King Charles's Martyrdom, 1644 — Holiday at the Public Offices, 1826.
It is recorded, that, after King Charles the First received the sentence of death, on Saturday the 27th, he spent the next day in devout exercises. He refused to see his friends, and ordered them to be told, that his time was precious, and the best thing they could do was to pray for him. On Monday the 29th, his children were brought to take their leave of him, viz. the lady Elizabeth and the duke of Gloucester. He first gave his blessing to the lady Elizabeth, bidding her that when she should see her brother James, she should tell him that it was his father's last desire that he should no more look upon his brother Charles as his eldest brother only, but be obedient to him as his sovereign; and that they should love one another, and forgive their father's enemies. The king added, "Sweetheart, you will forget this." "No," said she, "I shall never forget it as long as I live." He bid her not grieve and torment herself for him; for it would be a glorious death he should die, it being for the laws and liberties of this land, and for maintaining the true Protestant religion. He recommended to her the reading of "Bishop Andrews's Sermons," "Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity," and "Archbishop Laud's Book against Fisher." He further told her, that he had forgiven all his enemies, and hoped God would likewise forgive them. He bade her tell her mother, that his thoughts had never strayed from her, and that his love should be the same to the last. After this he took the duke of Gloucester, being then a child of about seven years of age, upon his knees, saying to him, "Sweetheart, now they will cut off thy father's head:" upon which the child looked with great earnestness upon him. The king proceeding, said, "Mark, child, what I say, they will cut off my head, and perhaps make thee a king: but mark what I say, you must not be a king so long as your brothers Charles and James do live; for they will cut off your brothers' heads when they can catch them, and cut off thy head too at last: and therefore I charge you do not be made a king by them." At which the child fetched a deep sigh, and said, "I will be torn in pieces first." Which expression falling from a child so young, occasioned no little joy to the king. This day the warrant for execution was passed, signed by fifty-nine of the judges, for the king to die the next day, between the hours of ten in the morning and five in the afternoon.
On the 30th, "The king having arrived at the place of execution, made a long address to colonel Tomlinson; and afterwards turning to the officers, he said, 'Sirs, excuse me for this same: I have a good cause and a gracious God: I will say no more.' Then turning to colonel Hacker, he said, 'Take care that you do not put me to pain;' and said, 'This and please you—' A gentleman coming near the axe, he said, 'Take heed of the axe—take heed of the axe.' Then speaking to the executioner (who was masked) he said, "I shall say but very short prayers, and when I thrust out my hands----.' Then he asked the bishop for his cap, which, when he had put on, he said to the executioner, 'Does my hair trouble you?' who desiring it might be all put under his cap, it was put up by the bishop and executioner. Turning to the bishop, he said, 'I have a good cause, and a gracious God on my side.' To which the bishop answered, 'There is but one stage more, which, though turbulent and troublesome, yet it is a very short one; it will soon carry you a very great way. It will carry you from earth to heaven; and there you will find, to your great joy, the prize you hasten to,—a crown of glory.' The king added, 'I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance is, no disturbance in the world.' The bishop replied, 'You are exchanged from a temporal to an eternal crown, and good exchange.' Then the king asked the executioner if his hair was well. After which, putting off his cloak, doublet, and his George, he gave the latter to the bishop, saying, 'Remember.' After this he put on his cloak again over his waistcoat, inquiring of the executioner if the block was fast, who answered it was. He then said, 'I wish it might have been a little higher.' But it was answered him, it could not be otherwise now. The king said, 'When I put out my hands this way, then----.' He prayed a few words standing, with his hands and eyes lift up towards heaven, and then stooping down, laid his neck on the block. Soon after which the executioner putting some of his hair under his cap, the king thought he had been going to strike, bade him stay for the sign. After a little time the king stretched forth his hand, and the executioner took off his head at one stroke. When his head was held up, and the people at a distance knew the fatal stroke was over, there was nothing to be heard but shrieks, and groans, and sobs, the unmerciful soldiers beating down poor people for this little tender of their affection to their prince. Thus died the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best friend, the best husband, the best father, and the best Christian, that the age in which he lived produced."* 
Sir Philip Warwick, an adherent to this unfortunate king, says, "His deportment was very majestic; for he would not let fall his dignity, no not to the greatest foreigners that came to visit him and his court: for though he was far from pride, yet he was careful of majesty, and would be approached with respect and reverence. His conversation was free; and the subject matter of it, on his own side of the court, was most commonly rational; or if facetious, not light. With any artist or good mechanic, traveller, or scholar, he would discourse freely; and as he was commonly improved by them, so he often gave light to them in their own art or knowledge: for there were few gentlemen in the world that knew more of useful or necessary learning than this prince did; and yet his proportion of books was but small, having, like Francis the First of France, learnt more by the ear than by study. His way of arguing was very civil and patient; for he never contradicted another by his authority, but by his reason; nor did he by petulant dislike quash another's arguments; and he offered his exception by this civil introduction, 'By your favour, Sir, I think otherwise, on this or that ground;' yet he would discountenance any bold or forward address unto him. And in suits, or discourses of business, he would give way to none abruptly to enter into them, but looked that the greatest persons should in affairs of this nature address to him by his proper ministers, or by some solemn desire of speaking to him in their own persons. His exercises were manly, for he rid the great horse very well; and on the little saddle he was not only adroit, but a laborious hunter, or field-man. He had a great plainness in his own nature, and yet he was thought, even by his friends, to love too much a versatile man; but his experience had thoroughly weaned him from this at last. He kept up the dignity of his court, limiting persons to places suitable to their qualities, unless he particularly called for them. Besides the women who attended on his beloved queen and consort, the lady Henrietta Maria, sister of the French king, he scarcely admitted any great officer to have his wife in the family. His exercises of religion were most exemplary; for every morning early, and evening, not very late, singly and alone, in his own bed-chamber, or closet, he spent some time in private meditation, (for he dared reflect and be alone,) and through the whole week, even when he went to hunt, he never failed, before he sat down to dinner, to have part of the liturgy read to him and his menial servants, came he ever so hungry or late in: and on Sundays and Tuesdays he came, commonly at the beginning of service, well attended by his court lords and chief attendants, and most usually waited on by many of the nobility in town, who found those observances acceptably entertained by him. His greatest enemies can deny none of this; and a man of this moderation of mind could have no hungry appetite to prey upon his subjects, though he had a greatness of mind not to live precariously by them. But when he fell into the sharpness of his afflictions, (than which few men underwent sharper,) I dare say I know it, (I am sure conscientiously I say it,) though God dealt with him, as he did with St. Paul, not remove the thorn, yet he made his grace sufficient to take away the pungency of it; for he made as sanctified an use of his afflictions as most men ever did. As an evidence of his natural probity, whenever any young nobleman or gentleman of quality who was going to travel, came to kiss his hand, he cheerfully would give them some good counsel leading to moral virtue, especially a good conversation; telling them, that if he heard they kept good company abroad, he should reasonably expect they would return qualified to serve their king and country well at home; and he was careful to keep the youth in his time uncorrupted. The king's deportment at his trial, which began on Saturday the 20th of January, 1648, was very majestic and steady; and though usually his tongue hesitated, yet at this time it was free, for he was never discomposed in mind; and yet, as he confessed himself to bishop Juxon, who attended him, one action shocked him very much; for whilst he was leaning in the court upon his staff, which had a head of gold, the head broke off on a sudden: he took it up, but seemed unconcerned; yet told the bishop, it really made a great impression on him; and to this hour (says he) I know not possibly how it should come. It was an accident I myself have often thought on, and cannot imagine how it came about; unless Hugh Peters, who was truly and really his gaoler, (for at St. James's nobody went to him but by Peters's leave,) had artificially tampered upon his staff. But such conjectures are of no use."
In the Lansdowne collection of MSS. a singular circumstance before the battle of Newbury is thus related:—
"The king being at Oxford went one day to see the public library, where he was shown, among other books, a Virgil, nobly printed and exquisitely bound. The lord Falkland, to divert the king, would have his majesty make a trial of his fortune by the sortes Virgilianæ, which every body knows was not an unusual kind of augury some ages past. Whereupon the king opening the book, the period which happened to come up was part of Dido's imprecation against Æneas, which Mr. Dryden translates thus:—
Yet let a race untamed, and haughty foes,
His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose;
Oppressed with numbers in th' unequal field,
His men discouraged and himself expelled,
Let him for succour sue from place to place,
Torn from his subjects and his sons' embrace,
First let him see his friends in battle slain,
And their untimely fate lament in vain;
And when at length the cruel war shall cease,
On hard conditions may he buy his peace.
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command,
But fall untimely by some hostile hand,
And lie unburied on the barren sand.
Æneid, b. iv. l. 88.
"It is said, king Charles seemed concerned at this accident, and that the lord Falkland observing it, would likewise try his own fortune in the same manner, hoping he might fall upon some passage that could have no relation to his case, and thereby divert the king's thoughts from any impression the other might have upon him. But the place that Falkland stumbled upon was yet more suited to his destiny*  than the other had been to the king's; being the following expressions of Evander upon the untimely death of his son Pallas, as they are translated by the same hand:—
O Pallas! thou hast failed thy plighted word
To fight with caution, not to tempt the sword:
I warned thee, but in vain; for well I knew
What perils youthful ardour would pursue.
That boiling blood would carry thee too far;
Young as thou wert in dangers—raw in war!
O curst essay in arms,—disastrous doom,—
Prelude of bloody fields and fights to come.
Æneid, b. xi. l. 230.
Remarkable 30th of January Sermon.
On the 30th of January, 1755, the rev. John Watson, curate of Ripponden, in Yorkshire, preached a sermon there which he afterwards published. The title-page states it as "proving that king Charles I. did not govern like a good king of England." He also printed "An Apology for his Conduct yearly on the 30th of January." In these tracts he says, "For some years last past I have preached on the 30th of January, and my labours were employed in obviating the mistakes which I knew some of my congregation entertained with regard to the character of king Charles I.; and in proving that if it was judged rebellion in those who took up arms against that unfortunate prince, who had made so many breaches in the constitution, it must be an aggravation of that crime, to oppose the just and wise measures of the present father of his country, king George. The chief reason for publishing the sermon is to confute a commonly received opinion that I applauded therein the act of cutting off the king's head, which any one may quickly see to be without foundation. For when I say that the resistance he met with was owing to his own mal-administration, nothing else can be meant than the opposition he received from a wise, brave, and good parliament:—not that shown him by those furious men who destroyed both the parliament and him, and whose conduct I never undertook to vindicate. It has been observed that I always provide a clergyman to read prayers for me on the 30th of January; but not to read that service is deemed criminal, because in subscribing the 36th canon I obliged myself to use the form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. The office for the 30th of January is no part of the Liturgy of the church of England. By the liturgy of the church I mean the contents of The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, &c., established by the act of uniformity, in the year 1662; and whatever has been added since, I suppose no clergyman ever bound himself by subscription to use; the reason is because the law requires no more."
Mr. Watson then says, on the authority of Wheatly, in his "Illustration of the Common Prayer," Johnson in his "Clergyman's Vade Mecum," and the author of "The Complete Incumbent," that the services for the 30th of January and the 29th of May are not confirmed by act of parliament, and that penalties do not attach for the non-celebration of the service on those days. "I cannot in conscience read those prayers," says Watson, "wherein the king is called a Martyr. I believe the assertion to be false, and therefore why should I tell a lie before the god of Truth! What is a martyr? He is a witness, for so the word in the original imparts. Robert Stephens tells us, that they are martyrs who have died giving a testimony of divinity to Christ: but if this be true king Charles can be no martyr, for he was put to death by those who believed in the divinity of Christ as well as he. What were the grounds then for giving him this glorious title? his dying rather than give up episcopacy? I think lord Clarendon hath proved the contrary: he consented to suspend episcopacy for three years, and that money should be raised upon the sale of the church lands, and only the old rent should be reserved to the just owners and their successors. My charity leads me so far, that I hope king Charles meant well when he told the princess Elizabeth that he should die a martyr, and when he repeated it on the scaffold. But this might be nothing else but a pleasing deception of the mind; and if saying that he died a martyr made him such, then the duke of Monmouth also was the same, for he died with the same words in his mouth, which his grandfather, king Charles, had used before. King Charles II. seems to have had no such opinion of the matter; for when a certain lord reminded his majesty of his swearing in common discourse, the king replied, 'Your martyr swore more than ever I did.' which many have deemed a jest upon the title which his father had got. In fact, we, of this generation, should never have judged, that he who swore to preserve the religion, laws, and liberties of his country inviolate, and yet broke through every one of these restraints—that he, who put an English fleet into the hands of the French to crush the protestants there, who were struggling to maintain their religion and liberties—that he, who contrary to the most solemn promises, did sacrifice the protestant interest in France—that he, who concurred with Laud in bringing the church of England to a kind of rivalship, for ornaments, &c., with the church of Rome—that he, who could consent, when he married the French king's daughter, that their children were to be educated by their mother until thirteen years of age—that he, who gave great church preferments to men who publicly preached up popish doctrines; and that protected known papists from the penalties of the law, by taking several very extraordinary steps in their behalf—that he, who permitted an agent, or a kind of nuncio from Rome, to visit the court publicly, and bestowed such offices as those of lord high treasurer, secretary of state, chancellor of the exchequer, &c., on papists—that he, who by proclamation could command the Lord's day to be profaned (for I can call it no less) by revels, plays, and many sorts of ill-timed recreations, punishing great numbers of pious clergymen for refusing to publish what their consciences forbad them to read: and to name no more—that he, who could abet the Irish massacre, wherein above three hundred thousand protestants were murdered in cold blood, or expelled out of their habitations. (Vide 'Temple's Irish rebellion,' page 6.) I say, we, at this period of time, should not have thought such a one worthy to be deemed a martyr for the cause of protestantism; but that it has been a custom in the church for near a century to call him so. However, it is time seriously to consider whether it is not proper to correct this error; at least, it should be shown to be no error if we must keep it, for, at present, many of the well-meaning members of the church are offended at it."
The writer cited, goes on to observe, "My second objection against reading this service is, that I judge it to be contrary both to reason and the contents of the Bible, to say that 'the blood of king Charles can be required of us or our posterity.' There is not, I suppose, one man alive who consented to the king's death. We know nothing of it but from history, therefore none of us were concerned in the fact; with what reason then can it be averred that we ought to be responsible for it, when it neither was nor is in our power to prevent it. But what if we disclaim the sins of our forefathers, or are the posterity of those who fought for the king, are we still to be in danger of suffering? Such seems to be the doctrine of this service, where all, without exception, are called upon to pray that they 'may be freed from the vengeance of his righteous blood.' I could prove, from undoubted records, that the family I came from were royalists; but I think it sufficient to say that I never did nor ever will consent that a king shall be beheaded, or otherwise put to death; therefore let others say what they will, I look upon myself to be innocent, and why should I plead with God as if I thought myself guilty? But we are told that they 'were the crying sins of this nation which brought down this heavy judgment upon us.' I think it is more clear, that a series of ill-judged and ill-timed acts, on the part of the king, brought him into the power of his opposers, and that, afterwards, the ambition of a few men led him to the scaffold. Let it only be remembered, that at the beginning of his reign he entered into a war for the recovery of the Palatinate against the consent of his parliament; and when he could not get them to vote him money enough for his purpose he extorted it illegally from his subjects; refusing to join the parliament in redressing the grievances of the nation; often threatening them; and even counteracting their designs; which, at last, bred so many disputes, that he overstepped all bounds, and had the misprudence to attempt the seizing of five members in the house; on which the citizens came down by land and water, with muskets on their shoulders, to defend the parliament: soon after which so great a distrust arose between the two houses and him, that all likelinood of agreement wholly ceased. This was the cause whereon to make war—sending the queen to Holland to buy arms, himself retiring from the capital, and soon after erecting his standard at Nottingham. Not succeeding, he was made prisoner, and when many expected his restoration, a violent opposition in the army broke forth; a design was formed to change the monarchy into a republic, and to this, and nothing else, he fell a sacrifice. If the real cause of the king's death was the wickedness of those times, does it not follow that his death was permitted by God as a punishment for that wickedness; and if so, why should we fear that God will still visit for it? Will the just and merciful Judge discharge his vengeance on two different generations of men for the offences committed by one? Such doctrine as this should be banished from every church, especially a christian one; for it has no foundation in reason or revelation." The reasons of this clergyman of the established church for his dissent from the established usage are still further remarkable.
Mr. Watson states other objections to this service. "In the hymn used instead of Venite exultemus, it is said, They fought against him without a cause: the contrary of which, when it is applied to king Charles, I think has been owned by every historian. The parliament of England were always more wise and good, than to raise armies against the kings who gave them no occasion to do so; and I cannot but entertain this favourable opinion of that which began to sit in the year 1640. There is nothing more true than that the king wanted to govern by an arbitrary power. His whole actions showed it, and he could never be brought to depart from this. Either, therefore, his people must have submitted to the slavery, or they must have vindicated their freedom openly; there was no middle way. But should they have tamely received the Yoke? No, surely; for had they done so, they had deserved the worst of evils; and the bitter effects thereof, in all probability, had not only been derived to us, but our posterity. Happy Britons, that such a just and noble stand was made! May the memories of those great patriots that were concerned in it be ever dear to Englishmen; and to all true Englishmen they will!
"In the same hymn it is likewise affirmed that False witnesses rose up against him, and laid to his charge things that he knew not. Which on this occasion cannot be truly said, because as the chief fact to be proved was the king's being in arms, it cannot be supposed that out of more than 200,000 men who had engaged with him, a sufficient number of true witnesses could be wanting. What, therefore, Mr. Wheatly could think when he said that his hymn is as solemn a composure, and as pertinent to the occasion as can be imagined or contrived, I cannot tell. I am sure a broad hint is given therein, that the clergy in king Charles's time were a set of wicked people, and that it was through their unrighteousness, as well as that of the laity, that the king lost his life. The words are these, 'For the sins of the people, and the iniquities of the priests, they shed the blood of the just in the midst of Jerusalem.' Let those defend this passage who are able, for I own myself incapable of doing it consistently."
Mr. Watson says, "I am not by myself in thinking that this service for the 30th of January needs a review; many sensible, worthy men think further—that it is time to drop it; for they see that it is unseasonable now, and serves no other end than as a bone of contention in numberless parishes, preventing friendship, and good will being shown towards such of the clergy as cannot in all points approve of it; excepting that (as I have found by experience) it tends to make bad subjects. A sufficient argument this, was there no other, why it should either be altered or taken away; but I presume not to dictate; and, therefore, I urge this no further: had I not a sincere regard for the church of England, I should have said less; but notwithstanding any reports to the contrary, I declare myself to be a hearty well-wisher to her prosperity. Did I not prefer her communion to that of any other, I would instantly leave her, for I am not so abandoned as to play the hypocrite: that I detest, and have often detested it to my great loss. But I am not of that opinion, that it is for the interest of the church to conceal her defects; on the contrary, I think I do her the greatest service possible by pointing them out, so that they may be remedied to the satisfaction of all good men. She ought not to be ashamed of the truth, and falsehood will never hurt her."
It appears that Mr. Watson's conduct obtained much notice; for he preached another sermon at Halifax, entitled "Moderation; or a candid disposition towards those that differ from us, recommended and enforced." This he also printed, with the avowed view of "promoting of that moderation towards all men which becometh us as Christians, is the ornament of our profession, and which we should therefore labour to maintain, as we desire to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." He proceeds to observe in this discourse, that "whoever reflects upon the nature of human constitutions, will readily allow the impossibility of perfection in any of them; and whoever considers the mutability of human things, will grant that nothing can be so well devised, or so sure established, which, in continuance of time, will not be corrupted. A change of circumstances, to which the best constituted state is liable, will require such alterations as once would have been needless: and improvement of observation will demand such regulations as nothing else could have discovered to have been right. Of this the wise founders of the established church of England were very sensible; they prudently required no subscription to perfection in the church well knowing that they but laid the foundation stone of a much greater building than they could live to see completed. The Common Prayer, since it was first properly compiled, in the year 1545, has undergone sixteen alterations, as defects became visible, and offence was thereby given to the promoting of separations and divisions: noble examples these—fit for the present age to imitate! for, as ninety years have elapsed since the last review, this experienced age has justly discovered that the amendments, at that time made, were not sufficient. I could produce you many instances; but I forbear; for I am very sensible how tender a point I am discussing. However, I cannot but observe, that for my own part, upon the maturest and most sober consideration, I take him to be a greater friend to Christianty in general, and to this church in particular, who studies to unite as many dissenters as may be to us, by a reasonable comprehension, than he who is against it."
It is urged by Mr. Watson, that the church of England herself does not claim a perfection which is insisted upon as her distinguishing quality by some of her over zealous advocates. He says, "The first reformers were wise and good men, but the Common Prayer they published was little better than popery itself; many indeed, have been the alterations in it made since then; but as, through the unripeness of the times, it never had any but imperfect emendations, we may reasonably suppose it capable of still further improvements." Deeming the service appointed for this day as inappropriate, and referring to suggestions that were in his time urged upon public attention for a review of the liturgy, he proceeds to say, "There may be men at work that misrepresent this good design; that proclaim, as formerly, the church's danger; but let no arts like these deceive you; they must be enemies in disguise that do it, or such who have not examined what they object to with sufficient accuracy. What is wished for, your own great Tillotson himself attempted: this truly valuable man, with some others but little inferior to himself, being sensible that the want of a sufficient review drew many members from the church, would have compromised the difference in a way detrimental to no one, beneficial to all; and had he not been opposed by some revengeful zealots, had certainly completed what all good men have wished for."
The Editor of the Every-Day Book has Mr. Watson's private copies of these printed tracts, with manuscript additions and remarks on them by Mr. Watson himself. It should seem from one of these notes, in his own hand-writing, that his opinions were not wholly contemned. Regarding his latter discourse, he observes that "the late Dr. Sharp, archdeacon of Northumberland, in a pamphlet, called 'A Serious Inquiry into the Use and Importance of External Religion;' quotes this sentence "Where unity and peace are disregarded, devotion must be so too, as it were by natural consequences. I have borrowed these words from a sermon preached at Halifax, by John Watson, A. M., which, if any man, who has sixpence to spare, will purchase, peruse, and lay to heart, he will lay out his time and his money very well." Archdeacon Sharp was father of the late Granville Sharp, the distinguished philanthorpist and hebraist.
Mr. Watson was born at Presburg, in Cheshire, and educated at Brazen Nose college, Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship. He wrote a History of Halifax, in 2 vols. 4to., 1775; and a History of the Warren Family, by one of whom he was presented to the rectory of Stockport, where he died, aged 59 years. He also wrote a review of the large Moravian hymn book, and several miscellaneious pieces. There is a portrait of him by Basire.
By those who believe that Charles was "guiltless of his country's blood," and that the guilt "of his blood" is an entail upon the country not yet cut off, it may be remarked as a curious fact, that at about that season, eighty years after the king "bowed his head" on the scaffold at Whitehall, it was "a very sickly time." It is recorded, that in 1733 "people were afflicted this month with a head-ach and fever which very few escaped, and many died of; particularly between Tuesday, the twenty-third, and Tuesday, the thirtieth of January, there died upwards of fifteen hundred in London and Westminster."*  On the twenty-third of January, 1649, the king having peremptorily denied the jurisdiction of the court, the president, Bradshaw, "ordered his contempt to be recorded: on the thirtieth of January he was beheaded." During these days, and the intervening ones, the fatal London head-ach prevailed in 1733.
On the second of March, 1772, Mr. Montague moved in the house of commons to have so much of the act of 12th C. II. c. 30, as relates to the ordering the thirtieth of January to be kept as a day of fasting and humiliation, to be repealed. His motive he declared to be, to abolish, as much as he could, any absurdity from church as well as state. He said that he saw great and solid reasons for abolishing the observation of that day, and hoped that it was not too harsh a name to be given to the service for the observation of that day, if he should brand it with the name of impiety, particularly in those parts where Charles I. is likened to our Saviour. On a division, there being for the motion 97, and against it 125, it was lost by a majority of 27.
The Calves-head Club.
On the 30th of January, 1735, certain young noblemen and gentlemen met at a French Tavern in Suffolk-street, (Charing Cross,) under the denomination of the "Calves-head Club." They had an entertainment of calves' heads, some of which they showed to the mob outside, whom they treated with strong beer. In the evening, they caused a bonfire to be made before the door, and threw into it with loud huzzas a calf's-head dressed up in a napkin. They also dipped their napkins in red wine, and waved them from the windows, at the same time drinking toasts publicly. The mob huzzaed as well as "their betters,"—but at length broke the windows, and became so mishievous that the guards were called in to prevent further outrage.* 
These proceedings occasioned some verses in the "Grub-street Journal," wherein are the following lines:—
Strange times! when noble peers secure from riot
Cann't keep Noll's annual festival in quiet.
Through sashes broke, dirt, stones and brands thrown at em,
Which, if not scand was brand-alum-magnatum—
Forced to run down to vaults for safer quarters,
And in cole-holes, their ribbons hide and garters.
They thought, their feast in dismal fray thus ending,
Themselves to shades of death and hell descending:
This might have been, had stout Clare-market mobsters
With clevers arm'd, outmarch'd St. James's lobsters;
Numsculls they'd split, to furnish other revels,
And make a calves-head feast for worms and devils.
The Calves-head Club in Suffolk Street, 1734.
There is a print entitled "The true Effigies of the Members of the Calves-head Club, held on the 30th of January, 1734, in Suffolk Street, in the County of Middlesex." This date is the year before that of the disturbance related, and as regards the company, the health drinking, huzzaing, a calf's head in a napkin, a bonfire, and the mob, the scene is the same; with this addition, that there is a person in a mask with an axe in his hand. The engraving above is from this print.
On a work entitled the "History of the Calves-head Club," little reliance is to be placed for authenticity. It appears, however, that their toasts were of this description: "The pious memory of Oliver Cromwell." "Damn—n to the race of the Stuarts." "The glorious year 1648." "The man in the mask, &c." It will be remembered that the executioner of Charles I. wore a mask.
Oranges and Bells.
A literary hand at Newark is so obliging as to send the communication annexed, for which, in behalf of the reader, the editor offers his sincere thanks.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Newark, Dec. 10, 1825.
On the 30th of January, the anniversary of king Charles's martyrdom, and on Shrove Tuesday, we have a custom here, which I believe to be singular, having never heard of it elsewhere. On those days, there are several stalls placed in the market-place, (as if for a regular market,) having nothing but oranges: you may purchase them, but it is rarely the case; but you "raffle" for them at least that is their expression. You give the owner a halfpenny, which entitles you to one share; if a penny, to two, and so on; and when there is a sufficient sum, you begin the raffle. A ball nearly round, (about the size of a hen's egg,) yet having twenty-six square sides, each having a number, being one to twenty-six, is given you: (some balls may not have so many, others more, but I never saw them.) You throw the ball down, what I may term, the chimney, (which is so made as to keep turning the balls as it descends,) and it falls on a flat board with a ledge, to keep it from falling off, and when it stops you look at the number. Suppose it was twelve, the owner of the stall uses this expression, "Twelve is the highest, and one gone." Then another throws; if his is a lesser number, they say, "Twelve is the highest, and two gone;" if a higher number, they call accordingly. The highest number takes oranges to the amount of all the money on the board. When they first begin, a halfpenny is put down, then they call "One, and who makes two?" when another is put down, it is "Two, and who makes three?" and so on. At night the practice is kept up at their own houses till late hours; and others go to the inns and public-houses to see what they can do there.
Also every day, at six in the morning, and night, at eight o'clock, we have a bell rung for about a quarter of an hour: it is termed six o'clock and eight o'clock bell. On saint days, Saturdays, and Sundays, the time is altered to seven o'clock in the morning, and to seven o'clock at night, with an additional ringing at one o'clock at noon. Again, at eight o'clock on Sunday morning, all the bells are tolled round for a quarter of an hour.
I have mentioned the above, that, if they come within the notice of the Every-Day Book, you would give them insertion, and, if possible, account for their origin.
Whilst on the subject of "bells," perhaps you can mention how "hand bells came into the church, and for what purpose." We have a set in this church.
I am, &c.
H. H. N. N.
The editor will be glad to receive elucidations of either of these usages.
Accounts of local customs are particularly solicited from readers of the Every-Day Book in every part of the country.
To the notice of this day in the Perennial Calendar, the following stanzas are subjoined by Dr. Forster. They are evident "developments" of phrenological thought.
VERSES ON A SKULL.
In a church-yard.
O empty vault of former glory!
Whate'er thou wert in time of old,
Thy surface tells thy living story,
Tho' now so hollow, dead, and cold;
For in thy form is yet descried
The traces left of young desire;
The Painter's art, the Statesman's pride,
The Muse's song, the Poet's fire;
But these, forsooth, now seem to be
Mere lumps on thy periphery.
Dear Nature, constant in her laws,
Hath mark'd each mental operation,
She ev'ry feeling's limit draws
On all the heads throughout the nation,
That there might no deception be;
And he who kens her tokens well,
Hears tongues which every where agree
In language that no lies can tell—
Have traces on the skullcap left.
But through all Nature's constancy
An awful change of form is seen,
Two forms are not which quite agree,
None is replaced that once hath been;
Endless variety in all,
From Fly to Man, Creation's pride,
Each shows his proper form—to fall
Eftsoons in time's o'erwhelming tide,
And mutability goes on
With ceaseless combination.
'Tis thine to teach with magic power
Those who still bend life's fragile stem,
To suck the sweets of every flower,
Before the sun shall set to them;
Calm the contending passions dire,
Which on thy surface I descry,
Like water struggling with the fire
In combat, which of them shall die;
Thus is the soul in Fury's car,
A type of Hell's intestine war.
Old wall of man's most noble part,
While now I trace with trembling hand
Thy sentiments, how oft I start,
Dismay'd at such a jarring band!
Man, with discordant frenzy fraught,
Seems either madman, fool, or knave;
To try to live is all he's taught—
To 'scape her foot who nought doth save
In life's proud race;—(unknown our goal)
To strive against a kindred soul.
These various organs show the place
Where Friendship lov'd, where Passion glow'd,
Where Veneration grew in grace,
Where justice swayed, where man was proud—
Whence Wit its slippery sallies threw
On Vanity, thereby defeated;
Where Hope's imaginary view
Of things to come (fond fool) is seated;
Where Circumspection made us fear,
Mid gleams of joy some danger near.
Here fair Benevolence doth grow
In forehead high—here Imitation
Adorns the stage, where on the Brow
Are Sound, and Color's legislation.
Here doth Appropriation try,
By help of Secrecy, to gain
A store of wealth, against we die,
For heirs to dissipate again.
Cause and Comparison here show,
The use of every thing we know.
But here that fiend of fiends doth dwell,
While Ideality unshaken
By facts or theory, whose spell
Maddens the soul and fires our beacon.
Whom memory tortures, love deludes,
Whom circumspection fills with dread,
On every organ he obtrudes,
Until Destruction o'er his head
Impends; then mad with luckless strife,
He volunteers the loss of life.
And canst thou teach to future man
The way his evils to repair—
Say, O momento,—of the span
Of mortal life? For if the care
Of truth to science be not given,
(From whom no treachery it can sever,)
There's no dependance under heaven
That error may not reign for ever.
May future heads more learning cull
From thee, when my own head's a skull.
There is a parish game in Scotland, at this season of the year, when the waters are frozen and can bear pracitioners in the diversion. It prevails, likewise, in Northumberland, and other northern parts of south Britain; yet, nowhere, perhaps, is it so federalized as among the descendants of those who "ha' wi' Wallace bled." This sport, called curling, is described by the georgical poet, and will be better apprehended by being related in his numbers: it being premised that the time agreed on, or the appointment for playing it, is called the tryst; the match is called the bonspiel; the boundary marks for the play are called the tees; and the stones used are called coits, or quoits, or coiting, or quoiting-stones.
Now rival parishes, and shrievedoms, keep,
On upland lochs, the long-expected tryst
To play their yearly bonspiel. Aged men,
Smit with the eagerness of youth, are there,
While love of conquests lights their beamless eyes,
New-nerves their arms, and makes them young once more.
The sides when ranged, the distance meted out,
And duly traced the tees, some younger hand
Begins, with throbbing heart, and far o'ershoots,
Or sideward leaves, the mark: in vain he bends
His waist, and winds his hand, as if it still
Retained the power to guide the devious stone,
Which, onward hurling, makes the circling groupe
Quick start aside, to shun its reckless force.
But more and still more skilful arms succeed,
And near and nearer still around the tee,
This side, now that, approaches; till at last,
Two, seeming equidistant, straws, or twigs,
Decide as umpires 'tween contending coits.
Keen, keener still, as life itself were staked,
Kindles the friendly strife: one points the line
To him who, poising, aims and aims again;
Another runs and sweeps where nothing lies.
Success alternately, from side to side,
Changes; and quick the hours un-noted fly,
Till light begins to fail, and deep below,
The player, as he stoops to lift his coit,
Sees, half incredulous, the rising moon.
But now the final, the decisive spell,
Begins; near and more near the sounding stones,
Some winding in, some bearing straight along,
Crowd justly all around the mark, while one,
Just slightly touching, victory depends
Upon the final aim: long swings the stone,
Then with full force, careering furious on,
Rattling it strikes aside both friend and foe,
Maintains its course, and takes the victor's place.
The social meal succeeds, and social glass;
In words the fight renewed is fought again,
While festive mirth forgets the winged hours.—
Some quite betimes the scene, and find that home
Is still the place where genuine pleasure dwells.
Mean Temperature . . . 36 . 85.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Clarendon. [return]
2. Lord Falkland engaged in a thoughtless skirmish and perished in it. [return]
3. British Chronologist, 177. [return]
4. Gents. Mag. and Brit Chron. [return]