British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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370                              THROWING THE DART.                                [SEPT.
conclude with baiting the bull, Fury, for a superior dog-chain. On Tuesday, the sports will be repeated ; also on Wednesday, with the additional attraction of a smock race by ladies. A main of cocks to be fought on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for' twenty guineas, and five guineas the byes, between the gentlemen of Manchester and Eccles ; the wake to conclude with a fiddling match by all the fiddlers that attend for a piece of silver."—Baines, History of County of Lancaster, 1836, vol. iii. p. 123.
At Diss, it is customary for the juvenile populace, on the Thursday before the third Friday in September (on which latter day a fair and session for hiring servants are held), to mark and disfigure each other's dresses with white chalk, pleading a prescriptive right to be mischievous on " Chalk-Back Day."—N. & Q. 1st. S. vol iv. p. 501.
The following extract is taken from the Leeds Mercury, September 8th, 1863 :—The triennial ceremony of " throwing the dart" in Cork Harbour was performed on Thursday after­noon by the mayor of that city. This is one of those quaint ceremonials by which, in olden time, municipal boundaries were preserved and corporate rights asserted. A similar civic pageant called "riding the fringes " (franchises) was formerly held by the lord mayor and corporation of Dublin, in which, after riding round the inland boundaries of the borough, the cavalcade halted at a point on the shore near Bullock, whence the lord mayor hurled a dart into the sea, the spot where it fell marking the limit of the maritime jurisdiction. At 2 o'clock, p.m., the members of the cork town Council embarked on board a steam-vessel, attended by all the civic officers, and the band of the Cork civil artillery. A number
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