croyland, about the time 
of King Edgar, cast a ring of six bells, to 
all which he gave names, as Bartholo- 
mew, Bethlehem, Turketul, &c. The His- 
torian tells us his predecessor Turketul 
had led the way in this fancy. The super- 
stition is one which we find indicated in the 
"Beehive of the Romi.'-h Church," a compi- 
lation by George Gilpin, 1579, and which 
was followed in many other places at a 
later period, particularly at Winchester 
and at Christ-Church, Oxford. In the 
churchwardens' accounts of St. Lau- 
rence's Parish Reading, anno 14 Hen. 
VIT., is the following article : "It. payed 
for halowing of the bell named Harry, 
vjs. viijd. and ovir that Sir Willm Symys, 
Richard Clech, and Maistres Smyth, beyng 
Godfaders and Godmoder at the Conse- 
ciacyon of the same bell, and beryng all 
oth' costs to the Suffrygan." Coates, 
Tlist. of Beadino, i., 214. Pennant, speak- 
ing of St. Wenefride's Well, (in Flint- 
shire), says: "A bell belonging to the 
Church was also christened in honour of 
her. I cannot learn the names of the gos- 
sips, who, as usual, were doubtless rich 
persons. On the ceremony they all laid 
hold of the rope ; bestowed a name on th<^ 
bell ; and the priest, sprinkling it with 
holy water, baptized it in the name of the 
Father, &c., &c. ; he then cloathed it with 
a fine garment. After this the gossips 
gave a grand feast, and made great pre- 
sents, which the priest received in behalf 
of the bell. Thus blessed it was endowed 
with great powers, allayed (on being rung) 
all storms ; diverted the thunder-bolt ; 
drove away evil spirits. These conse- 
crated bells were always inscribed." The 
inscription on that in question ran thus : 



" Sancta Wenefreda, Deo hoc commeii- 

dare memento, 
Ut pietate sua nos servet ab hoste 

cruento." 
And a little lower was another address : 
" Protege prece pia quos convoco, Virgo 

Maria." 

"The following ceremonies," observes 
Mr. Tanswell, " were formerly used at the 
baptism of bells : — 1, the bell must be first 
baptized before it may be hung in the 
steeple; 2, the bell must be baptized by a 
bishop or his deputy ; 3, in the baptism of 
the bell there is used holy water, oil, salt, 
cream, &c. ; 4, the bell must have god- 
fathers, and they must be persons of high 
rank ; 5, the bell must be washed by the 
hand of a bishop ; 6, the bell must be 
solemnly crossed by the bishop , 7, the bell 
must be anointed by the bishop : 8, the 
bell must be washed and anointed in the 
name of the Trinity ; 9, at the baptism of 
the bell they pray literally for the bell. 
The following is part of the curious pray- 
ers used at the above ceremony : 

" ' Lord, grant that whatsoever this 
holy bell, thus washed and baptized and 
blessed, shall sound, all deceits of Satan, 
all danger of whirlwind, thunder and 
lightning, and tempests, may be driven 
away, and that devotion may increase in 
Christian men when they hear it. O Lord, 
pour upon it thy heavenly blessing, that 
when it sounds in thy people's ears they 
may adore thee ; may their faith and de- 
votion increase ; the devil be afraid and 
tremble, and fly at the sound of it. O 
Lord, sanction it by thy Holy Spirit, that 
the fiery darts of the devil may be made 
to fly backwards at the sound thereof, that 
it may deliver us from the danger of wind, 
thunder, &c., and grant, Lord, that all 
that come to the church at the sound of 
it may be free from all temptations of the 
devil.'" — History of TMviheth, 1858, p. 
105. In the Diary of the Abbe Legrix of 
Saintes, under 1781, we read: — January 
4. After High Mass, the blessing of a 
bell, weighing about 6 cwt., took place. 
M Delaage, the Dean, performed the cere- 
mony, at which all the Canons and the 
under-choir assisted. M. le Marquis de 
Monconseil and Madame la Comtesse de 
la Tour du Pin were (lodfathcr aiid god- 
mother. — Antiqvary for 1808, p. 268. The 
following is from the programme of tlie 
ceremony of the blessing of the new bells 
in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 
Newport : — "The ancient and solemn rite 
of blessing bells is full of meaning, and 
very expressive. The Bishop, vested with 
mitre and crozier, begins by intoning the 
I. Psalm, ' Miserere mei Deu's,' followed by 
the liii., Ivi., Ixvi., Ixix., Ixxxv. and cxxix. 
Psalms, which he recites aloud together 
with his clergy These psalro.s are ex- 



44 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



piessive of confidence in obtaining the pro- 
tection of Almighty God when invoked by 
prayer, and it is especially the object of 
the benediction service to ask of God to 
jnanifest his power against the spirits of 
wickedness, whenever these bells shall be 
sounded. The Bishop next proceeds to 
bless water, with which, according to apos- 
tolic tradition, salt is mingled ; and with 
this water the bells are washed inside and 
out, and wiped afterwards with a linen 
cloth — hence, no doubt, has arisen the in- 
correct expression of baptism of bells. 
While this is being done, seven psalms of 
praise are recited, and then the bells aie 
anointed, first with the oil used for the 
sick and dying, and afterwards with holy 
chrism, such as is used to anoint bishops, 
priests and kings. After anointing each 
bell the bishop prays :—■' Grant, we be- 
seech Thee, Lord, that this vessel, 
moulded for Thy Church, be sanctified by 
the Holy Suirit, so that the faithful may 
by its tolling be invited to their rewaid. 
And when its melodious notes sound in 
the ears of the people, let their faith and 
devotion increase ; let every snare of the 
enemy, rattling hail, rushing whirlwinds, 
&c. — be driven to a distance ; let Thy 
mighty right hand lay the powers of the 
air low,' &c. When the bells have been 
blessed, the Bishop places a burning 
thurible with incense underneath each 
bell, whilst the Ixxxxvi. Psalm is recited. 
The whole ceremony is concluded by a 
deacon chanting a portion of the holy 
Gospel." Baronius informs us that Pope 
John XIII., in 968, consecrated a very 
large new cast bell in the Lateran Church, 
and gave it the name of John. This would 
be almost contemporary with the case in 
England above-mentioned. 

Hinging the halls hackwarcis was an- 
ciently a practice to which the autho- 
rities of towns, &c., resorted as a 
sign of distress, or as an alarm to 
the people. Hazlitt's Popvlar Poetry, 
1864-6, ii., 153, note. The custom 
has escaped the notice of our popular 
antiquaries. Cleveland, in his "Poems," 
1669, employs the term metaphorically. It 
was also the usage in some districts of 
Italy, and in other parts of the Continent, 
to ring the church-bells backward, when 
a fire broke out, in order to summon assist- 
ance, as every one on such an occasion 
was formerly, and is indeed still, in 
many places (particularly in Switzer- 
land and Sweden) bound to lend his 
aid. That the practice is of con- 
siderable antiquity may be inferred 
from the fact that it is mentioned in the 
" Gesta Romanorura," and in the old bal- 
lad-poera of "Adam Bel, Clym of the 
Clough," (fee, when the outlaws came to 
Carlisle to release Cloudesley, it is said : 



" There was many an oute home in 

Carlyll blowen. 
And the belles bacewarde did they 

ring." 

Beltein. — In Sinclair's " Statis. Ace. 
of Scot." vol. iii. p. 105, the Minister of 
Loudoun in Ayrshire tells us: "The cus- 
tom still remains amongst the herds and 
young people to kindle fires in the high 
giounds, in honour of Beltan. Beltan, 
which in Gaelic signifies Baal, or Bels 
Fire, was anciently the time of this sol- 
emnity. It is now kept on St Peter's 
Day. The minister of Cfallander in Perth- 
shire reported in 1794, as follows : " The 
people of this district have two customs, 
which are fast wearing out, not only liere, 
but all over the Highlands, and therefore 
ought to be taken notice of, while they 
remain. Upon the first day of May, which 
is called Beltan, or Bal-tein-day, all the 
boys in a township or hamlet meet in the 
moors. They cut a table in the green sod, 
of a round figure, by casting a trench in 
the ground of such a circumference as to 
hold the whole company. They kindle a 
fire, and dress a repast of eggs and milk in 
the consistence of a custard. They knead 
a cake of oatmeal, which is toasted at the 
embers against a stone. After the cus- 
tard is eaten up, they divide tho cake into 
so many portions^ as similar as possible to 
one another in size and shape, as there 
are persons in the company. They daub 
ono of these portions all over with char- 
coal, until it be perfectly bl.ick. They 
put all the bits of the cake into a bonnet. 
Every one, blindfold, draws out a portion. 
He who holds the bonnet is entitled to the 
last bit. Whoever draws the black bit is 
the devoted person, who is co be sacrificed 
to Baal, whose favour they mean to im- 
plore, in rendering the year productive 
of the sustenance ofman and beast. There 
is little doubt of these inhuman sacrifices 
having been once offered in this country 
as well as in the Bast, although they now 
pass from the act of sacrificing, and only 
compel the devoted person to leap three 
times through the flames; witn which the 
ceremonies of the festival are closed." 
Sinclair's Statis. Ace. of Scotland, 
vol. xi. The minister of Logierait, in 
Perthshire, says: "On the first of May, 
O.S. a festival called Beltan is annually 
held here. It is chiefly celebrated by the 
cowherds, who assemble by scores in the 
fields to dress a dinner for themselves, of 
boiled milk and eggs. These dishes they 
eat with a sort of cakes baked for the 
occasion, and having small lumps, in the 
form of nipples, raised all over the surface, 
The cake might, perhaps, be an offering 
to some deity in the days of Druidism." 
Pennant's account of this rural sacrifice ia 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



45 



more minute. He tells us that, on the 
first of May, in the Highlands of Scot- 
land, the herdsmen of every village hold 
their bel-tein. "They cut a square 
trench in the ground, leaving the turf in 
the middle ; on that they make a fire of 
wood, on which they dress a large caudle 
of eggs, butter, oatmeal, and milk, and 
bring, besides the ingredients of the 
caudle, plenty of beer and whisky : for 
each of the company must contribute 
something. The rites begin by spilling 
some of the caudle on the ground, by way 
of libation : on that, every one takes a 
cake of oatmeal, upon which are raised 
nine square knobs, each dedicated to some 
particular being, the supposed preserver 
of their flocks and herds, or to some par- 
ticular animal, the real destroyer of them. 
Each person then turns his face to the 
fire, breaks off a knob, and, flinging it 
over his shoulders, says : — ' This I give to 
thee, preserve thou my horses ;' ' This to 
thee, preserve thou my sheep ;' and so on. 
After that, they use the same ceremony 
to the noxious animals. ' This I give to 
thee, O fox ! save thou my lambs ' ; ' this 
to thee, O hooded crow ;' ' this to thee, 
eagle ! ' When the ceremony is over, they 
dine on the caudle ; and, after the feast 
is finished, what is left is hid by two per- 
sons deputed for that purpose ; but on the 
next Sunday they re-assemble, and finish 
the reliques of the first entertainment." 
Comp. Ireland and St. John's Eve. 

Benchers.— The designation of the 
governing bodies or committees at Lin- 
coln's Inn and the two Temples. At Gray's 
Inn they are termed Ancients, and at 
Clifford's Inn they were known as Rules. 
The Bench was originally and formerly, 
and is still by strict right, an elective as- 
sembly chosen from the whole constitu- 
ency ; but of recent years it has gradually 
and tacitly converted a merely temporary 
and fiduciary power into an absolute one, 
and spends the fevenue of the Inn, and 
controls its hospitality without any re- 
ference to the Barristers' Table. It is a 
signal abuse and usurpation of long stand- 
ing, which there might be a considerable 
difficulty in correcting or removing. 

Bene (or Bean) House. — In the 
Owl's Almanac, 1618, mention is made of 
"a tapstering or bene house," evidently 
a place of common entertainment, and 
possibly the germ of the modern bean- 
feast, or workmen's holiday. 

Benedictio Mensoe. — The grace 
before meat, as well as, though not so 
properly, that after it. Furnivall's 
Baoees Book; Antiquary for January, 
1895. In the latter place a knife, pre- 
served at the Louvre, and belonging to the 
16th century^ bears the former upon it 
with the musical notation ; the words are : 



Quce sumpturi benedicat trinus & unus, 
Amen. A very full account of the graces 
pronounced at the Oxford Colleges will be 
found in Hearne's Diary, 1869, Appendix 
V. Other forms are found in the printed 
collections (Hazlitt's Bihl. Coll, vv. Graces 
and S eager) ; and doubtless there were 
many no longer known. 

Benedictio Panis. — The blessing 
on the consecrated bread used in the Com- 
munion ; it is printed in the service-books- 
for Salisbury and other uses, with the 
other forms of a similar character. 

Benedictio Salis et Aquae. — 
A form of prayer found in the Romish 
service-books, including those for Eng- 
lish use. It is inferrible from the Dur- 
ham Ritual that this blessing was pro- 
nounced when the salt was poured into- 
tho water, for the rubric is: " Hie mit- 
tatur sal in aqua, Benedictio salis et 
Aquae. Gratia Domini vobiscum." In 
tho Durham Ritual (Surtees Society, 
1840, pp. 97-104), a remarkable series 
of forms of benediction are given, 
dating from the ninth or tenth cen- 
tui-y. ^ It seems to have been an ancient 
practice to bless objects of use and com- 
sumption under a variety of circum- 
stances ; and wo here find ; Benedictio- 
super vasa reperta in locis antiq_uis, Bene- 
dictio quorunlihet vasorum, Benedictio' 
Arborum, Benedictio Pomorum, Benedic- 
tio Panis, Benedictio ad omnia quoi volu- 
eris, Benedictio Domus, Benedictio quando 
judicium exituri sunt homines, ilxorcismw; 
aquoc ad Furtum P.equircndum, Benedictio 
A quce, Benedictio Vestium virginum, and 
Benedictio Lac et Mel. This frequent and 
habitual resort to adjuration and prayer 
led to the introduction of the liturgical 
Benedictional. 

Benediction-Posset. — See Sack 
Posset. 

Benefit of Clergry.— This privilege 
was abolished by 7 cfe 8 Geo. IV. Before 
that time, it appears that a felon could 
plead benefit of clergy, and be saved by 
what was aptly enough termed the neck- 
verse, which was very usually the miserere 
mei of Psalm 51, but was at the judge's- 
discretion. At a period when capital 
punishment was inflicted on what would 
now be considered terribly slight grounds, 
such a means of evasion was perhaps not 
improperly connived at. In our old jest 
books, however, the practice was one of 
the themes selected for derision and satire. 
Machyn the diarist points to a provision 
in this obsolete usage, which I do not see 
noticed elsewhere. He tells us that, on 
the 8th March, 1559-60, an old man, who- 
was a priest, was hanged for cutting a 
purse, "but," adds Machyn, "he was 
burnt in the hand afore, or elles ys boke 
would have saved hym." In the Year 



46 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Book of 30 Edward I. it seems to be inti- 
mated that, in order to claim benefit of 
■clergy, a technical denial of the charge 
vvas then considered absolutely an essen- 
tial condition. 

Benski, or The Fairy's Wife. — 
See Wraith. 

Beryl. — Aubrey, in his Miscellanies, 
1696-1721, ed. 1857, pp. 1647, devotes a 
section to this subject, with an illustration 
of one of these mirrors. They were for- 
merly used by magicians in their supersti- 
tious and diabolical operations. Delrio 
informs us that the Emperor Julian made 
use of a mirror for this purpose, and re- 
fers us to his life by Spartianus. Disquis. 
Magicce, lib. iv., c. v. "Lilly," says 
Grose, "describes one of these berryls or 
■crystals. It vvas as large as an orange, set 
in silver, with a cross at the top, and 
round about engraved the names of the 
.angels, Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel. A 
delineation of another is engraved in the 
frontispiece to Aubrey's Miscellanies. 
This mode of inquiry was practised by Dr. 
Dee, the celebrated mathematician. His 
speculator was named Kelly. From him, 
and othei-s practising this art, we have a 
long muster-roll of the infernal host, their 
different natures, tempers, and appear- 
ances. Reginald Scot has given us a 
list of some of the chiefs of these devils or 
spirits. Aubrey's had the name of 
Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, and Michael. 
"Another mode," Grose remarks, "of 
-consulting spirits was by the berryl, by 
means of a speculator or seer, who, to have 
a complete sight, ought to be a pure vir- 
gin, a youth who had not known woman, 
■or at least a person of irreproachable life, 
and purity of manners. The method of 
such consultation is this : the conjuror, 
having repeated the necessary charms and 
adjurations, with the Litany, or Invoca- 
-tion peculiar to the spirits or angels he 
wishes to call, (for every one has his par- 
ticular form), the seer looks into a chrys- 
tal or berryl, wherein he will see the an- 
swer, represented either by types or 
figures : and sometimes, though very 
rarely, will hear the angels or spirits 
speak articulately. Their pronunciation 
is, as Lilly says, like the Irish, much in 
the throat." In Andrews's Continua 
tion of Henry, we read : "The Conjura- 
"tions of Dr. Dee having induced his 
familiar spirit to visit a kind of talisman, 
Kelly (a brother adventurer) was ap- 
pointed to watch and describe his ges- 
tures." The stone used by these impos- 
tors was formerly in the Strawberry Hill 
collection. It appears to be a polished 
piece of cannel coal. To this Butler refers 
when he writes, 

"Kelly did all his feats upon 

The Devil's looking-glass, a stone." 



I do not know whether this is the same 
stone which was in the possession of the 
late Mr. Henry Huth. The latter is said, 
at any rate, to have been Dr. Dee's. Did 
ho employ it, when Queen Elizabeth came 
to Mortlake, to consult him? In Lodge's 
"Wits Miserie," 1596, in the Epistle to 
the Reader, are the following ouaint allu- 
sions to sorcerers and magicians: "Buy 
therefore this chrystall, and you shall see 
them in their common appearance : and 
read these exorcismes advisedly, and you 
may be sure to conjuie them without 
crossings ; but if any man long for a 
familiar for false dice, a spirit to tell for- 
tunes, a charme to heale diseased, this 
only faooke can best fit him." 

This species of divination has still 
its believers, and a case occurred 
about forty years ago, from which it 
transpired that the oeryl or mirror 
was consulted by some among our con- 
temporaries who ought to have been supe- 
rior to so silly a superstition. 

Betrothal. — See Handfasting and 
Troth-Plight.— narL MS. 980, cited by 
Strutt, states that, " by the Civil Law, 
whatsoever is given ex sponsalitia Largi- 
tate, betwixt them that are promised in 
marriage, hath a condition (for the most 
part silent) that it may be had again if 
marriage ensue not ; but if the man should 
have had a kiss for his money, he should 
lose one half of that which he gave. Yet 
with the woman it is otherwise, for, kiss- 
ing or not kissing, whatsover she gave, 
she may ask and have it again. However, 
this extends only to gloves, rings, brace- 
lets, and such like small wares." To the 
betrothing contract under consideration 
must be referred, if I mistake not, and not 
to the marriage ceremony itself (to which 
latter, I own, however, the person who 
does not nicely discriminate betwixt them 
will be strongly tempted to incline) the 
well-known passage on this subject in the 
last scene of Shakespear's play of "Twelfth 
Night." The priest, who had been privy 
to all that had passed, is charged by 
Olivia to reveal the circumstances, which 
he does, reciting the ceremonies of joining 
the hands, kissing, and interchanging 
rings, as preliminaries which had taken 
place in the usual course. The same drama 
affords an example of the old English 
practice of lovers plighting their troth in 
the chantry, in the presence of their 
minister. It is where Olivia and Sebas- 
tian accompany the priest with this object 
in view. It appears to have been formerly 
a custom also for those who were betrothed 
to wear some flower as an external and 
conspicuous mark of their mutual engage- 
ment : the conceit of choosing such short- 
lived emblems of their plighted loves can- 
' not be thought a very happy one. That 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



47 



such a custom, however, did certainly pre- 
vail, we have the testimony of Spenser : 

" Bring coronations and sops in wine 

AVorn of paramours." 
This passage is illustrated by the follow- 
ing extract from Gunning's "Reminis- 
cences of Cambridge.": "The Dean (of 
St. Asaph), who appeared very desirous to 
clear up the matter, asked him, amongst 
other questions, if he had never made her 
any presents? He replied that he never 
had, but, recollecting himself, added, ' ex- 
cept a very choice bunch of flowers, which 
1 brought from Chirk Castle.'" "This 
explains the whole matter," said the 
Dean; "in Wales, a man never sends a 
lady a bunch of flowers, but as a proposal 
of marriage, and the lady's acceptance of 
them is considered the ratification." This 
was in 1788. Fletcher the dramatist 
says : 

"I knit this lady handfast, and with 
this hand 

The heart that owes this hand, ever 
binding 

By force of this initiating contract 

Both heart and hand in love, faith, 
loyalty, 

Estate, or what to them belongs." 
Wit at Several Weapons, act v. sc. i. 

In "Witt's Recreations," 1640, the an- 
nexed passage belongs to a piece called 
"Abroad with the Maids"; it was writ- 
ten by Herrick : 

' ' Next we will act how young men wooe ; 
And sigh, and kisse, as lovers do. 
And talk of brides, and who shall make 
That wedding-smock, this bridal-cake ; 
That dress, this sprig, that leafe, this 

vine ; 
That smooth and silken columbine. 
This done, we'l draw lots, who shall buy 
And guild the bayes and rosemary : 
What posies for our wedding-rings ; 
What gloves we'l give and ribbanings." 
Strutt, in his "Manners and Customs," 
has illustrated this by an extract from the 
old play of the " Widow." From this it 
also appears that no dry bargain would 
hold on such occasions. For on the 
Widow complaining that Ricardo had 
artfully drawn her into a verbal contract, 
she is asked by one of her suitors, " Stay, 
stay, — you broke no gold between you?" 
To which she answers, "We broke nothing, 
Sir." And, on his adding, " Nor drank 
tn each other? " she replies " Not a drop, 
Sir." Whence he draws this conclusion : 
' ' that the contract cannot stand good in 
law." The latter part of the ceremony 
seems alluded to in the following passage 
in Middleton's " No Wit like a Woman's" 
(written before 1626) : 

"E'en when my lip touch' d the con- 
tracting cup." 



Thiers quotes passages from three ritualis- 
tic works apposite to this portion of the 
nuptial process, as practised in France. 
Bituel de Bordeaux, 98-9. Both the Sy- 
nodal Statutes of Sens, in 1524, and the 
Evreux Ritual (1621) refrained from pre- 
scribing betrothal, merely leaving it per- 
missive and optional ; and the same may 
be said of the Provincial Council of 
Rheims, in 1583 ; but all these authorities 
laid down the rule that, where the es- 
pousal was solemnized, the ceremony must 
take place openly and in the church. 

Beverat.se, Beverege, or Beveridge, 
reward, consequence. 'Tis a word now in 
use for a refreshment between dinner and 
supper ; and we use the word when any 
one pays for wearing new clothes, &c. 
Hearne's Glossary to Robert of Glouces- 
ter's Chronicle in v. It is at present 
employed in the general sense of any liquid 
refreshment. 

Bible Omens. — The superstitious 
among the ancient Christians practised a 
kind of divination by opening the Old and 
New Testament. Gibbon speaks of Clovis 
who, "marching (a.d. 507) from Paris, as 
he proceeded with decent reverence 
through the holy diocese of Tours, con- 
suited the shrine of St. Martin, the sanc- 
tuary and oracle of Gaul. His messengers 
^vere instructed to remark the words of 
the psalm which should happen to be 
chaunted at the precise moment when they 
entered the church. These words, most 
fortunately, exprepsed the valour and vic- 
tory of the champions of heaven, and the 
application was easily transferred to the 
new Joshua, the new Gideon, who went 
forth to battle against the enemies of the 
Lord." He adds : "This mode of divina- 
tion by accepting as an omen the first 
sacred words which in particular circum- 
stances should be presented to the eye or 
ear, was derived from the Pagans, and the 
Psalter or Bible was substituted for the 
poems of Homer and Virgil. From the 
fourth to the fourteenth century, these 
Sortes Sanctorum, as they are styled, 
were repeatedly condemned by the decrees 
of councils, and repeatedly practised by 
Kings, Bishops, and Saints." Willis of 
Gloucester bears testimony to this point : 
" As I was to passe through the roome 
where my little grand-childe was set by 
her grandmother to read her morning's 
chapter, the 9th of Matthew's Gospeli, 
just as I came in she was uttering these 
words in the second verse, ' Jesus said to 
the sicke of the palsie, Sonne, be of good 
comfort, thy sinnes are forgiven thee ' ; 
which words sorting so fitly with my case, 
whose whole left side is taken with that 
kind of disease, I stood at a stand at the 
uttering of them, and could not but con- 
ceive some joy and comfort in those blessed 



48 



NATIONAL FAllHii 



words, though by the childe's reading, as 
if the Lord by her had spoken them to my- 
selfe, a paralytick and a sinner, as that 
Sicke man was," &c. This may be called 
a Bible omen. Mount Tabor, 1639, pp. 
199-200. It appears that Arise Evans, in 
the time of the Commonwealth, used this 
species of divination by the Bible, and 
also that one of the Earls of Berkeley had 
recourse to the then prevailing supersti- 
tion. His lordship's words are : " I being 
sick, and under some dejection of spirit, 
opening my Bible to see what place I 
could first light upon, which might ad- 
minister comfort to me, casually I^ fixed 
upon the sixth of Hosea : the first three 
verses are these. [Here follows the quota- 
tion.] I am willing to decline supersti- 
tion upon all occasions, yet think my self 
obliged to make this use of such a provi- 
dential place of Scripture : First, by 
hearty repenting me of my sins past : 
Secondly, by sincere reformation for the 
time to come." — Eccho to the Voice frnm 
Heaven, 1652, p. 227. Martin, speaking 
of the Isle of Collonsay, says, that in con- 
fidence of curing the patient by it, the 
inhabitants had an antient custom of fan- 
ning the face of the sick with the leaves 
of the Bible. Descr. of the West of Scot- 
land, 248. A correspondent of "Notes 
and Queries," in the number for October 
19, 1861, states that he met with the cus- 
tom of dipping into the Bible on New 
Year's Day before noon in the county of 
Oxford, and that it was believed that the 
tenor of the first passage which caught 
the eye of the dipper, was a prognostica- 
tion of the person's good or bad luck for 
the year. 

Bicker-rade, The. — This is a prac- 
tice among reapers in some parts. A 
correspondent of Notes and Queries de- 
sciibed it, so far as its indelicate character 
would allow, in the columns of that 
periodical in 1857. The writer seems to con- 
sider the custom as belonging chiefly to 
Berwickshire. At the harvest-dinner " each 
band-wun, consisting of six shearers and a 
bandster, had the use of a bicker (a small 
round wooden vessel, composed of staves 
or staps, and neatly bound with willow 
girths or girds) ; sometimes more than one 
bicker was used by the bandwun. After 
the dinner repast was finished, any of the 
men of the boun, who felt disposed to in- 
flict on any female the bicker-rade, ex- 
tende her upon her back on the ground 
and reclining upon her commenced a series 
of operations, which are too indelicate 
to be minutely described." It seems fur- 
ther, that resistance was useless, and that 
serious injuries were sometimes suffered 
by the victims of this barbarous process. 
It has probably become entirely obsolete by 
this time : it was nearly so forty years ago. 



Bid-Ale. — There was an ancient cus- 
tom called Bid-ale or Bidder-ale, from 
the Saxon word biddan, to pray or suppli- 
cate, when any honest man, decayed in 
his estate, was set up again by the liberal 
benevolence and contributions of friends 
I at a feast, to which those friends were bid 
I or invited. It was most used in the West 
of England, and in some counties called 
a help-ale, A writer in "The Gentle- 
j man's Magazine" for May, 1784, men- 
tions this custom in some parts of South 
Wales, peculiar, he thinks, to that coun- 
try, and still practised at the marriages 
of servants, tradesfolks, and little farmers, 
" Before the wedding an entertainment 
is provided, to which all the friends ot 
eacn party are bid or invited, and to 
which none fail to bring or send some 
contribution, from a cow or calf down to 
half-a-crown or a shilling. An account of 
each is kept, and if the young couple do 
well, it is expected that they should give 
as much at any future bidding of their 
generous guests. I have frequently known 
of £50 being thus collected, and have 
heard of a bidding, which produced even 
a hundred." The Cambrian Begister, 
1796, p. 450j adds : "Some time previous to 
these weddings^ where they mean to re- 
ceive contributions, a herald with a crook 
or wand, adorned with ribbons, makes 
the circuit of the neighbourhood, and 
makes his ' bidding ' or invitation in a 
prescribed form. The knight-errant ca- 
valcade on horseback, the carrying off the 
bride, the rescue, the wordy war in rhythm 
between the parties, &c. which formerly 
formed a singular spectacle of mock con- 
test at the celebration of nuptials, I be- 
lieve to be now almost, if not altogether, 
laid aside every where through the Princi- 
pality." The following is from the 
"Gentleman's Magazine" for 1789: — 

"Bidding. — ^As we intend entering the 
nuptial state, we propose having a bid- 
ding on the occasion on Thursday the 20th 
day of September, instant, at our own 
house on the Parade : where the favour of 
your good company will be highly es- 
teemed; and whatever benevolence you 
pleased to confer on us, shall be gratefully 
acknowledged and retaliated on a similar 
occasion by your most obedient humble 
servants, William Jones, Ann Davies; 
Caermarthen, Sept. 4, 1787. N.B. — 
The young man's father (Stephen Jones) 
and the young woman's aunt (Ann 
Williams) will be thankfull for all 
fa,vours conferred on them that day." 
Another writer in the "Gentleman's 
Magazine " for 1784 mentions a simi- 
lar custom in Scotland called Penny 
Weddings. In the Penny Magazine 
for January, 1835, an improved and 
more ambitious form of communication 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



49 



(among the humbler classes) to the friends 
of the parties, is given. A couple belong- 
ing to Caermarthenshire are represented 
as addressing a circular to guests as fol- 
lows : — 

" Carmarthenshire, February 1, 1834. 

"Dear Friend, — We take this conveni- 
ence to inform you that we confederate 
such a design as to enter under the sanc- 
tion of matrimony on the 19th of Febru- 
ary inst. And as we feel our hearts in- 
clining to regard the ancient custom of 
our ancestors, sef Hilioyaeth Gomer, we 
intend to make a wedding-feast the same 
day at the respective habitation of our 
parent ; we hereby most humbly invite 
your pleasing and most comfortable fellow- 
ship at either of which places ; and what- 
ever kindness your charitable hearts 
should then grant will be accepted with 
congratulation and most lovely acknow- 
ledgment, carefully recorded and returned 
with preparedness and joy, whenever a 
similar occasion overtake you, by your 
affectionate servants, 

David Joshua. 

Mary Williams. 

In this case the parents of both parties 
entertained ; but in another example of 
1830, belonging to Glamorganshire, the 
hospitality was limited to the bride's 
family. " Some of the Cumbrians," ob- 
serves the compiler of the " Westmoreland 
and Cumberland Dialect," 1839, " particu- 
larly those who are in poor circumstances, 
have, on their entrance into the married 
state, what is called a bidding, or bidden- 
wedding, over which a sort of master of the 
revels, called a birler, presides, and at 
which a pecuniary collection is made 
among the company for the purpose of 
setting the wedded pair forward in the 
world. It is always attended with music 
and dancing, and the fiddler, when the 
contributions begin, takes care to remind 
the assembly of their duties by notes imi- 
tative of the following couplet : 

' Come, my friends, and freely offer ; 

Here's the bride who has no tocher 
(dowry)." 

Bidding' to Funerals. — From an 
early date it was customary among the 
gilds of the City of London to summon 
all the brethren to attend the obsequies 
of a departed member, and in more 
modern times a form of invitation on a 
small broadsheet, enclosed in a mourning 
border with the usual emblems of mortal- 
ity was prepared and distributed. A fac- 
simile of one of these notices is given in 
Hazlitt's Livery Companies, 1892. At 
South Shields, co. Durham, the bidders, 
i.e., the inviters to a funeral never use 
the rapper of the door when they go about, 
but always knock with, a key, which they 



carry with them for tliut purpose. I know 
not whether this custom be retained any 
where else. The following form of invit- 
ing to burials by the public bellman of 
the town was, in Brancl's time, hi use at 
Hexham, Northumberland: "Blessed are 
the dead which die in the Lord. Joseph 
Dixon is departed, sou of Christopher 
Dixon was. Their company is desired to- 
morrow at five o'clock, and at six he is 
to be bu — ri — ed. For him and all faith- 
ful people give God most hearty thanks." 
A writer in the Penny Magazine for 1837, 
in reference to Northumbrian manners 
and customs, says : "In many places it is 
usual to invite not only the friends, but 
also the neighbours of a deceased person to 
his funeral. This is done by bidders, 
dressed in black silk scarfs, going round 
formally. The bidders never used the 
rapper of the door, but always knocked 
with a key, which they carried with them 
for that purpose. In the town of Hex- 
ham, until within the last few years, the 
public bellman went round publicly to in- 
vite attendance at a deceased's funeral ; on 
such occasions a notice somewhat similar 
to the following was used : ' Blessed are 
the dead which die in the Lord. John 
Robson is departed, son of Richard Rob- 
son that was. Company is desired to 
morrow at five o'clock, and at six he is to 
be buried. For him and all faithful 
people give God most hearty thanks." See 
Funeral Customs. 

Bidding: Prayer — See Nares, Glos- 
sary, 1859, in V. 

Billiards.— -At what date this game 
was introduced into England is uncertain. 
It occurs in Spenser's jlother Hubbard's 
Tale, among his Complaints, 1591, and is 
named by Shakespear in Antony and Cleo- 
patra, iii., v., where the Queen, referring 
to music, says : ' ' Let it alone, let us to 
billiards." This drama was licensed in 
1608. Even in the poet's day, barring 
was understood, as Mr. Symon points out. 
Shakespear Quotation, 1901, p. 49. The 
game is thus mentioned in the Book of 
Expenses of James Masters, Esq., of Yotes 
Court, Mereworth, co. Kent : — " Decem- 
ber 21, 1661. For 4 yards & ^ of Greene 
Cloath to cover my Billyard table at 10s. 
ye yard, 02. 05. 00." "Feb 12, 1661/2. 
For 2 Billyard Sticks, 2 balls, Ring & 
porch, 00. 18. 00." The cannon at billi- 
ards is taken to be a corruption of carom, 
itself an abbreviation of carambole, the 
French term for the red ball, which was 
neutral, and which was a form of the 
game formerly played with three balls it 
was the object of each of the two players 
to strike, as well as his adversary's. The 
name of this amusement is apparently 
derived from Fr. bille, for a ball, and 
hence billard. Cotton, in the Complrat 



5° 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Gamester, 1676, refers to it in company 
with bowls, chess, cards, and dice. It is 
among the amusements described in a 
small volume entitled : ' ' Games most in 
use in England, France and Spain." 
printed about 1710, and purporting to be 
regulated by the most experienced mas- 
ters. The principal or largest monograph 
on the subject is that of Edwin Kentfield, 
of Brighton, folio, 1839, with a curious 
folding frontispiece and a series of dia- 
grams, shewing the various stages of the 
game, and the modes of playing it in 
different places. Kentfield was himself 
a very expert hand, and was patronised 
by the then Duke of Devonshire, who, 
when he came to Brighton, used to play 
with him. It is said that Carter, at one 
time landlord of the Blue Posts, Brydges 
Street, Drury Lane, was a very success- 
ful player at this game from the length 
of his arms. 

Bird of Paradise. — In A Short 
Belation of the Biver Nile, 1669, is is said : 
" The Bird of Paradise is found dead with 
her bill fixed in the ground, in an island 
joyning to the Maluccos not far from Ma- 
caca ; whence it comes thither, is unknown, 
though great diligence hath been imployed 
in the search, but without success. One 
of them dead came to my hands. I have 
seen many. The tayle is worn by children 
for a penashe, the feathers fine and sub- 
tile as a very thin cloud. The body not 
fleshy, resembling that of a thrush. The 
many and long feathers (of a pale invivid 
colour, nearer white than ash colour), 
which cover it, make it of great beauty. 
Report says of these birds, that they al- 
waies flie from their birth to their death, 
and are not discovered to have any feet. 
They live by flyes they catch in the ayr, 
where, their diet being slender, they take 
some little repose. They fly very high, 
and come falling down with their wings 
displayed. As to their generation, Nature 
is said to have made a hole in the back 
of the male, where the female laies her 
eggs, hatcheth her young, and feeds them 
till they are able to fly : great trouble and 
affection of the parent ! I set down what 
I have heard. This is certainly the bird 
so lively drawn in our maps." This 
beautiful creature is almost confined 
in its habitat to New Zealand and 
Southern Australia, once parts of the 
same continent. The account given 
above is of no value, except to shew the 
ignorance of the earlier travellers and 
naturalists. There are in fact several varie- 
ties. The Paradisea apoda, however, was 
not one of these, but merely a supposed 
footless genus, the specimens sent to 
Europe having lost their feet. This error 
produced a second, namely, that the bird 
was perpetually on the wing. 



Bird and Fowl Augrury.— These 
Fowl omens are probably derived to us 
from the Romans, at whose superstitions 
on this account Butler laughs : 

" A flamm more senseless than the 

Rog'ry 
Of old Aruspicy and Aug'ry, 
That out of Garbages of Cattle 
Presage'd th' events of truce or battel; 
From flight of birds or chickens pecking 
Success of great'st attempts would 
reckon." 

The ancient augurs foretold things to 
come by the chirping or singing of certain 
birds, the crow, the pye, the chough, &c. : 
hence perhaps the observation, frequent in 
the mouths of old women, that when the 
pie chatters we shall have strangers. 
Horace, in his " Ode to Galatea," has 
this thought : 

' ' Teque nee Isevus vetet ire picus. 
Nee vaga cornix." 

Pennant, speaking of the hoopoe, tells that 
the country people in Sweden look on the 
appearance of this bird as a presage of 
war : Facies armata videtur. And form- 
eily the vulgar in our country esteemed it 
a forerunner of some calamity, which has 
probably occasioned its growing scarcity, 
The same writer tells us that the great 
auk, a species of penguin, is a bird ob- 
served by seamen never to wander beyond 
soundings, and according to its appear- 
ance they direct their measures, being 
then assured that land is not remote. 
Moresin and Gaule rank the unseason- 
able crowing of the cock among omens. 
As also the sudden fall of hens from the 
housetop. Papains, 1594, p. 21 Mag-Astro- 
mancer posed, p. 181. Bartholomseus says 
of the crow: " Divynours tell, that she 
taketh hede of spienges and awaytynges, 
and teacheth and sheweth wayes, and 
warneth what shal fal. But it is ful unle- 
ful to beleve, that God sheweth his prevy 
Counsayle to Crowes as Isidore sayth. 
Amonge many divynacions divynours 
meane that crowes token reyne with gre- 
dynge and cryenge, as this verse metneth : 

' Turn Comix plena pluviam vocat im- 

proba voce.' " 
that is to understonde, 

' Nowe then the crowe calleth reyne with 

an eleynge voyce.' " 

In the Earl of Northampton's " Defensa- 
tive," 1583, signat. T 2 verso, we read: 
"The Plight of many crowes uppon the 
left side of the eampe, made the Romans 
very much afrayde of somme badde lucke : 
as if the great God Jupiter had nothing 
else to doo (sayd Carneades) but to dryve 
Jacke Dawes in a flocke together." Gaule 
particularizes among omens, " A crow 
lighting on the right hand or on the left." 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



51 



Mag - Astromancer posed, p. 181. An- 
other early author says : " If a crow fly 
hut over the house and croak thrice, how 
do they fear, they, or some one else in the 
family shall die?" Eamsey's Elmintho- 
logia, 1668, p, 271. We are informed that 
' ' people prognosticate a great famine or 
mortality, when great flocks of jays and 
crows forsake the woods ; because these 
melancholy birds, bearing the characters 
of Saturn the author of famine and mor- 
tality, have a very early perception of the 
bad disposition of that planet. Ath- 
enian Oracle, p 271. And Defoe 
writes: "Some will defer going abroad, 
tho' called by business of the greatest con- 
sequence, if, happening to look out of the 
window, they see a single crow." Mem. 
of Duncan Gamphel, 60. Willsford has 
much to say on this branch of his subject : 
■ ' Ravens and crows, when they do make a 
hoarse, hollow, and sorrowful noise, as if 
they sobbed, it presages foul weather ap- 
proaching. Crows flocking together in 
great companies, or calling early in the 
morning with a full and clear voice, or at 
any time of the day gaping against the 
sun, foreshews hot and dry weather : but 
if at the brink of ponds they do wet their 
heads, or stalk into the water, or cry much 
towards the evening, are signs of rain." 
He adds : " The woodpecker's cry denotes 
wet. Buzards, or kites, when they do 
soar very high and much to lessening them- 
selves, making many plains to and agin, 
foreshows hot weather^ and that the lower 
region of the air is inflamed, which for 
coolnesse makes them ascend. Cranes 
soaring aloft, and quietly in the air, fore- 
shows fair weather ; but if they do make 
much noise, as consulting which way to 
go, it foreshows a storm that's neer at 
hand. Herons in the evening, flying up 
and down as if doubtful where to rest, pre- 
sages some evill approaching weather." 
Nature's Secrets, 1658, p. 133. Pennant, 
speaking of the carrion crow, tells us Vir- 
gil says that its croakings foreboded rain. 
It was also thought a bird of bad omen, 
especially if it happened to be seen on the 
left hand. 

"Ante sinistra cava monuisset ab 
ilice Cornix." 

— Zoology, i. 220. In Dives et Pauper, ch. 
46, we read: "Some bileve that yf the 
kyte or the puttock fle ovir the way afore 
them that they shuld fare wel that daye, 
for sumtyme they have farewele after that 
they see the puttock so fleynge ; and soo 
they falle in wane by leve and thanke the 
puttocke of their welfare and nat God, 
but suche foles take none hede howe often 
men mete with the puttok so fleynge and 
yet they fare nevir the bettei- : for there 
is CO folk that mete so oft with the put- 



toke so fleynge as they that begge their 
mete from dore to dore." Hall in his 
" Characters," 1608, declares that in his 
time it was enough to induce the super- 
stitious man to make his will, if a bittern 
flew over his head ; but in these statements 
one may fairly suspect a tincture of hyper- 
bole or exaggeration. Dr. Leyden ob- 
serves of the magpie, that "it is, accord- 
ing to popular superstition, a bird of un- 
lucky omen. Many an old woman would 
more willingly see the devil, who bodes no 
more ill luck than he brings, than a mag- 

fie perching on a neighbouring tree." 
.eyden also informs us that "in the 
South and West of Scotland, this bird is 
much detested, though not reckoned omi- 
nous. As it frequents solitary places, its 
haunts were frequently intruded upon by 
the fugitive Presbyterians, during the per- 
secution which they suffered in the dis- 
graceful and tyrannical reign of Charles 
II. and James II., when they were often 
discovered by the clamours of the lap- 
wing." Glossary to the Compla-unt^ of 
Scotland. 1801, vv. Piett and Thriasneck. 
The notes of the night-crow, or night-jar, 
have always been regarded as portentous, 
and significant of death in a household, 
where they are heard. Mary, Countess of 
Pembroke, in her poem on the passion, 
written perhaps about 1590, says : 

" The night crowes songe, that soundeth 
nought but death." 

And Shakespear himself alludes to the 
superstition. In the " Parly ament of 
Byrdes " (circa 1550), the popular super- 
stition relating to this creature is referred 
to by the Hawk : 

" — The Crowe hath no brayne. 
For to gyue couusell but of the rayne." 

So, again, in " Tottel's Miscellany," 1557, 
one of the Uncertain Authors says : 

' ' Thou dunghyll crowe that crokest 

agaynst the rayne, 
Home to thy hole." 

The modern sailors pay respect to augu- 
ries in the same manner as Aristophanes 
in his Aves, line 597, tells us those of 
Greece did above two thousand years 
ago. Pennant farther observes, that 
the stormy petrol presages bad weather, 
and cautions the seamen of the ap- 
proach of a tempest by collecting un- 
der the sterns of the ships. Zoo- 
logy, i., 258; ii., 508, 554. Werenfels 
says : "If the superstitious man has a de- 
sire to know how many years he has to live, 
he will inquire of the cuckow." In 1609, 
Thomas Dekker printed his "Raven's Al- 
manack," which expressly purported to 
be a prognostication of calamities in store 
for this kingdom ; and in 1620 Rowlands 



52 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



produced his Night Haven with the follow- 
ing distich on the title : 

" All those whose deeds doe shun the 
Light, 

Are my companions in the night." 

Gay, too, in his pastoral called "The 
Dirge," has noted this omen : 

" The boding raven on her cottage sat, 
And with hoarse croakings n-arn'd us 
of our fate." 

Its being accounted unlucky to destroy 
swallows is probably a pagan religue. We 
read in ^lian that these birds were sacred 
to the penates or household gods of the 
ancients, and therefore were preserved. 
They were honoured anciently as the nun- 
cios of the spring. The Rhodians are said 
to have had a solemn anniversary song to 
welcome in the swallow. Anacreon's Ode 
to that bird is well known. 

The ancients were firm believers — 
as it is scarcely necessary to observe 
— in auguries derived from the flight 
of birds. Willsford speaks of the 
low flight of the swallow as indicative 
of rain; but this is doubtful {'Nature's 
Secrets, 1658, p. 134), and Gaule, {Mag- 
Astromancers posed, 181) says that a swal- 
low falling down the chimney was thought 
in his day to be an inauspicious symptom. 
The former observes generally that birds 
which frequent trees and bushes, " if they 
do fly often out, and make quick returns, 
expect some bad weather to follow soon 
after." Rosse, in allusion to the English 
Civil Wars in the seventeenth century, 
declares that these misfortunes were fore- 
told by the appearance of unusual flights 
of birds, seen in the air fighting on oppo- 
site sides. Arcana Microcosmi, 1652, App. 
219. It was considered a bad omen if a 
swallow died in one's hand, and from some 
remains of proverbial law it appears that 
a degree of sanctity, which it has since 
lost, was formerly attached to this bird. 
Every one must be familiar with the adage 
Cof which there is more than one version, 
however) : 

" The martin and the swallow 

Are God Almighty's birds to hollow " ; 

where hollow is the old form of hallow, or 
keep holy. Parker, in his " Philomela," 
1632, says, in allusion to the swallow : 

" And if in any's hand she chance to 

dye, 
'Tis counted ominous, I know not why." 

There was also a belief that whoever stole 
a swallow's eggs, or a robin's or wren's 
young ones, would be punished by some 
domestic calamity. Lunton observes, 
that the peacock, by his loud and harsh 
clamour, prophesies and foretells rain. 



and the oftener they cry, the more ram la 
signified." Theophrastus and Mizaldus 
are cited: — "and Paracelsus saies, if a 

Eeacock cries more than usual, or out of 
is time, it foretells the death of some in 
that family to whom it doth belong."— 
Notable Thinos, 1579, ed. 1660, p. 311. 
Willsford enters into a somewhat elaborate 
catalogue of omens of this description. His 
words are these : " The offspring or ali- 
ance of the Capitolian Guard, when they 
do make a gaggling in the air more than 
usual, or seem to fight, being over greedy 
at their meat, expect then cold and win- 
terely weather. Peacocks crying loud and 
shrill for their lost lo, does proclaim an 
approaching storm. Doves coming late 
home to their houses than they are accus- 
tomed to do, presages some evil weather ap- 
proaching. Jack-daws, if they come late 
home from forraging, presages some cold 
or ill weather neer at hand, and likewise 
when they are seen much alone. Finally, 
that duck, mallards, and all water-fowls, 
when they bathe themselves much, prune 
their feathers, and flicker, or clap them- 
selves with their wings, it is a sign of rain 
or wind. The same with cormorants and 
gulls. Sea-mews, early in the morning 
making a gaggling more than ordinary, 
foretoken stormy and blustering weather." 
This superstition was entertained in Scot- 
land in the 18th century. A person writing 
from Holywood, co. Dumfries, about 1790, 
says: "During the whole year the sea 
gulls, commonly called in this parish sea- 
ma ws, occasionally come from the Sol way 
Firth to this part of the country; their 
arrival seldom fails of being followed by a 
high wind and heavy rain, from the south- 
west, within twenty-four hours ; and they 
return to the Firth again as soon as the 
storm begins to abate." Nature's Secrets, 
1658, 132-4. The same notion appears to 
have prevailed in other parts. "The sea- 
gulls," says a writer from Arbilot, co. For- 
far, " are considered as ominous. When 
they appear in the fields, a storm from the 
south-east generally follows ; and when the 
storm begins to abate, they fly back to the 
shore." Stat. Ace., i., 32. Such after all 
has always been, and is, pretty much the 
belief and experience all along our Eng- 
lish coasts. We still attach credit to the 
symptoms of hard weather at sea, when 
the gulls fly landward, and are seen up 
the Thames. A traveller of the 18th cen- 
tury remarked that a bird, which he calls 
caldelia, appeared on the coasts of Corsica 
and Sardinia just before a storm, like the 
petrel with us. Smith's Travels, 1792, p. 11 
Dallaway, when he visited the Bosphoru^, 
was struck by the large flocks of sea- 
birds, like swallows, but, says he, " be- 
cause they are never known to rest, they 
are called halcyons, and by the French 
ames damnies," which flew in a train from 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



53 



one sea to the other, and were looked upon 
as ominous by the inhabitants. It is held 
extremely portentous, says Grose, to kill 
a cricket, a ladybug, a swallow, martin, 
robin redbreast, or wren ; perhaps from 
the idea of its being a breach of hospi- 
tality ; all these birds and insects alike 
taking refuge in houses. Grose enumer- 
ates among unlucky things the killing of 
any of these birds or insects ; and Park 
mentions that when he was a boy, he 
remembered a different version of a fami- 
liar distich : 

" Tom Tit and Jenny Wren, 

Were God Almighty's cock and hen." 

Persons killing any of the above-men- 
tioned birds or insects, or destroying their 
nests, will infallibly within the course of 
the year break a bone, or meet with some 
•other dreadful misfortune. On the con- 
trary, it is deemed lucky to have martins 
or swallows build their nests in the eaves 
of a house, or in the chimneys. Compare 
Divination and Wren. 

Bishop in trie Pan..— Tyndale, in 

his Obndyence of a Christian Man, 1528, 
jp. 109, says: "When a thynge speadeth 
not well, we borrowe speach and saye the 
byshope hath blessed it, because that no- 
thynge speadeth well that they medyll 
wythall. If the podech be burned to, or 
the meate ouer rested, we saye the byshope 
hath put his fote in the pote, or the 
bishope hath played the coke, because the 
bishopes burn who they lust and whosouer 
■displeaseth them." In Tusser's " Hus- 
bandry," under April, are the following 
lines : 

" Blesse Cisley (good Mistress) that 

Bushop doth ban. 
For burning the milke of hir cheese to 

the pan." 

On which Hillman has the following note : 
"When the Bishop passed by (in former 
times) every one ran out to partake of his 
Jilessing, which he plentifully bestow'd as 
he went along : and those who left their 
milk upon the fire, might find it burnt to 
the pan when they came back, and perhaps 
iban or curse the Bishop as the occasion of 
it, as much or more than he had blessed 
them : hence it is likely it grew into a 
■custom to curse the bishop when any such 
disaster happen'd, for which our author 
would have tne mistress bless, Anglice cor- 
rect, her servant, both for her negligence 
and unmannerliness." Bishops were in 
Tusser's time still much in the habit of 
burning heretics. 

Bishopping'- — This is what is now 
generally known as Confirmation, a term 
which was not understood in early times. 
In the Privy Purse Expenses of the Prin- 



cess Maiy, under December, 1536, we 
have: " Itm Payed for the fascion of a 
Tablet geven to my lady Carowes (Carew's) 
Doughter beeng my ladyes goddoughter at 
the byshoppyng .... vjs." There is an- 
other and very different process, known 
technically as bishopping. In the printing 
business it used, before the introduction 
of the roller, to be the duty of the press- 
man to see to the bishopping of the balls, 
made of sheepskin attached to a stock, 
which are used to ink the type before 
printing. These balls, which are of con- 
siderable size, must be kept soft and 
moist to receive the ink, and this result 
is, or used to be, obtained by wrapping 
them after employment, against the fol- 
lowing occasion, in a blanket dipped in 
urine. The practice was a sort of chris- 
tening, and the term perhaps owed itself 
to the resentment of the printer at the 
old animosity of the episcopal order 
against the typographical art. 

Bisiiops Stortf ord.--The following 
very extraordinary septennial custom at 
Bishops Stortford, Herts, and in the ad- 
jacent neighbourhood, on Old Michael- 
mas Day. I find in a London newspaper 
Oct. 18, 1787: "On the morning of this 
day, called Ganging Day, a great number 
of young men assemble in the fields, when 
a very active fellow it nominated the 
leader. This person they are bound to 
follow, who, for the sake of diversion, 
generally chooses the route through ponds, 
ditches, and places of difficult passage. 
Every person they meet is bumped, male 
or female ; which is performed by two other 
persons taking them up by their arms, 
and swinging them against each other. 
The women in general keep at home for 
this period, except those of less scrupulous 
character, who, for the sake of partaking 
of a gallon of ale and a plumb-cake, which 
every landlord or publican is obliged to 
furnish the revellers with, generally spend 
the best part of the night in the fields, if 
the weather is fair ; it being strictly ac- 
cording to ancient usage not to partake of 
the cheer any where else." 

Bisley, Surrey.— See St. John the 
Baptist's Well. 

Black Belly and Bawsy 
Browrn. — See Brawny. 
Black Knisht of Ashton. — See 

Hazlitt's Proverhs, 1882. 

Black Monday. — Easter Monday, 
1360, when the cold was so intense, that 
the English troops before Paris, under 
Edward III., suffered severely. The ex- 
pression must have been subsequently em- 
ployed in a somewhat vague sense, and 
among other uses, by schoolboys, as it was 
an usual day for returning from the holi- 
days. Compare Nares, 1859, in v. 



54 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Black Veil. — Prior to the assump- 
tion of this in the Bomish Church, the re- 
cluse goes through on an appointed day 
all the forms of ordinary marriage, the 
physical or fleshly husband excepted : 
she is attired in white satin, wears a 
wreath of flowers, receives a wedding ring, 
and presides at a breakfast, where there 
is bride-cake. During the day she re- 
ceives her girl-friends, and all is gaiety. 
It is her final experience of the world and 
those whom she Knows. She has already 
taken the white veil, which is regarded as 
the Betrothal, as distinguished from this 
— the wedding. The two services, usually 
occupy an hour and a half to two hours. 

Blank. — This is no doubt the same as 
La Blanque of the early French drama 
and poetry, and was a game of hazard, at 
which even the lower orders in both coun- 
tries were fond of playing, and in which 
serious losses were sometimes incurred. In 
the Interlude of Youth, printed two or 
three times about 1550, there is the follow- 
ing highly curious enumeration : 

Sir, I can teach you to play at the dice, 
At the queen's game and at the Irish ; 
The treygobet and the hazard also, 
And many other games mo; 
Also at the cards I can teach you to play, 
At the triump and one-and-thirty. 
Post, pinion, and also aums-ace, 
And at another they call dewce-ace. 
Yet I can tell you more, and ye will con 

me thank. 
Pink, and drink, and also at the blank, 
And many sports mo. 

Hazlitt's Dodsley, ii., 34-5. It is, as will 
appear, somewhat uncertain whether the 
writer intended to include blank among 
the games at cards or not, as he catalogues 
subject to the exigencies of rhyme. 

Blaze's Day, St.— (February 3.) 
Hospinian describes this Saint as a Cappa- 
docian Bishop who, in the persecucjon 
under Diocletian and Maximian, fled to a 
cavern and led the life of a hermit. He 
also followed the medical profession, and 
healed both men and animals. He was 
discovered, however, and cast into prison, 
from which, after enduring many tortures, 
he was led to the place of execution. After 
his martyrdom and canonization, candles 
were offered at his altar, which were said 
to possess the unusual property of curing 
diseases in human and other creatures. 
Minshew, in his " Dictionary," under the 
word Hock-tide, speaks of " St. Blaze 
his day, about Candlemas, when country 
women goe about and make good cheere, 
and if they find any of their neighbour 
women a spinning that day, they burn and 
make a blaze of fire of the distaffe, and 
thereof called S. Blaze his Day." Percy 
tells us " The anniversary of St. Blasius is 



the 3rd of February, when it is still the 
custom in many parts of England to light 
up fires on the hills on St. Blayse night : 
a custom antiently taken up, perhaps for 
no better reason than the jingling resem- 
blance of his name to the word Blaze." 
Notes to Northumb. Household Book, 1770, 
p- 333. Scot, in his " Discovery of Witch- 
craft," gives us a charm used in the Ro- 
mish Church upon St. Blaze's Day that will 
fetch a thorn out of any place of one's 
body, a bone out of the throat, etc, to wit,, 
" Call upon God and remember St. Blaze." 
The following is the account of St. Blaze 
in the " Popish Kingdome," fol. 47 b. : 

"Then foUoweth good Sir Blaze, who 
doth a waxen candell give, 

And holy water to his men, whereby they 
safely live. 

I divers barrels oft have seene, drawne 
out of water cleare, 

Through one small blessed bone of this 
same Martyr heare : 

And caryed thence to other townes and 
cities farre away, 

Ech superstition doth require such earn- 
est kinde of playe." 

The following lines occur in an early MS. 

among Coles's MSS. in the British 

Museum : — 

" Imber si datur, Virgo dum purificatur, 
Inde notatur quod hyemps abinde 

fugatur : 
Si sol det radium, frigis, erit nimium." 

A village in North Cornwall is called after 
this saint. 

Blessing: of Clouts.— The leaving 
of rags at wells was a singular species of 
popular superstition. Grose tells us that 
" Between the towns of Alten and Newton, 
near the foot of Rosberrye Toppinge 
there is a well dedicated to St. Os- 
wald. The neighbours have an opinion 
that a shirt or shift taken off a 
sick person and thrown into that 
well, will show whether the person will re- 
cover or die ; for if it floated it denoted the 
recovery of the party ; if it sunk, there re- 
mained no hope of their life : and to re- 
ward the Saint for his intelligence, they 
tear off a rag of the shirt, and leave it 
hanging nn the briars thereabouts; 
where, '^ says the writer," I have seen such 
numbers as might have made a fayre 
rheme in a paper myll." Pennant tells 
us, "They visit the Well of Speye, in 
Scotland, for many distempers, and the 
Well of Draohaldy for as many, offering 
small pieces of money and bits of rags." 
Pinkerton, speaking of the River Fillan in 
the Vale of Strathfillan, says, "In this 
river is a pool consecrated by the antient 
superstition of the inhabitants of this 
country. The pool is formed by the eddy- 
ing of the stream round a rock. Its waves 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



55 



were many years since consecrated by 
Fillan, one of the saints who converted the 
antient inhabitants of Caledonia from 
Paganism to the belief of Christianity. It 
has ever since been distinguished by his 
name, and esteemed of sovereign virtue in 
curing madness. About two hundred per- 
sons afflicted in this way are annually 
brought to try the benefits of its salutary 
influence. These patients are conducted 
by their friends, who first perform the cere- 
mony of passing with them thrice through 
a neighbouring cairn ; on this cairn they 
then deposit a simple offering of clothes, 
or perhaps a small bunch of heath. More 
precious offerings used once to be brought. 
The patient is then thrice immerged in the 
sacred pool. After the immersion, he is 
bound hand and foot, and left for the night 
in a chapel which stands near. If the 
maniac is found loose in the morning, good 
hopes are conceived of his full recovery. 
If he still remains bound, his cure is 
doubtful. It sometimes happens that death 
relieves him, during his confinement, from 
the troubles of life." Heron's Journey 
through part of Scotland, i., 282. In the 
"Statistical Account of Scotland," we 
read: — "A spring in the Moss of 
Melshach, Aberdeenshire, of the chaly- 
beate kind, is still in great reputa- 
tion among the common people. Its 
sanative (lualities extend even to brutes. 
As this spring probably obtained vogue at 
first in days of ignorance and superstition, 
it would appear that it became customary 
to leave at the well part of the clothes of 
the sick and diseased, and harness of the 
cattle, as an offering of gratitude to the 
divinity who bestowed healing virtues on 
its waters. And now, even though Ihe 
superstitious principle no longer exists, the 
accustomed offerings are still presented." 
(This was in or about 1794.) Stat. Ace. 
xiii., 76. We read " of a well called Crai- 
guck, CO. Ross, issuing from a rock near the 
shore of Bennetsfield, resorted to in the 
month of May by whimsical or superstiti- 
ous persons, who, after drinking, com- 
monly leave some threads or rags tied to a 
bush in the neighbourhood." Stat. Ace. 
of Scotland, xv., 613. Macaulay, speak- 
ing of a consecrated well in St. Kilda, 
called Tobirnimbuadh, or the spring of 
diverse virtues, says, that " near the foun- 
tain stood an altar, on which the distressed 
votaries laid down their oblations. Before 
they could touch sacred water with any 
prospect of success, it was their constant 
practice to address the Genius of the place 
with supplication and prayers. No one 
approached him with empty hands. But 
the devotees were abundantly frugal. The 
offerings presented by them were the poor- 
est acknowledgments that could be made 
to a superior Being, from whom they had 
either hopes or fears. Shells and pebbles. 



rags of linen or stuffs worn out, pins, 
needles, or rusty nails, were generally all 
the tribute that was paid ; and sometimes, 
though rarely enough, copper coins of the 
smallest value. Among the heathens of 
Italy and other countries, every choice 
fountain was consecrated, and sacrifices 
were offered them, as well as to the deities 
that presided over them. Hist. Acct. 
In the " Marriage of Wit and Wisdom," 
circa 1570, Indulgence says to Wit : 

" Well, yet before the goest, hold heare 

My blessing in a clout ; 
Well fare the mother at a neede, 

Stand to thy tackling stout." 

The first allusion to this old belief and 
usage is, so far as I know, in John Hey- 
woods "Dialogue," originally printed as 
early as 1546. The passage is as follows 
in the edition of 1562 : 

"Ye haue had of me all that I might 

make. 
And be a man neuer so greedy to wyn, 
He can liaue no more of the foxe but 

the skj'n. 
Well (quoth he) if ye list to bring it out. 
Ye can geue me your blessing in a clout 
Ye can geue me your blessing in a 

clout." 

Davies of Hereford seems to allude to 
the usage, where in his " Scourge of 
Folly," (1611), he gives the proverb : 

' ' God-fathers oft give their blessings in 
a clout." 

The only other example of this usage which 
I can find occurs in Lovelace : 

" To a Lady with Child that ashed 
an old Shirt." 
" And why an honour'd ragged shirt, 

that shows 
Like tatter' d ensigns, all its bodies 

blows Y 
Should it be swathed in a vest so dire. 
It were enough to set the child on fire. 
But since to ladies 't hath a custome 

been 
Linnen to send, that travail and lye in : 
To the nine sempstresses, my former 

friends, 
I su'd ; but they had nought but shreds 

and ends. 
At last, the joUi'st of the three times 

three. 
Rent th' apron from her smock, and gave 

it me. 
'Twas soft and gentle, subtly spun, no 

doubt ; 
Pardon my boldness. Madam ; here's the 

Clout." 

Bishop Hall, in his " Triumphs of Rome," 
ridicules a superstitious prayer of the 



56 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Popish Church for the blessing of clouts 
in the way of cure of diseases. Can it 
have originated thence? This absurd cus- 
tom (observed Mr. Brand) is not ex- 
tinct even at this day : 1 have for- 
merly frequently observed shreds or bits 
of rag upon the bushes that overhang a 
well in the road to Benton, a village in the 
vicinity of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which, 
from that circumstance, is now or was very 
lately called the Rag- Well. This name is 
undoubtedly of long standing : probably it 
has been visited for some disease or other, 
and these rag-offerings are the relics of 
the then prevailing popular superstition. 
It is not tar from anotner holy spring at 
Jesmond, at the distance of about a mile 
from Newcastle. Pilgrimages to this well 
and chapel at Jesmond were so frequent, 
that one of the principal streets of the 
great commercial town aforesaid is sap 
posed to have its name partly from hav- 
ing an inn in it, to which the pilgrims that 
flocked thither for the benefit of the sup- 
posed holy water used to resort. St. Mary's 
Well, in this village (Jesmond), which is 
said to have had as many steps down to it 
as there are Articles in the Creed, was 
lately inclosed by Mr. Coulson for a bath- 
ing place ; which was no sooner done than 
the water left it. This occasioned strange 
whispers in the village and the adjacent 
places. The well was always esteemed of 
more sanctity than common wells, and 
therefore the failing of the water could be 
looked upon as nothing less than a just 
revenge for so great a profanation. But 
alas ! the miracle's at an end, for the water 
returned a while ago in as great abundance 
as ever. Thus far Bourne. Brand's New- 
castle, i., 339 and Appendix, 622. 

Using rags as charms, it seems, 
was not confined to England or Europe, 
for I read the following passage in 
Hanway's "Travels into Persia," vol. 
i., p. 177: "After ten days' jour- 
ney we arrived at a desolate caravan- 
serai, where we found nothing but water. 
I observed a tree with a number of rags 
tied to the branches : these were so many 
charms, which passengers coming from 
Ghilan, a province remarkable for agues, 
had left there, in a fond expectation of 
leaving their disease also on the same 
spot." Mungo Park, in his " Travels," 
oDserves : ' ' The company advanced as far 
as a large tree, called by the natives 
Neema Taba. It had a very singular ap- 
pearance, being covered with innumerable 
rags or scraps of cloth, which persons tra- 
velling across the wilderness had at differ- 
ent times tied to its branches : a custom so 
generally followed, that no one passes it 
without hanging up something." Park 
followed the example, and suspended a 



handsome piece of cloth on one of the 
boughs." 

Blindman's Buff. — This sport is 
found among the illuminations of the Mis- 
sal, cited by Strutt in his " Manners and 
Customs." It is known to be an amuse- 
ment with which the ancients weie fami- 
liar. It is the Muinda and Kollabumo-i oi 
the Greeks ;and it is supposed to have orig- 
inated in the traditional story of Poly- 
phemus. Taylor, the water-poet, neverthe- 
less, maintains in his Great Eater of Kent, 
1630, that the invention was due to Gre- 
gory Dawson, an Englishman ! See Levin's 
Manipwlus, 1570, p. 293. Jamieson, in his 
Dictionary, gives us a very curious ac- 
count of this game, which in Scotland ap- 
pears to have been called belly-blind. In 
the Suio-Gothic it is called blind-hoc, i.e. 
blind goat; and, in German, blind kuhe, 
i.q. blind cow. The French call it Cligne- 
musset, from cligner, to wink, and musse 
hidden ; also, Colin-maillard, equivalent 
to " Collin the buffon," a-nd the old Greek 
Kollabismos is their Oapifolet. 

"This game," says Jamieson, "is 
thus defined : Ludi genus qui hie 
quidem manibus expansis oculos suos 
tegit, ille vero postquam percussit, quserit 
num verberavit." Pollux ap. Scapul. It 
was also used among the Romans. But com- 
pare St. John's Manners and Customs of 
Ancient Greece, 1842, i.^ 149-50. Jamieson 
adds, under Blind Harie, (another name 
for Blindman's-buff in Scotland) : " It may 
be observed that this sport in Isl. is desig- 
nated kraekis-blinda. Verelius supposes 
that the Ostrogoths had introduced this 
game into Italy; where it is called giuoco 
della cieca, or the play of the blind." 
Chacke-blynd man and Jookie-blind man 
are other Scotish appellations for the same 
game. " We are told that the great Gus- 
tavus Adolphus, at the very time that he 
proved the scourge of the house of Austria, 
and when he was in the midst of his tri- 
umphs, used in private to amuse himself 
in playing at Blindman's Buff with his 
Colonels." " Cela passoit," says the Diet. 
Trav. V. Colin Maillard, pour une galan- 
terie admirable." Day, in his Humour 
out of Breath, 1608, introduces one of his 
characters playing at the game, which one 
of them says that he learned when a 
student at Padua. A lady is told, when 
she is caught, that she must be hoodwinked 
or give a kisa to her captor as a ransom. 
Wodroephe, in his Spared Hours of a Sol- 
dier, 1623, says that it is "to winke and 
strike." Dr. Walker, in his Parcemio- 
logia, 1672, gives the form " Blindman's 
buffet." Gay says concerning it : 

" As once I play'd at Blindman's Buff, 
it hap't 

About my eyes the towel thick was 
wrapt. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



57 



I miss'd the swainSj and seiz'd on 

Blouzelind, 
True speaks that antient proverb. 'Love 

is blind.' " 

Blood-letting:. — In the margin of 
Harl. MS. 1772, fol. 115, verso, is written 
the following caution in an early hand : 
" Beware of letting blood, drinking, or 
mating goose, on these three days, nono 
k'lis Aprilis die lunis : intrante Aagusto 
die lunis xx : exeunte Deoembris die 
lunis." In the poem, "How the goode 
Wife thaught hir Boughter." occurs the 
line : 

" For aftir the wrenne hathe veynes, 
men schalle late hir blode " 

which puzzled even Sir Frederic Mad- 
den. Edit. 1838. It seems almost to 
refer to the hunting of the wren on St. 
Stephen's Day (Dec. 26), when it was 
deemed a propitious season for phlebo- 
tomy. In another (more modern) copy of 
the poem, the line stands thus : 

" After the wren has vaines men may 
let blood—" 

which has its signification, to be sure, but 
it is a reading of doubtful genuineness. 
Hazlitt's Popular Poetry, 1864, i., 187. 
Among the "Receipts and disbursements 
of the Canons of St. Mary, in Hunting- 
don," 1517, we have the following entry : 
" Item, for letting our horses blade in 
Chrystmasse weke, liijd." Douce says the 

eractice of bleeding horses on St. 
tephen's Day is extremely ancient and 
appears to have been brought into this 
<;ountry by the Danes. In Tusser's " Hus- 
bandry," 1580, under December, are the 
following lines : 

" Yer Christmas be passed, let horsse be 

let blood. 
For manie a purpose it doth them much 

good : 
The day of S. Steeven, old fathers did 

use, 
If that do mislike thee, some other day 

chuse." 

On which is this note in " Tusser Redivi- 
vus," 1710: "About Christmas is a very 
proper time to bleed horses in, for then 
they are commonly at house, then spring 
■comes on, the sun being now come back 
fiom the winter solstice, and there are 
three or four days of rest, and if it be upon 
St. Stephen's Day, it is not the worse, 
seeing there are with it three days of rest, 
or at least two." The following is from 
Copley's " Wits, Fits and Fancies, 1595 " : 
" "On S. Stevens Day it is the custome 
for all horses to be let bloud and drench'd. 
A gentleman being (that morning) de- 
maunded whether it pleased him to have 
liis horse let bloud and drencht, according 



to the fashion? He answered with a poor 
quibble on the well-known malady among 
lioises (the farcin or equine scrofula). No, 
sirra, my horse is not diseased of the 
fashions." Aubrey, in the " Remains of 
Gentilisme," says: "On St. Stephen's 
Day the farrier came constantly and 
blouded all our cart-horses. 

Hospinian quotes a notion from Nao- 
georgus that it is good to gallop 
horses till they are all over in a 
sweat, and then bleed them, on Ste- 
phen's Day, to pre\ent their having 
any disorders for the ensuing year. Hos- 
pinian " De Orig. Fest. Christianor," fol. 
160: 

"Then followeth St. Stephens Day 

whereon doth every man 
His horses jaunt and course abrode, as 

swiftly as he can. 
Until they doe extreemely sweate, and 

than they let them blood. 
For this being done upon this day, they 

say doth do them good, 
And keepes them from all the maladies 

and sicknesse through the yeare. 
As if that Steven any time took charge 

of horses heare." 

Googe's translation of Popish Kingdome, 
fol. 45. Brand also quoted under this head 
Hildebrandus " De Diebus Festis," SS. 
Antiquitat. Epitome, p. 33. 

Blood of Hales, The. — Perhaps to 
the number of miraculous agencies to 
which credit was given by our forefathers 
may be added the holy blood of Christ in 
Heles. This was a phial alleged to contain 
some of the Saviour's blood, brought from 
Palestine by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, 
and presented to the Cistercian brother- 
hood at Hales, Gloucestershire. There are 
occasional allusions to this relic in our 
household books, periodical oblations being 
made to it, and Thomas Baker, of St. 
John's College, Cambridge, states that 
there was a short poetical narrative of the 
prodigy, from the press of Wynkyn de 
Worde. .\t the dissolution we find the 
Abbot of Hales himself writing to Crom- 
well, and suggesting the demolition of the 
shrine (worth, according to him, scarcely 
£30 for the gold and silver about it) , where 
"the faynyd relycke called the Bloode " 
was exhibited in order, as the abbot says, 
that it may not " mynistre occasyon to any 
weke person, loking thereupon, to abuse 
his conscyens therewith ! " In a subse- 
quent letter from Bishop Latimer to Crom- 
well the whole trick is laid bare. Ellis's 
Orig. Letters, 3rd Series, iii., 249. 

Latimer, in his seventh Lent sermon 
before Edward "VI., 1549, says:— "What 
became of his blud that fell downe trowe 
ye? Was the bloude of Hales of it (wo 
worthe it). What ado was it to brynge 



58 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



thys out of the Kynges heade, thys greate 
abhominacion of the bloud of hales could 
not be taken a great whyle out of his 

mjnde Vnpreacheynge Prelates 

haue bene the cause, that the bloud of 
Hales did so long blynd the Kynge." 

Blood PortentSi &C. — Scot, in his 
"Discovery," 1584, says, "I have heard 
by credible report, that the wound of a man 
murthered, lenewing bleeding at the pre- 
sence of a dear friend, or of a moital 
enemy. Divers also write that if one pass 
by a murthered body (though unknown) he 
shall be stricken with fear, and feel in 
himself some alteration by nati^fe." 
" Three loud and distinct knocks at the 
bed's head," says Grose, " of a sick per- 
son, or at the bed's head or door of any of 
his relations, is an omen of his death." 
King James, in his " Dsemonology," 1597, 
says, "In a secret murther, if the dead 
carkasse be at any time thereafter handled 
by the murtherer, it will gush out of blood, 
as if the blood were crying to Heaven for 
ri.venge of the murtherer." In the narra- 
tive by Sir Simonds D'Ewes of the Babb 
murder at Kingston, in Somersetshire, 
1()13, there is a reference to this common 
belief. 

In the prose Merlin we get the in- 
cident of the supposed miraculous power of 
the blood of the child " born without 
father," to stay the destruction of King 
Vortiger's strong tower. This is to be 
regarded as an early example of the belief 
in charms, ivhich was unquestionably far 
more ancient in this country than any 
existing records shew. In Five Philosophi- 
cal Questions Disputed, 1650, one is : "Why 
dead bodies bleed in the presence of their 
murtherers," and the writer accounts for 
the phenomenon on scientific grounds, ari- 
sing from the tendency of blood to liquefy 
after death by the heat generated by cor- 
ruption. The air being heated by many 
persons coming about the body, is the 
same thing to it as motion is. 'Tis observed 
that dead bodies will bleed in a concourse 
of people, when murtherers are absent as 
well as present, yet legislators have 
thought fit to authorize it, and use this 
tiyal as an argument at least, to frighten 
though 'tis no conclusive one to condemn 
them.". It was part of the system of 
witchcraft that drawing blood from a 
witch rendered her enchaatments ineffec- 
tual. This curious doctrine is very fully 
investigated in Hathaway's Trial, pub- 
lished in the "State Trials." In Glan- 
ville's "Account of the Daemon of Ted- 
worth," speaking of a boy that was be- 
witched, he says, the " Boy drew towards 
Jane Brooks, the woman who had be- 
witched him, who was behind her two sis- 
ters, and put his hand upon her, which his 
father perceiving, immediately scratched 
her face and drew blood from her. The 



youth then cry'd out that he was welU 
Blow at Modern Saddueism, 1668, p. 148. 
Compare Witchcraft. The following pas- 
sage is in a tract bv Arise Evans : " I had 
heard some say, that when a witch had 
power over one to afflict him, if he could 
but draw one drop of the witches blood, 
the witch would never after do him hurt." 
Eccho to the Voice from TIeaven, 1652, p. 
34. In the first part of " Henry the Sixth," 
act i. sc. 10, Talbot says to the Pucelle 
d' Orleans : 

— "I'll have a bout with thee. 
Devil or Devil's dam, I'll conjure thee, 
Blood will I draw on thee, thou art a 
witch." 

Thus also in Butler's " Hudibras" : 

"Till drawing blood o' the dames like 

witches, 
They're forthwith cur'd of their cap- 
riches." 

And in Cleveland's "Rebel Scot: " 

' ' Scots are like witches, do but whet 

your pen. 
Scratch till the blood come, they'll not 

hurt you then." 

Park here refers to a passage in Bastard's 
"' Chrestoleros," 1598: 

" Phisition Lanio neuer will forsake, 
His golden patiente while his head doth, 

ake: 
When he is dead, farewell, he comes not 

there. 
He hath nor cause, nor courage to 

appeare. 
He will not look vpon the face of death. 
Nor bring the dead vnto her mother 

f-arth. 
I will not ."ay, but if he did the deede, 
He must be absent lest the corpse- 
should bleed." 

This notion is illustrated by the ballad of 
"Young Redin:" 

" white, white were his wound* 
washen, 

As white as a linen clout ; 
But as the traitor she came near. 

His wounds they gushed out." 

Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, 1827, 
p. 1. And the Editor remarks, that h& 
lecolleots ' ' this ordeal having been prac- 
ticed at Aberdeen about twenty years agO' 
(this was written in 1827), on the occasion 
of the body of a pregnant woman having 
been found in the neighbouring canal." 
Blood flowed from her nostrils, it is said, 
directly the suspected murderer touched 
her; but this proof, though accepted by 
the populace, was not thought conclusive 
by the lawyers. There is a pretty littlo 
anecdote, which may be regarded as an 
illustration of the present matter by the 
way in Copley's, Wits, Fits, and Fancies, 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



sec 



1595, ed. 1614, p. 85: — " A gentlewoman 
went to church so concealed, that shee 
thought no body could know her. It 
chanced that her louer met her, and knewe 
her, and spake vuto her : Sir (shee an- 
swered) you mistake me, how knoiv yee 
mei' All too well (reply'd the gentleman) 
for so soone as I met you, beholde my 
wounds fell fresh a bleeding : Oh heereof 
you onely are guilty." 

The superstition still prevails in 
some parts of the country. At the 
Warwick \iiiittr Assizes for 1867, John 
Davis, a maltster, formerly residing 
at Stratford-on-Avon, was charged with 
having wounded Jane Ward, and on this 
occasion the following extraordinary par- 
ticulars were divulged. "The prisoner, 
with his family, up to the time of his ar- 
rest, had resided in Sheep-street, Strat- 
ford-upon-Avon, and they had laboured 
under an impression that the prosecutrix, 
who occupied an adjoining house, had be- 
witched them. In spite of the efforts of 
friends to the contrary, they persisted in 
the delusion, and frequently narrated, 
with singular circumstantiality, visits 
which had been paid them in the night 
time by spirits. Some of these, they stated, 
entered the dwelling by descending the 
chimney, and when they landed in the 
room they went through a variety of capers 
such as seizing the furniture, and pitching 
it about the apartment, pulling the clot he? 
off the bed, and even tossing the inmates 
up into the air. One young girl, who was 
an invalid, and was obliged to recline 
upon the sofa, solemnly declared that a 
man and woman came down the chimney 
on one occasion, both being headless, and 
taking her by the body, cast her violently 
upon the ground, tiien tossed her up into 
the air, and performed similar feats witli 
the sofa. The statement created so great 
a stir in the town that the police were 
called in to investigate the matter, and al- 
though they pointed to the accumulated 
dust around the feet of the sofa in proof 
that no such thing could have happened the 
prisoner and his family declarecl their firm 
belief that witches had been there, and the 
only way to break the spell was to draw 
blood from the body of the prosecutrix, 
who was suspected of having bewitched 
them. A day or two after, the prisoner 
rushed into the house occupied by Jane 
Ward the complainant, and inflicted a 
frightful gash in her cheek. He inflicted 
a wound half an inch in width and two 
and a half inches deep When he saw the 
blood flowing down her face, he exclaimed, 
' There, you old witch, I can do anything 
with you now.' At the station, he said, in 
answer to the charge, ' Serve her right : 
she can do no more for me now. I nave 
drawn first blood.' " 



Blow-point. — Blow-point appears to 
have been a relatively advanced game. 
Procter, in his book " Of the Know- 
ledge and Conducte of Warres," 1578, 
observes : " Lycurgus, the politique 
Prince, amonge his lawes and cus- 
tomes, which hee established theare- 
(in Lacedaemon) ordayned that all spare 
tyme shoulde be expended in vertuous ex- 
ercises, and principallye in the noble prac- 
tyses of armes, to gebt honour, and soue- 
raynetye of the enemyes, cleane cuttiiige of 
vnthriftye wastfull ryott, abandoninge de- 
lycate nycenesse, and banishinge idle, and 
cbyldishe games, as commen cardplaye, 
cayles, coytes, slyde-bourde, bowles, and 
blowepoynt, which weare throwen oute of 
the commen-wealthe. From whence also' 
bee dyscarded and expelled ianglers, iesters 
iuglers, puppetplayers, pypers, and suche 
like vnprofitable persons, in steade of 
which weare mayntayned menne of valure, 
frequentynge and exercisynge aetiuitye of 
wrastelinge, dartynge, throwinge the 
barre, the sledge, vsinge the weapons of 
warre," &c. Marmion, in his "Anti- 
quary," 1641, act i. says : "I have heard 
of a nobleman that has been drunk with a 
tinker, and a Magnifico that has plaid at 
Blow-point." Among the old proverbs is, 
"to leave boy's play, and ftfll to blow- 
point." Hazlitt's Proverbs, 1882, p. 437. 
So, in "Lingua," 1607, act iii. sc. 2, 
Anamnestes introduces Memory as telling 
"how he plaid at Blowe-point with Jupi- 
ter when he was in his side-coats." 

Blue Gowns, or Beadsmen, an order 
of privileged mendicants in Scotland, of 
which the latest trace did not expire till 
1863. The first appellation was due to the 
distribution among these persons of a gown 
of blue cloth, to which were added a loaf 
of bread, a bottle of ale, and a leathern 
purse containing a penny for every year of 
the ruling sovereign's age ;and annually a 
new beadsman or Blue Gown was elected. 
Each member of the body bore a pewter 
badge, on which were inscribed his name 
and the words Past ajul Repast The 
usage, which had had its origin in the an- 
cient practice of vicarious prayer, resolved 
itself into a public charity, of which the 
sources were forgotten, and in 1833 sixty 
Beadsmen were on the roll. No appoint- 
irients were made after that date, and the 
last survivor drew his allowance from the 
Exchequer at Edinburgh in May, 1863. 

Boar's Head — Holinshed says that, 
in the year 1170, upon the day of the 
young Prince's coronation, King Henry 
the Second " served his son at the table as 
sewer, bringing up the bore's head, with 
trumpets before it, according to the man- 
ner." It is probable that Chaucer alluded 
to the above custom in the following pas- 
sage, in his Franklin's Tale • 



■60 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



" Janus sitteth by the fire with double 

herd, 
And he drinketh of his bugle-horne the 

wine^ 
Before him standeth the brawne of the 

tusked swine." 

Dugdale, speaking of the Christmas Day 
Ceremonies in the Inner Temple, says : 
" Service in the church ended, the gentle- 
men presently repair into the hall to 
breakfast, with brawn, mustard, and 
ii;a,lmsey." At dinner, " at the first course 
is served in a fair and large Bores Head, 
upon a silver platter, with minstralsye." 
Orig. Jurid., p. 155. Aubrey tells us (1678) 
that, before the Civil Wars, it was custom- 
ary in gentlemen's houses to bring in at 
th'j first dish at Christmas a boar's head, 
«ith a lemon in its mouth. Morant says 
tbfit the inhabitants of Horn Church, in 
the Liberty of Havering, when they paid 
the great tithes on Christmas Day, were 
treated with a bull and brawn, and the 
boar's head was wrestled for. The cere- 
mony was long observed, as Hearne tells 
us. at Queen's College, Oxford, with the 
improvement that the boar's head was 
neatly carved in wood. Ritson printed the 
Carol sung in bringing in the head from 
a collection published in 1621. Ancient 
Songs, ed. 1877, p. 158. In later times the 
words were greatly altered. In Dekker's 
"Wonderful Yeare, 1603," signat. D 2, 
our author, speaking of persons apprehen- 
sive of catching the plague, says, "they, 
went (most bitterly) miching and. muffled 
up and downe, with rue and wormewood 
stuft into their eares and nosthrils, look- 
ing like so many bores heads stuck with 
blanches of rosemary, to be served in for 
brawne at Christmas." In the " Gotha- 
mite Tales," 1630, No 18 is an anecdote of 
a Scot, who ordered of a carver a boar's 
head for a sign to his inn at Gotham. 
"Hee did come to a carver or a joyner, 
saying in his mother tongue : I say, speake, 
canst thou make me a bare-head? Yea, 
said the carver. Then said the Scottish- 
man : make me a bare-head anonst Youle, 
iind thouse have twenty pence for thy hire. 
I will doe it, said the carver. On 8. An- 
drewes day before Christmas the which is 
named Youle in Scotland (and in England 
in the North), the Scottish man did come 
to London for the boreshead to set it at 
the doore for a signe." This is alluded to 
in King's " Art of Cookery," p. 75 : 

" At Christmas time — 

Then if you wou'd send up the brawner's 

head. 
Sweet rosemary and bays around it 

spread ; 
His foaming tusks let some large pippin 

grace. 
Or, 'midst these thundring spears an 

orange place; 



Sauce, like himself, offensive to its foes. 
The roguish mustard, dang'rous to the 

nose. 
Sack, and the well-spic'd Hippocras the 

wine, 
Wassail the bowl with antient ribbands 

fine, 
Porridge with plumbs, and turkeys with 

the chine.'' 

Boat-Show. — An annual ceremony 
formerly practised at Cambridge, when the 
College boats assembled at a certain point, 
and were decorated with flags, flowers, &c. 

Bodmin Riding:.. — The late Mr. 
Thomas Quiller Couch of Bodmin, one 
of our best informed Cornish anti- 
quaries, permitted me, in 1870, to 
introduce here a full account of this 
little - understood subject, communicated 
by him some years before to the " Jour- 
nal of the Penzance Society " ; " Whilst 
the material remains of ihe past, with 
which our county abounds, have occupied 
many an able pen and pencil, the curious 
memorials of old forms of faiths and modes 
of life, hardly less ancient and fully as 
interesting, have been singularly neglected 
by the Cornish antiquary. Modified in 
the course of their long descent, until but 
faint traces of their origin and intention 
remain, there is freouently enough left un- 
altered to shew that tliey are in their form 
as old as those relics which the ever-during 
granite has preserved to us. It is quite 
time, however, that a record should be 
made of them, since the rapid fluctuations 
and changes of the last fifty years have 
done more to alter and efface them than 
many previous centuries of stagnation, or 
of very gradual progress. I shall begin 
with a festival of which the remembrance 
lingers only among people past middle-age, 
and which is never likely to be revived. It 
was kept at Bodmin on the Sunday and 
Monday after St. Thomas a Becket's Day, 
July 7. A puncheon of beer having been 
brewed in the previous October, and duly 
bottled in anticipation of the time, two or 
three young men were entrusted with the 
chief management of the affair, and who 
represented the wardens of Carew's church 
ales, went round the town attended 
by a band of drums and fifes or other in- 
struments. The crier saluted each house 
with : ' To the people of this house, a pros- 
perous morning, long life, health, and a 
merry riding !' The musicians then struck 
up the Riding Tune, a quick and inspirit- 
ing measure, said by some to be as old as 
the feast itself. The householder was soli- 
cited to taste the riding ale, which was 
carried round in baskets. A bottle was 
usually taken in, and it was acknowledged 
by such a sum as the means or humour of 
the townsman permitted, to be spent on 
the public festivities of the season. Next 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



6i 



morning, a procession was formed, (all who 
could afford to ride mounted on liorse or 
ass), first to the Priory, to receive two 
large garlands of flowers fixed on staves, 
and then in due order through the prin- 
cipal streets to the town-end, where the 
games weie formally opened. The sports, 
which lasted two days, were of the ordin- 
ary sort; wrestling, foot-racing, jumping 
in sacks, &c. It is worthy of remark that 
a second or infei-ior brewing^ from the 
same wort, was drunk at a minor merry- 
making at Whitsuntide. The description 
of the ceremony has been obtained from 
those who took part in its latest celebra- 
tion. No one wno compares this account 
of the riding with Carew's description of 
Church-ales, can doubt that the two were 
originally identical in their meaning. That 
the custom of keeping Church-ales on a 
Sunday was a common one, appears from 
a sermon preached by William Kethe, at 
Blandford Forum, in 1570 ; and in which 
he tells us that his holyday ' the multitude 
call their revelyng day, which day is spent 
in bull-baitings, beare-baitings, bowlings, 
dicyiug,' &o. In the accounts which are 
preserved relative to the rebuilding of 
Bodmin parish church, ' the stewards of 
the Ridyng-Gild ' are mentioned as con- 
tributors. In an order, dated Nov. 15, 
1583, regulating the business of shoe- 
makers, (a class which seems for ages to 
have been more than usually numerous in 
Bodmin), it is directed by the Mayor and 
the masters of the occupation, ' that at the 
riding every master and journeyman shall 
give their attenclance to the steward, and 
likewise bring him to the church, upon 
pain of 12d. for every master, and 6d. for 
every journeyman, for every such default, 
to the discretion of the masters of the occu- 
pation.' Polwhele gives an imperfect ac- 
count of the Bodmin Riding. He is in- 
clined to deduce it *^rom the Floralia of 
Roman times ; and he thinks that the God- 
dess Flora was, in later ages, superseded 
by St. Thomas of Canterbury, at whose 
shrine the garlands of flowers were pre- 
sented. I have heard an opinion that the 
feast was in celebration of the restitution 
of St. Petrook's bones, which were stolen 
from the Priory of Bodmin about the yi^ar 
1177, and carried to the Abbey of St. Mev- 
ennus in Brittany, but were restored at 
the powerful intercession of Henry II. 
Heath says, without giving any autho- 
rity, that ' this carnival is said to be 
as old as the Saxons. Several attempts 
have been made to resuscitate this festi- 
val, but it is now hopelessly dead. I have 
a deprecatory pamphlet, dated 1825, en- 
titled : ' A leter to a Friend, relative to 
the approaching games commonly called 
Bodmin riding. At this bright season, 
when field and wood put on their gayest 
green, and even tongueless things seem 



full of praise and thankfulness, it is not 
strange that the heart of man sliould be 
moved to joy and thanksgiving, even 
though the gratitude due to the Giver of 
all good may often be misdirected. The 
feast of the Summer Solstice modified by 
circumstances of time and place, but al- 
most universally observed, is probably as 
old as the gratitude which the season's pro- 
fusion naturally inspires ; so that, instead 
of deriving our midsummer games from 
the floral festivities of the Romans, we 
should more rightly consider them as simi- 
lar in meaning and coeval in origin. I 
have heard some doubts expressed as to 
the antiquity of the Riding Tune (ap- 
pended to this account) ; and I have asked 
the opinion of William Sandys, Esq., 
F.S.A., a well-known antiquary, and an 
excellent authority on such a subpect. He 
says : ' It struck me as having a simila- 
rity to some tunes of the last century, or 
perhaps the end of the 17th, and of which 
there are examples in ' The Dancing Mas- 
ter,' of which so many editions were pub- 
lished, although now not common. The- 
tune, therefore, does not appear to be of 
very high antiquity ; but, at the same time, 
there is something about it which might 
induce one to suppose it might be founded 
on an older tune.' Mr. Sandys kindly 
submitted it to Mr. Chappell, author of 
the excellent work on the Popular Music^ 
of England ; and his opinion on such a 
point is especially valuable. Mr. Chappell 
considers it not more than thirty or forty 
years old, and founded on ' The Fall of 
Paris.' ' But even if this were so,' says 
Mr. Sandys, 'The Pall of Paris ' is founded 
on, and almost identical with, the cele- 
brated French revolutionary air ' Ca ira,' 
which is more than seventy years old.' I 
have direct proof of its being in use at this- 
festival for a century past. Heath (and 
almost all our guide-books follow him) 
makes the Bodmin Riding identical with 
the Halgaver Sports ; but with insuflSci- 
ent reason. He says : " A carnival is kept 
every year, about the middle of July, on 
Halgaver Moor, near Bodmin, resorted to 
by thousands of people ; the sports and 
pastimes of which were so well liked by 
King Charles II., when he touched there m 
his way to Scilly, that he became a brother 
of the jovial society.' The MM. Lysons 
doubt the story of Charles's participation 
in these games, since the time of the- 
Prince's journey to Scilly does not accord 
with the period of the festival. I know of 
no author, besides Carew, who makes in- 
dependent mention of the Halgaver sports, 
and, from the account in the Survey, it 
would seem that Halgaver was the scene of 
perennial jokes ; nor is it anywhere said 
that its usages and immunities were con- 
fined to any season. The Bodmin Riding 
is evidently quite distinct; though pro- 



62 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



ably, at a time of great merry-making in 
t he neighbourhood of the Moor, the ' un- 
gracious pranks ' may have been more 
than usually rife. No remembrance of 
i^algaver Court exists among people now 
resident in the neighbourhood. "Now 
:and then,' says Carew, ' they extend this 
■merriment, to the prejuc'ice of over- 
•credulous people persuading them to 
ifight with a dragon lurking in Hal- 
gaver, or to see some strange matter 
-therOj which concluded at last with a 
tiaining them into the mire.' This also is 
an interesting illustration of the social life 
of our forefathers. It was a custom, which 
the existence of good parish maps now ren- 
ders less necesary, on one of the days of 
Rogation week to make a yearly renewal of 
the ancient landmarks : 

' Our fathers us'd in reverent processions 

(With zealous prayers and with praise- 
ful cheere), 

To walke their parish-limits once a 
yeare : 

And well-knowne marks (which sacri- 
legious hands 

rNow cut or breake) so bord'red out their 
lands, 

That ev'ry one distinctly knew his own. 

And many brawles, now rife, were then 
unknowne." 

" In this procession, when clergy and 
people went round to beat the bounds of 
the parish, praying here and there at cer- 
tain wonted spots, (frequently marked by 
a cross), it was usual to drag round an 
.effigy of a dragon, representing the Spirit 
•of evil. The Dragon usually came to some 
ignominous end, and the place where he 
finished his career is still known in many 
places by the name of Dragon Rock, Dra- 
gon Well, Dragon Pit. An excavation 
called ' Dragon Pit ' still exists on Hal- 
gaver Moor." 

The BODMIN "RIDING TUNE." 





Boe Bullbag^ger. — See Barguest 
and Bull-heggar. 

Bograne (Manx).. — See Antiquary 
for December, 1886. 

Bo-Peep. — The best account of this 
child's amusement, which, however, grew 
into a proverb and an exclamation, is in 
Halliwell's Popular Bliymes and Nursery 
Tales, 1849j p. 109, et seqq. Compare 
Halliwell in v.. All - Hid supra, and 
Davis, Suppl. Olossary, 1881. The ful- 
lest text is to be found, I think, in Nursery 
Bhymes of England, Percy Soo. ed. p. 75. 

Boneshave.— The boneshave, a wor.l 
perhaps nowhere used or understood in 
Devonshire but in the neighbourhood of 
Exmoor, means the sciatica ; and the Ex- 
nioorians, when affected therewith, use the 
following charm to be freed from it. The 
patient must lie upon his back on the bank 
of the river or brook of water, with a 
straight staff by his side between him and 
the water, and must have the following 
words repeated over him, viz. : 

Boneshave right, 

Boneshave straight. 

As the water runs by the stave 

Good for Boneshave." 

They are not to be persuaded but that this 
ridiculous form of words seldom fails to 
give them a perfect cure. Exmoor Scold- 
ing, p. 8, note. 

Bonfire 

Hickes defines a Bonefire to be a feftive or 
triumphant fire. In the Iflandic language, be 
fays, Baal fignihes a burning. In the Anglo- 
Saxon, Bael-pyp, by a change of letters of the 
fame organ, is made Baen-f y]i, whence oui Bone- 
fire. 

In the Tinmouth MSS. cited so often in 
the History of Newcastle, " Boon-er," and 
" Boen-Harow," occur for ploughing and 
harrowing gratis, or by gift. There is a 
passage also, much to our purpose, in Ash- 
ton's Translation of iubanus, p. 282: — 
' Common fires (or as we call them heere in 
England bonefires.)" I am therefore 
strongly inclined to think that bone-fire 
means a contribution fire, that is, a fire to 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



63 



which everyone in the neighbourhood con- 
tributes a certain portion of materials. The 
contributed Ploughing Days in Northum- 
berland are called " Bone-daags." See 
also a letter from Pegge in the " Gent. 
Mag." for 1774, p. 31.5. 

The third Council of ConstantMiople, 
A.D. 680, by its t!5th canon, has the 
following interdiction ; — " Those bon- 
fires that are kindled by eertaine 
people on new moones before their 
shops and houses, over which also they use 
ridiculously and foolishly to leape, by a 
eertaine antient custome, we command 
them from henceforth to cease. Whoever 
therefore shall doe any such thing; if he 
be a clergyman, let him be deposed ; if a 
layman, let him be excommunicated. For, 
in the Fourth Book of the Kings, it is thus 
written: "And Manasseh built an altar to 
all the hoast of heaven, in the two courts of 
the Lord's house, and made his children to 
passe through the fire,' &c." Prynne ob- 
serves upon this : ' ' Bonefires therefore 
had their originall from this idolatrous cus- 
tome, as this Generall Councell hath de- 
fined ; therefore all Christians should avoid 
them." And the Synodus Francica under 
Pope Zachary, a.d. 742, inhibits "those 
sacrilegious fires which they call Neclfri (or 
bonefires), and all other observations of 
the Pagans whatsoever." Bourne tells vis, 
that it was the custom in his time, in the 
North of England, chiefly in country vil- 
lages, for old and young people to meet 
together and be merry over a large fire, 
which was made for that purpose in 
the open street. This, of whatever 
m.aterials it consisted, was called a 
bonefire. In Newton's " Observations 
upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the 
Apocalypse of St. John," the author ob- 
serves, that " the heathens were delighted 
with the festivals of their gods, and un- 
willing to part with those ceremonies ; 
therefore Gregory, Bishop of Neo-Caisarea 
in Pontus, to facilitate their conversion, 
instituted annual festivals to the saints 
and martyrs : hence the keeping of Christ- 
mas with ivy, feasting, plays, and sports, 
came in the room of the Bacchanalia and 
Saturnalia, the celebrating May Day with 
flowers, in the room of the Floralia ; and 
the festivals to the Virgin Mary, John the 
Baptist, and divers of the Apostles, in the 
room of tlio solemnities at the entrance of 
the Sun into the Signs of the Zodiac in the 
old Julian Calendar." — Gent. Mag. for 
1733, and Antiq. of Cornwall, p. 130. Leap- 
ing over the fires is mentioned among the 
superstitious rites used at the Palilia in 
Ovid's Fasti. The Palilia were feasts in- 
stituted in honour of Pales, the goddess of 
shepherds (though Varro makes Pales mas- 
culine'), on the calends of May. In order 
to drive away wolves from the folds, and 



distempers from the cattle, the shepherds 
on this day kindled several heaps of straw 
in their fields, which they leaped over. 
Boilase says sensibly: "Of the fires we 
kindle in many parts of England, at some 
stated times of the year, we know not cer- 
tainly the rise, reason, or occasion ; but 
they may probably be reckoned among the 
relicks of tlie Druid superstitious fires. In 
Cornwall the festival fires, called bonfires, 
arc Itindled on the eve of St. John Baptist 
and St. Peter's Day ; and midsummer is 
thence, in the Cornish tongue, called ' Go- 
luan,' which signifies both light and re- 
joicing. At these fires the Cornish attend 
with lighted torches, tarr'd and pitch'd at 
the end, and make their perambulations 
round their fires, and go from village to 
village carrying their torches before them, 
and this is certainly the remains of the 
Druid superstition, for ' faces prseferre,' 
to carry lighted torches, was reckoned a 
kind of Gentilism ,and as such particularly 
prohibited by the Gallick Councils : they 
were in the eye of the law ' aocensores facu- 
larum,' and thought to sacrifice to the 
devil, and to deserve capital punishment." 
Over and about this fire they frequently 
leap, and play at various games, such as 
running, wrestling, dancing, &c. ; this, 
however, is generally confined to the youn- 
ger sort; for the old ones, for the most 
part, sit by as spectators only of the vaga- 
ries of those who compose the 

" Lasciva decentius setas," 

and enjoy themselves over their bottle, 
which they do not quit till midnight, and 
sometimes till cock-crow the next morn- 
ing. 

In the play of " Sir Thomas More" 
(circa 1590), Doll Williamson is made to 
say : "I, for we maye as well make bone- 
fiers on Maye daye as at midsommer." 
" Leaping o'er a midsummer bonefire " is 
jnentioned amongst other games in Tomp- 
son's "Garden of Delight," 1658. Torre- 
blanca, in his " Demonology," has a pas- 
sage, in which he tells us how the ancients 
wore accustomed to oass their children of 
both sexes through the fire for the sake of 
securing them a prosperous and fortunate 
lot, and he adds that the Germans imitated 
this profane usage in their midsummer 
pyres in honour of the anniversary of St. 
John's Day. He, too, cites, among others, 
Ovid, where the poet says : — 

" Certe ego transilii positas ter in ordine 
flammas." 
Ccmp. St. John's Eve and Midsummer. 

Books. — Books, by way of funeral 
tokens, used to be given away at the 
burials of the better sort in England. In 
my Collection of Portraits (notes Mr. 
Brand) I have one of John Bunyan, taken 
from before an old edition of his works, 



64 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



which I bought at Ware, in Hertfordshire. 
It is thus inscribed on the back in MS. : 
" Funeral Token in remembrance of Mr. 
Hen. Plonier, who departed this life Oct. 
2, 1696, being 79 years of age, and is de- 
signed to put us that are alive in mind of 
our great change. Mr. Daniel Clerk the 
elder his book, Oct. 23, 1696." A writer 
in the "Athenian Oracle," considers that 
' ' a book would be far more convenient, 
more durable, and more valuable a present, 
than what are generally given, and more 
profitably preserve the memory of a de- 
ceased friend." 

Boossenning:. — See Boly Wells. 

Bootingpi — Miss Baker, in her 
" Northamptonshire Glossary," 1S54, de- 
scribes this harvest usage of Booting, 
where any of the men has misconducted 
himself in the field. The culprit is brought 
up for trial at the harvest-home feast, and 
adjudged to be booted. The booting is 
also described by Clare the poet in his 
"Village Minstrel." A long form being 
placed in the kitchen, the good workers 
place themselves along it in a row, with 
their hands laid on each other's backs, so 
as to make a sort of bridge, over which the 
hog (so the delinquent is called, and there 
may be more than one) has to pass, run- 
ning the gauntlet of a boot-legging, with 
which a fellow bastes him lustily as he 
scrambles over. The country people in 
Warwickshire use a sport at their harvest 
home, where one sits as a judge to try mis- 
demeanors committed in harvest, and the 
punishment of the men is, to be laid on a 
bench and slapped on the breech with a 
pair of boots. This they call giving them 
the boots. 

Borrowed or Borrowing' Days. 

— There is a proverb : " April borrows 
three days of March, and they are ill." 
April is pronounced with an emphasis on 
the last syllable, so as to make a kind of 
jingling rhyme with "ill," the last word 
in the line. I have taken notice of this, 
because I find in the Roman Calendar the 
following observations on the 31st of 
March: "The rustic fable concerning the 
nature of the month. The rustic name of 
six days which shall follow in April, or may 
be the last in March." There is no doubt 
but that these observations in the Calen- 
dar, and our proverb, are derived from 
one common origin ; but for want of more 
lights I am unable at present to trace them 
any farther. The Borrowed Days are com- 
mon to many European countries, and M. 
Michel notices in his work on the Basques, 
that the idea prevails among that singular 
people. The Borrowing Days occur in 
"The Complaynt of Scotland." "There 
eftir i entrit in ane grene forest, to con- 
tempil the tendir zong frutes of grene 
treis, because the borial blastis of the thre 



borouing dais of Marche hed chaissit the 
fragrant flureise of evyrie frut-tree far 
athourt the feildis." 

" March said to Aperill, 

I see three hogs upon a hill ; 

But lend your three first days to me, 

And I'll be bound to gar them die. 

The first, it sail be. wind and weet ; 

The next, it sail be snaw and sleet; 

The third, it sail be sic a freeze 

Sail gar the birds stick to the trees. 

But when the Borrowed days were gane 

The three silly hogs came hirplin hame." 

The " Glossary " (in verbo) explains " Bor- 
rouing days, the three last days of 
March," and adds, "concerning the origin 
of the term, the following popular rhyme 
is often repeated : 

" March borrowit fra Averill 
Three days, and they were ill." 

Speaking of the death of King James I., 
in 1625, at a time when a furious storm 
was raging along the Scotish coast. Cham- 
bers remarks : "This was long after remem- 
bered as the storm of the Borrowing Days. 
... It is a proverbial observation of the 
weather, which seems to be justified by 
fact, the bad weather being connected with 
{ the vernal equinox." Domestic Annals of 
Scotland, 2nd edit., i., 553. These days 
had not escaped the observation of Sir. T. 
Browne, who, however, gives no explana- 
tion. In the "Country Almanack" for 
1676, among the " remarques upon April," 
are the following : 

" No blust'ring blasts from March needs 

April borrow : 
His own oft proves enow to breed us 

sorrow. 
Yet if he weep (with us to sympathise). 
His trickling tears will make us wipe our 

eyes." 

A clergyman in Devonshire informed Mr. 
Brand, about 1795, that the old farmers in 
his parish called the three first days of 
March " Blind Days," which were an- 
ciently considered as unlucky ones, and 
upon which no farmer would sow any seed. 
This superstition, however, was even then 
wearing out apace. 

Bowred, or Crooked Money,— 

Bowed money appears anciently to have 
been sent as a token of love and afiection 
from one relation to another. Thus we 
read in the "Third Part of Conny- 
Catching," by R. Greene, 1592, sign, b 2, 
verso: "Then taking fourth a bowed 
groat, and an olde pennie bowed, he gave 
it her as being sent from her uncle and 
aunt." In " The Country Wake," by Dog- 
get, 1696, act V. sc. 1. Hob, who fancies 
he is dying, before he makes his last will 
and testimony, as he calls it, when his 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



65 



mother desires him to try to speak to 
Mary, " for she is thy wife, and no other," 
answers, " I know I'm sure to her — and I 
do own it before you all ; I ask't her the 
question last Lammas, and at AllhoUows'- 
tide we broke a piece of money ; and if I 
had liv'd till last Sunday we had been 
ask'd in the church." Douce says: — 
'■Analogous to the interchangement of 
rings seems the custom of breaking a 
piece of money." An example of this oc- 
curs in " Bateman's Tragedy," a well- 
known penny history, founded on Samp- 
son's tragedy of the Vow Breaker," 
1636, where the incident may be found. 
We find in Hudibras that the piece 
broken between the contracted lovers must 
have been a crooked one : 
"Like Commendation Ninepence crook't, 
■^ith to and from my Love it look't " ; 
a circumstance confirmed also in " The 
Connoisseur," No. 56, with an additional 
custom, of giving locks of hair woven in a 
true lover's knot. "If, in the course of 
their amour, the mistress gives the dear 
man her hair wove in a true lover's knot, 
or breaks a crooken ninepence with him, 
she thinks herself assured of his inviolate 
fidelity." This "bent token" has not 
been overlooked by Gay : 

' ' A ninepence bentj 
A token kind, to Bumkinet is sent." 
A crooked sixpence is probably yet re- 
garded as lucky. 

Bowing' towards the Altar or Com- 
munion Table on Entering the Church. — 
This custom, which was prevalent when 
Bourne wrote (Antiq. Vulg. ch. v.), he de- 
duces from the ancient practice of the 
Church of worshipping towards the east. 
This, says he, they did that, by so worship- 
ping they might lift up their minds to God, 
who is called the Light, and the Creator of 
Light, therefore turning, says St. Austin, 
our faces to the east, from whence the day 
springs, that we might be reminded of 
turning to a more excellent nature, namely 
the Lord. As also, that as man was 
driven out of Paradise, which is towards 
the east, he ought to look that way, which 
13 an emblem of his desire to return 
thither. St. Damascen therefore tells us 
that because the Scripture says that God 
planted Paradise in Eden towards the east, 
where he placed the man which he had 
formed, whoin he punished with banish- 
ment upon his transgression, and made 
him dwell over against Paradise in the 
western part, we therefore pray (says he) 
being in quest of our ancient country, and, 
as it were, panting after it, do worship 
God that way. 

It is almost supirfluou- to observe 
that bowing toward the altar is a 
vestige of the ancient Ceremonial Law. 
Concession must be made by every advo- 



cate for manly and rational worship, that 
there is nothing more in the east, than in 
the belfry at the west end, or in the body 
of the church. We wonder, therefore, 
however this custom was retained by Pro- 
testants. The cringes and bowings of the 
Roman Catholics to the altar are in adora- 
tion of the corporal presence, their wafer 
God, whom their fancies have seated and 
enthroned in this quarter of the East. 
Durandus Bat. 226. One who has left a 
severe satire on the retainers of those 
forms and ceremonies that lean towards 
popish superstition, tells us : " If I were 
a Papist or Anthropo-morphite, who be- 
lieves that God is enthroned in the East 
like a grave old King, I profess I would 
bow and cringe as well as any limber-ham 
of them all, and pay my adoration to that 
point of the compass (the East) : but if 
men believe that the Holy One who in- 
habits Eternity, is also omnipresent, why 
do not they make correspondent cere- 
monies of adoration to every point of the 
compass ? " Hickeringill's Ceremony - 
Monger, 15. " The manor of turnyng our 
faces to the Easte when wee praie, is taken 
of the old Ethuikes, whiche as Apuleius re- 
membreth, used to loke Eastwarde and 
salute the sonne : we take it as a custom 
to put us in remembraunce that Christe is 
the Sonne of Righteousnes, that discloseth 
all Secretes." Langley's Polydore Virgil, 
1546, fol. 100, verso. Among the charges 
brought by Peter Smart, in 1628, against 
Bishop Cosin are the following : " Fifthly. 
He Ijath brought in a new custome of bow- 
ing the body downe to the ground before 
the altar (on which he hath set candle- 
sticks, basons, and crosses, crucifixes, and 
tapers which stand ther for a dumb shew) : 
hee hath taught and enjoyned all such as 
come neere the altar to cringe and bow 
unto it : he hath commanded the chores- 
ters to make low leggs unto it, when they 
goe to light the tapers that are on it in the 
winter nights; and in their returne from 
it, hee hath enjoined them to make low 
leggs unto it againe, going backwards with 
their faces towards the East, till they are 
out of the inclosure where they usually 
stand. Sixthly : Hee enjoynes them all 
that come to the Cathedrall Church to 
pray with their faces towards the East, 
scoulding and brawling with them, even in 
time of divine service, which refuse to do 
it, and bidding them either to pray to- 
wards the East, or to be packing out of 
the church, so devoted is hee to this East- 
ern superstition." Vanitie and Downfall 
of Superstitiovs Popish Ceremonies, 1628. 
This was re-printed in 1640. We are in- 
formed by Crofton that "The late Arch- 
bishop Laud was the first that ever framed 
a canon for bowing to, towards, or before 
tbfl CrimTTinTii'nT, Tahio " Altar-W orship , 



the Communion Table.' 



66 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



1661, pp. 60, 116. This shrewd writer 
adds : ' ' For which, reason will require 
some symbol of divine nature and presence. 
Its being an holy instrument of divine ser- 
vice, being of no more force for the altar, 
than for the tongs, or snuffers of the taber- 
nacle, or Aaron's breeches under the law, 
or for surplices, organs, chalices, patens, 
and canonical coates and girdles, which 
are made instruments of holy service, by 
our altar-adorers ; and if on that reason 
they must be bowed unto, we shall 
abound in cringing not only in every 
church, but in every street. On Maundy 
Thursday, 1636, Mrs. Charnock, &o. went 
to see the King's Chapel, where they saw 
an altar, with tapers and other furniture 
on it, and a crucifix over it .■ and presently 
came Dr. Brown, one of his Majesties chap- 
laines, and his curate, into the Ohappel, 
and turning themselves towards the altar, 
bowed three times : and then performing 
some private devotion departed : and im- 
mediately came two seminarie priests and 
did as the doctor and his curate had done 
before them." Altar-worship, 1661, pp. 
60, 116. In the " Lincoln Articles of En- 
quiry," 1641, the following occurs: "Do 
you know of any parson, vicar, or curate 
that hath introduced any offensive rites or 
ceremonies into the Church, not estab- 
lished by the lawes of the land ; as namely, 
that make three courtesies towards the 
Communion Table, that call the said table 
an altar, that en joyne the people at their 
coming into the Church to bow towards 
the East, or towards the Communion- 
table?" Mr. Brand tells us that he ob- 
served this practice in College Chapels at 
Oxford. But m 1813 Sir H. Ellis re- 
marks: "The practice of bowing to the 
altar, the Editor believes, is now entirely 
left off at Oxford. That of turning to it 
at the repetition of the Creed is pretty 
generally retained, and certainly has its 
use, in contributing very often to recall 
the wandering thoughts of those who at- 
tend the Chapel service." 

Jtede tells us that whatever reve- 
rential guise, ceremony, or worship 
they \ised at their ingress into churches, 
in the ages next to the apostles (and 
some lie believes they did) is wholly 
buried in silence and oblivion. The Jews 
used to bow themselves towards the mercy- 
seat. The Christians, after them, in the 
Greek and Oriental Churches, have, time 
out of mind, and without any known be- 
ginning, used to bow in like manner. They 
do it at this day. Gregory tells us, that 
the holy men of Jerusalem held a tradition 
generally received from the ancients that 
our Saviour himself was buried with his 
face and feet towards the east. Bourne 
quotes Bede as his authority for saying, 
"that as the holy women entered at the 



eastern part into the circular house hewn 
out in the rock, they saw the Angel sitting 
at the south part of the place, where the 
body of Jesus had lain, i.e., at his right 
hand: for undoubtedly his body, having 
its face upwards and the head to the west, 
must have its right hand to the south. 
I find the following in " A Light Shining 
out of Darknes, or Occasional Queries," 
1659, p. 26: "This reason likewise the 
common people give for their being buryed 
with their feet towards the east, so that 
they may be in a fitter posture to meet 
the Sun of Righteousness when he shall 
appear with healing in his wings, viz. at 
the Resurrection." The subsequent re- 
mark is found at p. 30, " Whether it be not 
a pretty foundation for the Oxford doctors 
to stand booted and spurred in the Actp 
because there is mention made in the 
Scripture of being shod with the prepara- 
tion of the Gospel?" 

" 'Tis in the main allowed," says 
Selden, " that the heathens did, in 
general, look towards the East, when 
they prayed, even from the earliest 
ages of the World." Asplin's Al Kibla, 
1728-31, quoted by Ellis. Comber says, 
" Some antient authors tell us that the 
old inhabitants of Attica buried thus be- 
fore the days of Solon, who, as they report, 
convinced the Athenians that the Island of 
Salamis did of right belong to them by 
shewing them dead bodies looking that 
way, and sepulchres turned towards the 
east, as they used to bury." And the 
Scholiast upon Thucydides says it was the 
manner of all the Greeks to bury their 
dead thus. Again, it was used when they 
were baptized : they first turned their faces 
to the west, and so renounced the Devil, 
and then to the east, and made their co- 
venant with Christ. Lastly, those of the 
ancient Church prayed that way, believing 
that our Saviour would come to judgment 
from that quarter of the heavens, St. 
Damascen asserting that when he ascended 
into Heaven, he was taken up eastward, 
and that his disciples worshipped him that 
way ; and therefore chiefly it was, that in 
the ancient Church they prayed with their 
faces to the east. 

Bovtfin^ a.t the Name of 
Jesus. — Several arguments against this 
usage were published in a tract "by a 
learned author " in 1660. Both as regards 
bowing to the altar and in this other act, 
it is to be remarked that the conventional 
usage of women curtseying is a solecism. 

Bovtfl or Bowling' Alley. — A 
covered space for the game of bowls instead 
of a green. See Halliwell in v. Steven- 
son, in his Twelve Months, 1661, (taken 
from Breton's Fantasticks, 1626), says 
under July : ' ' Bowling- (however tearmed 
like cards and dice unlawfull) I am sure 
is an healthfuU exercise, and good for the 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



67 



body, and hath been prescribed for a re- 
creation to great persons by the learned 
Physitians in which is a great deale of art 
and judgment to be seen especially in the 
expert bowler in choosing out his ground, 
.... whether it be in open wide places, 
or in Allies, and in this sport the choosing 
of the Bowles is not the least of the cun- 
ning belongs to it ; your flat bowles being 
well for close Allies, your round byassed 
bowles for open giound of advantage, and 
your round bowles like a ball for green 
swarths that are plaine and levell." 
Braithwaite, in his " Rules for the Go- 
vernment of thehouse of an Earle," (circa 
1640) describes it as one of the duties of 
the gardener, "to make faire bowling al- 
leys, well banked, and scaled ; which being 
well kepte in many howses are very profit- 
able to the gardiners." 

The Bowling Green House was an 
old establishment under that name on 
Putney Heath, on the site of the re- 
sidence of the younger Pitt. It is 
presumably the establishment to which 
John Locke alludes in his Journal 
under 1679, stating that during the whole 
summer several persons of quality might 
be seen bowling there two or three t^'mes a 
week. It was taken in 1693 by Edward 
Locket, keeper of an ordinary in White- 
hall, and had originally, no doubt, been a 
small and stealthy incroachment on the 
common, due to the negligence or com- 
plicity of the authorities. " The Bowling 
Green House at Putney," observes a 
writer in 1761, "is pleasantly situated, 
and affords a fine prospect. It is now 
tuined into one of those fashionable sum- 
mer breakfasting-places, which level all 
distinction, and mingle the sexes together 
ir. company." Marylebone and Islington 
were also formerly celebrated for their 
bowling greens, which were also found in 
the centre of the Metropolis, as we know 
it. Locke mentions Marylebone in 1679. 
One was attached to Shaver's Hall in the 
Haymarket. The reader may be referred 
to an interesting paper on bowling-greens 
in Notes and Queries for January 15, 1887. 
See also " A description of a Bowling 
Alley " in the "Compleat Gamester," 1674, 
and compare Nares, Glossary, 1859, in v. 
and under Shittles. 

Half-Bowrl — Wliat was termed the 
Half-Bowl is mentioned in a tract of 1580. 
" It was my chance," says the writer, " to 
be at John Crokes, where there is a bowl- 
ing alley of the half bowle, whether doth 
repaire many merchants and sundry 
gentlemen, and in a chamber above divers 
\f<ere at play." The half-bowl was suffici- 
ently celebrated to induce Francis Coules, 
tha popular bookseller of Charles the First 
and Second's times, to adopt it as part of 
liis sign, which formed a rather singular 
compound — "The Lamb and the Half- 



Bowl." In an edition of the " History of 
Tom a Lincoln," 1655, however, the im- 
print bears the latter only. 

Bovtf Is. — It is rather difficult to deter- 
mine whether the game, which was to con- 
sole the Princess of Hungary in her de- 
sj'ondency, was the same as our bowls : if 
so, it was surely an indifferent prescrip- 
tion. In the " Squyr of Lowe Degre," 
the following passage is found : 

"An hundreth Knightes truly tolde, 
Shall play with bowles in alayes colde. 
Your disease to driue awaie." 

A fair account of this diversion is given in 
Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes," and 
probably the best early one is in Taylor the 
Water-Poet's Wit and Mirth, 1629 : " This 
wise game of bowling," says he, "doth 
make the fathers surpasse their children 
in apish toyes and delicate dog-trickes. 
As first for the postures : first handle your 
bowle : secondly, aduance your bowle ; 
thirdly, charge your bowle : fourthly, ayme 
your bowle : fifthly, discharge your 
bcwle : sixthly, plye your bowle : in 
which last posture of plying your 
bowle you shall perceiue many varie- 
ties and diuisions as wringing of the necke, 
lifting vp of the shoulders, clapping of the 
hands, lying downe of one side, running 
after the bowle, making long dutifuU 
scrapes and legs (sometimes bareheaded), 
with entreating him to flee, flee, flee : and 
though the bowler bee a gentleman, yet 
there hee may meet with attendant rookes 
that sometimes will bee his betters six to 
four or two to one. ... A bowler, al- 
though the allye or marke bee but thirty 
or forty paces, yet sometimes I haue heard 
the bowler cry. Rub, rub, rub, and sweare 
and lye that hee was gone an hundred 
miles, when the bowle hath beene short of 
the blocke two yards. The marke which 
they ayme at hath sundry names and epi- 
thites, as a blocke, a jacke, and a mistris." 
Perhaps the foregoing passage may serve 
to elucidate the rather obscure title (as it 
has been regarded) of Freeman's Epi- 
grams," 1614 — " Rubbe and a Great 
Cast." Our ancestors pursued it with 
peculiar ardour and delight, and it is still 
a favourite amusement. Stow seems to 
say that, in his time^ the open ground 
about London was being gradually built 
upon, and that the archers encroached 
upon the bowling alleys. Sir Nicho- 
las Carew was playing at bowls with Henry 
VIII., when by some retort to an offensive 
remark by Henry, he gave umbrage to the 
latter, and was disgraced, and ultimately 
executed in 1539 on Tower Hill. 
In the Privy Purse Expenses of 
the Princess Mary, under April, 1538-9, 
there is a highly-curious entry: — 
" Itm. payd for a brekefaste loste 
at Boiling by my lady maryes gee. 



68 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



. . . xs." It appears also from pas- 
sages in "Wit at Several "Weapons," and 
other dramas, that the small ball, which 
is now called the Jack, was sometimes 
known as the mistress." 

It may be recollected that, in the 
feuds of the great families of Scot- 
land in the sixteenth century, the 
murderer of George Drummond came 
upon him while he and his friends were 
playing at the game. See a letter in the 
Antiquary for January, 1886. While 
Charles I. was at Holmby in 1647, he fre- 
quented the bowling green at Althorp. One 
of the pleasanter traits in the personal 
history of Charles is the recourse of the 
King to the country seat of Mr. Richard 
Shute, a Turkey merchant, at Barking in 
Essex, for the purpose of playing with him 
at this game. Shute used to be called by 
his majesty Satin Shute, from the material 
of which his doublet was made. Some- 
times one won, sometimes the other ; but 
on one occasion Charles lost so frequently, 
that he gave up. His entertainer begged 
him to try another turn — another £1,000 ; 
but the King, laying his hand on his 
shoulder, said : " I must remember I have 
a wife and children to keep." In the story 
of The King and a Poor Northern Man, 
1640, the latter, coming up to London to 
seek redress, does not believfi that it is the 
King, whom they point out to him at the 
Court, playing at bowls in his shirt-sleeves. 
We have all heard how the poet Suckling, 
living at the same time : 

" Prized black eyes and a lucky hit 
At bowls above all the trophies of wit." 

Charles's successor in the Stuart line, the 
merry monarch, is reported to have played 
at the same diversion with his select set for 
an East — a watch made by the early 
master of the craft so-named. A game 
at bowls or ninepins was formerly at least 
a favourite diversion for the rowing par- 
ties up the Thames between Putney and 
Teddington, and the riverside places of 
entertainment were usually provided with 
accommodation for this purpose. 

Boxing'. — Misson, in his Travels in 
England, toward the close of the 17th 
century, speaking of sports and diver- 
sions, says : " Anything that looks like 
fighting is delicious to an Englishman. If 
two little boys quarrel in the street, the 
passengers stop, make a ring round them 
in a moment and set them against one an- 
other, that they may come to fisticuffs. 
When 'tis come to a fight, each pulls off 
his neckcloth and his waistcoat, and gives 
them to hold to the standers-by ; (some 
will strip themselves quite naked to their 
wastes ;) then they begin to brandish their 
fists in the air ; the blows are aim'd all at 
the face, they kick one another's shins, 
they tug one another by the hair, &o. He 



that.has got the other down, may give him 
one blow or two before he rises, but no 
more ; and let the boy get up ever so often, 
the other is obliged to box him again as 
often as he requires it. During the fight 
the ring of by-standers encourage the com- 
batants with great delight of heart, and 
never part them while they fight according 
to the rules : and these by-standers are not 
only other boys, porters, and rabble, but 
all sorts of men of fashion ; some thrusting: 
by the mob, that they may see plain others 
getting upon stalls ; and all would hire 
places if scaffolds could be built in a 
moment. The father and mother of the 
boys let them fight on as well as the rest, 
and hearten him that gives ground or has 
the worst. These combats are less fre- 
quent among grown men than children ; 
but they are not rare. If a coachman has 
a dispute about his fare with a gentleman 
that has hired him, and the gentleman 
offers to fight him to decide the quarrel, 
the coachman consents with all his heart : 
the gentleman pulls off his sword, lays it 
in some shop, with his cane, gloves, and 
cravat, and boxes in the same manner as 
I have described above. If the coachman 
is soundly drubb'd, which happens almost 
always, (a gentleman seldom exposes him- 
self to such a battle without he is sure he's 
strongest) that goes for payment ; but if he 
is the beater, the beatee must pay the 
money about which they quarrell'd." 
Brand once saw the Duke of Grafton 
at fisticuffs, in the open street, with such a 
fellow, whom he lamb'd most horribly. It 
was in the very widest part of the 
Strand. The Duke was big and ex- 
tremely robust. He had hid his Blue 
Ribband, before he took the coach, so that 
the coachman did not know him. Compare 
Bartholomew Pair for a curious anecdote 
of Dr. Johnson's uncle. " In France," 
adds Misson, "we punish such rascals 
with our cane, and sometimes with 
the flat of our sword : but in Eng- 
land this is never practis'd ; they 
use neither sword nor stick against a 
man that is unarm'd : and if an unfortu- 
nate stranger (for an Englishman would 
never take it into his head) should draw 
his sword upon one that had none, he'd 
have a hundred people upon him in a 
moment, that would, perhaps, lay him so 
flat that he would hardly ever get up again 
till the Resurrection." 

Boy-Bishop. — It is uncertain at 
what period the custom of electing boy 
bishops on St. Nicholas's Day commenced 
in England ; but there is little doubt that 
after it had been established on the con- 
tinent, it would soon be imported hither. 
The association of this saint with the rite 
was. of course, due to his patronage of 
children. Warton thought he found traces 
of the religious mockery of the boy bishop 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



69 



as early as 867 or 870, in the Greek Church. 
H.B.P., by Hazlitt, 1871, ii., 228-32, where 
farther particulars may be found. The 
ceremony has been traced to Canterbury, 
Eton (1441). St. Paul's, London, Colches- 
ter, Norwicn, Winchester (1380), Exeter, 
Salisbury, Wells, Westminster, Lambeth, 
York, Beverley, Rotherham, Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, and to several places abroad ; 
there can be little doubt that it was almost 
universal. Gregory thought that the boy 
bishop was peculiar to Salisbury, perhaps 
because he met with the usage in the 
Sarum service book, and Warton supposed 
that the custom was confined to collegiate 
■churches. It seems to be thought that this 
character was originally known as Episco- 
pus Choristarum merely. In the archives 
of Norwich, down to 1521, are sundry en- 
tries relevant to the expenses incurred here 
on this anniversary, and notices of moneys 
left to support the institution. Aubrey's 
Letters, &c., 1813, i. 302-4. In the statutes 
of Salisbury Cathedral, enjoined anno 
1319, Tit. 45, it is ordered that the boy 
bishop shall not make a feast. The boy 
bishop, as it should seem from the Register 
of the capitulary Acts of York Cathedral 
under the date 1367 was to be corpore for- 
unosus, or the election to be void ; and as in 
the same church, under a regulation of 
1390, every chorister was bound to possess 
'■■ claram vocem puerilem," such a quality 
was as justly imperative in the episcopus 
puerorum. Hazlitt's Warton, 1871, iv., 237 
The Boy Bishop at Salisbury is actually 
said to have had the power of disposing of 
such prebends there as happened to fall 
vacant during the days of his episcopacy. 
Edward I., in the 28tli year of his reign, 
being near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, gave 
forty shillings to the Boy-Bishop and his 
oompanions for singing before him on St. 
Nicholas's Eve. It was during the King's 
passage through Newcastle on this occa- 
sion that a boy-bishop said vespers before 
him in his chapel at Heton. It appears 
that at Canterbury in 1464 there was no 
election of a boy bishop in the Grammar- 
school owing to the default or negligence of 
the masters. Liber Johannis Stone, 
mcnachi eccl. Cant, de Ohitibus, &e. sui 
Cenobii (1415-67), a MS. in the library of 
■C. C. C. Camb. One of the original rules 
drawn up for the scholars of Dean Colet's 
Foundation, in 1510, was : " Y'our chylde 
shal, on Chyldermas Daye, wayte vpon the 
boy byshop at Paules, and offer there — .' 
In the Statutes of St. Paul's, 1518, the fol- 
lowing clause occurs : " All these children 
shall every Childermas Daye come to 
Paulis Churche and hear the Childe Bishop 
sermon : and after be at the hygh masse, 
and each of them offer a Id. to the Childe 
Bishop, and with them the Maisters and 
Surveyors of the Scole." A tract by Hugh 
Rhodes, one of the children of the chapel 



under Henry VIII., appeared, according 
to Herbert, in 1555, containing^ in thirty- 
six 6-line stanzas, the " Song of the Child- 
Bishop of St. Paul's," as it was sung be- 
fore the queen at her manor of St. James 
in the Fields in her privy chamber on St. 
Nicholas's Day and Innocents' Day that 
year. It is described as a fulsome pane- 
gyric, in which the queen is compared to 
Judith, Esther, the Queen of Sheba, and 
the Virgin. 

In cathedrals this Boy Bishop seems 
to have been elected from among the 
children of the choir. After his election, 
being completely apparelled in the epis- 
copal vestments, with a mitre and crozier, 
he bore the title and state of a Bishop, and 
exacted ceremonial obedience from his fel- 
lows, who were dressed like priests. 
Strange as it may appear, they took pos- 
session of the Churcn, and_, except mass, 
performed all the ceremonies and offices. 
Northumb. Househ. Book, ed. 1827, p. 439, 
for an ' Inventory of the Robes and Orna- 
ments of a Boy or Beam Bishop." In 
Hearne's " Liber Niger Scaccarii, 1728, 
vol. ii., pp. 674, 686, we find that Arch- 
bishop Rotheram bequeathed " a myter for 
the Barnebishop, of cloth of gold, with 
two knopps of silver gilt and enamyled." 
But in the ordinary churches the appoint- 
ments were almost equally sumptuous and 
costly. The Churchwardens' accounts of 
St Mary at Hill, 10 Henry VI., mention 
two children's copes, also a mitre of cloth 
of gold, set with stones. In 1523, 2s. 8d. 
are charged for the Bishop's dinner and 
his company on St. Nicholas's Day in the 
same accounts at Lambeth. Even posterior 
to the Proclamation of 33 Henry VIII., 
in the St. Mary at Hill books, 1549, is : 
"For 12 oz. silver, being clasps of books 
and the Bishop's mitre, at vs. viijd. per oz. 
vjl. xvis. jd.'' These last were sold. In 
the " Inventory of Church Goods " belong- 
ing to the same parish, at the same time, 
wo have: " Item, a mitre for a Bishop at 
St. Nicholas-tyde, garnished with silver, 
and enamyled, and perle, and counterfeit 
stone." Maskell pointed out that, from 
the services to be said by the Boy Bishop 
and his choristers, as laid down in the 
Sarum Processional, it appears that "not 
only upon the Innocents' or Childermass 
Day did the ' Episcopus Puerorum ' claim 
his rights, and perform all the ecclesias- 
tical duties of his temporary rank, except 
the mass, but from the feast of St. Nicho- 
las to Innocents' Day, a period of nearly a 
month. Whence it does not seem so ex- 
traordinary, as it otherwise might, that 
during this time the Boy Bishop might die, 
in which case he would be buried with the 
due honours ; and the tomb at Salisbury 
is explained." Selected Centuries of 
Books, 1843, pp. 15-16, note. On the eve 
of Innocents' Day, the Boy Bishop was to 



70 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



go in solemn procession with his fellows, 
to the altar of the Holy Trinity and All 
Saints, or (as the Pie directs) to the altar 
of Holy Innocents or Holy Trinity in their 
copes, and burning tapers in their hands. 
The Bishop beginning, and the other boys 
following: "Centum quadraginta qua- 
tuor," &c. Then the verse, " Hi emti 
sunt ex omnibus,' &c. and this was sung 
by three of the boys. Then all the boys 
sang the " Prosa sedentem in superna 
majestatis area," &c. The Chorister 
Bishop, in the mean time, fumed the altar 
first, and then the image of the Holy 
Tiinity. Then the Bishoj) said modestd 
voce the verse " Lsetamini," and the re- 
sponse was, " Et gloriamini," &c. Then 
the prayer which we yet retain : " Deus 
cujus hodierna die," &c. In their return 
from the altar Praecentor puerorum in- 
cipiat, &c., the chanter-chorister began 
" De Sancta Maria," &c. The response 
was " Felix namque," &c., et " sic pro- 
cessio," &c. The procession was made into 
the quire, by the west door, in such order 
that the dean and canons went foremost : 
the chaplains next : the Bishop, with his 
little Prebendaries, in the last and high- 
est place. The Bishop took his seat, and 
the rest of the children disposed themselves 
upon each side of the quire, upon the up- 
permost ascent, the canons resident bear- 
ing the incense and the book : and the 
petit canons the tapers, according to the 
Kubrick. And from this hour to the full 
end of the next day's procession no clerk 
is accustomed (whatever his condition may 
be) to take place above his superiors. Then 
the Bishop on his seat said the verse : 
" Speciosus forma, &o. diffusa est gratia 
in labiis tuis," &c. Then the prayer, 
"Deus qui salutis seternse," &c., "Pax 
vobis," &c. Then after the " Benedicamus 
Domino," the Bishop, sitting in his seat, 
gave the Benediction to the people in this 
manner : " Princeps Ecclesise Pastor ovilis 
cunctam plebam tuam benedicere dig- 
neris," &c. Then, turning towards the 
people, he sang or said : " Cum mansuetu- 
dine & charitate humiliate vos ad benedic- 
tionem " : the chorus answering, "Deo 
gratias." Then the cross-bearer delivered 
up the crozier to the Bishop again, et tunc 
Episcopus puerorum prima signando se in 
fronte sic dicat, " Adjutorium nostrum," 
&c. The chorus answering " Qui fecit 
Coelum & Terram." Then, after some 
other like ceremonies performed, the 
Bishop began the Completorium or Com- 
plyn ; and that done, he turned towards 
the quire, and said, "Adjutorium," &c., 
and then, last of all, he said, " Benedicat 
Vos omnipotens Deus, Pater, and Pilius, 
& Spiritus Sanctus." All this was done 
with solemnity of celebration, and under 
pain of anathema to any that should in- 
terrupt or press upon these children. See 



Gregory's Works, 1649, p. 114. The sh9W 
of the Boy Bishop, rather on account of its 
levity and absurdity, than of its supersti- 
tion, was formally abrogated by a Pro- 
clamation, July 22, 1542. But it 
had been interdicted abroad, a cen- 
tury before, by the Council of Basle, 
1431, as appears from a citation in 
Prynne's " Histriomastix," 1633, and 
the later statutory prohibition was 
more or less disregarded in England. The 
conclusion of Henry VIII. 's Proclamation 
is: "And whereas heretofore dyvers and 
many superstitious and chyldysh observ- 
auncies have be used, and yet to this day 
are observed and kept, in many and sundry 
partes of this Realm, as upon Saint Nicho- 
las, the Holie Innocents, and such like, 
children be strangelie decked and appa- 
rayled to counterfeit Priests, Bishopa, and 
Women, and to be ledde with songes and 
dances from house to house, blessing the 
people, and gathering of money ; and boyes 
do singe masse and preache in the pulpitt, 
with such other unnttinge and inconveni- 
ent usages, rather to the derysyon than 
anie true glorie of God, or honour of his 
sayntes. The Kynges Majestie wylleth 
and commaundeth that henceforth all such 
superstitious observations be left and 
clerely extinguished throwout all this 
Realme and Dominions." Bishop Tanner, 
in a letter to Hearne, says in allusion to 
the abuse of the ancient custom, that the 
choristers chose a bishop and waited on 
him in procession to several houses in the 
city, where the little rogues took great 
liberties. And Tanner traces to this cir- 
cumstance the bye-name of St. Nicholas's 
Clerks conferred on them. 

In Hall's "Triumphs of Rome"" 
(Triumphs of Pleasure) he equally anim- 
adverts on the licence, which had 
crept into this Romish Observance, 
when he says, ' ' What merry work it 
was here in the days of our holy fathers 
(and I know not whether, in some places,, 
it may not be so still), that upon St. 
Nicholas, St. Katherine, St. Clement, and 
Holy Innocents' Day, children were wont 
to be arrayed in chimers, rochets, sur- 
plices, to counterfeit bishops and priests, 
and to be led, with songs and dances, from 
house to house, blessing the people, who 
stood girning in the way to expect that 
ridiculous benediction. Yea, that boys in 
that holy sport were wont to sing masses 
and to climb into the pulpit to preach 
(no doubt learnedly and edifyingly) to the 
simple auditory. And this was so really 
done, that in the cathedral church of Salis- 
bury (unless it be lately defaced) there is 
a perfect monument of one of these Boy 
Bishops (who died in the time of his young 
pontificality) accoutred in his episcopal 
robes, still to be seen. Strype, however, 
in his "Memorials," speaking of the Boy- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



71 



Bishop, among scholars, says: "I shall 
only remark that there might be this at 
least be said in favour of this old custom, 
that it gave a spirit to the children, and 
the hopes that tney might at one time or 
other attain to the real mitre, and so made 
them mind their books." 

With the Catholic Liturgy, all the 
pageantries of popery were restored 
to their ancient splendour by Queen 
Mary. Among these, the procession 
of the Boy Bishop was too popular a mum- 
mery to be overlooked. In Strype we read 
that, Nov. 13, 1554, an edict was issued 
by the Bishop of London to all the Clergy 
or his Diocese, to have a Boy Bishop in 
procession. In the same volume, however, 
we read, " The which was St. Nicholas 
Eve, at even-song time came a command- 
ment that St. Nicholas should not go 
abroad nor about. But, notwithstanding, 
it seems, so much were the citizens taken 
with the mock of St. Nicholas, that is, a 
Boy Bishop, that there went about these 
St. Nicholases in divers parishes, as in St. 
Andrew's, Holborn, and St. Nicolas Olaves 
in Bread-street. The reason the proces- 
sion of St. Nicolas was forbid, was, be- 
cause the Cardinal had this St. Nicolas 
Day sent for all the Convocation, Bishops, 
and inferior Clergy, to come to him to 
I/ambeth, there to be absolved from all 
their perjuries, schisms and heresies." 
In the accounts of St. Mary - at - 
Hill, London, 1554, is the following 
entry: "Paid for makyng the Bishops 
myter, with staff and lace that went to it, 
iiis. Paid for a boke for St. Nicholas, 
viijd." Strype says, that in 1556, on 
St. Nicholas' Even, " St. Nicholas, that is 
a boy habited like a bishop in pontificali- 
bus, went abroad in most parts of London, 
singing after the old fashion, and was re- 
ceived with many ignorant but well-dis- 
posed people into their houses, and had as 
much good cheer as ever was wont to be 
had before, at least in many places." The 
Boy Bishop would naturally be put 
down again when Queen Elizabeth 
came to the crown : and yet, by Put- 
tenham's account, it was exhibited in the 
country villages after her accession. Put- 
tenham wrote his " Art of English Poesy " 
many years before it was published in 
1589. He says: " Methinks this fellow 
speaks like Bishop Nicholas : for on St. 
Nicholas's night, commonly, the scholars 
of the country make them a bishop, who, 
like a foolish boy, goeth about blessing and 
preaching with such childish terms as make 
the people laugh at his foolish counterfeit 
speeches." The special service for Inno- 
cents' Day, in an early printed copy of it, 
is described as " In die innocentium sermo 
pro episcopo puerorum." It commences 
with the words : " Laudate, pueri, domi- 



num, psalmo ceutesimo xii'^ et pro buiuo 
colacionis fundamento." 

In the Posthumous Works of John 
Gregory, 1650, there is a monograpli 
on this subject with three engrav- 
ings ; it is called : Episcopus Puero- 
rum, In die Innocentium ; or a Discoverie 
of an Antient Custom in the Church of 
Sarum, making an Anniversarie Bishop 
among the Choristers." In 12 Edward 
III., while the King was at Antwerp, the 
Boy-Bishop there received 13s. 6d. for sing- 
ing before his majesty in his chamber. 
Hazlitt's Warton, 1871, ii., 229. 

Aubanus tells us, that scholars on 
St. Nicholas's Day used to elect thres 
out of their numbers, one of whom 
was to play the bishop, the oth"r 
two the parts of Deacons. The Bishop 
was escorted by the rest of the boys, 
in solemn procession, to church, where 
with his mitre on, he presided dur- 
ing the time of divine worship : this ended, 
he and his deacons went about singing 
from door to door, and collected money, 
not begging it as alms, but demanding it 
as the Bishop's subsidy. On the eve of 
this day the Doys were prevailed upon to 
fast, in order to persuade themselves that 
the little presents which were put that 
night for them into shoes (placed under 
the table for that purpose), were made 
them by St. Nicholas : and many of them 
kept the fast so rigorously on this account, 
that their friends, in order to prevent 
them from injuring their healths, were 
under the necessity of forcing them to taki> 
some sustenance. Bowie says, that in 
Spain formerly, on this commemoration- 
day, a chorister being placed with solem- 
nity in the midst of the choir, upon a scaf- 
fold, there descended from the vaulting of 
the ceiling a cloud, which stopping, mid- 
way, opened. Two angels within it carried 
the mitre, and descended just so low as to 
place it on his head, ascending immedi- 
ately in the same order in which they came 
down. This came to be an occasion of 
some irregularities ; for till the day of the 
Innocents, he had a certain jurisdiction, 
and his prebendaries took secular offices, 
such as alguasils, catchpoles, dog-whippers 
and sweepers. Prom a paper in the St. 
James's Chronicle," for Nov. 16-18, 1797, 
it appears that at Zug, in Switzerland, the 
ceremonies of this day were suppressed in 
that year in consequence of the complaint 
addressed to the authorities against the 
exactions of the Boy Bishop and his at- 
tendants, who visited all the booths, &c., 
and demanded money. 

Brasot Sunday — In Lancashire, 
or some parts of it, a spiced ale, called 
Braget or Bragot, used to be drunk very 
largely on Palm Sunday, which was thence 
called Bragot Sunday. 



72 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



BrankSi — "They have an artifice at 
Newcastle under Lyme and Walsall," says 
Plot, "for correcting of scolds, which it 
does, too, so efiectually and so very safely, 
that I look upon it as much to be preferred 
to the cucking stoole, which not only en- 
dangers the health or the party, but also 
gives the tongue liberty 'twixt every dipg ; 
to neither of which this is at all liable : it 
being such a bridle for the tongue as not 
only quite deprives them of speech, but 
brings shame for the transgression and 
humility thereupon, before 'tis taken off : 
which being put upon the offender by order 
of the magistrate, and fastened wjth a 

Eadloek behind, she is led round the town 
y an officer, to her shame, nor is it taken 
off till after the party begins to shew all 
external signes imaginable of humiliation 
and amendment." Staffordshire, p. 389. 
Jn a plate annexed, he gives a representa- 
tion of a pair of branks. They still pre- 
serve a pair in the Town Court at ^few- 
castle-upon-Tyne, where the same custom 
once prevailed. Gardner's England's 
Grievance, 1656, and Brand's History, ii., 
292. A fuller description of the brank oc- 
curs in Willis's "Current Notes " for May, 
1854, where several engravings accompany 
and illustrate the letter-press. The writer 
says : It may be described as an iron 
skeleton helmet, having a gag of the same 
metal, that by being protruded into the 
mouth of an inveterate Ibrawler, effectually 
branked that unruly member, the tongue. 
As an instrument of considerable antiquity 
at a time whan the gag, the rack, and the 
axe were the ratio ultima Bomm, it has 
doubtless been employed, not unfrequently 
for purposes of great cruelty, though in 
most examples, the gag was not purposely 
designed to wound the mouth, but simply 
to restrain or press down the tongue. 
Several of these instruments are yet ex- 
tant, though their use has now, thanks to 
more considerate civilization, become ob- 
solete. . . . The earliest use of the brank 
in England is not antecedent to the reign 
of Charles." A curious variety of this old 
mode of penance is noticed in the same 
miscellany for October, 1854. 

Bra.w/1. — A dance introduced from 
France in or about the middle of the six- 
teenth century. See Halliwell in v. 

Bread— In Craven, in the West Rid- 
ing of York, those who knead dough for 
baking are in the habit of making the sign 
of the cross, both when they knead or 
stiffen the material, and when they elt or 
moisten it with additional milk or milk 
and water, as a precaution against the 
sinister action of any witch or evil-eyed 
person at hand. Douce, in his interleaved 
copy of Brand's "Antiquities," pointed 
out that M. Thiers (in his Traite 
des Superstitions) mentioned a belief as 



prevalent in France that bread baked on 
Christmas Eve would not turn mouldy. 
Bread and Cheese Land. — 

Hasted, speaking of Biddenden, tells us 
that "twenty acres of land, called the 
Bread and Cheese Land, lying in five 
pieces, were given by persons unknown, the 
yearly rents to be distributed among the 
poor of this parish. This is yearly done 
on Easter Sunday, in the afternoon, in 600 
cakes, each of which have the figures of 
two women impressed on them, and are 
given to all such as attend the church ; and 
270 loaves, weighing three pounds and a 
half a-piece, to which latter is added one 
pound and a half of cheese, are given to 
the parishioners only at the same time. 
There is a vulgar tradition in these parts, 
that the figures on the cake represent the 
donors of this gift, being two women 
twins, who were joined together in their 
bodies, and lived together so till they were 
between twenty and thirty years of age. 
But this seems without foundation. The 
truth seems to be, that it was the gift of 
two maidens, of the name of Preston ; and 
that the print of the women on the cakes 
has taken place only within these fifty 
years, and was made to represent two 
poor widows, as the general objects of a 
charitable benefaction." " At Biddenden, 
Kent, yesterday, thei-e was observed a 
curious Easter custom of distributing cakes 
hearing the impressed figures of the "Bid- 
denden Maids. Their names were Eliza 
and Mary Chulkhurst, and they are said 
to have lived to the age of 34 years, when 
one died, and the other followed within 
six hours. They bequeathed land in f-he 
X)arish which produces about forty guin- 
eas a year, and from this the cost of the 
distribution is defrayed. The custom 
always attracts a very considerable num- 
ber of visitors from the surrounding vil- 
lages, and it is among these that the cakes, 
having a quaint representation of the 
maids, stamped with a boxwood die, are 
distributed, bread and cheese being given 
to the poor of the parish." Globe, April, 
8 1890. There is a similar custom at Pad- 
dington, near London, where the gifts are 
thrown from the church steeple. 

Breakfasting:. — A Sussex custom. 
Sussex Arch. Coll., xiv., 135. 

Briavars, St.— At St. Briaval's, 
Gloucestershire, a very strange quasi-jocu- 
lar custom formerly prevailed on Whit- 
Sunday. Several baskets full of bread and 
cheese, cut very small, were brought into 
church, and immediately after service were 
thrown by the churchwardens from the 
galleries among the congregation, who 
scrambled for them. The custom was kept 
up, and may be still, in order to secure to 
the poor of St. Briaval's and Havelfield 
the right of cutting and carrying wood 
from 3,000 acres of coppice in Hudknoll 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



73 



and the Meend. Every householder was 
assessed 2d. towards defraying the cost of 
the bread and cheese. 

In 1687, the "Orders and Rules 
of the Court of St. Briavells in the 
Forest of Dean, in the County of Glou- 
cester," were printed in a volume with 
similar regulations for the miners in the 
Forest. 

Bridal Bedi — In the papal times no 
new-married couple could go to bed to- 
gether till the bridal bed had been blessed. 
In a MS. cited by Blakeway, it is stated 
that " the pride of the clergy and the 
bigotry of tne laity were such that new 
married couples were made to wait till 
midnight, after the marriage day, before 
they would pronounce a benediction, un- 
less handsomely paid for it, and they durst 
not undress without it, on pain of ex- 
communication." Blomefield's Norfolk, iv. 
221. 

Bride-Ale. — In Ihre's " Glossarium 
Suio-Gothioum," 1769, we read : v. Brud- 
skal. Gifwa i Brudskalen dicitur de 
Erano vel muuere coUectitio, quod Sponsse 
die Nuptiarum a Convivis in pateram mit- 
titur, habito antea brevi Sermone a prse- 
sente Sacerdote. Nescio, an hue quicquam 
faciat Tributum illud, quod in Gallia 
Sponsse dabatur Escuellatta dictuni, et de 
quo Du-Fresne in Gloss. Lat." Ibid. v. 
Jul p. 1005 : " Hemkomol, Convivium 
quod iiovi Conjuges in suis mdihus in- 
struunt." In the " Christen State of 
Matrimony," 1543, fol. 48, verso, we read : 
' ' When they come home from the church, 
then beginneth excesse of eatyng and 
dryncking — and as much is waisted in one 
daye, as were sufl&cient for the two newe 
married folkes lialfe a year to lyve upon." 
The following is from the Court Rolls of 
Hales-Owen Borough, Salop, of the 15th 
Elizabeth : — Custom of Bride - Ale : 
" Item, a payne is made that no 
person or persons that shall brewe any 
weddyn ale to sell, shall not brewe above 
twelve strike of mault at the most, and 
that the said persons so married shall not 
keep nor have above eight messe of persons 
at his dinner within the burrowe : and be- 
fore his brydall daye he shall keep no un- 
lawfuU games in hys house, nor out of hys 
house, on pain of 20 shillings." In Harri- 
son's "Description of Britain," it is re- 
marked : " In feasting also the husband- 
men do exceed after their manner, especi- 
ally at bridales, &c., where it is incredible 
to tell what meat is consumed and spent ; 
ech one brings such a dish, or so manie 
with him, as his wife and he doo consult 
upon, but alwaies with this consideration, 
that the leefer friend shall have the better 
jirovision." Thus it appears that among 
peisons of inferior rank a contribution 
was expressly made for the purpose of as- 
sisting the bridegroom and bride in their 



new situation. This custom must have 
doubtless been often abused : it breathed, 
however, a great deal of philanthropy, and 
would naturally help to increase popula- 
tion by encouraging matrimony. This cus- 
tom of making presents at weddings seems 
also to have prevailed amongst those of 
the higher order. From the account 
of the nuptials of the Lady Susan 
with Sir Philip Herbert, in the reign of 
James I. it appears that the presents of 
plate and other things given by noblemen 
were valued at £2,500^ and that the king 
gave £500 for the bride's jointure. His 
majesty gave her away, and, as his manner 
was, archly observed on the occasion that 
"if he were unmarried he would not give 
her, but keep her for himself." Bride-ales 
are mentioned by Puttenham in his " Arte 
of Poesie " : " During the course of Queen 
Elizabeth's entertainments at Kenilworth 
Castle, in 1575, a bryde-ale was celebrated 
with a great variety of shews and sports." 
From a passage in Jonson's Silent 
Woman," Andrews infers that it seems to 
have been a general custom to make pre- 
sents to the married pair, in proportion 
to the gay appearance of their wedding. 
Newton, speaKing of rushes, says " Here- 
with be made manie pretie imagined de- 
vises for bride-ales, and other solemnities 
as little baskets, hampers, paniers, pitch- 
ers, dishes, combes, brushes, stooles, 
chaires, purees with strings, girdles, and 
manie such other pretie, curious, and arti- 
ficiall conceits, which at such times many 
do take the paines to make and hang up in 
the houses, as tokens of good-will to the 
new married bride : and after the solem- 
nitie ended, to bestow abroad for bride- 
gifts or presents." In reference to the 
rose, he says : " At bride-ales the houses 
and chambers were woont to be strawed 
with these odoriferous and sweet herbes : 
to signifie that in wedlocke all pensive sul- 
lennes and lowring cheer, all wrangling 
stiife, jarring, variance, and discorde, 
ought to be utterly excluded and aban- 
doned ; and that in place thereof al mirth, 
pleasantnes, cheerfulnes, mildnes, quiet- 
nes, and love should be maintained, and 
that in matters passing betweene the hus- 
band and the wife all secresie should be 
used." Herbal from the Bible, 1587, p. 
92. Compare Bid-ale and Bride-Wain. 

Bride-Cake. — The connection be- 
tween the bride-cake and wedding is 
strongly marked in the following custom 
still retained in Yorkshire, where the for- 
mer is cut into little square pieces, thrown 
over the bridegroom's and bride's head, 
and then put through the ring. The cake 
is sometimes broken over tlie bride's head, 
and then thrown away among the crowd to 
be scrambled for. 

This is noted by Aubanus in his descrip- 
tion of the rites of marriage in his country 



74 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



and time. " Peracta re divina Sponsa ad 
Sponsi domum deducitur, indeque Panis 
projicitur, qui a pueris certatim rapitur," 
fol. 68. To break the cake over the head 
of the bride appears to have been some- 
times usual in Drayton's time, for that 
writer, in his " Nimphidia, or the Court 
of Fairy," 1627, applies the custom, with 
the licence habitual to poets, to the fairy 
Tita : 

" Mcrtilla. But coming back when she 
is wed, 
Who breaks the cake above her head? 
Claia. That shall Mertilla." 

Thus Smollett, in his Humphrey Clinker, 
1771 : " A cake being broken over the head 
of Mrs. Tabitha Lismahago, the fragments 
were distributed among the bystanders, 
according to the custom of the antient 
Biitons, on the suppostion that every per- 
son who ate of this hallowed cake, should 
that night have a vision of the man or 
woman v/hom Heaven designed should be 
his or her wedded mate." In the North, 
slices of the bride-cake are put through 
the wedding ring : they are afterwards 
laid under pillows, at night, to cause 
young persons to dream of their lovers. 
Douce pointed out that this custom is not 
peculiar to the North of England, it 
seems to prevail generally. The pieces of 
the cake must be drawn nine times through 
the wedding ring. But it appears that the 
cake was not necessarily a wedding-cake. 
Th« "Spectator" observes also: "The 
writer resolved to try his fortune, fasted 
all dav, and that he might be sure of 
dreaming upon something at night, pro- 
cured an handsome slice of bi-ide cake, 
which he placed very conveniently under 
his pillow." The "Connoisseur" says: 
" Cousin Debby was married a little while 
ago, and she sent me a piece of bride-cake 
to put under my pillow, and I had the 
sweetest dream : I thought we were going 
to be married together. The following 
occurs in the Progrbss of Matrimony, 
1733: 

" But, Madam, as a present take 
This little paper of bride-cake : 
Fast any Friday in the year, 
AVhen Venus mounts the starry sphere. 
Thrust this at night in pillowber. 
In morning slumber you will seem 
T' enjoy your lover in a dream." 

In the " St. James's Chronicle," April 16- 
18, 1799, are some lines on the " Wedding 
Cake." 

Bride-Cup.— This custom has its 
traces in Gentilism. It is of high anti- 
quity, says Malone, for it subsisted among 
our Gothic ancestors. " Ingressus domum 
ccnvivalem Sponsus cum pronubo suo, 
sumpto poculo, quod marittile vocant, ac 



paucis a Pronubo de mutate vitse genere 
prefatis, in signum constantise, virtutis, 
defensionis et tutelse, propinat Sponsse et 
simul Morgennaticam (Dotalitium ob vir- 
ginitatem) promittit, quod ipsa grato am- 
mo recolens, pari ratione et mode, paulo 
post mutato in uxorium habitum operculo 
Capitis, ingressa, poculum, ut nostrates. 
vocant, uxorium leviter delibans, amorem, 
fidem, diligentiam, et subjectionem pro- 
missum." — Stiernhook I)e Jure Suecorum 
e+ Gothorum vetusto, ^672, p. 163, quoted, 
by Malone. In the Workes of John Hei- 
wood, the following passage occurs : 

" The drinke of my brydecup I should. 

have forborne. 
Till temperaunce had tempred the taste. 

beforne. 
I see now, and shall see while I am alive 
Who wedth or he be wise shall die or he: 

thrive." 

Edit. 1576, sign. B. 4. 

Bride Favours. — In "The Fifteen 
Comforts of Marriage," a conference is. 
introduced, concerning bridal colours in 
dressing up the bridal bed by the bride- 
maids — not, say they, with yellow rib- 
bands, these are the emblems of jealousy — 
not with " Fueille mort," that signifies 
fading love — but with true blue, that signi- 
fies constancy, and green denotes youth — 
put them both together, and there's youth- 
ful constancy. One proposed blew and 
black, that signifies constancy till death ; 
but that was objected to, as those colours- 
will never match. Violet was proposed as 
signifying religion ; this was objected to as 
being too grave : and at last they con- 
cluded to mingle a gold tissue with grass- 
green, which latter signifies youthful jol- 
lity. For the bride's favours, top-knots, 
and garters, the bride proposed blew, gold- 
colour, popingay-green, and limon-colour 
— objected to, gold-colour signifying ava- 
rice — ^popingay-green, wantonness. The- 
younger bridemaid proposed mixtures — 
flame-colour, flesh-colour, willow, and 
milk-white. The second and third were 
objected to, as flesh-colour signifies lascivi- 
ousness, and willow forsaken. It was 
settled that red signifies justice, and sea- 
green inconstancy. The inilliner, at last, 
fixed the colours as follows : for the fav- 
ours, blue, red, peach-colour, and orange- 
tawney : for the young ladies' top-knots, 
flame-colour, straw-colour, (signifying- 
plenty), peach-colour, grass-green, and. 
milk-white : and for the garters, a perfect 
yellow, signifying honour and joy. To- 
this variety of colours in the bride favours, 
used foimerly, the following passage,, 
wherein Lady Haughty addresses Morose, 
in Jonson's " Silent Woman," evidently- 
alludes : 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



75 



" Let us know your bride's colours and 
yours at least." 

The bride favours have not been omitted in 

" The Collier's Wedding " : 

" The blithsome, bucksome country 

maids, 
With knots of ribbands at their heads, 
And pinners flutt'ring in the wind, 
That fan before and toss behind," &c. 

And, speaking of the youth, with the 

bridegroom, it says : 

" Like streamers in the painted sky. 
At every breast the favours fly." 

Bride Knives. — Strange as it may 
appear, it is however certain that knives 
were formerly part of the accoutrements of 
a bride. This perhaps will not be difficult 
to account for, if we consider that it an- 
ciently formed part of the dress for women 
to wear a knife or knives sheathed and sus- 
pended from their girdles : a finer and 
more ornamented pair of which would verj 
naturally be either purchased or presented 
on the occasion of a marriage. Among the 
women's trinkets, about 1540, in the Four 
P's of John Heywood, occur : 

" Silke swathbonds, ribands, and sleeve- 
laces. 

Girdles, knives^ purses, and pin-cases." 

From a passage in the " Raigne of Edward 
the third," 1596, there appear to have 
been two of them. So in tlie Lottery for 
1601, No. xi. is : 

"A Pair of Knives." 
Fortune doth give these paire of knives 

to you. 
To cut the thred of love if't be not 

true." 

In Rowlands' "Well met. Gossip" (first 
printed in 1602) the Widow says : 

" For this you know, that all the wooing 

season, 
Sutors with gifts continuall seeke to 

gaine 
Their mistresse loue — " 

The wife answers : 

" That's very true 

In conscience I had twenty pair of gloues 
When I was maid, giuen to that effect ; 
Garters, kniues, purses, girdles, store of 

rings, 
And many a hundred dainty, pretty 

things." 

A bride says to her jealous husband, in 
Dekker's "Match me in London," 1631: 

" See at my girdle hang my wedding 

knives ! 
With those dispatch me." 

Bride-Laces. — These are noticed in 
Laneham's Letter from Kenilworth, 1575. 



In Jonson's Tale of a Tvb Turf is intro- 
duced as saying : " We shall all ha' bride- 
laces or points I zee." In the Lottery of 
1601, the three following occur, in a list 
of prizes for ladies : A dozen of points, a 
scarfe, and a lace. Herrick, in his " Epi- 
thalamie on Sir Clipseby Crew and his 
Lady," thus cautions the bridegroom's 
men against offending the delicacy of the' 
new-married lady : 

" We charge ye that no strife 
(Farther than gentleness tends) get 

place 
Among ye, striving for her lace:" 

And it is observed, in the account 
of the marriage of Jack of Newbury, that 
his bride was led to church between two 
sweet boys, "with bride-laces and rose- 
mary tied about their silken sleeves." In 
the second part of Dekker's " Honest 
Whore," 1630, signat. Iv 3 verso, we read: 
" Looke yee, doe you see the bride-laces 
that I give at my wedding will serve to tye 
rosemary to both your coffins when you 
come from hanging." Hej'wood's Woman 
Killed with Kindness, 1607, alludes to the 
nosegays and bride-laces worn by the coun- 
try lasses on this occasion in their hats. 

Bridegrroom Men. — These appear 
anciently to have had the title of bride- 
knights. " Paranymphi ejusmodi seu 
Sponsi amici appellantur etiam 
(Matt. ix. 15) filii thalami nuptialis ; qua 
de re optime vir prsestantissimus Hugo 
Grotius. Singulare habetur et apud nos 
nomen ejusmodi eorum quos Bride-Knights 
id est, Ministros Sponsalitios qui Sponsam 
deducere sclent, appellitamus." Seldeni 
" Uxor Hebraica ; Opera, torn. iii. p. 
638. He gives, ibid, a chapter " de Para- 
nymphis Hebreorum Sponsi Amicis, in 
utroque Foedere dictis et in Novo Filiis 
Thalami nuptialis." Those who led the' 
bride to church by the arms, as if com- 
mitting an act of force, were always bache- 
lors ; Fletcher's "Scornful Lady," 1616, 
(Dyce's B. and F. vol. iii. p. 16). But she 
was to be conducted home by two married 
persons. Polydore Vergil informs us that 
a third married man, in coming home' 
from church, preceded the bride, bearing, 
instead of a torch, a vessel of silver or gold, 
"In Anglia servatur ut duo pueri, velut 
Paranymphi, id est, Auspices, qui olim pro 
nuptiis celebrandis Auspicia capiebant, 
nubentera ad Templum — et inde domum 
duo viri deducant, et tertius loco facis 
Vasculum aureum vel argenteum prae- 
ferat." In "A Pleasant History of the' 
First Founders," we read : " At Rome the 
manner was that two children should lead 
the bride, and a third bear before her a^ 
torch of white-thorn in honour of Ceres, 
which custome was also observed here in 
England, saving that, in place of the torch, 
there was carried before the bride a basoa 



76 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



of gold or silver; a garland also of corn 
eares was set upon her head, or else she 
bare it on her hand, or, if that were 
omitted, wheat was scattered over her 
head in token of fruitfulness ; as also be- 
fore she came to bed to her husband, fire 
and water were given her, which, having 
power to purifie and cleanse, signified that 
thereby she should be chast and pure in 
her body. Moresin relates that to the 
bachelors and married men who led the 
bride to and from church, she was wont to 
piesent cloves for that service during the 
time of dinner. It was part of the bride- 
groom man's office to put him to bed to the 
bride, after having undressed him. 

Bride Maids. — The use of bride 
maids at weddings appears as old as the 
time of the Anglo-Saxons : among whom, 
as Strutt informs us, " The bride was led 
by a matron, who was called the bride's 
woman, followed by a company of young 
maidens, who were called the bride's 
maids." The bride's maids and bride- 
groom men are both mentioned by the 
author of the " Convivial Antiquities" in 
his description of the rites of marriages in 
his country and time. " Antequam eatur 
ad Templum Jentaculum Sponsse et invi- 
tatis apponitur, Serta atque Corollse dis- 
tribuuntur. Postea certo ordiue Viri 
primum cum Sponso, deinde Puellse cum 
Sponsa, in Templum procedunt." — Anti- 
quitat. Convivial, fol. 68. 

Bride-Stake.— Around this bride- 
stake the guests were wont to dance as 
about a may-pole. Thus Jonson : 

"With the phant'sies of hey-troll 
Troll about the bridal bowl. 
And divide the broad bride cake 
Round about the bride's stake." 

Bride-Wain. — In Cumberland the 
Penny Wedding of the earlier Scots and 
the Bid-Ale of Wales had the appellation 
of a bride-wain, a term which will be best 
explained by the following extract from 
the Glossary, 1710, to Douglas's Virgil, v. 
Thig : ' ' There was a custom in the High- 
lands and North of Scotland, where new 
married persons, who had no great stock, 
or others low in their fortune, brought 
carts and horses with them to the houses of 
their relations and Friends, and received 
from them corn, meal, wool, or whatever 
else they could get. The subsequent is ex- 
tracted from the " Cumberland Packet," a 
newspaper : 

" Bride Wain. 
There let Hymen oft appear 
In saffron robe and taper clear, 
And pomp and feast and revelry. 
With mask and antient pageantry. 

" George Hayton, who married Ann, the 
daughter of Joseph and Dinah Collin 
of Crossley Mill, purposes having a 



bride wain at his house at Crossley 
near Mary Port on Thursday, May 
7th, next, (1789), where he will be 
happy to see his friends and well- 
wishers, for whose amusement there will be 
a saddle, two bridles, a pair of gands 
d' amour gloves, which whoever wins is sure 
to be married within the twelve months, a 
girdle (Ceinture de Venus) possessing 
qualities not to be described, and many 
other articles, sports, and j)astimes, too 
numerous to mention, but which can never 
prove tedious in the exhibition, &c." A 
short time after a match is solemnized, the 
parties give notice as above, that on such 
a day they propose to have a bride-wain. 
In consequence of this, the whole neigh- 
bourhood for several miles round assemble 
at the Ibridegroom's house, and join in all 
the various pastimes of the country. This 
meeting resembles our wakes and fairs : 
and a plate or bowl is fixed in a conveni- 
ent place, where each of the company con- 
tributes in proportion to his inclination 
and ability, and according to the degree of 
respect the parties are held in : and by 
this very laudable custom a worthy couple 
have frequently been benefited at setting 
out in life, with a supply of money of from 
ten to fourscore pounds. Eden, in "The 
State of the Poor," 1797, observes " The 
custom of a general feasting at weddings 
and christenings is still continued in many 
villages in Scotland, in Wales, and in 
Cumberland : Districts, which, as the re- 
finements of legislation and manners are 
slow in reaching them, are most likely to 
exhibit vestiges of customs deduced from 
remote antiquity, or founded on the simple 
dictates of Nature: and indeed it is not 
singular, that marriages, births, christen- 
ings, housewarmings, &c., should be occa- 
sions in which people of all classes and all 
descriptions think it right to rejoice and 
make merry. In many parts of these dis- 
tricts of Great Britain as well as in 
Sweden and Denmark, all such institu- 
tions, now rendered venerable by long use, 
are religiously observed. It would be 
deemed ominous, if not impious, to be mar- 
ried, have a child born, &c., without some- 
thing of a feast. And long may the cus- 
tom last : for it neither leads to drunken- 
ness and riot, nor is it costly ; as alas ! is 
so commonly the case in convivial meetings 
in more favoured regions. On all these 
occasions, the greatest part of the provi- 
sions is contributed by the neighbourhood : 
some furnishing the wheaten flour for the 
pastry ; others, barley or oats for bread or 
cakes ; some, poultry for pies ; some, milk 
for the frumenty ; some eggs ; some bacon ; 
and some, butter ; and, in short, every 
article necessary for a plentiful repast. 
Every neighbour, how high or low soever, 
makes it a point to contribute something. 
" At a daubing (which is the erection of a 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



77 



house of clay), or at a bride-wain, (which is 
the carrying of a bride home) in Cumber- 
land, many hundreds of persons are thus 
brought together, and as it is the custom 
also, in the latter instance, to make pre- 
sents of money, one or even two hundred 
pounds are said to have been sometimes 
collected. A deserving young couple are 
thus, by a public and unequivocal testi- 
mony of the goodwill of those who best 
know them, encouraged to persevere in the 
paths of propriety, and are also enabled 
to begin the world with some advantage. 
The birth of a child, also, instead of being 
thought or spoken of as bringing on the 
parents new and heavy burthens, is thus 
rendered, as it no doulbt always ought to 
be, a comfort and a blessing : and in every 
sense an occasion of rejoicing." " I own," 
adds this honourable advocate in the cause 
of humanity, ' ' I cannot figure to myself 
a more pleasing, or a more rational way of 
rendering sociableness and mirth subser- 
vient to prudence and virtue." Vol. i.. 
p 598. In Cumberland, among the lower 
but not poorest, class, the entertainment 
consists of cold pies, furmety, and ale. 
" At the close of the day," says the author 
of the "Westmoreland and Cumberland 
Dialect," 1839, "the bride and bride- 
groom are placed in two chairs, in the 
open air or in a large barn, the bride with 
a pewter dish on her knee, half covered 
with a napkin ; into this dish the company 
put their offerings, which occasionally 
amount to a considerable sum." 

Bride's Pie — The bride's pie should 
also be noticed as an important part of the 
wedding-feast, at least in some places or 
districts. It is thus referred to by Carr, 
inthe "Dialect of Craven," 1828: "The 
bride's pie was so essential a dish on the 
dining-table, after the celebration of the 
marriage, that there was no prospect of 
happiness without it. This was always 
made round, with a very strong crust orna- 
mented with various devices. In the 
middle of it was a fat laying hen, full of 
eggs, probably intended as an emblem of 
fecundity. It was also garnished with 
minced and sweet meats. It would have 
been deemed an act of neglect and rude- 
ness, if any of the party omitted to par- 
take of it." In the old song of " Arthur 
of Bradley," we read : 

" And then did they foot it and toss it, 

Till the cook had brought up the posset ; 

The bride-pye was brought forth, 

A thing or mickle worth. 

And so all, at the bed-side. 

Took leave of Arthur and his bride." 

Bridg-et, St. — (July 23). The 
"Eoman Martyrology," 1627, observes 
under this date : " The departure out of 
this life of St. Bridget widdow, who, after 
many peregrinations made to holy places. 



full of the Holy Ghost, finally reposed at 
Rome : whose body was after translated 
into Suevia. Her principal festivity is 
celebrated upon the seaventh of October." 
According to Porter's " Flowers of the 
Lives of the Saincts," 1632, p. 118, Brig- 
itt's Day (Virgin of Kildare, in Ireland), 
was February the first. Her Most Devovt 
Prayers were printed at Antwerp in 
1659, See also Moore's " Diarium Histo- 
rioum," 1590, p. Ill, where we read under 
239, .Julii, " Emortualis Dies S. Brigittse 
Reg. Suecise, 1372." In the " Fifteen O's" 
the first O is introduced by a large wood- 
cut representing a man crowned delivered 
out of purgatory by an angel, through the 
mediation of St. Bridget, who is kneeling 
at a small altar before him. Vallancey, 
speaking of Ceres, tells us : "Mr. Rollin 
thinks this deity was the same Queen of 
Heaven to whom the Jewish women burnt 
incense, poured out drink offerings, and 
made cakes for her with their own hands" ; 
and adds : " This Pagan custom is still pre- 
lerved in Ireland on the Eve of St. Brid- 
get, and which was probably transposed to 
St. Bridget's Eve from the festival of a 
famed poetess of the same name in the- 
time of Paganism. In an ancient glossary 
now before me she is described : ' Brigit, a 
poetess, the daughter of Dagha ; a goddess- 
of Ireland.' On St. Bridget's Eve every 
farmer's wife in Ireland makes a cake, 
called bairin-breac, the neighbours are in- 
vited, the madder of ale and the pipe go 
round, and the evening concludes with 
mirth and festivity." 

Bridling: Cast, The.— This seems 
to have been rather more common in Scot- 
land than among the Southerners ; it was 
the cup of drink offered to a visitor, at the- 
gate, after mounting to depart. Skelton 
refers to it in the " Bowge of Courte," 
printed before 1500 : 

" What, loo, man, see here of dyce 
a bale ! 

A brydelynge caste for that is in thy 
male." 

Weber says, in a note to his edition of 
Beaumont and Fletcher, "A bridling cast 
was probably similar to what is at present 
in Scotland, and particularly in the High- 
lands, called the door-drink, which is often 
administered after the guest is seated upon 
his horse, or while the horse is bridling." 
In Fletcher's " Scornful Lady," 1616, 
Young Loveless says : 

"Let's have a bridling cast before you 
go — 

Fill's a new stoop." 
It is more generally known as the stirrup- 
cup. 

Brig-htlingsea, Essex " Yes- 
terday the ancient custom of electing a 
mayor in the belfry of Brightlingsea 



78 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Church was observed^ Mr. Miall Green, a 
yacht owner and resident of Kensington, 
being chosen for the second year in suc- 
<;ession. The regalia, consisting of a trun- 
cheon and a handsome chain formed of 
gold models of oysters and silver models of 
sprats, was carried by a yacht captain. It 
was incidentally mentioned by the new 
mayor that according to an ancient statute 
-the freedom of certain of the Cinque 
Ports, which included Brightlingsea, were 
entitled to wreck the house of any freeman 
-who refused mayoral honours. Daily Tele- 
graph, Tuesday, December 2, 1902. 

Bring: the Basket. — See More 
Backs to the Mill. 

Bromfield School. — Hutchinson 
tells us: "Till within the last twenty or 
thirty years, it had been a custom, time 
out of mind, for the scholars of the Free- 
School of Bromfield, about the beginning 
.01 Lent, or in the more expressive phrase- 
ology of the country, at Fasting's Even, to 
bar out the Master; i.e., to depose and ex- 
.clude him from his school, and keep him 
out for three days. During the period of 
this expulsion, the doors of the citadel, 
the school, were strongly barrioadoed with- 
in : and the boys, who defended it like a 
besieged city, were armed, in general, with 
bore-tree or elder pop-guns. The Master, 
meanwhile, made various efforts, both by 
force and stratagem, to regain his lost 
authority. If he succeeded, heavy tasks 
were imposed, and the business of the 
school was resumed and submitted to ; 
but it more commonly happened that he 
was repulsed and defeated. After three 
days' siege, terms of capitulation were pro- 
posed by the Master and accepted by the 
boys. These terms were summed up m an 
old formula of Latin Leonine verses stipu- 
lating what hours and times should, for 
the year ensuing, be allotted to study, and 
what to relaxation and play. Securities 
were provided by each side for the due 
performance of these stipulations : and the 
paper was then solemnly signed by 
both Master and scholars. " One of 
the articles always stipulated for and 
granted, was, the privilege of immediately 
■celebrating certain games of long stand- 
ing ; viz. a foot-ball match and a cock- 
fight. Captains, as they were called, were 
then chosen to manage and preside over 
these games : one from that part of the 
parish which lay to the westward of the 
■school ; the other from the east. Cooks 
and foot-ball players were sought for with 
great diligence. The party, whose cocks 
won the most battles, was victorious in the 
cock-pit ; and the prize, a small silver bell, 
susoended to the button of the victor's hat, 
and worn for three successive Sundays. 
After the cock-fight was ended, the foot- 
l)all was thrown down in the churchyard ; 
and the point then to be contested was. 



which party could carry it to the house of 
his respective captain; to Dundraw, per- 
haps, or West-Newton, a distance of two 
or three miles : every inch of which ground 
was keenly disputed. All the honour ac- 
cruing to the conqueror at foot-ball was 
that of possessing the ball. Details of 
these matches were the general topics of 
conversation among the villagers, and 
were dwelt on with hardly less satisfaction 
than their ancestors enjoyed in relating 
their feats in the Border Wars. "Our 
Bromfield sports were sometimes cele- 
brated in indigenous songs : one verse only 
of one of them we happen to remember : 

" At Scales, great Tom Barwise gat the 

Ba' in his hand. 
And t' wives aw ran out, and shouted, 

and bann'd : 
Tom Cowan then pulch'd and flang him 

'mang t' whins. 
And he bledder'd, Od-white-te, ton's 

broken my shins." 

History of Cumberland, ii., 322. The 
writer thought this might be the basis of 
the (now obsolete) institution of the Terrce 
Filius at Oxford. It was a practice com- 
mon to Eton. 

Bromfield Sports. — Hutchinson, 
speaking of the parish of Bromfield, 
and a custom in the neighbourhood 
of Blencogo, tells us: — "On the 
common, to the east of that village, 
not far from Ware - Brig, near a 
pretty large rock of granite, called St. 
Cuthbert's Stane, is a fine copious spring 
of remarkably pure and sweet water, which 
(probably from its having been anciently 
dedicated to the same St. Cuthbert), is 
called Helly-Well, i.e. Haly or Holy Well. 
It formerly was the custom for the youth 
of all the neighbouring villages to assemble 
at this well early in the afternoon of the 
second Sunday in May, and there to join 
in a variety of rural sports. It was the 
village wake, and toot place here, it is 
possible, when the keeping of wakes and 
fairs in the cliurchyaru was discontinued. 
And it differed from the wakes of later 
times chiefly in this, that though it was a 
meeting entirely devoted to festivity and 
mirth, no strong drink of any kind was 
ever seen there ; nor anything ever drank, 
but the beverage furnished by the Naiad 
of the place. A curate of the parish, about 
the year 1770, on the idea that it was a 
profanation of the Sabbath, saw fit to set 
his face against it ; and having deservedly 
great influence in the parish, the meetings 
at Helly-Well have ever since been discon- 
tinued." Cumherland, ii., 323. 

Broom. — An usage connected with 
marriage, and also with the broom, and of 
which the origin and significance do not 
appear to be very obvious, existed some 
years ago, it seems, in some parts of Eng- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



7y 



land. A man, when his wife left home for 
a short time, hung out a broom from one 
of the windows. Now a broom hung from 
the mast of a ship has a very different 
meaning from the one that must have been 
here intended — thai the mistress of the 
establishment was away. An old woman 
in the Isle of Thanet adopted aii odd 
method, so recently as 1850, of signifying 
her disapproval of her nephew's choice of a 
wife. She pronounced an anathema on 
the newly-married pair at the church-gate, 
procured a new broom, swept her house 
with it, and then hung it over the door. 
This was intended to be e(iuivalent to cut- 
ting oft with a shilling. 

Broose. — Compare Siding. 

Brougrham, Westmoreland. — 
Every year, on the 2nd of April, the rector 
and churchwardens distribute the Countess 
of Pembroke's charity upon a stone tablet 
near the pillar, about two miles from Pen- 
rith. It and the pillar date from 
1656, having been instituted and raised, 
the latter in the park at Whitfield, 
as a permanent memorial for the 
last parting of the Countess of Dor- 
set, Pembroke, and Montgomery on 
that site with her mother, the Countess 
Dowager of Cumberland, April 2, 1616. 
The charity consists of a sum of £4 distri- 
buted here to the poor of Brougham. This 
custom was still ooserved in Beckwith the 
Elder's day ; he died in 1799 ; and the 
monument is engraved in Pennant's Jour- 
ney to Alston Moor, 1801. 

Browny. — There were thought to 
have been a sort of domestic fairies, called 
brownies, who were extremely useful, and 
were said to have performed all sorts of 
domestic drudgery. The early Scotish 
poet, Dunbar, who died about 1515, in his 
Vance of the Seven Deadly Sins, speaks of 
two spirits called Black-Belly and Bawsy 
Brown. Warton thought it not unlikely 
that the latter might be identical with 
Brownie. " The spirit called Brownie," 
(says King James) ' ' appeared like a rough 
man, and haunted divers houses without 
doing any evill, but doing as it were neces- 
sarie turnes up and downe the house ; 
yet some were so blinded as to beleeve that 
their house was all the sonsier as they 
called it, that such spirits resorted there." 
Devionolofiy, 127. Martin, speaking of the 
Shetland Isles, says : " It is not long since 
€very family of any considerable substance 
in those Islands was haunted by a spirit 
they called Browny, which did several sorts 
of work : and this was the reason why they 
gave him offerings of the various products 
of the place. Thus some, when they 
churned their milk, or brewed, poured 
some milk and wort through tho hole 
of a stone called Browny's Stone." 
He also says: — "A spirit by the 
country people called Browny, was 



frequently seen in all the raost con- 
siderable families in these Isles and North 
of Scotland, in the shape of a tall man : 
but within these twenty or thirty years 
past, he is seen but ra,rely." Speaking of 
three chapels in the Island of Valay, he 
says : ' ' Below the chappels there is a fiat 
thin stone, called Brownie's Stone, upon 
(vhich the antient inhabitants offered a 
cow's milk every Sunday : but this custom 
is now quite abolished." Western Islands, 
p. 391. Johnson, in his Tour to the Heb- 
rides, observes, that of Browny men- 
tioned by Martin nothing has been 
heard for many years. Browny was 
a sturdy fairy who, if he was fed 
and kindly treated, would as they 
say do a great deal of work. They 
now pay him no wages, and are content to 
labour for themselves." We are told by 
Pinkerton that " The Brownie was a very 
obliging spirit, who used to come into 
houses by night, and for a dish of cream to 
perform lustily any piece of work that 
might remain to be done : sometimes he 
would work, and sometimes eat till he 
bursted : if old clothes were laid for him, 
he took them in great distress, and never 
more returned." Heron's Journey, 1799, 
ii., 227. Borlase informs us that in his 
time (a century since) the Cornish invoked 
a spirit whom they called Browny (a sort 
of Robin Goodfellow), when their bees be- 
gan to swarm, thinking that " their crying 
Browny, Browny, will prevent their re- 
turning into their former hive, and make 
them pitch and form a new colony." Anti- 
quities of Cornwall, 1769, p. 168. Milton, 
in a passage of his Allegro, seems to de- 
pict Browny rather than Robin Good- 
fellow : — 

"Tells how the druging Goblin swet, 
To earn his cream-bowl duly set, 
When in one night 'ere glimpse of morn. 
His shadowy flale hath thresu'd the corn 
That ten day-lab'rers could not end ; 
Then lays him down the lubbar-fiend. 
And stretch'd out all the chimney's 

length 
Basks at the fire his hairy strength, 
And crop-full out of doors he flings, 
Ere the first cock his matin rings." 
Buckler-Play. — The following order 
was made by the Government of James I. 
in 1609: "That all plaies, bear-baitings, 
games, singing of ballads, buckler-play, or 
such like causes of assemblies of people be 
utterly prohibited, and the parties offend- 
ing severely punished by any Alderman or 
Justice of the Peace." Misson says : 
" Within these few years you should often 
see a sort of gladiators marching thro' the 
streets, in their shirts to the waste, their 
sleeves tuck'd up, sword in hand, and pre- 
ceded by a drum, to gather spectators. 
They gave so much a head to see the fight, 
which was with cutting swords, and a kind 



8o 



NATIONAL FTTTTTrS- 



of buckler for defence. The edge of the 
sword was a little blunted, and the care of 
the prize-fighters was not so much to avoid 
wounding one another, as to avoid doing 
it dangerously ; nevertheless, as they were 
obliged to fight, till some blood was shed, 
without which nobody would give a far- 
thing for the show, they were sometimes 
forc'd to play a little ruffly. I once saw a 
much deeper and longer cut given than 
was intended. These fights are become 
very rare within these eight or ten years. 
Apprentices, and all boys of that degree, 
are never without their cudgels, with 
which they fight something like the fellows 
before-mention'd, only that the cudgel is 
nothing but a stick ; and that a little 
wicker basket, which covers the handle of 
the stick, like the guard of a Spanish 
sword, serves the combatant instead of 
defensive arms." 

BugTi Welsh Bwg, a goblin. We now 
use bugbear without much recollection, 
perhaps, of the etymology. Boggle-bo, 
says Coles, (now corruptly sounded Buga- 
bow), signified " an ugly wide-mouthed 
picture carried about with May-games." 
It is perhaps nothing more than the dimi- 
nutive of Bug, a terrifying object. Lat. 
Diet., 1678, in v. In Mathew's Bible, 
Psalm xci., v. 5, is rendered, " Thou shalt 
not nede be afraied for any bugs by night," 
this is hence known as the Bug Bible. In 
the Hebrew it is " terror of the night " ; a 
curious passage^, evidently alluding to that 
horrible sensation the night-mare, which 
in all ages has been regarded as the opera- 
tion of evil spirits. Compare Douce's 
Illustr., i., 328. Boh, Warton tells us, was 
one of the most fierce and formidable of 
the Gothic Generals, and the son of Odin : 
the mention of whose name only was suffi- 
cient to spread an immediate panic among 
his enemies. The s me was the case with 
that of Narses among children. Com- 
pai-e Bichard-Cceur-de-Lion. 

Boe Bulbasgrer, as he is there 
called, in " Jacke of Dover, his Quest of 
Inquirie for the Veriest Foole in Eng- 
land," 1604, is mentioned as a sort of bogie 
or bugbear. Tavlor the water-poet, in his 
"Great Eater of Kent," 1630, says of his 
hero, Nicholas Wood : " . . . he is a maine 
enemy to Ember weekes, he hates Lent 
worse than a butcher or a Puritan, and 
the name of Good Friday affrights him like 
a Bull-beggar." In Rowley's Woman 
never Vext, 1632, mine host says of his 
disorderly guests : " The bull-beggar comes 
when I show my head." Compare Bar- 



Bull-Baiting'- — Fitzstephen men- 
tions the baiting of bulls with dogs as a 
diversion of the London youths on holidays 
in his time. Descr. of Zondon, temp. 
Henry II., apud Antiq. Beper. v., 1807, 
vol. i. Hentzner, who visited England in 



Elizabeth's reign, says : " There is a place 
built in the form of a theatre, which serves 
for the baiting of bulls and bears ; they are 
fastened behind, and then worried by great 
English bull-dogs; but not without great 
risk to the dogs, from the horns of the one 
and the teeth of the other : and it some- 
times happens they are killed on the spot. 
Fresh ones are immediately supplied in the 
place of those that are wounded or tired. 
To this entertainment there often follows 
that of whipping a blinded bear, which is 
performed by five or six men, standing cir- 
cularly, with whips, which they exercise 
upon him without any mercy, as he cannot 
escape from them because of his chain. He 
defends himself with all his force and skill, 
throwing down all who come within his 
reach, and are not active enough to get out 
of it, and tearing the whips out of their 
hands and breaking them. At these spec- 
tacles, and every where else, the English 
are constantly smoking tobacco." Itiner- 
ary, 1612, transl. 1757. When Robert 
Chamberlaine published in 1637 his 
New Book of Mistakes, there seems 
from the preface to have been a 
white bull at the Bear garden in 
Southwark, " who tosseth up Dogges," 
he says, " like Tennis-balles," and catch- 
ing them again upon his homes, makes 
them to garter their Legges with their 
owne guts." Misson, in his Travels in 
England, trans, by Ozell, 1734, describes 
bul-baiting as it was practised in the time 
of William III. 

A considerable body of authentic tes- 
timony exists to shew that this ap- 
parently cruel amusement was due to 
a theory on the part of our ancestors, 
that the process rendered the flesh more 
tender, and some of the Leet Courts in 
England imposed a fine of 3s. 4d. on every 
butcher, who killed a bullock unbaited. 
Bull-rings were established for this pur- 
pose, and at Carlisle it is mentioned that 
the Butchers' Gild had charge of the chain 
used in the operation. Antiquary for April- 
May, 1893. We still deem a coursed hare, 
somewhat on the same principle, tenderer 
than a shot one. Bull-baiting was still 
carried on in the Midlands and in the 
North down to the second half of the 
nineteenth century ; and the women en- 
joved the sport as keenly as the men. At 
Leigh, near Preston, according to a story 
told me by a Leigh man, a fellow,in a room 
with his wife and a dog trained to this 
exercise, laid his head on a table ; the dog 
rushed at his nose, the husband cried out 
from the pain, and would have got up, 
but, says the woman, ' lie still, man, he 
must draw blood, or he will be just ruined.' 
— Hazlitt's Four Generations of a Literary 
Family, 1897, ii., 296. 

M. Michel, in " Le Pays Basque," 
1857, traces back this diversion in 



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8i 



that country to the year 1385. There 
is no want of material for the his- 
tory of the sport on the other side 
of the Pyrenees subsequently to that date. 
Most of the Spanish princes appear to have 
«ncouraged it by their countenance and 
support. 

At Stamford, in Lincolnshire, an 
annual sport used to be celebrated, 
■called bull-running: of which the follow- 
ing account is taken from Butcher: "It 
is performed just the day six weeks before 
Christmas. The butchers of the town at 
their own charge against the time, pro- 
vide the wildest bull they can get : this 
bull over night is had into some stable or 
barn belonging to the Alderman. The 
next morning proclamation is made by the 
common bellman of the town, round about 
the same, that each one shut up their 
shop-doors and gates, and that none, upon 
pain of imprisonment, offer to do any 
violence to strangers, for the preventing 
whereof (the town being a great thorough- 
fare and then being in Term Time) a guard 
is appointed for the passing of travellers 
through the same without hurt. That 
none have any iron upon their bull-clubs 
or other staff which they pursue the bull 
with. Which proclamation made, and the 
gates all shut up, the bull is turned out of 
the Alderman's house, and then hivie 
skivy, tag and rag, men, women, and chil- 
dren of all sorts and sizes, with all the dogs 
in the town promiscuously running after 
him with their bull-clubs spattering dirt in 
each other's faces, that one would think 
them to be so many Furies started out of 
Hell for the punishment of Cerberus, as 
when Theseus and Perillus conquered the 
place (as Ovid describes it) : 

Bull-Bunning . 
" A ragged troop of boys and girls 

Do pellow him with stones : 
With clubs, with whips, and many raps. 

They part his skin from bones." 

And (which is the greater shame) I have 
seen both senatores majorum gentium and 
matrones de eodem gradu, following this 
bulling business." " I can say no more of 
it, but only to set forth the antiquity 
thereof, (as the tradition goes). William 
Earl of Warren, the first Lord of this 
town, in the time of King John, standing 
upon his castle-walls in Stamford, viewing 
the fair prospects of the river and meadow, 
under the same, saw two bulls a fighting 
for one cow ; a butcher of the town, the 
owner of one of those bulls, with a great 
mastiff dog accidentally coming by, set 
his dog upon his own bull, who forced the 
same bull up into the town, which no 
sooner was come within the same but all 
the butchers' dogs, both great and small, 
follow'd in pursuit of the bull, which by 
this time made stark mad with the noise i 



of the people and the fierceness of the dogs, 
ran over man, woman, and child, that 
stood in the way j this caused all the but- 
chers and others in the town to rise up as 
it were in a tumult, making such an hide- 
ous noise that the sound thereof came into 
the Castle unto the ears of Earl Warren, 
who presently thereupon mounted on 
horseback, rid into the town to see the 
business, which then appearing (to his 
humour) very delightful, he gave all those 
meadows in which the two bulls were at 
the first found fighting, (which we now 
call the Castle Meadows) perpetually as a 
common to the butchers of the town, (after 
the first grass is eaten) to keep their cattle 
in till the time of slaughter : upon this 
condition, that as upon that day on which 
this sport first began, which was (as I said 
before) that day six weeks before Christ- 
mas, the butchers of the town should from 
time to time yearly for ever, find a mad 
bull for the continuance of that sport." 
Survey of Stamford, 1775-76. In the "Anti- 
quarian Repertory," an account is ex- 
tracted from Plot of a similar bull-run- 
ning at Tutbury, in Staffordshire, which 
occasioned much disorder annually, until 
it was abolished by the Duke of Devon- 
shire, lay-prior of Tutbury, in the eight- 
eenth century. This practice seems to 
have dated from ancient times, as it was 
usual, before the Dissolution, for the Prior 
of Tutbury to give the minstrels, who at- 
tended matins on the feast of the Assump- 
tion, a bull, if they would convey him on 
the side of the river Dove next the town 
or failing the bull, forty pence, of which a 
moiety went by custom to the lord of the 
feast. I believe that the practice of bull- 
running, and also of bull-baiting, is uni- 
versally obsolete in this country, and has 
long been so. 

Bull Week — In Sheffield, this is the 
name given to the week before Christmas. 
The men work overtime; and often do not 
leave off till one or two in the morning, in 
order that they may earn money to spend 
in celebrating the great Christian festival. 
Their festive enjoyment chiefly consists in 
brutal drunkenness. 

Bumpers. — Bumpers are of great 
antiquity. Paulus Warnefridus is cited 
in Du Cange's "Glossary," telling us 
in lib. V. " De Gestis Langobard." cap. 2, 
" Cumque ii qui diversi generis potiones ei 
a Rege deferebant, de verbo Regis eum 
rogarent, ut totam fialam biberet, ille in 
hcnorem Regis se totam bibere promittens, 
parum aquse libabat de argenteo Calice.'' 
Vide Martial, lib. i. Ep. 72; lib. viii. 51, 
&c Comp. Drinking Customs. 

Bundling: used to be a widely diff- 
used Welsh custom before marriage : the 
betrothed or engaged pair went to bed, or 
more frequently lay together in their 



82 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



clothes. It seems to have been intended 
as a method by which, without any detri- 
mental result, the parties might form some 
idea of each other. It was by no means 
restricted to the lower orders. The mis- 
chievous consequences arising from such a 
practice are sufficiently obvious. It was 
formerly customary in Cumberland and 
Westmoreland, and produced similarly un- 
fortunate and immoral consequences in the 
majority of cases. The usage was, how- 
ever, growing obsolete there in 1839, when 
the author of the " W. and C. Dialect" 
wrote. According to a writer in the Penny 
Magazine, this practice was well known in 
Northumberland in or about 1830 ; but he 
does not seem to have heard that it was at- 
tended by very serious evils. It is not 
confined to this country. Such a practice 
was obviously prone to abuse, and more 
or less of miscnief. But its localization 
seems to be an ill - founded hypo- 
thesis. Even among families of good posi- 
tion it is tacitly recognized and tolerated, 
and it was at the outset the product of the 
clothed state, where touch had to play the 
part of sight in the unclothed. It is a 
rigorous condition that no liberty is taken 
with the dress. 

Burford. — Plot mentions a custom at 
Burford, in Oxfordshire (within memory) 
of making a dragon yearly, and 
carrying it up and down the town in great 
jollity on Midsummer Eve ; to which, he 
says, not knowing for what reason^ they 
added a giant. Hist, of Oxfordshire, p. 
349. But a farther account of this usage 
may be found in Blount's Tenures, 
ed. Hazlitt, p. 49. The inhabitants 
of Burford formerly enjoyed the right 
of hunting deer in Whichwood Forest 
on Whitsunday. The Corporation still 
possesses the letter, directed to them 
in 1593, to stay the privilege for 
that year, and accept two bucks 
from the keepers in lieu thereof, without 
prejudice to the future. 

Buriali — A paper on the Burial of the 
Britons forms part of his Notes on Ancient 
Britain, by W. Barnes, 1858. Strutt 
tells us, "that before the time of 
Christianity it was held unlawful to 
bury the dead within the cities, but 
they used to carry them out into the 
fields hard by, and there deposited them. 
Towards the end of the sixth century, Au- 
gustine obtained of King Ethelbert a 
Temple of Idols (where the King used to 
worship before his conversion) and made a 
burying place of it ; but St. Cuthbert 
afterwards obtained leave to have yards 
Tnade to the churches, proper for the re- 
ception of the dead." Comp. Bidding, 
Deaihs, Flowers, Gloves, Funeral Customs, 
&c. 

Burial FeeSi — It is customary to' 



give the clergy double fees where a person 
i3 buried not belonging to the parish. 

But-lesque. — The antiquity of this 
practice is shown by the curious relics 
printed in Beliquce Antiguce, 1841-6, et 
alibi. At a very early date, the incanta- 
tions of wizards and sorcerers appear to- 
have been reduced to a burlesque sort of 
gibberish by those who either were unable 
to comprehend their meaning, or desired 
to ridicule their follv. See "Remains of 
Early Pop. Poetry of England," vol. i. p. 
26 and vol. iv. p. 358. Dunbar, in his 
"Testament of Andro Kennedy," has paro- 
died some of the rites which, in his day 
(he died about 1515), were observed at the 
interment of the dead. But the old Soot- 
ish Makar had less sympathy than the 
Southerners with this class of solemnity, 
for he belonged to a church, which treated 
the burial service lightly enough. Bishop 
Bale, writing in 1538, mentions the follow- 
ing burlesque charms : 

" For the coughe take Judas Eare 
Wth the parynge of a peare 
And drynke them without feare 
If ye will have remedy : 

Thre syppes are fore the hyckocke 
And six more for the chyokocke 
Thus, my prety pyokocke, 
Recover by and by. 

If ye can not slepe but slumber, 
Geve otes unto Saynt Uncumber 
And beanes in a certen number 

Unto Saynt Blase and Saint Blythe. 

Give onyons to Saynt Cutlake 
And garlycke to Saynt Cyryake 
If ye wyll shunne the heade ake : 

Ye shall have them at Queue hyth." 

— Comedy of Three Laws, ed. 1562, sign. 
C 3 verso. And again : 

" With blessynges of St. Germayne 

I wyll me so determyne 

That neyther fox nor vermyne 

Shall do my chyckens harme. 
For your gese soke Saynt Legeared, 
And for your duckes Saynt Leonardo, 
For horse take Moyses yearde, 

There is no better charme. 

Take me a napkyn folte 
With the byas of a bolte 
For the healyng of a colte 

No better thynge can be : 
For lumpes and for bottes 
Take me Saynt Wilfrides knottes. 
And Holy Saynt Thomas Lottos, 

On my lyfe I warrande ye. 

A dram of a shepes tyrdle. 
And good Saynt Frances Gyrdle, 
With the hamlet of a hyrdle. 
Are wholsom for the pyppe : 



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83 



Besydes these charmes afore 
I have featea many more 
That kepe styll in store, 
Whom nowe I over hyppe." 

So, in Heywood's Works, ed. 1598, sign. 
C i.: 

" I clawed her by the baoke in way of a 

oharme. 
To do me not the more good, but the less 
harme." 

In " Musarum Deliciee," 1656, there is the 
following incantation : 

" — Or I to plague thee for thy sin, 
Should draw a circle, and begin 
To conjure, for I am, look to't. 
An Oxford scholar, and can doe't. 
Then with three sets of mops and mowes, 
Seaven of odd words, and motley showes, 
A thousand tricks that may be taken 
From Faustus, Lambe, or Frier Bacon ; 
I should begin." 

Nash, in his ' Notes on Hudibras," says. 
" Cato recommends the following as a 
charm against sprains : ' Haut, haut, his- 
ta, pista, vista.' " Andrews, the continu- 
ator of Henry, quoting Reginald Scot, 
says: "The stories which our facetious 
author relates of ridiculous charms which, 
by the help of credulity, operated wonders, 
are extremely laughable. In one of them 
a poor woman is commemorated who cured 
all diseases by muttering a certain form 
of words over the party afflicted ; for which 
service she always received one penny and 
a loaf of bread. At length, terrified by 
menaces of flames both in this world and 
the next, she owned that her whole con- 
juration consisted in these potent lines, 
which she always repeated in a low voice 
near the head of her patient : 

" Thy loaf in my hand. 
And thy penny in my purse, 

Thou art never the better — 
And I am never the worse." 

Melton tels us : " That a man may know 
what's a clocke only by a ring and a silver 
beaker." Astrologestis, 1620, p. 45. This 
seems equally probable, with what we read 
in Hudibras : 

" And wisely tell what Hour o' th' Day 
The clocke does strike by Algebra." 

From Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia, 1609, 
Dr. Rimbault has extracted the humorous 
effusion of this class, entitled : Martin said 
to his Man, where the second stanza runs : 
I see a sheepe shearing come. 

Fie ! man, fie ! 
I see a sheepe shearing come, 
Who's the foole now ? 
I see a sheepe shearing corne. 
And a cuckold blow his home; 
Thou hast well drunken, man, 
Who's the foole now ? 



And the rest is in a similar strain. A 
Liflle Book of Songs and Ballads, 1851, 
pp. 115-17. See Prevaricator. 

Burning; the Dead Horse. — A 

nautical ceremony performed with a 
wooden horse suspended from the shrouds 
on crossing the line. See a representation 
of it in Black and White, January 9, 1892. 
Its origin and meaning are explained on p. 
36, and come from the prepayment of a 
month's wages, which are usually squan- 
dered on shore, so that a sailor works, as 
he thinks, for nothing during what is 
termed the Horse or first month, at the 
conclusion of which this imaginary animal 
is burnt, and Jack is really on his legs 
again. 

Burning: Shame. — A custom said 
to be peculiar to Newport, Isle of Wight. 
See Mr. T. Nicholls's publication, 1812. 

Burying: Old Tom.— The labourers 
in Herefordshire usually indulge in an ex- 
tra glass or two on New Year's Eve, and 
call this burying Old Tom. The festivities 
usually include considerable uproar and 
confusion, and the assistants at these pecu- 
liar funeral obsequies rarely quit the tav- 
ern parlour, till mine host makes a clear- 
ance. They have some verses adapted for 
the occasion, which they sing on their way 
homeward through the streets, not always, 
as it may be supposed, in the best time or 
with the clearest accents. Mr. T. H. Pat- 
tison communicated a copy to "Current 
Notes" for January, 1856: — 

"I wish you a merry Christmas, 
And a happy New Year ; 

A pocket full of money , 
And a cellar full of beer; 

And a good fat pig, 

To serve you all the year. 

Ladies and gentlemen sat by the fire. 

Pity we, poor boys, out in the mire." 

Bush. — There is a well known proverb, 
"Good wine needs no bush" ;i.e. nothing 
to point out where it is to be sold. Dicken- 
son, in his " Greene in Conceipt," 1598, 
has it : " Good wine needes no Ivie Bush." 
The subsequent passage in Rowlands' 
"Good Newes and Bad Newes," 1622, 
seems to prove that anciently tavern keep- 
ers kept both a bush and a sign : a host is 
speaking : 

"I rather will take down my bush and 

sign 
Then live by means of riotous expenoe." 
In the same author's "Knave of Harts," 
1612, "the drunken knave exclaims : 
"What claret's this? the very worst in 

towne : 
Your taverne-bush deserves a pulling 
downe." 

In " England's Parnassus," 1600, the first 
line of the address to the reader runs 
thus: "I have no ivie out to sell my 



84 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



wine " : and in Braithwaite's " Strappado 
for the Divell," 1615, there is a dedication 
to Bacchus, ' sole soveraigne of the Ivy- 
bush, prime founder of Bed-Lettices," &c. 
In Dekker's "Wonderful Yeare," 1603, 
signat. F, we read : " Spied a bush at the 
eude of a pole (the auncient badge of a 
countrey ale-house)." Sir William 
Vaughan of Merioneth, in his " Golden 
Grove," 1600, says : " Like as an ivy-bush 
put forth at a vintrie, is not the cause of 
the wine, but, a signe that wine is to bee 
sold there ; so, likewise, if we see smoke 
appearing in a chimney, wee know that 
fire is there, albeit the smoke is not the 
cause of the fire." Elsewhere we find : 
" Nay if the house be not worth an ivie- 
bush, let him have his tooles about him ; 
nutmegs, rosemary, tobacco, with other 
the appurtenances, and he kuowes how of 

fuddle-ale to make a cup of English wine." 
n the preface to Braithwaite's Laws of 
Drinking, 1617, keeping a publichouse is 
called ' ' the known trade of the ivy-bush, 
or red lettice." There is a wedding ser- 
mon by Whateley of Banbury, entitled, "A 
Bride - Bush," as is another preached 
to a newly - married couple at CEsen 
in Norfolk. See "Wedding Sermons," 
12mo. Lend. 1732. Coles says: " Box and 
ivy last long green, and therefore vintners 
make their garlands thereof : though per- 
haps ivy is the rather used, because of the 
antipathy between it and wine." Poor 
Robin, in his Perambulation from Saffian 
Walden to London, 1678, says: 

" Some alehouses upon the road I saw. 
And some with bushes shewing they wine 
did draw." 

Nash, speaking of the head dresses of Lon- 
don ladies, says: "Even as angels are 
painted in church windowes, with glorious 
golden fronts, besette with sunne-beames, 
so beset they their foreheads on either side 
with glorious borrowed gleamy bushes ; 
which rightly interpreted, should signify 
beauty to sell, since a bush is not else 
hanged forth, but to invite men to buy. 
And in Italy, when they sette any beast 
to sale, they crowne his head with garlands 
and bedeck it with gaudy blossoms, as full 
as ever it may stick." Christ's Teares 
over Jerusalem, 1593, ed. 1613, p. 145. 

Butter. — St. Hascka is said by her 
prayers to have made stinking butter 
sweet. See the Bollandists under January 
26, as cited by Patrick in his " Devot. of 
the Romish Church," p. 37. Ady speaks 
of an old woman who came into an house 
when the maid was churning of butter, and 
having laboured long and could not make 
her butter come, the old woman told the 
maid what was wont to be done when she 
was a maid, and also in her mothers young 
time, that if it happened their butter 
would not come readily, they used a charm 



to be said over it, whilst yet it was in 
beating, and it would come straight ways, 
and that was this : 

"Come, butter, come. 
Come butter, come, 
Peter stands at the gate. 
Waiting for a buttered cake. 
Come, Dutter, come." 
This, said the old woman, being said three 
times, will make your butter come, for it 
was taught my mother by a learned Church 
man in Queen Maries days, when as church 
men had more cunning, and could teach 
people many a trick, that our Ministers 
now a days know not." Candle in the 
Dark, 1659, p. 58. Jamieson, the editor 
of the Scottish Ballads, relates that when 
he was travelling on foot across the moun- 
tains from Fort Augustus to Fort Inver- 
ness, about the end of the 18th or 
beginning of the 19th century, he 
came to a dwelling, where the woman 
prepared the food to the accompani- 
ment of song, and made him per- 
sonally sing "like a mavis," to the 
bottle holding some cream, to make the 
butter come. She did the same in milking 
the cow, and searching in the hens' roost 
for some new-laid eggs. 

Buzza, or to Buzza One. — I know 
nothing of the meaning of this word. I 
have been told that it is a college expres- 
sion, and contains a threat, in the way of 
pleasantry, to black the person's face with 
a burnt cork, should he flinch or fail to 
empty the bottle. Possibly it may have 
been derived from the German " buzzen," 
sordes awferre, q.d. " Off with the lees at 
bottom." Grose explains this as signify- 
ing to challenge a person to pour out all 
the wine in the bottle into his glass, under- 
taking to drink it, should it prove more 
than the glass would hold. It is com- 
monly said to one who hesitates to empty 
a bottle that is nearly out. To buzz a 
bottle of wine is usually understood in the 
sense of finishing it, which, if there is no 
more, is left to a guest. 

Cakes and Salt were used in re- 
ligious rites by the ancients. The Jews 
probably adopted their appropriation from 
the Egyptians : 'And if thou bring an obla- 
tion of a meat-ofi^ering baken in the oven, 
it shall be unleavened cakes of fine' flour,' 
&c., Levit. ii. 4. — 'With all thine offer- 
ings thou shalt offer salt.' " 

Calendar, — There is a prevailing 
theory that the year was calculated prior 
to 1753 from the 25th of March, and only 
after that date from the 1st January. But, 
as a matter of factj not only has wide 
diversity of practice existed everywhere in 
this respect, but even continues to do so, 
as well in Great Britain as abroad. Ni- 
colas, Chronology of History, p. 40 et seqq. 
A writer from Sealby, near Scarborough, 



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85 



Yorkshire.in a letter to the Daily Graphic, 
May 15, 1899, observes :■ — " In this part of 
England the new style has not yet been 
adopted in its entirety. With few excep- 
tions rents become due and farms are en- 
tered or left on the 6th of April and 11th 
of October, called Lady Day and 
Michaelmas Day respectively. Midsum- 
mer Day is supposed to fall on the — July ; 
and even in Scarborough and the larger 
towns of the district the 23rd of Novem- 
ber is styled Martinmas. I know a few old 
inhabitants who firmly believe that May 
Day falls on the 13th of May." 

Camp. — See Football. 

Canaries. — A quick and lively dance. 
See Halliwell in v. and authorities cited 
by him. 

Candlemas Bleeze. — Colonel 
Alexander Fergusson writes in Notes and 
Queries: — "My father, sometime Gover- 
nor and Captain General of the colony of 
Sierra Leone, was born about 1804. As a 
very small child he attended a parish school 
in the ' Redgauntlet ' country, hard by 
the Solway. It was then the custom, as I 
have been informed, on Candlemas Day for 
every scholar to carry, as an offering to 
the schoolmaster, a gift of peats, varying 
in number according to the distance to be 
traversed and the strength of the pupil. 
This duty was known by the name of the 
"Candlemas bleeze^ (i.e., blaze)." Any 
one acquainted with the incomparable 
nature of the peats from the Lochar Moss 
— ^that terror to English troops and sanc- 
tuary for Border reivers — cut from a jetty 
soil as black as ink and smooth and soft as 
butter, and, when dried in the sun, the 
thin slices approaching coal in hardness, 
will understand what a welcome addition 
to the master's winter store of fuel was 
thus pleasantly provided. Probably this 
was aoout the last of an ancient custom ; 
for in looking over, many years ago, some 
old accounts of the expenses connected 
with my father's education, there occurs 
an item of money paid to the schoolmaster 
" in lieu of the Candlemas bleeze." I have 
heard of a similar contribution being made 
to the parish schoolmaster in other parts 
of Scotland, where peat was not so com- 
mon nor so good. It took the form of an 
offering of candles. I am sorry I can give 
no date for this latter instance of the sur- 
vival of what was probably a custom dat- 
ing from early Popish days." 

Candlemas Day.— (February 2). 
The name is evidently derived from the 
candles, which are then carried in proces- 
sion ; it is otherwse known as the Purifi- 
cation of the Virgin. The word " Purifi- 
cation " itself carries in its original mean- 
ing the idea of cleansing by fire or light, 
and hither, rather perhaps than to Jesus 
Christ being the Spiritual Light, we ought 



to refer the connection of candles with this 
festival. The idea of celebrating the Puri- 
fication of the Virgin on the same day 
strikes us as being an aftergrowth or graft, 
and was a piece of questionable cle- 
rical diplomacy, since it was appa- 
rently inconsistent with the Immacu- 
late Conception. Fosbrooke (British 
Monarchism, i., 28) says: " The candles 
at the Purification were an exchange 
for the lustration of the Pagans, and 
candles were used "from the parable 
of the wise virgins." — ' Alcuinus de divinis 
Officiis, p. 231. " This feast is called by 
thy Greeks vwairavra, which signifies a 
meeting, because Simeon and Anna the 
prophetess met in the Temple at the pre- 
sentation of our Saviour." L'Estrange's 
" Alliance of Divine Offices," p. 147. See 
Luke ii. In the "Roman Calendar," I 
find the subsequent observations on the 
2nd of February, usually called Candlemas 
Day: 

" Torches are consecrated. 
Torches are given away for many days." 
" Feb. 2. " Purificatio Virginis 
Faces consecrantur. 
Faces dantur multis diebus." 

"To beare their candels soberly, and to 
offer them to the Saintes, not of God's 
makynge, but the carvers and paynters," 
is mentioned among the Roman Catholic 
customs censured by John Bale in his 
" Declaration of Bonners Articles," 1554, 
signat. D 4 b. ; as is, Ibid. fol. 18 b. "to 
conjure candels." "There is a canon," 
says Bourne, "in the Council of TruUus, 
against those who baked a cake in honour 
of the Virgin's lying-in, in which it is de- 
creed, that no such ceremony should be ob- 
served, because she suffered no pollution, 
and therefore needed no purification.'" 
Pope Sergius, says Becon, in his " Reliques 
of Rome, 1563, commanded that all the 
people "shuld go on procession on Candle- 
mas Day, and carry candels about with 
them brenning in their hands in the year 
of our Lord 684." How this caudle-burn- 
ing on Candlemas Day came first up, the 
author of the Festival declareth in this 
manner: " Sometyme," saith he, "when 
the Romaines by great myght and royal 
power, conquered all the world, they were 
so proude, that they forgat God, and made 
them divers gods after their own lust. 
And so among all they had a god that they 
called Mars, that had been tofore a notable 
knight in battayle ; and so they prayed to 
hym for help, and for that they would 
speed the better of this knight, the people 
prayed and did great worship to his 
mother, that was called Februa, after 
which woman much people have opinion 
that the moneth lebruary is called. 
Wherefore the second dale of thys moneth 
is Candlemass Day. The Romaines this 



86 



NATIONAL i'^iinc 



right went about the city of Rome with 
torches and candles brenning in worship of 
this woman Februa, for hope to have the 
more helpe and succoure of her sonne 
Mars. Then there was a Pope that was 
called Sergius, and when he saw Christian 
people draw to this false maumetry and 
untrue belief, he thought to undo this 
foule use and custom, and turn it onto 
Gods worship and our Ladys, and gave 
commandment that all Christian people 
should come to church and ofier up a caudle 
brennyng, in the worship that they did to 
this woman Februa, and do worship to our 
Lady and to her sonne our Lord Jesus 
Christ. So that now this feast is solemnly 
hallowed thorowe all Christendome. And 
every Christian man and woman of coven- 
able age is bound to come to church 
and offer up their candles, as though 
they were bodily with our Lady hop- 
yng for this reverence and worship, 
that they do to our Ladye, to have 
a great rewarde in Heaven." The Festy- 
vall adds: "A candell is made of weke 
and wexe ; so was Christ's soule hyd within 
the manhode : also the fyre betokeneth the 
Godhede : also it betokeneth our Ladyes 
moderhede and maydenhede, lyght with 
the fyre of love." 

In Dunstan's " Concord of Monastic 
Rules " it is directed that, " on the 
Purification of the Virgin Mary the 
monks shall go in surplices to the 
Church for candles, which shall be conse- 
crated, sprinkled with holy water, and 
censed by the Abbot. — Let every monk 
take a candle from the sacrist, and light 
it. Let a procession be made, thirds and 
Mass be celebrated, and the candles, after 
the offering, be offered to the priest." In 
some of the ancient illuminated calendars 
a woman holding a taper in each hand is 
represented in the month of February. 

In a proclamation dated 26th of 
February, 30 Henry VIII., "concern- 
yng Rites and Ceremonies to be used in 
due fourme in the Churche of England," 
we read as follows : ' ' On Candlemas Daye 
it shall be declared, that the bearynge of 
candels is done in the memorie of Christe 
the spirituall lyghte, whom Simeon dyd 
prophecye as it is redde in the Churche 
that daye." The same had been declared 
by a decree of Convocation. Fuller's 
"Church History," p. 222. We read in 
Woodde's " Dialogue," cited more particu- 
larly under Palm Sunday, signat. d. 1, 
"Wherefore serveth holye candels? (Nicho- 
las.) To light up in thunder, and to bless 
men when they lye a dying." See on this 
subject Dupre's "Conformity between an- 
cient and modern ceremonies," p. 96, and 
Stopford's " Pagano-Papismus," p. 238. 
Moresin gives us his conjecture on the 
use of the candle upon this occasion : " It 
was an Egyptian hieroglyphic for Life, 



meant to express here the ardent desire oi 
having had the life of the deceased 
prolonged." Papains, pp. 26-89. In 
the " Doctrine of the Masse Book," 
&c., 1554, signat. A 8, we find : " The hal- 
lowing of candles on Candlemas Day." 
The prayer. " O Lord Jesu Christ, ^ 
blesse thou this creature of a waxen taper 
at our humble supplication, and, by the 
vertue of the holy crosse, poure thou into 
it an heavenly benediction ; that as thou 
hast graunted it unto mans use for the ex- 
pelling of darknes^ it may receave such a 
strength and blessing, thorow the token of 
thy holy crosse, that m what places soever 
it be lighted or set, the Divu may avoid 
out of these habitacions, and tremble for 
feare, and fly away discouraged, and pre- 
sume no more to unquiete them that serve 
thee, who with God," &c. There follow 
other prayers, in wnich occur these pas- 
sages : ' ' We humbly beseech thee, that 
thou wilt vouchsafe to >J< to blesse and »i« 
sanctifie these candels, prepared unto the 
uses of men, and health of bodies and 



soules, as 
the waters, 



wel on the 



Vouchsafe * to blesse and 
sanctifye, and with the Candle of heavenly 



land 
>J< to b 
[idle of 
benediction, to ligliten these tapers, which 
we thy servants taking in the honour of thy 
name (whan they are lighted) desire to 
beare, &c. " Here let the candles be 
sprinkled with holy water." Concluding 
with this rubrick : "When the halowyng 
of the candels is done, let the candels be 
lighted and distributed." Queen Mary, 
when princess, was a scrupulous observer 
of the custom of offering tapers, &c., pecu- 
liar to this day, as repeated entries in her 
" Privy Purse Expenses " testify, and in 
Bishop Bonner's 'Injunctions," 1555, sig- 
nat. A i. we read, "that bearyng of can- 
dels on Candlemasse Daie is doone in the 
memorie of our Saviour Jesu Christe, the 
spirituall lyght, of whom Sainst Symeon 
dyd prophecie, as it is redde in the Church 
that day." This ceremony, however, had 
been previously forbidden in the metro- 
polis : for in Stowe's " Chronicle," edit. 
1631, p. 595, we read, " On the second of 
February, 1547-8, being the Feast of the 
Purification of our Lady, commonly called 
Candlemasse Day, the bearing of candles 
in the Church was left off throughout the 
whole citie of London," and, in fact. King 
Edward VI. had declared, by royal pro- 
clamation, that no man was to be subject 
to imprisonment for omitting the Popish 
ceremonies incidental to the day. At the 
end of Smart's " Vanitie and Downefall of 
superstitious Popish ceremonies," 1628, I 
find, in " a brief e but true historicall Nar- 
ration of some notorious Acts and Speeches 
of Mr. John Cosens" (Bishop of Durham), 
the following : " Fourthly, on Candlemass 
Day last past, Mr. Cozens in renuing that 
Popish ceremonie of burning candles to the 



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87 



honour of our Ladye, busied himself from 
two of the olocke in the afternoone till 
foure, in climbing long ladders to stick up 
wax candles in the said Cathedral Church : 
the number of all the candles burnt that 
evening was two hundred and twenty, be- 
sides sixteen torches : sixty of those burn- 
ing tapers and torches standing upon and 
near the high altar (as he calls it), where 
no man came nigh." Herrick, in his 
" Hesperides," has two or three passages 
illustrating curiously enough the usages 
peculiar to this season. In the " Country 
Almanack" for 1676, under February, we 
read — 

"Foul weather is no news; hail, rain, 

and snow 
Are now expected, and esteemed no woe ; 
Nay, 'tis an omen bad the yeomen say. 
If Phoebus shews his face the second 
day." 
Martin, in his "Description of the West- 
ern Islands," mentions an ancient custom 
observed on the second of Feliruary : " The 
mistress and servants of each family take a 
jsheaf of oats and dress it up in women's 
apparel, put it in a large basket, and lay 
a wooden club by it, and this they call a 
Briid's Bed; and then the mistress and 
servants cry three times, " Briid is come, 
Briid is welcome." This they do just be- 
fore going to bed, and when they rise in 
the morning they look among ijie ashes, 
expecting to see the impression of Briid's 
club there ; which if they do, they reckon 
it a true presage of a good crop and pros- 
perous year, and the contrary they take 
as an ill omen." There is a proverb : 
" If Candlemas day be fair and bright. 
Winter will have another flight ; 
If on Candlemas day it be shower and 

rain. 
Winter is gone and will not come again." 
\\Tiich appears to point to the deceptive 
character of a premature season. The 
heavy winds which visit us during Febru- 
ary and March are sometimes called 
" Candlemas-eve winds." Hospinian's ac- 
count of this festival is remarkbaly brief; 
but as Naogeorgus in Googe's paraphrase 
is a little more explicit, his account may be 
here inserted. 

' 'Then comes the day wherein the Virgin 

offred Christ unto 
The Father chiefe, as Moyses law com- 

maunded hir to do. 
Then numbers great of Tapers large, 

both men and women beare 
To Church, being halowed there with 
pomp, and dreadful words to heare. 
This done eche man his candell lightes 

where chiefest seemeth hee, 
Whose taper greatest may be seene, and 

foitunat to bee ; 
Whose candell burneth cleare and bright 
a wondrous force and might 



Doth in these candels lie, which if at any 

time they light. 
They sure beleve that neyther storme or 

tempest dare abide. 
Nor thunder in the skies be heard, nor 

any Devils spite. 
Nor fearefull sprites that walke by night 
nor hurts of frost or haile." 
Comp. Candles, God's Sunday, and Wives' 
Feast-Day. 

Candle Omens. — In the "Knight 
of the Burning Pestle," 1613, in a sort of 
dirge, which Luce sings, there is this pas- 
sage: 

" Come, you whose loves are dead, 
And whiles I sing, 
Weep and wring 
Every hand, and every head 
Bind with cypress and sad yew ; 
Ribands black and candles blue 
For him that was of men most true." 

Melton says that " if a candel burne blew, 
it is a signe that there is a spirit in the 
house, or not farre from it." Astrologas- 
*er, 1620, p. 45. In " Ovid Travestie, 1673, 
the whimsical author makes Hero describe 
her alarm to her lover in consequence of an 
omen she had seen in the candle : 

" For last night late to tell you true 
My candel as I sate burnt blew. 
Which put poor me in horrid fright. 
And expectation of black spright. 
With sawcer eyes, and horns and tail." 

But, in "A New Tricke to cheat the 
Divell," by Robert Davenport, 1639, the 
blue in the candle seems to be regarded as 
a portent of something different : 
Constable. My watch is set, charge given 
and all in peace. 

But by the burning of the candel blew. 

Which I by chance espyed through the 
lanthorne. 

And by the dropping of the Beadles nose, 

I smell afiost — " 

Goldsmith, in his "Vicar of Wakefield," 
" speaking of the waking dreams of his 
hero's daughters, says, "The girls had 
their omens too, they saw rings in the 
candle." Willsford tells us : " If the flame 
of a candle, lamp, or any other fire does 
wave or wind itself, where there is no 
sensible or visible cause, expect some windy 
weather. When candles or lamps will not 
so readily kindle as at other times, it is a 
sign of wet weather neer at hand. 
When candles or lamps do sparkle 
and rise up with little fumes, or 
their wicks swell, with things on them (like 
mushrums) are all signs of ensuing wet 
weather." Nature's Secrets, 120. Boyle 
makes his 10th Meditation " upon a thief 
in a candle" — "which by its irregular 
way of making the flame blaze, melts down 
a good part of the tallow^ and will soon 
spoil the rest, if the remains are not res- 



88 



NATIONAL Fn.iirLc 



cued by the removal of the Thief (as they 
call it) in the candle." Occasional licflec- 
tions, 1665, p. 218. The fungous parcels, 
as Browne calls them, about the wicks or 
candles are commonly thought to foretell 
strangers. See Stranger. 

In the North, as well as in other parts 
of England, they are called letters at the 
candle, as if the forerunners of some 
strange news. These, says Browne, with 
his usual pedantry of style, which is so 
well atoned for by his good sense and learn- 
ing, only indicate a moist and pluvious 
air, which hinders the avolation of the 
light and favillous partfcles, whereupon 
they settle upon the snast. That catidles 
and lights, he observes also, burn blue and 
dim at the apparition of spirits, may be 
true, if the ambient air be full of sulphur- 
eous spirits, as it happens often in mines." 
The innkeepers and owners of brothels at 
Amsterdam are said to account these 
" fungous parcels " lucky, when they burn 
long and brilliant, in which case they sup- 
pose them to bring customers. But when 
they soon go out, they imagine the custom- 
ers already under their roofs will presently 
depart. They call these puffs of the candle 
" good men." Putanisme d'Amsterdain, 
1681, p. 92. A spark at the candle is held 
to import that the party opposite to it 
will shortly receive a letter. 

Candle Renti — A due or impost pay- 
able at Cambridge in ancient times. Hist, 
of G. G. G., by Stokes, 1898, p. 29. But see 
Davies, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, p. 100, 
where the candle-rent seems to be satisfac- 
torily explained. 

Candle (Corpse), or Windingr 
Sheet. — Corpse candles, says Grose, are 
very common appearances in the counties 
of Cardigan, Caermarthen, and Pembroke, 
and also in some other parts of Wales : 
they are called candles from their resemb- 
lance not to the body of the caudle, but the 
fire ; because that fire, says the honest 
Welchman, Mr. Davis, in a letter to Mr. 
Baxter, doth as much resemble material 
candle lights as eggs do eggs : saving that, 
in their journey, these candles are some- 
times visible and sometimes disappear, 
especially if any one comes near to tnem, 
or in the way to meet them. On these 
occasions they vanish, but presently ap- 
pear again behind the observer, and hold 
on their course. If a little candle is seen, 
of a pale bluish colour, then follows the 
corpse, either of an abortive, or some in- 
fant : if a larger one, then the corpse of 
some one come to age. If there be seen 
two, three, or more, of different sizes, some 
big, some small, then shall so many corpses 
pass together and of such ages or degrees. 
If two candles come from different places, 
and be seen to meet, the corpses will do the 
same; and if any of these candles be seen 



to turn aside through some by-path leading, 
to the church, the following corpse will be 
found to take exactly the same way. Some- 
times these candles point out the places 
where persons shall sicken and die. They 
have also appeared on the bellies of preg- 
nant women, previous to their delivery, 
and have predicted the drowning of per- 
sons passing a ford. 

Candle (Religious Use of). — 

It appears from " Scogin's Jests," 1626, 
that in Henry the Eighth's time it was the 
custom to set two burning candles over the 
dead body. The passage is curious, as. 
illustrative of more customs than one : "On 
Maundy-Thursday, Scogin said to his 
chamber-fellow, we wil make our maundy, 
and eate and drink with advantage. 
Be it, said the scholar. On Maundy- 
Thursday at night they made such 
cheere that the scholler was drunke. Sco- 
gin then pulled off all the schoUers clothes, 
and laid him stark naked on the rushes, 
and set a forme over him, and spread a 
coverlet over it, and set up two tallow 
candles in candlesticks over him, one at 
his head, the other at his feet, and ran 
from chamber to'chamber, and told the fel- 
lowes of that place that his chamber-fel- 
low was dead : and they asked of Scogin 
if he died of the pestilence ? Scogin said : 
no I pray you go up, and pray for his 
soule ; and so they did. And when the schol- 
ler had slept his first sleepe, he began to 
turne himselfe, and cast down the forme' 
and the candles. The fellowes of the house 
seeing that Scogin did run first out of the 
chamber, they and all that were in the 
chamber, one running and tumbling down 
on anothers neck, were afraid. The schol- 
ler, seeing them run so fast out of the 
chamber, followed them starke naked ; 
and the fellowes seeing him runne after 
them like a ghost, some ran into their 
chambers, and some ran into one corner, 
and some into another. Scogin ran into 
the chamber to see that the candles should 
doe no harme, and at last fetcht up his 
chamber-fellow, which ran about naked 
like a madman, and brought him tO' 
bed ; for which matter Scogin had 
rebuke." Hazlitt's Old English Jest- 
hoolcs, ii., 55. In Herbert's " Coun- 
try Parson," 1675, third impression, 
p 157, he tells us, ' ' Another old custom 
(he had been speaking of processions) there 
is, of saying, when light is brought in, God 
send us the light of Heaven ; and the par- 
son likes this very well. Light is a great 
blessing, and as great as food, for which we 
give thanks : and those that think this 
superstitious, neither know superstition 
nor themselves." The following is from 
Copley's "Wits, Fits and Fancies," 1595: 
"A gentlewoman in extremitie of labour 
sTi are that if it pleased God she might es- 



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89 



cape death for that once, she would never 
in all her life after hazard herselfe to the 
like daunger again ; but being at last safely 
delivered, she then said to one of the mid- 
wives, ' So, now put out the holy candle, 
and keepe it till the next time. 
Comp. Churching and Funeral Customs. 

Candles (Time). — There were no 
clocks in England in King Alfred's time. 
He is said by his biographer Asser, who 
is supposed to have died in 910, to have 
measured his time by wax candles, marked 
with circular lines to distinguish the hour. 

Capon-Bell. — The following passage 
is in Dekker's " Strange Horse-Hace," 
1613. Speaking of " rich curmudgeons " 
lying sicK, he says: "Their sonnes and 
heires cursing as fast (as the mothers pray) 
until the great capon-bell ring out." If 
this does not mean the passing bell, I can- 
not explain it. 

Cappy-Hole. — This occurs, with 
other contemporary Scotish amusements, 
in the Scotch Booue, 1722. It is also men- 
tioned in the Notes to " Ancient Scotish 
Poems" from the Bannatyne MS. 1770, 
p. 251. 

Cards, or the Books of the Four Kings. 
See Chatto's Facts and Speculations on the 
History of Playing Cards, 1848, Introduc- 
toi-y Section. Cards seem to have evolved 
from chess, known in ancient times as 
Chaturanga, or the Four Bajas, which 
Edward I. learned to play in the Holy 
liand, and for which, in his wardrobe ac- 
count, 8s. 5d. is delivered to him by Walter 
Sturton in 1278. The Arabians doubtless 
borrowed chess, if not cards, from India. 
Ducange cites card-playing as known to 
the modern Greeks in 1498 ; but it was 
familiar to Venice at a far earlier date, as 
in 1441 the Government of the Republic 
prohibited, on the prayer of the Painters' 
Gild, the importation of foreign cards, 
which paralysed the national trade. 1493 
is the point of time fixed for their intro- 
duction into France in consequence of the 
necessity, after the King's seizure by sun- 
stroke, for some amusement. This theory, 
however, is no doubt equally erroneous, 
fiince the cards described as being supplied 
to Charles VI. were evidently products be- 
longing to a fairly advanced stage in the 
art, and, again, the French would have 
most probably received the idea from the 
Spanish Moors. The games alluded to in 
Benedictus Abbas, under the date 1190, 
did not include cards, which did not then 
exist in any shape, and were an accom- 
plishment unknown to the ancient Greeks 
and Romans. But they may very well 
have played during the Crusades at vari- 
ous forms of dice. Cards are mentioned 
in the statute 11 Henry VII., c. 2 (1496). 
At a court held at Edgeware in 1551 two 
men were fined for playing at cards and 
draughts (ad pictas cartas et tabulas), 



which is a curious notice for so early a 
date, considering the presumed station of 
the ofienders. Lysons Environs, 1st edit., 
ii., 244. Richard Rice, in his Invective, 
1579, has a curious passage on this sub- 
ject : "Is the waie to attain godliness," 
he inquires, "by plaiyng, and sportyng, 
or resting of the wearie bones, with the 
hemes of a paire of dice, or with a paire 
of cardes (otherwise nowe called the bookes 
of life) and though it be spoken but in 
iestyng, yet is it not altogether for naught, 
for the nature of some is to reste more in 
theim, and are more at quiete with the 
ace, kyng, queene^ or varlet of spades, 
then thei can be with a spade to digge or 
delue honestly after Goddes preceptes for 




CAKD-PLATING. 

(From an ancient MS.) 

their hiryng : yea, and delighte quietlier 
in the ace, king, queene, or varlette of the 
hartes, then thei dooe in the booke of 
life." Sir David Lyndsay, in his Com- 
plaint, enumerates cards among the 
amusements of the Scotish Court under 
James IV. and V., even of a bishop, and 
in 1503, when the former prince waited on 
his consort in the Castle of Newbattle, it 
is said : " The Kynge came prively to the 
said castell, and entred within the cham- 
mer with a small cumpany, whar he founde 
the queue pjaying at the cardes." Haz- 
litt's Warton, 1871, in., 243. Warton, in 
a note to Lyndsay's Works, observes : " In 
our Author's tragedie of Cardinal Betoun, 
a soliloquy spoken by the cardinal, he is 
made to declare that he played with the 



90 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



King (James IV.) for three thousand 
Clowns of gold in one night, at cartis and 
dice." They (cards) are also mentioned in 
an old anonymous Scotish poem of Cove- 
tice. Dalrymple, Anc. Scot. Poems, 168. 
liyndsay, in his Satire of the Three 
Estates (1535) makes the parson say that 
at various amusements, including cartis, 
ho may above all others bear the prize. 
Cards were, from numerous references, in 
great vogue both in Scotland and on the 
Borders, even among the lower classes, in 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
The stakes in the case of the humbler play- 
ers were placks or hardheads, two coins of 
very small value in the old Scotish cur- 
rency. Hall, of Cambridge, says: "For 
cardes, the philologie of them is not for an 
essay. A man's fancy would be sum'd up 
in cribbidge; gleeke requires a vigilant 
memory and a long purse ; maw, a preg- 
nant agility ; pichet, a various invention ; 
primero, a dextrous kinde of rashnesse, 
&c. Horce Vacivm, 1646, p. 150. Lord 
Worcester includes in his " Century of In- 
ventions," 1663, two which may be thought 
to have been as well omitted. They refer 
to cheating tricks with cards and dice. 
" AVhite silk," says his lordship, " knotted 
in the fingers of a pair of white gloves, and 
so contrived without suspicion, that play- 
ing at primero at cards, one may without 
clogging his memory keep reckoning of all 
sixes, sevens and aces, which he hath dis- 
carded." Again, the writer says: "A 
most dexterous dicing box, with holes 
transparent, after the usual fashion, with 
a device so dexterous, that with a knock of 
it against the table the four good dice are 
fastened, and it looseneth four false dice 
made fit for his purpose." TJrquhart of 
Cromarty observes : " Verily, I think they 
make use of Kings, as we do of Card- 
Kings in playing at the Hundred ; any 
one whereof, if there be appearance of a 
better game without him, (and that the 
exchange of him for another incoming 
card is like to conduce more for drawing 
of the stake), is by good gamesters without 
any ceremony discarded." Discovery, 
1657, p. 237. Mr. W. H. Allnutt, 
of Oxford, found in a MS. diary 
of 1629 the following list : " (James at 
Chartes. — Ruffe, trumpe, slam'e, gleeke, 
Newcut, swigg, loadam, putt, primifisty, 
post and pair, bone-ace, anakin, seven 
cardes one and thirty, my sow has 
pig'd." 

The earliest English example of an at- 
tempt to treat cards as an apologue ap- 
pears to have been in the lost comedy of 
the Play of Cards, mentioned by Sir John 
Harington in his Apologie of Poetrie, 
accompanying his English Ariosto, 1591, 
in which, he tells us, is showed in 
Four Parasitical Knaves Four Principal 
Vocations of the Realme, videl. The voca- 



tion of soldiers, sohollers, marchants, and 
husbandmen. The popular character of 
cards was the inducement to certain pub- 
lishers to make them a vehicle of instruc- 
tion in history and other topics ; and we 
have from the time of James H. nearly to 
our own packs illustrated in a variety of 
ways, shewing historical episodes, leading 
points in geography, and even the outlines 
of grammar. 

Card-tricks began at a very early 
date to be a deviation from the 
original and legitimate application of the 
objects, and Reginald Scot, in his Disco- 
very, 1584, dedicates a section to the expo- 
sure of the frauds of sharpers of various 
types, among whom he tells us that there 
were some who affected, for the purpose of 
cosenage, to be drunk. In A Notable Dis- 
covery of Cosenage, 1592. Dequoy, Blum- 
chance, Catchdolt, or Irish One-and- 
Thirty, Non est possible, Dutch Noddy, 
are quoted as the names of cheat- 
ing games of cards then in vogue. 
In the margin of the text a note 
describes them as ' ' the names of 
such games as Conycatchers vse." 

Since Brand and Ellis wrote, several im- 
portant works on this subject have ap- 
peared, particularly Singer's Mesearches, 
1816, and Chatto's still more valuable 
work in 1848. See also P. Boiteau D'Am- 
bly. Cartes a Jouer et la C art omancie, 1854:, 
and the late Lady Charlotte Schrei- 
ber's monumental illustrated work. Copi- 
ous notices of the different games will 
bo found under their several heads and in 
the authorities there cited. In the 15th 
0. Italy had, besides chess, tables or back- 
gammon, and triumphs or tarocchi, cards, 
running in suits like ours. These were 
usually Cups, Swords, Coins, and Clubs. Of 
these the Tarrochi were the most modern, 
and were composed of a series of 22 
painted or engraved figures. The gamb- 
ling tables were universally frequented, 
and reckless speculation on the part of 
both sexes prevailed. At Venice dice were 
introduced at a very remote date — perhaps 
the twelfth century — and chess was a fa- 
vourite game among the higher classes. 
Hazlitt's Venetian Bepublic, 1900, i., 560, 
758; ii., 456. - . > 

Care-Cloth. — Among the Anglo- 
Saxons the nuptial benediction was per- 
formed under a veil or square piece of 
cloth, held at each corner by a tall man, 
over the bridegroom and bride, to conceal 
her virgin blushes : but if the bride was a 
widow, the veil was esteemed useless. 
Strutt's Manners and Customs, i., 76. The 
most rational explanation of the meaning 
of Care here is that suggested in the last 
edition of Nares, 1859, making it equiva- 
lent to the Fr. carrS. But I am afraid 
that Palsgrave, 1530, is wrong, as he and 
the author of the " Promptorium " (ed. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



91 



Way, in voce) intend an altogether differ- 
ent thing when they speak of Garde. See 
Scheller's Lex. art. Discerpiculum. Ac- 
cording to the Sarum use, when there was 
a marriage before mass the parties kneeled 
together and had a fine linen cloth (called 
the care cloth) laid over their heads during 
the time of mass, till they received the 
benediction, and then were dismissed. In 
the Hereford Missal it is directed, that at 
a particular prayer the married couple 
shall prostrate themselves, while four 
clerks nold the pall, i.e., the care cloth 
over them. The rubric in the Sarum 
Missal is similar: " Prosternant se spon- 
sus et sponsa in Oratione ad gra- 
dum Altaris : et tento pallio super 
eos, quod teneant quatuor Olerici in 
superpelliciis ad quatuor cornua." — 
Missale ad Usum Sarum, 1494. The 
York Manual differs here: — " Missa dein 
celebratur, illis genuflectentibus sub Pallio 
super eos extento, quod teneant duo Clerici 
in Superpelliceis." In the Appendix to 
Hearne's " Hist, and Antiq. or Glaston- 
bury," p. 309, is preserved " Formula an- 
tiqua nuptias in iis partibus Anglise (occi- 
dentalibus nimirum) quae Ecclesise Her- 
fordensis in ritibus Ecclesiasticis ordine 
sunt usi, celebrandi." The care-cloth seems 
to be described in the following passage : 
" Hsec Oratio ' S. propiciare Domini,' 
semper dicatur super Nubentes sub pallio 
prosternentes." 

Careing: Fair In the "Gentle- 
man's Magazine " for 1785, p. 779, an ad- 
vertisement, or printed paper, for the re- 
gulation of Newark Fair, is copied, which 
mentions that: " Careing Fair will be 
held on Friday before Careing Sunday" ; 
and Mr. Nichols remarks on this passage, 
that he has heard an old Nottinghamshire 
couplet in the following words : 
" Care Sunday, Care away. 
Palm Sunday, and Easter-day." 

Carting:, Carle or Care Sun- 
day, — See Passion Sunday. 

Carlings — The vulgar, in the North 
of England, and also in the Midland Coun- 
ties, give the following names to the Sun- 
days of Lent, the first of which is anony- 
mous : 

"Tid, Mid, Misera, 
Carling, Palm, Paste Egg day." 
This couplet is differently given by a 
writer in the " Gentleman's Magazine." 
for 1788, as follows : 

"Tid, and Mid, and Misera, 

Carling, Palm, and Good-P as-day." 
The abbreviated form here found may 
present the commencing words of the 
Psalms : Te Beum Mi Deus, and Miserere 
mei. In the " Festa Anglo-Romana," 
• 1678, we are told that the first Sun- 
day in Lent is called Quadragesima or In- 



vocavit; the second, Beminiscere ; the 
third, Oculi; the fourth Lwtare ; the fifth 
Judica; and the sixth Dominica Magna. 
Oculi, from the entrance of the 14th verse 
of the 25th Psalm. " Oculi mei semper ad 
Dominum," &c. Iteminiscere, from the 
entrance of the 5th verse of Psalm 25, "Re- 
miniscere Miserationum," &c., and so of 
the others. At Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 
many other places in the North of Eng- 
land, and also in Lancashire and 
other counties, and in Scotland grey 
peas, after having been steeped a 
night in water, are fried with butter, 
given away, and eaten at a kind 
of entertainment on the Sunday preceding 
Palm Sunday, which was formerly called 
Care or Carle Sunday, as may be yet 
seen in some of our old almanacks. They 
are called carlings, probably, as we call 
the presents at fairs, fairings. In York- 
shire, as a clergyman of that county in- 
formed Brand, the rustics go to the public- 
house of the village on this day, and!^ spend 
each his carling-groat, i.e., that sum in 
drink, for the carlings are provided for 
them gratis ; and, he added, that a popu- 
lar notion prevails there that those v\'ho do 
not do this will be unsuccessful in their 
pursuits for the following year. So in the 
popular old Scotish song, " Fy ! let us all 
to the Briddel " : 

" Ther'll be all the lads and the lasses 

Set down in the midst of the ha. 
With Sybows, and Risarts, and Carlings 

That are both sodden and ra." 

Sybows are onions ; and risarts radishes. 
The practice was a very ancient one ; it is 
mentioned by Skelton in his Colin Clout 
(about 1520) : 

" Men call you therfor prophanes. 

Ye pycke no shrympes, nor pranes ; 

Salt-fyshe, stoc-fyshe, nor heryng. 

It is not for your werynge. 

Nor, in holy Lenton season. 

Ye will netheyr benes ne peason. 

But ye loke to be let lose. 

To a pygge or to a gose." 

The above writer, in the " Gentleman's 
Magazine " for 1788, also gives a more 
particular account of the carlings or grey 
peag, and of the manner of dressing and 
eating them. See also " Gent. Mag."' vol. 
Ivi. p. 410, and Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 
1881. 

Carol (Christmas). — Dr. Furni- 
vall thinks that the word Carol is derived 
from Corolla or Chorolla. Bishop Taylor 
observes that the " Gloria in Excekis," the 
well-known hymn sung by the angels to the 
shepherds at our Lord's Nativity, was the 
earliest Christmas Carol. Bourne cites 
Durandus, to prove that in the earlier ages 
of the churches the bishops were accus- 
tomed on Chvistraas Day to sing carols 
among their clergy. This species of pious 



92 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



song is undoubtedly of most ancient date. 
Compare Hagmena. In 1521 was printed 
a set of Christmas Carols. These, rernarks 
Warton, were festal chansons for enliven- 
ing the merriments of the Christmas cele- 
brity ; and not such religious songs as are 
current at this day with the common 
people, under the same title, and which 
were substituted by those enemies of inno- 
cent and youthful mirth, the Puritans, 
The boar's head soused was anciently the 
first dish on Christmas Day, and was car- 
ried up to the principal table in the hall 
with great state and solemnity. For this 
indispensable ceremony there was a carol. 
"This carol," Warton adds, "yet with 
many innovations, is retained at Queen's 
College in Oxford," nor has it been dis- 
continued since Warton's day. At pre- 
sent, it is usual for two atendants to bear 
aloft into the hall on Christmas Day the 
boar's head, on a large platter, preceded 
by a fellow of the College in surplice ; but 
the head is fictitious, being merely a 
painted counterfeit with a brawn enclosed. 
Compare Boar's Head. William Cornish 
received at Christmas, 1502, the sum of 
13s. 4d. " for setting of a carralle upon 
Christmas Day, in reward." In the "Para- 
dyce of Daynty Devises," 1578, are hymns 
by Jasper Heywood and Francis Kinwel- 
mersh for Christmas Day, Whitsunday, 
and Easter Day ; and in the Christmas 
Prince, 1607, occurs the carol sung by him 
who brought into the hall the boar's head 
at the celebration in St. John's College, 
Oxford, in 1607. It is a species of bur- 
lesque. The Christmas Prince, ed. 1816, 
p. 24. These older pious chansons were 
sometimes borrowed from the early Chris- 
tian poets, and the early Scotish writers 
did not scruple to set their guid and godly 
hallates to secular tunes. In the Church- 
wardens' accounts of St. Mary-at-Hill, 
London, 1537, is the tantalizing entry: — 
"To Sr. Mark for carolls for Christmas and 
for 5 square Books, iijs. iiijd." Here is a 
specimen from the first known impression 
of the Dundee Psalms, 1578 : 

" ANE SANG OF THE BIETH OF 
CHRIST. 

[To be sung with the tune of Bnlulalow .1 
(Angelus, ut opinor, loquitur.) 

' ' I come from heuin to tell 
The best nowellis that euer befell ; 
To yow the tythings trew I bring. 
And I will of them say and sing. 

This day to yow is borne ane Chylde 
Of Mary meik and Virgin mylde ; 
That blyssit bairne, bening and kynde. 
Sail yow reioyce bath hart and mynde. 

It is the Lord Christ, God and man. 
He will do for yow what he can ; 
Himself your Sauiour will be, 
Fra sin and hell to mak yow fre. 



He is your richt saluatioun, 
From euerlasting dampnatioun. 
That ye may ring in gloir and blis, 
For euer mair in heuin with his. 

Ye sail him find but mark or wying , 
Full sempill in ane cribe lying ; 
Sa lyis he quhilk yow hes wrocht, 
And all this warld maid of nocht. 

Let us reioyce and be biyith. 
And with the Hyrdis go full swyith. 
And se quhat God of his grace hes done. 
Throw CJhrist to bring vs to his throne. 

My saull and lyfe, stand vp and se 
Quha lys in ane cribe of tre, 
Quhat Babe is that, so gude and fairP 
It is Christ, Goddis Sone and air. 

[ ] 

God that maid all creature, 
How art thow now becummin sa pure, 
That on the hay and stray will ly 
Amang the assis, oxin and ky? 

[. ] 

O my deir hart, young Jesus sweit, 
Prepair thy creddill in my spreit, 
And I sail rocke the in my hart. 
And neuer mair fra the depart. 

But I sail praise the euer moir , 
With sangis sweit vnto thy gloir. 
The kneis of my hart sail bow 
And sing that richt Balulalow." 

[ ] 

Lamb, in his Notes on the poem on the 
" Battle of Flodden Field," 1774, tells ua 
that the Nurse's Lullaby Song, Balow (or 
"He balelow"), is literally French, "He 
bas I la le loup." " Hush I there's the 
wolf." 

At the end of Wither's " Fair Virtue," 
1622, is a " Christmas Carroll," in 
which the customs of that season 
are not overlooked. Among Herrick's 
" Noble Numbers," is a " Christmas 
Carol sung to the King in the pre- 
sence at White Hall." The musi- 
cal part composed by Mr. Henry Lawes. 
Warmstrey, in his "Vindication of Christ's 
Nativity, 1648, observes: " Christmasse 
Kariles, if they be such as are fit for the 
time, and of holy and sober composures, 
and used with Christian sobriety and 
piety, they are not unlawfuU, and 
may be profitable, if they be sung, 
with grace in the heart. New Yeares. 
Gifts, if performed without super- 
stition, may be harmless provocations 
to Christian love and mutuall testi- 
monies thereof to good purpose, and 
never the worse because the heathens have 
them at the like times." In " Batt upoa 
Batt," a poem attributed to John Speed, 
of St. John's College, Oxford, 1694, p. 4. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



93 



speaking of Batt's carving knives, &c., the 
author tells us : 

"Without their help, who can good 

Christmas keep ? 
Our teeth would cnatter, and our eyes 

would weep. 
Batt is the cunning engineer, whose skill 
Makes fools to carve the goose and shape 

the quill : 
Fancy and wit unto our meals supplies : 
Carols, and not mino'd-meat, makes 

Christmas pies. 
'Tis mirth, not dishes, sets a table off ; 
Brutes and phanatieks eat, and never 

laugh." 

In Goldsmith's time, as he tells us 
in his " Vicar of Wakefield," the rus- 
tics held the Christmas Carol in 
careful observance." " In the Scilly 
Islands they have a custom of singing 
carols on a Christmas Day at church, to 
which the congregation make contribution 
by dropping money into a hat carried 
about the church when the performance is 
over." Heath's Account of the Scilly 
Islands, p. 125. 

A writer in the " Gentleman's Maga- 
zine" for May, 1811, says: "About 
six o'clock on Christmas Day, I was 
awakened by a sweet singing under 
my window; surprized at a visit so 
early and unexpected, I arose, and looking 
out of the window, I beheld six young 
women, and four men, welcoming with 
sweet music the blessed morn." In " Doc- 
tour Doubble Ale," a satire on the irregu- 
larities of the clergy in the time of Henry 
VIII., there is an anecdote of a parson 
who had a Christmas carol sung at a fune- 
ral. In a satirical tract, which was 
printed in 1642, the author, among other 
proposals made for the consideration of 
the Parliament, suggested that, "instead 
of carols, which farmers sonnes, and serv- 
ants sing on Christ's Birth-day before they 
may eate or drink, you take order, that by 
some of your best City-Poets (who will 
write certainly to their capacity) there be 
some songs made of the great deeds 
that his Excelencie did at Worcester 
and Edgehill." Antiq. Bepert., 1807, 
iii., 32. 

Several collections of old Christmas 
carols have been made since Mr. 
Brand's time. Among them may be 
mentioned the volume edited by Mr. 
Wright for the Percy Society, Mr. 
Sandys's book, and a little quarto volume 
edited by Dr. Rimbault, in which the 
carols are accompanied by the tunes. For 
a notice of all the early printed collections 
known to exist see my " Handbook of B. E. 
Lit." and Bihl. Coll. Art. Christmas. There 
are carols in many other books of usual 
occurrence, such as Tusser's " Points of 



Husbandry," Aylet's "Wife not Ready 
Made but Bespoken," 1653, Herriok's 
" Hesperides," 1G48, Furnivall's Babees 
Book, 1863, &o. 

Carpet Knigrhts, or Trencher 
Knig'hts. — See Nares, Glossary, ed. 
1859, in v. There is a scarce poetical 
volume, called Pendragon, or the Carpet 
Knight, his Calendar, 1698. 

Carps (Ludus Carparum). — In 
a letter from Hearne to Dr. Richard Raw- 
linson, 1733, the former observes: "I am 
inquiring what sort of a game Ludus Car- 
parum was. It is prohibited in some sta- 
tutes, and is joined with cards, and reck- 
oned as a kind of alea. . . . 'Twas, with- 
out doubt, eall'd carps in English, and 
perhaps might be a sort of backgammon. 
The play was used in Oxford much ; but 
being not mentioned in the New College 
statutes, I take it to have been brought 
up here since the foundation of that Col- 
lege." Nares and Halliwell render us no 
help here, nor Ducange. 

Cartomancy — The divination by 
cards, supposed to have been brought by 
the gypsies into Europe, and to have been 
familiar in the fifteenth century. See P. 
Boiteau D'Ambly, Les Cartes A Jouer et 
la Cartomancie, 1854. 

Casting: of Stones — This is a 
Welsh custom, practised as they throw the 
blacksmith's stone in some parts of Eng- 
land. There is a similar game in the north 
of England called Long Bullets. The prize 
is to him that throws the ball furthest in 
the fewest throws. Compare Quoits. 

Castor and Pollux. — Gregory ob- 
serves: "Sailors have learned by experi- 
ence that in great storms very freq.uently 
flames are seen upon the sails of ships, 
flashing hither and thither ; these, if they 
appear double, portend the approach of 
a calm : if otherwise, sure and imminent 
shipwreck." He adds that through the 
superstition of ancient sailors the signs of 
Castor and Pollux were placed on the 
prows of ships. "Hoc certum satis, cum 
ejusmodi faculse ardentes olim insidissent 
super capita Castoris & Pollucis ad Bspe- 
ditionem Argonauticam, exinde Dioscuri 
in Deos indigites relati, et tanquam solida 
& sola Maris numina ab omnibus Navigan- 
tibus summa in veneratione habiti, cumque 
procellis suborientibus Tempestas immin- 
eat, astraque ilia ab olim ommosa Antennis 
incubent, Castorem et Pollucem in auxi- 
lium adesse nemo dubitat." Pliny, in the 
second book of his Natural History, calls 
these appearances stars ; and tells us that 
they settled not only upon the masts and 
other parts of ships, but also upon men's 
heads. Two of these lights forbode good 
weather and a prosperous voyage ; and 
drive away the single one, which wears a 
threatening aspect. This the sailors call 



94 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Helen, but the two they call Castor and 
Pollux, and invoke them as gods. These 
lights do sometimes about the evening rest 
on men's heads. These appearances are 
called by the French and Spaniards inhab- 
iting the coasts of the Mediterranean, St. 
Helmes or St. Telmes fires : by the Italians 
the fires of St. Peter and St. Nicholas, and 
are frequently taken notice of by the writ- 
ers of voyages. Erasmus, in his dialogue 
entitled Naufragium, observes : " Nox erat 
sublustris et in summo malo stabat quidam 
e Nautis in Galea, circumspectans si quam 
terram videret :huic coepit adsistere Spaera 
quEedem ignea : id Nautis tristissimum os- 
tentum est, si quando solitarius ignis est ; 
felix, cum gemini. Hos Vetustas credidit 
Castorem et Pollucem. Mox globus igneus 
delapsus per funes devolvit sese usque ad 
Nauclerum : ubi pauUisper commoratus, 
volvit se per margmes totius Navis : inde 
per medios foros dilapsus evanuit. Fori 
sunt Tabulata Navis, ac veluti Tectum, 
sub meridiem coepit magis ac magis incru- 
descere Tempestas." Cotgrave confirms 
what has already been said: "Feu d' - 
Helene, or Feu de S. Herme — St. Helens 
or S. Hermes fire ; a meteor that often ap- 
pears at sea. Dictionary, 1650, vv. Feu 
d'Helene and Furote. Among the apo- 
thegms at the end of Herbert's Re- 
mains, 1652, p. 194, is the following : 
' ' After a great fight there came to the 
camp of Gousalvo the great Captain, a 
gentleman, proudly horsed and armed; 
Diego de Mendoza asked the great cap- 
tain, who's this? who answered, 'Tis St. 
Ermyn that never appears but after a 
storm." Shaw tells us that in thick hazy 
weather he has observed those luminous ap- 
pearances which at sea skip about the 
masts and yards of ships, and which the 
sailors call corpusanse, which is a corrup- 
tion of the Spanish Cuerpo Santo. Scotish 
Encyclopcedia, v. Lights. Steevens quotes 
the subsequent passage from Hakluyt's 
Voyages, 1598 : " I do remember that in 
the great and boysterous storme of this 
foule weather, in the night there came 
upon the top of our maine yard and maine 
mast a certaine little light, much like 
unto the light of a little caudle, which the 
Spaniards call the Cuerpo Santo. This 
light continued aboord our ship about 
three houres, flying from maste to maste, 
and from top to top ; and sometimes it 
would be in two or three places at 
once." The British Apollo, 1710, in 
reference to the vapor which by mari- 
ners is called a corpo zanto, usually 
accompanying a storm, informs us : 
" Whenever this meteor is seen, it is an 
argument that the tempest which it accom- 
panied was caused by a sulphureous spirit, 
rarefying and violently moving the clouds. 
For the cause of the fire is a sulphurous 
and bituminous matter, driven downwards 



by the impetuous motion of the air and 
kindled by much agitation. Sometimes 
there are several of these seen in the same 
tempest, wandering about in various 
motions, as other ignes fatui do, 
tho' sometimes they appear to rest 
upon the sails or masts of the ship ; 
but for the most part they leap 
upwards or downwards without any 
intermission, making a flame like the 
faint burning of a candle. If five 
of them are seen near together, they are 
called by the Portugese cora de nostra Sen- 
hora, and are looked upon as a sure sip-n 
that the storm is almost over. Bur- 
ton, in his " Anatomy," 1621, says that the 
" spirits or fire in form of fire-drakes and 
blazing-stars, sit on ship masts," &c. 
Hence the passage in the " Tempest " : 

— " On the top masts. 
The yards, and bowsprits, would I flame 
distinctly." 

Fryer, in his " Travels, " quoted by 
Southey, observes. "I think I am not too 
positive in stating them to be a meteor-like 
substance, exhaled in the day, and at night 
(for except then they shew not themselves) 
kindled by the violent motion of the air, 
fixing themselves to those parts of the 
ship that are most attractive ; for I can 
witness they usually spent themselves at 
the spindles of the top-mast-heads or about 
the iron loops of the yard-arms, and if any 
went towards them they shifted always to 
some part of the like nature." So, in an 
account of "Fiery Impressions that ap- 
pear mostly at Sea, called by mariners 
Castor and Pollux " : " When thin clammy 
vapours, arising from the salt water and 
ugly slime, hover over the sea, they, by the 
motion in the winds and hot blasts, are 
often fired ; these impressions will often- 
times cleave to the masts and ropes of shij)s 
by reason of their clamminess and gluti- 
nous substance and tho mariners by experi- 
ence find that when but one flame appears 
it is the forerunner of a storm ; but when 
two are seen near together, they betoken 
fair weather and good lucke in a voyage. 
The naturall cause why these may foretell 
fair or foul weather, is, that one flame 
alone may forewarn a tempest, forasmuch 
as the matter being joyn d and not dis- 
solved, so it is like that the matter of the 
tempest, which never wanteth, as winds 
and clouds, is still together, and not dissi- 
pate, so it is likely a storm is engendering ; 
but two flames appearing together, denote 
that the exhalation is divided, which is 
very thick, and so the thick matter of the 
tempest is dissolved and scattered abroad 
by the same cause that the flame is 
divided : therefore no violent storm can 
ensue, but rather a calme is promised." 
History of Stormes, 1704, p. 22. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



95 



Dickenson, in his Greene in Conceipi, 
1598, p. 27, says : 

" As when a wave-bruis'd barke, long 

tost by the windes in a tempest, 
Straies on a forraiue coast, in danger 

still to be swallow'd. 
After a world of feares, with a winter of 

horrible objects — 
The shipman's solace, faier Ledas 

twinnes at an instant 
Signes of a calme are seen, and seene, 

are shrilly saluted." 

Thomas Heyrick, a relative of the author 
of " Hesperides, ' writes : 

" For lo 1 a suddain storm did rend the 
air-: 
The sullen Heaven, curling in frowns 

its brow. 
Did dire presaging omens show ; 
Ill-boding Helena alone was there." 

SuhmarineVoyage, 1691, p. 2. The fore- 
going statements represent, for the most 
part, no scientific view of a subject, which 
was familiar to the ancients, even if they 
could not properly account for the pheno- 
menon ; but is has long been reduced to an 
effect arising from natural causes ; and an 
excellent account of it may be found in 
the Penny Magazine for March, 1845. We 
should probably have never heard of this 
remarkable appearance, had our ancestors 
and preceding ages been acquainted with 
the laws of electricity and with metallic 
conductors. 

Cat.or Kit-Cat — In " The Captain," 
by Fletcher, written (and probably per- 
formed) before 1613, the cat-sticks, with 
which this game is played, are mentioned. 
Braithwaite, in his Strappado for the 
Divell, 1615, says : 

" If mother Eed-cap chance to haue an 
oxe 
Hosted all whole, how you'le flye 
to it. 
Like widgeons, or like wild geese in full 
flocks. 
That for his pennie each may haue 
his bitte : 

» • * # * 

Set out a pageant, whoo'l not thither 

runne ? 
As 'twere to whip the cat at Abington." 

Lenton, in the "Young Gallants Whirli- 
gig," 1629, describes the young gallant 
(perhaps from personal experience), when 
he has reached the age for study, as pre- 
ferring light literature to Littleton and 
Coke, and adds : 

" instead of that 

Perhaps hee's playing of a game at cat." 

Poor Eobin thus refers to it in his " Al- 
manac " for 1709 : 



" Thus harmless country lads and lasses. 
In mirth the time away so passes ; 
Here men at foot-ball they do fall ; 
There boys at cat and trap-ball. 
Whilst Tom and Doll aside are slank. 
Tumbling and kissing on a bank ; 
Will pairs with Kate, Robin with Mary, 
Andrew with Susan, Frank with Sarah. 
In harmless mirth pass time away. 
No wanton thoughts lead them astray, 
But harmless are as birds in May." 

Moor, in his Suffolk Words, describes 
it: — "A game played by boys. Three 
small holes are made in the ground trian- 
gularly, about twenty feet apart, to mark 
the positon of as many boys, who each 
holds a small stick, a little bigger than 
one's thumb, called cat, to be struck by 
those holding the sticks. On its being 
struck, the boys run from hole to hole, 
dipping the ends of their sticks in as they 
pass, and counting one, two, three, &c. as 
they do so, up to thirty-one, which is game. 
Or the greater number of holes gained in 
the innings may indicate the winners, as 
at cricket. If the oat be struck and caught, 
the striking party is out, and another of 
his sidesmen takes his place, if the set be 
strong enough to admit of it. If there be 
only six players, it may be previously 
agreed that three put-outs shall end the 
innings. Another mode of putting out is 
to throw the cat home, after being struck, 
and placing or pitching it into an unoccu- 
pied nole, while the in-party are running, 
A certain number of misses (not striking 
the cat) may be agreed on to be equivalent 
to a put-out. The game may be played by 
two, placed as at cricket, or four, or I be- 
lieve more." The phrase " not big enough 
to whip a cat in" arose doubtless from this- 
diversion, and not in reference to the ani- 
mal so-called, although the contrary might 
be inferred perhaps from tlie well-known 
anecdote of Foote and his new house at 
Fulham. 

Cat and Dos- — Jamieson tells us 
this is the name of an ancient sport used 
in_ Angus and Lothian. It is mentioned 
with other sports in the Scotch Bogue, 
1722. "The following account,'' Jamie- 
son adds, " is given of it." " Three play 
at this game, who are provided with clubs. 
They cut out two holes, each about a foot 
in diameter, and seven inches in depth. 
The distance between them is about 
twenty-six feet. One stands at each hole 
with a club. These clubs are called dogs. 
A piece of wood about four inches long, 
and one inch in diameter, called a cat, is 
thrown from the one hole towards the other 
by a third person. The object is, to pre- 
vent the cat from getting into the hole. 
Every time that it enters the hole, he who 
has the club at that hole, loses the club, 
and he who threw the cat gets possession 



96 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



both of the club and of the hole, while the 
former possessor is obliged to take charge 
of the cat. If the cat be struck, he who 
strikes it changes place with the person 
who holds the other club ; and as often as 
these positions are changed, one is counted 
as won in the game, by the two who hold 
the clubs, and who are viewed as partners. 
" This is not unlike the stool-ball described 
by Strutt, but it more nearly resembles 
Olub-ball, an ancient English game. It 
seems to be an early form of cricket." 

Cat in Barrel. — " This is a sport 
which was common in the 18th century at 
Kelso on the Tweed. A large concourse of 
men, women, and children assembled in a 
field about half a mile from the town, and 
.a cat having been put into a barrel stuffed 
full of soot, was suspended on a cross-beam 
between two high poles. A certain num- 
ber of the whip-men, or husbandmen, who 
took part in this savage and unmanly 
^amusement, then kept striking, as they 
Tode to and fro on horseback, the barrel in 
■which the unfortunate animal was con- 
fined, until at last, under the heavy blows 
of their clubs and mallets, it broke and 
allowed the cat to drop. The victim was 
then seized and tortured to death." A 
Description of Kelso, 1789. Steevens, on 
the passage in "Much Ado about No- 
thing" : 

" If I do, hang me in a bottle like a 
cat, and shoot at me " ; 

observes that "in some counties in Eng- 
land, a cat was formerly closed up with a 
quantity of soot in a wooden bottle, (such 
as that in which shepherds carry their 
liquor), and was suspended on a line. He 
who beat out the bottom as he ran under 
it, and was nimble enough to escape its 
contents, was regarded as the hero of this 
inhuman diversion." He cites some pas- 
sages that shew it was a custom formerly 
to shoot with arrows " at a catte in a bas- 
ket." In a print entitled _" Frost Fair," 
1740, there is the following reference : 
" No. 6. Cat in the basket booth." Eeed's 
quotations shew that a fictitious cat was 
.sometimes used, and perhaps this booth 
was set apart for some sport not unlike 
.cock-throwing (where a make-believe cock 
was oftener than not substituted for the 
real thing), or the modern Aunt Sally. 

Cats. — Among omens, the movements 
of cats have always been regarded as im- 
portant indications. The entrances and 
exits of strange cats are considered por- 
tentous by many even at the present time. 
When the cat washes its face, it was 
thought to be a sign of rain ; so it was in 
Melton's time, and Herrick enumerates it 
among the current superstitions of his era, 
A modern writer maintains the same idea, 
and connects the practice with "the well- 
ifenown disposition of that creature to the 



manifestation of electric phenomena. 
Couch of Polperro, Illustrations of In- 
stinct, 1847, p. 13. But surely the 
cat washes its face after meals, as 
we do, or some of us, independently 
of the weather, and its neglect to 
perform this operation is usually as- 
cribed to ill-health. Willsford remarks 
quaintly enough : " Cats coveting the fire 
more than ordinary, or licking their feet 
and trimming the hair of their heads and 
mustachios, presages rainy weather." This 
is explained elsewhere on scientific prin- 
ciples : " the moisture, which is in the air 
before the rain, insinuating itself into the 
fur of this animal, moves her to smooth the 
same and cover her body with it, so that 
she may less feel the inconvenience of win- 
ter, as, on the contrary she opens her fur 
in summer that she may the better receive 
the refreshing of the moist season." — 
Athenian Oracle, Suppl. 474. The poet- 
earl of Westmoreland had a cat with him 
in confinement, from which he used appar- 
ently to draw prognostications of the 
weather. The cat licKing or scratching its 
ear was regarded in the light of an omen ; 
and hence we get the well-worn proverb, 
" before the cat can lick her ear. The 
cat sneezing was considered as a lucky 
omen to a bride who was to be married the 
next day. Southey, when he was in Spain, 
found a belief current that the glossy ap- 
pearance of the cat's skin portended fair 
weather. It was a vulgar notion, observes 
Mason, that cats, when hungry, would eat 
coals. In the " Woman's Prize, or Tamer 
Tamed," Tranio says to Moroso : 

" I would learn to eat coals with an 
angry cat " — 
and, in Fletcher's " Bonduca," the first 
daughter says : 

" they are cowards, 
Eat coals like compell'd cats — " 

Trusler tells us^ speaking of cats, that it 
has been judiciously observed that "the 
conceit of a cat's having nine lives hath 
cost at least nine lives in ten of the whole 
race of them. Scarce a boy in the street 
but has in this point outdone even Her- 
cules himself, who was renowned for killing 
a monster that had but three lives," 
Hogarth Moralized, 134. 

Brand seems to have thought that 
the prevailing antipathy to cats, which 
is incidental to many persons of the 
highest intelligence, was due to their 
supposed share in the sorceries of 
witches. The passage in Shakespear, 
where Lady Macbeth refers to the "poor 
cat in the adage," predisposes a dislike to 
wet, which has been generally ascribed to 
this animal. But the idea seems to be a 
popular fallacy. Even the tiger will wade 
some way into a river, and catch fish. 
General Robinson, an old Indian oflicer. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



97 



once watched from a tree one engaged in 
this way, and continuing to catch and eat 
the fish till he was so surfeited that a 
buffaloj who had been tied to the tree as 
a bait, was left undisturbed, and the beast 
walked quietly off. In a jeu-d' esprit en- 
titled " Les Chats," 8vo. Rotterdam, 1728, 
there are some very curious particulars re- 
lating to these animals, which are detailed 
with no common degree of learning. Com- 
pare Witch's Cat. 

Catch-Fool. — This is named as a 
game, in the same sentence as Noddy, in 
Johnson's Academy of Love, 1641. It oc- 
curs under similar circumstances in a 
Notable Discovery of Cosenaye, 1592 ; but 
it is there called Catch-dolt. 

St. Catharine's or St. Kat- 
tern's Day. — (November 25). — Of 
St. Catherine of Alexandria, who is 
reputed to have suffered martyrdom on 
tho wheel, whence we get the St. Cather- 
ine's wheel, there is an early metrical life 
printed in Halliwell's Contributions to 
Early English Literature, 1849. One of 
the ancient London Brotherhoods or Trad- 
ing Gilds of Haberdashers was known 
as that of St. Catherine the Virgin. Haz- 
litt's Livery Companies, 1892, p. 115 285. 
Camden says : ' ' T he very women and girls 
keep a fast every Wednesday and Saturday 
throughout the yeare, and some of them 
also on St. Catherine's Day; nor will they 
omit it though it happen on their birth- 
day, or if they are ever so much out of 
order. The reason given by some for this 
is, that the girls may get good husbands, 
and the women better by the death or de- 
sertion of their present ones, or at least 
by an alteration in their manners." 
Woodes, in his Conflict of Conscience, 1581, 
tells us that we ought to pray to this 
Saint to cure " lawlessness of mind." St. 
Catharine is noticed in Naogeorgus as the 
favourer of learned men. The same writer 
adds : 

' ' What should I tell what sophisters on 

Cathrins Day devise? 
Or else the superstitious joyes that mais- 

ters exercise." 

Miss Baker, in the appendix to her 
" Northamptonshire Glossary," 1854, says, 
in reference to the holiday on this day : 
' ' I have never been able to ascertain that 
it is observed at any place in this county, 
except at Peterborough, when, till the in- 
troduction of the new poor laws the female 
children belonging to the workhouse, at- 
tended by the master, went in procession 
round the city. They were all attired in 
white, and decorated with various coloured 
ribbons, principally scarlet; the tallest 
girl was selected to represent the queen, 
and was adorned with a crown and sceptre. 
The procession stopped at the houses of the 
"principal inhatitants, and they sung the 



following rude ballad, begging for money 
at every house, as they passed along. 
(Here the ballad follows). St. Catharine 
being the patron of spinners, as well as of 
spinsters, and spinning being formerly the 
employment of the females in the work- 
house, it naturally followed that they 
should be selected to commemorate the 
anniversary of this saint ; and that this 
commemoration is of great antiquity ap- 
pears from the early, entries in the Dean 
and Chapter's accounts of payments, on 
St. Catherine's Day, for wheels and reels 
for the children of the workhouse." But 
a correspondent of " Notes and Queries," 
October 3rd, 1868, remarks that the 
usage, treated by the last writer as pecu- 
liar to Peterborough, is unquestionablj; of 
general observance in Northamptonshire, 
and is popularly supposed to be derived 
from one of the Queens Katherine in the 
time of Henry VIII. — probably Katherine 
Parr, who was a Northamptonshire 
woman. Mr. Plummer says, that this fes- 
tival " is known to have been kept, for 
several generations, throughout the whole 
of the Northamptonshire lace-making dis- 
tricts, as well as those in Bedfordshire. By 
some it is called ' candle-day,' from its 
forming the commencement of the season 
for working at lace-making by candle- 
light. The popular tradition is that 
' Queen Katherine was a great friend to 
tho lacemakers.' " Another correspond- 
ent, in the same number, adds, that the 
wheelwrights also observe this as their holi- 
day. Brome, in his "Travels," 1700, ob- 
serves: "In Lothien, two miles from 
Edenburgh southward, is a spring called 
St. Katherines Well, flowing continually 
with a kind of black fatness^ or oil, above 
the water, proceeding (as it is thought) 
from the parret coal, which is frequent in 
these parts ; 'tis of a marvellous nature, 
for as the coal, whereof it proceeds, is very 
apt quickly to kindle into a flame, so is 
the oil of a sudden operation to heal all 
scabs and tumours that trouble the out- 
ward skin, and the head and hands are 
speedily healed by virtue of this oil, which 
retains a very sweet smell ; and at Aber- 
deen is another well very efficacious to dis- 
solve the stone, to exjiel sand from the 
reins and bladder, being good for the 
choUick and drunk in July and August, 
not inferior, they report, to the 
sfiaw in Germany." M. Le Roux de 
Lincy, in his " Invre des Proverbes 
Franfais," 1859, t. i. p. 119, notices two 
French proverbs relating to St. Cath- 
erine, but not the common one: " Coiffer 
Sainte-Catharine," i.e., to follow celibacy, 
or live and die an old maid. See " Notes 
&nd Queries," Oct. 31, 1868. 

Cathern Bowl.— Mr. Halliwell, in 

his " Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales," 

1849, furnishes a set of verses sung by 



98 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Worcestershire children on this festival, 
" when they go round to the farmhouses, 
collecting apples and beer." "The Dean 
of Worcester," he adds, "informs me that 
the Chapter have a practice of preparing a 
rich bowl of wine and spices, called ' the 
Cathern Bowl,' for the inhabitants of the 
college precincts upon that day." 

Catherning:. — In the Churchwar- 
dens' accounts of Horley, Surrey, I find : 
" Mem. that reste in the hands of the 
wyife of John Kelyoke and John Atye, 4 
merkes, the yere of ower Lorde Grod 1521, 
of Sent Kateryn mony." " Mem. that 
rests in the hands of the wyff of John 
Atthy and the wyfi of Rye Mansell, 3 
pounds 2s. 9d. the yere of our Lorde God 
1522, of Sent Kateryn mony." Summa 
totalis S'cte Katerine T[irginis'] Immi- 
nis, remanet in manibus uxoris Jo- 
hannis Peers et uxoris Wyl'i Cela- 
rer, an'o d'ni 1526, tres libras et 
undecira solidos. Summa totalis /S' etc 
Katerine Luminis, remanet in mani- 
bus uxoris Wyl'i Cowper, & uxoris Thome 
Leakeford, an'o d'ni 1527, quatuor marcas. 
Summa totalis Katerine Lumims, re- 
manet in manibus uxoris Thome Leake- 
forth, et uxoris Henrici Huett, an'o d'ni 
1528^ quatuor marcas. Item remanet in 
manibus uxoris Joh'is Bray, de eodem 
Lumine, anno supradicto 17s." — Ibid. Mr. 
Brand notes, that he bought the original 
MS. of Mr. Waight, bookseller in Holborn, 
Sept. 2, 1801, for 14s. According to La 
Motte, " St. Catherine is esteemed in the 
Church of Rome as the Saint and Patron- 
ess of the spinsters ; and her holiday is ob- 
served, not in Popish countries only, but 
even in many places in this nation 
[France] : young women meeting on the 
25th of November, and making merry to- 
gether, which they call Catherning." 
" Essay on Poetry and Painting," 1730, p. 
126. 

Catoptromancy. — See Glass 
(Looking). 

Cattle Lore and Leechdom. — 

Reginald Scot tells us : Against witches 
"hang boughs (hallowed on Midsummer 
Day) at the stall door where the cattle 
stand." " Discovery of Witchcraft," 
1584, ed. 1665, p. 144. He has " A special 
charm to preserve all cattel from witch- 
craft "•: At Easter, you must take certain 
drops that lie uppermost of the holy pas- 
chal candle, and make a little wax candle 
thereof ; and upon some Sunday morning 
rathe, light it and hold it so as it may 
drop upon and between the horns and ears 
of the beast, saying. In nomine Patris et 
Filii, &c., and burn the beast a little be- 
tween the horns on the ears with the same 
wax, and that which is left thereof, stick 
it cross-wise about the stable or stall, or 



upon the threshold, or over the door, where 
the cattle use to go in and out : and, tor 
all that year your cattle shall never be be- 
witched." Discovery, p. 160. Browne, 
in his "Pastorals," 1613-14, alludes to 
what seems to have been a superstition in 
his time : 

" Nor shall this helpe their sheep, whose 

stomacks failes. 
By tying knots of wool! neere to their 

tail'js : 
But as the place next to the knot doth 

die. 
So shall it all the bodie mortifie." 

This is another form of the belief, which 
once actuated the farmers' wives in the 
Highlands, t^ ho used to tie a piece of red 
worsted thread round their cows' tails, to 
preserve them from evil influences. Coles 
tells us : " If asses chaunce to feed much 
upon hemlock, they will fall so fast asleep 
that they will seem to be dead : insomuch, 
that some thinking them to be dead in- 
deed, have flayed ofi their skins, yet after 
the hemlock had done operating, they have 
stirred and wakened out of their sleep, to 
the griefe and amazement of the owners, 
and to the laughter of others. Wood 
nightshade, or bitter-sweet, being hung 
about the neck of cattell that have the 
staggers, helpeth them." Introd., 1656, p. 
69. Grose tells us that " a slunk or abor- 
tive calf, buried in the highway over which 
cattle frequently pass will greatly prevent 
that misfortune happening to cows. This 
is commonly practiced in Suffolk." A 
superstitious notion prevails in West 
Devonshire that, at twelve o'clock at night 
on Christmas Eve, the oxen in their stalls 
are always found on their knees, as in an 
attitude of devotion , and that (which is 
still more singular) since the alteration of 
the style they continue to do this only on 
the Eve of old Christmas Day. An honest 
countryman, living on the edge of St. 
Stephen's Down, near Launceston, Corn- 
wall, informed Brand, October 2.8th, 1790, 
that he once, with some others, made a 
trial of the truth of the above, and watch- 
ing several oxen in their stalls at the above 
time, at twelve o'clock at night, they ob- 
served the two oldest oxen only fall upon 
their knees, and, as he expressed it in the 
idiom of the country, make ' ' a cruel moan 
like Christian creatures." Brand says : 
"I could not but with great diffi- 
culty keep my countenance : he saw, 
and seemed angry that I gave so 
little credit to his tale, and walking oft in 
a pettish humour, seemed to marvel at 
my unbelief." There is ah old print of 
the Nativity, in which the oxen in the 
stable, near the Virgin and Child, are re- 
presented upon their knees, as in a sup- 
pliant posture. This graphic representa- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



99 



tion has probably given rise to the above 
superstitious notion on this head." 
"Charms," Pinkerton observes, "are the 
chief remedies applied for the dis- 
eases of animals. I have been my- 
self acquainted with an Antiburgher 
clergyman in these parts, who pre- 
tended skill in these charms, two small 
pieces of wood, curiously wrought, to be 
kept in his father's cow-house, as a security 
for the health of his cows. It is common 
to bind into a cow's tail a small piece of 
mountain-ash-wood, as a charm against 
witchcraft. Pew old women are now 
suspected of witchcraft : but many 
tales are told of the conventions of 
witches in the kirks in former times." 
Heron's Journey through part of 
Scotland, ii., 293. The minister of 
Logierait, Perthshire, writing in 1795, 
says : " Recourse is often had to charms, 
for the cure of diseases of horses and cows, 
no less than in the human species. In the 
case of various diseases, a pilgrimage is 
performed to a place called Strathfillan, 
forty miles distant from Logierait, where 
the patient bathes in a certain pool, and 
performs some other rites in a chapel which 
stands near. It is chiefly in the case of 
madness, however, that the pilgrimage to 
Strathfillan is believed to be salutary. The 
unfortunate person is first bathed in the 
pool, then left for a night bound in the 
chapel, and, if found loose in the morning, 
is expected to recover." Stat. Ace, v 84 
"There is a disease," he adds, "called 
Glacach by the Highlanders, which, as it 
affects the chest and lungs, is evidently of 
a consumptive nature. It is called the 
Macdonalds' disease, ' because there are 
particular tribes of Macdonalds, who are 
believed to cure it with the charms of their 
touch, and the use of a certain set of 
words. There must be no fee given of any 
kind. Their faith in the touch of a Mac- 
donald is very great.' " Similarly, the 
minister of Applecross, Co. Ross, describ- 
ing the state of his parish about the same 
time, says: "There are none of the com- 
mon calamities or distressful accidents in- 
cident to man or beast, but hath had its 
particular charm or incantation ; they are 
generally made up of a group of uncon- 
nected words, and an irregular address to 
the Deity, or to some one of the saints. 
The desire of health, and the power of 
superstition reconciled many to the use of 
them ; nor are they as yet, among the lower 
class, wholly fallen into disuse. Credulity 
and Ignorance are congenial ; every coun- 
try hath had its vulgar errors ; opinions 
early imbibed, and cherished for genera- 
tions, are difficult to be eradicated." 

Stat. Ace. of Scotland, iii., 379. Pennant 
tells us, in his " Tour in Scotland," "that 
the farmers carefully preserve their cattle 



against witchcraft by placing boughs of 
mountain-ash and honey-suckle in their 
cow-houses on the second of May. They 
hope to preserve the milk of their cows, 
and their wives from miscarriage, by tying 
threads about them : they bleed the sup- 
posed witch to preserve themselves from 
her charms." Martin says: "It is a re- 
ceived opinion in these (the Western) 
Islands, as well as in the neighbouring part 
of the main land, that women, by a charm 
or some other secret way, are able to con- 
vey the increase of their neighbours cows' 
milk to their own use. and that the milk 
so charmed doth not produce the ordinary 
quantity of butter, and the curds made of 
that milk are so tough, that it cannot be 
made so firm as the other cheese, and also 
is much lighter in weight. The butter so 
taken away and joined to the charmer's 
butter is evidently discernible by a mark 
of separation, viz. the diversity of colours : 
that which is charmed being paler than the 
other. If butter, having these marks, be 
found on a suspected woman, she is pre- 
sently said to be guilty. To recover this 
loss they take a little of the rennet from 
all the suspected persons, and put it into 
an eggshell full of milk : and when that 
from the charmer is mingled with it, it 
presently curdles, and not before. Some 
women make use of the root of groundsel 
as an amulet against such charms, by put- 
ting it among the cream. Western Islands 
of Scotland, p. 120. 

Caul, or Sely How — Cauls are little 
membranes found on some children, encom- 
passing the head, when born, and which 
there may be some reason to ascribe to 
certain physical conditions between the 
man and the woman concerned, where un- 
seasonable cohabitation has occurred. This 
is thought a good omen to the child itself, 
and the vulgar opinion is, that whoever 
obtains it by purchase will be fortunate, 
and esca,pe dangers. An instance of great 
fortune in one born with this coif is given 
by .^lius Lampridius in his "History of 
Diadumenianus," who came afterwards to 
the sovereign dignity of the empire. This 
superstition was very prevalent in the 
primitive ages of the Church. St. Chry- 
sostom inveighs against it in several of his 
homilies. He is particularly severe against 
one Prsetus, a clergyman who, being desir- 
ous of being fortunate, bought such a coif 
of a midwife. Sir Thomas Browne 
thus attempts to account for this 
phenomenon : " To speak strictly " he 
says, "the effect is natural, and 
thus to be conceived : the infant hath 
three teguments or membranaceous filmes 
which cover it in the womb, i.e. the corion' 
amnios, and allantois ; the corion is the 
outward membrane, wherein are implanted 
the veins, arteries, and umbilical vessels, 



100 



NATIONAL FAllMi> 



whereby its nourishment is conveyed ; the 
allantois, a thin coat, seated under the 
corion, wherein are received the watery 
separations conveyed by the urachus, that 
the acrimony thereof should not oifend the 
skin : the amnios is a general investment, 
containing the sudorous, or thin seriosity 
perspirable through the skin. Now about 
the time when the infant breaketh these 
coverings, it sometimes carrieth with it, 
about the head, a part of the amnios or 
neerest coat : which, saith Spigelius, 
either proeeedeth from the toughness of 
the membrane or weaknesse of the infant 
that cannot get clear thereof and therefore 
herein significations are natural and con- 
cluding upon the infant, but not to be ex- 
tended unto magical signalities, or any 
other person." Lemnius tells us, that 
if this caul be of ' a blackish colour 
it is an omen of ill fortune to the 
child ; but if of a reddish one, it be- 
tokens every thing that is good. He ob- 
serves " There is an old opinion, not only 
prevalent amongst the common and ignor- 
ant people, but also amongst men of great 
note, and physicians also, how that chil- 
dren born with a caul over their faces, 
are born with an omen, or sign of good or 
bad luck : when as they know not that this 
is common to all, and that the child in the 
womb was defended by three membranes." 
Occult Miracles of Nature. 1658, ii., 8. 
"In Scotland," says Ruddiman, "the 
women call a haly or sely How (i.e. 
holy or fortunate cap or hood), a film 
or membrane stretched over the heads of 
children new-born, which is nothing else 
but a part of that which covers the foetus 
in the womb ; and they give out that chil- 
dren so born will be very fortunate." Glos- 
sary to Douglas's Virgil, 1710. In the 
North of England, and in Scotland, a mid- 
wife is called a howdy or howdy wife. 
Grose says, that a person possessed of a 
caul may know the state of health of the 
party who was born with it : if alive and 
well, it is firm and crisp : if dead or sick, 
relaxed and flaccid. In Willis of 
Gloucester's "Mount Tabor," 1639, we 
are told that "There was one special 
remarkable thing concerning my self, 
who being my parents' first son, but 
their second child (they having a 
daughter before me), when I came into the 
world, my head, face, and foreparts of the 
body, were all covered over with a thin 
kell or skin, wrought like an artificiall 
veile ; as also my eldest Sonne, being like- 
wise my second childe, was borne with the 
like extraordinary covering : our midwives 
and gossips holding such children as come 
so veiled into the world, to be very fortu- 
nate (as they call it), there being not one 
childe amongst many hundreds that are so 
borne ; and this to fall out in the same 



manner both to thf father and the soune 
being much more rare," &c. He goes on 
to make religious retieotions thereupon, 
which are foreign to our present purpose. 
He entitles this chapter " Concerning an 
extraordinary veile which covered my 
body, at my comming into the world. 
Burton, in his "Anatomy," 1621, relates 
an odd story relevant to this part of the 
matter: " Guianerius speakes of a silly 
jealous fellowe, that seeing his child new- 
borne included in a kell, thought sure a 
Franciscan that used to come to his house 
was the father of it, it was so like a friers 
cowle, and thereupon threatned the frier 
to kill him." A writer in the " Athenian 
Oracle " states that the virtues of the caul 
were transferred, in case it should be lost 
by the first owner, to the person who might 
find it. 

This caul, thought medical in dis- 
eases, is also esteemed an infallible pre- 
servative against drowning, and, under 
that idea, is frequently advertised for sale 
in our public papers, and purchased by 
seamen. "To the gentlemen of the 
Navy, and others going long voyages to 
sea. To be disposed of, a child's caul. 
Enquire at the Bartlett Buildings Coffee 
House in Holborn. N.B. To avoid un- 
necessary trouble the price is Twenty 
Guineas." — London Morning Post, Aug. 
21, 1779. I read also an advertisement, 
similar to the above, in the ' ' Daily Ad- 
vertiser," in July, 1790. In the "Times" 
for February 20, 1813, the following ad- 
vertisement occurred: "A child's caul to 
be sold, in the highest perfection. En- 
quire at No. 2, Church Street, Minories. 
'To prevent trouble, price £12." And, in 
the same newspaper for February 27, 1813, 
two advertisements of cauls together : 
Caul. A child's caul to be sold. En- 
quire at No. 2, Greystoke-Place, Fetter 
Lane." — "To persons going to sea. A 
child's caul, in a perfect state, to be sold 
cheap. Apply at 5, Duke Street, Man- 
chester Square, where it may be seen." 
Advertisements of this nature still ap- 
pear in the newspapers, and a very 
general belief continues to be en- 
tertained by the uneducated and 
more superstitious portion of the com- 
munity in the virtue of child's cauls. 
Midwives used to sell this membrane 
to advocates, as an especial means of 
making them eloquent. They sold it also 
for magical use. Sir Thomas Browne says ; 
" Thus we read in the Life of Antoninus 
by Spartianus, that children are sometimes 
born with this natural cap, which midwives 
were wont to sell to credulous lawyers, who 
held an opinion that it contributed to their 
promotion." Douce observes : " One is im- 
mediately struck with the affinity of the 
judges' coif to this practice of antiquity. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



lOI 



To strengthen this opinion it may be added 
that if ancient lawyers availed themselves 
of this popular superstition, or fell into it 
themselves, if they gave great sums to win 
these cauls, is it not very natural to sup- 
pose that they would feel themselves in- 
clined to wear them ?" Comj). Nares, GZos- 
sary, 1859, in v. " Etre ne coifte is a 
proverb in the French language signifying 
birth under fortunate auspices, and the 
phenomenon occurs, when the child is born 
enveloped in the caul (a, very rare event) 
so as to cover the head. In Oil 
Bias the robbers tell the hero of 
the story that he must have been n6 
coiffe to fall into such good hands, since he 
had left Oviedo to seek his fortune. Livre 
1, ch. iv. M. Le Roux de Lincy 
("Proverbes Frangais," edit. 1859) has 
left a somewhat meagre account of this 
subject; but the present seemed to be 
hardly the proper place to supply his omis- 
sions. All the dictionaries tell us what a 
caul is ; but none seems to say whence it 
arises, and the question may be worth put- 
ting whether it proceeds from physiological 
causes and from sexual relations at an ad- 
vanced stage in the growth of the embryo. 
See supra. Its virtue is purely empirical. 
Cent-Foot. — A game at cards, pos- 
sibly the same as foot-saunt mentioned by 
Gosson in his School of Aluse, 1579. Roger, 
second Lord North of Kyrtling, who died 
in 1600, and who s ems to have been an 
ardent and unlucky gambler, mentions in 
his " Household Book " for 1575-6 having 
lost 15s. at Saint — probably this game of 
cent — on May 15, 1576. But 15s. was 
nothing to a man who frequently parted 
with £20 or £30 at one sitting. One can- 
not help suspecting that it was owing to 
his extravagance that the family estate 
fell shortly afterward into such hopeless 
decay. The game is referred to also by 
Braithwaite: " Playes at Cont-foot pur- 
posely to discover the pregnancy of her 
conceit." " Barnab^ Itinerarium," 1638, 
sign. H 2, and " Boulster Lecture," 1640, 
p. 163. Comp. Davies, Suppl. Glossary, 
1881, p. 251. 

Cerealia. — Shaw, in his account of 
Elgin and the Shire of Murray, tells us, 
" that in the middle of June, farmers go 
round their corn with burning torches, in 
memory of the Cerealia." 

Chadwell, or St. Chad's Well 

Brand says: "I found on a visit to the 
source of the New River between Hert- 
ford and Ware, in August, 1793, an old 
stone inscribed ' Chadwell,' a corruption 
no doubt, of St. Chad's Well. So copious 
a spring could not fail of attracting the 
notice of the inhabitants in the earliest 
times, who accordingly dedicated it to St. 
Chad, never once dreaming, perhaps, that 
in succeeding ages it should be converted 



to so beneficial a purpose as to supply 
more than half the capital of England 
with one of the most indispensable neces- 
saries of human life." 

Chameleon, The. — Ross assertsit 
to be true that this creature lives on air. 
(however Browne writes to the contrary), 
for the following reasons: "1. The testi- 
monies both of ancient and modern writ- 
ers, except a few, and the witnesses of 
some yet living, who have kept chame- 
leons a long time, and never saw them 
feed but on air. 2. To what end hath 
Nature given it such large lungs beyond 
its proportion ? Sure not for refrigera- 
tion ; lesse lungs would serve for this use, 
seeing their heat is weak ; it must be then 
for nutrition. 3. There is so little blood in 
it, that we may easily see it doth not feed 
on solid meat. 4. To what end should it 
continually gape more than other animals 
but that it stands more in need of air than 
they, for nutrition as well as generation? 
5. He that kept the chameleon which I 
saw, never perceived it void excrements 
backwards : an argument it had no solid 
food." 

Chancel. — Gilbert White says, in 
speaking of Selborne Church : "I have all 
along talked of the east and west end, as 
if the chancel stood exactly true to those 
points of the compass ; but this is by no 
means the case, for the fabrick bears so 
much to the north of the east, that the 
four corners of the tower, and not the 
four sides, stand to the four cardinal 
points. The best method of accounting 
for this deviation seems to be, that the 
workmen, who probably were employed in 
the longest days, endeavoured to set the 
chancels to the rising of the sun." Hut- 
ton, speaking of St. Bartholomew's 
Chapel, Birmingham, observes : " The 
chancel hath this singular difference from 
others, that it veres toward the north. 
Whether the projector committed an er- 
ror I leave to the critics. It was the 
general practice of the pagan church to 
fix their altar, upon which they sacri- 
ficed, in the east, towards the rising sun, 
the object of worship. The Christian 
Church, in the time of the Romans, imme- 
diately succeeded the Pagan, and scrupu- 
lously adopted the same method ; which 
has been strictly adhered to." History of 
Birmingham, p. 113. It may not be gener- 
ally known, that the presence of the monu- 
ment of Shakespear in the chancel of 
Stratford Church was at all events partly 
due to his right to interment there as 
owner of the great tithes. Hazlitt, Mono- 
graph on Shakespear, 1903, pp. 46, 49 
Chanselingr. — It appears from 
btrype's Annals, under 1567, that then 
mid-wives took an oath, inter alia, not to 
' suffer any other bodies child to be set 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



brought, or laid before any woman de- 
livered of child in the place of her natural 
child, so far forth as I can know and 
understand. Also I will not use any kind 
of sorcery or incantation in the time of 
the travail of any woman." The word 
changeling, in its modern acceptation, 
implies one almost an idiot, evincing what 
was once the popular creed on this sub- 
ject, for as all the frail children were a 
little backward of their tongue and seem- 
ingly idiots, therefore, stunted and idoti- 
cal children were supposed changelings. 

This superstition has not escaped the 
learned Moresin : " Papatus credit alba- 
tas Mulieres, et id genus Larvas, pueros 
integros auferre, aliosque suggerere mons- 
truosos, et debiles multis partibus ; aut ad 
Baptisterium aliis commutare ; aut ad 
Templi introitum." Papatus, p. 139. 
It was thought that fairies comd only 
change their weakly and starveling 
elves for the more robust offspring 
of men before baptism, whence the 
custom in the Highlands. One of the 
methods of discovering whether a child 
belongs to the fairies or not, is printed in 
a book entitled ' ' A Pleasant Treatise of 
"Witchcraft," 1673. In the highlands of 
Scotland, as Pennant informs us, children 
are watched till the christening is over, 
lest they should bo stolen or changed by 
the fairies. This belief was entertained 
by the ancients. Something like this ob- 
tained in England. Gregory mentions 
' an ordinarie superstition of the old 
wives, who dare not intrust a childe in a 
cradle by itself alone without a candle." 
This he attributes to their fear of night- 
hags. In the "Gentle Shepherd," Bauldy 
describing Mause as a witch, says of her : 

" At midnight hours o'er the kirk-yard 

she raves. 
And howks unchristen'd weans out of 

their graves." 

To this notion Shakespear alludes when he 
makes Henry IV., speaking of Hotspur, 
in comparison with his own profligate son, 
say as follows : 

" O that it could be prov'd 
That some night-tripping fairy bad ex- 

chang'd. 
In cradle-cloaths our children where they 

lay, 
And call'd mine Percy, his Plantaganet ! 
Then would I have his Harry, and he 
mine." 

Spenser has the like thought in the first 
book of the " Faery Oueene " : 

"From thence a fairy thee unweeting 

reft 
There as thou slep'st in tender swad- 
ling band. 



And her base Elfln brood there for thee 
left. 

Such men do changelings call, so 
chang'd by fairy theft." 
Willis relates a singular anecdote :-- 
' Vpon an extraordinary accident which 
befel me in my swadling cloaths. When 
we come to years, we are commonly told of 
what befel us in our infancie, if the same 
were more than ordinary. Such an acci- 
dent (by relation of others) befel me with- 
in a few dales after my birth, whilst my 
mother lay in of me being her second child, 
when I was taken out of the bed by her 
side, and by my suddain and fierce cry- 
ing recovered again, being found sticking 
between the beds head and the wall : and 
if I had not cryed in that manner as I 
did, our gossips had a conceit that I had 
been quite carried away by the fairies 
they know not whither, and some elfe or 
changeling (as they call it) laid in my 
room." He himself, however, discredit- 
ing the gossips' account, attributes this 
attempt to the devil. " Certainly, that 
attempt of stealing me away as soone as 
I was borne (whatever the niidwives talk 
of it) came from the malice of that arch- 
enemy of mankind, who is continually 
going about seeking whom he may betray 
and devoure." He concludes, " blessed 
be the Lord our most gracious God, that 
disappointed them then, and hath ever 
since preserved and kept mee from his 
manifold plots and stratagems of destruc- 
tion : so as now in the seventieth yeare of 
mine age, I yet live to praise and magni- 
fie his wonderfuU mercies towards me in 
this behalfe." Mount Tahor, 1639, p. 92. 
Gay, in his fable of the " Mother, Nurse, 
and Fairy," laughs thus at the superstiti- 
ous idea of changelings. A fairy's tongue 
is the vehicle of his elegant ridicule : 

" Whence sprung the vain conceited lye 
That we the world with fools supplye ? 
What ! give our sprightly race away 
For the dull helj)less sons of clay ! 
Besides, by partial fondness shown, 
Like you, we doat upon our own. 
Where ever yet was found a mother 
Who'd give her booby for another? 
And should we change with human 

breed, 
Well might we pass for fools indeed." 
Pennant, speaking of " the Fairy Oak," 
of which also he exhibits a portrait, re- 
lates (1796) this curious circumstance re- 
specting it : " In this very century, a poor 
cottager, who lived near the spot^ had a 
child who grew uncommonly peevish; the 
parents attributed this to the fairies, and 
imagined that it was a changeling. They 
took the child, put it in a cradle, apd left 
it all night beneath the tree, in hopes 
that the tylwydd teg or fairy family, or 
the fairy folk^ would restore their own be- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS- 



103 



fore morning. When morning came, they 
found the child perfectly quiet, so went 
away with it, quite confirmed in their 
belief." Tour in Scotland, 1796, p. 257. 
Characts, or Characters. — 
■Characts seem to have been charms in the 
form of inscriptions. "That he use ne 
hide ne charme, ne characte." Dugdale's 
•Grig. Jurid., p. 81. So Gower : 

" With his carrecte would him en- 
chaunte." 
"Through his carectes and figures." 
" And his carecte as he was tawght 
He rad." 

•Confessio Amantis, Books i. and vi. In 
" Dives and Pauper," 1493, sign. C 2, we 
find censured : " Charmes m gadering of 
herbes, or hangynge of scrowes aboute 
man or woman or childe or beest for any 
.seknesse with any scripture or figures 
and carectes, but if it be Pater Noster, 
Ave, or the Crede, or holy wordes of the 
•Gospel, or of holy Wryt, tor devociou nat 
for curiousite, and only with the tokene 
•of the holy Crosse." In the " Burnynge 
of Paules Church," 1561, the author 
(Bishop Pilkington) writes: — "What 
wicked blindness is this than, to thinke 
i:hat wearing prayers written in rolles 
about with theym, as S. Johns Gospell, 
the length of our Lord, the measure of 
-cur Ladye, or other like, thei shall die 
ne sodain death, nor be hanged, or jff he 
be hanged, he shall not die. There is to 
3uanye sucne, though ye laugh, and beleve 
it not, and not hard to shewe them with a 
wet finger." Our author continues to ob- 
serve that our devotion ought to " stande 
in depe sighes and groninges, wyth a full 
consideration of our miserable state and 
Goddes majestye, in the heart, and not in 
.ynke or paper : not in hangyng written 
scrolles ahout the necke, but lamentinge 
"unfeignedlye our synnes from the hart." 
In the Earl of Northampton's " De- 
f ensative " we read: — "One of the 
Heysters which served under the Pernche 
Admirall, at the Siege of Poictiers, 
was found after he was dead, to 
have about his necke a purse of 
"taffata, and within the same a piece of 
parchment full of characters in Hebrew ; 
beside many cycles, semicircles, tryangles, 
■&C. with sundrie short cuttes and shred- 
dings of the Psalmes. Deus misereatur 
nostri,' &c. ' Angelis suis mandavit de 
te,' &c. ' Super Aspidem et Basilis- 
cum,' &c., as if the prophecies which pro- 
perly belong to Christo, might be wrested 
to the safeguard and defence of every 
private man." Defensative, 1583, sign. 
O 4 verso, quoting Histoire dcs Troubles, 
livre viii. Lodge, speaking of curi- 
osity, says: — "If you long to know 
this slave, you shall never take him 
without a book of characters in his 



bosome. Promise to bring him to Treasure 
trove, and he will sell his land for it, 
but he will be cousened. Bring him but a 
table of led, with crosses, (and Adonai or 
Elohim written in it), he thinks it will 
heal the ague." Wits Miserie, 1596. sign. 
C 2. Ramesey says: "Neither doth fan- 
cie only cause, but also as easily cure dis- 
eases ; as I may justly refer all magical 
and jugling cures thereunto, performed, 
as is thought, by saints, images, relicts, 
holy-waters, shrines, avemarys, crucifixes, 
benedictions, charms, characters, sigils 01 
the planets, and of the signs, inverted 
words, &c., and therefore all such cures 
are rather to be ascribed to the force of 
the imagination, than any virtue in them, 
or their rings, amulets, lamens," &c. 
Elminthologia, 1668, p. 289. Andrews 
tells us that "on all the old houses 
still existing in Edinburgh, there are 
remains of talismanic or cabalistical 
characters, which the superstition of ear- 
lier ages had caused to be engraven on 
their fronts. These were generally com- 
posed of some text of scripture, of the 
name of God, or, perhaps, of an emblem- 
atic representation of the Resurrection." 
Continuation of Henry. " To this kind," 
says Bingham, quoted by Bourne. " be- 
long all ligatures and remedies, which the 
Schools of Physitians reject and condemn ; 
whether in inchantments or in certain 
marks, which they call characters, or in 
some other things which are to be hanged 
and bound about the body, and kept in 
a dancing posture. Such are ear-rings 
hanged upon the tip of each ear, and 
rings made of an ostriche's bones for the 
finger ; or, when you are told, in a fit of 
convulsions or shortness of breath, to hold 
your left thumb with your light hand." 
Antiq. Vulg. 1725, xxv. " It is recorded in 
divers authors (notes Mason) that in the 
image of Diana, which was worshipped at 
Ephesus, there were certaine obscure 
words or sentences, not agreeing together, 
nor depending one upon another ; much 
like unto riddles written upon the feete, 
girdle and crowne of the said Diana : the 
which, if a man did use, having written 
them out, and carrying them about him, 
hee should have good lucke in all his busi- 
nesses : and hereof sprung the proverbe 
Ephesim Literce, where one useth any- 
thing which bringeth good successe." Our 
author also mentions the superstition of 
"Curing Diseases with certain wordes or 
characters." Anotomie of_ Sorcerie, 1612, 
90. Compare Dr. Furnivall's Political, 
Itehgious, and love Poems, 1866, p. 33, 
and Love Charms, infra. 

Charms. — A charm has been defined 
to be " a form of word or letters, repeated 
or written, whereby strange things are 
pretended to be done, beyond the ordinary 



10+ 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



power of Nature." Mason derived the 
term from the Latin carmen (a verse or 
incantation). Lodge, speaking of ly- 
ing, says: "He will tell you that a 
league from Poitiers, neere to Crontelles, 
there is a f amilie, that by a speciall grace 
from the father to the sonne, can heale 
the byting of mad dogs : and that there is 
another companie and sorte of people 
called sauveurs, that have Saint Cathe- 
rines Wheele in the pallate of their 
mouthes, that can heale the stinging of 
serpents." Wits Miserie, 1596, pp. 12, 
35. Felix, in his Anglo - Saxon Life 
of St. Guthlac (a.d. 749, or circa), de- 
scribes the cure of a man, whose flesh had 
festered through a prick from a thorn in 
the foot, by putting on the saint's gar- 
ment. The biographer tells us in perfect 
good faith, that ' ' no sooner was he (the 
patient) attired in the garment of so great 
a man, but the wound could not abide it : 
and lo I this same thorn, as an arrow 
speeds from the bow, so did it fly from 
the man, and go to a distance ; and imme- 
diately at the same time all the swelling 
and all the wound departed from him, 
and he presently conversed with the holy 
man with blythe mood." Was this a 
physical or moral cure.f For the sake of 
juxtaposition, the recovery of the Saxon 
boatman, "whose eyes had been for twelve 
months overspread with the white speck 
and dimness," by dropping on the afflicted 
organs some salt which the saint had con- 
secrated, may be cited as a fair specimen 
of the credulity of former ages — a credu- 
lity after all, however, scarcely more gross 
than that we see at present around us. 
Gaule enquires " Whether pericepts, amu- 
lets, prsefiscinals, phylacteries nioeteries 
ligatures, suspensions, charms, and spels, 
had ever been used, applyed, or carried 
about, but for magick and astrologie? 
Their supposed efficacy Cin curing diseases 
and preventing of perils) being taught 
from their fabrication, coniiguration, and 
confection, under such and such sydereal 
aspects, conjunctions, constellations." 
His preceding observations upon alchymy 
are too pointed and sensible not to be re- 
tained : " Whether alchymie (that entic- 
ing yet nice harlot) had made so many 
fooles and beggars, had she not clothed 
or painted herself with such astrological 
phrases and magical practises? But I let 
this kitchen magick or chimney astrology 
passe. The sweltering drudges and smoky 
scullions (if they may not bring in new 
fuel to the fire) are soon taught (by their 
past observed follv) to ominate their own 
late repentance. But if they will obsti- 
nately persist, in hope to sell their smoak, 
let others beware how they buy it too 
dear." Mag-astromancer posed, p. 192. 



Take the following passage :—" Others 
that they may colourably and cunningly 
hide their grosse ignorance, when they 
know not the cause of the disease, referre 
it unto charmes, witchcrafts, magmfical 
incantations, and sorcerie, vainely and 
with a brazen forehead affirming that 
there is no way to help them, but by 
characters, circles, figure-castings, exer- 
cismes, conjurations, and other impious 
and godlesse meanes. Others set to sale, 
at a great price, certaine amulets of gold 
and silver, stamped under an appropriate 
and selected constellation of the planets, 
with some magical character, shamelessly 
boasting that they will cure all diseases, 
and worke I know not what other won- 
ders." The author concludes with the 
very sensible observation of "a great 
learned Clarke in our land, who in a 
daungerous sicknesse, being moved by 
some friends to use an unlettered Empe- 
ricke, ' Nay, quoth he, I have lived all 
my life by the Booke, and I will now (God 
willing) likewise dye by the Booke." — Be- 
loare of Pick-Purses, 1605, p. 16 (a caveat 
against unskilful doctors). One of our 
early ihedical men, who turned author, 
favours us with Sf^me information under 
the present head, which may be worth pre- 
serving : — "If we cannot moderate these 
perturbations of the minde, by reason 
and perswasions, or by alluring their (the 
patients) mindes another way, we may 
politikely confirme them in their fantasies, 
that wee may the better fasten some cure 
upon them ; as Constantinus Africanus (if 
it be his booke which is inserted among: 
Galen's Works, de Incantatione, Adjura- 
tione, &c.) affirmeth, and practised with 
good successe, upon one who was impotens- 
ad Venerem, and thought himself be- 
T^ itched therewith, by reading unto him 
a foolish medicine out of Cleopatra, made 
with a crowes gall and oyle : whereof the 
patient took so great conceit that, upon 
the use of it, he presently recovered his 
strength and abilitie againe. The like 
opinion is to bee helde of those superstiti- 
ous remedies which have crept into our 
possession, of charmes, exorcismes, con- 
stellations, characters, pericepts, amulets, 
incense, holie-water, clouts crossed and 
folded superstitiously, repeating of a cer- 
taine number and forme of prayers or Ave 
Maries, offering to certaine saintes, * • * 
through the wedding ring, and a hundred 
such like toyes and gambols ; which when 
they prevaile in the cure of diseases, it is 
not for any supernaturall vertue in them, 
either from God or the Divell, although 
perhaps the Divell may have a collaterall 
intent or worke therein, namely, to drawe 
us into superstition, but by reason of the 
confident perswasion which melancholike 
and passionate people may have in them ; 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



:i05 



according to the saying of Ayicen, that the 
confidence of the patient in the meanes 
used is oftentimes more available to cure 
diseases then all other remedies whatso- 
ever." Jorden's Suffocation of the 
Mother, 1603., p. 24. In Boll's MS. Dis- 
course of Witchcraft I find the following : 
"28, Guard against devilish charms for 
men or beasts. There are many sorce- 
ries practised in our day, against which I 
would on this occasion bear my testimony, 
and do therefore seriously ask you, what 
is it you mean by your observation of 
times and seasons as lucky or unlucky? 
What mean you by your many spells, 
verses, words, so often repeated, said 
fasting, or going backward.'' How mean 
you to have success by carrying about with 
you certain herbs, plants, and branches of 
tiees? Why is it, that fearing certain 
events, you do use such superstitious 
means to prevent them, by laying bits of 
timber at doors, carrying a Bible meerly 
for a charm without any farther use of it ? 
What intend ye by opposing witchcraft to 
witchcraft, in such fort- that when ye sup- 

Eose one to be bewitched, ye endeavour 
is relief by burnings, bottles, horse-shoes 
and such-like magical ceremonies? How 
think ye to have secrets revealed unto you, 
your doubts resolved, and your minds in- 
formed, by turning a sieve or a key? or 
to discover by basons and glasses how 
you shall be related before you die? Or 
do you think to escape the guilt of sorcery, 
who let your Bible fall open on purpose 
to determine what the state of your 
souls is, by the first word ye light 
upon?" 

Gay, in his "Pastorals," mentions the 
superstitious sowing of hempseed : 

" At eve last Midsummer no sleep I 

sought. 
But to the field a bag of hempseed 

brought ; 
— I scatter' d round the seed on every side, 
And three times in a trembling accent 

cried, 
' This hemp-seed with my virgin hand 

I sow , 
Who shall my true love be, the crop 

shall mow ; 
I straight look'd back, and, if my eyes 

speak truth. 
With his keen scythe behind me came 

the youth. 
' With my sharp heel I three times mark 

the ground. 
And turn me thrice around, around, 

around.' " 

Chaucer, in Troilus and Cresseide, 
writes : 

" But canst thou playinraket to and fro. 
Nettle in, docke out, now this, now that^ 
Pandare — " 



It appears from a communication to 
"Notes and Queries," that friction with 
a dock-leaf was then (as it is still) held in 
Northumberland to be a specific for the 
sting of a nettle. The charm to be re- 
peated, while the rubbing process is pro- 
ceeding, is : 

" Nettle in, dock out. 

Dock in, nettle out, 

Nettle in, dock out. 

Dock rub nettle out." 

First Series, 111, 133. The remedy is men- 
tioned by Kraunce in the Third Part of the 
Countess of Pembroke's Yvyohurch, 1592. 
The subsequent charms were found by Mr. 
Brand in his Physical MS. of 1475 : 

"A Charme to staunch Blood. 

Jesus that was in Bethleem born, and 
baptyzed was in the flumen Jordane, as 
stente the water at hys comyng, so stente 
the blood of thys Man N. thy servvaunt, 
thorw the vertu of thy holy Name — Jesu 
— and of thy Cosyn swete St. Jon. And 
sey thys charme fyve tymes with fyve 
Pater Nosters, in the worschep of the fyve 
woundys." 

"For Fever. 

Wryt thys wordys on a lorell lef >5« 
Ysmael »i< Ysmael i^ adjuro vos per 
Angelum ut soporetur iste Homo N. and 
ley thys lef under hys head that he wete 
not therof, and let hym ete Letuse oft and 
drynk Ip'e seed smal grounden in a morter 
and temper yt with ale." 

'■ A Charme to draw out Tren de Quarell. 

Longius Miles Ebreus percussit latus 
Domini nostri Jesu Christi ; Sanguis exuit 
etiam latus ; ad se traxit lancea >i< tetra- 
gramaton »J< Messyas >J« Sother Emanuel 
>i« Saboath ►Ji Adonay ^ TJnde sicut 
verba ista fuerunt verba Christi, sic exeat 
ferrum istud sive quarellum ab isto 
Christiauo. Amen. And sey thys charme 
five tymes in the worschip of the fyve 
woundys of Christ.' 

See also the Charms in Harl. MS. 
fol. 215 verso. Whitford, in his 
Work for Householders, 1530, observes : 
' ' The charmer is a good ma or a 
good woma & taketh here a pece of whyte 
breed/ & sayth ouer that breed nothynge 
but onely y» Pat. nr. & maketh a crosse 
vpon y^ breed / whiche thynges ben all 
good/ than doth he nothynge els but lay 
y« pece of breed vnto ye tothe yt aketh or 
vnto ony other sore / turnynge y^ crosse 
vnto yo sore or dysease / & so is y« persone 
healed." The writer calls this practice 
"euyll &dapnable." Ed. 1533, sign. C. 
2 verso. In Bale's "Interlude concerning 
Nature Moses, and Christ," 1538, idola- 
try is described with the following quali- 
ties : — 



io6 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Mennes fortunes she can tell; 
She can by sayenge her Ave Marye, 
And by other charmes of sorcerye, 
Ease men of the toth ake by and bye 

Yea, and fatche the Devyll from Hell. 
And the same personage says : 

With holy oyle and Water 

I can so cloyno and clatter, ■ 

That I can at the latter 

Many sutelties contryve : 

I can worke wyles in battell, 
If I but ones do spattle 
I can make come and cattle 

That they shall never thryve. 

****** 

When ale is in the fat. 

If the bruar please me nat 

The cast shall fall down flat 

And never have any strength : 

No man shall tonne nor bake 
Nor meate in season make 
If I agaynst him take 

But lose his labour at length. 

****** 

Theyr wells I can up drye, 
Cause trees and heroes to dye 
And slee all pulterye 

Whereas men doth me move : 

I can make stoles to daunce 
And earthen pottes to praunce, 
That none shall them enhaunce, 
And I do but cast my glove. 

I have charmes for the ploughe. 
And also for tne cowghe 
She shall gyve mylke ynowghe 
So long as ! am pleased : 

Apace the myll shall go 

So shall the credle do 

And the musterde querne also 

No man therwyth dyseased. 

— Edit. 1562, sign. C 1-2. These specifics 
appear to partake, like others mentioned 
above under Burlesque, of a semi-serious 
character. Lord Northampton inquires : 
" What godly reason can any man alyve 
alledge why Mother Joane of Stowe, 
speaking these wordes, and neyther more 
nor lesse. 

Our Lord was the first Man, 
That ever thorne prick'd upon : 
It never blysted nor it never belted, 
And I pray God, nor this not may. 

should cure either boasts, or men and 
women from diseases?" Befensative, 1583, 
sign. O04. Buttes, in his Dyetts Dry 
jyinner, 1599, asserts that "If one eate 
three small pomegranate flowers (they 
say) for an ivhole yeare he shall be safe 
from all maner of eye-sore." And 
that "It hath bene and yet is a thing 
which superstition hath beleeued, that 
the body anoynted with the iuyce of cich- 
ory is very availeable to obtaine the 



fauour of great persons." King James 
enumerates ' Such kinde of charmes 
as commonly daft wives use for healing 
forspoken goods" (by goods he means here 
cattle) "for preserving them from eviU 
eyes, by knitting roun trees, or sundne 
kind of herbes, to the haire or tailes of the 
goodes, by curing the- worme, by stem- 
ming of blood : by healing of horse crookes, 
by turning of the riddle ; or by doing ot 
such like innumerable things by words, 
without applying anything meete to the 

Eart offended, as mediciners doe : or else 
y staying married folkes to have natur- 
ally adoe with other, by knitting so many 
knots upon a point at the time of their 
marriage." Demonology, p. 100. Cam- 
den tells us that "'to prevent kites from 
stealing their chicken, they hang up in 
the house the shells in which the chickens 
were" hatched." Gough's edit. 1789, iii., 
659. Lambarde. speaking of Kemsing, 
Kent, tells us that the farmers of that 
neighbourhood used to offer corn to the 
image of Edith, daughter of King Edgar, 
and Prioress of Wilton in Wiltshire, to 
protect their crops from mildew and other 
mishaps, and that the priest would take 
a handful of the quantity (keeping the 
rest himself, says Lambarde), sprinkle it 
with holy water, mumble a few words of 
conjuration over it, and then deliver it to 
the bringer to mingle with the whole har- 
vest, to which it was supposed and pre- 
tended to communicate a sort of sanctity. 
Peramhulation of Kent, 1570, ed. 1826, 
p . 457-8. Sir Thomas Browne mentions a 
rural charm against dodder, tetter, and 
strangling weeds, by placing a chalked 
tile at the four corners, and one in the 
middle of the fields, which though ridi- 
culous in the intention, was rational in 
the contrivance, and a good way to diffuse 
the magic through all parts of the area 
Quincunx Artificially Considered, p. 111. 
I do not recollect to have seen the follow- 
ing mentioned among restoratives ex- 
cept in one of Webster's plays, Lao- 
damia, in a mock-epistle to Protesi- 
laus, says that when she faints , 

"Under my nose they burn a feather. 
And old shoes too with other leather, 

— Ovidius Exulans, 1673, v. 51. The fol- 
lowing rural charms are found in Her- 
rick : 

"This I'le tell ye by the way. 
Maidens, when ye leavens lay, 
Crosse your dow, and your dispatch 
Will be better for your batch." 

" In the morning when ye rise, 
Wash your hands and cleanse your eyes. 
Next be sure ye have a care 
To disperse the water farre 

For as farre as that doth light 
So farre keeps the evil spright." 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



107 



"If ye feare to be uffriglited, 
When ye are (by chance) benighted : 
In your pocket, for a trust 
Carrie nothing but a crust : 
For that holie piece of bread 
Charmes the danger and the diead.'' 
Some other metrical charms noticed by 
Tepys in his Diary, under Dec. 31, 1664-5, 
may here be introduced : 

" Unto the Vii-gin Mary our Saviour 

was born, 
And on his head he wore the crown of 

thorn ; 
If you believe this true and mind it 

well, 
This hurt will never fester, nor yet 
swell." 
The following one is for a scald or burn : 

"There came three angels out of the 

west, 
One brought fire and two brought frost : 
Out fire, and in frost. 
In the name of Father, Son, and Holy 

Ghost." 
" Christ was of a virgin born. 
And he was pricked by a thorn ; 
And it did neither bell nor swell. 
As I trust in Jesus this never will." 

Jn "Trinum Magicum," p. 169, it is said : 
" Herbam Urticani tenens in manu cum 
jnillefolio, securus est ab omni metu, et 
ab omni phantasmate." 

Shaw gives the following account, from 
personal observation, of some physical 
charms used in his time in Moray. In 
hectic and consumptive diseases they 
pared the nails of the fingers and toes of 
the patient, put these parings into a rag 
■cut from his clothes, then waved their 
hand with the rag thrice round his head, 
■crying Dcas soil, after which they buried 
"the rag in some unknown place. Pliny, 
in his " Natural History," mentions it as 
practised by the magicians or Druids of 
his time. When a contagious disease en- 
tered among the cattle, the fire was ex- 
tinguished in some villages round ; then 
they forced fire with a wheel or by rub- 
bing a piece of dry wood upon another, 
and therewith burned iuniper in the stalls 
of the cattle, that the smoke might purify 
the air about them: they likewise boiled 
juniper in water, which they sprinkled 
upon the cattle ; this done, the fires in the 
houses were rekindled from the forced 
fire. It was, no doubt, a Druid custom. 
Hist, of Moray p. 248. Coles says: "It 
;is said that if a handfull of arsmart be put 
under the saddle, upon a tired horse's 
back, it will make him travaile fresh and 
lustily : If a footman take mugwort and 
put into his shoes in the morning, he may 
goe forty miles before noon and not be 
weary. The seed of fleabane (says he) 
:strewed between the sheets causeth chas- 
tity. If one that hath eaten comin doe 



but breathe on a painted face, the colour 
will vanish away straight. The seeds of 
docks tyed to the left arme of a woman 
do helpe barrenesso. All kinde of docks 
have this property, that what flesh, or 
meat, is sod therewith, though it be never 
so old, hard, or tough, it will become ten- 
der and meet to be eaten. Calamint will 
recover stinking meat, if it be laid amongst 
it whilst it is raw. The often smelling to 
basil breedeth a scorpion in the brain. 
That the root of male-piony dryed, tied 
to the neck, doth help the incubus, which 
we call the mare. That if maids will take 
wild tansey, and lay it to soake in butter- 
milke nine days, and wash their faces 
therewith, it will make them look very 
faire " (^-'a belief, which is also held in 
respect to May dew, as elsewhere stated). 
Intro, to the Knowledae of Plants, 1656, 
p 68. " Dew cakes with honey were 
given to those who entered Tropho- 
nius' Cave, to free them from any 
mischiefs from the phantoms which 
should appear. Loier's Treatise of 
Spectres, 1605, p. 136. Bulbianus says, 
that \There Purslain is laid in the bed, 
those in it will not be distuibed by anv 
vision that night. A diamond fastened 
to the left arm, so as to touch the skin, 
prevents all nocturnal fears To expel 
phantoms and rid people of folly, take the 
precious stone chrysolite, set it in gold, 
and let them weare it about em." Ostanes 
the magician prescribed the dipping of 
our feet in the morning in human urine 
as a preservative against charms. War- 
ner, speaking of the old register of 
Christ Church, Hants, tells us that 
it contains some curious receipts of 
the seventeenth century in certain cases 
of indisposition, which his delicacy, how- 
ever, forbad him to make pubhc. Hamo- 
shire, 1795, 111, 131. 

Mungo Park observes in his Travels 
in the interior of Africa that white 
chicken tied by the leg to a branch 
of a particular tree was thought by 
the people there to secure a prosper- 
ous issue to one's journey. ' Homer 
relates how Autolycus's sons staunched 
Ulysses's blood, flowing from a wound he 
received in hunting a wild boar, by a 
charm ; the same is observed by Pliny, who 
adds farther that 'sic Theophrastus ischi- 
diacos sanari, Cato prodidit luxatis mem- 
bris carmen auxiliari, Marcus Varro pod 
agris ' : it was reported by Theophrastus, 
that the hip-gout was cured in the same 
manner ; by Cato, that a charm would re- 
lieve any member out of joint ; and by 
Marcus Varro, that it would cure the 
gout in the feet. Chiron in Pindar is 
said to use the same remedy in some dis- 
tempers, but not in all." — Potter's Greek 
.intiq. i., 355. Grose observes that " Cer- 
tain herbs, stones, and other substances. 



io8 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



as also particular words written on parch- 
ment, as a charm, have the property of 
preserving men from wounds in the midst 
of a battle or engagement. This was so 
universally credited, that an oath was 
administered to persons going to fight a 
legal duel, ' that they had no charm, ne 
herb of virtue.' The power or rendering 
themselves invulnerable is still believed by 
the Germans : it is performed by divers 
charms and ceremonies : and so firm is 
their belief of its efiicacy, that they will 
rather attribute any hurt they may re- 
ceive, after its performance, to some omis- 
sion in the performance, than defect in its 
virtue." 

In the "Daily Telegraph" news- 
paper for December 11th, 1867, occurs 
this extraordinary piece of intelligence : 
" On the 9th inst., before the magistrates 
at Plymouth, a respectably dressed woman 
named Mary Catharine Murray, and who 
is about fifty years of age, was charged, 
under a warrant, with having ' unlaw- 
fully used certain subtle means and de- 
vices, to wit by a piece of parchment called 
a charm, and other subtle means to de- 
ceive and impose on one of her Majesty's 
subjects named Thomas Rendle.' The 
story told by Rendle, who is a poor farm 
labourer, living at Modbury is to the fol- 
lowing effect : His wife, who is sixty-two 
years old, was taken ill about five months 
ago. He thought she was ' ill-wished,' 
and a nephew of his recommended him to 
go_ to the prisoner, as he was sure she, 
being wise, could cure the old woman. 
Rendle went to the prisoner's house in 
Plymouth on the 7th of August. She 
asked him what he was come for and he 
said, ' Peoole tell me that my wife is ill- 
wished.' Prisoner asked him his age, and 
he told her 69. She opened a large book — 
her in two or three weeks, provided he 
him if he came for himself or any other 
person. He said he hod come for his wife. 
She asked him his wife's age, and he said 
62 next January. She said she could cure 
her in two or three weeks, provided he 
paid her one guinea to begin with. Pri- 
soner said his wife had to go and see the 
planets, and would have to go into the 
churchyard and gather some herbs for 
twenty-one nights. She promised to send 
some medicine, and took down his address, 
and he then left. The following letter 
was sent to him about a week after : ' Sir 
and Madam— I find that it will be need- 
ful for you to have some powders to use, 
and a packet to wear. I have sent for the 
articles to make the powders. They will 
cost me Is. each powder, and you will need 
to use two a day for three weeks. That 
will make 42 in the whole, and the packet, 
or the skin which makes the packet, will 
cost me 21s. That will last you as long 
as you live, if it should be 80 years longer. 



The things I bought for you cost mo 6b., 
and that will make £3 9s. You must have 
the things, and I should not send to you, 
but I am out of money, and the articles 
will be waiting at the station for me on 
Friday, so if you will remit me the money 
by the return of post, I will send it to 
you on Saturday, as you must put it on on 
Sunday, and also begin to use the pow- 
ders on that day. Be sure you do not 
fail to send me an answer by return of 
post, and believe me to remain yours truly, 
M. C. MuBKAT.' His wife had to take the 
medicine in a glass in the morning and 
evening. The packets of powder were to 
be burnt in the fire, one in the morning 
and the other in the evening. His wife 
took all the medicine, and she was at pre- 
sent worse. About two months afterwards 
the prisoner came to his house. She had 
a glass of water, and he saw some shadows 
in the water, and at her bidding his wife 
took up a poker and smashed the glass. 
The prisoner said she had seen a man and 
woman in the water, and the woman was 
the worst. She gave them a piece of 
parchment, on which were figures of the 
planets and extracts from foreign lan- 
guages ; this his wife was to wear. The 
prisoner then felt his wife's pulse. Alto- 
gether he paid the prisoner £4 10s. The 
prisoner acknowledged that what Rendle 
said was all true. He had thirty-one 
bottles of herbal mixture, at 3s. per 
bottle. She assured the magistrates that 
she believed in what they were pleased to 
call superstition. Rendle's niece said she 
had frequently seen the prisoner for the 
purpose of returning empty bottles, and 
also to get medicine. The prisoner had 
given her mother-in-law some powders to 
burn in her own room, which the prisoner 
said would do her good. The prisoner told 
her that her mother-in-law was ill-wished, 
and afterwards said she was bewitched. 
Her mother-in-law had had the parish doc- 
tor at Modbury attending her. The 
Mayor : Is the money paid to the prisoner 
the scrapings this old man has got to- 
gether? Witness : Yes, sir; he has 10s. a 
week. The prisoner ordered the 91st 
Psalm to be read when the last powder 
packet was sent. The person that burnt 
the powder was to read the Psalm. The 
prisoner generally sent two packets at a 
time with the bottles. The prisoner denied 
saying anything about the Psalms, or 
about the woman being bewitched. The 

Eowders sent were for her to smell. She 
ad cured Mr. Rendle's niece of paralysis. 
A Magistrate : Was there any charm in 
that case? — Prisoner: No, sir. After a 
short deliberation, the Mayor said, that 
as the prisoner had only just been appre- 
hended, the Bench thought it right not 
to deal with the case then, and thereforei 
would remand her until Thursday next. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



log 



Bail was refused." Such examples of ig- 
norance in the latter half of the nine- 
teenth century seem to shew that the time 
has come for initiating a general system 
of lay-education among the people. The 
subject of charms is one on which several 
volumes might be written. The nine 
series of "Notes and Queries" already 
completed contain a vast assemblage of 
material and illustration ; and every week 
adds to the store. Fortunately, the ex- 
cellent indexes supplied to that useful 
periodical render it worse than superflu- 
ous to transplant hither more than occa- 
sional passages. In the " Saxon Leech- 



and Nursery Tales," 1849, and from Haz- 
litt's Proverbs, 1882. 

Chase. — A point at the game of ten- 
nis beyond that struck by the adversary. 
Halliwell in v. 

Chasing the Cheese.— At Bird- 
lip, near Cheltenham, there is an ancient 
anniversary observance so termed. Its 
origin is not known, but it may be sug- 
gested that it has some consanguinity with 
an episode or traditional incident nar- 
rated^ in the Gothamite Tales, attributed 
to Andrew Borde, where the fourth story 
deals with a man of Gotham, who went to 
Nottingham to sell cheese, and, descending 




CHESS-PLAYING. 

{From an ancient J/S.) 



doms, and Wart Cunning, and Starcraft," 
edited by Mr. Cockayne, is a mass of mat- 
ter on this subject. There are some curious 
charms in the " Mountebank's Masue," 
edited for the Shakespear Society, 1848, 
and in "Lancashire Folk-Lore," 1867. 
See several curious charms against thieves 
in Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft, b. ii. c. 
17, and particularly St. Aldelbert's curse 
against them. That celebrated curse in 
Tristram Shandy, which is an original one, 
still remaining in Rochester Cathedral, is 
nothing to this, which is perhaps the most 
complete of its kind. Some additions to 
this section might easily have been intro- 
duced from Halliwell's "Popular Rhymes 



the hill to Nottingham-bridge, one of his 
cheeses fell out of the cart, and rolled 
down the hill. Whereupon, seeing that 
they could run alone, he let loose all the 
others, charging them to meet him in the 
market place. But when he found they 
were not there, all having strayed or been 
taken, he took horse, and rode toward 
York, whither he conceived that they 
might have gone. Hazlitt's Old English 
Jest Books, 1864, iii., 6-7. 

Chatelaine. — An article of use and 
ornament originating with the medijeval 
chatelaine or lady of the chateau. " An 
old marchant had hanging at his girdle, a 
pouch, a spectacle-case, a punniard, a pen 



no 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



and inckhorne, and a hand-kertcher, with 
many other trinkets besides : which a 
merry companion seeing, said, it was like 
a haberdashers shop of small wares." — 
Copley's Wits, Fits, and Fancies, 1595. In 
Erondel's "French Garden," 1605, in a 
dialogue describing a lady's dress, the mis- 
tress thus addresses her waiting woman : 
" Give me my girdle, and see that all the 
furniture be at it : looke if my cizers, the 
pincers, the pen-knife, the knife to close 
fetters, with the bodkin, the ear-picker, 
and the seale be in the case : where is my 
purse to weare upon my gowne," &c. In 
I'ield's "A Woman's a Weather-cocke'? act 
V. so. 1, Bellafront is introduced with a 
knife hanging at her girdle, with which 
she threatens to stab herself if her father 
forces her to marry any other than Scud- 
more. This seems to have been a fore- 
runner of the modern chatelaines, which 
some years ago were so favourite an article 
of ornament among our country-women, 
and were made receptacles for trinkets, 
keys, scissors, &c. Mr. Brand had an old 
print of a female foreigner entitled 
" Forma Pallii Mulieris Clevensis euntis 
ad forum," in which are delineated, as 
hanging from her girdle, her purse, her 
keys, and two sheathed knives. 

Cheek. — Melton observes that " when 
the left cheek burnes, it is a signe some- 
body talks well of you ; but if the right 
cheek burnes, it is a sign of ill." Astro- 
logaster, 1C20, p. 45. In a later writer we 
read : " That you shou'd think to deceive 
me ! Why all the while I was last in 
your company, my heart beat all on that 
side you stood, and my cheek next you 
burnt and glow'd." Ravenscroft's Can- 
terbury Guests, p. 20. 

Cheesecake. — By the following 
passage in Feme's " Glory of Generosi- 
tie," p. 71, it should seem that cheese- 
cakes composed a principal dainty at the 
feast of sheep-shearing. "Well vor your 
paines (if you come to our sheep-shearing 
veast) bum vaith yous taste of our cheese 
cake." This is put into the mouth of 
Columell the Ploughman. 

Cherry Fair, — Cherry-fairs were 
often formerly, and may be still indeed, 
held in the cherry orchards ; they were 
scenes of considerable licence. There are 
not many allusions to them in old writers 
or records ; but in the story of " How the 
Wise Man Taught His Son," the transi- 
tory nature of man's life is not inele- 
gantly likened to one of these scenes of 
temporary bustle and gaiety : 

" And so, sone, thys worldys wele 

Hyt fayrth but as a chery fayre." 

And the same simile occurs in one of Hoc- 
clove's pieces. See Dyce's Skelton, ii., 
85, and Fairs, infra. 



Cherry Pit. — Cherry Pit is a play 
wherein they pitch cherry-stones into ar 
little hole. It is noticed in Herrick's 
" Hesperides," 1648. But the earliest 
allusion to the sport is probably that found 
in the interlude of " The Worlde and the 
Chylde," 1522 : 

" I can play at the chery pytte, 
And I can wystell you a fytte, 
Syres, in a whylowe ryne.' " 

It is also mentioned by Skelton in 
" Speke Parot," written about the same 
time. 

Chess. — ^This was a British or Welsh 
game, and is mentioned in the Triads. 
The board, on which it was played, was 
called the tawlhwrd, and one of these was 
held to be an essential feature in every 
gentleman's establishment. Chess-boards, 
were made of wood, bone, or even ivory, 
the last being valued at three cows or 
sixty pence. Chess was also a favourite 
game in mediaeval Italy and elsewhere 
abroad. 

Chester. — King, speaking of the in- 
habitants of Chester, says, "touching their 
housekeeping, it is bountiful and compar- 
able with any other shire in the realm : 
and that is to be seen at their weddings 
and burials, but chiefly at their wakes, 
which they yearly hold (although it be of 
late years well laid down)." \'ale Hoyal 
of England, 20. In the same work there is 
an account that, at the City of Chester in 
the year 1533, "the ofierings of ball and 
foot-balls were put down, and the silver 
bell offered to the Maior on Shrove Tues- 
day." Vale Boyal, p. 94. King notes: 
" Anno 1575. This year Sir John Savage, 
maior, caused the Popish plays of Chester 
to be played the Sunday, Munday, Tues- 
day, and Wednesday after Mid-somer- 
Day, in contempt of an inhibition, and the 
Primat's Letters from York and from the 
Earl of Huntingdon." Vale-Boyal, 1656, 
p. 88. "Anno 1563, upon the Sunday 
after Midsummer Day the History of 
Eneas and Queen Dido was play'd in the 
Roods Eye ; and were set out by one 
William Croston, gent, and one Mr. Man, 
on which triumph there was made two 
forts and shipping on the water, besides 
many horsemen well armed and ap- 
pointed." Collier's Annals of the Stage, 
1831, 1., 168, et seqq. We farther learn 
that Henry Hardware, Esq., mayor of 
Chester in 1599, "for his time, altered 
many antient customs, as the shooting for 
the sheriff's breakfast ; the going of the 
giants at Midsommer, &c., and would not 
suffer any playes, bear-baits, or bull-bait." 
Vale Boyal, 1656, p. 208. Pennant tells 
us of the place without the walls called the 
Rood Eye, where the lusty youth in former 
days exercised themselves m manly sports 
of the age ; in archery, running, leaping. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



Ill 



and wrestling ; in mock fights and gallant 
and romantic triumphs. A standard was 
the prize of emulation, which was won in 
1578 by Sheriff Montford on Shrove-Tues- 
day. 

Childbirth. — In "A short Descrip- 
tion of Antichrist," &c., 1554, is this pas- 
sage : " I note all their Popishe traditions 
of confirmacion of yonge children wth oyn- 
ting of oyle and creame, and with a ragge 
knitte aboute the necke of tho yonge 
babe," &c. This was the hallowed sheet. 
Bulwer remarks that ' ' There is a tradi- 
tion our midwives have concerning chil- 
dren borne open-handed, that such will 
prove of a bountiful disposition and frank- 
handed." The following occurs in the 
second part of Dekkor's " Honest Whore," 
1630 : "I am the most wretched fellow : 
sure some left-handed priest christened me 
I am so unlucky." Coles says : " It hath 
been observed, that if a woman with childe 
eate quinces much, and coriander seed (the 
nature of both which is to represse and 
stay vapours that ascend to the braine) it 
will make the child ingenious : and, if the 
mother eate much onyons, or beanes, or 
such vapourous food, it endangereth the 
childe to become lunaticke, or of imper- 
fect memory. Boemus relates, that in 
Darien in America the women eate an 
herb when they are great with childe, 
which makes them bring forth withoute 
paine." Introduction to the. Knowledge of 
Plants, 69. Misson says : "The custom here 
is not to make great feasts at the birth of 
their children. They drink a glass of wine 
and eat a bit of a certain cake, which is 
seldom made but upon these occasions." 
Travels, translated by Ozell, p. 35, 
It was a belief in Angus that, if 
a child was put from the breast in tho 
moon's wane, it would decay so long as 
the orb continued to decrease. These 
superstitions were generally diffused, and 
seem to have been entertained by the Soots 
in common with the Swedes, where the 
same ideas prevailed ; nor can it be said 
that such notions are yet, or will for many 
a long day, be thoroughly rooted out. The 
following Scotish modern superstitions re- 
specting new-born children are enume- 
rated by Eosse in the Fortunate Shep- 
herdess, 1778: 

" Gryte was the care, and tut'ry that 

was ha'en, 
Baith night and day about the bony 

Weeane, 
The Jizzen-bed wi' rantry leaves was 

sain'd, 
And sik like things as the auld Grannies 

kend, 
Jeans paps wi' sa't and water washen 

clean, 
Eeed that her milk get wrang, fan it was 

green. 



Neist the first hippen to the green was 

flung. 
And thereat seeful words baith said andi 

sung. 
A clear brunt coal wi' the het tongs was. 

ta'en 
Frae out the Ingle-mids fu' clear and 

clean. 
And throw the corsy-belly letten fa. 
For fear the weeane should be ta'en 

awa ; 
Dowing and growing, was the daily 

pray'r. 
And Nory was brought up wi' unco. 

care." 

Under "Natal or Natalitious Gifts," 
Blount observes that " among the Gre- 
cians, the fifth day after the child's birth, 
the neighbours sent in gifts, or small 
tokens ; from which custom, that among 
Christians of the godfathers sending gifts 
to the baptized infant, is thought to have 
flowed : and that also of the neighbours 
sending gifts to the mother of it, 
as is still used in North Wales." 
It is very observable here, that there was 
a feast at Athens, kept by private fami- 
lies, called Amphidromia, on the fifth day 
after the birth of the child, when it was 
the custom for the gossips to run round 
the fire with the infant in their arms, and 
then, having delivered it to the nurse, 
they were entertained with feasting and 
dancing. Several French (or foreign) 
customs of child-birth are noticed in the 
" Traite des Superstitions" of M. Thiers, 
vol. i. p. 320-34. 

Childermass, or Holy Inno- 
cents' Day.— (December 26th.) This, 
day is of most unlucky omen. None^ 
ever marries on a Childermas Day. 
It appears from the " Fasten Letters," 
that the Coronation of Edward IV. 
was put off till the Monday, because^ 
the preceding Sunday was Childermas 
Day. Forby, in his " Vocabulary,"" 
1830, says that the day on which this festi- 
val falls was reckoned unlucky for the- 
commencement of any work or task. In 
the " Spectator," No. 7, we learn that the- 
same notion of the weekly recurrence of 
this unlucky day was entertained at that 
tirne. The word itself is genuine Saxon, 
childe masse dag. 

Childirmas - dai, in Wicklif's time. 
Childery-masse in Rob. Glouc. — "Gent. 
Mag." Jan. 1799. In the statutes 
of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Ot- 
tery, founded in 1337. is a direction, that 
none of the singing boys shall be suffered 
to proceed beyond the boundaries of the 
parish on Innocents' Day. It is certainly 
curious that in 1278 Archbishop Peckham 
issued an injunction to restrain the per- 
formance of service by little girls (par- 
vulm) on this festival at Godstow nunnery. 
Processions of children on this day 



112 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



were forbidden by the proclamation of 
July 22nd, 1540. A curious Latin 
play or mystery on the Slaughter 
of the Innocents, and the flight into 
Egypt of Joseph and Mary, with the In- 
fant Jesus, is termed Interfectio Puer- 
orum, and strangely exhibits the primitive 
mediseval literalism in dealing with these 
subjects, in common with those English 
productions, with which readers are more 
familiar. Bourne tells us, chap, xviii. 
that " according to the monks it was very 
unlucky to begin any work on Childermas 
Day : and whatsoever day that falls on, 
whether on the Monday, Tuesday, or any 
other, nothing must be begun on that day 
through the year." Gregory observes that 
" It hath been a custom, and yet is else- 
where, to whip the children upon Inno- 
cents Day morning, that the memory of 
Herod's murder of the Innocents might 
stick the closer, and in a moderate pro- 
portion to act over the crueltie again in 
kinde." Gregorii Posthuma, 1649. See 
Cotgarve's "Diet." and the " Dictionn. 
de Furetiere." 

Strype, under 1582, mentions a riot 
in Fmsbury, about Christmas holi- 
days, " by some loose young men of the 
Inns of Chancery, one of whom, named 
Light, was especially indicted for singing 
in the church, upon Childermas Day, Fal- 
lantida dilli, &o. — an idle loose song then 
used." In "Sir John Oldcastle," 1600, 
,aot ii. sc. 2, Murley objects to the rendez- 
vous of the Wickliff ites on a Friday : — 
" Friday, quoth' a, a dismal day; Childer- 
mas Day this year was Friday." Melton, 
in his " Astrologaster," 1620, p. 45, in- 
forms us it was formerly an article in the 
■creed of popular superstition, that it was 
not lucky to put on a new suit, pare one's 
nails, or begin any thing on a Childermas 
Day. 

Dufresne, in a note to Clement 
Marot's cxxxvth Epigram, observes, that 
-on Innocents' Day there used to be a cus- 
tom of slapping on the hinder parts any 
young folks who were surprised in bed on 
that morning, and occasionally it pro- 
ceeded further. But this practice had even 
then fallen into disuse. The following is 
the passage in Dufresne: — " Innocentes. 
Allusion a un usage pratique lors en 
France, oil les jeunes personnes qu'on pou- 
voit surprendre au lit le jour des Inno- 
cens, recevoient sur le derriere quelques 
■claques, & quelque fois un peu plus, quand 
les sujet en valoient la peine. Cela ne se 
pratique plus aujourd'hui : nous sommes 
bien plus sages & plus reserves que nos 
peres." Douce cites a passage from Le 
Voyageur a Paris, to show that an odd 
-species of burlesque was performed on this 
festival by some of the religious orders. 
Naogeorgus, in his Fourth Book, devotes 



some space to this festival. See Boy- 
Bishop. , , _ 

Children.— In John Bale's " Come- 
dye concernynge thre Lawes of Nature, 
Moses, and Christ," 1538, Idolatry says : 

" Yea, but now ych am a she 
And a good mydwyfe perde, 

Yonge chyldren can I charme. 
With whysperynges and whysshynges. 
With crossynges and with kyssynges. 
With blasynges and with blessynges, 

That spretes do them no harme." 

In Scotland (Edinburgh) a piece of silver, 
an egg, and some bread presented to a 
child on entering a house for the first time, 
are supposed to bring luck. Hutchinson 
tells us that children in Northumberland^ 
when first sent abroad in the arms of the 
nurse to visit a neighbour, are presented 
with an egg, salt, and fine bread. Nortli- 
umberland, ii., 4 and 13. He observes 
that " the egg was a sacred emblem, and 
seems a gift well adapted to infancy." 
Comp. Cakes and Salt. Herrick names a 
crust of holy bread laid under the head of 
a sleeping child as a charm against hags, 
and a knife placed near the child's heart 
with the point upward as a charm against 
peril in general. Among superstitions 
relating to children, the following is 
cited by Bourne from Bingham, on 
St. Austin: — "If when two friends 
are talking together, a stone, or a 
dog, or a child, happens to come between 
them, they tread the stone to pieces, as 
the divider of their friendship, and this 
is tolerable in comparison of beating an 
innocent child that comes between them. 
But it is more pleasant that sometimes the 
child's quarrel is revenged by the dogs : 
for many times they are so superstitious 
as to dare to beat the dog that comes be- 
tween them, who turning again upon him 
that smites him, sends him from seeking a 
vain remedy, to seek a real physician in- 
deed." Antiq. Vulg. ch. xii. Lupton 
says : " a piece of a child's navell string, 
born in a ring, is good against the falling 
sickness, the pains in the head, and the 
coUick." Notable Things, ed. 1660, p. 92. 
There is a singular custom prevailing in 
the country of the Lesgins, one of the 
seventeen Tartarian nations. "When- 
ever the Usmei, or chief, has a son, he is 
carried round from village to village, 
and alternately suckled by every woman 
who has a child at her breast, till 
he is weaned. This custom by establish- 
ing a kind of brotherhood between the 
prince and his subjects, singularly endears 
them to each other." European Maga- 
zine, June, 1801, p. 408. .See, for a singular 
notion about children's bread and butter, 
Petri Mohnsei " Vates " p. 154. Compare 
Bede's Well, Caul, Child-Birth, and Ly- 
ing-In. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



113 



Children's Games. — The essayist 
in the " Gentleman's Magazine " for Feb- 
ruary, 1738, says, that before the troubles, 
"cross-purposes was the game played at 
by children of all parties. Upon the death 
of Charles I. the ridicule of the times 
turned against monarchy ; which during 
the Commonwealth was burlesqued by 
€very child in Great Britain, who 
set himself up in mock majesty, 
and played at Questions and Com- 
mands ; as for instance, King I am, 
says one boy ; another answers, I am 
your man ; then his Majesty demands, 
what service he will do him ; to which the 
obsequious courtier replies^ the best and 
worst, and all I can. During all Oliver's 
time, the chief diversion was, the Parson 
hath Lost his Fudling Cap : which needs 
no explanation. At the Restoration suc- 
ceeded Love-Games, as I love my love with 
an A : a flower and a lady ; and I am a 
lusty wooer — changed in the latter end of 
this reign, as well as all King James Ild.'s, 
to ' I am come to torment you.' At the 
Revolution, when all people recovered 
their liberty, the children played promis- 
cuously at what game they liked best— the 
most favourite one, however, was Puss in 
the Corner. Every body knows that in 
this play, four boys or girls post them- 
selves at the four corners of a room, and a 
fifth in the middle, who keeps himself upon 
the watch to slip into one of the corner 
places, whilst the present possessors are 
endeavouring to supplant one another. 
This was intended to ridicule the scram- 
bling for places — too much in fashion 
amongst tne children of England, both 
spiritual and temporal." 

Chin, The. — He was, says Forby, in 
his "Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830," 
"a sort of imp which inhabits the chim- 
neys of nurseries, and is sometimes called 
down to take away naughty children." 

Chincoug^h. — There is a belief in 
Cheshire that, if a toad is held for a 
moment within the mouth of the patient, 
it is apt to catch the disease, and so cure 
the person suffering from it. A corres- 
pondent of " Notes and Queries" speaks 
of a case, in which such a phenomenon 
actually occurred ; but the experiment is 
one which would not be very willingly 
tried. Roasted mice were formerly held 
in Norfolk a sure remedy for this com- 
plaint ; nor is it certain that the belief is 
extinct even now. A poor woman's son 
once found himself greatly relieved after 
eating three roast mice ! A superstition 
still remains in Devonshire and Cornwall, 
that any person who rides on a pye-balled 
horsecan cure the chin-cough. 

Chiromancy.— Agrippa, speaking of 
chiromancy, says that, it "fancies seven 
mountains in the palm of a man's hand, 
according to the number of the seven 



planets ; and by the lines which are there 
to be seen, judges of the complection, con- 
dition and fortune of the person ; imagin- 
ing the harmonious disposition of the lines 
to be, as it were, certain cselestial charac- 
ters stamped upon us by God and Nature, 
and which, as Job saith, God imprinted or 
put in the hands of men, that so every one 
might know his works ; though it be plain, 
that the divine author doth not there treat 
of vain chiromancy, but of the liberty of 
the will." He gives a great catalogue of 
names of such authors as have written on 
this science falsely so called, but observes 
that " none of them have been able to 
make any farther progress than conjecture 
and observation of experience. Now that 
there is no certainty in these conjectures 
and observations, is manifest from thence, 
upon the will ; and about which the mas- 
ters thereof of equal learning and autho- 
rity do very much differ." Vanity of 
Sciences, p. 101. Ferrand tells us that 
' ' this art of chiromancy hath been so 
strangely infected with superstitions, de- 
ceit, cheating, and (if I durst say so) with 
magic also, that the canonists, and of late 
years Pope Sixtus Quintus, have been 
constrained utterly to condemn it. So 
that now no man professes publickly this 
cheating art, but theeves, rogues, and beg- 
garly rascals ; which are now every where 
knowne by the name of Bohemians, Egyp- 
tians, and Caramaras." Erotomania, 
1640, p. 173. The lines in the palm of the 
ha,nd, according to Indagine, are distin- 
guished by formal names, such as the table 
line or line of fortune, the line of life or 
of the heart, the middle natural line, the 
line of the liver or stomach, &c., &c., &c., 
the triangle, the quadrangle. The thumb 
too, and fingers have their " Hills " given 
them, from the tops of which these manual 
diviners pretend that they had a pro- 
spect of futurity. The reader will smile 
at the name and not very delicate etymon 
of it, given in this work to the little 
finger. It is called the ear finger, be- 
cause it is commonly used to make clean 
the ears. Palmistry and Physioonomy, 
trans, by F. Withers, 1656. Newton in- 
quires whether the " governors of the com- 
monwealth " "have suffered palmesters, 
fortune-tellers, stage-players, sawce-boxes, 
enterluders, puppit-players, loyterers, 
vagabonds, landleapers, and such like coz- 
ening makeshifts to practice their cog- 
ging tricks and rogish trades, within the 
circuite of their authoritie, and to deceive 
the simple people with their vile forgerie 
and palterie." Tryall of a Man's Ov>n 
Selfe, 1602, p. 45. Mason ridicules the 
vanity and frivolity of palmistry, "where 
Meg's fortunes are tolde by looking on the 
palmes of the hands." Anatomic of 
SoTcerie, 1612, p. 90. Gaule exposes the 
folly of palmistry which tells us, "that 



114 



NATIONAL FAITHb 



the lines spreading at the bottom joynt of 
the thumb, signe contentions ; the line 
above the middle of the thumbe, if it meet 
round about, portends a hanging destiny ; 
many lines transverse upon the last joynt 
of the fore-finger, note riches by heirdome ; 
and right lines there, are a note of a jovial 
nature ; lines in the points of the middle 
finger (like a gridiron) note a melancholy 
wit, and unhappy : if the signe on the little 
finger be conspicuous, they note a good 
witt and eloquent, but the contrary, if 
obscure. Equal lines upon the first joynt 
of the ring-finger, are marks of an happy 
wit." Mag-Astromancer posed, p. .188. 
" To strike another's palm," says Bulwer, 
in his Chirologia, 1644, pp 93, 105, " is the 
habit of expression of those who plight 
their troth, buy, sell, covenant, &c. He 
that would see the vigour of this gesture in 
puris naturalibus must repair to the horse- 
cirque or sheep-pens in Smithfield, where 
those crafty Olympique merchants will 
take you for no Chapman, unless you 
strike them with good lucke and smite 
them earnest in the palme." 

Chrisome. — In Strype, it is said to 
be enjoined that, "to avoid contention, 
let the curate have the value of the chris- 
ome, not under the value of 4d. and above 
as they can agree, and as the state of the 
parents may require." It is well known 
that "Chrisome (says Blount) signifies 
properlj; the white cloth, which is set by 
the minister of baptism upon the head of 
a child newly anointed with chrism (a kind 
of hallowed ointment used by Roman 
Catholics in the Sacrament of Bap- 
tism and for certain other unctions, 
composed of oyl and balm) after his 
baptism. Now it is vulgarly taken 
for the white cloth put about or 
upon a child newly christened, in 
token of his baptism ; wherewith the 
women used to shroud the child, if dying 
within the month ; otherwise it is usually 
brought to church at the day of purifica- 
tion." Glossographia in v. In Ship- 
man's "Gossips," 1666, we read: 

" Since friends are scarce, and neigh- 
bours many. 

Who will lend mouths, but not a penny, 

I (if you grant not a supply) 

Must e'en provide a chrisome pye." 

In Henry V., ii., 3, Shakespear makes Fal- 
staff go away, " an' it had been any 
Chrisom child." 

Christ-Church, Oxford.— Every 
evening, at five minutes past nine, the 
great bell Tom rings 101 times in comme- 
moration of the number of scholars, for 
which the foundation was at first erected. 

Christ-Cross-row. — The alphabet, 
from the practice of writing it in the 
form of a cross on the horn-book or battle- 
dore. 

ChristeninsT-— The following order 



for the christening of a prince or princess, 
of England was established (or confirmed) 
in the reign of Henry VII. : " — fior the 
cristynynge off the prince or a prmcese, 
the chirche or the chapelle dore where the 
cristynynge shalbe, the dore must be- 
hangid roof and sides all w' clothe of golde 
and carpets well vndyre the feet ; then the- 
font must be set on hight, y' the pepill 
may see the oristenynge, and presse not ta 
ny ; and the font must be hangid withe a 
liche sele, and overlaid about w» carpets 
on the greces (steps) and oy'' places ; and 
the font must be hangid all about w' clothe^ 
of gold, and laid w'in withe small Ij^n 
clothe ; and the chirche must be hangid 
all about the sides w' arras ; and the highe 
aucter muste be araid in the recheste wise, 
well carpetted afor the aucter ; then in 
the side of the chirche be sides the font 
must be hangid a travers, and a feyre of 
coles well brynt or they come there, withe- 
fumidory cast y'in for the eyre, and a 
faire chaufiure w' water basyn of silver ; 
Also yt muste be ordined that the gossepes. 
be neghe loggid againste the Queues de- 
lyverans ; and when God sendithe tym that 
the prince be borne, then the gossapes to 
be redy to go w' the childe to the chirche, 
and a duches to here the cusyne afore it on 
her shulder on a kerchef of small reynes : 
and if it be a prince, an erle to here his 
trayne ; and it be a princes, a countesse 
to here the trayne ; and then y' must be 
born afore it to the chirche ij cc torches, 
xxiiij of them about the child, and the 
oy"" dele borne w' yomen afore it ; and 
when yey com to the chirche, the torches 
to stand alle about the fonte, as ny the 
walles as they may : Then must the sar- 
giant of the pantry be redy at the chirche 
dore w* a towelle about his neke, w' a 
faire salt sellere of gold in his hand, w* 
salt y'in ; then the sergiant of the ewery 
to be there w' basyn and ewere for the go-s 
sepes to wesche w' ; and the sergiant of the 
spicery and 2 butlers to be y'' redy w' spice 
and wine, that when the prince is cris- 
tenyde, the gossepes and oy' estats may 
take spice and wyne, and a bischope to 
crystyn the child : and when y° childe is 
baptizede, all the torches to be lightide,. 
and then to be born vp the highe auctere ; 
and there* to be confermyde ; and then 
spice and wyne to be takyne, and the void 
to be hade ; and there the yefts 
to be gevyne and the yefts takene, 
to erles, barrens, and baronetts [ban- 
nerets] ; and they have to here them 
afore the child to the Queues cham- 
bre dore. . . . And if it be a Prin- 
cese, then the wefts to be borne of 
ladys, and they to here yem to the Queue." 
Antiq. Bepert, 1807, i., 305. A curious re- 
presentation of the procession at the 
christening of Prince Arthur, eldest son of 
Henry VII., here referred to, is given from 
a drawing in outline there. Grindal, writ- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



115 



ing from London to Henry BuUinger, 
Feb. 8, 1567, says: "Her (Mary's) eldest 
son was baptized in December last, after 
the popish manner by some mitred pseudo- 
bishop ; but two only could be found out of 
the whole nobility of that kingdom, who 
thought proper to be present at the chris- 
tening. The rest only accompanied the 
infant, both in going and returning, as 
far as the door of the chapel." Zurich 
Letters, Parker Soc. 1st Series, 182. It 
appears to have been anciently the custom 
at christening entertainments, for the 
guests not only to eat as much as they 
pleased, but also for the ladiesj at least, to 
carry away as much as they liked in their 
pockets. In Strype's Stow accounts are 
given of two great christenings, in 1561 
and 1562. After the first was " a splendid 
banquet at home " ; and the other, we 
read, "was concluded with a great ban- 
quet, consisting of wafers and hypocras, 
French, Gascoign, and Rhenish wines, 
with great plenty, and all their servants 
had a banquet in the hall with divers 
dishes." Wafers and hippocras wine were 
the customary refreshment served up after 
the return from a christening, as appears 
from the case of Alderman White's child in 
1559, when the Marquis of Winchester, 
Lord Treasurer, stood as one of the spon- 
sors. The same entertainment was also 
very usual (with other dainties) at wed- 
dings about the same period. Compare 
Wafers. In Brathwaite's " Whimzies," 
1631, speaking of a yealous (jealous) neigh- 
bour, the author says: "Store of bisket, 
wafers, and careawayes, hee bestowes at 
his childs christning, yet are his cares no- 
thing lessned ; he is perswaded that he may 
eate his part of this babe, and never 
breake his fast." At the christening en- 
tertainments of many of the poorer sort of 
people in the North of England (who are 
so unfortunate as to provide more mouths 
than they can with convenience find meat 
for) great collections are oftentimes made 
by the guests, such as will far more than 
defray the expenses of the feast of which 
they have been partaking. Moresin in- 
forms us of a remarkable custom, which he 
himself was an eye-witness of in Scotland. 
They take, says he, on their return from 
church, the newly-baptized infant, and vi- 
brate it three or four times gently over a 
flame, saying, and repeating it thrice, 
Let the flame consume thee now or 
^^Y^^-'\P<^Pai'"->, i., p. 72. Borlase 
writes : The same lustration, by carrying 
of fire, is performed round about women 
after child-bearing, and round about chil- 
dren before they are christened, as an 
effectual means to preserve both the 
mother and the infant from the power of 
evil spirits." In the " Autobiography of 
Sir John Bramston," Sir John relates how 
after the death of King Edward VI. in 



1553, Rose, a daughter of Sir William 
Lock, in the time of her first husband, 
Anthony Hickman, fled ultimately to Ant- 
werp, from the persecution of Mary's gov- 
ernment, they Deing Protestants. Mr. 
Rnd Mrs. Hickman took two children 
abroad with them, and while they re- 
mained at Antwerp, she had a third, which 
she caused to be baptized in the house 
according to the rites of the Reformed 
Church. "The fashion was," writes the 
author of these memoirs," " to hange a 
peece of lawne out at the window where a 
child was to be baptised ; and her house 
havinga two dores into two streetes, she 
hunge lawne out at each doore, soe the 
neighbours of each side, thinckinge the 
child was caried out at the other dore, in- 
quired no farther." It is customary in 
the North also for the midwife, &c. to 
provide two slices, one of bread and the 
other of cheese, which are presented to the 
first person they meet in the procession to 
church at a christening. The person who 
receives this homely present must, give 
the child in return three different things 
wishing it at the same time health and 
beauty. The gentleman who informed 
Brand of this, happening once to fall in 
the way of such a party, and to receive 
the above present, was at a loss how to 
make the triple return, till he bethought 
himself of laying upon the child which 
was held out to him, a shilling, a half- 
penny, and a pinch of snuff. When they 
meet more than one person together, it is 
usual to single out the nearest to the 
woman that carries the child. The same 
sort of practice was in vogue in Burham 
and Northumberland in 1886; fruit-cake 
and cheese were the articles there and then 
presented. The cake was in fact a cur- 
rant loaf. Antiquary, February, 1886, p. 
84. In the " Statistical Account of Scot- 
land," we read that the inhabitants 
"would consider it as an unhappy omen, 
were they by any means disappointed in 
getting themselves married, or their chil- 
dren baptized, on the very day which they 
had previously fixed in their mind for that 
purpose. Again, parish of Kilsinan, Ar- 
gyleshire, we read : "There is one pernici- 
ous practice that prevails much in this 
parisn, which took its rise from this source, 
which is, that of carrying their children 
out to baptism on the first or second day 
after birth. Many of them, although they 
had it in their option to have their chil- 
dren baptized in their own houses, by 
waiting one day, prefer carrying them 
seven or eight miles to church in the worst 
weather in December or January, by which 
folly they too often sacrifice the lives of 
their infants to the phantom of supersti- 
tion." Again, the minister of the parishes 
of South Ronaldsay and Burray, Orkney, 
says : " Within these last seven years, (i.e. 



ii6 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



circa 1790), the minister has been twice 
interrupted in administering baptism to a 
female child before the male child, who 
was baptized immediately after. When 
the service was over, he was gravely told 
he had done very wrong, for as the female 
child was first baptized, she would, on her 
coming to the years of discretion, most 
certainly have a strong beard, and the boy 
would have none." Lastly, the minister 
of Logierait, Perthshire, says : "When a 
child was baptized privately, it was, not 
long since, customary to put the child 
upon a clean basket, having a cloth pre- 
viously spread over it, with bread and 
cheese put into the cloth ; and thus to 
move the basket three times successively 
round the iron crook, which hangs over 
the fire, from the roof of the house, for the 
purpose of supnorting the pots when water 
IS boiled, or victuals are prepared. This 
might be anciently intended to counteract 
the malignant arts which witches and evil 
spirits were imagined to practice against 
new-born infants." Grose tells us there 
is a superstition that a child who does not 
cry when sprinkled in baptism will not live. 
He has added another idea equally well 
founded, that children prematurely wise 
are not long-lived, that is, rarely reach 
maturity ; a notion which we find quoted 
by Shakespear, and put into the mouth of 
Richard III. That an unbaptized infant 
cannot die, is a belief still entertaned in 
Lancashire; but the authors of "Lanca- 
shire Folk-Lore, " 1867, do not appear to 
have been aware, that the superstiton is a 
very ancient and wide-spread one, and 
that this description of spirit was known 
as the Latewitch. There was formerly a 
custom of having sermons at christenings. 
I (says Mr. Brand) had the honour of pre- 
senting to the Earl of Leicester one 
preached at the baptism of Theophilus 
Earl of Huntingdon. 

Christmas Box. — Hutchinson ob- 
serves on these gifts to servants and 
mechanics, for their good services in the 
labouring part of the year, " The Pagana- 
lia of the Romans, instituted by Servius 
Tullius, were celebrated in the beginning 
of the year : an altar was erected in each 
village, where all persons gave money. This 
was a mode originally devised for gaining 
the number of inhabitants." ffisf. of 
Vorthumh., ii., 20. " Denique in nostris 
Ecclesiis nocte natali Parentes varia mu- 
nuscula, Crepundia, Cistellas, Vestes 
Vehicula, Poma, Nuces, &c. liberis suis 
donant, quibus plerumque Virga additur, 
ut metu castigationis eo facilius regantur. 
Dantur hsec munuscula nomine S. Christi, 
quem per tegulas vel fenestras illabi, vel 
cum Angelis domos obire fingunt. Mos 
iste similiter a Saturnalibus Gentilium de- 
Ecendere videtur, in quibus Ethnicos spor- 
tulas sive varia Munera ultro citroque mi- 



sisse, antiquissimus patrum Tertullianus 
m.eminit in lib. de Perseout. Hildebrandus, 
Be Dieius Festis, 1735. See Du Gauge's 
"Glossary." v. Natali. Dreohler, m his 
Treatise " De Larvis," p. 30, quotes thfe 
79th Canon of the General Council held 
at Constantiople in 690-1, for the apparent 
origin of this custom: " Quando aliqui 
post Diem Natalem Christi Dei nostri re- 
periuntur coquentes similam et se hano 
mutud donantes, praetextu soil, honoris 
secundinarum impollutse Virginis Matris, 
statuimus ut deinceps nihil tale fiat a fide- 
libus." These cakes, Drechler imagines, 
were originally given as presents in re- 
membrance of the Virgin, and other 
aritcles were, in course of time, added or 
substituted, the original object being kept 
in view. We are told that the Christmas 
Box money is derived hence. The Romish 
priests had masses said for almost every 
thing : if a ship went out to the Indies, 
the priests had a box in her, under the 
protection of some saint : and for masses, 
as their cant was, to be said for them to 
that saint, &c. the poor people must put 
something into the priest's box, which 
was not opened till the ship's return. The 
mass at tnat time was called Christmas : 
the box called Christmas Box, or money 
gathered against that time, that masses 
might be made by the priests to the saints 
to forgive the people the debaucheries of 
that time : and from this, servants had 
the liberty to get box money, that they too 
might be enabled to pay the priest for his 
masses, knowing well the truth of the pro- 
verb : " No Penny, No Pater Noster." — 
Athenian Oracle, by Dunton, i., 360. In 
the illustration of the cut to Blaxton's 
"English Usurer," 1634, the author, 
speaking of the usurer and swine, says : 
deficient in giving ; like the Christmas 
earthen boxes of apprentices, apt to take 
in money, but he restores none till hee be 
broken like a potters vessell into many 
shares." And in Mason's " Handful of 
Bssaies," 1621, signat. o 2, we find a simi- 
lar thought — " like a swine he never doth 
good till his death : as an apprentices box 
of earth, apt he is to take all, but to re- 
store none till hee be broken." The box 
was evidently at one time of earthenware. 
Aubrey, in hfs " Natural History of Wilt- 
shire," circa 1670, speaking of a pot in 
which some Roman I)enarii were found, 
says : " it resembles in appearance an ap- 
prentices earthen Christmas box." " One 
asked a fellow, what Westminster Hall was 
like. Marry, quoth the other, it is like a 
butler 8 box at Christmas amongst game- 
sters : for whosoeuer loseth, the box will 
bee sure to be a winner." — Taylor's Wit 
and Mirth, 1629. 

th'are some fair gamesters use 

To pay the box well, especially at In and 
In, 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



117 



Innes of Court butlers would have but a 
Bad Christmas of it else." 

— Cotgrave's Treasury of Wit and Lan- 
guage, 1655. Gay, in his "Trivia," men- 
tions this : 

" Some boys are rich by birth beyond all 

wants, 
Belov'd by uncles, and kind, good, old 

aunts ; 
When time comes round, a Christmas 

box they bear. 
And one day makes them rich for all 
the year." 

In a catalogue of Presbyterian books, 
I find one, with the following title, 
" Christmas cordials fit for refreshing the 
souls and cheering the hearts ; and more 
fit for Christmas-boxes than gold or 
silver." 

" The Christmas box," (says the Con- 
noisseur), "was formerly the bounty of 
well-disposed people, who were willing to 
contribute something towards rewarding 
the in'dustrious, and supplying them with 
necessaries. But the gift is now almost 
demanded as a right, and our journeymen^ 
apprentices, &c., are grown so polite, that 
instead of reserving their Christmas box 
for its original use, their ready cash serves 
them only for pocket-money; and instead 
of visiting their friends and relations, 
they commence the fine gentlemen of the 
week." The bestowing of Christmas boxes 
indeedj is one of those absurd customs of 
antiquity which, till within these few years 
had spread itself almost into a national 
grievance. The butcher and the baker 
sent their journeymen and apprentices to 
levy contributions on their customers, who 
were paid back again in fees to the ser- 
vants of the different families. The trades- 
man had, in consequence, a pretence to 
lengthen out his bill, and the master and 
mistress to lower the wages on account of 
the vails. Presents were made by bakers 
to their customers at this time in old 
days : a baby of paste, or a cake with the 
figure of a lamb on it ; but. although in 
the formation of cakes all sorts of fantas- 
tic shapes are still resorted to, and lambs 
in sugar and flour are still occasionally to 
be seen, the good ancient custom of giving 
such things away has died out. At Wrex- 
ham, in Denbighshire, the tradespeople 
unanimously resolved in 1867 to give no 
Christmas boxes, and to present, instead, 
£35 to the local charities. Comp. Nares 
and Halliwell in v. Monsieur de Valois 
says that the Kings of Prance gave pre- 
sents to their soldiers at this season. 
Christmas Candle, the, at St. 

John's Collegre, Oxford This 

candle, and the socket, which was still 
preserved in the Buttery, in 1813, used 
formerly to be burned at Christmas in an 
ancient stone socket, iipon which was en- 
graved a figure of the Holy Lamb. It was 



in use during the twelev days of Christmas, 
and stood on the public supper board. It 
was not, however, peculiar to St. John's. 
In the " Country Farmers' Catechism," 
1703, occurs this passage : " She ne'er has 
no fits, nor uses no cold tea, as the ' Ladies 
Catechism ' says, but keeps her body in 
health with working all the week, and goes 
to church on Sundays : my daughter don't 
look with sickly pale looks, like an unfit 
Christmas candle ; they don't eat oatmeal, 
lime, or ashes, for pain at their stomachs ; 
they don't ride on the fellows backs before 
they are twelve years old, nor lie on their 
own before they are fifteen, but look as 
fresh as new blown roses, with their daily 
exercise, and stay still they are fit for 
husbands before they have them." 

Christmas Day. — This is observed 
without any real authority or probability 
of correctness on the 25th of December. 
Christmas Day, in the primitive Church, 
was always observed as the Sabbath Day, 
and, like that, preceded by an eve or vigil. 
Hence our present Christmas Eve. 
Bourne cites an oration of Gregory Nazi- 
anzen, which throws light upon the anci- 
ent rites of Christmas Day. " Let us not, 
says he, ' ' celebrate the feast after an 
earthly, but an heavenly manner; let not 
our doors be crowned ; let not dancing be 
encouraged ; let not the cross-paths be 
adorned, the eyes fed, nor the ears de- 
lighted ; let us not feast to excess, nor be 
drunk with wine." Certain coarse and 
obscene usages on Christmas Eve seem to 
be indicated by Barrington, where, speak- 
ing of the people, he says: "They were 
also, by the customs prevailing in particu- 
lar districts, subject to services not only 
of the most servile, but the most ludicrous 
nature : ' Utpote die Nativitatis Domini 
coram eo saltare, buccas cum sonitu inflare 
et ventris crepitum edere." Ohserv. on 
the Statutes, p. 306. Upon Wednesday, 
December 22, 1647, the cryer of Canter- 
bury, by the appointment of Master 
Mayor, openly proclaimed that Christmas 
Day, and all other superstitious festivals, 
should be put down, and that a market 
should be kept upon Christmas Day. See 
" Canterbury Christmas ; or, a true Rela- 
tion of the Insurrection in Canterbury on 
Christmas Day last," 1648. An order 
of Parliament, December 24, 1652, direc- 
ted " that no observation shall be had of 
the five and twentieth day of December, 
commonly called Christmas Day; nor any 
solemnity used or exercised in churches 
upon that day in respect thereof." A 
credible person born and brought up in a 
village not far from Bury St. Edmunds, 
informed Mr. Brand that, when he was a 
boy, there was a rural custom there among 
the youths, of "hunting owls and squirrels 
on Christmas Day." Porby alludes to 
this now obsolete practice in his " Vocabu- 



ii8 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



lary of East Anglia," 1830. A correspon- 
dent of "Notes and Queries" for March 
22 and June 21, 1862, points out that in 
some parts of the country (he was brought 
up in the West Riding of Yorkshire) a 
very curious superstition is connected with 
Christmas and New Year's mornings. It 
is that the first person who should enter 
the house on those two occasions ought, 
for luck, to have dark hair ; and an old 
woman in his neighbourhood accounted 
for the belief by saying that Judas, the 
betrayer of the Saviour, had red hair, a 
circumstance which engendered a deep 
prejudice against that or any other light 
colour ever after. But it may be said 
here, as so often in relation to questions 
of the kind — causa latet res ipsa notissima. 
The writer observes: "All the ill-luck, 
that is, the untoward circumstances of the 
year, would be ascribed to the accident of 
a person of light hair having been the first 
to enter a dwelling on the mornings re- 
ferred to. I have known instances, where 
such persons, innocently presenting them- 
selves, have met with anything but a 
Christmas welcome. It was anciently be- 
lieved that a child born on a Christmas- 
day, when that day fell on a Sunday, 
would be very fortunate. A MS. in the 
Bodleian has this passage : 

" And what chyld on that day boom be. 
Of gret worscheyp schall he be." 

Mr. Thomas Wright, in his "Essays," 
1846, says : " It is still an article of popu- 
lar faith in Scotland, that persons born at 
Christmas and on Good Friday, have more 
power of communicating with spirits and 
hobgoblins than other people," and quotes 
Scot's " Marmion " for an illustration so 
far at least as Christmas is concerned. 

Christmas Eve. — It is customary 
on this night with young people in the 
North of England to dive for apples, or 
catch at them, when stuck upon one end 
of a kind of hangjing beam, at the other 
extremity of which is fixed a lighted 
candle, and that with their mouths only, 
their hands being tied behind their backs. 
Nuts and apples chiefly compose the enter- 
tainment, and from the custom of flinging 
the former into the fire, or cracking them 
with their teeth, it has doubtless had its 
vulgar name of Nutcrack Night. Little 
troops of boys and girls still go about at 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and other places in 
the North of England (and in Yorkshire), 
some few nights before, on Christmas-eve 
night, and on that of the day itself. The 
Hagmena is still preserved among them, 
and they always conclude their begging 
song with wishing a merry Christmas and 
a happy New Year. Compare Hagmena. 
In Goldsmith's time, the country folks re- 
ligiously observed this nutcracking festi- 
val, as he tells us in his " Vicar of Wake- 



field." Stafford says, they (certain de- 
luded men) ' ' make me call to mind an old 
Christmas gambole, contrived with a thred 
which being fastened to some beame, hath 
at the nether end of it a sticke, at the one 
end of which is tied a candle, and at the 
other end an apple ; so that when a man 
comes to bite at the apple, the candle 
burnes his nose. The application is as 
easy as the trick common.' Niobe, 1611, 
p. 107. The catching at the apple and 
candle may be called playing at something 
like the ancient English game of the quin- 
tain, which is now almost totally forgot- 
ten. Hutchinson, somewhat fancifully 
perhaps, identified this Christian usage 
with the rites anciently observed in honour 
of Pomona. Hist, of North., vol. ii. p. 
18. Polwhele describes it in his " Old 
English Gentleman, " p. 120 : 

" Or catch th' elusive apple with a 
bound. 

As with its taper it flew whizzing 
round." 

Luther, in his " CoUoquia," i. 233, tells us 
that " upon the eve of Christmas Day the 
women run about and strike a swinish 
hour (pulsant horam suillam) : if a great 
hog grunts, it denotes the future husband 
to be an old man, if a small one, a young 
man." Naogeorgus describes the mid- 
night mass on Christmas Eve, the 
manner in which the priests used to 
pilfer the offerings laid on the altar, 
" least other should it have," and the 
wooden effigv of the Son of God, which 
used to be placed there likewise, that the 
children of Doth sexes might dance round 
it, the parents looking on, and applaud- 
ing. Sir Herbert Croft informs us. that 
the inhabitants of Hamburg were obliged 
by custom to give their servants carp for 
supper on Christmas Eve. Letter from 
Germany, 1797, p. 82. 

Christmas Holidays.— "If we 
compare," says Prynne, " our Bacchana- 
lian Christmasses and New Years Tides 
with these Saturnalia and Feasts of Janus, 
we shall finde such near affinitye betweene 
them both in regard of time (they being 
both in the end of December and on the 
first of January) and in their manner of 
solemnizing (both of them being spent in 
revelling, epicurisme, wantonesse, idle- 
nesse, dancing, drinking, stage-plaies, 
masques, and carnall pompe and jollity), 
that we must needes conclude the one to 
be but the very ape or issue of the other. 
Hence Polydor Virgil affirmes in expresse 
tearmes that our Christmas Lords of Mis- 
rule (which custom, saith he, is chiefly ob- 
served in England) together with dancing, 
masques mummeries, stage-playes, and 
such other Christmas disorders now in 
use with Christians, were derived from 
these Roman Saturnalia and Bacchana- 
lian festivals ; which (concludes he) should 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



119 



•cause all pious Christians eternally to 
Abominate them." Selden was of opinion 
that from Christmas Day to Epiphany 
morning no one should fast save of his own 
option or at the bidding of the priest. 
Analecton Anglo-Britanmcum, lib. ii., p. 
208. 

The Christmas of 1502 appears to 
have been kept with some splendour, for 
in the "Privy Purse Expenses of Eliza- 
beth of York," there is a payment of 
twenty pounds to the grooms and pages of 
the Queen's chamber alone 'against 
Ciistmas." According to his biographer, 
Sir Thos. More " was, by his father's pro- 
curement, received into the house of the 
right reverend, wise, and learned prelate 
Cardinall Mourton, where (thoughe hee 
was yonge of yeares, yet) would he at 
Christmas tyd sodenly sometymes stepp in 
among the players, and never studinge for 
the matter, make a parte of his owne there 
presently amonge them, which made the 
lookers-on more sport than all the players 
hesid. In whose witt and towardnesse the 
Cardinall much delightinge, would often 
say of him unto the nobles that divers 
tymes dyned with him : ' This child here 
wayting at the table, who soever shall live 
to see it, will prove a marvellous man.' " 
Andrews, in his "Hist, of Great Britain," 
vol. i. pt. 2, 4to. 1795, p. 329, mentions 
"the humorous Pageant of Christmas, 
personified by an old man hung round 
■with savory dainties " which, he says, in 
common with " dancing round the May- 
pole and riding the hobby-horse," suffered 
a severe check at the Reformation. In the 
East of London, about Shoreditch and 
Mile-End, while the district was still open 
country, there were periodical celebrations 
of sports in holiday time. In 1577 we ob- 
serve a licence to print the History of the 
High and Mighty William, Duke of Shore- 
ditch, a personage named William Barlow, 
who had obtained the favour of Henry 
VlII. by his skill as a bowman, and on 
whom his Majesty had conferred this and 
other jocular titles. Nothing farther is 
known of such a publication, and of a 
later one in 1583 there is only a late orint 
^at the end of Wood's Bowman's Glory, 
1682. In 1588 Queen Elizabeth attended 
a grand spectacle at Mile End, called Ar- 
ihur's Show, q.v. Braithwaite, in his 
-■'^r^'®,^ ^°^ ^^^ House of an Earle " (circd 
IbiO) laments the expenditure of money 
which would have been better laid out in 
the good old substantial fare, upon con- 
fectionery He says: " I have knowen 
that the finest confectionary shoppe in 
Bearbmder Lane and the Blacke Fryers 
must be sought into for all kindes of con- 
eerved, preserved, and candied fruictes 
and flowers, the chardge of a banquet 
arrising to as great a summe of monye as 
■woulde have kept a good house all Christe-k 



mas, wherin should have been great dishes 
filled with great peeces of beefe, veale, 
swanne, venison, capons, and such like 
English meates." The same author, in 
his " Whimzies," 1631, describing a good 
and hospitable housekeeper, has left the 
following picture of Christmas festivities : 
" Suppose Christmas now approaching, 
the evergreen ivie trimming and adorning 
the portals and partcloses of so frequented 
a building ; the usual caroUs, to observe 
antiquitie, cheerefuUy sounding ; and that 
which is the complement of his inferior 
comforts, his neighbours, whom he tenders 
as members of his owne family, joyne with 
him in this consort of mirth and melody." 
In the second part, he calls a piper " an ill 
wind that begins to blow upon Christ- 
masse Eve, and so continues, very 
lowd and blustring, all the twelve 
dayes : or an airy meteor, composed of 
flatuous matter, that then appeares, and 
vanisheth, to the great peace of the whole 
family, the thirteenth day." Breton, also, 
in his "PantastickSj" 1626, has much that 
is highly interesting on this subject. 
Under November, he says: " The cooke 
and the comfitmaker make ready for 
Christmas, and the minstrels in the Coun- 
trey beat their boyes for false fingring." 
Of Christmas Day itself he observes : 
"It is now Christmas, and not a cup of 
drinke must passe without a carroU, the 
beasts, fowle, and fish, come to a general 
execution, and the corne is ground to dust 
for the bakehouse and the pantry : Cards 
and dice purge many a purse, and the 
youths shew their agility in shooing of 
the wild mare." The twelve days' rejoic- 
ing and merry-making at this season of 
the year are mentioned in " The Praise of 
Christmas," a ballad about 1630 : 

' ' When Christmas-tide comes in like a 
bride^ 
With holly and ivy clad, 

Twelve days in the year, much mirth 
and good cheer 
In every household is had." 

One of the most curious pictures in little 
of an old Christmas is that given (glimpse- 
like) in Laurence Price's unique Christmas 
Book for 1657. He there describes the 
sea-faring man's Christmas dinner and the 
tradesman's, and admits us to the interior 
of an honest cobbler's house, where there 
was merry-making in an humble way, and 
music. One of the last pages is occupied 
with "The Cobbler's Song." In a tract 
of 1651, Old Christmas is introduced de- 
scribing the former annual festivities of 
the season as follows: "After dinner we 
arose from the boord and sate by the fire 
where the harth was embrodered all over 
with roasted apples, piping hot, expecting 
a bole of ale for a cooler, which immedi- 
ately was transformed into Lamb-wool. 
After which we discoursed merily, without 



120 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



either prophaness or obscenity ; some went 
to cards ; others sang carols and pleasant 
songs (suitable to the times); then the 
poor labouring hinds and maid-servants, 
with the plow-boys, went nimbly to dan- 
cing ; the poor toyling wretches being glad 
of my company, because they had little or 
no sport at all till I came amongst them ; 
and therefore they skipped and leaped for 
joy, singing a carol to the tune of Hey, 

' Let's dance and sing, and make good 
cheer. 

For Christmas comes but once a year/ 

"Thus at active games and gambols of 
hot-cockles, shooing the wild mare, and 
the like harmless sports, some part of the 
tedious night was spent, and early in the 
morning I took my leave of them, promis- 
ing they should have my presence again 
the next 25th of December. Vindication 
of Christmas, 4v. 1651. Stevenson, speak- 
ing of January, says, " For the recreations 
of this month, they are within doors, as it 
relates to Christmasse ; it shares the 
chearfuU carrols of the wassell cup. The 
Lord of Misrule is no meane man for his 
time ; masking and mumming, and choos- 
ing king and queen." Under December 
are the following notices : ' ' Now capons 
and hens, besides turkeys, geese, and 
ducks, with beef and mutton — must all die 
— for in twelve days a multitude of people 
will not be fed with a little. Now plumbes 
and spice, sugar and honey, scLuare it 
among pies and broath. Now a journey- 
man cares not a rush for his master though 
he begs his plum-porridge all the twelve 
dayes. Now or never must the music be 
in tune, for the youth must dance and sing 
to get them a heat, while the aged set by 
the fire. The country maid leaves half her 
market, and must be sent againe if she 
forgets a pair of cards on Christmasse 
Even. Great is the contention of holly 
and ivy, whether master or dame weares 
the breeches. Dice and the cards benefit 
the butler : and, if the cook do not lack 
wit, he will sweetly lick his fingers." 

" Christmase is come, make ready the 

good cheare : 
Apollo will be frolicke once a yeare : 
I speake not here of Englands twelve 

dayes madness, 
But humble gratitude and hearty glad- 

nesse. 
These but observed, let instruments 

speak out. 
We may be merry, and we ought, no 

doubt ; 
Christmas, 'tis the birth-day of Christ 

our King ; 
Are we disputing when the angels 

sing?" 
— Twelve Moneths, 1661, p. 4. "Poor 
Robin " for 1677 notes the festive doings 
of Christmas as follows : 



"Now grocer's trade 

Is in request, 
For plums and spices 

Of the best. 
Good cheer doth with 

This month agree. 
And dainty chaps 

Must sweetned be. 
Mirth and gladness 

Doth abound. 
And strong beer in 

Each house is found. 
Minc'd pies, roast beef 

With other cheer 
And feasting, doth 

Conclude the year." 

In 1682 appeared " The Christmas Ordi- 
nary, a private show ; wherein is expressed 
the jovial Freedom of that Festival: as it 
was acted at a Gentleman's House among 
other Revels, by W. R. Master of Arts." 
Another account of the Christmas gambols 
occurs in Speed's "Batt upon Batt," 1694, 
p. 5: 

" Our Batt can dance, play at high 

jinks with dice, 
At any primitive, orthodoxal vice. 
Shooing the wild mare, tumbling the 

young wenches. 
Drinking all night, and sleeping on the 

benches. 
Shew me a man can shuffle fair and cut. 
Yet always have three trays in hand at 

Putt : 
Shew me a man can turn up Noddy still, 
And deal himself three fives too when 

he will : 
Conclude with one and thirty, and a 

pair, 
Never fail ten in stock, and yet play 

fair, 
If Batt be not that wight, I lose my 
aim." 

Missou says : "From Christmas Day till 
after Twelfth Day is a time of Christian 
rejoicing ; a mixture of devotion and plea- 
sure. They give treats, and make it their 
whole business to drive away melancholy. 
Whereas little presents from one another 
are made only on the first day of the year 
in France, they begin here at Christmas ; 
and they are not so much presents from 
friend to friend, or from equal to equal 
(which is less practis'd in England now 
than formerly), as from superior to infe- 
rior. In the taverns the landlord gives 
gart of what is eaten and drank in his 
ouse that and the next two days : for 
instance, they reckon you for the wine, 
and tell you there is nothing to pay for 
bread, nor for your slice of Westplialia," 
i.e., ham. He had observed, p. 29, " The 
English and most other Protestant nations 
are utterly unacquainted with those diver- 
sions of the carnival which are so famous 
at Venice, and known more or less in all 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



121 



other Roman Catholic countries. The 
great festival times here are from Christ- 
mas to Twelfth Day inclusive, at Easter, 
and at Whitsuntide." Travels in Eng- 
land, trans, by Ozell, p. 34. The 
Minister of Montrose tells us ; "At Christ- 
mas and the New Year, the opulent bur- 
ghers begin to feast with their friends, and 
go a round of visits, which takes up the 
space of many weeks. Upon such occa- 
sions, the gravest is expected to be merry, 
and to join in a cheerful song." Stat. 
Ace. of Scotland, v., 48. In the "World," 
No. 104, the following occurs: "Our an- 
cestors considered Christmas in the double 
light of a holy commemoration and a 
chearful festival ; and accordingly distin- 
guished it by devotion, by vacation from 
business, by merriment and hospitality. 
They seemed eagerly bent to make them- 
selves and every body about them happy. 
With what punctual zeal did they wish one 
another a merry Christmas? and what an 
omission would it have been thought, to 
have concluded a letter without the com- 
pliments of the season ? The great hall re- 
sounded with the tumultuous joys of serv- 
ants and tenants, and the gambols they 
played served as amusement to the lord of 
the mansion and his family, who. by en- 
couraging every art conducive to mirth 
and entertainment, endeavoured to soften 
the rigour of the season, and mitigate the 
influence of winter. What a fund of de- 
light was the chusing King and Queen 
upon Twelfth Night ! and how greatly 
ought we to regret the neglect of minced 
pyes, which, besides the ideas of merry- 
making inseparable from them, were al- 
ways considered as the test of schismatics ! 
How zealously were they swallowed by the 
orthodox, to the utter confusion of all 
fanatical recusants ! If any country 
gentleman should be so unfortunate in this 
age as to lie under a suspicion of heresy, 
where will he find so easy a method of ac- 
quitting himself as by the ordeal of plumb- 
porridge P" "In Christmas holidays," 
says the author of "Round about our 
Coal Fire," (about 1730), "the tables 
were all spread from the first to the last ; 
the sirloins of beef, the minced pies, the 
plumb-porridge, the capons, turkeys, geese 
and plumb-puddings, were all brought 
upon the board : every one eat heartily, 
and was welcome, which gave rise to the 
proverb, ' Merry in the hall when beards 
wag all.' " 

Sir Walter Scott, in a letter to 
Joanna Baillie, 1st January, 1819, says : 
" I wish you could have seen about a hun- 
dred children, being almost supported by 
their fathers' or brothers' labour, come 
down yesterday to dance to the pipes, and 
get a piece of cake and bannock, and pence 
apiece (no very deadly largess) in honour 
of Hagmanay. I declare to you, my dear 



friend, that when I thought the poor fel- 
lows who kept these children so neat, and 
well taught, and well behaved, were sla- 
ving the whole day for eighteenpence or 
twentypence at the most, I was ashamed of 
their gratitude, and of their becks and 
bows." In another letter (Jan. 1, 1815), 
Scott says : " Yesterday being Hogmanay, 
there was a constant succession of (xuisardi 
i.e., boys dressed up in fantastic caps, with 
their shirts over their jackets, and with 
wooden swords in their hands. These 
players acted a sort of scene before us, of 
which the hero was one Goloskin." 

In an amusing news-letter from John 
Pory to a friend, dated December 
18th, 1632, the w"ter says:— "Sir 
William Curtis writes from Brussells, 
that the French there with tht> 
Queen Mother and monsieur made account 
to have kept a brave Christmas here in 
London, and for that purpose had trussed 
up their trinkets half-topmast high ; but 
it seemeth they reckoned before their 
host." An agreeable writer describes the 
busy and bright scene in the churches of 
Rome on this anniversary, when the people 
of all ranks flock thither, the peasantry in 
their holiday attire, and there are pro- 
cessions of priests everywhere. The cere- 
monial observances last during the whole 
night until the advent of Christmas Day 
itself. The Pope and College attend ser- 
vice at Santa Maria Maggiore. Diary of 
an Invalid, by H. Matthews, 1820. 

Christmas Mummers. — A pro- 
clamation issued 8 Edward III., a.d. 1334, 
by the authorities of the City of London, 
concludes thus: "Also we do forbid, on 
the same pain of imprisonment, that any 
man shall go about at this feast of Christ- 
mas with companions disguised with false 
faces, or in any other manner, to the 
houses of the good folks of the City, for 
playing at dice there . . . . " Riley's 
Memorials of London, 1868, p. 192. At 
Tenby, among the Christmas mummings, 
was a dialogue between Father Christmas, 
St. George, Oliver Cromwell, and Beelze- 
bub, where St. George is made to say : 

"First, then, I fought in France; 
Second, I fought in Spain ; 
Thirdly, I came to Tenby, 
To fight the Turk again." 

Where by Turk we are to understand the 
corsairs of Barbary, who at one time in- 
fested nearly every coast. 

Christmas Pie— Selden thought 
that the coffin of our Christmas pies, in 
shape long, is in imitation of the cratch, 
i.e., the manger wherein the infant Jesus 
was laid ; and they were long known as- 
coffin pasties. The modern survival is 
the covered fruit tart in an oval dish. 
Scogin, in the edition of his " Jests," pub- 
lished in 1626, is made on his death-bed ta 



122 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Bay : " Masters, I tell you all that stand 
about mee, if I might live to eate a Christ- 
masse pye, I care not if I dye by and by 
after : for Christmasse pyes be good meat. ' 
In Robert Fletcher's poem styled "Christ- 
inas Day," we find the ingredients and 
£hape or the Christmas pie : 

"Christ-mass? give me my beads: the 

word implies 
A plot, by its ingredients, beef and pyes. 
The cloyster'd steaks with salt and pep- 
per lye 
Xike nunnes with patches in a monas- 

trie. 
Prophaneness in a conclave? Nay, 

much more, 
Idolatrie in crust ! Babylon's whore 
Hak'd from the grave, and bak'd by 

hanches, then 
Serv'd up in coffins to unholy men ; 
Defil'd with superstition, like the 

Gentiles 
Of old, that worship'd onions, roots, and 
lentiles ! " 

IJx Otio Negotium, 1656, p. 114. Misson 
describes the composition of a Christmas 
pasty as follows: "In every family they 
make at Christmas a famous pie, which 
they call a Christmas pie. The making of 
this is a great science ; it is a learned med- 
lej- of neats' tongue, the brawn of a chic- 
Tten, eggs, sugar, currants, citron and 
orange-peel, various sorts of spice, &c." 
Travels in England, 322. In the " Gentle- 
man's Magazine " for December, 1733, is 
an essay on " Christmas Pye," in which 
■the author tells us : "That this dish is most 
in vogue at this time of the year, some 
think is owing to the barrenness of the 
season, and the scarcity of fruit and milk 
to make tarts, custards, and other des- 
serts ; this being a compound that fur- 
nishes a dessert itself. But I rather think 
it bears a religious kind of relation to the 
festivity from whence it takes its name. 
Our tables are always set out with this 
dish just at the time and probably for the 
«ame reason that our windows are adorned 
with ivy. I am the more confirmed in this 
opinion from the zealous opposition it 
meets with from Quakers, who distinguish 
their feasts by an heretical sort of pud- 
ding known by their name, and inveigh 
against Christmas pye as an invention of 
■the scarlet whore of Babylon, an hodge- 
podge of superstition, popery, the devil, 
and all his works. Lewis, speak- 
ing of the enthusiasts in the grand 
rebellion, tells us, that under the 
■censure of lewd customs they include all 
sorts of public sports, exercises, and re- 
creations, how innocent soever. Nay, the 
poor rosemary and bays, and Christmas 
Pye, is made an abomination. The 
famous Bickerstafi^e rose up against 
fiuch as would cut out the clergy 
from having any share in it. ' The 



Christmas Pye,' says he ' is in its own 
nature a kind of consecrated cake, and a 
badge of distinction, and yet 'tis often 
forbidden to the Druid or the family. 
Strange ! that a sirloin of beef, whether 
boiled or roasted, when entire, is exposed 
to his utmost depredations and incisions : 
but if minced into small pieces, and tossed 
up with plums and sugar, changes its pro- 

?erty, and forsooth is meat for his master.' 
'bus with a becoming zeal he defends the 
chaplains of noblemen in particular, and 
the clergy in general, who it seems were 
dobarred\ under pretence that a sweet 
tooth and a liqourish palate are inconsis- 
tent with the sanctity of their character." 

" Come guard this night the Christmas- 
pie 
That the thief e, though ne'r so slie. 
With his flesh hooks don't come nie 

To catch it ; 
From him, who all alone sits there, 
Having his eyes still in his eare. 
And a deale of nightly feare 

To watch it." 

Herrick. 

"Let Christmas boast her customary 

treat, 
A mixture strange of suet, currants, 

meat. 
Where various tastes combine, the 

greasy and the sweet." 

Oxford Sausage, p. ft. 

In the North of England, a goose is always 
the chief ingredient in the composition of 
a Christmas pye. Ramsay, in his "Elegy 
on Lucky Wood^" tells us, that among 
other baits by which the good ale-wife drew 
customers to her house, she never failed to 
tempt them at Christmas with a goose- 
pye. 

"Than ay at Yule, whene'er we came, 
A bra' goose pye. 

And was na that a good belly baum ? 
None dare deny." 

Christmas Prince— In an audit 
book of Trinity College, Oxford, for 1559 
Warton found a disbursement " Pro pran- 
dio Principis Natalicii." A Christmas 
Prince, or Lord of Misrule, he adds, cor- 
responding to the Imperator at Cam- 
bridge, was a common temporary magis- 
trate in the Colleges at Oxford. Wood, in 
his AthencB, speaking of the " Christmas 
Prince of St. John's College, whom the 
juniors have annually for the most part 
elected from the first foundation of the 
College, says : " The custom was not only 
observed in that College, but in several 
other houses, particularly in Merton Col- 
lege, where, from the first foundation, the 
I'ellows anually elected, about St. Ed- 
mund's Day, in November, a Christmas 
Lord or Lord of Misrule, styled in the 
registers Rex Fabarum and Rex Regni 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



123 



Pabarum ; which custom continued till 
the Reformation of Religion, and then, 
that producing Puritanism, and Puritan- 
ism Presbytery, the profession of it looked 
upon such laudable and ingenious customs 
as popish, diabolical and antichristian." 
It IS to be collected from the pageant 
known as the Christmas Prince, that the 
students of St. John's College, Oxford, 
met on All-Hallow Eve, 1607, and a fire 
was lighted in the Hall, " accordinge to 
the custome and status of the same place, 
3,t w* time the whole companye, or most 
part of the students of the same house 
matte toogether to begiune their Christ- 
mas." On the next night, November 1, it 
.Beams, a second meeting was appointed, 
when it was proposed, for the preservation 
of order and peace, that a Christmas Lord 
or Prince of the Revels, should be chosen. 
We learn that no Christmas Lord had been 
•created since 1577. In the present case, 
Thomas Tucker obtained a majority of suf- 
frages, and being elected in his absence, 
was sought for, carried in triumph about 
the hall, and afterwards allowed to return 
to his own quarters, ' ' to thinke of their 
loues and good will, and to consider of his 
owne charge and place." Is it worth 
•while to inquire, if Thomas Tucker, Esq., 
had any conection with little Tom Tucker 
of the nursery rhyme.'' 

Of this splendid and gay pageant 
there is the following contemporary 
■description : — "On Christmas day in 
yo raorning he (the Christmas lord 
or prince) was attended vuto prayers 
by ye whole company of the Bacchelours, 
and some others of his gentlemen vshers, 
bare before him. At diner beinge sett 
■downe in ye Hall at y* high table in y» 
Vice Prsesidents place (for y" Prsesident 
timself was then allso psent) hee was 
serued wth 20 dishes to a messe, all w"^ 
were brought in by gentlemen of y^ howse 
attired in his guards coats, vshered in by 
y' L'* Comptroller, and other officers of ye 
Hall. The first mess was a boar's head, 
w""" was carried by ye tallest and lustiest 
of all ye guard, before whom, (as attend- 
ants) weute first, one attired in a horss- 
mans coate, wth a boars-speare in his 
hande, next to him an other huntsman in 
greene, wth a bloody falsoion drawna ; next 
to him 2 pages in taf atye sarcenet, each of 
y™ wth a mess of mustard next to 
whome came hee y' carried ye boares-head, 
■crost wth a greene silk scarfe, by w""" 
liunge ye empty scabbard of ye faulchion, 
w"^ was carried before him." As the 
boar's head entered the hall, they sang a 
carol, and during the dinner the prince's 
musicians played. They had been sent for 
from Reading, because the town-music, it 
appears, had given His Highness "the 
slip," as they always did when any one 
wanted them particularly." After supper 



there was an interlude, " contaynynge 
the order of y° Saturnalls, and shewinge 
the first cause of Christmas-candles, and 
in the ende there was an application made 
to the Day and Natiuitie of Christ." On 
the 26th, it had been intended to perform 
the tragical show of Philomela, but the 
carpenters were behindhand, and the show 
had to be postponed until the 29th. It 
seems that the person who represented 
Philomela on this occasion had so sweet a 
voice that the audience only regretted that 
it should be lost, and the coeval narrator 
quaintly says that they " could have found 
in their hartes that the story should have 
rather been falsified then so good a voyce 
lost." On New Year's Day the Prince 
sent to the President of St. John's, by the 
hands of Mr. Richard Swinnerton, one of 
the squires of his body, a pair of gloves, 
with these two verses : 

"The prince and his counoell in signe 
of their loves. 

Present you their Praesident with these 
paire of gloves." 

For further particulars of the quasi- dra- 
matic exhibitions, and other merry-mak- 
ings during the twelve days of Christmas, 
see the tract itself in Miscellanea Antigua 
Anglicana, 1816. 

Warton tells us that in an orig- 
inal draught of the statutes of Tri- 
nity College, Cambridge, founded in 
1546, one of the Chapters is entitled, "De 
Prsefeoto Ludorum qui Imperator dici- 
tur," under whose direction and authority 
Latin comedies and tragedies are to be 
exhibited in the Hall at Christmas ; as also 
six spectacula, or as many dialogues. With 
regard to the peculiar business and oflice 
of Imperator, it is ordered, that one of the 
masters of arts shall be placed over the 
juniors every Christmas, for the regulation 
of their games and diversions at that sea- 
son of festivity. His sovereignty is to last 
during the twelve days of Christmas : and 
he is to exercise the same power on Candle- 
mas Day. His fee is forty shillings. Fuller, 
in his "Good Thoughts in Worse Times,'' 
1647, p. 139, tells us : " Some sixty yeares 
since, in the University of Cambridge, it 
was solemnly debated betwixt the heads to 
debarre young schoUers of that liberty al- 
lowed them in Christmas, as inconsistent 
with the discipline of students. But some 
grave governors mentioned the good use 
thereof, because thereby, in twelve days, 
they more discover the dispositions of scho- 
lars than in twelve moneths before." The 
Lords of Misrule in colleges were preached 
against at Cambridge by the Puritans in 
the reign of James the First, as inconsis- 
tent with a place of religious education 
and as a relict of the Pagan ritual. An 
account of a splendid Christmas festival, 
m the Inner Temole is given by Gerard 
Leigh in his Accidence of Armoury, 1662, 



124 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



The hero of the occasion was Dudley, Earl 
of Leicester, who assumed the designation 
of Palaphilos, Prince of Sophie. He was 
entertained by a chosen member of the Inn 
playing the part for the time of a sove- 
reign prince, as at the Middle Temple, 
Lincoln's Inn, and Gray's Inn, and was 
attended by his Lord Chancellor, Privy 
Seal, Treasurer, Lord Chief Justice, Chief 
Baron of the Exchequer, besides many 
other dignitaries of the law, and upward 
of four-score guars. Dugdale, speaking 
of the Fooleries of the Lord of Misrule 
there on St. Stephen's Day, says : " Sup- 
per ended, the Constable-Marshall pre- 
sented himself with drums afore him, 
mounted upon a scaffold born by four men, 
and goeth three times round about the 
harthe, crying out aloud, ' A Lord, a 
Lord,' &c. Then he descendeth, and 
goeth to dance, &c., and after he calleth 
his Court, every one by name, e.g. Sir 
Eandle Rackabite, of Raskall-Hall_, in the 
County of Rake-hell, &c. &c. This done, 
the Lord of Misrule addresseth himself to 
the banquet : which ended, with some min- 
stralsye, mirth, and dancing, every man 
departeth to rest." A very magnificent 
pageant was exhibited at the Inner Temple 
in the Christmas which immediately suc- 
ceeded the Restoration ; Charles II. and 
many of the nobility were present in per- 
son. 

When the Societies of the Law per- 
formed these shows within their own re- 
spective refectories, at Christmas, or any 
other festival, a Christmas prince or revel- 
master was constantly appointed. At a 
Christmas celebrated in the Hall of the 
Middle Temple in the year 1635, the juris- 
diction, privileges, and parade of this 
mock-monarch are thus circumstantially 
described. He was attended by his lord- 
keeper, lord treasurer, with eight white 
staves, a captain of his band of pensioners, 
and of his guard ; and with two chaplains, 
who were so seriously impressed with an 
idea of his regal dignity, that when they 
preached before him on the preceding Sun- 
day in the Temple Church, on ascending 
the pulpit they saluted him with three low 
bows. He dined both in the hall and in 
his privy chamber under a cloth of es- 
tate. The pole-axes for his gentlemen pen- 
sioners were borrowed of Lord Salisbury. 
Lord Holland, his temporary Justice m 
Eyre, supplied him with venison on de- 
mand, and the lord mayor and sheriflEs of 
London, with wine. On twelfth-day, at 
going to church, he received many peti- 
tions, which he gave to his master or re- 
quests ; and like other kings, he had a 
favourite, whom with others, gentlemen of 
high quality, he knighted at returning 
from church. His expences, all from his 
own purse, amounted to two thousand 
pounds. After he was deposed, the King 



knighted him at Whitehall. In MS. Ash- 
mole, 826, is a copy of the Writ of 
Privy Seal of the Christmas Prince of the 
Middle Temple, signed " Ri. Pr. de 
I'amour," directed "To our trusty and 
well-beloved servant, Mr. John Garrett," 
during his attendance at court, 26 Dec, 
1635. Garrett was the person to whom 
Taylor the water-poet inscribed one of 
his facetious publications. 

These events were not always re- 
stricted to Christmas itself, for a 
masque, composed at very short notice 
by Sir William Davenant, was ex- 
hibited in the Middle Temple Hall, 
24 February, 1635, in honour of the Elec- 
tor Palatine under the title of The Tri- 
umphs of the Prince D' Amour, with music 
and symphonies by Henry and William 
Lawes. In 1660 appeared a volume of mis- 
cellaneous poems entitled Le Prince 
D' Amour, and dedicated to the authorities 
of the Middle Temple. Dugdale, speak- 
ing of the Christmas festivities kept in 
Lincoln's Inn, cites an order dated 9th 
Hen. VIII., " that the King of Cockneys, 
on Childermas Day, should sit and have 
due service ; and that he and all his officers 
should use honest manner and good order, 
without any waste or destruction making 
in wine, brawn, chely, or other vitals : as 
also that he, and his marshal, butler, and 
constable marshal, should have their law- 
ful and honest commandments by delivery 
of the officers of Christmas, and that the 
said King of Cockneys, ne none of his 
officers medyl neither in the buttery, nor 
in the stuard of Christmas his office, upon 
pain of 40s. for every such medling. And 
lastly, that Jack Straw, and all his ad- 
herents, should be thenceforth utterly 
banisht and no more to be used in this 
house, upon pain to forfeit, for every time, 
five pounds, to be levied on every Fellow 
hapnin^ to offend against this rule." Orig. 
Juridiciales, 247. The King of Cockneys 
m.ay be concluded to be the same 
character as Dugdale elsewhere describes, 
where he states that the Inn chose a king 
on Christmas Day. At Gray's Inn they 
had their Prince of Purpool or Portypool 
— the Manor in which the Inn lies — and in 
1594 was performed here the Oray's Inn 
Masque, by Francis Davison, in the pre- 
sence of Queen Elizabeth and her Court. 
It was ostensibly devised by his Highness's 
command. This performance remained in 
MS. till 1688. See Hazlitt's Manual of 
Old Plays, 1892, v. Gesta Orayorum. The 
Inn had distinguished itself so early as 
1566 by presenting English dramatic ver- 
sions of the Jocasta of Euripides (through 
an Italian version of Seneca^ paraphrase), 
and the Suppositi of Ariosto. Dugdale, in 
his "Origines Juridiciales," p. 286, 
speaking of " Orders for Government^ 
Gray's Inne," cites an order of 4 Car. I. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



125 



(Nov. 17) that " all playing at dice, cards, 
or otherwise, in the hall, Duttry, or but- 
ler's chamber should be thenceforth barred 
and forbidden at all times of the year, the 
twenty days in Christmas onely excepted." 
An entertaining account of this annual 
buffoonery at the Inns of Court is given in 
" Noctes Templarise," 1599. I must beg 
leave to refer the reader to this work^ as 
the narrative is too long for transcription, 
and would scarcely bear curtailment. Man- 
ning's Mem. of Sir B. Buddyerd, 1841. A 
Christmas Prince or King, however, ac- 
quired as early as Henry the Eighth's time 
a contemptuous signification, for in a let- 
ter of 1537 the Curate of St. Margaret's, 
Lothbury, writing to a correspondent at 
Plymouth, says, that the people made no 
more of God than if he had been " a 
Christmas King." And indeed, at Lin- 
coln's Inn, according to what we have 
heard from Dugdale, he does not appear 
ever to have possessed so great a prestige 
or so exalted a jurisdiction as elsewhere. 
Churchyard, in the " Lamentacion of 
Freyndshypp," a ballad printed about 
1565, says : 

" Men are so used these dayes wyth 

wordes, 
They take them but for jestes and 

boordes, 
That Christmas Lordes were wonte to 

spake." 

Guilpin, in his "Skialetheia," 1598, figures 
a man, who has been in the service of one 
of these characters, assuming on that ac- 
count, lofty airs, and maintaining a dis- 
dainful silence — 

" Thinks scorne to speake, especially 

now since 
H' hath beene a player to a Christmas 

Prince." 

Langley's Translation of Polydore Vergil, 
fol. 102 verso, mentions " The Christemass 
Lordes, that be commonly made at the 
nativitee of our Lorde, to whom all the 
householde and familie, with the Master 
himselfe, must be obedient, began of the 
equabilitie that the servauutes had with 
their masters in Saturnus Feastes that 
they were called Saturnalia : wherein the 
servauntes have like autoritie with their 
masters duryng the tyme of the sayd 
foastes." 

Christmas Song: — "Poor Robin" 
for 1695, has the following : 

' ' Now thrice welcome, Christmas, 

Which brings us good cheer, 
Minc'd pies and plumb-porridge, 

Good ale and strong beer ; 
"With pig, goose, and capon, 

The best that may be, 
So well doth the weather 

And our stomachs agree. 



Observe how the chimneys 

Do smoak all about. 
The cooks are providing 

For dinner, no doubt ; 
But those on whose tables 

No victuals appear, 

may they keep Lent 
All the rest of the year ! 

With holly and ivy 

So green and so gay ; 
We deck up our houses 

As fresh as the day, 
With bays and rosemary, 

And lawrel compleat 
And every one now 

Is a king in conceit. 

* * # * * 

But as for curmudgeons, 
Who will not be free, 

1 wish they may die 

On the three-legged tree." 

Christmas Tree. — A very intelli- 
gent writer in Willis's "Current Notes" 
for February, 1854, observes: "The 
Christmas-tree has become a prevailing 
fashion in England at this season, and is 
by most persons supposed to be derived 
from Germany : such, however, is not the 
fact ; the Christmas-tree is from Egypt, 
and its origin dates from a period long 
antecedent to the Christian era. The palm- 
tree is known to put forth a shoot every 
month, and a spray of this tree, with 
twelve shoots on it, was used in Egypt, at 
the time of the winter solstice, as a symbol 
of the year completed. Egyptian associa- 
tions of a very early date still mingle with 
the tradition and custom of the Christmas- 
tree ; there are as many pyramids, as trees 
used in Germany, in the celebration of 
Christmas by those whose means do not 
admit of their purchasing trees and the 
concomitant tapers. These pyramids con- 
sist of slight erections of slips of wood, 
arranged like a pyramidal epergne, cov- 
ered with green paper, and decorated with 
festoons of paper-chain work, which flut- 
ters in the wind, and constitutes, a make- 
believe foliage. This latter, however, is 
an innovation of modern days." But the 
Christmas-tree, notwithstanding what has 
gone before, no doubt came to us from 
Gerniany directly, and is still a 
flourishing institution among us. It is 
usually an evergreen decorated with lights 
and also with presents for the guests, the 
latter depending, of course, on the means 
or generosity of the entertainer. 

Christopher, St — His history is in 
his name, Xpio-To^opos being said to have 
carried our Saviour, when a child, over an 
arm of the sea. This legend is in Voragine, 
and in most of the works on the subject' 
By her will made in 1495 Cecily, Duchess 
of York, bequeathed to her daughter-in- 



125 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



law, the Queen of Edward IV., among 
other things, " a pix with the fleshe of 
Saint Christofer." Wills from Doctors' 
Commons, Camd. Soc. 1863, p. 2. A popu- 
lar account of the saint occurs in " A nelpe 
to Discourse." The noted incident de- 
scribed above is a very favourite and com- 
mon subject in the early paintings on 
glass. See Ottley's " Hist, of Printing," 
ch ix. and Notes and Queries, Fourth 
Series, ii. 313, et seqq. This saint occurs 
on the coins of Wiirtemberg and other con- 
tinental states and towns, doubtless from 
his association with the child Jesus. 

Chudleish Glen, Devonshire. 
This is one of the places where the early 
practice of propitiation by leaving some- 
thing in the nature of a clout or rag, or a 
handkerchief, is still said to prevail, es- 
pecially among holiday-makers at Whit- 
suntide. 

Church Ales. — Payments and re- 
ceipts or accounts of these various church- 
ales are very frequent items in all the early 
Churchwardens' books. Attention may be 
particularly directed to Mr. Ouvry's Ex- 
tracts from those of Wing, Co. Bucks, in 
the thirty-sixth volume of " Archseologia." 
The entries go back as far as 1527. We 
here meet with several credits given in the 
books under each year for the May ale, the 
Hock-tide ale, the Whitsun ale, and the 
Sepulchre ale. In 1537, the first-named, 
after all expenses paid, realised 34s. In 
1550, the May ale produced £2 Os. 2d., 
but the amount of this and of the other 
ales was liable to much fluctuation both 
here and elsewhere. It depended on cir- 
cumstances. In 1564, the May ale was 
worth £3 9s. 7d., and in later years the 
increase seems to have been steady ; but in 
some cases it is a little uncertain, whether 
the totals given are to be understood as 
gross or net. In 1562, at West Tarring, or 
Tarring Peverel^ Sussex, the bill of fare in- 
cluded, inter aha, five calves, eight lambs, 
four sheep, five bushels of malt, two calves' 
heads, a leg of mutton, with pepper, saf- 
fron, and other spices. Lower's Compen- 
dious History of Sussex, 1870, ii. 198. In 
the Churchwardens' accounts of Minchin- 
hampton under 1580, among the receipts, 
occur " gathered the hoglyn monev, which 
ys xs. iiijd. ; we made of oure Whiteson 
ale, iij. Ii. vs." " Archseol." vol. xxxv. p. 
432. In 1588, the " clere gaine of the 
church ale " was £4 10s. and in 1589, £4 
15s. Ibid. p. 435. It appears from 
Kethe's Sermon at Blandford, 1570. that 
it was the custom at that time for the 
church ales to be kept upon the sabbath 
day : which holy day, says our author, "the 
multitude call their revelyng day, which 
day is spent in bulbeatings, bearebeatings, 
bowlings, dicyng, cardyng, daunsynges, 
drunkennes and whoredome," "in so much 
as men could not keepe their servaunts 



from lyinge out of theyr owne houses the- 
same sabbath-day at night." Worsley, 
speaking of the parish of Whitwell, tells 
us, that there is a lease in the parish 
chest, dated 1574, " of a house called the 
church house, held by the inhabitants of 
■\Vhitwell, parishioners of Gatcombe, of the 
lord of the manor, and demised by them 
to John Erode, in which is the following 
proviso: " Provided always, that, if the 
quarter shall need at anv time to make a 
quarter-ale, or church-ale, for the main- 
tenance of the chapel, that it shall be 
lawful for them to have the use of the 
said house, with all the rooms, both above 
and beneath, during their ale." Stubbes, 
in his " Anatomie of Abuses," 1585, p. 95, 
gives the following account of "The Manor 
of Church-Ales in England." : In certaine 
towns where dronken Bacchus beares swaie 
against Christmas and Easter, Whitson- 
daie, or some other tyme, the churchewar- 
dens of every parishe, with the consent of 
the whole parish, provide half a score or 
twenty quarters of mault, wherof some 
they buy of the churche stocke, and some 
is given them of the parishioners them- 
selves, every one conferring somewhat, ac- 
cording to his abilitie ; which mault being 
made into very strong ale or beere, is sette 
to sale together in the church or some other 
place assigned to that purpose. Then when 
this is set abroche, well is he that can gette 
the soonest to it, and spend the most at it. 
In this kinde of practice they continue 
sixe weekes, a quarter of a yeare, yea, 
halfe a year together. That money, they 
say, is to repaire their churches and chap- 
pels with, to buy bookes for service, cuppes 
for the celebration of the Sacrament, sur- 
plesses for sir John, and such other neces- 
saries. And they maintaine other extra- 
ordinarie charges in their parish besides.'' 
In his Introduction to the Survey of North 
Wiltshire, 1670, Aubrey remarks: "There 
were no rates for the Door in my grand- 
father's days ; but for Kington St. Michael 
(no small parish) the church ale at Whit- 
suntide did the business. In every parish 
is (or was) a church-house, to which be- 
longed spits, crocks, &c., utensils for dress- 
ing provision. Here the housekeepers 
met, and were merry, and gave 
their charity." The following document 
was contributed, many years ago, to Notes 
and Queries: "An agreement of the in- 
habitants of the towns and parishes of 
Elvaston, Thurlaston, and Ambaston, of 
the one part, and the inhabitants of the 
town of Okebrook, within the said parish 
of Elvaston, in co. Derby, on the other 
part, by John Abbot of the Dale, Ralph 
Saucheverell, Esq., John Bradshaw, and 
Henry Tithel, gent. Witnesseth, that the 
inhabitants, as well of the said parish of 
Elvaston as of the said town of Okebrook, 
shall brew four ales, and every ale of one 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



127 



quarter of malt — that at their own costs 
and charges, betwixt this and the feast of 
St. John Baptist next coming. And that 
every inhabitant of the town of Okebrook 
shall be at the several ales ; and every hus- 
band and his wife shall pay two-pence, 
every cottager one penny ; and all the in- 
habitants of Elvaston shall have and re- 
ceive all the profits and advantages coming 
of the said ales to the use and behoof of 
the said church of Elvaston, &c. And the 
inhabitants of Okebrook shall carry all 
manner of tymber being in the Dale wood 
now felled, that the said Prestchyrch of 
the said towns shall occupye to the use 
and profit of the said church." 

Church Decorations at Christ- 
mas. — Bourne observes that this custom 
of adorning the windows at this season 
with bay and laurel is but seldom used 
in the North ; but in the South, particu- 
larly at our Universities, it is very common 
to deck not only the common windows of 
the town, but also the chapels of the col- 
leges, with branches of laurel, which was 
used by the ancient Romans as the em- 
blein of peace, joy, and victory. In the 
Christian sense it may be applied to the 
victory gained over the Powers of Dark- 
ness by the coming of Christ. " Trim- 
myng of the temples," says Polydore Ver- 
gil, " with hangynges, floures, boughes, 
and garlondes, was taken of the heathen 
people, whiohe decked their idols and 
houses with suohe array." Bourne cites 
the Council of Bracara, Canon 73, as for- 
bidding Christians to deck their houses 
with bay leaves and green boughs; but 
this extended only to their doing it at the 
same time with the Pagans. Antiq. Vulg. 
173. " Non liceat iniquas observantias 
agere Kalendarum et ociis vacare Genti- 
hbus, neque lauro, neque viriditate arbo- 
rum cingere domes. Omnis enim hsec ob- 
servatio Paganismi est."— Brace Can. 73, 
I°|tell. Prynne, in his EistTio-Mastix, 
1633, p. 581, cites nearly the same words 
from the 73d Canon of the Concilium Anti- 
siodorense, in France, a.d. 614. In the 
same work, p. 21, he cites the Councils as 
forbidding the early Christians to " decke 
up thoir houses with lawrell, yvie, and 
greene boughes (as we used to doe in the 
Christian season)." Adding from Ovid 
Fasti, lib. iii. : 

" Hedera est gratissima Baccho." 
Compare also TertuU. de Idol. cap. 15. In 
the Roman Calendar, I find the following 
observation on Christmas Eve : Templa ex- 
ornantur. Among the annual disburse- 
ments of St. Mary-at-Hill, London, there 
is the following entry :" Holme and ivy at 
Christmas Eve, iiijd." In the Church- 
wardens' accounts of St. Laurence's pa- 
rish, Reading, 1505, quoted by Coates, we 
read : "It. payed to Makrell for the holy 



bush agayn Christmas, ijd." In the ac- 
counts of St. Martin Outwich, London, 
1524, is : " Item for holy and ivy at Christ- 
mas, ijd. ob. 1525, Payd for holy and 

ivye at Ohrystmas, ijd." In similar ac- 
counts for St. Margaret, Westminster, 
1647, we read : " Item, paid for rosemarie 
and bayes that was stuck about the church 
at Christmas, Is. 6d." Coles, in his " Art 
of Simpling," 1656, p. 64 tells us, "In 
some places setting up of holly, ivy, rose- 
mary, bayes, yew, &c., in churches at 
Christmas is still in use." The use of box 
as well as yew, "to decke up houses in 
winter," is noticed in Parkinson's " Gar- 
den of Flowers/' &c^ 1629, p. 606. 

Stow, in his " Survey,' says that, 
' ' against the feast of Christmas, every 
man's house, as also their parish 
churches, were decked with holme, ivy, 
bayes, and whatsoever the season or 
the year afforded to be green. The- 
conduits and standards in the streets 
were likewise garnished : amonc the which 
I read that in the year 1444, by tempest 
of thunder and lightning, towards the 
morning of Candlemas Day, at the Leaden- 
hall, in Cornhillj a standard of tree, being 
set up in the midst of the pavement, fast 
in the ground, nailed full of holme and 
ivie, for disport of Christmas to the 
people, was torne up and caste down by 
the malignant spirit (as was thought), and 
the stones of the pavement all about were 
cast in the streets, and into divers houses 
so that the people were sore aghast at the 
great tempests." This illustrates the 
Spectator's observation, where he tells us 
that our forefathers looked into Nature 
with other eyes than we do now, and 
always ascribed common natural effects 
to supernatural causes. It should seem 
that this joy of_ the people at Christmas 
was death to their infernal enemy. Envy- 
ing their festal pleasures, and owing them 
a grudge, he took this opportunity of 
spoiling their sport. In Herbert's " Coun- 
try Parson," 1675, p. 56, the author tells 
us : " Our parson takes order that the 
church be swept and kept clean, without 
dust or cobwebs, and at great festivals 
strawed and stuck with boughs, and per- 
fumed with incense." 

"When rosemary and bays, the poet's 
crown, 

Are brawl'd in frequent cries through all 
the town ; 

Then judge the festival of Christmas 
near, 

Christmas, the joyous period of the- 
year I 

Now with bright holly all the temples 
strow 

With lawrel green, and sacred mistle- 
toe." 

—Gay's Trivia. A writer in the " Gentle- 
man's Magazine" for 1765, conjectures. 



128 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



that the ancient custom of dressing 
churches and houses at Christmas with 
laurel, box, holly, or ivy. was in allusion to 
many figurative expressions in the pro- 
phets relative to Christ, the Branch of 
Righteousness, &c., or that it was in re- 
membrance of the Oratory of wrythen 
Wands or Boughs, which was the first 
Christian Church erected in Britain. Be- 
fore we can admit either of these hypo- 
theses, the question must be determined 
whether or not this custom did not pre- 
vail at this season prior to the introduc- 
tion of the Christian faith amongst us. 
The custom of decking churches at Christ- 
mas is still continued in Devonshire, as 
it was in Brand's day." Chandler tells us, 
in his " Travels in Greece," that it is re- 
lated where Druidism prevailed the houses 
were decked with evergreens in Deceitiber, 
that the sylvan spirits might repair to 
them, and remain unnipped with frost and 
cold winds, until a milder season had re- 
newed the foliage of their darling abodes. 

Churching; of Women. — In a 

pioclamation, dated 16th November, 30 
Henry VIII., among many "laudable cere- 
monies and rytes " enjoined to be retained 
is the following: "Ceremonies used at 
purification of women delivered of chylde, 
and offerynge of theyr crysomes." In 
" A Part of a Register" (1593), in a list 
of " grosse poyntes of Poperie, evident to 
all men," is enumerated the following: 
"The churching of women with this 
psalme, that the sunne and moone shall 
not burn them" : as is also, "The offer- 
inge of the woman at hir churching." In 
the Chichester Articles of Inquiry, 1639, 
occurs the passage : ' ' Doth the woman 
who is to be churched use the antient ac- 
customed habit in such cases, with a white 
vail or kerchiefe upon her head?" It was 
anciently a custom for women in England 
to bear lights when they were churched, as 
appears from the following royal bon mot 
(for the historical truth of which there is 
no sufficient authority). William the Con- 
queror, by reason of sickness, kept his 
chamber a long time, whereat the French 
King, scoffing, said, "The King of Eng- 
land lyeth long in child-bed" ; which, when 
it was reported unto King William, he an- 
swered, "When I am churched, there 
shall be a thousand lights in France " ; 
"(alluding to the lights that women used 
to bear when they were churched) : and 
after, wasting the French territories with 
that he performed within a few daies 
fire and sword." Compare Carol and 
Yule. In "The Burnynge of St. 
Paules Church in London, 1561," sign. I. 
4 b. we read : " In Flaunders everye Satur- 
daye betwixt Christmas and Candlemas 
they eate flesh for joy. and have pardon 
for it, because our Ladye laye so long in 
childe-bedde, say they. We here may not 



eat so; the Pope is not so good to us; 
yet surely it were as good reason that we 
should eat fleshe with them all that while 
that our Lady lay in child-bed, as that we 
shuld bear our candel at her churchmge at 
Candlemas with theym as they doe. It is 
seldome sene that men offer candels at 
womens churchinges, saving at our Ladies ; 
but reason it is that she have some prefer- 
ment if the Pope would be so good maister 
to us as to let us eat flesh with theym." 
Lupton says in his first book of " Notable 
Things": "If a man be the first that 
a woman meets after she comes out of the 
church, when she is newly churched, it 
signifies that her next child will be a boy ; 
if she meet a woman, then a wench is likely 
to be her next child. This is credibly re- 
ported to me to be true." In the " Statis- 
tical Account of Scotland," it is said ; " It 
was most unhappy for a woman, after 
bringing forth a child, to offer a visit, or 
for her neighbours to receive it, till she 
had been duly churched. How strongly 
did this enforce gratitude to the Supreme 
Being for a safe delivery ! On the day 
when such a woman was churched, every 
family, favoured with a call, were bound 
to set meat and drink before her : and 
when they omitted to do so, they and theirs 
were to be loaded with her hunger. What 
was this, but an obligation on all who had 
it in their power to do the needful to pre- 
vent a feeole woman from fainting for 
want? " On a passage in his " History of 
Craven," where Master John Norton 
' ' gate leave of my old Lord to have half 
a stagg for his wife's churching," Whit- 
aker observes in a note: "Hence it ap- 
pears that thanksgivings after child-birth 
were anciently celebrated with feasting. 
He adds : ' ' For this custom I have a still 
older authority : ' In ii*"" hosheveds vini 
albi empt' apud Ebor. erga purificationeni 
Dominse, tarn post partum Mag'ri mei 
nuper de Clifford, quam post partum 
Mag'ri mei nunc de Clifford. . .Ixvis. 
viijd.' " Compotus Tho.Dom Clifford, 15. 
Henry VI. Harrison, in his " Description 
of Britain," complains of the excessive 
feasting, as well at other festive meetings, 
as at " Purifications of women." It ap- 
pears anciently to have been customary to 
give a large entertainment at the church- 
ing. In Deloney's " Thomas of Reading," 
1632, signa. H iii. we read : " Sutton's 
Wife of Salisbury, which had lately bin 
delivered of a sonne, against her going to 
church prepared great cheare : at what 
time Simons wife of Southampton came 
thither, and so did divers others of the 
clothiers wives, onely to make merry at 
this churching-feast." In "The Batchel- 
lor's Banquet," 1603, attributed to Dek- 
ker, the lady (a 3) is introduced telling her 
husband: "You willed me (I was sent 
for) to go to Mistress M. Churching, and 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



I2g 



when I came thither I found great cheer 
and no small company of wives." And at 
c 2, the lady is asked : " If I had ever a 
new gown to be churched in." Among 
Shipman's Poems, is one dated 1667, and 
entitled, "The Churching Feast to S' 
Clifford for a fat doe." Herrick, however, 
where he speaks of the churching ceremony 
omits reference to this entertainment. The 
ceremony of churching women in general 
sprang, no doubt, from the development of 
Candlemas into a festival of purification 
for the Virgin. 

Church Steeples. — The custom of 
rustics in marking the outlines of their 
shoes on the tops of their church steeples, 
and engraving their names in the areas 
has been by Smart, in his " Hop-Garden," 
very sensibly referred to motives of va- 
nity. As is the following, in the subse- 
quent lines, to the pride of office : 

' ' With pride of heart the Churchwarden 

surveys 
High o'er the belfry, girt with birds and 

flow'rs, 
His story wrote in capitals : ' 'Twas I 
That bought the font; and I repair'd 

the pews.' " 

Churchyards. — ^It having been a 
current opinion in the times of heathen- 
ism, that places of burial were frequently 
haunted by spectres and apparitions, it 
is easy to imagine that the opinion has 
been transmitted from them, among the 
ignorant and unlearned, throughout all 
the ages of Christianity to this present 
day. The ancients believed that the 
ghosts of departed persons came out of 
their tombs and sepulchres, and wandered 
about the place where their remains lay 
buried. Thus Virgil tells us, that Moeris 
could call the ghosts out of their sepulchres 
and Ovid, that ghosts came out of their 
sepulchres and wandered about : and 
Clemens Alexandrinus upbraids them 
with the gods they worshipped ; which, 
says he, are wont to appear at 
tombs and sepulchres, and which are 
nothing but fading spectres and airy 
forms. Admonit. Ad. Gent, p. 37. 
Mede observes from a passage of this 
same ancient father, that the heathens 
supposed the presence and power of Dae- 
mons (for so the Greeks call the souls of 
men departed) at their coffins and sepul- 
chres, as tho' there always remained some 
natural tie between the deceased and their 
relicts. Churchyards are certainly as little 
frequented by apparitions and ghosts as 
other places, and therefore it is a weak- 
ness to be afraid of passing through them. 
Superstition, however, will always attend 
ignorance ; and the night, as she continues 
to be the mother of dews, will also never 
fail of being the fruitful parent of chime- 
rical fears. Even Shakespear says : 



" Now it is the time of night, 
That the graves all gaping wide, 

Ev'ry one lets forth his sprite 
In the church-way path to glide." 

And Dryden: 

' ' When the sun sets, shadows that 

shew'd at noon 
But small, appear most long and 

terrible." 
A more modern author follows on the 
same side : 

" Oft in the lone church yard at night 

I've seen 
By glimpse of moon-shine, checqu'ring 

thro the trees. 
The school-boy, with his satchel in his 

hand, 
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up. 
And, lightly tripping o'er the long flat 

stones 
(With nettles skirted, and with moss 

o'ergrown), 
That tell in homely phrase who lie below. 
Sudden he starts ! and hears, or thinks 

he hears, 
The sound of something purring at his 

heels : 
Pull fast he flies, and dares not look 

behind him. 
Till, out of breath, he overtakes his 

fellows ; 
Who gather round, and wonder at the 

tale 
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly. 
That walks at dead of night, or takes his 

stand. 
O'er some new open'd grave ; and 

(strange to telF!) 
Evanishes at crowing of the cock." 

— Slair's Grave. We learn from Moresin, 
that churchyards were used for the pur- 
poses of interment in order to remove 
superstition. 

Burial was in ancient times with- 
out the walls of cities and towns. 
Lycurgus, he tells us, first introduced 
grave stones within the walls, and as it 
were brought home the ghosts to the very 
doors. Thus we compel horses, that are 
apt to startle, to make the nearest ap- 
proaches we can to the objects at which 
they have taken the alarm. "Christians," 
says Laurence, " distinguished their ora- 
tories into an atrium, a church yard ; a 
sanctum, a church ; a sanctum sanctorum, 
a chancell. Thejr did conceive a greater 
degree of sanctitie in one of them, than 
in another, and on one place of them than 
another ; churchyards they thought pro- 
faned by sports ; the whole circuit both be- 
fore and after Christ was privileged for 
refuge, none out of the communion of the 
kirke permitted to lie there, any conse- 
crate ground preferred for interment be- 
fore that which was not conseorat, and 
that in an higher esteem which was in an 



130 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



higher degree of consecration, and that 
in the highest which was neerest the 
altar." " Sermon preached before the 
King, &c.," p. 9, cited in "The Canter- 
burian's Self-conviction, &c.," 1640, p. 83, 
note. Bailey tells us that, in ancient 
times amongst Christians^ upon any extra- 
ordinary solemnity, particularly the anni- 
versary dedication of a church, tradesmen 
used to bring and sell their wares even 
in the churchyards, especially upon the 
festival of the dedication ; as at Westmin- 
ster on St. Peter's Day ; at London on 
St, Bartholomew's ; at Durham on St. 
Cuthbert's Day, &o. ; but riots and dis- 
turbances often happening, by reason of 
the numbers assembled together, privileges 
were by royal charter granted, for various 
causes, to particular places, towns, and 
places of strength, where magistrates pre- 
sided to keep the people in order. In the 
SufEolk Articles of Enquiry, 1638, we 
read : " Have any playes^ feasts, banquets, 
suppers, church ales, drinkings, temporal 
courts or leets, lay juries, musters, exer- 
cise of dauncing, stoole ball, foot ball, or 
the like, or any other prophane usage been 
suffered to be kept in your church, chap- 
pell, or church yard?" At Barnes, Sur- 
rey, among other ordinary benefactions, 
there was the Rose Acre, at present com- 
muted for a sum in consols. The ground 
was left by a person so named, on condi- 
tion that over nis grave in the churchyard 
against the south wall of the church a 
rose-tree should be always kept growing 
and so it is unto this day. In " Magna 
Carta," 1556, I find the statute, " Ne B90- 
tor prosternet Arbores in Cemiterio." 

Cnurn Supper. — There was a churn 
or kern supper (so they pronounce it vul- 
garly in Northumberland), and a shouting 
the church or kern. This, Aram informs 
us, was different from that of the Mell 
Supper : the former being always pro- 
vided when all was shorn, the latter after 
all was got in. I should have thought 
tl)at most certainly kern supper was no 
more than corn supper, had not 
Aram asserted that it was called the 
Churn Supper, because from imme- 
morial times it was customary to pro- 
duce in a churn a great quantity of cream, 
and to circulate it in cups to each of the 
rustic company, to be eaten with bread. 
This custom, in Aram's time, survived 
about Whitby and Scarborough, in the 
Eastern parts of Yorkshire, and round 
about Gisburne, &c., in the West. In 
other places cream has been commuted for 
ale, and the tankard politely preferred to 
the churn. 

Cinque. — The famous Cornelius 
Scriblerus writes: "The play which the 
Italians call Cinque and the French 
Mourre is extremely antient. It was 
played by Hymen and Cupid at the mar- 



riage of Psyche, and was termed by thes 
Latins digitis micare." The French 
game of Mourre is thus explained by 
Littre; " uu jeu qui consiste a montrer 
rapidement une partie des doigts levee et 
r autre fermee, afin de donner a de- 
viner le nombre de ceux qui sont leves. 
Cornelius was apparently justified in dis- 
suading Martin from bestowing his time- 
on this recreation. 

Cinque Ports. — Mr. Miall Green,, 
of Streatham Hill, owner of the yachts 
Thalatta, Yolande, and Figaro, was on 
the 2nd December, 1901, elected deputy- 
mayor of Brightlingsea, an apanage of 
the Cinque Ports, in succession to Capt.. 
Sycamore, of the Shamrock. The cere- 
mony is a curious one, the council chamber 
being the tower of the parish church, while'^ 
the vicar acts as recorder. Each elected 
freeman pays 11 pennies to the civic ex- 
chequer. Comp. Brightlingsea. 

Ciameur de Haro. — I presume 
that the Ara mentioned in Walford's. 
Fairs, Past and Present, 1888, p. 9, is an- 
other form of Haro, being the cry when the- 
settling time arrived at a certain stage in 
the operations. The following remarks 
appeared in the Daily News for June 1,, 
1882: "Several learned members of the 
French Academie des Sciences have come- 
to the conclusion that the old fashioned 
' Ciameur de Haro ' might be revived to- 
advantage in civil procedure, as a means, 
of enabling small landed proprietors and 
other humble owners of house property to 
fight their more wealthy opponents on 
better terms than they can under the ex- 
isting laws. It is scarcely probable that 
the French Parliament will legislate in the- 
sense suggested, but in the course of the 
discussion which has been going on, M. 
Glasson, who read a long essay on the sub- 
ject; gave some very interesting informa- 
tion as to the origin of the word. Accord- 
ing to M. Glasson the ' Ciameur de Haro ' 
is identical with the ' Legatro of the 
Bavarians and the Thuringians, and the-- 
first trace of it in France is to be found in 
the ' Grand Coutumier de Normandie.' 
The ' Ciameur de Haro,' or cry for jus- 
tice, only resorted to in criminal cases at 
first, is referred to under the name of 
' Clamor Violentise ' in the Saxon laws. 
It may be assumed, therefore, that when 
William the Conqueror came to England, 
he found the equivalent of the ' Ciameur- 
de Haro ' in existence, and the changes^ 
which he made in the application of it 
tended to bring the English mode of pro- 
cedure into closer conformity of detail 
with that which prevailed in Normandy. 
In course of time the ' Ciameur de Haro ' 
was made applicable to civil as well as. 
to criminal affairs, and long after it h ad- 
fallen into disuse for the latter — its utility- 
becoming less and less as the organizationt 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



131 



of society grew more and more perfect — 
it was retained in use throughout the 
north-west provinces of France for cases 
of disputed possession, and was not actu- 
ally repealed until the close of the 18th 
century. It still exists in the neighbour- 
ing Channel Islands, and the owners of 
property attach great value to it. A very 
striking instance of this was afforded in 
Jersey the other day^ the owner of some 

Property through which a railway was to 
e cut raising the 'Clamour de Haro.' He 
was so stout that he had great difficulty in 
fulfilling the indispensable formality of 
falling on his knees and getting up again 
with the cry in old French — ' Haro I 
Haro ! A I'aide, mon Prince, on me fait 
tort.' It is not stated whether he gain ;d 
his point ; but there can be no doubt as to 
the attachment of the Channel Islanders 
to this survival of the Middle Ages." In 
the Encyclopedia of Chambers, 1874, v., 
699 hach, there is an implied suggestion, 
which is probably of no weight whatever, 
that Haro is a corruption or abbreviated 
form of Ha ! RoUo i the appeal of the 

garty having been originally to Duke 
olio. 

Clavie.— Under the heading of "Re- 
lics of Fire-Worship in Scotland," the 
Daily News of January 4, 1878, has the 
following communication : — " On the last 
day of the year, old style, which falls on 
the 12th January, the festival of "The 
Clavie " takes place at Burghead, a fish- 
ing village near Forres. On a headland 
in that vilage still stands an old Roman 
altar, locally called the " Douro." On the 
evening of January 12 a large tar barrel 
is set on fire and carried by one of the 
fishermen round the town, while the as- 
sembled folks shout and holloa. If the 
man who carries the barrel falls, it is an 
evil omen. The man with the lighted 
barrel having gone with it round the town 
carries it up to the top of the hill^ and 
places it on the Douro. More fuel is im- 
mediately added. The sparks as they fly 
upwards are supposed to be witches and 
evil spirits leaving the town ; the people 
therefore shout at and curse them as they 
disappear in vacancy. When the burning 
tar oarrel falls in pieces, the fisherwives 
rush in and endeavour to get a lighted bit 
of wood from its remains; with this light 
the fire on the cottage hearth is at once 
kindled, and it is considered lucky to keep 
in this name all the rest of the year. The 
charcoal of the Clavie is collected and put 
in bits up the chimney, to prevent the 
witches and evil spirits coming into the 
house. The Duoro (i.e., the Roman altar) 
is covered with a thick layer of tar from 
the fires that are annually lighted upon it. 
Close to the Douro is a very ancient 
Roman well, and, close to the well, several 



rude but curious Roman sculptures can be 
seen let into a garden wall. 

Cla.y-Daubing'. — Brockett notices 
the Cumberland usage by which the friends 
of a newly-married couple met together, 
and erected them a cottage, before sepa- 
rating. This (he says) was called clay- 
daubing. 

Cleaver. — A school-boy's toy. See 
Halliwell in v. 

Cleke.— See Gleeh. 

Clement's Day, St. — (November 
23). Plot, describing a Clog Almanack, 
(which is now in the Bodleian library), 
says, "a pot is marked against the 23ra 
of November, for the Feast of St. Clement, 
from the ancient custom of going about 
that night to beg drink to make merry 
with." In the Privy Purse Expenses of 
the Princess Mary, under November, 1537, 
is this entry: " Itm. geuen to the bakers 
of the Prince house on saynt Olementes 
Even comyng wt theyr BoUe. . . .vs." ; 
upon which the Editor (Sir P. Madden), 
referring to Hone's "Every Day Book," 
observes : "In more modern times, the 
blacksmiths seem to have usurped the pri- 
vilege of the bakers." In a proclamation, 
July 22, 1540, it is ordered : '* Neither that 
children should be decked, ne go about 
upon S. Nicholas, S. Katherine, S. Cle- 
ment, the Holy Innocents, and such likes 
dayes." In some almanacks, this day is 
marked at Old Martinmass, because it is 
still here and there retained as one of the 
quarterly divisions of the year, on which 
payments fall due. At Tenby, on St. 
Clement's Day, the effigy of a carpenter 
was carried round the town, and subse- 
quently cut to pieces. In Staffordshire, 
on this day, the children go about begging 
for apples, and singing these rude verses : 

" Clemeny, Clemeny, God be wi' you, 
Christmas comes but once a ye-ar ; 
When it comes, it will soon be gone. 
Give me an apple, and I'll be gone." 

Closh. — A form of ninepins, noticed 
by Minsheu as forbidden by Statute 17 
Edw. IV., cap. 3, and again in 18-20-23, 
Henry VIII. The ninepins were either of 
wood or of the shank-bones of a horse or 
ox. This sport was sometimes called 
closh-cayles. Prom a statement by Strutt 
it may be perhaps inferred that there were 
two varieties or closh or closh-cayles, that 
played with a ball, and that played with 
a club or stick, the latter resembling the 
French jeu de quilles a haston. The 
French word quille, however, — our cayles 
— was applied to the stick employed in 
other sports. Among our ancestors, as is 
still largely the case, all this family of re- 
creations was popular rather than fashion- 
able. Sir Thomas Elyot, in his Governor, 
1531, classes claishe pynnes with bowls and 
quoits. 



132 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Coa.1. — Thomas Hill, in his Natural 
and Artificial Conclusions, 1581, describes 
" The vertue of a rare cole, that is to be 
found but one hour in the day, and one 
day in the yeare." " Divers authors," he 
adds, "affirm concerning the verity and 
vertue of this cole, viz., that it is onely 
to be found upon Midsummer Eve, just at 
noon, under every root of plantine and of 
mugwort ; the effects whereof are wo der- 
ful : for whosoever weareth or beareth the 
same about with them, shall be freed from 
the plague, fever, ague, and sundry other 
diseases. And one author especially writ- 
eth, and constantly averreth, that he 
never knew any that used to carry of this 
marvellous cole about them, who ever were 
to his knowledge sick of the plague, or (in- 
deed) complained of any other maladie." 
Lupton observes, " It is certainly and con- 
stantly affirmed that on Midsummer Eve 
there is found, under the root of mugwort, 
a coal which saves or keeps them safe from 
the plague, carbuncle, lightning, the quar- 
tan ague, and from burning, that bear the 
same about them : and Mizaldus, the 
writer hereof, saith, that he doth hear that 
it is to be found the same day under the 
root of plantaue, which I know to be of 
truth, for I have found them the same day 
under the root of plantane, which is es- 
pecially and chiefly to be found at noon." 
Notable Things, first printed in 1579, ed. 
1660, book ii. p. 59. " The last summer," 
says Aubrey, on the day of St. John Bap- 
tist, 1694, I accidentally was walking in 
the pasture behind Montague House, 
(Bloomsbury) ; it was 12 o'clock,! saw there 
about two or three and twenty young 
women, most of them well habited, on their 
knees, very busy, as if they had been 
weeding. A young man told me that they 
were looking for a coal under the root of 
a plantain, to put under their heads that 
night, and they should dream who would 
be their husbands. It was to be that day 
and hour." 

Coat-Money. — See Davis, Suppl. 
Glossary, 1881, in v. 

Cob or Cobbing;. — A punishment 
used by seamen for petty offences or ir- 
regularities among themselves : it con- 
sists in bastanadoing the offender on the 
posteriors with a cobbing stick, or pipe 
staff; the number usually inflicted is a 
dozen. At the first stroke the executioner 
repeats the word watch, on which all per- 
sons present are to take off their hats, on 
pain of like punishment : the last stroke is 
always given as hard as possible, and is 
called the purse. Ashore, among soldiers, 
where this punishment is sometimes adop- 
ted, watch and the purse are not included 
in the number, but given over and above, 
or, in the vulgar phrase, free, gratis, for 
nothing. This piece of discipline is also 
inflicted in Ireland by the schoolboys on 
persons coming into the school without 



taking off their hats; it is there called 
school-butter." 
Cob Loaf Steallngr. — Compare 

Aston. . . 

Cob-Nut. — A game which consists in 
pitching at a row of nuts piled up in heaps 
of four, three at the bottom and one at the 
top of each heap. Halliwell in v. 

Cock. — A mode of evading the law 
against profane expressions, used both in 
conversation and literature in James I.'s 
time. It is common in the old plays. Com- 
pare Nares, 1859, in v. The modern equi- 
valent is Scott. Our youths say Great 
Scott for Great God. 

Cockal. — The game played with the 
huckle or pastern bone or the sheep, in- 
stead of dice, corresponding with the an- 
cient Indus talaris or astralagus. Compare 
Nares, Gloss. 1859, in v. In Levinus Lem- 
nius, we read : ' ' The antients used to play 
at cokall or casting of huckle bones, which 
is done with smooth sheeps bones. The 
Dutch call them pickelen, wherewith our 
young maids that are not yet ripe use to 
play for a husband, and young married 
folks despise these as soon as they are 
married. But young men used to contend 
one with another with a kind of bone 
taken forth of oxe-feet. The Dutch call 
them Coten, and they play with these at 
a set time of the year. Moreover cockles 
which the Dutch call Teelings are different 
from dice, for they are square with four 
sides, and dice have six. Cockals are used 
by maids amongst us, and do no wayes 
waste any ones estate. For either they 

Easse away the time with them, or if they 
ave time to bo idle, they play for some 
small matter, as for chesnuts, filberds, 
pins, buttons, and some such Juncats." — 
Occult Miracles of Nature, 1658, p. 768. 
In Kinder's translation from the same 
author of A Sanctuarie of Salvation, p. 
144, these bones are called " Huckle-bones 
or coytes." In Polydore Vergil we have an- 
other description of this game : "There is a 
game also that is played with the posterne 
bone in the hynder foote of a sheepe, oxe; 
gote, fallowe or redde dere, whiche in 
Latin is called Talus. It hath foure 
chaunces, the ace point, that is named 
Canis, or Caniculas, was one of the sides; 
he that cast it leyed doune a peny or so 
muche as the gamers were agreed on ; the 
other side was called Venus, that signi^ 
fieth seven. He that cast the chaunce wan 
sixe and all that was layd doune for the 
castyng of Canis. The two other sides 
were called Chius and Senio. He that 
did throwe Chius wan three. And he that 
cast Senio gained four. This game (as I 
take it) is used of children in Northfolke, 
and they call it the chaunce bone ; they 
play with three or foure of those bones to- 
gether; it is either the same or very lyke 
to it." Langley's Abridg., fol. 1. Herrick 
seems to speak of cock.all as a children's 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



133 



sport, played witii points and pins. For 
farther information relating to this game, 
as played by the ancients, the reader may 
consult Joannis Meursii Ludibunda, 
sivi de Ludis Grsecorum, 1625, p. 7, 
irassaAos and Dan. Souterii " Pali- 
medes," p. 81, but more particularly " I 
Tali ed altri Strumenti lusori degli antichi 
Romani discritti " da Franseoso de' Fico- 
roni, 1734. And for the Greek analogue 
St. John's Manners and Customs of An- 
cient Greece, 1842, i., 160-1. 

Cockatrice or Basilisk. — Sir 
Thomas Browne informs us that the gene- 
ration of a basilisk is supposed to proceed 
from a cock's egg hatched under a toad 
or serpent. A conceit which he observes 
is as monstrous as the brood itself. This 
writer endeavours to account for its kill- 
ing at a distance. " It killeth at 
a distance — it poisoneth by the eye, 
and by priority of vision. Now that 
deleterious it may be at some dis- 
tance, and destructive without corporal 
contaction, what uncertainty soever there 
be in the effect, there is no high impro- 
bability in the relation. For if plagues or 
pestilential atomes have been conveyed in 
the air from different regions : if men at 
a distance have infected each other : if 
the shadowes of some trees be noxious : if 
torpedoes deliver their opium at a dis- 
tance, and stupifie beyond themselves : we 
cannot reasonably deny that there may 
proceed from subtiller seeds more agile 
emanations, which contemn those laws, 
and invade at distance unexpected. Thus 
it is not impossible what is affirmed of this 
animal ; the visible rayes of their eyes 
carrying forth the subtilest portion of 
their poison which, received by the eye of 
man or beast, infecteth first the brain 
and is from thence communicated unto the 
heart." He adds : " Our basilisk is gene- 
rally described with legs, wings, a ser- 
pentine and winding taue, and a crist or 
comb somewhat like a cock. But the basil- 
isk of elder times was a proper kind of 
serpent, not above three palmes long, as 
some account, and differenced from other 
serpents by advancing his head and some 
white marks or coronary spots upon the 
crown, as all authentic writers have de- 
livered." A cockatrice hatched from a 
cock's egg is described by a foreign author 
as one of the terrors of the superstitious 
man, and as an omen of the most pernici- 
ous sort. Werenfel's " Dissertation on 
Superstition," transl. into Engl. p. 7. This 
reminds us of Dryden's lines : 

" Mischiefs are like the cockatrice's eye ; 

If they see first, they kill ; if seen, they 
die." 
Compare Nares, Glossary, 1859, in v. 

Cockchafer. — I conclude that we 
must not allow the German children's in- 
vocation to the cockchafer or lady-bird 



(lady-bu^ or lady-cow) to rank among 
modes of predestination ; but it may be 
perhaps, in its present form, the relic of 
an oltfer and more serious superstition : 
"May-bug, May-bug, tell this to me. 
How many years my life is to be? 
One year, two years," &c. 

Or, as the Swiss couplet runs (translated) : 

" O chafer, O chafer, fly off and awa'. 

For milk, and for bread, and a silver 
spoon bra'." 
For which notices I am indebted to Mr. 
Atkinson. But there are variant versions. 
Comp. Halliwell's Nursery Bhymes, 6th 
ed. pp. 263, 272. 

Cock-Crow. — The ancients, because 
the cock gives notice of the approach and 
break of day, have, with a propriety equal 
to any thing in their mythology, dedicated 
this bird to Apollo. They have also made 
him the emblem of watchfulness, from the 
circumstance of his summoning men to 
their business by his crowing, and have 
therefore dedicated him also to Mercury. 
With the lark he may be poetically styled 
the " Herald of the Morn." Philostra- 
tus, giving an account of the Apparition 
of Achilles' Shade to Apollonius Tyaneus, 
says, that it vanished with a little glimmer 
as soon as the cock crowed. " Vit. Apol." 
vol. iv. p. 16. Reed's " Shakespear," vol. 
vol. iv. p. 16. Bourne very seriously 
examines the fact whether spirits roam 
about in the night, or are obligol 
to go away at cock-crow. The tra- 
ditions of all ages appropriate the appear- 
ance of spirits to the night. The Jews had 
an opinion that hurtful spirits walked 
about in the night. The same opinion ob- 
tained among the ancient Christians, who 
divided the night into four watches called 
the evening, midnight, cock-crowing, and 
the morning. The opinion that spirits fly 
away at cock-crow is certainly very an- 
cient, for we find it mentioned by the 
Christian poet Prudentius, who flourished 
in the beginning of the fourth century, as 
a tradition of common belief : 

" They say the wandering powers, that 
love 
The silent darkness of the night. 

At cock-crowing give o'er to rove. 
And all in fear do take their flight. 

The approaching salutary morn, 
Th' approach divine of hated day, 

Makes darkness to its place return. 
And drives the midnight ghosts away. 

They know that this an emblem is. 
Of what precedes our lasting bliss. 

That morn when graves give up their 
dead 
In certain hope to meet their God." 

Bourne tells us he never met with any 
reasons assigned for the departure of 
spirits at the cock-crowing: "but," he 
adds, "there have been prSiuced at that 



134 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



time of night, things of very memorable 
worth, which might perhaps raise the pious 
credulity of some men to imagine that 
there was something more in it than in 
other times. It was about the time of 
cock-crowing when our Saviour was born, 
and the angels sang the first Christmas 
carol to the poor shepherds in the fields of 
Bethlehem. Now it may be presumed, as 
the Saviour of the world was then born, 
and the heavenly Host had then descended 
to proclaim the news, that the Angel of 
Darkness would be terrified and con- 
founded, and immediately fly away : and 
perhaps this consideration has partly been 
the foundation of this opinion." It was 
also about this time when our Saviour rose 
from the dead. " A third reason is, that 
passage in the Book of Genesis, where 
Jacob wrestled with the angel for a bless- 
ing, where the angels say unto him 
' Let me go, for the day breaketh.' " 
Bourne, however, thinks this tradition 
seems more especially to have arisen 
from some particular circumstances at- 
tending the time of cookcrowing ; and 
which, as Prudentius, before cited, seems 
to say, " are an emblem of the ap- 
proach of the Day of Resurrection." 
" The circumstances, therefore, of the time 
of cock-crowing," he adds, " being so 
natural a figure and representation of the 
morning of the Resurrection ; the night 
so shadowing out the night of the grave : 
the third watch, being, as some suppose, 
the time our Saviour will come to judge- 
ment at : the noise of the cock awakening 
sleepy man and telling him, as it were, the 
night is far spent, the day is at hand : 
representing so naturally the voice of the 
Arch-angel awakening the dead, and call- 
ing up the righteous to everlasting day ; 
so naturally does the time of cock-crowing 
shadow out these things, that probably 
some good well-meaning men might have 
been brought to believe that the very 
devils themselves, when the cock crew and 
reminded them of them, did fear and 
tremble, and shun the light." 

In the prose Life of St. Guthlac, Hermit 
of Crowland, by one Felix, circa 749, there 
is the following passage: "It happened 
one night, when it was the time of cock- 
crowing, and the blessed man Guthlac fell 
to his morning prayers, he was suddenly 
entranced in light slumber — ." I quote 
from Mr. Goodwin's translation of the 
Anglo-Saxon original. The following is 
from Chaucer's " Assemble of Foules," f. 
235: 

"The tame ruddocke and the coward 

kite. 
The cocke, that horologe is of Thropes 

lite." 



Spenser writes : 

" The morning cocke crew loud; 

And at the sound it shrunk in haste 

away , 
And vanish'd from our sight.' 
Allot, in "England's Parnassus," 1600, 
printed the two following lines from Dray- 
ton's "Endimion and Phoebe, (1593)." 
"And now the cocke, the morning's 

trumpeter. 
Plaid hunts up for the day-starre to ap- 
peare." — 
Where Gray has followed our poet : 

"The cock's shrill clarion, or the echo- 
ing horn. 
No more shall rouse them from their 

lowly bed." 
" But soft, methinks I scent the morn- 
ing air — 
Brief let me be." 
And again, 

" The glow-worm shows the matin to be 
near." 

In the "Merry Devil of Edmonton," 1608 : 
" More watchfull than the day-proclay- 
ming cocke." 

It appears from a passage in " Romeo and 
Juliet," that Shakespear means that they 
were carousing till three o'clock : 

" The second cock has crow'd. 

The curfew-bell has toll'd; 'tis three 
o'clock." 

Perhaps Tusser makes this point clear : 
" Cocke croweth at midnight times few 

above six. 
With pause to his neighbour to answer 

betwix : 
At three aclocke thicker, and then as ye 

knowe. 
Like all in to mattens neere day they 

doo crowe ; 
At midnight, at three, and an hour yer 

day. 
They utter their language as well as they 
may." 
By a passage in "Macbeth," "we were 
carousing till the second cock," it should 
seem to appear as if there were two sepa- 
rate times of cock-crowing. The com- 
mentators, however, say nothing of this. 
They explain the passage as follows : "Till 
the second cock: — Cock-crowing." So in 
"King Lear": "He begins at curfew, 
and walks till the first cock." 'Which is 
illustrated by a passage in the "Twelve 
Merry Jestes of the Widow Edith," 1525 : 
' ' The time they pas merely til ten of the 

clok, 
Yea, and I shall not lye, till after the 

first cok." 
" The cock crows and the morn grows on, 
When 'tis decreed I must be gone." 
— Kudibras, Canto i. p. iii. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



135 



In Blair's Orave is a passage which 
.seems to form an exception from the 
.general time of cook-crowing : 

" Some say, that ever 'gainst that sea- 
son comes, 

Wherein our Saviour's birth is cele- 
brated, 

This bird of dawning singeth all night 
long. 

And then, they say, no spirit dares stir 
abroad ; 

The nights are wholesome; then no 
planets strike. 

No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to 
charm. 

So hallow'd and so gracious is the time." 

Bourne tells us, there is a tradition among 
"the common people that at the time of 
■cock-crowing the midnight spirits forsake 
these lower regions, and go to their pro- 
per places. Hence it is that in the coun- 
try villages, where the way of life requires 
more early labour, the inhabitants always 
.go cheerfully to work at that time : where- 
as if they are called abroad sooner, they 
are apt to imagine everything they see or 
hear to be a wandering ghost. Shakespear 
has given us an excellent account of this 
-vulgar notion in his " Hamlet." The pre- 
sent writer suggested long since that the 
" early village cock " of Shakespear should 
be early village cloclc, as the word chanti- 
<;leer has been given, and cock in the pass- 
age is a pleonasm. See my edition of W. 
Browne, 1868, i., 197. Peter Suavenius, 
who visited Scotland about 1535, relates 
in his MS. Diary that there is a place 
there, eight miles in circuit, where the 
•cocks never crow. 

Cock-Fighting;. — Bailey tells us 
"that the origin of this sport was derived 
from the Athenians on the following occa- 
sion : when Themistocles was marching his 
army against the Persians^ he, by the way, 
■espying two cocks fighting, caused his 
army to behold them, and addressed them 
as follows : ' ' Behold, these do not fight for 
their household gods, for the monuments 
•of their ancestors, nor for glory, nor for 
liberty, nor for the safety of their chil- 
dren, but only because the one will not 
give way unto the other." This so en- 
couraged the Grecians that they fought 
strenuously and obtained the victory over 
the Persians ; upon which cock-fighting 
was by a particular law ordained to be 
annually practised by the Athenians. 
Cock-fighting was an institution partly re- 
ligious and partly political at Athens, and 
was continued there for the purpose of im- 
proving the seeds of valour in the minds 
of the Athenian youth. But it was after- 
wards abused and perverted, both there 
and in other parts of Greece, to a common 
pastime and amusement, without any 
moral, political, or religious intention. 



and as it is now followed and practiced 
amongst us. Men have long availed them- 
selves of the antipathy which one cock 
shows to another, and have encouraged 
that natural hatred with arts that may 
be said to disgrace human reason. Pegge 
has proved that though the ancient Greeks 
piqued themselves on their politeness, call- 
ing all other nations barbarous, yet they 
were the authors of this cruel and inhuman 
mode of diversion. The inhabitants of 
Delos were great lovers of this sport ; and 
Tanagra, a city of Bceotia, the Isle of 
Rhodes, Chalcis in Eubcea and the country 
of Media, were famous for their generous 
and magnanimous race of chickens. It 
appears that the Greeks had some method 
or preparing the birds for battle. An ac- 
count of the origin of this custom amongst 
the Athenians may be seen in ^^illiau," lib. 
ii. cap. xxviii. It may be worth noting 
that George Wilson, in his " Commenda- 
tion of cocks and cock-fighting," 1607, en- 
deavours to show that cock-fighting was 
before the coming of Christ. Lord North- 
ampton says: "The Romaines tooke the 
crowing of a cocke for an abode of victory, 
though no philosopher be ignorant that 
this procedeth of a gallant lustinesse upon 
the first digestion." Defensative, 1683, 
sign. T. 2 verso. It is probable that 
cock-fighting was first introduced into this 
island by the Romans ; the bird itself was 
here before Csesar's arrival. Bell-Gall. v. 
sect. 12. 

Fitzstephen is the first of our writers 
that mentions cock-fighting, describ- 
ing it as the sport of school boys on 
Shrove-Tuesday. The cock-pit, it seems, 
was the school, and the master was the 
comptroller and director of the sport. 
Fitzstephen writes : " — that we may be- 
gin with the pastimes of the boys (as we 
have all been boys), annually on the day 
which is called Shrove-Tuesday, the boys of 
the respective schools bring to the masters 
each one his fighting-cock, and they are 
indulged all the morning with seeing their 
cocks fight in the school-room." Fd. 1772. 
p. 45. In the statutes of St. Paul's School, 
A. p. 1518, the following clause occurs: "I 
will they use no cock-fighting nor ridmge 
about of victorye, nor disputing at St. 
Bartilemewe, which is but foolish baljling 
and losse of time." Knight's Life of Dean 
Colet,_ p. 362. From this time, at least, 
the diversion, however absurd and even 
impious, was continued among us. It was 
followed, though disapproved and pro- 
hibited in the 39 Edw. III. : also in the 
reign of Henry VIII. and in 1569. It has 
been called by some a royal diversion, and, 
as every one knows, the cock-pit at White- 
hall was erected by Henry VIII. for the 
more magnificent celebration of the sport. 
It was prohibited, however, by an Act of 
March 3l, 1654. Moresin informs us that 



136 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



the Papists derived this custom of exhibit- 
ing eocKfights on one day every year from 
the Athenians, and from an institution of 
Themistocles. " Csel. Ehod." lib. ix. 
variar leot. cap. xlvi. idem Pargami fiebat. 
Alex. ab. Alex. lib. v. cap. 8., Papatus, 
p. 66. 

The Fathers of the Church inveigh 
with great warmth against the spec- 
tacles of the arena, the wanton shed- 
ding of human blood in sport ; one 
would have thought that with that 
of the gladiators, cock-fighting would 
also have been discarded under the 
mild and human Genius of Christian- 
ity. But, as Pegge observes, it was re- 
served for this enlightened sera to practice 
it with new and aggravated circumstances 
of cruelty. In the Privy Purse Expences 
of Henry VII., under 1493, there is the 
entry: "March 2. To Master Bray, for 
rewardes to them that brought cokkes at 
Shrovetide at Westmr., £1." In the 
middle of the 16th century we find the 
gentlemen of Yorkshire keenly interested 
in this sport, and there is a letter from Sir 
Henry Savile to William Plumpton, Esq., 
announcing "a meeting of cocks " at Shef- 
field, to which their common acquaintance 
were expected to come, save from more or 
less considerable distances. It was a match 
between Lancashire, Derbyshire, and Hal- 
lamshire. Plumpton Correspondence, 1839, 
pp. 250-1. Stubbes, in his " Anatomie of 
Ahuses," 1583, inveighs against cock-fight- 
ing, which in his day seems to have been 
practiced on the Sabbath in England : 

" CocJc Fighiyng in Ailgna l_Anglia]. 

"Besides these exercises, they flock 
thicke and threefolde to the cockfightes, an 
exercise nothing inferiour to the rest, 
where nothing is vsed, but swearing, for- 
swearing, deceit, fraud, collusion, cosen- 
age, skoldyng, railyng, conuitious talkyng, 
fightyng, brawlyng, quarrelyng, drinkyng, 
and whoryng, and whiche is worst of all, 
robbing of one an other of their goodes, 
and that not by direct, but indirecte 
meanes and attempts. And yet to 
blaunche and set out these mischeefs with- 
all, (as though they were vertues), they 
haue their appointed waies and set houres 
when these deuilries must be exercised. 
They haue houses erected to that purpose 
flagges and ensignes hanged out, to giue 
notice of it to others, and proclamation 
goes out, to proclame the same, to the ende 
that many male come to the dedication of 
this solemne feast of mischeefe." It is 
odd enough, that the poverty of Roger As- 
cham, who was preceptor to Queen Eliza- 
beth, and one of the most learned persons 
of his time, was attributed by the no less 
learned Camden to dicing and cock-fight- 
ing ! It appears that James I. was re- 
markably fond of cock-fighting. Breton, 



in his Fantasticks, 1626, says under Aug. : 
" I had a touch at your recreations before, 
and that your cook may not kick your 
coyn out of your pocket, I shall give you 
some marks to cnoose a good one by ; 
Know^then, that the best characters desir- 
able m a fighting cock, are his shape, 
colour, courage, and sharp heel; for his 
shape, the middle size is ever accounted 
best, because they be now most matchable 
strong, nimble, and ready for your plea- 
sure in his batel; and so the exceeding 
little cock is as hard to match, and is com- 
monly weak and tedious in his maner of 
fighting; he would be of a proud and up- 
right shape, with a small head, like a 
spar-hawk, quick large eye, and a strong, 
back crooked, and big at the setting on, 
and in colour suitable to the plume of his 
feathers, as black, yellow, or reddish ; the 
beam of his legs would be very strong, 
and according to his plume, blew, gray, 
or yellow ; his spurs long, rough and sharp, 
and a little bending, and looking inward ; 
for his colour, the gray pyle, the yellow 
pyle, or the red with the blanck breast, is 
esteemed the best, the pyde is not so good, 
and the white and dun are the worst ; if 
it be red about the head like scarlet, it is 
a sign of lust, strength, and courage ; 
but if it be pale, it is a signe of sickness 
and faintness; for his courage, you shall 
observe it in his walk, by his treading, 
and in the pride of his going, and in his 
pen by his oft-crowing ; for the sharpness 
of his heel, it is only seen in his fighting ; 
foi what cock is said to be sharp or narrow 
heel'd, which every time he risketh, he hit- 
teth and draws blood of his adversary, 
gilding his spurs in blood, and threatening 
at every blow an end of the battel. I wish 
you such a Cock." I have quoted this in- 
teresting passage from Stevenson's Twelve 
Months, 1661, but it is the same work as 
Breton's under a different title. 

Of this sport, as it was conducted in 
London in 1669, an Italian resident has 
left a graphic account. "The places 
made for the cock-fights are a sort 
of little theatre, where the spectators sit 
all round on steps under cover. At the 
bottom of these is a round table six braccia 
in diameter, or thereabouts, and raised 
about two braccia from the ground ; it is 
covered with matting all stained with the 
blood of cocks. The days on which they 
are going to have the contests are always 
advertised by large printed bills, stuck 
up at all the corners of the streets, and dis- 
tributed through the city. When a large 
crowd of people has been got together, two 
cocks are brought out in sacks by two of 
those men whose business it is to breed 
them and look after them. One of these- 
men goes in at one side of the theatre, and 
the other at the opposite entrance, and 
having taken their cocks out of the bagSi 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



137 



they hold them in their hands, whilst the 
first betting is going on, which everyone 
does without any rule or regulation what- 
ever, being solely actuated by his own 
judgment, which makes him fancy one 
cock more than another. The cocks have 
their wings cut and their crests removed. 
They are not generally finely-grown biids, 
but are very strong, and of extraordinary 
pluck. Half-way up their legs they are 
armed with a kind of spur of very sharp 
steel, with which, when they flutter up 
into the air, and come to close quarters 
with their beaks, they wound each other 
severely. As soon as they are set at liberty, 
the combatants glare at each other for a 
little while, and fix each other with their 
eyes. They then proceed to the contest 
with their necks stretched out, and all 
their feathers rufHed. At first they ap- 
proach one another slowly, step by step ; 
then all of a sudden they dart at one an- 
other, flapping their wings to raise them- 
selves from the ground so as to attack each 
other in mid-air, and wound one another 
with their beaks with such fury that at the 
commencement you would think that a 
very keen contest was going to ensue. 
However, the truth is that they tire them- 
selves by degrees, and the end becomes 
very tedious, simply reducing itself to 
this : that one sets to work to kill the other 
by the sheer fury of its pecking on the 
head and eyes of its enemy, which part of 
the scene will last over a quarter of an 
hour, and sometimes nearly half an hour. 
During the time that the contest lasts, you 
hear a perpetual buzz amongst those who 
are betting, who are doubling, trebling — 
nay, even quadrupling-^their original 
bets ; and there are those who make new 
ones, according as they see how the cocks 
are getting on. It often happens that 
when one of the birds appears to be con- 
quered, and on the point of death, it will 
become restored to such wonderful vigour 
that it vanquishes the stronger and kills 
him, and when it happens, as in the last 
case, that the beaten cock seems roused up 
to courage again, then are the wildest bets 
made — twenty, thirty or a hundred to 
one. Sometimes it happens that both 
birds are left dead on the field of battle ; 
sometimes when the first is dead, the other 
will drag itself on to the body of its enemy, 
and with the little breath that remains to 
it, will flap its wings and crow for victory. 
After this he will lay himself down to dia. 
When one duel is finished, other cocks are 
brought on as long as there are people 
left to ask for them. You pay a shilling 
to enter, which goes into the purse of those 
who for this end breed the cocks. So that 
six or eight couples of cocks, which do not 
always die on the same day, are paid for 
with the sum of from forty to fifty crowns. 
This race of animal is not so plucky, when 



once it is taken out of the island, it having 
been proved that in Normandy they do not 
do as well as in England. The hatred be- 
tween them is natural, so that immediately 
they cease to be chickens they have to be 
fed separately, otherwise they would 
quickly kill one another." Antiquary, 
August 1884. 

In the " Statistical Account of 
Scotland," vol. iii., p. 378, the 
minister of Applecross, co. Boss, speak- 
ing of the Schoolmaster's perquisitas, 
says: "he has the cock-fight dues, which 
are equal to one quarter's payment for 
each scholar." In " Lluellm's Poems," 
1646, is a song, in which the author seems 
ironically to satirize this cruel sport. In a 
copy of verses upon two cocks fighting, by 
Dr. R. Wild, the spirited qualities of the 
combatants are given in the following most 
bi illiant couplet : 

" They scorn the dunghill ; 'tis their only 

prize 
To dig for pearls within each other's 
eyes." 
Our Poet makes his conquered or dying 
cock dictate a will, some of the quaint 
items of which follow : 

" Imp. first of all, let never be forgot. 
My body freely I bequeath to th' pot. 
Decently to be boil'd, and for it's tomb. 
Let me be buried in some hungry womb. 
Item, executors I will have none 
But he that on my side laid seven to one, 
And like a gentleman that he may live. 
To him and to his heirs my comb I 
give." 
Misson, in his "Travels in England," 
about 1698, p. 39^ says: " Cockfighting is 
one of the great English diversions. They 
build amphitheatres for this purpose, and 
persons of quality sometimes appear at 
them. Great wagers are laid ; but I am 
told that a man may be damnably bubbled, 
if he is not very sharp." At p. 304 he 
tells us: "Cock fighting is a royal plea- 
sure in England. The combats between 
bulls and dogs, bears and dogs, and some- 
times bulls and bears, are not battels to 
death, as those of cocks." It appears that 
in 1763 there was no such diversion as 
public cock-fighting at Edinburgh. In 
1783, there were many public cock-fighting 
matches, or mains, as they were technic- 
ally termed ; and a regular cock-pit was 
built for the accommodation of this school 
of gambling and cruelty, where every dis- 
tinction of rank and character is levelled. 
In 1790, the cock-pit continued to be fre- 
quented." Gunning, in his " Reminis- 
cences of Cambridge," under 1796, ob- 
serves in a note : " Cock-fighting was much 
in fashion at this time, and as the races of 
the country towns approached, matches 
between the gentlemen of Cambridge and 
Suffolk were frequently announced." It 
seems that the defaulters at a cock-pit. 



138 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



like welchers at a horse-race, were roughly 
treated ; for Gunning, speaking of a noted 
hand at the game, adds : ' ' The last ac- 
■count that reached the University was 
that he (the defaulter) was seen in the 
■basket, at a cock-pit, the usual punish- 
ment for men who made bets which they 
were unable to pay — ." In Brand's time 
■cock-fighting still continued to be a fav- 
•ourite sport of the colliers in the North of 
England. The clamorous wants of their 
families solicited them to go to work in 
vain, when a match was heard of. Brand 
relates that in performing the service ap- 
propriated to the visitation of the sick 
with a collier, who died a few days after- 
wards, " to my great astonishment I was 
interrupted by the crowing of a game cock 
liung in a bag over his head. To this ex- 
ultation an immediate answer was given 
by another cock concealed in a closet, to 
which the first replied, and instantly the 
last rejoined. I never remember to have 
met with an incident so truly of the tragi- 
<;omical cast as this, and could not pro- 
•coed in the execution of that very solemn 
office, till one of the disputants was re- 
moved. It had been industriously hung 
beside him, it should seem for the sake of 
■company. He had thus an opportunity of 
■casting at an object he had dearly loved 
in the days of his health and strength, 
what Gray has well called "a long linger- 
ing look behind." The authors of " Lan- 
■cashire Folk Lore," 1867, say: "About 
thirty years ago, cock-fighting formed a 
■common pastime about Mellor and Black- 
burn. A blacksmith, named Miller, used 
to keep a large number of cocks for fight- 
ing purposes. He was said to have sold 
himself to the devil, in order to have 
money enough for betting, and it was re- 
marked that he rarely won." They also 
notice that the Denton estates were held 
in 1780 under leases, the terms of which 
required the tenants to provide the land- 
lord with a dog and a cock, or the equiva- 
lent in money. The late Mr. Thomas 
Miles, land-agent of Keyham, near Leices- 
ter, who probably knew more of the con- 
cerns of the families for miles round than 
any individual of his time, used to mention 
that Jones, the parson at Ashby, would 
have a cloth laid over the drawing-room 
carpet on Sundays between services, and 
have a couple of cocks in "to give them 
wind." This was about 1830. Cockfight- 
ing is much in vogue even now among the 
vulgar of all ranks in this country ; but it 
is no longer countenanced either legally or 
socially. " On Thursday, at the Birming- 
ham Police-court, John Brown, a publican, 
■was summoned to answer the complaint of 
the police for unlawfully keeping open h-s 
Tiouse, and acting in the management of a 
room, for the purpose of fighting of cocks, 
on the 27th of July last. A detective de- 



posed to having obtained entrance to the 
defendant's house and to witnessing all 
the preparations for a cock-fight — the pit, 
birds, &c. In the evening he again went 
to the house and found traces of a fight 
having taken place, as well as cocks which 
had evidently been engaged in combat. 
For the defence it was alleged that there 
had neither been fighting nor intention to 
fight, and that the birds found trimmed as 
if for battle had merely been trimmed for 
the purpose of being painted on canvas 
The defendant was ordered to pay a fine 
of £5 and costs." — Daily News lor Satur- 
day, Sept. 26, 1868. 

Carpentier's Glossary calls " Gallo- 
rum'pugna": — Ludi genus inter pue- 
ros scholares, non uno in loco usitati. 
Lit. remis. An. 1383, in Reg. 134. 
Ohartoph. Reg. ch. 37. " En ce Ka- 
resme entrant. ... a une feste ou dance 
que Ten faisoit Iqrs d'Enfans pour la 
jouste des coqs, ainsi qu'il est aocoustume 
(en Dauphine)." In the same work under 
the words " Gallorum pugna," a.d. 1458, 
some differences are mentioned as subsist- 
ing between the M^or and Aldermen of 
Abbeville, and the Dean and Chapter of 
the Church of St. Ulfra, which are made 
up on the following condition : " C'est as- 
savoir que lesdiz Doyen et Cappitre, accor- 
deut que doresenavant ilz souffreront et 
conseutiront, que cellui qui demourra Roy 
d' I'escolle la nuit des Quaresmiaulx ap- 
porte ou fache apporter devers le Maieur 
de laditte Ville ou Camp. S. George, le 
Cocq, qui demourra ledit jour ou autre 
jour viotorieux, ou autre Oocq; et que 
ledit Roy presente au dit Maieur pour 
d'icellui faire le cholle en la maniere ac- 
coutumee. Du Cange, in his " Glossary," 
torn. ii. col. 1679, says, that although this 
practice was confined to school-boys in 
several provinces of France, it was never- 
theless forbidden in the Council of Copria 
(supposed to be Cognac) in the year 1260. 
The Decree recites ' ' that although it was 
then become obsolete, as well in Grammar 
Schools as in other places, yet mischiefs 
had arisen, &c." Du Cange in verho.nni 
see Carpentier v. Jasia. In a MS. Book 
of Prayers, executed in the Netherlands at 
the end of the fifteenth century, one of the 
lepresentations intended as ornamental 
designs for the volume, is a cock-fight. 

Cock Lorel.— The name of a famous 
thief, said to have lived in the time of 
Henry VIII., and by one old writer de- 
scribed as a tinker by trade. The phrase 
seems to have become generic. Compare 
Nares, Glossary, 1859, in v., and Hazlitt's 
Handbook, 1867, p. 113. The true period 
of this celebrity is doubtful. Wynkyn de 
Worde printed a tract, entitled Cock 
Lorels Bote. 

Cockney. — The term Cock applied to 
a man familiarly p's a mark of affection is 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



139 



not known to be of any antiquity; but 
Cockney would otherwise seem to be a 
■colloquial corruption of that monosyllable, 
and to signify an effeminate person, one 
who has been over-petted, or as we should 
say, a milk-sop. I am not so sanguine as 
Mr. Way ("Prompt. Parv." art. "Cock- 
ney,") that the word is to be traced to 
"Cockayne," an opinion which is appar- 
ently shared by Mr. Halliwell. " Archaic 
Dictionary," 1847, art. "Cockney," but 
rather think it is the other way. That, 
having originally signified a spoiled boy or 
man, it should have acquired the second- 
ary meaning of a Londoner, is by no means 
strange, when it is considered that Lon- 
doners are even now, in the very extended 
sense of the phrase, looked upon by all 
the rest of the world as people good for 
very little beyond sedentary pursuits. In 
Nash's "Pierce Peniles," 1592, there is 
the following passage, leaving no doubt 
as to the writer's interpretation of the 
term at that period : — " A young heyre, 
or cockney, that is' his mother's darling, 
if hee have playde the waste-good at the 
Innes of the Court, or about London, and 
that neither his students pension, nor his 
unthrifts credite, will serve to maintaine, 
■Ac," and the citation from a MS. ascribed 
to the 14th century, in Pegge's Anecdotes 
■of the English Language, 1844, p. v. ex- 
actly confirms this view: " Puer in de- 
liciis matris nutritus^ Auglice a cockney.'" 

Cock Penny. —The scholars at 
Clitheroe Free Grammar-School had to 
pay at Shrovetide what is called a cock- 
penny, which the authors of "Lancashire 
Folk-Lore," 1867^ supposed to be a sub- 
stitute for bringing the animal itself to 
school, which formerly was very common. 
This cock-penny used to be paid also at 
Burnley Gframmar School, but has been 
long discontinued. 

Cockpit. — This term was not only 
apjplied to a place where cock-fights were 
held, and to the theatres in Drury Lane 
and Whitehall originally devoted to the 
same purpose, but to the part of a ves- 
sel of war, where courts of inquiry were 
held. There is a tract in verse on this 
last acceptation by Charles Fletcher, 
M.D., 1787. 

Cock's-Odin. — Cock's-Odin was, 
irom its name, probably a traditionary 

flame handed down from Danish times ; 
or of the Danes there are many memorials 
scattered all over the Border. The play 
itself, however^ throws no light upon any 
recognisable circumstance of their cruel 
invasions. It consisted merely of one boy 
sent forth to conceal himself within a cer- 
tain range, and, after due law, the rest 
set out like so many hounds to discover 
and catch him if they could. What Odin 
could have to do with the fugitive I cannot 
conjecture; and whether the cock's vic- 



torious crow can be emblematical of tri- 
umphj is only a speculation worthy of a 
most inveterate Dryasdust. 

Cock's-Spur. — Pliny mentions the 
spur, and calls it Telum, but the gafle is a 
mere modern invention, as likewise is the 
great, and, I suppose, necessary exactness 
in matching them. The Asiatics, however, 
use spurs that act on each side like a lan- 
cet, and which almost immediately decide 
the battle. Hence they are never per- 
mitted by the modern cock-fighters. 

Cock-Throwing: and Thrash- 
in gr. — The writer of a pamphlet entitled 
" Clemency to Brutes, &c." 1761, has the 
following observation: " AVhence it had 
its rise among us I could never yet learn to 
my satisfaction : but the common account 
of it is, that the crowing of a cock pre- 
vented our Saxon ancestors from massa- 
cring their conquerors, another part of our 
ancestors, the Danes, on the morning of a 
Shrove Tuesday, whilst asleep in their 
beds." " Battering with missive weapons 
a cock tied to a stake, is an annual diver- 
sion," says an essayist in the " Gentle- 
man's Magazine," for Jan., 1737, "that 
for time immemorial has prevailed in this 
island." A cock has the misfortune to be 
called in Latin by the same word which 
signifies a Frenchman. "In our wars 
with France, in former ages, our ingeni- 
ous forefathers," says he, "invented this 
emblematical way of expressing their de- 
rision of, and resentment towards that 
nation ; and poor Monsieur at the stake 
was pelted by men and boys in a very 
rough and hostile manner." 'He instances 
the same thought at Blenheim House, 
where over the portals is finely carved in 
stone the figure of a monstrous lion tear- 
ing to pieces a harmless cock, which may 
be justly called a pun in architecture. 
Among the games represented in the mar- 
gin of the " Roman d' Alexandre," in the 
Bodleian, is a drawing of two boys carry- 
ing a third on a stick thrust between his 
legs, who holds a cock in his hands. They 
are followed by another boy, with a flag 
or standard emblazoned with a cudgel. 
Strutt has engraved the group in pi. sxxv. 
of his " Sports and Pastimes." He sup- 
poses, p. 293, that it represents a boyish 
triumph : the hero of the party having 
either won the cock, or his bird escaped 
unhurt from the dangers to which he had 
been exposed. The date of the illumina- 
tion is 1343. Another early example of 
this custom may be adduced from the fif- 
teenth century poem, "How the Goode 
Wif Thaught hir Daughter." It is where 
the good wife admonishes her child to 
avoid certain unbecoming pastimes ; she 
says : 

" Goe thou noght to wrastelynge ne she- 

^ tynge at the cokke. 
As it were a strumpet or a gegelotte." 



140 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Hence it appears that women and girls 
were fond of attending these diversions. 
In common with football, cockthrashing is 
mentioned, in 1409, as a sport then in 
vogue, on which certain persons used to 
levy money under pretence of applying it 
to the purposes of the players. In 
Smith's Life of the Fourth Lord Ber- 
keley, who died in 1417, speaking of his 
recreations and delights, he tells the 
reader, ' ' Hee also would to the threshing 
of the cocke, pucke with hens blindfolde 
and the like." Vol. ii. fol. 459. At Pin- 
ner, near Harrow, the cruel custom of 
throwing at cocks was formerly made a 
matter of public celebrity, as appears by 
an ancient account of receipts and expen- 
ditures. The money collected at this sport 
was applied in aid of the poor rates. "1682. 
Received for cocks at Shrovetide, 12s. Od. 
1628. Received for cocks in towne, 19s. 
lOd. Out of towne, 6d." This custom ap- 
pears to have continued as late as the 
year 1680. Lysons' Environs, vol. ii. 
p. 588. Quarles, in his Preface to Argalus 
and Parthenia, 1629, allusively to the fate 
of that work, observes: "I have suffered 
him to live, that he might stand like a 
Jack-a-Lent, or a Shroving Cake for every 
one to sjpend a cudgel at." Grose tells us 
that, ' ' To whip the cock is a piece of sport 
practised at wakes, horse-races, and fairs, 
in Leicestershire : a cock being tied or 
fastened into a hat or basket, half-a-dozen 
carters, blindfolded, and armed with their 
cart-whips, are placed round it, who, after 
being turned thrice about, begin to whip 
the cock, which if any one strikes so as to 
make it cry out, it becomes his property ; 
the joke is that, instead of whipping the 
cock, they flog each other heartily." 
Hogarth has satiriized this barbarity in 
the first of the prints called " The Four 
Stages of Cruelty." Trusler's description 
is as follows : " We have several groupes of 
boys at their different barbarous di- 
veisions; one is throwing at a cock, 
the universal Shrove-tide amusement, 
beating the harmless feathered animal 
to jelly." There is a passage in 
the "Newcastle Courant" for March, 
15th, 1783. "Leeds, March 11th, 
1783: Tuesday se'nnight, being Shrove- 
tide, as a person was amusing himself 
along with several others, with the barbar- 
ous custom of throwing at a cock, at How- 
den Clough, near Birstal, the stick pitched 
upon the head of Jonathan Speight, a 
youth about thirteen years of age, and 
killed him on the spot. The man was com- 
mitted to York Castle on Friday." In 
" Witt's Recreations," 1640, it is thus re- 
ferred to : — 

"Cock a-doodle-do, 'tis the bravest 
game, 
Take a cock from his dame, 
And bind him to a stake. 



How he strutts, how he throwes, 
How he swaggers, how he crowes. 

As if the day newly brake. 
How his mistris cackles , 
Thus to find him in shackles, 

And ty'd to a pack-threed garter; 
Oh the bears and the bulls 
Are but corpulent gulls 

To the valiant Shrove-tide martyr." 

The custom of throwing at cocks at Shrove 
Tuesday was still retained in Mr. Brand's 
time (1794) at Heston in Middlesex, in a 
field near the church. Constables (says B.) 
have been often directed to attend on the 
occasion, in order to put a stop to so bar- 
barous a custom, but hitherto they have 
attended in vain. I gathered the follow- 
ing particulars from a person who re- 
gretted that in his younger years he had 
often been a partaker of the sport. The 
owner of the cock trains his bird for some 
time before Shrove Tuesday, and throws a 
stick at him himself, in order to prepare 
him for the fatal day, by accustoming him 
to watch the threatened danger, and, by 
springing aside, avoid the fatal blow. He 
holds the poor victim on the spot marked 
out by a cord fixed to his leg, at the dis- 
tance of nine or ten yards, so as to be out 
of the way of the stick himself. Another 
spot is marked, at the distance of twenty- 
two yards, for the person who throws to 
stand upon. He has three shys, or throws, 
for twopence, and wins the cock if he can 
knock Jbim down and run up and catch 
him before the bird recovers his legs. The 
inhuman pastime does not end with the 
cock's life, for when killed it is put into a 
hat, and won a second time by the person 
who can strike it out. Broomsticks are 
generally used to shy with. The cock, if 
well trained, eludes the blows of his cruel 
persecutors for a long time, and thereby 
clears to his master a considerable sum of 
money. But I fear lest, by describing the 
mode of throwing at cocks, I should de- 
serve the censure of Boerhaave on another 
occasion : "To teach the arts of cruelty is 
equivalent to committing them." This 
custom was retained in many schools in 
Scotland within the 18th century. The 
schoolmasters were said to preside at the 
battle, and claimed the run-away cocks, 
called fugees, as their perquisites. Aker- 
man (" Wiltshire Glossary," 1842, in voce) 
notices this pastime under its local desig- 
nation of " Cock-Sqwoilin." In "New- 
market : or an Esay on the Turf," 1771, 
vol. ii. p. 174, we read : " In the Northern 
part of England it is no unusual diversion 
to tie a rope across a street and let it swing 
about the distance of ten yards from the 
ground. To the middle of this a living 
cock is tied by the legs. As he swings in 
the air, a set of young people ride one 
after another, full speed, under the rope, 
and rising in their stirrups, catch at the 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



141 



animal's head, which is close clipped and 
well soaped in order to elude the grasp. 
Now he who is able to keepe his seat m 
the saddle and his hold of the bird's head, 
so as to carry it off in his hand, bears away 
the palm, and becomes the noble hero of 
the day.'' A print of this barbarous cus- 
tom may be seen in the " Trionii, &c. della 
Venetia " ; see also Menestrier, " Traite 
des Tournois," p. 346. The Shrove-Tues- 
day's massacre of this useful and spirited 
creature is now virtually at an end, as are 
also those monstrous barbarities, the 
battle royal and Welsh main. Compare 
Pancakes and Shrove-Tuesday . 

Cock Watt, mentioned by Decker in 
" Jests to make you Merrie," 1607, as 
" the walking Spirit of Newgate." 

Cockle-Bread.— See Hot Cockles. 
Cockle and Mussel Feast. — 

At the commencement of November, in 
accordance with a custom of very ancient 
origin, members of the Clitheroe Corpora- 
tion assemble at the annual "cookie and 
mussel feast " for the purpose of choosing 
a Mayor for the ensuing year. Although 
this singular title is still retained, cockles 
and mussels form only an insignificant 
portion of the entertainment. 

Coffee-Farthings. — See Shrove- 
tide. 

Coffin. — ^We have the very coffin of the 
present age described in Purandus. " Cor- 
pus lotum et sindone obvolutum, ac Luculo 
conditum, Veteres in coenaculis, sen Tri- 
cliniis esponebant," Mationale, p. 225. 
Loculus is a box or chest. Thus in old 
registers I find coffins called kists, i.q. 
chests. Gough's Sep. Mon., ii., Introd. 
In the Squyr of Low Degre, the King's 
daughter encloses the hero, her lover, as 
she supposes, in a maser 4re, i.e., a hollow 
trunk, with three locks. See Emhalming, 
infra. "Uncovered coffins of wainscot," 
observes Mr. Atkinson, in the " Cleveland 
Glossary," 1868, " were common some 
years ago, with the initials and figures of 
the name and age studded on the lid in 
brass-headed nails ; but coffins covered 
with black are now commonly seen. The 
coffin is almost never borne on the shoul- 
ders, but either suspended by means of 
towels passed under it, or on short staves 
provide for the purpose by the under- 
takers, and which were customarily, in 
past days, cast into the grave before be- 
ginning to fill it up. The author saw one 
of these bearing staves dug out when re- 
digging an old grave in August, 1863. Men 
are usually borne by men, women by 
women, and children by boys and girls ac- 
cording to sex. Women who have died in 
childbirth have white sheets thrown over 
their coffins." Compare Funeral Cus- 
toms. 

Colchester Trump.— See Buff. 



Coidharbour. — A name found in 
many parts of England, and under the 
local appellation elsewhere^ and most rea- 
sonably explained to signify the shelters 
once existing in different parts of a coun- 
try, where a disused residence, Roman or 
otherwise, had been fitted up for the ac- 
commodation of travellers content with 
temporary protection from the weather ; 
and these places usually consisted of apart- 
ments with bare walls. The German equi- 
valent is Kalten-harherg . Wright's 
Domestic Manners and Sentiments, 1862, 
p. 76. 

Collop or Shrove Monday. — 
In the North of England, and elsewhere, 
the Monday preceding Shrove Tuesday or 
Pancake Tuesday, is called Collop 
Monday ; eggs and collops composed 
an usual dish at dinner on this 
day, as pancakes do on the follow- 
ing^ from which customs they have 
plainly derived their names. Gentleman' s 
Magazine, 1790, p. 719. It should seem 
that on Collop Monday they took their 
leave of flesh in the papal times, which 
was anciently prepared to last during the 
winter by salting, drying, and being hung 
up. Slices of this kind of meat are to this 
day termed collops in the North, whereas 
they are called steaks when cut off from 
fresh or unsalted flesh ; a kind of food 
which I am inclined to think our ances- 
tors seldom tasted in the depth of winter. 
A collop is a slice of meat or cutlet from 
an animal, metaphorically a child, in 
which sense Shakespear and Lyly use it. 
The etymology is doubtful, unless it is 
from the old Latin colponer, to cut. 

Colt-Plxy. — In Hampshire they give 
the name of colt-pixy to a supposed spirit 
or fairy, which, m the shape of a horse, 
wickers, i.e., neighs, and misleads horses 
into bogs, &c. 

Columbaria. — Pigeon-houses, an 
inheritance, in common with so many 
others, from the ancient Hellenic farm- 
yard, formerly maintained on a very large 
scale both in England and abroad. There 
was one at Hawthornden, the seat of 
Drummond the poet. These monastic and 
seigniorial adjuncts became very obnoxi- 
ous by reason of the devastations of the 
pigeons among the crops and orchards, 
and their prolific increase. Occasionally the 
buildings were of an ornamental charac- 
ter ; see Otto Jahn, Vie Wandgemalde des 
Columbariums in der Villa Pamfili, 
Miinchen, 1857, with engravings. 

Columbine. — Steevens, commenting 
on the mention of columbine in " Ham- 
let," says: "From Cutwode's ' Caltha 
Poetarum,' 1599, it should seem as if this 
flower was the emblem of cuckoldom : 

' The blue cornuted columbine. 

Like to the crooked horns of Acheloy.' " 



142 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



"Columbine," says another of the com- 
mentators, S.W. " was an emblem of cuck- 
oldom, on account of the horns of its neo- 
taria which are remarkable in this plant." 
A third commentator, Holt White, says : 
' ■ The columbine was emblematical of for- 
saken lovers : 

' The columbine, in tawny often taken, 
Is then ascrib'd to such as are for- 



Browne's Britannia's Pastorals, Book ii. 

Combination-Room. — The apart- 
ment at Cambridge where the fellqws re- 
tire after dinner for conversation and 
wine. 

Comet. — (i.) In the Earl of North- 
ampton's " Defensative/' 1583, sign. v. 4, 
we read: "When dyvers. uppon greater 
scrupulosity than cause, went about to 
disswade her Majestye, lying then at Rich- 
monde, from looking on the comet which 
appeared last ; with a courage aunswei'- 
able to the greatuesse of her State, shee 
caused the windowe to be sette open, and 
cast out thys worde, jacta est alea, the 
dyce are throwue, affirming that her sted- 
fast hope and confidence was too firmly 
planted in the Providence of God, to be 
blasted or affrighted with those beames, 
which either had a ground in Nature 
whereupon to rise, or at least no warrant 
out of (Scripture to portend the mishappes 
of Princes." He adds: "I can affirm 
thus much, as a present witnesse, by mine 
owne experience." The writer is refer- 
ring to the comet, or blazing star, which 
appeared on the 10th October, 1580, some 
months after the earthquake in April. The 
latter is supposed to be referred to in 
liomeo and Juliet. Francis Shakleton 
published an account of the comet of Octo- 
ber, (ii.) A game at cards. See Davis, 
Suppl. Glossary, 1881, in v. 

Commerce. — See I am a Spanish 
Merchant. 

Communion Table.— See Bowing. 

Communion Tokens. — Pieces of 
pewter formerly given to those who ap- 
plied to receive the sacrament, after satis- 
tying the minister that they were fit for 
such a ceremony. 

Conduits.— Speaking of the differ- 
ent conduits in or about London, Strype, 
in his additions to Stow, says : ' ' These 
conduits used to be in former times visited. 
And particularly, on the 18th of Sept., 
1562, the Lord Mayor (Harper), Alder- 
men, and many Worshipful Persons, and 
divers of the Masters and Wardens of ths 
Twelve Companies, rid to the conduit 
heads for to see them after the old cus- 
tom; and afore dinner they hunted the 
hare, and killed her, and thence to dinner 
at the Head of the Conduit. There was a 
good number, entertained with good cheer 



by the Chamberlain. And after dinner 
they went to hunting the fox. There was 
a great cry for a mile ; and at length the 
hounds killed him at the end of S. Giles's. 
Great hallowing at his death, and blowing 
of horns." Survey, 1720, i., 25. 

Conf arreation. — The following ex- 
tract is from an old grant, cited in Du 
Cange, v. Conf arreatio : ' ' Miciacum con- 
cedimus et quicquid est Fisci nostri 
intra Fluminum alveos et per sanc- 
tarn Confarreationem et Annulum in- 
exceptionaliter tradimus." The cere- 
mony used at the solemnnization of 
a marriage was called confarreation, 
in token of a most firm conjunc- 
tion between the man and the wife, with a 
cake of wheat or barley. This, Blount 
tells us, is still retained in part with us 
by that which is called the bride-cake used 
at weddings. Moffet informs us that "the 
English, when the bride comes from 
church, are wont to cast wheat upon her 
head ; and when the bride and bridegroom 
return home, one presents them with a 
pot of butter, as presaging plenty, and 
abundance of all good things." " Health's 
Improvement," p. 218. This ceremony of 
confarreation has not been omitted by 
Moresin ("Papatus," p. 165.) Nor has it 
been overlooked by Herrick ("Hespe- 
ndes," p. 128). See also Langley's Poly- 
dore Vergil, fol. 9, verso. It was also a 
Hebrew custom. See Selden's " Uxor He- 
braica" (Opera tom. iii. pp. 633, 668). 
Comp. Bride-Cake and Wedding Cake. 

Conjuration.— There is a curious 
letter from the Abbot of Abingdon to Se- 
cretary Cromwell, about 1536, in which the 
writer gives an account of a priest who had 
been captured for practising conjuration. 
There is the following description of this 
person : " It s'hall please your Maistership 
to be advertised that ray officers have 
taken here a Preyste, a suspecte person, 
and with hym certeyn bokes of conjura- 
cions, in the whyche ys conteyned many 
conclusions of that worke ; as fyndyng out 
of tresure hydde, cousecratyng of ryngs 
with stones in theym, and consecratyng of 
a cristal stone wheryn a chylde shall looke, 
and se many thyngs. Ther ys also many 
fygorsinhyt whiche haue dyvers thyngs 
in tfieym, and amongs all, one the whioha 
hath a swerde crossed ouer with a septor." 
f^ing James, in his " Dsemonologie," says : 

The art of sorcery consists in divers 
forms of circles and conjurations rightly 
joined together, few or more in number 
according to the number of persons con- 
jurers (always passing the singular num- 
ber), according to the qualitie of the circle 
and form of the apparition. Two prin- 
cipal things cannot well in that errand be 
wanted : holy water (whereby the Devil 
mocks the papists), and some present of a 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



I4S 



living thing unto him. There are likewise 
certain daies and houres that they ob- 
serve in this purpose. These things being 
all ready and prepared, circles are 
made, triangular, quadrangular, round, 
double, or single, according to the 
form of the apparition they crave. 
But to speak of the diverse formes 
of the circles, of the innumerable 
characters and crosses that are within and 
without, and out-through the same ; of the 
diverse forms of apparitions that the craf- 
tie spirit illudes them with, and of all 
such particulars in that action, I remit it 
over to many that have busied their heads 
in describing of the same, as being jjut 
curious and altogether unprofitable. And 
this farre only I touch, that, v.'hen the con- 
jured spirit appeares, which will not be 
while after many circumstances long pray- 
ers, and much mutterings, and mur- 
murings of the conjurers, like a papiste 
prieste dispatching a hunting mass — how 
soon, I say, he appears, if they have missed 
one jote of all their rites : or if any of 
their feete once slyd over the circle, 
through terror of this fearful apparition, 
ha paies himself at that time, in his owne 
hand, of that due debt which they ought 
him and otherwise would have delaied 
longer to have paied him : I meane, he 
carries them with him, body and soul. If 
this be not now a just cause to make them 
weary of these formes of conjuration^ I 
leave it to you to judge upon ; considering 
the bngsomeness of the labour, the precise 
keeping of daies and houres (as I have 
said), the terribleness of the apparition 
and the present peril that they stand in, 
in missing the least circumstance or freite 
that they ought to observe : and, on the 
other part, the devill is glad to moove 
them to a plaine and square dealing with 
them as I said before." "This," Grose 
observes, " is a pretty accurate description 
of this mode of conjuration, styled the cir- 
cular method ; but, with all due respect 
to his Majesty's learning, square and tri- 
angular circles are figures not to be found 
in Euclid or any of the common writers 
on geometry. But perhaps King James 
learnt his mathematics from the same sys- 
tem as Doctor Sacheverell, who, in one of 
his speeches or sermons, made use of the 
following simile : 'They concur like paral- 
lel lines, meeting in one common 
center.' " 

Conjuror.— Scot tells us that with 
regard to conjurors, " The circles by which 
they defend themselves are commonly nine 
foot in breadth, but the Eastern magicians 
must give seven." Discovery, ed. 1665, 
72. Melton, speaking of conjurors, says, 
" They always observe the time of the 
moone before they set their figure, and 
when they set their figure and spread 



their circle, first exorcise the wine 
and water, which they sprinkle on their 
circle, then mumble in an unknown lan- 
guage. Doe they not crosse and exorcise- 
their surplus, their silver wand, gowne, 
cap^ and every instrument they use about 
their blacke and damnable artr' Nay, 
they crosse the place whereon they stand, 
because they think the Devill hath no- 
power to come to it, when they have blest 
it." Astrologaster, 1620, p. 16. The fol- 
lowing passage occurs in Dekker's 
"Strange Horse Race," 1613, sign. D 3, 
" He darting an eye upon them, able to 
counfound a thousand conjurors in their 
own circles (though with a wet finger they 
could fetch up a little devill)." Allusions- 
to this character are not uncommon in our 
old plays. In " Albumazar," a comedy. 
1615: 

" He tels of lost plate, horses, and 

straye cattell 
Directly, as he had stolne them all him- 

selfe." 

Again, in " Ram Alley," 1611 : 

— " Fortune-teller, a petty rogue 
That never saw five shillings in a heape. 
Will take upon him to divine Men's fate^ 
Yet never knows hiraselfe shall dy a 

beggar. 
Or be hanged up for pilfering table- 

deaths. 
Shirts, and smocks, hanged out to dry 

on hedges." 

In Osborne's " Advice to his Son," 1656, 
p. 100, speaking of the soldiery, that 
author says, " they, like the spirits of con- 
jurors, do oftentimes teare their masters 
and raisers in pieces, for want of other im- 
ployment." Butler says of his conjuror 
that he could 

" Chase evil spirits away by dint 
Of cickle, horse-shoes, hollow flint." 

Addison, in his " Drummer, or the- 
Haunted House," has introduced a rather 
apposite scene : 

"Gardu. Prithee, John, what sort of a 
creature is a conjuror? 

Butl. Why he's made much as other men 
are, if it was not for his long grey beard. 
His beard is at least half a yard long : he's, 
dressed in a strange dark cloke, as black 
as a cole. He has a long white wand in his 
hand. 

Coachm. I fancy 'tis made out of witch- 
elm. 

Gard. I warrant you if the ghost appears 
he'll whisk ye that wand before his eyes 
and strike you the drum- stick out of his- 
hand. 

Butl. No ; the wand, look ye, is to make 
a circle; and if he once gets the ghost- 
in a circle, then he has him. A circle, you 
must know, is a conjuror's trap. 



144 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Coach. But what will he do with him, 
when he has him there? 

Butl. Why then he'll overpower him 
with his learning. 

Gard. If he can once compass him and 
get him in Lob's pound, he'll make no- 
thing of him, but speak a few hard words 
to him, and perhaps bind him over to his 
good behaviour for a thousand years. 

Coachm. Ay, ay he'll send him packing to 
his grave again with a flea in his ear, I 
warrant him. 

Butl. But if the conjuror be but well 

f)aid, he'll take pains upon the ghost and 
ay him, look ye, in the Red Sea — and 
then he's laid for ever. 

Gardn. Why, John, there must be a 
power of spirits in that same Red Sea. I 
warrant ye they are as plenty as fish. I 
wish the spirit may not carry ofi a corner 
of the house with him. 

Butl. As for that, Peter, you may be sure 
that the steward has made his bargain 
with the cunning man before-hand, that he 
shall stand to all costs and damages." 

Conquering'. — This is a game in 
which schoolboys fit snail-shells together, 

Eoiut to point, and whichever succeeds in 
reaking the other^ is said to be the con- 
queror. One shell is occasionally the hero, 
in this way, of a hundred battles, the 
strength of the shells being very unequal. 

Consummation.— In the time of 
Montaigne, at least, it grew to be 
a belief in France that when any 
ill - will or jealousy existed against the 
husband, the latter might counteract 
the malignant influence by repeating 
a certain charm three times, tying 
at each turn a ribbon, with a medsu 
attached to it, round his middle, the said 
medal or plate being inscribed with caba- 
listic characters. The plate was to be 
placed exactly upon the reins, and the 
third and last time was to be securely 
fastened, that it could not slip off, care 
being also taken to spread a gown on the 
bed, so as to cover both the man and the 
woman. We do not hear of any English 
analogue ; yet it is a class of usage which 
might easily pass into desuetude and obli- 
vion. The same writer has in his graphic 
and candid fashion adduced many other 
illustrations of nuptial practices in his 
country during the sixteenth century ; but 
they fall outside our immediate range. 
Essays, by Hazlitt, 1902, i., 99. Compare 
Amulets, supra. 

Cora,!. — The well-known toy, 
which is generally suspended from the 
necks of infants to assist them in cutting 
their teeth, is with the greatest probability 
supposed to have had its origin in an an- 
cient superstition, which considered coral 
as an amulet or defensative against fasci- 
nation : for this we have the authority of 



Pliny. "Aruspices religiosum Coralli gesta- 
men amoliendis perioulis arbitrantur : et 
Surculi Lnfantise alligati tutelam habere 
creduntur." It was thought too to 
preserve and fasten the teeth in 
men. In Bartholomeus " de Proprie- 
tatibus Rerum," we read : " Wytches 
tell, that this stone (coral) withstondeth 
lyghtenynge.— It putteth of lyghtnyng, 
whirlwynde, tempeste and storraes fro 
shyppes and houses that it is in. The red 
coral helpeth ayenst the fendes gyle and 
scorne, and ayenst divers wonderous doyng 
and multiplieth fruite and spedeth be- 
gynnyng and ending of causes and of 
nodes." Coles, in his " Adam in Eden," 
speaking of coral, says : "It helpeth chil- 
dren to breed their teeth, their gums being 
rubbed therewith; and to that purpose 
they have it fastened at the ends of their 
mantles." And Plat, in his " Jewel-House 
of Art and Nature," 1594, says, "Coral is 
good to be hanged about children's necks, 
as well to rub their gums, as to preserve 
them from the falling sickness : it hath 
also some special sympathy with nature, 
for the best coral being worn about the 
neck, will turn pale and wan, if the party 
that wears it be sick, and comes to its 
former colour again, as they recover 
health." Scot, in his "Discovery of 
Witchcraft," 1584, says : " The coral pre- 
serveth such as bear it from fascination or 
bewitching, and in this respect they are 
hanged about children's necks. But from 
whence that superstition is derived, or who 
invented the lye I know not : but I see 
how ready the people are to give credit 
thereunto by the multitude of corrals that 
were employed." Steevens informs us 
that there appears to have been an old 
superstition that coral would change its 
colour and look pale when the wearer of 
it was sick. Reed's Shahespear, vii.j 308. 
So in the play of " The Three Ladies of 
London," 1584 : 

" You must say jet will take up a straw, 

amber will make one fat. 
Coral will look pale when you be sick, 

and chrystal will stanch blood." 

In Erondel's "French Garden," 1605, 
edit. 1621, signat. H 2, in a dialogue re- 
lative to the dress of a child, we have an- 
other proof of the long continuance of this 
custom: "You need not give him his 
corall with the small golden chayne, for I 
beleeve it is better to let him sleepe untill 
the afternoone," 

Corby Pole Fair.— See Fairs. 

Cork. — Throwing the Dart by the 
Mayor of Cork, an annual usage. See 
Illustrated London News, June 2, 1855. 

Cornichon-va-devant.— A kind 
of game played in Prance in the sixteenth 
century, of which the precise nature is un- 
certain, and therefore whether there is or 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



145 



was any English analogue. Montaigne's 
Essays, by W. C. Hazlftt, 1902, iv 275. 
Corning'. — Brand's servant, B. Jelks, 
informed him that there was a custom in 
Warwickshire for the poor on St. Thomas's 
Day, to go with a bag to beg corn of the 
farmers, which they called going a-corn- 
ing. 

Cornish Leechdoms. — Communi- 
cated by the late T. Q. Couch. There are 
numerous disjointed fragments of super- 
stition which have been so sadly misshapen 
by time as to defy all attempts to classify 
them, and yet are worthy of being pre- 
served against the period when the pro- 
gress of education shall have rendered 
them obsolete. These are the superstitions 
connected with animals, plants, and things 
inanimate, and the medical or other vir- 
tues attributed to them. The domestic 
treatment of disease among our poor con- 
sists chiefly of charms and ceremonies, and 
even when recourse is had to material re- 
medies, as much importance is attached to 
tho rites which attend their employment as 
to the agents used. In many cases we may 
notice remnants of the old doctrine of sig- 
natures, and the idea of sympathies and 
antipathies between separate and dissimi- 
lar bodies. The brightest coloured decoc- 
tions, as saffron-water, are given to 
"throw out" exanthematous eruptions; 
whilst the nettle rash is treated by copi- 
ous draughts of nettle tea. The fisher- 
man, whose hand is wounded by a hook, is 
very careful to preserve the hook from rust 
during the healing of the wound. 

The following instances will illus- 
trate the household medicine of the poorer 
of our country people : If the in- 
fant is suffering from the thrush, it 
is taken, fasting, on three following 
mornings, to have its mouth blown into by 
a posthumous child. If afflicted with the 
hooping cough, it is fed with the bread 
ana butter of a family, the heads of which 
bear respectively the names John and 
Joan. In the time of an epidemic, so 
numerous are the applications, that the 
poor couple have little reason to be grate- 
ful to their godfathers and godmothers for 
their gift or these particular names. Or, 
if a piebald horse is to be found in the 
neighbourhood, the child is taken to it, 
and passed thrice under the belly of the 
animal ; the mere possession of such a 
beast confers the power of curing the dis- 
ease. The owner of a piebald horse states 
that he has frequently been stopped on the 
road by anxious mothers, who inquired of 
him, in a casual way, what was good for 
the hooping cough? and the thing he men- 
tioned, however inappropriate or absurd, 
was held to be a certain remedy in that 
particular case. The passing of children 
through holes in the earth, rooks, or trees, 



was once an established rite, and the old 
Saxon penitentiaries record strict and pro- 
tracted fasts against "the woman who 
useth any witchcraft to her child, or who 
draws it through the earth at the meeting 
of roads, because that is great heathen- 
ness." Remnants of this Pagan usage are 
still to be observed among the peasantry. 
Boils are said to be cured by creeping on 
the hands and knees beneath a bramble 
which has grown into the earth at both 
ends. Children afflicted with hernia are 
still passed through a slit made in an ash 
sapling, before sunrise, fasting, after 
which the slit portions are bound up, in 
the hope that, as they unite, the malady 
will be cured. The ash is a tree of many 
virtues : venomous reptiles are never 
known to rest under its shadow, and a 
single blow from an ash-stick is instant 
death to an adder; struck by any other 
wand, it is said to retain marks of life, 
till the sun goes down. The mountain 
ash, or care, has a still greater reputation 
in the curing of ills arising from super- 
natural as well as ordinary causes : it is 
the dread of evil spirits, and renders null 
the spells of the witch. The countryman 
will carry for years a small piece of it in 
his pocket, as a protection against the 
ill-wish, or as a remedy for the rheuma- 
tism. If his cow is out of health, and he 
suspects that she is overlooked, away he 
runs to the nearest wood and brings home 
branches of care, which he suspends over 
her stall, or wreathes round her horns, 
after which he considers her safe. The 
cure for warts are many and various. A 
piece of flesh is taken secretly, rubbed over 
the warts, and buried in the earth, and as 
the flesh decays the warts vanish. Or some 
mysterious vagrant desires to have them 
carefuly counted, and, marking the num- 
ber on the inside of his hat, leaves the 
neighbourhood, and takes the warts with 
him. 

There are a few animals the subject 
of superstitious veneration, and a much 
greater number whose actions are sup- 
posed to convey intimations of the future. 
We are too little acquainted with the de- 
tails of the practice of augury among the 
Druids, and the differences between it and 
its observance by our Saxon and Danish 
forefathers, to be able to mark the origin 
of each particular superstition ; at all 
events the belief is too general to have 
been the result of local or individual ob- 
servation, and has all the appearance of 
being a system once entire, but long since 
exploded. The desire to look into the 
future belongs to all times and all condi- 
tions ; but the persistency and generality 
with which the faculty of foreshadowing 
coming events has been attached to parti- 
cular animals is very remarkable. In some 

I 



146 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



instances it would almost seem as if they 
were considered more in the light of causes 
than prognostics; yet as the doctrine of 
fatalism, in a restricted sense, runs 
through all our popular beliefs, we may 
consider, for instance, the conduct of the 
inhospitable housewife who drives off the 
cock that crows upon the door-step, warn- 
ing her of the approach of strangers, as 
only a fresh illustration of a very old fal- 
lacy, which consists in the belief that when 
the prophet is silenced, his jjredictions are 
avertecf. Here are some of our supersti- 
tions connected with certain animals. The 
howling of dogs, the continued croaking of 
ravens over a house, and the ticking of 
the death-watch, portend death. The mag- 
pie is a bird of good or ill omen, according 
to the number seen at one time. A crow- 
ing hen is a bird of ill-luck. A country 
lad informed me that if, on first hearing 
the cuckoo, the sounds proceed from the 
right, it signifies "that you will go vore 
in the world " ; if from the left, "that the 
ensuing year will be one of ill-fortune." 
Particular honour is paid to the robin and 
the wren. It is a very prevalent belief that 
a pillow stuffed with the feathers of wild 
birds delays the departure of the dying. 
Death is also thought to be prolonged until 
the ebb of the tide. The killing of the 
first adder seen for the season is a sign that 
the person is to triumph over his enemies. 
The slough of an adder hung to the rafters 

§ reserves the house against fire. The won- 
erful polity of bees could scarcely have 
escaped^ observation in the earliest ages, 
and they were accordingly supposed to be 
endued with a portion " divinse mentis." 
Our forefathers appear to have been 
among those who considered bees as pos- 
sessing something higher than ordinary 
instinct, for there is yet a degree of defer- 
ence paid to them that would scarcely be 
offered to beings endowed with only the 
usual kind of animal intelligence. On the 
death of any relative, the husbandman 
takes care to acquaint the bees of it, by 
moving the hive, or putting it in mourn- 
ing by attaching to it pieces of black 
cloth or crape ; wliich neglected, they are 
said to leave the hive. The sale of bees 
is a very unlucky proceeding, so they are 
always given, and a bushel of wheat (the 
constant value of a swarm) is expected in 
return. In some house where death has 
occurred, the indoor plants are also hung 
with black, for if this be neglected they are 
said to droop and die. The cricket is a 
bringer of good luck, and its departure 
from a house is a sign of coming misfor- 
tune. Among the omens believed in, or 
existing in proverbs, we may further men- 
tion that the breaking of a looking-glass 
entails seven years' trouble, but no want. 
The dirgeful singing of children portends 



a funeral. There is scarcely a sensation 
but has its meaning. If you shudder, it 
implies that some one is walking o\;^r the 
spot that is to be your grave. It the lelt 
palm itches, you will soon have to paj, 
if the right, to receive money. If the kne© 
itches, you will kneel in a strange church. 
If the sole of the foot tingles, you will 
walk over strange ground. If the ear 
tingles, you will hear of " hastis " news. 
If the cheek burns, some one is talking 
scandal of you. I have frequently heard 
the following lines spoken : 

" Right cheek I left cheek ! why do yoa 

burn? 
Cursed be she that doth me any harm. 
If it be a maid, let her be staid : 
If it be a widow ; long let her mourn : 
But if it be my own true love. 
Burn, cheek, burn ! " 

Even the white patches at the roots of the- 
nails, called gifts, are not without their 
significance. 

Cornish Pixies, The. — The legends 
which follow are taken from a manuscript 
collection, all careful copies of oral tra- 
ditions still extant; the first was com- 
municated to the Athenoeum, many 
years ago, by the late Jonathan 
Couch of Polperro ; the remainder 
were furnished to the present writer 
by his son, the late Mr. Couch of 
Bodmin : A farmer, who formerly lived 
on an estate in this neighbourhood called 
Langreek, was returning one evening from 
a distant part of the farm, and in crossing 
a particular field, saw, to his surprise, 
sitting on a stone in the middle of it, a. 
miserable looking creature, human in ap- 
pearance, though dwarfish in size, and ap- 
parently starving with cold and hunger. 
Pitying its condition, and perhaps aware- 
that it was of elfish origin, and that good! 
luck would amply repay him for his kind" 
treatment of it, he took it home, placed 
it by the warm hearth on a stool^ fed it 
with milk, and shewed it great kindness. 
Though at first lumpish, and only half sen- 
sible, the poor bantling soon revived, and 
though it never spoke, became lively and 
playful. From the amusement it gave by- 
its strange tricks, it soon became a general 
favourite in the family. After the lapse of 
three or four days, whilst it was at play, 
a shrill voice in the farm yard or ' ' town 
place," was heard to call three times, — 
" Colman Grey ! " at which the little fel- 
low sprang up, and gaining voice, cried, 
" Ho I ho ! ho ! my daddy is come !" flew 
through the key-hole, and was never after- 
wards heard of. A field on the Langreek 
estate retains the name of " Colman Grey" 
to this day. The pixies seem to have de- 
lighted in mischief for its own sake. Old 
Robin Hicks, a fisherman of Pol- 
perro who, many years ago, lived in 



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H7 



a houso on the cliffs near the quay, has 
more than once, on stormy winter nights, 
been alarmed at his supper by a voice 
sharp and shrill, coming apparently 
through the key-hole— " Robin ! Robin! 
your boat's adrift ! " He has risen and 
hastened down on the quay to find his 
boat riding safely at her moorings. The 
piskies would testify their joy at the suc- 
cess of their deceit by laughing and "tack- 
ing their hands." Another story is told 
by our fishermen but many of its particu- 
lars are forgotten. John Taprail^ long 
since dead, had moored his boat in the 
evening beside a barge of much larger size 
belonging to John Rendle, who traded in 
her between this place and Plymouth. In 
the middle of the night he was awoke by a 
voice requestinghim to get up and " shift 
his rope over Rendle." He accordingly 
rose, but found to his chagrin that he had 
been called unnecessarilyj for both the 
beat and the barge were riding quietly at 
their ropes. On his way back again, when 
very near his home, he observed a number 
of the little people arranged in a circle 
under shelter of a boat that was lying 
high and dry on the beach. Each was 
holding his little cap in his hand, except 
one, who, sitting in the centre, was en- 
gaged in distributing a heap of money, 
throwing it into the caps after the manner 
in which cards are dealt. John Taprail 
crept slily towards them sheltered by the 
beat, and reaching round his own cap 
managed to introduce it into the circle. 
When it had received a good portion of the 
money, he slowly and cautiously withdrew 
it, and made off with the booty : the inter- 
loper, however, was discovered, and the 
whole circle joined in pursuing him. Hav- 
ing got a good start of the piskies, he man- 
aged to reach his house, and to close the 
door on his pursuers ; but his escape was a 
narrow one, for he had left the skirts of 
his sea coat in their hands. The next tra- 
dition well shows their caprice, and that 
they are easily offended by an offer of re- 
ward, however delicateljr tendered. A 
farmer, residing at a particular farmhouse' 
in this neighbourhood, was surprised at 
the extraordinary quantity of corn which 
was threshed during the night, as well as 
puzzled to discover the mysterious agency 
by which it was effected. His curiosity 
led him to enquire closely into the matter. 
One moonlight night he crept stealthily 
to the barn-door, looked through a chink 
and, to his astonishment, saw a little fel- 
low, clad in a ragged green suit, wielding 
the flail with great skill and rapidity. 
The farmer crept away unperceived, feel- 
ing very grateful to the pisky for his ser- 
vices. All night he lay awake, thinking 
in what way he could best show his grati- 
tude. He settled, at length, that as the 



little fellow's clothes were somewhat the 
worse for wear, the gift of a new suit 
would be the proper way to lessen the 
obligation ; so he had a suit of green made 
of what he judged to be the proper size, 
and this he carried early in the evening 
to the barn, and left there for the pisky's 
acceptance. At night he stole to the 
barn-door, to see how the gift was taken. 
He was just in time to see the elf put on 
the suit, with which he was very well 
pleased, for, looking down on himself, ad- 
miringly, he sang — 

" Pisky fine, and pisky gay, 

Now will pisky fly away." 

From thenceforth the farmer received no 
assistance from the fairy flail. Another 
version of the pisky's song, equally com- 
mon with the above, is — 

'' Pisky new coat, and pisky new hood, 
Pisky now will do no more good." 

It is said of another farmer that he dis- 
covered two piskies threshing lustily in his 
barn, now and then interrupting their 
work, and enquiring of each other, in the 
smallest falsetto voice, ' ' I tweat ! you 
tweat? " After a while the flails ceased, 
and they surveyed their work. " We've 
threshed enough," observed one. " Quite 
enough ! and thank ye 1 " said the incauti- 
ous farmer. The elves instantly vanished, 
and never more visited that barn. It will 
scarcely be necessary to remind the reader 
of the similarity of these tales and those 
which Milton speaks of as told by a coun- 
try hearth. A farmer's boy, living at 
Portallow, was sent, one dark night, to 
procure some litle household necessaries 
from a shop at Polperro. He was trudg- 
ing backwards, having executed his busi- 
ness at the grocer's, and had reached Tal- 
land-sand bill, when he heard some one 
say, " I'm for Portallow green ! "As you 
are going my way," thought the lad, "I 
may as well have your company." Accord- 
ingly he listened for a repetition of the 
voice, intending to hail it. " I'm for 
Portallow green I " was repeated after a 
short interval. " I'm for Portallow 
green !" shouted the boy. Quick as thought 
he found himself on the green, surrounded 
by a throng of little laughing pixies. 
They were, however, scarcely settled oefore 
the cry was heard from several tiny voices, 
" I'm for Seaton beach ! " (a fine expanse 
of sand on the coast between Looe and 
Plymouth, and about seven miles distant 
from Portallow) . Whether he was charmed 
by this brief taste of pisky society or was 
taken with their pleasant mode of travel- 
ling, is not stated, but he immediately re- 
joined, " I'm for Seaton beach 1" Off he 
was whisked, and in a moment found him- 
self on Seaton beach, engaged in a dance 
of the most lively and fantastic kind, for 



148 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



the nimble manner in which his feet were 
flung about, in measure with the fairy 
tune which was played by one of the elves, 
was a perfect wonder to himself. After 
they had for a while danced ' ' their ring- 
lets to the whistling wind," the cry was 
changed to " I'm for the King of France's 
cellar ! " Strange to say, he offered no 
objection even to so long a journey. " I'm 
for the King of Prance's cellar ! " shouted 
the adventurous youth, as he threw his 
parcel on the edge of the beach, near the 
tide. Immediately he found himself in a 
spacious cellar engaged with his myster- 
ious companions in tasting the richest 
of wines, after which they passed 
through grand rooms, fitted up with 
a splendour which quite dazzled him. 
The tables were covered with fine 
plate and rich viands, as if in ex- 
pectation of a feast. Thinking it 
would be as well to take away with him 
some small memorial of his travels, he 
pocketed a rich silver goblet. After a 
short stay, the piskies said, " I'm for Sea- 
ton beach," which was repeated by the 
boy, and he was taken back as quickly as 
he went, reaching the beach in time to re- 
cover his parcel from the flowing tide. 
Their next destination was Portallow 
Green, where they left our wondering tra- 
veller, who soon reached his home, de- 
livered his message, and received a compli- 
ment from the good wife for his dispatch. 
"You'd say so, if you only know'd where 
I've been," said he. " I've been with the 
piskies to Seaton beach, and I've been to 
the King of France's cellar, and all in 
five minutes." " The boy is mazed," said 
the farmer. " I thought you'd say I was 
mazed, if I didn't bring something with 
me to show vor't," he replied, at the same 
time producing the goblet. The farmer 
and his family examined it, wondered at 
it, and finished by giving a full belief to 
the boy's strange story. The goblet is 
unfortunately not now to be produced in 
proof to those who may still doubt, but we 
are told that it remained the property of 
the boy's family for generations after. Our 
legend of the pisky midwife is so well re- 
lated by Mrs. Bray, in her book on the 
"Tamar and Tavy," that it need not be 
again told, the only material difference 
being, that it was the accidental applica- 
tion to her right eye of the soap with 
which she was washing the baby that 
opened to her the secrets of fairy-land. I 
have been unable to discover any traces 
of a belief in water spirits. An old man, 
just deceased, was accustomed to relate 
that he saw on a stormy day a woman, 
her face buried in her long dank locks, 
sitting on the rocks at Talland sand, and 
weeping. On his approach, she slid into 
the sea, and disappeared. The story is 



easily accounted for by supposing that 
he saw a seal (an animal that has been 
noticed in that locality on more than one 
occasion), the long hair being an allow- 
able embellishment. Our fishermen talk 
of "mormaids," and the egg-cases of the 
rays and sharks are popularly called 
"mormaids' purses." It is extremely 
doubtful whether they formed a part of 
the old mythology. 

Besides the piskies, but of a 
widely difierent character and origin, 
are the spectre huntsman and his 
pack, known as the "Devil and his dandy 
dogs." The genius of this tradition is es- 
sentially Scandinavian, and reminds us of 
the " Wirtend heer" and the grim sights 
and terrible sounds which affright the 
peasant at night in the forests of the 
north. Though at first the frightful spec- 
tres were the ghosts of slain warriors 
speeding from Valhalla, and pursuing 
their prey through the murky air, the tra- 
dition has become variously altered in 
different countries, but in all retaining 
enough of the terrible to mark its deriva- 
tion. The "Devil and his dandy dogs" 
frequent our bleak and dismal moors on 
tempestuous nights, and are also occasion- 
ally neard in the more cultivated districts 
by the coasts, where they are less frightful 
ia their character. They are most com- 
monly seen by those who are out at nights 
on wicked errands, and woe betide the 
poor wretch who crosses their path. An 
interesting legend will illustrate the little 
we have heard of this superstition in its 
wilder forms. A poor herdsman was jour- 
neying homeward across the moors one 
windy night, when he heard, at a distance 
among the tors, the baying of hounds 
which, time and circumstances considered, 
he immediately recognised as the dismal 
chorus of the dandy dogs. Very much 
alarmed, he hurried onwards as fast as the 
treacherous nature of the soil and the un- 
certainty of the path would allow ; but the 
melancholy yelping of the hounds, and the 
holloa of the huntsman as it sounded 
across the waste, became every moment 
nearer and nearer. After a considerable 
run, they had so gained upon him, that 
on looking back he could distinctly 
see hunter and dogs. The former 
was terrible to look at, and had the usual 
complement of " saucer " eyes, horns, and 
tail, accorded by the common consent of 
story-tellers to the legendary devil. He 
was, of course, black, and carried a long 
hunting-pole. The dogs, too, were black, 
many in number, each of them snorting 
fire, and uttering a yelp of peculiarly 
frightful character. With no cottage, 
rock, or tree to give him shelter, in de- 
spair he was about to abandon himself to 
their fury, when at once a happy thought 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



U^ 



suggested a resource. Just as they were 
about to rush upon him he fell on his 
knees in prayer, earnest no doubt. Imme- 
diately, as if resistance had been offered, 
the whole pack stood at bay, howling 
loudly and dismally. The hunter shouted 
" bo shrove ! " " which," says my inform- 
ant, " means in the old language, ' the boy 
prays ! ' " and at the words they all drew 
off and disappeared. The dandy dogs are 
not unfrequently seen on the sea-coast, 
and the stories told are so well attested, 
that there is reason to conclude the narra- 
tors have really seen a pack of weasels, of 
which it is well known that they hunt gre- 
gariously at night, and when so engaged 
do not scruple to attack man. 

It is certainly surprising to find 
those stories which we have been 
taught to associate with a particular 
house or family told of persons and 
places very remote. There is, how- 
ever, only space here to point to cer- 
tain instances of this community of fable. 
There is a great similarity, for instance, 
between the story of Colman Grey, and 
that of Gilpin Homer, as given in the 
notes to the " Lay of the Last Minstrel," 
and we are reminded of the same story 
when reading of the " Killcrops," in 
Luther's " Colloquia Mensalia." Our story 
of the pisky thresher has its counterpart in 
the fairy lore of almost all the countries in 
Europe, and so close is the resemblance, 
that the pisky song would seem almost a 
verbatim translation from one language 
to another. In England, at Hilton Hall, 
the fairy sang — 

" Here's a cloak, and here's a hood ! 
The cauld lad of Hilton will do no more 
good." 

The brownie of Scotland is offended in like 
manner at a present of clothes, and cries : 

" A new mantle and a new hood ! 

Poor Brownie ! ye'll ne'er do mair 
gude." 

The tale of the midwife is also of very 
wide distribution, and may be found, with 
slight variation, in Gervase of Tilbury. 
The legend of " I'm for Portallow green " 
resembles, in many points, that told of 
Lord Duffus, in the " Minstrelsy of the 
Scottish Border " ; and that related of a 
butler in the noble house of Monteith. 
The reader will also be reminded of the 
story of the "Haunted Cellar," by Crofton 
Croker. These curious superstitions have 
received many modifications in the course 
of ages. The promulgators of later creeds 
appear to have despaired at the task of 
rooting out old and stubborn prejudices, 
and to have preferred grafting their new 
doctrines on the old. As instances of these 
modifications may be mentioned, the 
widely spread belief that piskies are the 



souls of unbaptized children ; the modern 
name of the spectre huntsman and his 
hounds ; and the efficacy of prayer in driv- 
ing off the latter. Prom the little I know of 
the fairy superstitions of Cornwall (which 
little has been gleaned entirely from oral 
tradition), it would not be easy to classify 
the beings of the popular creed : still there 
are characteristics which, when more is 
known of them, may serve to distribute 
them into classes resembling those of the 
continental nations, whose mythology has 
kept its distinctions more definitely than 
our own. Our domestic spirit, who re- 
wards the thrifty servant, and punishes 
the slattern, and who, in the old manor 
house at Killigarth, when the family was 
at church, was wont to watch the joint as 
it roasted on the spit, and to admonish the 
servant to remove it when sufliciently 
drest, agrees with the gobelin of Nor- 
mandy, the kobold of Germany, the nisse 
of Norway, the Tomte gubbe of Sweden, 
and the brownie of Scotland, and may be 
found distinct from our little pastoral 
fairy, whose chief amusement is music 
and dancing, laughter and mischief, and 
who makes those rings in our meadows 
" of which the ewe not bites." 

In Cornwall we might expect to 
find the "swart fairy of the mine" 
occupying a prominent place in our 
mythology. It would therefore be 
interesting to know whether this is the 
case from those who are acquainted with 
the "folk lore" of our mining districts, 
especially as it has been a disputed point 
whether the Duegars or dwarf tribe 
dwelling in hills and caverns, and distin- 
guished for their skill in metallurgy really 
formed a portion of the old belief, or were, 
as Sir Walter Scott thought them, the 
diminutive natives of the Lappish and 
Finnish nations, driven to the mountains 
by their invaders. The general belief 
seems to be " that they are personifications 
of the subterraneous powers of nature " ; 
for. as Keightley observes, "all parts of 
every ancient mythology are but personi- 
fied powers, attributes, and moral quali- 
ties." 

There is " An account of Anne Jef- 
feries, now living in the county of Corn- 
wall, who was fed for six months by a 
small sort of airy people called fairies ; 
and of the strange and wonderful cures she 
performed, with salves and medicines she 
received from them, for which she never 
took one penny of her patients : In a letter 
from Moses Pitt to the right reverend 
Father in God, Dr. Edward Fowler, Lord 
Bishop of Gloucester : 1696." This tract 
states that Anne Jefferies (for that was her 
maiden name) was born in the parish of 
St. Teath in the county of Cornwall, in 
December, 1626, and is still living, 1696, 
aged 70. She is married to one William 



.150 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Warren, formerly hind to the late eminent 
physician Dr. Richard Lower, deceased, 
and now to S'. Andrew Slanning of Devon, 
Bart. — That a.d. 1645, as she was one day 
sitting knitting in an arbour in the gar- 
den there came over the hedge of a 
Budden, six persons of a small stature all 
clothed in green, which frighted her so 
much as to throw her into a great sickness. 
They continued their appearance to her, 
never less than two at a time, nor never 
more than eight, always in even numbers, 
2, 4, 6, 8. " She forsook eating our vic- 
tuals " (continues the narrator in whose 
family she lived as a servant) " and was 
fed by these fairies from the harvest time 
to the next Christmas Day ; upon which 
day she came to our table and said, because 
it was that day she would eat some roast 
fae^f with us, which she did, I myself being 
then at table. One day," he adds, "she 
gave me a piece of her fairy bread, which 
I did eat, and think it was the most 
delicious bread that ever I did eat, either 
before or since. One day," the credulous 
narrator goes on, "these fairies gave my 
sister Mary a silver cup which held about a 
quart, bidding her give it my mother ; but 
my mother would not accept it. I presume 
this was the time my sister owns she saw 
the fairies. I confess to your lordship I 
never did see them. I have seen Anne in 
the orchard dancing among the trees ; and 
she told me she was then dancing with the 
fairies." Morgan's "Phoenix Britanni- 
cus," p. 545. Morgan tells us that the 
copy from which he reprinted it had at 
the bottom of its title-page this N.B in 
MS. : " Recommended by the Right Rev. 
to his friend Mrs. Eliz. Rye." He means, 
no doubt, the above Bishop of Gloucester, 
who it should seem had tacKed to his creed 
this article of belief in fairies. It is with 
great diffidence that I shall venture to con- 
sider Anne's case en Medicin; yet I pre- 
sume some very obvious physical reasons 
might be given why a wench of nineteen 
should fall into sickness and see objects 
that were green without the smallest neces- 
sity of calling in the aid of the marvellous. 
It appears that Anne was afterwards 
thrown into gaol, as an impostor, nor does 
even the friendly narrator of her singular 
story, Moses Pitt, give us any plausible 
account why the fairies, like false earthly 
friends, forsook her in the time of her 
distress. 

Cornlaiters. — Hutchinson, speak- 
ing of the parish of Whitbeck, says : 
" Newly married peasants beg corn to sow 
their first crop with, and are called corn- 
laiters." Cumberland, i., 553. 

Corporal Oath is supposed to have 
been derived — "not from the touching of 
the New Testament, or the bodily act of 
kissing it, but from the ancient use of 



touching the Corporale, or cloth^ which 
covered the consecrated elements." 

Corpus Christ! Day. — Corpus 
Christi Day, a moveable feast, is in all 
Roman Catholic countries celebrated with 
music, lights, flowers strewed all along the 
streets, their richest tapestries hung out 
upon the walls, &c. In the Municipal 
Records of York, there are vestiges of the 
performance of the Corpus Christi Play in 
that city as far back as 1388, and from a 
fragment of the Chamberlain's Account for 
1397, which is extant, we learn that in the 
latter year the King was present at the 
spectacle; but from the general tenor of 
later entries among the archives, there can 
be no question, that the practice was of 
far higher antiquity than the reign of 
Richard II. Mr. Davies, who enters into 
long details on this subject, says: "The 
Corporation took great pains to render the 
exhibition acceptable to their royal visi- 
tor. Barriers were erected for the King's 
accommodation ; the pageant was repaired 
and newly painted ; four new scenes and a 
new banner were provided ; the players 
and the city minstrels were paid additional 
rewards ; and the minstrels of the king and 
his suite, which probably took part in the 
performances, received a liberal gratu- 
ity." In the Extracts, 18 Edward IV., 
are two entries relative to the performance 
of the Corpus Christi play at York in that 
year : " And paid for a banner of Thomas 
Gaunt, for the Corpus Christi play, at the 
inn of Henry Watson, 4d. And paid Mar- 
garet the sempstress for the repair of the 
banners of the Corpus Christi play, 3d." 
Mr. Davies observes: "We possess no 
authentic information of the time, when 
the observance of the festival was first in- 
troduced into England." 

The Chronicle of Sprott, which 
notices its institution by Pope Urban 
IV., whose pontificate commenced in 
1261, records 'the confirmation of the 
festival of Corpus Christi ' in the 
year 1318 ; and perhaps, during this in- 
terval, it was transplanted from Italy into 
other parts of the Christian world. . . In 
the year 1313, Philip the Pair gave in 
Paris one of the most sumptuous fetes 
that had been seen for a long time in 
Prance. The King of England, Edward 
II., was invited expressly, and crossed the 
sea with his Queen Isabella, and a splen- 
did train of nobility. . . In the reign of 
Edward II. was written the miracle play 
of the ' Harrowing of Hell,' the earliest 
dramatic composition hitherto discovered 
in the English language. It seems there- 
fore not improbable that the celebration 
of the Corpus Christi festival on its first 
introduction into this country was accom- 
panied by the exhibition of pageant plays 
pioduced by the several companies, into 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



151 



which the tradesmen and artizans of cities 
and towns were then incorporated." Ex- 
tracts from the Records of York, 1843, 
" Appendix," p. 228-9 ; York Plays, edited 
by Miss Toulmin Smith, 1885, Introduc- 
tion. 

The following is an account of the 
expenses incurred on the occasion : 
"And in expenses incurred this year 
by the Mayor, aldermen, and many 
others of the Council of the Cham- 
ber at the Feast of Corpus Christi, seeing 
and directing the play in the house of 
Nicholas Bewick, according to custom, to- 
gether with 40s. 4d. paid for red and white 
wine, given and sent to knights, ladies, 
gentlemen, and nobles then being within 
the city ; and also 9s. paid for the rent of 
the chamber, and 3s. 4d. paid to one 
preaching and delivering a sermon on the 
morrow of the said feast, in the Cathedral 
Church of St. Peter of York, after the 
celebration of the procession, according to 
the like custom. ... £4 18s. lid." In 
the churchwardens' and chamberlain's ac- 
counts at Kingston occur these entries : 
"21 Hen. VII. Mem. That we, Adam 
Backhous and Harry Nycol, amountyd of 
a Play. ... £4 Os. Od. 27 Hen. VII. 
Paid for pack-thred on Corpus Christi 
day. Id." "This," Lysons observes, "was 
probably used for hanging the pageants, 
containing the History of our Saviour, 
which were exhibited on this day, and ex- 
plained by the Mendicant Friars. In the 
same accounts for St. Mary at Hill, Lou- 
don, 17 and 19 Edw. IV., the following en- 
try occurs : ' ' Garlands on Corpus Christi 
Day. xd." I find also among the Church 
disbursements: " For four (six, or eight) 
men bearing torches about the parish " on 
this day, payments of Id. each. Among 
the same accounts, for the 19 and 20 Ed- 
ward IV., we have : " For flaggs and gar- 
londis, and pak-thredde for the torches, 
upon Corpus Christi Day, and for six men 
to bere the said torches, iiijs. vijd." And 
in 1845, "For the hire of the gar- 
ments for pageants, is. viijd." In 
the Wax-Chandlers' account, 1512, a 
charge of 2s. 8d. is made for gar- 
nishing eight torches on Corpus Christi 
Day. Rose-garlands on Corpus Christi 
Day are also mentioned under 1524 
and 1525, in the accounts of St. 
Martin Outwich. In " John Bon and 
Mast Person " (1548), by Luke Shepherd, 
the parson commends John for leaving his 
work early in order to attend the celebra- 
tion of Corpus Christi, for, says he : — 
" — Surely some ther be wyl go to 

ploughe an carte, 
And set not by thys holy Corpus Christi 

even. 
John. They are more to blame, I 

swere by saynt Steuen, 



But tell me, mast person, one thing, 

and you can ; 
What Saynt is Copsi Curtsy, a man or a 

woman? " 

At the celebration of the Feast of Corpus 
Christi, at Aix in Provence, there is a pro- 
cession of saints, among whom St. Simeon 
is represented with a mitre and cap, carry- 
ing in his left hand a basket of eggs. Mist, 
de la Fete Dieu, p. 100. Douce. Naogeor- 
gus (" Popish Kingd. " transl. by Googe, 
1570, fol. 53 verso) describes at some length 
the customs prevalent in his day in Ger- 
many on Corpus Christi Day. 

Corpus Christi Eve. — In North 
Wales, at Llanasaph, there is a custom of 
strewing green herbs and flowers at the 
doors of houses on Corpus Christi Eve. — 
Pennant. 

Corvina. Stone. — A sort of amulet 
named in the work of John Florio, 1625, 
as having been given by Ferdinando, 
Grand Duke" of Tuscany, to Anne of Den- 
mark, and as having passed into the pos- 
session of the testator who bequeathed it 
to William Earl of Pembroke. Florio de- 
scribes it in his Italian Dictionary, 1611, 
as a stone of many virtues, which they say 
is found in a raven's nest, fetcht thither 
by the raven, if in her absence a man have 
sodden bad eggs, and laid them in the nest 
again, to make them new again. Corvina 
readily suggests the etymology corvo. 

Coscinomantia.. — Of coscinoman- 
tia it is said, that this method of divina- 
tion is assisted by spirits, and that it was 
considered a surer one than any other by 
the people on the continent. The process 
was accomplished by two persons holding 
the sieve with a forceps or pair of pincers 
by their middle fingers, and repeating six 
unintelligible words over it ; whereupon, 
the names of all those who are suspected 
of the theft, act of violence, or whatever 
it may be that they seek to discover, being 
called, at the mention of the culprit the 
utensil moves, trembles, or turns round 
under the influence of the presiding 
(though invisible) spirit, and the divina- 
tion is completed. Delrio's account is 
similar, Bisguis. Magicce, 245 ; and it has 
been merely translated (as it were) by 
Grose. Holiday, an English author, who 
repeats the same description, adds, that 
the ceremony was also employed for the 
purpose of ascertaining whom such an one 
was to have in marriage. Marriage of the 
Arts. 1618, ed. 1680, 92. The charm is not 
overlooked by Mason and Melton. Ano- 
tomie of Sorcerie, 1612, 9; Astrologaster, 
1620, 45. Lodge seems to intimate that it 
was sometimes performed by a sieve and 
key, Wits Miserie, 1596, p. 12, which was 
no doubt the case, as this other form of the 
operation is explained in a later work 



152 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



thus: " A Bible having a key fastened in 
the middle, and being held between the 
two forefingers of two persons, will turn 
round after some words said ; as, if one 
desires to find out a thief, a certain verse 
taken out of a Psalm is to be repeated, 
and those who are suspected nominated^ 
and if they are guilty, the book and key 
will turn, else not." Athenian Oracle, i., 
425. Scot tells us that "Popish Priests, 
as the Chaldeans used the divination by 
sive and sheers for the detection of theft, 
do practice with a Psalter and key fas- 
tened upon the forty-ninth (fiftieth) Psalm 
to discover a thief ; and when the hames 
of the suspected persons are orderly put 
into the pipe of the key at the reading of 
these words of the Psalm ' If thou sawest 
a thief thou did'st consent unto him,' the 
Book will wagg, and fall out of the fingers 
of them that hold it, and he whose name 
remaineth in the key must be the thief." 
Discovery, ed. 1665, p. 286. This is called 
in the Athenian Oracle (ii., 309) " The 
trick of the sieve and Scizzars, the coskini- 
omancy of the Antients, as old as Theo- 
critus :" 

" To Agrio too I made the same demand, 
A cunning woman she, I cross'd her 

hand : 
She turn'd the sieve and sheers, and told 

me true. 
That I should love, but not be lov'd by 

you." 

The original words are : — 

ElTTe Kol 'Aypoili> TaAaOea, ko(t Kiv6fiavr 19, 
A irpav iroioKoyeva a, irapai^drts, o^yfK ^yi flip 
T\y S\os eyKetfiai* ti» 5^ ufv }^6yov ou54va irotft. 

Agrippa devotes the 21st chapter of his 
Occult Philosophy to this subject, and fur- 
nishes a representation from an iron plate 
of the mode of performing this species of 
dj^uation. He says: "Hue enim Cos- 
cinomantia scribenda venit, quEe Dsemone 
urgente, per Cribrum Divinationem susci- 
tari docet, quis rei patratse author sit, 
quis hoc commiserit furtum, quis hoc de- 
derit vulnus, aut quicquid tale fuerit. 
Cribrum enim inter duorum astantium 
medios digitos, per forcipem suspendunt, 
ac dejuratione facta per sex Verba, 
nee sibi ipsis, nee aliis intellecta, 
quae sunt : Dies Mies Jeschet Bene- 
doftet, Dovvina Enitemaus, Dsemonem 
in hoc compellunt ut reo nominato 
(nam omnes suspectos nominare oportet) 
confestim oircum agatur sed per obliquum 
instrumentum e forcipe pendens, ut reum 
prodat : Iconem hie ponimus. Annis abac- 
tis plus minus triginta, ter hujus divina- 
tionis genere sum ipse usus — ubi semper 
pro veto aleam cecidisse comperi. Hanc 
Divinationem casteris arbitrabantur veri- 



orem sicut etiam Erasmus soribit in pro- 

verbio, ' Cribro divinare.' " 

Butler mentions this: — 

" Th' oracle of sieve and shears, ^^ 

That turns as certain as the spheres. 

Hudihras, Part 2, iii., 559. But, after 
all, it may remain a matter of legitimate 
doubt, whether this superstition was ever 
widely prevalent in England, boot is 
the earliest writer of our nation who reters 
to it, and his testimony does not seeni to 
disturb an impression that all the English 
accounts (which implicitly follow each 
other) are borrowed from the continental 
writers, and do not establish the existence 
of this mode of detection as a genuine 
English practice or belief, except as a mar- 
riage charm. 

Cotsvtfold Games. — These were 
athletic sports annually held in those 
parts, especially about Willersley and 
Ohipping-Campden. They seem to have 
been established by Robert Dover, an at- 
torney of Barton on the Heath, in War- 
wickshire, son of John Dover, a Norfolk 
man ; and James I. allowed him to appro- 
piiate for the temporary purpose a certain 
open space, while Endimion Porter, a • 
gentleman whose name is agreeably 
associated with those of many of the 
literary celebrities of the time, procured 
him some of the King's wardrobe, includ- 
ing a hat and feather, and ruff. Dover 
entered with great spirit into this enter- 
tainment, which seems to have spread over 
two days ; a large concourse of people as- 
sembled to witness the proceedings ; and 
in 1636 an account of the custom, with en- 
comiastic verses by poets of the day, ap- 
peared, embellished with a frontispiece 
illustrative of some of the features of the 
programme. The usage was interrupted 
by the Civil War, but subsequently revived 
and still remained in vogue in the time of 
Rudder the Gloucestershire historian. The 
anniversary was then celebrated at a point 
called Dover's Hill, on Thursday in Whit- 
sun week. Poetical Worhs of William 
Basse (1602-53), 1893, pp. 105-6. 

Coxcomb. — Originally the fool's cap, 
from the comb with which it was deco- 
rated. Comp. Nares, 1859, in v. In a 
secondary and now more usual sense the 
word now denotes a vain, conceited, medd- 
ling fellow. Beed's Shakespear, 1803, 
vol. xyii. p. 358. In " The First Part of 
Antonio and Mellida," 1602, we read : 
' ' Good faith. He accept of the cockes- 
combe so you will not refuse the bable." 

Crack-Nut Sunday. — The Sunday 
next before Michaelmas Eve. The prac- 
tice was carried on in Church by all ages, 
so as to disturb the service. See Brayley 
and Britten's Surrey, iii., 41, referring 
particularly to Kingston. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



153 



Cramp.— In " Ovid Travestie," 1673, 
Epistle of Hero to Leander, the following 
charms are facetiously mentioned as speci- 
fics against cramp : 

" Wear bone ring on thumb, or tye 

Strong pack-thread below your thigh." 

In the North of England, the children run 
round the tree, repeating these verses : 

" Cramp, be thou painless. 

As our Lady was sinless. 

When she bare Jesus." 

Mr. Brand remembered that is was a cus- 
tom in the North of England for boys that 
swam, to wear an eel skin about their 
naked leg to prevent the cramp. Rings 
made from coffin-hinges are supposed to 
do so. See Grose's "Dictionary of the 
Vulgar Tongue," v. Scower. 

Cramp-IFtinss — Borde, in his "In- 
troduction to Knowledge," 1542, speaking 
of England, says : "The Kynges of Bng- 
laude doth halowe every yere crampe 
rynges, y» which rynges worne on ones 
fynger doth helpe them whych hath the 
crampe." The same author, in his " Bre- 
viary of Health," 1557, fol. 166, speaking 
^ of the cramp, adopts the following super- 
stition among the remedies thereof : "The 
Kynges Majestic hath a great helpe in 
this matter in halowyng crampe ringes, 
and so geven without money or petition." 
The ceremonies of blessing cramp rings on 
Good Friday will be found in Waldron's 
"Literary Museum," 1789.— Kouce. In 
Cartwright's Ordinary, apparently writ- 
ten in 1634, Moth the Antiquary betrothes 
the widow Potluck with ' ' his biggest 
cramp-ring." In the Life of Benvenuto 
Celhni, by himself, (1500-71), it is stated 
that these rings were imported from Eng- 
land into Italy in the sixteenth century, 
and cost tenpeuce. They were then known 
as anelli del granchio; but they now term 
them anelli di salute. Note in the Engl, 
transl. by J. A. Symonds, 3rd ed. p. 30l! 

Creeling: — In the " Statistical Ac- 
count of Scotland," 1792, the minister of 
Galston, m Ayreshire, informs us of a 
singular custom there: "When a young 
man wishes to pay his addresses to his 
sweetheart, instead of going to her father's 
and professing his passion, he goes to a 
pubhchouse ; and having let the landlady 
into the secret of his attachment, the ob- 
Oect of his wishes is immediately sent for, 
who never almost refuses to come. She is 
entertained with ale and whiskey, or 
brandy ; and the marriage is concluded on. 
The second day after the marriage a creel- 
ing as it is called, takes place. The young 
wedding pair, with their friends, assemble 
m a convenient spot. A small creel or 
basket is prepared for the occasion, into 
which they put some stones : the voung 
men carry it alternately, and allow them- 



selves to be caught by the maidens, who 
have a kiss when they succeed. After a 
great deal of innocent mirth and pleasan- 
try, the creel falls at length to the young 
husband's share, who is obliged to carry it 
generally for a long time, none of the 
young women having compassion upon 
him. At last, his fair mate kindly relieves 
him from his burden ; and her complais- 
ance in this particular is considered as a 
proof of her satisfaction with the choice 
she has made. The creel goes round again ; 
more merriment succeeds ; and all the com- 
pany dine together and talk over the feats 
of the field." Ramsay, in his "Poems," 
1721, refers to the creeling usage, and adds 
in a note : " 'Tis a custom for the friends 
to endeavour the next day after the wed- 
ding to make the new-married man as 
drunk as possible." Perhaps the French 
phrase, ' Adieu, panniers, vendages sont 
faites,' may allude to a similar custom." 

Creeping; to the Cross. — The 
Catholic ceremony of " creeping to the 
cross" on Good Friday is given, from an 
ancient book of the " Ceremonial of the 
Kings of England '' in the Notes to the 
Northumberland Household Book. The 
Usher was to lay a carpet for the Kinge to 
" creepe to the Crosse upon." The Queen 
and her ladies were also to " creepe to the 
Crosse." In a proclamation, dated 26th 
February, 30 Henry VIII., we read : " On 
Good Friday it shall be declared howe 
creepyng to the Crosse signifyeth an hum- 
blynge of ourselfe to Christe before the 
Crosse, and the kyssynge of it a memorie 
of our redemption made upon the Crosse." 
This usage was retained for some time 
a-fter the restoration of the Protestant re- 
ligion under Elizabeth. In a letter written 
about 1566 by the Bishop of London to Sir 
W. Cecil, the Bishop speaks of some who, 
" att Dunbarre, on G^od Frydaye sawe 
corteyn persons goo barefooted an<l bare- 
legged to the churche, to creepe to the 
crosse." See also Bonner's "Injunctions," 
A.D. 1555, signat. A. 2. In "A short 
Description of Antichrist," &c. the author 
notes the Popish custom of " creepinge to 
the Crosse with egges and apples." 

Cremation. — The ancient Chris- 
tians, to testify the abhorrence of heathen 
rites, rejected the Pagan custom of burn- 
ing the dead, depositing the inanimate 
body entire in the ground. Thus I 
found at Rutchester, one of the sta- 
tions upon the Roman Wall in North- 
umberland, a sepulchre hewn out of 
the living rock, wherein Leland says 
Paulinus who conveited the Northum- 
brians to Christianity was interred. 
The whole subject of cremation is 
ably taken up and treated in the thirty- 
seventh volume of the Archseologia by Wil- 
liam Michael Wylie, Esq. Mr. "Wylie 



I'i4 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



shews that the burning of the dead was 
commonly put in practice in this country 
ill early times: and he observes: "The 
recent researches of Mr. Akerman, in a 
Keltic cemetery at Brighthampton in Ox- 
fordshire, disclosed a great number of ex- 
amples of cremation, unmixed with in- 
humation. 

It may not be generally known 
that there is an Earth-to-Earth Society, 
established to resist and discountenance 
this method of dissolution. Its published 
reasons against cremation are mainly legal 
or clerical. Perhaps this matter ought 
not to be dismissed without a passing re- 
ference to the rather revolting practice of 
destroying the remains of executed con- 
victs by means of quick lime, partly no 
doubt m consequence of the law, which 
directs that such persons shall be buried 
within the precincts of the gaol at which 
the execution occurred. It is well-known 
that the body of Ritson the antiquary, by 
his own express desire, underwent this bar- 
barous form of combustion, which all the 
ingenuity of the author of " Urn-Burial" 
could not reconcile with Christian ideas. 

Cresset. — See Nares and Halliwell 
in v., and Hazlitt's Livery Companies, 
1892, p. 310. 

Cricket. — This sport, now so common 
and popular, has only of recent years at- 
tracted archasological notice, and been 
found in some form or other to go back to 
the fourteenth, if not thirteenth, century. 
By some it is supposed to be an evolution 
from club-ball, and it is cognate with 
rounders and hockey. A Bodleian MS. of 
1344 represents a female figure bowling to 
a man, who holds in his hand a bat pre- 
pared to strike ; and in 1350 John Parish, 
of Guildford, enclosed a plot of ground 
there for the purpose of playing at cricket. 
Whether the allusion in 1305, cited in the 
Antiguary, intends cricket under the de- 
signation of creag, seems uncertain. Dur- 
ing the seventeenth century references to 
the game are not numerous, which may 
possibly arise from its familiarity at that 
time, as it is one of the pastimes enume- 
rated in a news-letter of May 6, 1670, from 
the chaplain of the ship Assistance, lying 
off Antioch, when he speaks of the sailors 
occupying their leisure in this sort of way, 
the curious feature being that they should 
have found the means of doing so in such 
a locality without having taken the im- 
plements with them. The fact appears to 
be that what we at present recognise as 
cricket was simply club or bat-and-ball at 
the outset, and that wicket, wicket-keeper, 
scouts and other accessories came after- 
ward — ^long afterward. 

In the ancient romance of Blerlin, 
where the King's messengers are in 
search for a particular object of a 



child born without a mortal father, 
they meet with a party of children, 
who are said in the popular summary by 
Dunlop to be playing at cricket. Merlin 
being of the number. Of course this is no 
authority for the game ; but the occupa- 
tion of the miraculous boy and his com- 
rades may very well have been club-ball — 
a pastime of the highest antiquity. In 
Chamberlain's Angli(B Notitia, 1694, the 
game is thus explicitly named: — "The 
natives will endure long and hard labour ; 
inasmuch that after 12 hours' hard work, 
they will go in the evening to football, 
stool ball, cricket, prison-base, wrestling, 
cudgel-playing, or some such like vehe- 
ment exercise for their recreation." It is 
said, in the World Bewitch' d, 1699, p. 22, 
that, on the approach of summer, "Quoits, 
cricket, nine-pins, and trap-ball will be 
very much in fashion, and more tradesmen 
may be seen playing in the fields than 
working in their shops." But Lillywhite 
does not seem to trace back farther than 
1746, at all events for any events of im- 
portance. Cricket Scores and JBioarapTiies 
of Celebrated Cricketers, 1862-3. The 
print published by Bowles and Carver in 
1784 of this game, as it was then played 
by the Gentlemen's Club, White Conduit 
House, exhibits the usual accessories of 
wickets, stumps, fielders, batsman, and 
bowler. The party wears knee-breeches, 
shoes or high-lows, and all, except two, 
who are seated on the ground, and may 
be umpires, are in shirt-sleeves. The 
seated figures, and one or two of the others 
have pigtails, and the former cloaks and 
sombrero hats. The length of the course in 
the engraving seems less than would suit 
modern experts. The wicket is in the 
form of two forked stumps ; the bat re- 
sembles a club. A few years earlier (1779), 
a match was played at Sevenoaks in Kent, 
between the Countess of Derby and other 
noble ladies, all represented in a contem- 
porary print as attired in ordinary out- 
door dress and elaborate head-gear. The 
bowler is stooping to serve the ball, and 
the wicket has only two stumps. The 
cricket grounds at Darnall, near Sheffield, 
appear to have been celebrated in the 
earlier part of the last century (1820), and 
there is a coloured engraving by Robert 
Cruikshank, shewing the North East view 
of the place. It is not many years since this 
sport was played by men and boys wearing 
their tall hats, nor indeed is the practice 
yet entirely discontinued. A friend has 
seen a print of the boys at Tonbridge 
School in the earlier part of the century 
in which they are so represented. 

As far back as 1800, in the Court 
Rolls of the Manor of Wimbledon, 
complaints were registered of the an- 
noyance and danger arising from 
cricket balls to passengers and ve- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



155 

magicians : there is no doubt that our 
superstitions concerning these little do- 
mestics have been transmitted to us from 
his times. Nat. Hist., book xxix. It is a 
lucky sign to have crickets in the house : 

" .i-d Grillum. 
qui me'se oulinae, 
Argutulus choraules, 
Et hospes es oanorus 
Quacunque commoreris 
Feliciiatis Omen." 

— Bourne's Poematia, edit. 1764, p. 133. 
Grose says it is held extremely unlucky to 
kill a cricket, perhaps from the idea of its 
being a breach of hospitality, this insect 
taking refuge in houses. kSeveral old 
writers mention this superstition as strong 
and general. Melton, in his Astrologas- 
ter, 1620, p. 45, tells us that the abandon- 
ment of a chimney by crickets is a fatal 
sign, and Gay in his Pastoral Dirge, and 
an early dramatist seem to say that the 
shrieking of the insect in the oven or chim- 
ney was to be viewed in the same unfav- 
vourable light. Dodsley's Old Plays, 1780, 
vi. 357. In the Spectator's day the 
voice of the cricket was held to be potent 
for good or evil. In Dryden and Lee's 
" CEdipus," it is even ranked with the 
owl and the raven, birds of the worst 
omen. To come to a more modern and in- 
telligent writer. White of Selborne ob- 
serves to us : " they " (crickets) " are the 
housewife's barometer, foretelling her 
when it will rain, and are prognostic some- 
times, she thinks, of ill or good luck, of 
the death of a near relation, or the ap- 
proach of an absent lover. By being the 
constant companions of her solitary hours, 
they naturally become the objects of her 
superstition. Tender insects, that live 
abroad, either enjoy only the short period 
of one summer, or else doze away the cold, 
uncomfortable months in profound slum- 
bers ; but these residing, as it were, in a 
torrid zone, are always alert and merry ; 
a good Christmas fire is to them like the 
heats of the dog-days. Though they are 
frequently heard by day, yet it is their 
natural time of motion in the night." 

Croquet. — A game probably of 
French origin, as it is depicted in 
an engraving, dated 1624, by Callot, 
representing the players at Nancy in Lor- 
raine at that time. It is said in some 
verses accompanying the series of prints, 
of which this forms one, to be a diversion 
of the spring of the year. A Wimbledon 
correspondent of Notes and Queries (Jan. 
4, 1873), thus describes the illustration : — 
' ■ The scene of the pastime is a broad, 
straight walk, running between parterres, 
and apparently 100 feet in length. At 
either end is erected a single hoop, 
of width and height seemingly 2i 
feet. Several balls are grouped close 



hides near the gate leading from Wind- 
sor-street to Barnes on Lower Putney 
Common. The Wimbledon Cricket Club 
has periodically printed for the use of its 
members an account of the matches and 
scores since the establishment of the in- 
stitution in 1871. Lord's Cricket Ground, 
still so celebrated, owed its name to Thos. 
Lord, one of the attendants at the 
White Conduit Club at the end of the 
18th century. Lord subsequently estab- 
lished the Marylebone Club, now Lord's. 
Smith, in his Booh for a Painy Day, 
1861, tells us that in 1803 the Duke 
of Dorset, Lord Winchelsea, Lord 
Talbot, and others, played at this 
game in an open field near White 
Conduit House. The Marylebone Club 
appears to have been one of the more 
prominent institutions of this character in 
old days. In 1823 Henry Bentley printed 
' ' A correct Account of all the Cricket 
Matches which have been played by the 
Mary-le-Bone Club and all tne other prin- 
cipal Matches from 1786 to 1822," and in 
1825 appeared at Basingstoke a small duo- 
decimo volume entitled " Laws of the 
game of Cricket as revised by the 
Cricket Club at St. Marylebone." The 
encouragement of the game in Kent was 
largely due to Sir Horace Mann, the cor- 
respondent of Horace Walpole. Mann, 
with the Duke of Dorset and Lord Tanker- 
ville, presidents of the Surrey and Hants 
Elevens, Sir William Draper and others, 
formed a committee, which met at the Star 
and Garter, in Pall Mall, and drew up 
rules for the game, about 1770. In the 
Kentish Gazette for April, 1794, is an ad- 
vertisement of a game of cricket to be 
played under the auspices of Sir Horace 
Mann at Harrietsham on ponies. Some 
incidental particulars about the game 
and those who were distinguished as 

? layers under George II. and George 
II., may be gathered from the Notes 
by Scriblerus Maximus to an heroic poem 
entitled Cricket, published without date, 
and dedicated to John Earl of Sandwich 
(1729-92). The Kentish men appear at 
this time to have held high rank as cric- 
keters. But the game had evidently been 
long ere this well established. The men of 
Wareham in Sussex, also acquired in the 
eighteenth century a great name for their 
proficiency in the sport. Lower's Cnm- 
pend. Hist, of Sussex, 1870, ii., 231. 
Dr. Furnivall informs me that he met, in a 
17th century book, with the term yorker 
in the use of a ball, which is so pitched by 
the bowler as to strike the ground between 
the batsman's feet, and make it impossible 
for him to hit it. Comp. Cat and Dog, 
&c., and see Halliwell in v. 

Cricket, The — Pliny mentions the 
cricket as much esteemed by the ancient 



156 



NATIONAL FAIl'HS 



to one of these hoops, round which 
stand some players, mallet in hand ; 
while, a few feet in front of the 
other hoop, another player is about to de- 
liver a stroke, and is evidently aiming to 
send his ball up among its companions 
near the goal opposite him. Mallets, balls, 
hoops, and players, though on a minute 
scale, are alt so distinctly drawn, that no 
mistake can occur in perceiving at a 
glance the action of performers and the in- 
struments of performance. All the players 
are males ; and in this respect most cer- 
tainly the croquet which was going on be- 
fore Callot's eyes at Nancy, in the Year of 
Grace, 1624, is sadly at a disadvantage, 
when compared with the modern reproduc- 
tion. 

Cross.— Hall, in his "Characters," 
1608, speaking of the superstitious man, 
says : " gome wayes he will not go, and 
some he dares not ; either there are bugs, 
or he faineth them. Every lanterne is a 
ghost, and every noise is of chaines. He 
knows not why, but his custom is to go a 
little about, and to leave the Cross still on 
the right hand." In Articles to be en- 
quired of within the Archdeaconry of 
Yorke, 1640, I find the following: — 
" Whether at the death of any there be 
praying for the dead at crosses, or places 
where crosses have been, in the way to the 
church." In " The Canterburian's Self- 
Conviction," 1640, chap. 6. is this 
passage: "They avow that signing 
with the signe of the Crosse at 
rysing or lying downe, at going out or 
coming in, at lighting of candles, closing 
of windowes, or any such action, is not 
only a pious and profitable ceremonie, but 
a very apostoliok tradition." The follow- 
ing very curious " Old Wives' Prayer " is 
found in Herrick's " Hesperides," p. 205 : 
" Holy-rood, come forth and shield 
Us ith' citie, and the field : 
Safely guard us, now and aye. 
From the blast that burns by day ; 
And those sounds that us affright 
In the dead of dampish night. 
Drive all hurtful Femds us fro. 
By the time the cocks first crow." 
Pennant, in bis "Tours in Wales," says: 
' ' At the delivery of the bread and wine 
at the Sacrament, several, before they re- 
ceive the bread or cup, though held out to 
them, will flourish a little with their 
thumb, something like making the figure 
of the Cross. They do it (the women 
mostly) when they say their prayers on 
their first coming to church." In Bos- 
well's "Life of Johnson," it is observed: 
"In days of superstition they thought that 
holding the poker before the fire would 
drive away the witch, who hindered the 
fire from burning, as it made the sign of 
the Cross." 



Cross and Pile. — See Heads and 
Tails. 

Cross Days. — These are the Monday, 
Tuesday, and Wednesday preceding Holy 
Thursday in Rogation Week. They are 
referred to under this name in the Plump- 
ton Correspondence, under date of May 18, 
1501. It appears that in North Wales, 
among the slate quarrymen of Penrhyn, 
there is a superstition still prevalent that, 
if any work is done on Ascension Day, 
some accidents will follow, and the Daily 
News of June 10, 1878, reports that " dur- 
ing last week thousands of men employed 
at the Welsh slate quarries here 
refused to work on Ascension Thursday." 
It adds : " A few years ago the agents per- 
suaded the men to break through the 
superstitious observance, and there were 
accidents each year, a not unlikely occur- 
rence, seeing the extent of the works car- 
ried on and the dangerous occupation of 
the men. This year, however, the men 
one and all refused to work." 

Cross in Writing. — I have no doubt 
but that this is a remain of Popery. Thus 
persons, who cannot write, are direc- 
ted to make their marks, instead of 
signing their names, which is gener- 
ally done in the form of a cross. From 
the form of a cross at the beginning of a 
horn-book, the alphabet is called the 
Christ-Cross row. The cross used in shop 
books Butler seems to derive from the same 
origin : 

' ' And some against all idolizing 

The cross in shop-books or baptizing.'' 

Hudibras, p. 3, c. 2, 1. 313. The round 
of a milk-score is, if I mistake not, also 
marked with a cross for a shilling, though 
unnoted by Lluellin in a passage where he 
speaks of the barmaid writing — ■ 
" For a tester half a moone. 
And a great round for a shilling." 

A not unusual superscription to early let- 
ters was a cross with or without the word 
Jesus. Dalrymple, in his " Travels in 
Spain," says, that there "not a woman 
gets into a coach to go a hundred yards, 
nor a postillion on his horse, without cross- 
ing themselves. Even the tops of tavern- 
bills and the directions of^ letters are 
marked with crosses." 

Cross - Leg^g^ed. — Sir Thomas 
Browne cites Pliny for the opinion of the 
ancients that to sit cross-legged was un- 
lucky and improper, and Athenseus for the 
fact, that it was regarded as a practice 
which had power to hinder childbirth. 
Park, on the contrary, noted in his copy of 
Bourne and Brand : "To sit cross-legged, 
I have always understood, was intended to 
produce good or fortunate consequences. 
Hence it was employed as a charm at 
school by one boy who wished well for 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



157 



another, in order to deprecate some pun- 
ishment which both might tremble to have 
incurred the expectation of. At a card- 
table, I have also caught some superstiti- 
ous players sitting cross-legged with a view 
of bringing good luck." It was a point of 
belief that a witch, by sitting cross-legged, 
could prevent a woman's delivery, and 
Heywood, in his " Silver Age," 1613, has 
bestowed on Juno this power, whore the 
goddess hinders the labour of Alcmena. 
The dramatist followed the classical legend 
to a certain extent, while he made it con- 
form to the superstitious creed of his own 
country. Flecknoe, speaking of "your 
fanatick reformers," says: "Had they 
their will, a bird should not fly in the air 
with its wings across, a ship with its cross- 
yard sail upon the sea, nor prophane tay- 
lor sit cross-legged on his shop-board, or 
have cross-bottoms to winde his thread 
upon." This whimsical detestation of the 
cross-form, no doubt, took its rise from 
the odium at that time against everything 
derived from Popery. 

Cross Monday. — In Bridges " His- 
tory of Northamptonshire ' ' are recorded 
various instances of having processions on 
Cross Monday. 

Cross Point. — See Sorse-Trich. 

Cross-Questions. — Said to be a 
game by Nares, Glossary, in v. Perhaps 
allied to Questions and Commands, and 
to Cross-Questions and Cross- Answers. 
Compare Hazlitt's Handboolc and Bibl. 
Coll. V. Breton, and Children's Games 
supra. 

Cross Ruff.— This is a species of ruff, 
a game at cards. There was ruff (q.v.), 
double-ruff, and cross-ruff. In A Notahle 
Discovery of Cosenage, 1591, the preface 
states, among other matters, how the 
author, going into the West of England, 
found at a country ale-house half-a- 
dozen farmers playing at cross-ruff, and 
hoped to win all their money, when he 
found to his disappointment that they had 
read Greene's exposure of conycatchers, 
and were on their guard. This, with 
others, is quoted in "Poor Robin's Al- 
manac " for 1693 : 

" Christmas to hungry stomachs gives 

relief. 
With mutton, pork, pies, pasties, and 

roast beef ; 
And men at cards spend many idle 

hours. 
At loadum, whisk, cross-ruff, put, and 

all-fours." 

Crowdie — In Scotland, Eden says, 
they used to eat crowdie on Shrove Tues- 
day, as in England they did pancakes. He 
adds : "On this day there is always put 
into the bason or porringer, out of which 
the unmarried folks are to eat, a ring, the 



finding of which, by fair means, is sup- 
posed to be ominous of the finder's being 
tirst married." Crowdie is made by pour- 
ing boiling water over oat-meal and stir- 
ring it a little. It i.s eaten with milk or 
butter. The more modern manner of 
preparing is described in the Musce An- 
(jlicance, 1689, ii., 86. 

Crow-Keeper. — See Nares, Glos- 
sary, in v., and Hazlitt's Proverbs, 1882, 
p. 181. 

Cry. — See Auctions, where the employ- 
ment of the Preco or Crier is recorded. 
But the cry was used on a multifarious 
diversity of occasions : 1, for the announce- 
ment of the issue of new money ; 2, for the 
publication of the decrees of Councils ; 3, 
foi- the advertisement of plays to be 
performed ; 4, for the recovery of 
lost property ; 5, for proclaiming the 
approach of royal or high personages 
to their seats ; 6, for the notifica- 
tion of any local event, not only prior 
to typography and journalism, but down 
to the present time in some rural dis- 
tricts. In ancient times the crier or usher 
carried, not a bell, but a trumpet. La- 
croix, Mceurs et Usages, 1872, p. 337 ; Haz- 
litt's Venetian Republic, 19U0, ii., 355, 
457 ; Hazlitt's Monograph on Shakespear, 
1902, p. 103. The heraldic Oyez and the 
legal Oyer and Terminer are evolutions 
from the ancient use of the cry in mani- 
fold cases ; and Oyentia is a feudal term 
for the public indication of the time for 
paying a periodical tribute. Maigne 
D'Arnis Lexicon Mediae et Infimoe Latini- 
tatis, 1856, in v. 

Cry Coke. — ^To cry Cohe is in vulgar 
language synonymous with crying Pec- 
cavi. Coke, says Ruddiman, in his 
Glossary to Douglas's "Virgil," is 
the sound which Cocks utter, especi- 
ally when they are beaten, from 
which Skinner is of opinion they 
have the name of Cock. 

Cryingr the Mare. — There is a har- 
vest sport in Hertfordshire, called " Cry- 
ing the Mare " (it is the same in Shrop- 
shire), when the reapers tie together the 
tops of the last blades of corn, which is 
Mare, and standing at some distance, 
throw their sickles at it, and he who cuts 
the knot, has the prize, with acclamations 
and good cheer. I was informed of the 
following custom on this occasion at Hit- 
chin in the same county where each farmer 
drives furiously home with the last load of 
his corn, while the people run after him 
with bowls full of water in order to throw 
on it ; this is also accompanied with great 
shouting. Blount tells us farther that 
" after the knot is cut, then they cry with 
a loud voice three times, ' I have her.' 
Others answer, as many times, ' What have 
you P ' — 'A mare, a mare, a mare.' 



158 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



— 'Whose is she?' thrice also.— J. B. 
(naming the owner three times). — 
' Whither will you send her? '— ' To J. a 
Nicks,' (naming some neighbour who has 
not all his corn reaped) ; then they all 
shout three times, and so the ceremony 
ends with good cheer. "In Yorkshire upon 
the like occasion they have a Harvest 
Dame, in Bedfordshire a Jack and a 
Gill." 

Crying; the Na.ck. — A harvest cus- 
tom in Dorsetshire and Devonshire. A 
correspondent of Notes and Queries 
writes; — "I was present last year, at a 
farm in North Devon where the curious 
old custom of " calling the nack " was ob- 
served. The reapers were gathered round 
a pond, where they sang three times, first 
in low tones, gradually increasing in loud- 
ness, the words : — 

" Arnack, arnack, arnack, 
We haven, we haven, we haven, 
God send the nack." 

After which they all laughed and shouted. 
They then retired to the house — not to 
supper, for the ceremony was not yet over. 
One of the party had the " nack " secreted 
on his person. A member of the farmer's 
family tried to discover the possessor, be- 
fore he entered the kitchen in order to 
drench him, or, as they said, "wet the 
nack," with a bucket of water. Failing 
to do this, the farmer was obliged to sup- 
ply a larger quantity of beer than would 
otherwise have been given to each indi- 
vidual after supper. The " nack " is pre- 
served in the farmer's kitchen for the 
year." 

Cucking:, or Coging Stool. — 
Called also a tumbrel, tribuch, and tre- 
buchet; also a thewe. In the " Prompto- 
rium Parvulorum," " Esj;n, or Cukkyn," 
is interpreted by stercoriso : and in the 
" Domesday Survey," in the account of 
the City of Chester," we read: " Vir sive 
mulier falsam mensuram in civitate faci- 
ens deprehensus, iiii. solid, emendab'. 
Similiter malam servisiam faciens, aut in 
Cathedra, ponebatur Stercoris, aut iiii. 
solid, dab' prepositis." See Cowel in v. 
ex Carta Joh. regis, dat. 11 Jun. anno 
regni 1. It is called thewe in Lambarde's 
"Eirenarcha," lib. i. c. 12. The following 
extract from Cowel, in v. Thew, (with the 
extract just quoted from Lysons) seems 
to prove this : " Georgius Grey Comes Can- 
tii clamat in manor, de Bushton & Ayton 
punire delinquentes contra Assisam Panis 
et Corvisise, per tres vices per amercia- 
menta, & quarta vice Pistores per Pillo- 
riam, Braciatores per Tumbrellam, & 
Eixatrices per Thewe, hoc est, ponere eas 
super scabellum vocat. a Cucking Stool. 
PI. in Itin. apud Cestr. 14 Hen. VII." 
But comp. Stool of Sepentance, infra. The 



cucking-stool was an engine invented for 
the punishment of scolds and unquiet 
women, by ducking them in the water, 
after having placed them in a stool or 
chair fixed at the end of a long pole, by 
which they were immerged in some muddy 
or stinking pond. Blount tells us that 
some think it a corruption from ducking 
stool, but that others derive it from 
Choaking Stool. Though of the most re- 
mote antiquity, it is now, it should seem, 
totally disused. An essayist in the 
" Gentleman's Magazine," for May, 1732, 
observes that " The stools of infamy are 
the ducking stool, and the stool of repent- 
ance. The first was invented for taming 
female shrews. Lysons gives us a curious 
extract from the churchwardens' and 
chamberlain's accounts at Kingston-upon- 
Thames in 1572, which contains a bill of 
expenses for making one of these cucking 
stools, which, he says, must have been 
much in use formerly, as there are fre- 
quent entries of money paid for 
its repair. Environs, i., 233. Blake- 
way, in his History of Shrewsbury, 
1779, p. 172, furnishes the subjoined en- 
tries : — " 1572. The making of the cuck- 
ing stool, 8s. ; iron work for the same, 3s. ; 
timber for the same, 7s. 6d. ; 3 brasses for 
the same and three wheels, 4s. lOd." There 
is an order of the Corporation of Shrews- 
bury, 1669, that "A ducking stool be 
erected, for the punishment of all scolds." 
Borlase tells us that: " Among the pun- 
ishments inflicted in Cornwall, of old 
time, was that of the cocking-stool, a seat 
of infamy where strumpets and scolds, 
with bare foot and head, were condemned 
to abide the derision of those that passed 
by, for such time as the bailiffs of manors, 
which had the privilege of such jurisdic- 
tion, did appoint. Nat. Hist, of Cornwall, 
p. 303. A certificate of the punishment of 
an incorrigible scold by ducking, dated 
1673, and addressed by the churchwardens 
of Waddington, co. York, to Thomas Par- 
ker, Esq., of Browsholme, hereditary bow- 
bearer of BoUand Forest under the Duke 
of Buccleuch, is to be seen in " Current 
Notes " for December, 1855. 

In Skene's " Regiam Majestatem, 
ch. 69, this punishment occurs as 
having been used anciently in Scot- 
land : speaking of Browsters, i.e., 
"Women quha brewes aill to be sauld " 
it is said, " gif she makes gude ail, that is 
sufficient. Bot gif she makes evill ail, con- 
trair to the use and consuetude of the 
burgh, and is convict thereof, she sail pay 
ane unlaw of aucht shillinges, or sal suffer 
the justice of the burgh, that is, she sail 
be put upon the cock-stule, and the aill 
sail be distributed to the pure folke." 
Braithwaite, speaking of a Xantippean, 
says : " He (her husband) vowes therefore 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



159 



to bring her in all disgrace to the cuoking- 
Btoole ; and shee vowes againe to bring him 
with all contempt, to the stoole of repent- 
ance." Whimzies, 1631, p. 182. In one 
of the jest-books, there is the following 
anecdote : ' ' Some gentlemen travelling, 
and coming near to a town, saw an old 
woman spinning near the ducking stool : 
one, to make the company merry, asked 
the good woman what that chair was made 
for? Said she, you know what it is. In- 
deed, said he, not I, unless it be the chair 
you use to spin in. No, no, said she, you 
know it to be otherwise : have you not 
heard that it is the cradle your good 
mother hath often layn in?" New Help to 
Discourse, 1684, p. 216. These stools 
seem to have been in common use when 
Misson, the French traveller, visited this 
country, and when Gay wrote his Pasto- 
rals : they are thus described by the 
latter : 

" I'll speed me to the pond, where the 

high stool 
On the long plank hangs o'er the muddy 

pool. 
That stool, the dread of every scolding 

queen," &c. 

Misson says: "La maniere de punir les 
fommes querelleuses et debauchees est 
assez plaisante en Angleterre. On attache 
une chaise a bras a I'extremite de deux 
Especes de Solives, longues de douze ou 
quinze pieds et dans un eloignement paral- 
lele, en sorte que ces deux pieces de bois 
embrassent par leur deux bouts voisins la 
chaise qui est entre deux, & qui y est at- 
tachee par la cote comme avec un essieu, 
de telle maniere, qu'elle a du Jeu, et 
qu'elle demeure toujours dans I'etat na- 
turel & horisontal auquel une Chaise doit 
etre afin qu'on puisse s'asseoir dessus, soit 
qu'on I'eleve, soit qu'on I'abaisse. On 
dresse un poteau sur le bord d'un Btang 
ou d'une Riviere, & sur ce poteau on pose 
presque en equilibre, la double piece de 
bois a une des extremitez de laquelle la 
Chaise se trouve au dessus de I'eau. 
On met la Femme dans cette Chaise 
et on la plonge ainsi autant de fois 
qu'il a ete ordonne, pour raffraichir un 
peu sa chaleur immoderee." See Ozell's 
Translation, p. 65. In "Miscellaneous 
Poems," &c., by Benjamin West, of Wee- 
don-Beck, Northamptonshire, 8vo. 1780, is 
preserved a copy of verses, said to have 
been written near sixty years ago, entitled 
" The Ducking Stool." A note informs 
us, " To the honour of the fair sex in the 
neighbourhood of R***y. this machine has 
been taken down (as useless) several 
years." The stool is represented in a cut 
annexed to the " Dumps," designed and 
engraved by Louis du Guernier, and also 
in the frontispiece of " The old Woman of 
Ratclifi Highway." A specimen was to 



be seen within a few years on the banks of 
the Stour at Pordwich in Kent. Some ad- 
ditional particulars, illustrating this obso- 
lete usage, but to the same purport, were 
printed in Willis's "Current Notes" for 
February and April, 1854. See Wright and 
Fairholt's Archaeological Album, 1845, p. 
49-54, and Halliwell's Diet., 1860, in v. 
Morant, speaking of Canuden, in the hun- 
dred of Rochford, mentions " Cuckingstole 
Croft, as given for the maintenance of a 
light in this church, as appears by inquisi- 
tion, 10 Eliz." Essex, 1., 317. 




CUOKINQ STOOL. 

Cuckold. — I know not how this word, 
which is generally derived from cuculus, a 
cuckoo, has happened to be given to the 
injured husband, for it seems more pro- 
perly to belong to the adulterer the 
cuckoo being well known to be a bird that 
deposits its eggs in other bird's nests. 
The Romans seemed to have used this cu- 
culus in its proper sense as the adulterer, 
calling with equal propriety the cuckold 
hirnself Carruca or hedge - sparrow, 
which bird is well known to adopt the 
other's spurious offspring. Richardson 
and Worcester, in their Dictionaries, en- 
dorse Tooke's etymology of cuckold, which 
seems, after all, to be the correct one, 
namely, cucol, from the Italian cucolo, a 
cuckoo; the word should be cucol, as in 
some of our old writers, and not cucold (or 
cuckold), and we get the word from th& 
past participle of the English verb formed 
from the Italian substantive : cucolo cucol 
oucol'd. Douce says: "That the word 
cuculus was a term of reproach amongst 
the antients there is not the least doubt 
and that it was used in the sense of our 
cuckold is equally clear. Plautus has so 



i6o 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



introduced it on more than one occasion. 
In his Asinaria he makes a woman thus 
speak of her husband : 

" Ac etiam cubat Cuculus, surge, Ama- 
tor, i domum " : 

and again : 

" Cano capite te Cuculum Uxor domum 
ex lustris rapit." 

And yet in another placOj where Pseudolus 
says to Callidorus Quid fles, Cucule?" 
the above sense is out of the question, and 
it is to be taken merely as a term of re- 
proach. Horace certainly uses the word 
as it is explained by Pliny in the passage 
already given, and the conclusion there 
drawn appears to be that which best re- 
conciles the more modern sense of the 
term, being likewise supported by a note 
in the Variorum Horace, from ' ' Historia 
Mirabilium," by Carystius. The applica- 
tion of the above passage to our use of the 
word cuckold, as connected with the cuc- 
koo, is that the husband, timid, and in- 
capable of protecting his honour, like that 
bird, is called by its name, and thus con- 
verted into an object of contempt and 
derision. In the " Athenian Oracle " it is 
remarked of cuckoldry : ' ' The Romans 
were honourable, and yet Pompey, Csesar, 
Augustus, Lucullus, Cato and others had 
this fate, but not its infamy and scandal." 
In "Paradoxical Assertions," by Robert 
Heath, 1664, it is said: "Since Plautus 
wittily, and with more reason calls the 
adulterer, and not him whose wife is adul- 
terated, Cuculum, the cuckold, because he 
begets children on others wives, which the 
credulous father believes his own : why 
should not he then that corrupts another 
man's wife be rather called the Cuckow, 
for he sits and sings merrily whilst his eggs 
are hatched by his neighbour's hens?" 
Chaucer, in his " Prosopopeia of Jealou- 
sie," brings her in with a garland of gold 
yellow, and a cuckoo sitting on her fist. 
Two items in A. C. Mery Talys, 1526, turn 
on this somewhat unconventional topic : 
the story of the wife whose pigs died in 
farrowing, and who being told that she 
should get a cuckold's hat, and farrow 
them therein, applied to a female neigh- 
bour, whereupon the latter angrily re- 
torted that her husband was no cuckold, 
and so had no hat, and the woman, after 
inquiring all round, declared that if she 
lived another year, she would get one of 
her own ; the second, the account of the 
miller's rejoinder to the merchant, who ob- 
served that he had heard say every true 
miller had a golden thumb. " Truth it 
is," quoth he, "that my thumb is gilt, 
how be it ye nave no power to see it, for 
there is a property incident thereto, 
that he that is a cuckold shall never have 
power to see it." Comp. Hazlitt's Pro- 



verbs, 1882, p. 56, where the converse is 
suggested, in which case we should con- 
clude that the reason was because his jaun- 
diced eye would take the thumb to be yel- 
low or golden. 

There is a song in Ritson's collection in 
which a jealous wife is represented as 
putting on her yellow hose. 

" Here is Maryone Marchauntes at All- 
gate, 

Her husbbde dwells at y« signe of y« 
Cokoldes Pate." 

— Cock Lorels Bote. In the Bolce of Mayd 
Emlyn (about 1540), it is stated that the 
lady had five husbands, all cuckolds, and 
that she made their heards, whether they 
liked or not, and gave them a pretty hood- 
ful of bells to wear. Hazlitt's Popular 
Poetry, iv., 83. Dickenson, in " Greene in 
Conceipt," 1598, uses this expression of a 
cornute : "but certainely, beleeved, that 
Giraldo his master was as soundly armde 
for the heade, as either Capricorne, or the 
stoutest horned signe in the Zodiacke." 
"It is said, — Many a man knows no end 
of his goods : right : many a man has good 
horns, and knows no end of them. Well, 
that is the dowry of his wife ; 'tis none of 
his own getting. Horns P Even so : — 
Poor men alone ? — No, no ; the noblest 
deer hath them as huge as the rascal." — • 
As You Like It, act iii., sc. 3. Among the 
witticisms on cuckolds that occur in our 
old plays, must not be omitted the follow- 
ing in " Ram Alley," 1611 : 

"Why, my good father, what should 

you do with a wife? 
Would you be crested? Will you needs 

thrust your head 
In one of Vulcan's helmets? Will you 

perforce 
Weare a city cap and a Court feather?" 

The following passage is in "Plaine 
Percevall, the peacemaker of Eng- 
land " : — You say true, Sal sapit 
omnia ; and service without salt, oy 
the rite of England, is a cuckold's ree if 
ho claim it." 

"On Dr. Cuckold. 
" Who so famous was of late, 
He was with finger pointed at : 
What cannot learning do, and single 

state ? 
" Being married, he so famous grew. 
As he was pointed at with two : 
What cannot learning and a wife now 
do?" 

Flecknoe's Diarium, 1656. Butler, in his 
" Hudibras," informs us for what a sin- 
gular purpose carvers used formerly to in- 
voke the names of cuckolds. This allusion 
arose, according to a passage in the 59th 
No. of the " British Apollo," from the dex- 
terity of one Thomas Web, carver to the 
Lord Mayor in Charles the First's time. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



i6i 



and his fame in a less favourable respect, 
whence came the proverb, ' ' Think of a 
cuckold," addressed to one who cannot 
carve the joint before him. In Haz- 
litt's Early Popular Poetry, 1864-6, 
vol. i., will be found the curious 
Arthurian piece, called the Cuckold's 
Dance, with a body of notices illus- 
trative at the present subject, including 
the dance of Cuckolds all a-row. The lat- 
ter became at the Restoration a favourite 
dance-tune. Compare the same writer's 
Proverbs, J.882. In the background of 
Hogarth's signboard of " The Man Loaded 
with Mischief," is an inn called " The 
■Cuckold's fortune." Cuckold's Point, be- 
low Rotherhithe or Redriff, was anciently- 
known as Cuckold's Haven. In " Tarlton's 
Jests," first publshed probably about 1590, 
we are told, "How Tarlton landed at 
Cuckold's Hauen," " whereupon one gaue 
him this theame next day : 

' Tarlton, tell mee, for fayne would I 

know, 
If thou wert landed at Cuckold's hauen, 

or no.'' 
Tarlton answered thus : 

' Yes, sir, I take 't in no scorns. 

For many land there, yet misse of the 

home.' " 

The following is an extract from Hentz- 
ner's " Travels in England," 1598 : "Upon 
taking the air down the river (from Lou- 
don), on the left hand lies Ratcliffe, a con- 
siderable suburb. On the opposite shore 
is fixed a long pole, with ram's horns upon 
it, the intention of which was vulgarly said 
to be a reflection upon wilful and con- 
tented cuckolds." Pennant, in his " Zoo- 
logy," 1776, speaking of the cuckoo, says : 
" His note is so uniform, that his name in 
all languages seems to have been derived 
from it, and in all other countries it is 
used in the same reproachful sense. The 
reproach seems to arise from this bird 
making use of the bed or nest of another 
to deposit its eggs in ; leaving the care of 
its young to a wrong parent ; but Juvenal, 
in his 6th Satire, with more justice, gives 
the infamy to the bird in whose nest the 
supposititious eggs were layed, 

' Tu tibi tunc Curruca places — ' " 
A case lately occurred in which a cuckoo 
was found to have deposited its eggs in the 
nest of a wagtail, which was sitting upon 
them. Baily News, Sept. 4, 1879. John- 
son, in his Dictionary, says : " The cuckow 
is said to suck the eggs of other birds, and 
lay her own to be hatched in their place ; 
from which practice it was usual to alarm 
a husband at the approach of an adulterer 
by calling ' cuckoo,' which by mistake was 
in time applied to the husband." He was 
vulgarly supposed to suck other birds' eggs 
to make his voice clear as in the old rhyme : 



" He sucks little birds' eggs, 
To make his voice clear ; 
And when he sings cuckoo. 
The summer is near." 

The following item is from the Morning 
Post of May 17, 1821 : " A singular custom 
prevails in Shropshire at this period of the 
year, which is peculiar to that county. As 
soon as the first cuckoo has been heard, all 
the labouring classes leave work, if in the 
middle of the day, and the time is devoted 
to mirth and jollity over what is called the 
cuckoo ale." The annexed communication 
was made by a writer, signing himself G., 
to the Daily News of Sept. 5, 1879 : " In 
Jvily last, at a small road-side crossing on 
the London and South Western Railway 
on the banks of the Axe, in Dorsetshire, 
and at a place well known to anglers, 
called Tytnorleigh-bridge, I had in my 
hands a full-fledged young cuckoo which 
had just dropped from the nest of a small 
finch that haunts the river side and goes 
by some local name I am not at this 
moment prepared to spell. The man at 
the station, who rejoices equally in the 
name of Joe, a wooden leg, and an un- 
blemished reputation, is in his way a bit 
of a naturalist, and took almost as much 
interest in the young cuckoo as in the 
flowers which cover and surround his cot- 
tage. He had watched the bird for some 
time, and seemed from other instances to 
have no doubt as to the truth of the tradi- 
tion. The young cuckoo, when once re- 
moved from the nest and before it can use 
its wings, will not remain there, but 
scrambles down and gets into the hedges 
at the roadside. In that case it generally 
dies ; but the foster parents, which in this 
instance we saw in a painful state of agita- 
tion on the telegraph wires and neigh- 
bouring trees, will in the meantime follow 
it and feed it. The young cuckoo just 
fledged was certainly larger than a full- 
grown thrush or black-bird, and was as 
savage as a young eagle. From the size of 
the nest it must have very much incon- 
venienced the foster parents. One can 
easily understand that the old hen cuckoo 
before depositing its own egg would clear 
out the eggs of the finch, as tradition re- 
lates." 

In the March number of the ' ' Gentle- 
man's Magazine" for 1895, among 
the general articles, G. W. Murdoch has 
one ridiculing the popular myth that the 
cuckoo arrives in March. It is, he says, 
a fiction of the imagination, and he only 
admits one i>robable authentication of so 
early an arrival of the cuckoo in half-a- 
century — all personal testimonies to the 
contrary notwithstanding. He also goes 
as far as to say that the myth of the March 
cuckoo can be disproved beyond the 
shadow of a scientific doubt, and, pursu- 

K 



l52 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



ing the scientific branch of the subject, 
goes on to say that for reasons which 
branch oflE and take root in several depart- 
ments of human cult in relation to the 
phenomena of pyschological and pure ani- 
mistic evolution, the cuckoo holds quite an 
unique position in avi-fauna life. It holds, 
too, no inconsiderable place in the dim, 
and now almost intangible, relics of Tote- 
mistic worship, and fills a very large space 
in the traditional records and literature of 
folk-lore. In ornithic science it has been 
the subject of the most profound study, 
has stimulated the liveliest controversies — 
not settled yet — and inspired many de- 
lightful prose treatises and imperishable 
poems. Even at the present day the 
cuckoo is regarded as a sacred bird by the 
peasantry of some parts of Ireland, and in 
Conuaught and Connemara it is believed 
to be unlucky to kill it, even by acciden- 
tally mistaking it for the sparrow-hawk, 
with which it is habitually confounded by 
superficial observers. In that respect the 
cuckoo holds a position analogous to the 
robin, and the universality of the super- 
stition among primitive folks is an estab- 
lished canon of the literature of Totemistic 
cult. But the article is not all scientific 
argument. Mr. Murdoch has some stories 
to tell. 

At Hefful or Heathfield Pair in 
Sussex, on April 14, the first cuckoo is said 
to be let out of a basket by an old woman, 
or, in other words, the note of the bird is 
popularly supposed to be first heard on 
that occasion. The following is a childish 
game (if it may be so described) : 

" Cuckoo in cherry tree, 
Come down and tell me 
How many years I have to live." 

The cuckoo has been long considered as a 
bird of omen. Gay, in his " Shepherd's 
Week," in the fourth Pastoral, describes 
the popular dread of hearing the first song 
of the cuckoo in the spring, and the usage 
of taking oS the shoe of the left foot. 
Greene, in " A quip for an upstart Cour- 
tier," 1592, calls a cuckoo the cuckold's 
quirister : "It was just at that time when 
the cuckolds quirrister began to bewray 
Aprill gentlemen, with his never chaunged 
notes." In the play of " Timon," edited 
by Mr. Dyce, act i. sc. 2, Butrapelus says 
to Abyssus : " Di'st euer heare a cuckowe 
of a note more inauspicious?" In the 
same drama, act ii. sc. 5, Timon himself 
is made to say, in allusion to horns : 

" A common badge to men of cache de- 
gree, 

How many hange their heades downe, 
leaste they splitte 

The signe posts with their homes — " 

Guilpin, in his " Skialetheia," 1598, says : 



" For let Severus heare 
A cuckow sing in June, he sweats for 
feare — " 

Why the writer chooses June, I do not 
know ; the proverbial lines run : 

" In April, 

The cuckoo shews his bill ; 

In May, 

He sings all day ; 

In Jime, 

He alters his tune ; 

In July, 

Away he'll fly ; 

Come August, 

Away he must." 

In Clarke's " Polimanteia," 1595, we 
read : ' ' the nightingall and the cuckow 
both grow hoarse at the rising of Syrius, 
the dogge-starre." 

In the introduction to a reprint of the 
Gothamite Tales, 1630, inserted in Old 
English Jest Books, 1864, the present 
writer drew attention to the familiar myth 
of the Wise Men of Gotham hedging in the 
cuckoo ; and on the title of the old edition 
is a woodcut representing this profitable 
occupation. I am not at present 
in a positon to say whether the em- 
blem of the Belgian lion-rampant enclosed 
in a hedge, and grasping in one claw a 
staff surmounted by the Stadtholder's bon- 
net, which occurs on some of the copper 
money of the Netherlands in the early part 
of the seventeenth century, is connected 
with the same tradition. The type of Le 
lion d, la haie occurs on a piece of William 
IV^ Count of Hainault (1404-17V struck 
at Valenciennes, and on money of Jacque- 
line of Bavaria, Countess of Hainault, 
from 1427 to 1433. 

Among the many human and ani- 
mistic transformation - records to be 
found in the Slavonic folk tales 
translated by Mr. A. H. Wratislaw, M.A., 
is a charming one of a young damsel who 
fell in love with a snake and bore it two 
children, one of whom was turned into a 
nightingale, and the other into a cuckoo. 
Among the Danes and Norwegians the 
early note of the bird is welcomed in divers 
but very human ways. Young girls, on 
hearing it, kiss their hands " in the direc- 
tion from which the music comes, and cry 
out. ' When shall I be married? ' while the 
aged ask, ' When shall I be relieved from 
pain and aflliction?'" Globe, March 2, 
1895. 

Cuckoo-Spit.— The larv» of the 
cicada. 

Cuerpo Santo. — See Castor and 
Pollux. 

Curcuddoch, Curcuddie.— "To 

dance Curcuddie or Curcuddoch," (says 
Jamieson, in his Dictionary) " is a phrase 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



163 



used in Scotland to denote a play among 
children in which they sit on their houghs, 
and hop round in a circular form. Many 
of these old terms," Dr. Jamieson adds, 
"which now are almost entirely confined 
to the mouths of children, may be over- 
looked as nonsensical or merely arbitrary. 
But the most of them, we are persuaded, 
are as regularly formed as any other in the 
language. The first syllable of this word 
is undoubtedly the verb curr, to sit on the 
houghs or hams. The second may be from 
Teut. kvdde, a flock ; kudd-en, coire, con- 
venire, congregari, aggregari ; kudde-wijs, 
gregatim, catervatim, q. 'to curr to- 
gether.' The same game is called Harry 
Hurcheon in the north of Scotland, either 
from the resemblance of one in this posi- 
tion to a hurcheon or hedge-hog, squat- 
ting under a bush ; or from the Belg. hurk- 
en, to squat, to hurkle." This seems to 
be a form of Cockle-Bread or Hot Cockles. 
Curfew.— Peshall says : " The custom 
of ringing the Curfew Bell at Carfax every 
night at eight o'clock, was by order of 
King Alfred, the restorer of our Univer- 
sity, who ordained that all the inhabitants 
of Oxford should, at the ringing of that 
bell, cover up their fires and go to bed, 
which custom is observed to this day, and 
the bell as constantly rings at eight as 
Great Tom tolls at nine. It is also a cus- 
tom, added to the former, after the ring- 
ing and tolling this bell, to let the inhabit- 
ants know the day of the month by so 
many tolls." History of Oxford, p. 177. 
A similar practice prevailed in parts of 
North Wales till very recently. The cur- 
few is commonly believed to have been 
of Norman origin. A law was made by 
William the Conqueror that all people 
should put out their fires and lights at 
the eight o'clock bell, and go to bed. Stow's 
Survey, 1754, v. i., c. 15. The practice of 
this custom, we are told, to its full extent, 
was observed during that and the follow- 
ing reign only. Thomson has inimitably 
described its tyranny. In the second ma- 
yoralty of Sir Henry Colet, Knt. (father of 
Dean Colet), a.d. 1495, and under his 
direction, the solemn charge was given to 
the quest of wardmote in every ward, as it 
stands printed in the Custumary of Lon- 
don : " Also yf ther be anye paryshe clerke 
that ryngeth curfewe after the curfewe be 
ronge at Bowe Chyrche, or Saint Brydes 
Churche, or Saint Gyles without Cripple- 
gat, all suche to be presented." From "A 
C. Mery Talys," 1526, we see that, in the 
time of Henry VIII. it was the duty of the 
sexton to ring the curfew-bell. In the 
Faversham Articles, 22 Hen. VIII we 
read : " Imprimis, the sexton, or his'suffi- 
cient deputy, shall lye in the church- 
steeple ; and at eight o'clock every night 
shall ring the curfewe by the space of a 



quarter of an hour, with such bell as of 
old time hath been accustomed." I find, 
however, in " The Merry Devil of Edmon- 
ton," 1608, the sexton says : 

" Well, 'tis nine a'clocke, 'tis time to 
ring curfew." 

Shakespear, in "King Lear," act iii. sc. 
4, writes : 

Edgar : " This is the foul fiend Flibberti- 
gibbet : He begins at curfew, and walks to 
the first cock." The following is an ex- 
tract from the Churchwardens' and Cham- 
berlain's Accounts of Kingston - upon 
Thames: "1651. For ringing the curfew 
bell for one year, £1 10s. Od." Bridges, 
speaking of By field Church, tells us: "A 
bell is rung here at four in the morning, 
and at eight in the evening, for which the 
clerk hath 20s. yearly, paid him by the 
Rector." Northamptonshire, i., 110. Hut- 
chins, speaking of Mappouder Church, 
mentions land given "to find a man to 
ring the morning and Curfeu Bell through- 
out the year." Also, under Ibberton,is 
mentioned one acre given for ringing the 
eight o'clock bell, and £4 for ringing the 
morning bell. Dorsetshire, ii., 267. 
Macaulay says: "The custom of ringing 
Curfew, which is still kept up at Clay- 
brook, has probably obtained without in- 
termission since tide days of the Norman 
Conqueror." Hist, of Clayhrookj 1791, p. 
128. In 1848 the curfew was still rung at 
Hastings from Michaelmas till Lady-day, 
and the same was the case at Wrexham in 
North Wales, and elsewhere, till even a 
later date. Barrington, Ohservations on 
the Statutes, p. 153, tells us that "Cur- 
few is written Curphour in a Scotish poem 
written before 1568. It is iibserved in the 
annotations on these poems, that by Act 
144, Pari. 13, Jam. I., this bell was to be 
rung in boroughs at nine in the evening : 
and that the hour was afterwards changed 
to ten, at the solicitation of the wife of 
James Stewart, the favourite of James the 
sixth. There was a narrow street in Perth 
in the last century still called Couvre-Feu- 
Row, leading west to the Black Friars, 
where the Couvre Feu Bell gave warning 
to the inhabitants to cover their fires and 
go to rest when the clock struck ten. 

We find the Couvre feu mentioned 
as a common and approved regu- 
lation on the Continent. It was 
used in most of the monasteries and 
towns of the North of Europe, the 
intent being merely to prevent the 
accidents of fires. All the common houses 
consisted at this time of timber. Moscow, 
therefore, being built with this material, 
generally suffered once in 20 years, and 
it was much the same at Stockholm, where 
in comparatively recent days persons were 
not allowed to smoke in the streets, and it 
was obligatory on all to co-operate at call 



164 



NATIONAL FAllti::, 



in extinguishing fires. In mediaeval 
Venice there was an analogous regulation, 
from which only the Barber's Quarter was 
exempt, because the members of that Gild 
probaoly united the surgical facultjj as 
with us, and their aid might be required 
during the night.. 

Curling:- — See " Curling, an Ancient 
Scottish Game." By James Taylor, M.A., 
with illustrations by C. A. Doyle, 8vo., 
1884. 

Cushion-Dance. — A riotous sort of 
dance, formerly usual at weddings. 
It is thus mentioned in the ' ' Apo- 
thegms of King James," 1658, p. 
60. A wedding entertainment is spoken 
of. "At last when the masque was 
ended, and time had brought in the 
supper, the cushion led the dance 
out of the parlour into the hall," &c. In 
"The Dancing Master " 1698, p. 7, is an 
account of " Joan Sanderson, or the 
Cushion Dance, an old Round Dance. This 
dance is begun by a single person (either 
man or woman), who taking a cushion in 
his hand, dances about the room, and at 
the end of the tune he stops and sings, 
' This dance it will no further go.' The 
musician answers, 'I pray you good Sir, 
why say you so ? Man. ' Because Joan San- 
derson will not come to.' Musick. ' She 
must come to, and she shall come to, and 
she must come whether she will or no.' 
Then he lays down the cushion before a 
woman, on which she kneels and he kisses 
her, singing, ' Welcom, Joan Sanderson, 
welcom, welcom.' Then she rises, takes up 
the cushion, and both dance, ginging, 
' Prinkum-prank'um is a fine dance, and 
shall we go dance it once again, and once 
again, and shall we go dance it once 
again ? ' Then making a stop, the woman 
sings as before, ' This dance it will no far- 
ther go.' Musick. ' I pray you. Madam, 
why say you so .P ' Woman. ' Because John 
Sanderson will not come to.' Musick. 'He 
must come to,' cfec, (as before). And so 
she lays down the cushion before a man 
who, kneeling upon it, salutes her, she 
singing, ' Welcome John Sanderson,' &c. 
Then he taking up the cushion, they take 
hoth hands and dance round, singing as 
before, and thus they do till the whole 
company are taken into tlie ring. Then 
the cushion is laid before the first 
man, the woman singing, ' This dance,' 
<fcc. (as before), only instead of 
' Come to,' they sing ' Go fro,' and 
instead of 'Welcome,' John Sander- 
son,' &c., they sing ' Farewell John San- 
derson, farewell, farewell,' and so they go 
out, one by one, as they came in. Note, 
the woman is kiss'd by all the men in the 
ring, at her coming in, and going out, and 
likewise the man by the women." A cor- 
/espondent of Votes and Queries thus de- 



scribes the cushion-dance, as it was per- 
formed in Derbyshire, about sixty years 
since : — " The company were seated round 
presently, one carrying a large square 
cushion, the other an ordinary drinking- 
horn^ china bowl, or silver tankard, ac- 
cording to the possessions of the family. 
The one carrying the cushion locked the 
door, putting the key in his pocket. Both 
gentlemen then went to the fiddler's cor- 
ner, and after the cushion-bearer had put 
a coin in the vessel carried by the other, 
the fiddler struck up a lively tune, to 
which the young men began to dance 
round the room, singing or reciting to the 
music: — 

" Frinkum, frankum is a fine song, 
An' we will dance it all along; 
All along and round about. 
Till we find the pretty maid out." 

After making the circuit of the room, they 
halted on reaching the fiddler's corner, 
and the cushion-bearer, still to the music 
of the fiddle, sang or recited : 

" Our song it will no further go ! " 
The fiddler: — 

" Pray, kind sir, why say you so — " 
The cushion-bearer : — 

" Because Jane Sanders won't come 
to." 

The fiddler: — 

" She must come to, she shall come 

to. 
An' I'll make her whether she will 
or no ! " 

The cushion-bearer and vessel-holder then 
proceeded with the dance, going as before 
round the room, singing " Frinkum, fran- 
kum," &c., till the cushion-bearer came to 
the lady of his choice, before whom he 
paused, placed the cushion on the floor at 
her feet, and knelt upon it. The vessel- 
bearer then offered the cup to the lady, 
who put money in it and knelt on the 
cushion in front of the kneeling 
gentleman. The pair kissed, arose, 
and the gentleman, first giving the 
cushion to the lady with a bow, 
placed herself behind her, taking 
hold of some portion of her dress. The 
cup-bearer fell in also, and they danced on 
to the fiddler's corner, and the ceremony 
was again gone through as at first with the 
substitution of the name of " John " for 
"Jane," thus: — 
The lady: — 

" Our song it will no further go ! " 
The fiddler: — 

" Pray, kind miss, why say you so? " 
The lady: — 

" Because John Sandars won't come to." 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



165 



The fiddler: — 

' ' He must come to, he shall come to, 
An' I'll make him whether he will or 
no." 

The dancing then proceeded, and the lady, 
on reaching her choice (a gentleman, of 
necessity), placed the cushion at his feet. 
He put money in the horn and knelt. They 
kissed and rose, he taking the cushion 
and his place in front of the lady, heading 
the next dance round, the lady taking him 
by the coat-tails, the first gentleman be- 
hind the lady, with the horn-bearer in the 
rear. In this way the dance went on till 
all present, alternately a lady and gentle- 
man, had taken part in the ceremony. 
The dance conclucled with a romp in file 
round the room to the quickening music 
of the fiddler, who at the close received the 
whole of the money collected by the horn- 
bearer." Compare, for farther particulars 
Nares, Glossary, 1859, in v., and Halli- 
well's Diet., 1860, in v. 

Cuthbert, St., Bishop of Dur- 
ham. — The anniversary of the death of 
this holy and eminent personage, March 
20, 687, in voluntary retirement, is one of 
the festivals of the church. An unusually 
long and complete account of his life and 
work may be seen in Chambers's Encyclo- 
pcedia. Comp. Bromfield and Luck of 
Eden Hall. In Kensington Church, 
Middlesex, there is a painted window, in 
which St. Cuthbert is said to be repre- 
sented playing at golf. He was by birth, 
one understands, an Irishman, but by 
original employment a North-country 
shepherd. 

Cutting Off the Fiddler's 
Head.— See Manx. 

Cuzship. — They had formerly in 
printing offices an usage called euzship, 
which is described by Gent, the York 
printer of the last century, in his Auto- 
biography, where he speaks of his attach- 
ment to the staff of Mr. Mears, the sta- 
tioner and printer. He tells us that, in 
addition to Beer-money, he was obliged to 
submit to the immemorial custom of being 
sworn a cuz, the origin of which he could 
not learn. He proceeds: — "It commenced 
by walking round the chapel (printing 
rooms being called such, because first be- 
gun to be practised in Westminster Abbey) 
singing an alphabetical anthem, tuned 
literally to the vowels ; striking me, kneel- 
ing, with a broadsword, and pouring ale 
upon my head ; my title was exhibited, and 
to this effect ; ' Thomas Gent, Baron of 
College Green, Earl of Fingall, with power 
to the limits of Dublin bar, captain-gene- 
ral of the Teagues, near the Lake of Allen, 
and lord high admiral over all the bogs in 
Ireland.' " He adds that they even gave 



him godfathers, which his Presbyterian 
training had not previously accorded. 

Cymmortha, or Cymmorth 
Gwan. — Pughe remarks : " The wearing 
of the leek on St. David's Day probably 
originated from the custom of Cymhortha, 
or the neighbourly aid practised among 
farmers, which is of various kinds. In 
some districts of South Wales, all the 
neighbours of a small farmer without 
means appoint a day when they all attend 
to plough his land, and the like ; and at 
such a time it is a custom for each indi- 
vidual to bring his portion of leeks, to be 
used in making pottage for the whole com- 
pany : and they bring nothing else but the 
leeks in particular for the occasion." An- 
ciently it was a custom in Wales, to insti- 
tute associations among neighbours and 
friends for the performance of any work 
or undertaking, and this usage, which ap- 
pears to have had its rise in motives of 
industrial expediency, was gradually 
turned both to political and social account. 
These Cymmortha formed the pretext, as 
early as the reign of Henry IV. for insur- 
rectionary gatherings, and by 4 Hen. iv. c. 
27, it was ordained, "that no westrye, 
rhymer, minstrel, nor vagabond be in any 
wise sustained in the land of Wales to 
make Cymmorthas or gatherings upon the 
common people there." Sir H. Ellis, to 
whom I am indebted for this information, 
(" Orig. Letters," 2nd Series, 1827), adds, 
that " Wood, speaking of Bala, says, ' It 
is a small town at the bottom of the lake 
of that name, and is celebrated for its vast 
trade in woollen stockings, in the knitting 
of which men, women, and children are in- 
cessantly employed. They assemble in the 
winter at each other's houses, listening to 
some ancient song, or provincial tale, and 
this meeting is called Cymmorth, Qwan, or 
Knitting Assembly.' " The Cymmortha 
(or Comortha) was, in fact, a sort of Pri- 
mitive Trades' Union, and part of the sys- 
tem was the relief of those members of it, 
who, by some unavoidable cause, happened 
to fall into distress. That such was the 
case is pretty evident from a letter ad- 
dressed to Lord Burghley by Richard Price 
of Brecknock, January 31, 1575-6. The 
Cymmortha was more than once forbidden 
by statute ; but the Bishop of Coventry 
and Lichfield, in a letter to Thomas Crom- 
well, describes an odd privilege granted by 
the King to a gentleman in pecuniary 
straits, one George Mathew, Esquire, in 
the twenty-seventh year of his reign'; it 
was the right of holding a Commortha for 
his personal benefit, "any statute, ordi- 
naunce, or other thing to the contrary 
hereof notwithstanding." The Bishop esti- 
mates the value of the Royal license to 
Mathew at not less than 1,000 marks. 
OvTen's Welsh Dictionary, v.v. Cawa, and 



1 66 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



Cymborth^ may be consulted ; but there is 
nothing or importance which is not noticed 
above. 

Cypress. — It is doubtful whether the 
cypress was meant by the ancients to be 
an emblem of an immortal state, or of an- 
nihilation after death; since the proper- 
ties of the tree apply, happily enough, to 
each. The cypress was used on funeral 
occasions, say the commentators on Vir- 
gil, " vel quia cariem non sentit, ad glorise 
immortalitatem significandam ; vel quia 
semel esoisa, non renascitur, ad mortem 
exprimendam" ; Servius' Com. on CEneid. 
iii., p. 64, and the Delphin edit. ; but, 
instead of that, the ancient Christians 
used the things 'lefore mentioned, and de- 
posited them under the corpse in the grave 
to signify that they who die in Christ, do 
not cease to live ; for though, as to the 
body, they die to the world, yet, as to their 
souls, they live and revive to God. And 
as the carrying of these evergreens is an 
emblem of the soul's immortality, so it is 
also of the resurrection of the body : for 
as these herbs are not entirely plucked up, 
but only cut down, and will, at the return- 
ing season, revive and spring up again ; 
so the body, like them, is but cut down 
for a while, and will rise and shoot up 
again at the resurrection. For, in the 
language of the evangelical prophet, our 
bones shall flourish like an herb. The 
reader conversant with the classics will 
call to mind here the beautiful thought in 
the Idyllium on Bion by Mosohus : though 
the fine spirit of it will evaporate when we 
apply it to the Christian doctrine of the 
resurrection. The antithesis will be de- 
stroyed. Moschi Idyll, iii., 1. 100. 

The cypress, however, appears to 
have been retained to later times. 
Coles says : " Cypresse garlands are 
of great account at funeralls amongst 
the gentiler sort, but rosemary and 
bayes are used by the commons both 
at funeralls and weddings. They are 
all plants which fade not a good while 
after they are gathered, and used (as I 
conceive) to intimate unto us that the re- 
membrance of the present solemnity might 
not dye presently, but be kept in minde 
for many yeares." Introduction to the 
Knowledge of Plants, 64. The line, 

" And cypress which doth biers adorn," 

is cited in Poole's "English Parnassus," 
1657. Spenser mentions 

" The aspin, good for staves, the cypress 
funerall." 

Dekker, in his " Wonderfull Yeare," 1603, 
signat. c 3 verso, describes a charnell-house 
pavement, " instead of greene rushes, 
strewde with blasted rosemary, wither' d 
hyacinthes, fatalle cypresse, and ewe, 
thickly mingled with heapes of dead men's 



bones." He says, signat. D 2 yerso, 
" Rosemary, which had wont to be sold for 
twelve pence an armefuU, went now " (on 
account of the Plague), " at six shillings 
a handfull." In "The Exequies," by 
Stanley, we read : 

"Yet strew 
Upon ny dismall grave. 
Such offerings as you have, 
Bind with cypresse and sad ewe, 
For kinder flowers can take no birth 
Or growth from such unhappy earth." 

Poems, 1651, p. 54. In " The Marrow of 
Complements," &c., 1655, is " A Mayden's 
Song for her dead Lover," in which cypress 
and yew are particularly mentioned as 
funeral plants : 

" Come you whose loves are dead, 
And, whilst I sing, 
Weepe and wring 
Every nand, and every head 

Bind with cypresse and sad ewe, 
Ribbands black, and candles blue ; 
For him that was of men most true. 
" Come with heavy moaning, 
And on his grave 
Let him have 
Sacrifice of sighes and groaning, 
Let him have faire flowers enough. 
White, and purple, green, and yellow. 
For him that was of men most true." 

In " Round about our Coal Fire," circa 
1730, I find the following passage on this 
subject: — "The rooms were embowered 
with holly, ivy, Cyprus, bays, laurel, and 
Miseltoe, and a bouncing Christmas log in 
the chimney." In this acount the cypress 
is quite a new article. Indeed, I should 
as soon have expected to have seen the 
yew as the Cyprus used on this joyful occa- 
sion. 

Da.b. — Pegge, in the " Gentleman's 
Miigazine " for September, 1767, derives 
t';ie word Vah, in the phrase of " a dab at 
such or such a thing,' as a vulgar corrup- 
tion of the Latin adeptus. 

Daffodil. — Herrick describes a 
"Divination by a Daffodil. 
When a Daffadil I see. 
Hanging down her head t'wards me ; 
Guesse I may, what I must be : 
First, I shall decline my head ; 
Secondly, I shall be dead, 
Lastly, safely buried." 
Hesperides, 1648, p. 40. 

Dag'g:er-IVIoney.— See Newcastle- 
on-Tyne. 

Dancingr at Weddings. — Among 
the Anglo-Saxons, after the nuptial feast, 
' ' the remaining part of the day was spent 
by the youth of both sexes in mirth and 
dancing, while the graver sort sat down to 
their drinking bout, in which they highly 
delighted." Among the higher ranks there 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



167 



was, in later times, a wedding sermon, an 
epithalamium, and at night a masque. It 
was a general custom between the wedding 
dinner and supper to have dancing. In 
" The Christian State of Matrimony," 
1543, fol. 49, we read : " After the bancket 
and feast, there begynnethe a vayne, 
madde, and unmanerlye fashion, for the 
bryde must be brought into an open daun- 
cynge place. Then is there such a ren- 
nynge, leapynge', and flyngyng amonge 
them, then is there suche a lyftynge up 
and discoverynge of the damselles clothes 
and other womennes apparell, that a man 
might thynke they were sworne to the 
Devels Daunce. Then muste the poore 
biyde kepe foote with al dauncers and re- 
fuse none, how scabbed, foule, droncken, 
rude, and shameles soever he be. Then 
must she oft tymes heare and se much 
wyckednesse and many an uncomely word ; 
and that noyse and romblyng eudureth 
even tyll supper." So, in the " Summe of 
the Holy Scripture," 1547, signat. H 3 
!verso : " Suffer not your children to go to 
weddings or banckettes ; for nowe a dales 
one can learne nothing there but ribaudry 
and foule wordes." In Seldeu's "Table 
Talk," first printed in 1689, under the 
head "Excommunication," is an allusion 
to the custom of dancing at weddings : 
" Like the wench that was to be married : 
she asked her mother, when 'twas done, if 
^he should go to bed presently? No, says 
her mother, you must dine first. And then 
to bed, mother.? No, you must dance after 
dinner. And then to bed, mother .? No, 
you must go to supper," &c. " Quas 
epulas omnes Tripudia atque Saltationes 
■comitantur. Postremo Sponsa adrepta 
ex Saltatione subito atque Sponsus in 
Thalamum deducuutur." " Antiq. Con- 
Trivial.," fol. 68. This requisite has not 
been omitted in the " Collier's Wed- 
ding." : 

" The pipers wind and take their post. 
And go before to clear the coast." 

I do not know to what particular revel- 
day Browne refers in the second song of his 
First Book, where he speaks of the shep- 
herd, who wears the trophies of his manly 
skill or strength : 

" Piping he sate, as merry as his looke, 
And by him lay his bottle and his hooke. 
Bis buskins (edg'd with siluer) were of 

silke, 
"Which held a legge more white then 

mornings milk. 
'Those buskins he had got and brought 

away 
For dancing best vpon the reuell day." 

Works, by Hazlitt, 1868, i., 68. In 
Hey wood's " Fayre Mayd of the Ex- 
change," 1607, Bernard enters with news 



of a wedding in Gracechurch Street, where 
dancing is going on : — 

" Bernard. By Jesu ! the rarest dancing in 

Christendom. 
Bowdler. Sweet rascal, where? Oh, do not 
kill my soul 
With such delays. . . . 
Ber. At a wedding in Gracious Street. 
Bowd. Come, come away ; I long to see 
the man 
In dancing art that does more than 1 
can. 
Ber. Than you, sir ? he lives not. 
Bowd. Why, I did understand thee so. 
Ber. You only excepted, the world besides 
Cannot afford more exquisite dancers 
Than are now cap'ring at that bride- 
ale house." 

The following passage is curious, from its 
enumeration of several old dances, which 
were usual at weddings : 

" J. Slime. I come to dance, not to 
quarrel. Come, what shall it be ? Rogero? 

Jem. Rogero ! no ! we will dance the be- 
ginning of the world. 

Sisly. I love no dance so well as John 
come kiss me now. 

Nich. I Ihat have ere now deserv'd a 
cushion, call for the cushion-dance. 

R. Brick. For my part, I like nothing so 
well as Tom Tyler. 

Jem. No ; we'll have the Hunting of the 
Fox. 

J. Slime. The hay ; the hay ! there's no- 
thing like the hay — 

Nich. I have said, do say, and will say 
again — 

Jem. Every man agree to have it as 
Nick says. 

All. Content. 

Nich. It hath been, it now is, and it 
shall be — 

Sisly. What, Master Nicholas? What? 

Nich. Put on your smock o' Monday. 

Jem. So the dance will come cleanly off. 
Come, for God's sake agree of something: 
if you like not that, put it to the musi- 
cians, or let me speak for all, and we'll 
have Sellengers round." 

Elsewhere we read : ' ' The custom of dan- 
cing in the church-yard at their feasts and 
revels is universal in Radnorshire, and 
very common in other parts of the Princi- 
pality. Indeed this solemn abode is ren- 
dered a kind of circus for every sport and 
exercise. The young men play at fives and 
tennis against the wall of the church. It 
is not however, to be understood that they 
literally dance over the graves of their 
progenitors. This amusement takes place 
on the north side of the Church-yard 
where it is the custom not to bury. It is 
rather singular, however, that the associa- 
tion of the place, surrounded by memo- 
rials of mortality, should not deaden the 



i68 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



impulses of joy in minds, in other respects 
not insensible to the suggestions of vulgar 
superstition." Malkin's S. Wales, 1804, 
p. 261. Again, under Aberedwy, "In this 
church yard are two uncommonly large 
yew trees, evidently of great age, but in 
unimpaired luxuriance and preservation, 
under the shade of which an intelligent 
clergyman of the neighbourhood informed 
me that he had frequently seen sixty 
couple dancing at Aberedwy Feast on the 
14th of June. The boughs of the two trees 
intertwine, and afford ample space for the 
evolutions of so numerous a company 
within their ample covering." Every >Eng- 
lishman has heard of the "Dance round 
our coal fire," ridiculed by the Duke of 
Buckingham in the Behearsal; which re- 
ceives illustration from the probably an- 
cient practice of dancing round the fires 
in our Inns of Court (and perhaps other 
halls in great men's houses). This prac- 
tice was still in 1733 observed at an enter- 
tainment at the Inner Temple Hall, on 
Lord Chancellor Talbot taking leave of the 
house, when the Master of the Revels took 
the Chancellor by the hand, and he, Mr. 
Page ; who, with the judges, Serjeants, and 
benchers, danced round the coal fire, ac- 
cording to the old ceremony, three times, 
and all the times the antient song, with 
music, was sung by a man in a Bar gown." 

Dandies. — See Cochal. 

Dark Lantern. — Harrington, speak- 
ing of the Curfew, observes ' ' that there 
is a general vulgar error, that it is not 
lawful to go about with a dark lantern. 
All popular errors," he adds, "have some 
foundation : and the regulation of the cur- 
few may possibly have been the occasion of 
this." But he derives this notion from 
Guy Fawkes' dark lantern. Observa- 
tions on the Statutes, 154 note. 

Darvel Gathern, Worship of. 
■ — 5th April. — It appears that one 
of the ohjects of pilgrimage in the 
Principality of Wales before the 
Reformation, was the Image of Dar- 
vell Gathern in the diocese of St. Asaph; 
who or what Darvell Gathern was, 
dees not appear ; but the superstition is 
mentioned by Hall the Chronicler and 
others. In a letter from Ellis Price to 
Secretary Cromwell, dated 6th April, 1538, 
there is the following account of it : — 
" There ys an Image of Darvellgadarn, 
within the said diocese, in whome the 
people have so greate confidence, hope, 
and truste, that they cumme dayly a piU- 
gramage unto hym, somme withe kyne, 
other with oxen or horsis, and the reste 
withe money : in so muche that there was 
fyve or syxe hundrethe pilgrimes to a mans 
estimacion, that offered to the saide image 
the fifte dale of this presente monethe of 
Aprill. The innocente people hath ben 



sore aluryd and entised to worship, 
the saide image, in so muche that 
there is a commyn sayinge as yet 
amongst them that who so ever will 
offer anie thinge to the saide Image of 
Darvellgadern, he hathe power to fatche 
hym or them that so offers oute of HelL 
when they be dampned." Besides this 
"commyn sayinge," there appears from 
Hall to have been a prophecy current 
" that the image should set a whole forest 
on fire " ; and this was supposed to be ful- 
filled, when the idol was burnt in Smith- 
field with a friar so named, in May, 1538.. 
For a few farther, particulars, the reader 
may turn to Ellis's "Original Letters,"' 
First Series, pages 83-4 of the second vo- 
lume. There is a second letter from Ellis. 
Price to Cromwell, at a somewhat later 
date ; but we do not get any nearer 
to a solution of the mystery as to. 
Darvel Gadern, beyond the patent fact, 
that he was held in great veneration by 
the Welsh. Sir H. Ellis in a note in- 
deed quotes the following passage from 
Michael Woodde's " Dialogue between two. 
Neighbours," 1554: "If the Welshman 
would have a purse, he praied to Darvel 
Gatherne." Pennant calls him St. Derfel 
Gatherne. 

Date-Stone. — The following legend,, 
intended to honour the Virgin Mother, 
was considered by Brand worth inserting, 
and I have retained it: "Eating some 
dates with an old man, but a credulous. 
Christian, he said : that the letter O re- 
mained upon the stone of a date for a 
remembrance that our blessed Lady, the 
Virgin, with her divine Babe in her arms, 
resting herself at the foot of a palm-tre& 
(which inclined her branches and offered a 
cluster of dates to her Creator), our lady 
plucked some of the dates, and eat- 
ing, satisfied with the taste and 
flavour, cryed out in amazement,. 
' O how sweet they are !' This ox- 
clamation engraved the letter O, the- 
first word of her speech, upon the date 
stcne,which being very hard, better pre- 
served it.' " 

Daubing: — See Sride-Wain. 

David's Day (March 1).— St. David,. 
Archbishop of Menevy, now from him 
called St. David's, in Pembrokeshire, flou- 
rished, according to Pits, in the fifth and. 
sixth centuries of the Christian era, and 
died at the age of a hundred and forty 
years. In the "Episcopal Almanack for 
1677," he is described as uncle to King 
Arthur. There is a Welsh pedigree which 
shows him to have been the son of Cara- 
dog. Lord of Cardiganshire, by Non, 
daughter of Ynyr, of Caer Gawoh. "The 
Britons on this day constantly wear a leek, 
in memory of a famous and notable victory 
obtained by them over the Saxons, they,, 
during the battle, having leeks in their- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS, 



169 



hats for their military colours and distinc- 
tion of themselves, by the persuasion of 
the said prelate, St. David." Another ac- 
count adds, that they were fighting, under 
their king Cadwallo, near a field that was 
replenished with that vegetable. But the 
battle is recorded by Jeffrey of Monmouth 
in the 8th and 9th chapters of his twelfth 
book. In the " Chronicles of Englonde," 
edit. 1500, signat. C 3, we have, in allusion 
to the Welsh : 

" They haue gruell to potage, 

And lekes kynde to companage — " 

And again — 

" Atte mete and after eke, 
Her solace is salte and leke." 

The " Salisbury Primer " contains the fol- 
lowing : 

" Davyd of Wales loveth well lekes. 
That wyll make Gregory lene chekes ; 
Yf Edwarde do eate some with them, 
Mary sonde hym to Eedlem." 

Sir John Harington, in his " Brief View 
of the State of the Church," 1653, speaks 
of an indulgence of Pope Calixtus li., by 
which one pilgrimage to St. David's was 
made equivalent to two to Rome, whence 
came the distich : 

" Roma semel quantum. 
Bis dat Menevia tantum." 

Henry VII., having Welsh blood in his 
veins, was supposed to be under rather 
peculiar obligations, possibly, as regarded 
the observance of St. David's festival ; on 
the anniversary of 1494-5, under the date 
of March 6, we find in that prince's "Privy 
Purse Expenses"; "To the Walshemen 
towards ther feste, £3,"— meaning the 
Welshmen who happened to be about the 
Dance, with a body of notices illus- 
trative of the present subject, including 
Court. The feast given to the Welshmen 
on this festival remained in force during 
tli3 reign of Henry VIII. On two or three 
occasions, the yeomen of the guard pre- 
sented the Princess Mary with a leek, for 
which they received 15s. in reward. 

Dr. Owen Pughe says: "In con- 
sequence of the romances of the 
middle ages which created the Seven 
Champions of Christendom, St. David 
has been dignified with the title 
of patron Saint of Wales: but this 
rank, however, is hardly known among 
the people of the Principality, being a 
title diffused among them from England 
in modern times. The writer of this ac- 
count never heard of such a patron saint, 
nor of the leek as his symbol, until he be- 
came acquainted therewith in London." 
Cambrian Biography, 1803, p. 86. The 
following lines occur in Harl. MS.,' 1977 
fol. 9 : ' 



"1 like the leeke above all herbes and 
flowers. 

When first we wore the same the feild 
was ours. 

The leeke is white and green, whereby 
is ment 

That Britaines are both stout and emi- 
nent ; 

Nest to the lion and the unicorn. 

The leeke the fairest emblyn that ii 
worne." 

In Shakespear's "Henry the Fifth," act 
V. so. i., Gower asks Fluellen, " But why 
wear your leek to-day? Saint Davy's Day 
is past." From Fluellen's reply we gather 
that he wore his leek in consequence of an 
affront he had received but the day before 
from Pistol whom he afterwards compels 
to eat the leek, skin and all, in revenge 
for the insult, quaintly observing to him 
" When you take occasions to see leeks 
hereafter, I pray you, mock at them, that 
is all." Gower too upbraids Pistol for 
mocking "at an ancient tradition — begun 
upon an honourable respect, and worn as 
a memorable trophy of pre-deceased 
valour." In " The Bishop's last Good- 
night," 1642, the 14th stanza runs thus: 
" Landaff, provide for St. David's Day, 
Lest the leeke and red-herring run 

away : 
Are you resolved to go or stay? 
You are called for, Landaff : 
Come in, Landaff." 

There is a poetical broadside in doubl© 
columns, entitled: "The Welsh-mens 
Glory, or the famous Victories of the An- 
cient Britons obtained upon St. David's 
Day." It begins : 

" The honor, glory, and the grace. 
Of valiant Brute's tryumphant race. 
Shewing the reasons wherefore they 
Wear leeks upon St. David's Day." 

Ursula is introduced in "The Vow-breaker, 
or, the fayre Maid of Clifton," 1636, act 
i. sc. i. as telling Anne — " Thou marry 
German ! His head's like a Welchman's 
crest on St. Davy's Day ! He looks like- 
a hoary frost in December ! Now, Venus 
blesse me ! I'd rather ly by a statue." 
Prom a notice in the "Flying Post" for 
1699, it appears that it was then usual for 
the Court to wear a leek on this day: — ■ 
" Yesterday, being St. David's Day, th& 
King, according to custom, wore a leek in 
honour of the ancient Britons, the same 
being presented to him by the Serjeant- 
porter, whose place it is, and for which he 
claims the cloaths which his Majesty wore 
that day. The courtiers, in imitation of 
his Majesty, wore leeks likewise." Misson, 
in his "Travels in England," translated 
by Ozell, p. 334, says, speaking of the 
Welsh custom of rearing leeks, "The King 
himself is so complaisant as to bear them 
company." Coles, in his "Adam in Eden" 



170 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



says, concerning leeks, " The gentlemen 
in Wales have them in great regard, both 
for their feeding, and to wear in their 
hats upon St. David's Day." To a (juerist 
in " The British Apollo," the following an- 
swer is given : ' ' The ceremony is observed 
on the iirst of March, in commemoration of 
a signal victory obtained by the Britons, 
under the- command of a famous general, 
Icnown vulgarly by the name of St. David. 
The Britons wore a leek in their hats to 
distinguish their friends from their ene- 
mies in the heat of the battle." There is 
the following proverb on this day :^ 

" Upon St. David's Day, put oats and 
barley in the clay." 

It is a custom still kept up on this festi- 
val, for each of the scholars at Westmin- 
ister, being Welshmen, to receive a guinea 
from some ancient endowment made for 
the purpose. About twenty received it in 
1879. See Eton School. 

Da wz in— The faculty of divination 
is believed in the west to be confined to cer- 
tain favoured personSj and is termed Daw- 
zin. 

Days. — See Lucky and Unlucky, and 
Perilous Days, infra. 

Dead Body, Seizure of a, for 
Debt. — The earliest instance on record 
occurs, perhaps, in the Romance of Sir 
Amadace. The security was retained till 
the claim was satisfied. It is difficult, 
Daines Barrington observes, to account 
for many of the prevailing vulgar 
■errors with regard to what is sup- 
posed to be law. Such are that the body 
of a debtor may be taken in execution 
after his death : which, however^ was pi'ao- 
tised in Prussia before Frederic II. abo- 
lished it by the Code Frederique. A sin- 
gular case occurred at Venice in 1763, 
where the attempt was made to seize the 
remains of a Doge on this account. See 
Hazlitt's Venetian Bepublic, 1900, ii., 
308 and Errors, infra. In Massinger's 
"Fatall Dowry" 1632, act ii. sc. 1, are 
some curious thoughts on this subject, 
spoken at the funeral of a marshal in the 
army, who died in debt, on account of 
which the corpse was arrested : 

"What! weepe ye, souldisrs? . . . 

The jaylors and the creditors do 
weepe ; . . . . 

Be these thy bodies balme : these and 
thy vertue 

Keepe thy fame ever odoriferous — 

Whilst the great, proud, rich, undeserv- 
ing man. . . . 

Shall quickly, both in bone and name 
consume. 

Though wrapt in lead, spice, seare-cloth, 
and perfume. 



— This is a sacrifice : our Showre shall 

crowne 
His sepulcher with olive, myrrh, and 

bayes, 
The plants of peace, of sorrow, victorie." 

Death-Howl. — Howling at funerals 
appears to have been of general use in the 
Papal times from the following passage in 
Veron, in his Hunting of Purgatory, 1561, 
where, speaking of St. Ohrysostom, he 
says : " No mention at al doth he make of 
that manner of singinge or rather un- 
semely howling that your Papists use for 
the salvation of theyr dead, therby, under 
a pretence of godlinesse, picking the 
purses of the pore simple and ignorant 
people." Stafford observes: "It is a 
wonder to see the childish whining we now- 
adayes use at the funeralls of our friends. 
If we could houl them back againe, our 
lamentations were to some purpose ; but 
as they are, they are vaine, and in vain." 
Meditations and Besolutions, 1612, p. 16. 
The minister of Nig, co. Kincardine, re- 
ported in 1793, of the people thereabout : 
' ' On the sudden death of their relations, 
or fear of it, by the sea turning danger- 
ous, the fisher people, especially the 
females, express their sorrow by exclama- 
tion of voice and gesture of body, like the 
Eastern nations, and those in an early 
state of civilization." Mungo Park, in 
his "Travels," relates that among the 
Moors, a child died in one of the tents, 
"and the mother and the relations imme- 
diately began the death-howl. They were 
joined by a number of female visitors, who 
came on purpose to assist at this melan- 
choly concert. I had no opportunity of 
seeing the burial, which is generally per- 
formed secretly in the dusk of the even- 
ing, and frequently at only a few yards 
distance from the tent. Over the grave 
they plant one particular shrub ; and no 
si ranger is allowed to pluck a leaf, or even 
to touch it." Speaking elsewhere of the 
negroes, he says : " When a person of con- 
sequence dies, the relations and neighbours 
meet together and manifest their sorrow 
by loud bowlings." Compare Ireland. 

Death-Omens. — Nearly all the 
death-omens then credited are set forth by 
Deloney in his romance of " Thomas of 
Reading, probably published anterior to 
<< tPv, J^pPton, in his Third Book, says : 
If the forehead of the sick wax red, and 
his brows fall down, and his nose wax 
sharp and cold, and his left eye becomes 
little, and the corner of his eye run, if he 
turn to the wall, if his ears be cold, or if 
he may suffer no brightness, and if his 
wonib fall, if he pulls straws or the deaths 
ot his bed, or if he pick often his 
nostrils with his fingers, and if he wake 
much, these are almost certain tokens 
of death." The sharpness of the nose 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



171 



.and the pulling of the bed-clothes were 
adopted by Shakespear in the deathbed 
scene of KalstaflE in Henry V. By the 
flying and crying of ravens over 
their houses, especially in the dusk even- 
ing, and where one is sick, they conclude 
>death : the same they conclude by the 
much crying of owles in the night, neer 
their houses at such a time," according to 
the author of Demonology, 1597. Weren- 
f els says, p . 7, " The superstitious person 
•could wish indeed that his estate might go 
to his next and best friends after his 
death, but he had rather leave it to any 
body than make his will, for fear lest he 
.should presently die after it." The subse- 
.quent lines, from Dryden and Lee's CEdi- 
pus,iv., 1, need no apology for their intro- 
'duction : 

" For when we think Fate hovers o'er 

our heads. 
Our apprehensions shoot beyond all 

bounds. 
Owls, ravens, crickets seem the Watch 

of Death ; 
Nature's worst vermin scare her godlike 

sons ; 
Echoes, the very leavings of a voice, 
Grow babling ghosts and call us to our 

graves : 
Each mole-hill thought swells to a huge 

Olympus, 
While we, fantastic dreamers, heave and 

puff, 
And sweat with an imagination's 

weight ; 
As if, like Atlas, with these mortal 

shoulders 
We could sustain the burden of the 
world." 

Hear Molinaous: — "Si visitans Mgrum, 
lapidem inventum per viam attollat et sub 
lapide inveniatur Vermis se movens, aut 
formica vivens, faustum Omen est, et iudi- 
•cium fore ut seger convalescat ; si nihil in- 
vocitur, res est conclamata, et certa mors, 
ut docet Burchardus, Decretorum, lib. 
xix." "Vates," p. 154. Lupton, in his 
third book of A'oiaWe Things, says : "If a 
firr tree be touched, withered, or burned 
with lightening, it signifies that the mas- 
ter or mistresse thereof shall shortly die." 
•Comp. Bay-Tree. In Heylin's "Life of 
Laud,'' it is stated, that "the Bishop, 
.going into his study, which nobody could 
get into but himself, found his own picture 
lying all along on its face, which 
^extremely perplexed him, he looking 
upon it as ominous." Grose tells 
us that, besides general notices of 
«death, many families have particu- 
lar warnings or notices; some of the ap- 
pearance of a bird, and others by the 
figure of a tall woman dressed all in white, 
-who goes shrieking about the house. This 
apparition is common in Ireland, where it 
'is called Benshea and the Shrieking 



Woman. Pennant says, that many of the 
great families in Scotland had their dse- 
mon or genius, who gave them monitions 
of future events. Thus the family of Roth- 
murchas had the bodaok au dun, or the 
ghost of the hill : Kinchardines the spectre 
of the bloody hand. Gartinbeg House was 
haunted by Bodach Gartin, and TuUoch 
Germs by Maug Monlack or the- girl with 
the hairy left hand. The Synod gave fre- 
quent orders that inquiry should be made 
into the truth of this apparition ; and one 
or two declared that they had seen one 
that answered the description. 

Oamerarius writes : ■ ' There bee 
some Princes of Germanie that have 
particular and apparent presages and 
tokens, full of noise, before or about 
the day of their death, as extra- 
ordinairie roaring of lions and bark- 
ing of dogs, fearful noises and bustlings 
by night in castles, striking of clocks, and 
tolling of bels at undue times and howres, 
and other warnings whereof none could 
give any reason." Living Librarie, 1621, 
p. 284. Delrio adds, that in Bohemia a 
female spectre in mourning is accustomed 
to appear in a certain castle of an illus- 
trious family, before one of the wives of its 
seigneurs dies. Disquisitiones Magicm, p. 
£92. Compare Luck of Eden Kail, infra, 
and Hazlitt's Proverbs, 1882, p. 763. 

Death-Rattle — The dead or death 
rattle, a particular kind of noise made in 
respiring by a person in the extremity of 
sickness, is still considered in the North, 
as well as in other parts, of England, as 
an omen of death. Levinus Lemnius, in 
his " Occult Miracles of Nature," lib. ii. 
cb. 15, is very learned concerning it : "In 
Belgica regione, totoque Septentrionalis 
plagse tractu, morituri certa argumenta 
proferunt emigrandi, edito sonitu murmu- 
loso, nee est, qui absque hujusmodi indicio 
vitam non flniat. Siquidem imminente 
morte sonum edunt, tanquam aqute laben- 
tis per salebras, locaque anfractuosa atque 
incurva, murmur, aut qualem Siphunculi 
ao Pistulse in aquae ductibus sonitum ex- 
citant. Cum enim vocalem arteriam oc- 
cludi contingat, spiritus qui confertim 
erumpere gestit, nactus angustum mea- 
tum, coUapsamque fistulam, gargarismo 
quodam prodit, ac raucum per Isevia mur- 
mur efficit, scatebrisque arentes deserit 
aitus. Conglomeratus itaque spiritus, 
spumaque turgida commixtus, sonitum ex- 
citat, reciprocanti maris sestui assimilem. 
Quod ipsum in nonnullis etiam fit ob pan- 
niculos ac membranas in rugas contractas, 
sic ut spiritus oblique ac sinuoso volumine 
decurrat. Hi, autem, gui valido sunt vas- 
toque corpore, et qui violenta morte peri- 
unt, gravius resonant, diutiusque cum 
morte luctantur, ob humoris copiam ac 
densos crassosque spiritus. lis vero qui ex- 
tenuate sunt corpore, ac lenta morte con- 



172 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



tabescunt, minus impetuose lenique sonitu 
t'tiitui- Spiritus, ac seiisim placideque 
extinguuntur, ac quodammodo obdormis- 
cunt." 

Death - Watch. — "How many 
people have I seen, says Defoe, " in the 
most terrible palpitations for months to- 
gether, expecting every hour the approach 
of some calamity, only by a little worm, 
which breeds in old wainscot, and, en- 
deavouring to eat its way out, makes a 
noise like the movement of a watch." Dun- 
can Campbell, 1732, p. 61. Wallis gives 
the following account of the insect so 
called, whose ticking has been thought by 
ancient superstition to forbode death in a 
family. "The small scarab called the 
Death-Watcli (Scarabseus galeatus pulsa- 
tor) is frequent among dust and in decayed 
rotten wood, lonely and retired. It is one 
of the smallest of the Vagipennia, of a 
dark brown, with irregular light brown 
spots, the belly plicated, and the wings 
under the cases pellucid ; like other beetles, 
the helmet turned up, as is supposed for 
hearing ; the upper np hard and shining. 
By its regular pulsations, like the ticking 
of a watch, it sometimes surprises those 
that are strangers to its nature and pro- 
perties, who fancy its beating portends a 
family change, and the shortening of the 
thread of life. Put into a box, it may 
be heard and seen in the act of pulsation, 
with a small proboscis against the side of 
it, for food more probably than for hyme- 
nseal pleasure as some have fancied." 
History of Northumherland, i., 367. 
Baxter observes that ' ' There are 
many things that ignorance causetli 
multitudes to take for prodigies. I 
have had manj; discreet friends that 
have been aifrighted with the noise 
called a death-watch, whereas I have since, 
near three years ago, oft found by trial, 
that it is a noise made upon paper, by a 
little, nimble, running worm, just like a 
louse, but whiter, and quicker ; and it is 
most usually behind a paper pasted to a 
wall, especially to wainscot : and it is 
rarely, if ever heard, but in the heat of 
summer." Then immediately after he 
adds : ' ' But he who can deny it to be a 
prodigy, which is recorded by Melchior 
Adamus, of a great and good man, who 
had a clock-watch that had layen in a 
chest many years unused ; and when he lay 
dying, at eleven o'clock, of itself, in that 
chest, it struck eleven in the hearing of 
many." World of Spirits, 1691. 203. 

Deaths. — The custom, formerly only 
too much diffused, of removing the pillow 
from the head of a dying person in order 
to accelerate the end, is sometimes as- 
cribed to the superstitious notion, that 
the presence of a pigeon's feather among 
the rest prevents the fatal catastrophe. 



But there was also a belief that this prac- 
tice afforded relief to the individual arti- 
culo mortis. 
Dedication of Churches.— As. 

iu the times of Paganism annual festivals, 
were celebrated in honour and memory of 
their gods, goddesses, and heroes^ when the. 
people resorted together at their temples, 
and tombs ; and as the Jews constantly 
kept their anniversary feast of Dedication 
in remembrance of Judas Maccabseus their 
deliverer; so it hath been an ancient cus- 
tom among the Christians of this island to- 
keep a feast every year upon a certain 
weelt or day, in remembrance of the finish- 
ing of the building of their parish church,, 
and of the first solemn dedicating of it to 
the service of God, and committing it to 
the protection of some guardian saint or 
angel. At the conversion of the Saxons, 
says Bourne, by Austin the monk, the 
heathen Paganalia were continued among 
the converts, with some regulations, by 
an order of Gregory I., to Melitus the Ab- 
bot, who accompanied Austin in his mis- 
sion to this island. His words are to this 
eflleot : On the day of dedication, or the 
birth-day of Holy Martyrs, whose relics, 
are there placed, let the people make to 
themselves booths of the boughs of trees,, 
round about those very churches which 
had been the temples of idols, and in a re- 
ligious way to observe a feast : that beasts, 
may no longer be slaughtered by way of 
sacrifice to the devil but for their own 
eating and the glory of God : and that, 
when they are satisfied they may return 
thanks to him who is the giver of all good, 
things. Silas Taylor says, that "in the^ 
days of yore, when a Church was to be 
built, they watched and prayed on the^ 
Vigil of the Dedication, and took that- 
point of the horizon where the sun arose 
for the east, which makes that variation, 
so that few stand true except those built- 
between the two equinoxes. I have ex- 
perimented some churches, and have found 
the line to point to that part of 
the horizon where the sun rises, 
on the day of that Saint to whom the- 
church is dedicated." But it being ob- 
served that the number of holidays was 
excessively increased, to the detriment of 
civil government and secular affairs, 
and also that the great irregularities and 
licentiousness which had crept into these- 
festivities by degrees, especially in the- 
churches, chapels, and churchyards, were 
found highly injurious to piety, virtue,, 
and good manners, statutes and canons 
were made to regulate them : and by an 
Act of Convocation passed by Henry the 
Eighth in 1536, their number was in some 
measure lessened. The Feast of the Dedi- 
cation of every Church was ordered to be 
kept upon one and the same day every- 
where ; that is, on the first Sunday in Octo- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



173 



ber : and the saint's day to which the 
church was dedicated entirely laid aside. 
This act is now disregarded ; but probably 
it arose thence that the Feast of Wakes 
was first put off till the Sunday following 
the proper day, that the people might not 
have too many avocations from their neces- 
sary and domestic business. " TJt die De- 
dicationis, vel Natalitiis Sanctorum Mar- 
tyrum, quorum illic Reliquiie ponuntur, 
tabernacula sibi circa easdem Ecclesias, 
■quse ex fanis commutatse sunt de ramis ar- 
borum faoiant," &o. — Bed. lib. . . . cap. 
■30. Borlase says, the Parish Feasts insti- 
tuted in commemoration of the dedication 
•of parochial churches were highly esteemed 
among the primitive Christians, and orig- 
inally kept on the saint's day to whose 
memory the church was dedicated. The 
generosity of the founder and endower 
thereof was at the same time celebrated, 
and a service composed suitable to the oc- 
casion. This is still done in the colleges of 
Oxford, to the memory of the respective 
founders. On the eve of this day prayers 
were said and hymns were sung all night 
in the church ; and from these watchings 
the festivals were styled Wakes ; which 
name still continues in many parts of Eng- 
land, though the vigils have been long 
abolished. Dugdale's Warwiclcshire, p. 
575 ; and compare May - Day, The 
following entries occur in the accounts 
•of St. -Mary -at -Hill, 1495: " For 
bred and wyu and ale to Bowear (a singer) 
and his co., and to the Quere on Dedica- 
tion Even, and on the morrow, i.s. vjd." 
1555. "Of the Sumcyon of our Ladys 
Day, which is our church holyday, for 
drinkyng over-night at Mr. Haywards, at 
the King's Head, with certen of the 
parish and certen of the chapel and other 
singing men, in wyne, pears, and sugar, 
and other chargis, viiis. jd. For a dynner 
for our Ladys Day, for all the syngyng 
men and syngyng children, il. For a 
pounde and halfe of sugar at dinner, is. 
vijd. ob. 1557. For garlands for our 
Ladys Day & for strawenge yerbes, ijs. 
ijd. For bryngyng down the images to 
Rome Land and other things to be burnt." 
In these accounts, " To singing men and 
children from the King's Chapel, and else- 
where," on some of the grand festivals, 
particularly the parish feast (our Lady's 
Assumption), a reward in money and a 
feast are charged in several years. Carew, 
who wrote ab9ut 1585, tells us that " 'The 
Saints Feast is kept upon the Dedication 
Day by every householder of the parish, 
within his own dores, each entertaining 
such forrayne acquaintance, as will not 
fayle ,when their like turne cometh about, 
to requite them with the like kindness." 
Survey of Cornwall, 1602, p. 69. But Bor- 
lase informs us that, in his time, it being 
very inconvenient, especially in harvest 



time, to observe the parish feast on the 
saint's day, they were by the bishop's 
special authority transferred to the follow- 
ing Sunday. Charles I. in his " Book of 
Sports," 1633, removed the prohibition 
which had been exercised against these 
dedication-feasts. This tract is little more 
than a re-issue of James the First's Book, 
1618. In Aubrey's "Natural History of 
Wiltshire," first printed in 1847, we read : 
" The night before the Day of Dedication 
of the Church, certain officers were chosen 
for gathering the money for charitable 
uses. Old John Wastfield of Langley was 
Peter man at St. Peter's Chapel there," 
and from the same source it appears that 
it was customary to spend the eve of the 
Dedication-day in fasting and prayer. In 
the southern parts of this nation, says 
Bourne, most country villages are wont 
to observe some Sunday in a more parti- 
cular manner than the rest, i.e., the Sun- 
day after the day of dedication, or day of 
the saint to whom the church was dedi- 
cated. Then the inhabitants deck them- 
selves in their gaudiest clothes, and have 
open doors and splendid entertainments 
for the reception and treating of their re- 
lations and friends, who visit them on that 
occasion from each neighbouring town. 
The morning is spent for the most part 
at church, though not as that morning 
was wont to be spent, in commemorat- 
ing the saint or martyr, or in gratefully 
remembering the builder and endower. 
The remaining part of the day is spent in 
eating and drinking. Thus they also spend 
a day or two afterwards in all sorts of rural 
pastimes and exercises : such as dancing on 
the green, wrestling, cudgelling &c. An- 
tiq. Vulg., ch. 30. "In the Northern 
Counties," says Hutchinson, "these holy 
feasts are not yet abolished ; and in the 
county of Durham many are yet cele- 
brated. They were originally feasts of 
dedication in commemoration of the conse- 
cration of the church, in imitation of 
Solomon's great convocation at the con- 
secrating the Temple of Jerusalem. The 
religious tenor is totally forgotten, and the 
Sabbath is made a day of every dissipation 
and vice which it is possible to conceive 
could crowd upon a villager's manners and 
rural life. The manner of holding these 
festivals in former times was under tents 
and booths erected in the church-yard, 
where all kinds of diversions were intro- 
duced. Interludes were there performed, 
being a species of threatrical performance 
consisting of a rehearsal of some passages 
ill Holy Writ personated by actors. This 
kind of exhibition is spoken of by travel- 
lers, who have visited Jerusalem, where 
the religious even presume to exhibit the 
Crucifixion and Ascension with all their 
tremendous circumstances. On these cele- 
brations in this country, great feasts were 



174 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



displayed, and vast abundanca of meat 
and drink." History of Northumberland, 
ii., 26. In Bridges' " Northamptonshire" 
are very many instances recorded of 
the wake being still kept on or 
near to the day of the saint to 
whom the church was dedicated. In 
the "Spectator," No. 161, for Sept. 4, 
1711, the writer, speaking of this anniver- 
sary, tells us, that "the squire of the 
parish treats the whole company every 
year with a hogshead of ale ; and proposes 
a beaver hat as a recompense to him who 
gives most falls." In this country an ele- 
ment of licentiousness undoubtedly crept 
into this description of festival, and we 
find a clergyman, one Rosewell, in a ser- 
mon which he published in 1711, earnestly 
opposed to the continuance of the wake 
on the eve before the dedication. But when 
an order had been made in 1627 and in 
1631, at Exeter and in Somersetshire, for 
the suppression of the wakes, both the 
ministers and the people desired their 
continuance, not only for preserving the 
memorial of the dedication of their several 
churches, but for civilizing their parish- 
ioners, composing differences by the media- 
tion and meeting of friends, increasing of 
love and unity by these feasts of 
charity, and for the relief and com- 
fort of the poor. 

Kirchmaier, or Naogeorgus, in his 
Popish Kingdom^ translated by Googe, 
1570, draws a curious and edifying picture 
of the enthusiasm and licentiousness at- 
tendant by degrees in this festival 
abroad : 

" The dedication of the Church is yerely 

had in minde. 
With worship passing Catholicke, and 

in a wondrous kinde : 
From out the steeple hie is hangde a 

crosse and banner f ayre, 
The pavement of the temple strowde 

with hearbes of pleasant ayre. 
The pulpits and the aulters all that in 

the Church are seene. 
And every pewe and piller great, are 

deckt with boughes of greene : 
The tabernacles opened are, and images 

are drest, 
But chiefly he that patron is, doth shine 

above the rest : 
A borde there standes, whereon their 

bulles and pardons thick they lay. 
That given are to every one that keepes 

this holyday : 
The Idoll of the Patron eke, without the 

doore doth stande. 
And beggeth fast of every man, with 

pardons in his hande : 
Who for bicause he lackes his tongue, 

and hath not yet the .skill 
In common peoples languages when 

they speak well or ill : 



He hath his own interpreter, that al- 

wayes standeth by. 
And vnto every man that commeth in or 

out doth cry : 
Desiring them the Patrone there, with 

giftes to have in minde. 
And Popishe pardons for to buie, release- 

of sinnes to finde. 

***** 

On every side the neighbours come, and 

such as dwell not nere. 
Come of their owne good willes, and 

some required to be there. 
And every man his weapon hath, their 

swords and launces long. 
Their axes, curriars, pystolets, with 

pikes and darts among. 
The yong men in their best array, and 

trimmest maydes appeare. 
Both jeasters, roges, and minstrels with 

their instruments are heare. 
The pedlar doth his pack untrusse, the 

host his pots doth fill. 
And on the table breade and drinke doth 

set for all that will : 
Nor eyther of them their heape deceyves, 

for of the others all. 
To them th' advauntage of this feaste, 

and gaine, doth chiefly fall. 
The service done, they eyther to the 

taverne fast doe flie. 
Or to their neighbours house, whereas 

they feede uareasouablie : 
For sixe or seven courses they vnto the 

table bring. 
And for their suppers may compare with 

any heathen king. 
The table taken up, they rise, and all 

the youth apace. 
The minstrell with them called go to 

some convenient place : 
Where when with bagpipe hoarce, he 

hath begon his musicKe fine. 
And vnto such as are preparde to daunce 

hath given signe. 
Comes thither straight both boys and 

girls, and men that aged bee, 
And maryed folkes of middle age, there 

also comes to see. 
Old wrinckled hagges, and youthfuU 

dames, that minde to daunce aloft. 
Then sundrie pastimes do begin, and 

filthie daunces oft : 
When drunkards they do lead the 

daunce with fray and bloody fight. 
That handes, and eares, and head, and 

face, are tome in wofuU plight. 
The streames of bloud run downe the 

armes, and oftentimes is seene. 
The carkasse of some ruffian slaine, is 

left upon the greene. 
Here many, for their lovers sweete, some 

daintie thing do buie, 
And many to the taverne goe, and drink 

for companie. 
Whereas they foolish songs do sing, and 

noyses great do make : 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



175 



Some in the meane while play at cardes, 

and some the dice do shake. 
Their custome also is, the priest into the 

house to pull : 
Whom when they have, they thinke their 

game accomplished at full : 
He farre in noise exceedes them all, and 

eke in drinking drie 
The cuppes, a prince he is, and holdes 

their heades that speewing lie." 
Compare Wake. 

Demorsiac. — The very curious and 
extraordinary "Saxon Leechdoms," edited 
by Mr. Cockayne, contain a receipt for 
" a fiend-sick man, or dejnoniac." It was 
"a spew-drink, or emetic: lupin, bishop- 
wort, henbane, cropleek ; pound these to- 
gether, add ale for a liquid, let it stand 
for a night, add fifty libcorns, or cathartic 

trains, and holy water. A drink for a 
end-sick man, to be drunk out of a church 
bell: githrife, cynoglossum, yarrow, &c., 
work up the drink off clear ale, sing seven 
masses over the worts, add garlic and holy 
water, and drip the drink into every 
drink which he will subsequently drink, 
and let him sing the psalms, Beati Immac- 
ulati, and Exsurgat, and Salvum me fac, 
deus, and then let him drink out of a 
church bell, and let the mass priest after 
the drink sing this over him, Domine, 
sancte pater omnipotens." Following 
these two specifics for fiend-sick men, is a 
third, equally repugnant to modern ideas 
of common sense, for a lunatic. 

Denier a Dieu.— See Ood's Penny. 

Denier de Foi. — Douce, in a paper 
read before the Society of Antiquaries in 
January, 1810, observes : " The small piece 
of silver, that accompanies this paper is 
inscribed Denier de Foy or pour Epouser, 
having on one side a heart between two 
hands, and on the other two ileurs de lis. 
It is not in reality a current piece of 
money, but only a local or a particular 
token or symbol of property. It is, as the 
inscription imports, a French betrothing 
penny, given before the marriage cere- 
mony." I do not think that Douce proves 
more than the delivery of a token in earn- 
est of dower, and of his betrothing penny 
there are, to the best of my knowledge, no 
Anglo-Saxon or English examples in ex- 
istence. There is another sort inscribed 
Denier Tournois pour Epouser. These 
pieces occur both in gold and silver ; see 
supplement to Hazlitt's Coins of Europe, 
1897, p. 33. But, after all, the token ex- 
hibited by Douce appears to have been 
nothing more than an example of the fest- 
ing-penny, familiar enough in the north- 
ern counties of England, and no doubt pro- 
perly identified with the Danish custom of 
hiring or binding apprentices with some 
such token. Festing is, of course, a form 
of fasting or fastening. The foesteninge- 



ring was similarly the betrothing-ring or, 
as it is now called, the engaged-ring. To 
fest, in the North of England, is to bind 
as an apprentice. Mr. Atkinson, in his 
Cleveland Glossary, 1868, after observing 
that the festing-penny of the North of 
England is analogous to the Scandinavian 
betrothing penny (shown by Douce to have 
been also Known in France), adds: " if a 
servant who has been duly hired and re- 
ceived her hiring or festing-penny, wishes 
to cancel her bargain. . . she always sends 
back the festing penny. . . Two instances 
of this kind have occurred in this (Danby) 
parish in the course of the spring hiring- 
time of the present year, 1865." 

Dequoy or Decoy. — See Cards. 

Dessii. — Martin says : " In this Island 
of Lewis there was an antient custom to 
make a fiery circle about the houses, corn,, 
cattle, &c., belonging to each particular 
family. A man carried fire in his right 
hand, and went round, and it was called 
Dessil, from the right hand, which, in the 
antient language, is called Dess. There is. 
another way of the dessil, or carrying fire 
round about women before they are' 
churched, and about children until they 
be christened, both of which are performed 
in the morning and at night. They told 
me this fire round was an effectual means, 
to preserve both the mother and the in- 
fant from the power of evil spirits, who 
are ready at such times to do mischief, 
and sometimes carry away the infants, and. 
return them poor meagre skeletons, and 
these infants are said to have voracious, 
appetites, constantly craving for meat. 
In this case it was usual for those who be- 
lieved that their children were thus taken 
away, to dig a grave in the fields upon 
Quarter Day, and there to lay the fairy 
skeleton till next morning : at which time 
the parents went to the place, where they 
doubted not to find their own child instead 
of the skeleton." Sist. of W. Islands, p. 
116. He elsewhere observes, " Loch-siant 
Well in Skie is much frequented by stran- 
gers as well as by the inhabitants of the. 
Isle, who generally believe it to be a spe- 
oifick for several diseases ; such as stitches, 
headaches, stone, consumption, megrim. 
Several of the common people oblige them-, 
selves by a vow to come to this well and 
make the ordinary tour about it, called 
Dessil, which is performed thus : They- 
move thrice round the well, proceeding- 
sun-ways, from east to west, and so on. 
This is done after drinking of the water ; 
and when one goes away from the well, it 
is a never-failing custom to leave some 
small offering on the stone which covers- 
the well. There is a small coppice near it, 
of which none of the natives dare venture- 
to cut the least branch, for fear of some 
signal judgement to follow upon it." De- 
scription of W. Islands of Scotland, 140 



z.^6 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



He also speak of a well of similar quality, 
■at which, after diinking, they make a tour 
and then leave an offering of some small 
token, such as a pin, needle, farthing, or 
the like, on the stone cover which is above 
the well. 

Deuce. — Deuce may be said to be an- 
other popular name for the Devil. Few, 
perhaps, who make use of the expression 
"Deuce take you," particularly those of 
'the softer sex, who accompanying it with 
ithe gentle pat of a fan, cannot be supposed 
rto mean any ill by it, are aware that it is 
^synonymous with " sending you to the 
"Devil." Dusius was the ancient popular 
name for a kind of demon or devil among 
the Gauls, so that this saying, the meaning 
• of which so few understand, has at least 
its antiquity to recommend it. It is men- 
tioned by St. Augustine (De Civitate Dei, 
c. 23) as a libidinous demon, who used to 
violate the chastity of women, and, with 
the incubus of old, was charged with doing 
a great deal of mischief of so subtle a 
nature, that, as none saw it, it did not 
Beam possible to be prevented. Later times 
have done both these devils justice, can- 
didly supposing them to have been much 
traduced by a certain set of delinquents, 
who used to father upon invisible and 
imaginary agents the crimes of real men. 

Devil. — In some of the early Mysteries 
Satan is introduced as Saint Mahown. 
The Glossary to Burns mentions Hornie as 

.one of his Majesty's names. And another is 
Old Boots, whence the saying, "It rains 
like Old Boots." 

There is a story in one of the 

'Chronicles, under tide year 1165, that 
the Devil was seen riding like a great 
black horse, before a storm which hap- 
pened in Yorkshire in that year, and that 
the marks of his feet were visible in several 

E laces, particularly on the cliff at Scar- 
orough, where he sprang into the sea. 
Not many years ago, an extraordinary sen- 
sation was produced in the South of Eng- 
land, by the discovery of marks in various 
parts of the country, which could not be 
identified with the prints of any known 
beast or bird, unless it was that there was 
some similitude to a donkey's shoe. The 
people in those parts did not like to say it 
was the Devil, perhaps ; but it is not un- 
likely that some of them thought so. At 
the same time, no explanation of the mys- 
tery has, I believe, been offered to this 
day. Perhaps this extraordinary presence 
may have been nothing more than the clo- 
ven hoof which, in the deep snows of 
winter, is said to haunt the Dewerstone, a 
rocky elevation on the borders of Dart- 
moor. But this latter phenomenon is re- 
ported to be accompanied by a naked 
human foot, of which a case occurred in 
Devonshire, and created a wide and long 



sensation, many years since. Several 
instances of mysterious footprints are 
collected in "Lancashire Folk -Lore," 
1867. There is no vulgar story of the 
Devil having appeared anywhere without 
a cloven foot, ft is observable also that 
this infernal enemy, in graphic representa- 
tions of him, is seldom or never pictured 
without one. Othello says : 

' ' I look down towards his feet ; but 

that's a fable ; 
If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill 

thee " ; 

which Johnson explains : " I look towards 
his feet, to see, it, according to the com- 
mon opinion, his feet be cloven." Grose 
says : — " Although the devil can partly 
transform himself into a variety of shapes, 
he cannot change his cloven foot, which 
will always mark him under every appear- 
ance." Scott has the following curious 
Eassage on this subject: "In our child- 
ood, our mother's maids have so terrified 
us with an ugly devil, having horns on his 
head, fire in his mouth, and a tail in his 
breech, eyes like a basin, fangs like a dog, 
claws like a bear, a skin like a Niger, and 
a voyce roaring like a lyon, whereby we 
start and are afraid when we hear one cry 
Bough I" He adds: "and they have so 
frayed us with bul-beggars, spirits, 
witches, urchens, elves, hags, fairies, 
satyrs, pans, faunes, sylens, Kit with the 
canstick, Tritons, centaures, dwarfes, gy- 
ants, imps, calcars, conjurers, nymphes, 
changelings, incubus, Robin Good-fellow, 
the spoorn, the mare, the man in the oak, 
the Hell-wain, the fire-drake, the puckle, 
Tom-thombe, hob-goblin, Tom-tumbler, 
Boneless, and such other bugs, that we are 
afraid of our own shadowes ; insomuch 
that some never feare the devil but in a 
darke night, &c. Discovery, ed. 1665. 
p. 65. Philip StubbeSj in his " Two won- 
derful and rare examples " (1581), de- 
scribes a remarkable case which happened 
to Mistress Bowcer, at Donnington, in 
Leicestershire: "And nowe," says Stubbs, 
I will proceede to shewe one other as 
straunge a judgement happening in 
Leicestershire, in a towne called Donning- 
ton, where dwelled a poore man named 
lohn Twell, who deceased, owing unto one 
Oswald Bowcer the summe of fiue shilling, 
which the sayde Oswalde did forgiue the 
sayde man before named, as he lay vpon 
his death bedde; but the sayde Oswaldes 
wife, called loane, would in no way for- 
give the said Twell, as long (she sayde) as 
she had to live. Whereupon, not long 
after, the Deuill appeared vnto her in the 
form of the sayd Twell deceased, ex- 
pressing all the lyneamentes of the 
body of the dead man : which might 
well be, for we reade in the Bible, 
in the like order did Satan counter- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



177 



feit the body of Samuell. But to 
proceede to the matter : this euill spirit 
uttered vnto her these speeches, and said 
he had brought her money from lohn Twell 
deceased, and willed her incontinent to 
disburse the sayd money vnto her husband 
for his paines. Which she, with as covet- 
ous a desire, receyved, saying, God thanke 
jou. She had no sooner named God, but 
the money consumed away from be- 
tweene her handes, as it were a 
vapour of smoake^ tyll it was all 
■consumed: wherewith the Deuill, giv- 
ing her a most fearfuU and sore stroke, 
vanished out of her sight. Wherewith her 
whole body became as blacke as pitche, re- 
plenished all over with a moste filthy 
scurfe and other things." 

The Rev. George Gordon, who drew 
up the old statistical account of Sorn, 
CO. Ayr, in 1798, observes: "There 
is a tradition well authenticated that 
King James the fifth honoured his 
treasurer Sir William Hamilton with a 
wisit at Sorn Castle, on occasion of the 
marriage of his daughter to Lord Seton. 
The King's visit at Sorn Castle took place 
in winter ; and being heartily tired of his 
journey through so long a track of moor, 
moss, and miry clay, where there was nei- 
ther road nor bridge, he is reported to 
have said with that good-humoured plea- 
santry which was a characteristic of so 
many of his family, that ' were he to play 
the Deil a trick, he would send him from 
Crlascow to Sorn in winter.' " " The trick 
now-a-days," continues the writer, "would 
not prove a very serious one; for Satan, 
old as he is, might travel very comfort- 
ably one half of the way in a mail-coach, 
and the other half in a post-chaise. Neither 
would he be forced, like King James, for 
want of better accommodation, to sit clown 
about mid-way, by the side of a well (hence 
called King's Well), and there take a cold 
refreshment in a cold day. At the very 
same place he might now find a tolerable 
inn and a warm dinner." 8. A., xx. 170. 
An early writer, speaking of a man who 
desired an interview with the Prince of 
Darkness, says that he was recommended 
to go in quest of him to wild Scotland, his 
favourite sojourn, but that when the tra- 
veller proceeded to act on this advice, he 
bailed to discover his majesty, and merely 
met with an old woman, who pretended to 
■have some knowledge of him. Michel, Les 
iEcossais en France, 1862, p. 2. At this 
time, no doubt, the farther extremities of 
the country, at least, were practically a 
terra incognita, about which any legends 
might be set afloat. Winslow, in his Good 
News from New England, 1624, speaking 
■of the sacrifices of the Indians to the Devil, 
says : "They have told me I should see the 
Devil at those times come to the vestry ; 
3but I assured myself and them of the con- 



trary : which so proved. Yea, themselves 
have confessed, they never saw him, when 
any of us were present." In a tract in the 
Huth library, printed about 1645, among 
other " Signs and Wonders from Heaven," 
is an account how the Evil One came to a 
farmer's house at Swaffham in West Nor- 
folk under the form of a gentlewoman on 
horseback. In Massinger's "Virgin Mar- 
tyr," 1622, act iii. sc. 1, Harpax, an evil 
spirit, following Theophilus in the shape 
of a secretary, speaks thus of the super- 
stitious Christian's description of his in- 
fernal master : 

" I'll tell you what now of the Devil : 
He's no such horrid creature ; cloven- 
footed. 
Black, saucer-ey'd, his nostrils breath- 
ing fire. 
As these lying Christians make him." 

In a contemporary description of the ap- 
pearance of the Devil at St. Alban s, 
Herts, in 1648, it is said that he then 
assumed the likeness of a ram, and that a 
butcher cut his throat, sold a portion of 
the flesh, and cooked the remainder for 
himself and a select party of friends, all 
of which was ' ' attested by divers letters of 
persons of very good credit," and the tract 
itself purported to have been published 
"for confutation of those that believe 
there are no such things as spirits or 
devils." Hone's Ancient Mysteries, 1823, 
p. 89. This infernal visitant appears in 
no instance to have been treated with more 
sang froid on his appearing, or rather 

Eerhaps his imagined appearance, than 
y one Mr. White of Dorchester, assessor 
to the Westminster Assembly at Lambeth, 
as recorded by Mr. Samuel Clarke : " The 
Devil, in a light night, stood by his bed- 
side : he looked awhile whether he would 
say or do anything, and then said, ' If 
thou hast nothing else to do, I have ' : and 
so turned himself to sleep^' Bax- 
ter's Certainty of the World uf 
Spirits, 1691, p. 63. He adds, that 
' ' Many say it from Mr. White him- 
self." One has only to wonder, on this 
occasion, that a person who could so effec- 
tually lay the De'vil, could have been in- 
duced to think, or rather dream, of rais- 
ing him. Sir 'Thomas Browne is full on 
this subject of popular superstition in his 
"Vulgar Errors'': "The ground of this 
opinion at first," says he, ' might be his 
frequent appearing in the shape of a 
goat," (this accounts also for his horns 
and tail), " which answers the description. 
This was the opinion of the antient Chris- 
tians, concerning the Apparition of Pan- 
ites. Fauns, and Satyrs ; and of this form 
wo read of one that appeared to Anthony 
in the Wilderness. The same is also con- 
firmed from expositions of Holy Scripture. 
For whereas it is said, Thou shalt not offer 



178 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



unto Devils : the original word is Seghui- 
rim, that is, rough and hairy goats, be- 
cause in that shape the Devil most often 
appeared, as is expounded by the Rabins, 
as Tremellius hath also explained, and as 
the word Ashimah, the God of Emath, is 
by some conceived." He observes, also, 
that the goat was the emblem of the sin- 
oSering,and is the emblem of sinful men at 
the Day of Judgment. It is observed in 
the "Connoisseur," No. 109, that "the 
famous Sir Thomas Browne refuted the 
generally-received opinion^ that the Devil 
is black, has horns upon his head, wears a 
long curling tail and a cloven stump r nay 
has even denied that, wheresoever he goes, 
he always leaves a smell of brimstone be- 
hind him." Baxter tells us that " Devils 
have a greater game to play invisibly than 
by apparitions. O happy world, if they 
did not do a hundred thousand times more 
hurt by the baits of pleasure, lust, and 
honour, and by pride, and love of money, 
and sensuality, than they do by witches." 
World of Spirits, 1691, p. 223. In "Sphinx 
and CBdipus," (part of " A Helpe to Dis- 
course," 1627) J I read that "the Devil 
never appears in the shape of a dove, or a 
lamb, but in those of goats, dogs, and oats, 
or such like : and that to the Witch of 
Edmonton he appeared in the shape of a 
dog, and called his name Dom." An essay- 
ist in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 
October, 1732, observes that, " As for the 
great Evil Spirit, 'tis for his interest to 
bo masked and invisible. Amongst his 
sworn vassals and subjects he may allow 
himself to appear in disguise at a public 
paw-wawingj (which is attested by a cloud 
of travellers), but there is no instance of 
his appearing among us, except that pro- 
duced by Mr. Echard, to a man in so close 
confederacy with him, that 'twas reason- 
able to suppose they should now and then 
contrive a personal meeting." 

The old ceremonies used in rais- 
ing the devil, such as making a 
circle with chalk, setting an old hat 
in the centre of it, repeating the 
Lord's Prayer backward, and so forth, 
even when Brand wrote about 1795, had 
become, he says, ' ' altogether obsolete, and 
seem to be forgotten even amongst our 
boys." Obsession of the devil is distin- 
guished from possession in this. In pos- 
session the evil one was said to enter into 
the body of the man. In obsession, with- 
out entering into the body of the person, 
he was thought to besiege and torment him 
without. To be lifted up into the siir, and 
afterwards to be thrown down violently, 
without receiving any hurt ; to speak 
strange languages that the person had 
never learned ; not to be able to come near 
holy things or the sacraments, but to have 
an aversion to them ; to know and foretell 
secret things ; to perform things that ex- 



ceed the person's strength ; to say or do' 
things that the person would not or durst 
not say, if he were not externally moved 
to it, were the ancient marks and crite- 
rions of possessions. Jorden observes : "1 
doe not deny but there may be both pos- 
sessions, and obsessions, and witchcraft, 
&c., and dispossession also through the- 
prayers and supplications of God s ser- 
vants, which is the only means left unto 
us for our reliefe in that case. But such 
examples being verye rare now-a-dayes, I 
would in the feare of God advise men to 
be very circumspect in pronouncing of a 

Eossession : both because the impostures 
e many, and the effects of naturall dis- 
eases be strange to such as have not looked 
thoroughly into them." Suffocation of 
the Mother, 1G03, Dedic. The semi-mythi- 
cal legend of Paustus, of which the most 
authentic version, so to speak, is in the 
Editor's National Tales and Legends, 
1892, introduces us to a plurality of 
demons, having Lucifer as their chief and 
Mephistopheles as an agent on earth; 
and there is a scene in the story 
where a parliament of devils assembles,, 
under the eyes of Faustus. In the His- 
tory of Friar Bush, a romance of the 16th 
century, the Evil One is represented as 
holding occasional receptions, or levees of 
his emissaries, and listening to their re- 
ports of the most recent achievements, 
performed by them in his behalf. One of 
them was Rush himself. Another bore 
the unusual name of Norpell. The more 
atrocious their exploits, the warmer of 
course was his Satanic majesty's commen- 
dation. There was an early metri- 
cal tract under the title of the Parliament 
of Devils, two or three times printed 
about 1520, and possibly responsible for 
the suggestion of the Itush piece just 
mentioned. Cassian, mentioning a host 
of devils who had been abroad in the night, 
says, that as soon as the morn ap- 
proached, they all vanished and fled 
away : which farther evinces that 
this was the current opinion of the time. 
Vallancey Coll. viii., c. 16. 

Devil on Two Sticks. — A corres- 
pondent of Notes and Queries (about 1880) 
writes as follows : — "1 possess the means 
of playing the game, but not the art. 
Sometimes, when 1 see the stick and hour- 
glass shaped ' devil,' I wish I could handle- 
them, for I have seen an old friend display- 
great skill with the sticks in his garden, 
sending the [ devil ' humming on high, 
and catching it with great accuracy. My 
old uncles used to talk of it ; they knew 
and played the game early in this century. 
It may be of interest to know that such 
games have been found very useful faute 
demieux. I remember one dayj more than ' 
thirty years ago, paying a visit to one of 
the dearest old ladies I ever knew, named 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



179 



Lady Soovell, the wife of Sir George Sco- 
vell, whom she had accompanied in his 
Peninsular campaigns when he was one of 
the most useful and most trusted of the 
Duke's staff. I found her disentangling 
a number of cups and balls, the strings 
of which had been all mixed by a carpet- 
crawling urchin, who had upset the basket 
containing them. I was surprised at the 
variety of shapes and sizes. The balls had 
to be caught on common average cups, 
cups flattened almost to a table, cups cut 
away on both sides till only a crescent was 
left, and, of course, the usual spike. On 
my asking her how she came by such a col- 
lection she told me that during the war 
she came home one winter to see her 
friends whilst the army was in quarters, 
and whilst at home she got a letter from 
Sir Rowland (Lord) Hill, saying the 
weather was so bad they very often could 
not get out, and he begged her to bring 
with her on her return any indoor games 
for himself and staff. Lady Scovell said 
she at once got these varieties of cups and 
balls and devils on two sticks made, and 
(having taken them to Spain) she added 
that they answered the purpose admir- 
ably, but it was rather funny to see the 
general and staff in the afternoon, when 
the day's work was finished, moving about 
the rooms hard at work at these games, 
and one backing himself against another.'' 
And this was seventy years ago. 

Devil's Bit.— Coles tells us that 
"there is one herb, flat at the bottome, 
and seemeth as if the nether part of its 
root were bit off, and is called Devil's- 
bit, whereof it is reported that the devill, 
knowing that that part of the root would 
cure all diseases, out of his inveterate 
malice to mankind, bites it off." Know- 
ledge of Plants, 1656, p. 37. 

Devil-Worship.— Dr Paul Cams, 
in his History of the Devil, makes the 
Spirit of Evil the primary object of pro- 
pitiatory homage on the part of archaic 
communities more disposed to dread the 
apparent source of what they suffered 
than that of what they enjoyed. On the 
principal of Dualism, in a more enlight- 
ened age, it still remains in a way a salu- 
tary inducement to rectitude to suppose 
the existence of a Power not merely able 
but anxious, to punish the evil-doer. The 
modern popular theories of the Devil are 
the converse of that of universal original 
subjection to such a creation as the Thibe- 
tan AU-Devourer, and depict man as 
originally pure and sinless, and the Evil 
One as a rebellious and degraded minister 
of God. 

Dew — Willsford tells us : " Mettals in 
general, against much wet or rainy 
weather, will seem to have a dew hang 
upon them, and be much apter to sully or 



foul any thing that is rubbed with the 
metal; as you may see in pewter dishes 
against rain, as if they did sweat, leaving 
a smutch upon the table cloaths : with this 
Pliny concludes as a signe of tempests ap- 
proaching Stones against rain 

will have a dew hang upon them ; but the 
sweating of stones is from several causes, 
and sometimes is a sign of much drought. 
Glasses of all sorts will have a dew upon 
them in moist weather : Glasse windows 
will also shew a frost, by turning the air 
that touches them into water, and then 
congealing of it." Nature's /Secrets, p. 
138. This depends, of course, on the dif- 
ference between the internal and external 
temperature. At Hertford Assizes, 4 Car. 
I., the following testimony, which of 
course, merely reflects the popular view 
of the subject, was taken by Sir John May- 
nard, Serjeant at Law, from the deposi- 
tion of the minister of the parish where a 
murder was committed: "That the body 
being taken out of the grave thirty days 
after the party's death, and lying on the 
grass, and the four defendants (suspected 
of murdering her) being required, each of 
them touched the dead body, whereupon 
the brow of the dead, which before was of 
a livid and carrion colour, began to have 
a dew, or gentle sweat, arise on it, which 
increased by degrees, till the sweat ran 
down in drops on the face, the brow turned 
to a fresh and lively colour ; and the de- 
ceased opened one of her eyes, and saat it 
again three several times : she likewise 
thiust out the ring or marriage finger 
three times, and pulled it in again, and 
the finger dropt blood on the grass." The 
minister of the next parish, who also was 
present, being sworn, gave evidence ex- 
?So^ ^A above. Gentleman's Magazine, 
1731. Compare May-Day. 

D'9®--7ln the Municipal Records of 
the City of London we first become aware 
of the employment of dice by reason of 
abuses in connection with the introduction 
of them under 1311 for the purpose of 
cheating. Unsuspecting persons were even 
then enticed into taverns by well-dressed 
sharpers, and robbed in this way. Other 
notices, where false dice occur, may be 
found under 1334 and 1376, where tables 
or backgammon is mentioned as a second 
amusement and medium of deceit Riley's 
Memorials, 1868, pp. 86, 193, 395. In the 
account of the entertainment given to 

• ' lo'oi' !?" °^ *^e Black Prince, 
in 1337, the mummers shewed by a 
pair of dice their desire to plav 
with the young Prince. Hazlitt's 
Warton, 1871, 111., 161. Sir T. Elyot, in 
his ''Governor," 1531, has some remkrks 
"" *^'s subject, which, as illustrating the 
state of feehng m Henry VIII.'s time, may 
be worth a place here : " I suppose there 
IS not a more playne figure of idlenesse. 



i8o 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



then playing at dice. For besides, that 
therin is no maner of exercise of the body 
or minde, they which play thereat, must 
seeme to liaue no portion of witte or cun- 
nyng, if they will be called fayre players, 
or in some company auoyde the stabbe of 
a dagger, if they bee taken with any craf- 
tie conueyance." In " The Common Cries 
of London," an early Elizabethan ballad 
by W. Turner, there is a curious passage 
seeming to shew that the street-hawkers 
used sometimes to carry dice in their poc- 
kets either for amusement, or for the pur- 
pose of practising on some inexperienced 
customer : ' 

' ' Ripe, cherry ripe ! 

The costermonger cries ; 
Pippins fine or pears ! 

Another after hies. 
With a basket on his head. 

His living to advance^ 
And in his purse a pair of dice, 

For to play at mumohance." 

Comp. London. Dr. Wilde left a sum of 
money by will, the interest of which was 
to be invested in the purchase of Bibles, 
which were to be tossed for every year at 
the Communion-table at the parish church 
at St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire, by six 
boys and six girls, being parishioners. The 
operation now takes place in the vestry. 
Jonson seems to have informed Drum- 
mond of Hawthornden in 1619. that at 
Christmas Eve, when Queen Elizabeth 
would play at dice, there were special ones 
provided for her, so that her highness 
might always win. Masson's Drummond, 
1873, p. 94. Compare Cards. 

Dick o' Tuesday.— See Will o' the 
Wisp. 

Diet or Debates (Tlie). — A social 
game at cards, played with a pack of 24. 
Twelve of the cards have costume figures. 
The inscriptions are in French, German, 
and English. The set before me appears 
to belong to 1830 or thereabouts. 

Dish Fair. — Drake tells us that "A 
Fair is always kept in Mickle Gate (York) 
on St. Luke's Day, for all sorts of small 
wares. It is commonly called Dish Fair, 
from the great quantity of wooden dishes, 
ladles, &c., brought to it. There is an old 
custom used at this fair of bearing a 
wooden ladle in a sling on two stangs about 
it, carried by four sturdy labourers, and 
each labourer was formerly supported by 
another. This, without doubt, is a ridi- 
cule on the meanness of the wares brought 
to this fair, small benefit accruing to the 
labourers at it. Held by Charter Jan. 25, 
an. Reg. Regis, Hen. vii. 17." Ehora- 
cum, p. 219. 

Distaff's (St.) or Rock Day.— 

(January 7). So this day is jocularly 
termed by Herrick in his Hesperides, 



1648, and by Henry Bold, in his Wit a 
Sporting, 1657, in some lines copied from 
the earlier writer. 

Divinations. — Divinations differ 
from omens in this, that the omen is an 
indication of something that is to come 
to pass, which happens to a person, as it 
were by accident, without his seeking for 
it : whereas divination is the obtaining of 
the knowledge of something future by 
some endeavour of his own, or means 
which he himself designedly makes use of 
for that end. There were among the an- 
cients divinations by water, fire, earth, 
air ; by the flight of birds, by lots, by 
dieams, by the wind, &c. Gaule enume- 
rates as follows the several species of divi- 
nation : " Stareomancy, or divining by 
the elements ; aeromancy, or divining by 
tlie ayr ; pyromancy, by fire ; hydromancy, 
by water ; geomancy, by earth ; theomancy, 
pretending to divine by the revelation of 
the spirit, and by the Scriptures or word of 
God ; dsemonomancy, by the suggestions of 
evill daemons, or devils ; idolomancy, by 
idoUs, images, figures ; psychomancy, by 
men's souls, affections, wills, religious or 
morall dispositions ; antinopomancy, by 
the entrails of men, women, and children ; 
theriomancy, by beasts ; ornithomancy, by 
birds ; ichtyomancy, by fishes ; botano- 
mancy, by herbs ; lithomancy, by stones ; 
cleromancy, by lotts ; orniromancy, by 
dreams ; onomatomancy, by names ; arith- 
mancy, by numbers; logarithmancy, by 
logarithmes ; sternomancy, from the breast 
to the belly ; gastromancy, by the sound of 
or signs upon the belly ; omphalomancy, 
by the navel ; chiromancy, by the hands ; 
pedomancy, by the feet ; onychomancy, by 
the nayles ; cephalonomancy, by brayling 
of an asses head ; tuphramancy, by ashes ; 
capnomancy, by smoak; livanomancy, by 
burning of i^rankincence ; carromancy, by 
melting of wax ; lecanomancy, by a basin 
of water ; catoxtromancy, by looking 
glasses ; chartomancy, by writing in pa- 
pers " (this is retained in chusing valen- 
tines, (fee.) ; " macharomancy, by knives 
or swords; christallomancy, by glasses; 
daotylomancy, by rings ; coseinomancy, 
by sieves; axinomancy, by sawes; cat- 
tabomancy, by vessels of brasse or other 
metall; roadomancy, by starres; spat- 
alomanoy, by skins, bones, excrements; 
sciomancy, by shadows ; astragalomanoy, 
by dice ; oinomancy, by wine ; syco- 
mancy, by figgs; typomancy, by the 
coagulation of cheese; alphitomancy, 
by meal, flower, or branne ; critomancy, 
by grain or corn ; alectomancy, by 
cocks or puUen ; gyromancy, by 
rounds or circles; lampadomancy, by 
candles and lamps; and in one word for 
all, nagomancy or necromancy, by in- 
specting, consulting, and divining by, with 
or from the dead. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



i8i 



Borlase says that the Druids " be- 
sides the ominous appearance of the 
entrails, Iiad several ways of divin- 
ing. They divined by augury, that is, 
from the observations they made on the 
voices, ilying, eating, mirth or sadness, 
health or sickness of birds." Antiq. of 
Cornwall, p. 133. A later writer tells us 
that Boadicea or Bonduca is said to have 
taken an omen with a hare, and that on 
that account this animal was eschewed as 
an article of food — a fact mentioned by 
Csesar in his Commentaries. But he pro- 
ceeds to mention that the hare was 
not eaten by the Cymry in the 
tenth century, and was regarded as 
worthless, insomuch, that in the laws 
of Hoel Dda it was not protected as 
the goose was, by any fine ; and there was 
a notion indeed that it changed its sex 
from year to year, becoming alternately a 
male and a female. Notes on Ancient 
Britain, by W. Barnes, 1858, p. 5. In 
Caxton's "Description of England," we 
read : "It semeth of these men a grete 
wonder that in a boon of a wethers ryght 
sholder whan the fleshe is soden awaye and 
not rested, they knowe what have be done, 
is done, and shall be done, as it were by 
spyryte of prophecye and a wonderful 
crafte. They telle what is done in ferre 
countres, tokenes of peas or of warre, the 
state of the royame, sleynge of men, and 
spousebreche, such thynges theye declare 
certayne of tokenes and sygues that 
is in suche a sholder bone." Drayton 
mentions : 

" A diuination strange the Dutch-made- 
English haue 

Appropriate to that place (as though 
some power it gaue) 

By th' shoulder of a ram from off the 
right side par'd 

Which vsuallie they boile, the spade- 
boane being bar'd. 

Which when the wizard takes, and 
gazes there-vpon. 

Things long to come fore showes, as 
things done long agon." 

He alludes to a colony of Flemings in 
Pembrokeshire. Polyolhion, Song v., p. 
81, 84-5. We are referred to Giraldus 
Cambrensis, i., cap. 11. Selden writes 
hereupon : " Under Hen. II., one William 
Mangunel, a gentleman of those parts, 
finding by his skill of prediction, that his 
wife had played false with him, and con- 
ceiued by his own nephew, formally dresses 
the shoulder-bone of one of his own 
rammes ; and, sitting at dinner, (pretend- 
ing it to be taken out of his neighbours' 
flocke), requests his wife (equalling him in 
these divinations) to giue her judg- 
ment : she curiously observes, and at 
last with great laughter casts it 
from her; the gentleman importun- I 



ing her reason of so vehement an affection, 
receiues answer of her, that his 
wife, out of whose flocke that ram was 
taken, had by incestuous copulation with 
her husband's nephew fraughted herself 
with a yong one. Lay all together, and 
iuge, gentlewomen, the sequele of this 
cross accident. But why she could not as 
well diuine of whose flocke it was, as the 
other secret, when I haue more skill in 
osteomantie, I will tell you." Pennant 
gives an account of this sort of divination 
as used in Scotland and there called sleina- 
nachd, or reading the speal bone, or the 
blade-bone of a shoulder of mutton, well 
scraped (Mr. Shaw says picked ; no iron 
must touch it). When Lord Loudon, he 
says; was obliged to retreat before the re- 
bels to the Isle of Skie, a common soldier, 
on the very moment the battle of CuUoden 
was decided, proclaimed the victory at 
that distance, pretending to have discov- 
ered the event by looking through the 
bone. "Tour in Scotland," 1769, p. 155. 
See also his "Tour to the Hebrides," p. 
282, for another instance of the use of the 
speal bone. The word speal is evidently 
derived from the French espaule, humerus. 
Hanway gives us to understand, that in 
Persia, too, they have a kind of divination 
by the bone of a sheep. Travels, i., 177. 
Owen, in his "Welch Dictionary," voce 
Cyniver, mentions "A play in which the 
youth of both sexes seek for an even-leaved 
sprig of the ash : and the first of either 
sex that finds one, calls out Cyniver, and 
is answered by the first of the other that 
succeeds ; and these two, if the omen fails 
not, are to be joined in wedlock." Divina- 
tion by arrows is ancient, according to 
Gibbon, and famous in the East. D. and 
F., 4°, ed. X., 345. Brooke, in his "Ghost 
of Kichard the Third," 1614, figures the 
king in his youth endeavouring by one of 
the ancient forms of divination to ascer- 
tain his destiny. The poem is, in imita- 
tion of the "Mirror for Magistrates," 
written in the first person : 

" Then at the slaughter-house, with 

hungry sight, 
Vpon slaine beasts my sensuall part did 

feede ; 
And (that which gentler natures might 

affright) 
I search'd their entrayles, as in them to 

reade 
(Like th' ancient bards) what fate 

should thence betide." 

Lilly the astrologer made, it should seem 
by the desire of Charles I. an experiment, 
to know in what quarter of the nation the 
King might be most safe, after he should 
have effected his escape, and not be dis- 
covered until he himself pleased. Madame 
Whore wood was deputed to receive Lilly's 
judgment. He seems to have had high 



1 82 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



fees, for he owns lie got on this occasion 
twenty pieces of gold. It seems to have 
been believed that there was some divina- 
tion, or other supernatural medium, by 
which the robbers of orchards might be de- 
tected, for in " Cataplus, a Mock Poem," 
1672, the writer says of the Sibyl : 

" Thou canst in orchard lay a charm 
To catch base felon by the arm." 

Randolph, in his " Amyntas," 1638, makes 
fairies declare a partiality for apples 
stolen from orchards in the night : 

" Jocastus. What divine noise fraught 

with immortal harmony 
Salutes my ears? 

Bromius. Why this immortal harmony 
Rather salutes your orchard : these 

young rascals. 
These pescod shellers do so cheat my 

master. 
We cannot have an apple in the orchard^ 
But straight some fairy longs for 't." 

Of course, however, in this particular case, 
the fairies are counterfeit, like those in 
the " Merry Wives of Windsor " ; while in 
the story in A C. Mery Talys, 1526, folio y. 
the depredators are mistaken for evil 
spirits. Charms or spells for divining pur- 
poses are, or not very long ago at least 
were, made by our peasantry in various 
districts from the blades of the oat, wheat, 
and even, according to Miss Baker, of the 
reed. Clare describes the special uses of 
these in his Shepherd's Calendar. It is 
still a common amusement with girls to 
ascertain, as they pretend, whom they are 
going to marry, to take some description 
of grass, and to count the spiral fronds, 
saying : 

Tinker, 

Tailor, 

Soldier, 

Sailor, 

Rich man. 

Poor man. 

Beggar man, 

Thief, 

till they come to the end of them, and it 
is supposed to be the last frond, which de- 
cides it. 

" Tu ne quEesieris scire nefas quem mihi, 

quem tibi 
Finem Di dederint, Leuconoe : nee 

Babylonios 
Tentaris numeros." 
Hor. Carm. lib. i. Od. ii. 

Diviner, — John of Salisbury enume- 
rates no fewer than thirteen different 
kinds of diviners or fortune tellers, who 
(in his time) pretended to foretell future 
events, some by one means and some by 
another. De Nugis Curialium, lib. i., 
c. 12. Henry tells us that, " after the 



Anglo-Saxons and Danes embraced the 
Christian religion, the clergy were com- 
manded by the canons to preach very fre- 
quently against diviners, sorcerers, augu- 
ries, omens, charms, incantations, and all 
the filth of the wicked and dotages of the 
Gentiles." Eist. of Gr. Britain, u., 550, 
4°, ed. He cites Johnson's Eccl. Canons, 
A.D. 747, c. 3. 

Divinins Rod. — Not only the Chal- 
deans used rods for divination, but almost 
every nation, which has pretended to that 
science, has practised the same method. 
Herodotus mentions it as a custom of the 
Scythians, Ammianus Marcellinus, of a 
tribe of that nation, the Alani, and Taci- 
tus of the old Germans. Bartholmus, p. 
676. Divination by the rod or wand is 
mentioned in the prophecy of Bzekiel. 
Hosea, too, reproaches the Jews as being 
infected with the like superstition : " My 
people ask counsel at their stocks, and 
then- staff declareth unto them." We read 
in the Gentleman' s Magazine for Novem- 
ber, 1751 : " So early as Agricola the divi- 
ning rod was in much request, and has 
obtained great credit for its discOToring 
where to dig for metals and springs of 
water; for some years past its reputation 
has been on the decline, but lately it has 
been revived with great success by an in- 
genious gentleman who from numerous ex- 
periments hath good reason to believe its 
effects to be more than imagination. He 
says that hazel and willow rods, he has by 
experience found, will actually answer 
with all persons in a good state of health, 
if they are used with moderation and at 
some distance of time, and after meals, 
when the operator is in good spirits. The 
hazel, willow, and elm are all attracted 
by springs or water : some persons have 
the virtue intermittently ; the rod in their 
hands will attract one half hour, and repel 
the next. The rod is attracted by all 
metals, coals, amber, and lime stone, but 
with different degrees of strength. The best 
rods are those from the hazel or nut tree, 
as they are pliant and tough, and cut in 
the winter months. A shoot that termi- 
nates equally forked is to be preferred, 
about two feet and a half long ; but as 
such a forked rod is rarely to be met with, 
two single ones, of a length and size^ may 
be tied together with thread, and will an- 
swer as well as the other." It has been 
alleged that " the experiment of a hazel's 
tendency to a vein of lead ore is limited to 
St. John Baptist's Eve, and that with an 
hazel of that same year's growth." Athe- 
nian Oracle, Suppl., 234. Gay describes 
some other rustic methods of divination 
with hazel nuts, and he mentions two other 
kinds by the lady-fly and by apple-parings. 
Pennant mentions that this was still em- 
ployed and credited within his memory, 
and was supposed, by having a sympathy 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



183 



with the hidden ore, to supersede the 
necessity for ordinary methods of search- 
ing. The instruiiient used by a foreign 
adventurer in the writer's neighbourhood 
is described by him as being no more than a 
rod forked at one end, which had been 
cut in a planetary hour, on Sat- 
urn's day and hour, because Saturn 
was the signiiicator of lead. Jupiter, 
Venus, Sol, and Mercury, also partici- 
pated in the operation according to their 
reputed several attributes and powers. 
Tours in Wales, 1810, i., 75. 

" Virgula divina. 
Some sorcerers do boast they have a rod. 

Gather' d with vows and sacrifice. 
And (borne about) will strangely nod 

To hidden treasure where it lies ; 
Mankind is (sure) that rod divine. 
For to the wealthiest (ever) they in- 
cline." 

Sheppard's Epigr. 1651, p. 141. I find the 
following account from Tneophylact on the 
subject of rahdomanteia or rod divina- 
tion : ' ' They set up two staffs ; and having 
whispered some verses and incantations, 
the staffs fell by the operation of dsemons. 
Then they considered which way each of 
them fell, forward, backward, to the right 
or left hand, and agreeably gave responses, 
having made use of the fall of their staffs 
for their signs." Bell's MS. Discourse on 
Witchcraft, 1705, p. 41. In Camerarius 
we read : ' ' No man can tell why forked 
sticks of hazill (rather than sticks of other 
trees growing upon the very same places) 
are fit to shew the places where the veines 
of gold and silver are, the sticke bending 
itselfe in the places, at the bottome^ where 
the same veines are." Living Lihrarie, 
1621, p. 283. In the " Gentleman's Maga- 
zine " for February, 1752, it is observed : 
"M. Linnseus, when he was upon his voy- 
age to Scania, hearing his secretary highly 
■extol the virtues of his divining wand, and 
willing to convince him of its insufficiency, 
and for that purpose concealed a purse of 
one hundred ducats under a ranunculus, 
which grew by itself in a meadow, and bid 
+he Secretary find it if he could. The wand 
■discovered nothing, and M. Linnaeus' 
mark was soon trampled down by the com- 
pany who were present ; so that when M. 
Xiinnseus went to finish the experiment by 
fetching the gold himself, he was utterly at 
a loss where to seek it. The man with 
the wand assisted him, and he pronounced 
that it could not lie the way they were 
going, but quite the contrary : so pursued 
the direction of his wand, and actually 
dug out the gold. M. Linnseus adds, that 
such another experiment would be suffici- 
ent to make a proselyte of him." The 
notion, still prevalent in the North and 
other mining districts of England, of the 



hazel's tendency to a vein of lead ore, seam 
or stratum of coal, &c., seems to be a 
vestige of this rod divination. The vir- 
gula divina, or haculus divinatorius, is a 
forked branch in the form of a Y, cut off 
an hazel or apple-stick of twelve months' 
growth by means whereof people have pre- 
tended to discover mines or springs, &c., 
under ground. The method of using it 
is this : the person who bears it, walking 
very slowly over the places where 
he suspects mines or spring may 
be, the effluvia exhaling from the metals, 
or vapour from the water impregnating 
the wood, makes it dip or incline, which 
is the sign of a discovery. The manner 
was, to hold the rod with both hands hori- 
zontally, and to go along the tract of land 
where the lode was supposed to lie, until 
the rod bent of itself, which at once indi- 
cated the presence of the desired metal. 
Such an experiment is known to have 
been made, in perfect good faith, not 
many years since. Mr. Baring-Gould 
stated in 1866 that it was still employed 
in Wiltshire (and on the Continent) for 
this purpose. SeeVallemont "Physique 
Occulte, ou Traite de la Baguette Divina- 
toire ; et de son utilite pour la decouverte 
des sources de I'eau de rivieres, de Tresors 
caohez, &c." 1693. Also Lilly's " History 
of his Life and Times," p. 32, for a curious 
experiment (which he confesses however to 
have failed in) to discover hidden treasure 
by the hazel rod. As regards the dis- 
covery of springs underground by this pro- 
cess, the belief in it is said still to have 
survived in Normandy in 1874. Vaux de 
Vire, of Jean le Houx, by Muirhead, 1875, 
p. xvi. 

With the divining rod seems connected a 
lusus natures of ash tree bough, resembling 
the litui of the Roman augurs and the 
Christian pastoral staff, which still obtains 
a place, if not on this account I know not 
why, in the catalogue of popular supersti- 
tions. In the last century Brand himself 
saw one of these, which he thought ex- 
tremely beautiful and curious, in the house 
of an old woman at Beer Alston, in Devon- 
shire, of whom he would most gladly have 
purchased it; but she declined parting 
with it ou any account, thinking it would 
be unlucky to do so. Gostling has some ob- 
servations on this subject. He thinks the 
lituus or staff with the crook at one end, 
which the augurs of old carried as badges 
of their profession and instruments in tke 
superstitious exercise of it, was not made 
of metal, but of the substance above men- 
tioned. Whether, says he, to call it a 
work of art or nature may be doubted: 
some were probably of the former kind : 
others Hogarth, in his " Analysis of 
Beauty," calls lusus naturce, found in 
plants of different sorts, and in one of the 
plates to that work gives a specimen of a 



i84 



NATIONAL FAiin:^ 



very elegant one, a branch of ash. I should 
rather, continues he, style it a distemper 
or distortion of nature ; for it seems the 
effect of a wound by some insect which, 
piercing to the heart of the plant with its 
proboscis, poisons that, while the ba,rk re- 
mains uninjured, and proceeds in its 
growth, but formed into various stripes, 
flatness and curves, for want of the sup- 
port which Nature designed it. The beauty 
some of these arrive at might well conse- 
crate them to the mysterious fopperies of 
heathenism, and their rarity occasion 
imitation of them by art. The pastoral 
staff of the Church of Rome seems to have 
been formed from the vegetable "litui, 
though the general idea is, Ilinow, that it 
is an imitation of the shepherd's crook. 
The engravings given in the " Antiquarian 
Repertory " are of carved branches of the 
ash. Antiq. Bepert., 1807. ii., 164. 
Moresin, in his " Papatus," p. 126, 
says : ' ' Pedum Episcopale est Litui Au- 
gurum, de quo Livius, i." 

Divisions of Time. — The day, 
civil and political, has been divided into 
thirteen parts. The after-midnight and 
the dead of the night are the most solemn 
of them all, and have therefore, it should 
seem, been appropriated by ancient super- 
stition to the walking of spirits. 1. After 
midnight. 2. Cock-crow. 3. The space 
between the first cock-crow and breai of 
day. 4. The dawn of the morning. 5. 
Morning. 6. Noou. 7. Afternoon. 8. 
Sunset. 9. Twilight. 10. Evening. 11. 
Candle-time. 12. Bed-time. 13. The 
dead of the night. The Church of Rome, 
according to Durandus De Nocturnis, 
made four nocturnal vigils : the contici- 
nium, gallicinium or cock-crow, intempes- 
tum, and antelucinum. There is a curious 
discourse on this subject in Peck's " De- 
siderata Curiosa," vol. i. p. 223, et seq. 
The distribution of the day into two equal 
terms of twelve hours ante and post meri- 
diem was in early times only partially ob- 
served. Hazlitt's Venetian Bepublic, 1900, 
ii., 607. 

DOS'. — An opinion prevails that the 
howling of a dog by night in a neighbour- 
hood is a presage of death to any that 
are sick in it. Keuchenii Crepundia, 
113. Dogs have been known to stand and 
howl over the bodies of their masters, when 
they have been murdered, or died an acci- 
dental or sudden death : taking such note 
of what is past, is an instance of great sen- 
sibility in this faithful animal, without 
supposing that it has in the smallest de- 
gree any prescience of the future. Keu- 
ehenius adds, that when dogs rolled them- 
selves in the dust, it was a sign of wind; 
which is also mentioned by Gaule and 
Willsford in their often-quoted works. The 
latter observes : " Dogs tumbling and wal- 



lowing themselves much and often upon 
the earth, if their guts rumble and stink, 
very much, are signs of rain or wind for 
certain." Shakespear, in Henry VI., part 
iii., act V. so. 6, ranks this among omens : 

" The owl shriek'd at thy birth— an evil 

sign 1 
The night-crow cry'd, aboding luckless 

time ; 
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook 

down trees." 

Home speaks of this portent as a sign of 
death; which, adds Alexander Ross, is 
" plaine by historie and experience." De- 
monologie, 1650, p. 60. Grose substanti- 
ates this view, and indeed the superstition 
is still a common one among all 
classes of people. The following passage is- 
cited in Poole's English Parnassus, 1657, 
V. Omens : 

" The air that night was fill'd with dis- 
mal groans, 
And people oft awaked with the howls 
Of wolves and fatal dogs." 

"Julius Obsequens sheweth" (says Alex- 
ander Ross) that there was an "extraor- 
dinary howling of dogs before the sedition 
in Rome, about the dictatorship of Pom- 
pey : he sheweth also, (c. 127) that before- 
the civil wars between Augustus and An- 
tonius, among many other prodigies, there 
was great howling of dogs near the house 
of Lepidus the Pontifice. Camerarius tells, 
us that some German princes have certain 
tokens and peculiar presages of their 
deaths, amongst others are the howling of 
dogs. Capitolinus tells us that the dogs, 
by their howling presaged the death of 
Maximinus. Pausanias (in Messe) relates, 
that before the destruction of the Messe- 
nians, the dogs brake out into a mora 
fierce howling than ordinary ; and 
we read in Pincelius that in the year 
1553, some weeks before the overthrow 
of the Saxons, the dogs in Mysina 
flocked together, and used strange bowl- 
ings in the woods and fields. The 
like howling is observed by Virgil, presag- 
ing the Romaa calamities in the Pharsa- 
lick War. So Statius and Lucan to the 
same purpose." Defoe clearly leant to 
this belief, " unaccountable as it might 
seem," in cases, of course, where the howl- 
ing was spontaneous. Mem. of Duncan 
C'ampbel, 1732, p. 76. Homer, in the- 
" Odyssey," makes the dogs of Eumaeus re- 
cognize Minerva, while the goddess re- 
mains invisible to Telemachus. I scarcely 
know if Douce thought that this was an 
evidence that the ancients credited the 
animal with the faculty of seeing ghosts; 
but the heathen divinities were endowed 
with the power of manifesting themselves 
to any particular person in a company, 
without being seen by the others. In the 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



185 



Treasury of St. Denis they are said to 
preserve the silver keys of the saint, which 
by being laid on the face of the patient, 
cure the bite of a mad dog. Les liaretez 
qui se voyent dans I'Eglise Boyale de S. 
Denis, 1749, p. 4. 

Dos:-Whipper. — See St. Luke's 
Day. 

Dole. — The giving of a dole, and the 
inviting of the poor on this occasion, are 
synonymous terms. There are some strong 
figurative expressions on this subject in 
St. Ambrose's Funeral Oration on Satyrus, 
cited by Durandus. Speaking of those 
who mourned on the occasion, he says: — 
" The poor also shed their tears; precious 
and fruitful tears, that washed away the 
sins of the deceased. They let fall floods 
of redeeming tears." From such passages 
as the above in the first Christian writers, 
literally understood, the Romanists may 
have derived their superstitious doctrine 
of praying for the dead. " Preterea con- 
vocabantur et invitabantur necdum Saoer- 
dotes et Religiosi, sed et egeni pauperes." 
Durandus. Had Pope an eye to this in 
ordering by will poor men to support his 
pall? Doles were used at funerals, as we 
learn from St. Chrysostom, to procure rest 
to the soul of the deceased, that he might 
find his judge propitious. Homilia in 
Matthei cap. 9. 

In"Dives and Pauper," 1493, we read: 
"Dives. What seyst thou of them that 
wole no solemnyte have in their buryinge, 
but be putt in erthe anon, and that that 
shulde be spent aboute the buriyng they 
bydde that it shulde be yoven to the pore 
f olke blynde and lame P — Pauper. Comonly 
in such prive buriynges bene ful smalle 
doles and lytel almes yoven and in solemne 
buriynges been grete doles and moche 
almesse yoven, for moche pore people come 
thanne to seke almesse. But whanne it 
is done prively, fewe wytte therof, and 
fewe come to axe almesse ! for they wote 
nat whanne ne where, ne whom they shulde 
axe it. And therefore I leve sikerly that 
summe fals executoures that wolde kepe 
all to themself biganne firste this errour 
and this foyle, that wolden make themself 
riche with ded mennys godes, and nat dele 
to the pore after dedes wylle, as nowe all 
false executoures use by custome." By 
the will of William de Montacute, Earl of 
Salisbury (1397), he directs " that twenty- 
five shillings should be daily distributed 
among three hundred poor people from the 
time of his death to the arnval of his body 
at the Conventual Church of Bustle- 
ham [Bustleton] in which it was to 
be deposited." Warner's Kampshire, 
11, 73. Strutt tells us that Sir 
Robert KnoUes, in the eighth year of 
Henry IV. died at his Manor in Norfolk, 
and his dead body was brought in a litter 
to London with great pomp, and much 



torch-light, and it was buried in the White 
Friars Church, " where was done for him a 
solemn obsequie, with a great feaste and 
lyberal dole to the poore." This custom,, 
says Strutt, of giving a funeral feast to the 
chief mourners, was universally practised 
all over the kingdom, as well as giving, 
alms to the poor, in proportion to the 
quality and finances of the deceased. 
Manners and Customs, ii., 109. Nichols, 
speaking of Stathern in Framland Hun- 
dred, says : " In 1790, there were 432 in- 
habitants ; the number taken by the last 
person who carried about bread, which 
was given for dole at a funeral ; a custom, 
formerly common throughout this part 
of England, though now fallen much 
into disuse. The practice was some- 
times to bequeath it by will ; but, 
whether so specified or not, the cere- 
mony was seldom omitted. On such 
occasions a small loaf was sent to 
every person, without any distinction of 
age or circumstances, and not to receive 
it was a mark of particular disrespect." 
Leicestershire^ vol. ii., part i., p. 357. Ly- 
sons's Env., lii., 341. Pennant says: — 
" Offerings at funerals are kept up here 
(Whiteford), and I believe, in all the 
Welsh Churches." Hist, of Whiteford, p. 
99. The same writer observes : " In North 
Wales, pence and half-pence (in lieu of 
little rolls of bread) which were hereto- 
fore, and by some still are, given on these- 
occasions, are now distributed to the poor, 
who flock in great numbers to the house or 
the dead before the corpse is brought out. 
When the corpse is brought out of the 
house, layd upon the bier and covered, be- 
fore it be taken up, the next of kin to the 
deceased, widow, mother, daughter, or 
cousin (never done by a man), gives over 
the corps to one of the poorest neighbours- 
three 2d. or four 3d. white loaves of bread, 
or a cheese with a piece of money stuck im 
it, and then a new wooden cup of drink, 
which some will require the poor person- 
who receives it immediately to drink a 
little of. When this is done, the minister, 
if present, says the Lord's Prayer, and 
then they set forward for church. The- 
things mentioned above as given to a poor 
body, are brought upon a large dish, over 
the corpse, and the poor body returns 
thanks for them, and blesses God for the- 
happiness of his friend and neighbour de- 
ceased." Compare Sin-Eater and Ditch- 
field, chap. 18. In the 18th century, it ap- 
pears that at Glasgow large donations at 
funerals were made to the poor, "which 
are never less than £5, and never exceeded 
ten guineas, in which case the bells of the 
city are tolled." Stat. Ace. of Scotland, 
V. 523. It was formerly customary for a 
sum of money to be given to certain per- 
sons or institutions, with whom or which 
the deceased had been connected. This 



1 86 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



usage is illustrated by a document inserted 
among the " Egerton Papers," being the 
memoranda relating to the will of one of 
the Rokeby faihily, who died in 1600. 
Among the items are gifts of sums of 
money to the principals of Lincoln's Inn, 
Furnival's Inn, and Thavis' Inn, for drink 
to be supplied to the members of those 
societies in honour of the occasion. This 
custom of funeral libations is still not un- 
common in the country. By his will made 
in 1639, Francis Pynner, of Bury St. Ed- 
munds, directed that out of certain rents 
And revenues accruing from his property, 
from and after the Michaelmas following 
his decease, forty poor parishioners of St. 
Mary's, Bury, should, on coming to the 
•church, be entitled to a twopenny wheaten 
loaf on the last Friday in every month 
throughout the year, for ever. See a curi- 
ous account of doles in Ducarel's Tour 
through Normandy. 

Dolemoors. — Collinson says: "In 
the parishes of Congresbury and Puxton, 
are two large pieces of common land called 
East and West Dolemoors, (from the 
Saxon dal, which signifies a share or por- 
tion), which are divided into single acres, 
each bearing a peculiar and different mark 
cut in the turf, such as a horn, four oxen 
and a mare, two oxen and. a mare, 
a pole - axe, cross, dung - fork, oven, 
duck's -nest, hand-reel, and hare's - 
tail. On the Saturday before Old-Midsum- 
mer^ several proprietors of estates in the 
parishes of Congresbury, Puxton, and 
Week .St. Lawrence, or their tenants, as- 
semble on the commons. A number of 
apples are previously prepared, marked in 
the same manner with the before-men- 
tioned acres, which are distributed by a 
young lad to each of the commoners from a 
bag or hat. At the close of the distribu- 
tion each person repairs to his allotment, 
as his apple directs him, and takes poses- 
sion for the ensuing year. An adjourn- 
ment then takes place to the house of the 
overseer of Dolemoors (an oflicer annually 
elected from the tenants) where four acres, 
reserved for the purposes of paying ex- 
penses, are let by inch of candle, and the 
remainder of the day is spent in that 
sociability and hearty mirth so congenial 
to the soul of a Somersetshire yeoman." 
Somersetshire, iii., 586. 

Door-Drink.— See Bridling Cast and 
Stirrup Cup. 

Dore, Mary. — ^Warner, mentioning 
Mary Dore, the " parochial witch of Beau- 
lieu," who died about 1750, says, "her 
spells were chiefly used for purposes of 
self-extrication in situations of danger; 
and I have conversed with a rustic whose 
father had seen the old lady convert her- 
self more than once into the form of a 
hare or cat, when likely to be apprehended 



in wood-stealing, to which she was some- 
what addicted. Hampshire, 1793, ii., 241. 

Doree. — Pennant informs us that 
" Superstition hath made the Doree rival 
to the Hadock for the honour of having 
been the fish out of whose mouth St. Peter 
took the tribute-money, leaving on its 
sides those incontestible proofs of the iden- 
tity of the fish, the marks of his finger 
and thumb." Zoology, 1776, iii.. 221. It 
is rather difficult at this time to determine 
on which part to decide the dispute; for 
the doree likewise asserts an origin of its 
spots of a similar nature, but of a much 
earlier date than the former. St. Chris- 
topher, in wading through an arm of the 
sea, having caught a fish of this kind en 
passant, as an eternal memorial of the 
fact, left the impression on its sides to be 
transmitted to all posterity. 

Dorrish. — The story of the Squire of 
Dorrish, an ancient Devonshire family, is 
related as follows : " Returning home late 
on a winter night after a considerable con- 
sumption of brandy punch at the house of 
a neighbouring squire, he fell from his 
horse where a orook, running at the foot 
of a hill on which stands the house of Dor- 
rish, is crossed by a narrow bridge, and 
was killed. This was early in the 18th cen- 
tury. From that time to this his spirit 
has been gradually advancing up the hill 
toward the house, at the rate of a " cock- 
stride " in every moon. A bridge as nar- 
row -and as sharp as the edge of a sword 
is provided for the unfortunate squire. 
Whenever he falls off (and it is supposed 
that this must occasionally happen), he is 
obliged to return to the stream where his 
life was ended, and to begin again. His 
present position is therefore quite uncer- 
tain, but there is no doubt that he will 
one day reach his own front door, and what 
may then happen no one can possibly fore- 
see. The sharp sword here unquestionably 
represents the "brig of dread" of the 
northern Lykewake : — 

' This ae night, this ae night, 

Everie night .and alle 
To brig of dread thou comes at last — 
And Christ receive thy sawle.' " 

Double Hand.— Taylor the Water- 
poet, in his " Great Eater of Kent," 1630, 
says: "I have known a great man very 
expert on the Jewe-harpe, a rich mer- 
chants wife a quicke gamester at Irish (es- 
pecially when she came to bearing of men) 
that she wolde seldome misse entring. 
Monsieur le Ferr, a Frenchman, was the 
first inventor of the admirable game of 
double-hand, hot-cockles; and Gregorie 
Dawson, an Englishman, devised the un- 
matchable mystery of blindman buffe." 

Doublets or Dublets.— See Tick- 
Tack. 

Doug^h. — Dough or Dow is vulgarly 
used in the North for a little cake, though 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



187 



it properly signifies a mass of flour tem- 
pered with water, salt and yeast, and 
Kneaded fit for baking. It is derived, as 
Junius tells us, from the Dutch Deeg, 
which comes from the Theostican thihen, 
to grow bigger, or rise, as the bakers 
term it. The sailors call pudding dough, 
but pronounce it duflt. Du Cange says : 
I'Panis Natalitius, cujusmodi fieri solet 
in die Natalis Domini, et prseberi Dominis 
Sk prsediorum conductoribus, in quibusdam 
Provinciis, qui ex farina delicatiori, ovis 
■et lacti confici solent : Cuignets appellant 
Picardi, quod in cuneorum varias species 
•efformentur." Gloss, v. Panis Natalitius. 
See also Ihre Gloss. Suio-Goth, i., 1009. 

Dougrh-Nut Day — A name form- 
erly given to Shrove-Xuesday by the chil- 
■dren at Baldock, Herts, from small cakes 
fried in brass skillets over the fire with 
hog's lard. 

Douro. — See Clavie. 

Dove. — A correspondent of " Notes 
a,nd Queries " sent the following account 
in 1857 to that miscellany. " A month or 
two back, a family, on leaving one of the 
'Channel Islands, presented to a gardener 
(it is uncertain whether an inhabitant of 
the island or no) some pet doves, the con- 
veyance of them to England being likely 
to prove troublesome. A few days after- 
wards the man brought them back, stating 
that he was engaged to be married, and 
the possession of the birds might be (as he 
had been informed) an obstacle to the 
•course of true love running smooth." This 
was put in the shape of a query, but no 
answer appeared. 2nd S., iv., 25. Doves 
were formerly threshed in some places at 
Shrove-tide. 

Dovercourt, Rood of. — " In the 
same year of our Lord, 1532, there was an 
Idoll named the Roode of Dovercourt, 
whereunto was much and great resort of 
people. For at that time there was a great 
rumour blown abroad amongst the ignor- 
ant sort, that the power of the Idoll of 
Dovercourt was so great that no man had 
power to shut the church doore where he 
stood, and therefore they let the church 
dore, both night and day, continually 
.stand open, for the more credit unto the 
blinde rumour." Vox's Book of Martyrs, 
ii. 302. He adds that four men, determin- 
ing to destroy it, travelled ten miles from 
Dedham, where they resided, took away 
the rood, and burnt it, for which act three 
<of them afterwards suffered death. In 
Grim the Collier of Croydon (Hazlitt's 
Dodsley, viii., 398) Miles Forest says: 

" Have you not heard, my lords, the 
wondrous feats 

Of Holy Dunstan, Abbot of Canterbury? 

What miracles he hath achieved of late ; 

And how the rood of Dovercourt did 
speak, 

Confirming his opinion to be true.? — " 



Dovercourt was the mother-church of Har- 
wich. 

Dover's Gaines. — Sports held from 
time immemorial on the hill in the Cots- 
wolds, still known as Dover's Hill. Robert 
Dover, called. Captain Dover, promoted 
their revival, when they had grown more 
or less obsolete, about 1596. In 1636, a 
collection of poems by various writers 
appeared with a frontispiece representing 
Dover in a suit, which had been given to 
him by James I. Among the writers is 
Randolph, who contributes An Eclogue 
on the noble Assemblies revived on Cots- 
wold Hills by Master Robert Dover. 

Down Plat. — See St. Luke's Day. 
Draco Volans.— See Aerolites. 

Dragoon. — In the old romances the 
dragons are frequently denominated 
worms, a phrase employed by our fore- 
fathers with considerable latitude, as I 
think will be allowed when I mention that, 
in the " Towneley Mysteries," the plague 
of locusts in Egypt is described as a visi- 
tation of " wyTd wormes." The modern 
Greeks seem to have classed what we now 
are sufficiently familiar with under the de- 
nomination of the water-spout among 
dragons. Mr. Wright, in his " Essays,' 
1846, quotes a curious extract from the 
chronicle of John of Bromton in confirma- 
tion of this theory. The spout is described 
by the chronicler as a great black dragon 
descending from the clouds, and hiding its 
head in the water, while its tail reached to 
the sky ; and he tells us that any ships 
which were passing at the time, he swal- 
lowed up with all their contents. The 
theatre of this reputed monster's depre- 
dations was the Gulf of Satalia. It was 
supposed that a serpent, to become a 
dragon, must eat a serpent. This partly 
realizes the ophiophagous genus of ser- 
pents, which does not thereby suffer such a 
metamorphosis. I found the following 
note in "The Muses' Threnodie," by 
Henry Adamson, 1638, repr. 1774: "We 
read of a cave called ' The Dragon Hole,' 
in a steep rock on the face of Kinnoul 
Hill, of very difficult and dangerous access. 
On the first day of May, during the era of 
Popery, a great concourse of people as- 
sembled at that place to celebrate super- 
stitious games, now," adds the writer, 
"unknown to us, which the Reformers pro- 
hibited under heavy censures and severe 
penalties, of which we are informed from 
the ancient records of the Kirk Session of 
Perth." It may, perhaps, be mentioned 
that the Chinese to this day believe in the 
existence of dragons, and attribute 
natural phenomena, such as eclipses, to 
their malignant agency. They shout at 
the dragon when there is an eclipse, and as 
soon as the solar or lunar orb has re- 
covered its usual splendour, it is the 



i88 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



dragon which has been discomfited and put 
to flight. 

Dragoon's Blood. — A resinous com- 
pound, which is still employed by young 
girls, chiefly in the rural districts, as a 
charm for restoring to the person, who 
burns it, and repeats over the flame cer- 
tain cabalistic words, the object of affec- 
tion. But it is also employed by married 
women who have become estranged from 
their husbands, and desire reconciliation. 
Antiquary, June and July, 1891. 

Draw Gloves. — There was a sport 
entitled "Draw Gloves," of which, how- 
ever, I find no description. The follflwing 
jeu d'esprit is found in Herrick : 
Draw Gloves. 
" At Draw-gloves we'l play, 
And prethee let's lay 

A wager, and lot it be this ; 
Who first to the summe 
Of twenty shall come. 

Shall have for his winning a kisse." 

And in another poem by him, "To the 
Maides to AValk Abroad " there is the fol- 
lowing : 

' ' Come sit we under yonder tree, 
Where merry as the maids we'l be. 
And as on primroses we sit, 
We'l venter (if we can) at wit : 
If not, at draw-gloves we will play : 
So spend some minutes of the day ; 
Or else spin out the threed of sands. 
Playing at questions and commands." 
See Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, p. 202. 

Draw Straws, To. — In the Vaux 
de Vire of Jean le Houx, Muirhead's 
translation, 1875, p. 103, we find : 

" If after mirth our wine 
Run short, in pleasant way 
We draw straws, to divine 
Who for some more shall pay." 

I have not met with any English paral- 
lel of this, no doubt, at one time common 
Norman usage. 

Dreams. — Dreams, as the sacred 
writings inform us, have on certain occa- 
sions, been used as the divine mediums of 
revelation. As connected with our pre- 
sent design, they may either come under 
the head of omens or that of divination. 
Homer has told us that dreams come 
from Jupiter, and in all ages and every 
kingdom the idea that some knowledge of 
the future is to be derived from them, has 
always composed a very striking article in 
the creed of popular superstitions. Bar- 
tholinus, Ve Gausis contemptce a Danis 
Mortis, p. 678. Henry tells us : " We find 
Peter of Blois, who was one of the most 
learned nxeu of the age in which he flou- 
rished, writing an account of his dreams 
to his friend the Bishop of Bath, and tell- 
ing him how anxious he had been about 
the interpretation of them; and that he 



had employed for that purpose divination 
by the Psalter. The English, it seems 
probable, had still more superstitious curi- 
osity, and paid greater attention to. 
dreams and omens than the Normans; for 
when William Rufus was dissuaded from 
going abroad on the morning of that day 
on which he was killed, because the Abbot 
of Gloucester had dreamed something, 
which portended danger, he is said to 
have made this reply : ' Do you imagine 
that I am an Englishman, to be frighted 
by a dream, or the sneezing of an old 
woman? " Uist. of Gr. Britain, 111, 572. 
Cornelius Agrippa, speaking of "Interpre- 
tation of Dreams, says: "To this delu- 
sion not a few great philosophers 
have given not a little credit, especially 
Democritus, Aristotle, and his follower 
Themistius, Sinesius also the Platonick, so 
far building upon examples of dreams, 
which some accident hath made to be true i 
and thence they endeavour to persuade 
men that there are no dreams but what 
are real. But as to the causes of dreams, 
both external and internal, they do not 
all agree in one judgment. For the Pla- 
tonicks reckon them among the speciflck 
and concrete notions of the soul. Avicen 
makes the cause of dreams to be an ulti- 
mate intelligence moving the moon in the 
middle of that light with which the fancies, 
of men are illuminate while they sleep. 
Aristotle refers the cause thereof to com- 
mon sense, but placed in the fancy. Aver- 
roes places the cause in the imagination. 
Democritus ascribes it to little images or 
representatives separated from the things, 
themselves. Albertus, to the superior in- 
fluences which continually flow from thO' 
skie through many speciflck mediums. The- 
physicians impute the cause thereof to 
vapours and humours : others to the affec- 
tions and cares predominant in persons 
when awake. Others joyn the powers of 
the soul, celestial influences ana images, 
together, all making but one cause. Ar- 
temidorus and Daldiauus have written of 
the interpretation of dreams : and cer- 
tain books go about under Abraham's, 
name, whom Philo, in his Book of the- 
Gyants and of Civil Life, asserts to have 
been the first practiser thereof. Other 
treatises there are falsified under the- 
names of David and Solomon, wherein are^ 
to be read nothing but meer dreams con- 
cerning dreams. But Marcus Cicero, in 
his Book of Divination, hath given suffici- 
ent reasons against the vanity and folly 
of those that give credit to dreams, which 
I purposely here omit." Vanity of 
Sciences, p. 105. Every dream, according; 
to Wolfius, takes its rise from some sensa- 
tion, and is continued by the succession 
of phantasms in the mind. His reasons are- 
that when we dream we imagine some- 
thing, or the mind produces phantasms;. 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



189 

In " Mery Tales and Quicke Answeres " 
(circa 1540) is a not very delicate story "of 
him that dreamed he founde gold." See 
" Old English Jest-Books," i. In " A C. 
Mery Talys," 1525, is the story of Sir 
Richard Whittington's Dream (ibid.) In 
the " Opticke Glasse of Hvmors," by T. 
W. 1607, there is a curious section on this 
subject (ed. 1639, p. 141). In Lyiy's 
" Sapho and Phao," 1584, are some pleas- 
ant observations on dreams, act iv. sc. 3 : 
" And can there be no trueth in dreams? 
Yea, dreams have their trueth. — Dreames 
are but dotings, which come either by 
things we see in the day, or meates that 
we eate, and so the common sense prefer- 
ring it to be the imaginative. ' I dreamed,' 
says Ismeua, ' mine eye tooth was loose, 
and that I thrust it out with my tongue. 
' It fortelleth,' replies Mileta, ' the losse 
of a friend : and I ever thought thee so 
ful of prattle, that thou wouldest thrust 
out the best friend with the tatling.' " In 
Overbury's "Character of a Milkmaid" 
is the passage : " Her dreams are so chaste 
that shee dare tell them : only a Fridaies 
dream is all her superstition : that she 
conceales for feare of Anger." There is 
a nursery adage : 

" Friday night's dream 

On the Saturday told, 
Is sure to come true, 

Be it never so old." 
Various are the popular superstitions, or 
at least the faint traces of them that still 
are made use of to procure dreams of divi- 
nation : such as fasting St. Agnes' Fast ; 
laying a piece of the first cut of the groan- 
ing cheese under the pillow, to cause young 
persons to dream of their lovers, and put- 
ting a Bible in the like situation, with a 
sixpence clapped in the Book of Ruth, 
and so on. Strutt says: "Writing their 
name on a paper at twelve o'clock, burn- 
ing the same, then carefully gathering up 
the ashes, and laying them close wrapp'd 
in a paper upon a looking-glass, marked 
with a cross, under their pillows : this 
should make them dream of their loves." 
Manners and Customs, 111, 180. Mr. 
Brand observed that in his day, except 
amongst the most ignorant and vulgar, 
the whole imaginary structure had fallen 
to the ground ; but surely this assertion 
was a little premature, looking at the still 
extensive belief, even among intelligent 
people, in this class of revelation, one that 
will never, perhaps, wholly be extin- 
guished under any circumstances. 

DreamS) Interpretation of. — 
The following may in some measura 
supply what Agrippa thought proper 
to omit in a passage above - cited : 
" Cicero, among others, relates this. 
A certain man dreamed that there 
was an egg hid under his bed ; the 
soothsayer to whom he applied himself for 



but no phantasms can arise in the mind 
without a previous sensation. Hence 
neither can a dream arise without some 
previous sensation. Here it may be stated, 
says Douce, that if our author meant a 
previous sensation of the thing dreamt of, 
it is certainly not so. 

" Dreams are but the rais'd 
Impressions of premeditated things. 
Our serious apprehension left upon 
Our minds, or else th' imaginary 

shapes 
Of objects proper to the complexion, 
Or disposition of our bodies." 
Cotgrave's English Treasury of Wit and 
TJanguage, 1655. Physicians seem to be 
the only persons at present who interpret 
dreams. Frightful dreams are perhaps 
always indications of some violent oppres- 
sion of Nature, especially of dyspepsia. 
Hippocrates has many curious observa- 
tions on dreams. Ennius made that very 
sensible remark, that what men studied 
and pondered in the day-time the same 
they dreamed on at night. Scot informs 
us of " The art and order to be used in 
digging for money, revealed by dreams." 
" There must be made," says he, " upon a 
hazel wand three crosses, and certain 
words must be said over it, and hereunto 
must be added certain characters and bar- 
barous names. And whilst the treasure is 
a digging, there must be read the Psalms 
De Profundis, &c., and then a certain 
prayer : and if the time of digging be 
neglected, the Devil will carry all the 
treasure away." Discovery, ed. 1665, 102. 
Some verses on this occasion are preserved 
by Aubrey. Miscellanies, 1696, ed. 1857, 
132. A writer in the " Gentleman's Maga- 
zine " for September, 1751, wittily ob- 
serves that " Dreams have for many ages 
been esteemed as the noblest resources at 
a dead lift : the dreams of Homer were 
held in such esteem that they were styled 
golden dreams : and among the Grecians 
we find a whole country using no other 
way for information, but going to sleep. 
The Oropians, and all the votaries of Am- 
phiaraus are proofs of this assertion, as 
may be seen m Pausan. Attic." In the 
"Gentleman's Magazine" for January, 
1799, are some curious rhymes on the sub- 
ject of dreams, from Harl. MS. 541, fol. 
228 verso : 

"A'^pon my ryght syde y male leye, blesid 

lady to the y K y 
For the teres that ye lets rpon your swete 

gonnys feete, 
Sende me grace for to slepe, & good dremys 

for to mete 
Slepyng wakyng til morowe daye bee. 
<Jwr lords is the frevte, cure lady is the 

tree 
Blessid be the blossom that sprange lady 

of the. 
In noie patris & filii & ep's sa amen." 



I go 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



the interpretation of the dream told him 
that in the same place where he imagined 
to see the egg there was treasure hid ; 
whereupon he caused the place to be 
digged up, and there accordingly he found 
silver, and in the midst of it a good quan- 
tity of gold, and, to give the interpreter 
some testimony of his acknowledgment he 
brought him some pieces of the silver which 
he had found ; but the soothsayer, hoping 
also to have some of the gold, said : ' And 
will you not give me some of the yolk 
too?' " Amyraldus, translated by Lowde, 
1676. Bacon observes that the interpreta- 
tion of natural dreams has been much 
laboured, but mixed with numerous extra- 
vagancies, and adds, that at present it 
stands not upon its best foundation. Shy- 
lock, in the Merchant of Venice," says : 

" There is some ill a brewing towards my 
rest, 

For I did dream of money-bags to- 
night." 

Hall, in his " Characters of Vertues and 
Vices," 1608, speaking of the superstitious 
raan, observes : " But, if his troubled f an- 
cle shall second his thoughts with the 
dreame of a fair garden, or greene rushes, 
or the salutation of a dead friend, he takes 
leave of the world, and sayes he cannot 
live." — " There is no dream of his with- 
out an interpretation, without a predic- 
tion, and if the event answer not his expo- 
sition, he expounds it according to the 
event." Melton says : "That if a man 
dreame of egs or fire, he shall heare of 
anger." "That to dreame of the Devil 
is good lucke." " That to dreame of gold 
good luoke, but of silver ill." Astrologas- 
ter, 1620, No. 13. In another old work, 
it is said: "To dreame of eagles flying 
over our heads, to dreame of marriages, 
dancing and banquetting, foretells some 
of our kinsfolkes are departed : to dream 
of silver, if thou hast it given to thyselfe, 
sorrow : of gold, good fortune : to lose an 
axle toth or an eye, the death of some 
friend : to dream of bloody teeth, the 
death of the dreamer : to weepe in sleepe, 
joy : to see one's face in the water, or to 
see the dead, long life : to handle lead, to 
see a hare, death : to dream of chickens 
and birds, ill-luck," &c. Eelp to Dis- 
course, 1633, p. 330. In a "Strange Meta- 
morphosis of Man," &c., 1634, it is ob- 
served : "Nor is he (the bay-tree) alto- 
gether free from superstition ; for he wil 
make you beleeve that if you put his leaves 
under your pillow, you shall be sure to 
have true dreames." In Sampson's "Vow- 
Breaker," 1636, act iii. sc. 1, Ursula 
^eaks: "I have heard you say that 
dreames and visions were fabulous; and, 
yet one time I dreamt fowle water ran 
through the floore, and the next day the 
house was on fire. You us'd to say hob- 
goblins, fairies and the like, were nothing 



but our owne afErightments, and yet o' my 
troth, cuz, I once dream' d of a young bat- 
chelour, and was ridd with a night-mare." 
" He that dream's he hath lost a tooth, 
shall lose a friend, (he has lost one), and he 
that dreams that a rib is taken out of his 
sidOj shall ere long see the death of his. 
wife." See Lowde's Amyraldus, p. 22, 
and the passage from Lyly already cited. 
Gaule gives us "the snorting in sleep," 
the dreaming of gold, silver, eggs, gar- 
dens, weddings, dead men, dung," &c. 
Mag-Astromancer posed, y- 181. Some ex- 
tracts from A Treatise of the Interpreta- 
tion of Sundry Dreames, 1601 (licensed for 
the press in 1566) may not be unaccept- 
able : 

"1. First, to see the ayre faire and 
cleere, promiseth good vnto all persons : 
especially vnto such, which seeke after 
things lost, and would iourney into strange 
places : for all things be made apparent to 
a cleare ayre. 2. To see the ayre darkned, 
mysty, or cloudy, doth then portend the 
hinderance of actions, or heaninesse. 3. 
To see rayne fall without a tempest or 
with wind, signifieth good (in a manner) 
vnto all persons. 4. To see showres, haile, 
thick cloude, and tempests, doe pronounce 
troubles, harmes, and perills vnto all per- 
sons, except to seruants and such in pre- 
sent troubles. 5. To see fire in the ayre, 
cleere, pure, and little, doth foreshow 
threatnings of some noble estates : but 
vnto many, this dreame portendeth the in- 
cursion of enemies, pouerty and hunger. 
6. To see lightning passe neere by him, 
without a tempest, and not to touch the 
body, doth after threaten banishment out 
of the place, in which he dwelleth. 7. To 
think himselfe striken with lightning, pro- 
mise vnto him which lacketh a wife, to 
marry one, whether hee bee poore or rich. 
And married, the separation of his wife 
from him : and the like to be vnderstood of 
brethren, friends, kinsfolke and acquaint- 
ance, to become enemies vnto him. 8. A 
certaine person dreamed that hee saw the 
outward pillar or bed-post smitten and 
burnt with lightning, and not long after 
dyed his wife. 9. To thinke thy selfe 
drawne by force of a dead person knowne 
to thee, vnto a place vnknowne, doth after 
signifie, that he shall be taken with a 
grieuous sicknes, of which he shall dye : 
but if hee escape, it shall be very hardly. 
10. Hee which thinketh hee seeth a dead 
person sleeping, such a person shall dye 
quietly. 11. To see either father or mother 
that be dead, is lesser euill, then to see 
any other dead person. 12. He which 
seeth a dead person, looking sad, deformed 
and in torne clothes, doth after signifie a 
misfortune to ensue vnto the dreamer. 13. 
The sick person to dreame that he marled 
a ma.iden, signifieth death to ensue. But 
good it is vnto him which beginneth a new 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



igr 



businesse, for that it shall come into a good 
purpose. 14. To marie a widow, signiiieth 
the compassng of old matters or businesses, 
but contrarie in the new. 15. To see the 
sun rising out of the east, cleere and fair, 
and setting the like in the west, signifleth 
good vnto all persons. 16. And a sicke per- 
son to see the sun rising out of the west, 
signifleth amendment vnto health. 17. 
And the sonne seeming darke or bloody, or 
for the great heat making a noyse, is dan- 

ferous & euill vnto all persons, for that it 
eclareth vnto some, the hindrance of 
actions, and vnto others sicknesse, and 
perill vnto their children, or disease and 

Eaine of their eyes. 18. Hee which seeth 
is image in the moone, not hauing chil- 
dren, doth foreshew the birth of a sonne to 
ensue ; but to the woman like dreaming, to 
haue a daughter. 19. To see the starrss 
fall from heauen, doth signifie vnto the 
rich much pouerty and care to ensue. 20. 
He which seeth a great starre fall from 
heauen on his head doth after promise 
great good luck to ensue. 21. To see thy 
house faire swept with a broome, signifleth 
the consumption of thy money. 22. To see 
another man's faire swept, signifleth that 
the dreamer shall possesse the money of 
that house. 23. To seeme to open a new 
doore, shall after mary a wife profltable 
vnto him. 24. To dreame, to cut downe a 
tree, or plucke it vp by the rootes, doth 
after signifie that hee shall slay a man or 
a beast. 25. To dreame to see a hoy or 
crayer, or other small vessel to enter into 
a house & after to go out agai oe : sig- 
nifleth that the principall of the same 
house shal after die, and the rather, if 
water appeareth there, for that the same 
signifleth teares, and the vessel the coffin, 
in which dead bodies be caried. 26. And 
beeing in a ship, whosoeuer dreameth to 
see flre in any part of the ship, from that 
side or part of the ship shal the wind arise 
the next morrow. 27. Whatsoeuer seem- 
eth to happen to the ship, whiles thou 
thinkest thy selfe in her, the same shall 
hapen vnto thy wife : or being a widower, 
vnto thy children. 28. Whosoeuer dream- 
eth to see any lanterne light in a ship or 
other barke, it doth after signifle a great 
calme, or quietnesse of the wind to ensue. 
29. Whosoeuer beeing on the sea, dream- 
eth to see sea-guUes, sea-pies, or any other 
like sea-birds, it doth signifie vnto saylers 
or mariners to bee after in very great 
perill, but no losse altogether. 30. He 
that dreameth to haue a mill, & doth grind 
in the same, promiseth good vnto the 
dreamer, and a prosperous life. 31. He 
that thinketh to eate fresh fish, shall talke 
euilly of men. 32. To eat salt fish, signifl- 
eth the losse of his money, either by fraud, 
or by a wile. 33. To dreame to ride on a 
blacke horse, signifleth losse & sorrow to 
ensue. 34. To see red oxen in the dream 



declares the mightier & sharper sicknesses. 
35. To see oxen lying or sleeping, declar- 
eth euill or harme to happen vnto the 
dreamer." 

" Somniandi modus Franciscanorum 
hinc duxit originem. Antiqui moris 
fuit Oracula et futurorum praesoien- 
tiam quibusdam adhibitis sacris per in- 
somnia dari : qui mos talis erat, ut Vic- 
timas csederent, mox Sacriflcio peracto sub- 
pellibus osesarum Ovium incubantes, som- 
nia, captarent, eaque lymphatica insomnia 
verissimos exitus sortiri. Alex, ab Alex. 
lib. iii. c. 26. Et Monachi super storea. 
cubant in qua alius Frater ecstaticus fue- 
rat somniatus, sacrifloat missam, preces 
et jejunia adhibet, inde ut communiter fit 
de amoribus per somnia consulit. redditque 
responsa pro occurrentibus spectris," &c. 
Moresini Papains, 1594, p. 162. Compare 
Ovmh-cake. 

Drinking^, A. — In the " Statistical 
Account of Scotland" the minister of Kir- 
michael tells us : "In extraordinary cases 
of distress, we have a custom which de- 
serves to be taken notice of ; and that is, 
when any of the lower people happen to 
be reduced by sicknesses, losses or mis- 
fortunes of any kind, a friend is sent to' 
as many of their neighbours as they think 
needful, to invite them to what they call 
a drinking. This drinking consists in a 
little small beer, with a bit of bread and 
cheese, and sometimes a small glass of 
brandy or whiskey, previously provided by 
the needy persons or their friends. The 
guests convene at the time appointed, and 
after collecting a shilling a-piece, and 
sometimes more, they divert themselves for- 
about a couple of hours with music and 
dancing, and then go home. Such as can- 
not attend themselves, usually send their 
charitable contribution by any neighbour 
that chooses to go. These meetings some- 
times produce five, six and seven pounds 
to the needy person or family." Stat. 
Ace, i., 59. In the same work, it is said, 
under the parish of Gargunnook, co. Stir- 
ling: "There is one prevailing custom 
among our country people, which is some- 
times productive of mucn evil. Everything 
is bought and sold over a bottle. The- 
people who go to the fair in the full pos- 
session of their faculties, do not always 
transact their business, or return to their 
homes, in the same state." Stat. Ace, 
xviii., 123. This, however, was in the- 
eighteenth century. 

Drinking Usagres. — In Nash's 
" Pierce Pennilesse," 1592, occurs : "Nowe 
he is nobody that cannot drinke Superna- 
gulum, carouse the hunters hoope, quaffe 
upse froze crosse, with healths, gloves, 
mumpes, polockes, and a thousand such 
domineering inventions." In Young's 
" England's Bane," 1617, are some curi- 
ous passages (partly taken direct from^ 



iga 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



other authors) concerning the then cus- 
toms of drinking: "I myself e have seen 
and (to my grief of conscience) may now 
say have in presence, yea, and amongst 
•others been an actor in the bnsinesse, when 
upon our knees, after healthes to many 
private punkes, a health have been drunke 
to all the whoores in the world." Again : 
" He is a man of no fashion that cannot 
drinkee supernaculum, carouse the hun- 
ters hoop, quaffe upseyfreese crosse, bowse 
in Permoysant, in Pimlico, in crambo, 
with healthes, gloves, numpes, frolicks, 
.and a thousand such domineering inven- 
tions, as by the bell, by the cards,' by the 
dye, by the dozen, by the yard, and so by 
measure we drink out of measure. There 
are in London drinking schooles : so that 
■drunkennesse is professed with us a liberal 
arte and science." Again : " I have seene 
a company among the very woods and for- 
•ests," (he speaks of the New Forest and 
Windsor Forest), " drinking for a muggle. 
Sixe determined to try their strengths who 
•could drink most glasses for the muggle. 
The first drinkes a glasse of a pint, the 
■second two, the next three, and so on every 
one multiplieth till the last taketh sixe. 
Then the first beginneth againe and taketh 
seven, and in this manner they drink 
"thrice a peece round, every man taking a 
; glasse more then his fellow, so that hee 
that dranke least, which was the first, 
■drank one and twentie pints, and the sixth 
man thirty-six." Our author observes : 
' ' Before we were acquainted with the lin- 
gering wars of the Low Countries, drunk- 
• ennes was held in the highest degree of 
hatred that might be amongst us." 
" Ebrius experiens, or the Drunkard's 
Humor," signat. M 3. Some remarkable 
anecdotes of this class are given also by 
Ward of Ipswich, in his " Woe to Drunk- 
ards," 1622. The term Upsey freeze, 
so often employed by the writers of the 
times of James I. and Charles I., is a cor- 
rupt form of op ayn Vriesch, in the Fries- 
land fashion, and was introduced when the 
English became better acquainted with the 
Low Countries under Elizabeth. Robert 
Harris speaks, in the dedication to his 
Drunkard's Cup, of drinking as a sort of 
profession at this time: "There is (they 
■say) an art of drinking now, and in the 
world it is become a great profession. 
There are degrees and titles, given under 
the names of roaring boyes, damned crew, 
&c. There are lawes and ceremonies to 
be observed both by the firsts and seconds, 
&c. There is a drinking by the foot, by 
the yard, &c., a drinking by the douzens, 
b.v the scoures, &c., for the wager, for the 
victory, man against man, house against 
house, town against town, and how not? 
There are also terms of art, fetched from 
Hell, (for the better distinguishing of the 
^practitioners) ; one is coloured, another is 



foxt, a third is gone to the dogs, a fourth 
is well to live," &c. In the body of the 
sermon, he mentions ' ' the strange sauei- 
nesse of base vermine, in tossing the name 
of his most excellent Majesty in their 
foaming mouthes, and in dareing to make 
that a shooing home to draw on drink, 
by drinking healths to him." He adds 
elsewhere explanatorily : " I doe not speak 
of those beasts that must be answered and 
have right done them in the same measure, 
gesture, course, &c., but of such onely as 
leave you to your measure (You will keejje 
a turne and your time in pledging) ; is it 
any hurt to pledge such? How pledge 
them ? You mistake if you think that we 
speak against any true civility If 
thou lust to pledge the lords pro- 
phets in woes, pledge good fellowes 
lu their measures and challenges : if 
not so, learne still to shape a peremptory 
answer to an unreasonable demand. Say 
— I will pray for the King's health, and 
drinke for mine owne." He uses " some- 
what whitled," and " buckt with drink" 
as terms expressing the different degrees 
of drunkenness. In another (well-known) 
work, I find a singular passage, which 1 
confess I do not thoroughly understand, 
concerning the then modes of drinking. 
The writer is describing a drinking bout of 
female gossips: "Dispatching a lusty 
rummer of Rhenish to little Periwig, who 
passed it instantly to Steephen Malten, 
and she conveigh'd with much agility to 
Daplusee, who made bold to stretch the 
Countesses gowne into a pledge, and cover 
and come, which was the only plausible 
mode of drinking they delighted in : This 
was precisely observ'd by the other three, 
that their moistned braines gave leave for 
their glibb'd tongues to chat liberally." 
Gayton's Notes on Bon Quixote, 1654, p. 
234. In Shakespear's " Timon of Athens," 
act i. so. 5, is the following passage : 

"If I 

Were a huge man, I should fear to 
drink at meals. 

Lest they should spy my wind pipe's 
dangerous notes ; 

Great men should drink with harness on 
their throats " : 
Upon which Strutt observes : " The old 
manner of pledging each other when they 
drank, was thus : the person who was going 
to drink, asked any one of the company 
who sat next him, whether he would pledge 
him, on which he answering ■that he would, 
held up his knife or sword, to guard him 
whilst he drank ; for while a man is drink- 
ing he necessarily is in an unguarded pos- 
ture, exposed to the treacherous stroke of 
some hidden or secret enemy." Strutt's 
authority was William of Malmesbury, and 
he observes from the delineation he gives 
us (and it must be noted that his plates, 
being copies of ancient illuminated manu- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



193 



scripts, are of unquestionable authority), 
that it seems perfectly well to agree with 
the reported custom; the middle figure is 
addressing himself to his companion, who 
seems to tell him that he pledges him, 
holding up his knife in token of his readi- 
ness to assist and protect him. After all, 
I cannot help hazarding an opinion that 
the expression meant no more than that 
if you took your cup or glass I pledged 
myself to you that I would follow your ex- 
ample. The common ellipsis, "to" is 
wanting. Thus we say, "I'll give you," 
instead of "I'll give to you " ; "I'll pledge 
you," and " I'll pledge to you." But I 
offer this with great deference to the es- 
tablished opinions on the subject. But 
the custom is said to have first taken its 
rise from the death of Edward the Martyr, 
who was by the contrivance of Elfrida, his 
stepmother, treacherously stabbed in the 
back as he was drinking. Daines Barring- 
ton illustrates the former danger to which 
life was subject : He says, " The Speculum 
Segale advises the courtier, when he is in 
the King's presence, to pull off his cloak ; 
and one of the reasons given is, that he 
■shews by this means that he hath no con- 
cealed weapons to make an attempt upon 
the King's life." Observ. on the Statutes, 
1775, p. 206. In 1553, during Wyatt's re- 
bellion the seven serjeants and other law- 
yers in Westminster Hall pleaded in har- 
ness. Compare Healths, Supernaculum, 
&e. 

Drinking' Vessels. ■ — Heywood 
says : "Of drinking cups divers and sundry 
sorts we have ; some of elme, some of box, 
some of maple, some of holly, &c. Mazers, 
broad-mouth' d dishes, noggins, whiskins, 
pigginSj criuzes, ale-bowls, wassell-bowls, 
court-dishes, tankards, kannes, from a 
pottle to a pint, from a pint to a gill. 
Other bottles we have of leather, but they 
are most used among the shepheards and 
■harvest people of the countrey : small jacks 
wee have in many ale-houses of the Citie 
and suburbs, tip't with silver, besides the 
great black jacks and bombards at Court, 
which when the Frenchmen first saw, they 
reported, at their returne into their coun- 
trey, that the Englishmen used to drink 
out of their bootes : we have, besides, cups 
made of homes of beasts, of cocker-nuts, 
of goords, of the eggs of estriches, others 
made of the shells of divers fishes brought 
from the Indies and other places, and shin- 
ing like mother of pearl. Come to plate, 
every taverne can afford you flat 
bowles, French bowles, prounet cups, 
beare bowles, beakers ; and private 
householders in the Citie, when they 
make a feast to entertain their 
friends, can furnish their cupbords with 
flagons, tankards, beere-cups, wine-bowles, 
some white, some percell guilt, some guilt 
.call over, some with covers, others without. 



of sundry shapes and qualities. . . There 
is now profest an eighth liberal art or 
science, call'd Ars Bibendi, i.e., the art of 
drinking. The students or professors 
thereof call a greene garland, or painted 
hcope hang'd out, a colledge : a signe 
where there is a lodging, mansmeate, and 
horse -meate, an mne of court, an 
hall, or an hostle : where nothing is 
sold but ale and tobacco, a gram- 
mar schoole : a red or blew lattice, 
that they terme a free schoole for all com- 
mers. . . . The bookes which they study, 
and whose leaves they so often turne over, 
are, for the most part, three of the old 
ti'anslations and three of the new. Those of 
the old translation: 1. The Tankard. 2. 
T'he black Jack. 3. The quart-pot rib'd, 
or thorondell. Those of the new be these : 
1. The jugge. 2. The beaker. 3. The 
double or single can, or black pot." Among 
the proper phrases belonging to the library 
occur, to drink upse-phreese, supernacu- 
lum, to swallow a flap-dragon, or a rawe 
egge — to see that no lesse than three at 
once be bare to a health. . . Many of our 
nation have used the Lowe - countrey- 
warres so long, that though they have left 
their money and clothes behind, yet they 
have brought home their habit of drink- 
ing." At p. 60, he gives the following 
phrases then in use for being drunk." He 
IS foxt, hee is flawed, he is flustered, hee 
is suttle, cupshot, cut in the leg or backe, 
hee hath seene the French king, he hath 
swallowed an haire or a taverne-token, hee 
hath whipt the cat, he hath been at the 
scriveners and learn'd to make indentures, 
hee hath bit his grannam, or is bit by a 
barne-weesell, with an hundred such-like 
adages and sentences." Philocothonista, 
1635, p. 45. 

Drive Knaves out of Town.— 
See Troule-in-Madame. 

Drowned Bodies— Several corres- 
pondents of Notes and Queries writing 
from Peterborough and elsewhere, refer to 
the notion, a very foolish one, that, where 
a person has been drowned, a button from 
his waistcoat, mounted on a piece of wood, 
will indicate the spot, where the body lies, 
by ceasing to float on its arrival thither. 
The annexed extract is from the Echo, 
1874: "Students of folk-lore will bear us 
out in the assertion that the recovery of 
drowned bodies was formerly made the 
occasion of a variety of superstitious prac- 
tice, ranging from the horrible to the 
grotesque. Had any enthusiastic collec- 
tor of such waifs from the ebbing flood of 
Sast folly been standing on the bridge of 
amur a few days since, he might have 
witnessed a spectacle, doubtless common 
enough in the middle ages, but extremely 
rare in our own. Four individuals, sit- 
ting on a trough, drifted down the Sarabre 
between the bridge and the lock. Three 



194 



NATIONAL FAITHS 



of them held boat-hooks, the fourth read 
aloud some formula out of a book, and a 
lighted candle, stuck in a washerwoman's 
tub, floated by the side of the trough. 
These persons were looking for a drowned 
man ; the reader was evoking the deceased 
by means of sacred words, while the candle 
was expected to stop and go out as soon 
as it stood over the spot where the corpse 
lay. The party did not, indeed, trust 
wholly to their mediaeval recipe, but sup- 
plemented it by sounding the bed of the 
river with their poles, yet there was, it 
must be owned, enough in their conduct 
to suggest to the Organ de Namur the in- 
dignant query, ' Is it possible that in the 
year of grace, 1874, adult and vaccinated 
citizens know no better than this:" " 

Druid's Bsss, or Ova Angruina. 
— The ancient Britons, says Pennant, Zoo- 
logy, iii. 31, had a strange superstition m 
respect of the viper, and of which there 
still remained in his time (if it is even 
yet extinct) in Wales a strong tradition. 
The account Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. xxix., 
c. 12) gives of it we find thus translated by 
Mason in his " Caractacus." The person 
speaking is a Druid : 

" The potent adder stone 

Gender'd 'fore th' autumnal moon : 
When in undulating twine 
The foaming snakes prolific join ; 
When they hiss, and when they bear 
Their wondrous egg aloof in air ; 
Thence, before to earth it fall 
The Druid, in his hallow'd pall. 
Receives the prize. 
And instant flies, 
Follow'd by th' envenom'd brood 
Till he cross the crystal flood." 

This wondrous egg seems to be nothing 
more than a bead of glass, used by the 
Druids as a charm to impose on the vul- 
gar, whom they taught to believe that the 
possessor would be fortunate in all his at- 
tempts, and that it would give him the 
favour of the great. Our modern Druid- 
esses, he adds, give much the same ac- 
count of the ovum Anguinum, Glain Neidr, 
as the Welsh call it, or the adder gem, as 
the Roman philosopher does, but seem not 
to have so exalted an opinion of its powers, 
using it only to assist children in cutting 
their teeth, or to cure the Chin-cough, or 
to drive away an ague. He gives a plate 
of these bands, made of glass of a very rich 
blue colour : some of which are plain and 
others streaked. 

" Near Aberfraw," in the Isle of Angle- 
sey," says Gough, " are frequently found 
the Glain Naidr or Druid glass rings. Of 
these the vulgar opinion in Cornwall and 
most part of Wales is, that they are pro- 
duced through all Cornwall by snakes join- 
ing their heads together and hissing, which 
forms a kind of bubble like a ring about 



the head of one of them, which the rest by 
continual hissing blow on till it comes off at 
the tail, when it immediately hardens and 
lesembles a glass ring. Whoever found it 
was to prosper in all his undertakings. 
These rings are called Glain Nadroedh, or 
Gemmse Anguinse. Glune in Irish signi- 
fies glass. In Monmouthshire they are 
called Maen magi, and corruptly Glaim 
for Glain. They are small glass annulets, 
commonly about half as wide as our finger 
rings, but much thicker, usually of a green 
colour, though some are blue, and others 
curiously waved with blue, red, and white.. 
Mr. Lluyd had seen two or three earthen 
rings of this kind, but glazed with blue, 
and adorned with transverse strokes or 
furrows on the outside. The smallest of 
them might be supposed to have been glass, 
beads worn for ornaments by the Romans, 
because some quantities of them, with sev- 
eral amber beads, had been lately dis- 
covered in a stone pit near Garford in 
Berkshire, where they also dug up Roman 
coins, skeletons, and pieces of arrns and 
armour. But it may be objected, 
that a battle being fought there be- 
tween the Romans and Britons, as 
appears by the bones and arms, these 
glass beads might as probaly belong 
to the latter. And indeed it seems very 
likely that these snake stones, as we call' 
them, were used as charms or amulets. 
among our Druids of Britain on the same 
occasion as the snake-eggs among the Gaul- 
ish Druids. Thus, continues Mr. Lluyd, 
we find it very evident that the opinion or 
the vulgar concerning the generation of 
these adder-beads, or snake-stones, is no. 
other than a relic of the superstition or 
perhaps imposture of the Druids ; but 
whether what we call snake stones be the- 
very same amulets that the British Druids 
made use of, or whether this fabulous ori- 
gin was ascribed formerly to the same 
thing, and in aftertimes applied to these 
glass beads, I shall not undertake to de- 
termine. As for Pliny's Ovum Anguinum 
it can be no other than a shell (marine or 
fossil) of the kind we call Echinus marinus.. 
whereof one sort, though not the same he 
describes, is found at this day in most 
parts of Wales. Dr. Borlase, who had 
penetrated more deeply into the Druidical 
monuments in this Kingdom than any 
writer before or since, observes that in- 
stead of the natural anguinum which must 
have been very rare, artificial rings of 
stone, glass, and sometimes baked clay, 
were substituted as of equal validity." The- 
Doctor adds, from Mr. Lluyd's Letter, 
March 10th, 1701, that " the Cornish re- 
tain variety of charms, and have still, to- 
wards the Land's End, the amulets of 
Maen Magal and Glainneider, which latter- 
they call a Melprev (or Milprev, i.e., a 
thousand worms), and have a charm for- 



AND POPULAR CUSTOMS. 



195 



the snake to make it, when they have 
found one asleep, and stuck a hazel wand 
in the centre of her spirse." Gough's Cam- 
den, 1789, ii., 571 ; Rowlands, Mona Anh- 
qua 342. " The opinion of the Cornish," 
Borlase continues, " is somewhat differ- 
ently given by Carew. The country-people 
have a persuasion that the snakes here 
breathing upon a hazel wand, produce a 
stone ring of blue colour, in which there 
appears the yellow figure of a snake, and 
that beasts bit and envenom' d being given 
some water to drink, wherein this stone 
has been infus'd, will perfectly recover of 
the poison." Antiq. of Cornwall, p. 137. 
These beads are not unfrequently found 
in barrows, or occasionally with skeletons 
whose nation and age are not ascertained. 
Stukeley's Aiury, p. 44. Bishop Gibson 
engraved three : one of earth enamelled 
blue, found near Dolgelly, in Merioneth- 
shire ; a second of green glass, found at 
Aberfraw ; and a third, found near Maes 
y Pandy, co. Merioneth. 

Subjoined is the original passage 
from Pliny: — " Preeterea est ovorum 
genus in magna Galliarum fama, 
omissum Grsecis. Angues innumeri 
sestate convoluti, salivis faucium corpo- 
rumque spumis artifici complexu glomer- 
antur anguinum appellatur. Druidse sibi- 
lis id dicunt in sublime jactari, sagoque 
oportere intercipi, ne tellurem attingat. 
Profugere raptorem equo : serpentes enim 
insequi, donee arceantur amnis alicujus 
interventu. Experimentum ejus esse, si 
contra aquas fluitet vel auro vinctum. At- 
que, ut est Magorum solertia occultandis 
fraudibus sagax, certa Luna capiendum 
censent, tanjjuam, cougruere operationem 
eam serpentium, humani sit arbitrii. Vidi 
equidem id ovum mali orbiculati modici 
magnitudine, crusta cartilaginis, velut 
acetabulis braohiorum polypi crebris, in- 
signe Druidis. Ad victorias litium, ac 
regum aditus, mire laudatur : tantse vani- 
tatis, ut habentem id in lite in sinu equi- 
tem Romanum e Vocontiis, a Divo Clau- 
dio Principe interemptum non ob aliud 
sciam." — Plinii Hist. Nat., edit. Har- 
duin, lib. xxix. 12. 

Drumming;-Well. — Baxter gives 
the following anecdote of himself : " When 
I was a school-boy at Oundle, in North- 
amptonshire, about the Scots coming into 
England, I heard a well, in one Dob's 
Yard, drum like any drum beating a 
march. I heard it at a distance : then I 
went and put my head into the mouth of 
the well, and heard it distinctly, and no- 
body in the well. It lasted several 
days and nights so as all the country 
people came to hear it. And so it 
drummed on several changes of times. 
When King Charles the Second died, 
I went to the Church carrier at the 



Ram Inn in Smithfleld, who told 
me their well had drumm'd, and many 
people came to hear it, and I heard it 
drumm'd once since." World of 
Spirits, 1691, 157. Dodsley refers 
to the same phenomenon : "In North- 
amptonshire I observed, as in most other 
places, the superstition of the country 
people with regard to their local wonders. 
The well at Oundle is said to drum against 
any important event ; yet nobody in the 
place could give me a rational account of 
their having heard it, though almost every 
one believes the truth of the tradition." 
Dodsley's Travels of Tom Thumb, 17. 

Drunkard's Cloak. — According 
to Gardiner's England's Grievance, 
1656, in the time of the Common- 
wealth, the magistrates of Newcastle pun- 
ished scolds with the branks, and drunk- 
ards by making them carry a tub, with 
holes in the sides for the arms to pass 
through, called the drunkard's cloak, 
through the streets of that town. 

Drunken Groat. — It appears from 
Allan Ramsay, that in Scotland, of those 
" wha had been fow yestreen," i.e., drunk 
the night before, "payment of the drun- 
ken groat is very peremptorily demanded 
by the common people, next morning : but 
if they frankly confess the debt due, they 
are passed for two-pence." 

Drunkenness. — That it is good to 
be drunk once a month, says the author 
of the "Vulgar Errors," is a common 
flattery of sensuality, supporting itself 
upon physic and the healthful effects of 
inebriation. It is a striking instance of 
"th