British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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292                                     COTESWOLD GAMES.                       [_MAY 14.
died in 1729. It was formerly the custom of the President and several Fellows of the Royal Society to hear this sermon preached.—Timbs' Something for Everybody, 1861, p. 80.
The custom of " riding the marches " existed at Lanark, and took place annually on the day after Whitsun Fair, by the magistrates and burgesses, known by the name of the Langemark or Landsmark Day, from the Saxon langemarJc.* —Sinclair's Stat. Ace. of Scotland, 1795, vol. xv. p. 45.
May i4.]              COTESWOLD GAMES.
The vicinity of Chipping Campden was the theatre of the Coteswold Games, which, in the reign of James I. and his unfortunate successor, were celebrated in this part of England. They were instituted by a public-spirited attorney of Burton-on-the-Heath, in Warwickshire, named Eobert Dover, and like the Olympic games of the ancients, consisted of most kinds of manly exercises. The victors were rewarded by prizes, distributed by the institutor, who, arrayed in a dis­carded habit of James', superintended the games in person for many years. The meetings were annually held on Whitsun Thursday, and were frequently attended by an immense number of people.
Ben Jonson, Drayton, and other poets f of that age, wroto verses on this festivity, which, in 1636, were collected into one volume, and published under the title of Annalia Dubrensia.
These diversities were at length terminated by the breaking out of the civil wars, but were revived at the Restoration ; and the memory of their founder is still preserved in tho name Dover's Hill, applied to an eminence of the Cotswold range, about a mile from the village of Campden.—Britton
* See Biding the Marches, p. 307.
t Thomas Randolph, Thomas Heywood, Owen Feltham, and Shackerly Marmyon.
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