Posted in April 2016

Aristocracy and Hawking

Aristocracy and Hawking

One of he great Indy films of England last century was ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’, based on both animals and people having a fixed hierarchy. This is the full list, from Sports and Pastimes of the People of England: The eagle, the vulture, and the merlun, for an emperor The ger-faulcon, and the tercel … Continue reading

Extincting Wolves in England & Wales

This is from Sports and Pastimes of he People of England, published in 1801. My previous post listed a lot of animals of the hunt, but wolves were absent, apparently because they were already hunted to extinction. It is generally admitted that Edgar gave up the fine of gold and silver imposed by his uncle … Continue reading

Naming the Beasts of the Hunt

This is from Sports and Pastimes of he People of England, published in 1801. Twice or Twety, grand huntsman to Edward II divides animals to be hunted into 3 groups: The first class contains four, which may be properly called beasts for hunting; namely, the hare, the hart, the wolf, and the wild boar. The … Continue reading

Wingrave Witches

This comes from Highways & Byways of Buckinghamshire, and shows not all witch accusations were accepted. This one seems particularly lame, again from the village of Wingrave : William Wooley, who was vicar here for 1753 to 1783, was a great witch-hunter in years when the belief in witchcraft was happily dying out. It is … Continue reading

Tudor Recreations

Before the Reformation it seems our ancestors’ lives were largely structured round work and religious festivals. After the dissolution, there were ongoing debates as to how people – especially the ignorant masses – were allowed to spend their time. This is from Sports & Pastimes of the People of England, citing Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, published in … Continue reading

Old Love

This is a charming piece from the Illustrated Police News, 1892, a reminder that some people did see old bones, and were still active in the past. PASSING NOTES Last week in a little meeting-house just outside Feltham David Macnamara, pensioner, who served in the Inniskilling Dragoons nearly 60 years ago, and who, though in … Continue reading

Go Home April, You’re Drunk

I heard about this online comment (tweet?) and have been sniggering over it since. One of my favourite cartoons is as medieaval image of a man hopping beside a big puddle saying ‘ Mr Bogman please give me back my shoe!’. This is a similar mindset. The words are addressed to as month, or season. … Continue reading

Scattering Grass In Wingrave Church

This is a strange ritual, but one recent enough to be traceable and so makes sense, well sort of. This is from Highways & Byways in Buckinghamshire: [Wingrave] church is the principal attraction. There is, for example, a rhyming record of a charity in one of the aisles: As day doth pass from houre to … Continue reading

St Andrew’s Day in the West Country

St Andrew is mostly associated with the Scots but of course he was one of the major saints, so generally widespread. This is from WestCountry Treasury by Alan & Anthony Gibson: St Andrew’s Day, like so many other saints’ days, was a splendid opportunity for all the young women to find out about their future … Continue reading