vol II date / index
St. Jerome, Priest, doctor of the Church, A. D. 420. St. Gregory, Bp. surnamed the Apostle of Armenia, and the Illuminator, 4th Cent. St. Honorius, Abp. of Canterbury, A. D. 653
This saint is in the church of England calendar and almanacs. Particulars concerning him will be related hereafter; it is sufficient to observe, for the present, that the church of England sets him forth as an authority for reading the Old Testament Apocrypha.
Custom at Kidderminster.
The annual election of a bailiff at this town, before noticed,* is still accompanied by the rude mirth of the populace. The Editor is obliged to a lady for the following communication.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
I have just cast my eye upon your definition of the term "costermonger," and it reminds me of an annual custom at Kidderminster, (my native town,) which you may perhaps think an account of, a fit subject for insertion in the Every-Day Book.
The magistrate and other officers of the town are annually elected, and the first Monday after Michaelmas-day is the day of their inauguration, in celebration of which, they each of them cause to be thrown to the populace, (who assemble to the amount of some thousands,) from the windows of their houses, or sometimes from the town-hall, a large quantity of apples, in the whole often amounting, from twenty to thirty pots, (baskets containing five pecks each.) This practice occasions, of course, a kind of prescriptive holiday in the town, and any one having the temerity to refuse his apprentice or servant leave to attend the "apple-throwing," would most probably have cause to repent such an invasion of right. A rude concourse therefore fills the streets which are the scenes of action; and as a sort of "safety valve," if I may "compare great things with small," recourse is had by the crowd to the flinging about of old shoes, cabbage stalks, and almost every accessible kind of missile; till at length the sashes are raised, and the gifts of Pomona begin to shower down upon the heads of the multitude. Woe be to the unlucky wight who may chance to ride through the town during the introductory part of this custom; no sooner does he appear, than a thousand aims are taken at him and his horse, or carriage, and the poor belated rider "sees, or dreams he sees," (if ignorant of the practice,) the inhabitants of a whole town raised to oppose his single progress, without being able to form the most distant idea of their motive for so doing. At Ludlow there is a custom as ancient and equally foolish, that of pulling a rope, but of this I know nothing except by report.
I am, H. M.
Golden Amaryllis. Amaryllis Aurea.
Dedicated to St. Jerome.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. In Col. 1337. [return]