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Sir Jeffery's ideas of "quality" ran very high at all times, and were never higher than when his daughter Nancy, "beautiful Miss Nancy,'' was married to "lord Thompson," a dustman.— "Twenty coaches," said sir Jeffery, " to lady Ann's wedding, madam, and all filled with the first nobility." A dustman on his wedding-day, in our days, is content with a seat in a far different vehicle, and being carried on his brethren's shoulders to collect a little of the " needful" to get drunk with at night. To the honour of "lord Thompson" be it said, after such a noble alliance, he soon " cut" the fraternity, and, as I have before observed, became a knight of the "whip and hamper," vulgo " a costermonger.
June 23, 1826. T. W. L.
The last representative of Garrett was »ir Jeffery Dunstan's successor, the renowned sir Harry Dimsdale. From the death of sir Harry the seat remained vacant.
It must be added, however, that for this borough sir George Cook demanded to sit. No committee determined on the claims of the "rival candidates;" but the friends of sir George, an eminent dealer in apples and small vegetables near Stangate, maintained that he was the rightful member in spite of sir Harry Dimsdale's majority, which was alleged to have been obtained by " bribery and corruption."
Whatever distaste refinement may conceive to such scenes, it must not be forgotten that they constitute a remarkable feature in the manners of the times. It is the object of this work to record "manners," and the editor cannot help expressing somewhat of the disappointment he feels, on his entreaties for information, respecting the elections for Garrett, having failed to elicit much information, which it is still in the power of many persons to communicate. He has original facts, of a veiy interesting nature, ready to lay before the public on this topic; but he omits to do it, in order to afford a few days longer to those who have the means of enabling him to add to his reserved collection. To that end he once more solicits the loan of hand-bills, advertisements, addresses, scraps, or any thing any way connected with the subject. He begs, and hopes, to be favoured with
Vol. II.—No. 80.
such matters with all possible speed. It is his wish to dispose of this election in the following sheet, and therefore " not a moment is to be lost."
Mean Temperature ... 58 - 85
St. John's Eve.
An ancient custom is still maintained by the inhabitants of Ripon, in Yorkshire. On midsummer-eve, every housekeeper, who, in the course of the year, has changed his residence into a new neighbourhood, spreads a table before his door in the street, with bread, cheese, and ale, for those who choose to resort to it. The guests, after staying awhile, if the master is of ability, are invited to supper, and the evening is concluded with miith and good humour. The origin of this usage is unknown, but it probably was instituted for the purpose of introducing new comerj to an early acquaintance with their neighbours; or, with the more laudable design of settling differences, by the meeting and mediation of friends.
The late rev. Donald M'Queen, of Kilmuir, in the Isle of Sky, in certain reflections on ancient customs preserved in that island, mentions what he observed at this season in Ireland, where he conceives the catholic religion to have accommodated itself to the ancient superstitions of the natives, and grafted Christianity on pagan rites. He remarks, that "the Irish have ever been worshippers of fire and of Baal, and are so to this day. The chief festival in honour of the sun and fire is upon the 21st of June (23d?) when the sun arrives at the summer solstice, or rather begins its retrogiade motion."
Mr. M'Queen says, " I was so fortunate in the summer of 1782 as to have my curiosity gratified. At the house where I was entertained, it was told me that we should see at midnight the most singular sight in Ireland, which was the lighting of fire* in honour of the sun. Accordingly, exactly at midnight, the firet began to appear; and going up to the leads of the nouse, which had a widely extended view, I saw, on a radius of thirty miles, all around, the fires burning on every
eminence which the country afforded. I whole was concluded with religious sohad a farther satisfaction in learning, leranity."*
from undoubted authority, that the peo
pie danced round the fires, and at the close The eve of the summer solstice was a
went through these fires, and made their season of divinations in early times, and
tons and daughters, together with their with one of these, described by a living
cattle, pass through the fire, and the bard, the day may conclude.
St. John's Eve.
St. John the Baptist's eve, how clear and bright
At this fair summons men and women were
And when arrived where they were summoned, they
And in the vessel drops it: Then the next,
After the fair ones, one and all, have cast
• Cited by Brand.
Naturalists' Cai.ehpar. Mean Temperature . . 58 • 02.
Now all are gathered round in silence deep,
"Also that (the feoffees) their heirs ot
assignes shall lykewise yerelie, for ever, after the deceasse of the said Thomas Oken,distribule, or cause to be distributed, and paide, out of the yerelie revenewes of the forsaid lands and tenome'tes, to and amongest the neyhglwurei of the bonfire of the laid T. O., w'lhin the High payv'ment Warde in the said towne of Warwick, towe sbillinges of lawfull englysshe money, and line shillings more of lawfull englysshe money, to be paid by equall porcious, to and amongest the neyliboures of the other thre bonfyres, beinge w'lhin the said ward of the high pay'ment, to make merry w'« all, at there said bonfyres, yffany be in the vigillet or daiei of teyut John Baptist and seynt Peter; and yff they have noe bonfires, that then the same to be ymploycd to some oilier good use or uses, as to them shal be thought metest and convenient.'
St. John's Day.
* Midsummer Day.
There are several interesting notices of usages on this day and midsummer-eve, in vol. i. from col. 825 to 855. To the account of the " old London watch" there cited, from "Stow's Survey," should be added from Mr. Donee's notes, quoted by Mr. Brand, that the watch "was laid down in the twentieth year of Henry VIII;" and that " the chronicles of Stow and Byddel assign the sweating sickness as a cause for discontinuing the watch." Mr. Douce adds, that "Niccols says the watches on midsummer and St. Petcr'seve were laid down by licence from the king, 'for thai the cittie had then bin charged with the leavic of a muster of 15,000 men.'"
A large paper copy of Brand's" Popular Antiquities," with MS. notes upon it by a gentleman of great reputation as an antiquary, and who has publicly distinguished himself by erudite dissertations on certain usages of ancient times, was some time ago most obligingly forwarded by that gentleman to the editor of the Every-Day Book, with permission to use the valuable manuscript additions. Hitherto it happened, from peculiar circumstances, that the advantage has not been available, but this and future sheets will be enriched from that source. The gentleman referred to cites from—" an Indentureofcovenant betweenThomasOken of IVarwiek and his twelve feoffees, dated the 20th of January, 13 Elizabeth," (1571,) the following clause :—
'Hie same gentleman quotes and refers to the following illustration of the day :—
"It was the 24 June, (at Lodingen in Norway on the confines of Lapland) the festival of St. John the Baptist; and the people flocked from all quarters to sport the whole night round a blazing fire, kindled on the top of an adjacent hill: a practice common about the time of the solstice, to the whole of the Gothic tribes, being a vestige of that most ancient worship of the resplendent image of the divinity, the glorious luminary of day." —Edinburgh Review, October, 1813, Art. Van limit's Travels in Norway and Lapland.
Tiie Cow-mass At Dunkirk. The emperor Charles V. found it expedient to exhibit to the turbulent inhabitants of Dtuikiik, a show called the Cowmust, on St. John's-day. Whether it has been resumed is uncertain, but in 1789 it
was descrilied to have been represented at that time in the following mannei:—■
The morning is ushered in by the merry peals of the corillont, or bell-playing. The streets are very early lined with soldiers; and, by eight o'clock, every house-top and window is filled with spectators, at least forty thousand exclusive of inhabitants.
About ten o'clock, after high mass at the great church, the show begins, by the the townsmen being classed according to the different trades, walking two and two, each holding a burning wax candle, and at least a yard long, and each dressed not in their best apparel, but in the oldest and oddest fashion of their ancestors.
After the several companies is a pageant containing an emblematical representation of its trade, and this pageant is followed by patron saints, most of which are of solid silver adorned with jewels. Bands of music, vocal and instrumental, attend the companies, the chorusses of which are very solemn.
Then followed the friars and regular clergy, two and two, in the habits of their different orders, slow in their motion, and with the appearance of solemn piety.
Then came the abbot in a most magnificent dress, richly adorned with silver and gold, his train supported by two men in the dress of cardinals. The host was borne before him by an old white-bearded man of a most venerable aspect, surrounded by a great number of boys in white surplices, who strewed frankincense and invi rli under his feet; and four men supported a large canopy of wrought silver over his head, while four others sustained a large silver lantern, with a li.ht in it at the end of a pole.
They then proceeded to the bottom of the street, where there was elevated a grand altar, ascended by a flight of steps; there the procession stopped, while the abbot came from under his canopy and took the host from the old man: ascending the altar, he held up the host in his elevated hands, and the vast multitude instantly fell on their knees, from the housetops down to the dirt in the streets below.
After this solemnity, gaiety in the face of every one appeared, and the procession recommenced.
Other pageants came forth, from the great church, followed by a vast moving machine, consisting of several circular stages to represent Heaven; on the bottom stages appeared many friars and nuns, each holding white lilies in their hands,
and on the uppermost stage but one were two figures, representing Adam and Eve, and several winged angels, in white flowing garments. On the uppermost stage was one figure only, to represent God, on whom all the eyes of the lower figures were directed, with looks of adoration and humility; this machine wa« drawn by horses.
Next followed an enormous figure to represent Hell. It was something like ai elephant, with a large head and eyes, and a pair of homs, on which several little devils, or rather boys dressed like devils, were silting; the monster was hollow within, and the lower jaw was movable, by moving of which it frequently exhibited the inward contents, which was filled with full-grown devils, who poured out liquid fire from the "jaws of hell." At the same time, the figure was surrounded by a great number of external devils dressed in crape, with hideous masks and curled tails.
Between the figures which represented "heaven'' and " hell," several young ladies passed with wreaths of flowers on their heads, and palms in their hands, riding in elegant carriages. After Hell followed old Lucifer himself, armed with a pitchfork, and leading St. Michael the archangel in chains. Michael and Lucifer were followed by a person dressed in a kind of harlequin's coat hung round with bells, holding a hoop in his hands, through which he frequently jumped, and showed many other feats of activity ; but what, or who he represented I cannot say (except it were a fool).
Then came a grand carriage, covered with a superb canopy, from the middle of which hong a little dove; under the dove was a table covered with a carpet, at which were sitting two women dressed in white, with wings, pointing upwards to the dove. They represented the salutation of the Virgin Mary.
Next followed a group of dancing boys surrounding a stable, in which was seen the Virgin Mary agnin, and the child in the manger. This machine was followed by another fool, like the former, with a hoop of bells.
The next machine was a fish, fifteen feet long, moved by men, on wheels, concealed within; upon its back sat a Itoy, richly dressed, and playing upon a harp. The gold, silver, and jewels, which decorated this fish, were valued at ten thou, sand pounds and were finished by the city merchants, whose sons and daughters were the principal actors in the show. After the fish came another fool, with a noop, as before.
Then appeared Joseph as flying from Egypt; a woman iepresenting a virgin with a young child upon her lap, and mounted on an ass, which was led by Joseph, who had a basket of tools on his back, and a long staff in his hand. Joseph and his spouse were attended by several devils, who beat off the people that crowded too close upon the procession : these two were followed by a fourth fool, or hoop-dancer.
Then came a large and magnificent carriage, on which sat a person representing the grand monarque sitting on a throne, dressed in his robes, with a crown, ball, and sceptre, lying before him on a table covered with embroidered velvet. His most christian majesty was attended by several devils, hoop-dancers, and banner-bearers.
Then followed another machine bearing the queen in her royal robes, attended by a great many ladies and maids of honour; the jewels of her crown were said to be of vast value; on this stage there was a grand band of music, and many dancers richly attired.
Then followed Bacchus, a large fat figure, dressed in coloured silk, attended by a great number of bacchanals holding goblets up to their mouths as in the act of drinking, with a few more devils and hoop-dancers.
Then followed a kind of a sea triumph, in the front of which appeared Neptune with his trident and crown, in a large shell, surrounded by boys dressed in white, who were throwing out and drawing in a deep sea-lead, as sounding for land.
Six men followed in white shirts, with poles twenty-five feet long, decorated with bells and flowers; frequently shaking their poles, or endeavouring to break them; for he who could break one was exempted a whole year from all parish duty.
The pole-bearers were followed by a large snip, representing a ship of war drawn on wheels by horses, with sails spread, colours flying, and brass guns on board fired off very briskly : on the quarter-deck stood the admiral, captain and boatswain, who, when he whistled, brought forth the sailors, some dancing, others
heaving the log, and the tops filled with boys.
The ship was followed by the representation of a large wood, with men in it dressed in green; a green scaly skin •was drawn over their own, and their faces were masked to appear as savages, each squirting water at the people from large pewter syringes. This piece of machinery, which was very noble, was the production of the Jesuit's college, and caused great jollity among the common people.
The wood was followed by a very tall man, dressed like an infant in a bodycoat, and walking in a go-cart, with a rattle in his hand.
This infant was followed by a man forty-five feet high, with a boy looking out of his pocket, shaking a rattle and calling out.—" grandpapa I grandpapa!" He was clothed in blue and gold, which reached quite to the ground, and concealed a body of men who moved it and made it dance.
After him followed a figure nearly of the same stature, mounted on a horse of suitable size for the enormous rider, which made a most striking and elegant appearance, both man and horse being executed in a masterly manner. It was made in a moving posture, two of the feet being raised from the ground.
Then followed a woman of equal stature, and not inferior in elegance to those which preceded; she had a watch at her side as large as a warming-pan, and her head and breast richly decorated with jewels; her eyes and head turned very naturally; and as she moved along she frequently danced, and not inelegantly.
"Thus," says its describer, "ended the Cote-matt, a show scarce exceeded by any in the known world."*