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An article from Rome, dated the 14th son brought its particular custom, which o.' November, 1820, says, “ Bishop Ben- was always strictly adhered to. venuti, vice-legate at Macerata, having Wiltshire consists of beautiful and exreceived orders from the holy father to tensive downs, and rich meadow and have all the Carbonari in that city ar- pasture lands, which support some of the rested and sent to Rome, under a good finest dairies and farms that can be met escort, proceeded forth with to execute the with in the kingdom. The natives are a order. In consequence he had all the very strong and hardy set of men, and are colliers by trade (Charbonniers de profes- particularly fond of robust sports; their sion) which he could find within his reach chief and favourite amusement is back-men, women, and children, arrested, swording, or singlestick, for which they and sent manacled to Rome, where they are ås greatly celebrated as the inhabitwere closely imprisoned. The tribunal ants of the adjoining counties, Somersethaving at length proceeded to examine shire and Gloucestershire. them, and being convinced that these Car At this game there are several rules bonari had been colliers ever since they observed. They play with a large round were born, acquitted them, and sent them stick, which must be three feet long, with to their homes. Bishop Benvenuti was
a basket prefixed to one end as a guard deprived of his employment."*
for the hand. The combatants throw off
the exception of the shirt, and have
the left hand tied to the side, so that Mean Temperature ..:43 · 25.
they cannot defend themselves with that
the head, guarding off the adversary's
portunity occurs. Great skill is often Machutus.
used in the defence. I have seen two HIUNGERFORD Revel, WILTS. men play for upwards of half an hour To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
without once hitting each other. The
blood must flow an inch from some part October 20, 1826. of the head, before either party is declared Dear Sir,--In your last week's number victor. of the Every-Day Book, your correspon Blackford, the backsword player, was a dent P. gives a short account of butcher residing at Swindon; he died a Blackford, the backsword-player, and also few years ago.
His “ successor” is a mentions one of his descendants who blacksmith at Lyddington, named Morris signalized himself at the “ Hungerford Pope, who is considered the best player revel" about two years since. In the year of the day, and generally carries off the 1820, I visited the latter revel; perhaps prizes at the Hungerford 'revel, which he. a description may be acceptable to you, always attends. This revel is attended and amusing to your readers.
by all the best players in Wiltshire and I think it may be generally allowed Somersetshire, between whom the contest that Wiltshire, and the western counties, lies. To commence the fray, twenty very keep up their primitive customs more excellent players are selected from each than any counties. This is greatly to the county; the contest lasts a considerable credit of the inhabitants ; for these usages time, and is always severe, but the Wilttend to promote cheerful intercourse and shire men are generally conquerors. Their friendly feeling among the residents in principal characteristics are skill, strength, the different villages, who on such occa- and courage-this is generally allowed by sions assemble together In Wiltshire I all who are acquainted with them. have remarked various customs, particu But Hungerford revel is not a scene of larly at Christmas, which I have never contention alone, it consists of all kinds seen or heard of in any other place. If of rustic sports, which afford capital fun, these customs witnessed by a to the spectators. They may be laid out stranger, I am sure he must fancy the thusgood old days of yore, where every sea 1st. Girls running for “smocks," &c.,
which is a well-known amusement at
country fairs. † Sce vol. i.col. 1.186.
2d. Climbing the greasy pols for a
piece of bacon which is placed on the who arrived on the opposite side before top. This affords very great amusement, his opponent. as it is a difficult thing to be accomplished. 7th. Jumping in sacks for a cheesc. The climber, perhaps, may get near the An excellent caricature of jumping in top of the pole, and has it in his power to sacks, published by Hunt, in Tavistockhold himself up by both hands, but the street, conveys a true idea of the manner moment he raises one hand to unhook the in which this amusement is carried on: prize, he is almost sure to slide down it is truly laughable. Ten or eleven canagain with great rapidity, bearing all be- didates are chosen ; they are tied in sacks low him who are so foolish as to climb up to their necks, and have to jump about after him.
five hundred yards. Sometimes one will 3d. Old women drinking hot tea for out-jump himself and fall; this accident snuff Whoever can drink it the quickest generally occasions the fall of three or and hottest gains the prize.
four others, but some one, being more 4th. Grinning through horse-collars. expert, gets on first, and claims the prize. Several Hodges stand in a row, each hold About ten years ago, before Cannon ing a collar; whoever can make the ugliest the prize-fighter was publicly known, as face through it gains the prize. This feat a native of Wiltshire he naturally visited is also performed by old women, and cer- the Hungerford revel. There was a man tainly the latter are the most amusing. there celebrated over the county for box
5th. Racing between twenty and thirty ing; it was said that with a blow from old women for a pound of tea. This oc- his fist he could break the jaw-bone of an casions much merriment, and it is some- ox; upon the whole he was a desperate times astonishing to see with what agility fellow, and no one dared challenge him to the old dames run in order to obtain their fight. Cannon, however, challenged him favourite.
to jump in sacks. It was agreed that 6th. Hunting a pig with a soaped tail. they should jump three times the distance This amusement creates much mirth, and of about five hundred yards. The first in my opinion is the most laughable.- time Cannon fell, and accordingly his Grunter with his tail well soaped is set opponent won; the second time, Cannon's, off at the foot of a hill, and is quickly opponent fell, and the third time they pursued; but the person who can lay any kept a pretty even pace for about four claim to him must first catch him by the hundred yards, when they bounced tail, and fairly detain him with one hand. against each other and both feli, so that This is an almost impossible feat, for the there was a dispute who had won. Canpig finding himself pulled back, tries to non's opponent was for dividing the run forward, and the tail slips from the cheese, but he would not submit to that, grasp of the holder.
It is pretty well and proposed jumping again; the man known that such is the obstinate nature would not, but got out of the sack,and durof a pig, that on being pulled one way he ing the time that Cannon was consulting will strive all he can to go a contrary. In some friends on the course to be pursued, illustration of this circumstance, thongh ran off with the cheese. Cannon, howknown perhaps to some of your readers, I ever, pursued, and after a considerable may mention a curious wager a few years time succeeded in finding him. He then. ago between a pork butcher and a water- challenged him to fight : the battle lasted
The butcher betted the waterman two hours, and Cannon was victor. This that he would make a pig run over one of circumstance introduced him to the sportthe bridges, (I forget which,) quicker than ing world. the waterman would row across the river, You must allow me, dear sir, to assure The auditors thought it impossible; the you, that it is not my wish to make your bet was eagerly accepted, and the next interesting work a “ sporting calendar," day was appointed for the perforrnance. by naming “ sporting characters.” I tell When the signal for starting was given, you this lest you should not incline to the waterman began to row with all his read further, especially when you see might and main, and the butcher catching 8th. Donkey Racing. I will certainly held of the tail of the pig endeavoured to defy any one to witness these races, with pull him back, upon which the pig pulled out being almost convulsed with laughter. forward, and with great rapidity ran over Each candidate rides his neighbour's donthe bridge, pulling the butcher after him, key, and he who arrives first at the ap
pointed place claims the prize, which is hear of your welfare; and if it please generally a smock-frock, a waistcoat, a you to hear of our welfare, we were in hat, &c. &c.
good health at the making of this letter, 9th. Duck Hunting. This sport ge- entreating you heartily, that ye will connerally concludes the whole : it is a very sider our message, which our chaplain laughable, but certainly a very cruel Master Robert Hopton shall inform you amusement. They tie a poor unfortunate of; for we have great business daily and owl in an upright position, to the back of have had here before this time, wherefore a still more unfortunate duck, and then we entreat you to consider the purcbase, turn them loose. The owl presuming that we have made with one Jobn Swyfthat his inconvenient captivity is the ham (Southcote) an esquire of Lincolo work of the duck, very unceremoniously shire, of 88l. by the year, whereupon we commences an attack on the head of the must pay the last payment, the Monday latter, who naturally takes to its own next after St. Martin's day, which sum is means of defence, the water: the duck 458l. Wherefore we entreat you with all dives with the owl on his back; as soon our heart, that ye will lend us ten, or as he rises, the astonished owl opens wide twenty pounds, or what the said Master his eyes, turns about his head in a very Robert wants of his payment, as we may solemn manner, and suddenly recom- do for you in time for to come, and we mences his attack on the oppressed duck, will send it you again afore new year's who dives as before. The poor animals day, as we are a true knight. For there generally destroy each other, unless some is none in your country, that we might humane person rescues them.
write to for trust, so well as unto you, Like all other Wiltshire amusements, for as we be informed, ye be our well the Hungerford revel always closes with willer, and so we entreat you, that ye good humour and conviviality; the ale consider our intent of this money, as je Howing plentifully, and the song echoing will that we do for you in time to come... loud and gaily from the rustic revellers. Written at London, on All Soul's Day, Although the revel is meant to last only within our lodging in the Grey Friars, one day, the very numerous attendants within Newgate. keep up the minor sports sometimes to
“ Ric. ERLE WARWYKL." the fourth day, when all depart, and Hun This letter is not dated, as to the year, gerford is once more a scene of tran. but is known from circumstances to have quility.
been written before 1455. Sir Thomas The revel takes place about this time Toddingham was a wealthy knight of of the year, but I really cannot call to my Norfolk, who had an unfortunate marriage recollection the precise day. Hoping, how- with one of the Wodehouses. The epistle ever, that this is of no material conse shows the importance of ten, or twenty quence, I beg to remain, Dear Sir, &c.
pounds, when rents were chiefly received
in kind, and the difference between one C. T.
degree of wealth and another, was er
emplified by the number of a baron's EARL OF WARWICK, THE KING MAKER.
retainers. “Now," says Burke, “ we have
a ton of ancient pomp in a vial of modern This nobleman, who at one time is said luxury."* to have entertained thirty thousand people at the boards of his different manors and estates in England, and who, when he travelled or lodged in any town, was
“ DEATH OF THE LOTTERY." accompanied by four or five bundred re Introductory to particulars respecting tainers, wrote on All Souls' day the fol. Lotteries, two engravings are inserted, lowing remarkable letter for the loan of representing exhibitions that appeared in a small sum. It is divested of its ancient the streets of the metropolis, with the spelling.
intent to excite adventure in “ the last “ To our right trusty and well-beloved state lottery that will ever be drawn in Friend, Sir THOMAS TODDENHAM.
England." “ Right trusty and well beloved friend, we greet you well, heartily desiring to
• Moralng Herald, Sept. 8, 1817.
The last Stage of the last State Lottery.
A BALLAD, 1826.
He work'd his woe,
To share their last ills,
With puffs and bills,