British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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March i.]                     simnel Sunday.                                 113
offers one to each officer or guest who has never eaten one before, and who is bound to eat it up, standing on his chair, with one foot on the table, while a drummer beats a roll behind his chair. All the toasts given are coupled with the name of St. David, nor is the memory of Toby Purcell forgotten. This worthy was gazetted major of the regiment when it was first raised, and was killed in the Battle of the Boyne.
Middlesex.
St. David's Day is observed in London, says Hampson (Med. AEvi Kalend. vol. i. p. 168), by the Charitable Society of Ancient Britons, who were established in 1714, in behalf of the Welsh Charity School in Gray's Inn Road. On this occasion each man wears an artificial leek in his hat.
Oxfordshire.
On St. David's Day at Jesus College, Oxford, an immense silver gilt bowl, containing ten gallons, which was presented to the College by Sir Watkin Williams Wynne in 1732, is filled with " swig," and handed round to those who are invited to sit at the festive and hospitable board.—Hone's Tear Book, 1838, p. 265.
WALES.
At Tenby one of the benefit clubs marched through the town bearing the leek in their hats. In the evening a ball took place, at which artificial leeks were worn by both sexes. — Mason, Tales and Traditions of Tenby, 1858, p. 19.
March i.]                SIMNEL SUNDAY.
Simnel Sunday is better known as Mid-Lent or Mothering Sunday, and was so called because large cakes called Simnels were made on this day.
Bailey in his Dictionary (foL 1764, by Scott,) says, Simnel
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