British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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June i.]                Wiltshire local custom.                       309
account of Paignton Fair, held at Exeter. At this fair, says the writer, the ancient custom of drawing through the town a plum-pudding of immense size, and afterwards of dis­tributing it to the populace, was revived on Tuesday last. The ingredients which composed this enormous pudding were —four hundred pounds of flour, one hundred and seventy pounds of beef suet, one hundred and forty pounds of raisins, and two hundred and forty eggs. It was kept constantly boiling in a brewer's copper from Saturday morning to the Tuesday following, when it was placed on a car, decorated with ribbons, evergreens, &c, and drawn along the streets by eight oxen.
A solemn festival in the Scotch Metropolis is ordained by the Statutes of George Heriot's Hospital (cap. ii.) in the following words: "But especially upon the first Monday in June, every year, shall be kept a solemn commemoration and thanksgiving unto God, in this form which followeth : In the morning, about eight of the clock of that day, the lord provost, all the ministers, magistrates, and ordinary Council of the city of Edinburgh, shall assemble themselves in the Committee-chamber of the said hospital; from thence, all the scholars and officers of the said hospital going before them two-by-two, they shall go, with all the solemnity that may be, to the Grey-Friars' Church of the said city, where they shall hear a sermon preached by one of the said ministers, every one yearly in their courses, according to the antiquity of their ministry in the said city." On this occasion the statue of the founder is fancifully decorated with flowers. Each of the boys receives a new suit of clothes; their relations and friends assemble, and the citizens, old and young, being admitted to view the hospital, the gaiety of the scene is highly gratifying.—Every Day Booky vol. ii. p. 747.
June i.]                            Wiltshire.
Lord Viscount Palmerston, in 1734. by deed, gave for thrashers of Charlton about an acre of land in Eushall Field,
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