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noticed above, however, is trie first which we remember of seeing noticed in a particular manner.
The kirk of Scotland appears formerly to have viewed these festivities exactly as the Roman church in France did in the sixteenth century; and, as a proof of this, and of the style in which the sport was anciently conducted in the parish of Falkirk, we have a remarkable instance so late as the year 1702. A great number of farmers' sons and farm servants from the " East Carse " were publicly rebuked before the session, or ecclesiastical court, for going about in disguise upon the last night of December that year, "acting things unseemly;" and having professed their sorrow for the sinfulness of the deed, were certified if they should be found guilty of the like in time coming, they would be proceeded against after another manner. Indeed the scandalized kirk might have been compelled to put the cutty stool in requisition, as a consequence of such promiscuous midnight meetings.
The observance of the old custom of "first fits " upon New-year's day is kept up at Falkirk with as much spirit as any where else. Both Old and New Style have their •' keepers," although many of the lower classes keep them in rather a "disorderly style." Soon as the steeple clock strikes the ominous twelve, all is running, and bustle, and noise; hot-pints in clear scoured copper kettles are seen in all directions, and a good noggin to the well-known toast, " A gude new year, and a merry han'sel Monday," is exchanged among the people in the streets, as well as friends in the houses. On han'sel Monday O. S. the numerous colliers in the neighbourhood of the town have a grand main of cocks ; but there is nothing in these customs peculiar to the season.
Falkirk, 1825. J.W. R.
ANNUAL JOCULAR TENURE.
The following are recorded particulars of a whimsical custom in Yorkshire, by which a right of sheep-walk is held by the tenants of a manor :—
Hutton Conyers, Com. York. Near this town, which lies a few miles from Kipon, there is a large common, called Hutton Conyers Moor, whereof William Aislabie, esq. of Studlcy Royal, (lord of the manor of Hutton Conyers,) is lord of the soil, and nn which there is a
large coney-warren belonging to the lord. The occupiers of messuages and cottages within the several towns of Hutton Conyers, 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 preeminence of tending his sheep on every 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, to entitle those several townships to such right of estray; the shepherd of each township attends the court, and does fealty, by bringing to the court a large apple-pie, and a twopenny sweetcake, (except the shepherd of Hewick, who compounds by paying sixteen pence for ale, which is drank as after mentioned,) and a wooden spoon; each pie 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 above mentioned six townships. In the pie 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 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 stewards, the tenant of the warren, and himself. The steward first ays respect to the furmety, by taking a arge 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 ofofe, (paid for by the sixteen pence brought by the Hewick shepherd,) and the health of the lord of the manor is drank; then they adjourn back to the bailiffs house, and the further business of the court is proceeded in.
Each pie 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. The bailiff of the manor measures them with a rule, and takes the diameter; and if they are not of a 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 ihefiirmety, the top of the dish in which it is put is placed level with the surface of the ground; all persons present are invited to eat of it, and those who do not, are not deemed loyal to the lord. Every shepherd is obliged to eat of it, and for that purpose is to take a spoon in his pocket to the court; for if any of them neglect to carry a 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 bystanders to dip his face into the furmety; and sometimes a shepherd, for the sake of diversion, will purposely leave his spoon at home.*
NEW-YEARS OAY IN SUSSEX.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Sir, A practice which well deserves to be known and imitated is established at Maresfield-park, Sussex, the seat of sir John Shelley, bart. M. P. Rewards are annually given on New-year's day to such of the industrious poor in the neighbourhood as have not received parish relief, and have most distinguished themselves by their good behaviour and industry, the neatness of their cottages and gardens, and their constant attendance at church, &c. The distribution is made by lady Shelley, assisted by other ladies; and it is gratifying to observe the happy effects upon the character and disposition of the poor people with which this benevolent practice has been attended during the few years it has been established. Though the highest reward does not exceed two guineas, yet it has excited a wonderful spirit of emulation, and many a strenuous effort to avoid receiving money from the paiish. Immediately as the rewards are given, all (he children belonging to the Sunday-school and national-school lately established in the parish, are set down to
a plentiful dinner in the servants' ha and after dinner they also receive pr i z for their good conduct as teachers, a. a their diligence as scholars.
I am, Scc.
ODE TO "HE NEW YEAR.
A Gentleman of Literary Habits and Me.
All hail to the birth of the year,
Stern Winter congeals ever)- brook,
Now wild duck and widgeon abound,
The winds blow out shrilly and hoarse,
Alas! for the poor! as unwilling
The wood pigeon, sacred to love,
Now gone is St. Thomas's day,
And the old year for ever is gone,
The scythe and the hour glass of time,
We are truly and agreeably informed by the "Mirror of the Months," that "Now periodical works put on their best attire: the old ones expressinr; their rlclermination to become new, and the new
ones to become old; and each makes a point of putting forth the first of some pleasant series (such as this, for example!), which cannot fail to fix the most fugitive of readers, and make him her own for another twelve months at least."
Under this head it is proposed to place the " Mean temperature of every day in the Year for London and its environs, on an average of Twenty Years," as deduced by Mr. Howard, from observations commencing with the year 1797, and ending with 1816.
For the first three years, Mr. Howard's observations were conducted at Plaistow, a village about three miles and a half N. N. E. of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, four miles E. of the edge of London, with the Thames a mile and a half to the S., and an open level country, for the most part well-drained land, around it The thermometer was attached to a post set in the ground, under a Portugal laurel, and from the lowness of this tree, the whole instrument was within three feet of the turf; it had the house and offices, buildings of ordinary height, to the S. and S.E. distant about twenty yards, but was in other respects freely exposed.
For the next three years, the observations were made partly at Plaistow and partly at Mr. Howard's laboratory at Stratford, a mile and a half to the N.W., on ground nearly of the same elevation. The thermometer had an open N. W. exposure, at six feet from the ground, close to (be river Lea.
The latter observations were made at Tottenham-green, four miles N.of London, which situation, as the country to the N.W. especially is somewhat hilly and more wooded, Mr. Howard considers more sheltered than the former site; the elevation of the ground is a trifle greater, and the thermometer was about ten feet from the general level of the garden before it, with a TerT good exposure N., but not quite enough detached from the house, having been affixed to the .outer door-case, in a frame which gave it a little projection, and admitted the air behind it.
On this day, then, the average of these twenty years' observations gives
Mean Temperature ... 36 • 57.
It is, further, proposed to notice certain astronomical and meteorological phenomena; the migration and singing of birds; the appearance of insects; the leafing and flowering of plants; and other particulars peculiar to animal, vegetable, and celestial existences. These observations will only be given from sources thoioughly authentic, and the authorities will be subjoined. Communication* for this department will be gladly received.
Is said, by his English biographer Butler, to have been a sub-deacon in a desert, martyred at Spoletto, about the year 178; whereto the same biographer adds, " In the Roman Martyrology his name occurs on ihe/irtt, in some others on the tecond of January." The infallible Roman church, to end the discord, rejects the authority of the " Roman Martyrology," and keeps the festival of Concord on the second of January.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 35-92.
The Riddle Of The Year,
There is a father with twice six sons; these sons have thirty daughters a-piece, party-coloured, having one cheek white and the other black, who never see each other's face, nor live above twenty-four hours.
Cleobulus, to whom this riddle is attributed, was one of the seven wise men of Greece, who lived about 570 years before the birth of Christ.
Riddles are of the highest antiquity; the oldest on record is in the book of Judges xiv. 14—18. We are told by Plutarch, that the girls of his times worked at netting or sewing, and the most ingenious " made riddles."
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 35 • 60.
Prepare for Twelfth-day.
The "Mirror of the Months," a reflector of " Tie Months" by Mr. Leigh Hunt, enlarged to include other objects, adopts, "Above all other proverbs, that which says, 'There's nothing like the time present,'—partly because ' the time present' is but a periphrasis for Now!" The series of delightful things which Mr. Hunt links together by the word Now in his "Indicator," is well remembered, and his pleasant disciple tells us, "Now, then, the cloudy canopy of sea-coal smoke that hangs over London, and crowns her queen of capitals, floats thick and threefold; for fires and fcastings are rife, and every body is either ' out' or ' at home' every night. Now, if a frosty day or two does happen to pay us a flying visit, on its way to the North Pole, how the little boys make slides on the pathways, for lack of ponds, and, it may be, trip up an occasional housekeeper just as he steps out of his own door; who forthwith vows vengeance, in the shape of ashes, on all the slides in his neighbourhood, not, doubtless, out of vexation at his own mishap, and revenge against the petty perpetrators of it, but purely to avert the like from others !— Now the bloom-buds of the fruit-trees, which the late leaves of autumn had concealed from the view, stand confessed, upon the otherwise bare branches, and, dressed in their patent wind-and-waterproof coats, brave the utmost severity of the season,—their hard, unpromising outsides, compared with the forms of beauty which they contain, reminding us of their friends the butterflies, when in the chrysalis state.—Now the labour of the husbandman is, for once in the year, at a stand; and he haunts the alehouse fire, or lolls listlessly over the half-door of the village smithy, and watches the progress of the labour which he unconsciously envies; tasting for once in his life (without knowing it) the bitterness of that ennui which he begrudges to his betters.—Now, melancholy-looking men wander 'by twos and threes' through market-towns, with their faces as blue as the aprons that are twisted round their waists; their ineffectual rakes resting on their shoulders, and a withered cabbage hoisted upon a pole; and sing out their doleful petition of ' Pray remember the poor gardeners, who can get no work !'"
Now, however, not to conclude mournfully, let us remember that the officers and some of the principal inhabitants of most parishes in London, preceded by their beadle in the full majesty of a full great coat and gold laced hat, with his walking staff of state higher than himself, and headed by a goodly polished silver globe, go forth from the vestry room, and call on every chief parishioner for a voluntary contribution towards a provision for cheering the abode of the needy at this cheerful season :—and now the unfeeling and mercenary urge "false pretences" upon "public grounds," with the vain hope of concealing their private reasons for refusing "public charity :"— and now, the upright and kiud-heaited welcome the annual call, and dispense bountifully. Their prosperity is a blessing. Each scattereth and yet increased!; their pillows are pillows of peace; and at the appointed time, they lie down with their fathers, and sleep the sleep of just men made perfect, in everlasting rest.
Mean Temperature ... 36- 42.
Agricultural Cut torn. In the parish of Pauntley, a village on the borders of the county of Gloucester, next Worcestershire, and in the neighbourhood, " a custom, intended to prevent the smut in wheat, in some respect resembling the Scotch Beltein, prevails." "On the eve of Twelfth-day all the servants of every farmer assemble together in one of the fields that has been sown with wheat. At the end of twelve lands, they make twelve fires in a row with straw; around one of which, made larger than the rest, they drink a cheerful glass of cyder to their master's health, and success to the future harvest; then, returning home, they feast on cakes made of caraways, &c. soaked in cyder, which they claim as a reward for their past labours in sowing the grain.''*
Credulity and Incredulity.
In the beginning of the year 1825, the flimsiest bubbles of the most bungling
• Kudgc'i Gloucester.
projectors obtained the public confidence; at the close of the year that confidence was refused to firms and establishments of unquestionable security. Just before Christmas, from sudden demands greatly beyond the amounts which were ready for ordinary supply, bankers in London of known respectability stopped payment; the panic became general throughout the kingdom, and numerous country banks failed, the funds fell, Exchequer bills were at a heavy discount, and public securities of every description suffered material depression. This exigency rendered prudence still more circumspect, and materially retarded the operations of legitimate business, to the injury of all persons engaged in trade. In several manufacturing districts, transactions of every kind were suspended, and manufactories wholly ceased from work.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Sir,
As just at this time it may be interesting to many of your readers, to know the origin of Exchequer bills, I send you the following account
In the years 1696 and 1697, the silver currency of the kingdom being, by clipping, washing, grinding, filing, &c. reduced to about half its nominal value, acts of parliament were passed for its being called in, and re-coined; but whilst the re-coinage was going on exchequer bills were first issued, to supply the demands of trade. The quantity of silver re-coined, according to D'Avenant, from the old hammered money, amounted to 5,7*5,933/. It is worthy of remark, that through the difficulties experienced by the Bank of England (which had been established only three years,) during the re-coinage, they having taken the clipped silver at its nominal value, and guineas at an advanced price, bank notes were in 1697 at a discount of from 15 to 20 per cent. "During the re-coinage," says D'Avenant, "all great dealings were transacted by tallies, bank-bills, and goldsmiths' notes. Paper credit did not only supply the place of running cash, but greatly multiplied the kingdom's stock; for tallies and bank-bills did to many uses serve as well, and to some better than gold and silver; and this artificial wealth which necessity had introduced, did make us less feel the want of that real
treasure, which the war and our losses at sea had drawn out of the nation."
I am, &c.
THE CHRISTMAS DAYS.
A Family Sketch.
Bring me a garland of holly,
Rosemary, ivy, and bays;
Till after the Christmas day
Fill oat a glass of Bucellas;
Here !—boys put the crown on my head: Now, boys '.—shake hands—be good fellows, And all be—good men—when I'm dead.
Come, girls, come'. now for your kisses.
Hearty ones—louder—loud—louder' How I'm surrounded with blisses!
Proud men may here see a prouder.
Now, you rogues, go kiss your mother :—
Here take the garland, and wear it;
■ Nay, nay!' but you must, and you shall; For, here'» such a hiss!—come, don't fear it;
If you do—turn round to the wall.
A kiss too for Number Eleven,
Another good glass of Bucellas,
Laugh on my good girls, and good fel-
Hey !—now, for the Christmas holly,
Rosemary, ivy, and bays; Gravity's nothing but folly.
Till after the Christmas days.
December 30, 1825.
Mean Temperature. . . 37 • 47.