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THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE EARL OF DARLINGTON,
LORD LIEUTENANT AND VICE-ADMIRAL OF THE COUNTY
PALATINE OF DURHAM, &c. &c. &c.
To your LORDSHIP—as an encourager of the old country sports
and usages chiefly treated of in my book, and as a maintainer of the ancient
hospitality so closely connected with thern, which associated the Peasantry of this land with its Nobles, in bonds whicà degraded neither
I RESPECTFUĻLY: DEDICATE THIS VOLUME;
not unmindful of your Lordship’s peculiar kindness to me under difficulties, and not unmoved by the pride which I shall have in subscribing myself,
YOUR LORDSHIP'S HIGHLY HONOURED,
AND VERY HUMBLE SERVANT,
February 27, 1827.
Berore remarking on the work terminating with this volume, some notice should be taken of its Frontispiece.
I. The “ Clog” or “ Perpetual Almanack” having been in common use with our ancient ancestors, a representation and explaоation of it seemed requisite among the various accounts of manners and customs related in the order of the calendar.
Of the word “clog," there is no satisfactory etymology in the sense here used, which signifies an almanack made upon a square stick. Dr. Robert Plot, who published the “ History of Staffordshire,” in 1686, instances a variety of these old almanacks then in use in that county. Some he calls “ public,” because they were of a large size, and commonly hung at one end of the mantle-tree of the chimney ; others he calls “ private,” because they were smaller, and carried in the pocket. For the better understanding of the figures on these clogs, he caused a family clog “ to be represented in plano, each angle of the square stick, with the moiety of each of the flat sides belonging to it, being expressed apart." From this clog, so represented in Dr. Plot's history, the engraving is taken which forms akie Gónlispiece now, on his authority, about to be described.
There are 3 months contained, upon each of ghe four edges; the number of the days in them are represented by the protěhes; that which begins each month has a short spreading stroke turned up from įt; eyềry seventh notch is of a larger size, and stands for Sunday, (or rather, perhaps, for the arst day of each successive natural week in the year.)
Against many of the notches there are placed on the left hand several marks or symbols denoting the golden number or cycle of the Moon, which pumber if under 5, is represented by so many points, or duts ; but if 5, a line is drawn from the notch, or day, it belongs to, with a hook returned back against the course of the line, which, if cut off at due distance, may be taken for a V, the numeral signifying 5. If the golden number be above 5, and under 10, it is then marked out by the hooked line, which is 5; and with one point, which makes 6; or two, which makes 7; or three, for 8; or four, for 9; the said line being crossed with a broad stroke spreading at each end, which represents an X, when the golden number for the day, over against which it is put, is 10; points being added (as above over the hook for 5,) till the number arises 10 15, when a hook is placed again at the end of the line above the X, to show us that number.
The figures issuing from the potches, towards the right hand, are symbols or biernglyphics, of either, 1st, the offices, or endowments of the saints, before whose festivals they are placed; or 2dly, the manner of their martyrdoms; or 3dly, their actions, or the work or sport in fashion about the time when their feasts are kept.
For inst ace: 1. from the notch which represents January 13th, on the feast of St. Hilary, issues a cross or badge of a bishop, as St. Hilary was; from March 1st, a harp, showing the feast of St. David, by that instrument; from June 29th, the keys for St. Peter, reputed the Janitor of heaven; from October 25th, a pair of shoes for St. Crispin, the patron of shoe-makers. Of class 2, are the axe against January 25th, the feast of St. Paul, who was beheaded with an axe; the sword against June 24th,