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. 29.]                      michaelmas day,                                 379
Ante ortum Sol is, Luceat nisi Polus, Nil scribit nisi colis. Toties voluerit, Gallus ut cantaverit, • Per cujus solum sonitum, Curia est summonita. Clamat clam pro Rege In Curia sine Lege, Et nisi cito venerint, Citius pcenituerint; Et nisi clam accedant Curia non attendat; Qui venerit cum lumine, Errat in regimine Et dum sunt sine lumine Capti sunt in crimine, Curia sine cura Jurati de injuria; Tenta ibidem die Mercurii (ante diem) proximo, post Festum Sancti Michaelis Archangeli, anno Regni Regis, &c.
There is a tradition that -this servile attendance was im­posed at first upon certain tenants of divers manors here­abouts for conspiring in this place at such an unreasonable time to raise a commotion.*
Gloucester shire.
The custom of hanging out bushes of ivy, boughs of trees, or bunches of flowers at private houses as a sign that good cheer may be had within, prevails in the city of Gloucester at the fair held at Michaelmas, called Barton Fair from the locality.—N. & Q. 1st S. vol. ix. p. 113.
* At Kidderminster, says a correspondent of Gent. Mag. (1790t vol. lx. p. 1191), is a singular custom. On the election of a bailiff the inhabitants assemble in the principal streets and throw cabbage-stalks at each other. The town-house hell gives signal for the affray. Thisv is called " lawless hour." This done (for it lasts an hour), the bailiff elect and corporation, in their robes, preceded by drums and fifes (for they have no waits), visit the old and new bailiff, constables, &c, attended by a mob. In the meantime the most respectable families in the neighbourhood are invited to meet and fling apples at them on their entrance.
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