Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/360

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


324 Hampshire Folklore.

says one local writer in 1850 (P. Klitz, Sketches of Life etc. in the New Forest, p. 61), " commonly used " to chase them. This was hurled at the little animal, and the day was wound up with a squirrel feast. My informant had been squoiling in his young days, and thought it possible that boys still indulged in it, though not in so organised a fashion.

Shrove Tuesday was also a chosen day at Portsmouth for bull-baiting, till the Old Fisherman's Row, where the bull was tied up, vanished in the middle of the eighteenth century, and certainly as late as the end of that century bull-baiting had not been discontinued at Stubington, in the neighbourhood of Fareham, where it was, however, not a Shrove Tuesday but a Whit Monday attraction.

A bull ring still exists at Brading in the Isle of Wight, just above the old stocks below the quaint little Market House and Town Hall. Stocks, by the way, are also to be seen at Odiham, but they no longer exist at St. Cross, by Winchester Butter Cross, in Hyde Street, nor King's Gate Street, as they did a century ago. At Southampton the bull ring was in the High Street, and butchers who killed bulls unbaited were fined two loads of faggots (1496). In the Court Rolls of Basingstoke there is an entry that " We find a fault among the butchers that they killeth their bulls unbaited," and in 15 17 a fine of 3s. 4d. was imposed for this curious offence, as the baiting of the wretched animal was supposed to make the meat more wholesome. Of course the same idea exists to this day with regard to a coursed hare.

It is also only within recent years that a curious survival died out in Chilbolton. An old woman there possessed by inheritance a pair of wafering-irons, and at mid-Lent this old Mrs. Baverstock made and sold wafers. "Very nasty tough things " I heard that they were.'"'

^^ I could not discover any recent authority for the story that wafers were sold in Leckford and Chilbolton instead of cakes for Mothering Sunday, though the fact was vouched for in Winchester by a well-known antiquary who said he had seen them. Possibly he confused the Mothering Sunday customs, observed in many Hampshire villages, with Mrs. Baverstock's