An Early Sighting of Punch – update

This is from an old book, Highways  & Byways of Dorset by Joseph Pennell:

“Liberality was a feature of the townsfolk [of Shaftesbury] which extended even to the arts of bribery and corruption. In the account of the trial of one controverted election the evidence showed that “a person concealed under a fantastical disguise and called by the name of Punch was placed in a small apartment, and through a hole in the door delivered out to the voters parcels containing 20 guineas; upon which they were conducted to another apartment in the same house, where they found a person called Punch’s secretary, and signed notes for the value, but which was made payable to an imaginary character to whom they had given the name of Glenbucket.”

Punch, it further appears, was no less a person than one Matthews, an alderman. ”

It seems that this incident, and/or others like it, provided the origins of what became the Punch and Judy puppet show.

This is an article on the arrival of Punch in England, from the V&A via John Heather, thanks to him.
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/thats-the-way-to-do-it!-a-history-of-punch-and-judy/

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