British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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368                                  PRESTON GUILD.                           [AUG. 30*
the Eestoration, in which, among other characters, Oliver and Bradshaw, Eebellion and War, were represented, all decked by times with vizardes on, and strange deformities; and Bradshaw had his tongue run through with a red hot iron, and Eebellion was hanged on a gibbet in the market­place. Then came Peace and Plenty, and Diana with her nymphs, all with coronets on their heads, each of which made a several speech in verses of their loyalty to their king.
Aug. 30.]                  PRESTON GUILD.
Concerning this curious custom, Britton, in his Lancashire (1818, p. 109), gives the following account:—
It is a sort of public carnival or jubilee, and is held every twenty years, as appears by the records of the corporation. The last confirmation was by Charles II., in 1684, since which time it has been regularly held, in the first of Anne, ninth of George I., sixteenth of George II., and second, twenty-second, and again in the forty-second year of George III., the only monarch, except Queen Elizabeth, who has reigned during the time of three guilds. It begins about the latter end of August, and, by the Charter, which obliges the corporation to celebrate it at the end of every twenty years, on pain of forfeiting their elective franchises and their right as burgesses, twenty-eight days of grace are allowed to all who are disposed to renew their freedom. By public proclamation it is declared that, on failure of doing so, they are ever after to be debarred of the same on any future occasion. The last guild commenced on the 30th of August, 1802, when an immense concourse of people of all ranks were assembled, and processions of the gentlemen at the heads of the different classes of manufactories with symbolical repre­sentations^ their respective branches of trade and commerce; and bands of music passed through the principal streets of the town. The mayor and corporation, with the wardens of the different companies at the head of their respective
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