Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/105

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Correspondence. 89

flung on the stones. Bundles of yams wrapped in leaves were also thrown on to be cooked, and on top of these, almost hidden in the dense clouds of smoke, the fire-walkers stood, and it was over. They could not have been on the hot stones more than three-quarters of a minute, but it was probably quite enough for them. The explanation of how it can be done probably lies in the fact that the stones are not very hot, and that these men come from a place where the rocks are so uncomfortable to walk on that their feet welcome the hot brick as a pleasant change."

True copy.

Alfred H. Haggard. 14 . 10 . 02.

Fifth of November Customs.

Mr. H., who is more than seventy, told me at the beginning of November, 1902, that when he was a lad all the young men of Kirton-in-Lindsey claimed the right of shooting over the whole parish on the 5th of November. " When the sport was over," he added, "they met together in the market place to fire off their guns."

The belief that the people of a parish may legally shoot " all over the lordship " on this day is not uncommon in North Lincoln- shire.

Does it rest on some old folk-custom ? So far as I am aware, manorial records do not speak of such a practice.

At the present time the boys of Kirton have a 5 th of November bonfire on the green, but I am told by Mr. G., a septuagenarian, who has lived all his life in the little town, that according to his experience they have never made efifigies of Guy Fawkes. Some of the boys of the middle class once burnt a figure representing an unpopular schoolmaster, and representations of notorious public characters are occasionally offered to the flames, but a genuine Gunpowder Plot Guy he believes to be unknown. Whether Guys are rare in Lincolnshire I cannot say, for my experience happens to be small, but in fact all the Guys I have seen were beyond the borders of the county.