British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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Aug. 5.]                        st. Oswald's day.                             355
dish still continues nominally to grace the Election Monday, though the meat no longer boasts its original toughness, being in fact the flesh of excellent wethers.
Browne Willis (quoted by Brand, Pop. Antiq. 1849, vol. i. p. 441) would derive this custom from what was used in the manor of East Wrotham, Norfolk, where the lord of the manor, after the harvest, gave half an acre of barley and a ram to the tenants thereof; the which ram, if they caught it was their own; if not, it was for the lord again.
In the Gent. Mag. (Aug. 1731, vol. i. p. 351) is the follow­ing:—
" Monday, August 2nd, was the election at Eton College, when the scholars, according to custom, hunted a ram, by which the provost and fellows hold a manor."
Aug. 4.1               APPRENTICES' FEAST.
The City apprentices, about the time of Charles II., had an annual feast. On one occasion Charles II. sent them a brace of bucks for dinner at Saddlers' Hall, where several of his courtiers dined with them, and his natural son, the duke of Grafton, officiated as one of the stewards.—Noorthouck, History of London, 1773, p. 248.
Aug. 5.]                  ST. OSWALD'S DAY
Dr. Whitaker (History of BicJimond, vol. ii. p. 293) quotes a manuscript description of a rush-bearing observed at Warton, on St. Oswald's Day, or the Sunday nearest to it— he being the patron of the church. " The vain custom," 6ays the writer, " of dancing, excessive drinking, &c, having been many years laid aside, the inhabitants and strangers spend that day in duly attending the service of the church
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