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Full text of "Publications of the Folk-lore Society"

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FOR COLLECTING AND PRINTING 

RELICS OF POPULAR ANTIQUITIES, &c. 

ESTABLISHED IN 

THE YEAR MDCCCLXXVIII. 




PUBLICATIONS 

OF 

THE FOLK-LORE SOCIETY 



XLV. 

i8 99 . 



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¥5 






GLASGOW : PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS BY 
ROBERT MACLEHOSE AND CO. 



CONTENTS. 

Preface. p. ix 

List of Authorities. p. xxiii 

Section I. Natural or Inorganic Objects. 

Hills and Cliffs — Stones — Mounds — Fossils — Treasure — Bridges — 
Wayside Crosses — Sites — Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers — 
The Moon — Atmospheric Effects — The Sea and Sea-farers — 
Festivities— Before, during, and after the Voyage. pp. 1-53. 

SECTION II. Trees and Plants. 

Tree-Worship thought possible — Maypoles — Garlands — Sundry Trees 
and Plants. pp. 54-64. 

Section III. Animals. 

Beasts, birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects, alphabetically arranged. 

pp. 65-82. 

Section IV. Goblindom. 

Wraiths — Exorcisms — Manifestations — Barguests, and the like — The 
Devil — Fairies — Hobmen. pp. 83-134. 

Section V. Witchcraft. 

Witchcraft and the Law — Instances of Witchcraft — Evil Eye — Index 
of Atkinson and Blakeborough's Witch-lore. pp. 135-168. 



vi Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 



Section VI. Leechcraft. 

Value of Odd Numbers — Empiric Prescriptions — Cattle Cures. 

pp. 169-182. 



SECTION VII. Magic and Divination. 

Diviners — Prophecies and Portents — Dreams — Divinations — Weather 
forecasts. pp. 183-216. 



Section VIII. General. 

Sundry superstitions, alphabetically arranged. pp. 217-222. 

Section IX. Future Life. 

The Way of the Disembodied Soul — Suicides— Watch for return of 
the Dead. pp. 223-229. 

SECTION X. Festivals, etc., 

New Year — Plough Monday — January to March — Days next before 
Lent — Lent — Easter — April and May — Ascensiontide — Whit- 
suntide — Midsummer Eve— July and August — Reaping-Supper 
— Harvest-Supper — Mell-Supper Acts — All Saints', etc. — Nov- 
ember and December. pp. 230-283. 

SECTION XI. Ceremonial. 

Birth and Infancy — Baptism — Varia — Courtship and Marriage — Wife- 
selling — Death and Burial. pp. 284-313. 

Section XII. Games. 

Alphabetically arranged. pp. 314-319. 



Contents. vii 



SECTION XIII. Local Customs. 

Bells and other Signals — Mock Mayors, Feasts, etc. — Punishments — 
Farming Customs — Tenures, etc. — Official Ceremonial — Varia. 

pp. 320-361. 



SECTION XIV. Tales and Ballads. 

Legend of Sister Hylda — Stories told by Blakeborough, etc. — Tale 
of the Moors —The Fish and the Ring — References and Frag- 
ments — List of Ballads and Songs relating to North Yorkshire 
in Ingledew's Collection — Additional Pieces in Halliwell's 
" Yorkshire Anthology " — References to other Verses. 

pp. 362-381. 



SECTION XV. Place and Personal Legends. 

Churches and their belongings — Subterranean Passages — Buildings 
and Places — Families and Persons. pp. 382-421. 



Section XVI. Jingles. 

Meteorological — Varia — Numbers used in scoring Sheep. 

pp. 422-428. 



Section XVII. Proverbs. 

Collections of Proverbs — Standard Comparisons— Sunday sayings — 
Rhymed saws. pp. 429-434. 



SECTION XVIII. Nicknames, Gibes, Place-Rhymes. 
Alphabetically arranged. pp. 435-441. 

Section XIX. Etymology. 

Alphabetically arranged. pp. 442-447. 



PREFACE. 

No stripling of Storyland ever set forth with lighter heart 
to fulfil the strange behest that should win the hand of 
the Princess, than did I, when I undertook to bring 
together such record as had been made in print, con- 
cerning the folk-lore of the North Riding. I cheerfully 
included in my list the Mother-City of " the shire of broad 
acres," and with her, the wapentake named from old-time 
in the same breath — the Ainsty ; which as Canon Isaac 
Taylor ventures to surmise, 1 may signify her am = own, 
sti — enclosure, or place set apart; the latter being the 
O.N. word familiar to us in pig-sty. If after having had 
this charge for more than seven years upon my hands, 
and but few less upon my conscience, I feel less assurance 
of success than I did in the beginning, those only should 
be astonied who have not laboured in a like emprise, 
or who know too little of the topographic riches of 
North Yorkshire. It has a fine array of annalists of the 
graver sort, and its scenes are so inspiring, and the brains 
of its sons so constituted, that though there may be some 
men who can take a long walk, without writing book or 

1 N. & Q., 8th S., vol. i., p. 383. He rejects the guesses, an-cz'ty= 
anent the city, ancienty— ancient possession, hen- stead '=old place, 
and hean-stige =h\gh pathway. Ainsty is written of in N. & Q., 
7th S., vol. x., pp. 68, 194, 312, 382 ; 8th S., vol. i., pp. 352, 383, 442. 

b 



x Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

article to describe it, I think they must be but few. In 
spirit, I have tramped over many a picturesque mile 
with the chatty pedestrians, listening to local traditions 
that they have heard, or read, and can tell unweariedly, 
and pricking my ears now and then, at the mention of 
bits of curious lore, which the gaffers and gammers still 
stand by, and my informants themselves regard from a 
discreetly agnostic standpoint. The gratitude of our 
Society is due to these, and to all other recording angels 
of congenial tastes ; and if a collector's pen should some- 
times flag as it transcribes their pages, it ought not to 
be forgotten that though he who has a style may chance 
to lose it in the work, he who has none is not unlikely 
to carry one away : it is even possible to become infected 
by the periods of a standard local historian. 

In About Yorkshire, Mrs. Macquoid says of the people : 
"they seem to be a practical, sensible, but unimaginative 
race." " Practical " and " sensible," if you will ; but " un- 
imaginative " ? No ! Does not Mrs. Macquoid's pleasant 
book owe a great part of its charm to the superstition of 
those among whom she wandered ? and what is superstition 
but an enduring by-product of fancy ? Your tyke is too 
shrewd to flaunt his imagination ; but he has it notwith- 
standing ; and despite the labours of Canon Atkinson, 
Mr. Blakeborough, Mr. Marmaduke Morris and the rest, 
I believe the printing-press has hardly received a tithe 
of its creative bounty. I may come short of having 
gathered even a tenth of that : the thought is humiliating. 
I can only plagiarize Sir Isaac Newton : I have been like 
a child playing on the sea-shore, who eagerly picks up 
the shells that lie exposed within its reach, and leaves 



Preface. , xi 

thousands undiscovered in the pools, and in the secret 
places of the rocks. 

It was much easier to collect such treasure in my 
bucket, than it was to sort it afterwards, according to 
the prescription of the scientific. I have, in the main, 
worked on the plan set forth by Mr. Gomme in his 
Handbook of Folklore. In doubtful matters, I have occa- 
sionally used my own common sense, and, occasionally 
been glad to seek counsel of Mr. E. Sidney Hartland, 
whom I have had to thank, and still do thank, for much 
kindness and consideration. The many cross-references 
given will, it is to be hoped, prevent any great irritation 
or distress being felt by those who have to consult my 
pages, and who fail to find the object of their quest under 
what they may deem to be its proper heading. The 
printing of local names in " Clarendon " will also aid the 
hunter. In its own good time, our Society may further 
soothe, by producing the much-to-be-wished-for index to 
the u County Folk-lore " Series. 

It will be seen that I have acted on a most liberal 
interpretation of the term, folk-lore ; indeed I have more 
than once made spoil of what is interesting as mere 
survival, or as the debris of exploded institutions. The 
ringing of the curfew, for example, has perhaps no more 
to do with folk-lore than has the tinkling of a muffin-bell, 
yet, in imitation of fellow-labourers, I have registered a 
few instances of its continuance, and might have noted 
all met with in my reading, had I steadily regarded my 
work, " year in, year out," from the same point of view : 
a thing impossible. To the admirable stocks and other 
authorized and obsolete instruments of punishment, but 



xii Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

scanty space has been accorded : they have just as much, 
and just as little connexion with popular delusion and 
superstition as the nineteenth-century treadmill. 

There may be rubies and there must be rubbish among 
the items that I have brought together : their several 
values I have not felt it my duty to appraise. I have 
been careful not to exclude the statement of any writer 
merely because it runs counter to the testimony of other 
authors. A thing is not necessarily false, because not 
generally known, and it is at least possible that in some 
of the dales of the North Riding, or in out-of-the-way 
corners of it, there should be special observances, and 
strange departures from common custom, of which folk, 
within a few hill-impeded miles are either utterly unaware 
or entirely disregardful. Here be cases in point. I am 
assured in type, 1 and otherwise, that to extinguish the 
fire in the room of a person who dies, is the use of York 
septentrional ; but the late Canon Atkinson of Danby — 
a parish of which it was said that "if the Government 
had only known of Danby, they would have sent Napoleon 
there, instead of to St. Helena" — wrote more than thirty 
years ago, that the practice, even then hardly extinct in 
his district, was on no account to suffer the fire in the 
house to go out, as long as a corpse lay there. 2 I believe 
that the wish to have a dark man or boy as " first-foot " 
is all but universal in my " cure " ; yet a correspondent 
of Notes and 'Queries, who has since left this contradic- 
tious world, declared that a fair-haired visitor was its 
desideratum? Such discrepancies should not be too 
hastily set to the count of human error; they ought to 
1 Post p. 300. * Post p. 301. 3 Post p. 230. 



Preface. xiii 

be carefully remembered, and are not unworthy of being 
fought over. 

In a very few instances, I have been tempted, and have 
stooped, to include matter which had not hitherto been 
anointed with printers'-ink. I am bold enough to hope 
that readers will regret nothing but my extreme modera- 
tion. 

No part of the present collection has entailed more toil 

than SECTION I. which treats of the Folk-lore of Natural 

or Inorganic Objects. The North Riding is studded with all 

that is suggestive of story, and provocative of superstition, 

and though I have succeeded in getting together a goodly 

store of material, I have done so without attaining inward 

satisfaction. There are local names that of themselves 

excite a curiosity which yearns for legend as a sedative, 

and but too often gets it not. 1 Though Maypoles have 

degenerated into painted spars, and Garlands are, for the 

most part, paper, I have included them in SECTION II., 

in obedience to the Handbook, and because we ought to 

regard them as symbols of the living things they were 

in the beginning. My folk-lore garden would languish 

in their absence; and I am glad, too, to have a choice 

selection of extinct serpents or dragons to add to the 

attractions of the curtilage (SECTION III.) on the other side 

of the wall. SECTIONS IV.-VII. are, perhaps, fairly repre- 

1 Or gets it invented for the nonce. Such is " The Lost Legend of 
Carlin How," which the Yorkshire Herald found lately (March 23rd, 
1901) in the brain of a contributor. Carlin How is so called, forsooth, 
because when famine fell on Cleveland it was unexpectedly relieved 
bv the arrival at Skinningrove, hard by this How, of a ship laden with 
carlins= parched peas. [But see post pp. 241, 242.] In a generation 
or two, this may be presented as hoary tradition to the Folk- Lore 
Society. Verb. sap. 



xiv Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

sentative of subjects it would be impossible to exhaust. 
Thanks to Mr. William Camidge, to whose generosity we are 
all much indebted, York ghosts make a brave show, though 
this may perhaps be their final walk before the Board 
Schools lay them for ever. Mr. H. W. G. Markheim, one 
of H.M. Inspectors, was examining the Goathland Academe, 
when, as Mr. Stonehouse relates, 1 he said to the children 
" ' Now I just want to see what you can do in composition. 
I will give you a subject. It is a ghost story. You have 
heard of ghosts. Do you believe there are such things as 
ghosts ? ' A little fellow, to whom the question was put, 
began to wriggle about and look uncomfortable but he soon 
mustered courage to say ' No, sir.' ' Well,' said Mr. Mark- 
heim, ' I dare say some of the others are of a different 
opinion. Hands up, those who believe in ghosts.' But the 
children made no sign. ' Perhaps you don't quite under- 
stand,' said Mr. Markheim. ' Now,' — this he said very 
slowly — ' Hands up, those who don't believe in ghosts,' and 
up went every hand immediately. 'Bless me,' said the 
Inspector, 'why you are a lot of sceptics. You are far in 
advance of the children at Whitby. I put the same 
question to a class there the other day and there was quite 
a majority in favour of ghosts ! ' " 

Under Witchcraft (SECTION V.) and Magic and Divina- 
tion (Section VII.) I have indexed most of the pages about 
things " uncanny " in Canon Atkinson's Forty Years in a 
Moorland Parish and in Mr. Blakeborough's Wit, Character, 
Folklore and Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire; 
though, with the author's ready leave, I have also made 
a few quotations from the latter. Mr. Henderson's Notes 
1 Tom Keld's Hole (1880), pp. 63, 64. 



Preface. xv 

on the same subject, when they relate to the North Riding, 
are likewise referenced : this is to please the student, who 
wants to see at a glance what increased revelation of the 
occult practices of these latitudes there has been since the 
re-issue of that stimulating mixture, in the early days of the 
Folk-Lore Society. 

I have given but a sample of prescriptions under Leech- 
craft (Section vl). Mrs. Anne Saville's collection of 
receipts, printed at the end of the chapbook Life of Henry 
fenkins} from whom most of them are said to have come, 
has evidently been tampered with, inasmuch as a cup of 
tea, and the benefits of electric treatment, are referred to 
without any note of unfamiliarity, or sign of awe, by the 
" modern Methuselah " who was buried at Bolton-on-Swale 
in 1670, being, as his epitaph maintains, of "the amazing 
age of 169." I cannot, of course, declare that all his 
(or her) potions and poultices were articles of domestic 
faith in the North Riding ; and it is certain that the 
compilers of Arcana Fairfaxiana took their bien where- 
soever they found it, without yielding to prejudice in 
favour of local empiricism ; yet waifs and strays do gain 
a " settlement " in time, and I feel justified in granting 
native privileges to some of these. 

Of General Folk-lore (SECTION VIII.) but little is here set 
down. Those who print jottings thereupon too often 
neglect to name the habitat of any particular specimen ; 
and I have, as a rule, left everything in this division, and in 
all others, that is simply labelled " Yorkshire " — and, how 
numerous the items are ! — for the last worker on the last 
Riding to sweep up, with the newest of brooms. 
1 See post, p. xxxii. 



xvi Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Ideas of Future Life (SECTION IX.) are not easily 
obtained from any one, and the folk hereabout have not let 
many of theirs escape for the delectation of the inquisitive 
reader. Mr. Blakeborough's find, " A Dree Night," x is 
however a valuable pendant to the well-known " Lyke 
Wake Dirge." SECTIONS X. and XI. may tell their own 
tale ; while of SECTION XII. I need only say that, in citing 
the names of Games played in the North Riding, I by 
no means wish to imply that such diversions are joys 
unknown in other parts of the shire, and in the British 
Isles beyond. 

It appears to me that our Local Customs (SECTION 
XIII.) and Place and Personal Legends (SECTION XV.) are 
of unusual interest However frequently some of them 
may have appeared in books, it is well that the Folk-Lore 
Society should conserve them in one of its own. If ever a 
legend could lay claim to immortality it were surely that 
connected with the Penny-Hedge at Whitby 2 which still 
occasions annual ceremonial. Yet what says Mr. G. Markham 
Tweddell ? 3 "A few years ago, during* one of my press 
excursions, I called at the door of Ruswarp School-house, 
to inquire the best road to the site of the Eskdaleside 
Hermitage. The schoolmistress, an intelligent-looking 
young woman could give me no information on the subject ; 
for — though the legend had been fully told in prose in the 
Local Histories of Charlton, Young, Ord and Robinson, 
and had been sung more or less at length in verse by 
Sir Walter Scott, Mrs. Merryweather and Walker Ord — 
this teacher of history and geography to the future men 

1 See post pp. 225-227. 2 Post pp. 344-348. 

3 The Peoples History of Cleveland, p. 33. 



Preface. xvii 

and women of Ruswarp, had never heard of it, though 
living within three miles of the place." 

Section xiv., Tales and Ballads, offers a somewhat 
Barmecide feast, and we may leave it with an appetite, 
keen for good things which the literary larders of the 
North Riding certainly contain, and may, one day, " furnish 
forth." We should all rejoice that Mr. Blakeborough in- 
tends to publish some portion of his hoard of stories, which 
I wish he had been encouraged to relate in the dialect he 
speaks and writes with — as Lindley Murray hath it — 
"propriety." A southern reader might find it almost as 
easy to understand, as is the fashionable language of the 
" kail-yard " school. Mr. J. Horsfall Turner's design on 
the Ballads * weakens my regret that I have found so little 
of that kind of thing, undeniably of this district, to set my 
pen a-going. Of Jingles, Proverbs, Nicknames, etc., and — 
save the mark ! — Etymology, (Sections xvi.-xix.) I have, 
perhaps, " conveyed " less than some will look for : the 
previous activity of the Folk-Lore Society, and of special 
collectors outside its pale is, in part the cause of the 
scantiness of my gleaning. As regards Proverbs (SECTION 
XVII.) it is practically impossible to pick out one's own 
share. To distinguish those of the North Riding from 
those used on the opposite banks of the streams which 
enclose it, is a task that might have staggered Solomon 
himself. You may as well try to appropriate flies, 
playing about the window, to any particular pane, or claim 
property in the starlings which build about your house. 
Yorkshire people are certainly fond of proverbial ex- 
pressions, and here, if anywhere, "the wit of one" does 

1 Post p. 381. 



xviii Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

duty as " the wisdom of many " ; but it would be ridiculous 
to assume that even half of the racy saws they use were 
home-made. It is the rich, broad speech in which they 
are uttered, that naturalizes them, and that causes them to 
seem shrewder and rarer than sayings heard where men 
speak mincingly. " Half a loaf is better than no bread " is 
true enough ; but it comes short of the impressiveness of 
" Hawf a keeak is better than neea leeaf" ; and "Ya'll a'e 
ti crack t' shells afoor ya can coont t' kon'ls " might be an 
axiom of one of the Seven Sages vouchsafed in his mother- 
tongue. 

Mine is the pleasure of thanking, on behalf of the Folk- 
Lore Society, as well as on my own account, the various 
writers, editors, publishers, and representatives of penmen 
deceased, who have kindly permitted excerpts to be made 
from the books of unexpired copyright with which they 
are concerned. Whether we have asked little or much of 
our authors, etc., we have in no case but one had to brook 
refusal to reproduce their paragraphs. To the Rev. S. 
Baring-Gould, and to Mr. William Camidge of York, I am 
indebted for material, if chiefly ghostly, aid ; Mr. Blake- 
borough, who is a member of the Society, gave me a blank 
cheque to draw on his works, and was ever ready to confer 
when conference was needed ; the Rev. Marmaduke F. C. 
Morris made us welcome to such of his good things as my 
subject could assimilate ; while Mr. and Mrs. G. Markham 
Tweddell, and the Rev. T. Parkinson also admitted us, 
ungrudgingly, to their stores. We are allowed to profit by 
the industry of the Rev. J. E. Vaux, by Mrs. Macquoid's 
graphic narrations, and by the gentle folk-lore-loving Muse 
of the late Mrs. Phillips. Various helpful bits of infor- 



Preface. xix 

mation are due to Mr. Edmund Bogg of Leeds, whose 
" constitutionals " of a thousand miles, in several directions 
have resulted in the agreeably chatty volumes placed to his 
count in my Bibliography. To all these authors, we are 
truly grateful, as well as to others, some living, some 
dead, whose names I thread upon a string of thankful 
recognition. They are: Messrs. S. O. Addy, John 
Ashton, W. J. Belt, the Rev. J. N. Bromehead, Mr. H. 
Chetwynd-Stapylton, the Rev. A. N. Cooper, Messrs. 
Isaac Cooper, John Fisher, George Franks, William 
Grainge, George Hardcastle, R. C. Hope, Fredk. Ross, 
John Routh, the Rev. George Shaw, Messrs. Martin 
Simpson, Harry Speight, William Stonehouse, the Rev. 
Mackenzie E. C. Walcott and the Rev. C. Whaley. 

Editors have been very beneficent. The Editor of Notes 
and Queries, who "blesseth him that gives and him that 
takes," smiled on the bravery of Jack Horner when he 
thumbed so many North Riding plums from the pie ; the 
ruler of the Leisure Hour allowed the transference of some 
thrilling matter from its pages ; and I am able to give a 
very recent report of a Wishing- Well by favour of those 
who preside over the Temple Magazine. The firman of 
the Teesdale Mercury made me free of its Tales and Tradi- 
tions, and of The Lord Fitzhugh ; and Mr. J. Horsfall Turner 
was good enough to throw open the pages of the Yorkshire 
Folk-Lore Journal (now discontinued) which, however, 
unfortunately took more cognizance of the other Ridings 
than of that which Drayton termed the " elds't." Notes 
from Arcana Fairfaxiana are due to the courtesy of Mr. 
George Weddell. The Royal Archaeological Institute, 
the Surtees, North-Riding Record, and, sometime, English 



xx Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Dialect, Societies have granted all our petitions. What 
shall I say but " thanks and thanks and ever thanks " ? 

Acknowledgment of indebtedness to publishers may well 
begin with that to Messrs. Green and Son of Beverley, 
without whose permission the copious extracts from 
Messrs. Whellan's admirable compilation might not have 
been enjoyed. Messrs. Chatto and Windus gave readily 
what was asked for, as regards Mrs. Macquoid's About 
Yorkshire, and Mr. William Jones's Finger-Ring Lore; 
and they are in harmony with Mr. John Ashton in 
approving of our presentment of the bullet-proof " Boy." 
Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. allowed citation from the 
late Chancellor Raine's York in the " Historic Town 
Series " ; Messrs. Seeley and Co., Ltd., from Mr. Leyland's 
Yorkshire Coast ; Messrs. Skeffington & Son from Miss 
Arndld-Forster's Studies in Church Dedications ; Messrs. 
J. M. Dent and Co. from Mr. Fletcher's Picturesque History 
of Yorkshire ; Messrs. F. Warne and Co. from Mr. Timbs' 
Abbeys and Castles, etc., and the Romance of London ; Mr. 
B. T. Batsford from the book on Windows by Mr. Lewis 
Day. Messrs. Macmillan and Co., Ltd., endowed us with 
some quotations from Mr. Norway's Highways and Byways 
in Yorkshire, Miss Keary's Memoir of Annie Keary, Stephen 
Yorke's (Miss LinskilPs) Tales of the North Riding, and 
with two from the late Canon Atkinson's Forty Years in a 
Moorland Parish. I would fain have drawn deep draughts 
from the Danbeian spring, but there were reasons against 
the indulgence, and the tantalizing index I substitute for 
that for which we thirst, must serve. It is from Mrs. 
Atkinson, widow of its author, that I have leave to take 
such passages as it seems desirable to reproduce from the 



Preface. xx 

famous Glossary of the Cleveland Dialect. My gleaning in 
Mr. J. Brogden Baker's History of Scarborough and in Old- 
Yorkshire, 2nd Series, was justified by Messrs. Goodall 
and Suddick of Leeds ; Mr. Johnson of the same city, 
and Messrs. Bulmer of Penrith have let me enter their 
fields, and Mr. John Sampson of York has rendered 
more services than I can specify. That the Handbook for 
Travellers in Yorkshire lends help, is due to the favour of 
Mr. John Murray, who furthermore allowed the reproduc- 
tion of his " Horn of Ulphus " block. Messrs. Home and 
Son (Whitby), Mr. C. E. Cookes (Richmond), and Messrs. 
Rapp and Sons (Saltburn), publishers of useful Guides to 
their respective districts, have also forwarded my design. 
I beg that each and all of these benefactors will accept my 
acknowledgment of the value of such co-operation ; and 
that they, Miss Weatherill and Mr. Sutcliffe of Whitby, 
Mr. C. A. Federer of Bradford, and others, with whom 
I have corresponded during the progress of this work, 
will credit me with a just and grateful appreciation of 
their kindness. 

E. G. 

Holgate Lodge, York. 



LIST OF AUTHORITIES. 1 

Addy. Household Tales with other Traditional Remains collected 
in the Counties of York, Lincoln, Derby, and Nottingham. 
By Sidney Oldall Addy, M.A. Oxon. London 1895. 

Annals. The Annals of Yorkshire. Compiled by John Mayhall. 
Leeds 1861. 

Anthol. The Yorkshire Anthology, a Collection of Ancient and 
Modern Ballads, Poems, and Songs relating to the County 
of Yorkshire. Collected by James O. Halliwell, Esq., 
F.R.S., Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and 
the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the Society of 
Antiquaries, etc., London. Printed for Private Circulation 
only. MDCCCLI. 

Aram. The Trial and Life of Eugene Aram ; Several of his 
Letters and Poems, and his Plan and Specimens of an 
Anglo-Celtic Lexicon, with Copious Notes and Illustrations, 
and an engraved Fac-simile of the Handwriting of this 
very ingenious but ill-fated Scholar. Richmond, printed 
by and for M. Bell, 1832. 

Arcana. Arcana Fairfaxiana Manuscripta. A Manuscript 
Volume of Apothecaries' Lore and Housewifery nearly 
three centuries old, used and partly written by the Fairfax 
Family. Reproduced in facsimile of the handwritings. 
An Introduction by George Weddell. Newcastle-on-Tyne 
MDCCCXC. 

1 When a title or author's name is printed in Italics in the text, reference 
without direct citation is implied. 

xxiii 



xxiv Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N . Riding, etc.). 

Arnold-Forster. Studies in Church Dedications or England's 
Patron Saints. By Frances Arnold-Forster. 3 Vols. 
London 1899. 

Ashton. The Devil in Britain and America. By John Ashton, 
author of "Social England under the Regency," "Social 
Life in the Reign of Queen Anne," " Varia," etc. London 
1896. 

1 Atkinson. Forty Years in a Moorland Parish : Reminiscences 
and Researches in Danby in Cleveland. By Rev. J. C. 
Atkinson, D.C.L., Incumbent of the Parish. London 
1891. 

Atkinson (2). A Glossary of the Cleveland Dialect: Explana- 
tory, Derivative, and Critical. By the Rev. J. C. Atkin- 
son, Incumbent of Danby, in Cleveland, Domestic 
Chaplain to the late Viscount Downe. London 
MDCCCLXVIII. 

Aubrey. Miscellanies upon Various Subjects. By John Aubrey, 
F.R.S. The Fourth Edition. London 1857. 

Baker. A History of Scarbrough from the Earliest Date. By 
Joseph Brogden Baker. London 1882. 

Baring-Gould. Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events. 
By S. Baring-Gould, M.A. 2 Vols. 4th Edition. Lon- 
don 1880. Also revised edition in one volume, 1890. 

Baring-Gould (2). Strange Survivals: Some Chapters in the 
History of Man. By S. Baring-Gould, M.A. London 
1892. 

Baring-Gould (3). A Book of the West. Being an Introduction 
to Devon and Cornwall. By S. Baring-Gould. Vol. 1. 
Devon. London 1899. 

Barker. Historical and Topographical Account of Wensleydale. 
By W. G. M. Jones Barker, and edition. London 
1856. 

Bede. The Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England. 
Edited by J. A. Giles, D.C.L., late Fellow of Corpus 

1 Indexed only, except in two cases. 



List of Authorities. xxv 

Christi College, Oxford. (Bohn's edition.) London 
MDCCCLIX. 

Belt. The Story of Bossall Hall and Manor. By W. J. Belt, 
M.A., F.S.A., (Dei Baltho) of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister-at- 
Law, and Bossall Hall, York, Esquire. York 1885. 

Blackburne. The Register Booke of Lnglebye juxta Greenhow. 
As much as is esstant in the olde booke of Christenings 
Weddings and Burials inne the yeare of Our Lord 1539; 
by me John Blackburne, Curate. Canterbury 1889. 

Blakeborough. Wit, Character, Folklore, and Customs of the 
North Riding of Yorkshire. By Richard Blakeborough 
(Society Humorist), late Hon. Curator of the R.S.S. 
London 1898. 

Blakeborough (2) T' Hunt 0' Yatton Brigg. Old Songs of 
the Dales and Humorous Yorkshire Sketches. By Richard 
Blakeborough. 2nd edition. Guisborough 1899. 

Blakeborough (3). Articles in The Leeds Mercury Supplement 
of v. d., which are to be republished in book-form. 

Blount. Fragmenta Antiquitatis, or Ancient Tenures of Land, 
and Jocular Customs of Manors. Originally published by 
Thomas Blount, Esq., of the Inner Temple, enlarged 
and corrected by Josiah Beckwith, Gent., F.A.S., with 
considerable additions from authentic sources, by Her- 
cules Malebysse Beckwith. London 18 15. 

Bogg. A Thousand Miles in Wharfedale a?td the Basin of the 
Wharfe. By Edmund Bogg. Printed at Leeds [cir. 1892]. 

Bogg (2). Wensleydale and the Lower Vale of the Yore from 
Ouseburn to Lunds Fell. By Edmund Bogg. Leeds, n. d. 
[1899?]. 

Bogg (3). From Eden Vale to the Plains of York. By Edmund 
Bogg. Leeds and York, n. d. 

Bogg (4). A Thousand Miles of Wandering along the Roman 
Wall, the Old Border Region, Lakeland, and Ribblesdale. 
By Edmund Bogg. Leeds 1898. 



xxvi Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Brand. Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britai?i. 
By John Brand, M. A., Fellow and Secretary of the Society 
of Antiquaries of London. Arranged, Revised, and greatly 
Enlarged by Sir Henry Ellis, K.H., F.R.S., SecS.A., 
etc., Principal Librarian of the British Museum. 3 Vols. 
(Bohn's edition.) London MDCCCXLIX. 

Bromehead. A Sketch of the History of Acaster Math's. By J. 
Nowill Bromehead, sometime Vicar of the Parish. York 
1886. 

Browne. The History of the Metropolitan Church of St. Peter, 
York. By John Browne, Corresponding Member of the 
Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, of 
the British Archaeological Association, of the Society of 
Antiquaries of Scotland, etc., etc. London 1847. 

Bulmer. History, Topography, and Directory of North York- 
shire. Preston, T. Bulmer & Co., 1890. 

Cast. Hutt. Castellum Huttonicum. Some account of Sheriff 
Hutton Castle, etc., etc. York MDCCCXXIV. 

•Camden. Camden's Britannia. Newly translated into English, 
with large Additions and Improvements. Published by 
Edmund Gibson of Queen's College in Oxford. London 
1695. 

Camidge. Prom Ouse Bridge to Naburn Lock. By Mr. William 
Camidge. York 1890. 

Camidge (2). Ye Old Streete Of Pavemente. By Mr. W. 
Camidge. York [cir. 1893J. 

Camidge (3). The Ghosts of York. By Mr. William Camidge, 
F.R.H.S. York 1899. 

C. C. R. A Glossary of Words pertaining to the Dialect of Mid- 
Yorkshire, with others peculiar to Lower Nidderdale. By C. 
Clough Robinson. London MDCCCLXXVI. [English 
Dialect Society.] 

Chapbook. Life and Trial of Mary Bateman. London and 
Manchester: John Heywood; Leeds: C. H. Johnson, n.d. 



List of Authorities. xxvii 

Chapbook. Life and Adventures of Richard Turpin. London 
and Manchester : John Heywood ; Leeds : C. H. John- 
son, n.d. 

Charlton. A History of Whitby and of Whitby Abbey. By Lionel 
Charlton, teacher of the Mathematics at Whitby. York 
MDCCLXXIX. 

Chetwynd-Stapylton. The Stapletons of Yorkshire. Being the 
History of an English Family from very Early Times. By 
H. E. Chetwynd-Stapylton. London 1897. 

Clarkson. The History and Antiquities of Richmond, in the 
County of York. By Christopher Clarkson, Esq., F.S.A. 
Richmond 182 1. 

Clev. Rep. The Cleveland Repertory and Stokesley Advertiser. 
Three volumes in One. From January 1st, 1845, to 
December 1st, 1845. Stokesley. 

Cobley. On Foot through Wharfedale. Descriptive and His- 
torical Notes of the Towns and Villages of Upper and 
Lower Wharfedale. By Fred. Cobley. Otley, n.d. 

Cole. History and Antiquities of Filey, in the County of York. 
By John Cole. Scarborough 1828. 

Cookes. A Guide to Richmond and the Neighbourhood. Includ- 
ing Swaledale, Wharfedale, and Teesdale. Richmond, 
Yorks. Printed and Published by C. E. Cookes, High 
Row. n.d. 

Cooper. A Guide to Filey \ By A.'N. Cooper. Filey 1893. 

Davies. Walks through the City of York. By Robert Davies, 
F.S.A. Edited by his Widow. Westminster 1880. 

Davies (2). The Horn of Ulphus. By Robert Davies, F.S.A. 
n.d. An over-print from the Archceological Journal, vol. 
xxvi. pp. 1- IT. 

Day. Windows. A Book about Stained Glass. By Lewis F. 
Day, author of " Nature in Ornament " and other Text- 
books of Design. London 1897. 



xxviii Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Denham. The Denham Tracts. A Collection of Folklore. By 
Michael Aislabie Denham, and reprinted from the Origi- 
nal Tracts and Pamphlets printed by Mr. Denham 
between 1846 and 1859. Edited by Dr. James Hardy. 
2„Vols. London 1893 and 1895 [F.-L.S.]. 

Depositions. Depositions from the Castle of York, relating to 
Offences committed in the Northern Counties in the 17th 
Century. Edited by Rev. J. Raine, M.A. Durham 1861. 
[Surtees Society.] 

Description. An accurate Description and History of the 
Cathedral and the Metropolitical Church of St. Peter, York, 
from its Foundation to the present Year. 3rd Edition. 
York MDCCXC. 

Dialogue. A Dialogue, or rather a Parley between Prince 
Rupert's Dogge, whose name is Pvddle, and Tobies' dog, 
whose name is Pepper, etc. Whereunto is added the Chal- 
leng which Prince Griffins Dogg called Towzer, hath sent 
to Prince Ruperts Dogg Pvddle in the behalfe of honest 
Pepper Tobies Dogg. Moreover the said Prince Griffin 
is newly gone to Oxford to lay the wager and make up the 
Match. Printed at London for I. Smith, 1643. 

Dinsdale. Ballads and Songs by David Mallet. A new edition 
with Notes and Illustrations and a Memoir of the Author. 
By Frederick Dinsdale, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A. London 
1857- 

Drake. Eboracum or the History and Antiquities of the City of 
York from its Original to the Present Time. By Francis 
Drake of the City of York, Gent, F.R.S., and Member of 
the Society of Antiquaries. London MDCCXXXVI. 

Eastmead. Historia Rievallensis. Containing the History of 
Kirby Moorside, and an account of the most important 
Places in the Vicinity, etc. By the Rev. W. Eastmead, 
author of " Observations on Human Life," and Honorary 
Member of the Yorkshire, Hull, and Whitby Literary and 
Philosophical Societies. London 1824. 



List of Authorities. xxix 

Elegy. A Dog's Elegy or Ruperts Tears. For the late Defeat 
given him at Marston moore neer York by the Three 
Renowned Generalls Alexander Earl of Leven Generall of 
the Scottish Forces, Fardinando Lord Fairfax, and the Earle 
of Manchester, Generalls of the English Forces in the 
North. Where his beloved Dog named Boy was killed by 
a Valliant Soldier, who had skill in Necromancy. Like- 
wise the strange breed of this Shagg'd Cavalier whelfid of a 
Malignant Water-witch. With all his Tricks and Feats. 

Sad Cavalier Rupert invites you all, 
That doe survive, to his Dog's Funerall, 
Close-mourners are the Witch, Pope, and Devill, 
That much lament yo'r late befallen evill. 

Printed at London for G. B., July 27, 1644. 

Fast. Ebor. Fasti Eboracenses. Lives of the Archbishops of 
York. By the Rev. W. H. Dixon, M.A., Canon Residen- 
tary of York, etc. Edited and enlarged by the Rev. James 
Raine, M.A., Secretary of the Surtees Society. Vol. I. 
[all published]. London 1863. 

Fawcett. Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of Scarborough, 
Yorkshire. By the Rev. Joshua Fawcett, A.M., Incum- 
bent of Wibsey, Bradford, Yorkshire, and Chaplain to the 
Right Hon. Lord Dunsany. London 1848. 

Fisher. The History and Atttiquities of Masham and Masham- 
shire. By John Fisher, Esq. London 1865. 

Fitzhugh. The Lord Fitzhugh and His Neighbour Lord Baliol, or 
the Parish Magazine. A monthly illustrated periodical 
localised for both sides of the Tees. Barnard Castle, 
n.d. 

Five Wonders. The Five strange Wonders in the North and 
West of England. London 1659. 

Fletcher. A Picturesque History of Yorkshire. Founded on 
Personal Observation. By J. S. Fletcher. London. 
Vol. I. 1899. Vol. II. 1900. 

Franks. Ryedale and North Yorkshire Antiquities. By George 
Franks. 3rd edition. London 1888. 



xxx Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N, Riding, etc.). 

G. A. W. The Well of Roan. A Poem. By G. A. W. Rich- 
mond. Printed for the author by M. Bell, 1830. 

Gent. The Antient and Modern History of the Famous City of 
York; and in a particular Manner of its magnificent Cathe- 
dral commonly called York Minster . . . down to the 
Third Year of the Reign of His Present Majesty King 
George the Second, etc. The whole diligently collected 
by T. G. Sold by Thomas Hammond, Jun., Bookseller 
in High Ousegate ; at the Printing Office in Coffee Yard : 
And by A. Bettesworth in Pater-Noster-Row, London. 
MDCCXXX. 

Gent. Mag. The Gentleman 's Magazine and Historical Review. 
London, v.d. 

Gill. Vallis Eboracensis : comprising the History and Antiqui- 
ties of Easingwold and its Neighbourhood. By Thomas 
Gill. London 1852. 

Gomme. The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and 
Ireland, with Tunes, Singing-Rhymes and Methods of 
Playing, according to the Variants Extant and Recorded 
in different Parts of the Kingdom. Corrected and anno- 
tated by Alice Bertha Gomme. 2 Vols. London 1894 
and 1898. 

Grainge. The Vale of Mowbray. A Historical and Topo- 
graphical Account of Thirsk and its Neighbourhood. By 
William Grainge. London 1859. 

Grainge (2). The Battles and Battlefields of Yorkshire. By 

William Grainge. London 1854. 
Graves. The History of Cleveland in the North Riding of the 

County of York. By the Rev. John Graves. Carlisle 

1808. 

Halliwell. Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales. A Sequel to 
the Nursery Rhymes of England. By James Orchard 
Halliwell, Esq. London MDCCXLIX. 

Handbook. A Hand-book to the Antiquities in the Grounds and 
Museum of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. By the late 
Rev. Charles Wellbeloved . . . 7th edition. York 188 1. 



List of Authorities. xxxi 

Hardcastle. Wanderings in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. By George 
Hardcastle. Sunderland 1864. 

Hargrove. History and Description of the Ancient City of York. 
2 Vols. By William Hargrove. York 18 18. 

Helmsley. Helmsley, or Reminiscences of 100 Years Ago, to 
which is added a Guide to the Locality, with Descriptive 
Notes. By Isaac Cooper. [Republished from Yorkshire 
Gazette of 1887.] York, n.d. 

1 Henderson. Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of 
England and the Borders. A new Edition, with many 
additional Notes. By William Henderson, author of 
" My Life as an Angler." London 1879. [F.-L.S.] 

Hone, T. B. The Table Book of Daily Recreation and Infor- 
mation, etc. By William Hone. London 1827. (Re- 
print.) 

Hone, Y. B. The Year Book of Daily Recreation and Informa- 
tion, etc. London 1832. (Reprint.) 

Hope. The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England, 
including Rivers, Lakes, Fountains, and Springs. By 
Robert Charles Hope, F.S.A., F.R.S.S., Peterhouse, Cam- 
bridge, Lincoln's Inn, Member of the Council of the East 
Riding of Yorkshire Antiquarian Society. London 1893. 

Horne. Guide to Whitby. 4th edition. Whitby 1895. 

Hoveden. The Annals of Roger de Hoveden, comprising the 
History of England and other Countries of P^urope, from 
a.d. 732 to a.d. 1201. Translated from the Latin, with 
Notes and Illustrations, by Henry T. Riley, Esq., B.A., 
Barrister-at-Law. In two volumes. (Bohn's edition.) 
London MDCCCLIII. 

H. Tr. A Description of Cleveland in a letter addressed by H. 
Tr. to Sir T. Chaloner. [From the MS. Cotton. Julius 
F. VI., p. 431.] Printed in the Topographer and Genea- 
logist, edited by John Gough Nichols. Vol. ii., pp. 
405-430. London 1853. 

^Partially indexed, sub, Sections V. and VII. 



xxxii Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Hutton. A Tour to Scarborough in 1803, including a particular 
Survey of the City of York. By W. Hutton, F.A.S.S. 
2nd edition. London 1817. 

Ingledew. The History and Antiquities of Northallerton, in the 
County of York. By C J. Davison Ingledew, Esq., of the 
Middle Temple, F.G.H.S. London MDCCCLVIIL 

Ingledew (2). The Ballads and Songs of Yorkshire. Transcribed 
from private Manuscripts, Rare Broadsides, and Scarce 
Publications, with Notes and a Glossary. By C. J. 
Davison Ingledew, M.A., Ph.D., F.G.H.S. London i860. 

Jenkins. The Only Genuine and Authentic Edition of the Life 
and Memoirs of that Surprising and Wonderful Man, 
Henry Jenkins, commonly called Old Jenkins of Ellerton- 
upon-Swale, in Yorkshire, who lived to the astonishing age 
of 169 Years and upwards, which is seventeen years longer 
than old Parr, and the oldest man to be met with in the 
Annals of England. Written from his own dictation at the 
age of One Hundred and Sixty-three Years. By Mrs. 
Anne Saville of Bolton, in Yorkshire, where a Monument 
is erected to his Memory by Public Subscription, an 
Abstract of which was published in the 3rd Volume of 
Philosophical Transactions, and also under his Print by 
Worlodge. Printed for the Editor by J. A. Gilmour, 
Market Place, Salisbury. [This chap-book, which pro- 
fesses to be a re-publication Mrs. Saville's, has 32 pp. 
devoted to " A Collection of 604 Valuable Receipts 
given to Mrs. Saville by Henry Jenkins. N.B. — All these 
receipts which have either of these marks * f were proved 
by Mrs. Saville."] 

Jones. Finger-Ring Lore, Historical, Legendary, and Anecdotal. 
By William Jones, F.S.A. London 1877. 

Keary. Memoir of Annie Keary. By her Sister. (2nd thousand.) 
London 1882. 

Kendrew's Chap-book. The Lives of Dick Turpin and William 
Nevison, Two Notorious Highwaymen. Containing an 
account of all their adventures until their Trial and Execu- 
tion at York. York, n.d. 



List of Authorities. xxxiii 

Leeds. The Dialect of Leeds and its Neighbourhood. Illustrated 
by Conversations and Tales of Common Life, etc., to 
which are added a Copious Glossary; Notices of the 
various Antiquities, Manners, and Customs, and General 
Folk-lore of the District. London MDCCCLXII. 

Leland. The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary. In nine 
volumes. Published by Mr. Thomas Hearne. The third 
edition printed from Mr. Hearne's corrected copy in the 
Bodleian Library. Oxford MDCCLXX. 

Leland (2). Joannis Lelandi Antiquarii de Rebus Britannicis 
Collectanea. Cum Thomae Hearni Praefatione, Notis et 
Indice ad Editionem primam Eddio altera. Londini 
MDCCLXXIV. Six volumes. 

Leyland. The Yorkshire Coast and the Cleveland Hills and 
Dales. By John Leyland. London 1892. 

L. H. The Leisure Hour. A Family Journal of Instruction and 
Recreation. London, v.d. 

Longstaffe. Richmondshire, Its Ancient Lords and Edifices. 
By W. Hylton Longstaffe, Esq. London 1852. 

Longstaffe (2). The History and Antiquities of the Parish of 
Darlington. By W. Dyer Longstaffe, Esq. Darlington 
1854. 

Lucky Discovery. The Lucky Discovery, or the Tanner of York. 
A Ballad Opera as it was acted at the Theatre Royal in 
Covent Garden. London [1738.] 

Macquoid. About Yorkshire. By Thomas and Katharine Mac- 
quoid. London 1883. 

Marmion. Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet. In 
eleven volumes. Vol. VI. Edinburgh 1830. 

Marshall. Provincialisms of East Yorkshire, more especially 
of the Eastern Moorlands and the Vale of Pickering. Re- 
printed by the E.D.S. (1873) from pp. 303-366 of the 
second volume of " The Rural Economy of Yorkshire," 
by Mr. Marshall. London 1788. 



xxxiv Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Memoirs. The Memoirs of Sir Hugh Cholmley, Knt. and Bart. 
Addressed to his two sons. . . . Taken from an original 
MS. in his own Handwriting, now in the possession of 
Nathaniel Cholmley, of Whitby and Howsham, in the 
County of York, Esquire. MDCCLXXXVII. 

Mia and Charlie. Mia and Charlie, or a Week's Holiday at 
Ryedale Rectory. London 1856. 

Morris. Yorkshire Folk-Talk. By Revd. M. C. F. Morris, 
B.C.L., M.A., Vicar of Newton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire. Lon- 
don 1892. 

Murray. Handbook for Travellers in Yorkshire. London 1874. 

N. and Q. Notes and Queries. A Medium of Intercommunica- 
tion. London 1849 — 1899. 

Northall. English Folk-Rhymes. A Collection of Traditional 
Verses relating to Places and Persons, Customs and 
Superstitions. By G. F. Northall. London 1892. 

Northallerton. A History of Northallerton, in the County of 
York. Northallerton 17 91. 

Norway. Highways and Byways in Yorkshire. By Arthur H. 
Norway. London 1899. 

O. Y. Old Yorkshire. Edited by William Smith, F.S.A.S. 5 
vols. London 1881 and v.d. 2nd Series, edited by W. 
Wheaton. Vol. I. London 1885. 

Ord. The History and Antiquities of Cleveland. By John Walker 
Ord, F.G.S.L. London 1846. 

Parkinson. Yorkshire Legends and Traditions, as told by her 
Ancient Chroniclers, her Poets, and Journalists. By the 
Rev. Thomas Parkinson, F.R.HistS., Member of the 
Surtees Society, The Yorkshire Archaeological and Topo- 
graphical Association, Vicar of North Otterington. 
London, 1st Series, 1888. 2nd Series, 1889. 

Phillips. The Rivers, Mountains, and Sea Coast of Yorkshire. 
By John Phillips, M.A., F.R.S., Deputy Reader in 
Geology in the University of Oxford. 2nd Subscribers' 
edition. London 1855. 



List of Authorities. xxxv 

Phillips (S. K.). On the Seaboard and Other Poems. By Susan 
K. Phillips. 2nd edition. London 1879. 

Plenderleath. The White Horses of the West of England,- 
with Notices of some other Ancient Turf-Monuments. By 
the Rev. W. C. Plenderleath, M.A., Rector of Charhill, 
Wilts. London, n.d. 

Poly-olbion. The Works of Michael Drayton, Esq. In four 
volumes. London MDCCLIII. Vol. II. Songs 1 — 8, 
Vol. III. Songs 9 — 30. 

Raine. York. (Historic Towns Series.) By James Raine, M. A., 
D.C.L., Chancellor and Canon Residentiary of York, and 
Secretary of the Surtees Society. London 1893. 

Records. The North Riding Record Society, for the publication of 
original Documents relating to the North Riding of York- 
shire. Quarter Sessions Records, " Minutes and Orders." 
Edited by the Rev. J. C. Atkinson. London 1884, etc. 

Reresbv. The Memoirs of the Honourable Sir John Reresby, 
Bart., and Last Governor of York. Published from his- 
original Manuscript. London 1734. 

Richmond. The History of Richmond in the County of York. 
Including a description of the Castle, Friary, Easby Abbey, 
etc. Richmond 18 14. 

Ritson. The Yorkshire Garland. Being a Curious Collection 
of old and new Songs concerning that famous County. 
Edited by the late Joseph Ritson, Esq. Part I. York 
MDCCLXXXVIII. (Reprinted 1809.) 

Robinson. A Glossary of Words used in the Neighbourhood of 
Whitby. By F. K. Robinson of Whitby. London 
MDCCCLXXVI. [E.D.S.] 

Rokeby. The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet. In 
eleven volumes. Vol. VIII. Edinburgh 1830. 

Ross. Celebrities of the Yorkshire Wolds. By Frederick Ross, 
F.R.Hist.S. and Member of the English Dialect Society- 
Author of " The Progress of Civilization," etc. London 
1878. 



xxxvi Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Routh. Rambles in Wensleydale and Swaledale. By J. Routh, 
Hawes, n.d. 

Saltburn. Guide to Saltbum-by-the-Sea and all Places of Interest 
in. the Neighbourhood. Saltburn-by-the-Sea 1895. 

Scarb. Rep. The Scarborough Repository. Art. on " Delinea- 
tions of Ancient and Modern Manners and Customs." 
August 1824. 

Schofield. A Historical and Descriptive Guide to Scarborough 
and its Environs. York. Printed for James Schofield, 
bookseller in Scarborough, n.d. [cir. 1787?]. 

Shaw. Our Filey Fishermen. With Sketches of their Manners, 
Customs, and Social Habits and Religious Conditions. By 
the Rev. George Shaw. London 1867. 

Shaw (2). Rambles about Filey. By George Shaw. London 
1867. 

Shipton. Mother Shipton. A Collection of the Earliest Editions 
of her Prophecies. 1. Prophecies of Mother Shipton, 164 1. 
2. Strange and Wonderful History of Mother Shipton, 
1686. 3. Life and Death of Mother Shipton, 1684. With 
an Introduction. Manchester, n.d. 

Simpson. A Guide to Whitby and the Neighbourhood. By Martin 
Simpson. Whitby, n.d. 

Speight. Romantic Richmondshire. Being a complete account 
of the History, Antiquities, and Scenery of the Picturesque 
Valleys of the Swale and Yore. By Harry Speight. 
London 1897. 

Stonehouse. Tom Keld's Hole. A Story of Goathland, N.E. 
Yorkshire. By W. Stonehouse. 2nd edition. Whitby 
1880. 

Strange News. Strange News from the North. London 1650. 

Strangers' Guide. The Strangers' Guide through the City of 
York and its Cathedral. 8th edition. York 1844. 

Tales and Traditions. Tales and Traditions from the "Teesdale 
Mercury." Part II. Barnard Castle 1885. 



List of Authorities. xxxvii 

Temp. Mag. Temple Magazine, January 1900. London. Art. 
" A Pagan Shrine in Yorkshire." By Frederic Lees and 
Robert Baines. 

Thirsk. The History of Thirsk. Including an Account of its once 
celebrated Castle, Topcliffe, Byland, and Rievalx Abbeys, 
etc., etc. Thirsk 182 1. 

Timbs. Abbeys, Castles, and Ancient Halls of England and 
Wales. By John Timbs. Re-edited, revised, and en- 
larged by Alexander Gunn. 3 Vols. (Chandos Library.) 
London, n.d. 

Timbs (2). The Romance of London. By John Timbs, F.S.A. 
(Chandos Library.) 3 Vols. London, n.d. 

Trial. The Trial, Conviction, Condemnation, Confession, and 
Execution of William Smith for poisoning his Father-in- 
Law, William Harper, and William and Anne Harper, his 
Children, at Ingleby Manor, in Yorkshire, by mixing 
Arsenick in a Good Friday Cake, who was tried on Mon- 
day, the 13th of August, at the Assizes held at the Castle 
in York, before Mr. Sergeant Eyre, and executed on 
Wednesday the 15th, and afterwards dissected by the Sur- 
geons of that Place. London MDCCLIII. 

Tweddell. Rhymes and Sketches to Illustrate the Cleveland 
Dialect. 2nd edition. By Mrs. G. M. Tweddell {Flor- 
ence Cleveland). Stokesley 1892. 

Tweddell, G. M. Glossary [appended to the foregoing work] 
abridged from " The People's History of Cleveland and 
its Vicinage." By George Markham Tweddell, Fellow of 
the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries, Corresponding 
Member of the Royal Historical Society, Honorary Mem- 
ber of the Manchester Literary Club, and of the Whitby 
Literary and Philosophical Society. 

Twyford and Griffiths. Records of York Castle, Fortress, Court- 
House, and Prison. By A. W. Twyford, Governor of H.M. 
Prison, York Castle, and Major Arthur Griffiths, author 
of " Memoirs of Milbank," etc. London MDCCCLXXX. 

Under a Cloud. Under a Cloud. By the author of "The 
Atelier du Lys," etc. London n.d. 



xxxviii Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.), 

Vaux. Church Folklore. A Record of some Post-Reformation 
Usages in the English Church, now mostly obsolete. By 
the Rev. J. Edward Vaux, M,A., F.S.A. London 1894. 

Walcott. Traditions and Customs of Cathedrals. By Mackenzie 
E. C. Walcott, B.D. London 1872. 

Webster. The Displaying of supposed Witchcraft. By John 
Webster, Practitioner in Physick. London 1677. 

Wendover. Roger of Wendover's Flowers of History, comprising 
the History of England from the Descent of the Saxons to 
a.d. 1235. Formerly ascribed to Matthew Paris. Trans- 
lated from the Latin by J. A. Giles, D.C.L., late Fellow 
of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In Two Volumes. 
(Bohn's edition.) London MDCCCXLIX. 

Wensleydale. Guide to Wensleydale, its Picturesque Scenery 
and Objects of Interest. By a Native Admirer. Hawes, 
n.d. P1878]. 

West. The First Part of Symboleography, which may be termed 
the Art or Description of Instruments and Presidents. 
Collected by William West of the Inner Temple, Esquire, 
and now newly augmented with divers Presidents, touching 
Merchants Affaires. London 1622. 

The Second Part of Symboleography. Newly corrected 
and amended. 16 18. 

W. Gazette. The Whitby Gazette, a weekly paper. Whitby. 

Whaley. The Parish of Askrigg, in the County of York, includ- 
ing Low Abbotside and Bainbridge. Its History, Associa- 
tions, Customs, Trades, Celebrities, etc. By the Rev. C. 
Whaley, M.A., Vicar of Askrigg. London [cir. 1891]. 

Whellan. History and Topography of the City of York and the 
North Riding of Yorkshire. By T. Whellan & Co. 2 
vols. Beverley 1859. 

Whibley. A Book of Scoundrels. By Charles Whibley. Lon- 
don 1897. 

Whitaker. An History of Richmondshire, in the North Riding 
of the County of York, etc. By Thomas Dunham Whit- 
aker, LL.D., F.S.A. 2 Vols. London 1823. 



List of Authorities. xxxix 

Whitby Mag. The Whitby Magazine and Monthly Literary 
Journal. Whitby, v.d. [Began 1827.] 

Whitby Rep. The Whitby Repository and Monthly Miscellany. 
Religious, Sentimental, Literary, and Scientific. Whitby. 
Home, v.d. from 1825. A New Series, published by 
Kirby, began in 1831, and The Whitby Repository or Album 
of Local Literature, New Series, was issued by King, 
1866, etc. 

White. A Month in Yorkshire. By Walter White. London 
1858. 

Wonder. The Wonder of Wonders, or Strange News from New- 
ton in York-shire. Being a True and Perfect Relation of a 
Gentleman turn'd into a statue of Stone, which Statue 
stands now in the Garden of Goodman Wilford, a suffi- 
cient Farmer living in the same Town, Together with the 
occasion of the Fright upon Himself, Wife, and Maid, by 
four Persons upon the 12th of May, 1675. Set forth to 
prevent Surreptitious Reports. Printed in the year 1675. 

Y. F. Yorkshire Folk-Lore Journal, with Notes Comical and 
Dialectic. Edited by J. Horsfall Turner, Idel, Bradford. 
Vol. I. Bingley 1888. [Subsequently incorporated with 
" Yorkshire Notes and Queries."] 

Y. G. The Yorkshire Gazette, a weekly newspaper. York. 

Y. H. The York and Yorkshire Herald, a daily newspaper. 
York. 

Yorke. Tales of the North Riding. By Stephen Yorke. 2 
vols. London 1871. 

Young. A History of Whitby and Streoneshalh Abbey, etc. By 
the Rev. George Young. 2 vols. Whitby 181 7. 



FOLK-LORE OF THE 
NORTH RIDING, Etc., OF YORKSHIRE 

SECTION I. 
NATURAL OR INORGANIC OBJECTS. 

HILLS AND CLIFFS. 

Freeburgh. or Freebrough Hill. Freeb rough Hill [five miles 
S. of Castleton is] a remarkable circular elevation, like a 
gigantic tumulus. An almost extinct piece of folk-lore 
asserts that Arthur and his knights lie within the hill, like 
the great Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in the vaults of 
Kifhauser, ready to start forth in their appointed season . [1] 
It is natural, since a sand-stone quarry has been opened in 
its side ; but the name indicates that the court of the Anglian 
' Freeburgh ' or Tything (above which was the Hundred 
court) used to assemble here. (There is another such 
conical hill at Fryup, and Whorlton Hill is of the same 
character, though less pointed.) — MURRAY, p. 228. 

See also under Place, &c, Legends ; Richmond Castle, 
p. 406. 

*[It was John Hall Stevenson, author of Crazy Tales, who, in 
A Cleveland Prospect (1736), wrote the often repeated line quoted 
by ORD, p. 265 : 

' Freebro's huge mount immortal Arthur's tomb.' 
Bulmer scruples not to declare (p. 97) : 'Its connection with the 
illustrious and mythical Arthur exists only in the imagination of 
the poet ' — whether of Stevenson, or of the whole genus, is not clear.] 

A 



2 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Pudding -pye Hill, Nr. Sowerby, Thirsk. The popular 
legend is that this hill was raised by the Fairies, who 
had their residence within ; and if any person should 
run nine times round it, and then stick a knife into the 
centre of the top, then place their ear to the ground, they 
would hear the Fairies conversing inside. — GRATNGE, 
p. 167. 

Roseberry. Towards the weste there stands a highe hill 
called Roseberry Toppinge, which is a marke to the seamen 
and an almanacke to the vale, for they have this ould ryme 
common, 

' When Roseberrye Toppinge weares a cappe 
. Let Cleveland then beware a clappe.' 

For indeed yt seldome hath a cloude on yt that some yll 
weather shortly followes yt not, when not farre from thence 
on a mountayne's syde there are cloudes almoste contynu- 
ally smoakinge, and therefore called the Di veil's Kettles, 
which notwithstandinge prognostycate neither good nor 
badde ; . . . yt hath somtymes had an hermitage on yt, 
and a small smith's forge cut out of the rock, together 
with a clefte or cut in the rocke called St. Winifryd's 
Needle, whither blynde devotyon led many a syllie soule, 
not without hazard of a breaknecke tumblinge caste, 
while they attempted to put themselves to a needlesse 
payne creepyng through that needle's eye. — H. Tr., pp. 
409, 410. 

Roulston Scar, Hambleton Hills. In some parts the rock 
is perpendicular, and has the appearance of an irregularly 
built castle. The foreground of this for fifty or one hundred 
yards is covered with massive blocks of stone, evidently 
thrown off by some convulsion of nature. On the side 
of the rocky wall is a fissure opening into a small, narrow 
cavern, called the Devil's parlour, from the common dis- 
position to attribute what is at once gloomy and marvellous 



Hills and Cliffs. 3 

to infernal agency, — especially when in any way connected 
with heathen worship, of which there are not wanting tradi- 
tions in the immediate vicinity. For instance, the vale 
below dividing Roulston Crag from Hood Hill is called 
' The Happy Valley' but the intermediate distance is less 
auspiciously named ' The Devil's Leapl for which this 
reason is given by the village oracles. The Happy Valley 
was a famous retreat of the ancient Druids, who without 
molestation or disturbance had for centuries practised their 
incantations upon the poor deluded inhabitants. When the 
first Christian missionaries visited Yorkshire, they sought 
out the hidden retreats of Druidism, and one of them had 
penetrated the Happy Valley to the no small dismay of 
the Druidical priest. The ancient Britons listened patiently 
to the statements of the Christian missionary, weighed the 
evidences in their own minds, and were perplexed as to 
their future procedure. In this dilemma a conference 
was appointed, in which the advocates of Druidism and 
Christianity were to meet in public contest in order to 
decide which of the two systems had the best claim 
to their worship and submission. The meeting, as usual, 
was appointed in the open air, at the foot of Roulston 
Crag. The intellectual assailants met, and the devil, in 
the garb of a Druidical priest, came with the worshippers 
of Baal. 

Hood Hill. The Evil One placed his foot on one of those 
mountain rocks, and being foiled in his arguments by the 
powerful reasoning of the missionary, flapped his brazen 
wings and fled across the valley with the stone adhering 
to his foot, the heat of which (they say) melted a hole in 
the top, until he came to the ridge of Hood Hill, where he 
dropped the massive block, leaving the missionary the 
undisputed master of the field. This account will of 
course be received as a legend, but it is a matter of fact 
that a large stone weighing from sixteen to twenty tons of 
the same rock as Roulston Scar, is deposited on the ridge 



4 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

of Hood Hill, bearing a mark on the top not unlike a large 
footprint. — Gill, pp. 224, 225. 

Whitestone Cliff. I am well acquainted with the Ham- 
bletons, and therefore with that part of the range called the 
Whitestone Cliff, sometimes called White-Mare-Crag, but 
more generally by the population of the neighbourhood the 
White Mear — which latter is simply a corruption of White 
Mare. The legend ... is variously told, according to the 
imagination of those who relate it. In my boyhood its 
most popular form was this — that a white mare on which 
was mounted a young lady, an only child, took fright and 
bounded over the cliff, and by some relators it was stated 
that the remains of the young lady were never found. I 
think it more probable that the name was derived from the 
supposed resemblance of the face of the cliff to an object 
of worship by the ancient Britons — T. B., N. & Q., 3rd 
S., vol. vi., p. 4I9- [1] 

The cliff is of limestone, and derives its name from its 
colour — White-stone Cliff. The appellation White Mare, 
sometimes given to it, is said to be from an unruly racer of 
that colour which broke from the training ground near at 
hand, and with her rider leaped down the cliff. A doggerel 
rhyme, current in the neighbourhood, says : 

' When Hambleton Hills are covered with corn and hay, 
The white mare of Whit'sn' cliff will lead it away.' 

Grainge, p. 354. 

It is more probable that it received its name from some 
fancied resemblance, if not artificial similitude in the face of 
the rock, to a well-known object of British idolatrous 
worship, such as that which gave the name to the Vale 

1 [A legend of the ' Ingoldsby ' type concerning the Cliff is told by 
the Rev. Richard Abbay, M.A., in a volume of verse entitled The 
Castle of Knaresbro and the White Mare of Whitestone Cliff. The 
story, which the present collector takes to be a clever figment, is given 
in an abridged form by Parkinson, 2nd S., pp. 95-100.] 



Hills and Cliffs. 5 

of White Horse in Berkshire. — -WHELLAN, vol. ii., 
p. 678W 

STONES. 

Blakey Topping, etc. Brides tones. — Picturesque pillars of 
rock on our moors, particularly near Blakey Topping, at 
which love and marriage ceremonies were practised in 
former times, as these rites of the ancient Britons are 
recorded to have taken place near their Cromlechs or altar- 
stones. Formed by long aqueous and atmospheric action 
dispersing the softer parts and leaving the harder standing 
(such being the cause assigned for their appearance), one 
among the shapes has been likened to a gigantic mush- 
room, being 30 feet high, 20 feet broad at the top, on 
a stalk only three feet broad in one part and seven feet in 
another. — ROBINSON, pp. 26, 27. 

[High Bride Stones and Low Bride Stones are on Sleights 
Moor, and the Bride Stones on Blakey Moor. — See YOUNG, 
vol. ii., pp. 665, 775.] 

Gatherley Moor. It is said that the devil was once very 
much vexed with the Hartforth people, who were perhaps 
too good for him ; finding a stone of enormous bulk and 
weight, to the south of Gilling, his majesty, in his rage, 

1 The figure of a white horse is visible on the brow of the Hambleton 
hills. It was cut in 1857 under the direction of a Mr. Taylor, born at 
Kilburn (a village under the hill), who, living in London, wished to 
render his native district conspicuous by this rival of the famous 
Berkshire steed. The white effect is produced by lime laid on the 
earth from which the turf has been removed. It covers nearly two 
acres. — MURRAY, p. 236. Its total length is 180 feet, the height 80 
feet. — T. B., N. & Q., 3rd S., vol. vi., p. 420. [Plenderleath, 
p. 31, who tells of this performance, speaks also on the same page of a 
horse " on Roulston Hill, near Northwaite in Yorkshire . . . measur- 
ing about 30 feet by 40 feet, and in very good proportion," which 
is said to have been cut by a journeyman mason as a memorial of 
his stay in the neighbourhood. The author has evolved two horses 
out of one, and either he or his printer has invented Northwaite.] 



6 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

raised the ponderous mass in one hand, and uttering this 
extraordinary couplet, 

' Have at thee, Black Hartforth, 
But have a care o' Bonny Gilling ! ' 

cast it from him with all his strength. It would appear 
that the devil's vision is of a rather telescopic character, 
for, as luck would have it, he missed his aim, and the stone, 
which flew whizzing through the air, at last fell harmless 
far beyond the former place ; and now lies, bearing the 
impression of his unholy fingers, on the rising ground to 
the north side of Gaterley Moor. — LONGSTAFFE, p. 120. 

Hart Leap. On the ridge between Fryup and Glazedale 
are two stones each 2 ft. high, placed at a distance of 42 
ft, and on one of them are the words Hart Leap — the 
stones being erected to commemorate the fact that a hart, 
when on the point of being seized by the dogs, made a 
desperate but ineffectual effort to escape by bounding over 
the space marked out. — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 797. 

See, too, Hart-leap Well, p. 27. 

Lunedale. In the corner of a field, on the right of the 
road between Nettlepot and Wemmergill, is an immense 
mass of rock, very similar to the celebrated rocking stones 
of Derbyshire and Cornwall, and known as Robin Hood's 
Peniston. . . . The local tradition about it is this. Once 
upon a time Robin Hood and his men were amusing 
themselves on the top of Shacklesborough, when the 
bold outlaw picked up a very large stone, placed it 
upon the toes of his right foot, and after swinging it 
backward and forward twice or thrice, tilted it with 
amazing force in the direction of Lunedale. As it went 
spinning through the air a portion detached itself and 
fell to the ground in Kelton. The remaining piece sped 
on all the faster for that incident, and at last alighted 



Stones. 7 

in its present position in Sleight's Pasture, and has ever 
since been called Robin Hood's Penistone. — FlTZHUGH. 

Obtrush Rociue. See Goblindom, Hobmen, p. 133. 

Scarborough. The Blue Stone. — In High Tollergate . . . 
is a stone of great antiquity. It is about two feet six inches 
long, about the same height and one foot three inches wide, 
and is yet called The Market Stone. Here, tradition 
says, the market was held ; and the stone was the table, 
or counter, if you please, where the money was deposited. 
. . . It is not larger than two men might lift. I 
have no doubt of its antiquity, or its use ; but from the 
name of Tollergate, the end of which buts near the stone, 
and where you enter the town, a toll, no doubt, has 
been taken ; which to avoid, business may have been 
transacted here, which is out of the precincts. — HUTTON, 
pp. 162, 163. 

I feel sure [it] was a caaba or clach dhu, or a centre 
of sacred feelings and superstitions and a witness or 
watchman to compact, and bargains and oaths. — BAKER, 

P- 314. 

See also under GOBLINDOM, Conjuring stone, p. 86. 

See also under FESTIVALS, Battering Stone, p. 250 ; 

Rambleations Stone, ib. 

Semerwater. Carlow Stone. — The story is that the stone 
named Carlow Stone (which is said to bear supernatural 
marks) was one of many hurled by some despairing 
genius of this remote valley, upon a city that once stood 
here, which was renowned for its pride and selfishness. — 
Speight, p. 475. 

Mermaid Stones. — We walked round the foot of the 
lake, and saw on the margin, near the break where the 
Bain flows out, two big stones which have lain in their 
present position ever since the devil and a giant pelted 



8 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

one another from hill to hill across the water. To 
corroborate the legend, there yet remain on the stones, 
the marks — and prodigious ones they are — of the Evil 
One's hands. . . . Besides the satanic missiles, there are 
stones somewhere on the brink of the lake known as 
the 'Mermaid Stones' but not one of us knew where 
to look for them. — White, pp. 247, 248. 

Stone-raise, Stan-raise, or Stan-rise. Formerly a road ran 
past this place, from Bolton Castle over Greenborough 
Edge, to Skipton Castle in Craven. Along this road a 
party of horsemen was passing from the one stronghold 
to the other, and, being met by wild and tempestuous 
weather and becoming wearied they dismounted, and 
rested themselves under the shadow of Stanraise. Whilst 
thus resting they swore that they would 

' From Bolton to Skipton Castle go 
Whether God would or no.' 

As a mark of the Divine displeasure at this profanity, 
the earth at the foot of the cairn opened, and swallowed 
up the whole party. — PARKINSON, 2nd S., pp. 167, 168. 

Whitby. Wade [is] an imaginary being, connected with 
some monstrous fables long current in this neighbourhood. 
This Wade and his wife and son, possessed the powers of 
the ancient Cyclops, or rather of the Titans, whose mighty 
grasp could lift the hills and toss the ponderous rocks. 
To their gigantic operations are ascribed the castles of 
Mulgrave and Pickering, the Roman road supposed to 
communicate between them, several druidical stones in 
the vicinity, with other works equally stupendous. {Foot- 
note.) In the building of Mulgrave and Pickering castles, 
Wade and his wife, whose name was Bell, divided their 
labours, a single giant being sufficient for rearing each 
castle ; but having only one hammer between them, it 



Stones. 9 

was necessary to toss it backward and forward, giving 
a shout every time it was thrown, that when the one 
threw it to Mulgrave or to Pickering the other might 
be ready to catch it ! The Roman road which is called 
Wade's causey, or Wade's wife's causey, was formed by 
them in a trice, Wade paving and Bell bringing him 
stones ; once or twice her apron strings gave way leaving 
a large heap of stones on the spot ! . . . Young Wade, 
even when an infant, could throw a rock several tons 
weight to a vast distance ; for one day when his mother 
was milking her cow near Swarthoue, the child, whom 
she had left on Sleights moor, became impatient for 
the breast, and seizing a stone of vast size, heaved it 
across the valley in wrath, and hit his mother with such 
violence, that though she was not materially hurt, her 
body made an impression on the stone which remained 
indelible, till the stone itself was broken up, a few 
years ago, to mend the highways ! According to one 
edition of these fables, Wade's wife's causey was laid to 
accommodate her in crossing the moors to milk her cow. 
The cow, it seems, partook of the gigantic stature of 
her owners ; and, above ioo years ago, some wag con- 
trived to make the jawbone of a young whale pass for 
a rib of Bell Wade's cow. The precious relic was long 
shown under this name at old Mulgrave castle ; it now 
lies neglected in the joiner's shop beside the present 
Mulgrave castle. It is 4 ft. long and 3 or 4 inches 
in diameter, and is carved all over with initials, repre- 
senting the names of numerous pilgrims who formerly 
repaired to Mulgrave, to present their offerings at the 
shrine of credulity. — YOUNG, vol. ii., pp. 724, 725. 

A stone above East Barnby, which once had another 
near it, is said to mark out the grave of a giant 
called Wade ; but that honour is assigned by another 
tradition to two similar pillars near Goldsbrough, standing 
about 100 feet asunder. {Footnote.) The tradition is 



io Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding ; etc). 

uniform in connecting these stones with giant Wade, but 
not in counting them his grave stones. 

YOUNG, vol. ii., pp. 665, 666 and note. 

Whitby. Robin Hood (or Robert earl of Huntingdon) 
celebrated for his predatory exploits, is said to have died in 
the year 1247. According to tradition, he and his trusty 
mate Little John went to dine with one of the abbots of 
Whitby, and being desired by the abbot to try how far each 
of them could shoot an arrow, they both shot from the top 
of the abbey, and their arrows fell on the west side of Whitby 
Lathes, beside the lane leading from thence to Stainsacre ; 
that of Robin Hood falling on the north side of the lane, 
and that of Little John about 100 feet further on the south 
side of the lane. In the spot where Robin's arrow is said 
to have lighted stands a stone pillar about a foot square, 
and 4 feet high ; and a similar pillar 2\ feet high, marks 
the place where John's arrow fell. The fields on the one 
side are called Robin Hood closes, and those on the other 
Little John closes. They are so named in the conveyance 
dated in 171 3 from Hugh Cholmley, Esq. . . . The 
tradition is scarcely credible, the distance of those pillars 
from the abbey being about a mile and a half. Much more 
incredible is the tradition, that Robin shot an arrow from 
the height where Stoupe Brow beacon [1] is placed right 
across the bay to the town which bears his name ; having 
resolved to build a town where the arrow lighted. To the 
south of that beacon are two or three tumuli or barrows, 
called Robin Hoods butts, from a fabulous story of his using 
them as butts, when he exercised his men in shooting. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 647, note. 

1 Some lay the scene of the exploit at Swarthoue, a tumulus north of 
Whitby, several miles across the country. — ROBINSON, p. xviii. 



Mounds. 1 1 



MOUNDS. 



Dalton. At Dalton in the parish of Topcliffe there was 
formerly an old cornmill, with a miller's house adjoining. . . 
In the front of the miller's house there was a long ridge or 
mound, known as the ' Giant's Grave,' and in the mill was 
preserved a long, straight instrument, like a large sword or 
uncurved scythe-blade, believed to have been the giant's 
knife. These mementoes were regarded as vouchers for the 
truth of the story of the Giant of Dalton Mill. . . . One 
day the giant of Dalton captured a youth, on the adjoining 
wilds of Pilmoor, whom he led home, and kept secluded in 
the mill doing all the servile work, but always denied liberty 
or recreation. Jack . . . determined to have a holiday at 
the approaching Topcliffe fair. The fair day came — one 
of the hot days of July — and after a hearty meal, the giant 
lay down in the mill for his afternoon nap, still holding the 
knife with which he had been cutting his loaf of bone 
bread ; but, as sleep overpowered him his fingers relaxed 
their hold of the weapon. Jack gently drew the knife from 
his grasp, and then firmly raising it with both hands, drove 
the blade into the single eye of the monster. He awoke 
with a fearful howl, but with presence of mind to close the 
mill door, and so prevent the escape of his assailant. Jack 
was fairly trapped, but his native ingenuity came to his aid. 
Being blinded, the giant could only grope for him. A large 
dog also lay asleep in the mill. To slay this, and hurriedly 
take off its skin, was the work but of a few minutes. This 
skin he then threw around himself; and running on all 
fours and barking like the dog, he passed between the 
giant's legs got to the door, and unbarring it quickly 
escaped. Death claimed its victim, but the grave and the 
knife have survived to avouch the story to posterity. 

Parkinson, 2nd S., pp. 235, 236. 

Sessay. New Mill is a corn mill and farm. . . . There is 



12 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

a tradition that a giant was buried beneath a tumulus near 
this mill. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 332. 

The family who owned Sessay from early times to the 
days of Henry VII. was that of the Darells. The heirs- 
male of this family failed in the reign of that king and the 
heiress of all the broad lands and manors was a daughter — 
a strong-minded young woman, named Joan Darell. 
About the same time a strange monster began to haunt 
the woods around the village. He was a huge brute 
in human form — legs like elephants' legs, arms of a 
corresponding size, a face most fierce to look upon with 
only one eye placed in the midst of his forehead ; a mouth 
as large as a lion's and garnished with teeth as long as the 
prongs of a hayfork. His only clothing was a cow's hide 
fastened across his breast, with the hair outwards ; while 
over his shoulder he usually carried a stout young tree, 
torn up by the roots, as a club for offence and defence. 
Now and then he made the woods ring with demoniacal 
laughter ; now and then with savage unearthly growls. . . 
He had a ravenous appetite and daily visited the farmers' 
herds . . . [or] he paid a visit to the neighbouring miller 
. . . [or] he would carry off a delicate maiden from some 
village home or a child from the cradle. . . . There came a 
gallant young soldier . . . Guy son of Sir John D'Aunay 
(or Dawnay), of Cowick Castle in South Yorkshire to pay 
a visit to Joan Darell. . . . He went directly to the point, 
and told the strong-minded spinster, . . . that he thought 
a union of the property of the Darells and the Dawnays 
would serve to build up a great family estate. Would she 
wed him . . . ? She . . . consented on one condition . . . 
' Slay the monster who is desolating our fields and spread- 
ing such lamentation and woe over the village. Rid us of 
this brute and my hand is yours.' ' Willingly will I try ' 
was the response ; ' and if I fall I shall fall in a good cause.' 
' See there comes the giant !' cried the lady . . . seeing the 
monster stalking out of the wood, with his club over his 



Mounds. 1 3 

shoulder, towards the mill. ' Truly he is a fearful adver- 
sary ! ' exclaimed the champion as he . . . proceeded to 
buckle on his sword. On went the giant towards the mill 
evidently bent on fetching his usual sack of meal. The 
miller saw him and trembled, but took no steps to protect 
his property. The mill was one of those the top of which 
with sails, turns on a pivot with the wind. Suddenly as 
the giant was drawing the sack out of the window, the wind 
changed, and swept the sails round to the side on which he 
was. Round came the arms or sails, and one of them 
catching the monster on the head, sent him stunned on his 
back to the ground. Young Sir Guy saw his opportunity, 
ran up, and before the giant recovered his senses, drove his 
sword through the brute's one eye into his brain. There 
were great rejoicings in all the country round. Next day 
an immense trench was dug, and the enormous carcase 
rolled into it and buried, amid shouts of blessing upon the 
deliverer. Not many weeks afterwards the bells of Sessay 
rang merrily at the wedding of Joan Darell and young Sir 
Guy Dawnay — from whom I suppose, is descended the 
respected family of that name which still, I believe, owns 
the place. — PARKINSON, ist S., pp. 235-239. 

See also under PLACE, ETC., LEGENDS ; Dawnay, p. 412. 

FOSSILS. 

Whitby. Mira res est videre serpentes apud Streneshalc 
in orbes giratos, et inclementia caeli, vel ut monachi ferunt, 
precibus D. Hildae, in lapides concretos. — Leland (2), 
vol. iv., 39. 

Here are found certain stones resembling the wreaths 
and folds of a serpent, the strange frolicks of nature, which 
(as one says) she forms for diversion after a toilsome 
application to serious business. For one would believe 
them to have been serpents crusted over with a bark of 
stone. Fame ascribes them to the power of Hilda's 
prayers, as if she had transform'd them. — Camden, p. 751. 



14 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (AT. Riding, etc.). 

A number of petrifications, much resembling snakes 
without heads, being found in the rock under the cliff near 
Streanshalh, the common people, ever since the time of 
Hilda, have believed that these were all originally real 
snakes, which abounded in the skroggs and rocks within 
the harbour, and all along the coast, when Hilda and her 
Nuns first came from Hartlepool to reside at Streanshalh ; 
and that, being filled with terror thereat, she prayed to 
God that he would cause them all to crawl down the 
cliff, and be converted into stones. Hence, on account of 
this supposed miracle, they are to this day vulgarly 
called St Hilda's stones, having the appearance of snakes 
rolled up in coils, but without heads. These are what the 
naturalists call Amonitae. — CHARLTON, p. 32. 

It is a constant tradition among the vulgar in this 
part of Yorkshire, that . . . they were whipped over 
our Cliff by Lady Hilda with a certain holy or 
magical wand ; when losing their heads by the fall, 
they were afterwards at her fervent prayer, converted 
into stones and assumed the figure we now find them 
in. But enough of this ; let us now proceed. — CHARL- 
TON, pp. 353, 354; Poly-olbion, Song 28; Marmion, 
Canto ii. 

Thunner-bolts, the petrified remains of a kind of cuttle- 
fish in the Whitby lias, resembling tubes of various lengths 
and thicknesses tapering to a point. These are thunder- 
bolts, we are told, that have fallen in former times ! and like 
the British flint arrow-heads are applied to the cure of 
disordered cattle. See Awf-shots [LEECHCRAFT, pp. 181, 
182]. The fossil bones of the Saurians in the same strata 
belong to the angels who were cast out of heaven for 
their rebellion • while the elephants' teeth met with in this 
part, are those of the mythological giants. The nodules 
or globular stones yielded by the same shale, are balls 
which have fallen to the earth from heaven's (perhaps 
Miltonic) artillery. They are sometimes found in couples, 



Fossils. 1 5 

linked in the bed by bars of their own or a similar material, 
like chain-shot. — ROBINSON, p. 199. 

Haggomsteeans, Addersteeans, or Hooaleysteeans. The 
first three names belong to the perforated fragments of 
the grey alum shale found on our beach, the round holes 
being viewed as the work of the shell-fish called the ' borer,' 
though tradition assigns the punctures to the sting of the 
adder. As ' lucky stones ' they are hung to the street 
door key for prosperity to the house and its inmates, as 
the horse-shoe is nailed to the entrance for the same 
purpose. Suspended in the stables, as are also the holed 
flints that are met with, ' they prevent the witches riding 
the horses,' and protect the animals from illness. Holy 
stones are those artificial formations connected with the 
oracular ceremonies of past ages ; and it is recorded that 
one of these uprights called the Needle, stood in the 
vicinity of the west pier at Whitby, through the eye of 
which rickety children were drawn in order to strengthen 
them ; a custom practised in some parts to this day. 
Lovers also pledged themselves by joining hands through 
the hole, especially in the case of young mariners bound 
on their voyage ; and when the holes were large enough, 
people crept through them ' so many times ' to cure pains 
in the back! — ROBINSON, pp. 85, 86. 

TREASURE. 

Addleborough. — Tradition tells of a giant who was once 
travelling with a chest of gold on his back from Skipton 
Castle to Pendragon ; while crossing Addleborough he felt 
weary, and his burden slipped, but recovering himself he 
cried 

' Spite of either God or man, 
To Pendragon Castle thou shalt gang ! ' 

when it fell from his shoulders, sank into the earth, and 
the stones rose over it. There the chest remained, and still 



1 6 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

remains, only to be recovered by the fortunate mortal to 
whom the fairy may appear in the form of a hen or an 
ape. . He has then but to stretch forth his arm, seize the 
chest, and drag it out, in silence if he can, at all events 
without swearing, or he will fail as did that unfortunate 
wight, who uttering an oath in the moment of success, lost 
his hold of the treasure, and saw the fairy no more as long 
as he lived. — White, p. 246. 

On the south bluff of Addlebrough is an immense 
cairn, and under a large heap of stones, called Stone Raise, 
there slept in peace, for centuries, a chieftain of the old 
Celtic race; but tradition reported that vast wealth was 
hidden in the ' Golden Chest on Greenbar ' as the spot 
is called, and so for either curiosity or greed of gain, the 
ancient chieftain's resting-place has been rudely dis- 
turbed. — BOGG (2), p. 171. 

Treasure suspected in barrows, see Atkinson, pp. 139, 
140. 

Guisborough. See under Place, &c, LEGENDS; Sub- 
terranean Passages, p. 394. 

Harmby. Half a century ago there stood an antique 
residence at the bottom of the village, known as the Manor 
House ; adjoining was the Chapel of All Saints. There is 
a story handed down by our fathers for many generations, 
of a wealth of buried treasure in this vicinity ; let us hope 
some native of the village will in dreams ere long have the 
treasure located. — BOGG (2), p. 105. 

On Hertay opposite to Helagh is a large barrow of stones 
and gravel, which has been imperfectly opened, and of 
which tradition reports that it contains an iron chest filled 
with money. This affords some encouragement to a farther 
search, as we have seen that a similar tradition in the 
parish of Romaldkirk had previously attached to a place 



Treasure. 1 7 

where a valuable deposit of old English coin was really 
found, — Whitaker, vol. i., p. 315. 

Middleham — William Hill. South of the castle is 
' William Hill,' Ghilpatric the Dane's Fort, round which 
tradition fables, whoever shall run nine times without 
stopping, will find a door open in the mound, which will 
admit him to marvellous treasures. But this feat has 
never been attempted ; simply because it is physically im- 
possible to say nothing of the absurdity. — COOKES, p. 99. 

Pickhill — Picts' Hill. There is a large mound at Pickhill 
called Picts' Hill. A recent excavation led to no other 
result than proof of artificial construction. — LONGSTAFFE, 
p. 50. 

Mother Shipton is said to have prophesied that Pickhill 
would never thrive till a certain family became extinct, and 
Picks, or Money Hill, cut open. Once upon a time, an old 
man dreamed that there was an archway in it containing 
a black chest, locked with three locks, and containing the 
money which gave the name. Well, the family did become 
extinct in 1850, and Money Hill was cut open in 185 1. 
And in this manner. The Leeds and Thirsk Railway 
came up to it ; and though it naturally formed part of 
its embankment, and the line passes over it, the directors 
ordered it to be cut open. The old man, the dreamer, was 
still alive, and pointed out the spot wherein the archway 
lay. The men of the rail riddled and cut through 
the mount in all directions, but their exertions were 
mocked, and nothing was found save in the foss, where 
portions of tile and a small brick, vitrified on one side, and 
fragments of urns, and a carved and perforated piece of 
thin iron, like the crest of a helmet, were discovered. 
— LONGSTAFFE, Preface, p. x. 

Nr. Thimbleby Banks, north of Silton. At a small farm- 
stead immediately in the plain below, called Nunhouse, 



1 8 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

tradition says there is a bull's skin full of gold hid in the 
earth. — Grainge, p. 327. 

Thoresby. Some fifty years ago, a young servant girl 
living on a farm at Thoresby, dreamt on more than one 
occasion dreams with which she was much impressed. 
The subject of the dreams was a large treasure buried 
in the earth at a certain place on the farm. At length she 
went and dug there, and found a bronze vessel containing 
a great quantity of coins, many of which she distributed 
amongst her acquaintances and friends. On hearing of the 
discovery of the coins, the lord of the manor made claim to 
them. The young woman having disposed of most of 
them, became so terribly frightened about the conse- 
quences, that she fled from Thoresby and never returned. 
There are people in this district possessing bronze coins, 
given to them or their friends by the young woman from 
this treasure trove. — BoGG (2), p. 142 ; (3), p. 241. 

See also under Place, &g, Legends ; Upsall Castle, 
pp. 408, 409. 

Richmond Castle. The station of the chamberlain, is the 
Golden Tower, or Gold Hole, being so named from a 
story of treasure having been found in it. Some years ago 
an excavation was made to find either an entrance to it 
from the court, or more gold ( — professedly, of course, the 
former ;) but it is remarkable that no such doorway could 
be discovered, though the hole was about six yards deep. — 
Longstaffe, pp. 7, 8. 

BRIDGES. 

Filey Brigg. Some time ago a woman told me that 
when she was a child they used to tell her this was " the 
devil's Brigg — that he made it ! " — Shaw, p. 92. 

See also under Animals ; Haddock, p. 73. 

Hell Gill Beck, and Hell Gill— or Devil's Bridge. The 
western boundary of High Abbotside is formed by the 



Bridges. 1 9 

Hell Gill Beck which separates it from Westmoreland. . . . 
According to popular belief the gill was so called from its 
fancied resemblance to the bottomless pit. . . . The ravine 
is crossed by a bridge of ten feet span resting on perpen- 
dicular walls of rock. . . . Beneath this bridge is a lower 
one which tradition avers was the work of his satanic 
majesty and is called the Devil's Bridge. — Bulmer, p. 334. 

Not far from this bridge is a heap of stones which 
according to . . . tradition are what was left of the 
apron full which his majesty had brought to build the 
bridge with. . . . There are no stones of the kind near. 

Wensleydale, p. 4. 

The natives tell us that when the archfiend built the 
first bridge, the straps of his apron . . . broke as he was 
flying heavy laden from the mountain crest and the 
apron and its contents fell into the Eden with such force 
that it formed the ' Kail Pot,' a seething cauldron of 
fabulous depth. — BOGG (3), pp. 193, 194. 

Cf. Wade's Wife, ante, p. 9. 

Kilgrim Bridge. Regarding the building of this bridge 
is the following curious legend. Many bridges having 
been built on this site by the inhabitants, none had 
been able to withstand the fury of the floods until his 
1 Satanic Majesty ' promised to build a bridge which 
would defy the fury of the elements, on condition that 
the first living creature who passed over should fall a 
sacrifice to his ' Sable Majesty.' Long did the inhabitants 
consider, when the bridge was complete, as to who should 
be the victim. A shepherd, more wise than his neighbours 
owned a dog called ' Grim.' This man having first swum 
the river whistled for the dog to follow, poor ' Grim ' un- 
wittingly bounded across the bridge and thus fell a victim 
to his 'Sable Majesty.' Tradition says, from this circum- 
stance the spot has ever since been known as Kill grim- 
bridge. — BOGG (2), p. 96 ; footnote (3), p. 274. 



20 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Kilgram Bridge. There is a local tradition respecting 
the building of Kilgram Bridge, or the Devil's Bridge as 
it is sometimes called. ... It was built by the Evil One 
" all in one night " except one stone, and that one stone 
is wanting yet, according to the tale — no person, we 
suppose being found daring enough to finish a building 
erected by his satanic Majesty. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 453, note. 



WAYSIDE CROSSES. 

On the Yorkshire side were Lartington, Cotherston, 
Rumbaldkirk, Mickleton Lonton, Holwick ; — in Lunedale, 
Laithkirk, Kelton, Stackholme and Arngill Crosses ; and 
going to these sites, the remains of some of them may be 
seen and traditions of others heard. The pedestal of one 
is still extant near Doe Park, in a field adjoining the high- 
way on the south. At the top of Ghestwick, near Wildon 
Grange the remains of another may be seen built in the 
wall on the north side of the road. The pedestal is broken 
in two right through the middle. ... At Mickleton, tradi- 
tion points out the site of the High Cross ; but every vestige 
of the structure has disappeared. The local name Cross- 
thwaite may indicate a wayside guide formerly on the old 
Holwick road. The site of the cross at Holwick is still 
pointed out at the west end of the village, by the name 
of Cross House. As for Laithkirk nothing of the cross of 
1610 remains, as far as is known at present, nor of that 
which stood at Stackholme. At Grains-o'-beck near Arngill, 
however the pedestal of Speed's Cross still exists, in its 
original position on Cross Hill. A large stone has occupied 
the place of the ancient shaft for many years, certainly more 
than sixty. The dalesfolk relate how about that time one 
of Lord Strathmore's tenants removed this shaft to set it 
up as a gate post, and was ordered by his Lordship to take 
it back again and replace it exactly as he found it. Nothing 



Wayside Crosses. 2 r 

is known of the site or remains of the wayside cross in 
Kelton, set down in the map of 1610. . . . The Crosses 
were useful as marking the stages in a funeral procession 
to the parish church. When the cross had a calvary, the 
corpse wrapped in a shroud, was placed on one of the steps 
while the bearers took a little rest. It is not improbable 
that the name Ghestwick, that is the habitation of ghosts, 
arose from the circumstance of resting corpses on the 
calvary of a Cross formerly there. — FlTZHUGH. 

Fulford. There is a local tradition which says that the 
base of a mediaeval cross which still remains half way 
between Fulford and York, about a mile and a half to 
the south of the city, was used as a place of meeting 
between the townsfolk and country people during the 
Plague in 1665. We know that it was so used during 
the cholera in 1833. Those who had market produce to 
dispose of placed their goods on the steps of the cross, 
and the purchasers, in their turn, laid the money upon it, 
so that none needed to touch the other. — FLORENCE 
Peacock, N. & Q., 8th S., vol. x., p. 52. 

Sand Hutton. Near the footpath leading from this village 
to Thirsk, at a point where the three townships of Sand 
Hutton, Carlton Miniott, and Thirsk meet, stands ' Sand 
Hutton Cross ' which consists of a block of stone as a 
pedestal about four feet square, and nearly the same in 
thickness : into this is inserted a shaft or pillar of stone, 
about nine inches square by three feet in height. From 
its situation it is probably a boundary stone. . . . The 
busy tongue of tradition however, reports that at some 
unknown period, the town of Thirsk was ravaged by the 
plague, and the market was held in the open fields, and 
that this cross was erected at that time. — Grainge, p. 155. 

Marske-by-the-Sea. A portion of a sepulchral cross, or 
rude monument, [is] now in the village. There is a tradi- 



22 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

tion that the cross, of which this stone forms a part, was 
erected more than two centuries ago, when the plague 
having nearly depopulated the town of Guisbro', the market 
was consequently removed hither. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 805 and note. 

Whitby. [In Love Lane about \ a mile from Whitby] 
the Wishing Chair will be seen . . . being a rudely cut 
chair in stone. The popular belief is that those who, 
closing their eyes and divulging it to no one, ' wish ' for 
any reasonable desire to be fulfilled, the same is sure to be 
gratified. — Horne, pp. 109, no. 

SITES. 

Coverham Abbey. There we are told . . . the pious 
benefactor was much perplexed as to where the Abbey 
should be built, but at length the difficulty was solved by 
the appearance of the Blessed Virgin herself, who not only 
indicated . . . the exact site for the new monastery but 
also described its shape and character even to the kind of 
garments its inmates were to wear. — Speight, p. 303. 

Easingwold. Tradition relates that the church was 
originally projected to have been built in the centre of the 
market place, now forming the circus behind the shambles,, 
where the materials were collected ; but that during the 
night they were removed by invisible agency, to the site at 
present occupied by the edifice ! — Gill, p. j6, note. 

Hinderwell. The church was intended to be built in 
this field [Chapel-hill] ; but, according to tradition, all the 
stones laid during the day were conveyed away by invisible 
powers during the night, to the place where it now stands. 

Ord, p. 296, note. 

Leake. A legend exists which accounts for the situation 
of the church. It was the intention of the builders to erect 



Sites. 2 3 

it on the top of Borrowby Bank, a commanding eminence 
half a mile west of its present position, where it would 
have formed a very conspicuous object to a great extent of 
country. Materials were accordingly carried thither for 
that purpose ; when strange to say, whatever was carried 
there in the day time was removed by supernatural means 
during the night, to the place where the church now stands. 
This settled the matter, and the church was built in its 
present situation. — Grainge, p. 253. 

Marrick. We were musing to ourselves as to the 
singularity, to say nothing of the inexpediency of building 
a church [for Marrick] half a mile from the village, with 
only one house contiguous to it when we overtook a 
middle-aged man . . . [by him], we were informed that> 
according to old traditionary stories, the church was three 
times attempted to be built on the hill top near to the 
village, but that the next morning the masonry was 
removed to the side of the Swale and that, as the fates had 
decreed the present site as the place for the church, nothing 
else remained for the architect but to acquiesce in their 
decision ! and our informant seriously told us the church 
was built there in consequence ! — RoUTH, p. 50. 

Marske-by-the-Sea. Years ago, when the old church at 
Marske-by-the-Sea was condemned, and a new one about 
to be built, it was decided to pull down the old structure 
and use the stone for building the new. . . . Part of the 
old building was razed, and the stone carted to the new 
site. . . . Next morning when the men returned to their 
work, what was their surprise, and the amazement of every 
one else, to fiijd the old church whole again. . . . Every 
stone had been brought back again and replaced in situ, 
and the mortar which had been used to reset the displaced 
stones was as hard and set as that of hundreds of years 
before. This marvellous occurrence was duly reported at 



24 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

head quarters. What the officials thought or imagined, is 
not recorded ; they ordered the work to proceed, and even 
set on more men to pull the old place down, so that on the 
second day a considerable portion was carted away and 
stacked on the new site ; but next morning the old church 
was found to have been fully repaired during the night, 
every stone having once again been brought back and 
placed in its original position. Things were now looking a 
bit serious. On the third day, however, work was resumed, 
a portion again pulled down and carted away, but this time 
men were set to watch the stones and find out who came 
for them. Now whether these watchers fell asleep — they 
declared they did not — or whether in the darkness the 
stones were all stolen away so quietly that they never 
heard or saw anything . . . cannot be stated ; one thing 
only is known — when daylight appeared every stone had 
vanished, and again the old church was found to have been 
restored, so perfectly that no one could tell that ever a 
stone had been removed. Those in authority were bound 
to admit that it was useless to contend further against 
such a powerful and invisible opponent. ... It was the 
hobman, assisted by others of his friends. 

BLAKEBOROUGH, pp. 205-207. 

North Otterington. Near Thornton-le-Moor, in the parish 
of North Otterington, there is a slight eminence, on which, 
in all probability, stood at one time an ancient village — 
though no trace of either the village or its name now 
remains — except the designation of the adjoining fields 
as 'the Tofts,' and the socket of an old cross known by 
the degenerate name of ' Perry Trough.' 

At this place, says legend, the parish church was to 
have been erected. The stones were brought to the 
spot, and the foundations laid, but during the night they 
were torn up, and by invisible hands borne away for more 
than a mile across the country to North Otterington. 



Sites. 2 5 

Several times were they brought back to the site during 
the daytime, but as often were they again removed in the 
night. At last the builders became weary of the process, 
and erected the church at the place indicated at North 
Otterington, where for nigh a thousand years it has stood 
as the old parish church dedicated to St Michael. A 
considerable portion of the building now standing is late 
Norman, or transitional work, of the date of about 1120 
A.D. Fragments of Saxon crosses have been found built 
into the masonry. — Parkinson, 1st S., p. 120. 



WELLS, POOLS, LAKES AND RIVERS. 

Wells generally. The memory of the mythical gods 
satyrs and nymphs of the ancient heathen times lingers 
in a few, as in Thors-kil or Thors-well, in the parish of 
Burnsall ; and in the almost universal declaration — by 
which not over-wise parents seek to deter children from 
playing in dangerous proximity to a well — that at the 
bottom, under the water, dwells a mysterious being, usually 
named Jenny Green-teeth or Peg-o'-the-Well, who will 
certainly drag into the water any child who approaches 
too near to it. — Parkinson, 1st S., p. 202. 

Nr. Appleton-le-Street. There is on the verge of Eas- 
thorpe Wood, a copious and pure spring of water known 
by the name of Holy Well, which tradition affirms to have 
been much resorted to by the monks of Kirkham Abbey; 
and even to this day, healing virtues are attributed to it. 

Whellan, vol. h\, p. 850. 

Great Ayton. Between the townes of Aton and Newton, 
neere the foote of Roseberry toppinge, there is a well 
dedicated to Saint Oswalde. The neighboures adjoyninge 
have bin seduced with an opinion, that if the shirte or 
smocke were taken of a sycke bodye, and throwne into 



26 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

that well, a certaine token might be gathered of his life or 
death; for if the shirte floated alofte yt denounced re- 
covery to the partie, but in case yt sanke then there 
remayned noe hope of health ; and to th' end that the 
good saincte for his paynes should not sytt emptye- 
handed, they teare of a ragge of the shirte, and hange yt 
on the bryers thereabouts, whereof I have seene such 
numbers as might have made a fayre shewe in a paper- 
myll. — H. Tr., p. 429. [1] 

Within this parish, at the northern extremity of 
Cliffrigg-wood, and about two hundred paces to the east- 
ward from Langbargh-Quarry, there is a copious spring 
of clear water, called Chapel Well, which had formerly 
a bath, etc. and was, till of late years, much resorted to 
on the Sundays in the Summer months by the youth of 
the neighbouring villages, who assembled to drink the 
simple beverage, and to join in a variety of rural diver- 
sions. . . . Near the well were the remains of several 
buildings ; the foundations of which have been lately 
cleared away, . . . when at the same time the bath-house 
was demolished, and the water conveyed by a drain to 
some distance. From the vestiges of buildings, and the 
name Chapel Well, it is probable that there was a 
hermitage or cell near inhabitated by some monk, who 
in the dark days of superstition, discovered and promul- 
gated the virtues of its waters ; which, even in modern 
times were esteemed very efficacious in curing lameness r 

1 [The writer has possibly confused St Oswald's Well with Chapel 
Well mentioned in the following paragraph. See Parkinson, 2nd 
S., pp. 103, 104. A writer in Whitby Rep., vol. vi. (1830), pp. 95, 96, 
knowing that the H. Tr. MS. in the Cotton Library was usually 
spoken of in connexion with ' Julius ' thus expresses himself ' I 
think Julius the author [!] of this manuscript has not wrote from 
observation and must have been but partially acquainted with the 
country. There is a spring or well near the top of Rosebury which 
I should suppose is the well alluded to. I do not remember having 
seen any other, though I have frequently been on the spot.'] 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 27 

particularly when originating in rickets, rheumatism, and 
similar complaints. — Graves, pp. 221, 222. 

Caldbridge. St Simon's Well here was formerly held in 
great estimation ; what its properties were is unknown. 

Hope, p. 205. 

Cropton. The well is seventy-seven yards deep, and the 
water from it is considered of the finest quality for drinking 
purposes that can be found far or near. . . . The church- 
yard contains . . . the far-famed Cropton Cross, on which 
is the following doggerel rhyme 

On Cropton Cross there is a cup, 

And in that cup there is a sup ; 
Take that cup and drink that sup 

And set the cup on Cropton Cross top. 

— Malton Messenger. 

Hope, p. 194. 

Egton. Near the village is Coldkeld Well, supposed to 
possess the virtue of strengthening weakly children. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 826. 

Grinton. A curious cavern near the mouth of a small 
rivulet, at the bottom of which is a deep pool of water, 
formed by water running from the rock ; it is known as 
' The Fairy's Hole ' now, but in more ancient times it bore 
the appellation 'Crack Pot' — Hope, p. 179. 

Hart Leap, Hauxwell Moor. Close by the road across 
Hauxwell Moor, is Hart Leap Well; celebrated by tradition 
and Wordsworth. The legend runs, that very long ago, 
after a chase of extraordinary duration and speed, in which 
both horses and hounds dropped one after another, the hart 
— an animal of unusual strength and beauty — and a single 
horseman alone remained. Worn out at last the exhausted 
creature gave three almost supernatural leaps down the 
declivity, and dropped dead beside this well. 



28 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N, Riding, etc.). 

These stones, records of three astonishing leaps, re- 
mained conspicuous till very lately, but are either removed 
or concealed by a recent wall. An old withered tree over- 
hangs the spring, which is nearly choked up ; its presence is 
however conspicuous; the emerald hue of the grass con- 
trasting strongly with the deep brown colour of the heather 
around. — COOKES, pp. 120, 121. 

There is still a tradition similar to that mentioned by 
Wordsworth in the second part of his poem, that the place 
is accursed, and that no animal — 

'Will wet his lips within that cup of stone.' 

Fletcher, vol. ii., p. 338. 
See Hart Leap, p. 6. 

Hinderwell. Hinderwell, or more properly Hildas-well, 
is so named from a beautifully clear, limpid, and abundant 
well in the churchyard, dedicated in ancient times to the 
lady St. Hilda of Whitby. 

According to tradition, the Lady Hilda had a chapel 
here, belonging to Whitby Abbey, and after her death 
the well was accounted, like the lady herself, to possess 
remarkable virtues. — Ord, p. 293 and p. 294, note. 

[Hope's statement (p. 195) that "On Ascension Day 
the children of the neighbourhood assemble here carrying 
bottles containing pieces of liquorice which they fill at 
the well. Hence Ascension Day is frequently termed 
Spanish-water Day " lacks local confirmation.] 

Nr. Hurst. The Roan Well is a mineral spring, which 
rises in a small and desolate glen, two miles west of Hurst 
in the parish of Merrick [Marrick], Yorkshire, and runs 
through a rich mining country into the river Swale. . . . 
From time immemorial it has been the custom of the 
neighbouring villagers to assemble in this wild place on 
Trinity Sunday and to celebrate the anniversary of a 
murder, the particulars of which are hidden in the 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 29 

obscurity of ages ; at which ceremony tea-drinking and 
story-telling form the prominent feature of the afternoon 
but the evening concludes with the usual occurrences of 
intoxication and fighting. — G.A.W. Preface. 

[The legend given by.G.A.W., pp. 9, 10, 11, is to the 
effect that one Trinity Sunday the guardian fiend of the 
spring seized and slew a traveller, and that with his 
blood the water was stained, and thence called Roan. 
The people prayed for his soul, and the Blessed Virgin 
came and dipped her foot in the well, which forthwith 
became a fount of health.] 

Nr. Kettleness. As some springs were patronised by 
saints, others were deemed the resort of fairies, particularly 
Claymore well, near Kettleness, where, according to 
report, the fairies, in days of yore were wont to wash 
their clothes, and to bleach and beat them : and on 
their washing nights, the strokes of the battle-door were 
heard as far as Runswick ! — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 882. 

Marston. The well in one of the cottage-gardens, in the 
village of Long Marston, is yet known as ' Cromwell's Well.' 
Here his Roundhead followers quenched their thirst before 
the battle, on the hot July day, and hence the village 
maidens bore the cooling draughts, in their milking-pails, 
to those who remained in martial array on the neighbour- 
ing hill-top. — Parkinson, 1st S., p. 194. 

Middleham. A spring which rises not far off, [the 
Church] is named St Alkelda's Well. The water of this 
fountain was accounted beneficial for weak eyes, and the 
writer knew a Protestant lady, who died not long since at 
an advanced age, who, in early youth, was accustomed to 
repair to it every morning and who received much relief 
from its strengthening qualities. — Barker, p. 18. 

See under ETYMOLOGY : St Alkelda, p. 442. 



30 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

Mount Grace, nr. Northallerton. At a short distance from 
the south-east corner of the ruins, just within the wood, is 
the Well which supplied the priory with water : it is walled 
round and covered with a neat dome of hewn stone. It is 
called St John's well by all but young ladies, who call it 
the wishing well; and a source of amusement it is to them 
to thrust pins through ivy leaves, throw them on the water, 
and then utter the wish most dear to the heart. . . . 
The first time we visited the ruins we saw many of the pin- 
stuck leaves in the water; there had been a pic-nic or social 
party in the priory during the day. — Grainge, p. 348. 

Moxby. About a mile distant from the nunnery, at the 
corner of the wood called St John's wood, was formerly 
an ancient building, consisting of a small dome of stone and 
brick, over a spring, well known in the neighbourhood as 
'Saint John's Well.' There is still discernible the remains 
of a causeway leading from the nunnery in the direction of 
this well. The water is reported to possess medicinal pro- 
perties, and there is a large and convenient stone cistern 
built on the east side, into which the water is admitted for 
the purpose of bathing. It was much resorted to in the 
days of superstition, and there are still remains of stone 
steps for the more easy descent thereto. Near the mouth 
which admits water into the bath is a large stone called 
the wishing stone, and many a faithful kiss has this stone 
received from those who were supposed never to fail in 
experiencing the completion of their desires, provided the 
wish was delivered with full devotion and confidence. 

Gill, pp. 419, 420. 

Newton Dale, Pickering. A small pool at the foot of the 
scar [Killingnoble] is called 'Newton Dale Well,' and a 
fair was long held here on Midsummer Sunday to which 
all the people in the district resorted, in order to perform 
certain ceremonies which ensured them ' the blessing of the 
well.' — Murray, p. 210. 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 31 

There was once an annual Sunday fair at Newton Dale 
well. — Young, vol. ii., p. 882. 

Rosebury Topping. Out of the toppe of a huge stone 
neere the toppe of the hille drops a fountaine which cureth 
sore eyes, receavinge that vertue from the minerall. 

H. Tr., p. 410. 

To this fountain (still a small spring trickling from an 
arched rock, deeply embedded in the northern part of the 
hill, and surrounded .with thick sedges) a very ancient 
tradition is attached. . . . The legend runs, that previous 
to the Conquest, a Northumbrian princess, dreaming that 
her son Prince Oswy would perish on a certain day, con- 
sulted the augurs for the interpretation of her dream. 
After a long deliberation and careful examination of the 
stars, they pronounced the vision to be true, and that on 
the day intimated, Prince Oswy would meet his death by 
drowning. The princess, with the intention of baffling the 
prophecy, ascended Rosebury, thinking that on a lofty 
isolated mountain, remote from pools, brooks, or rivers, it 
was impossible this misfortune could befall him. Wearied 
with her journey and the heat of the sun, she, on reaching 
the summit, fell into a profound slumber. Meantime the 
youthful prince, attracted by new and pleasing objects, 
wandered away from his mother, and at length reached the 
spring already named. Whether stretching across for some 
wild flower, or allured by his reflection in the water, or falling 
into the pool by accident, is not related ; but certain it is, 
that when the princess awoke, she traced her son to the 
fatal spring, and found him drowned. . . . What renders 
this tradition more remarkable, is its corroboration by a 
similar legend at Osmotherly, a small village outside the 
western confines of Cleveland. — Ord, pp. 422, 423. 

N. & Q., vol. ix., pp. 152, 153, [gives an old popular 
doggerel account. 

See also under ETYMOLOGY : Osmotherley, p. 445. 



32 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Scrafton. East, On the banks of the Cover [near Cover- 
ham] we find St Simon's Well ; a spring formerly used as 
a bath, but now choked up. The country people asserted 
that St Simon the Apostle is buried there ; an evident 
mistake. It is however possible that some holy martyr 
of that name . . . may have suffered during the Danish 
persecution. The place is . . . noticed in some verses 
descriptive of Coverdale written fifty years ago by . 
the Rev. James Law. . . . 
< 

And still one day, in honour of the saint 

In feasting yearly, through the dale is spent.' 

The latter characteristic is still quite correct. 

Barker, p. 145. 

Nr. Swarthoue Cross. A large spring or well near Swart- 
houe Cross where she [St Hilda] often used to resort when 
young, afterwards assumed her name. — Charlton, p. 32. 

Walton parish. One mile and a quarter south of Walton, 
was the ford by which the Romans crossed the Wharfe. After 
crossing the river, the old road leads northwards, and is 
now called Rudgate ; near by is St Helen's, or the Wishing 
Well, which is often visited by young men and maidens. 
The well, or perhaps the apology for one, for there is 
scarcely any water, is to be found in a clump of trees near 
the river. Hanging on the roots of the trees, are some 
scores of gewgaws left by anxious lovers, who suppose the 
well holds some subtle efficacy or charm. Here formerly 
stood a chapel, dedicated to St Helen. — BOGG, p. 74. 

All but the most callous must feel themselves in a 
natural temple in Chapel Wood, Rudgate, standing before 
that fine witch elm at the foot of which there once sprang 
the sacred well. The tree's twigs are bedecked with 
innumerable and varied mementoes of believing visitants — 
rags and tatters, white (once), grey, black, multi-coloured, — 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 33 

some recent, and others weathered almost to the final warp 
of decay. These offerings of shreds and patches are what 
the West-Yorkmen call memaws — trifles of a personal 
character, yet each meaning much, like the widow's mite. 
Some of these offerings are more pretentious ; a bit of lace 
here, the silk tassel of a sunshade there, and even one bole's 
larger arm, accessible only to a climber, possibly some 
young male gipsy, has had its thirty-inch girth encircled, 
symbolically, and badge-like, with a ribbon or band of some 
blood-red material. There are veritably hundreds of these 
bedizenings, affixed and renewed surreptitiously (probably 
before sunrise), according to an unwritten law, for none 
are ever caught in the act ; and yet during the summer 
months a careful examiner may detect, almost weekly, 
evidence of shy communicant with the ghostly genius of 
the grove. This offering, for instance, looking very like a 
half-foot of stockingette garter, is new since last one passed 
this way ! And all these votive offerings are off the very 
body of some one. . . . As to the ritual, fear or shame 
makes it impossible to obtain much reliable information. 
Pieced together and codified, fact and hearsay testify as 
follows. The visitor to the grove, before rise of sun, has 
to face the tree, to detach from his or her own person some 
piece of garment, to dip it in the well, and having knotted, 
or whilst hanging the fragment to any convenient twig 
of the witch elm, is to breathe a "wish," telling no one 
what that wish may be ; these conditions strictly observed, 
what is desired shall come to pass ! There is, however, 
an idea current, that May or the spring season is the most 
propitious for making offerings ; and, in consequence, 
some connection with the Roman Floralia or the Well- 
dressings of Derbyshire, has been suggested by orthodox 
antiquarians of the neighbourhood. But this may be only 
an overlay, for it is to be noted that the persons who, in 
the secret and underhand fashion described, avail them- 
selves of the special opportunity of ragoffering, by no 

c 



34 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

means limit themselves to a particular month ; perhaps 
even not to a day or hour. — TEMP. Mag., January, 1900, 
pp. 266, 267. 

See also Trees and Plants, p. 54. 

Whitby. Ragwells, certain springs in this neighbourhood, 
once the resort of invalids. If the shirt or the shift 
thrown into the water happened to float, it intimated 
recovery ; but if otherwise it was a sign of death. This 
kind of divination probably gave the name to the wells. 
To cure sore eyes wash them with the water of a spring 
that flows south! — ROBINSON, p. 150. 

Witton Fell, nr. East Witton. Almost on the summit 
of the fell is a beautiful spring designated Cast-a-way 
Well. . . . There is another spring on the fell, called 
Diana's Well. . . . This fountain is considered so pure 
that a very old rhyme is still current : 

' Whoever eats Hammer nuts, and drinks Diana's water, (pronounced 
waiter) 
Will never leave Witton, while he's a rag or tatter.' 

The Hammer woods contain excellent nuts and the 
Witton people are proverbial for their attachment to 
their native place. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 450, note 
[from Barker, p. 10]. 

York. Castle. — Near this staircase, is a deep draw-well 
of excellent water, which Drake says was " choaked up" 
at the time when he wrote, but which is now open 
and is not less than fifty or sixty feet in depth. It 
has a wooden frame round the top, and a roller for 
drawing water, but no rope. 

Hargrove, vol. ii., p. i., p. 255. 
This, when sounded in 1879, was only 12 feet deep. 
Twvford and Griffiths, p. 33. 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 35 

[One who had visited York Castle told the compiler 
that his guide said : " Oliver Cromwell threw three 
thousand Jews down this well and if you drop a stone 
in it you will hear it strike upon their bones."] 

New Walk. — An erection called 'The Well House' 
in which is a remarkably fine spring much used as an 
excellent eye-water. — Strangers' Guide, p. 178. 

Minster Crypt. — There is a draw-well with a stone 
cistern in the eastern part of the crypt of York Minster 
where King Edwin is said to have been baptized in 627. 

Hope, p. 174. 

Zouche Chapel {Minster). — At its S.W. angle is a draw- 
well called ' St. Peter's Well,' ' of a very wholesome clear 
water, much drunk by the common people.' — Torre. 

Murray, p. 54. 

[In addition to the foregoing, the following wells deserve 
to be mentioned because of the inherent interest of their 
names, although as a rule no definite tradition concerning 
them has been obtained. 

Aislaby, Whitby. St. Hilda's Well. WHELLAN, vol. ii., 
p. 821. 

Arden Hill, Northallerton. Nun's Well. Grainge, 
p. 321. 

Burneston, Bedale. St. Lambert's Well. WHITAKER, 
vol. ii., pp. 121, 126. 

Cawthorn, Pickering. The Roman's Well. WHELLAN, 
vol. ii., p. 911. 

Crathorne, Yarm. A holy-well just outside the church- 
yard. Atkinson, p. 235. 

Harmby. The Fairies' Well. Barker, p. 12. 

Kirklington. St. Michael's Well. WHITAKER, vol. ii., 
p. 157. 

Lastingham. Cedd's Well. MURRAY, p. 208. 



36 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

Liverton, Loftus. A 'halikeld just through the church- 
yard.' Atkinson, p. 235. 

Melmerby, Nr. Spring called Halikeld which has given 

its name to the Wapentake. ARNOLD-FORSTER, 

vol. ii., p. 410. 
Eichmond. Nun's Well. Whellan, vol. ii., p. 37. 

„ St. Osyth's Well. Whitaker, vol. i., p. 102. 

Scarborough Castle. Our Lady's Well. Whellan, vol. i., 

p. 700. 
Skelton (Cleveland). Cawdkell Well. H. Tr., p. 420. 

Snainton. Well where St. Paulinus is said to have 

baptized. HOPE, p. 206. 
Thirsk. Lady Well. THIRSK, p. 66. 

Uckerby, Scorton. St. Cuthbert's Well or Cuddy Keld. 
Whellan, vol. ii., p. 363. 

Well, Masham. St. Michael's Well. WHELLAN, vol. ii., 
p. 385. Called Mickey, or Mickel Well. BOGG (3), 
p. 293 ; and the South Wester. WHITAKER, vol. ii., 
p. 78. 

Winton, Northallerton. St. Thomas' Well. WHELLAN, 
vol. ii., p. 335. 

York, (nr. Hungate). Holy-priests' Well. DRAKE, p. 312.] 

Bishopdale. [About two miles from Thoralby], is a dark 
pool of water, the depth of which, the natives tell us, is 
immeasurable ; this is named the ' Devil's Hole.' 

BOGG (3), p. 282. 

Gormire. The traditions respecting it, are, that this awful 
abyss was produced by a tremendous earthquake, which 
ingulphed a populous town, and its secure inhabitants, in 
a moment of unexpected calamity, leaving behind it a body 
of waters unfathomable. The same authority declares that 
the tops of houses, and the desolate chimneys are sometimes 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 37 

visible to the astonished eyes of the stranger when embarked 
on its mysterious surface. 

' There is a magnet-like attraction in 
These waters, to th' imaginative power, 
That links the viewless with the visible, 
And pictures things unseen.' 

That magnet-like attraction, is felt by those who swim 
across the lake, some of whom declare it to be most diffi- 
cult to accomplish, but the why or the wherefore they 
cannot tell. It is surrounded by mountains, having on 
one side the foot of Whitestonecliff, and on the other 
the foot of Hood, yet the waters are not stagnant but 
beautifully clear. There is a recess on the side near the 
cliff, where the waters find egress amongst the rocks. The 
grand-dames relate that a goose possessed of more courage 
than discretion, penetrated this dark track of the waters, 
and made its exit near Kirbymoorside, stripped of all its 
feathers. 

The centre of the lake is commonly believed to be 
bottomless, as various parties have tried to fathom it but 
without success. Gormire, like other places of a similar 
nature, is not without its metrical romance. Believing it 
to be bottomless they conclude its waters can never be 
dried up, and the following quaint lines are in the mouths 
of the villagers, 

' When Gormire riggs shall be covered with hay, 
The White Mare of Whitestonecliff will bear it away.' 

. . . The lake is the property of Sir George Wombwell 
Bart, of Newburgh Park and it is a singular circumstance, 
that the lake only belongs to Sir George, without any of the 
adjoining land. — GlLL, pp. 233, 234. 

Simmerwater. There is an old legend connected with 
Simmerwater, of which the following is the substance : — 
Previous to the year of grace 45, there existed a large 
and populous City, which stood upon the exact spot now 



38 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

occupied by the lake, then but a small mountain rivulet. 
To this City, a wayfarer, who is variously said to have been 
an Angel, St Paul, Joseph of Arimathea, or Our Saviour 
himself in the form of a poor old man, came, and solicited 
in vain the alms of every citizen. Being scornfully repulsed 
by all, the stranger took his course eastward, down the vale, 
to the hut or cottage of an aged couple, poor and mean, 
and there he readily obtained the best morsels the house 
afforded, viz., a little bowl of milk, some cheese, and an 
oaten cake. Beneath their roof was his dormitory for the 
night, and on the morrow he bestowed on them his blessing. 
Being ready to depart, he turned his face to the west — to 
the ' Sodom of Wensleydale ' — and uttered his malediction 
against the ill-fated City : 

' Simmer-water rise, Simmer-water sink, 
And swallow all the town save this lisle house, 
Where they gave me meat and drink.' 

No sooner was the sentence uttered than it was executed ; 
the earth made a hissing noise, the stream overflowed its 
bounds, and the City was no more. The poor charitable 
couple soon became the richest people in the vale, and the 
blessing descended to their children's children for many 
generations. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 403, note. 

Unto this day the natives tell us that the roofs of the 
buried city are ofttimes seen deep down in the limpid 
waters. They also point to a hut still standing on the 
south side of the lake as the dwelling place of the aged 
couple who so generously relieved the stranger. 

' And as the calm of evening falls 
No sound from landward bringing, 
Soft music's heard from hidden bells 
Deep 'neath the waters ringing.' 

BOGG (3), p. 215, and p. 214. 

Variant. A long time ago there was a village in 
the North Riding of Yorkshire called Simmerdale, at one 
end of which stood a church, and the house of a Quaker 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 39 

woman at the other end. It happened one day that a 
witch came into the village, and beginning at the house 
next the church, asked for food and drink, but her request 
was refused. And so she went on from house to house 
without getting either food or drink, until at last she came 
to the Quaker woman's house. There sitting in the porch, 
she was regaled with bread, meat, and beer. Having finished 
her repast, she rose and waved an ash twig over the village, 
saying : 

' Simmerdale, Simmerdale, Simmerdale, sink, 
Save the house of the woman who gave me to drink.' 

When the witch had said these words, the water rose in the 
valley and covered the village, except the old woman's 
house. Simmer Water is now a peaceful lake, and on fine 
clear days people in the neighbourhood fancy that they 
can see down in its placid depths the ruins of the village 
and church. . . . The legend was told me by a native 
of the North Riding now resident in Sheffield. 

Addy, p. 61 and note. 

Cf. Lanqilit, PLACE, ETC., LEGENDS, p. 401. 

"Whitby. Submarine Bells. A favourite story told in con- 
nection with the abbey is one concerning its bells. It runs 
thus : — The magnificent peal excited the cupidity of some 
sea-roving freebooter, and landing with a sufficient force, 
he extracted the bells from the sacred building and con- 
veyed them on board his vessel. This desecration was 
however, not suffered to go unpunished, for ere the vessel 
had gone many miles she struck and foundered a short 
distance from a projecting ridge of rock called the ' Black 
Nab.' As a fitting conclusion to this we are told, that he 
who dares on Hallowe'en to spend some time on the rock, 
and call his sweetheart's name, will hear it echoed by the 
breeze, accompanied with the ringing of marriage bells from 
the sunken chime. — HoRNE, p. 13. 

Variant. The abbey was suppressed in 1539 A.D., 



40 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

and shortly afterwards dismantled. The bells were sold 
and were to be conveyed by ship to London. They were 
duly placed on board, and, amid the lamentation of the 
people, the sails were unfurled and the anchor weighed. 
But lo ! the vessel refused to bear its sacred burden. A 
short distance it moved out into the bay, and then — on the 
beautiful, calm summer evening — it quietly sank beneath 
the waves; and there under the waters, at a spot within 
sight of the abbey ruins, the bells still remain, and are still 
heard occasionally by the superstitious, rung by invisible 
hands. — PARKINSON, ist S., p. 29. 

[In 'The Buried Chime' (Phillips, S. K., pp. 23, 24) 
a third story is told. The gallant ship that brought the 
bells 

' for the abbey on the height, 

Struck and foundered in the offing, with her sacred goal in sight.'] 

The Eure. The Eure near Middleham, is much infested 
with a horrid Kelpie or water-horse, who riseth from the 
stream at eventide, and rampeth along the meadows eager 
for prey. — LONGSTAFFE, p. 96. 

It is said that the kelpie claims, at least one human 
victim annually. — PARKINSON, 2nd S., p. 106. 

The Ouse. If legends deceive not, any one who came 
and threw five white pebbles into a certain part of the 
Ouse as the hour of one struck on the first morning of 
May, would then see everything he desired to see, past, 
present, and to come, on the surface of the water. Once a 
knight returning from the wars desired to see how it fared 
with his lady-love : he threw in the pebbles, and beheld 
the home of the maiden, a mansion near Scarborough, and 
a youth wearing a mask and cloak descending from her 
window, and the hiding of the ladder by the serving-man. 
Maddened by jealousy, he mounted and rode with speed ; 
his horse dropped dead in the sight of the house ; he saw 



Wells, Pools, Lakes and Rivers. 4 1 

the same youth ascending the ladder, rushed forward and 
stabbed him to the heart. It was his betrothed. She was 
not faithless ; still loved her knight, and had only been to 
a masquerade. For many a day thereafter did the knight's 
anguish and remorse appear as the punishment of unlawful 
curiosity in the minstrel's lay and gestour's romance. 

White, p. 3 1 8. 

The Tees. ' Peg Powler,' the spirit of the Tees. 

W. H., N. & Q., 8th S., vol. ix., p. 376. 

It is well known to those who dwell upon the banks of 
the Tees that the loud sounding river, in whose gorge the 
depth of the water varies wonderfully, is inhabited by 
a malicious sprite with long green tresses and an insatiable 
desire for human life. The children of the district know 
Peg Powler well and many an urchin lingering behind 
the rest has run screaming after his companions at some 
fancied turmoil of the water betokening the rising of the 
sprite. There are vague tales of men beguiled to lonely 
places in the stream and drowned beyond all hope of 
rescue; and how then should little children save themselves 
but by flight ? Far down from the higher reaches of the 
Tees . . . there are borne masses of white foam . . . and 
these too bear the name of the sprite, being called ' Peg 
Powler's suds.' — NORWAY, p. 170. 

Witches had no power to follow their victim, if he or she 
crossed running water, always provided they did so at 
some point below the first bridge spanning its banks, other- 
wise the crossing of water was of no avail. 

Blakeborough (2), p. 36, as corrected by its author. 

See also under WITCHCRAFT, pp. 153 and 168. 



THE MOON. 

Dealing with a New Moon. There seems to be a pretty 
general belief throughout the country that it is unlucky 



42 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

to look at the new moon for the first time through any 
medium except the atmosphere. I remember when I was a 
boy often being asked if the new moon was visible through 
the window, it being assumed that I had seen it in the 
orthodox way by having previously beheld it outside the 
house. Housemaids, in drawing down the blinds, would 
shut their eyes if there was any chance of seeing it through 
the glass. Curiously enough, however, outside they would 
use a new silk handkerchief in order to see the moon 
through it, and as many moons as they saw so many years 
they supposed it would be before Hymen smiled on them. 
This was in the North Riding of Yorkshire. — F. C. Birk- 
beck Terry, N. & Q., 8th S., vol. xii., p. 352. 

According to my experience, the belief has reference 
only to the first new moon of the new year. — F. C. Birk- 
beck Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. v., p. 55. 

For means of averting the evil see Blakeborough, p. 130. 

The first new moon in the year is looked upon by the 
fair sex with great adoration. The wishful maiden holds 
up a new black silk handkerchief between her face and the 
moon, which she must not have seen before, and looking 
towards the regent of night thus pours out her petition : — 

' New moon ! new moon ! I hail thee, 
This night my true love for to see : 
Not in his best nor worst array, 
But in his apparel for every day ; 
That I to-morrow may him ken, 
From among all other men.' 

Having finished this petition, she retires to bed backwards, 
without speaking a word to any one, and if she can fall 
asleep before 12 o'clock, her future partner will appear in 
her dreams. — Ingledew, p. 344 ; YOUNG, vol. h\, p. 881. 

See Blakeborougk, p. 129. 

Besides bowing or curtseying to the new moon when 
first seen, we hear the children of this maritime part 



Tke Moon. 43 

[Whitby] on moonlight nights, loudly reciting the 
couplet — 

' I see the moon and the moon sees me, 
God bless the sailors on the sea.' 

Turning the money in your pocket for luck when you first 
observe the new moon, may be a general practice. . . . 
When the new moon is first seen as a slight curve ' laid on 
her back,' it is said to denote a rainy month, her shape 
being likened to that of a water-bowl. The moon's in- 
crease or decrease was once supposed to affect the quantity 
of marrow in the bones, as well as the size and flavour of 
shell-fish ; cockles, with us, by the way, being said to be the 
best when there is r in the month. Its effects upon moon- 
lins or maniacs are credited, along with the full-moon 
period for administering worm remedies. — ROBINSON, xiii. 

When a halo with watery clouds gathers round the 
moon, the seamen say there will be a change of weather, 
for the moon dogs are about. — Edward Hailstone, N. & Q., 
4th S., vol. viii., p. 505. 

See also under MAGIC AND DIVINATION, Weather Fore- 
casts, p. 215. 

There are persons who will not sow seed when the moon 
is waning, because, in that case, they aver, the seed would 
never germinate. — Stonehouse, p. 63. 

ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS. 

Banishing a Rainbow. Boys in Yorkshire take two pieces 
of stick and lay them on the ground, placing a small stone 
at the end of each stick. This charm is supposed to cause 
the rainbow to disappear. I have also heard of straws 
being similarly used. — F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 
7th S., vol. x., p. 471. 

Lightning. In this part of Yorkshire [Settrington] it is 
considered prudent during a thunder-storm to leave the 



44 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

house door open in order to enable the lightning to get out 
if it should come in. 

Isaac Taylor, N. & Q., 7th S., vol. vi., p. 9. 

Names of Clouds. During a sojourn in the North Riding 
of Yorkshire some months ago, I for the first time heard 
certain forms of clouds designated ' Barbara and her 
barns ' ' hen scrattins ' or ' scrahlins,' and ' fish-pots.' 
" Barbara and her barns " were said to be a sign of stormy 
weather, and were defined as a thick band of cloud across 
the west, with smaller bands ( = ' the barns ') above and 
below. ' Hen scrattins ' are light fleecy clouds, whilst 
'fish-pots' are a kind of tub-shaped isolated clouds. — 
F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. viii., p. 446. 

Henscrats or Filly tails. — ROBINSON, p. 93. 

Summer-colt. The seeming undulation of vapour near 
the surface of the ground, or along the line of a wall, as on 
a hot summer's day. — Atkinson (2), p. 508. 

Will-d -the- Wisp. If ever you are pursued by a Will-o'- 
the-Wisp, the best thing to do is to put a steel knife into 
the ground, with the handle upwards ; and the Will-o'-the- 
Wisp will run round this until the knife is burnt up, and 
you will thus have the means of escaping. 

D. J. K., N. & Q., 4th S., vol. i., p. 193. 

Here [Danby &c] it is held, or was until lately, that 
twining one's apron was a sure defence against the 
mysterious power of attraction attributed to the Will-o'- 
the-wisp. — Atkinson (2), 470, 471. 

THE SEA AND SEA-FARERS. 

" The cruel hungry Foam!' At Saltburne mouth, a small 
brooke dischargeth yt self into the sea, which lyinge lowe 
under the bankes serveth as a trunke or conduite to 
convey the rumor of the sea into the neighbour feildes, 
for when all wyndes are whiste, and the sea restes un- 



The Sea and Sea-Farers. 45 

moved as a standinge poole, sometymes there is such a 
horrible groninge heard from that creeke, at the leaste 
six myles into the maynelande, that the fishermen dare 
not put forth, though thirste of gayne drive them on, 
houldinge an opynion that the ocean, as a greedy beaste 
rageinge for hunger, desyres to be sattisfyed with men's 
carkases. — H. Tr. pp. 415, 416. 

Call of the Sea. 

For all that the sea keeps calling me, 
I'll not die this bout, my lass. 
PHILLIPS, S. K., The Dying Wrecker, p. 50. 

See also Afloat and Ashore, p. 59 ; The Fisherman's 
Summons, pp. 45, 46. 

Merman at Skinningrove. Ould men, that would be 
loath to have theer credytes crackt by a tale of a stale 
date, reporte confidentlye, that sixty yeares since, or per- 
haps eighty or more, a Sea-Man was taken by the fishers of 
that towne, whome duringe many weekes they kepte in an 
oulde house, giveinge him rawe fishe to eate, for all other 
foode he refused. In steede of voyce he skreaked, and 
shewed a curteous acceptance of such as flocked farre and 
neere to visyte him ; fayre maydes were welcomest guestes 
to his harbour, whome he would behould with a very 
earneste countenance, as if his phlegmaticke breste had bin 
touched with a sparke of love. One daye, when the good 
demeanure of this newe gueste had made his hoastes 
secure of his aboade with them, he privily stoale out of 
doores, and ere he could be overtaken recovered the sea, 
whereinto he plonged himself; yet, as one that would not 
unmanerly depart without takinge of his leave, from his 
mydle upwards he raysed his shoulders often above the 
waves, and makinge signes of acknowledging his good 
entertainment to such as beheld him on the shoare, as they 
interpreted yt, after a pretty while he dived downe, and 
apeared no more. — H. Tr., p. 416. 



46 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

FISHERY FESTIVITIES. 

Filey. Among the remarkable customs relating to the 
Fishery, is the following curious one, which is probably 
peculiar to Filey. 

During the time the boats are on the Herring Fishery, 
the junior part of the inhabitants seize all the unemployed 
waggons and carts they can find, and drag them down 
the streets to the cliff top ; there leaving them to be 
owned, and taken away by their respective proprietors 
on the following morning : this is carried into effect about 
the third Saturday night after the boats have sailed from 
Filey, under a superstitious notion that it drives the 
herrings into the nets. 

Previous to the fishermen setting out upon their ex- 
pedition they send a piece of sea-beef on shore from 
each boat to such of their friends at the public houses, 
as they wish ' weel teea ' ; this occasions ' a bit of a 
supper' at which those who are going away and those 
who stay meet to enjoy good cheer, heightened with 
mutual good-will. The Sunday preceding their departure 
is called Boat-Sunday, when all their friends from the 
neighbouring villages attend to bid them farewell. 

Cole, p. 143 ; Hone, T. B., p. 733 ; Shaw, p. 8. 

BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE VOYAGE. 

Filey. On going down to the sands to go off, if any 
of the fishermen met a pig nothing could persuade them 
to go to sea on that day, as such an event was con- 
sidered a certain omen of coming disaster. A Filey 
person informed me that, when a very little girl, she ran 
into the house of her grandfather, an old fisherman, who 
was engaged in baiting a line preparatory to the day's 
fishing. On entering she said " Grandad, I've just 
seen such a great pig run up our yard." Throwing the 
half-baited line upon the floor, he exclaimed, 'out wi 



Before, During, and After the Voyage. 47 

thea, out wi thea, thou nasty hussey, thou's hindered mea 
ganing to sea to-day' and sure enough all idea of doing 
so was abandoned. To buy eggs after sunset was also 
considered unlucky. Indeed such a thing was next to 
impossible, as no one could be found daring enough to 
sell them. A resident, well acquainted with this place, 
told me that when a boy he used to visit an old lady 
who 'kept shop.' One night, being desirous to learn 
whether there was any truth in the story about the eggs 
he said, 'could you let me have an egg or two for my 
supper?' The horrified old dame replied, 'Drat thea, 
get out o' me shop, Ah sail hev neeah luck to neet, 
and I mun as weel shut up at yance.' Accordingly the 
shutters were put up, and business suspended until the 
following morning. 

They had many curious notions as to what should and 
should not be done on board the boats. Sometimes when 
the nets were being 'paid out,' one of the men would 
cut a slit in one of the pieces of cork attached to them, 
and insert a coin in it. It is not uncommon even now 
for some of them to do so. This is to show they can 
pay for the fish. Whether it is old Neptune they have 
to pay, or the acknowledgment is intended to satisfy 
some other sea-deity or not I could never learn. 

To have a pin about you was considered very foolish, 
and if one were to go on board of a vessel belonging 
to some of the ' old hands,' we should probably be 
invited to " toss it overboard." They also thought it 
unlucky to put their hands between the steps of a ladder 
to reach a biscuit out of the bread-basket that stood 
behind it, instead of reaching round it. To whistle was 
also considered very wrong as it might "fetch up a 
breeze." A local poet alludes to this superstitious notion 
in the following lines : — 

'A pleasant breeze on a fine moonlight night, 
Then I began to whistle with delight. 



48 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

The mate he heard and soon call'd out to me, 
You must not whistle when you are at sea.' 

Shaw, pp. 11-13. 
See Blakeborongh, pp. 147, 148. 

Scarborough. Fishermen when proceeding out to sea on 
their business, lest it should prove ominous, will on no 
account whatever utter a single word — but the whole 
preparation as well as embarkation, is carried on in the most 
profound and serious silence. Whatever may from accident 
be necessary to express, is done by significant signs ; nor 
does this water pantomime conclude, until they arrive on 
the fishing ground. 

A new ship is by no means suffered to go to sea on a 
Friday — and both omens, and lucky, or unlucky days, are 
not yet stricken out of the fisherman's traditional calendar. 

SCHOFIELD, p. 123. 

Sailors have a great objection to commence a voyage on a 
Friday, even though the tide and wind maybe exceptionally 
in their favour. — BAKER, p. 475. 

No sailor will set out on a voyage if he finds his earthen- 
ware basin turned upside down in the morning when he is 
about to have breakfast. The boys sometimes turn their 
basins upside down on purpose when they wish to have a 
day's play. 

T. T. Williamson, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. iv., p. 131. 

Whistling at sea is considered by sailors to be un- 
lucky, as it is commonly supposed to raise an unfavour- 
able wind ; although we are told they sometimes practise 
it when there is a dead calm. A whistling woman is 
regarded by the seafaring population on the coast of 
Yorkshire with especial dread ; and some years ago when 
a party of friends were going on board a vessel at Scar- 
borough, the captain created no small astonishment by 
persistently declining to allow one of the party to enter 



Before, During, and After the Voyage. 49 

his boat. " Not that young lady," he said " she whistles." 
By a curious coincidence the vessel was lost on her next 
voyage. So had the young female set foot on it, the 
misfortune, no doubt would have been ascribed to her. 
On one occasion, when a sailor was asked what objection 
there could be to whistling, he answered: — "We only 
whistle while the wind is asleep and then the breeze 
comes." — Baker, pp. 474, 475. 
See also under Filey, pp. 47, 48. 

Staithes. It is of frequent occurrence that after having 
caught nothing for many nights, the fishermen keep the 
first fish that comes into the boat and burn it on their 
return home as a sacrifice to the Fates. All four-footed 
animals are considered unlucky, but the most ill omened 
of quadrupeds is the pig. If, when the men are putting 
their nets into the boats, the name of this innocent and 
succulent animal is by accident mentioned, they will 
always desist from their task and turn to some other 
occupation, hoping thus to avert the evil omen, and in 
many cases will renounce the day's expedition altogether, 
convinced that no good could come of it. The sight of a 
drowned dog or kitten, too, as he goes towards his coble 
will always keep a Staithes fisherman at home ; and what 
is still more curious, if as he walks to his boat, his lines on 
his head or a bundle of nets on his shoulder, he chances to 
meet face to face with a woman, be she even his own wife 
or daughter, he considers himself doomed to ill-luck. 
Thus, when a woman sees a man approaching her under 
these circumstances she at once turns her back on him. 
If a fisher sends his son to fetch his big sea-boots, the 
bearer must be careful to carry them under his arm. 
Should he by inadvertance place them on his shoulder his 
father will inevitably refuse to put out to sea that day. 
An egg is deemed so unlucky that the fishermen will not 
even use the word, but call the produce of a fowl a 



5 o Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc. ). 

round-about ; and fearless as are the fishers in their daily 
juggling with the dangers of the sea, yet so fearful are 
they of nameless spirits and bogies, that I am assured I 
should be unable, in the whole fishing colony of Staithes, 
to find a volunteer who for a couple of sovereigns would 
walk by night to a neighbouring village of Hinderwell, a 

couple of miles distant Many of [the people] — the 

majority indeed — have gone over to Dissent. . . . There 
are in Staithes but few Roman Catholics — I have only 
been able to discover one, and this person is not a native 
of Staithes — though hard by, but a mile or two away, is a 
village whose inhabitants are nearly all Romanists. 

Y. H., Sep. 23, 1885 [Reprinted from the Times]. 
See also under WITCHCRAFT, p. 165. 

Whitby, and about. Children in our fishing towns are 
seen 'spelling' or leaping up and down on the cliffs for 
a fair wind to the home-coming boats of their relatives, 
while they keep chanting the following couplet, — 

' Souther wind, souther ! 
An' blaw mah faather heeam te mah mother,' — 

' souther,' by the way, being liable to alteration according 
to the quarter from which they wish the wind to come. 
On these points Lambert, the antiquary of the 16th 
century, relates that seafarers had recourse to an Eolus, 
so named after the god of the east wind, and further 
refers to a 'picture of St Leonard,' in a church on the 
coast, ' holding a fane or Eolus sceptre in his hand,' which 
could be turned to the point of the compass that any one 
sought for, ' and so after that done, and offering made, they 
promised themselves the desired wind, both speedie and 
prosperous.' 

When the sea-birds fly high, we are told the fishermen 
say it is a sign that the price of bread is going to rise, and 
to counteract the omen, the housewife lets the loaf fait from 
the table to the floor — an old practice common in dear 



Before, During, and After the Voyage. 5 1 

times ; while the notion respecting particular days and cir- 
cumstances being lucky or unlucky for putting out to sea, 
as well as the unpropitious augurings for certain things 
crossing one's path at the beginning of a day's work, and 
so on, are matters regarded similarly in other quarters. 

We gather from the Rev. J. C. Atkinson's History of 
Cleveland, a district running coastwise north from Whitby, 
that their ' yawls ' or fishing boats are usually held in 
shares, and when the ' dole ' or division of the profit takes 
place, which is very frequently, it is done in a most primi- 
tive fashion. ' One of the number takes charge of the 
money, and instead of handing his share reckoned in one 
sum, he commences the dole by handing a piece of money 
to one, another of the same value to the next, and so on all 
round till the whole amount is exhausted.' 

Robinson, p. viii. 

Some years ago, when the vessels in the Greenland 
whale-fishery left Whitby, in Yorkshire, I observed the 
wives and friends of the sailors to throw old shoes at the 
ships as they passed the pier-head. 

S.H. N. & Q., vol. ii., p. 197. 

Caul [or Kelt, or Smear], the membrane over the face with 
which some children are born. A caul is worn about the 
person as a protection from drowning ; and for those who 
are going to sea, as much as £$ may be instanced as offered 
for one in the public papers. — Robinson, p. 33. 

Smock-turning, the old-fashioned practice of wives and 
sweethearts putting on their shifts inside out, for success 
and a fair wind to their connections at sea. 

Robinson, p. 177. 

See Blakeborough, p. 152. 

Wossit, worsted. Housewives tell us it is not good to 
wind worsted or thread from the skein into a ball by candle 
light, 'for it raffles the sailors in steering their course at sea.' 

Robinson, p. 223. 



/ 



52 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Scarborough. A most whimsical superstitious rite is often 
secretly performed on the new Pier, (as it antiently was on 
the old one,) with a view to appease the angry waves, and 
obtain a propitious breeze favourable to the voyager's safe 
return. His fair spouse, (or other anxious female friend,) 
proceeds unaccompanied about forty paces along the pier. 
Here a small circular cavity among the stones, which 
compose that huge mass of rocky fragments, receives a 
saline and tepid libation, which is poured into it while the 
sacrificer, muttering her tenderest wishes, looks towards 
that quarter, from whence the object of her anxiety, is ex- 
pected to arrive. Antiquarians, mythologists, and sundry 
naturalists, have expressed their difficulties in accounting 
for this ceremony ; yet they all allow it to proceed from 
some obscure and remote origin, if not absolute heathen 
superstition. Simpler tradition only records that it was 
first performed by one — . . . wife to a fisherman, who was 
given up lost in a storm ; but strange to relate, the libation 
was scarcely cold, before the missing coble came in sight ! 

SCHOFIELD, pp. 62, 63. 

Redcar. Of curtesye they presente their first chapman 
with a fishe ; and if any byd money and be refused, yet, 
though another outbyd him, it is in his choise to be halfe in 
the bargaine. They have a custome every yeare to change 
their fellowes for good luck sake, as they esteeme yt ; and 
upon St. Peter's daye, they invyte their frends and kins- 
folks to a festyvall kepte after their fashion, with a free 
herte, and no shewe of nigardise. That daye their boates 
are dressed curuouslye to the shewe, their mastes are 
painted, and certaine rytes observed amongste them, with 
sprinkling their boates with good liquor, solde with them 
at a groate a quarte ; which custome or superstycion suckt 
from their auncestors contynueth even unto this present. 

H. Tr., p. 414. . 



Before, During, and After the Voyage. 53 

Scarborough. The fish-market is held on the sands, by the 
sides of the boats, which, at low water, are run upon wheels 
with a sail set, and are conducted by the fishermen, who 
dispose of their cargoes in the following manner. One of 
the female fishmongers asks the price, and bids a groat ; 
the fishermen ask a sum in the opposite extreme ; the one 
bids up, and the other reduces the demand, till they meet 
at a reasonable point, when the bidder suddenly exclaims 
' Het.' This practice seems to be borrowed from the Dutch. 
The purchase is afterwards retailed among the regular, or 
occasional surrounding customers. 

Hone, T. B., p. 202 ; Schofield, p. 122. 

" Wrang 'em " or " Wrong 'em." — This word came 
into use by the old cobble fishermen about the year 
1 8 19. It took its rise from the fish set aside for drink, 
unknown to the men's wives, hence " wrong 'em." This 
term was also confirmed by the accident of the name of 
the person who they thought sold the best spirituous 
liquors. He was a Captain Wrangham who had a shop in 
East Sandgate, and the fishermen used to say as they set 
the fish aside " It'll de for Wrangham." The word is now 
used for all offal fish claimed by smack apprentices, and 
for what the men may catch by hook while the boats are 
riding by the herring nets, and which is free from auction 
dues. — Baker, pp. 467, 468. 



SECTION II. 

TREES AND PLANTS. 

Tree-worship thought possible. — That some lingering- 
notion of veneration due to trees hung on, and was 
regarded as savouring of something not orthodox, is 
perhaps shown by the following incident, which is per- 
fectly true. It was told me by the person concerned. 
A new parson had been appointed to a remote parish in 
one of the north-western dales of Yorkshire, under the 
Fells. Not being a native of Yorkshire, but a southerner, 
he was eyed with suspicion, and his movements were 
watched. Now in the parsonage garden was a large tree, 
and about the roots was a bed of violets. The suspicious 
villagers observed the pastor as he walked round the tree, 
and every now and then bowed, to pick a violet. The 
proceeding took place daily. Why he bowed they could 
not understand, unless it were in homage to the tree, and 
they actually drew up a memorial to the Archbishop of 
York complaining of their parson as guilty of idolatrous 
tree-worship. — Baring-Gould (3), p. 231. 

See also under Natural Objects : Wells, Walton, p. 32. 

MAYPOLES. 

Aysgarth. In it is an old may-pole about 90 feet in height. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 389. 

Carlton. The only village in Cleveland where we have 
noticed the Maypole. — Ord, p. 442. 



Maypoles. 5 5 

The ancient custom of merrymaking and dancing round 
it is still kept up. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 739. 

Falsgrave. There was . . a May-pole at the east end 
of the village, but this has . . been diverted from its 
original purpose. — BAKER, p. 26. 

Huby. Huby is one of the solitary instances in Yorkshire 
which still retains its tall aspiring May-pole, though now, 
alas, bare and ungarlanded. — GlLL, p. 412. 

This relic of ' Merry England ' is 22 yards high, and was 
erected about 20 years ago, in lieu of an older pole. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 642. 

The annual meeting of the ratepayers has been held 
in the National School. . . . Officers were nominated to 
serve the township for the ensuing year. . . . Subsequently 
a discussion arose as to the desirability of having the 
village Maypole renovated during the coming spring. A 
proposition was made and carried nem. con. that such 
renovation be effected and .a committee was formed to 
superintend the arrangements. — Y. H., March 25, 1891. 

Newbiggin in Bishopdale. See sub Thoralby, p. 56. 

Ovington. In it is one of the very few May-poles in the 
country: it is 21 yards high. An annual feast is held on 
the 14th of May. — WHELLAN, vol. ii., p. 482. 

Upper Poppleton. [In August 1893 the stump of the 
old Maypole, taken down almost thirty years before, was 
unearthed, and a new one 80 feet high planted on the 
spot.]— See Y. H., Aug. 8th, 1893. 

Redmire. A May-pole, rare in Yorkshire, stands on the 
green. It was shattered to pieces by the electric fluid, 
during a thunderstorm in the summer of 1849. 

Barker, p. 187. 



56 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Richmond. The Maypoles in this town were placed, one 
opposite to the New Bank, and the other upon the Green. 
The maypole was resorted to at all other seasons of 
festivity and mirth, as well as during May. It generally 
marked the place where refreshments were to be obtained, 
and where the sports of the season were to be celebrated. 
They were taken down at the time of the Commonwealth. 

Clarkson, p. 295. 

Sinnington. On the green in the centre of the village 
are a May Pole and the old wooden stocks. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 923. 

Slingsby. This is one of the three villages in Yorkshire 
which still retains its rustic may-pole ; an emblem of the 
festivities held by our forefathers to commemorate the 
return of spring, and the genial month of May. The 
village festival is still held on old May day, and it was 
formerly the custom to take down the old May-pole 
annually on this day, and to erect a new one in its stead ; 
but the present which was erected in 181 5 and is sixty- 
nine feet in height, has not been renewed since that period. 

Eastmead, p. 235. 

Thoralby and Newbiggin, in Bishopdale. At the last- 
mentioned place, as well as at Thoralby, there were 
formerly lofty May-poles. An old man who remembers 
the Thoralby one being set up some 50 to 60 years ago, 
told me that it consisted of two tall larches, which the 
young men of the neighbourhood obtained from Heanings 
Gill. Nearly 40 men were engaged in removing the trees, 
and when the pole was erected there was a general holiday 
and fete in the village. — SPEIGHT, p. 449. 

GARLANDS. 

Askrigg. Askrigg Hill Fair, is celebrated throughout the 
district; it occurs on the nth and 12th of July, and seldom 
terminates without a faction fight between the Yoredale 



Garlands. 5 7 

and Swaledale men, who, for a long number of years have 
been in a state of rivalry, if not hostility. Here in old time, 
the ' Garland Courses ' were annually run ; a custom which 
I will describe in the words of a young native writer of 
talent; Mr. Grover Scarr of Bainbridge 'On the 16th of 
August, St Oswald's Day, the day of the village feast, a 
large garland woven expressly for the purpose was run for, 
directly up the brow of a steep hill, on the common, to the 
north of the town. Since its enclosure, the spot is known 
by the name of ' Garland Pasture.' The custom is said to 
have originated with a lady, some few centuries ago, who, 
having suffered a disappointment in love, instituted it for 
the perpetual punishment of the men of Wensleydale, by 
leaving a field, the rental of which was to be expended 
in the sports of the day, so long as it was observed — a 
somewhat remarkable instance of feminine vengeance.' — 
New Monthly Belle Assemblee, Nov., 1850, p. 308. 

Barker, pp. 226, 227. 
The endowment ... is now lost, and although on one 
or two recent occasions attempts have been made to revive 
the custom of garland racing in a modified form, it may be 
considered to be practically extinct. — Whaley, p. 31. 

Grrinton. Garlands in Churches. — At Grinton Yorkshire, 
a garland used to be hung up for which the young men of 
the place used to run a race yearly up a steep hill. It was 
given in the last century by a young woman of Askrigg. 
The competitors were regaled at a garland feast. — Mac- 
kenzie E. C. Walcott, N. & Q., 5th S., vol. ix., p. 425. 

Old Malton. [On the south wall of Old Malton parish 
church] is hung up a garland, made of hoops, crossed 
at right angles, and covered with paper ; inside of which is a 
paper cut in imitation of gloves, on which is written Grace 
Porter, 1786, aged 58. This is the remains of an ancient 
custom, which was intended as an honour paid to those 



58 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

females who had lived a life of celebacy. . . . These 
garlands were carried at the funeral of the deceased, before 
the corpse, by two maids. — EASTMEAD, p. 361. 

Topcliffe. " Burial Garlands in Topcliff Church " men- 
tioned. — THIRSK, Appendix, No. iii., p. 156. 

See also under CEREMONIAL : Filey, Hinderwell, Robin 
Hood's Bay, Whitby, pp. 310, 313. 

Whitby. A garland or hoop fluttering with ribbons, was 
the joyous signal at the mast-head to denote a well-fished 
ship when our whalers returned about August from the 
Greenland fishery. — ROBINSON, p. 75. 

Kissiri Bush. See under Festival Customs : Christ- 
mas, pp. 279, 280. 

SUNDRY TREES AND PLANTS. 

Apple-blossom Omen. If part of an apple-tree blossoms 
when the fruit on other portions is nearly formed, it 
betokens death in the owner's family within the year. 

Robinson, pp. 4, 5. 

Even-ash. In the north riding of Yorkshire, the even-ash 
is employed as a charm in the following manner : A young 
woman desirous of ascertaining who her husband will be, 
pulls an even-ash privately from the tree repeating at the 
moment these lines 

' Even-ash, even-ash, I pluck thee, 
This night my own true love to see ; 
Neither in his rick [rich ?] nor in his rare, 
But in the clothes he does every day wear. ' 

The twig is placed under her pillow at night, and the future 
husband, of course, makes his appearance in her dreams. 

Brand, vol. iii., p. 290. 
Cf. Magic and Divination, p. 209. 



Sundry Trees and Plants. 59 

Mountain Ash. Rowantree or Roantree, the mountain 
ash or witchwood. A piece is worn in the pocket to thwart 
the influence of the witch, [1] as well as tied to the horns 
of cattle and affixed to their stalls, for 'witches have no 
power where there is rowantree wood.' Some say the 
mountain ash is found, more than any other tree, near 
the stone circles of the Druids, and is supposed to have 
been made use of in their magical arts. . . . Stumps of 
the tree are frequent in old burial places ; and rustics have 
rowantree whipstocks to preserve their teams from being 
overthrown. . . . We find 'Witch wood day' is the 13th of 
May when (under certain formalities) pieces of Rowantree 
are gathered. This day is also called ' the feast of 
St Helen' but really answers to the 2nd of May (Old 
Style) which was the Eve of the Invention by St Helen 
of the Holy Cross. — Robinson, pp. 156, 157. 

See under Leechcraft : Witch- S ores, q. 177. 

In Cleveland the rowan-tree . . . must be gathered with 
peculiar observance and at a particular season. The 2nd 
of May, St Helen's Day, is Rowan-tree-day or Rowan-tree 
Witch-day, and on that day, even yet with some, the 
method of proceeding is for some member of the household 
or family to go the first thing in the morning, with no 
thought of any particular Rowan-tree — rather, I believe 
it might be said till some Rowan-tree is fallen in with 
of which no previous knowledge had been possessed by the 
seeker. From this tree a sufficient supply of branches is 
taken, and (a different path homewards having been taken, 
by the strict observers, from that by which they went) on 
reaching home twigs are 'stuck over every door of every 
house in the homestead/ and scrupulously left there until 
they fall out of themselves. A piece is also always borne 

1 [See Atkinson, pp. 74, 75 for instance of this, and pp. 97-99, for 
information as to the special way in which the charm is to be acquired. 
Blakeborough (p. 168) tells of a girl protected from witch by wearing" 
" wicken berries " which he renders, mountain ash berries.] 



60 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

about by many in their pockets or purses as a prophylactic 
against Witching. Not so very long since, either, the 
farmers used to have whip-stocks of Rown-tree wood — 
Rown-tree-gads they were called — and it was held that, 
thus supplied, they were safe against having their Draught 
fixed, or their horses made restive by a witch. If ever 
a Draught came to a stand-still — there being in such cases 
no Rown-tree-gad in the driver's hands, of course — then 
the nearest Witchwood-tree was resorted to and a stick cut 
to flog the horses on with, to the discomfiture of the male- 
volent witch who had caused the stoppage. 

Atkinson (2), p. 417. 

A story is told of a certain supposed witch, who stopped 
a lad's ploughing-team in the middle of a field. But the 
lad was amply prepared, having a whipstock of wicken- 
tree. With this, he touched his horses, in turn and broke 
the spell, whereupon the old lady gave way in angry 
rhythmical exclamation 

'Damn the lad, wi ; the roan-tree gad' 
and disappeared. — C. C. R., p. 47. 1 

Aspen. Espin, the aspin [sic] tree, Populus tremuli [sic] 
'He trembles like an aspin leaf as a person having the 
ague. Christ's cross is said to have been partly made of 
aspin wood, and the leaves of the aspin ever since that 
circumstance have continued to tremble! — ROBINSON, p. 61. 

Bay berries. See under Leechcraft : Diagnosis, p. 172. 

Blackberries. Brummels or Bummelkites, the fruit of the 
bramble, hedge-blackberries. An abundance in Autumn 
denotes a hard coming winter; a similar prophecy applying 
to the red produce of the hawthorn, or ' cat haws,' 

'As many haws 
So many cold toes.' 

lf Woe to the lad 

Without a rowan-tree gad.' — Old Saying. 
— R. O. Heslop's Northumberland Words, vol. ii., p. 585. 



Sundry Trees and Plants. 61 

Brambles are not to be eaten after Michaelmas, for by 
that time ' the devil has waved his club over the bushes ! ' 

Robinson, p. 28. 
See under LEECHCRAFT: Witch-Sores, &c, p. 177. 

Box. For virtue of leaves of that used by " Vessel cups " 
see under Festivals : Christmas, p. 276. 

Briza. Trimmling Jockies, Doddering Dickies or Quaker- 
grass, the Briza or shaking grass. 

' A trlmmling-jock i' t' house 
An you weeant hev a mouse.' 

Dried in bunches, with its brown seeds on a tall stem, it 
is commonly stuck on the mantel-piece, as believed to be 
obnoxious to mice. — ROBINSON, p. 202. 

Bullace. See under LEECHCRAFT: Witch-Sores, &c, p. 177. 
Bulrush. „ „ ,, „ „ ib. 

Cress. „ „ „ Dentistry, p. 171. 

Daffodil. „ „ Jingles, p. 425. 
Daisies. „ „ LEECHCRAFT: ( Pynn & Webb? p. 177. 

Dandelion. Clock, the downy head of a dandelion. . . 
Children . . in their play, pluck the plant at this stage of 
its growth, to blow away the down, in order to tell ' what 
o'clock ' it is. This is done by repeated efforts, and the time 
of day is reckoned by that last breath which releases the 
last particle of down. — C. C. R., p. 22. 

" Devil's glut." See under LEECHCRAFT : Witch-Sores, 
p. 177. [There is no mention of this in Britten & Hol- 
land's Dictionary of English Plant Names ; but varieties of 
Cuscuta and of Convolvulus are known as Devil's Guts]. 

Docks and Nettles. See Blakeborough, pp. 276, 277. 

Elder. Bur-tree, or Bore-tree, the elder-berry tree. To 
be crowned with elder is noted as a mark of extreme 



62 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

degradation, because Judas, the betrayer of Christ is said 
to have hung himself on an elder-tree. — ROBINSON, p. 29. 

See under Leechcraft as Botterey, p. 177. 

Elm at Thirsk. There is a tradition that the Earl of 
Northumberland [1489] was massacred under the elm tree 
on St James' Green in Thirsk, but it does not appear to 
be supported by any evidence, although Rapin alludes to 
the subject. — GRAINGE, p. 74, note. 

Haws. See under Magic and DIVINATION : Weather 
forecasts, p. 216. 

Hazel Catkins. See under LEECHCRAFT : Lambing-time, 
p. 182. 

Hemlock. „ „ „ ' Pynn & Webb,' 

p. 176. 

Henbane. „ „ „ Witch-Sores, &c, 

p. 177. 

Holly and other Evergreens. See under FESTIVAL CUS- 
TOMS : Christmas, pp. 231, 272, 276, 277, 

Kernel &c. Double, in North Yorkshire, . . . the wish is 
supposed to be gained if the finder of a double kernel in 
a nut, or the person to whom he gives it, simply eats the 
kernel. The same idea prevails with regard to double 
cherries, or any double fruit. — F. C. Birkbeck Terry, 
N. & Q., 6th S., vol. iii., p. 272. 

Mistleto. See under FESTIVAL CUSTOMS : Christmas, 
p. 280 ; and LOCAL CUSTOMS : York, p. 354. 

Myrrh. See under LEECHCRAFT: Diagnosis, p. 172. 

Oak. See under FESTIVALS : May 2gth, p. 249. 

When you see a large hole in an oak you may be sure 
the tree has been haunted. 

D. J. R., N. & Q., 4th S., vol. i., p. 193. 

Oak at Binso. In the centre of the green is a curious 
conical shaped hill or tumulus, on the crest of which stands a 



Sundry Trees and Plants. 63 

very old tree, which has probably witnessed the passing of 
a thousand years ; by the natives this old monarch is 
known as " Binso Church." — BoGG (3), pp. 280, 281. 

Oaks at Newburgh. There is a legend that all the oaks 
on this estate were decapitated by order of Cromwell, as a 
punishment of the loyalty of its noble owner, — the punish- 
ment being transferred from the ' lord ' to the trees, — and 
that only on this propitiation did Cromwell consent to give 
his daughter in marriage to Lord Fauconberg. 

Gill, p. 184. 

Oak at Sheriff Hutton. Around it [Sheriff Hutton House] 
are many fine oaks of ancient growth, and venerable 
appearance. One of these trees which was blown down 
many years ago, is said to have been standing in the reign 
of Richard III.; it was called the "Warwick Oak," from 
having been (according to the tradition of the neigh- 
bourhood) the limit to which the unfortunate Earl of 
Warwick was permitted to extend his walks, during the 
period of his confinement in the Castle of Sheriff Hutton. 

Cast. Hutt., pp. 39, 40. 

Onion. See under LEECHCR AFT: Convulsions,^. 170. 

Parsley-seed. There is a saying in the North Riding 
of Yorkshire that "parsley seed (when it has been sown) 
goes nine times to the devil " a phrase which seems to 
have originated in the fact that it remains some time 
in the earth before it begins to germinate. — F. C. Birk- 
beck Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. xi., p. 467. 

Plantain leaves. See under LEECHCRAFT : Dentistry ; 
p. 171. 

Rose-galls or Bedeguars. Seeave-whallops, the hedge briar 
warts ; it is an excrescence worn by schoolboys as a charm 
to save them from a flogging. — ROBINSON, p. 165. 

Rowan. See sub Mountain-Ash, p. 59. 

Rosemary and Ash. The rosemary-tree ... is 'an impish 
thing,' and will not grow on any soil. Hence the common 



64 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

country saying, that it is only to be found about a house 
where the mistress is master. This is said, too, of the 
herb rue. — C. C. R., p. 65. 

Rosemary. See under LEECHCRAFT: Witch-Sores, <$. 177. 

Rue. Rue was hung about the neck as an Amulet 
against witchcraft. 

Whitby Repos., vol. i., New Series (1867), p. 325. 

Spurge. See under LEECHCRAFT : Dentistry, p. 171. 

Tormentil. „ „ Diagnosis, p. 172. 

Yule Clog, or Log. See under Festivals : Christmas, 
pp. 273, 274, 275, 276, 277. 



SECTION III. 

ANIMALS. 

Ass. A friend of the editor writing to him in 1819 says : 
' There is a superstition in the North Riding of Yorkshire, 
that the streak across the shoulders of the ass was in con- 
sequence of Balaam's striking it, and as a reproof to him 
and memento of his conduct' — Brand, vol. iii., p. 363. 

See also under LEECHCRAFT : Measles, pp. 175, 176; 
Whooping-cough, pp. 179, 180. 

Bees. Bees told of death of their owner and of the 
coming in of his successor. — See Atkinson, p. 128. 

At the funeral of a country bee-owner, the bees must 
have a portion of everything given to them pertaining to 
the funeral repast, otherwise they will die ! This practice 
is continued ; and the outsides of the hives are seen hung in 
mourning with crape for their deceased possessor. 

Robinson, p. 14. 

Instance of this, see Atkinson, p. 127. 

Sundry superstitions, see Atkinson, p. 126. 

I remember on one occasion talking to the widow 
of a farmer in the neighbourhood of Egton . . . and was 
somewhat amazed by her telling me of the ritual they 
thought proper to observe at the time of her husband's 
death with regard to their own bees. She dilated on the 
nature of the feast, and went through a long string of 
viands, a sort of ' bill of fare ' of what they set before the 
bees, winding up at the last, as if she quite enjoyed the 



66 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (IV. Riding, etc.). 

relating of it, by adding ' Aye ! bacca an' pipes an' all ! ' 
' What ! ' I ventured to observe in astonishment, ' do you 
mean to say that the bees ate the tobacco ? ' ' Aye,' she 
added, 'ah seed it mysen.' I could say no more on that 
point. . . . But the pipes were not yet accounted for, and so 
after a pause I said, ' Well ! at all events the bees could not 
eat the pipes.' ' Bud,' she replied, ' they did 'owivver.' 
' How in the world could they do that ? ' was my interroga- 
tion. ' Aw,' she exclaimed ' they teeak a steean an' mash'd 
'em up intiv a poodher an' minced it wi' t' stuff an' gav it 
tiv 'em ! ' ' And did they eat it clean up ? ' I asked. ' Aye, 
hivvry bit ; ah seed it mysen.' Eee preeaf, or in other 
words, ocular demonstration cannot well be got over. . . . 
It was evidently thought that it was their being fed in this 
way alone that had preserved them from dying with their 
master. — MORRIS, pp. 234, 235. 

Example of this, see Atkinson, pp. 127, 128. 

See under Festivals : Christmas, p. 274. 

Beetle (A nobium tesselatum). Death-warner, the ' death- 
watch ' whose insect tick is taken for a sign of death. 

Robinson, p. 51. 

Road beetle, a sign of rain if trodden on. — See Blake- 
borough, p. 130. 

Birds on St. Valentine's Day. There is a tradition, that on 
this day every bird chooses its mate. 

Richmond, p. 302 ; Ingledew, p. 345. 

See also under FESTIVALS, p. 236. 

Birds at Easter. Sitting on the box of a coach the other 
day, in North Yorkshire, a youth who sat by me called my 
attention to certain droppings on his knee, just inflicted on 
him by a passing bird. ' It's a pity this isn't Easter Day ' 
said he ; ' for we say in Cleveland that if a bird drops on you 
on Easter Day you'll be lucky all the year after.' He 
added that on Whitsunday, if you don't put on at least one 
brand-new article of dress, the birds will be sure to come 



Animals. 67 

and * drop ' on you. Which seems to show that in Cleve- 
land the birds are angels at Easter, but only harpies at 
Whitsuntide.— A. J. M., N. & Q., 5th S., vol. x., p. 287. 
But see under Festivals : Easter, p. 246. 

Cat. See under CEREMONIAL CUSTOMS, p. 294, and 
LEECHCRAFT: Whooping-cough, pp. 179, 180. 

Black Cats. It is curious that at Scarbrough for years 
back sailors' wives liked to keep black cats in their houses 
to insure the safety of their husbands at sea. This gave 
black cats such a value that no one else could keep them ; 
they were always stolen. — Baker, p. 475. 

A stray black cat, taking up her abode in a new house, 
betokens luck to the place ! — ROBINSON, p. 33. 

Calf-licked. When the hair on a man's forehead grows 
perpendicular and stiff, he is said to be cawf-licked. 

Robinson, p. 33. 

Cock-crowing. [That the crowing of a cock at a house- 
door foretells the arrival of strangers is a piece of folk-lore 
that prevails in North Yorkshire.— Cf. N. & Q., 6th S., 
vol. v., pp. 46, 178.] 

There is a widespread belief that if the cock crows in 
the house, or if the fowls enter it, visitors may be expected. 
I remember very well going to a farm house in Cleveland 
once, and being told by the farmer that they had been 
looking for a visitor because the cock had been crowing on 
the doorstead. — MORRIS, p. 249. 

Use of young cockerel in marriage customs. — See 
Blakeborough, p. 96. 

' Cock's ' egg. — See Blakeborough, p. 149. 

Cockles and Mussels (Cleveland). There were some 
countrymen present that held an opinion that I mentyoned 
a lytle afore, to produce cockles and mussells ; for by their 
experyence they had founde (if they were not deceaved) 
that parte of the earth being removed and layd in a good 



68 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

heape, close rammed together, that after some yeares, in 
the openinge thereof they discovered shells half made, some 
newly begun, and others almoste finished but for want 
of due concoctyon soe tender, that beinge roughlie touched 
imediatly they fell aparte. — H. Tr., p. 424. 

Cod. Spraggy, adj. splintery ; bony. ' Spraggy fish.' 

' A spraggy cod will grow no fatter, 
Till it gets a drink o' new May watter.' — Local saying. 

Robinson, p. 182. 

Cows, etc. Should a cow in one of our Cleveland dairies 
so far and so undesirably anticipate the usual spring 
calving of the herd as to " pick her cauf " (cast or slink her 
calf), the untimely calf is still, in some parts of the district, 
carefully buried beneath the threshold of the cow-byre ; 
the admitted object being to avert the like disaster — one 
by no means unlikely to befall if a cow set the bad example 
— from the rest of the cows in the byre. . . . Another 
Cleveland usage is, when a mare foals to hang up ' the 
cleansings ' (the placenta) in a tree, preferably in a thorn 
or failing that a crab tree ; the motive assigned being to 
secure 'luck with the foal.' Should the birth take place 
in the fields, this suspension is most carefully attended to, 
while as for the requirements of such events at the home- 
stead, in not a few instances there is a certain tree not far 
from the farm-buildings still specially marked out for the 
reception of these peculiar pendants. In one instance lately, 
I heard of a larch tree so devoted, but admittedly in default 
of the thorn ; the old thorn-tree long employed for the 
purpose having died out. Again, a lamb that is dropped 
dead, or that dies while still very young, is customarily 
hung up in a tree — properly in a thorn, though any fruit- or 
berry-bearing tree will do. In the last case under my notice, 
the tree was a rowan-tree or mountain-ash. In all these 
cases the same principle is, I think, beyond question in- 
volved. Certainly in the case of the mare the offering would 



Animals. 6g 

originally have been to Odin ; probably in all cases of 
suspension on a berry-bearing tree the same may be true.— 
J. C. Atkinson, N. & Q., 4th S., vol ii., pp. 556, 557. 

In Cleveland the belief is that where a cow has twin 
calves the first-born will be fruitful and the second barren, 
be they of whatever sex, unless such alleged barren animal 
meets with another born as itself. 

Eboracum, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. viii., p. 322. 

Young calf dies if over-stridden. — See Blakeborough, 
p. 146. 

A Yorkshireman, resident in the North Riding of his 
native county, forgot to tell his cow that his wife was dead. 
The cow died, and the death was attributed to the fact that 
the poor beast had not been told of the death of the 
woman!— R. D. Dawson-Duffield, LL.D., N. & Q., 4th 
S., vol. iv., p. 212. 

When the cows are to be turned out to summer grass, 
the old practice is to choose the nearest Sunday to May- 
day, upon the principle — ' better day, better deed.' 

Robinson, p. 109. 

Bisslings or Beastlings, the first milk of a newly-calven 
cow. ' A bottle of biss/ing-mllk to make a bissling- 
pudding' is a common present among country neighbours; 
but it is unlucky to return the bottle rinsed, for the death 
of the young calf is sure to follow ! — ROBINSON, p. 18. 

Witches in the form of hares, milk cows, see Atkinson, 
pp. 87-90. 

Crow. The following charms are repeated by children 
throughout Yorkshire . . . 

' Crow, crow, get out of my sight, 
Or else I'll eat thy liver and lights.' 

Lady-bird. < Lady-bird, lady-bird, eigh thy way home ; 
Thy house is on fire, thy children all roam, 
Except little Nan, who sits in her pan, 
Weaving gold-laces as fast as she can.' 



70 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

I remember as a child, sitting out of doors on an evening of 
a warm summer or autumn day, and repeating the crow 
charm to flights of rooks, as they winged home to their 
rookery. The charm was chaunted so long as a crow 
remained in sight, the final disappearance being to my 
mind proof ' strong as Holy Writ ' of the efficacy of the 
charm. 

The lady-bird charm is repeated to the insect (the 
Coccinella septempunctata of Linnaeus) — the common seven- 
spotted lady-bird. . . . The lady-bird is placed upon the 
child's open hand, and repeated until the insect takes to 
flight. 

N.B. — The lady-bird is also known as lady-cow, cow- 
lady, and is sometimes addressed as cusha-cow-lady. 

Robert Rawlinson, N. & Q., vol. iv., p. 53. 

See Blakeborough, p. 277. 

Watching flight of crows at Easter. — See Blake- 
borough, p. 78. 

Cuckoo. What to do when you hear one. — See Blake- 
borough, p. 130. 

Dog. A dog barking at night is regarded as a sign of 
death. — Routh, p. 70. 

Dog-howling portent. — See Blakeborough, p. 127. Prince 
Rupert's Dog, see under WITCHCRAFT, pp. 147, 148, 149. 

Dogs tongue. See under LEECHCRAFT : King'sEvil,p. 175. 

Eel-skin. „ „ „ Cramp, p. 171. 

Frog. „ „ „ Bleeding, p. 170; 

Weakness, p. 179. 

Geese. ' If t' geease-breest at Michaelmas be dour and dull 
We's hev a sair winter te t' sure an' te t' full ' ; 
if the breast of the roast goose when held up to the light 
shows dark upon the whole rather than otherwise, we shall 
have a severe winter throughout ; if mottled variable ; the 
lighter aspects betokening snow, the darker, frosts. The 
general transparency of the bone denotes an open winter. 



Animals. 7 1 

the front part foretelling the state of that season before 
Christmas, the inner part the weather after Christmas. 

Robinson, p. 77. 

See also under Magic and Divination : Weather Fore- 
casts, p. 215. 

Wild Geese, etc., at Whitby. Not farre from Whitby is a 
piece of grounde, called Whitby stronde, over which the 
inhabitantes affyrme that noe wild-goose can flye ; yf the 
reporte be as true as yt is olde, there must needes be some 
secret antipathie betweene the ayre of that place and that 
kinde of fowle ; if yt be a tale, I wonder much that soe 
palpable a lye should from many adges be nurished by 
many men of worthe, whome yt ill beseemeth to give vent 
to such ware. — H. Tr., p. 419. 

It is . . . ascribed to the power of her [S. Hilda's] 
sanctity, that those wild Geese which in the winter fly 
in great flock to the lakes and rivers unfrozen in the 
southern parts ; to the great amazement of every one, 
fall down suddenly upon the ground, when they are in 
their flight over certain neighbouring fields hereabouts : 
a relation I should not have made, if I had not received 
it from several very credible men. But those who are less 
inclin'd to heed superstition, attribute it to some occult 
quality in the ground, and to somewhat of antipathy 
between it and the Geese, such as they say is between 
Wolves and Scylla-roots. For that such hidden tendencies 
and aversions as we call Sympathies and Antipathies, are 
implanted in many things by provident nature, for the 
preservation of them, is a thing so evident that every 
body grants it— -Camden, p. 751 ; Poly-olbion, Song 28; 
Marmion, Canto ii. 

According to a Whitby superstition of the present 
day, all sea-birds drop down dead if they cross the 
Abbey because of a curse laid on them by [St Hilda]. 
Athenaeum, Dec. 30th, 1899, p. 896. 

Gabriel hounds, the flocks of yelping wild geese high in 



72 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

the air, migrating southward in the twilight evenings of 
autumn, their cry being more audible than the assemblage 
is visible. As the foreboders of evil, people close their ears 
and cover their eyes until the phalanx has passed over. 

Robinson, p. 74. 
Instance of this see Atkinson, p. 70. 

Here in Cleveland, the name is sounded Gaabr'l ratchet, 
which probably may be a phonetic form of Gabriel ratchet; 
but what is remarkable is, that the superstition connected 
with the name is two-formed. The Gaabr'l ratchet is either 
the nocturnal sound resembling the cry of hounds, and be- 
tokening death in the house near which it is heard, or to 
some friend or connection of the hearer ; or, it is a mys- 
terious single bird, which shows itself, as well as utters its 
mournful and startling cry, or rather shriek, before some 
friend of a person whose death is nearly approaching. I 
have quite recently conversed with persons — whose faith and 
whose good faith it was equally impossible to doubt — who 
declare that they have seen the bird ; and add to the state- 
ment the further one, that in each case the death of such and 
such a neighbour or relation followed closely after. . . . 

I find among the Cleveland traditions one that the 
Gabriel rachet originates in a gentleman of the olden times, 
who was so strangely fond of hunting, that on his death- 
bed he ordered his hounds all to be killed and buried at 
the same time and in the same tomb with himself: a 
tradition interesting enough from its coincidence with some 
of the German forms. — J. C. Atkinson, GENT. Mag., Pt. ii., 
1866 ; pp. 189, 190. 

It was not a rare thing to find [old Hannah] dispirited 
by an unusual dream, an omen, or a presentiment; the 
mysterious side of nature had great attractions for Hannah. 
On winter nights by the kitchen fire she would perplex old 
James and amuse Susan by the hour together with legends 
and charms, stories of bahrgeists and haunted houses, 
wonderful dreams that had come true of ill-luck that 



Animals. 73 

people had brought upon themselves by neglecting certain 
little ceremonies propitiatory to the maleficent powers ; 
but it was seldom she was so really self-oppressed as she 
was to-day. By slow degrees however she unfolded the 
cause. . . . The previous evening she had been standing 
on the step of the kitchen-door ; quite late, she said it 
was, and she had gone out to look at the stars before going 
to bed to see what kind of weather they were likely to 
have for the school-feast. As she stood, thinking how 
cloudy it was, and what evident signs of change were 
apparent, Carlo came up to her; she began stroking him 
and suddenly right overhead, far away up above the house 
and the trees, they heard the wild shrill unearthly yelping 
of the 'Gabriel Hounds. 5 The dog heard it too, she said, for 
he shivered and trembled under her hand as if stricken with 
terror. There was nothing to be seen. The young moon 
was only just rising through watery clouds and the stars 
were few and faint. There was no wind, no other sound — 
nothing but the ominous cries of the spectral pack as they 
went rushing on through the distant sky. Old Hannah's 
face had grown ashy-grey as she told her story ; but when 
she looked up and saw the merry smile on Mrs. Wynburn's 
face, the poor old withered cheeks flushed crimson with 
anger and disappointment, 'Weel, weel, Miss Mary (Mrs. 
Wynburn was always ' Miss Mary' in Hannah's heart) may 
ya' alius hev as little cause to greet as ya' hev just noo. 
Ah hevn't lived my three-scoore years withoot sorrow, nor 
yet withoot warnin' o' sorrow ; an them flyin' hounds niver 
yet passed over the hoose ah lived in but trouble or sick- 
ness, or death came in at the door.' — Yorke, vol. i., pp. 
1 1 5-1 17 (Cornborough Vicarage). 

Haddock. The legendary tale of Filey says, that the 
devil in one of his mischievous pranks determined to build 
Filey bridge [1] for the destruction of ships and sailors, and 
the annoyance of fishermen, but that in the progress of 

^See p. 18.] 



74 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

his work he accidentally let fall his hammer into the sea, 
and being in haste to snatch it back caught a haddock, and 
thereby made the imprint, which the whole species retains 
to this day. — T. C, Bridlington, Sep. 27, 1827, HONE, 
T. B, p. 733. 

Hen-crowing. See Blakeborough, pp. 126, 127. 

Horses. In Yorkshire, the ill-luck attendant [on meeting 
white horses] is supposed to be averted by spitting on the 
ground. — F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. vi., 
p. 178. 

Behaviour within sight of a piebald horse, see Blake- 
borough, p. 131. 

Lady-bird. See p. 69. 

Lobster-louse. See under Leechcraft : Fits, p. 173. 
Magpie. Nanpie, or Pie-nanny, the magpie. The unusual 
appearance of nanpies in a place is said to be ominous. 

' One is a sign of mischief, 
Two is a sign of mirth ; 
Three is the sign of a wedding, 
Four is a sign of death ; 
Five is a sign of rain, 
Six is the sign of a bastard bairn ! ' 

However, by making as many crosses upon the ground as 
there are birds, you may avert these indications ; but if you 
set out on a journey and a magpie comes across your path, 
it is a token of ill-luck for the day ! — ROBINSON, p. 129. 

The appearance of magpies is significant, and are [sic] 
said to betoken — one for sorrow, two for mirth, three for a 
wedding, and four for a birth. — ROUTH, p. 70. 

Concerning one magpie or two, see Blakeborough, p. 130. 

Raising hat to magpie, see Atkinson, p. 71 ; also 

We hear from time to time of a person raising his hat 
or making a bow if a magpie crosses his path ; nay, of 
even turning back from a commenced journey or expedi- 
tion for the same or some like reason ; like that is, as being 



Animals. 75 

connected with the appearance or action of a magpie or 
more than one. — ATKINSON (2), p. 348. 

Tell-pie-tit or Tell-piet or Tell-pienot or Tell-pie or Pienot 
or Pie-ot or Nan-pie. The magpie gets these various 
names which differ even in neighbouring villages, and are 
difficult to refer to locality. The first four also designate 
a tale-bearer. 

1 Tell-pie tit, 
Thy tongue'll slit, 
An' every dog i' t' town '11 get a bit.' 

' Tell-pie tit, 
Laid a' egg, an' couldn't sit,' 

are samples of children's rhymes in connection with this 
bird of imagined omen. — C. C. R., p. 142. 

The ' Mother Shipton ' Moth. Amongst the portraits of 
Mother Shipton we must not omit to name that which is 
borne on the wings of the Euclidia Mi, — a handsome moth, 
which is common in many parts of England, Scotland, and 
Ireland. Figures of it will be found in Newman, Wood r 
and Westwood, and other writers on Entomology. On 
the figure is what looks like the eye, hooked nose, and 
curved chin that has become traditionally associated with 
the Yorkshire prophetess. — Shipton, Introd., p. xxvii. 

Mouse. How to behave when a mouse runs across the 
room. — See Blakeborough, p. 150. 

See also under LEECHCRAFT: Whooping Cough, pp. 179, 1 80. 

Owl. Seeing and hearing an owl. See Blakeborough, 
pp. 130, 131. Owl Broth. See under LEECHCRAFT, p. 180. 

Oxen on S. Stephens Day. In some places, until compara- 
tively recently, it was commonly believed that the oxen 
knelt in their stalls on St. Stephen's Eve ; this of course 
was supposed to be in honour of the birth of the Saviour. 
It was so lately as this present year (1891) that I was 
speaking to a native of Westerdale about old customs, when 
I was told that it was quite within the recollection of my 



76 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

informant that people in that dale used sometimes to go out 
at midnight on St. Stephen's Eve to try and see the owsen 
kneel as they were tied up in their byres. — MORRIS, p. 218. 

See also under Festivals : Christmas Eve, p. 278. 

Oyster Shell. See under LEECHCRAFT : Deafness, p. 171. 

Peacocks' Feathers. Some years ago, when I was visiting 
in North Yorkshire, I remember that one day an old servant 
came to the house where I was, and found some peacock 
feathers above the mantel-piece of one of the bedrooms. 
She expressed her horror to the young ladies of the house 
and said that they need never expect to be married if they 
kept such things for ornament. — F. C. Birkbeck Terry, 
N. & Q„8th S., vol. iv., p. 531. 

Pigeon's Feathers. It used to be a common belief, . . . 
and is so still with many old people, that a sick person can- 
not die if laid upon a bed composed of the feathers of 
pigeons or of any wild birds. I was told not long since of 

one Jane H , from the neighbourhood of Westerdale, 

that she was lying upon a bed of that description ; that she 
was in extremis for a week, and when it was thought she 
could not die in consequence of being upon a bed of wild 
birds' feathers they took her off it and laid her on a squab, [1 
where, as I am informed, she died at once ! — MORRIS, pp. 
237, 238. 

See under CEREMONIAL : Death, p. 300. 

See Blakeborough, p. 120. 

Pig. Use of jawbone in medicine. See LEECHCRAFT, 
Diarrhoea, p. 181. 

Robin. Ruddock, the redbreast. Some say the ruddock 
loses his red breast when he retires for the summer, 
and regains it before returning to our precincts in 
the winter. — ROBINSON, p. 157. 

1 [" Squab, a plain cushioned couch without back or ends, generally 
set on one side of the fire-place in the common room, the sofa being a 
refined article for the parlour." — Robinson, p. 183.] 



Animals. 77 

Not to be robbed of its eggs. — See Blakeborougk, 
p. 278. 

Serpents. Handale Priory, Lofthouse. — A curious stone 
coffin (qy. if this be not the coffin of Sir John Conyers, the 
Serpent-killer ?) was . . . discovered, on the lid of which 
appeared an inscription, much injured, but meaning, as my 
informant said, 'Snake-killer!' whilst underneath was a 
sword about four feet long. This sword was the sword of 
Sir William Bruce, temp. Queen Elizabeth, and lately re- 
mained in the possession of Mr. Beckwith of York, F.S.A., 
a descendant probably of the Beckwiths of Handale. 
There is a representation of the same weapon carved in 
stone (apparently a coffin-lid), visible in the wall of a game- 
larder, which we recognised at once from having seen 
a drawing of the original. We mentioned the fact to Mr. 
Marr (tenant at Handale of John Bell, Esq., M.P., the 
present proprietor) ; but that worthy gentleman scouted our 
heterodoxy with much scorn and indignation, bringing 
history, tradition, and even the Scriptures, to overturn our 
hypothesis. " In ancient times," he told us, " but whether 
among the naked Britons, the Greeks, or Romans, was 
unknown, the neighbouring wood was infested by a huge 
serpent of singular fascination, who had the gift, like the 
first tempter of Eden, to beguile young damsels from 
their duty, and afterwards fed on their dainty limbs. Now, 
there lived in these parts a brave and gallant youth, named 
Scaw, who felt greatly incensed at the ravages which the 
serpent made among his fair acquaintance, and determined 
to eradicate the vile ravisher from the land, or perish 
in the attempt. Therefore, amid the tears and prayers of 
his friends and sweethearts (for he was a smart, proper 
young man), he buckled on his armour, and proceeded 
to the serpent's cave. Striking the rock with his sword, the 
huge reptile immediately issued forth, breathing fire and 
death from his nostrils, and rearing high his crested head, 
to transfix the bold intruder with his poisonous sting. 



7 8 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

Nothing daunted, the young hero, resolving to conquer or 
perish, fought bravely and for a long time, and after a 
deadly contest the fell destroyer was destroyed. Young 
Scaw forthwith married an earl's daughter, found in a cave, 
and rescued by his valour ; he obtained by this marriage 
vast estates ; the wood where he slew the serpent is called 
Scaw-wood to this day and that " quoth my informant, " is 
a representation of the identical sword with which Scaw 
killed the sarpint." Mr. Marr also informed me that the 
skeleton of this hero, including his skull, was found in 
a coffin along with his sword ; and that an old picture 
existed in Lofthouse during his memory, representing this 
tradition, viz. a warrior with a naked sword in his hand ; 
also the warrior's faithful dog ; and a dead serpent newly 
slain. Of course we could not gainsay these facts, especi- 
ally as they were recited with a determination that 
rendered argument dangerous ; therefore if any of our 
readers remain unbelievers, we must refer them to our 
original informant, Mr. Marr. — Ord, p. 282, 283. 

Loschy Hill. — In the church of Nunnington, in the North 
Riding of Yorkshire, is an ancient tomb, surmounted by the 
figure of a knight in armour in a recumbent posture, the 
legs crossed, the feet resting against a dog, the hands 
apparently clasping a heart, but no inscription to determine 
to whom it belongs. The traditional account current in 
the neighbourhood is that it is the tomb of Peter Loschy, a 
famous warrior, whose last exploit was killing a huge 
serpent or dragon which infested the country and had its 
den on a wooded eminence called Loschy Hill near East 
Newton in the parish of Stonegrave. The details of the 
combat as related by tradition are as follows. Having 
determined to free the country from the pest, the redoubted 
Peter Loschy had a suit of armour prepared, every part of 
it covered with razor blades set with the edges outwards, 
and thus prepared, armed only with his sword, and accom- 
panied by a faithful dog, he went forth to seek the 



Animals. 79 

destroyer which he quickly found in a thicket on Loschy 
Hill. The dragon, glad of another victim, darted upon the 
armed man, notwithstanding a wound from his sword, and 
folded itself round his body, intending, no doubt, as it had 
often done before, to squeeze its victim to death, and after- 
wards to devour it at leisure ; but in this it was dis- 
appointed ; the razor blades were keen and pierced it in 
every part, and it quickly uncoiled itself again ; when, to 
the great surprise of the knight, soon as it rolled on the 
ground its wounds instantly healed, and it was strong and 
vigorous as ever, and a long and desperate fight ensued 
between the knight and the serpent without much advan- 
tage to either. At length the sword of the knight severed 
a large portion of the serpent, which the dog quickly 
snatched up and ran across the valley with nearly a mile, 
and then left it on a hill near Nunnington church, and 
immediately returned to the scene of combat, and snatching 
up another fragment cut off in the same manner, conveyed 
it to the same place, and returned again and again for 
other fragments until they were all removed, the last 
portion conveyed being the poisonous head. The knight 
now rejoicing at his victory, stooped to pat and praise his 
faithful dog ; the latter overjoyed, looked up and licked 
the knight's face, when sad to relate the poison of the serpent 
imbibed by the dog was inhaled by the knight, and he fell 
down dead in the moment of victory, and the dog also died 
by the side of his master. The villagers buried the body 
of the knight in Nunnington Church, and placed a monu- 
ment over his grave, on which were carved the figures of 
the knight and his faithful dog to witness to the truth of 
the story. — L. H., May 4, 1878, p. 279. 

Mowbray, a dragon-slayer. — [Roger de] Mowbray whose 
valour as well as piety was of a very romantic cast, under- 
took a second pilrimage to the Holy Land, where according 
to Hoveden, whom I consider as the best authority, after 
being taken prisoner in a general overthrow of the 



80 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Christians by Saladine, he died and was buried. This 
probable account however, is encountered by another 
which I suspect to be a fabrication of the monks of 
Byland ; namely, that on his return to England, having 
met with a lion fighting with a dragon he took part with 
the king of beasts, and mortally wounded his antagonist, 
which so engaged the gratitude of the former, that he 
spontaneously followed his benefactor into England ; after 
which, Mowbray having survived fifteen years, died, and 
was interred in Byland Abbey. 

Whitaker, vol. ii., pp. 97, 98. 

Sexhow. — Sexhow is a small hamlet or township in the 
parish of Rudby, some four miles from the town of 
Stokesley in Cleveland. Upon a round knoll at this place 
a most pestilent dragon or worm took up its abode ; 
whence it came or what its origin was no one knew. So 
voracious was its appetite that it took the milk of nine 
cows daily to satisfy its cravings, but we have not heard 
that it required any other kind of food. When not 
sufficiently fed, the hissing noise it made alarmed all the 
country round about ; and worse than that, its breath was 
so strong as to be absolutely poisonous, and those who 
breathed it died. This state of things was unbearable, 
the country was becoming rapidly depopulated. At length 
the monster's day of doom dawned : a knight clad in 
complete armour passed that way, whose name and 
country no one knew; and after a hard fight slew the 
monster and left it dead upon the hill, and then passed on 
his way. He came, he fought, he won, and then he went 
away. The inhabitants of Stokesley took the skin of the 
worm and suspended it in a church over the pew belonging 
to the hamlet of Sexhow, where it long remained, a trophy 
of the knight's victory and their own deliverance from the 
terrible monster. — L. H., May 4, 1878, p. 279. 

Slingsby. Slingsby, a small parish town, in the North 



Animals. 8 1 

Riding of Yorkshire is distinguished for three things ; the 
ruins of a castle, a maypole, and the tradition of an 
enormous serpent. . . . Our business is with the serpent 
alone. The road through Slingsby from Hovingham to 
Malton, instead of proceeding in a direct line, to which 
there is no natural obstacle, makes a singular and awkward 
bend to the right. This deviation was observed by Roger 
Dodsworth the antiquary, and in reply to his inquiries he 
received the following story ' The tradition is that between 
Malton and this town there was sometime a serpent that 
lived upon prey of passengers, which this Wyvill and his 
dog did kill, when he received his death-wound. There is 
a great hole half a mile from the town, round within, 
three yards broad and more, where the serpent lay. In 
which time the street was turned a mile on the south side, 
which does still show itself if any takes pains to survey it' 
This tradition written down in 1619, by one of the most 
painstaking of antiquaries, is current among the villagers 
to this day who yet point out the place where the serpent 
had its den, declaring that the said serpent was a mile in 
length ; and in support of this story point to the effigies of 
Wyvill and his dog yet remaining in this church. Both 
Wyvill and his dog perished in the fight, or died soon 
afterwards, and were commemorated by this monument. 
Dodsworth saw it, and says when speaking of Slingsby 
Church ' There is in the choir a monument cross-legged of 
one of the Wyvills, at his feet a talbot coursing.' 

L. H., May 4, 1878, p. 279. 
Well. There is a dim tradition still existing in this 
village of an enormous dragon having once had its lair in 
the vicinity, . . a source of terror to the inhabitants, 
until a champion was found in an ancestor of the Latimers, 
who went boldly forth like a true knight of olden times, 
and after a long and terrible fight . . slew the monster, 
hence a dragon on the coat of arms of this family. 

Bogg (3), p. 296. 



82 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Snail. How it may smoothe the way to matrimony. 
See Blakeborough, p. 133. 

Snail-Charms. See Blakeborough, p. 277. 

Spiders. The belief that spiders are poisonous prevails 
in North Yorkshire. — N. & Q., 6th S., vol. v., p. 197. 

Money-spinner, the little spider that lowers itself by its 
single thread from the overhead ceiling, and swings before 
your face as c a sign of good luck.' — ROBINSON, p. 125. 

Toad. See under Leechcraft : Bleeding, p. 170; 
Falling- sickness, p. 173 ; Lask, p. 175. 

Weasel. Omen of weasel crossing path and means of 
counteracting it. See Blakeborough, p. 150. 

Worms. See under LEECHCRAFT; Dentistry, p. 171; 
Diagnosis, p. 171. 

Worm, Hairy. What to do when you meet one. See 
Blakeborough, p. 130. 

See also under LEECHCRAFT ; Whooping-cough, pp. 179, 
180. 



SECTION IV. 

GOBLINDOM. 

WRAITHS. 

Waft, a ghost ; a passing shadow. . . . We have heard 
of the wafts of people being seen, who were living at 
a distance, when the death-news to their friends at home 
were found to agree with the time of the shadow's 
appearance. — ROBINSON, p. 210. 

Appearance of the wraith of a person a sign of his 
approaching death. — See Blakeborongh, p. 122. 

It was a common belief that the wraith of a dying 
maid, could work ill on any man, who tried in any way 
to injure a true maid about to be married, i.e. during 
the time the banns were being published. 

Blakeborough (2), p. 36. 

Not very many years have gone by since a man of 
Guisborough entering a shop in this old fishy town 
[Whitby] saw his own wraith standing there unoccupied. 
He called it a 'waff.' Now it is unlucky in the highest 
degree to meet one's own double ; in fact it is commonly 
regarded as a sign of early death. There is but one 
path of safety ; you must address it boldly. The Guis- 
borough man was well aware of this and went up without 
hesitation to the waff. ' What's thou doing here ? ' he 
said roughly; 'what's thou doing here? thou's after no 
good, I'll go to bail. Get thy ways yom, wi' thee, get 
thy ways yom ' whereupon the waff slunk off abashed 



84 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

and the evil design with which it came there was brought 
happily to nought. — NORWAY, p. 139. 

EXORCISMS. 

Some say that none but a Catholic priest can lay a 
ghost effectually. — Robinson, p. 112. 

Anecdote concerning this, see Atkinson, p. Q footnote. 

See Aldwark, p. 85 ; The Bainbrigges, p. 86. 

Success of the Rector of Burneston in exorcism Blake- 
borough, pp. 160, 161. See also Mortham Tower, p. 95. 

Charm or Exorcism on a Slip of Parchment concealed 
within the Figure of Christ on a Crucifix^] found at 
Ingleby Arneliffe. 

►J*-§-|4~ In nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti. Amen. 
Conjuro vos elphes et demones et omnia genera fantas- 
matis, per patrem et filium et spiritum sanctum, et per 
sanctam Mariam matrem domini nostri Jesu Christi, et 
per omnes apostolos dei, et per omnes martires dei, et per 
omnes confessores dei, et per omnes virgines dei Jesu 
Christi, et viduas et omnes electos dei, et per quatuor 
evangelista {sic) domini nostri Jesu Christi, Marcum, 
Matheum, Lucam, Joheannem (sic), et per nacionem (sic) 
domini nostri Jesu Christi, et per passionem dei, et per 
mortem domini nostri Jesu Christi, et per decensionem 
dei ad inferos, et per resurrectionem domini nostri Jesu 
Christi, et per passionem (sic, lege ascensionem) domini 
nostri Jesu Christi ad celos, et per quatuor evange- 
listas domini nostri Jesu Christi -y-l-^- (sic) Marcum -^-J— 
Matheum -^-j-^- Lucam -^j-^- Johannem -g-l-i- et per virtutem 
domini nostri Jesu Christi, et per magna nomina dei 

I 1 " From the form of the crown, the character of the workmanship, 
and the appearance of the enamel," says Ord, p. 137, "I should 
judge it to be somewhere about 500 years old." He states that " the 
parchment slip was nearly a foot long and the writing a great deal 
better than the Latin."] 



Exorcisms. 8 5 

>J<A^<G^L^A^ON>J< tetra *i* Gromaton (sic, lege tetra- 
grammaton) ►£< sabaoth -}- adonai r et omnia nomina, — ut 
non noceas (sic, lege noceatis). Huic famulo (famula 
interlin.) dei Adam osanna, nocte neque die, sed per 
misericordiam dei Jesu Christi maximam, adjuvante sancte 
Maria matrem (sic) domini nostri Jesu Christi, ab omnibus 
malis predictis et aliis requiescat in pace. Amen. >%* "g~|4~* 
In nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti. Amen.-g-|-^- et 
requiescunt in Domino suo (requiescant interlin.) requiescat 
iste isti (sic) famulus dei Jesu Christi Adam Osanna, 
adjuvante sancta Maria Matrem (sic) domini nostri Jesu 
Christi, ab omnibus malis predictis et aliis, Amen 
^ %\\ £|t Ht tNt ili Quinque (supple vulnera) domini 
nostri Jesu Christi, et sancte marie de osanna (sic), sanctus 
dunstanus, sancte andrea (sic), sanctus nicholaus, sancta 
Margareta, sancte petre, sancte paule, sancte mathea, 
sancte bartholomee, sancta (supple vulnera) domini nostri 
Jesu Christi, sancta brigida -£- — Christus vincit-^-l— Christus 

J ' o G I a Gl a 

regnat -g-U- et Christus inperat (sic) -^\~ et Christus Adam 
Osanna ab omni malo defendat. Amen. — ORD, p. 138. 

See Atkinson, pp. 94, 95, 96, for detailed account of 
a charm in which the word Agla appeared. For further 
information, cf. Ord, p. 140, N. & O., vol. iv., pp. 116, 
370; Jones, pp. 137, 138. 



MANIFESTATIONS. 

Aldwark. A short distance from Chapel-garth in a 
hollow place is a large stone called the 'conjuring stone.' 
In the days of superstition and witches, a troubled ghost 
. . . frequented this lonely spot and the neighbouring 
road and so terrified the natives, that it was deemed 
necessary for the peace of the town and the comfort of 
the ' poor ghost ' to ease it of its troubles by aid of the 
priest, who after various ceremonies, exorcised the spirit 



86 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

and fastened it down with what is now designated the 
' conjuring stone ' which remains to the present day. 

Gill, p. 398. 
Nr. Barnard Castle. The Bainbrigges. — Of the last of the 
old squires . . . tradition relates something. His name 
was Roger. He hailed from Vallance Lodge, Friar House 
and Step-Ends. . . . He used frequently to cross the Tees 
in high flood, in the middle of dark stormy nights on a 
favourite bay mare, with his wife sitting on a pallion behind 
him, — when passing to and from his Durham and Yorkshire 
places of residence. Madam Anne was a little person, 
and according to the fashion of the day wore a red 
cloak with a hood. She was often nearly frightened out 
of her wits on these occasions. It is said that these 
repeated frights hastened her death, and that after her 
decease, her troubled spirit might be seen, by the gifted 
ones, at the proper hours of the night, — and in flood 
times crossing the Tees at Step-Ends — habited in the 
red cloak and seated upon the shoulders of what seemed 
to be her husband. The Ghost of Old Roger too, was 
not unfrequently seen both there and at Friar House, 
especially at the latter place, — where he at last became 
so troublesome that the inhabitants were obliged to 
procure the assistance of popish priests to lay him at 
rest. — Fitzhugh. 

Beningbrough. In 1670 Beningbrough Hall, a fine Eliza- 
bethan red-brick mansion, stood in a park near the junction 
of the Ouse and Nidd. The old house has been pulled 
down. ... It is said that at night a pale female figure is 
seen to steal along the bank of the Ouse, where the avenue 
stood in olden time, and to disappear in the churchyard of 
Newton, which adjoins the park. 

Baring-Gould, vol. i., pp. 222, 228. 

Over two centuries ago the owner of the property kept 
up a full set of servants, and being a man who from choice 



Man ifestations. 8 7 

or necessity was frequently from home, his house was left 
in the care of the steward and the housekeeper. The 
steward was a man of middle-age, shrewd, prudent, and 
trustworthy ; the housekeeper was of similar age, comely, 
and pleasant, if not actually pretty. Consequent on 
circumstances we need not stop to repeat the latter was 
cruelly murdered one night at the instigation of the former, 
whilst she walked in an avenue of beech trees near the 
house, and her body was afterwards discovered in the 
bosom of the Ouse. Suspicion attached itself first to one 
and then to another, but eventually the gamekeeper on the 
estate, who, it was known, paid considerable attention to 
the housekeeper and frequently met her at this spot, 
became the victim of the people's jealousy and a tide of 
popular indignation at once set in against him. Another 
circumstance, however, occurred which freed him from the 
taint of suspicion, and brought to justice one of the guilty 
parties, and led to the suicide of the other. For generations 
afterwards it was said that now and again a tall, genteel 
figure, with gentle step and measured tread, walked the 
neighbourhood, clad in the habiliments of the grave. She 
was ever downcast, mournful, casting her eyes upon her 
hands, as if engaged in counting her beads and reciting her 
rosary. She perambulated the neighbourhood in which the 
foul deed of blood was enacted, and after a given time quietly 
retired to the habitation of the dead. For long and weary 
hours in the cold nights of winter, as the midnight hour 
approached, people went out to see her, and although some 
declared they saw her glide before them, others failed to 
discover her, and then wearied with repeated watching and 
continued failure the quest was abandoned, until now the 
ghost sleeps undisturbed, and nobody dreams of her 
coming. Her murderer confessed his crime prior to his 
execution at the Tyburn, outside Micklegate Bar, and also 
confessed attempting to rob and murder the gamekeeper. 
Long after that confession she was credited with nightly 



88 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

walks, which always terminated at her graveside in the 
lonely country churchyard, where her body had been laid. 
New owners have built a new house, and though the story 
of the ghost is oft repeated still, yet nobody goes out to see 
her or seeks to know if she still appears. 

CAMIDGE (3), pp. 36, 37. 

Coathaip. At Coatham, in Yorkshire, is a house where 
a little child is seen occasionally — it vanishes when pursued. 

Baring-Gould (2), p. 23. 

Cockmill Nr. Whitby. Cockmill, a place to our fancy of 
great picturesque beauty; now a place of sweet tranquillity, 
but formerly of revelry and dissipation ; and like many bad 
things it had a still worse character. But no fear now of 
Jack Harbat's black cats seen by topers at dead of night, — 
very fortunate if they reached home without meeting 'a 
Bargest with eyes as large as saucers ! ' Jack himself must 
have been dead many a year ; and the cats if they ever had 
more than a visionary existence have long since gone the 
way of all flesh, and the Clapping Gate which struck terror 
into many a brave soul now moves only when it is moved. 
Cockmill with its waterfall . . . was from its central situa- 
tion and secluded character a choice place for the rude and 
sometimes not very creditable sports of our forefathers. 
Amongst these cockfighting occupied a prominent place 
succeeded as a matter of course by drinking and card- 
playing. Many strange tales were related respecting these 
orgies which we need not repeat ; but it was very currently 
reported that a certain gentleman in black often took his 
seat amongst the rest and appeared very much interested 
in the game and it was even said that when one person 
was looking under the table for a lost card, he, to his great 
horror, spied two cloven feet. — Simpson, p. 9. 

Easingwold. [In the former dining-room of the Hall 
or Manor House] behind the ceiling or casement, was 
discovered the perfect skeleton of a cat in a sitting 



Manifestations. 89 

posture, whose imprisonment may, no doubt, go far to 
account for the mysterious noises which at times alarmed 
the inmates, and caused the apartment to be designated 
as the ' haunted room ' ; though there was a tradition 
of a poor boy, flogged to death by a not very remote 
proprietor, which gave the like ill repute to a little room 
adjoining the kitchen and near the entrance to the cellar, 
as well as of a victim to ecclesiastical cruelty, under the 
name of discipline, in earlier days, who was buried beneath 
a large stone in the adjoining ground, called after his name, 
' Gregory's stone,' to the present day. — Gill, pp. 94, 95. 

Filey. A native of Filey as a general rule has a great 
dread of the churchyard after dark ; the place teems with 
tales of people who have ' come back again,' as it is 
described. For the following, I can vouch, one of the 
principals in the story being for many years a church- 
warden. A shipwreck once took place on the Welsh coast, 
and a father and son seemed doomed to a watery grave. 
The son escaped as by a miracle, but on returning home 
he found he was not a very welcome guest, as the mother 
had heard from one of the rescued sailors that the son had 
not done all he might to save his father. The estrangement 
continued for some years, and was a matter of public know- 
ledge, when one day a reconciliation took place. The 
deceased husband had ' come again ' and exonerated his 
son from all negligence with regard to his death, and the 
widow immediately accepted his evidence as conclusive. 

Cooper, p. 30. 

Fors Abbey. Our conductor looked solemn as he showed 
us the Bell Chamber, and when we went back to the narrow 
stone passage into which it opened, he said half to himself: 
' No one durst carry a light through here ' ' Why ? ' was 
asked ' T' light goes out,' he said looking sheepish, ' alius.' 
There was clearly a m)'stery ; but the passage is open 
at both ends, so I said : ' The draught puts the light 



90 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

out, you mean ' but he looked still graver and shook 
his head. ' Have you ever tried to carry a light through 
the passage?' 'Noa — Ah'd be feared.' Evidently the 
spirits of the monks are considered to haunt the place; and 
it was strange to see how this big strong fellow was affected 
by the local tradition; he was clearly afraid of ghosts. 
Next minute he pointed over his shoulder. 'There be 
summat in yonder 'at puts out t' light' Then he walked 
on in front; he had had enough of the old abbey, and 
wished to be out in the sunshine again. 

MACQUOID, pp. IOI, 102. 

G-altres, Forest of. The story of Bishop Bek of Durham, 
and Hugh the black hunter of Galtres, will not be for- 
gotten, " how the busshop chasid the wild hart in Galtres 
forest, and sodainly ther met with him Hugh de Pontchardin 
that was afore deid, on a wythe horse ; and the said Hugh 
loked earnestly, on the busshop, and the busshop said unto 
him, ' Hughe what makethe thee here ' and he spake 
never word, but lifte up his cloke, and then he showed Sir 
Anton his ribbes set with bones and nothing more ; and 
none other of the varlets saw him, but the busshop only. 
And the said Hugh went his way, and Sir Anton toke 
corage, and cheered the dogges, and shortly after he was 
made Patriarque of Hierusalem, and he saw nothing no 
more. And this Hugh is him that the silly people in 
Galtres doe call Le Gros Veneur, and he was seen twice 
efter that by simple folk, afore yat the forest was felled 
in the tyme of Henry, father of Henry yat now ys." 

Depositions, p. 161 note. 

Guisborough. In the churchyard was ... a slab, or grave- 
stone, surmounted by an iron girth. In the days of ghosts 
and witches, the spirit of the person interred beneath was 
supposed to be ' doomed for a certain time to walk the 
night.' ... It was necessary, therefore, to ease the ' poor 
ghost ' of its troubles ; and accordingly a full divan of wise 
men and divines was held, and, after long consultation, it 



Manifestations. 9 i 

was resolved to exorcise the spirit, and chain it down with 
iron which was done accordingly ; and so this slab remained 
till within a few years. — Ord, p. 228. 

Lartington. Near Lartington there is a knoll crowned 
with a few trees called the Priest's Hill. This is a haunted 
spot, for here in the reign of Elizabeth, an old priest dwelt 
who used to administer the rites of his church in secret to 
those of his flock who clung to the old faith. But after the 
Rising in the North had been quelled the peaceful old man 
was betrayed and proscribed. . . . Very soon his house 
was surrounded by soldiers, who ruthlessly hanged him on 
the tree that overshadowed his cottage. Sometimes on a 
summer's evening the figure of a priest is said to visit the 
knoll. — MACQUOID, p. 75. 

Marston. The lane, still called Moor Lane, leading from 
the village to the moor, was the scene of one of the sharpest 
struggles in the battle ; and here the belated villager meets 
phantom horsemen, headless, or blood-covered, galloping to 
and fro, as if in the hurry and heat of battle. 

Parkinson, 1st S., p. 194. 

The one ghost which was most in evidence was said 
to be a headless officer, who each night came forth on 
a phantom horse, and rushed to and fro as if in the search 
of the scene of action. His uncommon appearance was 
particularly dreadful, to the persons who supposed they 
saw him and they were terribly frightened. . . . 

So long as the visitor was said to come he always chose 
the hour of midnight for his appearance ; as the village 
church clock, a mile or two away, chimed the midnight 
hour, the spectre rose majestically from the ground, safely 
seated on his charger, and wearing the uniform which dis- 
tinguished his rank and regiment ; then, as if in thought, 
he lingered a little while, after which he applied his spurs 
to his horse's flank, and with lightning speed traversed the 
lane for a mile or two. Suddenly halting, he waited again, 



92 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

and then, forcing his animal into a gallop, he rushed still 
further along until another mile or two was covered, repeat- 
ing the action until considerable distance had been travelled, 
when he quietly returned. His quest had been vain, his 
effort without success, so he returned, like a weary and dis- 
appointed hunter, slowly over the miles he had travelled, 
and in an hour or more sought the seclusion from whence 
he had come, so that he and his steed might rest for 
re-appearance when the midnight returned again. The 
villages lying around this lane possessed not an inhabitant 
who from choice or necessity would use the road as the 
midnight grew nigh. ... A few good schools in the sur- 
rounding villages, and the education they afford, have laid 
the nocturnal visitor to rest. — Camidge (3), pp. 38, 39. 

Middlethorpe Nr. York. In 1385 a duel was fought in this 
township. Richard II. was on his way with an expedition 
against the Scots. He remained some time in York. Sir 
John Holland, the half-brother of Richard, and Lord Ralph 
Stafford, eldest son of the Earl of Stafford, accompanied the 
army. They had a quarrel, which became so serious 
that it ended in a challenge and a duel, which was fought 
in a field adjoining the parish of Bishopthorpe. Lord 
Stafford was worsted in the encounter, being killed by his 
antagonist. After the duel, the neighbourhood was said to 
be haunted for generations ; and the people kept up a 
story that the ghost of Lord Stafford walked the road 
about the spot where the fatal encounter took place. It 
was said that at ' the witching hours of night ' especially, 
clad in military uniform, his tall figure strode along, and 
appeared, or disappeared, to the terror of the people. 

Camidge, p. 190. 

On the opposite side of the river [Ouse] another duel was 
fought on Sunday morning, the nth of June, 1797, between 
Mr. George Crigan, surgeon to the 46th Regiment of Foot, and 
Mr. Bryan Bell, Lieutenant-Colonel of the same regiment, 



Manifestations. 93 

then stationed at the York Barracks, on the Fulford road. 
In the encounter Surgeon Crigan lost his life, with the 
consequence that his antagonist was arrested, along with 
William Cooper Foster, the Captain of the regiment, and 
Owen Evans, servant to Colonel Bell, who had taken part 
in the conflict. They were all three tried before Baron 
Thompson, at the Guildhall of this city [York], at the Summer 
Assizes, for the crime of wilful murder, but the jury by their 
verdict reduced the crime to manslaughter. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Bell was fined 6s. 8d., and ordered to be confined 
in Ousebridge Prison for one month — a prison capable of 
inflicting death on any person confined within its walls for 
any length of time. Captain Foster and Owen Evans were 
both discharged. The spirit of Doctor Crigan, either dis- 
satisfied with the punishment inflicted on his antagonist or 
with the people of the city, made appearance as a ghost, 
and stalked about ... to the terror of the midnight 
wanderer : . . . for a long time nothing has been heard 
of his doings. — Camidge (3), pp. 15, 16. 

In the hauling lane a lady without a head walked every 
dark night, to the terror and dismay of many people. She 
was invariably clothed in white, and the tale told of her 
death gave effect to her appearance. It was asserted that 
long years ago she walked by the river one summer night, 
and, coming to the hauling lane, where a clump of trees has 
braved the storms of centuries, she was cruelly murdered 
by decapitation. Bent on pursuing her murderers, she 
came forth . . . just as the boom of the Minster clock 
broke upon the still hour of midnight, and wandered to 
and fro in the vain hope that she would find her murderers 
and discover their crime. Headless, but wrapped in her 
winding-sheet, she wandered to and fro as if in search 
of missing treasure. . . . Every inhabitant of the two 
villages of Middlethorpe and Bishopthorpe could a century 
ago, tell of seeing her and describe minutely her walk, 
her waiting and her headless form. . . . The most 



94 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

veritable ghost however was the one which was supposed 
to be the ghost of Archbishop Scrope, who for many 
ages walked the road to conduct his own funeral pro- 
cession, and perhaps the most persistent story told of his 
appearance was that told by a man who made his living 
as a slaughterman, and by doing odd jobs for the butchers 
of the city. . . . He used to speak with confidence of 
what he saw. . . . 

This Robert Johnson, accompanied by a boy who was 
apprenticed to a Jubbergate butcher, was sent one night to 
a farm beyond Bishopthorpe to fetch some sheep. As 
they returned in the darkness, nearing the hauling lane, 
each suddenly saw a coffin suspended in the air, and 
moving slowly along in the direction of York. It tilted 
occasionally, as if borne on the shoulders of men who were 
thrown out of step by the rugged character of the roadway. 
The coffin was covered with a heavy black pall of velvet, 
fringed with white silk, and was in size and appearance the 
resting-place of a full-grown man. Behind it with measured 
tread, walked a Bishop in lawn bearing on his hands a 
large open book, over which his head bent, but from his 
lips no sound came. On went the procession, with the 
steady precision observed in bearing the dead to the grave, 
whilst the sheep kept pace, and would not be driven past 
the strange sight. Nobody could be mistaken in the 
apparition. The night though dark was too light to admit 
of mistake. . . . The spectre procession moved at a 
leisured pace for some considerable distance till it came to 
the field where the Archbishop was beheaded. Then it 
disappeared as hastily as it had come, and returned to its 
rest. But not so with the man and the boy. . . . Having 
arrived at their destination . . . after very few particulars, 
spoken amid much fear, they were taken off to bed where 
they remained for many days wrung in mind and body by 
the terrible shock. . . . When sufficiently restored their 
story was repeated with particular detail, and gained 



Manifestations. 9 5 

universal credence from the fact many villagers and many- 
citizens had experienced like sight and sensation. The 
boy forsook his business and took to the sea lest he should 
ever again be compelled to take a similar journey, and be 
subject to like experience, whilst the man ever after 
avoided that road at nightfall, but never swerved from 
declaring his story true. . . . More than once after this, 
men who had sat late at their cups were frightened into 
sobriety by the reappearance of the strange funeral pro- 
cession, but the ghost has done its work, for in our day it 
never appears. — Camidge, pp. 199-201. 

Mortham Tower, Eokeby. The Dobie of Mortham is a 
female spectre, the spirit of some mythic lady who was 
murdered in the wood, she whose blood is shown upon the 
stairs of the old tower of Mortham.— LoNGSTAFFE, p. 128. 

Connected with this old tower is a legend, grim and 
hoary. Once on a time a certain Lord of Rokeby, in 
a fit of jealousy, murdered his wife in the glen below, 
and the blood-stains, yet to be seen on the tower 
stairs, and which story says, cannot be effaced, were the 
blood droppings from his dagger as he mounted the stair, 
after committing the fearful deed ; and for years after the 
spirit of the murdered woman haunted the tower and vale 
of the Greta adjoining. At length the spectral visitor 
appeared so often that the services of the parson were 
called into request, and he, with book in hand, read the 
spirit down and confined her under the bridge. During 
the great flood of 1771 the structure was swept away, and 
with it the spirit, so at least it is thought, for it has not 
been seen or heard since that time. — BOGG (4), p. 93. 

Whether she [the lady aforesaid] was slain by a jealous 
husband, or by savage banditti, or by an uncle who 
coveted the estate, or by a rejected lover, are points 
upon which the traditions of Rokeby do not enable us 
to decide. — ROKEBY, notes to Canto ii., p. 334. 



g6 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Nappa Hall. [When Mary Queen of Scots was a prisoner 
at Bolton, she was permitted to spend two nights at Nappa 
as guest of Sir Christopher Metcalfe. Her spirit is said to 
visit Nappa]. I will give the account of her appearance 
to a lady who was staying at Nappa in 1878 : ' I was in 
the hall,' she writes, 'playing hide-and-seek with the farmer's 
little girl, a child about four years old. The hall was dimly 
lighted by a fire and by the light from a candle in a room 
in the east tower. While at play some one entered the 
hall from the lower end, and walked towards the dais. 
Thinking it was the farmer's wife, I ran after her and was 
going to touch her when she turned round, and I saw her 
face ; it was very lovely. Her dress seemed to be made of 
black velvet. After looking at me for a moment, she went 
on and disappeared through the door leading to the wind- 
ing stone staircase in the angle turret of the west tower. 
Her face figure and general appearance reminded me of 
portraits of Mary Queen of Scots.' At the time of this 
vision the bedstead slept in by Mary was still at Nappa. 
There is also a haunted bed-chamber at the eastern end 
of the house. , . . The walls are panelled and painted a 
dull green ; one or two of these panels open and reveal 
closets within them. The wife of the farmer who now 
tenants Nappa laughed, however, as she showed them, and 
said she never saw any ghosts. — MACQUOID, p. 118. 

Nunnington. Of all the houses Annie visited none 
attracted her imagination more than did Nunnington Hall 
itself, an old Manor House, deserted for the time by its 
owners, which had a tale belonging to it, and about whose 
shady avenues, and through whose empty, tapestried rooms 
Annie loved to wander and dream. The story told about 
the Hall had a stepmother in it, and a sick child and some 
horrible catastrophe, with a suspicion of murder lurking 
about it, and a ghost — a lady in silk, who came and went 
with awful faint rustle up and down the broad oak staircase, 



Manifestations. 97 

and looked with pale face from an upper turreted window 
upon the silent sward below. Annie introduced her into 
Mia and Charlie, where she slightly sketched the legend. 
She had a half-formed intention of working up the details 
some day into a full-grown romance ; that purpose how- 
ever, she never fulfilled, but she had the pleasure of seeing 
the story receive shape and beauty at her suggestion, by 
the hand of a sister novelist [Mrs. Macquoid] in the pages 
of Doris Barugh. — Keary, pp. 45, 46. 

I asked her [Nanny] how it was that the room hung 
with painted leather was so much more untidy than all 
the rest ? Why the hangings were torn and dirty, and the 
floor fallen in, and the fireplace broken? She would not 
answer me at first ; but I coaxed her, and at last I 
heard a long story. She said that once there lived in this 
house a proud lady. It was long before Nanny was born, 
but her grandmother knew her, and she told the story to 
Nanny when she was a little girl. This proud lady's hus- 
band was dead, but she had two sons ; one was a step-son, 
and the other quite a little boy — her own son. She loved 
the little boy very much indeed, and wanted above every- 
thing to have all the land and money for him ; and for that 
reason she hated the step-son, and was very cruel to him, and 
wished that he might die. Every one knew this, and pitied 
the poor eldest son, but they dared not help him, or speak 
kindly to him, for they were all afraid of the proud lady. 
She kept a strict watch over every one. The sound of her 
step was never heard as she moved about, Nanny says, for 
she trod very lightly, only the rustle of her silk gown. 
She was always dressed in rich silks and satins, while her 
eldest son had scarcely enough food to eat or warm clothes 
to wear. The only one who dared to comfort him was his 
little brother, and he loved him very dearly indeed. When- 
ever he could get away from his mother he used to steal 
up to the painted leather room, where the eldest boy was 
shut up by himself, and bring him cakes or playthings. 

G 



98 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

One day, when he went, the painted room was empty ; the 
brother had gone. No one knows how he got away, or 
where he went to. Nanny thinks he must have run away 
to the sea-coast, and got on board some ship, and been 
drowned. At all events he was never heard of afterwards. 
The proud lady was so glad ; but the little boy was very 
sorry : no one could comfort him. They used to tell him 
how he was a great lord now, and had money and lands ; 
but he always said he did not care for that ; he wanted 
nothing but his brother. He never would believe that his 
brother had really gone away. He used to go up and 
down the oak stairs a great many times every day, and 
walk round and round the leather room, and call for his 
brother out of the window ; though of course no one ever 
answered him. At last, one evening, he leaned too far out 
of the window to see if his brother was coming, and he fell 
out, and his poor little head was dashed to pieces on the 
gravel- walk. After that the proud lady was never happy 
again ; she became quite changed ; she would sit for hours, 
talking in a low voice to herself ; and every now and then 
she used to jump up, and hurry up the oak stair as if she 
were looking for something ; and go into the painted room 
and look out of the window on to the place where her son 
was killed ; then she would sigh very deeply, and walk 
slowly back, and in five minutes return to do the very same 
thing again. At last she died too, and quite different 
people came to live in the house ; but Nanny says — and 
this is the strange part of the story, brother — that often, 
even now, at night, you may hear the rustle of the proud 
lady's silk dress as she hurries up the stair; and she has 
been seen to open the door of the leather room, and look 
out of the broken window, and then you hear a faint rust- 
ling of silk as she goes slowly back. 

Mia and Charlie, pp. 54-57. 

Macquoid, pp. 289, 291-3. 



Manifestations. 99 

Raskelf. About the year of our Lord 1623 or 24 one 
Fletcher of Rascal, a Town in the North Riding- of York- 
shire near unto the Forest of Gantress, a Yeoman of good 
Estate, did marry a young lusty Woman of Thornton 
Brigs, who had been formerly kind with one Ralph Raynard, 
who kept an Inn within. half a mile from Rascall in the high 
road way betwixt York and Thuske, his Sister living with 
him. This Raynard continued in unlawful lust with the 
said Fletchers Wife, who not content therewith conspired 
the death of Fletcher, one Mark Dunn being made privy 
and hired to assist in the murther. Which Raynard and 
Dunn accomplished upon the May- day by drowning 
Fletcher, as they came all three together from a Town 
called Huby, and acquainting the wife with the deed she 
gave them a Sack therein to convey his body, which they 
did and buried it in Raynards backside or Croft where 
an old Oak-root had been stubbed up, and sowed Mustard- 
seed upon the place thereby to hide it. So they continued 
their wicked course of lust and drunkeness, and the neigh- 
bours did much wonder at Fletchers absence, but his wife 
did excuse it, and said that he was but gone aside for fear 
of some Writs being served upon him. And so it con- 
tinued until about the seventh day of July, when Raynard 
going to Topliffe Fair, and setting up his Horse in the 
Stable, the spirit of Fletcher in his usual shape and habit 
did appear unto him Oh Ralph repent repent for my 
revenge is at hand ; and ever after until he was put in 
the Goal [sic] it seemed to stand before him, whereby 
he became sad and restless : And his own Sister over- 
hearing his confession and relation of it to another person 
did through fear of losing her own life, immediately reveal 
it to Sir William Sheffield who lived at Rascall and was 
a Justice of Peace Whereupon they were all three appre- 
hended and sent to the Gaol at York, where they were 
all three condemned and so executed accordingly near 
to the place where Raynard lived and where Fletcher 



ioo Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

was buried, the two men being hung up in irons, and the 
woman buried underneath the gallows. 

Webster, p. 2g8. [1] 

It appears that Fletcher had suspicions that the three 
confederates contemplated his destruction from the follow- 
ing doggrel rhyme addressed to his sister a short time 
before the event, 

' If I should be missing or suddenly in wanting be, 
Mark Ralph Raynard, Mark Dun, and my own wife for me.' 

Gill, p. 112. 

Raydale House, Nr. Semmerwater. Ray dale House is . . . 
noted for its ghost, locally known as Auld 'Opper. One 
elderly woman told us, with all seriousness, that in her 
young days she dwelt there, and the ghost from its un- 
earthly knocking on the various articles of furniture was a 
source of continual terror. This woman had not only 
heard Auld 'Opper knock, but actually had seen him, she 
said ' mony a time.' — BOGG (2), p. 177. 

Richmond Castle. See Place, Etc., Legends, p. 406. 

Rufforth. [Murder] committed by William Barwick upon 
the body of Mary Barwick his wife. . . . 

The murder was committed on Palm Monday, being 
the fourteenth of April, about two of the clock in the 
afternoon, at which time the said Barwick having drilled 

1 [Webster adds ' I have recited this story punctually as a thing 
that hath been very much fixed in my memory being then but young 
and as a certain truth, I being (with many more) an earnest witness of 
their confession and an eye-witness of their Executions and likewise 
saw Fletcher when he was taken up where they had buried him 
in his cloathes, which were a green fustian doublet pinkt upon 
white, gray breeches and his walking boots and brass spurs without 
rowels.'] 



Manifestations. i o i 

his wife along till he came to a certain close, within sight 
of Cawood-Castle, where he found the conveniency of a 
pond, he threw her by force into the water and when she 
was drowned [drew her] forth again by himself upon the 
bank of the pond. . . . He concealed the body . . . and 
the next night when it grew duskish, fetching a hay-spade 
from a rick that stood in a close, he made a hole by the 
side of the pond and there slightly buried the woman in 
her clothes. . . . 

He went the same day to his brother-in-law, one Thomas 
Lofthouse of Rufforth, within three miles of York, who had 
married his drowned wife's sister, and told him he had 
carried his wife to one Richard Harrison's house in Selby, 
who was his uncle and would take care of her. But 
Heaven would not be so deluded, but raised up the ghost 
of the murdered woman to make the discovery. And 
therefore it was upon the Easter Tuesday following, about 
two' 11 of the clock in the afternoon, the forementioned 
Lofthouse having occasion to water a quickset hedge, not 
far from his house ; as he was going for the second pailfull, 
an apparition went before him in the shape of a woman, 
and soon after sat down upon a rising green grass-plat, 
right over against the pond : he walked by her as he 
went to the pond ; and as he returned with the pail from 
the pond, looking sideways to see whether she continued 
in the same place, he found she did ; and that she 
seemed to dandle something in her lap, that looked like a 
white bag (as he thought) which he did not observe before. 
So soon as he had emptied his pail, he went into his yard, 
and stood still to try whether he could see her again, but 
she was vanished. . . . The woman seemed to be habited 
in a brown coloured petticoat, waistcoat, and a white 
hood ; such a one as his wife's sister usually wore, and that 
her countenance looked extremely pale and wan, with her 

1 [' About half an hour after twelve of the clock' according to 
Lofthouse's evidence at the Assizes.] 



102 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

teeth in sight, but no gums appearing, and that her 
physiognomy was like to that of his wife's sister, who was 
wife to William Barwick. 

But notwithstanding the ghastliness of the apparition, it 
seems to have made so little impression in Lofthouse's 
mind, that he thought no more of it, neither did he speak 
to anybody concerning it, till the same night as he was 
at his family duty of prayer, that the apparition returned 
again to his thoughts, and discomposed his devotion ; so 
that after he had made an end of his prayers, he told the 
whole story of what he had seen to his wife, who laying 
circumstances together immediately inferred that her 
sister was either drowned, or otherwise murdered, and 
desired her husband to look after her the next day, which 
was Wednesday in Easter week. Upon this Lofthouse 
recollecting what Barwick had told him of his carrying 
his wife to his uncle at Selby, repaired to Harrison before- 
mentioned, but found all that Barwick had said to be 
false ; for that Harrison had neither heard of Barwick, nor 
his wife, neither did he know anything of them. Which 
notable circumstance, together with that other of the 
apparition, encreased his suspicions to that degree, that 
now concluding his wife's sister was murdered, he went 
to the Lord Mayor of York; and having obtained his 
warrant, got Barwick apprehended, who was no sooner 
brought before the Lord Mayor, but his own conscience 
then accusing him, he acknowledged the whole matter. [1] 
. . . On Wednesday the sixteenth of September, 1690, 
the criminal William Barwick, was brought to his trial, 
before the Honourable Sir John Powel, Knight, one of the 
judges of the northern circuit, at the assizes holden at 
York, where the prisoner pleaded not guilty to the 
indictment. ... He was found guilty, and sentenced to 

1 ' He made a free and voluntary confession, only with this addition 
at first ; that he told the Lord Mayor, he had sold his wife for five 
shillings.'— Aubrey, p. 99. 



Man ifestations. 103 

death, and afterwards ordered to be hanged in chains. — 
Aubrey, pp. 96-99, etc. ; Baring-Gould, vol. i., pp. 56-61. 

Semmerdale Hall. A rough road from Bainbridge to the 
north side of the lake passes Semmerdale Hall, where the 
dale's folk say that on dark nights ghosts, arrayed in white 
apparel, are still to be seen wandering. — BoGG (3), p. 211. 

Stainmoor. The natives still fearfully tell you of strange 
sights and strange sounds, as of men in tumult, and eerie 
forms of ghost and warlock, or peradventure a headless 
horsewoman gallops swiftly across the moor ; concerning 
the latter is the following tradition. . . . Two parties 
[Norman and Saxon] had more than once come to blows 
whilst hunting, and in one encounter several retainers and 
the daughter of Fitz-Barnard, a beautiful young lady of 
some twenty summers, were taken prisoners. The object 
of the chieftain was to make her his wife. . . . All his 
attempts to win her love were, however, fruitless and after 
remaining a prisoner for some time, she was rescued by 
stratagem, and was being borne triumphantly across the 
moor, when the Saxon appeared on the scene with a 
number of retainers and charged madly into the group 
of rescuers, who were unable to stand the onslaught, and 
the chieftain, furious at the thought of losing his fair 
captive, with one savage stroke severed the head of the 
young lady from her body ; hence the reason of the head- 
less horsewoman often seen galloping over the dreary moor 
at midnight. — BOGG (4), pp. 106, 107. 

Staithes. Many legends are current that have been 
handed down from times gone by, and amongst them 
one of peculiar horror, which graphically illustrates the 
character of the locality and the superstition of the 
inhabitants. It is to the effect that, years ago, a young 
woman was standing at the foot of Colburn Nab, the 
promontory that encloses the little bay on the west, when 



104 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.), 

a mass of rock fell from the overhanging cliff, and, striking 
her on the neck, cut her head completely off, throwing it to 
some distance. The villagers believed that, several nights 
in the year, the headless body of the unfortunate girl was 
to be seen crossing the bridge which spans the small brook 
that enters the sea close to the spot. — Saltburn, p. 45. 

[An] accident occurred lately to a poor fisherman, named 
Harrison, who fell over a cliff 600 feet high and was dashed 
to pieces on the rocks beneath. The superstitious disposi- 
tion of those simple and ignorant people was amply 
exhibited on this occasion, many averring that they had 
actually beheld the 'waif of the unfortunate deceased, not 
only by night but by day. . . . His own relatives visited 
the unhappy ghost, conversed familiarly with it, saw it in 
different shapes and attitudes, and by the dress, manner, 
speech, and appearance, pronounced it publicly to be the 
identical James Harrison. The ' poor ghost ' after frighten- 
ing great multitudes of people, was at length exorcised by 
a Roman Catholic priest in the neighbourhood, and has 
never been heard of since. — Ord, p. 301. 

Stokesley. In common with every other place, Stokesley 
has had its haunted places . . . who is there amongst us 
who does not recollect the traditions of Broughton Bridge 
— Lady-Cross — Tweddell's Stripe — Neasham's Lane — 
Tanton Dykes — and other places in the immediate 
neighbourhood ? At Broughton Bridge the apparition 
assumed the form of a mounted horseman, richly capari- 
soned, and whose clattering armour excited the fears, and 
haunted the path of the traveller on that road ! In 
Tweddell's Stripe a narrow lane at the commencement 
of the field-road from Stokesley to Seamer — the Ghost 
appeared as a flaming carriage drawn by six grey-hounds. 
These fleet steeds used to whirl the carriage with its occu- 
pant, a woman without a head, up and down the stripe with 
a velocity unknown in those days when railway engines 



Manifestations. i o 5 

were unknown. . . . Lady-Cross where the Broughton 
and Ayton roads branch off from the common one leading 
from Stokesley, appeared to be the rendezvous of every- 
thing evil ; here the most daring feats of demoniac agency 
were exhibited. This place, surely, was the tabernacle of 
Satan : — here, night after night, Ghosts, Hobgoblins,Witches, 
Warlocks, and even Pluto himself reigned triumphant, — here 
he held undisputed sway ! One benighted wanderer was 
suddenly confronted with a headless lady, dressed in blazing 
garments yet unconsumed — step by step she accompanied 
him from the Cross until he reached the entrance of Kirby 
lane, where with a most terrific screech she disappeared ! — 
another gentleman on a dark night was wending his way 
from Ayton to Stokesley, when arriving at the fatal spot, 
his ear was accosted with a demoniac yell, and there 
appeared before him, dressed in white, and mounted on a 
white horse, — a Lady fair ! she rode by his side for some 
distance, then urging her charger passed instantly from his 
sight— Clev. Rep., vol. i., pp. 5, 6. 

There's lots o' fooaks wants te say 'at there is neea 
ghooasts. They say 'at t' railways hez freeten'd all on 'em 
away. Bud they mooan't tell me. Ah's tonn'd eeghty, an' 
Ah've heeard fooaks tell about 'em ivver sen Ah wer a 
bairn ; an' Ah've been flay'd me sel' mair ner yance. They 
was yah tahm, Ah wer rahdin' fra Broughton te Stowslay; 
an' when Ah'd getten ommest tit brig, ther wer a thing like 
an ass's fooal com an' trotted alang sahd o' mah ; an' all 
at yance Ah tummell'd reet ower t'awd meer's heead on tit 
grund ; an' when Ah gat up ageean, t' thing wer geean. 
Ah's seer it wer summat uncanny, or Ah sud nivver hev 
tummell'd off t' meer i' that way. . . . Then ther was Jack 
Raby : he wer yance gahin' alang at neet wiv a dog, an' 
ther wer a thing raze up like a white rabbit ; an' t' dog 
teeak away efter 't. It ran ower a fielt, an' went in tiv a 
coo-house at yah sahd, an' com out at t' udder : an' t' dog 
ran te Jack, wiv hiz tail atween hiz legs, an' seeam'd flay'd — 



106 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

an' seea was Jack, an' he teeak off yam his hardist. It 
awlus had a bad neeam had Broughton Brig. Ther wer an 
awd blacksmith 'at use te liv at Broughton ; an' he oft 
stopp'd varry leeat at Stowslay on t market neets ; an' 
then he did n't like gahin' yam for fear o' t' ghost at t' brig. 
Howivver, yah neet he had a leg o' mutton wiv him ; seea 
what did he deea bud tied a band teeah 't, an' when he was 
gettin' neegh te t' brig, he let it doon on tit grund, an' trailt 
it efter him, an' kept geeaping out all t' way as he went 
alang t' rooad — ' Thou can tak t' mutton deeaval, if 
tha nobbut lets me aleean ! — tell he gat hiz sel' a canny 
bit ower t' brig; an' then he gedder'd it up ageean. Bud 
nowt melt o' nowther him ner t' mutton that tahm — Then 
ther was a spot aboon Broughton, te be seen yit, at t' reet 
hand sahd o' t' rooad as yah gan up t' lonnin' tit Wain- 
steens, 'at 's call'd Fairy Hill : and mah granmudher's 
seen fairies dancin' ther hersel' — seea ther's nut a word of 
a lee aboot that. Bud some fooaks weea n't believe 't. 

TWEDDELL, pp. SI-63. 
Thoralby. About two miles distant from [Thoralby], 
will be seen by the road side, an old shed, which bears 
the curious name of the ' Devil's Hull ' ; adjoining is a 
peculiar shaped tree, better described as a triplet of 
trees. ... In bygone days, and even unto this day, many 
people fear to pass this spot after nightfall, for a mysterious 
being, in the form of a spectral shade, hobgoblin, others say 
the devil himself, has been seen there. The apparition 
appears in divers forms and manner, just to suit the 
different temperatures [sic] of the dales-folk. Some few 
years ago, a woman was passing the spot, and she saw 
what she imagined to be the figure of her husband standing 
against the tree, and naturally expecting he had come to 
meet her, she spoke, but receiving no reply and still believ- 
ing him to be there, she approached the apparition, which 
suddenly dissolved into space. On another occasion, a 
servant from the Rookery was passing the spot, late one 



Manifestations. 107 

night, when he was confronted by an apparition with fearful 
glaring eyes, and as he afterwards said, ' I was in a fearful 
state of fright and agony.' Luckily he was a Roman 
Catholic, and as a last thought crossed himself; imme- 
diately on so doing, with a fearful yell, the spirit fled, and 
disappeared with a loud hissing sound into the dark pool 
of stagnant water, known as ' Devil's Hole.' 

Bogg (3), pp. 232, 233. 

Topcliffe and Thirsk, Between. John M — once, when I 
was in his house, told me a curious tale about himself. 
He was riding one night to Thirsk, when he suddenly 
saw passing him a radient boy on a white horse. There 
was no sound of footfall as he drew nigh. Old John was 
first aware of the approach of the mysterious rider by 
seeing a shadow of himself and his horse flung before him 
on the high-road. Thinking there might be a carriage 
with lamps, he was not alarmed till by the shortening of 
the shadow he knew that the light must be near him and 
then he was surprised to hear no sound. He thereupon 
turned in the saddle and at the same moment the radiant 
boy passed him. He was a child of about eleven, with a 
bright fresh face. ' Had he any clothes on, and if so, what 
were they like?' I asked. But John was unable to tell 
me. His astonishment was so great that he took no notice 
of particulars. The boy rode on till he came to a gate 
which led into a field. He stopped as if to open the gate, 
rode through, and all was instantly dark. 

Baring-Gould, vol. ii., pp. 105, 106. 

Nr. Upsall. There is a tradition yet current in the 
Vale of Mowbray, that John de Mowbray after the battle 
of Boroughbridge, attempted to escape to the Manor 
House of Upsall, then held by one of his retainers, but 
was overtaken and seized in Chop-head Loaning, between 
the town of Thirsk and Upsall ; that an ash tree there 
growing was cut down, and part of its trunk extern- 



io8 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

porized into a headsman's block, and that the unfortunate 
baron was beheaded by one of the enemies' soldiers in 
pursuit. The same authority goes on to say, that his 
armour was torn from his body, and suspended on the 
branches of a neighbouring oak ; and though both oak 
and armour have disappeared, yet during the witching 
hour of midnight, the gyves may be heard creaking as 
if yet swinging on the branches, when the east wind 
comes soughing up the road from the heights of Black 
Hambleton. — Grainge, pp. 58, 59 note. 

Whitby. I shall only produce one instance more of the 
great veneration paid to Lady Hilda, which still prevails 
even in these our days ; and that is, the constant opinion 
that she rendered, and still renders, herself visible, on 
some occasions, in the Abbey of Streanshalh, or Whitby, 
where she so long resided. At a particular time of the 
year, (viz. in the summer months) at ten or eleven in 
the forenoon, the sun-beams fall in the inside of the 
northern part of the choir ; and 'tis then that the specta- 
tors, who stand on the west side of Whitby churchyard, 
so as just to see the most northerly part of the Abbey, 
past the north end of Whitby church, imagine they 
perceive, in one of the highest windows there, the resem- 
blance of a woman arrayed in a shroud. Though we 
are certain this is only a reflexion, caused by the splendor 
of the sun-beams, yet fame reports it, and it is constantly 
believed among the vulgar, to be the appearance of Lady 
Hilda in her shroud, or rather in a glorified state. 

Charlton, p. 33. 

Confirming the possibility of such an apparent appari- 
tion the writer may state he has in his possession a 
photograph, taken by W. Stonehouse, of the exterior 
portion of the east end of the chancel, in which through 
the southern lancet of the top tier an interior trefoil 
ornament is seen in the distance; when the photograph 



Manifestations. 1 09 

is placed under a lens, this object gives the exact appear- 
ance of a human face peering out of the window ! 

Franks, p. 229. 

It would be an endless task to attempt a detail of 
all the absurd local traditions, and all the haunted houses 
in the district. An excellent house in Baxtergate stood 
long empty, as it had obtained the character of being 
visited by ghosts : it is now frequented by spirits of 
another kind, having been converted into an inn. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 883. 

Apparitions, both before and after death, are of course, 
not unfrequent in Whitby. Many a valuable house has 
stood untenanted for years on the suspicion of its being 
haunted ; the last residents therein having experienced 
considerable alarm and anxiety : the bed curtains having 
been undrawn, the bed clothes torn off, the window 
shutters unloosed, the china broke, the furniture de- 
molished, and numerous other supernatural occurrences 
are stated to have taken place. Strange traditions exist 
of certain yards, lanes, and alleys ; of some terrible 
homicide there committed ; of departed spirits that have 
there walked for several nights successively, deprived of 
their rest, desirous of being addressed by some one, but 
none daring; of hearses and mourning coaches that have 
been seen to drive past at midnight, the horses without 
heads, or with white sheets on their backs ; and numerous 
other equally credible reports ; the whole of which, most 
of the inhabitants fearfully believe. 

It is customary, at the death of an individual in the 
lower ranks of life, for some person to sit up with the 
corpse on the night previous to interment. This is what 
is commonly termed a wake, and is universally allowed 
to be a time of high unction in the ghastly world. 
The company is usually composed of two or three 
females, perhaps, one rather of an advanced age ; these 
make it their business, on such occasions, to discuss the 



1 10 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

whole annals of spectrism ; all the knowledge they possess 
of such subjects is here brought forward ; till at length 
rendered nervous and timid in the highest degree by 
listening to each other's enervating accounts, they are 
led to suppose that they are about to witness a con- 
firmation of the fact, that departed spirits actually do 

'Revisit thus the glimpses of the moon' 

and are ready to fancy that the corpse moves, and is 
about to rise and lay hold of them. This, of course, 
furnishes them with topics of conversation on another 
similar occasion ; where they are persuaded Willy Such- 
an-one is not at rest, for at his wake, his corpse appeared 
to move frequently ; that the candles were nearly extin- 
guished divers times ; that shrouds were formed round 
them, pointing to some one, of whose husband there had 
been no account since he sailed; that on entering the 
room where the corpse was laid they were just in time 
to prevent the candle which is always kept burning in 
that room from being overturned upon the corpse, by 
some invisible supernatural power ; and numerous other 
distressing occurrences. 

Whitby Rep., vol. iv., pp. 179, 180 (1828). 

York. We come to the quiet and aristocratic city of 
York, and with the 'Judges House' as it is there called, 
associate the strange incident alluded to in the heading of 
our short paper. . . . As it happens to be the only ghostly 
reminiscence with which we have had any direct connection, 
we naturally take more interest in relating it. It was upon 
a bitterly cold evening in November, 18 — , we arrived offici- 
ally in York ; we had had a freezing ride from London, and 
looked forward with pleasure to our warm sitting and bed- 
room at the old York lodgings. [1] It was a Winter Assize, 

1 [Where were these lodgings ?] 

At the commencement of the street we now call Spurriergate, and 
opposite the street we formerly called Jubbergate, a few of us may 



Manifestations. 1 1 1 

and we had no question to ask ourselves as to the comfort 
of our night's quarters, there being but one judge and his 
marshal, and all the rest of the dormitories at our disposal, 
to choose whichever we pleased. On arriving we found 
appropriated to our use a large and decently furnished apart- 
ment on the second floor, immediately over the bedroom of 
the circuit judge. It was, we were informed, formerly the 
senior marshal's bedroom. There was nothing whatever 
peculiar about the room, except that it seemed rather 
hastily prepared for an occupant, and strangely enough, as 
it seemed to us at the time, although we knew the old 
house well, we had never been shown this particular 
bedroom ; the maid who accompanied us upstairs informed 
us, however, that the apartment was very seldom used, and 
was only called into requisition now in consequence of part 
of the ceiling of the ' proper room ' having suddenly fallen 
in. We thought little of the matter at the time, and after 
a wash, and luxuriating, as only a chilly individual after a 
long winter's journey can, before a blazing fire piled half up 
the chimney, we proceeded downstairs and entered into the 
discussion of a good dinner, our colleague being our only 
companion, and then, he having a bad cold, and being 
extremely averse to conversation under the circumstances, 
we pitied his condition, and at an early hour we both retired 
to our respective bedrooms. Eleven o'clock, and we were 
snugly in bed, with candle carefully extinguished, and the 



remember a large antique-looking timber house. ... In the 16th 
century it was the residence of the Appleyards. ... At a later period 
this mansion, it is said was appropriated to the accommodation of the 
judges of the assizes, previously to their occupying the house in Coney 
Street opposite to the George Inn, which is yet known by the name of 
the Old Judges Lodgings. — Davies, p. 72. 

Upon part of the site of the church and churchyard of St. Wilfrid 
we now see a handsome brick mansion of rather uncommon design, 
which for the last half century [counting from 1854] has been appro- 
priated to the accomodation of the Judges at the Assizes. 

Davies, p. 44. 



1 12 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

flickering light of the fire alone illuminating the room. A 
little later, and we were fast asleep and dreaming of our 
home and young family far away in the south, all uncon- 
scious of assizes in general, and judge's lodgings in particular. 
Two a.m., and we were wide awake in bed, with heart 
thumping against the side I 50 to the minute, and with a 
vague and undefinable terror possessing us. The fire was 
out, the room in black darkness, and the horrible sensation 
known doubtless to many of our readers, came across us 
that there was some one besides ourselves in it, near to us, 
a some one who had just left our bedside, and whose 
receding feet we heard moving very quietly and yet rapidly 
towards the door. At the same time a sudden sharp voice 
sounded apparently from the lower part of the house, a cry 
of ' Henry, Henry,' twice repeated, as of some one calling up 
the staircase. Again we heard the ' paddle ' of slipperless 
feet, now in the passage outside our room ; then descending 
the staircase ; then succeeded a murmuring sound as of two 
voices talking together, a scuffle, a loud, piercing shriek, and 
then a heavy stumbling back again upstairs, as of a wounded 
person feebly ascending ; steps along the passage : steps 
approaching our room ; steps in our room (though we had 
up to the time neither heard the door open nor shut) ; a 
heavy fall on the floor ; and then — we became unconscious. 
When we awoke — from sleeping or fainting we know not 
which — the first streaks of the wintry morning were piercing 
through our window curtains, an attendant in due time 
brought our hot water, and from between the sheets (for we 
had been far too much occupied with our troubled medita- 
tions to arise) we bade him enter. We turned the latch in 
vain, our door was fast locked as we remembered then to 
have left it the night before ! Our hostess appeared whilst 
we were at breakfast, for our colleague was still a sufferer 
from his cold, and breakfasted in bed, and, with a little 
tremor in her voice, hoped we had passed a ' comfortable 
night.' A moment's hesitation, and we told her all. She 



Manifestations. 113 

heard our ghostly experiences ; there was a look of mingled 
vexation and alarm on her face as she fell into a seat and 
offered us all the explanation in her power. The room was 
haunted, of that there could be no doubt ; it had never been 
occupied to her certain knowledge, during the housekeeper- 
ship of her predecessor or herself, extending over half a 
century, and the want of repair in the other room spoken of 
by her maid, together probably with some wish to test the 
truth of her ghostly tale, had determined her to appropriate 
it to the officers of the present assize. The tradition was, as 
she related it to us, that some 150 years before, a strange 
and sullen old bachelor judge had taken the York Assizes. 
He was accompanied round circuit by his nephew, who 
acted as his marshal, a young unmarried orphan gentleman 
of large expectations, whose immediate heir the old judge 
was. The judge's butler, sleeping in a room separated only 
by a thin wooden partition from that of his master, had 
been awakened in the night by the judge rising and walking 
in the neighbouring bedroom. He had heard the door 
open and the judge's voice calling to his nephew by his 
Christian name, ' Henry ' twice ; he had also heard a door 
open above, steps descending the stairs, a struggle, a cry 
as of one in mortal pain, ascending footsteps, and a return 
of some one into the adjoining bedroom. In the morning 
(for the man was too frightened to alarm the household at 
the time), on attending to valet his lordship, he found him 
strangely nervous and disturbed, while his marshal, not 
appearing at the breakfast table, was sought for in his 
chambers, and found lying on the floor curled up in death, 
with a deeply-inflicted knife-wound in his bosom. The 
matter was attempted to be explained as a case of suicide, 
and was hushed up with little enquiry, inquests being rare 
in those days, and the judge himself being ex-officio principal 
coroner of the county, and taking the inquiry into his own 
hands ; but for many assizes afterwards strange noises and 
appearances were said to be seen and heard in the fearful 

H 



1 14 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

old room until it was locked up and disused, and not again 
occupied until our unfortunate advent to the city. Such 
was the story — true or false we know not — told us. The 
nightly visitation we can vouch for, and what is quite 
as remarkable is, we had never previously heard a word 
about the mysterious occurrence until told us the following 
morning as we have related it. — L. H., Dec. 6th, 1879, pp. 

775, 77& 

Castle. — At one time, it is said, ghosts greatly abounded 
in this prison, and played many pranks with the prisoners 
and other quietly disposed people. The ghost of Mary 
Bateman was particularly active, and was credited with 
many wonderful things done at the witching hour of night. 

CAMIDGE, p. 156. 

See also sub WITCHCRAFT, pp. 143, 144. 

Streets. — Sixty or eighty years ago most streets had 
their particular ghost. ... A very quiet street in the 
centre of the city had in it a large, old-fashioned, but com- 
modious and comfortable mansion, which for a generation 
never had a tenant. Its forlorn appearance and unoccupied 
condition lent credence to the theory that it was haunted, 
and according to the tradition, as the boom of the midnight 
bell died on the air, a lady of beautiful appearance with all 
the habiliments of her class sallied forth. She had long 
flowing hair, a fine figure, a genteel appearance, and a firm 
but delicate step. She appeared first at the door, and if 
her road was clear she walked the street, alongside the 
neighbouring churchyard, at the end of which she stood 
and gazed into space. She was shy in manner, and if a 
stout heart confronted her she disappeared without taking 
the trouble to return to the place from whence she came, 
but if she created fear, and put to flight any ill-fated 
passer-by, she maintained her ground. A little lingering at 
the churchyard end, as if waiting for some expected visitor, 
and then she perambulated to and fro until one o'clock was 
tolled, when her night's work was done, and from the 



Manifestations. . 115 

streets she withdrew to the lone old mansion to rest for the 
hours till midnight came again. So positive was the belief 
in this ghost that, according to the tradition, nobody would 
occupy the house from which she was said to come, and 
into which she was said to retire. For a considerable 
number of years unoccupied and forlorn, growing dirtier 
and drearier as the years went by, it remained unlet until a 
site for another form of building was required, and then the 
owners gladly sold it to persons who razed it to the ground, 
and with its removal away went to tradition the long- 
sheltered ghost. — Camidge (3), pp. 32, 33. 

A series of ghosts, existed in what is a street now, but 
until little over forty years ago was a square. The first 
effort at housing the aged and impotent poor of this city 
was made about 1575, when beds were provided for the 
lodging of this class of people under the 14th Elizabeth 
(1570), when six persons were allowed shelter, and with it 
eightpence per week ; another was allowed one shilling 
and fourpence per week, two had one shilling per week, 
four had sixpence each, and two had fourpence each per 
week. After a while this institution was removed, and a 
master or governor appointed, whose cruelty was said to be 
such that several young people died in the home, and to 
visit the sin upon the head of the master their ghosts 
appeared nightly in batches of three or four or more, to the 
great fright of beadledom. They did not confine their 
appearance to him only, but others saw them, especially 
at midnight, when in frolic and fun they gambolled to the 
amusement of passers-by. It was also asserted that un- 
earthly noises and strange appearances were manifested 
inside the house, especially in and about a closet where the 
bodies of the dead were said to be kept, until opportunity 
presented itself for interment, which was not always made 
hurriedly. Report used to assert that when the poorhouse 
was removed to the bottom of Marygate the bodies of 
several dead persons were discovered in the old house, 



1 1 6 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

which had to be cleared before other occupants could enter 
into possession. The old house has given way to the 
march of improvement. — CAMIDGE (3), p. 33. 

[In Skeldergate, York] there is a passage variously 
called 'Hagworm's Nest,' 'The Devil's Entry,' and ' Beed- 
ham's Court' Its first name may have been derived from 
some form of worm existing in the locality. Its second 
and third names come from incidents associated with it. 
The second name came from a circumstance said to have 
occurred about a century ago, which was believed in, and 
held firm hold of the public mind at one time. Previous 
to the days of the policeman, the Corporation, somewhat 
with a view to terrorize the housebreaker, and also with 
a view to protect the city, kept a band of musicians, who 
during the winter months perambulated the streets of the 
city calling the hour, and with musical instruments, playing 
as they went, and occasionally standing to display their 
skill and charm the sleepless horde. . . . These men were 
five in number, and had salaries of £4 a year with livery, 
coats and hats once in six years. At the time to which 
the story refers they had an uncommon good violinist, and 
one night in their perambulations he played charmingly. 
Coming to the passage which is now called Beedham's 
Court, he rose to the height of his skill, but when his per- 
formance was completed, he suddenly disappeared. His 
companions deserted their duty, and sought for him all 
night, and sought for him next day, but all their seek- 
ing was in vain. He was never seen more, and all the 
evidence of his going was a strong smell of brimstone, 
from which it was inferred that his Satanic majesty needed 
a good violinist. . . . For many years afterwards, and even 
yet, this passage is called the ' Devil's Entry ' by old 
people. — Camidge, pp. 127, 128. 

Within a short distance of a very interesting church 
[St. Crux, now pulled down] a woman lived some years 
ago whose life and character did not commend her to 



Manifestations. 1 1 7 

the favour of either her neighbours, dependents, or 
customers. Her grasping spirit, her miserable habits, 
her unprincipled business systems, her dishonest and dis- 
honourable transactions, and her general wickedness of 
life, all contributed to make her not only unpopular, 
but to weave about her the people's hatred. She was 
tall and handsome, but yet forbidding both in aspect 
and utterance. At the time of her death her room 
is said to have resounded with strange noises, and 
her death-bed was said to be encircled by strange un- 
earthly visitants ; whilst her terror and agonised expres- 
sions were horrifying to those who surrounded her. Acts 
of injustice and deeds of wrong committed or connived 
at by her crowded in upon her memory, and the pains 
of death had bitter hold upon her calling into existence 
most distressing scenes. In a badly-lighted room, at 
the back of a great pile of buildings, at the hour of 
midnight, she passed away, amid screaming protests 
against death, and with cursing assurances of coming 
again. Agreeably to her threat, she is credited with 
paying nightly visits to her old home, evidencing her 
presence by unearthly noises similar in character to those 
heard at her dying bed, and every now and then revealing 
herself with charges of guilt to and against those who had 
assisted her in her wrong-doing, laying much of her 
wickedness to the creative or suggestive power of others, 
who left her to work out their schemes of wrong, and to 
battle with those so wronged. For many years she is 
said to have continued her nocturnal visits, and nobody 
ever dared to occupy the room, much less the bed, she had 
died upon, for they feared the repetition of the experience 
attending her last hours, or the fright of a visit. Conscience 
makes ghosts by waking memories of the past and creat- 
ing spectres to wrong-doers. From the time that the actors 
or the assistant actors in this woman's wrong-doing died 
she rested in her grave. — Camidge (3), pp. 40, 41. 



1 1 8 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

All Saints' Church (Pavement). — Churches always had 
connected with them some story of ghostly visitation, 
and the two churches of Ye Oulde Streete of Pavemente 
[All Saints and St. Crux] were no exception to the rule. 
The church of All Saints had attributed to it a ghost 
which appeared in the day time as well as at night ; it 
was a female with a very red face, and an unsettled and 
restless disposition. She always wore her hair, which 
was very long, in curls, and she had a marvellous anxiety 
to see the burying of the dead, for it is said that she 
never by any perchance neglected to attend the funerals 
in the church, and could at those times always be seen 
by the mourners ; at other times she satisfied herself 
by revealing herself to an old woman who sat every 
day opposite to the shop of the late Mr. Richard Bur- 
dekin in High Ousegate, where she sold oat-meal from 
a washing-tub. This old woman had great power over 
the All Saints' Ghost, for she was able to call up the 
' lady of the church ' as she called her whenever she saw 
fit ; and if nobody else could see the ghost the old 
woman declared that she could, whilst with wonderful 
minuteness she used to describe the appearance, size, 
dress, gait, and actions of the ghost. . . . On the death 
of the stall woman the ghost disappeared, and has not 
returned ; nobody else has been able to conjure it into 
being, and it looks very much as if the ghost-seer and 
the ghost had both arranged to settle and sleep together, 
and never disturb the earth again. — Camidge (2), p. 93. 

St. Crux Church. — The old watchman had a box in 
Pavement, from which he journeyed at his will on errands 
of protection. He was visited by the city waits on their 
nightly rounds, and one of the latter 'protectors' used 
to tell a story that so soon as they left his box and 
protection and recommenced their musical parade, the 
ghost of a female nightly came forth from St. Crux' 
Church. It was clearly distinguished as the figure of a 



Manifestations. 1 1 9 

lady, and, of course, it was dressed in the proverbial white. 
She had evidently musical tastes, for she invariably 
followed the company along Whip-ma- whop-ma-gate, 
Colliergate, and King's-square, into Goodramgate, about 
the centre of which street she disappeared. For several 
years she paid particular attention to one of the band, 
and by those attentions inspired considerable fear in the 
heart of her favourite. When the waits ceased their 
nightly parade, she kept her dusty bed, and now for a 
generation or more she has quietly slept, paying no 
heed to the measured tread, or stately perambulations 
of the gentlemen of the 'blue.' — Camidge (2), p. 191. 

St. Crux' Church used to be credited with having more 
than one ghost, but the most notable one was always 
to be seen through the church windows, where it occasion- 
ally lingered in its visitations for hours beyond the time 
usually allotted to the appearing of these unearthly 
people. It was a male ghost tall in stature, and bold 
in character ; generally speaking, these visitants disappear 
when spoken to, but the St. Crux ghost was credited 
with strange confidence and courage, for according to 
the legend maintained respecting it, it would not disappear 
when spoken to like other ghosts, and it could not be 
tempted outside the sacred edifice. By the window side 
it stood revealing its presence to the very occasional 
passer by, but more especially to the charwomen who 
at that time went to their day's work in the early hours 
of the morning. — Camidge (2), p. 93. 

St. Georges Church. — Close by a Churchyard within the 
walls of the city, a very singular manifestation was 
accredited in years gone by. At midnight, especially, 
when the nights were dark and drear, an unresting spirit 
came forth and took the shape occasionally of a white 
cat, at other times of a white rabbit, and wandered 
through the silent streets in solitude. If perchance some 
midnight wanderer passed that way the ghost put a 



120 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

respectable distance between itself and the intruder, whilst 
if the new comer gave chase then the ghost made its 
way rapidly to the churchyard and amongst the tombs 
it disappeared. — Camidge (3), p. 31. 

[The ghost was said to be that of Dick Turpin, there 
buried]. 

Holy Trinity Church (Micklegate). Whilst staying in 
York at this time last year (1865) or perhaps a little 
earlier, I first heard of the apparitions or ghosts supposed 
to be seen in Trinity Church, Micklegate. I felt curious 
to see a ghost, I confess, if such a thing is to be seen 
without the usual concomitants of a dark night and a 
lone house. Accordingly I went to the church for 
morning service on a blazing hot Sunday morning in 
August last, with a girl about 13 years old and her 
little brother. The east window of the church, I must 
explain, is of stained glass, rather tawdry, and of no 
particular design, except that the colouring is much richer 
in the centre than at the sides, and that at the extreme 
edge there is one pane of unstained glass which runs 
all round the window. 

The peculiarity of the apparition is, that it is seen on 
the window itself, rather less than half way from the 
bottom (as I saw it from the gallery), and has much 
the same effect as that of a slide drawn through a magic 
lantern when seen on the exhibiting sheet. The form 
seen — I am told invariably — is that of a figure dressed 
in white walking across the window, and gives the idea 
of some one passing in the churchyard in a surplice. 
I say a figure, for the number is generally limited to 
one, and I was told that only on Trinity Sunday did 
more than one appear, and that then there were three. 

But I can vouch for the larger number appearing on 
other occasions, as on the day I was there, which was 
one of the Sundays after Trinity, there were rarely fewer 
than three visible. The figures began to move across 



Manifestations. 121 

the window long before the commencement of the service, 
when in fact there was no one present but ourselves. 
They did so again before the service began, as well as 
during the 'Venite' and subsequently as many as 20 or 
30 times, I should suppose, till the conclusion of the 
service. Of the three figures two were evidently those 
of women, and the third was a little child. One was tall 
and very graceful, and the other middle-sized ; we called 
the second one the nursemaid, from her evident care of 
the child during the absence of the mother, which 
relationship we attributed to the tall one, from the 
passionate affection she exhibited towards the child, her 
caressing it and the wringing of her hands over it. I 
may add that each figure is perfectly distinct from the 
others, and after they have been seen once or twice are 
at once recognisable. 

The order of their proceedings, with slight variation 
was this. [1] The mother came alone from the north side 
of the window, and having gone about half-way across, 
stopped, turned round, and waved her arm towards the 
quarter whence she had come. The signal was answered 
by the entry of the nurse with the child. Both figures 
then bent over the child, and seemed to bemoan its fate ; 
but the taller one was always the most endearing in 
her gestures. The mother then moved towards the other 
side of the window, taking the child with her, leaving 
the nurse in the centre of the window, from which she 
gradually retired towards the north corner, whence she 
had come, waving her hand, as though making signs of 
farewell, as she retreated. After some little time she 
again appeared, bending forward, and evidently antici- 
pating the return of the other two, who never failed to 
reappear from the south side of the window where they 

J [The writer says, p. 2, with reference to this account] I am not 
quite satisfied in my own mind that I have given the order of the 
incidents exactly as they occurred. 



122 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

had disappeared. The same gestures of despair and dis- 
tress were repeated, and then all three retired together to 
the north side of the window. 

Usually they appeared during the musical portions of 
the service, and especially during one long eight-line 
hymn, when — for the only occasion without the child — 
the two women rushed on (in stage phrase), and remained 
during the whole hymn, making the most frantic gestures 
of despair. Indeed, the louder the music in that hymn, 
the more carried away with their grief did they seem 
to be. . . . — [A correspondent of] BARING-GOULD, vol. i., 

PP- 3-5- 

The Sunday-school children who sit in the gallery, see 
the forms so often as to be quite familiar with the sight, 
and call them ' the mother, nurse, and child.' The legend 
I have heard told of it is that a family consisting of a 
father, mother, and only child, lived here once upon a 
time. The father died, and was buried at the east end 
of the church, under or near the organ window. After 
a while the plague broke out in York and carried off 
the child, and it was buried outside the city, [1] as those 
who died of plague were not allowed to be laid in the 
churchyards for fear of communicating the infection. The 
mother died afterwards, and was laid in her husband's 
grave, and now as in her lifetime continues to visit the 
grave of her child and bemoan the separation. The child 
is brought from its grave in the plague-pit by the mother 
and nurse, and brought to the grave of its father, and 
then it is taken back to where it lies outside the walls. — 
[Another correspondent of] BARING-GOULD, vol. i., p. 12. 

[The apparition] is said to have haunted the church for 
150, 200, and some authorities say 300 years, [2] and there 

1 [In the burial ground of the old church of Fulford. — Camidge, 
p. 211.] 

2 [The late Canon Raine told the compiler that the idea of the 
apparitions is quite modern. Matter, in addition to that which is 



Manifestations. 1 2 3 

are many pretty legends connected with it. One of the 
many traditions says that 300 years ago, during religious 
disturbances, a party of soldiers came to sack the con- 
vent [1] attached to this church ; that the abbess, a woman 
of great virtue and courage, stopped them, as they were 
entering, declaring that they should enter over her dead 
body only, and that, should they succeed in their sacri- 
legious purpose, as they afterwards did, her spirit would 
haunt the place until the true Church were re-established 
and a convent built on the same spot. — [Correspondent of 
Newcastle Daily Chronicle quoted by] Baring-Gould 
(1890 ed.), p. 15. 

The apparition in Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate, 
York, has not been visible for some years. When the 
church was enlarged, about two years ago, the window at 
which it usually appeared was taken away. The present 
sexton [Dec. 1889] has seen it several times; and even 
now when he finds any of the church windows open says 
that the Trinity ghost has done it. 

J. Nicholson, N. & Q., 7th S., vol. viii., p. 455. 

Beyond the Walls. — A little way from the walls of York 
in the direction of Middlethorpe there stood, in years gone 
by, a large old house of baronial dimensions and Eliza- 
bethan character. ... A secret of considerable importance 
was said to have belonged to one of the families occupying 
this house, which had been maintained for several genera- 
tions, but was never known to more than one member of 
the family, and only transferred from sire to son or daughter 
at the moment when the holder of the secret was dying. 



here cited, will be found in Mr. Baring-Gould's Yorkshire Oddities. 
The revised edition (Methuen & Co., 1890) gives rationalistic explana- 
tions of the phenomenon. The author of From Ouse Bridge, etc., 
writes 'The legend is very pretty as an illustration of maternal 
devotion, but somebody behind the ghost of Holy Trinity could tell 
another and a true story of their appearance.' — Camidge, p. 212.] 

1 [Holy Trinity stands on the site of a Benedictine Priory.] 



124 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

As the story runs one of the family, who for the time was 
the keeper of this concealed incident, was taken suddenly 
and seriously ill, and before she could reveal her keep to 
some other member of the family, she passed away, and 
with her the secret so long sustained. The family must 
have had some experience of ghosts or some suspicions of 
prospective troubles for they took especial pains to save 
themselves from the truant tenant of the grave, and secure 
for themselves immunity against any intruder. They had 
learnt the theory prevalent in those days that if a corpse is 
taken out of a house by some other than the ordinary way 
of ingress and egress it will never find a means of access 
again, and cannot haunt the inmates or even the inside 
of the dwelling. . . . They determined to break a hole 
through the wall at the back part of their home ; and then 
to take the coffin containing the corpse out of the habita- 
tion by that new and singular way. Having completed 
their arrangements they carried off the corpse to the grave 
followed by mourning friends. A few nights after, at the 
witching hour of night, moaning sounds broke on the night 
air, as if coming from somebody in distress, and waking the 
members of the family, they could, on looking out, see a 
ghost wandering in apparent bewilderment, seeking some 
way or road into the house. Round about the spot where 
the hole had been made the spirit wandered, making noises 
which betrayed anxiety and despair. The family was 
thrown into a state of deep concern, and after submitting 
to the trouble for many months they left the residence, but 
not so the ghost. For years the neighbourhood bore the 
character of being haunted, and persons living close by or 
passing that way at midnight were persuaded that the 
belief was well founded. Night by night those who had 
sat late at their cups, and drunk well if not wisely, and 
those on whom business or pleasure had made demands 
only satisfied at midnight, reported visions of the ghost, 
whilst companies of young folk sometimes made visits to 



Manifestations. 1 2 5 

the spot in the hope of seeing the spectre. Occasionally 
they were gratified, but more generally disappointed, for 
the ghost was shy and would not do the bidding of a 
crowd. Many stories were rife of the freaks of this ghost, 
and many a fireside was encircled in the long winter nights 
to recite what had been seen, and to guess what was 
intended by the unrest of the poor dead woman. . . . She 
invariably appeared in white, with long flowing hair ; her 
step was quick yet steady, her aim was unmistakably an 
entrance into the house she had formerly occupied, and so 
far as could be deciphered her features bore an expression 
of anguish mingled with despair. The house was old and 
unsuitable to general occupancy, with the consequence that 
it went so much out of repair that some years ago it was 
razed to the ground, and with its demolition there was an 
end to the ghost. — Camidge (3), pp. 7-9. 



BARGUESTS AND THE LIKE. 

York. As the heathen had their good genii, so likewise 
their evil ones are traditionally handed down to us ; by 
those many idle stories of local ghosts which the common 
people do still believe haunt cities, towns and family seats, 
famous for their antiquities and decays. Of this sort are 
the apparitions at Verulam, Silchester, Reculver, and 
Rochester ; the Demon of Tedworth, the black dog of 
Winchester, the Padfoot of Pontefract and the Barguest of 
York. — Drake, p. 58, (& see Appendix vii.). 

From verses compiled in 1644 of 'a cruell battell fought 
. . . between a parliament soldier and a sowe.' 

In Yorke the sixth day of October, 
When I am sure the guard was sober, 
Being far distant from the day 
When the soldiers had their pay, 
About midnight when tbey saye 



126 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Greislye ghosts have leave to playe, 

And dead men's soules with courage brave, 

Skipp from out each severall grave, 

And walke the roundes ; when the barr-guest l 

Comes tumbling out of s smoakye nest, 

Sometymes haveing suche a face 

As promiseth an human race ; 

Sometymes he bee a beare, a dogg, 

Sometymes the lykenes of a hogg ! 

1 The local ghost of the city of York. The ' gheast ' or ghost of the 
bars. 

Whitaker, vol. i., pp. 167, 168. 

[Simon, a servant disguised in an ox's hide tries to scare 
Squire Modish, a gallant.] 

Squire Mod. As you tender your Bones, tell me who 
you are and whither you are going. 

Simon. I am vulgarly call'd the Bar-Guest, am on my 
Perambulation to see a Brother Goblin called Raw-Head 
and Bloody-Bones ; therefore stand out of my way. 

Squire Mod. Look 'ee Mr. Bar-Guest, I shall make a 
Raw-Head and Bloody-Bones of you, if you don't answer 
me. 

Simon. Stand out of my Way I say, or I shall spew 
forth Fire and Brimstone on you directly. 

Lucky Discovery, p. 16. 

Whitbywards. Barguests or Boh-ghosts, terrifying appari- 
tions, taking shape human or animal. See Boh-ghost, 
which is, perhaps, a more general term, and the two 
words may be distinct. Some say, Barguest signifies 
Castle-spectre (most ancestral buildings having their 
haunting inhabitant), from A.S. burh, a fortified place, and 
gast, a ghost ; others consider it to be bier ghost, as being 
a harbinger of death, from A.S. bere a bier ; but we are 
rightly told to be cautious about etymologies. According 
to the popular version, the barguest, whether dog or demon 



Bar guests and the Like. 127 

glares with large eyes ' like burning coals ; ' and Grose 
informs us (evidently by guess), that they haunt the streets 
and lanes at night and take their stand at gates or styles, 
[sic] which in Yorkshire, he adds, are called bars ! Be this 
as it may, the barguest, like the church-Grim, is a harbinger 
of death to those who happen to hear its shrieks in the 
night ; for they are not audible except to people ' whose 
times have nearly come.' So and so will die soon, ' for last 
night he heard the barguest! See Grim [post, p. 128]. — 
Robinson, p. 11; Macquoid, Teesdale, p. 4; Barker, 
Wensleydale, p. 263. 

[Other names of like horrors gathered from ROBINSON, 
boggle, boggle-boh, bogie, bogle, boh-boggle, boh-chap, 
boh-creature, boh-ghost, boh-fellow, boh-man, boh-thing; 
knocky-boh, who taps behind the wainscot and frightens 
the juvenile portion of the household ; scriker.] 

pp. 22, 108, 163. 

Swaledale. Numerous barguest tales are current in 
Swaledale. . . . On winter evenings, when the hill-sides 
are covered with a mantle of snow, and when communi- 
cations with the other parts of the world are closed with a 
bar of ice, the Swaledale people assemble by their neigh- 
bours' firesides and tell weird tales, about mischievous 
ghosts and old world apparitions. In this way they will 
frequently sit until midnight. . . . Sitting night (as it is 
locally called). — RoUTH, p. 69. 

It is currently believed among the fishermen, that when- 
ever a seaman of Whitby is buried, on the night following 
the funeral, a bargheist coach, drawn by six coal-black 
horses, with two outriders, clad in black, and sometimes 
bearing blazing torches, — the driver so enveloped in a 
black velvet pall as to render his features undiscoverable — 
and sometimes without either driver or horses, starts from 
a particular part of Green Lane, pursuing its course heed- 
less of opposing barriers, till it reaches the church-yard, 
where it stops; a long train of mourners encircle the grave 



128 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

thrice, and then, re-entering the coach, accompanied by the 
recent dead, they drive, thundering and rattling down the 
church steps, along Haggerlythe, and plunging headlong 
over the cliff, are lost to view. — Whitby Rep., vol. i., N.S., 
p. 103(1831). 

N.E. Yorkshire. Grim, a ghost. A skeleton, ' a grim's 
head/ a death's head. Evidently a part of ' Church-grim,' 
a term we have only once heard used in this quarter, 
though that may tend to countenance the notion of its 
former day currency, especially as it stands associated with 
our ' Barguest.' — ROBINSON, p. 83. 

Egton. Here the old folk tell of a ' bargest ' (bier ghost) 
or ' kirkgrim,' which aforetime haunted the neighbourhood 
of Egton Church — one of the strange fearsome ghost-like 
creatures, ' neither beast nor human ' that Yorkshire had 
many of, and whereof the footfall foreshadowed death. 

Leyland, p. 93. 



THE DEVIL. 

Scrat, Satan ; generally with the prefix old, ' Aud Scrat/ 

Robinson, p. 162. 
Hoomiman, or Aud Hoorny, the old one with the horns; 
the devil. — ROBINSON, p. 97. 

Donnot (that is dows-not), a name of the Devil. 

Marshall, p. 26. 

Night-spells, prayers or ejaculations of the olden time 
for spiritual or angelic guardianship through the night. 
Heard mentioned forty years ago. — ROBINSON, p. 132. 

See sub Magic and Divinations, Rural Charms, 
p. 214. 

I am told of the people under the Hambledon Hills, 
Yorkshire, that ' they are very superstitious and always say 



The Devil. 129 

their evening prayers aloud that the Devil may hear them 
and they be safe for the night.' 

W. H., N. & Q., 4th S., vol. i., p. 74. 



FAIRIES. 

A correspondent from the borders of the North and 
West Ridings tells me of the strong belief in fairies that 
existed among the people of his district when he was a 
boy. It seems he used to talk to an old inhabitant who, 
as he confessed had often ' seen the fairies.' Figures of 
men and women gaily clad, of full size, and in rapid con- 
fused motion, he said he had often watched in early 
summer mornings. He used to tell of an unbelieving- 
horse-dealer who had stayed the night with him. At 
dawn the old farmer saw the fairies, as he had so often 
done before and called up his guest who unbeliever though 
he declared himself to be, hurried out as he was, very 
lightly clad and sat so long on a wall watching them that 
he caught a rheumatism that he never was cured of. 

Morris, p. 240. 

See also under NATURAL OBJECTS : Grinton and Harmby 
Wells, pp. 27, 35 ; Pudding-pye Hill, p. 2 ; LEECHCRAFT : 
Awfshots, pp. 181, 182. 

The fairies still visit the secluded glades of East York- 
shire. My informant stated that he had often seen the 
rings left on the grass where they had been dancing, but he 
had never seen any of the little folks himself. When he 
was a boy he was told of a young man who fell in with a 
group of fairies dancing when he was passing over Scalby 
Wold towards Whitby. They were holding their revels in 
a secluded hollow not far from the footpath, and he saw 
them dancing in a ring to the strains of some delightful 
music. During one portion of the dance they all cried out 
" Whip ! Whip ! " and then cracked their small hunting- 
whips. The looker-on also cried out " Whip ! Whip ! " in 



130 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

amazement. This caused the fairies to give up their 
amusement, and in revenge they whipped him along the 
way for a considerable distance toward Whitby. 

T. T. Wilkinson, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. iv., p. 132. 

Fairy Butter. A species of yellow soft fungus [Tremella 
arbored] that grows on decayed wood and often in other 
situations has obtained the name of fairy-butter from a 
notion that it is deposited by fairies. When found in 
houses it is reckoned very lucky ! To another species of 
fungus we are indebted for the fairy-rings, those dark 
circular marks in the grass abounding in the cliff fields 
supposed to indicate the spots where the fairies danced in 
days of yore ! — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 795. 

Story about. — See Atkinson, p. 53 ; also 

A well or spring in Baysdale is mentioned as the site of 
butter-washing by the fairies, and Egton Grange has (as 
alleged) been famous within the memory of living persons 
for the nocturnal proceedings of the said elves ; one of their 
pranks being to fling their butter so as to make it adhere 
to the doors and gates of the premises. 

Atkinson (2), p. 167. 

Laundry- Work. The fairies are said to mangle their 
clothes ; and at Claymore well on our coast the strokes of 
the bittles m on washing nights have been heard for a mile 
beyond the scene of their operations ! — ROBINSON, p. 18. 

Fairy Rings. At Fairy Cross Plains and observances 
connected therewith. — Atkinson, pp. 51, 52. 

See also Blakeborough, pp. 143, 163. 

Stayed by running-water. A very mischievous fairy 
yclept Jeanie of Biggersdale, resided at a place so called 

1 ' A bat or club ; ' Bittle and Pin ' the mangle in old-fashioned 
houses for minor articles of linen. The bittle is a heavy wooden 
battledore ; the pin is the roller ; and with the linen wound round the 
latter, it is rolled backwards and forwards on a table by hand-pressure 
upon the battledore.' — Robinson, p. 18. 



Fairies. 1 3 1 

at the head of Mulgrave woods. A bold young farmer, 
perhaps under the influence of John Barleycorn, undertook 
one night, on a wager, to approach the habitation of this 
sprite, and to call her : but his rashness nearly cost him 
his life ; Jeanie angrily replied that she was coming, 
and while he was escaping across the running stream, he 
fared worse than Burns's Tarn O'Shanter, when pursued 
by Nanny the witch ; for Jeanie overtaking him just as 
his horse was half across, cut it in two parts though 
fortunately he was on the half that got beyond the stream ! 
Another aerial being, which we may suppose to have been 
a hob-goblin, had his dwelling in Hob-hole near Runswick. 
He was more benevolent than Jeanie ; for his powers were 
exercised in curing young children of the hooping cough. 
When any child in Runswick or the vicinity was under that 
disease, one of its parents carried it into the cave, and with 
a loud voice, thus invoked the demi-god of the place ' Hob- 
hole Hob ! my bairn's got kink-cough : tak't off; tak't off! ' 
It is not very many years since this idolatrous practice 
was dropt. — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 882. 

For story of Nanny of Danby tending to prove that a 
witch may cross running water see Atkinson, pp. 84-86 
and note. This is not supported by other relations the 
author has heard in the same district. — lb. and p. 107. 

See also under Natural Objects, p. 41 ; Witch- 
craft, p. 153. 

HOBMEN. 

Whitbywards. — Brownie, a household sprite of the good 
and useful sort when well used ; said to be a shaggy 
being. Hid in the house by day, he comes forth by 
night, and on the following morning he is found to have 
done various turns for the maids in domestic work. 
More an inhabitant of Scotland, he is now seldom heard 
of in these parts. His good treatment by the household 



i3 2 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

consists in leaving him victuals in nightly portions. — 
Robinson, pp. 27, 28. 

There is a Hob Hole at Runswick, a Hob Hole near 
Kempswithen, a Hob's Cave at Mulgrave, Hobt'rush Rook 
on the Farndale Moors, and so on. Obtrush Rook, as well 
as Hob Hole and the Cave at Mulgrave, is distinctly said to 
have been ' haunted by the goblin ' who being a familiar 
and troublesome visitor to one of the farmers and causing 
him much vexation and loss he resolved to quit his house 
in Farndale and seek some other home [See pp. 133, 134, 
post.]. — Atkinson (2), p. 262. 

Nr. Saltburn, Upleatham, from whence there is a straight 
road along the crest of Hob Hill to Saltburn. — SALTBURN, 
P- 37- 

Cf. Hob Moor York under Section xv. 

Hob at Hart Hall in Glaisdale was, as the legend bears, 
a farm-spirit ' of all work,' thrashing, winnowing, stamping 
the bigg, leading, etc. Like the rest of the tribe who ever 
came under mortal eye, he was without clothes — nak't — and 
having had a Harding-smock made and placed for him, 
after a few moments of — it would seem ill-pleased — inspec- 
tion, he was heard to say 

' Gin Hob mun hae nowght but a hardin' hamp 
He'll come nae mair nowther to berry nor stamp.' 

Atkinson (2), p. 263. 
See also Atkinson, pp. 54, 55. 

Over Silton. In the precipitous cliffs, a short distance 
north-west of the village, called 'the Scarrs,' is a cave 
in the rock, known by the name of Hobthrush Hall, 
which was formerly the abode of a goblin of somewhat 
remarkable character, who appears by the stories yet 
current relating to him, to have been possessed of great 
agility, as he was in the habit of jumping from the hills 
above his dwelling to the top of Carlhow Hill, about half a 



Hodmen. 1 3 3 

mile distant. He was not of the malignant kind. . . . 
On the contrary he was one of those friendly to man. . . . 
The Silton goblin was a true and faithful servant to a 
person named Weighall, who kept the village inn, and 
rented the land on which his hall was situate. It was 
Hob's invariable practice to churn the cream during the 
night, which was prepared for him the evening before, 
for which his reward was a large slice of bread and 
butter, always placed ready for him when the family 
retired to bed, and always gone in the morning. One 
night, the cream was put into the churn as usual, but 
no bread and butter placed beside it. Hob was so dis- 
gusted with this piece of base ingratitude, that he never 
came to churn more, and appears to have entirely left 
the neighbourhood. His dwelling yet remains, a rugged 
cave among the rocks, dark, wet, and uncomfortable, but 
extending a considerable distance underground. 

Grainge, pp. 325, 326. 
Near the line of road [from Kirby Moorside through 
Gillamoor to Ingleby] ... a conspicuous object for many 
miles round, was the large conical heap of stones called 
Obtrush Roque. In the dales of this part of Yorkshire we 
might expect to find, if r.nywhere, traces of the old super- 
stitions of the Northmen, as well as their independence and 
hospitality, and we do find that Obtrush Roque was haunted 
by the goblin, 1 But Hob was also a familiar and trouble- 
some visitor of one of the farmers, and caused him so much 
vexation and petty loss, that he resolved to quit his house 
in Farndale and seek some other home. Very early in the 
morning, as he was trudging on his way, with all his house- 
hold goods and gods in a cart, he was accosted in good 
Yorkshire by a restless neighbour, with 'I see you're flztting.' 
The reply came from Hob out of the churn 'Ay, we're flatting.' 
Upon which the farmer concluding that change of air would 

1 Hobthrust, or rather Hob o' the Hurst a spirit supposed to haunt 
woods only : Grose Provinc. Gloss. Roque = Ruck, a heap. 



134 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N . Riding, etc.). 

not rid him of the daemon turned his horse's head home- 
ward. This story is in substance the same as that narrated 
on the Scottish Border, 1 and in Scandinavia ; and may serve 
to show for how long a period and with what conformity, 
even to the play on the vowel, some traditions may be 
preserved in secluded districts. 

Phillips, pp. 210, 211. 

[Canon Atkinson of Danby who never heard this story 
from the mouth of the " folk," takes sundry exceptions to 
the way in which it is here related by Professor Phillips 
and objects to the use of " flatting " which he says is 
alien to the district : "a Farndale man would be fully as 
likely to say ' hutting ' for ' hitting,' ' sutting ' for ' sitting,' 
or ' mutten ' for ' mitten ' as ' flutting,' for ' flitting.' " See 
Atkinson, pp. 66, 68. It is however Hob, who utters the 
word, and he may be held to be super grammaticam, 
though, as we see above, his vowel supports a theory. 
Possibly Professor Phillips copied from the version of the 
incident given under Tales, Ballads, etc., pp. 364-367 : it 
contains interesting episodes unrelated by him. 

Mr. Blakeborough tells a like story of the family of 
Oughtred of Hob Hill, Upleatham, and gives the date 
of the event as 1820. — See Blakeborough, pp. 203-5. 

Tennyson took up the theme in ' Walking to the Mail.'] 

Tale of Hob of Hob Garth attributed to dr. 1760. See 
Blakeborough, pp. 207-209. 

" Survivals of ' Fairy,' ' Dwarf,' ' Hob ' Notions." See 
Atkinson, pp. 51-55. 

Fairy bairn found by haymaker ; see Atkinson, p. 54. 

Dwarfs in houes near Roxby and Mickleby. See Atkin- 
son, p. 54. 

1 Antiquities of the Scottish Borders \sic\ by Sir W. Scott, Bart. 



SECTION V. 

WITCHCRAFT. 

WITCHCRAFT AND THE LAW. 

Inquiratur pro domina reg. Si Marg' L. de A in Com 
E. Spinster 24 die Jun. anno reg. dn§ nrae Eliz. 15. ac 
diuersis alijs diebus & vicibus, tarn antea quam postea, 
Deum prae oculis suis non habens, sed instigatione diabol' 
seduct', quasdam malas diabolas artes, Anglice voc' Witch- 
crafts, Inchantments, Charmes, and Sorceries, nequiter 
diabolic' & felon apud H. p'd', in Com' E. p'd', ex malicia 
sua p'cogitat' vsa fuit, practicauit & exercuit, in & super 
quendam W. N. p'textu cuius pred' W. a p'd' 24. die Jun 
anno suprad' vsq ; 24 diem Dec' anno regni diet' dnae regin 
Eliz. &c. 35 p'd' languebat, quo quidem 24 die Dec' suprad', 
pred' W. ratione practicationis & exercit' diabolic' artiti p'd' 
apud H. p'd' in com E p'd', obijt. Et sic p'd' M. ipsum W. 
apud H. p'd', in Comitat' E. p'd' modo & forma suprad', 
& ex malicia sua p'cogitat' interf. contr pacem diet' dng 
reg. & contra formam statuti &c. 

Inquirat p' domina regina, Si Sara B. de C. in Comitatu 
Eb. vidua, 20 die August, anno regni diet' dnae nrae 
Eliz. &c. 34 quasdam artes nequissimas (Anglice vocatas 
Inchantments and Charmes) apud C. pred' in Comitatu Eb. 
praedicto, maliciose, & diabolice, in, super, & contra 
quendam equum, coloris albi, precij 4 li. de bonis & 
catallis cujusdam I. S. de C. pred' in dicto Comit' E : 



1 3 6 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

gener existentem, exercuit, & practicauit. Per qd idem 
equus diet' I. S. 20 die pred' apud C. p'd' omnino peioratus 
est, et vastatus : contr pacem diet' dom' reg. et contr form' 
stat' in eiusmodi casu prouis. ac editi. 

WEST: Part ii., pp. 134, 135. 

Richmond, Oct. 13, 1606. Ralph Milner of Rashe, 
yoman, being accused of sorcerie, witchcraft, inchantment, 
and telling of fortunes, shall make his submission at 
Mewkarr Church upon Sonday next in the time of Divine 
Service, and confesse that he hath heighlie offended God 
and deluded men, and is heartily sorie and will offend no 
more. — Records, vol. i., p. 58. 

Thirske, July 3, 4, and 5, 161 1. Elizth. wife of John 
Cooke of [Thirske was presented] for a common scold and 
disquieter of her neighbours with continyuall banning and 
cursing of her said neighbours and their goodes, insomuch 
that the said goodes and themselves whom she curseth 
oftentimes presently die (as they verily think) by her said 
ill words. 

Records, vol. i., p. 213. 

Oct. 1, 1625. [Was presented] Elizth. wife of Tho 
Crearey of Northallerton for exercising most wicked arts, 
in English, inchantments and charmes, on a black cow 
(value 50s.) belonging to Edw. Bell of Northallerton, by 
which the cow was sorely damaged and the calf in her 
totally wasted and consumed etc. 

Records, vol. hi., p. 177. 

Elizth. Crearey [found] guilty of most wicked and 
diabolical arts called inchantments and charmes [p. 178]. 
She is to be sett on the pillorie one a quarter in some 
markett towne in the Ridinge upon some faire daie or 
markett day and after her release and year of good 
behaviour she is to stand to such further Order as the 
Courte shall sett downe therein. — lb., p. 181. 



Witchcraft and the Law. 137 

New Malton, July 9, 1640. A New Malton mason and 
his wife [were presented] for uttering opprobrious and 
scandalous words against one Elizth. England, saying she 
was a witch and they would prove her soe. 

Records, vol. iv., 182. 

Ryedale, 1649-50. Before Isaac Newton, Esq. William 
Kirk ham of Rivis, sayth, that one Wm. Mason of Newless 
did relate to this informant that he brought a woman 
unto his brother's Robert Mason's bedd syde at Olde 
Byland, in the night time, as they were in bedd together. 
This informer then asked him whether or noe it was a 
substantiall body, and how he could see or perceive her 
in the darke ? Whoe answered that when it was darke to 
this informant it was light to him. He asked the said 
Mason howe he dared to doe these and other straunge 
matters amongst the soldyers least they should fall 
upon him and kill him ? He answered that he had fixed 
them soe that they had neither power to pistoll him, stabb 
him, kill or cutt him. This informant further telling the 
said Mason that, ... he did believe the justices at the 
sessions would [for a slander] comitte him to the gaole 
or house of correccion. Whereunto he answered, if they 
did soe he would make some others followe him ; and when 
they were fast, he would goe out at his pleasure. Further, 
asking the said Mason whether or no there should be a 
King in England, he answered he would warrant there 
should bee a King, and that very shortely. 

Depositions, p. 25. 

Scarborough, 165 1. Witchcraft is another of the super- 
stitions once prevailing in Scarbrough, and the following 
cases among others demonstrate the truth of the folk lore 
respecting it, and will be sufficient to prove the hold it 
had on the people. The depositions were taken before the 
bailiffs, and end with the denial on the part of the supposed 
witch. 



138 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

' Margery Ffish, of Scarbrough, widdow, informeth upon 
oath saith that John Allen of Scarbrough, hath a woman- 
child of about fower yeares of age that is strangely handled 
by ffitts, namely, the hands and armes drawne together 
contracted, the mouth some tyme drawn together, other 
tymes drawne to a wonderfull wideness, the eyes drawne 
wide open and the toung rite out of the mouth 
(almoste bitten of), looks black and the head drawes 
to one side, the mouth drawn aurye, and makes noise, with 
trembling ; and when itt is out of the ffitts itt starts often 
as if in ffeare ; and saith that the childe took about six of 
these ffitts as this informant thinks in one houre's tyme in 
this informant's presence, upon the Wednesday was a fort- 
night ; this informant does believe the sd. child to be 
bewitched, and saith that the mother of this child was 
advised to send for one Elizabeth Hodgson, of this towne, 
to looke or charme the sd. childe, as this informant heareth 
by the mother of the sd. childe to which woman the mother 
Ann Allen came to hear, who told her the child shd. mend 
before twelve of the clocke that night, and saith that the 
sd. mother did tell this informant that the child did mend 
accordingly all that tyme, and this informant did know the 
childe strangely mended, and this informant saith that the 
mother of the childe did tell this informant that the sd. 
Eliz. Hodgson did tell the sd. mother that the childe was 
bewitched by one Ann Hunnam, or Marchant, of Scar- 
brough, and that Ann Marchant did gett power of the sd. 
childe in the father's armes as he was bringing itt from the 
faire ; and further that the mother of the childe saith Eliz. 
Hodgson did tell her, the sd. mother, that she had cured 
the child, but because the sd. mother did tell her of that 
cure the said child is not curable.' her 

Marjory Ffish. 
mark. 

Taken by Luke Robinson, Bailiff. 



Witchcraft and the Law. 139 

Mary Weston informeth upon oath, that by the com- 
mande of her dame, Anne Smallwood, of Scarbrough, 
she, this informant, did sit and watch all the last night 
at John Allen's house with John Allen's woman childe and 
a woman, when that childe as this informant believeth 
the last night had fforty ffitts, namely, the childe was 
sometymes drawne together in a rounde little lump, and 
sometymes soe stifife thruste out as this informant and 
another could not bend her ; sometymes her hands and 
knees drawn together, and the mouth sometimes wide open 
and other tymes shutt, and the toung hanging out, and 
blood came out of the mouth, and the eyes extremely 
staring, and the head drawne on one side, for as itt could 
not be sett straight untill the ffit was over.' 

Taken by LUKE ROBINSON the 19th day of Mary 
Weston. 

' Margery Ffish, widdow, further examined after she was 
commanded to make searche upon ye bodye of Anne 
Hunnam, otherwise Marchant, the wife of Oswald Hunnam, 
informante upon oath, saith that this daye she beinge com- 
manded to searche the bodye of Anne Hunnam otherwise 
Marchant, who was accused for witchcraft, and for bewitch- 
ing the child of John Allen; she, this informante, and 
Elizabeth Jackson, and Eliz. Dale, did accordingly searche 
the body of the saide Anne Hunnam, otherwise Marchant, 
and did finde a little blue spott upon her left side, into 
which spott this informant did thrust a pinne att which the 
sd. Ann Hunnam never moved nor seemed to feel it, which 
spott grows, out of her ffleshe or skin at her waste of a 
greate bignesse.' her 

Margery W. Ffish. 
mark. 

'Elizabeth Dale informeth upon oath, that she did, 
together with Margery Ffish, searche Ann Hunnam, 
otherwise Marchant, her bodye and saith that their was 



140 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

found on her left buttock a blue spott growing out of 
her fleshe or skin like a greate warte.' 

165 1, 19th March. her 

Elizabeth C. Dale. 
mark. 
Taken by Luke ROBINSON and CHRISTOPHER 
Jarratt, Bayliffes. 

' Anne Marchant, otherwise Hunnam, of Scarbrough, 
examined before Luke Robinson and Christopher Jarratt, 
Baleffes, then denyeth that she by witchcraft or any other 
wayes did any hurt to the child of John Allen, for which 
she is accused ; she denyeth to practising any conjuracions, 
witchcraft, or evil intents.' 
7th Aus 1652. 

Taken before us — LUKE ROBINSON. 

Christopher Jarratt. 

It does not appear from the judicial records that Anne 
Marchant underwent any punishment. 

Jane Nicholson was one of the Scarbrough witches, and 
of great repute, and was much feared. If any sailor met 
her in the morning he would not go to sea. Her mother 
was a " Southcotean " and believed that she was destined 
to be the mother of some great prince, but in this was 
greatly disappointed when her offspring was only a girl. 

Baker, pp. 481-483. 

Helmesley, Jan. 12, 1657. [Among "the names of those 
that were indicated or presented and submitted and were 
fined."] Rob. Conyers, late of Gisbrough, gentn. being 
charged with certain detestable arts called witchcraft and 
sorcery wickedly to practise the same. 

Records, vol. v., p. 259. 

In 1662 six [persons were executed] at York [for witch- 
craft]. — Annals, p. 62. 



Witchcraft and the Law. 141 

York, Apr. 1, 1670. Before Fr. Driffield, Esq., Ann 
Mattson saith, that yesterday, Mary Earneley, daughter 
of Mr. John Earneley, of Alne, fell into a very sicke 
fitt, 1 in which shee continued a longe time, sometimes 
cryinge out that Wilkinson wyfe prickt her with pins, 
clappinge her hands upon her thighs, intimatinge, as this 
informant thinketh, that she pricked her thighes. And 
other times she cryed out, ' That is shee,' and said Wilkin- 
son's wyfe run a spitt into her. Whereupon Mr. Earnley 
sent for Anne Wilkinson, widdow ; and when the said 
Wilkinson came into the parlour where the said Mary 
Earnley lay, the said Mary Earnley shooted out, and 
cried ' Burne her, burne her, shee tormented two of my 
sisters.' Shee saith further that two sisters of the said 
Mary Earnleye's dyed since Candlemasse last, and one of 
them upon the 19th of March last dyed, and, a little before 
her death, there was taken out of her mouth a blacke 
ribbond with a crooked pinne at the end of it. 

George Wrightson of Alne, saith, that yesterday Mary, 
dau. of John Earnley, gent, fell into a virulent and sicke 
fitt, and continued therein one houre and more, all that 
time crying out in a most sad and lamentable manner that 
Anne Wilkinson was most cruelly prickinge and torment- 
inge her with pins, as the said Anne was sittinge by her 
owne fire upon a little chaire ; and presently Mrs. Earnley 
sent this informant to the said Anne Wilkinson's house, 
whoe brought word shee was then sittinge by the fire upon 
a little chaire when he suddenly came into her house. 

Anne Wilkinson of Alne, widdow, saith that shee never 
did Mr. Earnley, nor any that belonged him, any harme, 
nor would shee doe ; and, as for the bewitchinge of any of 
his children, shee is sacklesse. 

Margaret, wife of Richard Wilson, sayth, that in her 

1 An old woman is charged with witchcraft, but was acquitted at the 
assizes. 



142 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

former husband John Akers' lifetime, she once lost out of 
her purse 50s. all but three halfe pence ; and, shortly after, 
there hapened to be a great wind, and after the wind was 
downe, she, this ex*, mett with Anne Wilkinson, who fell 
into a great rage, bitterly cursing this ex*., and telling her 
that she had been att a wise man, and had raised this wind 
which had put out her eyes, and that she was stout now 
she had gott her money againe, and wishing she might 
never thrive, which cursing of the said Anne did soe 
trouble this ex*, that she fell a weeping, and, coming home 
told her mother what had hapened, and her mother bad 
her put her trust in God, and she hoped she could doe her 
noe harme. And the next day she churned but could gitt 
noe butter ; and, presently after, this ex*, fell sicke, and soe 
continued for neere upon two yeeres, till a Scotch phyt 
sitian came to Tollerton, to whom this ex*, went, and the 
phisityane told her she had harme done her. And she 
further sayth that her then said husband, John Acres, fell 
shortly after ill, and dy'd of a lingering disease, but, till 
then, he was very strong and healthfull. 

Depositions, pp. 176, 177. 
March 7 [1686] I would venture to take Notice of a 
private Occurrence which made some Noise at York. The 
Assizes being there held, an old Woman was condemned 
for a Witch. Those who were more credulous in Points of 
this Nature than my self, conceived the Evidence to be 
very strong against her. The Boy she was said to have 
bewitched, fell down on a sudden, before all the Court, 
when he saw her, and would then as suddenly return to 
himself again, and very distinctly relate the several 
Injuries she had done him ; But in all this it was observed, 
the Boy was free from any Distortion ; that he did not 
foam at the Mouth, and that his Fits did not leave him 
gradually but all at once ; so that, upon the whole, the 
Judge thought it proper to reprieve her ; in which he 
seemed to act the Part of a wise Man. But tho' such 



Witchcraft and the Law. 143 

is my own private Opinion, I cannot help continuing 
my Story : One of my Soldiers being upon Guard about 
eleven in the Night, at the Gate of Clifford Tower, the 
very Night after the Witch was arraigned, he heard a 
great Noise at the Castle, and going to the Porch he 
there saw a Scroll of Paper creep from under the Door, 
which as he imagined by Moonshine, turned first into 
the shape of a Monkey, and thence assumed the Form 
of a Turky Cock, which passed to and fro by him. Sur- 
prised at this he went to the Prison, and called the Under- 
keeper who came and saw the Scroll dance up and down 
and creep under the Door, where there was scarce an 
Opening of the thickness of half a Crown. This extra- 
ordinary Story I had from the Mouth of both one and 
the other : and now leave it to be believed or disbelieved 
as the Reader may be inclined this Way or that. 

RERESBY, pp, 237, 238. 

Bedale 1691. [Among the] Presentments at Beedall 
July 21, 1 69 1, Timothy Wainde, late of Friby yeom 11 for 
uttering of false and scandalous words to the defamation 
of a certain Alice Bovill, viz. ' Thou bewitched my 
stot.' 1 

Records, vol. ix., p. 6. 

York, 1809. At the Assizes held at York, in March, 
1 809, Mary Bateman a celebrated ' Yorkshire Witch,' was 
tried and condemned for murder. This wretched creature 
had previously lived in York as a servant, but left it in 
disgrace, being charged with a petty theft, and retired to 
Leeds, where she married. For a long period she prac- 

1 This is worth notice. I believe it is correct to say that in this case 
the finding of the Grand Jury was ' No bill' And the suggestion is 
that had we the Sessions Rolls throughout to refer to, it might be 
found that many bills of the sort were thrown out, and that thus the 
paucity of witchcraft cases previously commented on might be ex- 
plained. 



144 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (TV. Riding, etc.). 

tised the art and mystery of fortune telling at Leeds, 
deluding multitudes, defrauding them of their property 
under the false pretence of giving them ' a peep into 
futurity.' To enable her to accomplish her villany, and 
in order to prevent detection of the fraud, there is reason 
to believe that, with the aid of the poisonous cup, she 
closed the mouths of many for ever. For one of these 
murders she was committed to York Castle, tried, found 
guilty, and on Monday, the 20th of March, she was 
executed at the new drop behind the Castle, in the pres- 
ence of an immense concourse of people ; and such was the 
stupid infatuation of the crowd, that many are said to have 
entertained the idea, that at the last moment she would 
evade the punishment about to be inflicted, by her super- 
natural powers. And to view her lifeless remains — perhaps 
with a view of proving that she was of a verity dead — 
crowds of people assembled at Leeds, though the hearse 
did not arrive there till near midnight, and each paid 
threepence for a sight of the body ; by which thirty pounds 
accrued to the benefit of the General Infirmary. 

Whellan, vol. i., pp. 274, 275. 

Her body was afterwards dissected ; and in compliance 
with the then custom in Yorkshire, her skin was tanned 
and distributed in small pieces to different applicants. 

Chapbook, p. 32. 

It is certainly startling to hear that not only ' Parts of 
the body of Mary Bateman the ' Yorkshire Witch ' were 
sold to her admirers at her execution in 1809, but that 
some of them were actually on sale at Ilkley in 1892. — 
Review in Gtiardian of ' Lives of Twelve Bad Women,' 
Aug. 4th, 1897. 

See also under GOBLINDOM, p. 114. 

A piece of Smith's [1] tanned skin is still preserved in the 
museum of Kirkleatham. — Blackburne, p. xxviii. 

1 [The murderer, by means of Good Friday cake ; see post pp. 243, 244.] 



THE GATHERLEY MOOR MAGIC-TABLES 

(Copied from Whitaker, vol. i., p. 195.) 
See page 145. 



Fig. i. 




No. i. Obverse. 



Fig. 2. 




No. i. Reverse, 



Fig. 3. 




No. ii T Obverse, 



Fig. 4. 




No. ii. Reverse. 



Instances of Witchcraft. 145 

INSTANCES OF WITCHCRAFT. 

Whitby. Francis [Cholmley] . . . was exceedingly over- 
topped and guided by his wife, [1] which it is thought she 
did by witchcraft, or some extraordinary means. 

Memoir, p. 13. 

Brignall, 16th Century. Brignall is associated with a 
diabolical tale. About the year 1789, two curious speci- 
mens of supposed Magical Tables, on lead, were found by 
Wm. Hawksworth, Esq., enclosed in a tumulus near the 
Roman road Watling Street, which crosses Gaterley Moor, 
in Middleton Tyas parish, north of Richmond. Each of 
the tables is quadrangular, with several planetary marks, 
rude scratches, and an inscription on one side ; and on the 
others are figures set in an arithmetical proportion from 1 
to 81, and so disposed in parallel and equal ranks, that the 
sum of each row, as well diagonally and horizontally as 
perpendicularly is equal to 369. On account of these 
tables having been sent to John C. Brooke, Somerset 
Herald, he discovered that they related to the family of 
Philip, of Brignall in Richmondshire, and contained denun- 
ciations against several members of that family, in these 
words : — ' / do make this, that James Philip, John Philip 
his son, Christopher Philip and Thomas Philip, his sons, 
shall fle Richemondshire, and nothing prosper with any of 
them in Richemondshire. — / did [2] make this, that the father 
James Philip, John Philip and all kin of Philip, and all the 
issue of them, shall come presently to utter beggery, and 
nothinge joy or prosper with them in Richemondshire' 

Henry Philip of Brignall, had two sons, Charles and 
James, and although the eldest, Charles, had two sons 
John and Cuthbert, the second son James appears to have 
possessed the family estate at Brignall in 1575. This 

1 [She died Ap. 28, 1586, he having predeceased.] 
2 I do make this, that the father James Phillip, John Phillip Arthur 
Phillip and all the issue of them, etc. — Whitaker, vol. i., p. 195. 



146 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

miserable but terrible malediction, which is signed J. 
Philip, appears to have arisen out of the circumstance of 
the property not being in the hands of the rightful owner. 
It is a somewhat curious coincidence that, after the curse, 
no branch of the family flourished. All the sons of James 
and their issue died out, and their sister Agnes carried the 
representation of the Philips to the Robinsons afterwards 
of Rokeby. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 474 note. 

The curiosity of some person led him to inquire into the 
real fate of the family of Philips. This application was 
made to the late ingenious John Charles Brooke, Somerset 
herald, when the event appeared from the records of the 
college of arms to have been what follows : From the 
visitation of the county of York by William Flower, 
Norroy A.D. 1575 it seems that James Philips was then 
living at Brignall and entered his pedigree, whence it 
also appears that he had five sons, John, Richard, Henry, 
Christopher, and Thomas. James was the son of Henry 
Philips of Brignall, by Agnes Aislaby his wife, who had an 
elder brother Charles, which Charles had two sons, John 
and Cuthbert. Now as James is styled of Brignall, though 
the younger brother of Charles, the most probable account 
which can be given of the matter is, that he had supplanted 
John the son of Charles, in his birthright, which drew upon 
him and his family this secret execration. It is observable 
that Henry, the third son of James, is not included in the 
curse [1] of which the most likely reason which can be 

x [Nor is Richard, Ed.] It seems doubtful whether Whitaker's 
identification of the persons against whom the imprecations in the 
tablet were aimed is correct. There are discrepancies between the 
names of James Phillips' sons as given by Whitaker and those 
mentioned in the tablet. The tablets were derived from Three Books 
of Occult Philosophy, by Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim, published 
in 1532, and translated into English in 165 1. It is more probable 
that the use by provincial wizards of this work would be subsequent 
to the publication of the English translation, than at the date to which 
Whitaker's identification would throw back the tablets. A similar 



Instances of Witchcraft. 147 

assigned is that he was then dead. But says my author, 
the anathema denounced against this family must have 
had its full effect, as these brothers and their children all 
died without issue. . . . The probability is that John 
Philips injured and disappointed, and perhaps debarred by 
some legal impediment from recovering his inheritance by 
course of justice, resorted to some impostor, who persuaded 
him to pursue this diabolical way of revenge. If he lived 
to see the event, his malignity would be gratified by the 
supposed effect of the curse. — Whitaker, vol. i., p. 196. 

Marston Moor, 1644. Witches . . . were not the sole 
proprietors of familiar spirits, for the Roundheads de- 
clared that Prince Rupert had one, in the shape of a 
large white poodle dog, a present from Lord Arundel, 
whose name was Boy. Boy accompanied his master in 
many an engagement, but seemed to bear a charmed life, 
even having the credit given him of catching bullets 
and bringing them to his master. This evidently must be 
a dog of no common breed, and it was not thought so, as 
we read in one of the Commonwealth tracts, which was a 
reputed dialogue between Tobie's and Prince Rupert's 
dogs: 

'TOBIE'S Dog. ... I hear you are Prince Rupert's 
White Boy. 

P. RUP. DOG. I am none of his White Boy, my name is 
Puddle. 

Tob. DOG. A dirty name indeed, you are not pure 
enough for my company ; besides, I hear on both sides of 
my eares that you are a Laplander, or Fin Land Dog, or 



tablet was found at Dymock in Gloucestershire a few years ago. I 
described it in The Reliquary and Illustrated Archcsologist, vol. iii., 
p. 140. Another has been more recently found at Lincoln's Inn, 
and exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries by Mr. W. Paley Baildon, 
F.S.A. His account of it will be found in the Proceedings of the 
Society, 2nd ser., vol. xviii., p. 141. E. Sidney Hartland. 



148 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

truly no better than a Witch in the shape of a white 

Dogge. 

********* 

P. RUP. DOG. No Sirrah, I am of high Germain breed. 

TOB. DOG. Thou art a Reprobate and a lying Curre ;. 
you were either whelpt in Lapland, or in Finland ; where 
there is none but divells and Sorcerers live.' 

Poor Boy met his fate at Marston Moor, by a silver bullet 
fired ' by a valliant Souldier, who had skill in Necromancy.' 
Judging by the hail of bullets by which he is surrounded, 




he must indeed have borne a charmed life, the loss of 
which an old witch deplores. — ASHTON, pp. 162, 163. 
How sad that Son of Blood did look to hear 
One tell the death of this shagg'd Cavalier 
He rav'd he tore his Perriwigg and swore 
Against the Round-heads that he'd fight no more 

[At birth] 'Twas like a Dog yet there was none did know 
Whether it Devill was, or Dog or no. 

He could command the Spirits up from below 
And beride them strongly, till they let him know 
All the dread secrets that belong them to 
And what they did with whom they had to doe 



Instances of Witchcraft. 149 

To tell you all the pranks this Dogge hath wrought 
That lov'd his Master and him Bullets brought 
Would make but laughter in these times of woe 
Or how this Cur came by his fatall blow 
Look on the Title-page and there behold 
The Emblem will all this to you unfold. 

Elegy, pp. 3-6. 
[Tobie's Dog thus further expressed himself to Puddle, 
who is made to say " Some call me Boy but my name is 
Puddle And I can do strange things and change myself 
into many shapes."] 

Come not neer me, for I can give a bite and that boldly 
though thou look like a Lyon with long shag haire yet I 
fear thee not bragging Courtier, thou popish profane Dog, 
thou art more than halfe a divell, a kind of spirit that doth 
helpe Colledgesto their lost spoons and two-card pots, when 
they are lost or stolne. ... It is known that at Edghill 
you walke invisible and directed the bullets who the)' 
should hit and who they should misse and made your 
Mr. Prince Rupert shott-free. — DIALOGUE. 

Newton. Upon the Twelfth of May 1675 in the Town 
of Nezvton^ in York-shire, one Elisabeth Johnson Servant to 
Goodman Wilford of the aforesaid Town was commanded 
by her Dame to go into one of the Out-houses to do some 
certain Work, but no sooner was this poor Maid about her 
Business, but she was affrighted by a Stone that hit her, 
which she thought might have bin flung from the hand of 
some unlucky Boy, therefore did not desist in her 
imployment, till on a suddain she was struck with another 
stone, and hearing a great noise in the Yard frightened her 
more than before, which caused her to go to the Door to 
see if she could discern who it was that dealt so rudely 
with her, but comming to the door she was struck with 

1 [There are many Newtons in Yorkshire and this wonder is only 
doubtfully at home, in the present collection.] 



150 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

another, and the Room she was in was darkned, which 
much affrighted her, but coming into the yard, she 
espyed a very comely Gentleman, the like for Gallantry 
and Stature she never saw, and least he should go away 
unknown, she attempts to acquaint her Dame therewith, 
but was prevented by the Gentleman, who wisht her to 
desist calling her Dame for sayes he I am known by her, as 
likewise by the best in the Town, and shall stay till better 
known by you ; so the Maid fearing to disoblige one that 
represented a person of Quality returned, but no sooner 
got to her work, but she heard a great noise calling out 
/ will not, I will not, with that she ran to the door, and see 
three more hanging upon the former, but he still crying 
out / will not, I will not : she seeing the Gentleman thus 
abused, was resolved to venter by him to acquaint her 
Dame though with the hazzard of her life, and as she was 
going up to acquaint her Dame, she heard the Gentleman 
cry out, Pity me, pitty me, and going about to tell her 
Dame what had hapned she found her more affrighted 
than her self, yet told her maid she see and took notice of 
all that hapned since the Gentleman cried out / will not, I 
will not, and moreover told her maid she knew him well, 
and that the night before she Dream'd she saw him in the 
Garden or a statue of Stone like him, which she much 
admired for he was so Comely and beautiful a Person that 
she thought it impossible to have made anything so like 
him, and she thought it beyond Art to counterfit him, and 
would have gone farther in praising him but hearing him 
cry out / cannot I cannot and looking out of the Window, 
see the Three other Worring him, whereupon the Maid 
would have had her Dame went down with her to the 
relieving him, her Dame refused and said he could take no 
harm by any three men, yet never gave him any Name, 
but stood as one much concern'd ; presently after came her 
Husband through the Yard where this Crew was, but saw 
nothing, till comming into the House he found his Wife 



Instances of Witchcraft. 1 5 1 

and Servant in a strange affrighted manner : he demanded 
of his Wife what was the matter ? She answered nothing 
at all, and the Maid was fearful to declare least she should 
incur her Dames displeasure, on a suddain he heard a 
strange Cry must I, must I; he asking the matter? 
the Maid reply'd, pray look into the Yard, where he saw 
four Men, but one much braver in Apparrel than the other 
three, which he lamented much but being affrighted durst 
not stand to his rescue ; Notwithstanding he see him to 
his thinking much abused, but said he admired who they 
were and what should be the meaning of such rudeness ? 
the Maid answered that her Dame knew the gentleman that 
was so abused, and told him that she acquainted her how 
she dream'd of him the night before, but she denied all, 
and said she never spoke a word to her of any such thing, 
the Man Goodman Wilford imagining his Maid had told him 
a Lye, was very angry with her, but the maid was Justified, 
for the Voice came again crying Tell me how long, and I 
will, and the Woman in a fright, made answer looking out 
of the Window, / do not desire it although it was your 
Contract. Upon which her Husband charged her with the 
knowledge of him, which she confessed, but would not 
declare his Name ; Night came on, and they were not seen 
any more, but by two poor labouring Fellows which came 
that way from their days Labour who declared they saw 
four persons in the Yard, but knew them not : The Man 
of the House and the Maid Report they heard the same 
voice about twelve of the Clock at Night, which much 
affrighted them, but he further declares his Wife lay 
shaking by him all night, but would not acknowledge 
she heard any thing although she see them so much 
concerned. In the morning when the Maid arose, she 
looked out of the window, and told her master, the 
Gentleman that was abused yesterday was all alone in 
the Garden ; Goodman Wilford rose and went with his 
maid into the Garden, to know of the Gentleman what 



152 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

was his meaning, but speaking to him and having no 
answer, nor seeing any mooving in him, touched him 
and found him to be absolute stone. The roads about 
Newton are crowded, people coming and going continu- 
ally, day and night, to see this strange (but true) 
Prodegy, and return again with no less Admiration. 
Goodman Wilford remembering his wives dream, went to 
her and told her of it as she lay in her bed, but she (if not 
really) has framed herself speechless, and hath continued 
so ever since, where we will leave her and desire you to 
judge charitably of her until we hear farther which I am 
promised shall be if she makes any confession. The 
person my friend that gave me this account lives within a 
mile of the house and has seen the Statute several times, it 
being confirmed by the hands of the eminentest men in 
Newton, but desired me if I put it into print to omit their 
names at length, till such time they hear something from 
the woman's mouth, or if she will by sign discover the 
meaning of this strange (but as I have said before) true 
Relation. — WONDER, pp. 4-8. 

Ayton. A good many years ago 1 there was an old witch 
lived in a tumble down cottage near the waterfall (Ayton), 
and she was a mean old thing. Very often nothing nor 
anyone could please her. At that time there was a young 
fellow living in Newton, called Johnny Simpson, who was 
desperately in love with an Ayton lass called Mary Mudd, 
but Mary would have nothing to say to him, and in the 
end, told him not to come bothering her any more. This 
grieved Johnny very much, but when he discovered that a 
young chap called Tom Smith had won Mary's heart, 
John's love turned into hate, and he determined to be 
revenged. To this end he sought the aid of the old witch 
Nanny, to whom he told his woeful tale, begging her to 

1 There is internal evidence of this story being an offshoot of one of 
a much earlier time. As told now it does not date earlier than 1760. 



Instances of Witchcraft. i 5 3 

work an evil spell on both Tom and Mary. After much 
arguing, the old hag agreed, telling him to go to the 
churchyard and gather certain things. Then followed 
clear instructions as to what other proceedings he had 
to take, concluding with a reiterated command to wash 
in the old well, and to leave her besom by its side. 
After John had carefully carried out all her commands 
which were needful for him to work his evil spell upon 
the lovers, he broke faith, laughed at and ignored the 
witches final injunctions, as to washing himself, and the 
disposal of her besom, setting off home fully satisfied 
with his night's evil work, and glorying in the fact that 
he had outwitted the old hag. But he speedily found 
out his mistake ; before, behind, above, nay all about 
him, there came strange whisperings, and flutterings of 
invisible wings, and by and by, horrid faces shewed 
themselves to him ; run or walk, it was all the same, 
there they were. And then you know when he got to 
the top of the rising ground, an owl sitting on the roof 
of one of the cottages, gave a fearful hoot ; and then 
he was stopped by two night hags (there were three of 
them, but one remained seated, kicking her heels against 
the boulder upon which she rested). 

They told him, they would have had no power to harm, 
or even detain him, had he been careful to carry out all 
Nan's commands. 111 In the end they knocked him down, 
seized him by his hands and feet and flew away with him 
to the top of Roseberry. There they almost frightened the 
life out of him, as they bound Nan's besom between his 
legs, telling him to hurry away as quickly as ever he could, 
as they were going to hunt him, with all the unearthy 
things suchlike could call to their aid. And they say 

1 E.g. to remove from his hands the soil and other matter he had 
become contaminated with whilst in the churchyard, which afforded 
the scent and enabled the howling crew to follow him. — Blake- 
BOROUGH (2), p. 36. 



154 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

throughout that night, they hunted poor Johnny through 
the air, but they always headed him, when he tried to cross 
the water, for witches cannot follow anyone over a running 
stream.™ After a terrible chase, he called to mind some 
words the witch had said, to the effect that he would be 
quite safe from all harm so long as he had foothold of 
Ayton bridge, so he turned in his flight, and made for it, 
but when he had only a few yards further to go, and right 
over the beck, of its own accord, the besom slipped from 
between his legs, when he fell head first into the water. 
Out of the beck he was rudely dragged, and then they 
made sad deed of him. They bit and scratched, and half 
killed him ; in the end just as dawn was breaking a cock 
crew, and at that, they every one flew away, leaving him 
more than half dead. 

It may be mentioned a somewhat similar story is related 
of a bridge in Farndale. — BlakebOROUGH, (2) pp. 7-10. 

Nr. Falling Foss. A waggoner found he was unable to 
take the shoe off the shafts to fix on the wheel : the more 
he pulled, the tighter it seemed to stick. A little old 
woman appeared and asked him what was the matter. He 
explained . . . The old woman is said to have told him to 
get out of the way and immediately to have lifted off the 
shoe without any trouble. 

Communicated by Mr. F. M. SUTCLIFFE. 

Filey. At the commencement of the present century the 
fishermen of this place were . . . exceeding superstitious. 
This was especially the case respecting ghosts, hobgob- 
lings, witches, and wizards. I remember going some time 
ago to visit a sick girl, and on asking the mother the cause 
of her complaint, I was gravely assured that she was 
"wronged, poor thing." Not comprehending her at the 
moment, I inquired what that was, and a neighbour replied 
with a frightened look, " Bewitched, Sir ! " While I was 

1 See under Natural Objects, p. 43. 



Instances of Witchcraft . i 5 5 

trying to show them the folly of entertaining such notions, 
the poor child exclaimed 'you're right, Sir, I am sure 
nobody has wronged me unless my mother has, for she 
wont pray for me, though I have asked her again and 
again.' — Shaw, pp. 7, 8. 

Groathland. The belief in witchcraft is very strong, even 
yet, among the older people in Goathland and the adjoin- 
ing dales, and some of the stories which describe the freaks 
of witches are by no means wanting in picturesqueness. 

Not many years ago, two old women were said to annoy 
their neighbours nightly by assuming the forms of cats. 
One house in particular was the favourite scene of their 
performances. They scratched the door, clattered against 
the windows, ran along the roofs, and made the most 
hideous noises. On one occasion, the inmates, irritated 
beyond endurance, armed themselves with whatever 
weapons were at hand, and, with the help of the sheep 
dog, rushed out upon the disturbers of their peace. The 
cats fled for their lives ; but the dog managed to get hold 
of one and tore nearly all the fur off its back ; the other, in 
escaping up an apple tree, received a blow from a garden 
rake which broke its leg. On the following morning, the 
news went round the dale that one of the supposed old 
witches had broken her leg during the night, when every- 
body thought she was in bed ; and the clothes of the other 
were so torn that she looked like a bundle of rags when 
she came out of her house. 

Another family had no luck in anything. The horses 
lamed themselves, and the cows died ; their pigs pro- 
vokingly caught all the illnesses which pig flesh is heir to ; 
on churning days the butter persistently refused to come 
unless assisted by the charm of a crooked sixpence. One 
day, when churning, the coin was purposely kept out of 
the churn, and, as it was a wet evening, ' t' maisther o' t' 
hoose ' took his gun and watched the garden from the 



1 56 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N, Riding, etc.). 

loophole of an outbuilding. After partial darkness had 
fallen, he saw a hare creeping through the hedge, and he 
shot her. The butter came immediately. During the even- 
ing, news arrived that the old woman whom they suspected 
of bewitching them and causing all their ill-luck, had died 
suddenly, at the precise moment when the shot was fired. 
From that time forward the family prospered. 

The custom of pricking a cow's heart full of pins, and 
roasting it before the fire at midnight, to draw the witches 
from their hiding-places, was resorted to not very long 
ago. — Stonehouse, pp. 61, 62. 

For this, and other methods of vicarious torture, see 
Atkinson, pp. 105-107; Blakeborough, p. 164. 

Helmsley. A respectable farmer near Helmsley having 
within the last few months, lost a number of ewes and lambs, 
besides other cattle, imbibed the idea that they were 
bewitched by some poor old woman. He applied to a 
person called a wise man, who pretends to lay these 
malignant wretches, and who has no doubt, made pretty 
good inroads on the farmer's pocket, but without having 
the desired effect. The following are a few of the methods 
they practised. Three small twigs of elder wood, in which 
they cut a small number of notches, were concealed beneath 
a bowl, in the garden, according to the instructions of their 
advisers, who asserted that the sorceress would come to 
remove them, as she would have no power as long as they 
were there. Strict watch was kept during the night, but 
nothing appeared ; yet strange, as they relate, on examina- 
tion next morning, one of the twigs had somehow or other 
escaped from its confinement. The next night the twigs 
were replaced, and a few bold adventurers were stationed 
to watch ; but about midnight they were much alarmed by 
a rustling in the hedge, and a shaking of the trees, and 
made their exit without any further discovery. As soon as 
a calf is dropt, they immediately lacerate the ear by slitting 



Instances of Witchcraft. 157 

it with a knife ; and in passing through the fields it is 
ridiculous to see the young lambs sporting by the side of 
their dams, with a wreath or collar of what is commonly 
called rowan-tree round their necks. — The Yorkshireman, 
a.d. 1846. Brand, vol. iii., 20, 21. 

Method of ascertaining by means of bottry i.e. elder knots 
if cattle be bewitched. — Atkinson, p. 104. 

Kildale. Tradition affirms, that in days of yore his 
Satanic majesty, with a sporting company of favourite imps, 
was accustomed, like the stout Percy of Northumberland, 

' His pleasure in the ' Kildale ' woods 
Three summer days to take.' 

A worthy named Stephen Howe, incensed at his highness 
for poaching on his manor, had the effrontery to boast, on 
one occasion, that if he again caught him hunting without 
license, he would not only discharge him from his liberty, 
but chastise him for his insolence. Hearing of this, Satan, 
whose courage has never been impeached, seated in a 
magnificent car, drawn by six coal-black steeds, drove 
down boldly, at his next visit, to Stephen Howe's small cot, 
on the brink of Court Moor. "Hah, hah!" shouted 
Lucifer; "I have found you at last!" Upon which poor 
Stephen took to his heels, being mightily afraid. Not so 
his wife, Nanny Howe, who being reputed a famous witch, 
did not fear even the devil himself, and boldly saluted him 
with her broom, which caused him to scratch his head with 
his claws. Soon rallying, with a powerful switch of his tail 
he capsized poor Nanny, who was thus compelled to own 
the superior skill and agility of her antagonist. " Ah ! " 
quoth the devil, " you have both grievously offended me ; 
one of you at least must accompany me, — see I have 
brought you a carriage and horses : say which of you will 
go! "I, I" said Nanny and, shouldering her broom, leapt 
into the coach without waiting further invitation, and away 
they drove in gallant style. Midway up the hill the devil, 



158 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

who felt thirsty alighted and at one draught drank dry the 
church-well, which formerly supplied the holy water for 
baptism. 

We were further informed, that during the last century, a 
certain youth, who, like Tarn O'Shanter, had been ' getting 
fou' and unco happy,' in crossing the wild heaths and 
moorlands above Kildale, actually beheld Nanny riding on 
her broomstick over the ' Devil's Court' The fright 
occasioned by this incident induced the youth to become 
ever afterwards a very zealous tee-totaller. Nanny Howe 
is still sometimes to be seen gaily frolicking through the 
air at the awful hour of midnight. — Ord, pp. 429, 430. 

Nunnington. The gifted author of Castle Daly, dear 
Annie Keary, took some pains in collecting for us various 
details especially in reference to the belief in witch- 
craft, which was rife when she lived in the North Riding 
forty years ago. Annie Keary was then a child, but the 
account she sent us was furnished by her elder sister. 
Several cows had died in the village of Nunnington, and it 
was reported that they had been bewitched — that the witch 
had brought ' a coo's heart,' had stuffed it with pins, had 
said 'a foul nomony' and then buried it, and that three 
days after a farmer's cow had died, and when its heart was 
examined it was found ' full o' larl holes.' The elders of 
the village were going to consult the wise woman, and find 
out the witch. The Rev. William Keary, then vicar of 
Nunnington, hearing of this 'sent for a leading farmer in 
the village, and told him that it was his duty to talk to his 
labourers, and as far as possible to put a stop to their 
frequenting the wise woman, who was supposed to be able 
to point out the authors of the mischief. I think the 
villagers were in a commotion, and some sort of disturbance 
was probable. Our father imagined that this belief was 
prevalent only among the very ignorant and stupid of the 
labouring class. He found however, on talking with the 



Instances of Witchcraft. 159 

farmer that he and several other farmers were leaders in 
the belief, and in the determination to find out the witch 
and avenge themselves. I remember most clearly also that 
our father was so much shocked at all he heard that he 
preached a sermon the following Sunday afternoon on the 
subject, and in the evening the same farmer came up to 
the rectory rather angry at being 'preached at,' and con- 
cluded his remarks by saying (I remember his very words), 
' Ye' re mebbe very wise, passon, an' Ah knaws ye're larned, 
but in this matter ye knaws nothing whatever, an' ye're 
altogether mista'en ; ye're sadly wrang, passon, ye're sadly 
wrang ; Ah knaws, Ah knaws it, — seed it wi' me own eyes.' 
Annie Keary's own testimony to the vehemence of the 
farmer's belief is that she thought he was in the right. 
' The story,' she says, ' made a strong impression on my 
childish mind, and I was I remember, at the end of the 
talk disposed to think that old John had had the best of 
the argument, since he clearly spoke from experience, and 
my father had only opinion to oppose to it.' The witches 
often took the form of a hare. — MACQUOID, pp. 5-7. 

Scarbro'. The late Jane Nicholson was a Scarborough 
witch of great repute, and was much feared. If any sailor 
met her in the morning he would not go to sea on that 
day, because she had power over the winds and could raise 
storms. Her evil eye never rested on any one who was 
not thereby doomed to bad luck for the rest of the day. 
Her mother was a Southcottian and believed that she was 
destined to be the mother of some great prince ; but in this 
she was much disappointed when her offspring was ' only 
a girl.' — T. T. Wilkinson, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. iv., p. 132. 

Whitby, cir. 1827. The following circumstance occurred 
in Whitby a few week ago. ... A poor woman just 
recovering from childbirth was attacked with a milk fever, 
which produced a swelling of the throat ; her attendant 
perceiving her sufferings to be very great, procured some 



160 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Camphorated Spirits of Wine, and applied it to the 
affected parts ; but this application not having the desired 
effect, (as the complaint evidently became worse) her 
mother, for reasons best known to herself, asserted her 
to be under the influence of witchcraft, and that the 
bewitching power had been imparted by the use of the 
above mentioned application. Confident that her opinion 
was correct, she now set about using her means for the 
discovery of the witch ; which was to procure a sheep's 
heart and stick it full of new pins, then burn it, and the 
person who had bewitched her would appear while it 
was consuming ; the heart was accordingly purchased, 
and, after undergoing the above mentioned operation, 
was placed in the fire for the purpose of realizing the 
expectation which an unenlightened mind had led her 
to anticipate. — Whitby Rep., vol. iii., p. 144 (1827). 

Whitby. We hear of two kinds of witches, white, or 
good witches, who can cure diseases, and regain stolen 
property ; and black witches, who are only intent upon 
evil ; but both receiving their powers by compact with 
spiritual beings. As to witchcraft, the notions here seem, 
on the whole, to be those that are general. Cattle and 
people under certain circumstances are believed to be 
bewitched, and cabalistic rites are resorted to for discover- 
ing the possessor of the baleful influence, or the evil eye, to 
which the disorder is attributed. The burning of a sheep's 
heart stuck full of pins, with open doors and windows at 
midnight, while a form of words is recited, will discover 
the author of the malady, either in bodily presence, or by 
impression on the minds of the operators. 

Charms and spells are protections for dwellings and 
cattle, as well as preservations for wearing about the person. 
See Awf shots [pp. 181, 182], Thunnerbolts, Haggomsteeans 
[pp. 14, 15], Rowntree [pp. 59, 60]. A black cat belonging 
to a reputed witch hereabouts, is remembered to have been 



Instances of Witchcraft. 161 

f 
everybody's dread ; while the old woman, among her other 
vagaries, was wont to assert that a fearful storm would take 
place at the time of her death, and when that day came, she 
''hoped every landsman would be well housed, and every 
sailor on the salt sea in a good ship.' A tempest, it is said, 
actually marked her exit. In the country, care was wont to 
be taken that the shells of the eggs used by the household 
were not thrown out before they were broken up, to prevent 
their being turned into witch-boats ; for by witches ' sailing 
about,' their power was diffused. Hence the rustic after 
eating his eggs, habitually crushed the shells, ' for fear of 
their getting into worser hands than his own.' To bend the 
thumbs into the palms when you are meeting the witch, is 
probably general, as well as ' the running at her with a pin 
and drawing blood ' so that her influence upon you may 
be averted. Along with her knowledge of herbs and other 
medicaments, she can furnish the dairy-maid with a spell 
for churning days, ' to make butter come ' ; though we 
learn, by the way, that a check can be given to her power ; 
for a priest hereabouts in former times, is said to have 
taken a witch in hand and ' quieten'd ' her proceedings by 
making her ' hurtless ' or harmless for seven years after- 
wards. Robinson, p. xxii. 

Cf. Exorcisms, p. 84. 

Witch-stones. The so-called ' witch-stones ' which used to 
be picked up at one time pretty plentifully in Richmondshire, 
are no doubt ancient hammer-stones. . . . About Middle- 
ham they used to be hung up, like the fabled horse-shoe, 
against house or stable-doors as charms against evil and the 
wiles of witches and witchcraft. — SPEIGHT, p. 292 note. 

See also under Trees and Plants, Mountain Ash, pp. 
59, 60. 

Rue, p. 64. 

„ „ General, Cross, Sign of, p. 217. 

Goathland. Horse-shoes are nailed behind outer doors to 
bar the entrance of all uncanny folks. — STONEHOUSE, p. 63. 

L 



1 62 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

EVIL EYE. 

Catterick. Going one day into a cottage in the village of 
Catterick, in Yorkshire, I observed hung up behind the door 
a ponderous necklace of ' lucky stones,' i.e. stones with a 
hole through them. On hinting an inquiry as to their use, 
I found the good lady of the house disposed to shuffle off 
any explanation ; but by a little importunity T discovered 
that they had the credit of being able to preserve the house 
and its inhabitants from the baleful influence of the ' evil 
eye.' ' Why Nanny ' said I, ' you surely don't believe in 
witches now-a-days ? ' ' No ! I don't say 'at I do ; but 
certainly i' former times there was wizzards an' buzzards, 
and them sort o' things.' ' Well/ said I, laughing, ' but you 
surely don't think there are any now ? ' ' No ! I don't say 
'at ther' are ; but I do believe in a yevil eye.' After a little 
time I extracted from poor Nanny more particulars on the 
subject, as viz. : — how that there was a woman in the village 
whom she strongly suspected of being able to look with an 
evil eye ; how, further, a neighbour's daughter, against 
whom the old lady in question had a grudge owing to some 
love affair, had suddenly fallen into a sort of pining sickness, 
of which the doctors could make nothing at all ; and how 
the poor thing fell away without any accountable cause, 
and finally died, nobody knew why ; but how it was her 
(Nanny's) strong belief that she had pined away in conse- 
quence of a glance from the evil eye. Finally, I got from 
her an account of how any one who chose could themselves 
obtain the power of the evil eye, and the receipt was, as 
nearly as I can recollect, as follows : — ' Ye gang out ov' a 
night — ivery night, while [ = until] ye find nine toads — an' 
when ye've gitten t' nine toads, ye hang 'em up ov' a string 
an' ye make a hole and buries t' toads i't hole — and as t' 
toads pines away so t' person pines away 'at you've looked 
upon wiv a yevil eye, an' they pine and pine away while 
they die, without any disease at all ! ' 



Evil Eye. 163 

I do not know if this is the orthodox creed respecting the 
mode of gaining the power of the evil eye, but it is at all 
events a genuine piece of Folk Lore. The above will cor- 
roborate an old story rife in Yorkshire, of an ignorant 
person, who being asked if he ever said his prayers, 
repeated as follows : — 

' From witches and wizards and long-tailed buzzards, 
And creeping things that run in hedge-bottoms, 
Good Lord, deliver us.' 

Margaret Gatty, N. & Q., vol. i., p. 429. 

Fyling Thorpe. The people are very primitive in this 
secluded little village ; the nearest railway is six miles off. 
We heard that the ' Evil eye ' is still believed in through 
the district, and that till quite lately one of the inhabitants, 
thus fatally gifted, always walked about with his eyes fixed 
on the ground, and never looked at any one to whom he 
spoke ; his glance was cursed, and he dare not speak to 
one of the rosy children, lest some blight should fall on it. 

MACQUOID, p. 341. 

See also sub Scarborough, p. 165. 

Mention made of ' a man with an evil eye at Nunthorpe ' 
and of his torture by means of a wax image. 

See Blakeborougk, pp. 199, 200. 

In the year 1886 there lived near Robin Hood's Bay one 
Tom Cass — for obvious reasons names of persons are 
altered — who was firmly believed to possess an evil eye. 
In consequence of this marvellous power, he was, at all 
events to his face, treated on all hands with great deference, 
for it was a well-known fact that on one occasion he had 
fixed his eye on a neighbour's cow, which speedily was 
seized with swelling of the bowels and died. He was very 
friendly with a certain Mary Ann Trotter, of Raw Moor. 
Whenever either of these two were seen approaching, the 
good people immediately pushed their thumbs between their 
first and second fingers, in that way forming a rude cross, 



164 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

to prevent them from falling under any evil spell they 
might attempt to work upon them, for Mary Ann was con- 
sidered equally as dangerous as Tom. Even Tom's wife, to 
protect herself from his evil spells, went every morning 
(before either bite or sup had passed her lips) to a certain 
rowan tree. What she did there no one ever knew, but so 
far as she was concerned it proved equal to withstand his 
evil designs. On one occasion a Mrs. Redgarth lent her 
galloway to Tommy to drive to Scarborough. Subsequently 
she heard that he had said ' he was fairly asham'd to be 
seen byv onnybody sat behint sike an au'd screw.' This 
made Mrs. R. wild, ' seea grieved an' vexed an' putten 
aboot' was she, that when he made a second request for 
the loan of her steed, she told him plainly what she 
thought. At this, he said something which so exasperated 
the lady that she seized the poker and threw it at him, but, 
marvellous to relate, when halfway it broke of itself into 
three pieces. Tommy, by some means, charmed it during 
its flight. These pieces were sent to the blacksmith to 
weld, but the moment the smith thrust the first piece into 
the fire, he received such a shock up his arm that he flatly 
refused to finish the job, saying they were charmed and 
beyond his power to join. 

Speaking of Mrs. R. and Mary Ann Trotter, the latter 
once tried to buy from the former a couple of ducks, but as 
Mrs. R. refused Mary Ann's offer, she said as she went 
away ' Varra weel, thoo'll nivver 'ev anuther bid for 'em, 
Ah'll see ti that ' and sure enough within a week, two were 
killed during a fearful thunderstorm and the other died. 

The above two items were given to my wife in all good 
faith not twelve months ago, and were fully believed in by 
those who spoke of them. 

Blakeborough (3) Jan. 28, 1899. 

Nr. Sleights. A man who was supposed to be a wizard, 
is said to have gone to near Sleights to buy some 



Evil Eye. 165 

fowls, but the owner would not sell them. On being 
unable to strike a bargain, the wizard is reported to have 
said that the owner would have no more luck with the 
fowls. Not long after the wise man had gone it is said all 
the birds flew up into the air, and fell down dead. 

Communicated by Mr. F. L. SUTCLIFFE. 

Scarborough. The evil eye still carries its influence 
amongst the inhabitants of the district. Not long ago one 
woman scratched another, and drew blood in order to 
counteract its bad effects. This assault ended in a fine 
after a hearing before the magistrates. 

T. T. Wilkinson, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. iv. p. 131. 

See also under Magic AND Divination, p. 187. 

Staithes. A correspondent of the Times, writing from 
Staithes on the new electorate as represented by the fishers 
of Yorkshire, gives an account of the fishing industry in 
these parts and incidentally speaks of the superstitions of 
the folk as follows : — The Staithes folk are imbued with all 
manner of quaint superstitions, which, whatever their origin, 
convey to-day no meaning and have no reason for their 
observance. They have a firm belief in witchcraft, but a 
debased form of witchcraft of the gettatura [sic] order, the 
witch being wholly unconscious of his or her power of evil. 
Until quite recently — and I am informed that by some of 
the older inhabitants the custom is still secretly maintained 
— it was customary when a smack or a coble had a pro- 
tracted run of ill-fortune, for the wives of the crew and 
owners of the boat to assemble at midnight and in deep 
silence, to slay a pigeon, whose heart they extracted, stuck 
full of pins, and burned over a charcoal fire. While this 
operation was in process, the unconscious witch would come 
to the door, dragged thither unwittingly by the irresistible 
potency of the charm, and the conspirators would then 
make her some propitiatory present. — Y. H., Sep. 23, 1885. 

See also ante, p. 160. 



1 66 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

INDEX OF ATKINSON AND BLAKEBOROUGH'S 
WITCH-LORE. 

Atkinson writes of ' Witches and Wise Men,' between pp. 
74-125. He introduces ' Nanny,' pp. 82-84 ; ' Au'd Nanny,' 
pp. 85, 86 ; ' Au'd Molly,' pp. 89, 90 ; and ' Au'd Maggie,' 
p. 92. 

By Blakeborough, Chapters ix. and x., pp. 153-203 are 
devoted to Witchcraft. 

The undermentioned names of North Riding Witches 
occur in the order given, and many interesting details are 
recorded : 

Molly Makin, pp. 155-158, 173. 

Dolly Ayre the Carthorpe Witch, pp. 159, 160. 

Nanny the Ayton Witch (cir. 17 50-1 780), pp. 166-170, 

173- 

Molly Cass the Seeming Witch, pp. 170, 172. 

Peggy Flaunders of Marske-by-the-Sea (died 1835), pp. 
173, 174-177- 

[Probably the same as 'Nanny.' — Atkinson, pp. 82-84. 
See also Henderson, p. 203.] 

Bessy Slack of West Burton, Wensleydale, p. 173. 

Nanny Pearson of Goatland, pp. 173, 192-195. 

Ann or Jane Grear of Guisborough, pp. 173, 177-180. — 
Henderson, p. 203. 

Nan Hardwicke of Spittal Houses, pp. 173, 183-187 ; 
called 'Au'd Nanny.' — Atkinson, pp. 85, 86 ; Henderson, pp. 
210-212. 

Nanny Howe of Kildale, pp. 173, 196. 

Nanny Newgill of Broughton and Stokesley, pp. 173, 
198, 199. 

Au'd Mother Stebbins, p. 173. 

Ann Allan of Ugthorpe, pp. 180-182 ; had to do penance 
by walking three times from one end of the village to the 
other, in her sark. 

Ailer Wood, pp. 196, 197. 



Atkinson and BlakeborougJis Witch- Lore. 167 

Nancy Newgill of Broughton, pp. 198-200. 

Jane Wood of Basedale, pp. 201-202. 

The attributes of North Riding sorcerers are well illus- 
trated in the works of Canon Atkinson and Mr. Blake- 
borough, and must be studied in their pages, though much 
of the witchcraft recorded in Forty Years in a Moorland 
Parish is a repetition of matter contributed by its author 
to Mr. Henderson's Folk- Lore of the Northern Counties, a 
second edition of which was issued by our Society in 1879. 
The accompanying digest may be of use. A. denotes 
Atkinson, B. Blakeborough, H. Henderson : 

A Witch may be detected by the sense of smell {B. p. 160); 
by behaviour of animals (B. pp. 156, 193); by specified use of 
bottree- (i.e. elder-) wood knots (A. p. 104; H. pp. 219, 
220). She can assume the form of a cat (B. pp. 157, 173, 
176 ; H. 206) ; a dog (A. pp. 92, 93 ; B. p. 177) ; a hare (A. 
pp. 83-84, 92; B. pp. 173, 177, 179, 180, 195, 196, 200, 202; 
H. p. 203) ; or a hedgehog (B. 198) ; can milk cows as 
either of the last two (A. pp. 88, 89 ; B. p. 198); or employ 
the real animals to act for her (B. p. 198). Like a natural 
hare or rabbit, she will destroy young trees (A. p. 90 ; H. p. 
203). In one case a woman confessed that a hare was her 
familiar spirit, and she died when it did (B. p. 203 ; H. p. 
203). A black dog {A. pp. 83, 84 ; B. p. 177 ; H. p. 203), 
and silver shot fatal to witch-hares (A. pp. 92, 93 ; B. pp. 
195, 201, 202 ; H. p. 203). She casts spells on human 
beings (B. pp. 155, 156, 160, 184, 186, 194, 196, 198, 199) ; 
cattle (A. pp. 92,94, 102, 114 ; B. pp. 160, 175) ; especially 
cows (B. pp. 159, 175, 180, 18 1, 184, 186. 187) ; pigs (H. p. 
206) ; and on land (B. p. 160). She interferes with the 
success of churning (B. pp. 175, 176) and has to be 
counteracted (A. p. 100; B. p. 176; H. p. 195). One woman 
milked cows by means of a magic stool (B. p. 182). A 
Witch has prescience (B. pp. 171, 183), can impel a man to 
suicide (B. p. 172), bring about accidents (B. pp. 160, 187), 
restrain locomotion (B. p. 184; H. 212), cause paralysis {B. 



1 68 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

p. 194). She can curse in metre (B. p. 169) ; and bless 
effectually, using antic ritual {B. p. 175). To one Witch, a 
record stride from Ingleborough to Whernside is credited 
(B. pp. 156, 157); to another, the power of crossing 
running-water 1 (A. pp. 85, 86 ; H. p. 212) ; another's ghost 
is still to be seen riding on a broomstick (B. p. 196) ; a 
fourth slipped (when a hare) through her own keyhole (B 
p. 177; H. p. 203). Power of invisibility is possessed (B. p. 
168) ; and that of entering, and reanimating a dead body 
(B. p. 170). Prophylactic Objects or Acts against Witch- 
craft are : Something belonging to the unburied dead (B. 
p. 156); midnight burning of bit of cloth, taken from man 
on gibbet (B. p. 158) ; of nine scraps of paper, pierced by 
pins, and inscribed with last words of man about to be 
hanged (B. p. 158) ; of beast's heart stuck with pins (A. pp. 
104, 105, 124, 125 ; B. pp. 164, 192; H. pp. 219, 224). 
Value of perforated stones, and old horseshoes {B. 158); 
of wicken- or witch-wood and berries (A. p. 97 ; the 
method of getting the wood is described, p. 100 ; B. pp. 
no, 159, 168, 176, 199; H. p. 225). Power of the Bible 
(B. pp. 169, 170) ; of Holy Water (B. p. 192) ; and of 
liniment made of that, witch's blood, and red cow's milk (B. 
p. 194). A strange deliverance incoherently related (B. p. 
159). Attempt to catch witch on pin-stuck stool (B. p. 
197). Ceremony with new shovel, and cake of abominable 
things (B. p. 198). Torture of fascinator, by means of 
waxen image {B. pp. 199, 200); by burial of nails, pins, 
and needles, nine of each, in a bottle (A. p. 106). Strange 
written amulet {A. pp. 94-96). How a Witch may be 
made a " Bustard," or incapable, by cat and kittens {B. pp. 
163, 164). Priestly exorcism {A. p. 59, footnote; B. pp. 
160, 161, 180, 181). 

1 See Blakeborough (2) under Natural Objects, p. 41. 



SECTION VI. 
LEECHCRAFT. 

Medical value of Odd Numbers. The seventh son of a 
seventh son is born a Physician, having an intuitive know- 
ledge of the art of curing all disorders, and sometimes 
the faculty of performing wonderful cures by touching 
only. It is a very general superstition in Yorkshire, that 
if a woman has seven boys in succession, the last should 
be bred to the profession of Medicine, in which he would 
be sure to be successful. The seventh son of a seventh 
son is accounted an infallible doctor. There are some 
writers who enjoin the sick to dip their skirt seven times 
in south-running water — all sorts of remedies are directed 
to be taken three, seven, or nine times. 

Whitby Repos., vol. i., New Series (1867), p. 325. 
[John Wrightson the Wise Man of Stokesley is said to 
have been " the seventh son of a seventh son," Brand, vol. 
iii., p. 34 ; the " seventh son of a seventh daughter," 
Blakeborough, p. 187; Henderson, p. 215.] 
Ague. See Blakeborough, pp. 135, 136. 
Bleeding. To stanch the bleeding at the nose 

Sanguis manet in te, 

Sicut Christus ferat in se, 

Sanguis manet in tua vena, 

Sicut Christus in sua pena ; 

Sanguis manet in te fixus, 

Sicut Christus in Crussifixus. 



17 o Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Say this over three times, naming the partyes nam, and 
then say the Lord's Prayer. — Arcana, pp. xlv., 200. 

For y bleeding at y e nose: Probatum. Take a Toade and 
drie it in marche put y e same into some silke or sattene 
bagg and hange it about y e neck of y e party next the skinne 
and by gods grace it will stanch presently. 

Arcana, p. i i. 

See also sub Lask, p. 175. 

To stopp Blond. Take linnen-clothes and dipp them in 
y e green fome where frogges have their spawne 3 days 
before the new-moon. — Arcana, p. 62. 

Bowels, Strangulation of. In desperate cases take one, 
two, or three pounds of quicksilver, ounce by ounce. 

Jenkins, p. 28. 

Cancer in the Mouth. Blow the ashes of scarlet cloth 
into the mouth and throat. This seldom fails. 

Jenkins, p. 4. 

Chilblains. See Blakeborough, p. 135. 

Colic. See Blakeborough, p. 134. 

Consumption. See Blakeborough, p. 138. 

Convulsions. On December 20, 1889, I was summoned 
by one of my parishioners, at Allerston, to baptize a child, 
which during the previous night had had a convulsion fit. 
On inquiring of the mother what she had done to bring the 
child round and to prevent a recurrence of a similar attack, 
she said that she had rubbed the palms of the child's hands 
with a raw onion ; that she had been recommended to do 
this by a neighbour ; that she certainly thought it had done 
the child good; and that it had not had a second fit. — 
Francis W. Jackson, N. and Q., 7th S., vol. ix., pp. 27, 28. 

Cramp. Shoe-cross, a cross made with your finger 
upon the shoe-toe, to cure the thrill in the foot. When 
going to bed, lay your shoes with the soles uppermost for 
the night, and you will not have the cramp ! 

Robinson, p. 169. 

See Blakeborough, p. 140. 



Leechcraft. 1 7 1 

Coffin-lead rings, rings made of coffin lead, or other coffin 
metal from the churchyard, and worn as a cure for the 
cramp. Eel-skin garters are another remedy. 

Robinson, p. 41. 

See Blakeborougk, pp. 140, 141. 

Deafness. Take a great Oyster-shell and fill it w th fast- 
ing spittle, lett it stand 2 dayes and 2 nights in a dunghill, 
then take it out and putt one drop in y e eare and stop it 
w th black woll w ch is wett likewise w th y e same. 

Arcana, p. 1 39. 

Dentistry. A certain remedy for toothache if it proceed 
from heate. Take 2 or 3 plantan leaves cutt them smalle 
with a knife and putt them in a little peice of linninge 
cloathe and streine 2 droppes of y e juice into y e parties 
contrary eare and before you can tell to 20 y e cure is done. 

Arcana, p. 56. 

To pull out a toothe. Take wormes when they be a 
gendering together : dry them upon a hott tyle stone, then 
make powder of them, and what toothe y u touch w th it will 
fall out. 

Or I£ wheat-flower and mixe it w th y e milk of spurge and 
thereof make a paste or dowe w th y* w ch fill y e hollow of 
y e tooth or leave it in a certain time and y e tooth will fall 
out. — Arcana, p. 62. 

See also under FESTIVALS : Christmas Day, p. 276. 

See Blakeborougk, p. 131. 

Diagnosis. Water-kester, a mediciner who professes to 
tell the disease by the cast or appearance of the urine ; into 
a bottle of which, he puts certain ingredients or chemicals. 
While the changes are going on, they are supposed to 
influence sympathetically, the patient's complaint ! 

Robinson, p. 213. 

How to knowe y e K. Evill. fy a ground-worme alive and 
lay him upo y e swelling or sore and cover him w th a leafe. 



172 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Yf it be y e disease y e worme will change and turn into 
earth yf it be not he will remain whole and sound. 

Arcana, p. 140. 
To know whether a sick man shall Hue or die certenly 
prooued inanie tymes. Take a penny weight of land cressede 
and giue y e sick to eate three daies togeather fasting, and to 
drinke a drafte of Water after it or Wine if he cast it up he 
shall die or els take tormentell bayberries and mirre ana 
§j make these into fine powder, mix them well togeather 
give y e sick of it to drinck in stale ale §j at a tyme if he 
cast it upp he dieth of the same sicknes, if he reteine yt he 
shall live, the bayes purge, the turmentall voideth all 
venome and rawe meates lying in the stomak and y e mirre 
suffereth no corruption in the body of man. 

For y e same purpose. Take a little of their Water and 
putt into Milk, and yf they dye a dogge will not eat it, and 
yf they live a dogge will eat it. — ARCANA, p. 51. 

See also sub Natural Objects, pp. 26, 34. 

Diarrhoea see Lask, p. 175. 

Epilepsy. Sacrament piece, a coin worn round the neck, 
for the cure of epilepsy. Thirty pence, begged of thirty 
' poor widows ' are to be carried to the clergyman, and for 
these he is to give the applicant a half-crown piece from 
the Communion alms. After being 'walked with' nine 
times up and down the church aisle, the coin is then to 
be holed for suspension by a ribbon. . . . For the same 
complaint, a midnight walk ' thrice three times round the 
Communion table ' is recorded. 

Robinson, pp. 158, 159. 

For the Epileptia unfallible it remedieth in six daies. 
Take the after burden of a woman and drie it in a pott 
till you make powder of it and give it to the diseased for 
vi daies, fasting in the morning §ss at a tyme, in ale or 
bere, not to drinke after it for two houres you must use the 
burden of the male childe to the woman and the feminine 



Leechcraft. 173 

to the man. This is prooued bothe of man woman and 
child unfallible. — Arcana, p. 57. 

For the falling sickness take the hearte of a toade and 
drie it and beate it to powder, then drinke it with what 
drinke you will. — Arcana, p. 11. 

The following circumstances have been related to us by 
a parishioner of Sowerby, near Thirsk, as having recently 
occurred at that place. 'A boy diseased, was recommended 
by some village crone to have recourse to an alleged 
remedy, which has actually, in the enlightened days of the 
nineteenth century, been put in force. He was to obtain 
thirty pennies from thirty different persons, without telling 
them why or wherefore the sum was asked, after receiving 
them to get them exchanged for a half-crown of sacrament 
money, which was to be fashioned into a ring and worn by 
the patient. The pennies were obtained, but the half-crown 
was wanting, the incumbents of Sowerby and Thirsk very 
properly declined taking any part in such a gross super- 
stition. However another reverend gentleman was more 
pliable, and a ring was formed (or professed to be so) from 
the half-crown, and worn by the boy. We have not heard 
of the result. — Brand, iii., pp. 280, 281. 

See Blakeborough, p. 139. 

Eyes, Sore. See Blakeborough, p. 141. See also sub 
Natural Objects, pp. 29, 31, 35. 

Fever. See Blakeborough, p. 135. 

Fits, etc. Lobster-louse or Lobstrous-louse, the large 
gray wood-louse or millipedes, Oniscus Armadillo. . . . Used 
with other ingredients, many years ago, as an old woman's 
remedy in fits and certain female complaints ; and we have 
known the creatures kept alive amongst rotten wood in a 
tin case, as a home stock. — ROBINSON, p. 117. 

See Blakeborough, p. 135. 

Heartburn. See Blakeborough, p. 138. 

Joint-pains. See Blakeborough, pp. 134, 135., 



174 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

King's Evil. The reader must excuse the history of a 
miraculous cure, which I cannot well omit, done by the 
Scotch king [William] at this meeting at York 1 [1199.] 
Here the royal touch was in a special manner exemplify'd, 
and shewn to be of great efficacy in the kings of Scotland, 
as immediate descendants from Edward 'Cat confessor. The 
kings of England, at least John, I find did not pretend to 
have this sanative quality in those days. The chronicle 
says that 'during the abode of these two kings at York, 
there was brought unto them a child of singular beauty, 
son and heir to a gentleman of great possessions in those 
parts. The child was grievously afflicted with sundry 
diseases, for one of its eyes was consumed and lost through 
an issue which it had of corrupt and filthy humours ; one 
of his hands was dried up ; one of his feet was so taken 
that he had no use of it ; and his tongue likewise that he 
could not speak. The physicians who saw him thus 
troubled with contrary infirmities deemed him incurable. 
Nevertheless king William making a cross on him restored 
him immediately to health.' The chronicle adds this 
observation ' that it is believed by many that this was done 
by miracle, through the power of almighty God, so that the 
vertue of so godly a prince might be notified to the World!' 

Drake, p. 97. 

[In August, 1617, James I was at York]. On the 13th 
being Sunday, his majesty went to the cathedral, where the 
archbishop preached a learned sermon before him. After 
sermon ended he touched about seventy persons for the 
King's Evil. — Drake, p. 134. 

[Charles I.] touched a number of persons for the ' king's 
evil' and rode northwards. [May 28th, 1633]. . . . On . . . 
Good Friday, [April 12th, 1639] after the service in the 
minster, Charles touched for the ' evil,' doing the same on 
the Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday next. According to a 

1 Scotch chron. M. Paris \Hollingshed, vol. v. p. 305, of 6 vol. ed. 
London, \\ 



Leechcraft. 1 7 5 

MS., to which Drake [1] the historian had access, Charles 
touched four hundred persons on this visit. The curate of 
the neighbouring church of St. Michael-le-Belfrey regarded 
all this exertion as unprofitable. He has the following 
entry in his register in August, 1639 ' Richard, y e sonne of 
Mr. Henry Stubbes, went over se to the king to be cured of 
y e evell, and died at Breste, and was buried in y e parish 
church of St. Genrix. So much for y e old wivis story of 
curing the king's evil.' — Raine, pp. 120, 121. 

For y e Kings-evill B^ Dogges toung sliced and hang it 
about y e neck. — ARCANA, p. 140. 

See also ante, p. 171. 

Lask = Diarrhcea — 

A pisent medicine for a laske and is good for Bleeding. 
Take a Toade at any tyme of y e yere and drie it in an oven, 
so it doth not breake and when it is dried putt it into some 
tafifaty bagg and hange it about y e neck of y e party greeved 
next y e skin : it helpeth. — Arcana, p. n. 

See also under FESTIVALS : Good Friday, p. 243. 

Measles. There was a serious outbreak of measles in 
the village [a remote country parish in the neighbourhood 
of Whitby] — mezzles as they are called in the folk-speech. 
Scarcely a family escaped. Not far from the village a 
small farmer lived with his wife and two children. The 
parents felt in considerable anxiety for their little ones, 
lest they should catch the disease. The father, however, 
seemed to be satisfied in his own mind that if the children 
could be put through a certain prescribed ceremony of 
seemingly traditional usage they would be proof against 
infection from the disease. . . . First of all it was abso- 
lutely necessary that a donkey should be procured. But 
unfortunately there was not one in the place. In order 
to get one, they would have to go to a village on the sea- 
coast which lay at least four miles distant. Nothing 
daunted they accordingly made their pilgrimage to the 
1 [Drake, p. 137.] 



176 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

village referred to. The donkey was in due course ob- 
tained, and the whole party — father, mother and two 
young children — wended their way to the beach. One of 
the children was then put on the donkey with its face to 
the tail ; three hairs were next drawn from the tail of the 
animal, put into a bag, and slung round the child's neck. 
The donkey was then made to go up and down a certain 
distance on the sands nine times. This done, the same 
process was repeated with the other child. It must be 
added that all the time the donkey was in motion a 
thistle was held over the head of the child. Such was the 
function ; and when done they all returned home as they 
had come. By a singular coincidence the children in this 
case escaped taking the epidemic ailment, and as a con- 
sequence the parents were the more confirmed in their 
belief in the efficacy of these strange precautionary 
measures. — MORRIS, pp. 238, 239. 

Phlegm. See Blakeborougk, p. 138. 

Poison, Expeller of. Your myne of bole armonacke, 
wherein we finde certaine vaines of such earth as is called 
Terra sigillata, might in my conceyte be imployed in 
makinge of such red pottes as come from Venice, which 
are soulde very deare, by reason of the vertue ascribed 
unto them, what secret operatyon is in these pottes I 
know not, but I am well assured that this earth, both the 
white and the redd, beinge put to one's lippes will stycke 
faste to them, even as those potts doe ; and yt is generally 
in such requeste in these partes, that surgeons and apote- 
caryes fetch yt from as far as Newcastle, preferringe yt 
before any bole that cometh from beyonde the seas, as 
well for matter of surgerye, as expellinge poyson. 

H. Tr., p. 428. 

For a Pynn and Webb. Take a handfull of hemlock 
and y e white of an egge and a little baysalt altogeather 
veary fine and lay it to y e pulce of y e arme on y e con- 
trary side and if it be nere y e sight of y e eie to y e iuce 



Leechcraft. 177 

of dases, leaves rootes and all and put it into y e eie, and 
so vse it, till it be whole. — Arcana, p. n. 

Rabies. 1772 August 8th four persons were tried at 
York for murdering a boy who was afflicted with that 
dreadful malady hydrophobia, but they were acquitted for 
want of evidence. — Annals, p. 153. 

I remember, about thirty years ago, a lady's-maid in 
our family telling us how her brother, being bitten by 
a mad dog and being, in consequence, raving mad, had 
to be smothered in his bed, as he spit at those who came 
near him, and the saliva was pronounced dangerous to 
those whom it touched. This happened in York. 

E. B., N. and Q.> 5th S., vol. v., p. 238. 

See Blakeborough, p. 139. 

Restorative. Church-lead water, the rain which runs off 
the leads or roof of the church ; a restorative when 
sprinkled on the sick, especially from the chancel, where 
the altar is situated ! — ROBINSON, p. 35. 

Ringworm. See Blakeborough, p. 141. 

Sores etc. caused by Witchcraft. Sores and other evil 
diseases caused by witchcraft could be speedily cured if 
attended to when the moon was on the wane. I do not 
know in what form the application was used, but here are 
the ingredients as given to me by an old fellow who, though 
he has never used it, had heard ' 'at nowt cud cum up 

tiv it ' : 

' Tak' tweea 'at's red an' yan 'at's blake (yellow) 
O' poison berries three, 
Three fresh-cull'd blooms o' Devil's glut, 
An' a sprig o' rosemary : 
Tak' henbane, bullace, bumm'lkite 
An' t' fluff frev a deead bulrush ; 
Nahn berries shak' fra t' rowan-tree 
An' nahn fra botterey bush.' 

Blakeborough, pp. 151, 152. 
Spittle, Fasting. Fasting spittle, outwardly applied will 

M 



178 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

relieve and often cure blindness, contracted sinews from 
a cut, corns and warts ; but to be really effectual, it should 
be mixed with chewed bread, and applied every morning, 
when it cures fresh cuts, deafness, inflamed eyelids, 
scorbutic tetters, sore legs, etc. N.B. — Taken inwardly, it 
relieves, and often cures asthmas, cancers, and falling sick- 
ness, gout, gravel, king's evil, leprosy, palsy, rheumatism, 
scurvy, stone, swelled liver, etc., etc. 

IIHT The best way to take it inwardly, is to eat about an 
ounce of hard biscuit or crust every morning fasting and 
eat nothing for two or three hours after. It should be con- 
tinued, however, a considerable time to be effectual. 

Jenkins, p. 32 ; See also ante under Deafness. 

Sty. Sty, a blain on the eyelid. To cure it, rub it with 
a wedding-ring for nine successive mornings ! 

Robinson, p. 189. 

Sympathy between cause and effect. A ship-carpenter's 
wife . . . kept a nail on the chimney-piece polished 
brightly ; she believed if ever the nail got dull her husband 
into whose leg the nail had once got by accident, would be 
laid up again, but that as long as she kept the nail bright, 
his wound would not trouble him. The woman's name 
was Mrs. — of — Terrace, Whitby. 

Communicated by Mr. F. M. Sutcliffe. 

See also Blakeborougk, p. 141. 

Thrush. Burn scarlet cloth to ashes, and blow them 
into the mouth. — JENKINS, p. 28. 

At a friend's near Yarm, the lady of the house told me 
that only a short time previously she had been calling to see 
a poor woman, whose children had the ' thrush.' The 
mother firmly believed that if one born after the death of 
his father were to blow three times down the child's throat 
the disease would beyond doubt depart. — Morris, p. 247. 

Warts : how to cure, and how to cause. See Blake- 
borough, pp. 138, 139, 146. 



Leechcraft. 1 79 

Weakness, etc. Swallowing live frogs appears to have 
been no uncommon medicine in the North Riding of York- 
shire for weakness and consumption. Several old people, 
dead years ago, have spoken of taking them when young, 
and have even added they were delicious. 

C. J. D. J., N. and Q., 2nd S., vol. iv., p. 279. 

See Blakeborough, pp. 145, 146. 

Whooping Cough. About the middle of the bay [at 
Runswick] is Hob Hole, a well-known cave, once more than 
100 feet deep, but now shortened by two thirds and in 
imminent danger of complete destruction by jet-diggers. 
. . . What would the grandmothers say if they could 
return and see the spoiling of Hob's dwelling-place : whose 
aid they used to invoke for the cure of whooping-cough ? 
Standing at the entrance of the cave with the sick child in 
their arms, they addressed him thus 

Hob-hole Hob ! 
My bairn's gotten t'kin cough : 
Tak't off— tak't off. 

If Hob refused to be propitiated, they tried another way, 
and catching a live hairy worm, they hung it in a bag from the 
child's neck, and as the worm died and wasted away so did 
the cough. If this failed, a roasted mouse or a piece of 
bread and butter administered by the hands of a virgin was 
infallible ; and if the cough remained still obstinate, the 
child as a last resort, was passed nine times under the belly 
of a donkey. To avoid risk of exposure, it was customary 
to lead the animal to the front of the kitchen fire. 

White, pp. 151, 152. 
I heard a Yorkshireman on the Hambleton Hills tell the 
following story in the summer of 1889. He stated he had 
whooping-cough when he was a child, and that his 
mother insisted on his keeping in bed. He was unwilling 
to agree to this unless he were allowed to have the cat in 
bed with him. This was, therefore, permitted, with the 



180 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (AT. Riding, etc.). 

following' result, in his own words. 'Ah smickled it, and 
ah mended, an' t' cat deed.' By this he meant that he gave 
the cat the infection, and thus was enabled to recover 
while the cat died in his place. 

G. F. W. M., N. and Q., 7th S., vol. x., p. 457. 
In one of the principal towns of Yorkshire, half a 
century ago, it was the practice for persons in a respectable 
class of life to take their children when afflicted with the 
hooping cough, to a neighbouring convent, where the priest 
allowed them to drink a small quantity of holy water out 
of a silver chalice, which the little sufferers were strictly 
forbidden to touch. By Protestant, as well as Roman 
Catholic parents, this was regarded as a remedy. — Ebora- 
comb, N. and Q., vol. iii., p. 220. 

[This may not relate to York, its Ainsty, or the North 
Riding, but the signature encourages the assumption that 
it does.] 

Put a live hairy worm into a small bag, hang it round 
the neck, and as the worm decays, the cough will abate. 
Pass a child nine successive mornings under the belly of an 
ass ; and we have known that animal brought to the fireside 
for fear of giving the little one cold. The eating of a 
roasted mouse is another specific ; and owl-broth is some- 
times prescribed. Again a female who has never known 
her father, is to blow into the child's mouth ' nine successive 
mornings,' with her fasting breath ; and if ordered to be 
removed into country air for its cure, 'it should be to a place 
where three roads meet.' — Robinson, p. xii. 
See Blakeborough, pp. 136, 137, 145. 

To make a Worme come out of y e Head. 
Worm in the Head. Take of the marrow of a Bull or 
Cowe and putt it warme into y e eare, and y e worme will 
come forth for sweetness of y e marrowe. — ARCANA, p. 138. 

Worms. See Blakeborough, pp. 139, 140. 



Cattle Cures. 181 

CATTLE CURES. 

Murrain. The favourite remedy of the country people, 
[1749, 1750], not only in the way of cure, but of prevention, 
was an odd one ; it was to smoke the cattle almost to 
suffocation, by kindling straw, litter, and other combustible 
matter about them. [Footnoted] The effects of this mode 
of cure are not stated, but the most singular part of it was 
that by which it was reported to have been discovered. An 
angel (says the legend), descended into Yorkshire, and there 
set a large tree on fire ; the strange appearance of which 
or else the savour of the smoke, incited the cattle around 
(some of which were infected) to draw near the miracle, 
when they either all received an immediate cure, or an 
absolute prevention of the disorder. It is not affirmed that 
the angel staid to speak to anybody, but only that he left a 
writteti direction for the neighbouring people to catch this 
supernatural fire, and to communicate it from one to another, 
with all possible speed throughout the country; and in case 
it should be extinguished and utterly lost, that then new 
fire of equal virtue, might be obtained, not by any common 
method, but by rubbing two pieces of wood together till 
they ignited. Upon what foundation this story stood, is not 
exactly known, but it put the farmers actually into a hurry 
of communicating flame and smoke from one house to 
another with wonderful speed, making it run like wildfire 
over the country. Vide Newcastle Gen. Mag. — BARKER, 

PP- 90. 91. 

Diarrhoea. Shoot, Scour or Scout, the looseness in cattle ; 
one of the old cures being the lower jawbone of a pig, 
powdered fine along with a quantity of tobacco pipes, and 
given in thick gruel. Chaucer at the beginning of the 
Pardoneres Tale, assigns a similar curative powder to the 
shoulder-bone of a sheep. — ROBINSON, p. 169. 

Sudden Excitement. Awf shots, elf-bolts, the ancient 
British flint arrow-points. Cattle suddenly excited, were 



1 82 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

formerly supposed to be shot at with these implements by 
the fairies ; and to cure an ' awfshotten ' animal, it must be 
touched with one of the arrows, and the water administered 
in which an arrow has been dipped. See [sub Natural 
Objects, p. 14] Thunnerbolts, Robinson, p. 8. 

See Blakeborough, p. 141 ; Remarkable Story, p. 142. 

Lambing-time. The Vicar of a parish near Yarm one 
day noticed in his kitchen a number of little sprigs of hazel, 
with catkins upon them, stuck into various objects round 
the fire-place. On asking the senior servant why she had 
made the decoration, she said it was Jane (the junior maid), 
who had gathered them and stuck them about because 
they were good for the sheep at lambing-time ! — MORRIS, 
p. 248. 



SECTION VII. 

MAGIC AND DIVINATION. 

DIVINERS. 

[Atkinson gives much information about John Wrightson, 
"Au'd Wreeghtson t'Wahse man o' Stowsley," pp. 1 10-125, 
of whom we find many particulars in Blakeborough, pp. 
187-192, and in Henderson, pp. 215-218. 1 His successor, 
William Dawson is referred to Atkinson, pp. 124, 125 ; 
Henderson, pp. 218-221. Blakeborough mentions Master 
Sadler, pp. 109, 135, and Thomas Spence of Bedale, p. 109 ; 
The Wise Man of Reeth, pp. 157, 158 ; Sammy Banks o' 
Mickley, p. 159; Jonathan Westcott of Upleatham, p. 175 ; 
The Wise Man of Scarborough, p. 194; Henry Wilson of 
Broughton, p. 198 footnote; and Matthew Appleton of 
Busby, p. 200. 

The Wise Man has "a vast mair" power than a Witch ; 
he is "mair ,'an a maister over sike as her" (A., p. 103 and 
thence to p. 125). His forte is foreknowledge (A. as 
above ; B., pp. 189, 190-192 ; H, pp. 215, 218). He claims 
to rule planets (B., p. 200); uses " seeing-glass" as magic 
mirror (B., pp. 191, 194); is consulted as a praeternatural 
detective (A., pp. 120, 121; B., pp. 188-192; H, pp. 216, 
217); and leech (A., pp. 215, 216; B., p. 176; H, pp. 
215, 217). One rooted scoffers to their chairs (A., p. 118; 
H., p. 218), and was probably author of a strange charm 
for discovering the cause of illness among cattle and for 
1 See alsojZto.r/pp. 184, 186, 187. 



1 84 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

curing it {A., pp. 124, 125), if not of that recorded, A., 
pp. 104, 105, and H., pp. 218, 219, which harried the evil 
spirits. Once Wrightson was stayed, for lack of a magpie 
(B., p. 192).] 

Thirske, Oct. 8, 1634. Jane Kitchin, Mary White, Barbara 
Dighton and Anne Maddison, all of West Aiton 1 for taking 
upon themselves to tell one Barbara Temple per venefica- 
tionem vel incantionem (Anglice witchcraft, charme or 
sorceries) where, and by whom stolen or taken from her, 
certain clothes were to be found. 

1 ... As to the offence with which these women were charged, the 
stories which were freely current in this immediate district not thirty 
years ago are quite sufficiently illustrative. The Editor has had very 
many told him, with all particulars of place and name, and with the 
most self-evident tokens of implicit faith on the part of the narrator. 
'Au'd Wreeghtson (Wrightson), or t'wahs (wise) man o' Stowsley 
(Stokesley)' was, in the majority of instances, though by no means 
exclusively, the enactor of the marvels related. Among other stories 
thus detailed to me was one of the recovery of some weights stolen 
from one of the mills in this parish [Danby]. The 'wise man' when 
consulted on the matter, told the inquirer he would find them returned 
the following morning 'all clamed wi' ass' ; their present place of con- 
cealment, he said, being in an ash-pit (ass-midden) — a statement ade- 
quately justified by the event. Another was of a shirt lost by a pitman 
on coming to bank at night. The ' wise man ' in this instance not only 
stated that the shirt would be recovered, but that, — a fact the inquirer 
was ignorant of—it had been made by a left-handed seamstress, and 
that on his return home he was to be sure and tell his wife not again to 
give salt out of the house, as that would give scope for the malevolence 
of witches against her. My informant told me the man found his wife 
had actually given salt out that day. Wrightson was largely consulted 
by people, from far and near, in doubtful farriery cases, most of them 
assumed to be due to the malice of the witch : and whatever else may 
be said, his sagacity and means of accumulating and utilizing local 
information must have been of an extraordinary kind. It is worth 
notice, perhaps, that no record seemed to exist of his ever using his 
supposed knowledge or power in mischief to any. He was, on the con- 
trary, the succourer of such as believed themselves to have suffered in 
that way. — Records, vol. iv., p. 20. 



Diviners. 185 

York, Oct. 20, 1663. Before Cressy Burnett Henry 
Eskrigg of the Cittie of York, milloner, saith, that Richard 
Readshaw, the younger, beeinge lately a prisoner in the 
sheriff's goale, upon suspicion of steallinge some monyes 
from Thomas Lord Fairefax was declareinge to this 
informant how innocent hee was of the cryme imputed 
to him, and that hee was not guilty thereof. Whereupon 
this informant told him of one Nicholas Battersby, 1 of 
Bowtham, whoe had skill in the discoveringe of those 
persons that had stolne moneyes ; and where the monyes 
might bee found. Soe, att the earnest desire of the said 
Readshawe, Battersby was sent for to the goale, and att 
his comeinge, beeinge acquainted with the buisnes, did 
aske the said Readshawe what tyme of the day my Lo. 
Fairefax monyes was gone, and when ; and tooke instruc- 
cions thereof in his booke, and then departed, and the 
next day the said Battersby came to the sheriff's goale, 
and declared before this informant, and severall others, 
that the querent was cleare (meaneinge Readshaw), and 
that the moneys in question was stolne by an old grey- 
haird man, and a young man, whoe were servants in the 
house, and was hid in a great sacke, which by reason of 
the waters none could as yett come unto ; and it would 
not bee discovered within .5 monthes. And the said 
Battersby receaved 5 s . for his paines in the said business. 

Depositions, pp. 101, 102. 

Stokesley before 18 19. The following was communicated 
to the editor of the present work by a Yorkshire gentle- 
man, in the year 1819: Impostors who feed and live on 
the superstition of the lower orders are still to be found 
in Yorkshire. These are called 'Wise Men,' and are 
believed to possess the most extraordinary power in 
remedying all diseases incidental to the brute creation, 
as well as to the human race, to discover lost or stolen 

1 . . . He was bound over at the assizes to good behaviour. 



1 86 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

property, and to foretell future events. One of these 
wretches was a few years ago living at Stokesley, in the 
North Riding of Yorkshire; his name was John Wright- 
son, and he called himself 'the seventh son of a seventh 
son,' and professed ostensibly the trade of a cow-doctor. 
To this fellow, people, whose education it might have 
been expected would have raised them above such weak- 
ness, flocked ; many to ascertain the thief, when they had 
lost any property ; others for him to cure themselves or 
their cattle of some indescribable complaint. Another 
class visited him to know their future fortunes ; and some 
to get him to save them from being balloted into the 
militia ; all of which he professed himself able to accom- 
plish. All the diseases which he was sought to remedy 
he invariably imputed to witchcraft, and although he gave 
drugs which have been known to do good, yet he always 
enjoined some incantation to be observed, without which 
he declared they could never be cured ; this was some- 
times an act of the most wanton barbarity/ 13 as that of 
roasting a game cock alive, etc. The charges of this 
man were always extravagant ; and such was the con- 
fidence in his skill and knowledge, that he had only to 
name any person as a watch, and the public indignation 
was sure to be directed against the poor unoffending 
creature for the remainder of her life. An instance of 
the fatal consequences of this superstition occurred within 
my knowledge, about the year 1800. A farmer of the 
name of Hodgson had been robbed of some money. He 
went to a ' wise man ' to learn the thief and was directed 
to some process by which he should discover it. A 
servant of his, of the name of Simpson, who had com- 
mitted the robbery, fearing the discovery by such means, 
determined to add murder to his crime by killing his 
master. The better to do this without detection, he forged 

1 [Canon Atkinson doubts the accuracy of this statement and of other 
allegations. Atkinson, p. ill footnote.'] 



Diviners. 187 

a letter as from the 'wise man' to Mr. Hodgson, enclosing 
a quantity of arsenic, which he was directed to take on 
going to bed, and assuring him that in the morning he 
would find his money in the pantry under a wooden 
bowl. Hodgson took the powder, which killed him. 
Simpson was taken up, tried at York Assizes, and con- 
victed on strong circumstantial evidence. He received 
sentence of death, and when on the scaffold confessed his 
crime. — BRAND, vol. iii., 63, 64. 

There are many stories of Wrightson, and one or more 
of his charms in Atkinson, pp. 1 12-125. 

Scarborough., cir. 1830. About the year 1830 there existed 
in Princess Street an aged and ill-favoured couple, who 
dirty and ragged went about begging, annoying and 
frightening servant girls, unless they were liberal in giving 
to them, under the threat of fixing on them the 'evil 
eye'; many servants were thus frightened into acts of 
dishonesty, but these two individuals are now deceased 
and we hear of no successors. In the same catalogue we 
must place witchcraft. This species of demonology still 
holds sway in the dales near the coast, but in a greatly 
decreased extent. Only two or three cases are now 
recounted as regards Scarbrough, dating back to 165 1, 
when the Scarbrough bailiffs sat in judgment on a poor 
decrepit woman for malpractices on a neighbour's child, 
on the 19th of March, 1651 [See ante pp. 137-140.] 

On one occasion a poor woman who lived on Limekiln 
Hill, and had not been long married, and who was near 
her confinement, was taken ill, and by those around her 
was considered to be in a consumption. She had medical 
advice but gave it up and decided at the suggestion of 
some of her neighbours to consult a 'wise man' that 
lived about four or five miles from Whitby. On paying 
the visit, and minutely enquiring where she lived, etc., 
he told her that she was suffering from the "evil eye" 



1 88 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

of a poor decrepit dirty old woman in the town, ' Mally 
Heslop,' who knew that superstition very often filled her 
wallet through the fear of those she came near. This 
wise man charged her on her return home to shut all 
doors and windows, and block up every crevice and square 
of glass by which light could enter, not forgetting even 
the keyholes, and at twelve o'clock at night she would 
hear something, but must not stir out. So it came to 
pass. On her next visit he gave her a square envelope- 
shaped paper, sealed and hung it round her neck, with 
orders never to part with it, charging her a heavy fee. 
Not recovering her health, but rather the worse, she paid 
him several visits. It so happened that a benevolent 
gentleman called to see her, having heard of her case, 
to whom she related all that had occurred, and after 
several visits and seeing her provided with the ' Sick 
Charity's' provision, an institution upheld by the ladies 
of Scarbrough, he persuaded her to entrust to him the 
'sacred packet.' This he found to consist of one of the 
signs of the Zodiac, taken from an old almanack, a verse 
out of Solomon's proverbs and a few dry beech leaves. 
This gentleman finding that the poor woman and her 
husband had sold their clock and some of their furniture 
to meet the demands of the wise man, went to the 
magistrates and obtained a summons against him. On 
the day of hearing the wise man attended with witnesses 
to prove his cabalistic skill, and the benefits of his power 
of foreseeing and curing evil had proved in his own 
neighbourhood ; when the following scene, etc., took place. 

The wise man to the gentleman prosecuting him : — What 
do you want to do to me ? 

Gentleman : — You must know if you are a wise man. 

Wise man : — But I don't know. 

Gentleman : — Then you are not a wise man. 

Magistrate to the gentleman : — What is your wish that 
we should do with this man ? 



Diviners. 189 

Gentleman : — I should wish him to tell you, for if he 
can see into futurity he must be well aware of my 
intention. 

Magistrates : — Well what is it ? 

Gentleman : — I wish this man to be committed to prison 
for two months, as a rogue and vagabond. 

The man and his friends stood aghast ; at this juncture 
one of the county magistrates put in a plea for him, to 
which the gentleman replied, ' I will grant your request 
on condition that the ' wise man ' returns all the money 
he has received from these two poor people, amounting 
to several pounds, and pays all the expenses of this 
proceeding,' which he did, and was glad to get away 
out of court, cursing the gentleman as soon as he got 
outside. The poor woman was confined the following 
month, and soon after died of consumption as her medical 
man expected. It appears the Scarbrough has yet its 
wise men to whom resort is made on the loss of property. 
Thus the following notice was recently published by the 
bellman at Staithes (a fishing town near to Whitby) 
' Stolen yesterday afternoon a large fisherman's net 
belonging to Jack. If it is not brought back before 
to-morrow at one o'clock he'll apply to the wise man 
at Scarbrough ' {Folk-Lore Northern Counties). 

Baker, pp. 479-481. 
Brompton, \cir. 1843 ?] A few days ago, at Brompton near 
Northallerton, an honest hard-working weaver, named 
Mark Jobling, had his shop broken into, and upwards of 
40 yards of drill cloth stolen from his loom, as well as 
weaver's brushes, &c. A consultation was held by Mark's 
friends, as to the best plan to be adopted to find out the 
thieves, and these 'wise men of Gotham' resolved that 
two of their number should go and consult the wise man of 
Sowerby near Thirsk. Truly the fellow is wise enough, 
to live by the credulity of such willing dupes. The two 
persons fixed upon for this mission, old Mac and Braidely, 



190 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

reported on their return, that they had seen the 'wise man,' 
but having the misfortune not to have been born under the 
proper planet, they could not see through his magic glass ; 
but a young man was procured in the neighbourhood who 
enjoyed this enviable distinction. This wonderful glass 
is a piece of solid crystal, in form and size like that of a 
goose's egg. All being ready the fellow commenced as 
follows : — ' I command, I exorcise ye, the archangels 
Michael and Gabriel, that ye make Mark Jobling's shop 
to appear in the glass, and also the likeness of the thief 
or thieves, so that they may be seen and identified'; with 
other simple gibberish. On conclusion of the incantations, 
'Presto, quick, begone,' lo and behold, Mark's shop together 
with the water-end of Brompton, appeared in the glass with 
the figures of three men cutting the cloth out of the loom. 
The thieves were traced in this wonderful glass to Yarm, 
12 miles distant, where they stopped at a public house, and 
had two quarts of ale. They were traced ultimately to 
South Stockton, four miles further on, and were seen in 
this glass to enter a public house there, and deposit their 
spoil under the bed of an upper room, and which house 
they would leave next morning at eight o'clock, with the 
cloth in their possession. So reported the Ambassadors. 
. . . Accordingly at two a.m. on a cold frosty morning they 
set out on their wild goose chase, and arrived at South 
Stockton at six. On crossing the bridge, a new difficulty 
presented itself, three public houses appearing in view, and 
they had forgot to enquire from the wise man the name of 
the house from which the thieves were to make their exit. 
However like prudent men, as they are, they set a watch on 
each house and awaited the event. . . . Need we state the 
result ? No thieves made their appearance . . . and since 
their return they have been laughed at by the thinking 
portion of the community, for their simplicity and credulity. 

Clev. Rep. 131, 132. 



Diviners. 191 

Whitby, cir. 1876. There are still believers in the powers 
of the wise man. An adept in what will avert evil and 
secure good, he is not only a foreteller of that which may 
befal yourself, but he can read you the fate of those at a 
distance about whom you are concerned. Our seer is 
likewise a discoverer of stolen goods; though the threat of 
sending to the zvise man is not unusually followed by the 
secret restoration of the missing property. ' Lost ' as ran 
the bellwoman's announcement at a neighbouring fishing- 
place, ' or teean frae t' hedge at top o' t' toon tweea linen 
shifts an' a handclout, a dimmity pettykit, tweea pillowslips 
an' a smock frock. This is te gie nooatige that if they 
beeant foorthcoming te neeght afore te moorn, them 'at 
awns 'em '11 gan te t' wise man anent 'em'; i.e. Lost, or 
taken from the hedge above the town, two shifts and a 
towel, a dimmity petticoat, two pillow-cases and a man's 
linen overall. This is to signify, that if they are not 
returned before to-morrow morning, the owners will apply 
to the wise man about them. He can also trace you the 
person lost in the snow, and has been seen on the moors 
with his open books and mystic appliances, surrounded 
by his clients, engaged in the search. Versed in the healing 
art, he is declared to be 'skeely and knowful i' cow ills an' 
horse ills, or in all ailments owther i' beeast or body.' A 
wight of his vocation has been summoned from a distance 
by those who required the working of the oracle ; and 
'after crossing his hand with a golden fee,' he has pre- 
scribed remedially, the ingredients of his pharmacopseia 
rivalling the contents of the witches' cauldron in Macbeth. 
He has prescriptions, too, for the jaundice; and we copy 
from a former-day hand-writing, minus the spelling, one of 
his recommendations. A rye meal cake is to be made up 
with the patient's morning urine, for burning ' bit by bit ' 
through the day in the fire, and as it disappears, the 
complaint is supposed to abate! When his medicaments 
fail, the probability is that the afflicted person is 'bewitched,' 



192 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

and the white pigeon ordeal must now be resorted to. 
The bird is placed on the patient's shoulder, — the left, we 
believe, ' as nearest the heart,' and if there be anything dark 
in the malady from evil infliction, the feathered creature 
will drop and die, probably by being prepared for this 
issue beforehand ; but to what further discovery in the 
invalid's case the rite may lead, we are unable to tell. 

Robinson, pp. xx., xxi. 
Redmire. There lately died at Redmire an old man, a 
most singular character, a seer, who could pierce the 
mysteries of the future, and foretell weeks and months in 
advance the death of any inhabitant. On the south-side of 
the village is a narrow green lane leading to the ancient 
church, here the wizard of Redmire took his stand on 
dark nights, and the spirits of those who were about to 
be summoned in death passed in review before him. If 
the passing spirit happened to be one of his friends, the 
seer kept silent ; at such times his wife obtained the secret 
by his disturbed dreams and unearthly groans during sleep. 
In due course, he also received the dark summons, and 
we are told a sigh of relief passed through the village at 
his death. — BOGG (3), p. 246. 

Nr. York. Mr. William Dixon who was the owner of 
what was called Guye Fawke's house [Bishopthorpe] dis- 
tinguished himself as an astrologer and astronomer. — 
Camidge, p. 341. 

[Bishopthorpe] two or three generations ago had a ' wise 
woman ' resident within its precincts. . . . This woman for 
a fee exercised her vocation and no doubt had many clients. 

lb., pp. 341, 342. 

Sieve {or riddle) and shears. An old farmer told me 
recently an incident of his youth. In his particular village 
in Yorkshire [1] there had been some thefts at the hall. Who 

1 [Though not precisely localized in this passage, the divination 
described was, or is, practised in the North Riding. An instance, 
without details of procedure, is given by Henderson, p. 235.] 



Diviners. 193 

had committed them they could not find out. He says, as 
a lad he remembers the household of the hall being gathered 
together, and some one (I forget, who it was) taking a sieve 
in which a pair of shears had been stuck upright, and going 
round to each person, and repeating the following words 

' Bless St. Peter, 
Bless St. Paul, 
Bless the God that made us all.' 

' If so-and-so (naming the person that he turned the sieve 
before as he stood in turn before each one in the room) stole 
this money, turn sieve.' 

When opposite one old woman the sieve did turn nearly 
round in the hands of the person who held it. The woman 
taught the village school and she was paid by the people 
at the hall, and lived in the house (this is 50 years ago). 
Such was the prejudice against her after this that she left 
the village, and dying about four months after, confessed 
to stealing the money. — C. S., N. & Q., 8th S., vol. ii., 

P- 305- 

Bible and Key. See Blakeborough, pp. 128, 129. 

Death Portent. See under TREES AND Plants : Apple- 
blossom, p. 58. 

PROPHECIES AND PORTENTS. 

The prophecy of a dying canon of Burlington relating to 
this prelate's [Scrope's] fate, is somewhat remarkable ; who 
foretold it darkly enough in these words : 

' Parem tractabunt, sedfraudem subter arabunt 
Pro nulla marca salvabitur ille Hierarcha (archiep).' 

Tho. Walsingham. 

Drake, p. 439 note. 
Mother Shipton can hardly be regarded as a myth, 
although the fact of her existence and the story of her 
life rest wholly upon Yorkshire tradition. According to 
that tradition, the place of her birth was on the picturesque 
banks of the river Nidd, opposite to the frowning towers of 



194 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Knaresborough Castle, and at a short distance from Saint 
Robert's Cave — a spot famous for mediaeval legends and 
modern horrors. She first saw the light a few years after 
the accession of King Henry VII. Her baptismal name 
was Agatha and her father's name Sonthiel. . . . Agatha 
Sonthiel was content in due time to become the wife of 
Toby Shipton, an honest artizan, who lived in a village of 
that name a few miles from the city of York ; and under 
the familiar designation of Mother Shipton, she acquired 
her prophetic fame. It was not until fourscore years after 
her death, which is said to have happened in 1561, that 
any account of her extraordinary predictions, and their 
marvellous fulfilment, was recorded in print. . . . Not 
many years ago a sculptured stone was standing near 
Clifton on the high road leading from York to the village 
of Shipton, which was universally called by the name of 
Mother Shipton. But it was undoubtedly the figure of a 
warrior in armour, much mutilated, . . . and was most 
probably brought from the neighbouring abbey of St. 
Mary, and placed upright as a boundary stone. It has 
lately been removed to the museum of the Yorkshire 
Philosophical Society. 

R. D., N. & Q., 4th S., vol. ii, pp. 83, 84. 
A stone was erected near Clifton about a mile from the 
city of York, from which the following is taken 

Epitaph. 
' Hm Iqzs she toh0 nzbzx fy'b, 
WZhosz skill .often has bzzn ttjj'i, 
^jtx -fltopketies shall still snrbtbe, 
glrti zbzx keep hzx name alibe.' 

Shipton, iii., p. 78. 

The Prophecy of Mother Shipton in the Reign of King 
Henry the Eighth. 

When she heard King Henry the Eighth should be 
King, and Cardinal Wolsey should be at York, she said 



Prophecies and Portents. 195 

that Cardinal Wolsey should never come to York with the 
King, and the Cardinal hearing, being angry, sent the Duke 
of Suffolk, the Lord Percy, and the Lord Darcy to her, who 
came with their men, disguised, to the King's house, near 
York, where leaving their men, they went to Master Besley 
to York, and desired him to go with them to Mother Ship- 
ton's house, where when they came they knocked at the 
door, she said come in, Master Besley, and those honourable 
Lords with you, and Master Besley would have put in 
the Lords before him, but she said, come in, Master Besley, 
you know the way, but they do not. This they thought 
strange that she should know them, and never saw them ; 
then they went into the house, where there was a great 
fire, and she bade them welcome, calling them all by their 
names, and sent for some cakes and ale, and they drunk 
and were very merry. Mother Shipton, said the Duke, if 
you knew what we come about, you would not make us so 
welcome, and she said the messenger should not be hanged. 
Mother Shipton, said the Duke, you said the Cardinal 
should never see York. Yea said she, I said he might see 
York, but never come at it. But, said the Duke, when he 
comes to York thou shalt be burned. We shall see that, 
said she, and plucking her handkerchief off her head, she 
threw it into the fire, and it would not burn ; then she took 
her staff and turned it into the fire, and it would not burn, 
and then she took it and put it on again. Now, said the 
Duke, what mean you by this ? If this had burned (said 
she) I might have burned. Mother Shipton (quoth the 
Duke) what think you of me ? My love, said she, the time 
will come when you will be as low as I am, and that's a low 
one indeed. My Lord Percy said, what say you of me ? 
My Lord (said she) shoe your Horse in the quick, and you 
shall do well, but your body will be burned in York pave- 
ment, and your head shall be stolen from the bar and 
carried into France. Then, said the Lord Darcy, and what 
think you of me ? She said, you have made a great gun 



196 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

shoot it off, for it will do you no good, you are going 
to war, you will pain many a man, but you will kill none, 
so they went away. Not long after the Cardinal came to 
Cawwood, and going to the top of the Tower, he asked 
where York was, and how far it was thither, and said that 
one had said he should never see York. Nay, said one, she 
said you might see York, but never come at it. [1] He vowed 
to burn her when he came to York, and told him it was but 
eight miles thence ; he said that he will soon be here : but 
being sent for by the King, he died in the way to London 
at Leicester of a lask ; and Shipton's wife said to Master 
Besley, yonder is a fine stall built for the Cardinal in 
Minster of Gold, Pearl [2] and King Henry, and he did so. 

Master Besley seeing these things fall out as she had 
foretold, desired him to tell her some more of her pro- 
phesies. Master, said she, before that Owes Bridge and 
Trinity Church meet, [3] they shall build on the day, and it 
shall fall in the night, until they get the highest stone of 
Trinity Church, to be the lowest stone of Owes Bridge ; 
then the day will come when the North shall rue it 
wondrous sore, but the South shall rue it for evermore ; 
when Hares kindle on cold hearth stones, and lads shall 
marry ladies, and bring them home, then shall you have a 
year of pining hunger, and then a dearth without corn ; a 
woful day shall be seen in England, a King and a Queen, 
the first coming of the King of Scots shall be at Holgate 
Town, but he shall not come through the bar, and when the 

1 1 should not have mentioned this idle story, but that it is fresh in 
the mouths of our country people at this day ; but whether it was a 
real prediction or raised up after the event, I shall not take it upon me 
to determine. — Drake, p. 450. 

2 [The incoherence is not that of the present copyist.] 

3 This came to pass : for Trinity Steeple in York was blown down 
with a Tempest, and Owse-bridge broken with a Flood, and what they 
did in the day-time in repairing the Bridge, fell down in the night, till 
at last they laid the highest Stone of the Steeple for the Foundation of 
the Bridge.— Shipton, ii., pp. 16, 17. 



Prophecies and Portents. 197 

King of the North shall be at London Bridge his tail shall 
be at Edenborough ; after this shall water come over Owes 
Bridge, and a Windmill shall be set on a Tower, and an Elm 
tree shall lay at every man's door, at that time women shall 
wear great hats and great bands, and when there is a Lord 
Mayor at York let him beware of a stab ; when two 
Knights shall fall out in the Castle yard, they shall never 
be kindly all their lives after, when all Colton Hagge hath 
born seven years Crops of corn, seven years after you 
heard news, there shall two judges go in and out at Mun- 
gate bar. 

Then Wars shall begin in the Spring, 

Much woe to England it shall bring : 

Then shall the Ladies cry well-away, 

That ever we liv'd to see this day / 

Then best for them that have the least, and worst for them 
that have the most, you shall not know of the War over 
night, yet you shall have it in the morning, and when it 
comes it shall last three years between Cadron and Aire 
shall be great warfare, when all the world is as a lost, 
it shall be called Christ's cross, when the battle begins it 
shall be where Crookbackt Richard made his fray, they 
shall say, To warefare for your King for half-a-crown a day, 
but stir not (she will say) to warfare for your King on pain 
of hanging, but stir not, for he that goes to complain, shall 
not come back again. The time will come when England 
shall tremble and quake for fear of a dead man that shall 
be heard to speak, then will the Dragon give the Bull a 
great snap, and when the one is down they will go to 
London Town ; and there will be a great battle between 
England and Scotland, and they will be pacified for a time, 
and when they come to Brammammore, they fight and are 
again pacified for a time, then there will be a great Battle 
at Knavesmore, and they will be pacified for a while; then 
there will be a great battle between England and Scotland 
at Stoknmore ; then will Ravens sit on the Cross and drink 



198 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

as much blood of the Nobles as of the Commons ; then woe 
is me for London shall be destroyed for ever after; then 
there will come a woman with one eye, and she shall tread 
in many men's blood to the knee, and a man leaning on a 
staff by her, and she shall say to him, What art thou ? and 
he shall say, I am king of the Scots, and she shall say, Go 
with me to my house, for there are three Knights, and he 
will go with her, and stay there three days and three nights, 
then will England be lost, and they will cry twice a day 
England is lost ; then will there be three Knights in Peter- 
gate in York, and the one shall not know of the other ; 
there shall be a child born in Pom/ret with three thumbs, 
and those three Knights will give him three horses to hold, 
while they win England, and all Noble blood shall be gone 
but one, and they shall carry him to Sheriff Nut ton's Castle, 
six miles from York, and he shall die there, and they shall 
choose there an Earl in the field, and hanging their horses 
on a thorn, and rue the time that ever they were born, to see 
so much bloodshed ; then they will come to York to 
besiege it, and they shall keep them out three days and 
three nights, and a penny loaf shall be within the bar at 
half-a-crown, and without the bar at a penny ; and they 
will swear if they will not yield to blow up the Town walls. 
Then they will let them in, and they will hang up the 
Mayor, Sheriffs and Aldermen, and they will go into 
Crouch Church, there will three Knights go in, and but one 
come out again, and he will cause Proclamation to be made, 
that any may take House, Tower, or Bower for twenty one 
years, and whilst the world endureth there shall never be 
warfare again, nor any more Kings or Queens but the 
Kingdom shall be governed by three Lords, and then York 
shall be London ; and after this shall be a white Harvest of 
corn gotten in by women. 

Then shall be in the North, that one woman shall say 
unto another, mother I have seen a man to-day, and for one 
man there shall be a thousand women ; there shall be a 



Prophecies and Portents. 199 

man sitting upon St. James Church hill weeping his fill, and 
after that a ship come sailing up the Thames till it come 
against London, and the Master of the ship shall weep, and 
the Mariners shall ask him why he weepeth, being he hath 
made so good a voyage, and he shall say Ah ! what a 
goodly city this was, none in the world comparable to it, 
and now there is scarce left any house that can let us have 
drink for our money . [1] 

Unhappy he that lives to see these days, 
But happy are the dead Shipton's wife says. 

SHIPTON, i., pp. 2-6. 
Another of ' Shipton's wife's prophecies ' has reference to 
the Castle Hill at Northallerton, a mound which she 
declared should be filled with blood. The place has 
become a cemetery for the burial of the dead, which in a 
limited sense is a fulfilment of the saying, for we must bear 
in mind that the utterances of the most gifted seers if tied 
down to literality will often be found wanting. 

SHIPTON, Introd., p. viii. 

Rievaulx Abbey. The Cottonian manuscript Titus D, xii. 
fol. 936, has the following tetrastic, prophesying the 
destruction of the abbey, with a comment. The former is 
said to have been written before the Dissolution 

' Twoe men came riding over Hackney way, 
The one on a blacke horse, the other on a gray ; 
The one unto the other did say, 
Loo yonder stood Revess that faire abbay ! 

' Henry Cawton, a monke, sometime of Reves abbey in 
Yorkshire, affirmed that he had often read this in a MS., 
belonging to that abbay containing many prophecies, and 
was extant there before the Dissolution. But when he or 
any of his fellowes redde it, they used to throwe the booke 

1 These last words were sadly verified after the dreadful Fire of 
London 1666 when there was not an House left all along Thames-side 
from the Tower to the Temple. — Shipton, ii., p. 17. 



200 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

away in anger as thinking it impossible ever to come to 
passe.'— Gill, pp. 314, 315. 

Dobhoome. The porte at Dobhoome [1] upon the mouth of 
Tease hath bin thought to be very dangerous, and excepte 
greate necessytie urged, or the sea were very calme, none 
durst adventure yt. Nowe yt hath bin sounded, and twoe 
lighthouses builte, one on eyther syde of the ryver, wherby 
Newcastell shipps and others, fearinge foule weather, 
ordinarily put in with 100 or more sayle of shippes with 
safetye. Out of doubt, the goodnes of this porte hath bin 
knowne heretofore, for the coasters have a tradycion that 
the Danes used to lande there, shewinge greate heapes of 
huge bones in the sands, in length litle exceedinge ours 
but in strength and bignes gyant-lyke ; whither they have 
gotten a cruste or noe, or that there were some charnell 
house there I knowe not, which I suspecte, by reason that 
a chappell, one of the three built by three systers alonge 
that coaste is neere at hande. Moreover, they have an 
oulde blynde prophecye that a fleete of enimyes shall lande 
there, and come to Gisbrough, where on the syde of a hill, 
called Stonegate syde, a greate battle shalbe fought, inso- 
much that the brooke underneath shall runne with bloode. 
If this come to passe they would have as ill footinge as the 
combatantes had in Lippadusa, of whom Ariosto writes, 
who was taxed by a bishop that he had appointed a listes 
for horsemen, where, by reason of the sharpnes of rockes, 
footemen could scarcely stand : such is Stonegate syde. 
But I gather out of this prophecye, that when yt was 
hatched the porte was knowne to be capable of a navye, 
otherwise yt had been follye to foretell the cominge in of 
a fleete, where no shippe could come without manifeste 
perill. — H. Tr., pp. 411, 412. 

Malton, &c. A little before Hambleton with his Army 
came into Eitgland, two Armies were in Yorkshire, seen in 
1 [A port now non-existent.] 



Prophecies and Portents. 201 

the aire vissibly, discharging and shooting one against the 
other and seemingly after a long fight, the Army which rose 
out of the North first vanished. This last Winter in the 
North we have had very strange and fearful storms, with 
much thunder and lightnings ; But to admiration that of the 
18. of January last was most remarkable, in the night time 
the storm began very fearfully, Armies and Armed Troops 
(in every town for twelve miles compass about Motion in 
Yorkshire) were heard to ride and march through the 
Towns; their Cattle and beasts in these Towns were so 
frighted with the storm, as most of them broke out of their 
pastures, some breaking their necks and some their legs in 
this madding fit, some run away four miles, some more, 
who when found and brought home, were so wild and 
heated, as if they had been chased with a hundred mastive 
Dogs ; one Oxe where he lay in a stake-yard lame and not 
able to rise without the help of man, in this storm broke 
out, and the next day was found lying about a mile from 
the place he was in the night before, and was brought 
home on a sledge ; for a month after the storm the beasts 
thereabouts run madding about and would not be kept in 
their Pastures, people were so astonished therewith as for a 
long time they had little other discourse than the strange- 
ness of the storm. I see a Relation of three Suns lately 
seen about Manchester ; but sure it is, that in the beginning 
of March last, there were seen at one time in Cumberland 
and Westmoreland, three glorious Suns to the admiration 
and great astonishment of many thousands of the beholders. 

Strange News, p. 2. 
Marston Moor, &c. The next Prodigie that we shall here 
insist upon is, another Exhaliation in the Air as full of 
wonder as admiration, as evidently appears, by the testi- 
mony given by the York-shire Carriers who affirm, that 
about the beginning of this moneth two Fiery Pillars were 
visible seen at Noon-day over Marston Moor, about five 
miles from the City of York ; the brightness whereof ex- 



202 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

tended as far as Wakefield Wetherby, Pontefract, Sandwich, 
Doncaster, Leeds, Hallifax, and divers other places ; and 
between these two Pillars intervened several armed Troops 
and Companies in Battail array, presenting each other with 
several Vollies, and after some Dispute, the Northern 
Army vanquished the Southern Army : which being done 
the two Pillars vanquished [sic]. 

What this portends no man can conjecture aright : but 
it may be supposed, the two Pillars represent his Highness 
and the Parliament, and the Northern Army the Forces of 
this Commonwealth vanquishing their enemy, and maugre 
the Designs of all Forreign and Popish Confederates. 

Five Wonders, p. 5. 



DREAMS. 

[Dreams] are generally classed into four different kinds 
viz 1. Reciprocal dreams, or such as are significant of each 
other, as marriages and burials. 2. Such as are themselves 
fulfilled at some little distance of time. 3. Such as are of 
miscellaneous import, and 4. Those which are of none at 
all ; which last division is, by the bye, perhaps the most 
numerous. — WHITBY Rep., vol. iv., p. 179 (1828). 

Ccedmon. There was in . . . [Whitby] monastery a 
certain brother, particularly remarkable for the grace of 
God, who . . . having lived in a secular habit till he was 
well advanced in years, . . . had never learned anything of 
versifying ; for which reason being sometimes at entertain- 
ments, when it was agreed for the sake of mirth that all 
present should sing in their turns, when he saw the 
instrument come towards him, he rose up from table and 
returned home. Having done so at a certain time, and 
gone out of the house where the entertainment was, to the 
stable, where he had to take care of the horses that night, 
he there composed himself to rest at the proper time ; a 
person appeared to him in his sleep and saluting him by 



Dreams. 203 

name said ' Csedmon, sing some song to me ' He answered 
' I cannot sing ; for that was the reason why I left the 
entertainment, and retired to this place, because I could not 
sing.' The other who talked to him, replied ' However you 
shall sing ' — ' What shall I sing ? ' rejoined he. ' Sing the 
beginning of created beings,' said the other. Hereupon he 
presently began to sing verses to the praise of God, which 
he had never heard . . . Awaking from his sleep, he 
remembered all that he had sung in his dream, and soon 
added much more to the same effect in verse worthy of the 
Deity . . . All concluded, that heavenly grace had been 
conferred on him. — Bede, pp. 217, 218. 

The Lady Hilda. It was necessary that the dream 
which her mother Bregusuit, had during her infancy, 
should be fulfilled. At the time that her husband, Hereric, 
lived in banishment, under Cerdic king of the Britons, 
where he was also poisoned, she fancied in a dream that she 
was seeking for him most carefully, and could find no sign 
of him anywhere ; but, after having used all her industry to 
seek him, she found a most precious jewel under her gar- 
ment, which, whilst she was looking on it very attentively, 
cast such a light as spread itself throughout all Britain ; 
which dream was brought to pass in her daughter. 

Bede, p 214. 

That same night [that St. Hilda died at Whitby] it 
pleased Almighty God, by a manifest vision, to make known 
her death in another monastery, at a distance from hers, 
which she had built in that same year, and is called 
Hackness. There was in that monastery, a certain nun 
called Begu . . . This nun being then in the dormitory of 
the sisters, on a sudden heard the well-known sound of a 
bell in the air, which used to awake and call them to 
prayers, when any of them was taken out of this world, and 
opening her eyes, as she thought, she saw the top of the 
house open, and a strong light pour in from above ; looking 
earnestly upon that light, she saw the soul of the aforesaid 



204 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

servant of God in the same light, attended and conducted 
to heaven by angels ... At break of day the brothers 
came with news of her [Hilda's] death, from the place 
where she had died . . . These monasteries are about 
thirteen miles distant from each other. — Bede, pp. 215, 216. 

[John of Kinstare who had been made Abbot of Jervaulx 
— the Abbey of that name not being yet in existence — 
set forth from Byland with a few monks and many 
misgivings to revive an abandoned religious establish- 
ment at Fors. They came to a village, unidentified and] 
Here the abbot dreamt he was at Byland, where in 
the cloister he beheld a woman of beauty surpassing 
human, and in her left hand a boy, the lustre of whose 
countenance was as that of the morn in her brightness. 
The boy plucked a beautiful branch from a tree in the 
midst of the cloister and vanished. Proceeding on their way 
they quickly found themselves entangled among bushes 
and rocks. The abbot exclaimed, ' Since we are impeded 
let us repeat our hours and the gospel.' Immediately the 
virgin with her child appeared again ; to whom he cried, 
' Fair and tender woman what doest thou with thy son in 
this rugged and desert place ? ' To whom the woman 
replied ' I am a frequent inmate of desert places, but now 
I have come from Rievaulx and Biland, with whose abbots 
I am familiarly acquainted, and am going to the new 
monastery (Fors).' Then said the abbot, ' Good lady, I 
implore thee to conduct me and my brethren out of this 
desert place, and lead us to the new monastery for 
we are of Biland.' She replied, 'Ye were late of Biland, 
but now of Jorevale.' Then she said ' Sweet son be their 
leader; I am called elsewhere,' and disappeared. The boy, 
holding in his hands the branch plucked from the cloister of 
Biland, cried aloud ' Follow me.' At length they arrived 
at a barren uncultivated place, when the boy planted the 
bough, which was instantly filled with white birds, and 
having exclaimed ' Here shall God be adored for a short 



Dreams. 205 

space,' disappeared also. Reflecting on the vision, the 
abbot quickly discerned that they were not long to remain 
at Fors. Passing through a certain village, the barking of 
the dogs woke the inhabitants, who perceiving the pro- 
cession of monks in their white clothing, one said, ' These 
are the abbot and monks passing from Biland to Jorevale' ; 
and another looking to the stars exclaimed, ' They have 
chosen a fortunate time, for within thirty or forty years 
they shall attain a state of worldly glory, from which they 
shall never fall.' The abbot accepted the omen and pur- 
sued his way. — WHITAKER, vol. i., pp. 410, 411. 

In the year 1639, Lady Wandesford, during a fit of 
sickness, had a dream, of which, as it is reported by her 
daughter, Mrs. Thornton, I shall not contest the evidence. 
Having fallen into a doze, she seemed to herself to hear 
a dreadful sound of thunder issuing from dark clouds, 
with flashes of lightning. From the midst of this scene, 
issued a confused multitude of English, Scotch, and Irish, 
armed in various ways, and every appearance of an army 
running and crying out in the most tumultuous manner. 
After a short space she distinctly and perfectly beheld 
the lord deputy (Strafford) walking alone. Soon after, 
she again discerned him without his head, yet still 
walking in his grave and sober manner, while a base 
rabble followed, shouting and clapping their hands. Soon 
after, she discerned the Archbishop of Canterbury in his 
habit, urged on by the same rabble, and soon after, like 
the deputy, without his head. Last came the king himself, 
robed, with the crown on his head, the sceptre in one 
hand, and a drawn sword in the other : his left arm was 
employed in protecting the Prince of Wales ; but in 
bowing his body over the prince the crown fell from his 
head, after which both fled in great confusion from the 
tumult of the rabble which followed, the noise of which 
awoke the dreamer. — WlllTAKER, vol. ii. p. 161. 

In or about the year 1700, a ship, called the Providence, 



206 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N, Riding, etc.). 

of Whitby, Robert Chapman, master, and Ingram Chap- 
man, mate, was bound from Sunderland to Amsterdam, 
in Holland, laden with coals, with the wind at W.N.W., but 
blowing so hard that they had to lay the ship to. The 
mate fell asleep, and dreamt he saw a sand that stretched 
from Scarbro' Castle five leagues into the sea, upon which 
sand he saw seventeen ships' anchors, and thought he 
went to fish or grapple for them, but only got three, 
and one of them had lost a fluke. He awoke out of 
his sleep, and as the Dutch coast lay low, and the dream 
was an uncommon one, apprehended they were near a 
sand. He went into the main-top, but could see nothing 
to cause him to apprehend danger. He again fell asleep, 
and dreamed a second time the very same dream. He 
awoke, and again went aloft, when he fancied he saw, 
just ahead of the ship, three men upon a wreck, and 
that one of them had on a high-crowned cap : the ship 
then going before the wind. Upon relating what he had 
seen, the master and most of the crew went up the 
shrouds, but could see nothing. The mate being positive, 
the master ordered him to have the ship steered as he 
desired. The men frequently went aloft, but could see 
nothing ; they then put about : the mate entreated the 
master to steer as before ; the latter consented : after 
sailing for some time, part of the crew thought they saw 
something small and black upon the water, but at so 
great a distance as not to be able to distinguish what 
it was ; they steered the ship towards the mark, and to 
the surprise of all on board found it to be a piece of 
wreck with three men on it : they got them on board 
and landed them in Holland. The vessel belonged to 
Wales, and when wrecked had seventeen hands on board : 
those saved were William Oliver, John Hutchinson, and 
a person of the name of Whitby, who had lost part of 
his foot ; and one of the men had on a high-crowned 
cap. — Whitby Rep., vol. iii., N.S., pp. 95, 96 (1833). 



Dreams. • 207 

The Lonton Lass. A great many years ago, there lived at 
Park End, a dreamer of remarkable dreams. At the period 
to which I refer, the farm-house stood more to the north 
than at present, but still on the outskirt of that part of 
the ancient forest of Teesdale, within which a free chase 
was granted by King John, Feb. 21, 1201, to Lord 
Henry Fitz-Hervey, an ancestor of the Lords Fitzhugh. 
The road from Laythkyrke Bridge to Holick, or, as it is 
now called the old road, ran through Lonton, which was 
formerly a considerable hamlet — past Stepends, along 
the south bank of the Tees, very close to the river. . . . 

The facts of the story are simply these. About 90 
years since, a young woman at Lonton had a lover, 
who first deceived and then resolved to murder her. 
Under pretence of arranging for their immediate marriage, 
he persuaded her to meet him in Park End Wood. On 
the night appointed he repaired to the place and digged 
a grave. She slipped out of her parents' house, when all 
was quiet, and sped on to the place of meeting. The 
farmer, however, at Park End, was greatly disturbed that 
night by dreams. He dreamt twice that he saw an open 
grave and a spade sticking in the soil — in a wood near 
his house. And so excited was his imagination that he 
could not think of remaining in bed. He arose, and 
called up his young men, and ordered them to furnish 
themselves with bludgeons and accompany him into the 
wood. They all went, and sure enough there was the 
open grave and the spade. Their horror and astonish- 
ment were inexpressible. They searched the wood, and 
beat about for some time among the bushes, but could 
neither see nor hear anybody. After some time had been 
spent in searching and watching, they returned. And on 
the old road not far from the farm-house, one of them dis- 
cerned an object approaching. They stood aside. The 
object came up. A young woman! 'Hollo!' said the 
farmer, ' whither are you going so late to-night ? ' ' And 



208 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N . Riding, etc.). 

what is that to you ? ' she replied ; ' surely I am old enough 
to know my own business, without having to give an 
account of it to you.' ' Come, come,' said the farmer. ' I 
know now, I think, who you are, and guess your errand ; 
pray let me tell you what has caused us to be astir.' 
She would not believe. They took her to the place, and 
at sight of the grave and spade she fainted. The whole 
party then returned to Park End, and the poor hapless 
girl, after telling her story of the matter, was only too 
glad to remain all night under the protection of him, who 
through his remarkable and providential dream, had been 
the means of saving her life. — FlTZHUGH. 



DIVINATIONS. 

Whitby, 1816. In making up the census for 18 16 no 
account was taken of the employment of females, except 
in a few instances. There were probably about 200 
mantua-makers and milliners, including apprentices — I 
heard of no less than seven who follow the honourable 
occupation of sorceress or fortune-teller 7 and it seems they 
are so well employed, that another worthy matron has 
recently commenced business in the same line. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 578 note. 

Fortune tellers Cards, dice, or tea-leaves are the means 
most commonly made use of by these auguresses. 

Whitby Rep., vol. iv., p. 182 (1828). 

They are extremely addicted to superstitious practices : 
— dreams and various other every-day occurrences, are 
regarded by them as indicatory of future events ; certain 
days are looked upon as fortunate or unfortunate; and 
almost every commonplace incident in life is considered 
as having its consequent ominous tendency, good or evil. 
These crude ideas are not confined to one class, or one age 
of individuals ; young and old, rich and poor, are all 
infected with this mania, in a greater or less measure ; 



Divinations. 209 

indeed, there are few perhaps who do not, at one time or 
other in some instances involuntarily listen to the sugges- 
tions of superstition, and govern themselves by its dictates, 
however they may ridicule and despise it in others. Some 
have their fortunate or unfortunate days of the week ; 
others days of the month ; some, hours ; and others certain 
seasons of the year. . . . 

Whitby Rep., vol. iv., p. 140 (1828). 
St. Agnes's fast [is] performed on her day Jan. 21. The 
devotee fasts all day, tasting neither meat nor drink ; and 
just before going to bed offers this prayer to the saint : 

' Fair St Agnes' play thy part 
And send to me my own sweetheart 
Not in his best ' &c. l1] 

This done the idolater goes to bed backwards, and the 
sequel is the same as above. Of a like description, though 
not connected with a particular season, is the making of the 
dumb cake. Three young women make a cake of flour, 
with the first egg of a young hen, immediately before going 
to bed ; the cake being baked over the fire is cut into three 
parts, and each receives one, eats a part, and puts the 
remainder below her pillow, wrapt in the stocking taken 
from her left leg. Each goes backward to bed, expecting 
to dream as above ; but if a word is uttered during the 
process, or before falling asleep, the charm is broken. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 881. 
See Blakeborough, pp. 73, 74, 132. 
„ „ for Friday cake-charm, p. 75. 

„ „ „ Eve of St. Mary Magdalene, pp. 

84, 85, 

See under FESTIVALS : Shrove Tuesday, p. 240. 
„ „ Festivals : Nut-crack Night, pp. 266, 267. 
„ „ Trees and Plants: Even-Ash, p. 58. 
Sickening Cake. In the North Riding of Yorkshire, at 
the birth of a first child, the first slice of the "sickening 

1 [See the prayer to the moon under NATURAL OBJECTS, p. 43.] 

O 



210 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

cake" is cut into small pieces by the medical man, to 
be used by the unmarried as dreaming bread. Each takes 
a piece, places it in the foot of the left stocking, and throws 
it over the right shoulder. She must retire to and get into 
bed backways without speaking, and if she falls asleep 
before twelve o'clock, her future partner will appear in her 
dream. 

C. J. D. Ingledew, N. &. Q., 2nd S., vol. viii. p. 242. 
For Love Divinations, see Blakeborough, pp. 129, 130, 

132, 133- 

For Garter charms, see Blakeborough, pp. 128, 129. 

In years gone by there could have been scarcely a 
village in North Yorkshire, whose inhabitants did not 
connect the Eve of St. Mark's Day with death. The notion 
was that those who kept St. Mark's watch — that is, those 
who watched in the church porch at midnight from twelve 
till one — would see the spirits or forms of all those in the 
place who were to die in the course of the year following, 
pass into the church one by one. By some it was thought 
necessary that the watch should be repeated for three 
successive nights, but generally the vigil was on St. Mark's 
Een only. Many times have old people spoken to me 
about those whose faith in this supposed power of looking 
into the future was unshaken and unshakeable. I should 
add that if he who kept watch on St. Mark's Eve should 
happen to fall asleep during the hour, it was understood 
that he would himself die during the year from that date. 
I remember being told of a case of this kind by a former 
inhabitant of Westerdale. There was an old dame in that 
neighbourhood who was noted for the accuracy of her 
investigations in this particular ; only in her case the 
watch took place always on Christmas Eve instead of 
that of St. Mark. On one occasion it seems, as she was 
keeping her vigil, she fell asleep. It was consequently 
acknowledged by all who knew her that she was doomed 
to die before the year was out ; accordingly from day to 



Divinations. 2 1 1 

day, she was watched with no little interest, in the expec- 
tation that she would sicken and die. However time went 
on and she appeared in her usual health. Six months, 
nine months, ten months passed, and nothing seemed to 
indicate that her end was at hand. But during the twelfth 
month a change came over her ; she became ill and took 
to her bed. Still she lingered on till it came to the last 
week of the fatal time, but she continued apparently in 
much the same state, though she was in reality getting 
weaker. The last day of the year came, and she was still 
alive, though it was evident that she was rapidly sinking, 
and so it went on till within two hours of the completion 
of the year, when she quietly breathed her last. A case of 
this kind would make a profound impression on the minds 
of simple folk, and would more than compensate for a 
dozen failures. I enquired of my informant whether the 
old lady was generally right in her prognostications, to 
which I received answer, in a tone that clearly betokened 
unswerving faith, ' Aye sha was reet eneeaf.' — MORRIS, pp. 
225, 226 ; Ingledew, p. 344 ; Young, vol. ii. p. 882. 

See Blakeborough, pp. 80, 81. 

Another form of the notion is to watch by a window 
which commands the Church-road, when the figures of 
those who are to die within the year will be seen to pass as 
if boun for cho'ch. Should the watcher however fall asleep 
at the mystic hour of vision (midnight) he is himself among 
those whose death is auned. [1] — ATKINSON (2), p. 327. 

Michael Parker [grave-digger etc. Malton who died 
April 1823] has more than once been heard to hold out a 
threat to his persecutors, that he should have them some 
day, and he would most assuredly bury them with their 
faces downwards ! . . . The periodical return of St. 
Mark's Eve he religiously observed ; when he supposed 
the shades of those who were to die in the subsequent 
year, would be visible in the church. To a person who 
1 Fated, destined, ordained. — ATKINSON (2) p. 16. 



212 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

had once been indulging liberally in abusive language, he 
observed that he had seen him on St. Mark's Eve and he 
should have him soon. — Whitby Rep., vol. iv., p. 76, 1828. 

See too Hone, Y.B., pp. 408-412. 

Ass-riddling; an ash-sifting. On St. Mark's eve, the 
ashes are riddled or sifted on the hearth for the purpose of 
marking any fancied impression they may have received 
before morning. Should any one of the family be des- 
tined to die within the year, the shoe of the individual will 
be traced on the ashes ; and many a mischievous wight 
says Grose, has made his companion miserable by coming 
downstairs and marking the ashes with the shoe of one of 
the party. What has survived of this custom seems more 
common in our country places, where the fire burns on the 
hearth. — ROBINSON, p. 6. 

Caff-riddling, the St. Mark's eve divination by the sifting 
of chaff on to the barn-floor with open doors, in order to 
ascertain from given prognostications connected with the 
performance, whether death may be near or not to the 
augurs or their friends. The riddling is taken by turns 
and if nothing portentous appears or takes place, there is 
longer life in the case. — Robinson, p. 31. 

See Blakeborongh, p. 81. 

Divining-Rod. Yesterday Mr. John Stears of 125 
Colman-street, Hull, who has gained the reputation of 
being endowed with the peculiar gift of being able to find 
by the divining rod where streams of water exist beneath 
the surface of the earth was engaged on the farm of Messrs. 
J. and H. Walker, Hill Top, Thornton-le-Beans. Having 
arrived at the farm, he selected a hawthorn twig, or rather 
two twigs joined at the base, making the form of a V. 
After an unsuccessful search had been made for a hazel 
twig, to which preference is given, although any twig of the 
thorn tribe will do. Taking hold of the ends of the twig, 
he had not proceeded a dozen yards from Mr. Walker's 
house before it indicated water, and Mr. Stears followed the 



Divinations. 2 1 3 

course of the stream for several hundred yards, up to the 
top of the field, over the hedge and road into another 
field. He described the stream as being only a few inches 
wide, and marked precisely on the turf the width. Tracing 
the stream back he followed it through the outhouses of 
Mr. Walker's farm, across the road into another field. 
Leaving this stream he went into a field opposite to the 
farm, and divided from it by the road, and there discovered 
a larger stream about two feet wide, which he traced on to 
the road and into a field near to the point where he had 
traced the first spring to. He also found the smaller 
spring which he had anticipated was the cause of the 
increased supply of water in the second stream discovered. 
Mr. Stears experienced no difficulty in following the 
streams, for the twig kept busily revolving as long as he 
kept on the track of water, but as soon as he got off it, if 
even by an inch, the twig ceased to move. The lines of 
the streams were marked out by stakes. Mr. Stears does 
not know to what depth his power extends, and the 
greatest depth yet that he has found water has been 128 ft. 
Mr. Stears was conducted to an old disused, stagnant well, 
but he said he could not detect any spring running into it, 
and his power only extended to running water. Another 
peculiar feature of the 'twig' was that whenever it came 
within the vicinity of metal of any sort instead of the base 
of the twig rising outwardly, that is to say from the body, 
it was attracted inwardly towards the body, and a purse of 
money was thrown on to the ground to illustrate it, while 
the presence of iron railings, &c, counteracted and over- 
whelmed the influence of water. The novel search for 
water was watched with keen interest by Mr. Walker, Mr. 
Winterburn of Welbury ; Mr. Herbert Watts, on behalf of 
his father Mr. William Watts steward of the estate ; Mr. 
Charles Fairburn, Northallerton ; Mr. Herbert Baxter, and 
others. The party was hospitably entertained by Mr. and 
Mrs. Walker. Mr. Walker intends to bore for water in the 



214 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

place suggested, the farm having hitherto been without 
drinking Water. — Y. H. Oct. 13, 1893. 

[The collector of these notes is informed that the diviner 
was understood to say water would be found at a depth 
of 10 or 15 yards ; but there was no sign of it at 26 yds. 
Last winter (1898-99) an engine bored 100 ft. lower still 
and touched the treasure, which, it was thought, some 5 
yards more would sufficiently secure. As an expectant one 
remarked " there is water anywhere if you go deep enough 
down ; but some is better than other."] 

Rural Charms. — In our own neighbourhood we have 
heard the following used during the making of butter, — 

Come butter come, 
Come butter come. 
Peter stands at the gate 
Waiting for a butter'd cake. 

Come butter come. 

An old lady of our acquaintance nightly charms her bed in 
the following manner — 

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — 
Bless the bed that I lie on. 

Whitby Repos. vol. i., New Series (1867), p. 325. 
Kenspell the dairy-maid's charm ' to make butter come 
in churning, by which labour is saved. — Robinson, p. 106. 
Ken, a butter-churn. — Robinson, p. 105. 



WEATHER FORECASTS. 

Cannlemas day along with the common saying as to the 
lengthening daylight at this time, 

' On Candlemas a February day, 
Throw candle and candlestick away,' 

we have heard in the country the following portent : — 

' If Cannlemas day be lound and fair, 
Yaw hawf o' t' winter's te come an' mair ; 
If Cannlemas day be murk an' foul, 
Yaw hawf o' t' winter's geeen at Yule.' 



Weather Forecasts. 215 

If the day alluded to is calm and clear, more than one half 
of the winter may yet be expected ; but if cloudy and dull, 
the half of the winter has been got over at Christmas. 
Thus the latter part of the observation intimates that we 
may have spring reasonably early. — ROBINSON, p. 31. 

James Backhouse who made his mark as an evangelist 
in the Society of Friends, and as a nurseryman, . . . found 
from half a century of observation, that the airt of the 
wind and the kind of weather at 12 o'clock on the quarter 
days in December and March indicated the prevalent 
meteorological conditions of the three months respectively 
ensuing. Only twice during fifty years had he known the 
wind and weather fail to follow the lead. 

St. Swithin, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. i., p. 293. 

The belief ... is, I opine, very prevalent, and older than 
my late friend James Backhouse. 

Wm. Pengelly, id., p. 404. 

An old man has told me that he observed whenever the 
rooks congregated on the dead branches of the trees there 
was sure to be rain before night ; but that if they stood on 
the live branches the effect would be vice versa. 

Eboracum, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. ii., p. 165. 

Whitby. ' A Saturday's moon 

Comes once in seven years over soon.' 

as believed to have an unfavourable effect on the weather 
following that day. 

' Saturday's moon, and Sunday's full 
Is always wet, and always wull (will).' 

Robinson, xiii. 
See also under Natural Objects : Moon, p. 43. 
In parts of Richmondshire some persons say that the 
breast-bones of ducks and geese, after being cooked, are 
observed to be dark coloured before a severe winter, and 
much lighter coloured before a mild winter. 

Ellcee, N. & Q., 5th S., vol. iv., p. 84. 
See also under Animals : Geese, p. 70. 



216 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Holyrood morn. ' If the buck rises with a dry horn on 
Holyrood morn (Sept. 27) it is the sign of a Michaelmas 
summer.' — Robinson, p. 96. 

See also under JlNGLES, p. 423. 

Speaking to a North Yorkshire farming man on the 
quantity of haws on the thorn trees this year, as indicative 
of a severe winter, he mentioned a North Riding saying, 
' Many haws, cold toes.' 

E. Hailstone, N. & Q., 5th S., vol. xii., p. 327. 

Other Weather-lore under JlNGLES, pp. 422-424. 



SECTION VIII. 

GENERAL. 

Bellows on table. In North Yorkshire they say that the 
placing of bellows on a table is a sign of poverty. 

F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. v., p. 415. 

Bottle, Shying at, before house is roofed in. See Blake- 
borough, pp. 89, 90. 

Break three things. See Blakeborough, p. 127. 

Broom. How a new one should be used, and the respect 
due to brooms in general. See Blakeborough, p. 149. 

Cake and Bread. It is unlucky to place a cake on the 
table with the top surface downwards. — ROBINSON, p. 104. 

Cross, Sign of. An aged woman was buried at Egton 
in the course of the autumn of 1865, of whom I was told 
that she never either entered a house or left it without 
marking a cross with the toe of her clog — on the doorstone 
before entering, or on the thresho'd before going forth. 
The same woman always made a cross with her thumb 
before putting her hand on the thumb-latch, or door-sneck 
on entering a house ; and when going to early mass — for 
she was a Roman Catholic — fasting, of course, on meeting 
any one who might possibly be suspected to be a witch, 
she always made the sign of the cross before her to avert 
evil influence.— Atkinson (2), pp. 446, 447. 

Dog Days. At this sultry season, it is the popular 
opinion, that more accidents occur, than during the whole 
year beside : and consequently, great caution is used in 



218 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

entering upon any hazardous or uncertain business. . . . 
This season has derived its name from Sirius the dog star; 
against which our forefathers entertained no small anti- 
pathy, as they supposed that the increase of temperature, 
usually experienced about this time, was occasioned by • 
this star acting in conjunction with the god of day. 

Whitby Rep., vol. iv., p. -143 (1828). 

Unlucky days. Friday ranks as one of these, and has 
been called an ' Egyptian day,' when the power of witches 
and the like was supposed to be most potent. The 
Crucifixion took place on a Friday, and many augur 
an ill issue to matters set agoing on that day of the week. 
It is unlucky to launch ships on a Friday as at any time to 
count the numbers when they sail out of port. Many 
choose not to begin a voyage on a Friday ; and if you 
remove to a fresh house on that day, your stay will not be 
long. ' A Friday flit, short sit.' — ROBINSON, pp. 206, 207. 

See Blakeborough, pp. 78, 95, 11 2, 146. 

One of the assistants at the bathing-machines [at 
Scarbro'J assured me that most accidents happened on 
Fridays, especially on Good Fridays. He had never 
worked on Good Friday for many years, nor would he 
ever do so again. He then gave a long series of misfor- 
tunes, fatal accidents, etc., which had happened on 
Fridays in his own experience. 

T. T. Wilkinson, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. iv., p. 131. 

Neean-dow days, unlucky days ; those on which it is said 
that things undertaken will not prosper. 

Robinson, p. 130. 

See under Festivals ; Childermas Day, p. 281. 

See Blakeborough, p. 131. 

Egg, A ' Cock's! See Blakeborough, p. 149. 

Egg-shells. A Yorkshire lady . . recently informed me 
that, following an old custom, she always caused egg-shells 
to be burnt that they might come again (in eggs, to wit). 
F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. iv., p. 307. 



General, 2 1 9 

Fey. 

I'm no way superstitious, but this I allis say, 
You may get the coffin ready, when a doomed man is fey. 

Phillips, S. K., ' Fey,' p. 33. 

An old woman at Sandsend explained the meaning of 
fey by saying that when a sullen and morose man suddenly 
becomes jovial and lighthearted, it is a sure sign that he is 
fey and is doomed to die. 

Communicated by Mr. F. M. Sutcliffe. 

Fanticles . . freckles on the skin, usually on the face, 
gen. These are popularly accounted for as marks made 
by the spurtings of milk from the mother's breast, inevitably 
occasioned, so that a face may be marred that is ' ower 
bonny.' — C. C. R., p. 38. 

Fire. It is not right to touch the fire in another person's 
house unless you have known him twenty years. 

Mia and Charlie, pp. 147, 148. 

[Seven years is a more usual limit.] 

Handsel. ' There's handsel this morning ' says the sales- 
man, as he shows the coin to the bystanders for the first 
thing he has sold ; and then spits upon the money for good 
luck and a good trade the day through. — ROBINSON, p. 87. 

For the reason see Blakeborough, p. 150. 

Hoose-handsel, the convivialities on taking possession of 
new quarters. Before occupying a fresh house, a person 
should go into every room, bearing a loaf and a plate of 
salt, for luck to the new place. — ROBINSON, p. 98. 

Knife or sharp instrument, Gift of, unlucky. See Blake- 
borough, pp. 149, 150. 

Looking-glass Superstitions about. See Blakeborough, pp. 
126, 146. 

Nose. In Yorkshire itching of the nose is said to portend 
that ere long you will be vexed in some way, or else kissed 
by a fool. 

F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q„ 6th S., vol. ix., p. 355. 



220 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Picture-falling. See Blakeborough, p. 127. 

Pot-hooks. When any maydes take the potte of the 
fyer, in greate haste she setts yt downe, and, without feare 
of burninge clappes her hands on the pot-hookes to staye 
them from shakinge ; and this she does for tender hearty 
believinge that our Lady weepeth or greeteth, as thee 
terme yt, all the while the pottehookes waggle, which were 
a lamentable case. — H. Tr., p. 429. 

Praying for Husbands. At least the tradition of this as 
an old custom may be inferred from the talk of some of 
the villages in North Yorkshire. The servant-girls will tell 
you how that once one of their number stipulated with 
a bargaining mistress at a statute-hiring, that she should 
be allowed ten minutes every day at noon to go pray for a 
husband in. The following story is current in one quarter. 

" Mrs. S , who had lived as housekeeper with a Catholic 

family near York (names and places being specified) for 
many years, had engaged one servant who became an 
object of curiosity to the rest of the maids ; for as regularly 
as noon came, she would leave off work and go to her 
chamber. By-and-by it was whispered about that their 
fellow servant spent her time in praying for a husband. 
One day one of the men hid himself in a closet adjoining 
the devotee's room, and waited her arrival. At the usual 
time she came, and kneeling before her little framed 
picture of the Virgin and Child, began, and continued for a 
length of time ' A husband ! a husband ! sweet Mary, a 
husband ! Send him soon, an' he may be owt but a tailor' — 
ought but a tailor. ' Nowt (nothing) but a tailor!' the man 
at last shouted. She responded at once ' Ho'd thee noise, 
little Jesus, an' let thee mother speak.' 'Nowt but a 
tailor ! ' as sharply replied the man again. ' Nay, owt but a 
tailor, owt but a tailor, but a tailor rather than nowt, good 
Lord.' " I beg to share responsibility here with somebody 
— I don't care who. 

C. C. R., N. & Q., 3rd S., vol. xii, p. 537. 



General. 221 

[This is a folk-tale : see Addy, p. 30, where he records as 
' from Eckington in Derbyshire ' the story of " The Maid 
who Wanted to Marry." In that instance the heroine and 
the hero are Irish. "The Maid of Brakel" is a version 
garnered by the Brothers Grimm.] 

Salt, Gift of, unlucky. See Blakeborough, p. 149. 

Sane, a blessing. The cross made with the knife-point 
on the dough about to be put into the oven. 

Robinson, p. 159. 

Shoe-lace loose : when to tie it. See Blakeborough, p. 150. 

Shoe, Pass an old one on the left ; for reason see Blake- 
borough, pp. 150, 151. 

Silver-finding, etc., etc. The finding of silver, especially 
of the small coin of sixpence, is accounted an omen of sad 
misfortune, as is also the spilling of salt at table. To 
lay a knife and fork, or two knives across each other, 
betrays a shameful lack of good breeding, in thus tempting 
misfortunes to happen ! 

Whitby Rep., vol. iv., p. 180 (1828). 

Sneezing. In the North Riding of Yorkshire I have 
heard it remarked that to sneeze after meals, especially 
dinner was a sign of health, and that the sneezer if he did 
it habitually, might expect to reach a good old age. 

F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q. 8th S., vol. xi., p. 314. 

Spittle, v. to spit out. It was once the custom ' to spittle ' 
at the name of the Devil in church ; and to smite the 
breast, at the mention of Judas the traitor, as we still bow 
at the name of Jesus. — Robinson, p. 182. 

Stairs, Passing on. One day during Easter week, while 
staying at the house of a friend at Scarborough, the hostess 
and myself happening to meet on the stairs, she exclaimed 
* It's unlucky to meet on the stairs.' She would not pass, 
and I had to retreat upwards. She is a young lady ... a 
native of York. 

Herbert Hardy, N. & Q., 7th S., vol. ix., p. 397. 



222 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Thyroid cartilage. ' Thropple-nob,' the ' throat apple ' or 
lump in the windpipe in man, formed by the thyroid 
cartilage, which is said to be not perceptible in the woman. 
A part of the apple presented by Eve to Adam, stuck in the 
man's throat, and thus occasioned the prominence; but the 
woman's portion went entirely down ! — ROBINSON, p. 198. 

Umbrella on a bed. I have heard in the North Riding of 
Yorkshire, that it is very unlucky to lay an umbrella upon 
a bed, just as it is unlucky to put a pair of bellows or a pair 
of shoes upon a table. 

F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 8th S., vol. xi., p. 332. 

See ante, p. 217. 

Cleveland. Whistling after daylight. They have a 
custom that if any whistle after daylight is closed, that 
he must be put out of the dores and three tymes go about 
the house for pennance. — H. Tr., pp. 428, 429. 

Words. Two people uttering the same. See Blakeborough, 
p. 131. 



SECTION IX. 

FUTURE LIFE. 

THE WAY OF THE DISEMBODIED SOUL. 

Windows and door thrown open at the moment of death 
and strict silence kept, so that the departure may not be 
hindered. — See Blakeborongh, p. 120. 

Passing-bell disperses evil spirits who would impede 
the upward flight of the soul. — See Blakeborough, p. 121. 

A few days ago I received a letter from a friend, who 
holds the office of coroner in the North Riding, which is 
worth quoting. He says ' I held an inquest the other 

day at on a man who hanged himself; on the breast of 

the corpse was a plate of salt a thing rarely seen now. 
The object is to scare away evil spirits.' — John H. 
Chapman, F.S.A., N. & Q., 6th S., vol. vi., p. 146. 

The custom to which my friend Mr. Chapman refers is 
perhaps more common than he supposes. It was followed 
in my own house some years ago (without my previous 
knowledge or sanction), but I found in addition to the 
plate of salt on the breast there was a larger vessel of salt 
under the bed on which the corpse was laid. I have 
always heard that the reason for placing the plate of salt 
on the breast was that given by Mr. Chapman's corre- 
spondent, who is, if I may guess at his identity, well 
acquainted with North Yorkshire traditions. 

C. G. C, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. vi., 273. 



224 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

When any dieth certaine women singe a songe to the 
dead body, recyting the jorney that the partie deceased 
mustgoe ; and they are of beleife (such is their fondnesse) 
that once in their lives yt is good to give a payre of newe 
shoes to a poor man, forasmuch as after this life they are to 
passe barefoote through a greate launde full of thornes and 
furzen, excepte by the meryte of the almes aforesaid they 
have redeemed their forfeyte : for at the edge of the 
launde an oulde man shall meete them with the same 
shoes that were given by the partye when he was livinge, 
and after he hath shodde them he dismisseth them to goe 
through thicke and thin without scratch or scalle. 

H. Tr., p. 429. 

See Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme (F. L. S.), pp. 
30-33 and Appendix i., pp. 220-222. 

\Blakeborongh (pp. 122-125) notices the belief, and 
prints what he considers to be a Protestant version of 
that Lyke Wake Dirge preserved by Aubrey ; but says ? 
a Roman Catholic form is in existence. He does not know 
when either of them was last used. In the copy he sets 
forth, 't' fleeams o' Hell' are substituted for 'Purgatory 
fire ' ; and ' An' Christ tak up thi sowl ' replaces the 
burden, ' and Christ recive thi Sawle.' There are two 
extra stanzas between verses five and seven : 

' If ivver thoo gav' o' thi siller an' gawd 

Ivvery neet an' awl, 
At t' Brigg o' Dreead thoo'll finnd footho'd, 

An' Christ tak up thi sowl. 

Bud if o' siller an' gawd thoo nivver ga' neean 
Ivvery neet an' awl, 

Thoo'll doon, doon tumm'l tiwards Hell fleeams 
An' Christ tak up thi sowl.' 

These verses correspond well with those written by Mr. 
Atkinson to supply a loss which he believed he detected 
in the dirge as generally printed. He did this, he says 
partly in the hope that it might 'awaken some slumbering 



The Way of the Disembodied Soul. 225 

recollection or evoke some suggestive criticism.' He says] 
it is not unlikely that alms-giving may have been the 
special good deed which formed the burden of the two 
missing stanzas, and that possibly they may have run 
somewhat thus : 

If ever thou gave either awmous or dole, 

Every night and alle ; 
At Brigg o' Dread nae ill thou sal thole 

And Christe receive thy saule. 
But if awmous and dole thou never gave neean, 

Every night and alle ; 
Thou's fall an' be brusten to the bare beean 

And Christe receive thy saule." 

See Atkinson (2), pp. 595-605. 

A Dree Night. 

'T war a dree 1 neet, a dree night ez t' squire's end drew nigh, 
A dree neet, a dree neet ti watch an' pray an' sigh, 
When t' streaam runs dry, an' t' deead leeaves fall, an' 

t' ripe ear bends its heead, 
An' t' blood wi' lithin' seeams fair clogg'd, yan kens yan's 

neeam'd wi' t' deead. 
When t' een grows dim, an' fau'k draw nigh, fra t' other 

sahd o' t' graave, 
It's laate ti square up au'd accoonts, a gannin' sowl ti 

saave. 
T' priest maay cum, an' t' priest maay gan, his weel worn 

taal ti chant, 
When t' deeath smeear clems a wrinkled bru, sike dizn't 

fet yan's want ; 
Neea book, neea cann'l, bell ner mass, neea priest iv 

onny Ian' 
When t' dree neet cums, can patch a sowl, ur t' totterin* 

mak ti stan'. 

The next few lines are lost. 

1 Weary. 
P 



226 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

'T war a dree neet, a dree neet, fer a sowl ti gan awaay 
A dree neet, a dree neet, bud a gannin' sowl caan't 
staay. 

An' t' winner shuts tha rattl'd sair, an' t' mad wild wind 

did shill, 
An' t' Gabriel ratchets yelp'd aboon, a gannin' sowl ti 

chill. 
'T war a dree neet, a dree neet, for deeath ti don his 

cowl, 
Ti staup abroad wi whimly treead, ti claam a gannin' 

sowl. 
Bud larl deeath recks hoo dree t' neet be, ur hoo a sowl 

maay praay, 
When t' sand runs oot, his sickle reaps, a gannin' sowl 

caan't staay. 
'T war a dree neet, a dree neet, ower Whinny moor 

ti trake, 
Wi shoonless feet, ower flinty steeans, thruff monny a 

thorny brake. 
A dree neet, a dree neet, wi' nowt neeawaays ti mark, 
T' gainest trod ti t' Brigg o' deead. A lane lost sowl 

i' t' dark. 
A dree neet, a dree neet, at t' Brigg foot theear ti meet, 
Larl sowls 'at he war t' fatther on, we neea good deeam 

i' seet, 
At t' altar steps he nivver steead, thoff monny a voo he 

maad, 
Noo t' debt he aws ti monny a lass, at t' Brig foot 

mun be paad, 
Tha feeace him noo wiv uther deeds, leyke black spots 

on a sheet, 
Tha noo unscaape, 1 tha egg him on, o' t' Brigg his doom 

ti meet, 
Neea dove ez sattl'd on his sill, bud a flittermoos that neet, 
1 Call to mind (long obsolete). 



The Way of the Disembodied Soul. 227 

Cam thrice tahms thruff his casement, an' flackker'd 

roond his feet, 
An' thrice tahms did a raven croak, an' t' seeam leyke 

thrice cam t' hoot, 
Fra t' ullots tree ; doon chim'lies three, ther cam a shrood 

o' soot. 
An' roond t' cann'l tweea tahms ther' cam, a dark wing'd 

moth ti t' leet, 
Bud t' tho'd, it swirl'd reet inti t' fleeam, wheear gans his 

sowl this neet. 
'T war a dree neet, a dree neet, fer yan ti laate ti praay 
A dree neet, a dree neet, bud a gannin' sowl caan't staay. 

Several lines are wanting. 
The above lines were known in 1750. 

Blakeborough (2), pp. 37-39. 

Attempts to localize Whinny Moor. In the writer's 
present neighbourhood [N. Otterington] salt is yet fre- 
quently placed upon the breast of a corpse and he well 
remembers, that, when a child, the nurse was accustomed 
to frighten him into subjection by the threat to send him 
over Whinney Hill, if he remained obstreperous ; but in 
that case Whinney Hill was a rounded hill covered with 
whins or furze near an old British camp in the township of 
Norwood. [W. Riding]. — PARKINSON, 2nd S., p. 231. 

Winmoor ... in the parish of Barwick [W. Riding] 
. . . bore the name of Winwaedfield and here in 655 was 
fought the great battle between Penda, the old Pagan king 
of Mercia, with his thirty vassal princes, and Oswy, King 
of Bernicia. . . . There is an old superstition, having it is 
supposed, a probable origin in the battle of the Saxon 
era, — that immediately after a person's death, the soul 
flitted over Winmoor. — LEEDS, p. 449. 

Travelling Equipment. I heard some rustics talking 
about an odd old man who had been buried somewhere up 



228 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

your way a few years ago with a candle, a penny, and a 
bottle of port ; and, as they explained it, the candle was to 
light the way to Jerusalem, the penny to pay the ferry, 
and the port to sustain him on the journey. — Mr. Baring 
Gould to Canon Atkinson. 
Atkinson, p. 215. 

[Pottery, charcoal, coins, and possibly other supposed 
requisites, buried with the dead in Cleveland, formerly, if 
not now.] — See Atkinson, pp. 213-215. 

The Suicide's Task. m — 
S'u'd onny wiv a sair heart darr ti lap 
Ther' leyfe's wark up, afore the Lord's command, 
Then tha mun stan' i' t' sperrit form an' mark 
Ther' deed on t' shore, whahl t' tide fergits ti wesh it 
clean fra t' sand. 

Communicated by Mr. Blakeborough who had it given to 
him in 1875 by an elderly native of Bedale. 

Watching — 

Nay, don't turn the key, not yet, not yet, five nights 

haven't past and gone 
Since we laid the green sods straight and meet, to wait 

for the cold grey stone. 

And I know, should he meet his father, up there in the 

rest and joy, 
He'll say 'A couple of nights are left, thou'st need to 

cheer her, my boy.' 



1 1 daren't lie down in its [the sea's] arms and die, for I know the 
priest has said : 

' They who will not wait God's time on earth, in heaven must seek 
their dead.' 

Phillips, S. K., ' Mad Luce,' p. 56. 

[Evidence of this being a popular belief is not forthcoming.] 



The Way of the Disembodied Soul. 229 

So leave the key, and fetch the logs ; till the mourner's 

week is done, 
I tell thee I'll watch, lest I miss in sleep a last smile 
from my son. 
Phillips, S. K., ' The Seven-Nights' Watch,' pp. 94, 96. 

[MrJJjBlakeborough says he has not heard of this watch 
for^the return of the dead being kept within the last ten 
years ; but that it was common.] 

Powers and Habits of the Dead see under GOBLINDOM, 
passim. 



SECTION X. 

FESTIVALS, &c. 

NEW YEAR. 

The new year . . is made known by the ringing of the 
church bells, and the loud knocking at your door of the 
'first foot, or lucky bird.' This happens immediately on 
the last stroke of twelve. The first foot to cross your 
threshold — for none must go out until the first foot has 
come in — must be a man or boy with dark hair. Such 
only can bring luck to the household ; for should he have 
light hair, he would not be admitted, for he could only 
bring dire and disastrous results. The same clamorous 
singing as on Christmas Day commences just as early on 
New Year's morn. — Blakeborough, p. 71. 

In the North Riding of Yorkshire ... a fair-haired man 
is supposed to bring good fortune if he is the first to enter 
a house after the clock has struck twelve on new year's eve. 
F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 7th S., vol. x., p. 516.™ 

Hunmanby. On New Year's Eve only girls (dark haired), 
are allowed to cross the threshold. On Christmas eve 
dark haired boys or men go round first footing. 

Communicated by Mr. Blakeborough. 

1 [Without doubt the general desire of the N.R. is for a dark-haired 
lucky-bird. The discovery of the spot referred to by Mr F. C. 
Birkbeck Terry may reward an investigator. Mr. Blakeborough 
writes that here and there in the N.R. people not only require the 



New Year. 231 

Swaledale. If a female should be the first to enter a 
house on New Year's Day it is a certain indication of bad 
luck. — ROUTH, p. 70. 

New Year's gifts are given by all ranks. 

INGLEDEW, p. 343. 

Another strange superstition also prevails : that those 
who have not the common materials for making a fire, 
generally sit without one on New Year's day, for none of 
their neighbours, though hospitable at other times, will 
suffer them to light a candle at their fires ; [nay not 
even to throw out the ashes or sweep out the dust. 
INGLEDEW, p. 344.] If they do, they say some one of the 
family will die within the year. 

D— d. R — e., Gent. Mag., pt. i., 181 1, p. 424. 

PLOUGH MONDAY. 

Whitby. On plough monday, the first monday after 
twelfth day, and some days following, there is a procession 
of rustic youths dragging a plough, who, as they officiate 
for oxen, are called plough slots. They are dressed with 
their shirts on the outside of their jackets, with sashes of 
ribbons, fixed across their breasts and backs, and knots or 
roses of ribbons fastened on the shirts and on their hats. 
Beside the plough draggers, there is a band of six, in the 
same dress furnished with swords, who perform the sword- 
dance, while one or more musicians play on the fiddle or 
flute. The sword-dance, probably introduced by the 
Danes, displays considerable ingenuity, not without 
gracefulness. The dancers arrange themselves in a ring, 
with their swords elevated ; and their motions and 
evolutions are at first slow and simple, but become 
gradually more rapid and complicated : towards the 



visitor to be dark-haired, but exact that he shall carry something dark 
in his hand, e.g. a piece of coal or a dark green sprig, ' never 
variegated holly.'] 



232 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

close, each one catches the point of his neighbour's sword, 
and various movements take place in consequence, one of 
which consists in joining or plaiting the swords in the 
form of an elegant hexagon or rose, in the centre of the 
ring ; which rose is so firmly made, that one of them holds 
it up above their heads without undoing it. The dance 
closes with taking it to pieces, each man laying hold on his 
own sword. During the dance, two or three of the company 
called Toms or clowns, dressed up as harlequins in the most 
fantastic modes, having their faces painted or masked, are 
making antic gestures and movements to amuse the 
spectators ; while another set called Madgies, or Madgy- 
Pegs, clumsily dressed in women's clothes, and also masked 
or painted, go about from door to door, rattling old 
canisters in which they receive money. When they are 
well paid they raise a huzza ; where they get nothing they 
shout ' Hunger and starvation ! ' When the party do not 
exceed 40, they seldom encumber themselves with a 
plough. They parade from town to town for two or three 
days, and the money collected is then expended in a feast 
and dance, to which the girls who furnished the ribbons 
and other decorations are invited. Sometimes the sword- 
dance is performed differently ; a kind of farce in which 
songs are introduced, being acted along with the dance. 
The principal characters in the farce are, the king, the 
miller, the clown and the doctor. Egton Bridge has long 
been the chief rendezvous for sword-dancers in this 
vicinity. — YOUNG, vol. ii., pp. 880, 881. 

Scarborough. Plough Monday used to be one of the agri- 
cultural festivals, when the rural population, dressed up in 
many coloured garments and ribbons, and grotesque 
character, went about begging for the ' Fond Plough. 
They were accompanied by music, and had a king and 
queen, the latter being one of the plough lads. At one 
time this custom prevailed extensively, now it is about 



Plough Monday. 233 

obsolete ; it was frequently concluded by a drunken scene, 
which in Scarborough once occasioned the death of one of 
their number by a sword thrust in a quarrel. These 
occasions were by no means confined to the rural districts, 
but in the ports were called " the Sailors' fond plough." 
At Wykeham the model of a plough took part in the 

procession, having this inscription under it ' As did 

our fathers so do we, the plan was a good one so let it be.' 

Baker, pp. 468, 469. 

York. Before coming into the city they [the 'plough- 
boys '] had to secure the consent of the Lord Mayor for 
the time being for their incoming. — Camtdge, p. 485. 

JANUARY TO MARCH. 

Richmond. St. Hilary is memorable in the annals of 
Richmond, as on the anniversary of his festival the 13th of 
January , [1] the Mayor is chosen for the ensuing year, which 
causes it to be observed as a jubilee day among the 
Freemen and those concerned in Corporation matters. 

Clarkson, p. 293. 

St. Agnes' Eve, Jan. 20th. See Blakeborough, pp. 73, 74. 

St. Agnes Day, Jan. 21st. See under MAGIC and 
Divination, p. 209. 

Masham, &c. The feast in honour of Bishop Blaize, the 
patron Saint of the Woolcombers, and who is said to have 
been the inventor of woolcombing, was formerly held here 
annually, on the 3rd Feb., when it was duly commemorated 
by the woolcombing fraternity by a supper, and a swill — for 
the 'jolly combing-boys ' were always ' thirsty souls.' This 
at least, was the course pursued in ordinary years, but on 
some special occasions, something grander, and more 
imposing as a spectacle, was not only attempted, but 

1 [In ancient charters St. Hilary's Festival was dated Oct. ist. See 
Sir Harris Nicolas' Chronology of History, p. 144.] 



234 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (A\ Riding, etc.). 

attained by them. On these special occasions a grand 
procession was formed, which being preceded by a band 
of music, promenaded not only the streets of the town 
of Masham, but those of other neighbouring towns. The 
procession was composed of master woolcombers on horse- 
back, each wearing a white sliver of wool ; woolsorters, also 
on horseback, each carrying a fleece before him, and 
bright and glittering shears ; the shepherd and shepherdess 
dressed in green, and bearing shepherds' crooks ; the 
Bishop, on horseback, dressed in his mitre and full canoni- 
cals, bearing an open Bible in one hand and a woolcomb in 
the other, attended by guards and attendants, and accom- 
panied by a chaplain (who acted the part of orator on 
the occasion) ; followed by the working woolcombers and 
others connected with the trade, on foot, in shirts as white, 
and as neat as women's hands could make them, each gaily 
decked with cross-belts, sashes, and bracelets composed of 
parti-coloured slivers of wool ; the rear of the cavalcade 
being brought up, as if by way of contrast, by an old 
charcoal burner with grimy face, and a short tobacco-pipe 
stuck in his mouth, smoking like a steam-engine, and 
mounted on an ill-favoured mule, with trappings to match 
its rider. The cavalcade, it must be admitted, presented — 
with the glittering paraphernalia and other emblematic 
figures and devices representing Jason and the golden 
fleece etc., which were used on the occasion — a novel yet 
somewhat imposing appearance, and created no little 
interest in the place. The procession occasionally came to 
a halt, where the orator delivered himself of the following 
grandiloquent oration : — 

'From an infinite variety of blessings conferred by 
Providence upon the inhabitants of Great Britain, none 
seems to be of greater importance, or of more general 
utility, than that of the Golden Fleece, which was little 
known to the people of this happy Isle until the glorious 
reign of Edward the Third. About that period, according 



January to March. 235 

to tradition, Bishop Blaize (here the orator gracefully 
extended his hand towards the Bishop, and the Bishop, in 
acknowledgment, made a low but very dignified obeisance) 
first introduced the combing of wool into this Kingdom and 
we have the honour to be his successor in that important 
mystery which employs such a number of our fellow 
creatures, and not only contributes to the improvement of 
Masham, but, more than all the rest to the splendour and 
dignity of the British Crown. Our fleets, which ride 
triumphant on the vast expanded ocean, and carry terror to 
the utmost limits of the torrid zone, are chiefly supported 
by the manufacturers of this kingdom, where we claim 
precedence ; therefore with grateful hearts, let us celebrate 
this glorious day to the memory of the immortal Blaize, 
till time shall be no more. God save the Queen and the 
inhabitants of this place.' (Here again, the Bishop made 
his obeisance, the company cheering most vociferously, and 
the Bishop in return, making his acknowledgments with all 
the gravity and nonchalance of a veritable Bishop.) On 
the conclusion of the oration the company proceeded to 
sing, in full chorus, the following song 1 in honour of Bishop 
Blaize : — 

'My friends, the day of Bishop Blaize is here — 
The joyful'st day we have in all the year, 
Wherein all tradesmen may rejoice and sing — 
From a woolcomber to the greatest King. 

1 Although I have been at some trouble in order to ascertain the 
name of the tune in which this song is sung, and of its composer, 
I have been unable to arrive at anything satisfactory. My friend 
Mr. William Jackson of Bradford, writes me thus upon the subject : — 
' I can give you no information about the tune to which the Bishop 
Blaize song was sung. I copied it down from poor old Jack Harri- 
son's singing, but I do not find it in any collection of old English 
airs, nor have I ever found it known out of the district. My own 
opinion is that it is local, and not very old, say about the middle of 
last century. The verses of the song were written (so I have under- 
stood) by Mr. Wrath er, the father (Qy. brother) of the late Samuel, 



2 36 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

When first the art of combing, it was found 
By Bishop Blaize — through England it did sound, 
And therefore he shall canonized be, 
Amongst the Saints, to all eternity. 

Ten thousand spinners, and twice ten thousand too, 
By our brave art have daily work to do ; 
Who from their wheels send forth such pleasant noise, 
In honour of we jolly combing boys. 

Go ! ask the weaver who was the first trade, 
Whose approbation here it may be had — 
For what fine stuffs or serges could there be, 
Without the art of combing mystery? 

Here's a health unto our masters, we'll begin, 
And then we'll drink a health unto the King. 
What one invents the others do support — 
Whilst Indians mourn, we true Britannians sport.' 

I have been thus particular in recording and describing 
the Feast in honour of the " immortal " Bishop, because I 
do not think it likely that the proceedings here described 
will ever be repeated, in Masham at least, or otherwise 
perpetuated, except by the aid of these pages. 

Fisher, pp. 465-468. 

Richmond, February 14th. St. Valentine s Day. — On 
Valentine's Day is a ceremony seldom omitted of drawing 
lots, which they call Valentines. The names of a select 
number of one sex with an equal number of the other, are 
put into a vessel, and every one draws a name, which is 
called their Valentine ; and which is looked upon as a good 
omen of their being united afterwards. 

Richmond, pp. 301, 302 ; Clarkson, p. 293. 

See under ANIMALS : Birds, p. 66. 



and captain ; and it is not improbable that the tune may have been 
composed or modified by old George Thornberry who was leading 
singer at the church.' 



Jamiary to March. 237 

Masham. ' St. Valentine's Day ' has still its votaries in 
this Parish amongst the young unmarried of both sexes. 

Fisher, p. 462. 
Neglected. See Blakeborough, p. 78. 

DAYS NEXT BEFORE LENT. 

Whitby. These . . . are here named collop-monday and 
pancake-tuesday , from the nature of the food with which 
they are sanctified. The latter is a noted holiday : the 
pancake-bell, which is rung in the forenoon, not only 
announces the hour when the frying of pancakes ought to 
begin, but proclaims a general jubilee for children, appren- 
tices, and servants. Little attention is paid to the fast of 
lent : it is when religion consists in feasting that it is 
popular. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 881 ; INGLEDEW, Northallerton, p. 345. 

Masham. Collop Monday is still observed so far at least 
as the dining on eggs and collops on this day is concerned, 
but the people of Mashamshire do not by any means on 
this day take their leave of flesh meat, previous to their 
entering upon the solemn season of Lent, as they formerly 
did in the Roman Catholic times. — FISHER, p. 462. 

In north Yorkshire we only know ' one collop.' A 
mutton ham having been cured and salted exactly twelve 
months antecedent to the Monday before Ash Wednesday, 
is eaten upon that Monday (which is called ' Collop 
Monday ') as rashers with fried eggs. 

Eboracum, N. & Q., 5 th S., vol. hi., p. 106. 

Richmond. Collop Monday. The primitive custom was, 
to regale with eggs on slices or collops of fried bread, which 
is now exchanged for bacon. — CLARKSON, p. 294. 

Whitby. The poor in the country go about . . . and beg 
bacon-collops of their richer neighbours. — Robinson, p. 41. 

On ' Pancake ' or Shrove-Tuesday, the poor people go 
from house to house begging flour and milk ; and employ 



238 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (IV. Riding, etc.). 

the formula ' Pray you, mistress can you give me any 
aumus ? ' — C. C. R., p. 4. 

Masham. " Pancake Tuesday " is also observed by the 
ringing of the pancake bell at 1 1 A.M., and by afterwards 
dining upon pancakes, but not I fear by the confessions of 
sins, as in times previous to the Reformation. During the 
last generation, as if by way of contrast to the strictness 
in which it was formerly observed, the day was spent in 
cock-fighting, and the night in dancing, card-playing, and 
revelry — but this is all past away. Within the time of my 
own recollection the day was observed as a holiday for 
school-boys and apprentices, and was generally spent in 
playing at f knorr-and-spell ' etc., in the Markfield as 
well as at other places in the Parish — It is now but little 
observed. — FlSHER, p. 463. 

Scarborough. The custom of frying pancakes, in the 
turning of which there is generally a good deal of pleasantry 
going on in the kitchen, is still retained in many families, 
especially in the north, but like many other old-fashioned 
customs seems to be dying out. In Scarbrough this time 
is called ' Ball Day,' when the apprentices, and servants, 
and children have a holiday; most tradesmen close their 
places of business in the afternoon. From time im- 
memorial the south sands have been the resort of the young 
people and others, whilst ball-tossing in all its variety, with 
other pleasant recreations are engaged in, and constitute 
an interesting scene to look upon from the heights above. 

Baker, p. 466. 

[The hospital of St. Thomas] had at its gable end a bell 
(now in the Museum) which used to be rung at six o'clock 
every morning and evening. It also used to ring on 
' Pancake Tuesday' at* 12 at noon, as a signal to start 
frying. — Gent and Cole. — BAKER, p. 282. 

See also sub LOCAL CUSTOMS : Richmond, p. 322. 



Days Next Before Lent. 239 

York. Respecting an attempt to prevent the ringing of 
the pancake-bell, at York, there is a remarkable passage in 
a quarto tract, entitled ' A Vindication of the Letter out of 
the North, concerning Bishop Lake's declaration of his 
dying in the belief of the doctrine of passive obedience, 
etc., 1690.' The writer says, ' They have for a long time at 
York, had a custom (which now challenges the priviledge 
of a prescription) that all the apprentices, journeymen, and 
other servants of the town, had the liberty to go into the 
cathedral, and ring the pancake-bell (as we call it in the 
country) on Shrove Tuesday ; and, that being a time that 
a great many came out of the country to see the city (if 
not their friends) and church, to oblige the ordinary 
people, the minster used to be left open that day, to let 
them go up to see the lantern and bells, which were sure to 
be pretty well exercised, and was thought a more innocent 
divertisement than being at the alehouse. But Dr. Lake, 
when he first came to reside there, was very much 
scandalized at this custom, and was resolved he would 
break it at first dash, although all his brethren of the clergy 
did dissuade him from it. He was resolved to make the 
experiment, for which he had like to have paid very dear, 
for I'le assure you it was very near costing him his life. 
However, he did make such a combustion and mutiny, 
that, I dare say, York never remembered nor saw the like, 
as many yet living can testify' — HONE, Y. B., p. 75. 

York, Baile Hill. Two centuries ago it was enclosed and 
let on lease; but despite this letting and lease, every Shrove 
Tuesday thousands of persons assembled in the field 
surrounding the hill, to engage in games and amusements. 
One of the customs of the City, until recent years, was for 
some of the parish bells to ring at eleven o'clock on the 
morning of this day, and work for young people especially, 
was immediately suspended. The apprentices of the city 
had a holiday and a present of a shilling each, a proviso to 
this effect being inserted in every indenture of apprentice- 



240 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

ship then made. The practice had such hold on the public 
mind that no indenture would have been considered legal 
and binding without this condition being inserted. Pancakes 
were provided in every house, and in many houses young 
people tried their prospects of getting married by ' tossing 
the pancake.' This meant that when one side of the cake 
was cooked, a young woman threw it into the air (giving 
the frying-pan a twist), and then caught it again. If she 
succeeded in turning it completely by the throw and catching 
it without breaking in the descent, then it was considered 
certain she would be married before Shrovetide came round 
again. If, however she failed, then she would remain 
single during the next twelve months ! The pancakes 
were eaten amid much merriment, and then the people, 
young and old, rushed off to Bailie Hill and indulged in 
games and shuttlecock until the shades of night drove 
them away, to labour out twelve months more in anticipa- 
tion of another holiday. The remainder of the evening 
was spent in parties and dances. Nearly every public- 
house had a ball, and there were about 100 more public- 
houses for the smaller number of inhabitants then than 
now. — Camidge, pp. 142, 143. 

Barring Out the Schoolmaster. This was (and slightly 
lingers still) the custom in various parts of Yorkshire on 
Shrove Tuesday at 1 1 A.M. 

Hardrow, Aug. 25, 1885. — Y. R, vol. i., p. 10. 

See also under Nov. $,post p. 267. 

Join-night, a name for the evening of Pancake Tuesday, 
when young people join or club their money to buy in- 
gredients for the manufacture of ' sweet-ball ' which is 
treacle or sugar boiled to a candy, and then formed into 
sticks or clumps to harden. Part of the 'joining' is distri- 
buted amongst friends. — ROBINSON, p. 103. 

Shrovetide . . . used to be the season for Cock-fighting 
and Throwing at cocks in Richmond, which much to the 



Days Next Before Lent. 241 

credit of the present generation are sinking into disuse ; 
indeed the latter has entirely disappeared. 

Clarkson, p. 294. 

LENT. 

Ash Wednesday, etc. Frutas or Fritters Wednesday, 
Bloody Thorsday . . . Frutas or fritters, made from a light 
kind of tea-cake paste, only much richer in fruit and fried 
either in lard or butter, on Wednesday ; and with many of 
humble degree, black puddings on Thursday. Whilst on 
Friday, fast is kept on any frutas that may have been 
spared from Wednesday's feast, and there is always a very 
considerable helping left over. — BLAKEBOROUGH, pp. 75, 76. 

Masham. On " Ash Wednesday " the good people of 
Masham certainly do not put on sack-cloth and ashes. 
Our fathers and grandfathers used so far to observe this 
day, as to dine on salt fish; but we of the present generation , 
dine on what we like best, or rather on what some of us can 
get, and the day is not now otherwise observed. 

At the beginning of Lent the most inveterate of card 
players (and their number was legion) used to lay aside their 
packs of cards, and would not on any account, so much as 
touch them during the whole season of Lent ; but now, 
however the practice is very different- — FlSHER, p. 463. 

Whitby. — The six Sundays [1] in lent are distinguished by 
different titles, and two of them are shamefully profaned ; 
the 5 th called carting Sunday, is celebrated in the evening 
by a feast of cartings, that is, steeped peas fried with butter : 
the 6th, called palm- sunday, is a day of great diversion, many 
both old and young amusing themselves with sprigs of 
willow ; and part of the devotion of the day consists in 
manufacturing palm-crosses, which are stuck up or suspended 
in houses. — YOUNG, vol. ii., pp. 881, 882. 

1 [The last five and Easter Day : 'Called Tid, Mid, Miseray, Carlin', 
and Paum an' Paste-egg day.' — Blakeborough, p. 76.] 

Q 



242 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Car ling Sunday or Carl Sunday. Car ling or Carls, are 
gray peas steeped in water and fried the next day in butter 
or fat; the grocers laying in supplies for the annual demand. 
They are eaten on the second Sunday before Easter for- 
merly called ' Care Sunday.' The origin of the custom 
seems forgotten. — ROBINSON, p. 32. 

Filey. On ' Carling Sunday ' pease, after having been 
steeped in water, were fried with butter and eaten with 
ham, by the women and children at home, while the men 
assembled in the ale-houses where they helped themselves 
to the ' carlings ' which were set before them. — Shaw, p. 9. 

Fried peas, and perhaps boiled peas, used to be eaten 
in Yorkshire on Carlin Sunday, i.e. Mid-Lent Sunday, com- 
memorative, I suppose, of its being Dominica Refectionis. — 
John Pickford, M.A., N. & Q., 5th S., vol. vii., p. 415. 

Filey. Palm Sunday : Branches of willow are gathered 
and placed in houses as memorials of the branches of palm 
strewed before our Saviour, when he made his triumphant 
entry into Jerusalem. Figs are also eaten on this day, in 
memory, probably, of the Redeemer's cursing the barren 
fig-tree. — Cole, p. 135. 

Whitby. Pawm-cross day or Pawm Sunday ' Pawm- 
crosses ' are made to commemorate the season. Small 
sticks of peeled willow-palm are pin-pierced together, so as 
to cross equally. They are then studded at the extremities 
with palm blossoms, and arranged and attached with pins 
throughout a design of small circles or palm hooks, for 
suspension from the ceiling. A declining custom. — ROBIN- 
SON, pp. 141, 142; Ingledew, p. 345 {Northallerton); 
Richmond, p. 303. 

Palms (pron. pawms) . . . the male catkins of the sallow 
which are worn in the hat (if the season permit) on Palm 
Sunday. — Marshall, p. 34. 



Lent. 243 

Wensleydale. Many make a point of gathering palms 
on that festival as some also do of making crosses on Good 
Friday. — Barker, pp. 261, 262. 

Masham. " Good Friday" is better kept now than it was 
some thirty or forty years ago. . . . The farmers and 
tradesmen during the last generation used to follow their 
usual occupations on this day as on other week days ; the 
former however deeming it unlucky to break, or turn the 
soil up on this day, employ their teams and their labourers 
in the loading and clearing away of rubbish, and otherwise 
cleaning their farms, and thus contrive to cheat the devil. — 

Fisher, p. 463. 

See Blakeborough, p. 79, for rhyme on Good Friday 
which is called ' Lang Friday.' 

Good Friday digging. See Blakeborough, p. 19. 

Whitby. The hot cross-bun here is still eaten ; but the 
herb, or ' Passover pudding,' once usual, has departed. . . . 
Best flour biscuits are made on Good Friday, to be kept as 
a year's supply for grating into milk or brandy and water 
to cure the diarrhoea; and with holes in the centre, we have 
seen ' Good Friday biscuits ' hanging from the ceiling. 
Further if clothes are put out to dry on that day, they will 
be taken in spotted with blood. — ROBINSON, p. xii. 

Ingleby. Trueman [witness] My Lord I am a Butcher, 
and I have had dealings with Mr. Harper . . . and he 
invited me to dine upon a Good Friday Cake as we call 
it ; for he was a right good neighbourly Man and he invited 
five other Neighbours ... to eat of this Cake. . . . Now 
you my worthy Lord must know, we have a Notion (which 
some Gentlemen who be here and come from that polite 
Town of London call a Superstition) in our Country, That if 
we do eat of a Cake made purposely on Good Friday we 
shall never want Money or Victuals all the Year round, 



244 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

which for as many years as I can remember has always 
fallen out true. . . . But this Cake had such an odd Taste 
that I thought I should have choaked myself; whilst I 
was in this Agitation my good Lord, for I am somewhat 
pursy, Elizabeth Wall, the Maid brought in the Roast Beef; 
I put the Mouthful I had taken of the Cake out, and made 
my Dinner, God be thanked for all his Mercies, on the 
Beef. — Trial, p. 9. 

Nr. York. It is a custom in some parts of England for 
boys to go round the village on Easter eve begging for 
eggs or money, and a sort of dramatic song is sometimes 
used on the occasion. The following copy was taken down 
from recitation some years ago in the neighbourhood of 
York. ... A boy representing a captain, enters and sings — 

' Here's two or three jolly boys all o' one mind, 
We've come a pace-egging, and hope you'll be kind ; 
I hope you'll be kind with your eggs and your beer, 
And we'll come no more pace-egging until the next year.' 

Then old Toss-pot enters and the captain, pointing him 
out, says — 

' The first that comes in is old Toss-pot you see, 
A valiant old blade for his age and degree ; 
He is a brave fellow on hill or in dale, 
And all he delights in is a-drinking of ale.' 

Toss-pot then pretends to take a long draught from a huge 
quart-pot, and reeling about tries to create laughter by 
tumbling over as many boys as he can. A miser next 
enters, who is generally a boy dressed up as an old woman 
in tattered rags, with his face blackened. He is thus 
introduced by the captain : 

'An old miser's the next that comes in with her bags, 
And to save up her money wears nothing but rags. 

Chorus— Whatever you give us we claim for our right, 

Then bow with our heads, and wish you good night.' 



Lent. 245 

This is repeated twice, and the performance concludes with 
the whole company shouting at the top of their voice — 

' Now, ye ladies and gentlemen, who sit by the fire, 
Put your hands in your pockets, 'tis all we desire ; 
Put your hands in your pockets, and lug out your purse, 
We shall be the better, you'll be none the worse ! ' 

Halliwell, pp. 244, 245. 



EASTER. 

'Wading the sun.' See Blakeborongh, p. 78. 

Watching flight of crows. Blakeborongh, p. 78. 

Impious riots . . . have prevailed on easter Sunday from 
time immemorial ; and which though now prohibited in 
Whitby, are not completely abolished. In the afternoon 
and evening, numbers of boys and young men have been 
accustomed to assault all unprotected females whom they 
met out of doors and seize their shoes, compelling them to 
redeem them with money. These disgraceful riots were 
continued to a certain extent on monday morning ; after 
which a set of impudent girls engaged in extorting money- 
from the men by the same means, prolonging their depreda- 
tions till tuesday noon. — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 882 ; RICH- 
MOND, pp. 303, 304 ; Fisher, p. 464 (Masham) ; Shaw, 
p. 8 {Filey). 

See Blakeborough, pp. 76, jj. 

Whitby. This festival is marked here by the extensive 
consumption of custards, baked at the public ovens in 
- dubblers ' or large dishes ; and it is deemed unlucky if 
something new is not worn on Easter Sunday, if it is but 
a pair of new garters or new shoe-strings. On Easter 
Monday and Tuesday, at Whitby, a fair is held in the space 
between the parish church and the abbey, when children 
assemble to roll or ' troll ' eggs in the fields adjoining. . . . 
The eggs are first boiled hard with some coloured prepara- 



246 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

tion, [1] pink, yellow, and so on, marked, if you like, with 
the owner's initials, and dotted with gilding. On Easter 
Monday, the boys assail the females for the sake of their 
shoes, which they take off unless quieted with money ; 
Easter Tuesday, being the girls' turn with the boys for 
their hats ; and we have known men's hats removed by 
the women, where the joke could be safely practised, and 
redeemed with a shilling. No object appears in the 'egg- 
trolling,' except in the way of exercise for the children, a 
remark leading to the notice of Easter as being ' Ball time.' 
when it is said if balls are not ' well played' by our country 
youths, more particularly on the preceding Shrove Tuesday, 
when the time commences, they will be sure to fall sick at 
harvest. — ROBINSON, p. vii. ; Ingledew, p. 345 {Northal- 
lerton). 

Cleveland. On Heeaster Sunda' we've Peeast Eggs, 
An' lots o' Kustods teea ; 
An' if you've nowt to put on new 
There is a fine to dea ; 

For t' kraws is sur te find it out 

An' soil yer owd kleeas mair : 
Fooaks tell yan that — bud if it's trew 

Ah nowther knaw nor kare. 

TWEDDELL, p. TO. 

See also under Animals : Birds, p. 66. 

Richmond. After the morning service, various games and 
pastimes, derived from ancient customs, still remain among 
the lower class of people, such as foot-ball, fives, crickets, 
etc. It is also the custom on this day to put upon the 
dress something new, even the most trifling, as a ribbon, a 
pair of gloves, etc., and it is reckoned unlucky to omit 
doing it. — CLARKSON, p. 294. 

1 Every colour but green being used as that would render them 
difficult to find on the grass [says a Cleveland writer], G. M. Twed- 

DELL, p. 98. 



April and May. 247 

APRIL AND MAY. 

Swaledale. An April fool is called an April ' noddy ' ; 
and if anyone should attempt to make a fool after mid-day 
on the first of April the reply is 

April noddy's past and gone, 
You're a fool an' I'm none. 

ROUTH, p. 72. 

Whitby, April 1 st. April gowk, an April fool. The old 
custom of making April fools is said to have proceeded 
from letting insane persons be at large on the first of 
April, when amusement was made by sending them on 
ridiculous errands. April day is here called 'Feeals' haliday/ 
fools' holiday [Gowk = cuckoo]. — ROBINSON, p. 5. 

See Blakeborough, p. 79. 

St. Mark's Eve, April 24th. See under MAGIC AND 
Divination, pp. 210-212; Blakeborough, pp. 79-81. 

Swaledale, May 1st. May goslings are made on the first 
of May in the same manner as April noddies on the first 
of April. — ROUTH, p. 72 ; Fisher, p. 464 (Masham) ; 
Robinson, pp. 121-122 (Whitby). 

Whitby. . . . May-day fetes, as ' Spring gratulations ' 
seem more regarded in inland places than in those by the 
sea-coast. They are here no otherwise observed, than by 
the stable-boys and draymen garnishing their horses' heads 
with ribbons, which are usually begged at the shops ; 
hence the designation ' Horse-ribbon day.' 

Robinson, p. 121. 

Richmond. Interludes and a kind of plays were also 
part of the ceremonies of the day, as appears from an 
old account of the May Games performed on the 29th of 
May 1660, by the inhabitants of Richmond, whereby they 
demonstrated their universal joy for the happy return of 
King Charles II. whom God was pleased to make the 
instrument of freeing this nation from tyranny, usurpation, 



248 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

and the dismal effects of a civil war. They came into 
the Town in solemn equipage as follows: 1st Three 
Antics before them with Bag Pipes. 2nd The Represen- 
tative of a Lord, attended by trumpets, falconers, four 
pages, as many footmen, and 50 attendants, all suited as 
became persons of their quality. 3rd The Representative 
of a Sheriff, with 40 attendants in their liveries. 4th The 
Bishop of Hereford, with four pages, and footmen, his 
chaplain, and 20 other household officers, besides their 
attendants. 5th Two Companies of Morris-Dancers, who 
acted their parts to the satisfaction of the Spectators. 6th 
Sixty Nymphs, with music before them, following Diana, 
all richly adorned in white and gorgeous apparel, with 
pages and footmen attending them. 7th Three Companies 
of Foot Soldiers, with a Captain and other officers in 
great magnificence. 8th Robin Hood in scarlet, with 40 
bowmen, all clad in Lincoln green. Thus they marched 
into the town. Now follows their performance. They 
marched decently, in good order round the Market-Cross, 
and came to the Church, where they offered their cordial 
Prayers for our most gracious Sovereign ; a Sermon being 
preached at that time. From thence my Lord invited 
all his attendants to his house to dinner. The Reverend 
Bishop did the same to all his attendants, inviting the 
Minister and other persons to his own house, where they 
were sumptuously entertained. The Soldiers marched up to 
the Cross, where they gave many vollies of shot, with 
push of pike, and other martial feats. There was erected 
a scaffold and arbours, where the Morris-Dancers and 
Nymphs acted their parts, many thousands of Spectators 
having come out of the country and villages adjacent. 
Two days were spent in acting Robin Hood. The Sheriff 
and Reverend Bishop sent Bottles of Sack to several 
Officers acting in the Play, who all performed their parts 
to the general satisfaction of the Spectators, with acclama- 
tions of joy for the safe arrival of his sacred Majesty. 



April and May. 249 

Something more might have been expected from the 
Chief Magistrate of the Town, who permitted the Conduit 
to run water all the time. The preceding rejoicings were 
performed by the Commonalty of the Borough. 

There was also a Trial before the High Court of Justice 
that morning, when were present the Judge, Plaintiff, 
Defendant, Receiver, Witnesses, and Umpires. After 
hearing of the whole matter in controversies and dis- 
putes, the Defendants and Witnesses terminated the 
dispute in the field with such weapons as the place 
afforded. — RICHMOND, pp. 305-308 ; CLARKSON, pp, 295, 
296 ; Hone, Y. B., p. 66y. 

Maypoles. See sub TREES AND PLANTS, pp. 54-56. 

Masham. 'Royal Oak Day' (the 29th May), is still 
observed by the boys decking themselves and the Grammar 
school with the leaves of the oak. Formerly the church- 
bells were rung on this day, but the practice has been 
discontinued. — Fisher, p. 464. 

. Northallerton. It is still customary for the boys to wear 
the leaves of the oak in their caps ; if not, they run the 
risk of being pelted with birds' eggs. — Ingledew, p. 347. 

Chalky-back Day (May 29th). See Blakeborougk, pp. 
81, 82. 

ASCENSIONTIDE. 

Masham. In Rogation Week, or on one of the three 
days before Ascension day, or Holy Thursday, it was 
formerly the custom to perambulate the bounds of the 
Parish, and on those occasions meat and drink were pro- 
vided for the parties taking part in the perambulation. 
About the year 1640, the people of Ellington turned 
refractory, and refused to provide meat and drink for the 
perambulation ; accordingly we find at the Ecclesiastical 
Court held in Masham Church, on the 19th May 1640, 



250 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

John Cornforth, of Ellington, was presented and after- 
wards excommunicated " for not providing bread and 
drink for the perambulation according to ancient custom." 
No perambulation of the Parish has taken place within 
the time of living memory. — FlSHER, p. 464. 

"Whitby. The doings here at this time are now mere 
matter of recollection. After early morning prayers in the 
parish church at Whitby, certain boundaries were perambu- 
lated by the incumbent, church-wardens, and people. Stay- 
laces, packets of pins, and biscuits were scrambled for by the 
crowd at different stations, and the officials dined together 
at the end of the fray. — ROBINSON, p. 97. 

Whitby. Battering-stone, a mass of whin-stone fixed 
by the road-side, near the east end of Whitby Abbey, which 
the boys annually pelted with stones after perambulating 
the Whitby township boundaries on Holy Thursday ; those 
(it was believed) who broke the mass being entitled to a 
reward from the parish. — ROBINSON, p. 12. 

Flaxton. Near the signpost in the centre of the village 
of Flaxton is a boulder ... 3 ft. by 2 ft. 6 inches by 1 ft. 
9 inches . . . (of) mountain limestone. . . . This stone 
formerly marked the boundary between the parishes 
of Foston and Bossall and was called the ' Rambleations 
Stone,' this being a local word signifying an assemblage of 
people. A dole of bread was at stated periods distributed, 
but, it is said, to avoid jealousy or favouritism, it was 
thrown from this stone amongst the crowd, leading often to 
free fights. This custom is discontinued, money being now 
distributed, and the stone removed. 'REPORT OF THE 
Fifty-ninth Meeting of the British Association 
(1889), p. 116. 

All Saints, North. Street, York. A singular custom pre- 
vails in this parish, on Ascension Day, commonly called 



Ascensiontide. 251 

Holy Thursday, the time of the annual perambulation of 
the boundaries. The lads of the parish provide themselves 
with bundles of sedge, and while the clerk is inscribing the 
boundary at the specified places, they strike his legs below 
the knee with their bundles. The place nearest the clerk, 
or that which gives the best chance of exercising this 
popular prerogative, is eagerly contended for. 

Whellan, vol. i., pp. 522, 523. 

Forest of Galtres. In the perambulation of the forest 
boundaries the procession consisted of the Protoforestarius 
or Chief Forester, with several knights on horseback, with a 
numerous retinue. In order to perpetuate the memory of 
their boundaries, they took with them a number of boys. 
A willow wand was distributed to each at the commence- 
ment, and some honorary rewards at the close. The more 
effectually to impress the recollection of these boundaries 
upon their minds, it was customary to bump them at cer- 
tain stages or landmarks, or souse them in some stream of 
water. A man being once asked if a certain stream which 
bounded the forest was the boundary line, replied ' Ees, 
that 'tis, I'm sure o't by the same token, that I were toss'd 
into 't ; and paddled about there lik a water-rat, till I were 
hafe deead.' The willow wands were also in some cases 
applied vigorously to the back of some unlucky urchin, 
as a sort of memoria technica. — GlLL, p. 47. 

WHITSUNTIDE. 
Healey. Whitsuntide is now only kept in remembrance 
by the annual feast, and the dance after it, held at Healey, 
on Whit Tuesday. — FlSHER, p. 464. 

Arkengarthdale. There is a feast held in the dale every 
Whitsuntide when cheese-cakes are presented to visitors 
and friends. — ROUTH, p. 61. 



252 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

TRINITYTIDE. 

Cleveland. Trenety's t' best tahm we hev — 

There's lots o' Cheese-keeaks meead ; 
An' all draw yam 'ats been away 
Te arn ther bit o' breead. 

We hev a Fair o' Setterda,' 

An' Races teea o' Munda'; 
Then there's t' getherin' o' friends — 

That's t' best ov all — on t' Sunda' 1 

TWEDDELL, p. II. 

For Fairs or Feasts (which not infrequently take place 
at Trinity-tide) see under NATURAL OBJECTS, pp. 28, 30, 
32, 52 ; and Local Customs, pp. 325-332. 

Forty years ago, almost every village and hamlet had 
its sunday fair ; but this impious practice is now abolished, 
except in the villages of Skinningrave, Saltburn, Redcar 
and Lackenby. — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 884. 

Redcar. The old-fashioned fair, or feast, is still held 
on the Monday and Tuesday after Trinity. . . . At these 
feasts the fishermen's wives and daughters exhibit a 
natural emulation ; bright yellow and flaming scarlet being 
the favourite ornaments of attire. Quarrels are then 
settled, and matches arranged ; the families of the fisher- 
men marrying, almost without exception, among themselves. 

Ord, pp. 299, 300. 

Staithes. Even to-day if one fisher family quarrels with 
another they do not make it up till Staithes fair-day 
when they go to each other's houses to taste their cakes, 
and become friends till they quarrel again. Communicated 
by Mr. F. M. Sutcliffe. 

1 Trinity has ceased to be kept in Stokesley with its former hospi- 
tality. 



Trinity tide. 253 

Whitbywards. Pea-scalding or Peascod-feast, a green-pea 
treat. The peas with their shells on, are scalded or 
steamed, then put into a large bowl set in the centre of 
a table, round which the company assemble. In the hot 
heap, a cup containing butter and salt is placed, into 
which every one dips his peas-cod. The peas are stripped 
out by the pressure of the mouth in the eating. 

Robinson, p. 142. 

MIDSUMMER EVE (JUNE 23rd). 
Wensleydale. Few traces of Druidism remain in Wens- 
leydale, although it prevailed during so many centuries. 
One vestige may be found in the Beltane bonfire ; till 
recently kindled near some of the villages on Midsummer 
Eve. In this fire, bones or dead animals are burned, 
whilst the spectators dance or leap over it and enforce 
contributions from all passengers, thus proving it to have 
been originally a sacrifice to the false god Bel, Belus or 
Baal. — Barker, p. 7. 

Richmond. On Midsummer Eve it is usual to have a 
fire, called a bone fire, because generally made of bones, 
or rather it may be a corruption from the French bon 
feu, and for the old and young to meet together about 
them, and play at various games : but this is now the 
exercise of the younger sort. — Richmond, p. 308 ; Clark- 
SON, p. 294. 

Local Beltane fires . . . have been lighted from time 
immemorial at Richmond, and even within the recollection 
of persons still living these Midsummer fires, attended 
with feasting and dances were celebrated annually in the 
Richmond Market Place. — SPEIGHT, p. 38. 

Whitby. Little notice is taken here of May day or of 
midsummer ; nor is there any day devoted to Robin 
Hood, though Robin once lived in our neighbourhood. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 882. 



254 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Midsummer Eve love-divinations. See Blakeborough, 
pp. 82-84. 

JULY AND AUGUST. 

Northallerton. St. Swithins Day, 15th July, continues 
to be noticed by the agriculturists, who say, that if it rains 
on this day there will be rains more or less for forty days. 

INGLEDEW, p. 347. 

St. Mary Magdalene s Eve, July 21st. Divinations on. 
See Blakeborough, pp. 84, 85. 

Lammas at York, Aug. 1st. See under LOCAL CUSTOMS, 
P- 357- 

Kern, To Get the. — To sever the last portion of 
standing corn in the harvest-field and bind it in the last 
sheaf; to finish the actual shearing or harvesting labour. — 
Atkinson (2) p. 292. 

Kern-baby. — An image, or possibly only a small sheaf 
of the newly cut corn, gaily dressed up and decorated with 
clothes, ribbons, flowers, etc., and borne home rejoicingly 
after severing the last portions of the harvest. — ATKINSON 
(2) p. 292. 

REAPING SUPPER. 

Shouting the Churn. — From some of the Phoenician 
colonies is our traditionary shouting the churn. — Aram, 
p. in. 

Churn-supper ... is entirely different from mel-supper ; 
but they generally happen so near together, that they are 
frequently confounded. The churn-supper was always 
provided when all was shorn, but the mel-supper after all 
was got in. And it was called the churn-supper, because 
from time immemorial it was customary to produce in a 
churn, a great quantity of cream and to circulate it by 
dishfuls, to each of the rustic company to be eaten with 



Reaping Supper. 255 

bread. And here sometimes very extraordinary execution 
has been done upon cream. And, though this custom has 
been disused in many places and agreeably commuted for 
by ale, yet it survives still and that about Whitby and 
Scarborough. — ' The Mel-Supper and Shouting the Churn.' 
— Aram, p. 113. 

Kern-supper. — A supper given to the work-people by 
the farmer on the completion of shearing, or severing the 
corn, on a farm. . . . 

I have reason to believe that when the harvest festivities 
were fully carried out in days now gone by, the Kern- 
supper and the Mell-supper both formed a part of them ; 
the former being given on completing the severing of the 
corn, the latter on finishing the leading or ingathering. 
At least such is the information I have collected here, and 
it is confirmed by Eugene Aram's statement quoted [above, 
and] by Brand, Vol. II. p. 12. . . . I am inclined too to 
refer the element kern in our word to kern or churn as Aram 
does rather than to corn as Mr. Henderson does. Aram's 
statement is that from ' immemorial times it was customary 
to produce in a churn a quantity of cream ' which formed 
part of the meal. . . Here [in Cleveland] a large China 
bowl in some houses replaced the churn, and new milk, 
or even furmity, did duty for the cream. — ATKINSON (2), 
p. 292. 

HARVEST SUPPER. 

Mell-supper, Meyl-supper, a supper given to farm work- 
people at close of harvest ; a harvest home. — MARSHALL, 
P- 33- 

Masham. The " Sheep Shearing " and the " Mell 
Supper," at the conclusion of the harvest, have always 
been, and may they long continue to be, in this parish, 
seasons of festive merriment. — FlSHER, p. 464. 



256 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Cleveland. When they gether'd in their kooarn, 
Ah '11 tell tha what they sed, 
When t' last leead was a-top o' t' kart, 
An' neea mair to be led : 

Well bun, an' better shooarn, 
Is Mister Reeadheeads kooarn ; 
We hev her, we hev her, 
As fast as a feather. 

Hip, hip, hip ! 
Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah ! 

An' what Mell-suppers there was then ! 

All t' warkfooaks went seea smart ; 
They'd tea, an' beef, an' ham, an' then 

They'd lots o' keeak an' tart. 

An' efter t' meeat was clear'd away, 

.They set out t' yall an' gin ; 
An' when t' awd fiddler play'd a tune, 

Now t' lads meead t' lasses spin ! 

Beeath awd an' yung wad hev a dance 

Tell they gat tired weel ; 
They'd crack ther finghers an' cry Yuck ! [1] 

As they ran t' kuntry reel. 

An' then they'd sit 'em down ti rest, 

An' sum wad sing a sang ; 
An' sum wad act a kahnd o' play 

'At did n't tak them lang. 

Then keeak an' yall was handed round 
A gud few tahms through t' neet : 

I do not know the origin or special meaning of this word, but it is 
used very much like our hurrah. Thus the Staithes people at a dance 
will exclaim, when excited ' Yuck for our town ! ' and the Bilsdale 
people, ' Yuck for our deeall ! ' evidently the same as ' Hurrah for our 
town,' and ' Hurrah for our dale.' 

G. M. Tweddell, p. 103, footnote. 



Trinity tide. 257 

They nivver thowt o' gahin' off yam 
Tell it was breead dayleet. 

TWEDDELL, 'T' Awd Cleveland Customs,' pp. 11, 12. 

Harvest Customs, 'The Widow,' ' T' Mell Doll/ Mell 
Supper. See Blakeborough, pp. 85, 86. 

Kilburn. I have been informed that at Kilburn, on the 
Hambleton Hills, the mell sheaf [1] was tastefully made of 
various kinds of corn plaited together and covered with 
ribbons, flowers, etc. When the guests were ready for the 
dance, the mell sheaf would be placed in the middle of 
the room, which was frequently a disused one, and they 
danced round it. It was made like a figure, and was 
sometimes called the mell doll. — MORRIS, p. 214. 

See Blakeborough, pp. 85, 86. 



MELL SUPPER ACTS. 

' Yan use to be plannin' all harvist what we wad sing or 
act at t' Mell.' 

' Ha ! ' sez Ah, 'Ah wad like te hear sum o' t' sangs yah 
sang i' them days. Can yah tell mah onny, Peggy ? ' 

' Whyah,' sed sheea, ' Ah mebbe could tell tha sum bits 
en em ; bud me memory 's fail'd me sair leeatly. Ah use 
te hev sike a lot off. Bud Ah'll tell tha what Ah can. 
There was yah bit we acted Ah use to tak a pait in, an' 
Ah had a spinnin' wheel, an' Ah sat mah doon to spin, 
an' Ah sang a bit ; an' a woman 'at acted wi' mah was 
call'd me mudher, an' she sang back; an' theease was t' 
wods Ah began wiv : — 

Mudher, Ah '11 hev a man, 
" If there be yan to be had ; 
For there is Andra Carr, 
A boxin', cumly lad. 

1 The last sheaf of corn in the harvest-field. — MORRIS, p. 341. 

R 



258 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

He sez he likes mah weel, 

An' what can Ah say mair ? 
Mudher, if you think fit 

The priest can mak us a pair. 

And then me mudher sang : — 

Get out, thou muckle gooad, — 

An' a bonny pair ye '11 be ! 
How diz tha think he can 

Maintain hiz sel' an' thee ? 

Yah hea neea wealth ner gear at all, 
Bud t' cleeas atop o' yer back ; 

And when yah wedded are 

Ther 's monny a thing ye '11 lack. 

Bud, deearie me ! Ah can think o' neea mair. There 
wer a lot on't, an' Ah use to het all off; bud it's ower 'd 
now. Howivver, Ah can tell tha how it ended. Me 
mudher wanted mah te hev a chap wi' muckle gear, an' Ah 
wad hev neeabody bud Andra ; an' he com in an' wanted te 
hev mah, an' sheea wad n't let him ; an' it finisht up wiv 
her brayin' him out. 

An' ther wer annudder bit, call'd ' Jack an' his maister.' 
Tweea men use te sing that, yan tiv annudder. T' maister 
began fost wiv : — 

' O, Jack, me lad, how can the matter be, 
'At Ah sud luv a leeady, an' sheea sud nut luv me ? 
Ner nowder will sheea walk wi' 'mah oonyweer.' 

Then Jack sang : — 

' O maister dear ! Ah 'd hev yah nut to fear, 

'At sheea will be yer darlin', yer only joy an' dear, 

An' sheea will walk wi' yah onnyweer.' 

An' then t' fahn leeady com in — an ay, sheea war grand ! 
Sheea had a fahn white mussellin gown on, all trimm'd 
round wi' rows o' breet reead cat-jugs [hips] ; an' t' maister 
sang tiv her, an' sheea sang back ageean ; an' it ended wiv 
her takin' his ame, an tha went off tegidder. They use 
to call 't gahin' a gahsin' [guising]. 



Mell Supper Acts. 259 

Then an awd woman wad come in, an yan o' t' cumpany 

wad say : — 

' Awd woman, awd woman, 
Hev yah com'd a shearin'? 5 

Then t' awd woman sed : — 

' Speak a lahtle harder 
Ah's varry hard o' hearin'. 

Then fost yan, an' then annudder, wad keep axin' her, 
till tha all gat te be shoutin' tegidder, an' ther was sike 
an a noise ! Bud them tahms is all ower now. Tha hev 
neea Mell Suppers like them now ; an' Ah knaw nut wedder 
they've getten owt onny better i' t' pleeace on 'em. 
TWEDDELL, 'Awd Tahms an' Awd Fooaks,' pp. 49-51. 

The one here given was enacted at the early part of this 
century, my informant and his mother taking part in it, 
and was one taught the old lady by her mother, so its age 
dates a very good way back. . . . 

The Mell Supper Act. 
As performed in 1820. 
Enter POLLY as a shearer. Sings — 

Ah finnd neea maesther wants a lass, 

Ah greet Ah's gretly feearin', 

Neea maesther needs a leykly lass, 

At's despert good at shearin'. 

Ah mak tweea binnders gen an' sweeat, 

An' here sit Ah neegh bletherin', 

Whahl t'others all ev geean i' t' carts, 

Ah've cum'd ti leeat ti t' getherin'. 

Alack, alas ! Ah cry wae's t' me 

Ah greet Ah's gretly fearin' 

Ther' is neea maesther needs a lass 

'At's despert good at shearin'. 

Ent. Old Man who sings— 

Ah want a lass, a boxin' lass, 
Ti cum an' tend an au'd chap. 



260 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

Sha mun be plump an' round o' limb. 

A canny feeace, an' a' that. 

Ah laat a lass ti darn mah hose 

An' see weel tiv her stitches, 

Ti fet mah meeals, an' tidy up, 

An' leeak weel ti mah britches. 

Ah need a lass, a boxin' lass, 

Ti cum an' mahnd mah hoos noo, 

Ah aim 'at thoo's a canty wench, 

Sae Ah've a mahnd ti waage thoo. 

Thoo'll finnd Ah's yan nut ill ti pleease, 

An' efter Ah 'ev 'ed tha 

A munth er tweea ti ken thi mense 

Ah, mebbins, lass mud wed tha. 

When he'd deean singing, POLLY shook her bnssel iv his 
feeace, an' then sang back at him. 

Polly sings — 

Gan on, au'd man, gan on, au'd man, 

Deeant weeast o' me thi blather, 

Ah wadn't waage at onny maks 

Ti sarve an au'd grandfatther. 

Gan on, au'd chap, deeant gloor an' skeg, 

Ah divn't leyke thi een mun ! 

Sike rutterkins a maid maun't trust, 

Thi leyke Ah've kend afoor mun. 

Finnd sum au'd maid 'at ez neea theeak 

Aboon her heead fer shelter, 

Sha'll tend thi need, an' cleean thi hoos, 

An' tak' care o' thi kelter. 

Seea gan thi waays, an' ho'd thi whisht, 

Ah's yan 'at's gretly fearin' 

Ther' is neea maesther wants a lass 

Ti gan an' deea his shearin'. 

When Polly had concluded, the old chap retired ; an old 
lady immediately taking his place. 



Mell Supper Acts. 261 

Old Lady sings — 

Ah laat a lass, Ah laat a lass 

'At ho'ds 'at muck wants shiftin', 

'At weean't let arran webs kep dust, 

An' dizn't eat whahl riftin'. 

Sha mun wesh an' kern, an' keep i' t' hurne 

Enew dhry peeat an' eldin, 

'At dizn't stop ti cal an' geeap 

When gahin' wi' t' paals ti t' keldin ; 

'At scoors her skeeals whahl t' milk weeant chaange, 

An' leyke wheyte wesh her kits keep, 

'At weears neea buckles on her shoon, 

An' dizn't iv her mits sleep. 

Sha mun wesh a sheet ez wheyte ez snaw, 

An' deea her wark whahl singin' ; 

Sha mun ho'd a plew, scrub, mengle, sew, 

An' keep a swipple swingin'. 

Wi'elbow-greease mah pewter rub 

Whahl t' glents leyke seeing glasses, 

An' meets mah saay wivoot backwo'd. 

Ah's laatin' sike 'meng t' lasses ; 

Seea, cum, mah lass, stan' up, let's ken 

Thi shap an' mak fer warkin'. 

Ah gi'e fahve pund — 
POLLY interrupts — 

It's neea ewse stannin' up, good deeam, 

Fer Ah've a dowly muther, 

'At ho'ds mah back fra gahin ti' pleeace, 

Ti owther t' t' ane er t' uther. 

The next few lines are wanting, but at the conclusion 
the old lady walks off. her place being taken by the Squire. 

Squire sings — 

What ails thee, maid ? Wha sits thoo theear ? 
Is t' waiting fer thi sweetheart ? 
Fer if thoo is, an' dalies he, 



262 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Ah praay let me tak' his pairt, 

Fer sike ez thoo yan dizn't see ; 

Naay, pretty maid, deean froon, 

Thoo art the sweetest lass Ah've seen 

Sen Ah left Lunnon Toon. 
Polly sings — 

Sen ya left Lunnon Toon mayhap, 

Bud nut whahl theear ya dwelt, sir. 

Hoo fahn tha are i' gowd an' silks, 

Mah au'd eem oft ez telt, sir. 

An' mah au'd deeam sha ho'ds all t' men 

I' Lunnon Toon 'at dwell, sir, 

Ken hoo ti 'tice a country maid 

Wi' t' pretty taals tha tell, sir ; 

Bud ez fer me, good sir, ya see, 

Waes t' me ! Ah's gretly fearin' 

Neea maesther noo '11 finnd a need 

Ti waage a lass fer shearin'. 

Ah, a'e neea sweetheart, tak mah wo'd, 

Fer nowther t' ane ner t' uther. 

Cum doon oor trod ti speeak a lass 

'At ez a dowly muther. 

'T war tending her 'at maad ma leeat, 

An' seea, Ah's gretly fearin' 

Neea masther now '11 finnd a need 

Ti waage a lass fer shearin'. 
Squire sings — 

Deear maad, tak' heed, Ah deea nut dwell 

I' Lunnon Toon thoo's fearin' ; 

Ah pray ya tell hoo mich thoo'd arn 

O' this yat daay whahl't shearin' ? 
Polly — 

Last tahm Ah'd sixpence ivvery daay, 
Ti that a seek o' taties, 
Ez weel Ah war alood ti' gleean, 
Bud this daay Ah ti' leeat is 



Me 11 Supper Acts. 263 

Ti git a seeat i' onny cart, 

That's why Ah's gretly fearin' 

Ah's finnd neea maesther noo i' need 

O' yah mair han' fer shearin'. 
Squire — 

Leeak up, fair maid, deeant dowly be, 

Ah sweear noo, if thoo's willin' 

Ti let mah tak' t' dew fra thi lips 

Ah'll pay tha for 't a shillin' ; 

Ah' if thoo will bud kiss mah back, 

Ah'll tell tha what Ah'll deea— 

Fer ivvery yan thoo'll gi'e ti me 

Ah'll promise ti paay tweea. 

Deeant hide fra me thi fair wheyte breast 

Deeant tuck thi 'kerchief heegher ; 

Ah've been awaay fer mony a daay, 

Deeant culler seea, Ah's t' Squire. 
Polly — 

Ya maay be t' Squire, Ah doot ya nut ; 

Naay, mair, Ah ken ya noo, 

Bud Ah've neea kisses fer ti sell 

Er gi'e ti leykes o' yow. 

Seea gan yer waays — 
Squire — Ho'd on a bit, 

Is 't reet 'at thoo's nut willin' 

To let me teeast thi luvely lips 

Fer this breet silver shillin' ? 

Ah mahnd reet weel i' t' daays geean by, 

Thoo war nut then sa shy, cum, 

Ah've sleaved thi weeast, and kissed tha, lass — 
Polly — 

Bud noo thoo munnot try, mun ! 

Them daays a'e geean, praay gan thi waays, 

Mah good neeam Ah mun ho'd, sir; 

Neea brass can buy what Ah weeant sell ; 

Seea, prithee, tak' mah wo'd, sir. 



264 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Squire — 

Staay, Polly, staay, Ah ken thoo's poor, 

Bud hearken unto me, dear ; 

Ah've gear an' brass mair 'an 's mah need, 

Wa sweethearts ewsed ti be dear ; 

Ah ken thoo's wrowt hard fer thi deeam, 

Sen i' sho't frock thoo rade then 

Astrahd o' monny a yat wi' me, 

A weel-shapp'd lahtle maiden. 
Polly — 

Oh, whisht, sir, it is nut fer me 

Ti len' a kindly ear noo 

Ti owt ya say 

SQUIRE — Deeant to'n awaay, 

Ah's gahin ti mak' it clear noo, 

At thoo is t' lass Ah meean ti wed, 

Ah nobbut ticed tha, dear lass, 

Ti ken if Ah c'u'd egg tha on 

To sell thisen fer queer brass, 

Ah nivver a'e let slip mah mahnd. 

At pairting thoo kissed me, lass ; 

An' noo, ez thi trew luvver, Poll, 

Ah's gahn fer ti kiss thee, lass. 

Noo, shap' thi lips an' shut thi e'en, 

Ther's nowt thoo need be fearin' ; 

Ah'll gi'e tha t' fest o' thi sweet lips 

Ti awlus deea mah shearin'. 

Bud wi' neea sickle s'all thoo moil, 

I' t' tahm ti cum thi shearin', 

'LI be wer bairns ti nuss, sweet maid, 

Ther's nowt i' that Ah's fearin'. 
Polly— 

Oh, prithee, sweetheart, ho'd thi whisht, 

Thoo maks ma fair sham'd feeaced noo ; 

Thoo munnot saay sike brassend things, 

It's nowther tahm ner t' pleeace noo. 



Me 11 Supper Acts. 265 

Cum wi' ma ti mah poor au'd deeam, 

Sike joyful news '11 ease her ; 

Think on, thoo mun behave thisen, 

Saay nowt i' t' wo'lld ti tease her. 
Squire — 

Ah'll gan wi' tha, but beear i' mahnd, 

Ther's yah thing Ah s'all saay, lass, 

Anuther maid Ah'll finnd fer her 

Agaan wer wedding-daay, lass. 

(A few lines are wanting.) 

Neea ribbon s'all mah brahd ho'd up, 

O' that Ah bowldly sweear, sen 

Thoo'll mak thi ties o' silken bands, 

Fer that's what thoo s'all weear, then, 

Fra Lunnon Toon thi hose s'all cum, 

Wi' gowd an' silken clockin's ; 

Neea brahd o' mahn s'all shew her leg 

I' owt bud silken stockin's. 

An' buckled shoon fra Lunnon Toon 

Thi lahtle feet s'all graace, then ; 

Fer thoo s'aan't sham thi goon ti lift 

Ti t' lad 'at diz win t' raace, then. 

Thoo nivver 'ed a scrawmy cauf — 
Polly— 

Oh, Tom, dear heart, fer sham, noo ; 

Thoo s'u'dnt' mak' ma culler seea ; 

Cum on, let's horry yam, noo. 
Both Sing — 

Afoor wa gan wa bid good neet 

Tiv all t' good faw'k 'at's here noo ; 

We ken ya all deea wish uz weel, 

O' that wa a'e na fear, noo. 

Seea all good neet ! good neet ! good neet ! ! ! 

Wa a'e nea mair ti sing, noo ; 

Wa've telt ya all an' deean wer best — 

Ther's nobbut buying t'ring, noo. 



266 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Later in the evening a wild cry of fire ! or an alarm of some 
kind would be sprung upon those within the barn. What- 
ever form the alarm given took, it had but one object in 
view, to induce those within to open the barn door. This 
having by some means been accomplished, the " Guisers," 
a kind of sword dancers, attempted to force an entrance ; 
and although it was the universal custom to make some show 
of keeping out these uninvited guests, they were always 
permitted to join the party, for great was the merriment 
they created. — BLAKEBOROUGH (3), Jan. 14th, 1899. 

All Saints. 
Whitby. Eve of All Saints, Oct. 31st — Nutcrack- 
Night. All hallows eve. In addition to the nut-feast, 
love divinations are practised by the young folks, who 
throw whole nuts in couples into the fire, and if they burn 
quietly together a happy marriage is prognosticated ; but 
if they bounce and fly assunder the sign is unpropitious. 

Robinson, p. 134. 
Cleveland. 

Nutty-crack Neet Ah mooant forget — 

Neen neets afooar Mart'mas Day, 
We hev a feeast o' happles an' nuts, 
An' how we krack away ! 

A farmer yance 'at Ah knew weel 

Had getten off te bed, 
An' quite forgat what neet it was, 

Tell it kom iv his heead. 

Then up he gat, an' rouzed 'em all 

Te kum ageean an' sup: 
He wadn't let yan stop i' bed — 

He'd keep t' awd kustum up. 

He gav' 'em yall te drink a tooast, 

An' meead 'em all quite merry: 
An' this is what t' awd farmer sed — 

Tit fooaks all round Rooasberry ! 



All Saints. 267 

An' nuts an' happles was set out — 

A reet guid feeast they had ; 
An' when they had weel trigg'd their weeams, 

They all went back to bed. 
Tweddell, 'V Awd Cleveland Customs/ pp. 13, 14. 

November and December. 

Whitby. All Souls' Day, Nov. 2nd. The custom of 
making soul mass loaves, on the day of all souls, Nov. 2, or 
about that time, is kept up to a certain extent ; they are 
chiefly small round loaves, sold by the bakers at a farthing 
each, chiefly for presents to children. In former times it 
was usual to keep one or two of them for good luck : a lady 
in Whitby has a soul mass loaf about 100 years old. The 
pranks of all hallow even are here confined to the burning 
of nuts ; it is therefore denominated nut-crack night. 

Young, vol if, p. 882. 

Saumas Loaves. Soul-mass bread, eaten on All Souls' 
day Nov. 2. Sets of square ' farthing-cakes ' with currants 
on the top, they were, within memory, given by the bakers 
to their customers ; and it was a practice to keep some in 
the house for good luck. — ROBINSON, p. 160. 

The parkin cakes baked in Yorkshire in November . . . 
are . . . reminiscences of the food prepared and offered to 
the dead at All Souls, the great day of commemoration 
of the departed. ... In the North of England all idea as 
to the connection between the cakes and the dead is lost, 
but the cakes are still made. 

Baring-Gould (2), pp. 272, 273. 

Parkin, broom-stealing, and doggerel. See Blakeborotigh, 
pp. 86, 87. 

Barring Out the Schoolmaster on the 5th of November is 
still encouraged by the elders as it was by their forefathers. 
Hardrow, Aug. 25, 1885 ; Y. R, vol. i., p. 10. 

See also under Shrove Tuesday, p. 240. 



1-.1 



268 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Northallerton. Gunpowder Plot, the fifth of November. 
. . . The observance of it is general, and perhaps few 
join more heartily than the inhabitants of this town. . . . 
About the year 1804, General Hewgill being stationed here 
with his regiment (the 31st) endeavoured to suppress the 
bonfire, an interference which highly enraged the populace. 
Being unable to read the Riot Act, on account of the 
stones and mire which were thrown at him, he was glad 
to abandon the attempt. — Ingledew, p. 347. 

When I was a boy, the lads in the North Riding, some 
days before November 5th, used in the villages to go round 
from house to house in order to collect money for empty 
tar-barrels. If no money was given them, they would lay 
hands on besoms, wood, sticks or anything else likely to be 
of use for a bonfire. The rigmarole which they recited 
was : — 

Remember, remember 

The fifth of November, 

Gunpowder treason and plot, 

I hope that night will never be forgot. 

The King and his train 

Had like to be slain. 

Thirty-six barrels of gunpowder 

Set below London to blow London up ! 

Hallo boys ! Hallo boys ! 

Let the bells ring ! 

Holla boys ! Holla boys ! 

God save the King ! 

A stick or a stake 

For Victoria's sake, 

And pray ye remember the bonfire night.' 

F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 8th S., vol. iv., pp. 497, 

498. 

Cleasby. In my native Yorkshire village, Cleasby in 
Richmondshire, there lived in my childhood — I am now 
threescore years and ten — an old woman named Bella 
Brown well known for her Tom Trot, a kind of toffee 



November and December. 269 

made of treacle. On the 5th of Nov. the boys round their 
bonfire used to shout the following doggerel : 

' Gunpowder Plot shall ne'er be forgot 
As long as Bella Brown sells Tom Trot' 

G. O. W., N. & Q., 8th S., vol. 11., p. 258. 

Observances and Rhyme. See Blakeborough, p. 87. 

Christmas. 
Scarborough. Waits, etc. — During the last century, the 
Waits were persons who received a small salary from the 
corporation of £4 per annum each, and were habited in blue 
clothes. . . . The Waits commenced their rounds on Mar- 
tinmas eve and continued till Christmas. The inhabitants 
were waited on Christmas for their donations, which were 
booked in musical characters instead of figures, thus, a 
semibreve stood for 5s., a minim for 2s. 6d., a crochet for is., 
and a quaver for 6d. These blue cloak men had many 
privileges given them. They were invited to play at 
corporation feasts once a year ; and often when on their 
rounds to enter and play in private houses. 

Baker, pp. 466, 467. 

York. For the five successive Mondays preceding Christ- 
mas, a band of waits perambulate the principal streets ; 
and after serenading the inhabitants with an air, proceed 
to salute the heads, and sometimes the individual members 
of each house, by name. Not long ago I was en pension 
at St. Mary's convent, better known as 'The Bar' from 
its vicinity to Micklegate Bar — one of the many grand 
old gates of the city. Being a light sleeper, and having 
a quick ear, I was always deputed on these exciting 
occasions to be the rouser of seven other girls, who formed 
the complement of our jealously guarded dormitory. Ar- 
rived beneath the convent windows, the one air common 
to the nocturnal entertainment was performed. This over 
a stentorian voice roared out : 



270 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

' Good morning to the Lady Abbess ! — Good morning 
to the nuns ! — Good morning to the young ladies ! — Three 
o'clock in the morning : a fine [or otherwise] morning ! — 
Good morning to the chaplain ! [his house immediately 
adjoined the convent] — Good morning to all ! — Good 
morning ! — Good morning ! ' 

Immediately after Christmas, the waits called at all 

the houses thus honoured ; and a tradition existed among 

the girls that half-a-crown was presented on the occasion 

to the speculative philanthropists by the Reverend Mother. 

Brussells [sic], N. & Q., 3rd S., vol. vii., pp. 275, 276. 

In nearly all parts of Yorkshire, the week [before x ] 
Christmas, children go from house to house with a box 
containing two dolls, one to represent the Virgin Mary 
and the other the child Jesus, and various ornaments. 
They sing the following primitive verses : — 

' Here we come a wassailing, 
Among the leaves so green ; 
Here we come a wandering, 
So fair to be seen. 

Chorus. Love and joy come to you, 
And to your wassail too ; 
And God send you a happy new year ; 

A new year ; 
And God send you a happy new year. 
Our wassail cup is made of the rosemary tree, 
So is your beer of the best barley. 

We are not daily beggars 

That beg from door to door, 
But we are neighbours' children, 

Whom you have seen before. 

Call up the butler of this house, 

Put on his golden ring ; 
Bid him bring up a glass of beer, 

The better that we may sing. 

1 [The word is after in the original : it has been changed to before 
in order that the paragraph may relate what is the usual custom 
of the North Riding.] 



November and December. 271 

We have got a little purse, 

Made of shining leather skin ; 
We want a little of your money 

To line it well within. 

Bring us out a table, 

And spread the table-cloth ; 
Bring us out a mouldy cheese, 

And some of your Christmas loaf. 

God bless the master of this house, 

Likewise the mistress too ; 
And all the little children, 

That around the table go. 

Good master and mistress, 

While you're sitting by the fire, 

Pray think of us poor children 
Who are wandering in the mire.' 

Y. F., vol. i., pp. 28, 29. 

Christmas Luckybird. Here in the North Riding, the 
first person who enters a house on Christmas Day morning 
is called a Luckybird. But if it be a woman or girl that 
first enters, the luck that comes with her will be ill and 
not good ; and if it be a fair-haired man, the result is 
almost as serious. The Luckybird must be of the male 
sex, and must have dark hair and complexion, or some- 
thing evil will befal the household. It becomes then a 
matter of importance to settle beforehand who the Lucky- 
bird shall be. In my grandfather's time a dark-haired 
man was specially retained in this office during many 
years ; and I learnt yesterday that arrangements had 
been successfully made to obtain good luck at this present 
Christmas. The person who, under ordinary circumstances, 
would first enter this house is a man, and a dark-haired 
man ; but it is to him, according to kitchen belief, that 
we owe the introduction of the cattle plague into our 
borders, and this misfortune is more than enough to 
counteract the virtue of his sex and his dark hair. So 
a small boy of the village, black-haired and black-eyed, 



272 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

was fixed upon by the servants ; and he, knowing how 
much depended on his wakefulness, appeared first of all 
living things, at the back-door yesterday morning and 
received his promised shilling from the cook. Thus by 
this simple and obvious expedient, are we secured against 
ill-luck until Christmas 1867. 

Arthur Munby, N. & Q., 3rd S., vol. xi., p. 213. 

Christmas Celebration. Mr. Urban, according to my 
promise, I have sent you an extract from the journal of 
a deceased friend, which relates the manner in which the 
inhabitants of the North Riding of Yorkshire celebrate 
Christmas. The account though written in a familiar 
style, yet in every point will be found true. 

Yours etc., R. S. 

" Here, and in the neighbouring villages, I spent 

my Christmas, and a happy Christmas too. I found the 
antient manners of our ancestors practised in every cottage: 
the thoughts of welcoming Christmas seem to fill the 
breast of every one with joy, whole months before its. 
arrival. About 6 o'clock on Christmas day, I was awak- 
ened by a sweet singing under my window ; surprised 
at a visit so early and unexpected, I arose, and looking 
out of the window I beheld 6 young women and 4 men 
welcoming with sweet music the blessed morn. I went 
to church about 11 o'clock, where everything was per- 
formed in a most solemn manner. The windows and 
pews of the Church (and also the windows of houses) 
are adorned with branches of holly, which remain till 
Good Friday. From whence this custom arose I know 
not, unless it be as a lasting memorial of the blessed 
season. 

Happy was I to find that not only the rich but also 
the poor shared the festivity of Christmas ; for it is 
customary for the clergymen and gentlemen to distribute 



November and December! 273 

to the poorest people of their own village or parish, 
whole oxen and sheep, and to each a pint of ale also. 
Such was the hospitality of our ancestors ; would that 
such customs were still practised among us ! 

In the North Riding of Yorkshire it is customary for 
a party of singers, mostly consisting of women, to begin 
at the feast of St. Martin, a kind of peregrination round 
the neighbouring villages, carrying with them a small 
waxen image of our Saviour adorned with box and other 
evergreens, and singing at the same time a hymn, which, 
though rustic and uncouth, is nevertheless replete with 
the sacred story of the Nativity. This custom is yearly 
continued till Christmas eve, when their feasting, or as 
they usually call it 'good living' commences. Every 
rustic dame produces a cheese preserved for the sacred 
festival, upon which, before any part of it is tasted, 
according to an old custom, the origin of which may 
easily be traced, she with a sharp knife makes rude 
incisions to represent the cross. With this, and furmity 
made of barley and meal, the cottage affords uninterrupted 
hospitality. A large fire (on Christmas eve) is made, on 
which they pile large logs of wood, commonly called 
' yule clog ' ; a piece of this is yearly preserved by each 
prudent housewife : I have seen no less than thirty rem- 
nants of these logs kept with the greatest care. 

On the feast of St. Stephen large goose pies are made, 
all which they distribute among their needy neighbours, 
except one which is carefully laid up and not tasted till 
the purification of the Virgin, called Candlemas. 

On the feast of St. Stephen also, 6 youths (called sword 
dancers from their dancing with swords), clad in white, 
and bedecked with ribbands, attended by a fiddler, and 
another youth curiously dressed, who generally has the 
name of ' Bessy,' and also by one who personates a 
Doctor, begin to travel from village to village performing 

a rude dance called the sword dance. One of the 6 

s 



274 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

above-mentioned acts the part of king in a kind of farce 
which consists of singing and dancing, when 'the Bessy' 
interferes while they are making a hexagon with their 
swords, and is killed. These frolicks they continue till 
New Year's Day, when they spend their gains at the 
ale-house with the greatest innocence and mirth, having 
invited all their rustic acquaintances. 

There is in this part of Yorkshire a custom, which 
has been by the country people more or less revived, 
ever since the alteration in the Style and Calendar : 
namely the watching, in the midnight of the New and 
Old Christmas eve, by Beehives, to determine upon the 
right Christmas, from the humming noise which they 
suppose the bees will make when the birth of the Saviour 
took place. Disliking innovations, the utility of which 
they understand not, the oracle, they affirm, always prefers 
the more ancient custom. 

D — d R — e., Gent. Mag., pt. i., i8n, pp. 423, 424. 

Filey. The fishermen paid particular attention to matters 
which they esteemed lucky or unlucky. At Christmas 
time they considered it of the greatest importance that 
each member of the family should sit down to the 
Christmas supper. The chief dish on this occasion was 
the c ancient and celebrated one of frumentie, or frumity ' 
which consisted of wheat boiled in milk. This was suc- 
ceeded by apple-pie, cheese, and ginger-bread. When the 
whole family had assembled, an immense block of wood 
called a Yule Clog was placed on the fire, and the Yule 
candle, a tall mould, half a yard in length was lighted. 
... It was believed to be very unlucky to cut into the 
ginger-bread or light the candle before the precise time 
for attending to these matters. Great care was also taken 
that no person should stir, or snuff the candle, or move the 
table till supper was over. If any of these things were 
done the most melancholy consequences were supposed 
to follow. . . . 



November and December. 275 

They were also very particular when Christmas morning 
arrived, to allow no person to go out of the house till 
the threshold had been consecrated by the entrance of 
a male, and should one of the opposite sex come in the 
event causes [sic] the utmost horror and alarm. On no 
account would they give a light out of the house, or 
throw out the ashes, tl] or even sweep up the dust, there 
being, as they believed, no chance of a good fishing to 
such persons as committed those practices, and wilfully 
acted against their own interests. — Shaw, p. 9, etc. 

Richmond. Our ancestors, as part of that night's cere- 
monies, used to light up candles of an uncommon size 
called Christmas Candles, and to lay upon the fire a 
block of wood called a Yule Log, but should the log 
be so large as not to be all burnt that night, it was 
kept till Old Christmas Eve. These were to illuminate 
the house, and turn night into day; and were accounted 
an emblem of that star, which shining round about the 
Shepherds as they were watching their flocks by night, 
directed them where to find the Babe. 

Richmond, p. 294. 

Wensleydale. An ancient Christmas usage still prevails, 
of which few recognise the true beginning, — the Yule 
Clog. This was originally placed on the fire on Christmas 
Eve, in order to enable every member of the family to 
attend the midnight Mass ; its size ensuring a cheerful 
blaze to welcome them home on their return through 
the cold frosty winter's night. . . . On Christmas Eve, 
or rather morning, the church bells ring, and these peals 
are called ' The Virgin Chimes.' — Barker, pp. 43, 44. 

Whitby. At the commencement of the supper the yule 

dog, a short block of wood, is laid on the fire, and the 

yule candle, a tall mould-candle, is lighted and set on 

the table. ... It would be unlucky to light either before 

1 [See New Year, p. 231.] 



276 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.}. 

the time, or to stir either during the supper : the candle 
must not be snuffed, and no one must move from the 
table, till supper be ended. . . . Sometimes a piece of the 
clog is saved and put below the bed, to remain till next 
christmas, when it is burnt with the new clog : it secures 
the house from fire ; nay a fragment of it thrown into 
the fire will quell a raging storm ! A piece of the candle 
is also kept to ensure good luck ! — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 879. 

Christmas is here announced two or three weeks before- 
hand by the 'Vessel cups' or carol singers, the repre- 
sentatives of the former-day carriers of the Wassail bowl, 
the symbol of the joyousness of the season. The bowl 
exposition is now substituted by that of the Bethlehem 
babe, a small figure in an upright case amid green sprigs 
of box (a leaf from the same being a specific for the 
toothache) ; while an orange or two, or a few red apples 
are stuck on the top for further decoration. Their upraised, 
voices are a signal for the household's attention. 

' God rest you merry gentlemen ! 

May no ill you dismay ; 
Remember Christ our Saviour 

Was born on Christmas day. 
Glory to God ! the angels sing, 
Peace and good will to man we bring. 

In swaddling clothes the babe was wrapp'd, 

And in a manger lay, 
With Mary his blest mother, 

Where oxen fed on hay. 
Glory to God ! the angels sing, 
Peace and good will to man we bring. 

God bless the master of this house, 

The mistress also ; 
And all the little children 

That round the table go. 
God bless your kith and kindred 

That live both far and near ; 
We wish you a merry Christmas 

And a happy New Year.' 



November and December. 277 

To the first set of these heralds who come to your 
door, or rather to the old or recognised group, a gratuity [1] 
must be given for good luck to the house through the 
following year, not forgetting the consecration of the 
threshold by their passing across it during the recital of 
the foregoing verses, or scraps of similar import, for the 
lays are apt to be varied by different comers. 

Now the red-berried holly is in request for the decora- 
tion of churches, houses, and shop-windows ; grocer's 
enclose presents of Yule-candles to their customers, and 
the Yule-log is duly sent by the carpenter. Christmas 
eve at length arrives ; the bells ring out a merry peal, 
the family and friends assemble for supper, not in' an odd, 
but an even number ; and the Yule-candles are not to 
be snuffed, for that would be an unlucky perpetration. 
The smoking bowl of Frumity, the Mince-pies, the Yule- 
cake, [2] the Cheese and Gingerbread, the lemonized Apple- 
pie, receive especial laudation ; the mince-pies, by the way, 
according to the old mode, being oblong in shape, in 
imitation of the cradle, or cratch for the babe in old 
Nativity pictures, — the spices within ' denoting the offer- 
ings of the eastern Wise men ' at the birth-place recorded. 
Our host is reminded to save a bit of the Yule-candle 
for luck, and to put under the bed a piece of the Yule- 
clog to preserve the house from fire during the forth- 
coming year, as well as to kindle the fresh clog with, 
when Christmas comes again. No light must be given 
out of the house either on Christmas day or on New 
Year's day ; and it is unlucky on those days to throw 
out the ashes or sweep out the dust. 

1 [Called a yule-daum, as is any other Christmas gift. See Robinson, 
sub Yule. Dawn = a. small portion, Robinson.] 

2 [It is unlucky to cut it before Christmas Eve. "The tribe of 
pastries at this season are known in some parts hereabouts as Yule- 
doughs " Carols as Yule-songs ; see Robinson sub Yule.] 



278 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

The Frumity 1 frumentum 'more particularly a north 
country dish,' is a wheat and milk porridge spiced, and 
sometimes fruited with raisins, the creaved or pre-boiled 
wheat, as well as the milk, forming large items in the 
market transactions at Whitby for Christmas materials 
held the day before Christmas day. The Christmas 
gingerbread of the shops was wont to be brought from 
London by shipping in numbers of tons, but it is now 
chiefly home made, and sent for its celebrity to the 
surrounding towns. 

Early on Christmas day morning, every door has its 
callers, chiefly among the boys, — ' I wish you a merry 
Christmas and a happy New Year,' the first lot being 
sure to be treated with money, and the local combination 
cheese and gingerbread ; a reward is also distributed, 
but less bountifully, to some of the succeeding visitors. . . . 

The mode of announcing the season in our country 
places is similar to what has been told of the town ; 
though the rustic, when he calls at the farmstead lacks 
not his peculiar address on the occasion : — 

' I wish ye a merry Kessenmas an' a happy New Year, 
A pooakful o' money an' a cellar full o' beer ; 
A good fat pig an' a new cawven coo, 
Good maisther an' misthress, hoo de yo do' ; 

and to this he will add at leave-taking ' Good luck to yer 
feather-fowl,' i.e. to your poultry brood. At twelve o'clock 
on Christmas eve (and we know that the practice has 
not altogether ceased in this neighbourhood), the farmer 
was wont to give his stalled cattle each a sheaf of un- 
thrashed oats ; and it is related that if the byre is entered 
at this hour, the oxen will be found on their knees. — 
Robinson, pp. iv.-vi. ; Ingledew, pp. 341, 342; Fisher 
pp. 461, 462. 

1 [" Frumity-night Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve," Robinson 
sub Frumity or {rarely) Furmity.] 



November and December. 279 

Fere. This term though not in use conversationally, 
occurs in one of the variations of the Christmas ' nomony ' 
or formula of good wishes : 

' I wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year ; 
A pocketful of money, and a barrelful of beer ; 
Good luck to your feather-fowl fere ; 
And please will you give me my Christmas box ! ' 

The line containing the word is addressed to the mistress 
of the house, who, together with her daughters, are [sic] 
usually identified with the merchandise of the poultry- 
yard. — C. C. R., p. 39. 

Christmas Customs, including ' stockings ' and mention 
of Santa Claus. See Blakeborough, pp. 61-71. 

At Christmastide ... in the North Riding of Yorkshire 
every visitor received a slice of ' pepper cake,' a piece of 
cheese, and a glass of gin. 

T. F. Thiselton Dyer, N. & Q., 5th S., vol. x., p. 484. 
The old-fashioned ' pepper cake ' . . . is . . still made 
in the moorland districts of the North Riding; while in the 
East Riding and other parts the very name is unknown. 
This, too is a Yule cake ; it is a kind of gingerbread, and 
therefore more pungent than the Yule cakes of other 
districts ; hence the name. It has nothing to do with 
pepper, at least not at the present date. . . . When the 
pepper-cake is eaten in the moorlands of the North Riding 
at Yuletide, cheese always is on the table as a concomitant. 

Morris, pp. 217, 218. 
An't t' house is deck'd wi' Holly round, 

An' t' Kissin'-bush [1] is there ; 
There's lots o' pullin' underneeath 't 
For kissin' then is fair. 
E. Tweddell, ' T. Acad. Cleveland Customs,' p. 15. 

*An ornamental bush of holly and evergreens, with roses made of 
coloured paper, flowers, apples, oranges, etc., interspersed, hung from 
the centre of the ceiling, or in some other convenient place ; the 
' common law ' in Cleveland being, that every man who can get a 



280 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Richmond. [In] the Barbers Shops ... a thrift box, as 
it is called, is put by the Apprentice boys against the wall, 
and every customer according to his inclination puts in 
something. . . . The custom [of Christmas boxing] is now 
in a great measure confined to the poorer children and old 
infirm persons who beg at the doors. 

Richmond, p. 300. 

The Sword or Morisco Dance is an old custom practised 
here during the Christmas Hollidays by young men dressed 
in shirts, ornamented with ribbons folded into roses, having 
swords, or wood cut in the form of that weapon. They 
exhibit various feats of activity, attended by an old 
Fiddler, by Bessey in the grotesque habit of an old woman, 
and by the Fool almost covered with skins, a hairy cap on 
his head, and the tail of a Fox hanging from his back : 
these lead the festive throng, and divert the crowd with 
their droll antic buffoonery. The office of one of these 
characters is to go about rattling a box, and soliciting 
money from door to door, to defray the expences of a 
Feast and a dance in the evening. This old custom cannot 
be more curiously or better described here than it is by 
Olaus Magnus in his History of the Northern Nations. 
' First, with their swords sheathed, and erect in their hands, 
they dance in a tripple round ; then with their drawn 
swords held erect as before ; afterwards, extending them 
from hand to hand, they lay hold of each others hilt and 
point, while they are wheeling more moderately round ; 
and changing their order, throw themselves into the 
figure of a hexagon, which they call a rose ; but presently 
raising and drawing back their swords, they undo that 



woman under the bush, is fairly entitled to a kiss of her then and 
there. . . . Since the country has been covered with railways, so that 
the mistletoe ( Viscum album) can be purchased at Stockton and 
Middlesbrough, sprigs of the plant of Venus are often added in the 
centre of the kissing-bush, for which, in the absence of the mysterious 
parasite, it has long been the substitute. — G. M. Tweddell, pp. 95, 96. 



November and December. 281 

figure, to form with them a four square rose, that may- 
rebound over the head of each. At last they dance rapidly 
backwards, and, loudly rattling the sides of the swords 
together, conclude the sport.' . . . 

The dance is now performed with the single alteration 
of laying their swords upon the ground, when formed into 
a figure, and dancing round them, singing and repeating a 
long string of uncouth verses, after having cut off in 
appearance the fool's head. The Fool and Bessy are 
plainly fragments of the ancient Festival of Fools, held on 
New Year's Day, when all sorts of absurdities and in- 
decencies were indulged in. — Richmond, pp. 296-298. 

Northallerton. Practised here during Christmas week. 
. . . These frolics they continue till New Year's day, when 
they spend their gains at the ale-house with the greatest 
mirth, having invited their friends and acquaintance. 

INGLEDEW, pp. 342, 343. 

St. Stephens Eve. See Blakeborough, p. 71 [St. Stephen's 
Eve = Christmas Day]. 

St. Stephens Day Dec. 26 is a great hunting day; the 
game laws are considered as of no force for that day. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 880. 

Childermas day Dec. 28 is unlucky in the extreme, in so 
much that the day of the week on which it falls is marked 
as a black day for the whole year to come. It is a well- 
known fact, that some years ago, when a ship was going to 
sail from Whitby on childermas day, one of the crew, at the 
persuasion of his wife left the vessel : but Providence 
testified against the superstition ; the vessel that sailed on 
childermas day had a prosperous voyage, while that in 
which he subsequently sailed was lost with all hands. 

Young, vol. ii., p. 880. 

Richmond. The Hagmena is an old custom observed on 
New Year's Eve. The keeper of the Pinfold goes round 



282 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

the Town, attended by a rabble at his heels, and knocking 
at certain doors, sings a barbarous song, according to the 
custom 'of old King Henry's days '; and at the end of every 
verse, they shout Hagman Heigh. When wood was chiefly 
used by our forefathers as fuel, this was the most ap- 
propriate season for the hagman or wood-cutter, to remind 
his customers of his services, and solicit alms from them. 
The word Hag is still used among us for a wood, and the 
hag-man may be a compound name from that employment. 
Some give it a more sacred interpretation, as derived from 
the Greek ayia /w-wrj, the Holy Month, when the Festivals 
of the Church for our Saviour's birth were celebrated. 
Formerly on the last day of December, the Monks and 
Friars used to make a plentiful harvest by begging from 
door to door and reciting a kind of Carol, at the end of 
every stave of which they introduced the words agia mene, 
alluding to the Birth of Christ, etc. 

Richmond, pp. 300, 301. 

Fragment of the Hagmena Song, 

As sung at Richmond, Yorkshire, on the eve of the New- 
Year, by the Corporation Pinder. 

To-night it is the New-year's night, to-morrow is the day, 
And we are come for our right, and for our ray, 1 
As we used to do in old King Henry's day. 

Sing, fellows, sing, Hagman-heigh. 

If you go to the bacon flick, cut me a good bit ; 
Cut, cut and low, beware of your maw ; 
Cut, cut and round, beware of your thumb, 
That me and my merry men may have some. 

Sing, fellows, sing, Hagman-heigh. 

1 ' Ray, ree or rey, a Portuguese coin, ioo of which are equal to six- 
pence English,' Clarkson's Richmond. 



November and December. 283 

If you go to the black-ark, bring me X. mark ; 

Ten mark, ten pound, throw it down upon the ground, 

That me and my merry men may have some. 

Sing, fellows, sing, Hagman-heigh. 

Ingledew (2), p. 225. 

New Year's Eve observances. See Blakeborough, p. 71. 



SECTION XI. 

CEREMONIAL. 

BIRTH AND INFANCY. 

First Cradle. The first Cradle must be paid for before 
crossing threshold. It is well to turn it wrong side up 
until the child has occupied it, to keep other things from 
sleeping therein. — See Blakeborough, pp, 114, 115. 

Whitby. Hans in Kelder. — An old lady, long dead, 
whose childhood was passed in Whitby, told me she 
remembered at dessert sometimes this toast being drunk, 
and of course she neither understood its meaning nor the 
sort of mirth it seemed to make. In after life, she learned 
who ' Hans in Kelder ' was from the Glossary to Bamfylde 
Moore Carew's book, and she also found from Yorkshire 
friends that it was a custom to gather a knot of very 
intimate friends together, for a take-leave party, at a house 
where hospitalities would necessarily be suspended till the 
christening day. — P. P., N. & Q., 4th S., vol. i., p. 181. 

See also ROBINSON, sub Jack in the Cellar, p. 102. 

Shout. A congratulative ceremony on the occasion of a 
child being born. When the birth is looked for immedi- 
ately, the neighbours are summoned and each attends with 
a warming pan, but this is not put to any use. After the 
event a festive hour is spent when each person is expected 
to favour the child with a good wish. — C. C. R., p. 122. 



Birth and Infancy. 285 

Rhyme as to fate involved in the day of birth. 

See Blakeborough, p. 106 ; Henderson, p. 9. 

Hospitality shown about the time of a birth. 

Blakeborough, pp. 106-146; Henderson, pp. 11, 12. 

Child to lie in a maiden's arms even before touched by 
mother. — Blakeborough,^. 106; Henderson,^. 12. 

Caid. Its importance. — See also under Natural OR 
Inorganic Objects, p. 51, and Blakeborough, pp. 107- 
112. 

Deformed Child. — Blakeborough, p. 151. 

Moles and Dimples, significance of, according to position. 
— Blakeborough, p. 115. 

Visible veins in the Nose [a sign of untimely end]. The 
superstition alluded to is one that prevails in the North 
Riding. 

F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & O., 7th S., vol. vii., p. 216. 

A new-born babe should be taken 2^>-stairs in order to 
insure its future rise in the world, before it is brought down 
from the chamber where it first saw the light. 

Robinson, pp. 9, 10. 

Bible placed under pillow of unchristened child. — Blake- 
borough, p. 114. 

Name should be chosen within nine days and, once 
chosen, adhered to. — Blakeborough, pp. 113, 114; also 
p. 145. 

BAPTISM. 

York. It is lucky for a child to cry when baptized ; and 
the vicar of one of the parishes in York has been asked to 
pinch a child, to make it cry if it did not without. 

J. T. F., N. & O., 6th S., vol. i., p. 392. 

While standing at the font [at Darlington] last Sunday 
(10th after Trinity), and preparing to baptize two children, 
the nurse attendant on one of the parties abruptly demanded 



286 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

of the other nurse if the child she presented was a boy. The 
reply seemed to satisfy her. I took an early opportunity 
to question her on the subject, and she replied that she 
'wondered at my not knowing that a boy was always 
christened before a girl.' On my assuring her that such 
was not the custom here, she said ' In Scarborough where I 
come from, it is always the custom to baptize and bury a 
boy before a girl.' And she added when I pressed for a 
reason: 'Doesn't it look reasonable?' — George Lloyd, 
N. & Q., 3rd S., vol. xii., pp. 184, 5. 

Boy will be effeminate and beardless, girl masculine and 
bearded unless this be attended to. — Blakeborough, pp. 115, 
116; Henderson, p. 86. 

When the writer was a parson in Yorkshire, he had in 
his parish a blacksmith blessed, or afflicted — which shall 
we say ? — with seven daughters and not a son. Now the 
parish was a newly constituted one, and it had a temporary 
licensed service room ; but during the week before the 
newly erected church was to be consecrated, the black- 
smith's wife presented her husband with a boy — his first 
boy. Then the blacksmith came to the parson, and the 
following conversation ensued : — 

Blacksmith : ' Please, sir, I've gotten a little lad at last, 
and I want to have him baptised on Sunday.' 

Parson : ' Why, Joseph, put it off till Thursday, when the 
new church will be consecrated ; then your little man will 
be the first child christened in the new font in the new 
church.' 

Blacksmith (shuffling with his feet, hitching his shoulders, 
looking down) : ' Please, sir, folks say that t' fust child as 
is baptised i' a new church is bound to dee (die). T'old 
un (the devil) claims it. Now, sir, I've seven little lasses, 
and but one lad. If this were a lass again 't wouldn't 'a 
mattered ; but as its a lad — well, sir, I won't risk it' 

Baring-Gould (2), pp. 1, 2. 



Varia. 287 



VARIA. 

At the birth of a first child, the first slice of the gin- 
gerbread, which, with cheese and cordials, forms the 
usual cheer, is cut into small pieces, to be used by the 
unmarried as dreaming bread, after the same form as the 
fragments of the dumb cake above mentioned. 113 Christen- 
ings, as they are usually called, are attended with feasts ; 
and, as in other parts of the country, the inauguration of 
the young christian is often celebrated by the most un- 
christian revels ; an abuse which is the more scandalous as 
it usually takes place on the sabbath. It is a commendable 
practice, that the mother pays no visits till she is churched; 
and the custom of presenting an infant, with an egg, a roll, 
and a little salt, when it is first carried into a neighbours 
house, savours of hospitality, as much as of superstition. 

YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 883 ; Blakeborough, pp. 115, 116. 

In the North Riding, twenty or thirty years ago, a roll 
of new bread, a pinch of table salt, and a silver groat or 
fourpenny piece were offered to every baby on its first visit 
to a friend's house. This gift was certainly made more 
than once to me, and I recollect seeing it made to other 
babies. The groat was reserved for its proper owner, but 
the nurse who carried that owner appropriated the bread 
and salt, and was also gratified with half-a-crown or so, the 
tribute of those to whom she unveiled for the first time that 
miracle of nature, the British infant. The same custom, I 
believe, prevailed among the poor, except that the groat 
was omitted.— A. J. M., N. & Q., 5th S., vol. ix., p. 138. 

The salt, in paper, is usually pinned to the child's clothes. 

Robinson, p. 155. 

Sex of next baby foretold by its predecessor's first 
utterance of " Papa" or of " Mamma." 

Blakeborough, p. 115; Henderson, pp. 1 9, 20. 

^See under Magic and Divination, p. 209]. 



288 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.) 

Treatment of nails, etc., and day-omens. 
Blakeborough, pp. 112, 113 ; Henderson, pp. 11 6- 118. 
Teeth. Unlucky for first tooth to be in upper jaw. 
Blakeborough, p. 115; Henderson, p. 20. 
If the teeth grow with spaces between them, the child 
will not be a long liver ; for — 

' If a bairn teeathes odd 
It'll seean gan te God. 5 

' Seean teeath'd, seean bairn'd ' ; when the last child cut 
its teeth earlier than common, the mother, it is said, will 
soon again be in the family way. — ROBINSON, p. 194. 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE. 

St. Dunstan's day [Oct. 21] unlucky for declaration of 
love. — See Blakeborough, p. 131. 

Pitchering. It is a custom in some parts of Yorkshire for 
any third party meeting in a country lane a man and 
woman engaged in an amorous converse to 'pitcher' the 
lovers, i.e. to demand money from them for beer. 

Middle Templar, N. & Q., 5th S., vol. vi., p. 534. 

Wensleydale. Pitchering, the name and the custom is 
still known in Upper Wensleydale, Yorkshire, North Riding. 
It is not merely, however, when the lovers are met that 
the demand is made. A visit may be paid to the house 
where they are, or the gentleman may be accosted after 
leaving his sweetheart. Hen-silver is also given on the 
wedding day [See post, p. 295]. 

LL. D. P., N. & Q., 5th S, vii., p. 336. 

Pitchering for kissing under a roof, and penalty 
incurred. — See Blakeborough, p. 94. 

Lovers' farewells, ib., p. 133. 

What is to be done if a younger daughter marries before 
an elder sister. — Blakeborough, pp. 127, 128. 



*■ 



Courtship and Marriage. 289 

Honi soit, etc. Maidens used to bind about their left 
leg a garter made from wheat and oaten straws. These 
had to be drawn from a stook whilst the harvest moon was 
shining, wheaten straws gave boys, oaten straws girls, as 
many children as they wished to have, so many straws 
they used. The plaiting and tying round the leg had to 
be done in secret. The fact that such a garter band was 
being worn had to be kept from the knowledge of the bride- 
groom. At least he was on no account to see it whilst it 
graced his lady love's leg. The band was plaited and 
wound about the leg on a Friday evening, and whilst 
being wound round the maiden repeated a certain charm. 
This I have been unable to obtain, my informant having 
forgotten it, but it was something about the straw upon 
which our Saviour lay when sleeping in the manger. The 
band had to be worn from Friday evening until Monday 
morning. If during that time it remained in situ, all 
well, but if it broke away, the charm lost its power. . . . 
None but a true maiden dare wear such a band ; the 
charm working evil on every child born in wedlock, if the 
wearer had ever left the path of virtue. Any way it was a 
badge of virginity. — BLAKEBOROUGH (2), pp. 46, 47. 

Banns. " To be thrown over the Rannal-Bawk." ... It 
means to have had one's banns published in church. I 
have heard the phrase so used in the North Riding of 
Yorkshire. A ' rannal-bawk ' is an iron beam in a 
kitchen chimney from which kettles, etc., are suspended by 
means of ' reckans.' — F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., 
vol. ii., p. 368. 

Helmsley. Confirmation and Marriage. — There is a very 
wholesome tradition in some parts of the country that a 
person ought not to be married until he has been con- 
firmed. A former assistant curate of Helmsley in the 
North Riding of Yorkshire states that this was the prevail- 
ing feeling in that parish when he was there 'more than 

T 



290 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

twenty years ago. Indeed, once a young man asked him 
as a great favour to marry him on the promise that he 
would be confirmed on the first opportunity. 

Vaux, p. 108. 
A wedding on a Friday is said to be unlucky. 

ROUTH, p. 70. 
Rhyme concerning this. — See Blakeborough, p. 95. 
Saying concerning a sunshine wedding. — lb. 

' To be wed on St. Thomas's Day makes a wife a 
widow ere long.' — BLAKEBOROUGH, p. 131. 

Leap Year Marriage. 

' Happy they'll be that wed and wive, 
Within leap year ; they're sure to thrive.' 

Robinson, p. 215. 
Colour of Dress. In some of the North Riding dales, and 
probably in other places also, the antipathy to green as a 
colour for any part of the bridal costume is still very 
strong. I was once at a farmhouse in a remote district 
near Whitby, and when discussing olden times and customs 
with an elderly dame, was informed there were many she 
knew in her younger days who would rather have gone to 
the church to be married in their common every-day 
costume than in a green dress. My informant herself was 
evidently one of those who held the same faith on this 
point as her early companions, for she instanced a case 
that had come under her own observation where the bride 
was rash enough to be married in green, but it was added 
that she shortly afterwards contracted a severe illness ! 
Neither is blue much less unlucky as a colour for the 
wedding dress, at least if one may judge by the old saying 
anent the bride, that 

' If dressed in blue 
She's sure to rue.' 

Morris, pp. 227, 228. 
See Blakeborough, p. 95. 



Courtship and Marriage. 291 

Masham. A quasi-legal shift. — I have heard that the 
belief that a husband would not be responsible for a wife's 
debts, provided she was married en chemise, was formerly 
common at Kirton-in-Lindsey in Lincolnshire ; and that 
marriages have been solemnized in that way in the parish 
church there. At Masham, in the North Riding of the 
county of York, there are one or two entries in the 
registers of marriages actually having taken place in the 
church, where the bride was habited en chemise for the 
above-mentioned reason ... to the best of my recollection 
in the last century. — Virga, N. &. O., 5th S., vol. vi., p. 178. 

Wensley. Wedding Stone. — In the centre aisle [of the 
Church] filling its whole width is a marble slab commemo- 
rating two brothers Richard and John Clederow who were 
both rectors. On this stone have been celebrated from 
an unknown period the first part of all marriage rites in 
the church which were afterwards completed at the altar. — 
Speight, p. 389. 

Danby. In my church, up to the time of its being 
churchwardenized (otherwise destroyed and rebuilt in 
the debased barn style), somewhere about 1788 to 1790 
there was one particular stone in the pavement of a large 
size, and situate in the nave, north of the southern entrance, 
on which the couple to be married were always placed 
before the commencement of the service, remaining on it 
until the formal part of the ceremony was complete. This 
stone though desecrated by removal from the church and 
relaying as a doorstone of the stable of Church House, 
built upon the site of the ancient country residence of the 
Prior of Guisborough, is still pointed out as the stone, 
standing upon which was once considered essential to real 
marriage. Compare ' Uplandi dicunt std pa breda sten, 
lapidi lato insistere, quod est connubii foedus jungere ' 
(Ihre Lex, S. Goth. i. 262).— J. C. A., N. &. Q., 3rd S., vol. 
ix., p. 188. 



292 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

The following curious marriage custom prevails at 
Danby. After the solemnization of the marriage ceremony, 
the bridegroom places in the hand of the officiating minis- 
ter a sum of money, from which he is to take for himself 
the accustomed fee, and give the remainder to the bride as 
her dowry or marriage portion. — FAWCETT, p. 182. 

See Atkinson, pp. 206, 207 ; Henderson, p. 38. 

For either [bride or bridegroom] to stumble or 
make a false step as they approached the altar rail, 
was a sure sign, that an unconfessed moral slip had been 
committed. It was, and in many places still is, con- 
sidered most unlucky for the bridal party to be in the 
church when the clock strikes the hour appointed for the 
ceremony, hence, they often remain outside the porch until 
the hour has chimed. It is still considered unlucky for the 
ring to fall to the ground during the ceremony, and 
especially so, should it roll away from the altar steps. In 
such a case no kindly disposed bridesmaid would think of 
trying to find it, as should a maid do so, she would be 
certain to work evil and to cause jealousy, and most pro- 
bably strive to win the bridegroom's affections. Should it 
roll until it rested on a recumbent gravestone it signifies 
an early death to one of them according to the sex 
resting beneath. (The idea was that if the ring rested on 
the grave of a woman the man would die and vice-versa.) m 

Blakeborough (2), p. 34. 

The first man who can catch hold of the bride after the 
completion of the marriage service is entitled to kiss 
her ; an old custom to which some of the jolly Cleveland 
clergymen of the past used to give their personal patron- 
age by trying to obtain the coveted kiss. 

G. M. Tweddell, p. 96. 

At Guisborough. in Cleveland, . . . guns are fired over 
the heads of the newly-married couple all the way from 

1 [This explanation is inserted by request of the author.] 



Courtship and Marriage, 293 

church. [1] There too it has been customary for the bride- 
groom to offer a handful of money, together with the ring, 
to the clergyman ; out of this fees were taken, and the 
overplus returned. Through Cleveland, he who gives the 
bride away claims the first kiss in right of his temporary 
paternity. One clerical friend of mine declares that it is 
the privilege of the parson who ties the knot, and though 
he cannot aver that he has ever availed himself of it, he 
knows an old north country clergyman who was reported 
so to do. — Whitby Repos., N.S., Vol. i., p. 313. (1866.) 
Kissing rights. See Blakeborough, p. 102; Henderson, 

P- 39- 

Bride's shoe. See Blakeborougk, p. 102. 

Leaping the bench. „ pp. 95, 96. 

Coppers scrambled for. Atkinson, pp. 205, 206 ; Blake- 
borougk, p. 96. 

Gun charged with feathers. Blakeborougk, p. 96. 

Stithy fired to rebuke niggardliness of bride. Atkinson, 
p. 206. 

Cockerel torture. Blakeborougk, p. 96. 

Unlucky to meet coffin or cripple. Blakeborougk, p. 102. 

How to cross stream, bridge, and threshold. Blake- 
borougk, pp. 103, 104. 

Stepping in dirt at Staithes. Blakeborougk, p. 96. 

The race for the bride's garter was a common custom 
well on into this century, the competitors usually start- 
ing from the church door, the moment the ring was placed 
upon the bride's finger, the bride's door being the winning 
post, and the successful competitor claiming the privilege 
of removing the garter, or bridal-band, from the bride's leg. 

Blakeborough (2), p. 33. 

See also Atkinson, pp. 208, 209 ; Blakeborough, pp. 97, 
101, 102, 105. 

1 [See Atkinson, pp. 205, 206 ; Blakeborough, pp. 97, 101 ; Hender- 
son, p. 38.] 



294 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (A 7 . Riding, etc.). 

Bride-DOOR. ' To run for the bride-door ' is to start for 
a favor given by a bride, to be run for by the youth of 
the neighbourhood, who wait at the church-door until 
the marriage ceremony be over, and from thence run to 
the bride's door. The prize, a ribbon, which is worn for 
the day in the hat of the winner. If the distance be great, 
as two or three miles, it is customary ' to ride for the bride- 
door.' — Marshall, p. 23. 

See Atkinson, pp. 206, 207, 209 ; BlakeborougJi, pp. 94, 
.102; Henderson, p. 41. 

For any four-footed animal (and .worst of all a cat) to 
cross their path as they passed from the church-door to the 
gate, was a dreadful calamity, plainly setting forth the idea 
that ill-will and spite would be their lot. For a man even 
by accident to cover with his foot the footprint of the bride, 
if made between the church-door and gate, was most un- 
lucky, as it clearly denoted she would be run after by 
other men ; but for a dissolute fellow to openly commit 
such an act, simply held the bride up to public shame. A 
bridesmaid, however, often attempted on the sly to accom- 
plish the feat, as it put her in the way of following in the 
bride's steps. — BLAKEBOROUGH (2), pp. 34, 35. 

Hot Pots. — When the happy united couple are on their 
return from church, the occupant of the first house they 
pass stands ready with a bowl of liquor, of quality accord- 
ing to his ability, which the wedding party quaff; and this 
compliment is repeated by each householder in succession, if 
his purse allows ; so that no inconsiderable quantity must be 
imbibed before they reach home. Then money and bride- 
cake are scattered amongst the crowd, and a race for a 
ribbon follows. — Barker, p. 259; Shaw, pp. 8, 9. 

To spill any of contents of the first bowl from which 
they drank was looked upon as a most unlucky omen, as 
in that case they let slip from them the first kindly 
wishes for their health and happiness. 

BLAKEBOROUGH (2), p. 35. 



Courtship and Marriage. 295 

Heeat Pots. — Pots of warm ale sweetened and spiced, with 
which the friends of a bridal party meet them on their road 
from the church after the marriage ceremony, as practised 
in the country. Lately at a wedding in this vicinity, 
noticed in the papers, the bridal party passed out of the 
church amid a shower of white satin shoes, and then boiling 
water from a tea-kettle was poured over the threshold, 
so that the first young lady who crossed the wet place 
should be the next to get married. The other day at 
Hackness in this part, handfuls of rice were thrown after 
the wedding-party when it came out of church as a sign of 
the wish ' May plenty strew their path.' — ROBINSON, p. 92. 

See Atkinson, p. 208 ; Blakeborough, p. 96. 

On arriving at the door of the bride's home, the bride 
was presented with a plate upon which was a small cake, a 
little of which she ate, throwing the remainder over her 
shoulder, thereby signifying the hope that they might 
always have enough and something to spare. The bride- 
groom then took the plate and threw it over his left 
shoulder, their hope of future happiness depending upon 
its being broken on falling to the ground. 

Blakeborough (2), p. 34. 

After the plate had been broken the bride attempted to 
cross the threshold, but found the winner of the race 
kneeling within the doorway, waiting to claim his much 
coveted prize : placing her left foot just over the threshold, 
the bride lifted her gown, permitting him to remove her 
bridal band. This by the way was valued as a potent love 
charm. For the bridal garter to slip down, and become 
soiled, was a dreadful mishap, and for the winner to kneel, 
and afterwards refuse to claim and remove his prize, was an 
outrageous insult, and always the outcome of ill-will and 
spite, and considered an omen of ill-luck. 

Blakeborough (2), p. 35. 

Hen silver at Weddings spent with additions in feasting 
and drinking. — Hardrow, Aug. 23, 1885, Y. F., vol. i. 3 p. 10. 



296 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Of bridal catch songs there must have been quite a 
number as many are now remembered in the dales ; they 
like the rest of that class of rhymes are very free : they 
belong to another age. . . 

A CATCH SONG. 

The Bridal Garter. 

Here's health ti t' lass wheea don'd this band 

Ti graace her leg, 
An, ivvery garter'd brahd i' t' land, 
Seea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon yer wizan. 1 

Aroon her leg it 'ez been bun' 

Ah wish ah'd bun it ; 
A trimmer limb c'u'd nut be fun' ; 
Seea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon yer wizan. 

(The next verse is omitted . . .) 

Maay ivvery yan 'at lifts his glass 

Ti this fahn band, 
Upho'd he gans wi't best leyke lass ; 
Seea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon yer wizan. 

Fra wrist ti wrist this band wa pass, 

Ez han' clasps han' ; 
I 'turn wa thruff it draw each glass, 
Seea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon yer wizan. 

An' here's tiv her 'at fo'st did weear 

A brahdal band, 
Bun roond her leg, gi'e her a cheer; 
Seea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon yer wizan. 

An' here's ti Venus, let us beg 

A boon 'at sha 
'11 gi'e each brahd, a pattern leg. 
Seea sip it, an' tip it, bud tip it doon yer wizan. 

Blakeborough (2), pp. 57, 58. 

1 Throat. 



Courtship and Marriage. 297 

For manner of toasting (catch and other songs) see 
Blakeborough, pp. 104, 105 and (2) pp., 59, 60, etc. 

At a wedding the other day in Richmondshire — the 
wedding of the squire's daughter — hot water was poured 
over the door-step of the hall-door as the bride and bride- 
groom drove away. This is I believe in accordance with 
local usage. — A. J. M., N. & Q., 4th S., vol. v., p. 172. 

A friend has just returned from a wedding in Yorkshire, 
and sends me the following note : — After the happy couple 
had driven away, and the old shoe was thrown, the cook 
came out with a kettle of hot water, which she poured on 
the stone in front of the house door, as an auspice that there 
would soon be another wedding from the same house. It 
was keeping the threshold warm for another bride. — A. A., 
N. & Q., 2nd S., vol. xii., p. 490. 

See Blakeborough, p. 103. 

Our marriage ceremonies have scarcely anything peculiar. 
The use of the bride-cake, which is made very rich, is uni- 
versal : slices are commonly sent on the wedding day to 
particular friends, and, in many instances, small portions are 
passed 9 times through the bride's ring, and given to young 
people for dreaming bread. Among genteel families, the 
bride receives morning calls from her friends for two or 
three days after the nuptials, and sits to receive company, 
with the bridegroom for 3 nights after their appearance 
at church. She afterwards returns the calls of her friends, 
attended by her bridemaid. — YOUNG, vol. ii., 8S3, 884. 

Bride-cake to be first cut by bride. See Blakeborough, 
p. 94. 

Gate-Helmsley. Wedding at Gate Helmsley. — The 
marriage of Sergeant-Major Floyd, 2nd Battalion South 
Wales Borderers, stationed at Aldershot, to Lillie, second 
daughter of Mr. John Tattersall, of Gate Helmsley, took 
place on Tuesday. . . . The presents were numerous, and the 
couple left at six o'clock for Scarborough. After their 



298 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

departure the old village custom of racing for the silk 
handkerchief and blue ribbon and other amusements were 
indulged in, and a happy evening was spent. 

Y. H., April 30, 1896. 

Throwing the stocking. See Blakeborougk, p. 104. 

Bride-wain, a carriage loaded with household furni- 
ture and utensils, travelling from the bride's father's to the 
bridegroom's house. Formerly great parade and ceremony 
were observed on this occasion. The wains were drawn 
entirely by oxen, whose horns and heads were ornamented 
with ribbons. Ten or perhaps twenty pair of oxen have, 
on great occasions, assisted in drawing a bride-wain. A 
young woman, at her spinning-wheel is seated on the 
center [sic] of the load. In passing through towns and 
villages, the bride's friends and acquaintances throw up 
articles of furniture, until the ' draught ' be it ever so power- 
ful, is at last feigned to be overloaded ; and at length is 
' set fast ' generally however by some artifice, rather than 
the weight of the load ; which, nevertheless, has on some 
occasions been so considerable, as to require several wains 
to carry it. — MARSHALL, p. 23. 

See Atkinson, pp. 210,211. 

Essential it should pass along the ' Church Road ' only. 
lb., p. 211. 

How to enter the new house. See Blakeborougk, pp. 
103, 104. 

How to rise from bed. lb., p. 104. 

Wedding ring not to be removed before birth of first 
child. lb. p. 103. 

WIFE-SELLING. 

York. Auction sales were conducted in this street 
[Pavement] . . . Not the least interesting was the sale 
of a woman about fifty-four years ago [from 1893?] She 



Wife-Selling. 299 

had left her husband through his drunken habits and 
ill-treatment, and in one of his mad freaks he had her 
brought into the Market-place, near to the end of the 
church of All Saints', with a halter round her neck. She 
was mounted on a table beside the auctioneer, who des- 
canted upon her virtues and spoke of her as a clean, 
industrious, quiet, and careful woman, attractive in appear- 
ance and well-mannered for a woman in her position of 
life. She was offered to the highest bidder, like any other 
chattel, and when the bidding had risen to 7s. 6d. she was 
knocked down (halter included), and handed over to the 
purchaser, who resided in the centre of the city and scarcely 
out of Pavement. She lived for many years in York and 
her husband rarely disturbed her ; when he did it was only 
to get a few shillings for a drink. In a few years she 
removed with her purchaser some twenty miles from York, 
and on her husband's death which occurred fully twenty 
years after her sale, she married her purchaser, and died a 
few years ago at a great age, respectable and respected, her 
second husband having predeceased her. 

Camidge (2), pp. 183, 184. 

The proper method of selling one's wife was discussed 
in " N. & O." three or four years ago, and several recent 
cases in point were then cited. Perhaps, therefore, it may 
be worth while to add to these the following extract from a 
local newspaper, dated May 9 [1884] which has been sent 
to me : — 

' Sale of a Wife at York. — We are informed that yester- 
day an unusual occurrence took place at an inn on Peas- 
holme Green. A brickmaker sold his wife to a mattress- 
maker for the sum of is. 6d., which was at once paid and 
the bargain concluded. Four of those present signed their 
names as witnesses of the transaction. This is the second 
occurrence of the kind in this city within a few weeks.' 

It will thus be seen that one at least of the two women 
who were sold fetched more than the standard price of one 



300 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

shilling, and also that the halter which she ought to have 
worn, is not mentioned. 

A. J. M., N. & Q., 6th S., vol. ix., p. 446. 
See also under GOBLINDOM, p. 102, foot-note. 



DEATH AND BURIAL. 

I have often heard it said in the North Riding of York- 
shire, that if a clock, strike thirteen times instead of twelve, 
some member of the household will shortly die, or the 
death of some relative will be heard of. 

F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 8th S., vol. ii., p. 86. 

If the pet dog of a sick man comes to his room 
door and whines and scratches, it is a sign the man will 
die.— D. J. K., N. & Q., 4th S., vol. i., p. 193. 

' Neca body can dee upon pigeon feathers ' for, if any be 
in the bed, it is said they have a tendency to prolong the 
last struggle ! — ROBINSON, p. 50. 

See Blakeborough, p. 120. 

The dying person may be " held back " by love. 

B/akeboroug/i, -pp. 119, 120. 

Omens denoting the approach of death : (white dove 
fluttering near window, rapid flight of birds over house, 
appearance of wraith). 

See Blakeborough, p. 122. 

When a person is dying, it is said that he sees something. 
If he sees anything black, he goes to hell ; if anything 
white, to heaven ; if anything brown, to purgatory. 

D. K. J., N. & Q., 4 th S., vol. i, p. 193. 

For manner of ringing passing-bell, see under Local 
Customs, pp. 320, 321. 

Cleveland. The usage, hardly extinct even yet in the 
district, was on no account to suffer the fire in the house to 
go out the entire time the corpse lay in it, and throughout 



Death and Burial. 301 

the same time a candle was (or is yet) invariably kept 
burning in the same room with the corpse. 

Atkinson (2), pp. 596, 597. 

N. Riding. When a person dies the fire in the room 
must be extinguished, and the looking-glass covered. 
See Blakeborough, p. 122. 

Five or six years ago, I was present when death entered 
the chamber. For some minutes prior to the patient 
dying, the old nurse actually stood by the fender poker in 
hand ' Tell us ' said she ' when sha's gahin, seea az ah can 
rake t' ashes oot ; it '11 mebbins help her a larl piece to git 
her tahm owered : ah ain 'at summat's ho'ddin 'her back/* 
The patient had been almost dead twice before that day, 
but had rallied again. So the nurse with all kindly 
intentions determined to give her a helping hand towards 
the borderland, by raking out the fire. Again ; a poor 
body's daughter (I ken the people) died suddenly in the 
kitchen ; there she was laid out, and although the kitchen 
contained the only grate in the small house, no fire was 
lighted until the body was carried forth. Personally I do 
not know of a single instance in which the fire was kept 
burning. — Communicated by Mr. BLAKEBOROUGH. 1 

For other observances at the moment of death and 
shortly afterwards, see Future Life, pp. 223, 224. 

If the limbs of a corpse are less rigid than common, it is 
a sign that there will shortly be another death in the 
family. 

Robinson, p. 113, sub Leathiveak or Lithwick, adj. flex- 
ible. 

x [It is difficult to reconcile the statements of A. and B., but as the 
latter has suggested to me, A. wrote the passage quoted between 
thirty and forty years ago at a time when many of his parishioners 
burnt peat in their one living-room, when matches were at a premium, 
and it was a common thing to keep the hearth alight continuously. 
These things might affect the practice of the country-side.] 



302 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Wake, a company of neighbours sitting up all night 
with the dead : a custom which is still prevalent. 

Marshall, p. 42. 
Lykewake or Lichwake, the ' corpsewake,' or the watching 
night and day before the interment. 

Robinson, p. 119. 
See also under Future Life, pp. 224, 225. 

Helmsley. Among the other old customs the following 
relating to wakes may be mentioned with interest : — A 
large fire was made on a brick groundwork (fire-grates in 
cottages were not then in general use). Near to the fire 
stood two large puncheons of ale, which had been scalded, 
and to which herbs and a quantity of sugar had been 
added. From 20 to 30 persons were generally invited. 
The oldest men and the best talkers were honoured with a 
seat in each corner of the fire-place, the others being seated 
around. Each man, on entering the house, had been invited 
to go into the room of death to view the remains of some 
member of the family. On taking his seat, the man had 
brought before him two silver tankards (kept by ale sellers 
for such occasions), one containing hot ale, the other cold. 
The hot was generally preferred. After a few observations 
on the merit of the deceased, they began the tales of long 
ago, which in many cases had been handed down from one 
generation to another. Singular as it may appear, the 
narratives were principally composed of the history of the 
place, and this was apparently one of the methods of pre- 
serving their tales from obscurity. An old soldier would 
be requested, to recount some of the conflicts in which he 
was engaged, and this would cause references to battles of 
an earlier age. The tankards were handed round at 
intervals, accompanied by cakes seasoned like the ale. 
Cheese accompanied the cakes. Altogether time passed 
very comfortably, and the wakers departed during the 
' small hours ' of the morning, no one being worse for 



Death and Burial. 303 

liquor which, at meetings, was only secondary. Waking 
since has died out, and I believe that there has not been 
one on the same footing at Helmsley for the last 60 years. 

Helmsley, p. 37. 
A corpse should be touched by a visitor. See Blake- 
borough, p. 121. 

Whitby. It was customary, at the death of an individual 
in the lower ranks of life, for some persons to sit up with 
the corpse on the night previous to interment. . . . The 
company is usually composed of two or three females, 
perhaps, one rather of an advanced age ; these make it 
their business, on such occasions to discuss the whole 
annals of spectrism . . . till at length . . . [they] are ready 
to fancy the corpse moves, and is about to rise and lay hold 
of them. This, of course, furnishes them with topics of con- 
versation on another similar occasion ; where they will state 
that they are persuaded Willy Such-an-one is not at rest, 
for at his wake, his corpse appeared to move frequently ; 
that the candles were nearly extinguished divers times ; 
that shrouds were formed round them, pointing to some 
one, of whose husband there has been no account of since he 
sailed ; that on entering the room where the corpse was 
laid they were just in time to prevent the candle, which is 
always kept burning in that room from being overturned 
upon the corpse by some invisible supernatural power; and 
numerous other distressing circumstances. 

Whitby Rep., vol. iv., p. 180 (1828). 

No living thing must pass over a corpse. See Blake- 
borough, p. 121. 

Scarborough. Bell-man. — This officer was also head 
constable. There was a singular custom at one time pre- 
vailing in Scarbrough. All burials were announced by the 
bellman, who finished his cry after this manner, ' I am to 
give notice that Mrs. . . . of . . . will be buried on. . . . 



304 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Her husband (or wife) desires your company at his house 
at three o'clock, to observe the time of day and so to 
church.' Baker, p. 467. 

Thornton Rust. At Thornton Rust (a common contrac- 
tion of St. Restitutus) in this parish [Aysgarth] is a 
tradition of a church the bell of which was carried about 
and rung by the hand, so that at every death it was rung 
in the middle and at each end of the village. This was a 
public invitation to one member of each family to attend 
the funeral, which was announced by another peal rung in 
the same singular manner. — LONGSTAFFE, p. 103. 

At Danby the " Bidder " went round from house to 
house. See Atkinson, p. 226. 

I purposely use the word Popce [sic] as the more general 
Title of the Officiating Priest, because it may seem to par- 
ticular in a matter disus'd so many Centurys ago, to apply 
it to the Arvales, a particular Order of Priests instituted by 
Romulus who went in Procession with Songs and Prayers 
for the increase of their Corn, offering sacrifices, etc., tho' 
I am apt to think that the custom not only obtain'd, but 
continu'd very long in these Northern Parts, where the 
Word continues to this very day, tho' now apply'd to a 
different Solemnity from the Feasts upon Sacrifices, being 
transferr'd to those at Funerals, which are in many parts 
of the Country accompany'd thro' the Fields with singing, 
and the Treats upon those occasions are to this day call'd 
Arvills, which I confess surpasses my skill to deduce from 
any other Language or Custom. 

A letter from Mr. Ralph Thoresby of Leeds to Dr. Hans 
Sloane Concerning some Antiquities found in Yorkshire. 

Leland, vol. iv. p. ix. 

Arvill or Averill, a funeral. Heard thirty years ago, but 
now obsolete. ' Averill-breead ' funeral loaves, spiced with 
cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and raisins. — ROBINSON, p. 5. 

See Atkinson, pp. 227, 228. 



Death and Burial. 305 

Kirkdale. As to these burial repasts the Rev. R. Bram- 
ley of Kirkdale, Yorkshire, has told me that the cake, which 
in his neighbourhood is handed round at the feast before- 
hand, is always arranged in a peculiar manner. Should a 
deceased woman have had a child in her unmarried state 
the ceremony is omitted, and he adds : — ' I think that I am 
correct in saying that the bell is not rung the usual 
number of times indicating the sex of the departed.' 

Vaux, p. 131. 

Whitby. At Whitby a custom still obtains which is 
doubtless old, and which I have not observed elsewhere. 
A round, flat, rather sweet sort of cake-biscuit is baked 
expressly for use at funerals, and made to order by 
more than one of the bakers of the town ; it is white, 
slightly sprinkled with sugar and of a fine even texture 
within. One would think it not well adapted to be eaten 
with wine. — O., N. & Q., 5th S., vol. iv., p. 326. 

In Upper Wensleydale, Yorkshire, N.R., sponge cakes 
(with wine) are used, as noted in Leicestershire, &c. but 
these are not the ' funeral cakes.' The custom is to invite 
one from a house of friends and neighbours. They meet 
two hours at least before the funeral. There is breakfast 
or dinner, according to the hour, for those from a distance ; 
then cakes and wine for all ; lastly, just before leaving the 
house, each person receives a funeral card in a mourning 
envelope and a funeral cake, made of Scotch ' short cake,' 
round, five to seven inches diameter and three quarters of 
an inch thick (price 4^., 6d. or 8d.), divided into two halves 
laid together, and sealed in a sheet of white paper. After 
the funeral, if not at the house before, there is often dinner 
at an inn.— LL. D. P., N. & Q., 5th S., vol. v., p. 236. 

See Atkinson, pp. 226, 227. 

Mr. Urban, I send you (see fig.) a drawing of a stone 
mould for marking funeral-cakes, in the possession of 
Thomas Beckwith, of the city of York, painter, and F.A.S. 



306 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N, Riding, etc.). 

1785. The outer circle is \\\ inches diameter, on a 
square stone about two inches thick ; the hollow parts sunk 
about \ of an inch. 

It hath been long a custom in Yorkshire to give a sort of 
light sweetened cake to those who attended funerals. This 
cake the guests put in their pocket or in their handker- 
chief, to carry home and share among the family. Besides 
this, they had given at the house of the deceased hot ale 
sweetened, and spices in it, and the same sort of cake in 
pieces. But if at the funeral of the richer sort, instead of 




hot ale they had burnt wine and Savoy biscuits, and a 
paper with two Naples biscuits sealed up to carry home for 
their families. The paper in which these biscuits were 
sealed was printed on one side with a coffin, cross-bones, 
skulls, hacks, spades, hour glass, &c. ; but this custom is 
now, I think, left off, and they wrap them only in a clean 
sheet of writing-paper sealed with black wax. It is 
customary also to set a plate or dish in the room where the 
company are with sprigs of rosemary ; and every one takes 
a sprig which they carry in their hand to the grave, and as 
soon as the ceremony is ended, every one throws their 
rosemary into the grave. — T. B., Gent. Mag., 1802, Pt. 1, 
p. 105. 

Church-road. The road which affords the usual or 
stated means of access to the church. In the ordinary 
phrase it is ' unlucky ' to convey a dead body to the 
churchyard by any other route than the Church-road, what- 



Death and Burial. 307 

ever saving in point of time, distance, good road, or the 
like might be made by a deviation from it. I have heard 
of a discussion as taking place on the moor on such a 
subject, and decided in favour of the accustomed path, 
notwithstanding serious objections. The idea is that the 
person to be buried would not rest quietly in his grave if 
taken to the church by an unaccustomed way. 

Atkinson (2), p. 593. 

[In one instance] the bearers had to wade through almost 
impassable accumulations of snow, which the Church-road, 
leading over a moorland plateau of 1000 ft. elevation, with 
tremendous banks on either side, rendered all the more 
troublesome and difficult. — ATKINSON (2), p. 328. 

Ghosts may walk, if the wrong road be taken to the 
grave. See Atkinson, pp. 219, 220, 230. 

But they may be puzzled by the corpse being borne 
from the house by an unusual exit. See under Goblin- 
DOM, p. 120. 

Danby, etc. Discovery of coins charcoal and potsherds 
in Danby graves and of potsherds at Dunsley. See 
Atkinson, pp. 214, 215, 221-223. 

Hats formerly worn in Danby church by chief mourners. 
See Atkinson, p. 225. 

Dale, dole. A disappearing custom is that of 'giving 
dale' in connection with the funeral of one who had been 
a person of substance. After this has taken place, the 
parish poor people, of all ages, assemble in a field, near 
of access, and some principal farmer, who is usually in 
authority as overseer, proceeds to ' give dale! This con- 
sists of money, bread, cheese, and ale. The old people get 
about threepence, the children a penny, and all a good 
share of the edibles. The quantity of ale dispensed to each 
person is supposed to be limited to a draught. 

C. C. R., p. 29. 



308 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Bee observances. See under Animals, pp. 65, 66. 

Cow „ „ „ p. 69. 

The death-hunters in a country village are usually two. 
They are persons who go from parish to parish, as a burial 
occurs, carrying small black stools called ' buffets,' on 
which the coffin is rested while the funeral hymn is being 
sung in the open air in front of the house where the corpse 
has lain. These stools are also useful on the way to church, 
distant, in some cases, several miles. Some parishes have 
got their public hearse, but this vehicle finds no favour. 
Its use is objected to on superstitious grounds. 

C. C. R., p. 30. 

Use of white sheet. See Blakeborough, p. 118. 

Masham. Extracts taken from the Act Books, belonging 
to the Ecclesiastical or Peculiar Court of Massam from the 
year 1583 to the year 164.1 containing the Presentments 
which were made in the Ecclesiastical Court there. 

At a Court held in Massam Church 16th December 
1623. 

Thomas Bird for having superstitious crossings with 
to wells at the burial of one of his children. 

Fisher, pp. 542, 548. 

Redcar. A friend wrote to me in 1871 to say that at 
Redcar in Cleveland, in the earlier part of this century, a 
funeral was preceded by a public breakfast. Then the 
coffin was carried slung upon towels knotted together, 
and borne by relays of men to Maroke [Marske?], up 
the old ' Corpseway,' and bumped upon a heap of stones, 
three times. This was an ancient resting-place at the 
top of the hill. The ' Lamentation of a Sinner ' was 
then sung, and the procession moved to the churchyard, 
every man, woman, and child receiving a dole of sixpence 
as they entered. 

The ' Lamentation of a Sinner ' may be found printed 



Death and Burial. 309 

at the end of the Metrical Psalms in most old Prayer 
Books. The first stanza is : — 

' O Lord turn not Thy face away 
From him that lies prostrate ; 
Lamenting sore his sinful life, 
Before Thy mercy's gate. 
And the last 

' Mercy, good Lord, mercy I ask 

This is the total sum ; 
For mercy Lord is all my suit, 
O let thy mercy come.' 

Vaux, p. 129. J. C. Atkinson, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. vii., 
p. 298. 

Graves were carefully made so that the corpses lay from 
east to west, as any other position was considered unlucky 
as well as dishonourable. To meet a funeral was con- 
sidered a sad calamity, and the certain forerunner of ill- 
luck, and if by any means possible it was avoided. The 
ghost of the last person interred was always accredited 
with the responsibility of keeping watch over the church- 
yard until another interment took place. . . . At Easing- 
wold the old parish coffin still survives. . . . The coffin 
not only served the purposes of decency, but restrained the 
deceased from becoming a wandering and troublesome 
ghost, as it was believed that no person could appear again 
if buried in a parish coffin. — Camidge (2), p. 90. 

Thirsk. An invariable custom has been transmitted from 
antiquity to the Church of England, of placing the head of 
the coffin towards the West and the feet pointing to the 
East. . . . But in this cemetery many graves are posited 
North and South, as well as East and West. The circum- 
stance may have arisen from a scarcity of consecrated 
ground. — Thirsk, p. 63. 

Filey. At the procession of funerals it is in some places 
a custom, by way of showing honour to the dead, and to 
afford comfort and consolation to the living, to carry out 



310 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

the body with psalmody ; it was much more the practice 
formerly than now. ... It was also quite usual for the 
body to be carried forth to the Church, and from thence to 
the grave by near relations, or persons of such station 
as the circumstances of the deceased required ; nor was it 
thought unsuitable to the dignity of the higher order, either 
of the clergy or laity to carry the bier. It was farther 
customary, especially with the Roman Catholics, to invite 
the poor to funerals. . . . For those who attend the funeral 
to be regaled with bread, cheese, and ale, is still common in 
the county of York. 

At Bempton money is distributed in the Church-yard 
among the old women and children, when the surviving 
relatives are in circumstances to afford it ; by only giving 
a single penny to each, ten shillings and even more have 
been thus disposed of. 1 

Still greater respect is usually paid to the memory of 
unmarried females at their funerals, especially in the 
retired villages and dales of Yorkshire and other neighbour- 
ing counties. It is the encircling a ring or hoop (in some 
places two hoops crossing each other) with wreaths of 
white paper, which is hung up in the Church over the pew 
or seat of one who had [sic] been recently interred. A 
custom of this sort was formerly observed at Filey, and 
here and in some other places the form of a hand, cut 
in white paper, is inserted in the middle of the hoop or 
hoops, upon which is fairly written the name of the deceased 
maiden, with her age. The friends and relatives of the 
deceased usually attend the corpse as bearers. ... In some 
country Churches, the wreaths of white paper are exchanged 
for garlands of flowers suspended over the seats of deceased 
virgins. — Cole, pp. 138, 139, 140, 141. 

1 ' It was the practice of the attendants at funerals in the Count}' of 
York who served the company with ale or wine, to have round one of 
their arms a clean white napkin ; and to the handle of the tankard was 
affixed a piece of lemon peel. 5 



Death and Burial. 3 1 1 

The usual hour of burial at Whitby is 3 o'clock P.M. from 
michaelmas to lady-day, and 5 o'clock during the rest of 
the year ; but several of the genteel families bury in the 
morning at 7 or 8 o'clock. — YOUNG, vol. ii., p. 611. 

Whitby. ' Happy is the corpse that the rain rains on.' 
Old people in this part have dwelt on the adherence to 
former-day customs in funeral matters, with allusions to 
the keeping of corpse linen for laying-out purposes, which 
had done duty on family occasions in past generations. 
Long ago, we were shown by a Whitby lady, her provision 
of caps for both sexes ; a cambric material for folding upon 
the breast and neck while the body lay upon the corpse- 
bed, sheeting of the snowiest hue, along with draperies for 
the bed-hangings and festooning purposes. These fabrics, 
after use, were again consigned to the linen-chest which 
contained other productions of the loom some being marked 
with the date 1668. At the funerals of the rich 'burnt wine 
from a silver flagon ' was handed with macaroons and 
sweet biscuits to the company, before the body was 
removed, — this cordial being a heated preparation of port 
wine with spices and sugar. Moreover, the passing bell 
was tolled at all hours of the night, and not deferred, as at 
present in the case of night deaths, until the following 
morning ; while to the burying, the parish clerk was the 
usual 'Bidder' ; for the neighbours and acquaintances, much 
the same as in our day, were invited to attend. Many of 
the old inhabitants had an aversion to be hearsed, choosing 
rather to be ' carried by hand, and sung before,' as it was 
the mode of their families in time past ; and in the 
suspensary manner of 'hand carrying' with the hold of 
linen towels passing beneath the coffin, we still see women 
borne by women, as men by men, and grown-up children 
by young people. Infants are carried under the arm of a 
female ; while women who have died in childbed have a 
white sheet thrown over the coffin by way of distinction. 



312 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

All this however is to be taken with our old parish church 
in the background ; for owing to the discontinuance of 
burials in crowded grounds, except in unfilled family vaults 
already made, the churchyard of St. Mary's in use for the 
last 700 years, is now closed. . . . 

It is customary to send gloves to the friends of the 
deceased, white for a young and unmarried person, and 
black otherwise ; while at the burial hour, couples of 
females called ' servers,' with decanters, salvers, and glasses, 
hand wine and sweet biscuits to the relatives in the house, 
and to the 'sitters,' or those who are waiting in the 
neighbouring dwellings to join the procession, as well as to 
the numbers met for the same purpose outside the doors. 
The servers precede the corpse to the grave, dressed in 
white for a young or unmarried person, and in black for the 
aged and married ; with a broad ribbon, white or black, 
crossing over one shoulder like a scarf; and a silken 
rosette in accordance, pinned to the breast. If by hearse 
conveyance, the sable plumes of that vehicle, and the 
mourning hat-bands of the white-gloved carriage-drivers, 
are entwined with white ribbons for the young and un- 
married of both sexes. When the corpse of a girl or a 
spinster is to be borne by hand from the hearse into the 
church, in both cases the bearers are usually young or 
unmarried women, dressed in white or in a combination of 
white and black, with white gloves and white straw bonnets 
all trimmed with white alike ; and in the case of an un- 
married man, his bearers are distinguished by white gloves 
to the usual suit of black. ... In some places in this 
vicinity the mourners kneel around the coffin in the 
chancel during the service. . . . The upper classes usually 
bury in a morning. . . . We have witnessed the primitive 
manner of carrying the corpse ■ bauk-ways ' that is, upon 
cross sticks beneath the coffin, half-a-dozen or eight bearers 
having hold of the projecting ends, three or four on each 
side. . . . 



Death and Burial. 3 1 3 

It was formerly a custom in this quarter for a couple 
of white-robed maidens to walk before a virgin corpse, 
holding aloft a garland of coloured ribbons having a white 
glove suspended in the centre, and marked in the palm 
with the initials and age of the deceased. Examples of 
these garlands remain hung up in the old church at 
Robin Hood's bay, and in the church of Hinderwell, in this 
part ; white garlands of 'silver filagree' have been disclosed 
elsewhere, as if placed with the coffin in the grave. Further, 
70 years ago, it was the practice at Whitby, not to toll but 
to ring at full speed, one of St. Mary's bells for poor-house 
deaths — a custom alluded to by our poet Gibson : — 

'From the squat steeple hear the jangling bell 
The welcome fate of parish paupers tell ; 
Unlike that brazen mouth whose hollow tone 
The pompous exit of the rich makes known.' 

Robinson, pp. viii.-xi. 

See also under Trees and Plants, pp. 57, 58 ; Young, 
vol. ii., p. 884. 

If you are unmarried, be very careful to keep in mind 
the fact that having attended three funerals, you must at 
least be present during part of a wedding service before 
standing at the graveside of a fourth, or you will die single. 
. . . Yes, things go by threes. If one death takes place in 
a street, it wont be very long ere the bell tolls for two 
others. — BLAKEBOROUGH, p. 127. 

I seem to remember having been told by a Yorkshire 
woman that it is unlucky to keep mourning garments after 
the term for wearing them is over. 

St. Swithin, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. i., p. 212. 

Account of Danby funerals. — See Atkinson, pp. 231-233. 
,, of a country funeral. „ Blakeborough,wj,\\%. 



SECTION XII. 

GAMES. 

Ball-playing. See under FESTIVALS : Shrove Tuesday, 
p. 238, Easter, p. 246. 

Bull-baiting. Leyburn. There is a bull-ring in the 
market-place similar to that at Middleham. Till a recent 
date, bull-baiting was a popular sport in Richmondshire. 

Barker, p. 163. 

See also under Local Customs : Thirsk, p. 360. 

Cockelty Bread. Cockelty is still heard among our 
children at play. One of them squats on its haunches with 
the hands joined beneath the thighs, and being lifted by 
a couple of others who have hold by the bowed arms, it is 
swung forwards and backwards and bumped on the ground 
or against the wall, while continuing the words ' this is the 
way we make cockelty bread.' — ROBINSON, p. 40. 

Cock-fighting and throwing. See under Festivals : 
Shrove Tuesday, pp. 238, 240 ; and p. 319. , 

Codlings, Tip and Go, or Tip and Slash a game among 
youths similar in its routine to Cricket, a short piece of 
wood being struck by a long stick instead of a ball by a 
bat. To become a cricketer, ' learn codlings first' 

Robinson, p. 41. 

Cogs. The top stone of a pile is pelted by a stone flung 
from a given distance, and the more hits or ' coggings off ' 
the greater the player's score. — Robinson, p. 41. 



■v 



Games. 3 1 5 

Counting out Rhymes etc. See Blakeborough, pp. 259- 
262. 

" Crickets." See under Festivals : Easter, p. 246. 

Dancing, Sword. See under FESTIVALS : Epiphany-tide, 
pp. 231, 232 ; Christmas, pp. 280, 281. 

Do-dance or Doo-dance a round-about way to a place or 
process. ' They led me a bonny do-dance about it' A 
fool's errand or first of April affair. From a note we have 
seen on this word left by Mr. Marshall, a doo-dance was 
originally a public dance by women for a doo (or dove) in 
a cage ornamented with ribbons, the worth of the reward 
being not so much thought about as the distinction of 
obtaining it, — hence from the throng on the occasion, a 
scene of hurry or commotion is called a do-dance. 

Robinson, p. 54. 

Ducks and Drakes. A winter pastime in which discs of 
some fiat material are made to skim or shy along an iced 
surface. — ROBINSON, p. 58. 

[The collector has known a North Riding man skim a 
stone on the surface of a river and exclaim " A dick," 
" duck," " drake " and " penny white cake " according to the 
number of its rebounds.] 

Felto the game of ' Hide and Seek.' — ROBINSON, p. 65. 

Fives. See under Festivals : Easter, p. 246. 

[Walls against which this game is played are to be seen 
on village-greens.] 

Football. 'See under FESTIVALS: Easter, p. 246. 

Guisborough. games. The people breed there live very 
longe ; if they be awhile absent, they growe sycklye ; they 
are altogether given to pleasure, scarce one good husband 
amongst them, day and night feastinge, making matches 
for horse-races, dog-runinge, or runinge on foote, which 
they use in a fielde called the Deere close, where, as if yt 
were in Campus Martis, you shall see from morninge tyll 



3 1 6 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

12 or one of the clocke at night boyes and men in their 
shirtes, exercisinge themselves. — H. Tr., pp. 408, 409. 

Jennie d Jones. There is a very common girls' game not 
only in the North Riding, but in most parts of England 
called 'Jennie o' Jones.' It is a singing game. One verse 

runs : — 

Red is for the soldiers, 
For soldiers, for soldiers ; 
Red is for the soldiers, 
And that will never do. 

Blakeborough, p. 260. 

[This verse occurs in a version of 'Jenny Jones' jingles 
from Belfast, quoted from N. & Q., 7th S., vol. xii. p. 492, 
by Gomme, vol. i. p. 262.] 

Jowling or Jowls the boys' game played much the same 
as hockey, by striking a wooden ball from the ground with 
a long stick clubbed at one end. — ROBINSON, p. 103. 

Mana Minetail. I will mention an old game for both 
sexes that has sprung up again under a new name called 
' kissing in the ring.' . . . The old game was called in 
country parlance ' Mana Minetail.' The proper meaning I 
cannot give. The players stood in a circle, and every man 
had his turn to call a lady out, which was done in the 
following manner : — He : ' Mana, Mana, Minetail.' She : 
'Pray you for what?' He: ' Drink a glass of thinetail.' 
She : ' Thank you for that — but catch me first.' She did 
not run from the ring, but kept threading about, all hands 
being raised to let her pass, while her pursuer met with 
every obstruction that could be offered. He had to hold 
his head down to get under, while she was making ins and 
outs he could not see, therefore he would lose his thread, 
and when that took place he had to retire. 

Helmsley, p. 16. 

Otter-hunting. The river Yore was formerly celebrated 
for Otter-hunting, and until within a very few years, Otter 
hounds were kept at Middleham ; but of late, the breed of 



G antes. 3 1 7 

otters has fearfully diminished, and the sport is little fol- 
lowed. . . . The pomp and circumstance of the olden 
Otter-chase were very striking : the huntsmen sallied forth 
arrayed in vests of green, braided with scarlet, their caps of 
fur, encircled with bands of gold, and surmounted with ostrich 
plumes. Boots, much of the fashion of those known to 
modern hunting-fields, reaching to the tops of the thighs, 
and water-proof, encased their lower limbs, and were orna- 
mented with gold or silver tassels. Their spears were also 
embellished with carving and costly mountings. 

Barker, pp. 160, 162, fool-note. 

Pally-ully or Pally-hitch, a child's game of chance with 
rounded pieces of pot the size of a penny. Divisions are 
chalked on the pavement and the ' ' pally -ullies ' are impelled 
within the lines by a hop on one leg and a side-shuffle with 
the same foot. Sometimes called Tray-trip, Scotch-hop, 
or Hopscotch. — Robinson, p. 140. 

Paste Eggs. See under FESTIVALS : Easter, pp. 245, 
246. 

Quoits. [Played.] 

Sheet-dance. Rape is thrashed on sheets ; the young 
workers finding employment in laying on the produce, 
while the men use the flail. When this labour is ended, 
merriment begins ; and after supper, the young people 
resort to the barn, where there is dancing on the sheet 
which has been in use during the day ; and hence the asso- 
ciation. — -C. C. R., p. 121. 

Shinnops. SHINNOPS a youths' game with a ball and 
stick heavy at the striking end ; the player manoeuvring to 
get as many strokes as possible, and to drive the ball 
distances. — C. C. R., p. 121. 

Shuttlecock. See under FESTIVALS : Shrove Tuesday, 
p. 240. 

Spell and knor. ... A game played with a wooden 
ball, and a stick, fitted at the striking end with a club- 



3i 8 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

shaped piece of wood. The spell made to receive and 
' spring ' the ball for the blow, at a touch, is generally 
a simple contrivance of wood, an inch or so in breadth, and 
a few inches long, but may also be in these modern days, 
an elaborate piece of mechanism, with metal cup, catch, and 
spring ; together with spikes, for fixing into the soil etc. 
The players, who usually go in and out by turns each time, 
after a preliminary series of tippings of the spell with the 
stick in one hand, and catches of the ball with the other, in 
the process of calculating the momentum necessary for 
reach of hand, are also allowed two trial ' rises ' in a strik- 
ing attitude, and distance is reckoned by scores of yards. 

C. C. R., p. 133. 

Knor or Gnar, a small wooden ball for playing at the 
game of ' Spell and Knor,' the spell being the trap or tilt from 
which the ball is struck by the ' tribbit stick ' [1] which has a 
bat-like piece of wood at one end of it. — Robinson, p. 109. 

See under FESTIVALS : Shrove Tuesday, p. 238. 

Shooting at a mark. [At Brompton Church, Scarbro', 
The] S. door is a beautiful specimen of rich Perpendicular 
work. . . . The old handle is gone but the staple fasten- 
ing it remains, and has engraven upon it the figure of a face. 
. . . This door is much disfigured with bullet holes, the 
result of a practice which formerly existed here of shooting 
from a distance of a hundred yards, at the handle before 
mentioned, for a copper kettle. The practice existed within 
the memory of persons now living. — FAWCETT, p. 51. 

Varia. [Formerly] the Rivaulx public houses had the 
major portion of their customers from Helmsley. These 
people assembled to play foot-ball on Sundays ! This was 
however suppressed — probably through the exertions of Dr. 
Conyers. [2] One of the chief amusements of the day was 

1 A three-foot pliable stick, to the end of which a bat-shaped piece of 
wood is fixed, for striking the ball. — Robinson, p. 202. 

2 [Vicar of Helmsley in the latter half of the 18th century.] 



Games. 3 1 9 

cock-fighting, for which then Helmsley men were notorious. 
. . . Iron skates had not then made their way into the 
country, but wooden ones were used. They were called a 
' schol.' ... ' Sholling ' is the word now used for sliding 
in this part of Yorkshire. . . . Easter was about the time 
to begin field sports. The Helmsley people on Easter 
Monday turned out to play at ' dab and shel ' (nurr and 
spell). . . . Their dab was far heavier than those now in 
use, while the handle was a quarter cleft. A young ash 
tree was selected and split into four quarters. 

Helmsley, p. 36. 



SECTION XIII. 

LOCAL CUSTOMS. 

BELLS AND OTHER SIGNALS. 

Catterick. The Curfew is rung from the Church every 
night during the winter season. — Cookes, p. 72. 

Masham. The practice of ringing the Curfew-bell morn- 
ing and evening, has been continued at Masham down to 
the present time. — Fisher, p. 458. 

The manner of tolling the Passing-bell or SouPs-bell, 
here is very ancient and different to that which pre- 
vails in other Parishes. Here, in the case of persons dying 
within the town of Masham, or in Burton Constabulary, 
the Tenor-bell is first rung out, but not so in the case of 
persons dying in any other part of the Parish ; after which, 
in the case of a child under seven years of age, three knells 
are given on each of the six bells in succession if a female, 
and three knells on the first four bells, and five knells on 
the last two bells in succession if a male. For a person 
under sixteen years of age, five knells are given on each of 
the six bells in succession if a female, and five knells on the 
four first bells, and seven on the last two bells in succession 
if a male. For a person above sixteen years of age, but 
unmarried, seven knells are given on each of the six bells 
in succession if a female, and seven knells on each of the 
first four bells, and nine knells on the last two bells in 



Bells and other Signals. 321 

succession if a male. For a married person, nine knells 
are given on each of the six bells in succession if a female, 
and nine knells on each of the first four bells, and eleven 
knells on each of the last two bells in succession if a male. 

Fisher, pp. 460, 461. 
Formerly it was the custom to ring the Church-bells on 
the eve of the September Fairs, the object being (according 
to a tradition handed down to us through old Jack Harri- 
son, the leaders of the ringers) to guide by the sound of the 
bells, persons coming across the wide moors (which were 
then laid open and unenclosed) to attend the fairs. 

Fisher, p. 460. 

Northallerton. The custom of ringing the eight o'clock, 
or curfew-bell, is still kept up at North Allerton. 

Ingledew, p. 10. 

Richmond. In the Tower [of Holy Trinity Church] 
hang two bells, on the largest is inscribed in very old and 
chaste black letter: O mm super [n?]omen m Jlis est venerabile 
nomen. . . . The curfew is tolled on it every day at 
6 a.m. and 8 p.m., a custom that has probably continued in 
this town without intermission since the day the Conqueror 
issued his famous order; and on the death of a parishioner, 
twelve strokes are rung on it and after the last stroke, the 
knell : nine for a man, six for a woman, and three for a 
child. It is likewise tolled, in accordance with the articles 
of Queen Elizabeth of 1564, when a funeral is about to take 
place and whilst the corpse is being borne to the grave, and 
hence called the ' Gathering Bell.' The smaller one is 
supposed to have been brought from St. James' Chapel in 
Bargate, and is called the ' Common Bell ' and is rung 
when the Sessions are held, and the Mayor chosen, or a 
fire occurs, and at 11 o'clock on Shrove Tuesday, to bid 
the ' housewives tend the fires to cook the pancakes well.' 

COOKES, pp. 21, 22. 

x [Also omen in Clarkson, p. 130.] 
x 



322 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Richmond's Ancient Customs. At the annual meeting of 
the Council after the election of Mayor the two sergeants- 
at-mace were duly re-elected. In the case of the bellman 
Alderman W. Ness Walker suggested that the appointment 
should be referred to committee. The calls used to finish 
with 'God save the Queen, and lords of the Manor.' 
For some time past the 'lords of the Manor' had 
been dropped, and now ' God save the Queen ' had 
dropped. The curfew bell was also rung very irregularly. 
He (Alderman Walker) very strongly maintained that 
they should keep up the old customs in an ancient place 
like Richmond, inasmuch as it showed a loyalty and respect 
for her Majesty the Queen. — Y. H., Nov. n, 1899. 

See also under Festivals, pp. 237, 238, 239, 240, 275. 
See also under CEREMONIAL, Scarborough and Thornton 
Rust, pp. 303, 304. 

Stainton Dale. As long ago as 1 140 the manor of Stain - 
ton was granted by King Stephen to the Knight Templars, 
on condition that they should offer daily prayer for the 
Kings of England and their heirs, and as this was a ' desert 
place,' they should entertain all poor travellers, providing 
themselves with a ' good sounding bell and a horn,' to be 
sounded each evening at twilight. The place was known 
for generations as ' bell-hill,' from which this invitation 
sounded. — Franks, p. 222. 

About the year 1340 . . . John Moryn, escheator to 
Edward III., took possession of the manor of Stainton Dale 
as a forfeit; alleging that it had been given by king 
Stephen to the knights templars, for keeping a chaplain 
there to celebrate divine service daily, and for receiving 
and entertaining poor people and travellers passing that 
way, and for ringing a bell and blowing a horn every night 
in the twilight, that travellers and strangers might be 
directed thither ; and that as this charity and alms had been 
withdrawn by the master and brethren of the hospital, the 



Bells and other Signals. 323 

manor was forfeited to the king. . . By [the] decision it 
would appear, that the service . . . was voluntary, and not 
made a condition in their charter. Whether they resumed 
it again or not, . . . has not been ascertained ; but the 
rising ground where the bell once sounded is still called 
Bell- Hill \ the site of the chantry ... is called Old 
Chapel — Young, vol. i., pp. 443, 444. 

Thirsk. The ringing of the curfew bell, morning and 
evening, is still continued at Thirsk. — THIRSK, p. 50. 

Chantry, nr. W. Witton. An old custom at Chantry was 
the firing of a gun after sundown, to guide benighted 
travellers on Penhill to a place of safety. 

BOGG (3), pp. 239, 240. 

York (S. Michael's Spurriergate). At six o'clock every 
morning (Sunday excepted) a bell is rung in the tower of 
this Church, and after this bell has chimed, another is rung 
as many times as will correspond to the day of the month. 
The custom of ringing the first-mentioned bell is said to 
derive its origin from the circumstance of a traveller having 
lost his way in the forest that formerly surrounded York. 
After wandering about all night, he was rejoiced to hear 
the clock of St. Michael strike six, which at once told him 
where he was. To commemorate his deliverance from the 
perils of the night, he left a sum of money that the bell 
might thenceforward be rung at six every morning. The 
Curfew Bell, too, still continues to be tolled here at eight 
o'clock in the evening. — Whellan, vol. i., p. 553. 

Bainbridge. Bainbridge was the chief place of the forest 
of Wensleydale . . . and from time immemorial the 'forest 
horn ' has been blown on the green, every night at 10 
o'clock, from the end of September to Shrovetide and it is 
blown still ; for are not ancient customs all but immortal 
in our country ? The stiff-jointed grey beard [the horn- 
blower] hearing that a curious stranger wished to look at 



324 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

the instrument, brought it forth. It is literally a horn — a 
large ox-horn, lengthened by a hoop of now rusty tin, to 
make up for the pieces which some time or other had been 
broken from its mouth. He himself had put on the tin 
years ago. Of course I was invited to blow a blast, and of 
course failed. My companion, however, could make it speak 
lustily ; but the old man did best, and blew a long sustained 
note which proved him to be as good an economist of 
breath as a pearl-diver. For years had he thus blown, and 
his father before him. — WHITE, p. 238. 

At Bainbrigg the ' Forest Horn ' was anciently blown 
every night at ten o'clock between the feast of Holy Rood 
(Sep. 27) and Shrove Tide, to guide belated wanderers 
through the forest. . . . The custom of horn-blowing is still 
kept up at Bainbrigg. ... In the beginning of this year, 
[1864] it was voted by the Bainbrigantes in solemn con- 
clave assembled, that James Metcalfe (locally known as Jim 
Purin), the village hornblower, aged 87, had better husband 
his remaining breath ; and accordingly another Metcalfe was 
appointed in his room and stead. This ancient horn was 
also examined, and was found to present rather a discredit- 
able appearance, its mouthpiece being made of cobbler's 
wax, and the wide end of the instrument being lengthened 
with a four inch hoop of rusty iron. The old Horn's voice 
proved on trial as melodious as ever, but its ' appearances ' 
were against the venerable tube, and so it was ruthlessly 
condemned. An African buffalo's horn presented by Mr. 
Harburn of Bishop Auckland, and fitted by public subscrip- 
tion with a grand brass chain and mouth-piece to match, 
was inaugurated on the 10th of March last with much 
rustic pomp and ceremony. [1] Let us see what is going on. 
All Bainbrigg is in holiday. It is noon : a grand proces- 

1 [The old horn became the property of William ' Butcher ' (Metcalfe) 
son of Jim Purin : see Hardcastle, p. 30. According to Whaley, 
p. 66, it, or another disestablished instrument, is now in the museum of 
Bolton Castle.] 



Bells and other Signals. 325 

sion is forming. Look ! it contains twelve white horses and 
two donkeys all decorated with scarlet ear-caps and hous- 
ings, their riders flaunting in gay ribbons. Here comes the 
Bainbrigg Band sounding through the town ; and there 
glitters the new Horn, and the new Horn-blower also 
in gorgeous array — red breeches, white leggings, four- 
square cap and feather. . . . But who comes here ; this 
most reverend, grave, and potent seignior, meetly arrayed 
in scarlet cap of maintenance and flowing robe ? It is the 
Right Honourable John Scarr Foster, the unanimously 
elected Lord Mayor of this most ancient British and ante- 
Roman Burgh. — Hardcastle, pp. 26, 27. 



MOCK MAYORS, FEASTS, ETC. 

Askrigg. Drunken Barnaby referring to Askrigg says 

Neither Magistrate nor Mayor 
Ever was elected there 

but this would scarcely appear true to the facts of the case 
at present as we gather from the following account pub- 
lished in the Wensleydale Advertiser of January 6th 1848, 
that 

' On Wednesday last the citizens of this spirited place 
proceeded with all due solemnity to their ancient custom 
of appointing and electing an eligible person to the honour- 
able office of Mayor of this City. Several candidates 
announced their intentions of contesting the vacant chair, 
and more than the usual interest was excited on the 
occasion. At 7 o'clock precisely, the Right Hon. the 
retiring Mayor, Jeffrey Jack Esq was seen wending his 
august personage towards the Town Hall, preceded by two 
bands of music, and carried on the shoulders of ten stal- 
wart bearers in his magnificent chair. The proclamation 
of his retirement having been duly made, the assemblage 
adjourned to the house of Mr. A. Hutchinson, where a large 



326 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JST. Riding, etc.). 

concourse of citizens were awaiting the arrival of his ex- 
lordship, and where he was received with loud acclamation. 
After the sensation had in some manner subsided, it was 
proposed and seconded that the above-named gentleman 
be re-elected to the aforesaid honourable office for the 
ensuing year. On hearing of this the other candidates 
immediately retired, and the election was declared to have 
fallen unanimously on Mr. Jack. The chairing subse- 
quently followed and was distinguished by more than the 
usual eclat, being the 25th year of His Lordship's successive 
reign. After descending from the chair, His Lordship 
addressed the citizens to the following effect : — Fellow- 
citizens my old reed is grown so hoarse that I can hardly 
sound my high note, but I don't want to play trumpeter 
now myself when all my life I have been used to more 
polite music. Gentlemen my old heart knocks away to the 
favourite tune of my old scissors, viz. : ' We part to meet 
again,' and I think you and I do meet again. These 25 
years I have governed you my children in Adam's kitchen, 
and now when the down hill of life gently inclines towards 
my wandering footsteps I long to play with my old com- 
panions the harmonious tunes of boyhood. My needle flies 
through the broad cloth with less activity — my old bellows 
cannot keep up the steam in my favourite bassoon, nor can 
my old shakey fist throw the fly for the poor deluded trout 
with such unerring precision as it did, but my old heart can 
and does thank you for these accumulated honours, and I 
wish good health, pleasure, and pastime among us all.' 
The hon. gentleman retired amid loud applause and the 
assemblage afterwards celebrated his return in due style in 
Adam's kitchen.' — WENSLEYDALE, pp. 78, 79. 

Bellerby. At Bellerby on the north side of the dale, 
[Wensleydale] a man, tarred and feathered, is dragged in a 
cart round the village, to the yells of youths and shouts of 
' 'Ere we cum, 'ere we cum ' begging for tarts, cheesecakes. 



Mock Mayors, Feasts, etc. 327 

drink, or whatever the people think proper to give, to help 
to swell the coming feast. — Bogg (3), p. 239. 

Bishopthorpe. Once a year the villagers hold their feast, 
Trinity Monday and Tuesday being the days of the 
festival. . . . Formerly a company of men, accompanied 
by the Bishopthorpe Brass band, perambulated the street 
on the morning of the second feast day, to collect tarts and 
cheese cakes, after the fashion of the feast at Fulford and 
elsewhere ; but although the ' Lord Mayor ' and some of 
his attendants still live in the village, the custom of collec- 
tion with all its excitement and noisy associations has died 
out. — Camidge, p. 343. 

West Burton in Bishopdale. Boasts of ... a pair of 
stocks, and a village-cross crested with a cock bedizened 
with ribbons tied to him at the village feast on the 6th of 
May. — HARDCASTLE, p. 33. 

Kilburn. At Kilburn immediately before the village 
feast, which is held on the Saturday after Midsummer Day, 
a man was dressed up to represent the Lord Mayor of 
York, and another to represent the Lady Mayoress. These 
two were then dragged through the village streets in a 
cart by lads. As they went along they recited a doggerel 
and visited all the houses of the place, exhorting the people 
to tidy their gardens, trim their hedges, and make their 
tenements look generally respectable for the feast ; in the 
event of these orders being disregarded a mock fine was 
imposed. — MORRIS, p. 232. 

Middleham. In the Middleham Household Book of 
Richard III., there are some curious items. Among them is 
5s. allowed for chesing (choosing) a king of West Witton, 
. . . and 6s. 8d. for chesing of the King of Middleham. 
WHELLAN, vol. ii. p. 125 note; BARKER, p. 275. 

Masham. The ' Masham Fairs ' have ever been preg- 
nant with roast-beef, pickled cabbage, and strong ale, to 



328 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

which by the laws of hospitality prevailing in the Parish, 
all comers are ever welcome : every individual, however 
humble his circumstances, considering it his bounden duty 
to provide a plentiful supply of these indispensable articles 
for consumption on these occasions. — FlSHER, p. 464, 465. 

Many districts had a curious local custom of making a 
special kind of cake or cakes to grace their festive board. 
In some places they favoured fat rascals ; at another a 
special spice loaf ; a third, tarts ; a fourth, lemon cheese- 
cakes, &c. Each of these very rich and indigestible 
morsels held predominant sway over wide areas ; and, be 
it remembered, of whatever else 3'ou might indulge, you 
were expected to demolish a goodly plateful of the local 
favourite before you recrossed the threshold. In the early 
days of this century, before entering a house on feast-day 
morn, the visitor made a rude cross with the left foot upon 
the sanded doorstone ; and as he crossed the threshold, 
uttered some pious invocation on the inmates. It was in 
some places the custom, if the house possessed a babe 
under a year old, to leave a piece of silver on the plate, 
after having partaken of the " feast cake or tart." This 
feast money, I believe, was most religiously put by as a 
store for the little one. 

Blakeborough, (3) 3, Jan. 21st, 1899. 

Muker. There is ... an annual fair called 'Mukerold Roy,' 
so called we believe because the miners here kept up the 
custom of having a good spree, or ' roy,' as it is locally 
called, on each annual recurrence of this fair. 

ROUTH, p. 21. 

Oswaldkirk. The fair is on the first Sunday, Monday, 
and Tuesday after the 6th of July. One ' who can act the 
fool the best ' is chosen as Lord Mayor of Oswaldkirk, and 
there is also the Lady Mayoress, a man dressed in woman's 
clothes. They are both attired as comically as possible, 
and they go about in a cart drawn by the children. There 



Mock Mayors, Feasts, etc. 329 

is a proclamation ' Oh Yes ! Oh Yes ! I am the Lord 
Mayor of Oswaldkirk for one year and one day and I don't 
care. I have reduced tea, coffee, tobacco and snuff three- 
ha'pence per ounce : that's as much as any Lord Mayor 
can reduce. I advise all you young ladies to take care or 
you come before me, the Lord Mayor.' Then comes the 
fine ; for instance, half-a-crown for not having the rose-tree 
nailed up, or for a gate not being painted. The children 
cheer and pass on. Two men, who wear white aprons, and 
have each a steel hanging on one side, collect from the 
right and left of the street respectively, fragments of festal 
fare and money for races. The fines swell the fund out of 
which runners are rewarded, and the cakes are handed 
round to strangers etc. — Communicated by A Resident. 

Reeth. Reeth ' Bartle Fair ' was formerly a great event, 
and an old song [1] commemorates the manner in which it 
was celebrated fifty or sixty years ago, when times were 
good in Swaledale, and miners could earn something more 
than a bare subsistence.— ROUTH, p. 14. 

Scarbro'. A great fair, or market called ' gablers' ' or 
'jabblers' fair' day was originated by charter of King 
Henry III., dated January 22nd 1253, granting a fair to the 
town. Its earliest origin most probably arose from a tax 
imposed by King Henry II., the particulars of which were 
that every house which stood with its gable end facing the 
street should pay fourpence yearly, while those which stood 
in a contrary direction should pay sixpence. . . . This 
fair was held on the Feast of the Assumption of the 
"Blessed Mary" August the 12th, until the Feast of St. 
Michael, and as a free mart was an important privilege, 
and attracted a great concourse of strangers from all parts. 
. . . The annual custom of proclaiming the fair open was 

1 [See A Glossary of Words used in Swaledale (E. D. S.) by 
Captain John Harland, author, in about the middle of the 19th century, 
of the "old song" in question (pp. 3, 4, 5.)] 



330 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

after the following manner. . . . The town's officers on 
the morning of the Assumption, preceded by a band of 
music and accompanied by crowds . . . made a grand pro- 
cession on horseback. The heads of the horses were 
adorned with flowers, and the hats of the riders in the same 
fanciful manner. The cavalcade . . . paraded the streets 
halting at particular stations, where and when the common 
crier made proclamation of the mart, and welcomed stran- 
gers to the town on paying their tolls and customs. The 
words of the proclamation were : — 

" Lords, gentlemen and loons, 
You're welcome to our toons 
Until St. Michael's day, 
But tolls and customs pay, 
From latter Lammas day. 
To Burgesses we say, 
Pay your gablage pay. 
Take notiche evericke one, 
This fair be kept till set of sun. 
No sort of food I rede ye sell 
But what will fit the body well. 
No sort of goods I rede ye vend, 
Unless their worth ye first commend. 
And also, all be found to plese, 
On pain of stocks and little ease. 
And buyers all that comen here, 
The wonted dues and tolls shall clear. 
Now may ye sport and play I wis, 
And all things do ; but nowt amiss ; 
So quick your booths and tents prepare, 
And welcome strangers to the Fair. 
God save the King and the worshipful Mr. Bayliffes. 

When the cavalcade had paraded every quarter of the town, 
so as to return to the place from whence it set out, the whole 
party dismounted and prepared to join the sports which 
were attendant. . . . This ancient custom of proclaiming 
the fair or free mart was continued till the year 1788 when 
owing to the successful competition of the mart opened at 
Seamer it fell into desuetude. — Baker, pp. 315, 316, 317. 



Mock Mayors, Feasts, etc. 331 

Seamer. There is a custom observed on the Fair-days at 
Seamer (July 15th, 16th,) of exhibiting a bush, which in 
ancient times denoted an Inn or house of entertainment. 

Fawcett, p. 3. 

Thoralby. During the Martinmas week Thoralby is 
aroused from her slumbers; then all the young men and 
maidens are at home for a week's holiday, and there is the 
usual dressing up of guys and mumming, etc., and the 
perambulating of the village to the din of concertina and 
fiddle, and the begging from house to house for anything 
to swell the big feast, which takes place either at the inn or 
some large room, ending with a jumping dance, which 
concludes the festivities. — Bogg (3) p. 234. 

West Witton. See ante p. 327, sub Middleham. The 
village feast begins on Saint Bartholomew's day, and lasts 
for several days. . . . The week's feasting at West Witton 
is concluded by a very ancient and singular custom or 
ceremony, the origin of which I have not been able to 
ascertain. . . . An effigy, supposed to represent the Saint, 
is made, after which it is dragged up and down the village 
by the younger generation. Then a large fire is prepared, 
on to which the effigy is tossed, and whilst the figure is 
burning, is chanted many times over : — 

In Penhill crags 
He tore his rags. 
At Hunter's thorn 
He blew his horn. 
At Capplebank Stee 
He broke his knee. 
At Briskill beck 
He brake his neck. 
At Wadham's end 
He couldn't fend. 
At Briskill end 
He made his end. 

Huntersthorn, Capplebank, Brisgill and Wadham are well- 



33 2 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

known places in the district. On the sides of Penhill 
above the village are beautiful woodland paths, etc. 

BOGG (3), pp. 238, 239. 

York, .S. Michael's, Spurriergate. On the day preceding 
Old Lammas Day, in each year. ... [a] bell was tolled at 
three o'clock in the afternoon. Thereupon the sheriffs- of 
the city gave up their authority, by delivering their white 
rods or wands of office to the Archbishop ; and a fair called 
the ' Bishop's Fair' was commenced, and continued for two 
days. At three o'clock in the afternoon of the day 
succeeding Old Lammas Day the bell was rung again ; 
the fair ended, and the Archbishop's bailiff re-delivered 
the white rods to the sheriffs, who then resumed their 
suspended authority. . . . During the fair days the Arch- 
bishop's bailiff had to serve all judicial processes and 
execute all legal business connected with, or in place of the 
sheriffs. He was practically the Sheriff of York for the two 
days. — CAMIDGE, p. 87. 

The Archbishop keeps a court of pyepowder at this fair 
and a jury is impannelled out of the town of Wistow, a 
town within the bishop's liberty, for determining all differ- 
ences of such as complain unto them of matters happening 
within the said fair. — Drake, p. 218. 

[A] fair is always kept in Micklegate on St. Luke's day 
for ail sorts of small wares. It is commonly called dish 
fair from the great quantity of wooden dishes, ladles, etc. 
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 
ridicule on the meanness of the wares brought to the fair, 
small benefit accruing to the labourers at it. Held by 
charter Jan. 23, an. regis H. VII., 17. 

Drake, pp. 218, 219. 



Punishments. 333 



PUNISHMENTS. 

Easingwold. On the south-east side of the [market] cross 
formerly stood the stocks, removed from their ancient site, 
but not altogether out of use : and near them a whipping- 
post, possibly serving upon occasion, the somewhat gentler 
purpose of a Kissing-Post whose heathenish origin and use is 
thus noticed by Leland. 1 : In places of public resort, was 
frequently erected a Kissing-Post, and the loungers or 
porters of the town civilly requested any stranger passing 
to kiss the post. If he refused to do this, they forthwith 
laid hold of him, and by main force bumped his body 
against the post ; but if he quietly submitted to kiss the 
same, and paid down sixpence, then they gave him a name, 
and chose some one of the company for his godfather.' 
The post generally represented some old image or pagan 
deity. — Gill, pp. 100, 101. 

Easingwold. On the north-side of the market-place was 
a ducking-stool. . . . Its chief victims, at least in latter 
times, were scolds and unquiet women, who were placed in 
a stool or chair fixed at the end of a long pole, and thence 
let down into the water. — Gill, p. 10 1. 

Helmsley, Jan. 12, 1657. Margery Watson of Whitby, 
being a scold, to be ducked by the Constable, unless she 
within a month do ask Jas. Wilkinson and his wife of 
Sneaton forgiveness in Whitby Church publiquely and at 
the Cross in the market town there. 

Records, vol. v., p. 262. 

Richmond, 13th Oct. 1606. — [In connexion with the 
mention of an evil living man and 'wieff who is a com- 
mon skolder with her neighbours' it is noted] That 
in the towne of Langthorne aforesaid there is neither 
stockes nor cockinstole for the punishing of offenders. 

Records, vol. i., p. 56. 

1 Coll. p. lxxvi. — 1770. 



334 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Scarborough. Heywood in a ballad published by him on 
the taking of Scarbrough Castle says : 

' This term Scarbro warning grew — some say — 
By hanging for rank robbery there ; 
Who that was met but suspect in that way, 
Straight he was trussed up,whate'er he were.' 

This would imply that Scarborough used that law [gibbet 
law]. — Baker, p. 398. 

York. In the Theatre [of the Yorkshire Philosophical 
Society's Museum] . . . appended to the wall, is a brank, 
the old punishment for scolding women, given by Lady 
Mary Thompson, late of Sheriff Hutton Park in 1880. 

Handbook, pp. 144, 145. 

Masham. 'Riding the Stang' for offenders against the 
laws of conjugal propriety, has become, by long usage, an 
institution in this Parish. The offender, however, instead 
of being mounted in propria persona and borne backwards 
upon the stang or pole, is here represented by an effigy, 
which is publicly carried about the town in a cart, and thus 
exhibited for three successive nights. On the last of those 
nights it is burned at the Market-cross and an oration in 
doggerel rhyme, composed for the occasion, pronounced 
over it by way of warning to all persons in likeways 
offending. — FlSHER, p. 465. 

Northallerton. Riding the Stang is intended to expose 
and ridicule any violent quarrel between man and wife. 
Formerly the culprit was fastened to the stang or pole, and 
carried about the street ; latterly, he or she has been repre- 
sented by a straw effigy, which is afterwards burnt before 
the offender's house. . . . Many are the rhymes used on 
these occasions, the following are subjoined. 

Hey Derry ! Hey Derry ! Hey Derry Dan ! 

It's neither for your cause nor my cause that I ride the stang ; 

But it is for Tom for banging his deary, 

If you'll stay a few minutes I'll tell you all clearly. 



Punishments. 335 

One night he came home with a very red face, 

I suppose he was drunk as is often the case : 

Be that as it may ; but when he got in, 

He knocked his wife down with a new rolling pin. 

She jumped up again, and knocked off his hat, 

And he up with the pestle, and felled her quite flat 

She ran out to the yard and shouted for life, 

And he swore he would kill her with a great gully knife. 

So all you good people that live in this row, 

I'd have you take warning, for this is our law ; 

And if any of your husbands you wives do bang, 

Come to me and my congregation, and we'll Ride the Stang. 

or according to another version : 

With a ran, tan, tan, 
On my old tin can, 

Mrs. and her good man. 

She bang'd him, she bang'd him, 

For spending a penny when he stood in need. 

She up with a three footed stool ; 

She struck him so hard, and she cut so deep, 

Till the blood run down like a new stuck sheep ! 

Ingledew, pp. 347, 348. 

Northallerton. According to the York Herald of March 
i, 1887, the amenities of Northallerton still include this 
time-honoured corrective exercise : — 

" ' Riding the Stang.' — Last night considerable stir 
and excitement prevailed at Northallerton consequent on 
the ' riding of the stang." The reason given in the doggerel 
rhyme which was repeated was that an ostler attached to a 
well-known hostelry had proved unfaithful to his bride, 
whom he married a short time ago. In a small pony cart 
an effigy was placed and the ringing of a bell, together with 
the shouts of those who were in attendance, created quite a 
hubbub. It is between three and four years since a 
similar exhibition took place." 

Two days later the same paper chronicled : — 

" Last night the final riding of the stang took place at 
Northallerton for the unfaithful ostler. The two figures 



336 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

were paraded round the town, after which a bonfire was lit 
on the green below the church, and after the doggerel 
rhyme had been proclaimed the figures were burnt." 

The reports are not quite in harmony with each other 
but future historians of our domestic manners may be able 
to reconcile them. 

St. Swithin, N. & Q., 7th S., vol. Hi., p. 367. 

Thirsk. At Thirsk a succession of ridings may occupy a 
week, but then each case needed three ridings on successive 
nights. The poetry was changed each night by the leader 
of the stang-band, an important officer of the town indeed \ 
and the last night an effigy was burnt before the offender's 
door, and the spokesman then proceeded to him for the 
groat, which was usually paid under the influence of fear or 
custom. Formerly the spokesman there was carried on a 
ladder or men's shoulders, but is now drawn in a cart. An 
old shoemaker once accompanied the fourpence with a treat 
of ale, which the stangrider drank greedily. It was dosed 
heavily with jalap. The magistrates decline to interfere 
with the old custom as long as no property is damaged, 
and in absence of rural police they scarcely have power to 
do otherwise. If damage did occur the spokesman was to 
be liable. I remember a tradesman losing a cause at the 
County Court. A powerful party of the poor were so 
delighted that they rode the stang for him. . . . The 
following morcean recited for a druggist at Thirsk, some 
twenty years ago, was obtained from its author, the retained 
stangrider aforesaid. [The first version given by Ingledew, 
above.] [He said] he usually composed the songs ' on the 
spur of the moment, something fresh every night for three 
nights.' — LONGSTAFFE (2), p. 337. 

Swaledale. Riding the stang is an old usage which was 
in days of yore carried out with great enthusiasm. But 
the custom is fast becoming obsolete. It was formerly the 
practice when a man and his wife, or when neighbours 



Punishments. 337 

differed, or came to blows, to carry out the ' riding of the 
stang.' A number of young men procured a cart, and the 
one amongst their number who had the strongest lungs 
and the most loquacious tongue got upon the cart, which 
was dragged through the village by the rest. Every now 
and then the cart was stopped and the man standing on 
the top of it would harangue the neighbourhood with some 
doggerel rhymes which would run something like the 
following : — 

Hey dilly, how dilly, hey dilly dan, 

It's neither for thy part nor my part that I ride stang. 

It is for and her old man. 

He banged her, he banged her, he banged her, indeed, 

He banged poor till she stood little need, 

He neither took stick, stone, nor stour, 
But he up with his fist and knocked her three times o'er, 
So all you good neighbours that live in this row 
I'd have you take notice that this is our law 
If you or your neighbours should chance to fall out, 
We'll do the same trick without any doubt. 

Tally ho ! 

ROUTH, pp. 71, J 2. 

See Blakeboroitgh, pp. 88, 89. 

West Scrafton, etc. The ancient custom of riding the 
stang for a married man and a married woman who are 
alleged to have misconducted themselves has been carried 
out recently at West Scrafton, in Coverdale. The stang 
has been ridden at Caldbergh, West Scrafton, and Carlton 
townships, and has created quite a sensation. 

Y. H., Jan. 19, 1901. 

Whitby. We hear also of ' Riding Skimmington,' a 
phrase well known elsewhere, as e.g. in Hampshire. Some 
say this is an imported expression, and means the same as 
our riding the stang. Others again state, that ' riding Skim- 
mington ' had something different in the performance, but 
in what that difference consisted we cannot effectually 



338 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (A 7 ". Riding, etc.), 

learn. The same in purpose or nearly so, it exhibited a 
man at one end of a long pole and a female at the other, 
sustained by rows of men on each side for the double 
weight ; while she is said to have displayed a chemise by 
way of banner, expanded at the end of a staff, with the 
usual tumult on such occasions. — ROBINSON, p. 154. 



FARMING CUSTOMS. 

Bean-day, a given day. These days have a casual 
occurrence. When a new-comer enters late upon the 
occupancy of a farm, the rest of the farmers of the village 
will unite in doing him a good turn. If it is ploughing 
that requires to be done, they will go on the land with their 
teams, and plough all in a day without unyoking, thus 
enabling the late-comer to ' overtake the season.' The 
evening of such a day is spent in a festive manner ; the 
neighbours, generally, enjoying the farmer's hospitality. At 
times of push, as during rape and mustard-thrashing, there 
are bean-days, when neighbours assist each other, by hand 
and implement, with a merry evening to follow. If a person 
allows a footpath across any part of his land, this act of 
sufferance is recognized by a bean-day, when the farmers 
render suit and service for the concession. [Called a 
" plough-day." Hone, Y. B., p. 30.]— C. C. R., p. 7. 

FEST, hiring-money ; ' I've got half-a-crown /est.' 

C. C. R.,p. 39- 

Godspenny [or God-penny], earnest money given at 
the statute hirings. — C. C. R., p. 53. 

Luck-brass, [or money] the money returned for luck to 
the bargain by the seller to the purchaser. Thus what is 
given back to the buyer of a pig, is termed ' penny-pig- 
luck: — Robinson, p. 118. 

Pickering. Horsum, Hungil-Money, a small tax which 
is still paid (though the intention of it has long since 



Farming Customs. 339 

ceased) by the townships on the north side of the Vale, 
and within the lathe or weapontake of Pickering, for horse- 
men and hounds kept for the purpose of driving off the 
deer of the forest of Pickering from the corn-fields which 
bordered upon it. When that field of a given township 
which lay next the forest was fallow, no tax was due from 
it that year; and tho' this forest has long been thrown open, 
or disafforested, and the common fields now inclosed, the 
fauf year (calculating every third year) is still exempt from 
this imposition. — MARSHALL, p. 30. 

Soke [yulg. sooac), an exclusive privilege claimed by 
a mill, for grinding all the corn which is used within the 
manor or township it stands in. 1 — Marshall, p. 38. 

We may notice the practice among country matrons, of 
giving their daughters on the wedding-day, if they marry 
farmers, a ' butter-penny ' for placing on the scale along 
with the pundstan}^ that customers may never have to 
complain of hard weight. The penny-piece has to be one 
of the heaviest. — ROBINSON, p. 148. 

PUN'STON. A pebble, or cobble-stone, of as nearly 
twenty-two ounces weight as possible. In old days butter 
was sold by the lang-pund, or pound of twenty-two ounces ; 
and when meat was sold in the shambles by ' weight of 
hand ' or ' by lift,' instead of by ascertained weight, we can 
easily understand the selling of butter by an approximate 
rather than an exact weight. Moreover the lang-pund was 
sold at 4d. per lb. — ATKINSON (2), p. 394. 

1 Some trials at law relative to this ancient privilege have lately 
taken place ; but the millers have generally been cast. It seems to be 
understood, however, that an alien miller has no right to ask publicly 
for corn to be ground in a parish which has a corn mill belonging to 
it. A horn may nevertheless be sounded, or a bell be rung. 

2 [A natural stone weighing i lb.] 



340 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 



TENUEES, etc. 

Arden Hall. The only relics of the priory remaining, 
are a chimney, probably that of the kitchen, which yet 
retains its antique appearance, and performs the same part 
in the modern building as it did in the old. It is popularly 
said to be the title deed, by which the payment of 40/. a 
year from the owner of the park lands of Upsall, is secured 
to the lord of the manor of Arden ; while the chimney en- 
dures the claim holds good — when it ceases to exist, the 
claim becomes void. This is the common story told in the 
neighbourhood, if true, it must certainly be ranked among 
singular tenures.— GRAINGE, p. 321. 

Barton. [Court Rolls of two manors in Barton, belonging 
to R. H. Allan, F.S.A. of Blackwell, ascend to early date; 
and with these rolls etc. has descended] a strange service 
perhaps originally that of the lord's farrier, the presenta- 
tion to the lord of a horse-shoe, with eight or nine nails 
stuck in it. — LONGSTAFFE, p. 149. 

Coxwold. Sir Thomas Colevyle, knight, holds the manor 
of Cuckwold, in the county of York, of Thomas, late Lord 
of Mowbray, as of his manor of Threke, (Thirske) rendering 
one target or shield with the arms of the said Lord painted 
thereon, yearly, at Whitsuntide. — Blount, p. 416. 

Dalton, West Gilling Wapentake. A field near the village of 
Dalton is or was formerly held by the service of finding a 
grindstone for ever for the people of the place. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 499. 

Fyling? nr. Whitby. 'Henry of Ormesby, and Emma 
Wasthose his wife, gave, granted, and by their charter con- 
firmed, to God, and the church of St. Peter and St. Hilda 
of Wyteby, and to the Monks performing divine service 
there, half a carucate of land in the territory of Fieling, 
free and clear from all services, exactions, or demands, viz. 



Tenures, etc. 341 

that half carucate of land which they held of Richard de 
Wivil, and his heirs, on paying annually to the heirs of 
Richard de Wivil, half of a soaring sparrow-hawk (dimidium 
sparveriumsorum) for all services and demands belonging 
to the said land.' [n.d.] — Charlton, p. 201. 

Hutton Conyers, etc. Near this town, which lies a few 
miles from Ripon, there is a large common, called Hutton- 
Conyers Moor, where of William Aislabie, esq. of Studley- 
Royal (lord of the manor of Hutton-Conyers) is lord of the 
soil, and on which there is a large coney-warren belonging 
to the lord. The occupiers of messuages and cottages 
within the several towns of Hutton-Conyers, Melmerby, 
Baldersby, Rainton, Dishforth and Hewick, have right of 
estray for their sheep to certain limited boundaries on the 
common, and each township has a shepherd. 

The lord's shepherd has a pre-eminence of tending his 
sheep on any part of the common, and wherever he herds 
the lord's sheep, the several other shepherds are to give 
way to him, and give up their hoofing-place, so long as he 
pleases to depasture the lord's sheep thereon. The lord 
holds his court the first day in the year, and to entitle those 
several townships to such right of estray, the shepherd of 
each township attends the court, and does fealty by bring- 
ing to the court a large apple-pye, and a twopenny sweet- 
cake except the shepherd of Hewick, who compounds by 
paying sixteen-pence for ale, (which is drunk as after 
mentioned) and a wooden spoon ; each pye is cut in two, 
and divided by the bailiff, one half between the steward, 
bailiff, and the tenant of the coney-warren before mentioned, 
and the other half into six parts, and divided amongst the 
six shepherds of the before-mentioned six townships. In 
the pye, brought by the shepherd of Rainton, an inner one 
is made filled with prunes. The cakes are divided in the 
same manner. The bailiff of the manor provides furmety 
and mustard, and delivers to each shepherd a slice of cheese 



34 2 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

and a penny roll. The furmety well mixed with mustard, 
is put into an earthen pot, and placed in a hole in the 
ground, in a garth belonging to the bailiff's house, to which 
place the steward of the court, with the bailiff, tenant of the 
warren, and six shepherds, adjourn with their respective 
wooden spoons. The bailiff provides spoons for the 
steward, the tenant of the warren, and himself. The 
steward first pays respect to the furmety, by taking a large 
spoonful ; the bailiff has the next honour, the tenant of the 
warren next, then the shepherd of Hutton-Conyers, and 
afterwards the other shepherds by regular turns ; then each 
person is served with a glass of ale (paid for by the sixteen- 
pence brought by the Hewick shepherd) and the health of 
the lord of the manor is drunk ; then they adjourn back to 
the bailiff's house, and the further business of the court is 
proceeded in. 1 

In addition to the above account, which the editor re- 
ceived from the steward of the court, he learnt the following 
particulars from a Mr. Barrowby of Dishforth, who has 
several times attended the court, and observed the customs 
used there. He says, that each pye contains about a peck 
of flour, is about sixteen or eighteen inches diameter, and 
as large as will go into the mouth of an ordinary oven : 
that the bailiff of the manor measures them with a rule, and 
takes the diameter, and if they are not of sufficient 
capacity, he threatens to return them, and fine the town. 
If they are large enough, he divides them with a rule and 
compasses into four equal parts, of which the steward 
claims one, the warrener another, and the remainder is 
divided amongst the shepherds. In respect to the furmety, 
he says, that the top of the dish in which it is put is placed 
level with the surface of the ground ; that all persons 
present are invited to eat of it, and those who do not are 
not deemed loyal to the lord : that every shepherd is obliged 

1 From a letter addressed by Henry Atkinson, esq. of Ripon, to the 
editor, dated 19th January, 1778. 



Tenures, etc. 343 

to eat of it, and for that purpose is to take a spoon in 
his pocket to the court, for if any of them neglects to carry 
his spoon with him, he is to lay him down upon his belly, 
and sup the furmety with his face to the pot or dish ; at 
which time it is usual, by way of sport, for some of the 
by-standers to dip his face into the furmety ; and some- 
times a shepherd, for the sake of diversion, will purposely 
leave his spoon at home. — BLOUNT, pp. 555-557. 

Killing Nab Scar. ' In the dale of Goadland, within the 
ancient Honour of Pickering Forest, tenants were bound by 
tenure of their lands, to promote the breed of a large 
species of hawk that resorted to a cliff called Killing Nab 
Scar, and to secure them for the King : these birds con- 
tinue to haunt the same place, but it is remarkable that 
there is seldom more than one brood produced in a year.' 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 912. 

It is somewhat singular that this large species of hawk 
has but recently become extinct. — FRANKS, p. 169. 

Kirklevington. About the year 1200 Kirklevington was 
given by Adam de Brus to Henry de Percy on marriage 
with his daughter Isabel, on condition that . . . 'the said 
Henry and his heirs should repair to Skelton Castle every 
Christmas-day, and lead the lady of that castle from her 
chamber to the chapel to mass, and from thence to her 
chamber again, and after dining with her depart' 

ORD, p. 495. 

See too under PLACE ETC. LEGENDS: Skelton Castle, 
p. 407. 

Middleham. Certain fee-farm rents in Middleham, were 
required to be paid upon St. Alkelda's Tomb, and were 
regularly deposited on a stone table (most probably an 
altar), in the middle of the nave, as were also some annual 
doles of bread, until the stone was removed, within the 
memory of persons recently living. — Barker, pp. 18, 19. 



344 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

York Minster. John Haxby, treasurer of this Church, 
died the 21st of January 1424. His tomb (which is a 
Stone Table, supported by an Iron Lattice about two Feet 
and a Half high, with an Effigy laid at full Length within 
the Lattice) is remarkable for Money Payments limited to 
be made thereon by old Leases and Settlements. 

Description, p. 73. 

Upsal. The park at Upsal is a royal one, and has to pay 
yearly to the Queen the sum of ^40., as well as a buck, 
a doe, and a horse gate, to the Rector of Kilvington. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 694. 

Whitby. A Printed paper is in these our days, and has 
for time immemorial been handed about and sold in the 
town of Whitby, relating a transaction that is said to 
have happened in the year 1 159. As no copy of this paper 
is to be found among our Abbey records, or in any written 
deed now extant, it will be very difficult for us to trace it 
to its original. Most probably ... it has had its rise from 
the making up of the Horngarth, which was the tenure by 
which all the Abbey-land near Whitby was formerly held : 
But then the Horngarth is here so connected and inter- 
woven with a story about the death of a Hermit or Monk, 
that it will require some trouble to clear up matters. We 
shall beg leave ... to present the reader with an exact copy 
of this extraordinary paper. . . . 

' In the fifth year of the reign of King Henry II. after the 
conquest of England by William Duke of Normandy, the 
Lord of Ugglebardeby, then called William de Bruse, the 
Lord of Sneton, called Ralph de Percy, with a gentleman 
and a freeholder, called Allatson, did, on the 16th day of 
October, appoint to meet and hunt the wild boar, in a cer- 
tain wood or desart place belonging to the Abbot of the 
Monastery of Whitby; the place's name is Eskdale-Side, 
the Abbot's name was Sedman. Then these gentlemen 
being met, with their hounds and boar-staves, in the place 



Tenures, etc. 345 

before-named, and there having found a great wild boar, 
the hounds ran him well near about the chapel and hermi- 
tage of Eskdale-Side, where was a Monk of Whitby, who 
was an Hermit. The boar being very sore, and very hotly 
pursued, and dead run, took in at the chapel-door, and 
there died : Whereupon the Hermit shut the hounds out of 
the chapel, and kept himself within at his meditations and 
prayers, the hounds standing at bay without. The gentle- 
men in the thick of the wood, being put behind their game 
followed the cry of their hounds, and so came to the 
hermitage, calling on the Hermit, who opened the door 
and came forth and within they found the boar lying 
dead ; for which the gentlemen in very great fury, (because 
their hounds were put from their game) did most violently 
and cruelly run at the Hermit with their boar-staves, 
whereby he died soon after. Hereupon the gentlemen, 
perceiving and knowing that they were in peril of death, 
took sanctuary at Scarborough. But at that time the 
Abbot, being in very great favour with King Henry, re- 
moved them out of the sanctuary, whereby they came in 
danger of the law, and not to be privileged, but likely to have 
the severity of the law, which was death. But the Hermit, 
being a holy and devout man, and at the point of death, 
sent for the Abbot, and desired him to send for the gentle- 
men who had wounded him : The Abbot so doing, the 
gentlemen came, and the Hermit being very sick and weak, 
said unto them, I am sure to die of those wounds you have 
given me ; the Abbot answered, They shall as surely die 
for the same ; but the Hermit answered, Not so, for I will 
freely forgive them my death, if they will be contented to 
be enjoined this penance for the safeguard of their souls. 
The gentlemen being present, and terrified with the fear of 
death, bid him enjoin what penance he would, so that he 
would but save their lives. Then said the Hermit, You 
and yours shall hold your lands from the Abbot of Whitby, 
and his successors, in this manner, That upon Ascension 



346 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

evening, you, or some of you, shall come to the wood of 
the Stray-Heads, which is in Eskdale-Side, the same day at 
sun-rising, and there shall the Abbot's officer blow his horn, 
to the intent that you may know how to find him ; and he 
shall deliver unto you, William de Bruse, ten stakes, eleven 
strout stowers, and eleven y ethers, to be cut by you, or 
some for you, with a knife of one penny price ; and you, 
Ralph de Percy, shall take twenty and one of each sort, 
to be cut in the same manner ; and you, Allatson, shall take 
nine of each sort, to be cut as aforesaid, and to be taken on 
your backs, and carried to the town of Whitby, and to 
be there before nine of the clock the same day before- 
mentioned : At the same hour of nine of the clock, if it be 
full sea, your labour or service shall cease ; and, if low 
water, each of you shall set your stakes at the brim, each 
stake one yard from the other, and so yether them on each 
side with your yethers, and so stake on each side with your 
strout stowers, that they may stand three tides without 
removing by the force thereof: Each of you shall do, 
make, and execute the said service all that very hour every 
year, except it be full sea at that hour ; but when it shall 
so fall out, this service shall cease. You shall faithfully do 
this in remembrance that you did most cruelly slay me ; 
and that you may the better call to God for mercy, repent 
unfeignedly of your sins, and do good works, the officer of 
Eskdale-Side shall blow, Out on you, Out on you, Out on 
you, for this heinous crime. If you, or your successors, 
shall refuse this service, so long as it shall not be full sea 
at the aforesaid hour, you or yours shall forfeit your lands 
to the Abbot of Whitby, or his successors. This I intreat,. 
and earnestly beg that you may have lives and goods pre- 
served for this service : And I request of you to promise 
by your parts in heaven, that it shall be done by you and 
your successors, as is aforesaid requested, and I will con- 
firm it by the faith of an honest man. Then the Hermit 
said, My soul longeth for the Lord, and I do as freely for- 



Tenures, etc. 347 

give these men my death, as Christ forgave the thieves 
upon the cross : And in the presence of the Abbot and the 
rest, he said moreover these words, In manus tuas, Domine> 
commendo spiritum meum, a vinculis enim mortis redemisti 
me, Domine veritatis. Amen. So he yielded up the ghost 
on the 8th day of December, upon whose soul God have 
mercy. Amen.' — Charlton, pp. 125-127 ; Marmion, 
Cantos ii., v., xiii. 

Planting of the Penny Hedge. This interesting ceremony 
was performed in the Harbour, near Messrs. Gill and 
Brown's coal warehouse, on Wednesday morning, being 
' the morn of the eve of Ascension Day.' The Lord of the 
Manor's newly appointed bailiff, Mr. John Rickinson, of 
Thorpe, was present to see the devoir properly performed, 
Mr. Isaac Hutton, tenant under the Herberts, the owners of 
the property to which this relic of feudalism is attached, 
being the planter of the hedge. The notes from a 
borrowed foghorn, and the cry, ' out on ye, out on ye,' 
signalled the completion of the task. This forms one of 
the rare exceptions when the hedge has been planted away 
from the late boat-building premises of the Messrs. 
Falkingbridge, the only other time being when it was set at 
the back of Mr. H. S. Home's house, then occupied by the 
late Dr. Taylerson. Mr. Rickinson intends adopting these 
latter sites in future, as the ground is so much firmer in the 
bed of the river. It seems a very great pity that this 
beautifully unique ceremony should have been shorn of a 
portion of its attractiveness by the absence — we trust only 
temporary — of the ancient horn, which has been used from 
time immemorial for the purpose. We understand that 
the horn has not yet been handed over to the new bailiff; 
though it surely should have been for this occasion. Mr. 
Robert Stratford and Mr. Thomas Langbourne, two of the 
oldest attenders at the planting ceremony, were greatly 
distressed at its disappearance, the former, one of the most 



348 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

efficient players who have ever been present, having blown 
it for twenty consecutive years. 

W. Gazette, May 12, 1893. 

Whorlton. Nicholas de Menyll held the manor of 
Whorl ton, etc. of the Archbishop of Canterbury, by serving 
the said archbishop, on the day of his consecration, with the 
cup out of which the archbishop was to drink that day. 

Blount, p. 397. 

York Minster. About the time of King Canute the Dane, 
Ulph, the son of Thorold, a prince of that nation, governed 
in the western part of Deira that division of the ancient 
kingdom of Northumbria which was bounded by the river 
Humber southwards, and to the north by the Tyne, which 
continued so distinguished under the Danes,but is nowbetter 
known by the name of Yorkshire, and the five other northern 
counties of England. ' This prince, by reason of a differ- 
ence like to happen between his eldest son and his 
youngest, about his estate after his death, presently took 
this course to make them equal : without delay he went to 
York, and taking with him the horn, wherein he was wont 
to drink, he filled it with wine, and kneeling upon his 
knees before the altar, bestowed upon God and the blessed 
St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, all his lands and revenues. 1 
The figure of which horn, in memory thereof is cut in stone 
upon several parts of the choir, but the horn itself, about 
King Edward VI. 's time, is supposed to have been sold to 
a goldsmith, who took away from it those tippings of gold 
wherewith it was adorned, and the gold chain affixed there- 
to : it is certain that it was remaining among many other 
ornaments, and preserved in the Sacristy at York, in the 
time of King Henry VIII., some time before the Reforma- 
tion : where it lay from the time of King Edward VI. till it 
fortunately came into the hands of Thomas Lord Fairfax, 
general of the parliament army, there is no account ; but he 

1 Camd. Brit. tit. Yorkshire, West Riding. 



THE HORN OF ULPHUS 

See page 349. 



C/2 

P 

O 

o 
W 

w 




■ 



/ 



Tenures, etc. 349 

being a lover of antiquities, took care to preserve it during" 
the confusions of the civil wars : and dying in 167 1, it came 
into the possession of his next relation, Henry Lord 
Fairfax, who restored it again to its first repository, where 
it now remains a noble monument of modern as well as 
ancient piety. 

As to its present condition, its beauty is not the least 
impaired by age, it being of ivory (of an eight-square form) : 
the carving is very durable, and it is ornamented in the 
circumference, at the larger extremity, with the figures of 
two griffins, a lion, unicorn, dogs, and trees interspersed in 
bas relief, and where the plates are fixed, with foliage after 
the taste of those times. 

Lord Fairfax supplied the want of the plates, which 
anciently embellished this horn, honoured in all probability 
with the name of the donor, (the loss of which original 
inscription can only be lamented, not retrieved) and sub- 
stituted the present one, with the chain of silver gilt : 

cornv hoc vlphvs, in occidentali parte deirae princeps, 

vna cvm omnibvs terris et redditibvs svis, 

olim donavit : 

amissvm vel abreptvm 

Henricvs Ds. Fairfax demvm restitvit dec. et cap. de novo 

ornavit. An. Dom. 1675. 1 

In English. 

Ulphus, Prince of the Western Part of Deira, formerly 

gave this Horn, together with all his Lands and 

Rents : 

Being lost or taken away, 

Henry Lord Fairfax at length restored it to the Dean 

and Chapter, newly ornamented, a.d. 1675. 

Blount, pp. 397-399- 
The identity of the curious relic called Cornu Ulphi . . . 
rests entirely upon the tradition. The church is unable by 

1 Archceologia, vol. i., p. 168, et seq. 



350 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

documentary evidence to trace her possession of it to any- 
period antecedent to the fourteenth century. But that it 
had long previously been an object of great interest 
appears from the form of the horn having been sculp- 
tured in stone upon the walls of the Cathedral, in 
parts of that structure which are known to have been 
commenced before the year I300 ll] ... It is not, strictly 
speaking, a horn. It is the tusk of an elephant, having 
its surface decorated with sculptures, executed by no 
mean artist. . . A border about 4 inches broad, carved in 
low relief, encircles the upper or thickest end of the horn 
or tusk. The design represents four principal figures. 
Two of them facing each other, have between them a tree 
bearing palmated leaves, and fruit in the shape of a cone. 
One of these is a gryphon, a fabulous creature, with 
the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 
The other monster has the body of a lion with the wings of 
an eagle and a head resembling that of a wolf or dog. The 
tails of both are borne erect, and each terminates in the 
head of a wolf or dog. The other two principal figures, 
have between them a smaller stem of the same description 
of tree or plant, with a single cone at the top. One of the 
animals is a lion of the ordinary type in the act of grasping 
and devouring a fawn or young deer. The other represents 
a monster having the body and mane of a lion with the 
head of an antelope armed with one horn, and its tail 
terminating in the head of a wolf or dog. The heads and 
collared necks of three wolves or dogs are rising from the 
base of the circle, and in the upper part is seen a similar 
animal in the act of running. A band beneath the principal 
circle, and two narrower bands round the smaller parts of 
the horn, are ornamented with scrolls composed of the stem 
leaves and fruit of a plant or tree similar to that represented 

1 [The present Dean of York (Purey-Cust) considers it probable that 
these sculptured horns did not represent that attributed to Ulphus. 
See The Heraldry of York Minster, p. 36.]. 



Tenures, etc. 351 

in the principal design. These carvings bear the impress 
of oriental art and feeling. — DAVIES, pp. 8, 9, 10. 

Lammas Offering. Some suppose it is called Lammass 
Day, quasi Lamb-masse, because, on that day, the tenants 
who held lambs of the Cathedral Church in York, which is 
dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula, were bound by their 
tenure to bring a live lamb into the church at high mass. 
Brand, vol. i., p. 348 ; Blount, p. 405. 

OFFICIAL CEREMONIAL. 

Helmsley. At Helmsley there is still held once a year 
what is called the Vardy Dinner. In the days before the 
Government appointed sanitary officers, Helmsley elected 
its own local committee to inspect the town once a year as 
regards sanitary matters. In the evening the inspectors 
met, supped, discussed, and gave their ' verdict.' Hence 
Vardy Dinner. The form, I am told, is still kept up but 
chiefly for social purposes. The dinner is held annually, 
the committee having earlier in the day gone through the 
form of walking through the main streets, scrutinising at 
least the outside of the dwellings as they pass. 

Morris, p. 232. 

William Wright, labourer, who left Helmsley 1850-4 
remembered the Vardy Chaps. They were the head 
men of the village called to meet together by the kirk- 
warners, just before the feast. [1] It was their business to 
elect a Vardy Warden for that year, and to make a tour of 
inspection to see that all the house fronts were properly 
painted and colour-washed, and that drains and chimneys 
were all right. Each house had to have two buckets of 
water at the grate of each of its drains ; this water was 
poured down in presence of the Vardy Warden and others ; 
if it cleared away at once, that was considered a true and 

1 [The Vardy Day is usually in October. The ceremony was omitted 
last year, 1899.] 



35 2 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

clean drain. Any suspected chimney was liable to have a 
armful of straw set fire to in it, to see if it had been properly 
swept. In fact the Vardy Warden and his followers were 
the Sanitary Inspectors, and at one time they seem to have 
carried out their inspection in a thorough kind of way. 
They imposed fines for neglect ; these fines the poorer folk 
had divided amongst them as a Christmas dole. At least 
that was so at one period, but William Wright had only 
heard that such was the case " afore his time." After the 
inspection the Warden, with his brethren and their friends 
indulged in a substantial feast known as the Vardy 
Dinner. — Contributed by Mr. R. BLAKEBOROUGH. 

See also sub Oswaldkirk, p. 229. 

York Minster : Boy-Bishop. From very early times it was 
the custom in many ecclesiastical foundations to observe 
on the three days after Christmas Day the tripudia respec- 
tively of deacons, priests and boys. One of the MSS. used 
by Dr. Henderson in his edition of the York Missal 
belonged to the Metropolitan Church, and has many rubrics 
specially referring to it. Amongst them are some which 
let us see with what observances these tripudia were kept 
therein the fifteenth century; and it is satisfactory to find that 
the fooling was innocent enough, and there was none of the 
grotesque indecency which was indulged in in some places 
— chiefly I believe in Germany and parts of France. Other 
festivities may have taken place outside the church — and 
probably did — but inside it things went on as usual except 
that particular prominence was given on each day to the 
order who were celebrating their feast, and all the choral 
parts were assigned to them. St. Stephen's Day, the 
morrow of Christmas Day, belonged to the deacons, with 
whom were classed the sub-deacons. . . . The next day, 
that of St. John the evangelist, was the great day of the 
priests, and by old custom all the priests in the city 
attended the Cathedral in silk copes, and if it were Sun- 



Official Ceremonial. 353 

day, joined in the procession. During the service they 
stood in order on each side of the quire. . . . Next came 
Innocents' Day and with it the boy bishop and his chapter. 
" Prius facta processione si Dominica fuerit, omnibus pueris 
in capis. Praecentor illorum incipiat officium," or as we 
now call it, the Introit, and so the service went 'on. 
" Omnibus pueris in medio chori stantibus et ibi omnia 
cantantibus, Episcopo eorum interim in cathedra sedente. 
Three boys sang the Grayle in the midst of the choir, and 
the turba pueronim sang " Alleluya" if it were Sunday, and 
if not " Laus tibi Christe." The boy precentor began the 
sequence, and the deacon sought the blessing of the boy- 
bishop before the Gospel, and presented the book for him 
to kiss after it. It does not appear whether the boy-bishop 
blessed the people at York, but he did in some places. 

J. T. Micklethwaite, N. & Q., 5th S., vol. xii., pp. 505, 
506. 

Installation of Canons, etc. — In the good old days . . . 
when the Canons enjoyed their stipends, it was the custom, 
at their installation to have cakes and wine provided for the 
spectators who were present at the ceremonial. When the 
late Ven. C. M. Long was installed Archdeacon of the East 
Riding in October 1854, twelve dozen large currant buns 
made specially for the purpose were disposed of in the 
Chapter House of York Minster. They were thrown about 
in all directions, and eagerly snatched up by the bystanders, 
the scene being one of a noisy and rude character. A 
dozen of port and sherry was afterwards drank to the health 
of the new archdeacon. Precisely the same custom was 
observed at the installation in June 1858 of the late Dean 
of York, Dr. Duncombe. Since that time there has been 
no repetition of this questionable mode of festive rejoicing. 

Y. H., June 1, 1888. 

Present use. The Dean then admitted him to the 
canonry, vesting him to all the rights, powers, and privileges 
thereof, and in token of the same handed to him a copy of 



3 54 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

the Scriptures, symbolic of the ' Word of Life,' and also a 
roll of bread, in token of the ' Bread of Life ' and saluted 
him by the kiss of Christian charity. 

Y. H., June I, 1888. 

It was the privilege of the Dean to ' see ' when a re- 
sidentiaryship was vacant and the first prebendary who 
caught his eye succeeded. — Walcott, p. 61. 

Christmas Eve Offering. Stukeley in his ' Medallic His- 
tory of Carausius ' ii. 163, 164 mentions the introduction of 
mistletoe into York Cathedral on Christmas Eve as a 
remain of Druidism. Speaking of the winter solstice, our 
Christmas, he says : ' This was the most respectable festi- 
val of our Druids, called Yule-tide; when misletoe, which 
they called all-heal, was carried in their hands, and laid on 
their altars as an emblem of the salutiferous advent of 
Messiah. This misletoe they cut off the trees with their 
upright hatchets of brass, called celts, put upon the ends of 
their staffs which they carried in their hands. . . . The 
custom is still preserved in the north, and was lately at 
York : on the eve of Christmas Day they carry MISLETOE 
to the high altar of the cathedral and proclaim a public 
universal liberty, pardon, and freedom to all sorts of inferior 
and even wicked people at the gates of the city towards the 
four quarters of heaven?^ — BRAND, vol. i., pp. 524, 525. 

York. Every sheriff about a month after his election 
takes an oath of secrecy in the council chamber, and is then 
admitted to be one of the privy council. At which 
solemnity the lord-mayor, aldermen, recorder and sheriffs, 
with the rest of the council, drink wine out of a bowl, 
silver-gilt, which is called the black bowl. A vessel the 
commoners of York have an utter aversion to. 

Drake, p. 186. 

The ceremony of riding, one of the greatest shews the 
city of York does exhibit, is performed on this manner, the 

1 See post, pp. 356, 357. 



Official Ceremonial. 35 5 

riding day of the Sheriffs is usually on Wednesday, eight 
days after Martinmas ; but they are not strictly tied to that 
day, any day betwixt Martinmas and Yoole, that is Christ- 
mas may serve for the ceremony. It is then they appear 
on horseback, apparelled in their black gowns and velvet 
tippits, their horses in suitable furniture, each sheriff 
having a white wand in his hand, a badge of his office and a 
servant to lead his horse, who also carries a gilded truncheon. 
Their Serjeants at mace, attorneys, and other officers of 
their courts, on horseback in their gowns riding before 
them. These are proceeded by the city's waites, or musi- 
cians in their scarlet liveries and silver badges playing all 
the way through the streets. One of these waites wearing 
on his head a red pinked or tattered ragged cap, a badge of 
so great antiquity, the rise and original of it cannot be 
found out. Then follows a great concourse of country 
gentlemen, citizens, etc., on horseback, who are invited to do 
this honour to and afterwards dine with them, and though 
they dine separately I have seen near four hundred people 
at one entertainment. In this equipage and manner, with 
the sheriffs waiters distinguished by cockades in their hats, 
who are usually their friends now, but formerly were 
their friends in livery cloaks, they first ride up Micklegate 
into the yard of the priory of the Trinity where one of the 
Serjeants at mace makes proclamation as has been given. [1] 
Then they ride through the principal streets of the city, 
making the same proclamation at the corners of the streets 
on the west side Onsebridge. After that at the corner of 
Castlegate and Onsegate ; then at the corner of Coney street 
and Stonegate over against the Common-hall \ then again at 
the south gate of the Minster. After that they ride unto St. 
Matygate tower without Bootham-bar, making the same 
proclamation there. Then returning they ride through the 
streets of Petergate, Colliergate, Fossgate, over Fossbridge 
into Walmgate, where the proclamation is again made ; and 
1 Drake, p. 196. 



356 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

lastly they return into the market-place in the Pavement ; 
where the same ceremony being repeated, the sheriffs 
depart to their own houses, and after to their house of 
entertainment; which is usually at one of the public halls 
in the city. — DRAKE, pp. 196, 197. 

Yule att York, out of a Coucher belonging to the Cytty r 
per Carolum Fairfax ar. 

The Sheriffs of York, by the Custome of the Citty, do 
use to ride betwixt Michaelmas and Midwynter, that is 
Youle, and for to make a Proclamation throughout the Citty 
in Forme following. 

O Yes ! We command of our Leige Lord's Behalf the 
King of England {that God save and keepe) That the Peace 
of the King be well keeped and maynteyned within the Citty 
and Suburbs by night and by day &c. 

Also that no common Woman walke in the Streetes with- 
out a Gray-Hood} on her Head, and a white Wand in her 
Hand, &c. 

Also the Sheriffes of the Citty on St. Thomas Day the 
Apostle before Youle, att tenne of the Bell, shall come to 
All- Hallow Kirke on the Pavement, and ther they shall 
heare a Masse of St. Thomas in the High Wheare, and 
offer at the Masse, and when the Masse is done they shall 
make a Proclamation att the Pillory of the Youle Girth (in 
the Forme that follows) by ther Serjant : 

We commaund that the Peace of our Lord the King be 
well keeped and mayntayned by Night and by Day &c. prout 
solebat in Proclamatione prcedicta vice-comitum in eorum 
equitatione. 

Also that no manner of man make no Congregations 
nor Assemblyes, prout continetur in equitatione vice- 
comitum. 

Also that all manner of Whores, and Theives, Dice- 
Players, Carders, and all other unthrifty Folke, be welcome to 



! [" Ray-hood," Drake, p. 196.] 






Official Ceremonial. 357 

the Towne, whether they come late or early, att the Reverence 
of the high Feast of Youle, till the twelve Dayes be passed. 

The Proclamation made in Forme aforesaid, the fower 
Serjeants shall goe or ride (whether they will) and one of 
them shall have a Home of Brasse, of the Toll-Bouth : 
And the other three Serjeants shall every one of them 
have a Home, and so goe forth to the fower Barres of the 
Citty, and blow the Youle Girth. And the Sheriffes for 
that day use to go together, they, and ther Wives, and 
ther Officers, att the Reverence of the High Feast of Vole 
on ther proper Costs &c. 

Out of Mr. Dodswortlis Coll. MSS., vol. 157, fol. 1 14 a. 

Leland, vol. iv., 182, 183. 

Because that antient customs are treated of in this chap- 
ter, I am here tempted to give the reader the following, 
which was once used in this city ; though the traditional 
story of its rise has such a mixture of truth and fiction, that 
it may seem ridiculous in me to do it. I copied it from a 
manuscript that fell into my hands of no very old date, for 
the reader may observe, that this was wrote since the Refor- 
mation, and not above threescore years from the disusing 
of the ceremony. The fryery of St. Peter, I take it, was 
what was afterwards called St. Leonards hospital, of much 
older date than the conquest ; but I shall comment no more 
upon it. 

The antient custom of riding on St. Thomas's Day, the 
original thereof and discontinuance, etc. 

WILLIAM the conquerour in the third year of his reign (on 
St. Thomas's day) laid siege to the city of York, but find- 
ing himself inable, either by policy or strength, to gain it, 
raised the siege, which he had no sooner done, but by acci- 
dent he met with two fryers at a place called Skelton not 
far from York, who being examined, told him they belonged 
to a poor fryery of St. Peter in York, and had been sent to 
seek reliefe for their fellows and themselves against Christ- 
mas ; the one having a wallet full of victualls and a 



358 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (AT. Riding, etc.). 

shoulder of mutton in his hand, with two great cakes hang- 
ing about his neck ; the other having bottles of ale, with 
provisions likewise of beife and mutton in his wallett. 

The king knowing their poverty and condition thought 
they might be serviceable to him towards the attaining of 
York, wherefore, (being accompanied with sir George 
Fothergill general of the field, a Norman born) he gave 
them money, and withall a promise, that if they would lett 
him and his soldiers into their priory at the time appointed, 
he would not only rebuild their priory, but indowe it like- 
wise with large revenues and ample privileges. The fryers 
easily consented, and the conqueror, as soon sent back his 
army, which that night according to agreement, were let 
into the fryery by the two fryers, by which they imme- 
diately made themselves masters of all York ; after which 
sir Robert Clifford, who was governor thereof, was so far 
from being blamed by the conqueror, for his stout defence 
made on the preceding days, that he was highly esteemed 
and rewarded for his valour, being created lord Clifford and 
there knighted, with the four magistrates then in office, viz. 
Howngate, Talbott (who afterwards came to be lord Tal- 
boti) Lascells and Erringham. 

The arms of the city of York at that time, was argent a 
cross gules, viz. St. George's cross. The conqueror charged 
the cross with five lions passant gardant or, in memory of the 
five worthy captains magistrates, who governed the city so 
well, that he afterwards made sir Robert Clifford governor 
thereof, and the other four to aid him in counsell. And 
the better to keep the city in obedience he built two castles 
and double moated them about. 

And to show the confidence and trust that he putt in 
these old, but new made, officers by him, he offered them 
freely to ask whatsoever they would of him before he went 
and he would grant their request ; whereupon they (abomi- 
nating the treachery of the two fryers to their eternal 
infamy) desired, that on St. Thomas's day for ever, they 



Official Ceremonial. 359 

might have a fryer of the pryory of St. Peters to ride 
through the city on horse-back with his face to the horse's 
tayle, and that in his hand instead of a bridle, he should 
have a rope, and in the other a shoulder of mutton, with 
one cake hanging on his back and another on his breast, 
with his face painted like a Jew, and the youths of the city 
to ride with him and to cry and shout Youl, Youl, with the 
officers of the city rideing before and makeing proclamation, 
that on this day the city was betrayed ; and their request 
was granted them. Which custom continued till the dis- 
solution of the same fryery ; and afterwards in imitation of 
the same, the young men and artizans of the city on the 
aforesaid St. Thomas s day used to dress up one of their 
own companions like the fryer, and called him YOUL which 
custom continued till within these threescore years, there 
being many now living which can testify the same, but on 
what occasion since discontinued I cannot learn : This 
being done in memory of betraying the city by the said 
fryers to William the conqueror. — Drake, p. 217. 



VAEIA. 

Barningham. Barningham, where formerly the sexton 
was paid a yearly sum for whipping cats out of the church- 
yard. — BOGG (4), pp. 89, 90. 

Bishopthorpe. A custom prevails with the sailors on 
board the training brigs, to fire three guns every time they 
pass ; a signal which is answered by a certain portion of 
ale being always distributed amongst them, by order of the 
archbishop. — HARGROVE, vol. ii., P. 2, 518 note. 

Nunnington. An old but unusual custom still prevails in 
this church of separating the male and female part of the 
congregation, the former occupying the seats to the north 
of the aisle, the latter those on the south. 

Eastmead, pp. 171, 172. 



360 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.\ 

Kirby Ravensworth, nr. Richmond. Yorkshireman writes : 
— ' There is a curious custom in connection with the 
election of the wardens of the Kirby Hill Hospital and 
Charity. The name of each person nominated is enclosed 
separately in a ball of cobbler's wax, and the balls are put 
into a jar of water. The vicar then plunges in his hand 
and brings up a ball, and the person whose name is en- 
closed in it is the senior warden for the next two years. 
The next ball brought up discloses the name of the junior 
warden, and thus the election is conducted. It is all in 
accordance with an ancient deed in the possession of the 
trustees for the time being.' 

Newspaper paragraph, civ. April, 1893. 

Scarborough. Caulking Kiss. — For several years before 
and for some years after 1787, the carpenters employed in 
the shipyards at Scarborough had a custom as follows : — 
When the seams of a new ship were being first caulked, 
each man had his portion of work marked off, where he was 
stationed until the caulking was completed. The man who 
worked nearest to the stern was by indispensable custom, 
obliged to demand a kiss of every female who might 
happen to pass by during the caulking. If the lady re- 
fused the favour, she had to compound by giving something 
to purchase oil to rub the ' riming iron,' that it might more 
easily enter the seams. If the lady did not comply with 
either of the requests, the carpenter was compelled by his 
companions to take the kiss or be ' cobbed ' by them. 
Neither inhabitants nor visitors were exempt from this tax, 
and those females who chose to pay seldom estimated the 
value of a kiss at less than a shilling. Shipbuilding is no 
more at Scarbrough, and with its departure has gone this 
free and somewhat intrusive salutation. —Baker, p. 469. 

Thirsk. A circle in the pavement near the cross, yet 
marks the place where the bull baitings were held : the 
ring was taken up about twenty years ago ; before its 



Varia. 361 

removal a custom prevailed amongst the youths of the 
town, when any of them had completed his term of 
apprenticeship, to meet together at midnight, and to drink 
to each other with the arm holding the drinking glass 
through the ring. — Grainge, p. 113. 

York. St. Luke's day is . . . known in York by the name 
of whip-dog-day, from a strange custom that school-boys 
use here of whipping all the dogs that are seen in the 
streets that day. Whence this uncommon persecution took 
its rise is uncertain ; yet though it is certainly very old, I 
am not of opinion with some that it is as antient as the 
Romans. The tradition that I have heard of its origin 
seems very probable, that in times of popery, a priest 
celebrating mass at this festival at some church in York, 
unfortunately dropped the pax after consecration ; which 
was snatched up suddenly and swallowed by a dog that 
laid under the altar table. The profanation of this high 
mystery occasioned the death of the dog, and a persecu- 
tion begun and has still continued on this day, to be severely 
carried on against his whole tribe in our city. 

Drake, p. 219. 

' Whoever is imprisoned at York shall, on going in, pay 
id. for a cord, although he be a true man ; and so if 
he be found guilty the gaoler shall find for him a rope ; 
and if he be set free he loses his id.' This statement was 
inserted by an ancient annotator at fol. 53a. of his copy of 
Bracton (See Mr. Horwood's Introd. to the Year Books 20 
and 21 Edw. I., p. xvii.). — Q. V. ; Y. F., vol. i., p. 234. 



SECTION XIV. 
TALES AND BALLADS. 

The Legend of Sister Hylda. 

On the eve of St. Mark, in the year of 128 1, the Lady Abbess 
of Appleton assembled the nuns from St. Mary's Abbey at 
York, the monks from Acastor Malbis, and the Archbishop 
from his castle at Cawood, to hold high mass, the cause 
being to lay the haunting spirit of Sister Hylda to rest. 
For years a ghastly vision had hovered around the 
nunnery at Appleton, causing great alarm and terror to 
the people. On this night an awful storm swept over the 
place, the tempest howled, the lightnings glared, and the 
thunders crashed, and rattled their levin bolts. In the 
midst of this whirling tempest, when ' the holy Arch- 
bishop, in sacred stole, was before the altar, the veiled 
sisters of the Virgin Mary stood by the choir, and the 
monks were arranged beyond the fretted pillars of the 
chapel,' there came a loud knocking at the convent gate, 
and the porters admitted the Grey Palmer, whose coming 
had been foretold by the ghost of Sister Hylda. He told 
how he had wandered through terrible dangers by land and 
sea, and how he had fought in the Holy War against the 
Saracens, how he had crossed the burning sands and met 
the wild lords of the deserts in shocks of steel, but never 
was his soul so appalled as by the rage of the elements 
that weary night, " and how in the forests where the pelting 



Tales and Ballads. 363 

hail blasts, the red flashes of lightning, and the rolling 
torrent of the Wharfe opposed his course, the spectre of 
Sister Hylda shrieked in his ear, ' Grey Palmer, thy bed 
of dark, chill, deep earth, and thy pillow of worms are 
prepared ; thy fleshless bride awaits to embrace thee.' "... 
' When the Palmer entered the sanctuary, the seven candles 
which burned with perpetual blaze before the altar expired 
in blue hissing flashes. A gloomy light circled along the 
vaulted roof, and Sister Hylda, with her veil thrown back 
by her skeleton hand, stood pale grim and ghastly by the 
Palmer, who was recognised as Friar John. The holy sisters 
shrieked. The Archbishop in horror, commanded the 
spectre to tell why she thus brake in upon them. 
Unearthly groans issued from her colourless lips as, with 
fearful agitation she thus spoke: — 'In me behold Sister 
Hylda dishonoured, ruined, murdered by Friar John. He 
stands by my side and bends his head lower and lower in 
confession of his guilt. I died unconfessed, and for seven 
long years has my troubled and suffering spirit walked the 
earth, when all were hushed in peaceful sleep but such 
as the lost Hylda. Your masses have earned grace and 
pardon for me. I now go to my long rest' The roar of 
the elements suddenly ceased, soft strains of delicious 
music swelled in the air, and stole along the surface of the 
Wharfe, melting in the woodland ; to the astonishment of 
the startled nuns a bright flame rekindled the holy tapers ; 
but Sister Hylda and the Palmer had vanished and were 
never seen more. — BOGG, p. 19. 

[This story is related at greater length by Cobley, pp. 
20-23 and taken from him, is elaborated by Camidge: 
pp. 470-473 ; Parkinson repeats it 1st S. pp. 66-70 ; Timbs 
vol. iii. p. 171. The date given by Cobley is 1200. If 
traditional, it has manifestly been much overlaid by pen- 
men.] 

The Little Crooked Old Woman and the Pig. — See 
Blakeborough, pp. 263-265. 



364 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

The Boy and His Wages. — Blakeborough, p. 265-267. 

The Golden Ball, referred to as being common in the 
North Riding. — Blakeborough, p. 273. 

The Cruel Step-Mother and her Little Daughter. — Blake- 
borough, pp. 273-276. 

The Hand of Glory. — See Tales and Traditions part ii., 
pp. 74-75, written by the late Mr. R. W. Atkinson of 
Barnard Castle, circ. 1885. Cf. Macquoid, pp. 65-70; Mr. 
R. W. A. was the informant. 

[The author of The Atelier du Lys, etc., tells a " Hand of 
Glory" tale, as of Yorkshire, in Under a Cloud (pp. 63-64); 
she believes that it came to her from a Pontefract lady. 
The scene is laid in " Outhdale."] 

See also under General FOLKLORE : Praying for 
Husbands, p. 220. 

See also under Place, &c, Legends : Rudby and York 

Sextons, pp. 387, 388. 



A Tale of the Moors. 
[The Oft-told Tale.] 

About some 70 or 80 years since, or perhaps more, in 
the wildest and most romantic part of one of those fine 
vales which lie from 12 to 17 or 18 miles from Whitby . . . 
there lived a farmer of the name of Jonathan Gray. . . 
The prosperity of the family was aided by an uncommon 
advantage. . . Jonathan's grandfather had a servant of the 
name of Ralph ; he was a stout lusty young fellow ... he 
often boasted that he could challenge all the lads within a 
dozen miles round at mowing, shearing, thrashing, etc. . . 
He was frozen to death in a wreath of snow on returning 
from a nocturnal visit to the fair. Some little time after 



Tales and Ballads. 365 

the death of the luckless Ralph, a visitor of an uncommon 
kind appeared in the house of his master, or rather in the 
outbuildings belonging to the same. One of the family 
who happened to be awake at the dead of night, heard the 
thump of a flail in the adjoining barn : the whole house, of 
course, were soon afloat, and all were certain that it was no 
mortal thrasher that had broke their slumbers. However 
no one manifested any inclination to pay a visit to the 
barn, at least not until the sun had been some hours above 
the hills, when they ventured in a body to take a look at the 
workmanship of the unknown labourer; when lo ! to their 
astonishment, they found as much corn thrashed as would 
have cost even Ralph himself, a week's labour. This mid- 
night visitation was repeated again and again . . . the 
family . . . [jestingly identified the worker] as the spirit of 
Ralph. In hay-time and harvest particularly he was useful ; 
he mowed, sheared, or carted, just as happened to be most 
convenient ; but always at the dead of night. 

The farmer finding his guest so profitable, began to con- 
sider that it would be only fair he should make some return 
for such kindness. . . Accordingly he placed in the barn, 
the head-quarters of the goblin, a jug of cream, with sundry 
other viands which he remembered were favourites with 
his defunct servant. What use the sprite made of these is 
not known ; certain it is, that they had disappeared next 
morning, nothing but the empty jug being left. 

On the death of the old man, Ralph passed, together 
with the stock, crop, etc., to the next in succession, and 
from him to his son Jonathan, our hero ; still continuing 
his labours, and receiving the accustomed cream jug as at 
first. 

Nothing occurred for many years to interrupt the 
harmony between Jonathan and Ralph, until, unfortunately, 
Jonathan's wife Margery, happened to die ; when he, finding 
himself, as he expressed it rather unkward, thought fit, after 
waiting a decent time, to marry again. Now his second 



366 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.) 

partner proved to be a woman of a saving disposition. . . No 
sooner was she established as ruler of the household, than 
she began to grudge the dainty viands which were set apart 
for Ralph ; and in a season when butter chanced to be very- 
dear, her repinings at the waste of so much good cream, 
could no longer be kept within bounds ; and in spite of 
the remonstrances of her husband, who dreaded the con- 
sequences of a change in the goblin's diet, she substituted a 
jug of skimmed milk, for that of cream . . . from that day 
forward not one jot of work did the goblin do; harvest 
came, not an ear of corn was either shorn or housed ; 
winter passed, his flail was never once heard. But not only 
did he cease from being useful, but he turned himself to 
acts of mischief; and in these he seemed especially de- 
termined to revenge himself on her who had given him 
such dire affront. In vain did she churn, not an ounce of 
butter was forthcoming, her chickens died of the pip; her 
geese disappeared, and the fox was blamed ; her cheese 
was spoiled, she knew not what to blame. — Strange noises 
were heard at night in the house, kettles were turned into 
kettle-drums, pewter plates into cymbals ; the bed-clothes 
were pulled off, and the bed lifted up — and then succeeded 
a concert of knockings, groanings, scratchings, hissings, 
howlings, drummings, thumpings, etc., so that there was no 
rest whatever to be had in the house. 

The unlucky pair endured these tormenting proceedings 
for some time, if not very patiently, as well as they could ; 
but having tried in vain the exorcisms of the minister, with 
every other method recommended by all knowing in such 
matters . . . they resolved at last, though reluctantly, to 
seek another abode. Accordingly, having taken a farm at 
some distance, Jonathan began the removal of his property. 
He had just set out from his old habitation with the last 
cart-load of his household goods and farming utensils, when 
he was met by an old acquaintance : ' Hegh, Jonathan, 
what are ye about ? ' ■ We are flitting,' he said with a 



Tales and Ballads. 367 

heavy sigh. ' Yes ' said a strange voice ' we're flutting.' 
They started at the sound, and looking to the place from 
which it seemed to proceed, they saw an awful looking 
figure seated on an old churn at the top of the cart ; he had 
eyes, of course, of an uncommon size ; and seemed exulting 
with a kind of unearthly malicious glee. Jonathan survey- 
ing him with a mixture of fear and vexation, exclaimed ; 
' If thout art flatting we'll e'enflut back again.' 

O. F. Whitby Mag., vol. ii. (1828), pp. 27-30. 

See also under GOBLINDOM, pp. 133, 134. 

The Fish and the Ring, or the Cruel Knight and the 
Fortunate Farmers Daughter (a reprint for William 
Robinson, Esq., 1843). 

In famous York city a farmer did dwell, 

Who was belov'd by his neighbours well ; 

He had a wife that was virtuous and fair, 

And by her he had a young child every year. 

In seven years six children he had, 

Which made their parents' heart full glad ; 

But in a short time, as we did hear say, 

The farmer in wealth and stock did decay. 

Though once he had riches in store, 

In a little time he grew very poor ; 

He strove all he could, but alas ! could not thrive, 

He hardly could keep his children alive. 

The children came faster than silver or gold, 

For his wife conceiv'd again, we are told, 

And when the time came in labour she fell ; 

But if you would mind an odd story I'll tell : 

A noble rich Knight by chance did ride by, 
And hearing this woman did shriek and cry, 
He being well learned in the planets and signs, 
Did look in the book which puzzled his mind. 
The more he did look the more he did read, 
And found that the fate of the child had decreed, 



368 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

Who was born in that house the same tide, 
He found it was she who must be his bride ; 
But judge how the Knight was disturb'd in mind, 
When he in that book his fortune did find. 

He quickly rode home and was sorely oppressed, 
From that sad moment he could take no rest ; 
At night he did toss and tumble in his bed 
And very strange projects came into his head, 
Then he resolv'd and soon try'd indeed, 
To alter the fortune he found was decreed. 
With a vexing heart next morning he rose, 
And to the house of the farmer he goes, 
And asked the man with a heart full of spite, 
If the child was alive that was born last night? 
' Worthy sir ' said the farmer, ' although I am poor, 
I had one born last night, and six born before ; 
Four sons and three daughters I now have alive, 
They are in good health and likely to thrive.' 
The Knight he reply'd ' If that seven you have, 
Let me have the youngest, I'll keep it most brave, 
For you very well one daughter may spare, 
And when I die I'll make her my heir ; 
For I am a Knight of noble degree, 
And if you will part with your child unto me 
Full three thousand pounds I'll unto thee give 
When I from your hands your daughter receive.' 

The father and mother with tears in their eyes, 
Did hear this kind offer and were in surprize ; 
And seeing the Knight was so noble and gay, 
Presented the infant unto him that day. 
But they spoke to him with words most mild, 
' We beseech thee, good sir, be kind to our child ' 
' You need not mind,' the Knight he did say, 
' I will maintain her both gallant and gay.' 
So with this sweet babe away he did ride, 



Tales and Ballads. 369 

Until he came to a broad river's side. 

Being cruelly bent he resolv'd indeed 

To drown the young infant that day with speed, 

Saying, ' If you live you must be my wife, 

So I am resolved to bereave you of life ; 

For till you are dead I no comfort can have, 

Wherefore you shall lie in a watery grave.' 

In saying of this, that moment, they say, 

He flung the babe into the river straightway ; 

And being well pleased when this he had done, 

He leaped on his horse, and straight he rode home. 

But mind how kind fortune for her did provide, 

She was drove right on her back by the tide, 

Where a man was a fishing, as fortune would have, 

When she was floating along with the wave. 

He took her up, but was in amaze; 

He kissed her and on her did gaze, 

And he having ne'er a child in his life, 

He straightway did carry her home to his wife. 

His wife was pleased the child to see, 

And said, ' My dearest husband, be ruled by me, 

Since we have no children, if you'll let me alone, 

We will keep this and call it our own.' 

The good man consented, as we have been told, 

And spared for neither silver nor gold, 

Until she was over eleven full year, 

And then her beauty began to appear. 

The fisherman was one day at an inn, 

And several gentlemen drinking with him : 

His wife sent this girl to call her husband home, 

But when she did into the drinking room come, 

The gentlemen they were amazed to see 

The fisherman's daughter so full of beauty. 

They ask'd him if she was his own, 

And he told them the story before he went home : 



37 o Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding ; etc.). 

'As I was fishing within my bound, 
One Monday morning this sweet babe I found ; 
Or else she had lain within a watery grave ; ' 
And this was the same which now he gave. 
The cruel Knight was in the company, 
And hearing the fisherman tell his story, 
He was vexed at the heart to see her alive, 
And how to destroy her again did contrive, 
Then spake the Knight, and unto him said, 
' If you will but part with this sweet maid 
I'll give you whatever your heart can devise, 
For she in time to great riches may rise.' 
The fisherman answered with a modest grace, 
' I cannot unless my dear wife were in the place, 
Get first her consent, you shall have mine of me 
And then to go with you, sir, she is free.' 
The wife she did also as freely consent, 
But little they thought of his evil intent ; 
He kept her a month very bravely they say, 
And then he contrived to send her away. 

He had a great brother in fair Lancashire, 

A noble rich man worth ten thousand a year, 

And he sent this girl unto him with speed 

In hopes he would act a most desperate deed. 

He sent a man with her likewise they say, 

And as they did lodge at an inn on the way, 

A thief in the house with an evil intent 

For to rob the portmanteau immediately went, 

But the thief was amazed, when he could not find 

Either silver or gold, or aught to his mind, 

But only a letter the which he did read 

And soon put an end to this tragical deed : 

The Knight had wrote to his brother that day, 

To take this poor innocent damsel away, 

With sword or with poison that very same night, 



Tales and Ballads. 371 

And not let her live till morning light. 

The thief read the letter and had so much grace 

To tear it, and write in the same place, 

' Dear brother, receive this maiden from me, 

And bring her up well as a maiden should be ; 

Let her be esteem'd, dear brother, I pray, 

Let servants attend her by night and by day. 

For she is a lady of noble worth, 

A nobler lady ne'er lived in the north ; 

Let her have good learning, dear brother, I pray, 

And for the same I will sufficiently pay ; 

And so, loving brother, this letter I send, 

Subscribing myself your dear brother and friend.' 

The servant and maid were still innocent, 

And onward their journey next day they went. 

Before sunset to the Knight's house they came 

Where the servant left her, and came home again. 

The girl was attended most nobly indeed, 

With the servants to attend to her with speed ; 

Where she did continue a twelvemonth's space, 

Till this cruel Knight came to this place, 

As he and his brother together did talk, 

He spy'd the young maiden in the garden to walk. 

She look'd most beautiful, pleasant, and gay, 

Like to sweet Aurora, or the goddess of May. 

He was in a passion when he did her spy, 

And instantly unto his brother did cry, 

'Why did you not do as in the letter I writ?' 

His brother replied, ' It is done every bit.' 

' No, no,' said the Knight, ' it is not so I see, 

Therefore she shall back again go with me ' ; 

But his brother showed him the letter that day, 

Then he was amazed, but nothing did say. 

Soon after the Knight took this maiden away, 
And with her did ride till he came to the sea, 



372 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Then looking upon her with anger and spite, 
He spoke to the maiden and bade her alight. 
The maid from her horse immediately went 
And trembled to think what was his intent. 
' Ne'er tremble,' said he ' for this hour's your last ; 
So pull off your clothes, I command you in haste.' 
This virgin, with tears, on her knees did reply, 
' Oh ! what have I done, sir, that now I must die ? 
Oh ! let me but know how I offend 
I'll study each hour my life to amend, 
Oh ! spare my life and I'll wander till death, 
And never come near you while I have breath.' 
He hearing the pitiful moan she did make 
Straight from his finger a ring did take, 
He then to the maiden these words did say, 
This ring in the water I'll now throw away ; 
Pray look on it well, for the posy is plain, 
That you when you see it may know it again. 
I charge you for life never come in my sight, 
For if you do I shall owe you a spite, 
Unless you do bring the same unto me : ' 
With that he let the ring drop in the sea, 
Which when he had done away he did go, 
And left her to wander in sorrow and woe. 
She rambled all night, and at length did espy 
A homely poor cottage, and to it did hie, 
Being hungry with cold, and a heart full of grief, 
She went to this cottage to seek for relief; 
The people reliev'd her, and the next day 
They got her to service, as I did hear say, 
At a nobleman's house, not far from this place 
Where she did behave with a modest grace. 
She was a cookmaid and forgot the time past, 
But observe the wonder that comes at last. 

As she for dinner was dressing one day, 



Tales and Ballads. 373 

And opened the head of a cod, they say, 

She found such a ring, and was in amaze 

And she, in great wonder, upon it did gaze 

And viewing it well she found it to be 

The very same the Knight dropped in the sea, 

She smil'd when she saw it, and bless'd her kind fate, 

But did to no creature the secret relate. 

This maid in her place, did all maidens excel, 
That the lady took notice, and lik'd her well ; 
Saying, she was born of some noble degree, 
And took her as a companion to be. 
The Knight when he came to the house did behold 
This beautiful lady with trappings of gold, 
When he ask'd the lady to grant him a boon, 
And said it was to walk with that virgin alone. 
The lady consented, telling the young maid 
By him she need not fear to be betrayed. 
When he first met her, ' Thou strumpet,' said he, 

* Did I not charge thee never more to see me ? 
This hour's thy last, to the world bid good night, 
For being so bold as to appear in my sight' 
Said she ' In the sea you flung your ring, 

And bid me not see you unless I did bring 
The same unto you. Now I have it,' cries she, 

* Behold, 'tis the same that you flung into the sea.' 
When the Knight saw it, he flew to her arms, 

And said ' Lovely maid, thou hast millions of charms.' 

Said he, ' Charming creature, pray pardon me, 

Who often contrived the ruin of thee : 

'Tis in vain to alter what heaven doth decree, 

For I find you are born my wife to be.' 

Then wedded they were, as I did hear say, 

And now she's a lady both gallant and gay, 

They quickly unto her parents did haste, 

When the Knight told the story of what had passed. 



374 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

But asked their pardon upon his bare knee, 
Who gave it, and rejoiced their daughter to see. 
Then they for the fisherman and his wife sent, 
And for their past troubles did them content. 
And so there was joy for all them that did see 
The farmer's young daughter a lady to be. 

Jones, pp. 510-5/5 ; Anthol, pp. 129-138. 

For a version slightly differing, see Ingledew (2), pp. 193- 
202. Variant in prose, The Poor Old Cobbler and the Wicked 
Knight ; see Blakeborongh, pp. 269-272 ; and the tale is often 
told, e.g. Macquoid, pp. 22-27 ; Under a Cloud, pp. 51-55. 

A marble monument on the outer east wall of the 
chancel of the church of St. Dunstan at Stepney ... is to 
the memory of Dame Rebecca Berry, wife of Sir Thomas 
Elton of Stratford Bow, and relict of Sir John Berry, 1696. 
The arms on this monument are Paly of six on a bend 
three mullets (Elton) impaling a fish and in the dexter 
chief point, an annulet between two bends wavy. This 
coat of arms has given rise to the tradition that Lady Berry 
was the heroine of the popular ballad called ' The Cruel 
Knight or the Fortunate Farmer's Daughter.' . . . The 
ballad it must be observed, lays the scene of the story in 
Yorkshire. — Timbs (2), vol. ii., pp. 4, 5. 

Story about the Magic of the Ouse. See under NATURAL 
Objects, p. 40. 

There is an old Ballad, written in 1577, entitled, 'A 
Brefe Balet, touching the traytorous takyng of Scarborrow 
Castele, imprinted in London, in Flete Street, by Thomas 
Powell, cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum,' in black 
letter. — Baker, p. 70. See also Folk-Lore Record, vol. i., 
p. 170. 

Yule in York. The following carol, which was printed 
on a broadsheet in the possession of F. Bacon Frank, Esq. 
of Campsall Hall, co. York, will be found in the 'Sixth 
Report of the Hist MSS. Commission,' pt. i. 45 1 b. Perhaps 



Tales and Ballads. 375 

the missing stanzas may be supplied on some future 
occasion : 

" Yule in York. ' Our Saviour is come.' Begins, 

Man's tears and wofull plaint hath pierst the lofty skies, 

With gladsome news in glittering robe from heaven an angell flies. 

(six verses of four lines) and burden to each — 

The ayre therefore resounds, Yule, Yule, a babe is born, 

O, bright and blazing day, to save mankind that was forlorn. 

The meaning of Yule in York (four [this should be, five] 
verses of six lines). Begins, 

' O, famous York rejoice, and think, of thee no shame.' 
The burden is — 

True Israelites resound, Yule, Yule, a babe is born, 

O, bright and blazing day, to save mankind that was forlorn. 

The significations are given of the characters, viz. True 
Israelites, Children, Shalms, Nuts, Serjeants, Rejected draffe, 
Distaffe on Rock. (A broadside, c James I.)." 

W. F. Prideaux, N. & Q., 8th S, vol. x., p. 513. 

Fragment of a Song, [also, " formerly sung in fSouth 
Yorkshire"; see A ddy, pp. 145-146]. 
It rains, it hails, it snows, it blows, 
And I am wet through all my clothes, 
So I prithee, love, let me in ! {bis). 

Oh no, kind sir, it cannot be, 
For there's nobody in the house but me, 
So I prithee be gone from the door {bis). 

He turn'd him about somewhither to go, 
When a little compassion she did show, 
And she called him back again {bis). 

They spent the night in happy content, 
And the very next morning to church they y 
And he made her his lawful bride (bis s 
F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & Q., 7th S., ,- 
and 454. 



376 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

BALLADS AND SONGS RELATING TO NORTH 
YORKSHIRE, IN INGLEDEW'S COLLECTION. 

Athelgiva. A legendary tale of Whitby Abbey by 
William Watkins. — Ingledew (2), pp. 4-18. 

The Battle of Cuton Moore. First printed by Mr. Evans 
in 1784.— /£., pp. 18-35. 

The Noble Fisherman; or Robin Hood's Preferment. 
From three old black-letter copies ; one in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood, another in the British Museum, and the 
third in a private collection. — lb., pp. 48-51. 

The Felon Sew of Rokeby and the Fryers of Richmond. 
First published in Whitaker's History of Craven, 1805 [and 
subsequently lengthened and corrected from a MS. copy]. 
—lb., pp. 93-104. 

Yorke, Yorkefor my Monie by W. E. (William Elderton) 
A.D. 1584. From a broadside (black letter) in the Rox- 
burgh Collection in the British Museum. It is a favourite 
chap-book history. — lb., pp. n 3- 119. 

Bold Nevison the Highwayman. To Edward Hailstone 
esq. F.S.A., F.G.S. etc. ... I am greatly indebted for the 
above. — lb., pp. 125-128. 

Roseberry Topping [from Yorkshire Anthology]. — lb., pp. 
128-130. 

The Cruel S tep-M other ; or the Unhappy Son. — lb., pp. 
131-138. 

The Bowes Tragedy ; or a Pattern of True Love. The 
author . . . was the then master of Bowes grammar- 
school. 1 — lb., pp. 145-152. 

r 'n and Emma. [The foundation of the story of Mallet's 
Emma and of Bowes Tragedy, an anonymous poem :] 
Burials at Bowes 171 5. 
on Junr. and Martha Railton both of Bowes buried 
hed in a Fever and upon tolling his passing Bell, 



Tales and Ballads. 377 

The Romanby Tragedy. — Id., pp. 164- 171. 

Paul Jones, the Cumberland Militia and Scarborough 
Volunteers. From a broadside in the Roxburgh collection. 
Another on this event, is published by J. Forth of Pock- 
lington. — lb., pp. 184-187. 

A New Fox Hunting Song composed by W. S. Kenrick, 
and J. Burtell. The Chase run by the Cleveland Fox 
Hounds, on Saturday the 29th day of January, 1785. From 
a broadside in the Roxburgh collection, pp. 187-190. 

Spence Broughton, Who was hung at York for robbing 
the mail on the 14th of April, 1792, pp. 191, 192. 

The Yorkshire Knight, or the Fortunate Fanner s 
Daughter. A favourite chap-book history, sometimes 
called 'The Yorkshire Garland'; or, 'The Cruel Knight, 
and the Fortunate Farmer's Daughter.' See a broadside 
in Rox. coll. — lb., pp. 193-202. See ante, pp. 367-374. 

A Yorkshire Tragedy ; or a Warning to all Perjur'd 
Lovers. Printed and sold in Bow church-yard London. 
See Horace Rodd's Garland, in the British Museum. — lb., 
pp. 211-217. 

Scarbord Sands. From a broadside. — lb., p. 219. 

The Yorkshire Volunteers' Farewell to the Good Folks 
of Stockton, by Herbert Stockhore, Private in Earl Fan- 



she cry'd out my heart is broke and in a few hours expired, purely as 

supposed thro' Love. 

March 15th 17 14/5. 
Aged about 20 years each. 
A true Copy of the Register of Bowes. 

Bowes, Jan^- 22nd Richd. Wilson, 

1819. Minr. of Bowes. 

[Found in MS., on a loose sheet of paper, in a copy of Dinsdale's 
Ballads and Songs by David Mallet. In the text of that book, p. 230, 
the "as supposed" is printed above the line and careted between 
" purely " and " thro." In the duplicate register in the Consistory 
Court of Richmond there is " (as suppos'd)."] 



378 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

conberg's Yorkshire North Riding Volunteers. Called in 
the Rox. coll., 'Hark to Winchester; or, the Yorkshire 
Volunteers, etc' — lb., pp. 221-224. 

Fragjnent of The Hagamena Song. As sung at Rich- 
mond, Yorkshire on the eve of the New-Year, by the 
Corporation Pinder. — lb., p. 225. 

See under FESTIVALS, Richmond, pp. 282, 283. 
The Beggar's Bridge by Mrs. George Dawson. — lb., pp. 
233-235- 

See under Place etc. Legends, Egton, pp. 233-235. 

The Banks d Morton d Szvale. Communicated by Mr. 
Wm. Todd of Heckmondwike author of ' T' Country Chap,' 
etc.— lb., pp. 235-237. 

The Sweeper and Thieves by D. Lewis. The incident 
here recorded happened at a farm house, on Leeming 
Lane, some years ago, and is a favourite chap-book history. 
— lb, pp. 259-261. 

[Published at Bedale about 1800-1815. See Blake- 
borough, pp. 305, 306.] 

The Twea Threshers. A story of two rustics and the 
history of their several mistakes during a holiday which 
they took in 1842, to go to Scarborough to see the 
Florentine Venus, then being exhibited in that town, 
pp. 273-275. 

Alice Hawthorn. From a broadside penes me written by 
John Tate ' the Pocklington Poet,' and reprinted by J. 
Forth, Pocklington. — lb., pp. 286, 287. 

When I was a wee little totterin bairn. — lb., p. 306. 
[Published at Bedale 1800-1815. See Blakeborough, pp. 
279, 280.] 

Colonel Thompson's Volunteers. From a broadside penes 
me, printed by Forth, Pocklington. — lb., pp. 307, 308. 



Tales and Ballads. 379 



ADDITIONAL PIECES FROM HALLIWELL'S "YORK- 
SHIRE ANTHOLOGY." 

Awd Daisy an Eclogue. — Anthol., pp. 31-34. — [About 
1800. See Blakeborough, pp. 308-311.] 

The Praise of York-shire Ale (1697). — lb., pp. 46-66. 

A Yorkshire Dialogue In its Pure Natural Dialect as is 
now commonly spoken in the North parts of York-shire. 
Being a Miscellanious Discourse, or Hotch-Potch of several 
Country Affaires etc. York 1697. — lb., pp. 67-92. 

Verses on Serving- Men. — lb., pp. 121 -124. 

A Ballad on May. A ballett T. Pearson doing, 1578, 
maidin at Yorke (Cotton MSS.) " The fragraunt flowers 
most feshe to vewe." — lb., pp. 192, 193. 

The Murder of Lewes and West (Ashmole MSS., 16th 
Century). A Ballad describing the murder of Lewes and 
Edmond West, two gentlemen of Aitton in Yorkshire, who 
were beset and slain by John and George, two sons of the 
Lord Darcy. — lb., pp. 233-241. 

A New Song on the foyful news of Sir Miles Staflilton's 
gaining Conquest at the late Scrutiny in the Parliament 
House. — lb., pp. 280-285. 

A. New Song called Robert Wilson and fohn West. — lb., 
pp. 323-325- 

A True and Tragical Song concerning Captain John 
Bolton, of Bulmer near Castle-Howard, who, after a trial of 
nine hours at York-Castle on Monday, the 27th of March 
1775 for the wilful murder of Elizabeth Rainbow, an Ack- 
worth girl, his apprentice, was found guilty and immediately 
received sentence to be executed at Tyburn near York, on 
Wednesday following, but on the same morning he stran- 
gled himself in the cell where he was confined, and so put 
a period to his wicked and desperate life. His body was 



380 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (IV. Riding, etc.). 

then, pursuant to his sentence given to the surgeons at 
York Infirmary to be dissected and anatomized. — lb., pp. 
329-33I- 

Constance of Cleveland. A very excellent Sonnet of 
the most fair Lady Constance of Cleveland, and her dis- 
loyall Knight— /£., 345-353- 

The Merchant's Son [of York] and the Beggar- Wench 
of Hull— lb., pp. 354-356. 

Luke Mutton's Lamentation, Which he wrote the day 
before his death, being condemned to be hang'd at York, 
for his robberies and trespasses committed thereabouts. — 
lb., pp. 376-382. 

Many of the North Riding pieces given in Ballads and 
Songs and the Anthology are included in the following 
gathering with, doubtless, others which cannot be dis- 
entangled : ' List of Yorkshire Ballads and Songs ' by 
Abraham Holroyd of Shipley printed in O. Y., vol. v., pp. 
99-105. 

Blakeborough stamps as being of the North Riding: 
A Dialogue between Two Yorkshire Farmers on the In- 
decency of Dress adopted by Fashionable Ladies (Bedale 
1800-1815), pp. 280-282. 

A Hundred Years Hence (from about 1800), pp. 303, 304. 

Darby an' foan an' their Daughter Nell: A Dialogue 
(Bedale 1800-18 15), pp. 306-308. 

The Invasion (1810), pp. 31 1-3 13. 

A Beautiful Boy. Comic Song (about 1750), pp. 314, 
315. 

Noa (known to have been sung in 1790). — Blakeborough 
(2), pp. 48, 49. 

T' Saame aud Taal Ower Again; (Stokesley 18 10). — 
lb., p. 50. 



Tales and Ballads. 381 

Tha're all on 'em efter f saame Gam ; (sung at a Mell 
Supper, 1808).— /A, pp. 51-53. 

A'e Nowt ti Deea wi l f Lasses; (Before 1800). — lb., 
pp. 54-56. 

Mah Wedding Day. — lb., pp. 59, 60. 

A Catch Song. See under Ceremonial Customs — 
Marriage, p. 296. 

The Horse Race, given by Ritson, pp. 12-14, was run m 
the Ainsty. 

[The present collector has seen in MS., copied from the 
Times of Aug. 2nd, 1828, A Yorkshire History, wherein is 
shown Faith preferred before Charity, and the Fatal Effects 
thereof. Composed in 1688.] 

William and Mary [a tale in rhyme of two lovers who 
" in death were not divided "]. — Fitzhugh. 

Mr. J. Horsfall Turner, J. P., promises, through Mr. 
Elliott Stock, two volumes entitled Yorkshire Anthology, 
which are to contain ballads and songs ancient and modern, 
and hitherto unpublished, that will cover a thousand years 
of Yorkshire history in verse. He intends to give a full 
index of Halliwell and Ingledew's collections. 



SECTION XV. 

PLACE AND PERSONAL LEGENDS. 

CHURCHES AND THEIR BELONGINGS. 

Alne. Here is ... an effigy in alabaster of a lady in a 
recumbent posture. She appears to have been a person of 
rank, but the tomb bears no inscription. . . Her monu- 
ment or its site is known in the village by the name of 
complin, a term which signifies the last act of worship by 
which the services of the day are completed and may 
possibly indicate that this office was usually performed 
near her grave. — Gill, p. 389. 

Acaster Malbis. The church, as is generally known, is 
commonly called ' The Synagogue.' The tradition con- 
cerning it is as follows: — 'At the last general persecution 
of Jews in England, about the year 1189, considerable 
numbers escaping from the city of York, sought refuge in 
the various villages lying along the banks of the Ouse. 
Among these was Acaster. The De Malbysse of the day 
was opposed to the policy of persecution, harboured t and 
sustained the Jews who concealed themselves around his 
home, and even allowed them secretly to use the parish 
church for their worship of Jehovah upon the seventh day 
of the week (Saturday) when it was not wanted by the 
Christian population. Hence the name of the ' Synagogue' 
by which the church is known.' This is the tradition. 



Place and Personal Legends. 383 

Now to examine into the facts. In the first place the De 
Malbysses were not the owners of Acaster until, at the 
earliest, the very year of this same persecution. Next one 
of the family was actually fined £40 (a large sum in those 
days) for the exceptional barbarity of his treatment of 'the 
people called Jews.' Thirdly the prejudice of Christians 
against the Jews was so intensely strong that it is most 
unlikely that such a use or abuse of the church would have 
been endured. And lastly the present church . . . was 
not built for very nearly two hundred years after the date, 
1 1 89, of the last great persecution. 

Bromehead, pp. 22, 23. 
[Traces of a stream, as of blood, are to be seen on, and 
beneath, the sill of the north transept window. I am told 
that the church was fired when the Jews were within, and 
that when they essayed to escape by this window their 
heads were chopped off, or battered in, as soon as they put 
them forth. Hence the indelible stains. The present 
church dates from the 14th century; it succeeded one on 
the same site.] 

Bossall. I am told that the old name by which the 
Church was known to the country people about a century 
ago was the ' Synagogue,' . . . which points to intercourse 
with the Greek Church probably in crusading times. 

Belt, p. 9 (marginal note). 

York. Church of St Dennis. — There is a tradition that 
this church was originally a Jewish Synagogue, or Taber- 
nacle; but the writer has not been able to trace the rise of 
this opinion. — HARGROVE, vol. ii., p. i., pp. 292, 293. 

Aysgartk On the south side of the chancel, changed 
from its more appropriate position in the old church, is the 
magnificent rood screen brought here, shoulder high by 
twenty men in its complete state from Jervaulx Abbey. 

COOKES, p. 109. 



384 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

Bilbrough. Speaking to one of the farmers about my 
visit to the warrior's tomb, he remarked : ' Bless ye, 
' Black Tom ' [J] isn't buried there.' ' Then,' said I, ' where is 
he buried ? ' The reply was : ' That's what we all want to 
know, but no one can tell us.' From my conversation 
with the farmer I learnt that, during the restoration of the 
church, the tomb was opened, but no remains were found. 
Another story is that the night following the interment 
his body was removed to Walton and secretly buried. 
There might have been some suspicion lurking in the 
minds of his friends that the hero's resting place would 
not be held sacred . . . The rage of vengeance having 
passed when Fairfax died, the story of the removal of 
the body probably rests on mere tradition. 

BOGG, pp. 57, 58. 

Cf. Newburgh, post, p. 404. 

Bolton Percy. On the north side of the west end [of the 
Church] is a very ancient d6or known as the 'devil's door.' 
Opposite is the early Norman font ... It was supposed 
that the devil always took his flight through this door when 
a child was baptized and admitted into the Church of God. 

BOGG, p. 29. 

Mount Grace (nr. Northallerton). At some distance, on 
the summit of the mountain that shelters the monastry, on 
the east, are the ruins of an ancient building, called the 
Lady Chapel, which was founded in the year 151 5. . . . 
Numerous miracles are reported to have been performed at 
this chapel, by our lady's help ; such as the sudden recovery 
of a child that seemed dead, and the cure of many from the 
sweating sickness, and other afflicting maladies; but these 
carry with them so much the appearance of superstition, 
that we, at present, forbear any further repetition. 

Graves, pp. 134, 135- 

1 [Lord Fairfax.] 



Place and Personal Legends. 385 

Hackness. Tradition states that a Lord Rutherford lies 
interred in the Chancel of this Church. 

Fawcett, p. ioi (note). 

Healaugh. A hole in the church door is said to have 
been caused by a bullet fired by one of Cromwell's troopers. 

BOGG, p. 60. 

Helbeck Lunds. There is a traditionary report quite 
current in that part of the country, that during several years 
there was no door whatever to . . . [the] chapel [of-ease in 
this place], in lieu of which the chapel-clerk procured an 
old thorn, with a bushy top, which he used to place in the 
doorway to prevent the sheep and cattle from taking up 
their abode within these consecrated walls. About the 
same time the small bell was missing from the place where 
it hung, not more than ten or twelve feet from the ground, 
to remedy the loss of which the same ingenious person (the 
chapel-clerk) used to come down to the chapel on the 
morning of the Sabbath-day, at the usual hour of tinkling 
the bell, and elevating himself sufficiently, so as to enable 
him to thrust his head through the hole where the bell had 
rung, vociferated lustily, ' bol-lol, bol-lol, bol-lol.' 

Barker, pp. 252, 253. 

Hutton Buscel. Tradition reports that the weather vane 
now on the Tower of Hutton Buscel was formerly placed 
upon York Minster, and given to this parish by Bishop 
Osbaldeston, at the time Dean of York. — FAWCETT, p. 31. 

Kirkby (Cleveland). In the churchyard are two very 
ancient effigies of a knight and lady, now so much defaced, 
mutilated, and worn away, as to defy all investigation into 
the 'local habitation and name' of the originals. It seems 
probable, however, that they belong to some of the Eure 
family, formerly lords here. 1 

1 The traditionary story, that this is the monument of one Lockey, or 
Lockwood, and his wife, who died through extraordinary exertion in 
mowing a field — still known by the name of Lockey's day's work — is 

2 B 



386 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

Middleham. At one of the angles of Middleham Church 
there is often a good deal of wind. It needed accounting 
for to the mind of the old-time natural philosopher, and he 
did it thus. The Canon, it seems, was one day in his own 
rectory or glebe house, many miles away, when it suddenly 
occurred to him that he ought to be attending at that very 
hour a meeting of the chapter, which had utterly escaped 
his memory. It was important, and so he gave way to 
rather strong language. He exclaimed incautiously: "I'd 
sell my soul to get to the meeting in time." Promptly, as 
usual, there appeared ' a gentleman,' who took him at his 
word before he had time to retract. He was to get there 
in time on the conditions assigned, and the payment was 
to be made on delivery, that is, on the ready-money 
system, and at a particular spot at the west end of the 
church. All was, of course, carried out to the letter by 
the usual aerial process. The dignitary attended his meet- 
ing, but thought a good deal more of his bargain than 
about anything else. It then occurred to him that the big 
church had more doors than one. So he left early by 
another exit, and has never been near the place again. 
But the poor, simple devil is flying about there ever since, 
waiting for his victim. Hence the incessant breeze ! [1] 
Reprinted from Church Gazette — Y. H., Sep. 30, 1898. 

Preston-under-Scar. Preston i.e. the priest town, belies its 
name, for it does not possess a church, although tradition 
reports a church did once upon a time exist. 

BOGG (2), p. 126. 

Eudby. An old gentleman in the village related a 
curious story of the ghoul-like deeds of a certain parish- 



too absurd for contradiction. Hewers of wood, drawers of water, and 
mowers of grass, however deserving, were not in those days, or any 
other, graced with monumental effigies. — Ord, p. 439 and note. 

1 [A windy angle at the West End of York Minster has lately — 
but perhaps only lately — been called Kill-Canon Corner.] 



Place and Personal Legends. 387 

clerk, who also officiated as sexton, some years ago. It 
would appear that a married woman of the village having 
been given up for dead, was at length removed to the 
usual place of interment. Whether from some implied 
wish on her part, or difficulty in releasing it, the wedding- 
ring was allowed to remain on the finger. This circumstance 
awakened the cupidity of the parish-clerk, who at the lone 
hour of midnight, crept cautiously to the new-made grave. 
Having removed the earth, and unscrewed the coffin, he 
proceeded to take off the ring, but from the contracted 
state of the fingers was unable to effect his purpose. 
Accordingly with his pocket-knife he set about amputating 
the finger; but he had scarcely reached the bone, when, 
O horror ! the corpse bolted nearly upright in its coffin, at 
the same time uttering a loud and dismal scream. The 
parish-clerk, who, by the by, was a tailor, immediately 
darted homeward with the utmost speed, his hair bristling 
on end. Meantime the poor woman, who had been un- 
consciously buried in a trance, alarmed at her strange and 
peculiar situation, directed her steps to her husband's 
residence, and knocked loudly at the door. What was her 
husband's amazement and consternation to behold his 
buried wife, in her shroud and grave-clothes, standing at 
the door, calling for admittance ! His first alarm having 
somewhat abated, he proceeded to make further inquiry, 
and was at length convinced that his true wife, in flesh and 
blood, had in reality returned from the tomb. Afterwards, 
the injured finger and the state of the grave, pointed 
suspicion to the parish-clerk ; but the husband, instead of 
punishing him for allowing his wife to return from her 
last resting-place, actually presented him annually with a 
web of the finest linen (he being a linen manufacturer). 

ORD, p. 470. 
We have been informed that the woman rescued from 
the grave in so extraordinary a manner, was wife of the 
miller of Rudby mill. — WHELLAN, vol. ii., p. 758, note. 



388 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

York. A story used to be told how a sexton of this 
city, knowing that some valuable rings had been buried 
on a corpse recently interred, opened the vault, and then 
opened the coffin in which the body lay, and proceeded 
to cut the rings from the fingers. By this act he cut the 
fingers of the apparently deceased lady, but it turned out 
that she was not dead, but had been buried whilst in a 
trance, and the drawing of her blood awakened her from 
her strange sleep, much to the terror of the affrighted 
sexton, and to the delight of her friends, to whose house 
she proceeded, and to whose home she was restored. 

Camidge (2), p. 90. 

Skelton, nr. York. There is an interesting legend about 
the beautiful little church of Skelton near York. The 
antiquary Gent, writing in 173 1, ' mounted on his courser* 
to visit it, ' because it is affirmed 'twas built with the stones 
that remain'd after the south cross of the minster had been 
finished by the archbishop Walter Gray' (Gent's Ripon, 
pt. ii. 3).— Fast. Ebor., vol. i., p. 293, note. 

[The church is under the invocation of All Saints, but it 
has often been called " Little St. Peter's."] 

Nr. Tadcaster. In old Saxon times the site of Bossall was 
a town (where ' old Bossall ' field now is) situate on the 
eastern border of the forest track extending for many miles 
on each side of York, and the haunt of outlaws and wild 
animals, the deer, the wild boar, the wolf, and the wild-cat. 
Tradition says that further north [corrected in pen and ink 
to S.W.], near Tadcaster, there was a hand to hand fight 
between a huge wild-cat and an unarmed forester, who 
succeeded in killing the wild beast, but died of his wounds, 
and an old chapel attests the fact. — Belt, p. 5. 

Thirsk. There is a tradition that the church was built 
out of the ruins of the castle, but there appears to be no 
evidence to support it. . . . The Altar Table is of massive 
oak, the feet carved into a resemblance of sea-lions. 



Place and Personal Legends. 389 

Tradition says it was brought from Byland Abbey. . . . 
In the tower are four bells, the largest weighing 22 cwt 
Tradition says that this bell originally belonged to 
Fountains Abbey. — GRAINGE, pp. 123, 125, 130. 

York Convent {Blossom St?). In all the rolls of martyr- 
dom other countries might be able to show he doubted if 
one could show a record more beautiful than the history of 
the English, Irish and Scotch martyrs on these islands in 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They saw the 
same pathway of suffering in York. The hand of Margaret 
Clitherow which they were going to venerate, reminded 
them of a poor feeble woman who suffered martyrdom for 
harbouring a priest. Her hand was preserved in the 
convent near Micklegate Bar — the first convent established 
aiter the Reformation, and established with great danger 
and immense difficulty. One day the priest-hunters came 
to that convent and opened the chapel door. The candles 
were lighted, mass had only just been said, and the priest 
had just taken off his vestments, but the priest-hunters saw 
nothing. Their eyes were blinded by a miracle and they 
went on their way. On another day an angry mob of 
citizens surrounded the convent shouting ' Down with the 
nuns, down with the Pope ' and declaring their intention of 
setting fire to the building. Then the mobs melted away 
quietly and slowly without any apparent cause. Some one 
had seen above the convent, the figure of a heavenly horse- 
man which the nuns believed to be St. Michael because 
they had been praying to St. Michael before a picture of 
him which stood above the door of the convent. 

From a sermon preached by the Rev. Philip Fletcher to 
R. C. pilgrims to York. — Y. H., June 11, 1896. 

York, 6". Martin's Church (Coney St.). The east end 
abuts on Coney Street, and is rendered remarkable by a 
large circular illuminated clock, which projects into the 
street. Upon this clock is the figure of a man holding a 



390 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

quadrant, as if in the act of taking a solar observation. 
The wags of the City say that this man steps down from 
his elevated situation every time he hears the clock strike. 
WHELLAN, vol I, pp. 540, 541 and note. 

York Minster. The popular notion respecting the constant 
repairing of York Minster is that if ever the building be 
completed it returns to the Roman Catholics ; or according 
to another version, it becomes the property of the Crown 
(Croon, the York dames say). — J. W. M.; Y. R, vol. i., p. 166. 

At the End of Simeon Dunelmensis MS. amongst Arch- 
bishop Laud's MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. L. 53. 

In Yorke before the Quere Doore standes all the Kinges 
of England in great Pictures, amonge whome was the 
Picture of holye Kinge Edward, which was pulled downe 
in Dispytte of his great fame that he was mayd a St. The 
Stone that the Picture did fall upon in Sole of the Churche 
turned read as Blood, to the great Disgrace of him that 
pulled downe the same ; and the Stone is read untill this 
day as may be seene, as of auntient Men is credibly re- 
ported. — Leland, vii. xxvii. 

Choir Screen. The image of this last monarch (King 
Henry Vlth) was certainly taken down in compliment to 
his enemy and successor Edward IV. by the archbishop's 
orders then in being. The policy of this was just ; for the 
common people bore so high a veneration for the memory of 
this sanctified king that they began to pay adoration to 
his statue. — DRAKE, 521. 

N. Transept. The end of this building is beautified 
with five noble lights which constitute one large window ; 
and reach almost from top to bottom of this north end. 
This window has been called the Jewish window/ 11 but 

x [The . . . term probably arising from their being embellished 
entirely with foliage and geometrical figures, whereas the other 
adorned windows of the church have, more or less, figures repre- 
sented in them.] Browne, p. 89. 



Place and Personal Legends. 391 

for what reason I know not. There is also a tradition 
that five maiden sisters were at the expence of these 
lights ; [1] the painted glass in them representing a kind of 
embroidery or needle-work, might perhaps give occasion 
for this story. — DRAKE, p. 532. 

The best-known grisaille windows in England are the 
famous group of long lancets, ending the north transept of 
York Minster, which are known by the name of the Five 
Sisters. You remember the legend about them. The 
' inimitable Boz ' relates it at length in ' Nicholas Nickleby '; 
but it is nonsense, all the same. The story tells how in the 
reign of Henry the Fourth five maiden ladies worked the 
designs in embroidery, and sent them abroad to be carried 
out in glass. But, as it happens, they belong to the latter 
part of the thirteenth century ; they are unmistakably 
English work ; and what is more, no woman, maiden, wife 
or widow, ever had, or could have had a hand in their 
design. Their authorship is written on the face of 
them. Every line in their composition shows them to be 
the work of a strong man, and a practical glazier, who 
worked according to the traditions that had come down to 
him. A designer recognises in it a man who knew his 
trade, and knew it thoroughly. The notion that any glazier 
ever worked from an embroidered design is too absurd. 
As well might the needlewoman go to the glazier to design 
her stitchery. But such is the popular ignorance of work- 
manship, and of its intimate connection with design, that 
no doubt the vergers will go on repeating their apocryphal 
tale as long as vergers continue to fill the orifice of personal 
conductors. — Day, pp. 146, 147. 

Chapter House. This noble structure had like to have 
met its fate, in the late Days of Rapine and Sacrilege ; for 
we have a tradition very much credited, that a certain 

1 [There seems to be no evidence in support of this story.] 

Browne, p. 69. 



39 2 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Person in this city [York] had obtained a grant, from the 
pious Legislature, of those days to pull down the Chapter 
House as a useless part of the Church. We are further 
told, that the Man had certainly effected it, and had 
designed to have built Stables out of the Materials, had not 
Death surpriz'd him in a Week before the intended Execu- 
tion of his wicked project. — DRAKE, p. 478. 

Vestry. As to the old Sword and Cock in the Vestry, 
I should be utterly silent, were it not to undeceive some, 
who might find Fault with its Omission, and who vainly 
suppose that one is a Representation of that Sword which 
cut off the Ear of the High Priest's Servant ; and the 
other of the Cock which crow'd at Peter's Denyal : When 
in real Truth, the Cock was no other than what belong'd 
to some Crest or Head-Piece ; and for the old rusty Sword, 
it was taken from a Buff-Coat Oliverian, who, equally 
drunk with Liquor and Spleen; had irreverently enter'd the 
Church with his drawn Blade, and in that daring and 
impious Manner was approaching the Altar, as if he meant 
to attack all that was Good and Sacred. 

Gent, pp. 56, 57. 

The Fiddler. The learned Mr. William Hargrove, in his 
celebrated work on the ' History and Description of the 
Ancient City of York,' says in describing the southern 
entrance of York Minster, ' The summit is crowned with 
neat and elegant turrets ; on the centre one of which is 
the figure of a fiddler! — Vol. ii., part i., p. 62. 

It may interest some of your many readers to become 
acquainted with the history of this fiddler. With your 
kind permission I will attempt to give it in a few 
words. 

The celebrated Archbishop Blackburne was a member 
of King's College, Cambridge, a college so remarkable for 
' fast men,' and having got seven o'clock gates during his 
first term, for 'cutting' chaples, [sic], ran away from the 
University, carrying off a fiddle from his tutor's rooms, 



Place and Personal Legends. 393 

with which he played his way up to London, where he 
underwent great hardships for some time. At last he 
bound himself apprentice on board a Newcastle collier, 
but on his first voyage to the north, the ' Fair Sally ' was 
taken off Scarbro' by the private schooner ' Black Broom,' 
then commanded by the dreaded Redmond of the Red 
Hand. When next heard of some years after, it is as 
captain of the fearful Black Broom, sweeping the seas from 
Cyprus to Cape Wrath, the terror of every merchant in 
Europe. He retired from business in the prime of life, 
and set up as a country gentleman, at the foot of the York- 
shire Wolds, changing his name from Muggins to Black- 
burne — a corruption of ' Black Broom.' Bucolic pursuits 
he soon found to be uncongenial to his active disposition, 
so he turned his attention in another direction, entered into 
holy orders, and passing through the various gradations, 
seated himself in due time (if my memory serves me right 
A.D. 1724) on the Archiepiscopal throne of York. The 
fiddle he had carried off from Cambridge he had never, in 
all his mutation of fortune, parted with ; and to his credit 
be it said, shortly after his elevation, he returned it to its 
owner, the Rev. Lawrence Leatherhead, in a case of the 
most costly and elaborate workmanship, in which was also 
enclosed his appointment to the Archdeaconry of Holder- 
ness. To commemorate his Archiepiscopate he caused 
this effigy of himself, fiddle in hand, to be placed in the 
proud position which it has now occupied through storm 
and tempest for so many generations. So much for 
history. — Part of a letter signed C. Prior 27 Lowther-street, 
Groves, York. Y. G., Nov. 8. 1879. Reprinted O. Y., 
vol. i., pp. 158, 159. 

A little spiral turret, called the fidler's turret, from the 
image of a fidler on the top of it, was taken some few 
years ago from another part of the building. — DRAKE, 
p. 486. [The fiddler is now to be seen in the crypt. The 
collector has been told that this musician used to play 



394 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (IV. Riding, etc.). 

whenever he heard the clock strike twelve. — Cf. St. 
Martin's, Coney Street, p. 390 ante.] 

For Traditions relating to Church, etc., Sites, see under 
Natural Objects, pp. 22-25. 



SUBTERRANEAN PASSAGES. 

Acaster Malbis. Eight miles from the city of York, 
amongst picturesque scenery on the banks of the river 
Wharfe, was anciently the site of a Convent of the Nuns 
of the Cistercian order. There was a contemporary mona- 
stery of monks at Acaster Malbris [Malbis] and tradition 
relates that a subterranean passage afforded the inmates 
access to each other. — TlMBS, vol. iii., p. 171. 

Easby Abbey. Adjoining to it [the Abbot's oratory] is 
an arch level with the ground, supposed to have been the 
entrance to a subterranean passage to the Castle of 
Richmond, or St. Martin's Priory ; but it was probably 
nothing more than a large drain for carrying off the 
sewage of the Abbey. This passage is stopped up by 
a wall, at some 8 yards distance from the opening. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 58. 

G-uisborough. There is a tradition of a subterraneous 
passage running from the Priory to the Plantation Field, 
in Tocketts, and a ridiculous story that midway in this 
dismal pathway is a large chest of gold, guarded by a 
raven or crow, who keeps incessant watch over the 
precious contents ; that once only was the treasure invaded 
by a courageous fellow, who was terribly used by its 
guardian — the crow — which suddenly became transformed 
into his satanic majesty. — WHELLAN, vol. ii., p. 193 note. 

Hutton Sheriff. There is another local tradition of the 
elders of the village that there was once a subterraneous 
passage between the Castle and the Park. 

Cast. Hutton, p. 40. 



Subterranean Passages. 395 

Lastingham. Towards the west end of the north aisle 
[of Lastingham Church] is a doorway opening into a 
curious underground passage now only a few feet in 
length, but tradition has it that it led once under the 
moor to Rosedale Abbey some three miles away. We 
may dismiss this idea, however because the passage does 
not turn in the right direction for the Abbey, and was, 
moreover obviously intended to give access to the crypt 
from the lower ground to the east, without the worshippers 
having to pass through the upper church. The stories 
of subterranean passages moreover in connection with 
ancient structures in North Yorkshire are many. 

LEYLAND, pp. 163, 164. 

Middleham Castle. It is expected that a subterranean 
passage exists, and will be found somewhere at the south 
side, connecting that part with the large hill in Sanaskew 
called King William's Hill, where a redoubt is thrown 
up around the hill, which has been made for warlike 
defences ; and it is also fully expected a passage will 
be found in connection with the Monastery of Jerveaux, 
as there is one at that place, evidently in the direction 
of this Castle. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 129. 

New Buildings, nr. Thirsk. From one of these vaults 
at the extreme north-west corner, a subterraneous passage 
leads, some say, to Upsall Castle. That such a passage 
exists is certain, but that it goes as far as Upsall is very 
doubtful. It was explored by the late Francis Smyth 
Esq., a considerable distance, when his further progress 
was arrested by the fall of the roof. The entrance is now 
walled up. — GRAINGE, pp. 246 and 278. 

East Newton Hall. Leading from the basement of the 
house is a subterranean passage in a north-easterly direc- 
tion. This passage is at present bricked up about fifty 
feet from the entrance, and is six feet high and six feet 



396 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

wide. It is arched at the top, and has a flagged footway in 
the centre. Nothing whatever is known concerning it. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 887. 

Richmond Castle. From [the vault of Potter Thompson's 
adventure, 1 under the Keep] there runs a subterranean pas- 
sage to Easby Abbey [2] along the river side. A drummer 
boy, fully equipped, was sent along to explore and by 
his drumming was traced for about a quarter of a mile. 
There the music ceased and it was conjectured that the 
roof had fallen upon him. A stone marks the spot where 
he was last heard, (it is just at the entrance to the 
Grammar School Cricket Field, at the foot of Clink Bank) 
and at midnight, under certain conditions, the roll of his 
drum may yet be heard by those intent on hearing. 

Cookes, pp. 11, 12. 

The station of the Chamberlain, is the Golden Tower or 
Gold Hole, being so named from a story of treasure having 
been found under it. Tradition delights in giving the 
character- of a dungeon or place of concealment to this 
tower, and in making it the entrance to a passage under 
the bed of the River to St. Martin's Priory, through which 
the ladies of the Castle might escape in time of peril. 

Cookes, p. 14. 

Scarborough. Peaseholm Ruin. — Of this ruin tradition says 
that formerly it belonged to the order of Cistercian monks 
at Scarbrough ; another tradition, that it was a fortified 
place in advance of the town. With the former is asso- 
ciated the legend that a duck was once seen to enter a hole 
whence the water from the little stream which runs through 
the field trickled, and that on investigation an underground 
passage was discovered, connecting the ruin with the 
Cistercian buildings of St. Mary's, and that also after this 
discovery it was again closed. 

1 See post, p. 406. [2] See ante, p. 394. 



Subterranean Passages. 397 

Castle, etc. A similar legend is said to connect the castle 
with the harbour, and there are old fishermen who persist 
that they know it. But the whole is a legend only, and no 
one ever offers to prosecute the search. — BAKER, p. 427. 

Whitby. It has long been the belief that subterranean 
passages connected the Abbey House with Mulgrave, 
Saltwick, and other places along the coast. 

Horne, p. 14. 

York. [The Salt-hole or Warehouse formerly under the 
' Grecian Steps ' leading from the side of old Ouse Bridge 
to King's Staith.] A legend exists in connection with this 
place to the effect that at one time this warehouse was 
simply the mouth or opening of a subterraneous passage 
which ran under Low Ousegate and other streets up to the 
Minster. In support of this statement a story used to have 
currency that a man once went into the hole and never 
came out again. Common credence without any ground 
for its faith accepted this story for many generations. 

Camidge, p. III. 



BUILDINGS AND PLACES. 

Bolton Castle and Leyburn. There is a tradition pre- 
valent in Wensleydale, and believed in ever since the 
Queen's [Mary Stuart's] day, that she once attempted to 
escape, but was retaken at a pass on Leyburn Shawl, thence 
named ' The Queen's Gap.' In corroboration of this, a 
window in her chamber at Bolton is shown, which has 
apparently been walled up about that period. It is the 
only one in the room which looks on the country, and is 
said to have been blocked in consequence of her descend- 
ing from it by night. But of this escape all known history 
is silent ; neither can any allusion to it be found in her 
own correspondence; the last fact however has little 
weight ; we know she was removed hurriedly, and it is 



398 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

clear that, excepting her immediate guards, she was sur- 
rounded by friends in Wensleydale. — Barker, pp. 77, 78. 

Crackpot. About a mile from this place is a valley, 
called the 'bloody vale,' the scene unquestionably, of a 
sanguinary combat at some remote period. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 489. 

Countersett Hall, Wensleydale. There is ... a tradition 
of a king having stayed a night at this house, possibly 
when hunting in the adjoining glens, but there does not 
seem to be any reliable record who the king was. One 
elderly native remarked ' All ah know is that it wor eh 
war time.' — BOGG, (3) p. 213. 

Danby Castle. A tradition still prevails that an English 
queen resided for some years in the castle. This is quite 
borne out by the marriage of John Neville, third Lord 
Latimer, of Danby, with Katherine Parr, daughter of Sir 
Thomas Parr of Kendal, and afterwards wife of King 
Henry VIII. —Ord, pp. 336, 337. 

Ebberston. On a hill close by the village of Ebberston, 
on the north side, there are some vestiges of a cave, now 
almost filled up, over which was once placed, (as some old 
people now living can recollect) a stone, and afterwards a 
board, with an inscription to the following purport : ' Alfrid 
king of Northumberland, was wounded in a bloody battle 
nigh this place, and was hid in a cave, and from thence he 
was removed to Little Driffield, where he died.' [1] This 

1 [There is an inscription relating to him on the S. chancel wall of 
Little Driffield Church.] Young (vol. i., p. 36, note) quotes as being 
"shamefully incorrect" a paragraph from Cooke's Topography of 
Yorkshire which tells how " in 1784 the Society of Antiquarians, having 
had undoubted information that the remains of King Alfred the Great, 
who died in 901, was deposited in the parish church of Little Driffield," 
two of that learned body went thither with other gentlemen, and dis- 
covered the skeleton. Ross (pp. 9, 10) states that in 1784 " search was 
made in the church of Little Driffield, by a party of gentlemen, for 



Btdldings and Places. 399 

battle, it is said, was fought partly on the heights, and 
partly on a plain on the west side of the village, now called 
the bloody field. — YOUNG, vol. i., p. 35. 

Eggleston or Eglistone Abbey. [Mrs. Macquoid relates as 
a legend of the Wars of the Roses an account of the escape 
of Margaret of Anjou and her son to and from this house 
after the battle of Towton, when they were trying to get to 
France. " History, however, says that Margaret was with 
her husband in York and that they fled to Scotland when 
the news of the defeat of Towton reached them."] 

Macquoid, pp. 47-51. 

Egton. Beggar's Bridge or Lover's Bridge. — The famous 
Beggar's Bridge . . . spans the Esk. . . . There is ... a 
graceful legendary story concerning [it] to the effect that 
an Eskdale lover . . . once unable to visit his mistress on 
the eve of his departure to seek his fortune afar because 
the angry Esk could not be swum, vowed if ever he should 
return rich, that he would erect a bridge so that no Eskdale 
lover should ever be so tortured again. Further, they say 
that it is called the Beggar's Bridge because he went away 
poor, despised of the lady's father, and returned when he 
had acquired glory in the defeat of the Spanish Armada, 
and wealth among the treasure ships of the Spanish Main. 



the relics of the King [of Northumbria], but without discovering any- 
thing whatever. Nevertheless it was stated and published that a 
deputation from the Society of Antiquaries . . . found a stone coffin, 
and on opening the same discovered an entire skeleton of that great 
and pious Prince, together with most part of his steel armour, the 
remainder of which had probably been corroded by rust and length of 
time. After satisfying their curiosity, the coffin was closed, as well as 
the grave, that everything might remain in the same state as when 
found. This apocryphal narrative found its way into most of the 
subsequent Topographies of Yorkshire, but it was altogether untrue 
and was nothing more than a hoax, put forth to test the credulity of 
antiquaries."] 



400 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

As a singer has it : 

' The rover came back from a far distant land, 
And claimed from the maiden her long-promised hand ; 
But he built ere he won her, the bridge of his vow, 
And the lovers of Egton pass over it now.' 

Leyland, pp. 94, 95. 

Fors Abbey. Tradition says that the monks' burial-place 
lay between the abbey and the river, and a little way on 
the right, near an ancient high-peaked bridge over the beck, 
he showed us where he said, a ' dale o' human beins' bones 
was found,' during the railway excavation ; when we 
suggested that this had been the monks' burial place, he 
demurred. He said these were the bones of Scotchmen, 
and he added that they had been taken to Scotland for 
interment; but we did not hear this story confirmed. 

Macquoid, pp. 102, 103. 

Nr. Gruisborougb.. A tradition (familiar to every one in 
Gisborough) has brought down to us the story of a bloody 
battle on this spot, probably during the furious dynasty of 
the Danes ; and here one of the soldiers is said to have 
fought with incredible valour after his legs were hewn off 
literally on his stumps — wherefore " Stumps Cross." I did 
conceive at one time that this tradition might refer to the 
contest between the royalists and rebels mentioned at p. 
63 ; but on further consideration, I am inclined to fix the 
site of the latter elsewhere viz. ' War's Fields ' (so called to 
this day). — Ord, p. 135. 

Nr. Goathland. Killing Pits. Killing Pits (so called from 
the tradition of a battle having been fought here), [are] one 
mile south of Goathland Chapel. — Ord, p. 327, note. 

Ilton. On the south side of Ilton [near Masham] is a 
small piece of land, which it is said belongs to no man, 
and is common to everybody. It is marked out by three 
upright stones set up by the Ordnance surveyors. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 373. 



Buildings and Places. 401 

Kirby Hall, nr. Boroughbridge. Formerly the land on 
which the mill [of Skeiton, West Riding] stands and two 
other strips of ground adjoining belonged to the parish of 
Kirby Hill. Legend gives the reason for their transference 
to the parish of Skeiton : ' Many years ago the dead body 
of an unknown man was found at this spot ; the expense 
of the interment fell on the parish where the corpse was 
found. As the parishioners of Kirby were remiss in 
complying with the above custom, the people of Skeiton 
removed the body to a place of burial in their church- 
yard, and by an old law claimed this land for their 
parish. See Swaine's Guide to Boroughbridge. 

BOGG, (3), p. 338 ; BULMER, pp. 733, 734. 

Kirby Moorside. Kirby Moorside continued in the 
possession of the Earls of Westmoreland till the 13th of 
Queen Elizabeth (i57o), [1] when Ralph the then Earl, was. 
attainted and all his possessions confiscated. Tradition 
says the Earl made his escape into Scotland when 
the ground was covered with snow, and eluded his. 
pursuers by having the shoes of his horse reversed ; and 
that the descendants of the blacksmith who shod his 
horse long enjoyed a house in Castle Gate at the rent 
of a farthing a year. [2] On repairing the Church of Kirby 
Moorside, several years ago, a stone having the insignia 
of the blacksmith's craft was found under the flooring, 
and was believed to have been cut in commemoration of 
the case referred to. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 235, and note. 

Lanquit or Longthwaite, Arkendale. There is a legend 
to the effect that Lanquit was sunk down from a higher 
elevation on account of its wickedness ! — ROUTH, p. 60. 

Leake. A tradition exists that Leake was formerly a 
large town, and that it was destroyed by the Danes — 
which is not unlikely ; many circumstances contribute to- 

1 [" December, 1569."— Gill, p. no.] 

2 ["With the privilege of shooting and hunting." — Gill, p. no.] 

2 c 



402 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

shew that it was of more importance formerly than at 
present. — Grainge, p. 249. 

Leake, with its ancient church ... is the centre of an 
extensive parish in the North Riding. The township of 
Leake itself now consists of but the church and one 
dwelling . . . hard by the churchyard boundary. 

Parkinson, 2nd S., p. 194. 

To the north-east of the churchyard there is a lane 
named ' Danes Lane,' and this is pointed to as an abiding 
evidence of the credibility of the stories of the incursions 
of those rough Northmen. 

On one occasion they seized the village, slew or drove 
away the men, and took as captive-wives all the females 
of the place. Each woman had, however provided herself 
with a knife, which she concealed about her person. At 
an agreed hour each one attacked her man, who being 
unarmed, was quickly overcome and slain. More than 
five hundred thus perished at the hands of the women 
of Leake, and the deed struck such terror into other 
Danish invaders in the neighbourhood, that they at once 
fled the country. Ever afterwards the women of this 
village were treated with double honour. Instead of being 
called upon to wait upon the husbands, and fathers, and 
brothers, they were seated at their right hands at meals, 
and in all social matters a precedence was given them. 

Parkinson, 2nd S., p. 195. 

Malton. There is a tradition that the original town of 
Old Malton, which was burnt by Archbishop Thurstan's 
army stood at Old Malton, and that the new town was 
erected where New Malton now stands. But though this 
is not borne out by any reliable evidence, no inference 
can be more reasonable. — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 212. 

Marske-by-the-Sea. Tradition points out a field near 
the village as the scene of a bloody encounter with the 
Danes. — Ord, p. 356. 



Buildings and Places. 403 

Masham. There is still a ' Mowbray Wath,' and the 
tradition that at that rocky ford a great battle was fought 
with the Danes. — LoNGSTAFFE, p. 66. 

Marston Moor. About a quarter of a mile west from 
Marston, . . . tradition points out the position held by 
Cromwell ; a clump of trees stood there some time since, 
now all felled but one which has been left to point out 
the station of the grim Ironsides ; this would be his 
place as a commander of the rear-guard. This tradition 
is so general that almost every person living near the 
place knows it and points out the spot. A place is also 
shown where they say the hedges were cut down to 
make a way for the army, close to the village of Marston ; 
it goes under the name of ' Cromwell's Gap.' 

GRAINGE, (2), pp. 89, 90. 

The ground once so dishonoured refuses henceforth to 
support the trees required to take the place of those 
removed. ' The curse,' again to quote Grainge, ' or 
whatever it may be called only extends to the wood 
of the hedges, and does not include grass and nettles 
for they grow profusely in the gaps.' 

Parkinson, 2nd S., p. 195. 

Some traditions of the fight yet remain among the 
villagers, nearly all associated with Cromwell's name : 
they relate that on the evening of the battle, a cannon 
shot entered the oven (a large brick one) of a farmer 
named Gill, and sadly spoiled the bread there baking. 

Grainge, (2), p. 106. 

See also under Tockwith post, p. 408, and Natural 
Objects, Marston, p. 29. 

Melbecks. In the immediate locality in which bodies 
were found are places called " bloody wall " and " bloody 
gap " near to which some years ago a battle axe was 
dug up. — Whellan, vol. ii. 5 p. 490. 



404 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Nappa. James I. was, according to tradition, ... a visitor 
to Sir Thomas Metcalf at Nappa. And there lingers in 
the neighbourhood the story, that when one day it was 
necessary, on a hunting expedition, to cross the Yore 
at a shallow place, James was afraid to make the attempt 
with the others, and a stalwart huntsman had to be 
summoned to carry the king across upon his back. 

Parkinson, 2nd S., p. 46. 

One of Camden's editors states, that Cray-fish were 
first introduced into the Yore from the south, by Sir 
Christopher Metcalfe, of assize display ; but tradition avers 
that they were put there by the renowned Sir Walter 
Raleigh, whilst on a visit to Nappa, probably some years 
later. They are plentiful in the river and its tributary 
streams. — Barker, p. 224. 

Newburgh. Cromwell's Vault, in a concealed part of the 
upper apartments of the priory, is shown to the visitors of 
this antiquated spot. The historian is well aware that 
Cromwell's bones were interred with more than regal pomp 
in Westminster Abbey, and that at the Restoration they 
were again disinterred. Various and conflicting are the 
opinions respecting the future fate of his relics. Some say 
they were sunk in the Thames; others, that they were 
buried in Naseby field, where the hottest of the battle was 
fought, both which accounts seem to have little warrant 
of truth. Harris in his Life of Cromwell, (1762) quotes the 
following extract at page 542. ' The odious carcases of 
O. Cromwell, H. Ireton, and J. Bradshaw, were drawn 
upon sledges to Tyburn, and being pulled out of their 
coffins, were there hanged at the several angles of the 
triple tree till sunset. Then taken down, beheaded, and 
their loathsome trunks thrown into a deep hole under the 
gallows. Their heads were afterwards set upon poles on 
the top of Westminster Hall.' 1 The current report at 

1 " Gesta Brittannorum " at the end of Wharton's Almanack for 1663. 



Buildings and Places. 405 

Newburgh is, that the bones of Cromwell were secretly 
conveyed to the priory, where they were interred in the 
place now shown as his tomb. It is very possible that this 
may have been accomplished through the influence of his 
daughter and son-in-law, [1] [Lord and Lady Fauconberg] 
who would appear to have been in the secret of the 
Restoration, and would naturally be apprehensive of the 
indignities which might be heaped on his remains, from 
which their conveyance to Newburgh would be a likely 
expedient to secure them. — GlLL, pp. 182, 183. 

Northallerton. In the year 1069 Robert Cumin, whom 
the Conqueror had made earl or governor of Northumber- 
land . . . was . . . slain at Durham. . . . The king . . . dis- 
patched a formidable army into the North to take the 
severest revenge. . . . But when this army had reached 
Alverton, ... so great a darkness arose that one man 
could scarcely perceive his fellow, nor were they able, by 
any means to discover which way they were to go. . . . 
There was one present who observed that the people of 
the city, to which they were going, had a certain saint who 
was always their protector in adversity, so that none might 
offer them the smallest injury without meeting a severe 
punishment. The observation being diffused through the 
army, which had too much of either piety or prudence to 
think of waging war with heaven, they very composedly 
retreated to the place whence they came. 

Northallerton, pp. 50, 52. 

Norton Conyers. Sir Richard Graham, of Norton Conyers, 
distinguished himself in the battle [of Marston Moor] by 
acts of great bravery. When the day was irretrievably 
lost, . . . Sir Richard, bleeding from twenty-six separate 
wounds, rode away hoping to gain his home at Norton 
Conyers. This he did in the evening, but being completely 

1 [Owner of Newburgh.] 



406 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

exhausted, he was at once carried to his chamber s where 
within an hour he died. Cromwell, for some reason, is said 
to have had an inveterate hatred to this gentleman, and 
when he found that he had escaped from the field, he 
pursued him in person with a troop of horse. When he 
arrived at Norton Conyers he was informed that Graham 
was dead, and that the widow was weeping over the 
mangled corpse in the chamber of death. Possibly not 
satisfied with the answer, he burst into the chamber — it is 
said that he even rode his horse up the wide open staircase, 
and that the marks of its hoofs are still visible there, and 
on the landing — and found his enemy dead, as he had been 
told. . . . Turning to the troopers who had followed him, 
he gave them leave to sack and dispoil the house. This 
they did. — PARKINSON, ist S., pp. 195, 196. 

Pinchinthorp. The tradition that ' Spite Hall ' near 
Pinchinthorpe, was built by one of the Lees in enmity 
or spite to a relative, is not exactly borne out by any 
document which we have seen. — Ord, p. 242. 

Upsall Castle. Tradition asserts that it was destroyed in 
the civil wars of the 17th century, and that the cannon 
of Cromwell from the hill to the north called the Barff, 
carried destruction into its venerable walls; but there 
is nothing to confirm this story, and the probability is 
against it. — Grainge, p. 275. 

Richmond. On the south side of the river [Swale, near 
Richmond], is the remarkable circular hill called the Round 
Howe, [and] near [that] a large natural cave called Arthur's 
Oven. 

And hereupon comes to mind a Richmond legend, 
parallel with various other stories told of King Arthur 
in the north. A person walking round Richmond castle, 
was arrested by a 'man,' who took him into a strange 
vault beneath the fortress, where a multitude of people 



Buildings and Places. 407 

were lying on the ground, as if in a deep slumber. In this 
chamber a horn and a sword were presented to him, for the 
usual purpose of releasing the sleepers of other days from 
their long listnessness. But when he drew the sword half 
out of its sheath, a stir among them all terrified him to 
such a degree, that he let the blade fall back to its place 
and an indignant voice instantly cried : — 

Potter, Potter Thompson ! 
If thou had either drawn 

The sword or blown that horn, 
Thou'd been the luckiest man 

That ever [yet] was born. 

The tradition adds, that no opportunity of breaking the 
enchantment will again be afforded before a definite time 
has elapsed. — LONGSTAFFE, pp. 115, 116. 

See also under NATURAL OBJECTS: Freebrough Hill, p. 1. 

Seamer. [Near it] are outlines of considerable entrench- 
ments . . . and a tradition exists that a sanguinary battle 
was fought here between the Saxons and Danes, still called 
the ' battle of Seamer Carrs.' — Whellan, vol. ii., p. 763. 

Skelton Castle, Cleveland. On the right hand an 
antyente castle, all rente and torne, as yt seemed rather 
by the unkind vyolence of man then by the envye of 
tyme, shewed yt self on the syde of a broken banke. I 
demanded of my guide howe the Castle was named, and 
what misfortune had so miserably deformed yt? 'Syr, 
(quoth hee) yt is Skelton Castell, the antyent inheritance 
of the Lord Bruce, and dignifyed with the tytle of an 
Honour, which by mariadge came to the Lord Faulcon- 
bridge, and successively to the Lord Conyers, whoe leav- 
inge three daughters co-partners of his estate, much 
variance fell betwixte their husbandes for the devisyon 
of their shares, that neither partye beinge inclyned to 
yeld unto other, every one for despite ruyned that parte 
of the castle whereof he was in possessyon lest after- 



408 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire [N. Riding, etc.). 

wards by suyte of lawe the lott should fall to another. 
Insomuch that the goodly chappell, one of the Jewells 
of this kingdome, rudely wente to grounde, with the 
fayre hall and large towers. — H. Tr., pp. 419, 420. 

See also under LOCAL CUSTOMS, Kirklevington, p. 343. 

Stanwick St. John. There is a singularity attending 
this church, says a writer, of which we believe only two 
instances are known in England. The freehold and right 
of herbage of the churchyard belong to the Stanwick 
estate and the inhabitants of the parish have only a right 
of burial. — BULMER, p. 600. 

Tockwith. One old timber-framed cottage . . . the 
villagers point out as the place to which an officer des- 
perately wounded, was brought from the great battlefield 
[Marston Moor]. Another story is that Oliver Cromwell 
slept here. — BOGG, (3), p. 48. 

Upsall Castle. Many years ago there resided in the 
village of Upsall, a man who dreamed three nights 
successively, that if he went to London Bridge he 
would hear of something greatly to his advantage. He 
went, travelling the whole distance from Upsall to London 
on foot, arrived there he took his station on the bridge, 
where he waited till his patience was nearly exhausted, 
and the idea that he had acted a very foolish part began 
to arise in his mind. At length he was accosted by a 
Quaker, who kindly enquired what he was waiting there so 
long for. After some hesitation he told his dreams. The 
Quaker laughed at his simplicity, and told him that he had 
had that night a very curious dream himself, which was, 
that if he went and dug under a certain bush in Upsall 
Castle in Yorkshire, he would find a pot of gold ; but he 
did not know where Upsall was, and enquired of the 
countryman if he knew, who seeing some advantage in 
secrecy pleaded ignorance of the locality ; and then think- 



Buildings and Places. 409 

ing his business in London was completed, returned 
immediately home, dug beneath the bush, and there he 
found a pot filled with gold, and on the cover an inscrip- 
tion in a language he did not understand. The pot and 
cover were however preserved at the village inn ; where 
one day a bearded stranger like -a Jew, made his appear- 
ance, saw the pot, and read the inscription, the plain 
English of which was : 

' Look lower, where this stood 
Is another twice as good.' 

The man of Upsall hearing this, resumed his spade, 
returned to the bush, dug deeper, and found another pot 
filled with gold far more valuable than the first : en- 
couraged by this he dug deeper still, and found another 
yet more valuable. 

This story has been related of other places, but Upsall 
appears to have as good a claim to this yielding of hidden 
treasure as the best of them. Here we have the constant 
tradition of the inhabitants, and the identical bush still 
remains beneath which the treasure was found ; an Elder, 
near the north-west corner of the ruins. 

GRAINGE, pp. 277, 278 ; WHELLAN, vol. ii., pp. 693, 694. 

In Tales and Traditions, Part ii., pp. 103- 106 a like story 
entitled " The Dream," is told of an innkeeper on the great 
North Road, locally called, the Street. 

Not many years ago, in one of the Western Windows of 
Upsal Castle, was to be seen cut out in relief, in stone, the 
representation of two persons in the act of raising up a pot 
or vessel, supposed to have a reference to the treasure 
found at Upsal, by which the castle was built. 

THIRSK, Addenda, p. 171. 

Upsall. Lost Corpse End. — Some while ago a correspon- 
dent asked for some Yorkshire legends ; permit me to add 
one. I was taking a holiday stroll, and passing by a 
plantation at Upsall, near Thirsk, called, ' Beechpath Beck- 



4-io Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (TV. Riding, etc.). 

stead,' I met with a garrulous old man. ' What do you 
call this wood ? ' I asked. The old fellow shook his head 
solemnly, and whispered : ' That part is ' Lost Corpse End." 
'Why?' A very long pause. 'I was seventeen years of 
age, and I am now eighty-four ; so you may count how 
many years 'tis ago. Well ! I was one of the bearers of 

poor Dame , and we were to bury her at Kirby 

Knowle. Just as we arrived at the spot, we set down the 
body. It was a hot autumnal day, and the nuts were so 
enticing. It was the best nut year I ever remember. We 
all went off to gather them ; and when we returned the 
corpse was lost ! ' ' Washed away by the burn ? ' I re- 
marked. ' No, Sir, wished it had. We should then have 
got it back. The coffin was there, never moved, never 
touched by mortal man. We took up the coffin, but it was 
as light as an empty coffin could be. We ran with it to 
Kirby Knowle ; and the parson buried the coffin, but the 
corpse is — is — is there ! It is all along o' our nutting.' 

Can your readers suggest that there is anything analo- 
gous between nutting and departed spirits ? 

EBORACUM, N. & Q., 3rd S., vol. ii., p. 343. 

Whitby. See under NATURAL Objects, Fossils, pp. 13, 
14, and under Animals, Wild Geese, etc., p. 74. 

East Witton. [The plague] is said to have prevailed so 
much that the weekly market at that place, was lost in con- 
sequence, having been held pro tempore, in a field at 
Ulshaw. — Barker, p. 64. 

See also under Natural Objects, p. 21, 22. 

Nr. West Witton. A little below Capple or Chapel Bank 
is a summer-house built by a Duke of Bolton for his wife the 
celebrated Lavinia Fenton, the actress, the original ' Polly ' 
in the Beggar's Opera. Village tradition asserts that when 
the lady warbled here, the Duke used to listen to her 
strains at Bolton Hall, two miles off as the crow flies. 

Hardcastle, p. 36. 






Btdldings and Places. 4 1 1 

York. Ebranke. — At the entrance of this street [St, 
Saviourgate] there is a stone in the wall of Mr. Allen's 
house, on which is inscribed in Old English characters : 

' Heir stoud the image of Yorke and 

remand in the yere of our Lord God 

A.M.VCI x unto the common hall 

in the tyme of the mairalty of 

John Stockdale.' 

It is believed that by the image of York, is here meant 
the British founder of this city, king Ebranke ; and that 
the first stone was laid under his direction, not far from the 
site of this inscription. The image is supposed to have 
been of wood ; and in the records of the city, is the follow- 
ing curious entry relative to it : 'On Jan. 15 and the 17th 
of Henry VII. the image of Ebranke, which stood at the 
west end of St. Saviourgate, was taken down new made, and 
transposed from thence and set up at the east end of the 
chapel at the common-hall. 

Hargrove, vol. ii., p. 2, pp. 328, 329. 
I have been inform'd by credible persons, that at the 
suppression of Monasteries in the last age, there was found 
a Lamp burning in the vault of a little Chapel here, and 
Constantius was thought to be buried there. 

Camden, p. 719. 

To add a little more confidence to this story, from 
Camden I must say that tradition still informs us, that the 
sepulchre he speaks of, was found in the parish church of 
St. Helen on the walls, which once stood in Aldwark. This 
church was demolished at the union of them in this city ; 
and it is not impossible, but that Constantine the great, 
when converted to Christianity, might order a church or 
chapel to be erected over his father's ashes, which was 
dedicated perhaps after his time to his mother. For since 
he must have a sepulchre some where amongst us, I know 

x i5oi. 



412 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

no place in or about the city more likely for it to have 
stood in than this. — Drake, p. 44. 

Many other Place, etc., Legends, will be found under 
Natural Objects, pp. 1-41. 



TOUCHING FAMILIES AND PERSONS. 

Chalonev Family. [Towards the latter end of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign Thomas Chaloner Esq. of Guisbro' and 
his accomplices stole the secret of the process used in the 
Pope's alum-works. His Holiness is said to have uttered 
a terrible curse : (see Charlton, pp. 306, 307). The owners 
of alum-works,] frequently lose large sums thereby, and 
are even sometimes reduced to beggary, which leaves room 
for the Papists to say, The Popes curse has not been alto- 
gether without its effect. — CHARLTON, pp. 359, 360. 

Clifford Family. A very old tradition of the Clifford 
family says "Whilst Clifford's Tower stands in York, that 
family will never be forgotten." 

Twyford and Griffiths, p. 43. 

Dawnay. Sir William Dawnay . . . was made a general 
in the 4th year of Richard I., A.D. 1192, at Aeon in Pales- 
tine, the modern Acre. Here, it is recorded, having killed 
a chief Prince of the Saracens, and afterwards slain a lion, 
He of the lion-heart, in token of his royal satisfaction, forth- 
with took a ring off his finger, and giving it to Sir William, 
ordered that ' in perpetuam rei memoriam,' his crest should 
be a demy-Saracen in armour, with a ring in the dexter 
hand, and a lion's paw in the left ; and this is the family 
cognizance to this day. The ring, which is still in the pos- 
session of the Head of the house has been seen by the 
author of this notice. It is a somewhat massive silver ring, 
containing a talismanic gem, denominated a toad-stone which 
is still used as a charm in the east. . . . By way of a little 



Touching Families and Persons. 4 1 3 

interlude, we might here advert to the degree of caution 
with which all local traditions of an oral character are to 
be received. Were we to rely on village authority, that 
' boast of heraldry ' the Lion's Paw is nothing, more or less 
than a Miller's Pick. Once upon a time, so runs the story, 
Sessay Wood and the parts adjacent thereto, were sorely 
infested by a most truculent giant, of more than Robin o' 
Bobin mastigatory celebrity, when ought like human viands 
was unlucky enough to fall into his clutches. . . . One 
bright morning, however, so proceeds the tale in Dawnay 
annals, a Fore-elder of the family found . . . the supine 
monster asleep in the precincts of what was then the Old, 
but now the New Mills. . . . Seizing the Miller's Pick as 
the implement of vengeance ... he drove the remorseless 
weapon right home to its mark. . . . 'The king who at 
that time ruled this land, to shew his respect for so brave 
a man and useful a subject, made a decree that the giant 
slayer should always keep hold of the Miller's Pick, by 
which token all men might know that to him, and to his, 
had been given the royalty of Sessay to have, and to hold 
thenceforward and for ever.' — GlLL, pp. 347, 348. 

See also under Natural Objects, pp. 11- 13. 

Duncombe. It is said that many years ago the lord of 
the manor, an ancestor of the present Lord Feversham, 
riding one day home to Duncombe, saw a girl in a sun- 
bonnet swinging to and fro on the gate of the park. 
He reined up his horse, and as she swung he heard her sing 
these words to herself: — 

It may so happen, it may so fall 

That Ah may be laady o' Duncombe Hall. 

Then she turned and showed the wondering squire the 
prettiest face he had ever seen. He fell headlong in love 
with the beautiful face. The girl was about fourteen, and 
he persuaded her parents to send her to school at his 
expense for several years; when she returned to her home 



414 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

well-educated and more lovely still, he married her — and 
made her mistress of Duncombe. 

MACQUOID, pp/ 294, 295. 
Fairfax. With her marriage [that of Isabel Thwaites 
with Sir William Fairfax in the 16th century] came great 
wealth into the Fairfax family, the estates of Askwith and 
Denton and much property in the old city of York. The 
country people have several legends as well as a prophecy 
with regard to this marriage. With all seriousness they 
will tell you that — 

Fairfax shall regain 

The glory that has fled, 

When Steeton once again 

Nun-Appleton shall wed. 

BOGG, p. 24. 
Robin Hood. In the days of this Abbot Richard, 1 and 
Peter his successor, lived that famous and renowned out-law 
Robin Hood, who took from the rich that he might have 
wherewithal to give to the poor. He many years kept 
under him a considerable number of men, who lived by 
rapine and plunder. He resided generally in Nottingham- 
shire, or the southern parts of Yorkshire : But when his 
robberies became so numerous, and the outcries against 
him so loud, as almost to alarm the whole nation, parties of 
soldiers were sent down from London to apprehend him : 
And then it was, that fearing for his safety, he found it 
necessary to desert his usual haunts, and, retreating north- 
ward, to cross the moors that surrounded Whitby, where, 
gaining the sea-coast, he always had in readiness near 
at hand some small fishing vessels, to which he could have 
refuge, if he found himself pursued ; for in these, putting off 
to sea, he looked upon himself as quite secure and held the 
whole power of the English nation at defiance. The chief 
place of his resort at these times, where his boats were 
generally laid up, was about six miles from Whitby, to 

1 [Latter years of the 12th century.] 



Touching Families and Persons. 4 1 5 

which he communicated his name, and which is still called 
Robin Hood's Bay. There he frequently went a-fishing in 
the summer season, even when an enemy approached to 
annoy him ; and not far from that place he had butts or 
marks set up, where he used to exercise his men in shooting 
with the long-bow. It was always believed that these 
butts had been erected by him for that very purpose, till 
the year 1771, when one of them being dug into, human 
bones were found therein, and it appeared they had been 
burying-places used by our Pagan ancestors How- 
ever that be, there is no doubt, but Robin made use of 
those houes or butts when he was disposed to exercise his 
men, and wanted to train them up in hitting a mark. 

Charlton, pp. 146, 147. 
See also under Natural Objects, pp. 6, 10. 

Shipton, Mother. See under MAGIC AND DIVINATION, 
pp. 193-199. 

Stapleton Family. The feet of the figure [on the monu- 
ment of Robert Stapleton at Wighill] rest upon a huge 
Saracen's head, which has given rise to a local tradition 
that it represents the head of a giant who ate children and 
the like, and was slain by one of the early Stapletons of 
Wighill. — Chetwynd-Stapylton, p. 240. 

Amongst many legends connecting this badge with 
the Stapletons, and the lands of Wighill, is the following 
quaintly told by the aged sexton : — Many hundred years 
ago, a terrible giant, Turk or Saracen, dwelt on an island 
near the coast of England, causing fearful havoc far 
and wide, killing all who came in his path. A manor 
was offered by the king to the man who would rid the 
country of this bloodthirsty ogre. After a long delay, 
a champion was found in the shape of another David, who 
went forth alone, armed only with a good sword. The hero 
crossed to the island, the stronghold of the foe ; after 
leaping ashore young Stapleton sent the boat adrift. The 



416 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

mighty Saracen, who from his castle had seen the coming 
of England's champion, came on the scene at this juncture, 
waxing wrath at the sight of his adversary. Inquiring why 
the boat was sent out to sea, Stapleton replied that he was 
determined to rid the country of such a monster or die in 
the attempt, and if victorious, should return in his, the 
giant's boat. After a long fight, the young hero received 
a terrible blow which brought him to the ground ; at the 
moment the giant was in the act of giving the final stroke, 
with arms uplifted, Stapleton, grasping his sword, with a 
desperate plunge struck him under the armpit and disabled 
him. Then commenced the final struggle for victory, 
which ended in the death of the Saracen, whose head was 
severed from his body, and was brought along with the 
giant's sword and boat to Britain as proofs of his victory. 
For this courageous deed the king did grant him the manor 
of Wighill, where the Stapletons dwelt for six centuries. 

BOGG, pp. 63, 64. 
Turpin. Early in the morning he set off and robbed 
a gentleman of fifty guineas and a valuable watch in the 
environs of London. Apprehensive of being known and 
pursued, he spurred his horse on and took the northern 
road, and astonishing to relate reached York the same 
evening, and was noticed playing at bowls in the bowling 
green with several gentlemen their [sic] which circumstance 
saved him from the hands of justice for that time. The 
gentleman he robbed knew him to be Turpin, and caused 
him to be pursued and taken at York. He afterwards 
swore to him and the horse he rode on, which was the 
identical one he arrived upon in that city ; but on being in 
the stable, and his rider at play, and all in the space 
of four and twenty hours his alibi was admitted, for the 
Magistrates of York would not believe it possible for one 
horse to cover the ground, being upwards of one hundred 
and ninety miles, in so short a space. 

Kendrew's Chapbook, pp. 20, 21. 



Touching Families and Persons. 417 

[At the end of a modern chapbook account of the ' Life 
and Adventures of Richard Turpin,' in which there is no 
narration of the traditional Ride to York and of Black Bess, it 
is written " It is needless to add, that the story of Turpin's 
' Ride to York,' and of the wondrous deeds of the highway- 
man's steed ' Black Bess,' are like many other tales of this 
fellow, the fabrications of some poetical brain, but believing 
that a short account of Turpin's ' Ride to York ' may 
interest some readers, though fiction, it is here subjoined, 
being extracted from Mr. Harrison Ainsworth's celebrated 
romance 'Rookwood, or the Adventures of Dick Turpin.'"] 

Not one incident in his [Turpin's] career gives colour to 
the splendid myth which has been woven round his 
memory. Once he was in London and he died at York. 
So much is true, but there is naught to prove that his 
progress from the one to the other did not occupy a year. 
Nor is there any reason why the halo should have been set 
on his head rather than on another's. Strangest truth 
of all, none knows at what Moment Dick Turpin first shone 
into glory. At any rate there is a gap in the tradition, and 
the chapbooks of the time may not be credited with 
the vulgar error. . . . Though Turpin tramped to York 
at a journeyman's leisure, Nicks [Nevison] rode there at a 
stretch — Nicks the intrepid and gallant, whom Charles II. 
in admiration of his feat was wont to call Swiftnicks. 

Whibley, p. 22. 

At ' Devil's Bridge,' [1] story tells, Dick Turpin was once 
waylaid by the constables of Westmoreland, but their prey 
was not easily caught, for with a light touch of spur and 
rein, ' Black Bess ' leapt over the abyss into the county 
of York, where the warrant could not be executed. 

BOGG, (2), p. 189, footnote. 

Vavasour family. It is currently reported in Yorkshire 
that . . . the chief of the ancient Roman Catholic family 

2 [See under Natural Objects, pp. 18, 19.] 

2D 



4i 8 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

of Vavasour of Haslewood . . . may ride on horseback 
into York Minster. — A. G., N. & Q., vol. ii., p. 326. 

It is a well-known fact that the stone for York minster 
was given by the Vavasour family. To commemorate this, 
there is under the west window in the cathedral, a statue 
of the owner of Hazlewood at that period, holding a piece 
of stone in his hand. Hence may have arisen the tradition 
that the chief of the family might ride into York minster 
on horseback. — Chas. D. Markham, N. & Q., vol. iii., p. 71. 



YORK, ARCHBISHOPS OF. 

St. William of York. — [His thirty-six miracles are set 
forth in the window of the north-east transept of the 
Minster and they may be read of in an article by Joseph 
Fowler, F.S.A., in the Yorkshire Archceological Journal, 
vol. iii., pp. 198-348.] 

Abp. Gray. In this year, [1234], which was the third of 
the unfruitful ones, a dreadful mortality and famine raged 
everywhere ; and these pestilences were doubtless brought 
on, as well by the sins of the inhabitants as by the previous 
unseasonable state of the atmosphere and the general 
sterility of the land. The poor in various places pined 
away and died from hunger, and met with no good 
Samaritan to give them in charge of the host to be fed, or 
to heal their deadly wounds. Almsgiving too, which 
usually augments wealth, now languished, and the 
rich, who abounded in wordly possessions, were struck with 
such blindness, that they suffered Christian men, men made 
after God's image, to die from want of food. Blind indeed 
were they, since they boasted that they had amassed 
wealth, not by the gift of God, but by their own industry. 
Disgraceful as this was to the generality of Christians, 
it was most shameful in bishops and church-prelates, and 
among the principal ones who were notorious for their 



Touching Families and Persons. 419 

avarice, I mention Walter, Archbishop of York, as a 
sample of the rest ; for when the provosts and agents of 
several of his manors went to him and told him that he 
had a great deal of corn which had been growing old 
for five years, and which they very much suspected was 
either eaten away by the mice or had grown rotten in some 
way, he even at a time of such want, showing no respect to 
God or regard to the poor, gave orders to his agents and 
provosts to give this old corn to the labourers of his manors, 
who he said, should return him new for the old after the 
autumn. It happened that the said archbishop's agent was 
examining corn at the town of Ripon, and having put 
it outside the barns for the purpose of thrashing it, there 
appeared among the sheaves the heads of vermin, such as 
snakes, toads, and other reptiles ; and the servants who had 
come with the agent to look at the corn, fled in alarm lest 
they should be injured by the vermin. When all this was 
told to the archbishop, he was struck with shame, and sent 
his seneschals to see what was necessary to be done. They, 
on coming to the place, notwithstanding the hosts of 
reptiles, set ladders to the rick, and compelled some 
labourers to ascend and examine the corn ; on their 
reaching the top, a black smoke issued from the rick 
attended by such an unearthly and unindurable stench that 
they came down from the rick in all haste to escape being 
suffocated, declaring that they had never before smelt such 
a stench; they also heard a voice telling them not to 
lay hands on the corn, for that the archbishop and every- 
thing belonging to him were the property of the devil. 
The seneschal and those who had come with him, seeing 
the danger which would arise from the numbers of reptiles, 
built a high wall round this corn of the devil's, and setting 
fire to it consumed it all, that the reptiles might not escape 
and infect the whole district. 

Wendover, vol. ii., pp. 598, 599. 
His tomb ... is a curious Gothick performance, of grey, 



42 o Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

but what others call factitious, marble. And tradition has 
constantly averred that his body was deposited in the 
canopy over the pillars, as dying under sentence of 
excommunication from the pope, and therefore not suffered 
burial in holy ground. I am sorry to be the occasion 
of overthrowing this fine story, which has so long been 
a great embellishment to the description our vergers give of 
the church and monuments ; but in reality the whole is 
false. . . . The pope's resentment did not run to an 
excommunication against him. And further being desirous 
to know whether the body was laid in that depositum 
or not, I got leave of the present dean to open it at the end 
of the window ; when I saw the workman pierce near 
a yard into it, and it was all solid. The tomb has no manner 
of epitaph. — Drake, p. 427. 

[The end of the Archbishop's pastoral staff is " thrust 
into the mouth of the serpent." — Fast Ebor, vol. i., p. 294.] 

Abp. Bovil's Tomb. His sepulcher was much frequented 
after his death by the common people, who had him in 
high veneration for his sanctity and sufferings, and reported 
many miracles to be done at it. Paris says that he per- 
formed a miracle of turning water into wine in his life 
time. — Drake, p. 428. 

Abp. Scrope. He died about the 8th year of his being 
Archbishop ; and being interred in his own Cathedral, 
where now is his Tomb (which some say has been destroy'd 
by Lightning but since repair'd) Miracles were asserted 
to have been done after his Death : As That the Ground 
where he was beheaded, and which had been trodden 
under Feet by the numerous Throng of Spectators, gave a 
much more than common Increase that year : That King 
Henry was suddenly strucken with a hideous Leprosy, and 
terrify 'd in his Sleep at Green Hammerton where he lay, 
on his Road to Ripon : That an apparition like the said 
chast and holy Archbishop appeared to one John Gibson 



Touching Families and Persons. 421 

of Roclijf charging him to repent of a Murder he design'd 
to have committed : That King Henry himself was much 
grieved after he had put the Archbishop to Death : And 
that the Body of this very King, being, after its Decease, 
laid in a Chest or Coffin, covered with a Cloth of Gold, and 
put on Board a Boat, or small Vessel, in order to be interr'd 
at Canterbury, such a violent Storm arose, between Berking 
and Gravesend which terrify 'd the Sailors to such a degree 
that (as it's said) they threw the Royal Corpse into the 
Water, which we do not hear had ever been found again ; 
and having so done, and a Calm ensuing, they carried 
the Coffin to Canterbury, which was honourably buried. 

Gent, p. 76. 
See also under GOBLINDOM : Middlethorpe, p. 94. 

For Abp. Blackburne see York Minster, ante, pp. 392, 393. 



SECTION XVI. 

JINGLES. 
METEOROLOGICAL. 

Harr, or Hag, mist with small rain. So good in the 
morning for vegetation, that, 

' A moorn hag-mist 
Is worth gold in a kist ' (chest). 

' A northern harr 
Brings fine weather from far.' 

Robinson, p. 88. 
Lunar Halo. Bruff, the halo round the moon, as the 
orb shines through the haze, 
' A far off bruff 
Is a storm near enough ' 
that is, when the halo appears in advance of the moon, 
like a fore-frame. The larger the bruff, the nearer the 
storm ; or, ' the bigger the bruff, the nearer the breeze.' 

lb., p. 28. 
Mists. On the subject of fogs, a very common proverb 
prevails at Scarborough. 

" When the mist comes from the hill, 
Then good weather it doth spill ; 
When the mist comes from the sea 
Then good weather it will be." 

Baker, p. 10. 



Meteorological. 423 

Winds, etc. Custard winds the pining north-east winds 
prevalent here about Easter when custards are more 
particularly in request as a popular dainty. 

' The wind, at north and east, 
Is neither good for man nor beast ; 
So never think to cast a clout 
Until the month of May be out.' 

Robinson, p. 47. 
See also under Natural Objects, p. 50. 

The following lines were heard in the neighbourhood 
of Newborough Park, Yorkshire, where a herd of deer is 
kept : — 

' If dry be the bucks' horn on Holyrood morn, 

'Tis worth a kist of gold ; 
But if wet it be seen ere Holyrood e'en, 
Bad harvest is foretold.' 
H. Ozmond, N. & Q., 2nd S., vol. vi., p. 522. 
See also under Magic and Divination, p. 216. 

May. 

' A wet May 
Maks lang tail'd hay.' 

' Cold May is kindly ' ; a hot May in this part, being often 
followed by a variable summer. The best time to get 
bled is on a May-day. — ROBINSON, p. 121. 

Current in Yorkshire about a hundred years ago : — 
" Dont change a clout 

Till May is out ; 

If you change in June, 

'Twill be too soon." 
Uneda, N. & Q., 4th S., vol. vi., p. 131 ; lb., p. 121. 

A warm and serene day, wmich we say is too fine for 
the season, betokens a speedy reverse ; and that kind of 
restlessness too, observed among animals, when the cat is 



424 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 

said to have ' a gale in her tail ' and pigs are seen throwing 
about their stye-straw. 

' A rainbow i' t' morning, 
Sailors take warning. 
A rainbow at night, 
Sailors delight' 
A commotion among the sea-gulls indicates a storm ; and 
from the shooting of the corns or of an old sore, we shall 
have wind and rain. Ducks throw water from their bills 
over their heads ; and certain flowers are consulted which 
contract their leaves before the coming on of rain. 
' When the sun sets black, 
A westerly wind will not lack.' 

' Evening red and morning gray, 
Certain signs of a bonny day. 
Evening gray and morning red, 
Will send the shepherd wet to bed.' 

There are other signs in force, but they seem equally com- 
mon to other places, as some above instanced may be also. 
ROBINSON, sub Weather-breeders, etc., pp. 214, 215. 



VARIA. 

Addleborougk See under Natural OBJECTS, p. 15. 
April Noddy. „ FESTIVALS, p. 247. 

Ask Even. „ Trees and Plants, p. 58. 

Bed Charm. „ MAGlCANDDlViNATlON,p.2i4. 

Birthday Augury. See Blakeborough, p. 106. 
Bride's dress, Colour of. See under Ceremonial, p. 290. 
Candlemas. See under Magic and Divination, p. 214. 
Christmas. „ FESTIVALS, pp. 276, 278, 279. 

See Blakeborough, pp. 67, 68, 70. 



Varia. 



425 



Churn Charm. See under Magic and Divination, p. 214 

Cod. See under Animals, p. 68. 

Crayke. „ NICKNAMES, ETC., p. 436. 

Cropton. „ Natural Objects, p. 27. 

Crow. „ Animals, p. 69. Blakeborough^.2'j'j . 

Cuckoo. "In April, cuckoo sings her lay ; 

In May, she sings both night and day ; 

In June, she loses her sweet strain ; 

In July, she flies off again." 

" The cuckoo in April — 

He opens his bill ; 

The cuckoo in May — 

He sings the whole day ; 

The cuckoo in June — 

He changeth his tune ; 

The cuckoo in July — 

Away he must fly !" 
The last two quotations are well known in North Yorkshire 
(the most poetical of the three Ridings). — Hermann Kindt, 
N. &. Q., 4th S., vol. ii., p. 555. 

Daffodil. When the early spring flowers are showing 
themselves, we hear the village children repeating these 
lines : 

' Daff a down dill has now come to town, 
In a yellow petticoat and a green gown.' 

Eboracomb, N. & Q., vol. iii., p. 220. 

Dimples. See Blakeborongh, p. 115. 

Docken and Nettle. „ „ pp. 276, 277. 

Duncombe. See under Place etc. Traditions, p. 413. 

Easingwold. See under Nicknames, etc., p. 436. 
Fairfax. „ Place etc. Traditions, p. 440. 

Fairs. „ Local Customs, pp. 330, 331. 

Friday. „ General, p. 218. See Blake- 

borough, p. 95. 



426 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Friday, Good. See Blakeborough, pp. 75, 79. 

Goose-bone. See under Animals, p. 70. 

Gormire. „ NATURAL OBJECTS, p. 37. 

Hair-cutting. See Blakeborough, p. 113. 

Hambleton Hills. See under Natural Objects, p. 4. 

Haws. See under Magic AND DIVINATION, p. 60. 

Hob. „ GOBLINDOM, p. 132; LEECHCRAFT, 

p. 179. 

Horse, Treatment of. See Blakeborough, p. 251. 

Housewifery, Bad. „ „ p. 214. 

Horn, Wound from Stag's. A wound from a stag's horn 
was deemed poisonous by our ancestors, as the old rhyme 
testifies. 

' If thou be hurt with hart it brings thee to thy bier 

But barber's hand will boar's hurt heal, thereof thou 

need'st not fear.' j~„. 

Gill, p. 42. 

Hutton Rudby. See under NICKNAMES, ETC., p. 436. 

fennie 0' fones. See under GAMES, p. 316. 

Ken-spell. See under MAGIC AND DIVINATION, p. 214. 

Kinkcough. „ LEECHCRAFT, p. 1 79. 

Lady-bird. „ Animals, p. 69. 

Leap-Year Marriage. See under CEREMONIAL, p. 290. 
Love Charms. See under NATURAL OBJECTS, p. 42. 
Magic and Divination, p. 209. See Blakeborough, 

P-73- 

Magpie. See under Animals, pp. 74, 75. 
March Growth. Dow, to thrive. . . . 

' March grows 
Are never dows,' 

early bloom, early blight. — ROBINSON, p. 56. 
May 29th. See Blakeborough, p. 82. 

Moon. See under NATURAL OBJECTS, pp. 42, 43. 
Magic and Divination, p. 215. 



Varia. 427 

Nail-cutting. See Blakeborough, pp. 112, 113. 
Nov. $th. See Festivals, pp. 268, 269. See Blake- 
borough, p. 87. 
Nursery Rhyme. 

There was a man who lived in Leeds, 
He set his garden full of seeds, etc. 

See Blakeborough, pp. 268, 269. 

Ovington Edge. See under NICKNAMES, ETC., p. 437. 
People, Untrtistworthy. See Blakeborough, p. 215. 
Rain charm. „ „ p. 277. 

„ on dead. „ „ p. 95. 

Robin. „ „ p. 278. 

Eoseberry. See under NATURAL OBJECTS, p. 2. 
R own- tree gad. „ Trees and Plants, p. 60. 
Scarbro' Fair. „ LOCAL CUSTOMS, p. 330. 

Sieve Divination. „ Magic and Divination, p. 193. 

Simmer-water. ■ „ Natural Objects, pp. 38, 39. 
Snail. See Blakeborough, p. 277. 
Stang. See under Local CUSTOMS, pp. 334, 335, 337. 

See Blakeborough, p. 89. 
Stanraise. See under Natural Objects, p. 8. 
Stillington. „ Nicknames, etc., p. 436. 

Sun for Bride. See Blakeborough, p. 95. 
Sundays in Lent. See under Festivals, p. 241. 
Tees. See under NICKNAMES, etc., p. 440. 
Trimmling Jockies. See under TREES AND PLANTS, 

p. 61. 
Whitestone Cliff. See under Natural Objects, pp. 4 ; 37. 
Witton, East. Well, near. „ „ „ p. 34- 

Witton, West Fair. „ Local Customs, p. 331. 

See also under Proverbs, passim. 



428 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire {N. Riding, etc.). 



NUMBERS USED IN SCORING SHEEP. 

These numbers take in Massamshire (Yorks), the following 
form — 



i. Ine (also een). 

2. Tine (also teen). 

3. Tethera. 

4. Fethera. 

5. Fip. 

6. Slar. 

7. Lar. 

8. Core. 

Charles A. Federer, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. xi., p. 337. 

The Dale shepherds still use the old counting in Nidder- 
dale and Swaledale . . . and other places where the Celt 
lingered. 

Middleton in Teesdale. 



9. Cone. 
10. Dick. 

Inedick (endick). 

Tinedick (tendick). 

Tethardick. 

Fetherdick. 

Bum. 



11. 
12. 

13- 
14. 

15- 



Yan. Catrah. 

Tean. Horna. 

Tether. Dick. 

Mether. Yan-a-dik. 

Pip. Tean-a-dik. 

Sezar. Tethera-a-dik. 

Azar. Mether-a-dik. 

O. Y., 2nd S., vol. i., p. 45. 



Bumfit. 

Yan-a-bum. 

Tean-a-bum. 

Tether-a-bum. 

Mether-a-bum. 



SECTION XVII. 

PROVERBS. 

CHAPTER xiii., pp. 238-256, of Mr. Blakeborough's Wit, 
Character, Folklore and Customs of the North Riding of 
Yorkshire is devoted to ' Similes, Proverbs and Sayings.' 

Atkinson quotes a few proverbs pp. 33-35, 136. 

'A Collection of Significant and usefull Proverbs some 
of which are appropriated to Yorkshire ' is reprinted from 
the 3rd edition of ' The Praise of Yorkshire Ale' (York 
1697) in The Folk-Lore Record, vol. iv., pp. 163-166. 

' Yorkshire Proverbs an' Speyks ' collected by Abraham 
Holroyd of Shipley appear in Y. F., vol. i., pp. 217-225. 

It is impossible for the present compiler to sift these 
garnerings in such a manner as to separate the yield of the 
North Riding from the rest of the grain, but as an evidence 
of good will, a few sayings either invented, or adopted by 
its folk, are here set down. 

As black, or as sour, as a bollas or bullas. — C. C. R., 
p. 12. 

As bright as a bullace = wild damson. — ROBINSON, p. 29. 

cobby as a lop = as nimble as a flea. „ p. 40. 

daft as a goose. „ p. 48. 

daft as a door-nail. „ p. 48. 

deaf, or as dead as a door-nail. - „ p. 48. 
full as a tick, N. & Q., 8th S., vol. ix., 
p. 294. 



43 o Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

As dour as thunder. - ROBINSON, p. 56. 

„ grue as thunder (Whitby), Y. F., 

vol. i., p. 220. 
„ hummle as a crawling clock [= beetle]. ROBINSON, p. 38. 
„ kenspack [ = distinguishable] as a 

cock on a church-broach. - „ p. 106. 

„ mad as a tup, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. 

ix., p. 266. 
„ nimble as a cat on a heeat bakston. Robinson, p. 10. 
„ quiet as a clock [ = time-keeper]. - „ p. 39. 

„ thrang as three in a bed, N. & Q., 

6th S., vol. x., p. 227. 
„ thruff-gutted as a herringsue ; the 
common heron, — which fable re- 
lates to have such an open 
passage, that the carp it some- 
times swallows alive, will make 
its way through into the water 
again. --.-.- 
To beg like a cripple at a cross. 
„ stick like a cleg [ = horse-fly]. 
„ sweat like a brock [cuckoo-spit]. 
It's not worth a band's end [band = 

string]. p. 11. 

They have tongues in their heads that 

would clip [cut] clouts. - „ p. 38. 

Thou's always hungry: thou'd eat a badger [ = miller, 
huckster] off his horse. — C. C. R., p. 4. 

Thou'd baffound a stoop [stun, perplex a post]. — lb., p. 5. 
I've swallowed the Kirk but I can't swallow the steeple 
(Whitby). — Y. F., vol. i., p. 220. 

When cooaly whelps [i.e. never]. — ROBINSON, sub 
Cooaly, a cur dog, p. 42. 

I have other tow to teeaze ; other pursuits to follow. — 
lb., p. 194. 



Robinson, p. 


198. 


p. 


46. 


p. 


37- 


p. 


27. 



Proverbs. 43 1 

Clickem, a thief personified ' Clickems got it.' ' It was 
got at Clickem Fair,' it was purloined. — ROBINSON, p. 38. 

Fiddler's money = small change (York). — M., N. & Q., 
5th S.,vol. vi., p. 536. 

All aback o' Durham together, thrown too late at the 
commencement. — ROBINSON, p. 1. 

A man who pays expenses is said to ' Stand t' pan 
bindin'. — ROUTH, p. 71. 

"It beats cock-fighting and the judges coming down to 
York to hang fowk ! " — N., N. & Q., 5th S., vol. 1., p. 255. 

Hexam, a remote locality, associated with idle phrases. — 
Ibid. ' I'll see him at Hexam first. . . . He'll earn his salt 
maybe — when he goes to live at Hexam. Perhaps these 
phrases may have had their origin in an allusion to the 
ancient and well known town of Hexham; its situation 
being high north, in the county of Northumberland. 
C. C. R., p. 60 ; but see Denham, vol. i., p. 281. 

Come day, gan day, God send Sunday. The saying put 
into the mouths of indolent workers, who care not how the 
days come and go, provided they have little to do ; and 
with a wish towards Sunday, when there is least to do of 
all. — Robinson, pp. 41, 42. 

" When they got all they could it was ' fare thee well 
Oula.' " Query the meaning of Oula ; but the phrase, which 
is frequently heard, points to the selfish and ungrateful. 
Chaucer has ' farewel, feldfare ' {i.e. fieldfare) in a similar 
application. . . In Middle-English ule meant an owl and 
was pronounced as a dissyllable. — lb., p, 137. 

What's bred i' t' blood willn't out o' t' bone. 

If t' cap fits, put it on. 

There's six o' yan an' hofe a dozen o' t' other. 

There's nane sa deeaf as them at willn't hear. 

Stand t' pan bindin' = pay expenses. 

ROUTH, pp. 70, 71. 



432 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (TV. Riding, etc.). 

' To give sneck posset ' is an expression which I have 
heard employed in the North Riding of Yorkshire, in the 
sense of to bar or lock a person out. I have not met with 
the expression elsewhere. — F. C. Birkbeck Terry, N. & 
Q., 7th S., vol. vi., 487. 

'And now I wish I had our cat by t' tail,' a saying 
among country people, when a long way from home they 
wish to be at their own fire-sides. — ROBINSON, p. 33. 

' Sup sorrow by spoonsful ' [sic]. I have been long familiar 
with this expression, having frequently heard it used in 
North Yorkshire. . . . Many a time have I heard a mother 
say to a rebellious child, or a stuck-up person, ' Ah'll tell 
thuh what, thou'll hev to sup sorrow by speunfuls afoar ta 
dees,' — meaning that the individual addressed would have 
sorrow without stint before he died. — F. C. Birkbeck 
Terry, N. & Q., 6th S., vol. iv., p. 521. 

' Monny a breead word comes off a weak stomach,' many 
a boastful speech comes from a weak mind. 

Robinson, p. 26. 

' ' Mair wedders than pot boilers,' implying that many 
marry without sufficient means. — lb., p. 215. 

We have a saying in this part, which he seems to have 
frequented : — 'Many speak of Robin Hood that never shot 
his bow,' many talk of doing great things they never can 
accomplish. — lb., p. xvii. 

' He has heaved the hand, he's a generous John [he has 
bestowed] charity in mites, amounting to little more than 
the motion of the hand in the act. — lb., p. 90. 

' I'm blest wi' nowther cross nor coin.' ... I have no 
money, neither large nor small. . . . 'I've nowther brass 
nor benediction.' — lb., p. 46. 

' Fat sorrow is better to bide than lean,' worldly plenty 
may tend to lighten the rich man's woes, but poverty has 
no such alleviations. — lb., p. 63. 

Saving's good addling. — lb., p. 2. 



Proverbs. 433 

'He wad skin tweea deeavils for yah pelt' ... he would 
flay two devils for one hide. — Robinson, p. 142. 

' Never give a bit 
And a buffet wi't,' 

never do a good deed and then reproach with the obliga- 
tion. — lb., p. 18. 

'A geen [given] bite 
Is seean put out o' sight,' 
said of the contrast between a given morsel and a per- 
manent provision. — lb., p. 79. 

' Some hae luck 
And some stick i' t' muck.' 

lb., p. 126. 
They will now get 

' Gold galoore, 
And silver good stoore,' 

they'll soon become rich. — lb., pp. 74, 75. 

' Wilful weeast maks weeasome want ; 

An you may live to say — 
I wish I had that sharve o' bread, 
That yance I flang away.' 
A caution against extravagance. — lb., p. 215. 

Bonny is 

That bonny diz, — 
the saying ' good is that good does,' or ' handsome is that 
handsome does ! ' 

' Meat maks, 

And cleeas snaps, 

But that is nut the man; 

For bonny is that bonny diz, 

Deny it if you can ' ; 
food and dress go to an exterior, but inward worth alone 
constitutes the man. — lb., p. 23 

2 E 



434 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (Af. Riding, etc.). 

I have heard in Yorkshire. . . . 

If wishes were dishes, 
And dishes were horses, 
All beggars would ride. 
Another saying is 

If wishes would bide, 

Beggars would ride. 
F. C. Birkbeck Terry, 8th S., vol. viii., p. 1 14. 
May I recall a Yorkshire rhyme which proves that 
experiences similar to our own have not been unfamiliar 
in past days. The lines occur in a description of the 
months which was familiar to me in my childhood. I 
quote so much of that as I can remember, hoping that 
some reader of " N. & Q." may be able to supplement 
me where a memory that has to travel back forty-five 
years is defective; — 

"January, freeze pot to fire. 
February, fill dyke. 
March comes and mucks it out. 1 
April comes with hack and a bill 
And sets a flower on every hill. 
Then comes May, 
Whose withering sway 
Drives all April's flowers away. 
June when all things are in tune 
July, shear rye. 

August, if one won't another must. 
I never heard any more. 

J. Knight, N. & Q., 5th S., vol. xi., p. 405. 
February and March lines given by Robinson, p. 64. 

1 I.e. cleanses out as with a "muck-fork or pronged fork for 
compost." 



SECTION XVIII. 

NICKNAMES; GIBES; PLACE RHYMES. 

[In " Yorkshire Local Rhymes and Sayings " garnered 
in The Folk-Lore Record, vol. i., pp. 160-174, vol. hi., part 2, 
pp. 174-177, and in The Folk-Lore Journal, vol. i., pp. 164, 
165, will be found almost all those relating to York and 
the North Riding which are to be met with in print. 
The poverty of this section of the present collection is 
thus happily accounted for.] 

Ayton. " Canny Yatton, under Rosebury Topping." 

Ord, p. 418. 
The Stokesley people say " Yattoners wade over t'beck 
to save t'brigg ' i.e. Ayton folk wade over the beck to 
save the bridge. — Communicated by Mr. BLAKEBOROUGH. 
Great Ayton it is called by name ; 
But though I am no man of fame, 
Yet do not take me for a fool, 
Because I live near to this town. 
Quoted by Thomas Gill, N. & Q., vol. ix., pp. 152, 153. 
See also under Stokesley, post, p. 439. 

Barton, Richmondshire. Barton famous for two bridges 
and two churches, which sometimes, it is added, wanted 
a parson. — LONGSTAFFE, p. 148. 

Cawthorn and Cropton. The villagers respectively con- 
sider each other fools. 

Communicated by MR. BLAKEBOROUGH. 



43 6 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Crayke, etc. 

" If you do wish to find a fool 
And do't without mistake 
Take t'first you meet in Stillington 
In Easingwold or Crayke." 

Communicated by Mr. Blakeborough. 

Cropton. See ante with CAWTHORN and under NATURAL 
OBJ ECTS : Wells, p. 27. 

Easingwold. See under Crayke. 

Falsgrave, Scarborough. The product was so inferior in 
character that it became a proverb when anything low 
was offered for sale, that it was like " Falsgrave China." 

Baker, p. 27. 

Grisedale. It is a very common saying [in Swaledale] if 
a person puts in a frequent appearance, that ' He's sure 
to come again like Grisedale pies.' — Routh, p. 71. 

Grisedale is a small valley [of the West Riding] at the 
head of Wensleydale, and the saying is based on a legend 
to the following effect : — A potatoe pie was once made 
in Grisedale, and being forgotten, was not brought out of 
its seclusion for half-a-year, when the potatoes are said to 
have taken root and grown out of the crust. The pie was 
frequently afterwards placed upon the table, but nobody 
seemed fond of it ; hence the origin of the saying sure to 
come again like Grisedale pies. — Wensleydale, p. y6. 

Guisborough, Men of. See under York, p. 441. 

Hutton Rudby, Cleveland. Part of the village is called 
Entrepen, of which the following not very complimentary 
couplet remains in vogue at the present day : 

' Hutton Rudby, Entrepen, 
Far more rogues than honest men.' — Ord, p. 465. 



Nicknames, Gibes, and Place Rhymes. 437 

[Hutton and Entrepen are townships in the parish of 
Rudby-in-Cleveland. The slur applies to two, if not to 
all three of the places named. The first line has been 
written " Hutton-Rudby, Entrepen," e.g. Bulmer, p. 190. 
" Hutton, Rudby, Entrepen," occurs in N. & Q., 2nd S., 
vol. vi., p. 204, as a citation from White. Beguiled by 
an unfortunate misprint in The Folk-Lore Journal, vol. L, 
p. 164, where an attempt is made to quote O.Y., vol. i., 
p. 267, NORTHALL (p. 88) favours " Halton, Rudby, Entre- 
pen"; and NORWAY (p. 113) falls into the same trap, 
set, as though with the approval of unwitting " E.G."] 

New Malton. Its appellation of ' Happy Malton ' dates 
only from 1832, when it is said its population was just 
below the number required for a Parliamentary Burgh ; 
just at this time the unusual circumstance occurred of the 
birth of three sets of twins, which not only brought up 
its population to the required number but afforded at 
the same time a pretext for its ' Happy ' title ! 

Franks, p. 185. 

Ovington Edge. 

Ovington Edge and Cockfield Fell 
Are the coldest spots 'twixt Heaven and Hell. 
Ovington is a village near Greta Bridge, in Yorkshire, 
Cockfield is near Staindrop, in the bishoprick of Durham. 
They are both lofty and extremely exposed places. 

Denham, vol. i., 86 (F-L.S.). 
[Ranged with " Popular Rhymes, etc., relating to 
Durham."] 

Rievaux and Old Byland. The local situation of this 
romantic abbey may serve to explain a provincial expres- 
sion peculiar to this part of Yorkshire. When a person 
cannot easily reach a place without a circuitous route ; or 
for want of a proper term, is compelled to make use of a 
circumlocution, it is a common saying that 'he is going 
round about Rievaux to seek Old Byland.' This adage 



438 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

is undoubtedly taken from the abbey, to which the road is 
almost circular ; first down a very steep and craggy 
mountain, by many serpentine windings ; then rising again 
much in the same manner on the opposite side; seeming 
sometimes to go direct to the place, and anon directly from 
it; sometimes on one side and sometimes on another. 
This circumstance appears to be the foundation of the 
proverb. 1 

There was also a story extant among the monks of 
Rievaux, of one of their order who had grown tired of the 
strictness and monotony of the place, and he determined to 
run away and go back to the world. He plunged into the 
woods, and wandered about among the mountain paths 
from valley to valley, thinking all the while that he was 
going very far from the abbey. About sunset, however he 
was surprised to find himself close to a convent which 
seemed marvellously like the Abbey of Rievaux, and sure 
enough so it was ; he had been wandering round and round 
it all day, and at evening he found himself precisely where 
he had started. It had been hidden from him by the thick 
woods about him. The poor monk thought the hand of 
God had led him round and round the place and again 
brought him to it in the evening, so he once more entered 
the convent and patiently submitted himself to the rigours 
of Cistercian discipline. — Gill, pp. 303, 304. 

Scarbro'. In the first year of the reign of Queen Mary, 
A.D. 1554, Thomas, the second son of Lord Strafford [sic] 
arriving from France, surprised the castle by stratagem, the 
which gave rise to the proverb known as " Scarbrough 
warning." . . . 

Having previously arranged his plan ... he disguised his 
little troup in the habits of peasants and country men and 
came to Scarbrough on a market-day under most auspicious 
circumstances. He thus gained an easy admittance into 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, June, 1754. 



Nicknames, Gibes ; and Place Rhymes. 439 

the castle, and strolled about with a careless air apparently 
to gratify his curiosity ; about thirty also of his men 
entered without the least suspicion, and embracing a favour- 
able opportunity, instantly secured the different sentinels, 
took possession of the gates, and admitted their remaining 
companions, who under the exterior garb of country men 
had concealed arms. The triumph of Stafford was transient, 
and the success of his scheme was eventually the cause 
of his death. He had retained possession only three 
days when the Earl of Westmoreland, with a considerable 
force, recovered possession of the castle without loss. 
Stafford and four others were taken prisoners, conducted to 
London, confined in the tower, and afterwards condemned 
and executed. There is an old ballad written in 1577, 
entitled : " A Brefe Balet, touching the traytorous takying 
of Scarborrow Castele imprinted in London, in Fleet Street, 
by Thomas Powell, cum privlegis ad imprimendum 
solum " [1] in black letter, of which the following stanza 
forms part : — 

" This Scarborow Castele simplye standynge, 
Yet could that castell slyly you begyle 
Ye thoughte ye tooke ye castell at youre landynge, 
The castell takying you in ye self-same whyle ; 
Eche stone wyshin the castell ye let not alone, 
And took Scarborow warninge every chone." 

Baker, pp. 69, 70. 
[For additional matter see The Folk-Lore Record, vol. i., 
pp. 169-172.] 

Stillington. See sub Crayke. 

Stokesley. There is a saying " Stowsla's larnt all it 
knaws fra't Yatton feeals." 

Communicated by Mr. Blakeborough. 

Strensall. 'That's a capper o' Strensal.' ... A pro- 
verbial remark in respect of anything that has produced 

1 [This title has been cited under Tales and Ballads, p. 374.] 



440 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (JV. Riding, etc.). 

astonishment. Strenshall is a biggish village in the north- 
riding, a few miles from York. . . . It is . . probable 
that so considerable a village acquired a notoriety for 
recounting tales of itself, and hence the proverb. 

C.C.R., p. 138. 
The Tees. 

An otter in the Wear you may find but once a year, 
But an otter in the Tees you may find at your ease. 
Otters are by no means uncommon in the Tees at the 
present day ; and if we grant the rhyme a little license, 
it is, to a certain extent, true. — DENHAM, vol. i., 87 (F-L.S.). 
[Ranged with " Popular Rhymes, etc., relating to 
Durham."] 

Thornton Steward. Thornton Steward, the village 
opposite to Jervaux, . . famous for ' wormwood, lees (lies), 
and sand.' — LONGSTAFFE, p. 71. 

Walton. The natives have a tradition that the old moat 
house near the lane, [Redgate?] was often the abode of 
Nevison, the terror of Yorkshire, and the villagers tell us 
that one warm summer eve, this knight of the highway fell 
asleep near the well. [1] Some one passing along the lane, 
saw him, in that state, and thinking him an easy capture, 
ran to Walton, being the nearest place, and acquainted the 
inhabitants of the fact. The bugle sounded to arms, and 
the men and youths of Walton were soon aroused, armed, 
and equipped, and marched to arrest the celebrated robber. 
Unfortunately for this motley army, Nevison awoke, and 
presented a burrtree gun at the foremost warrior, the men 
of Walton turned and fled over hedge and ditch, and never 
drew rein, or rather paused for breath, till safe within the 
walls of their native village. From this exploit arose the 
expression of ' Walton calves,' often thrown in the teeth of 
Waltonians by the youths of other villages, and the cause 
of many a free fight. — BOGG, p. 75. 

1 See under Natural Objects : Wells, pp. 32-34 



Nicknames, Gibes, and Place Rhymes. 441 

Witton, East. See under Natural Objects: Wells, 
P- 34- 

Yarm. When Yarm sinks and Egglesclifife swims, 
Aislaby will be a Market Town. 

Denham, vol. i., p. 109 (F-L.S.). 

[Ranged with " Popular Rhymes, etc., Relating to 
Durham." Egglesclifife and Aislaby are in that county.] 

York. Latin Verses on York 

Eboracus. 
From a curious MS. of the 15th century preserved in the 
Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Capitulum, kekus, porcus, fimus, Eboracus, 
Stal, nel, lamprones, kelc et melc, salt, salamones 
Ratus, cum petys, haec sunt staura cuntetis. 

Anthol, p. 186. 
York has the highest rack, but Durham has the 
deepest manger. Though York be graced with a higher 
honour, Durham is the wealthier see. 

Denham, vol. i., p. 42 (F-L.S.). 

[Ranged with " Popular Rhymes, etc., relating to 
Durham."] 

[A gentleman who was born in 1745] always spoke of 
York men as 'Jacky Yorkies' and ' Guisborough men' 
as 'Guisboro' Greys.' — N. & Q., 4th S., vol. iv., pp. 499. 



SECTION XIX. 

ETYMOLOGY. 

St. Alkelda. St. Alkelda, the patroness of the church 
and fair of Middleham granted to Ralph Neville, by 
Richard II., which is annually celebrated on 25th October, 
is quite unknown to sacred writers. Yet the inhabitants 
have a tradition, that she lies under a very large stone, 
which they show in the middle of the church ; they also 
have described her passion in the glass windows, where 
two maids having cast a linen napkin round her neck, stop 
her breath. — Richmond, p. 31, note. 

It is perhaps only honest to call attention to the modern 
theory, which wholly denies the personal identity of our 
saint, and maintains that Alkelda is nothing more or less 
than ' a Latinized form of the Saxon Halikeld, the Holy 
Spring; Halikeld being derived from two Anglo-Saxon 
words, ' haelig,' holy, and ' keld,' a fountain. 1 Mr. 
Mitchell, the archaeologist who upholds this view, allows 
that there may have been a real saint who took up her 
abode by this holy spring, but he considers it much more 
probable that ' S. Alkelda was no real person ' but is rather 
an example of what is called eponymy, that is the inven- 
tion of a fabulous person for the purpose of explaining a 
pre-existing name.' Mr. Mitchell further accounts for the 

1 See the summary in the Ripon Dzocesan Gazette, September 1892 of 
an article on S. Alkelda by Mr. T. Carter Mitchell, F.S.A., in the 
current number of the Yorkshire Arch. Journal. 



Etymology. 443 

double invocation to ' the Blessed Virgin and S. Alkelda ' 
(which is the form of the dedication-name at Middleham) 
by arguing that the new converts would be taught that the 
good spirit of their fountain was the Blessed Virgin, and 
when a Saxon church was built on the spot it would be 
dedicated to S. Mary, and called for the sake of distinction 
' S. Mary of Halikeld.' This name, he says, would be 
unintelligible to the Norman ecclesiastics, so they made 
' Halikeld ' into the name of a saint. 

Arnold-Forster, vol. ii., p. 409. 

Easingwold. The popular derivation of 'ease,' or place 
of refreshment in the wood, or Forest of Galtres, will hardly 
maintain its ground with an etymologist however attractive 
to an English ear. . . . An old house near the top of the 
Long Street, demolished within the last twelve years, 
had however, the reputation of having been the 'Ease or 
'Traveller's Rest' — GlLL, p. 54. 

Helperby. Tradition connects its origin with the cele- 
brated baptism of Paulinus. While that venerable prelate 
was preaching to the multitudes assembled, he was asked 
by them ' what way they should attain to that salvation he 
spoke of?' 'By water baptism,' replied the bishop, and 
immediately ordered his chaplain to procure water from a 
well, close by. The numbers increasing, the well was soon 
dried, when the chaplain exclaimed ' What's to be done my 
lord ? the well is dry ! ' ' Never mind ' replied the bishop 
' there is kelp- hard- by,' meaning the river, where he imme- 
diately conducted them ; from which circumstance the 
village took the name of Help-hard-by or Help-er-by ; and 
the story, however ridiculous it may appear to some, is 
still current among the villagers to this day. 

Gill, p. 378. 

Carmans Spittle (near Bowes and Brough, between 
Yorkshire and Westmoreland}, built for the Preservation of 
People from wild Beasts. This brings to Mind the Word 



444 Folk-Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

Helperby, which some would have a corruption from 
Help-'em-by ; that is, help or guard 'em, while they pass 
by Places of Danger. — GENT, p. 230. 

Killerby. See post, p. 445. 

Lammas. See under LOCAL CUSTOMS : York, p. 351. 

Thomas Magnus. There is a common tradition, which 
we give as such, that Thomas Magnus, Archdeacon, etc. 
was found an infant in a basket on the morning of St. 
Thomas's Day, and brought up jointly amongst the inhabi- 
tants [of Sessay]. As he was found on St. Thomas's Day 
he was called ' Thomas,' and as he was kept by the inhabi- 
tants was called ' Thomas amang us ' (among us). Being a 
steady youth, he was noticed by the respectable family who 
then owned the village, and was engaged as a servant to 
one of the young Gentlemen ; which afforded him an 
opportunity of obtaining some learning. He improved his 
abilities to the best advantage, and rose to high preferment 
in the Church. He dignified his former name ' Thomas 
amang us ' by the more respectable one of Thomas Magnus, 
that is ' Thomas the Great,' and is said to have been a pious 
man. There is a St. Magnus in the Roman Calendar. 

Thirsk, p. 96, note. 

Metcalfe and Lightfoot. Dr. Whitaker resolves the name, 
which is locally pronounced Mecca, into Mechalgh, from 
Mec, a Saxon personal name, and halgh a low and watery 
fiat — but the family arms, which from time immemorial 
have been three red-calves, would rather favour the legend 
that when the country abounded with wild beasts, two men 
being in the woods together at evenfall, seeing a red four- 
footed animal coming towards them, could not imagine in 
the dusk what it was. One said ' Have you not heard of 
lions being'in these woods ?' The other answered ' He had, 
but had never seen any such thing.' So they conjectured 
that was one which they saw. The creature advanced a 
few paces towards them. One ran away, the other deter- 



Etymology. 445 

mined to meet it. This happened to be a red calf; so he 
that met it got the name of Metcalfe, and he that ran away- 
got the name of Lightfoot} — Barker, p. 223. 

Oran and Killerby. On the Low Street or old road is 
Killerby Hall . . . and a little to the north of it is the ham- 
let of Oran. On one occasion while travelling in this district, 
I had the following traditional (sic) explanation given me of 
the meaning of these places. From the number of ancient 
remains and skeletons found in this locality it would 
appear to have been a battle-ground at an early period. 
The popular belief is that a body of soldiers being sur- 
prised by the enemy on the site of Oran they a'ran as far 
as Killerby, when suddenly stopping and facing the enemy 
they determined to stand and fight, that is kill-or-be killed ! 

Speight, p. 147. 

Osmotherley. The following legend as to the origin of the 
present name of this village is current among the inhabitants. 
This village formerly called Teviotdale, was changed to 
that of Osmotherley from the following circumstances. 

' When king Oswald's (of Northumberland's) son, Oswald 
was born, the wise men and magicians were sent for to 
court, to predict and foretell the life and fortune of the 
new born prince, they all agreed that he would be drowned. 
The indulgent maternal Queen would have carried him to 
Cheviot, a remarkable hill in their own country, but for the 
troubles then subsisting in the North ; she therefore 
brought him to a lofty hill in peaceful Cleveland, called 
Roseberry, and caused a cell or cave to be made near the 
top thereof, in order to prevent his foretold unhappy death ; 
but alas ! in vain, for the fates who spare nobody dissolved 
the rugged rocks into a flowing stream, and by drowning 

1 Vide an amusing letter from John Metcalfe (the celebrated and 
extraordinary ' Blind Jack of Knaresborough ') dated Nov. 15 th, 1794, 
in "The Gentleman's Magazine," vol. lxxxiv. p. 636. — 1814. 

[The name is there spelt Metcalf.] 



446 Folk- Lore of Yorkshire (N. Riding, etc.). 

the son put a period to all the mother's cares, though not 
her sorrows ; for ordering him to be interred in Teviotdale 
church, she mourned with such inconsolable grief, that she 
soon followed him, and was, according to her fervent desire, 
laid by her tenderly beloved darling child. The head of 
the mother and son, cut in stone, may be seen at the East 
end of Teviotdale church ; and from the saying of the 
people ' Os-by-his-mother-lay,' this place got the name of 
Osmotherley.' — Grainge, p. 334, note. 

Variant. Tradition (quite prevalent in the neighbour- 
hood, and even recorded in the common directories and 
gazetteers), states, that Osmund, a Saxon prince of 
Northumberland, having been taken by his mother to 
Rosebury, to prevent his being drowned on a certain day, 
according to the prediction of an astrologer, while he lay 
asleep on this conical mountain, suddenly a fountain of 
water gushed out of the rock and fulfilled the prediction ; 
that he was carried thither for interment, and that this 
place subsequently obtained the name of Osmunderly 
(Osmund here lies), afterwards corrupted to Osmotherly. 

Ord, p. 423. 

Pickering. According to local tradition, the name of the 
place is derived from the circumstance of a ring having 
been lost by the founder whilst washing in the river Costa, 
and subsequently found in the belly of a pike. 

Whellan, vol. ii., p. 225. 

Robin Hood's Bay. Tradition has it that Robin Hood or 
Robert Earl of Huntingdon, took a fancy to the east coast 
for a seaside residence, but not being able to decide upon 
the precise spot, he resolved to take up his abode wherever 
an arrow shot from his bow should fall. As it alighted on 
the cliffs overlooking Robin Hood's Bay, the name has 
stuck to the locality ever since. — HORNE, p. 80. 

Sessay. The local derivation we only mention for its 
whimsicality, and it is this ; — ' In the parish of Sessay, when a 



Etymology. 447 

neighbour requires of neighbour such give and take services 
as the needs of a parturient cow or refractory colt may 
hastily demand ; from the scattered and isolated nature of 
the tenements, the request for immediate aid has to be 
responded to with many a ' what says he ? ' before the 
reinforcement turns out.' — GlLL, p. 343. 

Stormy Hall, Danby Dale. [Canon Atkinson says there 
is a legend which tells that Henry VIII. visited Danby and 
took refuge during a storm in a farm house which was thus 
named in commemoration of the event. It had however 
belonged at one time to the family of Esturmi, or Sturmy, 
and was called after its owners. Henry VIII. was never 
north of York. See Atkinson, p. 293, note]. 

York, Hob Moor. How long it has born that appellation 
I know not, but the pasture masters of Mickle-gate ward 
have lately had a mind to perpetuate it, by placing an old 
statue on a pedestal, and putting underneath the inscription: 

This statue long Hob's name has bore 
Who was a knight in days of yore 
And gave the common to the poor. 

The figure is no more than that of a knight templar of the 
family of Ross as appears by his shield ; and it was very 
probably dragged out of the ruins of some of our de- 
molished monasteries; and from a supine has had the 
honour to be placed in an erect posture, with the above- 
mentioned memorable inscription under it. 

Drake, p. 398. 



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"VHunt o' Yatton Brigg" 

(A Legend of Cleveland), containing much of the Lore of the 
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Being a Collection of over Thirty Legends and Stories full of lore, 
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