Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/189

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

Collectanea. 171

6. Two or three men who carry money-boxes. They sing the following song :

Please to remember the chimney-sweeps,

Please, kind Sir, don't pass us by ; We're old sweeps, and want a living,

Spare us a copper, as in olden time.

(Mrs. J. Hathaway, Oxford, August, 1894.)

[This account of the sweeps seems to record one of their last appearances, for Jackson^ s Oxford Journal of May 8, 1897, mentions that " the old-fashioned ' Jack-in-the-Green ' has entirely disappeared."]

Whitsun Ales. — The Woodstock Whitsun Ale was held every seven years ; it began on Holy Thursday, and was carried on the whole of Whitsun week. It was held at the entrance to Woodstock on the Oxford Road, opposite to the present railway station. The day before Holy Thursday a May Pole was set up, provided by the Duke of Marlborough, which remained up for the rest of the Feast. It was a bare pole ornamented with ribbons and flowers. Near it was a drinking booth, and opposite this a shed some fifty feet long with benches round the sides, decorated with evergreens, also provided by the Duke, known as the " Bowery."

A "Lord" and a "Lady" were chosen, who were attended by a " waiting-man " and " waiting-maid." Both "Lord" and "Lady" carried " maces," ^ which were short sticks stuck into small squares of board ; from the four corners of which semicircular hoops crossed diagonally, the whole being covered with ribbons. The lord and lady were also attended by two men carrying a painted wooden horse, to which were fastened two stout poles that stuck out in front and behind. This was followed by a band of morris- dancers. The procession would then go round the town, the " Lord " and " Lady " carrying in the centre of their " maces," a small cake like the modern Banbury cake, called the " Whit Cake," and these were offered to people to taste in return for a small payment. A man carrying a basket of these cakes for sale also followed. In front of the " Bowery " were hung up an owl and a hawk in cages, and two threshing flails, which went by the names of " The Lady's Parrot," and " The Lady's Nut-crackers."

' For illustrations of some Oxfordshire " maces," v. Folk-Lore, viii., 314, plate V.