British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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210                                    ASCENSION DAY.                       [April 30.
boys of the choir, perambulate the town (Ripon) in their canonicals, singing hymns, and the blue-coat charity-boys follow singing, with green boughs in their hands.
April 30.]              ASCENSION DAY.
In England Ascension Day has been known as " Bounds Thursday," from beating the bounds of the parish, transferred by a corruption of Rogation processions to this day.Kalendar of English Church, 1865, p. 72.
In the parish of Edgcott there was about an acre of land, let at 3l, a year, called " Gang Monday land," which was left to the parish officers to provide cakes and beer for those who took part in the annual perambulation of the parish.
At Clifton Reynes, in the same county, a bequest of land for a similar purpose directs that one small loaf, a piece of cheese, and a pint of ale should be given to every married person, and half a pint of ale to every unmarried person resident in Clifton, when they walked the parish boundaries in Rogation Week.Old English Customs and Charities, pp. 120, 122.
Pennant, in his Tour from Chester to London (1811, p. 40), tells us that on Ascension Day the old inhabitants of Nantwich piously sang a hymn of thanksgiving for the blessing of the Brine. A very ancient pit, called the Old Brine, was also held in great veneration, and till within these few years was annually on this festival decked with flowers and garlands, and was encircled by a jovial band of young people, celebrating the day with song and dance, Aubrey (in MS. Lansd. 231) says, in Cheshire, when they went in perambulation, they did blesse the springs, i.e. they did read 6 gospel at them, and did believe the water was the better.
Formerly there existed at Frodsham the following cus-
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