British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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Nov, ii.]                     st. martin's day.                              419
There is a house in Fenny Stratford, called St. Martin's house, in the wall of which is a stone bearing the following inscription :—
" This house was settled on the parish officers of this town, for the annual observance of St. Martin's Day."—"Anno Domini 1752."
The house is let at 51. 4s. per annum, and the rent, after defraying the expense of repairs, is laid out in giving an entertainment to the inhabitants of the town.—Edwards, Old English Customs and Charities, 1842, p. 59.
Within the manor of Whitlesea there is a custom for the inhabitants to choose, on the Sunday next after the feast of St. Martin, two persons called storers, to overseer the public business, and likewise to provide a common bull, in con­sideration whereof they enjoy a certain pasture called Bull Grass; and the major part of the freeholders and copyholders at a meeting grant the grass every year to any person who will take it, to have the same from Lady-day till the corn is carried out of Coatsfield.—Blount's Fragmenta Antiquitatis, 1815, p. 576.
Thomas Williamson, by will, dated 14th December, 1674, gave the sum of 20Z. to be laid out in land to be bestowed upon poor people born within St. John's Chapelry or Castlerigg, in mutton or veal, at Martinmas yearly, when flesh might be thought cheapest, to be by them pickled or hung up and dried, that they might have something to keep them within doors upon stormy days.—Edwards, Old English Customs and Charities, 1842, p. 63.
Dugdale, in his Antiquities of Warwickshire (1730, vol. i. p. 4), says :—There is a certain rent due unto the lord of
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