Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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14                 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
orchards, and encircling the apple trees, they repeat the follow­ing words:—
Stand fast root, bear well top,
Pray the God send us a good howling crop.
Every twig, apples big ;
Every bough, apples enou;
Hats full, caps full,
Full quarters, sacks full.
They then shout in chorus, one of the boys accompanying them upon the cow's horn. During this ceremony they rap the trees with their sticks. This custom is alluded to in Herrick's ' Hesperides,' p. 311 :
Wassail the trees that they may beare You, many a plum, and many a peare: For more or less fruits they will bring, As you do give them wassailing.
This practice is not confined to Sussex; it prevails in Devon and in Herefordshire."
Evidence of the manners of the day crops up here and there in the diary. Ex. gr.: "To Mrs. Stapley, I lost is. at cards." " I bought for my wyfe a new horse pillion, for which I gave 8s." " I payed Wm. Bachelor, at the Tiger Inn, at Lindfield, for a dinner for 12 persons, £1. 4s.; for beer, bread and tobacco, 7s. 7d.; 3 bottles of sack, 5s.; horse meate, 8d."
The Tiger Inn still stands at Lindfield, and a curious old building it is!
The fashion of tradesmen to put up signs over their doors was in full vogue in Mr. Moore's days. He made not infre­quent journeys to London, always riding on horseback, as was the practice in those days, when, indeed, in Sussex, there were no roads for vehicles; and he duly sets down his purchases. Here is one entry as a sample of numerous others:—"For 6 yards of black cloth to make a cloake, bought of Mr. Theophilus Smith, at the White Lion, Paul's Church Yard, I payd £4 16s., and for 7 yards of calaminko to make a cassock £1. 4s. 6d., and 1 qr. of a yard of velvet 6s.; I bought of Mr. James Allen, at the Hat and Harrow, a new hat,
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