British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Aug. 15.] assumption of the virgin mart.               357
diversions. Afterwards the fair was held for one day.— Lysons, Magna Britannia, 1816, vol. iv. p. 141.
Aug. 5.]                            Middlesex.
Formerly a silver arrow used annually to be shot for by the scholars of the Free School at Harrow. The following extract is taken from the Gent. Mag., 1731, vol. i., p. 351:—
Thursday, August 5th, according to an ancient custom, a silver arrow, value £3, was shot for at the butts on Harrow-on-the-Hill, by six youths of the Free School, in archery habits, and won by a son of Captain Brown, commander of an East Indiaman. This diversion was the gift of John Lyon, Esq., founder of the said school.
Aug. 6.]               BLACK-CHEERY FAIR.
Henry VI., in the eighteenth year of his reign (1440), granted to John de Harmondesnorth, Abbot of Chertsey, the right to hold a fair on St. Anne's Day, July 26th, old style; but this is now held in the town on the 6th of August, and called "Black Cherry Fair," from the abundance of that fruit sold there.—Brayley, History of Surrey, 1841, vol. ii. p. 191.
This was formerly a great festival; and it was customary to implore blessings upon herbs, plants, roots, and fruits, bundles of which were taken to the church and consecreted against hurtful things.—Timbs' Something for Everybody, 1861, p. 98.
Previous Contents Next