The Lancashire wakes in the nineteenth century

Walton, John K. and Poole, Robert (1982) The Lancashire wakes in the nineteenth century. In: Storch, Robert D., (ed.) Popular culture and custom in nineteenth-century England. Croom Helm, London, UK, pp. 100-124. Full text not available from this repository.

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On the eve of the great migration of the rapidly developing textile industry into the steam-powered factory and the town, the nascent cotton district of south and east Lancashire had a rich and varied calendar of popular holidays, traditions and customs. Samuel Bamford listed those that prevailed during his boyhood in Middleton, a weaving and mining village a few miles north of Manchester, in the early nineteenth century. The year began with the Christmas holidays, which lasted for several days from the first Monday after New Year's Day. Shrove Tuesday was a holiday, and mid-Lent Sunday was observed with cymbalin cakes and mulled ale. Easter saw heavy drinking, dancing, 'pace-egging' and a mock mayor ceremony, and it concluded on the Wednesday with 'White Apron Fair', when the local women displayed themselves in all their finery. May-Day was used for the ritual settling of grudges, and Whitsuntide was a further occasion for dancing and drinking, with many villagers visiting Manchester Races. But, we are told, '"The Rush-bearing" was the great feast of the year.' This was held on the anniversary of the dedication of the church, usually the third Saturday in August, when rushes were ceremonially carried from the outlying hamlets and strewn in the parish church to act as a floorcovering during the coming year.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Croom Helm
ISBN: 0312630336
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Arts (IOA) > Humanities
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2010 16:30
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 11:01
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