Page images
PDF
EPUB

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]

.

.

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]

. 426

Loggats

Love- Games

427

Marbles

ib.

Merritot, or the Swing

428

Muss.

. 429

ib.

[ocr errors]

OBSERVATIONS

ON

POPULAR ANTIQUITIES.

COUNTRY WAKES :1

CALLED ALSO FEASTS OF DEDICATION, REVELLINGS, RUSH.

BEARINGS, AND, IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND, HOPPINGS.

As in the times of Paganism annual festivals were celebrated in honour and memory of their gods, goddesses, and heroes,

1 Spelman, in his Glossary, v. Wak, derives the word Wake from the Saxon Wak, signifying drunkenness. His words are, “ Sunt celebritates bacchanales sub fructuum temporibus, ab occidulis et borealibus Anglis pagatim habitæ. Bacchanales dixi ex nomine : nam Wak, Sax. est temulentia.” With all deference to so great a name, I think Spelman is evidently mistaken, and that he even contradicts himself, when he tells us that on the Sunday after the Enconia, or Feast of the Dedication of the Church, a great multitude both of grown and young persons were wont to meet about break of day, shouting Holy Wakes! Holy Wakes ! Die dominica post Enceniam seu Festum Dedicationis Ecclesiæ cujusvis villä convenire solet in aurorâ magna hominum juvenumque multitudo, et canora voce Holy Wakes! Holy Wakes! exclamando designare," &c. (Gloss. 1664, p. 562.) Strutt gives us a quotation on this subject from Dugdale's Warwickshire, from an old MS. legend of St. John the Baptist, which entirely overthrows the etymology of wake given by Spelman: “ And ye shal understond and know how the evyns were furst found in old time. In the begynning of holy Chirche, it was so that the pepul cam to the chirche with candellys brennyng, and wold wake and coome with light toward to the chirche in their devocions; and after they fell to lecherie and songs, dannces, harping, piping, and also to glotony and sinne, and so turned the holinesse to cursydnees : wherfore holy Faders ordenned the pepul to leve that Waking and to fast the Evyn. But it is called Vigilia, that is waking in English, and it is called Evyn, for at evyn they were wont to come to chirche.”

« PreviousContinue »