British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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Sept.]                              eccles wake.                                  369
incorporated bodies, each in their official dresses, and with their usual insignia, fell into the ranks in due order, and the whole was preceded by an excellent band of music belonging to the 17th Eegiment of Light Dragoons, in full dress, and their officers newly clothed. Besides the wool-combers', spinners', weavers', cordwainers', carpenters', vintners', tailors', smiths', plumbers', painters', glaziers', watchmakers', mercers' and drapers' companies, the whole was closed by the butchers, skinners, tanners, and glovers, habited in characteristic dresses, each company being attended by a band of music and a very elegant ensign. In this order they proceeded to church, and after service returned and paraded through the different streets in the same order. The mayor afterwards entertained the gentlemen at his house, and on the next day the mayoress repeated the treat to the ladies of the town and its vicinity, who formed a procession on this day, in a similar manner, preceded by the girls of the cotton manufactory
ECCLES WAKE.
Sept.]                               Lancashire.
An annual festival used to be held at Eccles, of great antiquity, as old probably as the first erection of the church, called Eccles Wake, celebrated on the first Sunday in Sep­tember, and was continued during the three succeeding days, and consisted of feasting upon a kind of local confectionery, called " Eccles Cakes," and ale, with various sports.
The following was the programme on such an occasion : "Eccles Wake.—On Monday morning, at eleven o'clock the sports will commence (the sports of Sunday being passed over in silence) with that most ancient, loyal, rational /constitutional and lawful diversion—
" JivXl Baiting—In all its primitive!excellence, for which this place has been long noted. At one o'clock there will be a foot race; at two o'clock, a bull baiting for a horse collar; at four o'clock, donkey races for a pair of panniers ; at five o'clock, a race for a stuff hat; the day's sport to
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