British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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50                                EXECUTION OF CHARLES I.                  [JAN, 31.
but nothing when they brought the doe. The buck being brought to the steps of the altar, the Dean and Chapter, apparelled in copes and proper vestments, with garlands of roses on their heads, sent the body of the buck to be baked, and had the head and horns fixed on a pole before the cross in their procession round about the church, till they issued at the West door, where the keeper that brought it blowed the death of the buck, and then the horns that were about the city answered him in like manner; for which they had each of the Dean and Chapter three and fourpence in money, and their dinner; and the keeper, during his stay, meat, drink, and lodging, and five shillings in money at his going away; together with a loaf of bread, having on it the picture of St. Paul. This custom was continued till the reign of Elizabeth.—Beauties of England, Brayley and Britton, 1803, vol. v. p. 486.
The anniversary of the execution of King Charles I. was formerly celebrated, and a special form of prayer made use of, which was removed from the Prayer Book by an Act of Parliament (22 Vict. c. 2, March 25, 1859).
The following extract is taken from the Courier, of the 30th of January, 1826 :
" This being the anniversary of King Charles' Martyrdom (in 1649), the Royal Exchange gates were shut till twelve o'clock, when they were opened for public business."
There is a story told regarding a Miss Russell, great grand­daughter of Oliver Cromwell, who wa6 waiting-woman to the Princess Amelia, daughter of George II., to the effect that, while engaged in her duty one 30th of January, the Prince of Wales came into the room, and sportively said, "For shame, Miss Russell! why have you not been at church, humbling yourself with weepings and wailings for the sins on this day committed by your ancestor ?" To which Miss
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