British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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29G                                  TRINITY MONDAY.                         [MAY 18.
delivered to the churchwardens, who sell and account for them, depositing the money in a great chest, called Cyff St. Beuno, made of one oak, and secured with three locks. From this, the Welsh have a proverb for attempting any very difficult thing. " You may as well try to break open St. Beuno's chest." The little money resulting from the sacred beasts, or casual offerings, is applied either to the relief of the poor or in aid of repairs.— Pennant, Tour through North Wales, 1781, vol. ii. p. 210.
May i 8.]               TRINITY MONDAY.
An annual fair is held on Trinity Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at Southampton. It is opened by the Mayor and bailiffs, with much ceremony, on the preceding Saturday afternoon. The Mayor erects a pole with a large glove fixed to the top of it, near the miller's house; and the bailiff then takes possession of the fair, as chief magistrate in its precinct during the fair, and invites the Mayor and his suite to a collation in his tent. He appoints a guard of halberdiers who keep the peace by day, and watch the fair by night. During the fair no person can be arrested for debt wdthin its precincts. On the Wednesday at noon, the Mayor dissolves the fair, by taking down the pole and glove, or rather order­ing it to be taken down; which at one time was done by the young men of the town, who fired at it with single balls, till it was destroyed, or they were tired of the sport.—Englefield, Walk through Southampton, 1805, p. 75.
Deptford Fair originated in trifling pastimes for persons who assembled to see the Master and Brethren of the Trinity House, on their annual visit to the Trinity House, at
or Prebendaries, and continued so to the time of the dissolution.— Lcland, Itin. vol. v. p. 15; Dugdale, Monast. Anglic. 1825, vol. v. p. 631.
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