British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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310                                  BATTLE OF AUGHRIM.                     [JULY 12.
of the Archbishop's translation from his tomb to his shrine, and as such was fixed for this purpose, as a means of gather­ing together a greater multitude for the celebration of this solemn day.
In some parts of this county the Sunday after St. Thomas a Becket's Day goes by the name of Relic Sunday.—Time's Telescope, 1822, p. 192.
July 9.]                         Staffordshire.
There existed at one time, at Wolverhampton, an annual procession, on July 9th (the eve of the great fair), of men in antique armour, preceded by musicians playing the " fair tune,'' and followed by the steward of the Deanery Manor, the peace-officers, and many of the principal inhabitants. Tradition says the ceremony originated at the time when Wolverhampton was a great emporium of wool, and re­ported to by merchants of the staple from all parts of England. The necessity of an annual force to keep peace and order during the fair (which is said to have lasted fourteen days, but the charter says only eight) is not improbable. It was finally discontinued by Sir William Pulteney, who was the lessee of the Deanery Manor, to the great dissatisfaction of the people of Wolverhampton. These processions were the remains of the Corpus Christi pageantry, which were always celebrated at the annual fairs* and attended by men armed and equipped as if for war.— Shaw, History of Staffordshire, 1798-1801, p. 165; Oliver, Historical Account of the Collegiate Church of Wolverhampton, 1836, p. 44.
July 12.]                           IRELAND.
At Maghera, County Down, on the 12th of July, the anni­versary of the battle of Aughrim, the Orangemen assemble, walk in their insignia, and dine together.—Mason, Stat. Ace. of Ireland, 1844, vol. i. p. 594.
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