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Excited Proceedings – An Effigy Burnt

Northampton Mercury, 30th October 1886

Excited Proceedings – An Effigy Burnt

The rumours which have been in circulation, for the past few days, respecting the reputation of a prominent man in the village have produced considerable excitement among all grades of society. A good deal of feeling was displayed on Sunday, on Monday this was intensified, and on Tuesday it fairly effervesced. As darkness came on large numbers of lads were seen assembling near the Green, and in the adjoining streets, all equipped with old tins, kettles, or anything with which to make a noise, and it soon became apparent to the most casual on-looker that something beyond the common was on the tapis. A crowd gradually assembled at the top of Higgin's-Lane, and whiled away the time with hooting and groaning. At last, amid great groaning, an effigy of the man who has made himself—whether rightly so or not we cannot say—so obnoxious was produced—a man's clothes stuffed with straw and crowned with a broken down billycock hat, with a mask as an apology for a face, and a Bible in its arms. This was borne by several men, two others lighting up the scene with large torches, the whole looking ludicrous in the extreme. A start was eventually made, and the procession, increasing in volume until there would, probably, be nearly 500 followers, proceeded up High-street, by the Temperance flail—where groans were given—by the Church, along Little-street, back down High-street, and Duke-street, to the Higham Ferrers end of the town. Here a halt was made, and groaning and hooting freely indulged in. Eventually the effigy was brought back to the Green, and there solemnly burned in the presence of large numbers.

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