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 17.]                st. Patrick's day.                             135
very loud, "Herrings, herrings," &c, often repeated. As soon as they receive any largess, they begin the chorus—
" Here sits a good wife, Pray God save her life; Set her upon a hod, And drive her to God."
But if they lose their expectation and must goe away empty, then, with a full cry,—
" Here sits a bud wife, The devil take her life; Set her upon a swivell, And send her to thu devil."
And, in further indignation, they commonly cut the latch of the door, or stop the key-hole with dirt, or leave some more nasty token of displeasure.—Thorn's Anecdotes and Traditions, 1839, p. 113.
March 17.] ST. PATRICK'S DAY.
In the metropolis, says Stow in his Sports, Pastimes, and Customs of London (1847, p. 241), this anniversary is gene­rally observed at court as a high festival, and the nobility crowd and pay their compliments in honour of the tutelary saint of Ireland. It is usually selected, also, for soliciting aid to a great national object—the promotion of education.
In the Illustrated London News of 22nd March, 1862, p. 285, is the following paragraph:
"Lord Langford, as the highest Irish nobleman in Eton School, presented, on St. Patrick's Day, the beautifully-embroidered badges, in silver, .of St. Patrick, to the head master, the Rev. E. Balston, and the lower master, the Rev. VV. Carter, which were worn by the reverend gentlemen
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