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Some Old Customs

Wellingborough News, 22nd July 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

RENT AUDIT—On the 11th inst. an excellent spread was provided in the New Hall (served by the Coffee Tavern Company), for each man who rents an allotment of the land of the Rev. Canon Barker. It is the custom for the rector to provide an annual supper, and to give prizes to six of the best husbandmen. The following obtained the prizes: first field, 1 Mr. G. Garley, 2 Mr. W. Burge, 3 Mr. J. Denton; second field, 1 Mr. J. Warren, 2 Mr. W. Watts, 3, Mr. C. Bollard. About 70 sat down and spent a very pleasant evening.

Wellingborough News, 21st October 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

Raunds - MICHAELMAS—The weather has been very unpropitious for the celebration of the holidays which have so long been associated with the feast of St. Michael in this part of the country. This is the great holiday of the year for farmers' servants, both male and female; although in this village, in consequence of the extension of the shoe trade, it is less marked than formerly. It is a time of change both with master and manservant, and mistress and maidservant, or it is the period of new arrangements, when Richard gets an extra £1 from the master to stay again, and Dorothy obtains a like advance in wages from her mistress for her next year's services. But whether or not a fresh agreement is made and the servants stay again, or a change takes place, the occasion is marked by a few days' or a week's holiday, and the "going home" of the servants after a year's service is looked forward to with pleasurable anticipations. It is a little unfortunate therefore that the warm receptions and re-unions awaiting them should be damped and marred by ungenial and wet weather.

Note: although this report is for Raunds - it would have been much the same in all parishes.

Wellingborough News, 21st October 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

RENT SUPPER—On Monday evening the tenants and friends of Mr. Sherwood, of London, had their supper, according to custom, at the Wagon and Horses Inn, Mr. Wood, having obtained an hour's extension of time. For the full report and more click here

Wellingborough News, 14th January 1887, transcribed by Kay Collins

PLOUGH MONDAY—On all days in the year but one ploughboys are an article of great rarity, and remarkably conspicuous by their absence so far as Rushden is concerned, but on Plough Monday they leave the seat, the bench, and the last, and venture forth in all the splendour of labourers' attire, blackened faces, and grotesque proportion to solicit blackmail from timid shopkeepers and pedestrians, and as a rule get more kicks than halfpence.

Wellingborough News, 22nd April 1887, transcribed by Kay Collins

PRIMROSE DAY—Tuesday being the anniversary of the death of the late Lord Beaconsfield primroses were worn by a good many at Rushden. In the window of Mr. Seckington, florist, was exhibited a wreath made of primroses, bearing the words "In memory of," with the portrait of the late Lord Beaconsfield in the centre.

Northampton Mercury Saturday January 18th 1890, transcribed by Susan Manton

Plough Monday was observed with all the “burnt cork” and “Tomfoolery” of former occasions. “Buck Rice” and company paraded the streets with scarecrows and with the music of coffee tins, a concertina and a brass whistle. In the evening a number of hobble-de-hoys from the factories solicited halfpennies in return for ink’d faces and hump backs composed of grindery bags.

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