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. 24.]                 st. Bartholomew's day.                       363
year or twain, revived in the cloister of Christ's Hospital,, where the best scholars, then still of St.Anthonie's School,how-soever the same be now fallen both in number and estimation, were rewarded with bows and arrows of silver, given to them by Sir Martin Bower, goldsmith. Nevertheless, however, the encouragement failed; the scholars of St. Paul's, meeting with them of St. Anthonie's, would call them Anthonies Pigs, and they again would call the other Pigeons of Paul's, because many pigeons were bred in St. Paul's Church, and St. Anthonie was always figured with a pig following him; and mindful of the former usage, did for a long season disorderly provoke one another in the open street with Salve tu quoque, placet mecum disputare ? Placet I And so proceeding from this to questions in grammar, they usually fell from words to blows, with their satchels full of books, many times in great heaps that they troubled the streets and passengers; so that finally they were restrained with the decay of St. Anthonie's School."
In the first centuries of its existence Bartholomew Fair-was one of the great annual markets of the nation and the chief cloth fair of the kingdom. It was the great gathering in the metropolis of England, for the sale of that produce upon which England especially relied for her prosperity. Two centuries after the Conquest our wealth depended upon wool, which was manufactured in the time of Henry II., in whose days there arose guilds of weavers. In King John's reign there was prohibition of the export of wool and of the import of cloth. A metropolitan cloth fair was therefore a com­mercial institution, high in dignity and national importance. There was a trade also at Bartholomew Fair in live stock, in leather, pewter, and in other articles of commerce, but cloth ranked first among the products of our industry. The clothiers of England, and the drapers of London, had their standings during the fair in the Priory churchyard. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, however, Bartholomew Fair ceased
I to be a cloth fair of any importance ; but its name and fame is still preserved in the lane running parallel to Bartholomew Close, termed " Cloth Fair," which was generally inhabited by drapers and mercers in the days of Strype.
A Pedlars' Court of Piepowder was held within the Priory
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