British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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72                                             SHROVE TUESDAY.                              [ FEB. 3.
torned into a silver bell; weighing about two ozs., as is supposed, of silver: the which saide silver bell was ordayned to be the rewarde for that horse, which with speedy run­nings then should rune before all others, and there presently should be given the daye and place. This alteration was made the same time, and by the same mayor, like as the Shoemakers' foote-ball was before exchanged into six silver gleaves.
" Also, whereas of an anchant custom whereof man's memorie nowe livinge cannot remember the original and beginnings the same daye, hower and place, before the mayor for the time beinge, every person which is married within the liberties of the saide cittie, dwelling wheresoever without, and all those that dwelle within the saide cittie, for one yeare before, and marye elswhere, did offer likewise a homage to the said Companye of Drapers before the Mayor, a ball of silke, of the like bignesse of a bowle; the same mayor torned the same balls into silver arrowes, the which arrowes they tooke order should be given to those which did shoote the longest shoote, with divers kind of arrowes: this exchange was made as before is mentioned of the Shoemakers' foote-ball and the Sadlers' ball. In which exchange there appeared greate wisdom, anchent and sage senators, whoe had great studye and regarde to torne the foresaid thinges unto soe profitable uses and exercises; so that there is three of the most commendable exercises and practices of war-like feates, as running of men on foot, runninge of horses, and shootinge of the broad arrowe, the flighte and the butt-shafte, in the long-bowe, are yearely there used ; which is done in a very few (if in any) citties of England, soe far as I under­stand."
It was customary at one time to tie fowls to stakes, and set them as marks for boys to kill with bats.—Hitchins, History of Cornwall, 1824, vol. i. p. 723.
Formerly the scholars of the free school of Bromfield, about the beginning of Lent, or, in the more expressive
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