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be decided, which occasioned them to gate, called of the shaft, Shaft-alley, (being shoot again; when Robin struck the gold of the possessions of Rochester-bridge,) in a second time, and Stukely's arrow was the ward of Lime-street.-It was there, I affixed upon the edge of it.. Robin' was say, hanged on iton hooks many years, therefore adjudged the conqueror; and till the third of king Edward the sixth, the prize of honour, a garland of laurel (1552), that one sir Stephen, curate of embellished with variegated ribbons, was Št. Katherine Christ's church, preaching put upon his head'; and to Stukely was at Paul's Cross, said there, that this shaft given a garland of ivy, because he was was made an idoll, by naming the church the second best performer in that contest. of St. Andrew with the addition of Under- The pageant was finished with the shaft; he perswaded, therefore, that the archery; and the procession began to "names of churches might be altered. move away to make room for the vil. This sermon at Paul's Cross took such lagers, who afterwards assembled in the effect, that in the afternoon of that present square, and amused themselves by danc. Sunday, the neighbors and tenants to ing round the May-pole in promiscuous the said bridge, over whose doors the companies, according to the 1 santient said shaft had lain, after they had dined custom."
It is scarcely possible to (to make themselves strong,) gathered give a better general idea of the regular more help, and, with great labor, raising May-game, than as it has been here re- the shaft from the hooks, (whereon it had presented.
rested two-and-thirty years,) they sawed it in pieces, every man taking for his
share so much as had lain over his door Of the English May-pole this may be and stall, the length of his house; and observed. An author before cited says, that they of the alley, divided amongst them, “at the north-west corner of Aldgate ward so much as had lain over their al.. ate. in Leadenhall-street, standeth the fair and Thus was his idol! (as he ten uit,) beautiful parish church of St. Andrew mangled, and after burned."* the apostle, with an addition, to be known It was a great object with some of the from other churches of that name, of the more rigid among our early reformers, knape, or undershaft, and so called St. to suppress amusements, especially MayAndrew Undershaft. because that of old poles; and these idols ” of the people time, every year (on May-day in the morn were got down as zeal grew fierce, and ing, it was used, that a high or long got up as it grew cool, till, after various shaft
, or May-pole, was set up there, in ups and downs, the favourites of the po the midst of the street, before the south pulace were, by the parliament, on the door of the said church, which shaft or 6th of April, 1644, thus provided against : pole, when it was set on end, and tixed in " The lords and commons do further the ground, was higher than the church order and ordain, that all and singular steeple. Jeffrey Chaucer, writing of a May-poles, that are or shall be erected, vain boaster, hath these words, meaning shall be taken down, and removed by of the said shaft :
the constables, bossholders, titbing-men, TV (1) Wti 17. my
201,' petty constables, and churehwardens of *« Right well aloft, and high ye bear your the parishes, where the same be, and that
no May-pole be hereafter set up, erecta As ye would, bear the great shaft of Coro-bill. this kingdom of England, of dominion of
ed, or suffered to be set up within **
Wales; the said officers to be fined five șince evil May-day, (so called of an shillings weekly till the said May-pole be
taken down.” insurrection being made by prentices Accordingly down went all the May,
ja!? and other young persons against aliens, in the year 1517,) but the said shaft was
poles that were left. A famous one in laid along over the doors, and under the been sung in lofty metre, appears to have
the Strand, which had ten years before pentices of one rowe of houses, and Alley previously fallen. The poet says,
31.31. Pairly we insrehedion, tint our approach 90 dias 9L19992?
3224351 Within the spacious passage of the Strand,' W: in forests
Objected to our sight a summer broach,
f9 ftate este sitio. Pearch up more high his turning weather-cock.
i Birtu 100 I Stay, quoth my Muse, and here bebold a signe
Of harmelesse mirth and honest neighbourhood, * in
; 774078 Nor justice of the peace did seek to curb them,
I'm F/S MI
w pa Happy the age, and harmlesse were the dayes,
(For then true love and amity was found,)
And Whitson-ales and MAY-GAMES did ahound :
-14 With merry lasses daunc'd the rod about,
.b; 1923 Then Friendship to their banquets bid the guests, And poore men far'd the better for their feasts,
1 st 10 The lords of castles, mannors, townes, and towers,
1. A bordo Rejoic'd when they beheld the farmer's flourish,
indicitis And would come downe unto the summer-bowers
Ini To see the country gallants dance the Morrice,
tud way to
But since the SUMMER Poles were overthrown,
1113 But I doe hope once more the day will come,
Shall bid defiance to your enemy;
pasita, siis Shall draw their crowds, and, at your exaltation,
Play many a fit of merry recreation..., se 7. The restoration of Charles II. was the Palace, and from thence it was conveyed signial for the restoration of May-poles. April 14th to the Strand to be erected. On the very first May-day afterwards, in It was brought with a streamer flourish1661," the May-pole in the Strand was ing before it, Drums beating all the way reared with great ceremony and rejoicing, and other sorts of mansick ; it was supà curious account of which, from a rare posed to be so long, that Landsmen (as tract, is at the reader's service. ," Let me Carpenters) could not possibly raise it; declare to you,” says the triumphant nar: (Prince James the Duke of York, Lord rator, « the manner in general of that High Admiral of England, commanded stately cedat erected in the strand 134 twelve seamen off a boord to come and foot high, commonly called the May-Pole, officiate the business, whereupon they apon the cost of the parishioners there came and brought their cables, Pullies, adjacent, and the gracious consent of his and other tacklins, with six great anchors) sacred Majesty with the illustrious Prince after this was brought three Crowns, bore The Duke of York. This Tree was a by three men bare-headed and a streamer most choice and remarkable piece; 'twas displaying all the way before them, D:um.s made below Bridge, and brought in two parts up to Scotland Yard near the King's
* Pasquil's Palinodia, 1634, 410.
beating and other musick, playing ; nu- ciety, represents this May-pole, as a door merous multitudes of people thronging or two westward beyond is;}} the streets, with great shouts and acclamations all day long. The May pole "Where Catharine-street descends into the then being joyned together, and hoopt
Strand;" ti about with bands of iron, the crown and and as far as recollection of the prio cane with the Kings Arms richly gilded, serves, it was erected opposite to the site was placed on the head of it, a large top of sir Walter Stirling and Co's. presen! like a Balcony was about the middle of
banking-house. In à compilation re it. This being done, the trumpets did specting “ London and Middlesex,” it is sound, and in four hours space it was stated that this May-pole having deadvanced upright, after which being cayed, was obtained of the parish by sir established fast in the ground six drums Isaac Newton, in 1717, and carried did beat, and the trumpets did sound ; through the city to Wanstead, in Essex again great shouts and acclamations and by license of sir Richard Child, lord the people give, that it did ring through Castlemain, reared in the park by the out all the strand. After that came a tev. Mr. Pound, rector of that parish, Morice Dance finely deckt, with purple for the purpose of supporting the largest scarfs, in their half-shirts, with a Tabor telescope at that period in the world, and Pipe, the ancient Musick, and danced given by Mons. Hugon, a French member round about the Maypole, and after that of the Royal Society, as a présent; the danced the rounds of their liberty:. Upon telescope was one hundred and twenty, the top of this famous standard is likewise five feet long. This May-pote on public set up a royal purple streamer, about the occasions was adorned with streamers, middle of it is placed four Crowns more, flags, garlands of flowers and other ornawith the King's Arms likewise, there is
ments. also a garland set upon it of various
It was near the May-pole in the Strand colours of delicate rich favours, under that, in 1677, Mr. Robert Perceval was which is to be placed three great Jan found dead with a deep wound under his thorns, to remain for three honours; that left breast, and his sword drawn and is, one for Prince James Duke of York, bloody, lying by him. He was nineteen Id High Admiral of England ; the other years of age, had fought as many duels for the Vice Admiral; and the third for as he had lived years, and with uncom. the rear Admiral; these are to give light mon talents was an excessive libertine. in dark nights and to continue so as long He was second son to the right hon, as the Pole stands which will be a perpe sir Robert Perceval, bart. Some singus tual honour for seamen. It is placed as
lar particulars are related of him in the near hand as they could guess, in the
“ History of the House of Yvery." A very same pit where the former stood, but stranger's hat with a bunch of ribbons in far more glorious bigger and higher, it was lying near his body when it wasthan ever any one that stood before it; discovered, and there exists no doubt of and the seamen themselves do confess his having been killed by some person that it could not be built higher nor is Who, notwithstanding royal proclamations there not such a one in Europe beside, and great inquiries, was never discoverwhich highly doth please his Majesty, ed. The once celebrated Beau Fielding and the illustrious Prince Duke of York;
was suspected of the crime. He was bulittle children did much rejoice, and tied under the chapel of Lincoln's-inn, antient people did clap their hands, say, His elder brother, sir Philip Perceval, ing, golden days began to appear. I intent on discovering the murderers, vioquestion not but twill ring like melodious lently attacked a gentleman in Dublin, musick throughout every county in Eng whom he declared he had never seen belend, when they read this story being fore; he could only account for his rage exactly pen'd; let this satisfie for the by saying he was possessed with a belief glories of London that other loyal sub- that he was one of those who had killed jects may read what we here do see."
his brother; they were soon parted, and A processional engraving, by Vertue, the gentleman was seen no more. : among the prints of the Antiquarian Soi
The last poet who seems to have mentioned it was Pope; he
says of an inseities Loyalty Displayed, 1661, 4to.
assemblage of persons that,
Amidst the area wide they took their stand, for their refreshment, which, by paying a Where the tall May-pole' once o'er-look'd trifle for baking, and for the niceties
awaitthe Strande, ut
ing their consumption, contents the far
mers for the house-room and pleasure they A native of Penzance, in Cornwall, afford their welcome visitants. Here the relates to the editor of the Every- young ones find delicious “ junkets," with Day Book, that it is an annual custom sour milk," or curd cut in diamonds, there, on May-eve, for a number of young which is eaten with sugar and cream. men and women to assemble at a public- New made cake, refreshing tea, and exhouse, and sit up till the clock strikes hilarating punch, satisfy the stomach, twelve, when they go round the town cheer the spirits, and assist the walk home with violins, drums, and other instru- in the evening. These pleasure-takings ments, and by sound of music call upon are never made before May-day; but the others who had previously settled to join first?Sunday that succeeds it, and the leithem. As soon as the party is formed, sure of every other afternoon, is open to they proceed to different farmhouses, the frugal enjoyment; and among neighwithin four or five miles the neighbour bourly families and kind friends, the enhood, where they are expected as regularly joyment is frequent. as May morning comes; and they there partake of a beverage called junket, made of raw milk and rennet, or running, as it
To the Editor of the Every Day Book... is there called, sweetened with sugar, and f's Sir, a little cream added. After this, they. There still exists among the labouring take tea, and "heavy country cake," com classes in Wales the custom of Mayposed of flour, cream, sugar, and currants; dancing, wherein they exhibit their pernext, rum and milk, and then a dance sons to the best advantage, and distinguish After thus regaling, they gather the May. their agility before the fair maidens of While some are breaking down the their own rank.fr.: boughs, others sit and make the “ May About a fortnight previous to the day, nusie." This is done by cutting a circle the interesting question among the lads through the bark at a certain distance from and lasses is, * Who will turn out to the bottom of the May branches; then, by dance in the summer this year ?" From gently and regularly tapping the bark all that time the names of the gay performers round, from the cút circle to the end, the are buzzed in the village, and rumour bark becomes loosened, and slips away with her hundred tongues" proclaims whole from the wood; and a hole being them throughout the surrounding neigheut in the pipe, it is easily formed to bourhood. Nor is it asked with less inteemit a sound when blown through, and rest, “Who will carry the garland ?” and becomes a whistle. The gathering and "Who will be the Cadi ş" Of the peculiar the “ May music” being finished, they offices of these two distinguished personthen “bring home the May," by five or ages you shall hear presently. six o'clock in the morning, with the band About nine days or a week previous to playing, and their whistles blowing. After the festival, a collection is made of the dancing throughout the town, they go to gayest ribbons that can be procured. their respective employments. Although Each lad resorts to his favoured lass, wbie May-day should fall on a Sunday, they gives him the best she possesses, and observe the same practice in all respects, uses her utmost interest with her friends mth the omission of dancing in the or her mistress to obtain a loan of whattown.
ever may be requisite to supply the defiOn the first Sunday after May-day, it is ciency. Her next care is to decorate a a custom with families at Penzance to visit new white shirt of fine linen. This is Rose-bill, Polticr, and other adjacent vil- a principal part of her lover's dress: The lages, by way of recreation. These plea- bows and puffs of ribbon are disposed act sure-parties usually consist of two or three cording to the peculiar taste of each fan. fanilies together. They carry four and girl who is rendered happy by the pleasother materials with them to make the ing task; and thus the shirts of the "heavy cake," just described, at the pleasant dancers, from the various fancies of the farm-dairies, which are always open for their adomers, form a diversified and lively reception. Nor do they forget to take tea, appearance. sugar, rim, and other comfortable things During this time the chosen garland
permission can be obtained from the the poor alled for early ou the following
berrer is also busily employed. Accom- firmly fixed, and displayed with the most panied by one from among the intended studious taste. Șilver spoons and smaller dancers, who is best known among the forms are placed in the shape of stars, farmers for decency of conduct, and con squares, and circles. Between these are sequent responsibility, they go from house rows of watches; and at the top of the to house, throughout their parish, begging frame, opposite the pole in its centre, the loan of watches, silver spoons, or their whole collection is crowned with the whatever other utensils of this metal are largest and most costly of the ornaments, likely to make a brilliant, display; and generaily a large silrer cup, or tankard. those who are satisfied with the parties. This garland, when completed, on the eve and have a regard for the celebration of of May-day, is left for the night at that this ancient day, comply with their solicit- farmhouse from whence the dancers have ation.
received the most liberal loan of silver When May-day morn arrives, the group and plate for its decoration, or with that of dancers, assemble at their rendezvous farmer who is distinguished in his neigh, the village tavern. From thence (when bourhood as a good master, and liberal to
Its a clergyman of the parish,) the rustic pro and it is cession sets forth, accompanied by the morning. ringing of bells.
The whole party being assembled, they The arrangement and march are settled march in single file, but more generally in
, . person in the company; and is, by virtue lows the garland-bearer, and then the of his important office, ihe chief marshal, fiddler, while the bells of the village orator, buffoon, and money collector. He merrily ring the signal of their departures is always arrayed in comic attire, generally As the procession moves slowly along, the in a partial dress of both sexes: a coat Cadi varies his station, hovers about his and waistcoat being used for the upper party, brandishes sa ladle, and assails part of the body, and for the lower every passenger with comic eloquence and petticoats, somewhat resembling Moll Flao ludicrous persecution, for a customary and gon, in the “ Lord of the Manor." His expected donation, countenance is also particularly distin When they arrive at a farmhouse, they guished by a hideous mask, or is blackened take up their ground on the best station entirely over, and then the lips, cheeks, for dancing. The garland-bearer takes and orbits of the eyes are sometimes his stand; the 'violin strikes up an old painted red. The number of the rest of national tune uniformly used on that och the party, including the garland-bearer, is casion, and the dancers move forward in a generally thirteen, and with the excep. regular quick-step to the tune, in the order tion of the varied taste in the decoration of procession ; and at each turn of the of their shirts with ribbons, their costume, tune throw up their white handkerchiefs is similar. It consists of clothing en-' with a shout, and the whole facing quickly tirely new from the hat to the shoes, about, retrace their steps, repeating the which are made neat, and of a light tex. same manœuvre until the tune is once ture, for dancing; The white decorated played. The music and dancing then vary shirts, plaited in the neatest manner, are into a reel, which is succeeded by another wora oves the rest of their clothing; the dance, to the old tune of "Cheshire remainder of the dress is black velveteen Round." breeches, with knee-ties depending half During the whole of this time, the bufway down to the ancles, in contrast with foonery of the Cadi is exhibited without yarn hose of a light grey. The ornaments intermission. He assails the inmates of of the hats are large rosettes of varied the house for money, and when this is colours, with streamers depending from obtained he bows or curtsies his thanks and them; wreaths of ribbono encircle the the procession moves off to the next farmcrown, and each of the dancers carries in house. They do not confine the ramble his right hand a white pocket' handker. of the day to their own parish, but go from chief.
one to another, and to any country town in The garland consists of a long staff or the vicinity.
*i.) pole, 10which is afixed a triangular 079
When square frame, covered with strong white lage
ge in the evening, the bells ringing linen, on which the silver ornaments are merrily announce their arrival. The