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

March 20.]                    good friday.                                   151
nominative /3ovs, but in the accusative more truly fiow" Winckelman relates this remarkable fact, that at Hercu-laneum were found two entire loaves of the same size, a palm and a half, or five inches in diameter; they were marked by a cross, within which were four other lines, and so the bread of the Greeks was marked from the earliest period.—Med. AEvi Kalend. vol. i. p. 187.
The Romans divided their sacred cakes with lines inter­secting each other in the centre at right angles, and called the quarters Quadra.
' Et violare manu malisque audacibus orbem Fatalis crusti, patulis nee parcere quadris."
Virg. JEn. lib. vii. 114, 115.
"Nee te liba juvant, nee sectse quadra placentas."
Mart. lib. iii. Epig. 77.
In the North of England a herb-pudding, in which the leaves of the passion-dock {Polygonum Bistorta) area principal ingredient, is an indispensable dish on this day. The custom is of ancient date, and it is not improbable that this plant, and the pudding chiefly composed of it, were intended to excite a grateful reminiscence of the Passion, with a suitable acknowledgment of the inestimable blessings of the Redemp­tion.—Brand, Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. p. 150.
A yearly contribution is made of one quarter of wheat, one quarter of barley, and one quarter of beans, by the proprietor of the great tithes of the parish of Eaton Bray, to be distri­buted among the poor of the parish on Good Friday. The great tithes of Eaton Bray are vested in the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, by whose lessee the quantity of grain above specified is regularly supplied ; the whole of which is distributed on Good Friday by the church­wardens and overseers, among poor persons selected by them, in proportion to their several wants and necessities,— Old English Customs and Charities, p. 33.
Previous Contents Next