British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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JAN. 31.]                     NEWARK RAFFLING DAY.                               51
Russell answered, " Sir, for a descendant of the great Oliver Cromwell, it is humiliation sufficient to be employed, as I am, in pinning up the tail of your sister !"—Rede's Anec­dotes, 1799, quoted in Book of Days, vol. i. p. 192.
Jan. 31.]                        Isle of Man.
On the eve of the 1st of February a festival was for­merly kept, called in the Manks language Laa'l Breeshey, in honour of the Irish lady who went over to the Isle of Man to receive the veil from St. Maughold. The custom was to gather a bundle of green rushes, and standing with them in the hand on the threshold of the door, to invite the holy Saint Bridget to come and lodge with them that night. In the Manks language, the invitation ran thus:—" Brede, Brede, tar gys my thie, tar dyn thie ayms noght. Foshil jee yn dorrys da Brede, as lhig da Brede e heet staigh." In English, " Bridget, Bridget, come to my house, come to my house to-night—open the door for Bridget, and let Bridget come in." After these words were repeated, the rushes were strewn on the floor by way of a carpet or bed for St. Bridget.—Train's History of the Isle of Man, 1845, vol. ii. p. 116.
Nottinghamshire.
The following extract from the Newark Advertiser of Feb. 2nd, 1870, describes a custom that existed for a long time at Newark:
" For many years past the last day in January has been observed in Newark as a raffling day for oranges in the market-place. On Monday last application was made to Mr. Superintendent Riddell, at the Post Office, as to whether the practice would be allowed this year as usual. He advised them to apply to the sitting magistrates, and upon doing so Mr. Wallis (deputy clerk) read to them the Act of Parlia­ment, which statel that they would be liable to three months' hard labour if they raffled. The applicants said they believed there was some old charter which gave them the privilege
£ 2
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