British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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April 29.]                     ascension eve.                                 209
bulations. Those near the town were visited for the same purpose by the processioners before mentioned, and are still preserved with the strictest care and attention.—Shaw, History of Staffordshire, vol. ii. part i. p. 165. Thus Herrick in his Hesperides says:—
"Dearest, Lury me Under that Holy-Oke, or Gospel-Tree, Where (though thou seest not) thou niay'st think upon Me, when thou yerely go'st procession."
April 29.]               ASCENSION EVE.
The following extract is taken from the WJiitby Gazette of May 28th 1870 :—
The Penny Hedge.—The formality of planting the penny hedge in the bed of the River Esk, on Ascension Eve, was performed on Wednesday last by Mr. Isaac Herbert, who has for fifty years discharged this onerous duty. The " nine stakes," " the nine strout-stowers," and the " nine gedders " have all been once more duly " planted." The ceremony was witnessed by a number of ladies and gentlemen, and that highly im­portant functionary, the bailiff of the lord of the manor, Mr. George Welburn, of Fylingdales, was present, and blew the usual malediction, " Out on you ! Out on you! Out on you !" through the same identical horn which seventeen centuries ago roused with its lugubrious notes, on Ascension Eve, our ancestors from their peaceful slumbers. Whether the wood was cut at the " stray head," and with a " knife of a penny price," we are not able to say, but a good hedge was planted ; and although each stake may not be quite " a yard from another," the hedge will doubtless be of such strength as to withstand the effect of the prescribed number of tides.—See Young's History of Whitby.
Some time in the spring, says a writer in the Gent Mag. (1790, vol. lx. p. 719), I think the day before Holy Thursday, all the Clergy, attended by the singing men and
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