British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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444                                 ST. THOMAS' DAY.                       [Dec. 21.
Up with the stocking and down with the shoe If you've got no apples money will do. The jug is white and the ale is brown, This is the best house in the town."
N. & Q. Ut S. vol. viii. p. 617.
Drake, in his Eboracum (1736, p. 217), gives the following account of a custom that once existed at York on St. Thomas's Day, which he says he obtained from a manuscript that fell into his hands. "William the Conqueror, in the third year of his reign (on St. Thomas's Day), laid siege to the city of York, but finding himself unable, either by policy or strength, to gain it, raised the siege, which he had no sooner done, but by accident he met with two fryers at a place called Skelton, not far from York, and had been to seek reliefe from their fellows and themselves against Christmas : the one having a wallet full of victualls and a shoulder of mutton in his hand, with two great cakes hanging about his neck; the other having bottles of ale, with provisions, likewise of beife and mutton in his wallett. The king, knowing their poverty and condition, thought they might be serviceable to him towards the attaining York, wherefore (being accompanied with Sir George Fothergill, general of the field, a Norman born), he gave them money, and withall a promise, that if they would lett him and his soldiers into their priory at a time appointed, he would not only rebuild their priory, but indowe it likewise with large revenues and ample privileges. The fryers easily consented and the conqueror as soon sent back his army, which, that night, according to agreement, were let into the priory by the two fryers, by which they immediately made themselves masters of all York; after which Sir Eobert Clifford, who was governor thereof, was so far from being blamed by the conqueror for his stout defence made the preceding days, that he was highly esteemed and rewarded for his valour, being created Lord Clifford and there knighted, with the four magistrates then in office, viz., Horongate, Talbot (who after came to be Lord Talbott), Lassells, and Erringham.
The arms of the city of York at that time was, argent, a
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