March i.] braggot Sunday. 117
Another correspondent of the same journal for May (vol. liv. p. 343) says, "I happened to reside last year near Chepstow, in Monmouthshire; and there, for the first time, heard of Mothering Sunday. My inquiries into the origin and meaning of it were fruitless; but the practice thereabouts was for servants and apprentices on Mid-Lent Sunday \ to visit their parents, and mahe them a present of money, a trinket, or some nice eatable; and they are anxious not to fail in this custom."
A mothering-cake is alluded to in Collins's Miscellanies, 1762, p. 114 ;
" Why, rot thee, Dick ! see Dundry's Peak Lucks like a shuggard motherin'-cake."
A sort of spiced ale called Braggot, Bragget, or Braggat, was used in many parts of Lancashire on these visits of relations, whence the day was called Braggot Sunday.
In Nares' Glossary (Halliwell and Wright, 1859, vol. i. p. 102) the following receipt for making bragget is given from the Haven of Health, chap. 239, p. 268:
Take three or four galons of good ale, or more as you please, two dayes or three after it is densed, and put it into a pot by itselfe ; then draw forth a pottle thereof, and put to it a quart of good English honey, and set them over the fire in a vessell, and let them boyle faire and softly, and alwayes as any froth ariseth skumme it away, and so clarifie it, and when it is well clarified, take it off the fire and let it coole, and put thereto of pepper a pennyworth, cloves, mace, ginger, nutmegs, cinamon, of each two pennyworth, beaten to powder, stir them well together, and set them over the fire to boyle againe awhile, then bring milke warme, put it to the reste, and stirre alltogether, and let it stand two or three daies, and put barme upon it, and drink it at your pleasure.
Minsheu in his Ductor in Linguas (1617, p. 50) tells us
then put it into your cream, and boil it well, and when it hath boiled a good while, take the yoke of six or seven eggs, beat them very well to thicken on a soft fire, boil it, and stir it, for it will quickly burn; when you think it is boiled enough sweeten it to your taste, and so Berve it in with rosewater and musk-sugar, in the same manner you make it with wTheat.—Nares' Glossary (Halliwell and Wright), 1859, vol. i. p. 340.