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 23.]                  ST. george's day.                               197
presented to that famous Prince Henry, eldest sonne to the blessed King James, of famous memorie. Alsoe, he caused a man to go upon the spire of St. Peter's steeple in Chester, and by the fane, at the same time he sounded a drum, and displayed a baner upon the top of the same spire. And this was the original of St. George's race, with the change thereof.
At Leicester, the " Riding of the George" was one of the principal solemnities of the town. The inhabitants were
" It. One on horsebacke, with a bell, dedicated to the Prynce, his armes upon it, in pompe, and to be carried on a septer, and before the bell, a noyse of trumpets.
" It. One on horsebacke, with a cup for St. George, carried upon a Bepter, in pompe.
" It. One on horsebacke, with an oration for St. George, in pompe.
" It. St. George himself on horseback, in complete armor, with his stag and buckler, in pompe, and before him a noyse of drums.
"It One on horsebacke, called Peace, with au oration, in pompe.
"It. One on horsebacke, called Plentye, with an oration, in pompe.
" It. One on horsebacke, called Envy, with an oration, whom Love will comfort, in pompe.
"It. One on horseback, called Love, with an oration to maintaine all, in pompe.
" It. The Maior and his bretheren, at the pentes of this citye, with ther best apparell, and in scurlet; and all the orations to be made before him, and seene at the high crosse, as they passe to the Roodye, wher by Gent shall be runne for by thirr horses, for the two bells on a double staffe and the cup to be runne for at the rynge in some place by Gent and with a greater mater of the showe by armes, and shott, and with more than 1 can recyte, with a banket after in the Pentis to make welcome the Gent; and when all is done, then judge what you have seen, and so speak on your mynd, as you fynd the—
" Actor for the presente " Robert Amorye."
" Amor is love, and Amorye is his name, That did begin this pomp and princelye game; The charge is great to him that all begun, Who now is satisfied to see all so well done."
Notwithstanding Mr. Amnrye had entertained the citizens so well in 1610, it was ordered in 1612 "that the sports and recreations used on St. George's Day should in future be done by the direction of the Mayor and citizens, and not of any private person."—Corporation 12tconU.
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