British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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

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442                                ST. THOMAS* DAY.                         [DEC. SI.
Small pyramids, says Fosbroke (Encyclopaedia of Anti­quities, 1840, p. 661), formed of gilt evergreens, apples, and nuts, are carried about at this time in Hertfordshire for presents.
Isle of Man.
Formerly, it was customary for the people to go to the mountains to catch deer and sheep for Christmas, and in the evening always to kindle a large fire on the top of every lingan or cliff. Hence, at the time of casting peats, every one laid aside a large one, saying: " Faaid mooar moayney son oiel fingan," that is, " A large turf for Fingan's Eve."— Train, History of Isle of Man, 1845, vol. ii. p. 124; Cregeen's Manhs Dictionary, p. 67.
Samuel Higgs, by his will, bearing date 11th May, 1820 (as appears from the church tablet), gave 50Z. to the vicar and churchwardens of the parish of Farnsfield, and directed that the interest should be given every year on the 21st of December, in equal proportions, to the poor men and women who could repeat the Lord's prayer, the creed, and the ten commandments, before the vicar or other such person as he should appoint to hear them. The interest is applied according to the donor's orders, and the poor persons appointed to partake of the charity continue to receive it during their lives.—Edwards, Old English Customs and Charities, 1842, p. 209.
At Tainton, a quarter of barley is provided annually, at the expense of Lord Dynevor, the lord of the manor, and made into loaves called " cobbs." These were formerly given away in Tainton church to such of the poor children of Burford as attended. A sermon was preached on St. Thomas's Day, Qs. 8d. being paid out of Lord Dynevor's estate to the
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