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o'clock; “ which custom is observed to Francis Grose, the well remembered au. this day, and the bell as constantly rings tiquary, in the “ Antiquarian Repertory" at eight as Great Tom tolls at nine." (vol. i.) published by Mr. Ed. Jeffery. Mir. Wherever the curfew is now rung in Grose enclosed a letter from the Rev. F. England, it is usually at four in the Gostling, author of the “Walk through morning, and eight in the evening, as at Cantei bury," with a drawing of the uten. Hleddesdon on Shrove Tuesday.
sil, from which an engraving is made in
that work, and which is given here on Concerning the curfew, or the iro account of its singularity. No other re strument used to cover the fire, there is presentation of the curfew exists. a communication from the late Mr.
“ This utensil,” says the Antiquarian tiquities” says, "an instrument of copper Repertory,“ is called a curfew, or couvre- presumed to have been made for covering feu, from its use, which is that of sud- the ashes, but of uncertain use, is endenly putting ont a fire : the method of graved.” It is in one of Mr. F.'s plates. applying it was thus ;—the wood and On T. Row's remark, who is also faceembers were raked as close as possible to tious on the subject, it may be observed, the back of the hearth, and then the cur- that his inclination to think there never few was put over them, the open part was any such implement, is so far from placed close to the back of the chimney; being warrantable, if the fact be even corby this contrivance, the air being almost rect, that it has not been mentioned by totally excluded, the fire was of course any ancient writer, that the fair inference extinguished. This curfew is of copper, is the converse of T. Row's inclination. rivetted together, as solder would have Had he consulted “Johnson's Dictionary," been liable to melt with the heat. It is he would have found the curfew itself 10 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 9 explained as “a cover for a fire; a fireinches deep. The Rev. Mr. Gostling, to plate.- Bacon.” So that if Johnson is whom it belongs, says it has been in his credible, and his citation of authorities is family for time immemorial, and was al unquestionable, Bacon, no very modern ways called the curfew. Some others of writer, is authority for the fact that there this kind are still remaining in Kent and was such an implement as the curfew. Sussex.” It is proper to add to this account, that T. Row, in the “ Gentlemar's Magazine," because no mention is made of any
Football at Kingston. particular implement for extinguishing Mr. P., an obliging contributor, furthe fire in any writer," is inclined to nishes the Every-Day Book with a letter :hink “ there never was any such.” Mr. from a Friend, descriptive of a custom oz Fustroke in the “ Encyclopædia of An- this day in the vicinity of London.
As fitas a pancake for Shore Tuesday.
I was rather surprised that such a cuy. Having some business which called me tom should have existed so near London, to Kingston-upon-Thames on the day without my ever before knowing of it. called Shrove Tuesday, I got upon the
From thy respected Friend, Hampton-court coach to go there. We bad not gone above four miles, when the Ncoachman exclaimed to one of the pas- Third Month, 1815. J.--- B.sengers, “It's Foot-ball day;" not understanding the term, I questioned him what he meant by it; his answer was, that I would see what he meant where I was
Pancakes and Confession. going.–Upon entering Teddington, I was not a little amused to see all the inhabitants securing the glass of all their front windows from the ground to the roof, some by placing hurdles before them, PANCAKE Day is another name for and some by nailing laths across the Shrove Tuesday, from the custom of eatframes. At Twickenham, Bushy, and ing pancakes on this day, still generally obHampton-wick, they were all engaged in served. A writer in the“Gentleman's Mathe same way : having to stop a few hours gazine, 1790," says, that “ Shrive is an old at Hampton-wick and Kingston, I had Saxon word, of which shrove is a corrupan opportunity of seeing the whole of the tion, and signifies confession. Hence custom, which is, to carry a foot-ball from Sbrove Tuesday means Confession Tuesdoor to door and beg money :-at about day, on which day all the people in every 12 o'clock the ball is turned loose, and parish throughout the kingdom, during those who can, kick it. In the town of the Romish times, were obliged to conKingston, all the shops are purposely kept fess their sins, one by one, to their own shut upon that day; there were several parish priests, in their own parish balls in the town, and of course several churches; and that this might be done parties. I observed some persons of re- the more regularly, the great bell in every spectability following the ball : the game parish was rung at ten o'clock, or perlasts about four hours, when the parties haps sooner, that it might be heard by all. retire to the public-houses, and spend the And as the Romish religion has given money they before collected in refresh- way to a much better, I mean the protestments.
ant religion, yet the custom of ringing I understand the corporation of Kings- the great beil in our ancient parish ton attempted to put a stop to this prac- churches, at least in some of them, still retice, but the judges confirmed the right of mains, and obtains in and about London the game, and it now legally continues, to the name of Pancake-bell: the usage of the no small annoyance of some of the dining on pancakes or fritters, and such inhabitants, besides the expense and like provision, still continues.” In “Pastrouble they are put to in securing all quil's Palinodia, 1634,” 4to. it is merrily their windows.
observed that on this day every stomach
till it can hold no more,
Threshing the Hen.
cerning its origin is, that the fowl was a This singular custom is almost obso- delicacy to the labourer, and therefore lete, yet it certainly is practised, even given to him on this festive day, for sport now, in at least one obscure part of the and food. kingdom. A reasonable conjecture con
At Shrovetide to shroving, go thresh the fat hen,
So directs Tusser in his “ Five Hundred he can, they follow the sound, and some. Points of Good Husbandry, 1620,” 4to times hit him and his hen, other times, i On this his annotator, “ Tusser Redivivus, he can get behind one of them, they
710," (8vo. June, p. 15,) annexes an thresh one another well favour'dly; but account of the custom.« The hen is the jest is, the maids are to blind the felnung at a fellow's back, who has also lows, which they do with their aprons, come horse bells about him, the rest of and the cunning baggages will endear .ne fellows are blinded, and have boughs their sweethearts with a peeping-hole, n their hands, with which they chase whilst the others look out as sharp to This fellow and his hen about some large hinder it. After this the hen is boil'd court or small enclosure. The fellow with bacon, and store of pancakes and with his hen and bells shifting as well as fritters are made."
Tusser's annotator, “Redivivus,” adds, ble custom, is one of the benefits we have after the hen-threshing. “She that is not got by smoking tobacco." Old Tusser ed for lying a-bed long, or any other mis- himself, by a reference, denotes that this carriage, hath the first pancake presented was a sport in Essex and Suffolk. Mr. to her, which most commonly falls to the Brand was informed by a Mr. Jones that, dog's share at last, for no one will own it when he was a boy in Wales, the hen their due. Thus were youth encourag'd, that did not lay eggs before Shrove Tues. sham'd, and feasted with very little cost, day was considered useless, and to be on and we ways their feasts were accompanis that day threshed by a man with a flail; ed with exercise. The loss of which lauda- if he killed her he got her for his pairs,
On Shrove Tuesday, at a certain an- barbarous compavions? Whom have I cient bomugh in Staffordshire, a hen was ever injured? Did I ever profane the set up by its owner to be thrown at by name of my creator, or give one moment's himself and his companions, according to disquiet to any creature under heaven? the usual custom on that day. This poor or lie, or deceive, or slander, or rob my hen, after many a severe bang, and many fellow-creatures ? Did I ever guzzle a broken bone, weltering in mire and down what should have been for the supblood, recovered spirits a little, and to port and comfort (in effect the blood) of a the unspeakable surprise and astonish- wife and innocent children, as thou dost ment of all the company, just as her late every week of thy life? A little of thy master was handling his oaken cudgel to superfluous grain, or the sweeping of thy fing at her again, opened her mouth and cupboard, and the parings of thy cheese said—“ Hold thy hand a moment, hard- moistened with the dew of heaven, was hearted wretch! if it be but out of all I had, or desired for my support; curiosity, to hear one of my feathered while, in return, I furnished thy table species utter articulate sounds.—What with dainties. The tender brood, which art thou, or any of thy comrades, better I hatched with assiduity, and all the than I, though bigger and stronger, and anxiety and solicitude of a humane at liberty, while I am tied by the leg? mother, fell a sacrifice to thy gluttony. What ar: thou, I say, that I may not My new laid eggs enriched thy pancakes, presume to reason with thee, though thou puddings, and custards; and all thy most never reasonest with thyself? What delicious fare. And I was ready myself have I done to deserve the treatment I at any time, to lay down my life to sup. have suffered this day, from thee and thy port thine, but the third part of a day.
Had I been a man, and a hangman, and been commanded by authority to take
THROWING AT COCKS. away thy life for a crime that deserved This brutal practice on Shrove Tuesday death, I would have performed my office is still conspicuous in several parts of the with reluctance, and with the shortest, kingdom. Brand affirms that it was re, and the least pain or insult, to thee possi- tained in many schools in Scotland ble. How much more if a wise provin within the last century, and he conjecdence had so ordered it, that thou hadst tures “ perhaps it is still in use;" a little been my proper and delicious food, as I inquiry on his part would have discovered am thine? I speak not this to move thy it in English schools. He proceeds to compassion, who hast none for thy own observe, that the Scotch schoolmasters offspring, or for the wife of thy bosom, “ were said to have presided at the nor to prolong my own life, which through battle, and claimed the run-away cocks, thy most brutal usage of me, is past called fugees, as their perquisites." To recovery, and a burden to me; nor yet to show the ancient legitimacy of the usage, teach thee humanity for the future. I he instances a petition in 1355, from the know thee to have neither a head, a scholars of the school of Ramera to their heart, nor a hand to show mercy; neither schoolmaster, for a cock he owed them brains, nor bowels, nor grace, to hearken upon Shrove Tuesday, to throw sticks at, to reason, or to restrain thee from any according to the usual custom for their folly. I appeal from thy cruel and re- sport and entertainment. No decently lentless heart to a future judgment; cer- circumstanced person however rugged tainly there will be one sometime, when his disposition, from neglect in his childthe meanest creature of God shall have hood, will in our times permit one of his justice done it, even against proud and sons to take part in the sport. This is a nasavage man, its lord ; and surely our cause tural consequence of the influence which will then be heard, since, at present, we persons in the higher ranks of life can have none to judge betwixt us. O, that beneficially exercise. Country gentlesome good Christian would cause this my men threw at the poor cock formerly : first, and last speech to be printed, and there is not a country gentleman now published through the nation. Perhaps who would not discourage the shocking the legislature may not think it beneath usage. them to take our sad case into considera- Strutt says that in some places, it was tion. Who can tell but some faint re. a common practice to put a cock into an mains of common sense among the vulgar earthen vessel made for the purpose, and themselves, may be excited by a suffering to place him in such a position that his dying fellow-creature's last words, to find head and tail might be exposed to view ; out a more good-natured exercise for the vessel, with the bird in it, was then their youth, than this which hardens their suspended across the street, about 12 or hearts, and taints their morals? But I 14 feet from the ground, to be thrown at find myself spent with speaking. And by such as chose to make trial of their 20w villain, take good aim, let fly thy skill; twopence was paid for four throws, truncheon, and despatch at one manly and he who broke the pot, and delivered stroke, the remaining life of a miserable the cock from his confinement, had him mortal, who is utterly unable to resist, or for a reward. At North Walsham, in fly from thee." Alas! he heeded not. Norfolk, about 60 years ago, some wags She sunk down, and died immediately, put an owl into one of these vessels; and without another blow. Reader, farewell! having procured the head and tail of a but learn compassion towards an inno- dead cock, they placed them in the same cent creature, that has, at least, as quick position as if they had appertained to a a sense of pain as thyself.
living one; the deception was successful; This article is extracted from the and at last, a labouring man belonging “Gentleman's Magazine," for the year to the towr, after several fruitless at1749. Ir appeals to the feelings and the tempts, broke the pot, but missed his iudgment, and is therefore inserted here, prize; for the owl being set at liberty, lest one reader should need a dissuasive instantly flew away, to his great astonishagainst the 'cruelty of torturing a poor ment, and left him nothing more than animal on Shrove Tuesday.
the head and tail of the dead bird, with Hens were formerly thrown at, as cocks the potsherds, for his money and his are still, in some p.aces.
trouble; this ridiculous adventure ex