British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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416                              st. Leonard's day.                     [Nov. 6-
A very old custom prevails in the West Riding of York­shire, of preparing, against the anniversary of Gunpowder Plot, a kind of oatmeal gingerbread, if it may be so called, and of religiously partaking of the same on this day and subsequently. The local name of the delicacy is Parhiny and it is usually seen in the form of massive loaves, sub­stantial cakes, or bannocks.—N. & Q. 2nd S. vol. iv. p. 368.
Blount, in his Fragmenta Antiquitatis (Beckwith, 1815, p. 565), gives the following account of a custom observed at Doncaster. He says at this place on the oth November, yearly, whether it happens on a Sunday, or any other day in the week, the town waits play for some time on the top of the church steeple, at the time when the congregation are coming out of the church from morning service, the tune of " God Save the King." This has been done for four-score years at least, and very possibly ever since the 5th of November has been a festival, except that formerly the tune played was " Britons, strike home." The waits always receive from the churchwardens sixpence a-piece for this service.
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Nov. 6.]                ST. LEONARD'S DAY.
Every tenant of the Manor of Writtell, upon St. Leonard's Day, pays to the lord for everything under a year old a half­penny, for every yearling pig a penny, and for every hog above a year old twopence, for the privilege of pawnage in the lord's woods: and this payment is called Avage or Avisage.—Blount's Law Dictionary, 1717.
A list of holy days published at Worcester, in 1240, ordains St. Leonard's festival to be kept a half holy day, enjoins the hearing of mass, and prohibits all labour except that of the plough.—Every Day Book, vol. ii. p. 1382.
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