Imágenes de páginas

the Maypole-stand. At a convenient dis- mayor's booth," and is solely appropriated

Unce are placed the stalls, canteens, and to his friends and the select party of the

booths; the principal of which, tastefully company; care being taken to prevent

decorated with evergreens, is called "the improper intrusion.

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From the " mayor s booth," early on emanates in the following order of proWhit Monday afternoon, the ceremony cession:— of commencing or proclaiming the guild

Constable of Necton in a red scarf, with his staff of office.

Beadles or special constables with staves, two and two.

Master beadle of the puild, with a halberd.

Six boys and girls, Maypole dancers, two and two, hand in hand.

Band of Music.

Maskers, or morris-dancers, fancifully attired, two and two.

Puriuivant with a truncheon, habited in a tabard, on which is depictured an alle

gorical representation of the arms of Necton.

Sword-bearer in grotesque dress, on horseback.

Standard bearer on horseback.


Ou horseback, in full dress suit and purple robes with his chain of oflict

Standard bearer on horseback.

The mayor elect on horseback.

Standard bearer on horseback.

Principal tenantry on horseback, two and two.

Beadles of the guild.

Maskers or morris-dancers, fancifully attired, two and two.

Six boys and girls, Maypole dancers, two and two, hand in hand.

Beadles of the guild.

Band of music.

Man bearing a standard.

Members of Royal Oak Friendly Society, with purple and light blue favours in their

hats, two and two. Members of the Necton Old Club Friendly Society with light blue favours in their

hats, two and twoi

Taking a circuitous route through the the approach of the procession, the

field into the park, upon arriving at mayor alights, and thus addresses the

the principal entrance to the hall, where patron :— the colonel and his friends are waiting

"Honourable sir,—

"The period now arriv'd,
In which the tokens of my mayoralty
Must be resign'd,—I make it my request,
You should appoint as mayor elect, this year,
Our worthy friend and colleague, Mr. * • * •
But in resigning, beg best thanks to give
For the diversion of our last year's guild ;—
Hoping the festival will as much this year,
Bv weather and kind friends be happy blest."

To this the colonel replies, "by thank- robes and tokens of office, the mayor

ing the mayor for his past services,—for elect is then invested with them. After

the good order and regularity observed returning to the door, the colonel con

during the last festival,—and the pleasure gratulates the new mayor on entering

it will afford him to make the new ap- his office, &c. to which his worship thus

pointment."—They then enter the ves- replies:— btiule, where the mayor resigning his

"Honourable sir,-*

"With pleasure 1 receive
Th' official tokens of my mayoralty,
Which now in place of our late worthy mayor.
Alderman • * * * I do most willingly take:
Be well assured, as much as in me lies,
I will good rule and order strict maintain,
That peace and pleasure may together tend
To make our guild, two days of even mirth
Hoping all here assembled at the hall,
Anon will join us in the festive scene,
And bidding all most welcome to our guild:
I thus respectful beg to take my leave,
That I may tend my duties in the field."—

The procession then returns by the mayors who have changed places. The

same route and in the same order, with rustic sports then commence ;—the master

the exception of the new and the patt beadle, ringing a bell, proclaims the sport

Vol. II—74.

and the prize, the competitors for which are desired to "come upon the Maypolestand."—The sports usually selected, are




Jumping in sacks.

Wheel-barrow races, blindfold.

Spinning matches.

Whistling matches.

Grinning ditto, through a horse-collar.

Jumping matches.

&c. etc. Sec. &c.

These are occasionally enlivened with Maypole dances, by the boys and girls of the village, selected and dressed for the occasion, and also by the maskers or morrisdancers. When the shades of evening prevent the continuance of these sports, the spacious "mayor's booth" is then the object of attraction. Well lighted, and the floor boarded for the occasion, country dances commence, which are generally kept up with great spirit and harmony, till the master beadle with his bell announces the time arrived for closing the booths and canteens, "by order of the mayor." A few minutes, and sometimes (by permission) a little longer, terminates the amusement, which is always concluded, on both evenings, by the whole company joining in the national anthem of " God save the king."

That " Necton guild" is considered as a superior establishment to a rustic fair, or other merry-making, by the numerous, respectable, and fashionable companies who generally attend from all parts of the neighbourhood. Undisturbed by those scenes of intoxication and disorder, usually prevalent at village fairs, the greatest harmony prevails throughout, and the superior attention and acccommodation afforded by the patron and directors of the festival, to all classes of well-behaved and respectable visiters, cannot fail to render "Necton guild," a popular and attractive resort of Whitsuntide festivities.

I have attempted a sketch of the Maypole stand, 8cc. from my own knowledge, for I have usually rambled to Necton one or two evenings of each year, since the "guild" was established, and hence I have given you the particulars from actual observation, though I am indebted to a friend, who is a diligent and accurate recorder of customs for the speeches, &c. I must further observe, that the mound of earth I have endeavoured to represent

is permanent in the field, and about thre'feet high, though I have erroneously represented it as higher from-lack of eye in drawing, to which indeed I make no

Sretension. The dancers are the morrisancers in grotesque dresses; the men with fanciful figured print waistcoat and small clothes, decked with bows; and the women in coloured skir's, trimmed like stage dresses for Spanish girls, with French toques instead of caps.

I find you have removed the publishing office since I wrote last, but I hope you do not mean to withdraw yourself from the work. Should you continue "the soul" of the Every-Day Book "body, you shall hear from me again, whenever and as soon as I can. K.

*»* To obviate the possibility of misapprehension in consequence of the EvertDay Book being published by Messrs. Hunt and Clahke, / take this opportunity of observing, that those gentlemen have no other concern in the work than that of being its publishers, and that it hat never ceased from my entire management from the time they undertook that service for me on my own solicitation. jVo one has any share or interest in it, or any power of influencing its management, and it will continue to be conducted and written by me, as it has been, from the first hour of its commencement. 1 hope that this is a full and final answer to every inquiry on the subject.

May, 1826.

W. Hone.

Whitsuw Ales.

It is pleasant to read the notices of these ancient revels in our topographical histories. One of them gives the following account of a Cornish merriment.

"For the church-ale, two young men ot the parish are yerely chosen by their last foregoers to be wardens, who, dividing the task, make collection among the parishioners, of whatsoever provision it pleaseth them voluntarily to bestow. This they employ in brewing, oaking, and other acates, against Whitsuntide, upon which holidays the neighbours meet at the church house, and there merily feed on their owne victuals, each contributing some petty portion to the stock, which, by many smalls, groweth to a meetly greatness; for there is entertayned a kind of emulation between these wardens, who, by his graciousness in gathering, and good husbandry in expending, can best advance the churche's profit. Besides,, the neighbour parishes at those times lovingly visit one another, and frankly spend their money together. The afternoons are consumed in such exercises as olde and yonge folk (having leysure) doe accustomably weare out the time withall. When the feast is ended, the wardens yeeld in their accounts to the parishioners; and such money as exceedeth the disbursement is layd up in store, to defray any extraordinary charges arising in the parish, or imposed on them for the good of the countrey or the prince's service; neither of which commonly gripe so much, but that somewhat stil remayneth to cover the purse's bottom."*

Another says, "There were no rates for the poor in my grandfather's days; but for Kingston St. Michael (no small parish) the church-ale of Whitsuntide did the business. In every parish is (or was) a church-house to which belonged spits, crocks, &c. utensils for dressing provision. Here the housekeepers met, and were merry, and gave their charity. The young people were there too, and had dancing, bowling, shooting at butts, &c. the ancients sitting gravely by, and looking on. All things were civil, and without scandal ."f

Mr. Douce tells us, that "At present the Whitsun ales are conducted in the following manner. Two persons are chosen, previously to the meeting, to be lord and lady of the ale, who dress as suitably as they can, to the characters they assume. A large empty barn, or some such building, is provided for the lord's hall, and fitted up with seats to accommodate the company. Here they assemble to dance and regale in the best manner their circumstances and the place will afford; and each young fellow treats his girl with a riband or favour. The lord and lady honour the hall with their presence, attended by the steward, swordbearer, purse-bearer, and mace-bearer

■ - j. ■ - ■

• C»Tew*« Cornwall, t Aubrey* Wiltshire

with their several badges or ensigns n office. They have likewise a train-bearer or page, and a fool or jester, drest in a party-coloured jacket, whose ribaldry and gesticulation, contribute not a little to the entertainment of some part of the company. The lord's music, consisting of a pipe and tabor, is employed to conduct the dance. Some people think this custom is a commemoration of the ancient Diink-lean, a day of festivity, formerly observed by the tenants, and vassals of the lord of the fee, within his manor; tKe memory of which, on account of the jollity of those meetings, the people have thus preserved ever since. The glossaries inform us, that this Drink-lean was a contribution of tenants, towards a potation or ale, provided to entertain the lord or his steward."*

At Islington

A fair they hold, Where cakes and ale

Are to be sold. At Highgatn, and

At Hollowny The like is kept

Here every day. At Totnam Court

And Kentish Town, And all those places

Up and down.

Poor Robin, 1676.

Peppard Revel.

The " Reading Mercury" of May 24, 1819, contains the following advertise* ment:—

"Peppard Revel will be held on Whit Monday, May 31, 1819; and for the encouragement of young and old gamesters, there will be a good hat to be played for at cudgels; for the first seven couple that play, the man that breaks most heads to have the prize; and one shilling and sixpence will be given to each man that breaks a head, and one shilling to the man that has his head broke*


Mean Temperature ... 54 * 35.

• Brand.

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