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played their colours in triumph; blowing horns, and making merry in the best manner they could. About nine o'clock they sat down upon the green; and each taking from his pocket, bread and cheese, or other provisions, made a hearty breakfast, drinking pure water from a well, which they always took care should be near the scene of banquet.
In the mean time, scouts were sent out towards every quarter, to bring them notice if any hostile party approached; for it frequently happened, that on that day the herdsmen of one district went to attack those of another district, and to bring them under subjection to them by main force. If news were brought that a hostile party approached, the horns sounded to arms, and they immediately arranged themselves in the best order they could devise; the stoutest and boldest in front, and those of inferior prowess behind. Seldom did they wait the approach of the enemy, but usually went forth to meet them with a bold countenance, the captain of each company carrying the colours, and leading the van. When they met, they mutually desired each other to lower their colours in sign of subjection. If there appeared to be a great disproportion in the strength of the parties, the weakest usually submitted to this ceremony without much difficulty, thinking their honour was saved by the evident disproportion of the match; but, if they were nearly equal in strength, none of them would yield, and it ended in blows, and sometimes bloodshed. It is related, that, in a battle of this kind, four were actually killed, and many disabled from work for weeks.
If no opponent appeared, or if they nemselves had no intention of making «n attack, at about mid day they took down their colours, and marched with horns sounding, towards the most considerable village in their district; where the lasses, and all the people, came out to meet them, and partake of their diversions. Boundaries were immediately appointed, and a proclamation made, that all who intended to compete in the race should appear. A bonnet ornamented with ribbons was displayed upon a pole, as a p-ize to the victor; and sometimes five or six started for it, and ran with as great eagerness as if they had been to gain a kingdom; the prize of the second race wa< a pair of garters, and the third a knife. They then amused themselves for
some time, with such rural sports as suited their taste, and dispersed quietly to their respective homes before sunset.
When two parties met, and one of them yielded to the other, they marched together for some time in two separate bodies the subjected body behind the other; and then they parted good friends, each performing their races at their own appointed place Next day, after the ceremony was over, the ribbons and napkin that foimed the colours, were carefully returned to their respective owners, the tower was no longer a matter of consequence, and the country returned to its usual state of tranquility.
The above is a faithful account of this singular ceremony which was annually repeated in all the country, within the distance of six miles west from Edinburgh, about thirty years before Dr. Anderson wrote, which was in the year 1792. How long the custom prevailed, or what had given rise to it, or how far it had extended on each side, he was uninformed. He says, " the name of Lammas-towers will remain, (some of them having been built of stone,) after the celebration of the festival has ceased. This paper will at least preserve the memory of what was meant by them. I never could discover the smallest traces of this custom in Aberdeenshire, though I have there found several towers of stone, very like the Lammas-towers of this country; but these seem to have been erected without any appropriated use, but rr.erely to look at. I nave known some of those erected in my time, where I knew for certain that no other object was intended, than merely to amuse the persons who erected them.'*
The Cobblers' Festival At Paris On Tbe First Of August, 1641.
A tare old "broadside" in French, printed at the time, with a large and curious wood-cut at the head, now before the editor, describes a feast of the cobblers of Paris in a burlesque manner, from whence he proposes to extract some account of their proceedings as closely as may be to the original.
First, however, it is proper to observe that the wood engraving, on the next page, is a fac-simile of one third, and by far the most interesting portion of the origin-il.
* Dr. Jame-i Anderson, in Tr>m &c. Antio V*'*,
The entire occupation of the preceding pa«e by a cut, which is the first of Kie kind in the Every-Day Book, may tartle a few readers, but it must gratify •very person who regards it either as a pithful transcript of the most interesting jarl of a very rare engraving, or as a ■epresentation of the mode of feasting in the old pot-houses of Paris.
Nothing of consequence is lost by the omission of the other part of the engraving; for it is merely a crowd of smaller figures, seated at the table, eating and drinking, or reeling, or lying on the floor inebriated. The only figure worth notice, is a man employed in turning a spit, and he has really so lack-a-daisical an appearance, that it seems worth while to give the top corner of the print in facsimile.
We perceive from the page-cut that at the period when the original was executed, the French landlords "chalked up the icore" as ours do, and that cobblers had music at their dinners as well as their betters. The band might not be so complete, but it was as good as they could get, and the king and his nobles could not have more than money could procure. The two musicians are of some consideration, as well suited to the scene; nor is the mendicant near them to be disregarded ; he is only a little more needy, and, perhaps, a little less importunate than certain suitors for court favours. The singer who accompanies himself on the guitar at the table, is tricked out with a <t an ding ruff and -ufHes, and ear-rings,
and seems a "joculator" of the hi si order;—and laying aside his dress, and the jaunty set of his hat, which we may almost imagine had been a pattern for a recent fashion, his face of " infinite humour" would distinguish him any where However rudely the characters are cut, they are well discriminated. The serving man, with a spur on one foot and without a shoe on the other, who pours wine into a glass, is evidently a person—
"contented in his station
Vandyke himself could scarcely have afforded more grace to a countess, than the artist of the feast has bestowed on a cobbler's wife.
From the French of the author who drew up the account referring to the engraving, we learn that on the first day of August, 1641, the "Society of the Trade of Cobblers," met in solemn festival (as, he observes, was their custom) in the church of St. Peters of Arsis, where, after having bestowed all sorts of praises on their patron, they divided their consecrated bread between them, with which not one third of them was satisfied; for while going out of the church they murmured, while the others chuckled.
After interchanging the reciprocal honours, they were accustomed to pay to each other, (which we may fairly presume to have been hard blows,) many of the most famous of their calling departed to a pot-house, and had a merry-making. They had all such sorts of dishes at their dinner as their purses would afford; par ticularly a large quantity of turnip-soup, on account of the number of persons present; and as many ox-feet and fricasees of tripe, as all the tripe-shops of the city and Us subuibs could furnish, with various other dishes which the reporter say* he does not choose to name, lest In. should give offence to the fraternity. He mentions cow-beef, however, as one of the delicacies, and hints at their excesses having disordered their stomachs and manners. He speaks of some of them having been the maslers, and of others at more than the masters, for they denominated themselves Messietiri le Jurcz, ol their honourable calling. He further siys, that to know the whole history of fieir assembly, you must go to Geiuily at the sign of St Peter, where, when ot
leisure, they all play together at bowls. He adds, that it is not necessary to describe them all, because it is not the custom of this highly indispensable fraternity to do kindness, and they are always indignant at strong reproaches. Finally, he says, " I pray God to turn them from their wickedness." He subjoins a song which he declares if you read and sing, will show he has told the truth, and that you will be delighted with it. He alleges, that he drew it up to make you better acquainted with the scene represented in the wood-cut, in order that you might be amused and laugh. Whether it had that tendency cannot be determined, for unluckily the song, which no doubt was the best part, has perished from the copy of the singular paper now described.
Lammas Day Exeter Lammas Fair. The charter for this fair is perpetuated by a glove of immense size, stuffed and carried through the city on a very long pole, decorated with ribbons, flowers, &c. and attended with music, parish beadles, and the mobility. It is afterwards placed on the top of the Guildhall, and then the fair commences; on the taking down of the glove, the fair terminates.
Rippon Lammas Feast.
Sir,—Tf the following sketch of St. Wilfrid's life, as connected with his feast at Rippon, be thought sufficiently interesting for insertion, you will oblige an old contributor.
The town of Rippon owes its rise to the piety of early times, for we find that Eata, abbot of Melross and Lindisfarne, in the year 661 founded a monastery there, for which purpose he had lands given him by Alchfrid, at that time king of Deira, and afterwards of the Northumbrians; but before the building was completed, the Scottish monks retired from the monastery, and St. Wilfrid was appointed abbot in 663, and soon afterwards raised to the see of York. This prelate was then in high favour with Oswy and Egfrid, kings of Northumberland, and the principal nobility, by whose liberality he rose to such a. degree of
opulence as to Tie with princes, ana enable him to build several rich monasteries; but his great pomp and immense wealth having drawn upon bim the jealousy of the king and the archbishop of Canterbury, he was exiled. After an absence of ten years he was allowed to return to his see, and died in the monastery of Oundlein 711, aged seventy-six, and was interred there. In 940, his remains were removed to Canterbury, by Odo, archbishop of that see. Amongst all the miracles recorded of Wilfrid by the author of his life,* one, if true, was very extraordinary, and would go far to convert the most obdurate pagan. It is said, that at this time, God so blessed the holy man's endeavours towards the propagation of the faith, that, on a solemn day for baptizing some thousands of the people of Sussex, the ceremony was no sooner ended but the heavens distilled such plentiful showers of rain, that the country was relieved by it from the most prodigious famine ever beard of. So great was the drought, and provision so scarce, that, in the extremity of hunger, fifty at a time joined hand in hand and flung themselves into the sea, in order to avoid the death of famine by land. But by Wilfrid's means their bodies and souls were preserved.
The town of Rippon continues to this day to honour the memory of its benefactor by an annual feast. On the Saturday following Lammas-day, the effigy of St. Wilfrid is brought into the town with great ceremony, preceded by music, when the people go out to meet it in commemoration of the return of their favourite saint and patron from exile. The following day called St. Wilfrid's Sunday is dedicated to him. On the Monday and Tuesday there are horseraces for small sums only; though formerly there were plates of twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty pounds.f
The following is a literal copy of part of an advertisement from the "Newcastle Courant" August 28, 1725.
TO BE RUN FOR. The usual four mile*' course on Rippon Common, in the county of York, according to articles' On Monday the thirteenth of September a purse of twenty guineas by any horse, mare, or gelding that was no more than five years oM the last grass, to be certified by the breeder.
• V. Wilfridi inter xx Scriptures,
each horse to pay two guineas entrance, run three heats, the usual four miles' course for a heat, and carry nine stone, besides saddle and bridle. On Tuesday the fourteenth, The Lady's Plate of fifteen pounds' value by any horse, &c. Women to be the riders: each to pay one guinea entrance, three heats, and twice about the common fur a heat."
During the feast of St. Wilfrid, which continues nearly all the week, the inhabitants of Rippon enjoy the privilege of rambling through the delightful grounds of "Studley Royal," the seat of Mrs. Laurence, a lady remarkable for her amiable character and bounty to the neighbouring poor. On St. Wilfrid's day the gates of this fairy region are thrown open, and all persons are allowed to wander where they please.
No description can do justice to the exuberant distribution of nature and art which surrounds one on every side on entering these beautiful and enchanting grounds; the mind can never cease to wonder, nor the eye tire in beholding them.
The grounds consist of about three hundred acres, and are laid out with a taste unexcelled in this country. There is every variety of hill and dale, and a judicious introduction of ornamental buildings with a number of fine statues; among them are Hercules and Antseus, Roman wrestlers, and a remarkably fine dying gladiator. The beauties of this terrestrial paradise would fill a volume, but the chief attraction is the grand monastic ruin of Fountain's abbey. This magnificent remain of olden time is preserved with the utmost care by the express command of its owner, and is certainly the most perfect in the kingdom. It is seated in a romantic dale surrounded by majestic oaks and firs. The great civility of the persons appointed to show the place, is not the least agreeable feeling on a visit to Studley Royal.
I am, &c.
J. J. A. F.
The first of August, as the anniversary of the death of queen Anne, and the accession of George I., seems to have been kept with rejoicing by the dissenters. In the year 1733, they held a great meeting in London, and several other parts of the kingdom to celebrate the day, it being
that whereon the "schism bill" was to have taken place if the death of the queen had not prevented it. If this bill had passed into a law, dissenters would have teen debarred the liberty of educating their own children."
Dooget's Coat And Badge.
Also in honour of this day there is a rowing match on the river Thames, instituted by Thomas Dogget an old actor of celebrity, who was so attached to theBrunswick family, that sir Richard Steele called him "a whig up to the head and ears."
In the year after George I. came to the throne, Dogget gave a waterman's coat and silver badge to be rowed for by six watermen on the first day of August, being the anniversary of that king's accession to the throne. This he continued till his death, when it was found that he had bequeathed a certain sum of money, the interest of which was to be appropriated annually, for ever, to the purchase of a like coat and badge, to be rowed for in honour of the day by six young watermen whose apprenticeships had expired the year before. This ceremony is every year performed on the first of August, the claimants setting out, at a signal given, a< that time of the tide when the current is strongest against them, and rowing from the Old Swan, near London-bridge, to the White Swan at Chelsea.f
Broughton, who was a waterman, before he was a prize-fighter, won the first coat and badge.
This annual rowing-match is the subject of a ballad-opera, by Charles Dibdin, first performed at the Haymarket, in 1774, called " The Waterman, or the First of August." In (Ms piece Tom Tugg, a candidate for Dogget's coat and badge, sings the following, which was long a popular
And did you not hear of a jolly young waterman, Who at Blackfriars-bridge used for to ply; And he featlier'd his oars with such skill and dexterity, Winning each heart and delighting each eye: He looked so neat, and rowed so steadily. The maidens all flocked in his boat so readily,
* Gentleman's Magazine.
t Jon«*t BiOKrapliiH Dramatic*.