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. 23.]                    st. Clement's bay.                              423
seem to have been copied during the excitement against the papal bull in November 1850. Probably therefore, originally, the unfortunate boy who had to endure the rude bumping by his schoolfellows was intended to represent the Pope or one of his emissaries, and that those who inflicted the punishment were looked upon as good Protestants.
Nov. 23]             ST. CLEMENT'S DAY.
The festival day of St. Clement was formerly considered as the first day of winter, in which were comprised ninety-one days. From a State proclamation in 1540 it appears that processions of children were frequent on St. Clement's Day ; and, in consequence of a still more ancient custom of perambulating the streets on the night of this festival to beg drink for carousing, a pot was formerly marked against the 23rd of November upon the old runic or clog almanacs; but not upon all.Med. Mm Kalend. 1841, vol. i. p. 60.; Plot, History of Staffordshire, 1686, p. 430; see Gough's Camden Brit. vol. ii. pt. xvi. p. 499.
The bakers of Cambridge hold an annual supper on St. Clement's Day, which supper is called the " Baker's Clem." N. & Q. 3rd 8. vol. iv. p. 492.
In Every Day Book (1826, vol. i. p. 1501) is the following account of an annual ceremony formerly celebrated on the evening of St. Clement's Day, by the blacksmiths' apprentices of the dockyard at Woolwich:
One of the senior apprentices being chosen to serve as Old Clem (so called by them), is attired in a great coat, having his head covered with an oakum wig, face masked, and a long white beard; thus attired, he seats himself in a large wooden chair, chiefly covered with a sort of stuff called
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