British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

70                               SHROVE TUESDAY.                       [Feb. 3.
wrestling, in mock fights and gallant romantic triumphs. A standard was the prize of emulation.
In a pamphlet also, entitled, Certayne Collection of Anchiante Times, concerninge the Anchiante and Famous Cittie of Chester, published in Lysons' Magna Britannia (1810, vol. ii. p. 585), is the following:
" That whereas the Companye and Corporation of Shoe­makers within the cittie of Chester did yearely, time out of memory of man, upon Tewsday, commonly called Shrove Tuesday, or otherwise Goteddesse day afternoon, at the Cross upon the Roode-Dee, before the Mayor of the said cittie, offer unto the Company of Drapers of the same cittie a ball of leather, called a foote-ball, of the value of 3s. 4d. oi thereabouts : and by reason of the greate strife which did arise among the younge persons of the same cittie (while diverse parties were taken with force and strong handes to bring the said ball to one of these three houses, that is to say, to the Mayor's house, or any one of the two Sheriffs' houses of the time being), much harme was done, some in the great thronge fallinge into a trance, some having their bodies brused and crushed; some their arms, heades, or legges broken, and some otherwise maimed, or in perill of life: to avoid the said inconveniences, and also to torne and converte the said homage to a better use, it was thought good by the Mayor of the saide cittie and the rest of tie Common-Council to exchange of the said foote-1 all as followeth : that in place thereof, there be offered by the Shoemakers to the Drapers, six gleaves * of silver, the which gleaves they appoynted to be rewards unto such men as would come, and the same day and place, passe and overcome on foot all others: and the said gleaves were presently de­livered according to the runninge of every one; and this exchange was made in the time when Henry Gee was Mayor <»f Chester,f a.d. 1539, and in the thirty-firste yeare of Kinge Henry the Eighth.
* An obsolete word for a hand-dart.
t The following is a copy of the order for the above-mentioned change, extracted from "the Orders and Acts of Assembly, of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council of the City of Chester," in the Town Clerk's Office:
4,/a». 10. 3 Hen. viii. Henry Gee, Mayoe."After reciting the
Previous Contents Next