British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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282                                      WHITSUNDAY.                             [MAY IO.
They danced round a garlanded maypole. A banquet was served in a barn, and all those who misconducted themselves were obliged to ride a wooden horse, and if still more unruly were put into the stocks, which was termed being my lord's organist.—Glossary, &c p. 434.
An unchartered Whitsun Tryste Fair is still held annually on Whitsunbank Hill, near Wooler.—N. & Q. 5th S. vol. i. p. 402.
A custom formerly prevailed amongst the people of Burford to hunt deer in Wychwood Forest. An original letter, in the possession of the corporation, dated 1593, directs the inhabitants to forbear the hunting for that year, on account of the plague that was then raging, and states an order that should be given to the keepers of the forest,. to deliver to the bailiffs two bucks in lieu of the hunting; which privilege, was not, however, to be prejudiced in future by its remittance on that occasion. —Brand, Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. p. 284.
Collinson, in his History of Somersetshire (vol. iii. p. 620), speaking of Yatton, says that, " John Lane of this parish, gentleman, left half an acre of ground, called the Groves, to the poor for ever, reserving a quantity of the grass for the strewing church on Whitsunday,'5
The Irish kept the feast of Whitsuntide with milk food, as among the Hebrews; and a breakfast composed of cake, bread, and a liquor made by hot water poured on wheaten bran.—Every Day Book, vol. i. p. 685.
At Holy Island, as regularly as the season of Whitsuntide comes, a concourse of people is assembled to perform penance. They make two hundred and eighty rounds, the circum-
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