British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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April 7.]                  hock, or hoke day.                            191
In the registers of the parish of St. Laurence, under the year 1499, we have :
" Item, received of Hock money gaderyd of women, xx8* Item, received of Hock money gaderyd of men, iiij8*"
In the parish of St. Giles, under the date 1535 :
" Hoc money gatheryd hy the wyves (women), xiij8' ixd*"
In St. Mary's parish, under the year 1559 :
* Hoctyde money, the mens gatheryng, iiij8* The womens, xij8-"
In the "Privy Purse Expenses" of Henry VIII. for the
year 1505, is the following entry:—
" May 2.—To Lendesay for the wiffs at Grenewiche upon Hock Monday, 3s. 4d."
Higgins, in his Short View of English History, says .that, " At Hoctide the people go about beating brass instru­ments, and singing old rhymes in praise of their cruel ancestors." Dr. Plot says that one of the uses of the money collected at Hoketyde was the reparation of the several parish churches where it was gathered. This is confirmed by extracts from the Lambeth Book.—Brand, Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. p. 189.
Some singular Hocktide customs observed at Hungerford are thus described in the Standard of April 14th, 1874 :— These customs are connected with the Charter for holding by the Commons the rights of fishing, shooting, and pasturage of cattle on the lands and property bequeathed to the town by John 0' Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. The proceedings commenced on Friday evening with a supper, at which the fare was macaroni, Welsh rare-bits, watercress, salad, and punch. To-day—John 0' Gaunt's Day—known in the town as " Tuth" Day, the more important business of the season is transacted at the Town Hall, from the window of which the town-crier blows the famous old horn, which has done service on these occasions for many long years. The tything or " tuthw men thereupon proceed to the high constable's
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