British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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-NOV. 5.]                           GUNPOWDER PLOT.                                     415
an enormous bonfire is lighted, into which, when at its highest, various effigies are cast. The day's festivities not unfrequently terminate in a general uproar and scene of confusion. See Lewes Times, November 13th, 1856,
Westmoreland.
The following doggerel is sung in this county:
• " I pray you remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot; The king and his train had like to be slain— I hope this day'll ne'er be forgot.
All the boys, all the boys, let the bells ring ! All the boys, all the boys, God save the king! A stick and a stake for King Jamie's sake,— I hope you'll remember the bonfire!"
N. & Q. 4th S. vol. vii. p. 32.
Wiltshire.
At Marlborough the fustics have the following peculiar custom at their bonfires. They form themselves into a ring of some dozen or more round the bonfire, and follow each other round it, holding thick club-sticks over their shoulders; while a few others, standing at distances outside this moving ring with the same sort of sticks, beat those which the men hold over their shoulders, as they pass round in succession, all shouting and screaming loudly. This might last half an hour at a time, and be continued at intervals till the fire died out.—N. & Q- 1st. S. vol. v. p. 355.
At Purton the boys, for several weeks before the 5th of November, used to go from house to house begging faggots for the bonfire, in the middle of which was burnt the effigy of Guy Fawkes. The following rhyme was sung on the occasion:
" My brave lads remember The fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot; We will drink, smoke, and sing, boys, And our bells they shall ring, boys, And here's health to our King, boys, For he shall not be forgot."
See Every Day Book, 1827, vol. ii. p. 1379.
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