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Ogborde's print, from whence the dern impressions are in.scribed as already preceding engraving is taken, bears quoted in the preceding columu: in the this iuscription
old impression “ C. Mosley sculp'." “ An exact Perspective View of Dun- stands below “ the oath" in verse, at Mow, late the Priory in the county of the right hand corner of the plate ; and Essex, with a Representation of the in the modern one it is erased from that Ceremony & Procession in that Maue part and placed at the same corner nor, on Thursday the 20 of June 1751 above“the oath," and immediately under when Thomas Shakeshaft of the Parish the engraving; the space it occupied is of Weathersfield in the county aforesaid, supplied by the words “. Republish'd Weaver, & Ann lois Wise came to de- Oct 29th. 1826 by R. Cribb, 288 Holmand and did actually receive a Gam- born": its original note of publication mon of Bacon, having first kneelt down remains, viz. “ Publishi'd according to upou two bare stones within the Church Act of Parliament Jaury. 1752." The door, and taken the said Oath pursuant print is now common. to the ancient custom in manner & form Mr. Brand, or his printer, further misprescribed as aforesaid." A short ac takes the name of the claimant on the count of this custom precedes the above print, for, in the “Popular Antiquities" inscription.
be quotes it “Shapeshaft" instead of Mr. Brand speaks of his possessing “ Shakeshaft;" and he omits to mention Ogborne's print, and of its having be- a larger print, of greater rarity in his come “exceedingly rare;" he further time, “ sold by John Bowles Map & cites it as being inscribed “ Taken on Printseller in Cornhill," entitled “The the spot and engraved by David Og- Manner of claiming the Gamou of Bacon borne.” Herein he mistakes ; for, as &c by Thom. Shakeshaft, and Anne his regards Ogborne, both old and mo wife" which it thus represents:
PORY OF THE OATH.
John," who commenced his reign in
1199, and was Henry III, You shall swear by Custom of Confession, If ever you made nuptial trangression :
Concerning the ceremony, the print Be you either married man or wife,
goes on to describe, that after delivering By household brawles contentious
the bacoul, “ the happy pair are taken strife,
upon men's shoulders, in a chair kept Or otherwise in bed, or at boord,
for that purpose, and carried round the Offend each other in deed, or word ; scite of the priory, froin the church to Or since the parish Clerk said Amen, the house, with drums, minstrells, aud You wish't yourselves unmarried agen : other musick playing, and the gammon Or in a twelve moneths lime and a day of bacon borne on a bigh pole before Repented not in thought any way:
them, attended by the steward, gentle. But continued true and just in desire
men, and officers of the manor, with the As when you joyned hands in the holy several inferior tenants, carrying wands,
quire If to these conditions without all feare,
&c., and a jury of bachelors and maidens own accord you will freely (being six of each sex) walking two and sweare,
two, with a great multitude of other A whole Gammon of Bacon you shall people, young and old, from all the receive,
neighbouring towus and villages there. And bear it henceforth with love and good abouts, and several more that came leave,
from very great distances (to the amount For this is our Custome at Dunmow well
of many thousands in the whole), with known,
shouts and acclamations, following. Though the pleasure be ours, the Bacon's your own.
The chair in which the successful On the taking of this oath, which is candidates for “ the bacon" cited by an old county historian,* and seated, after obtaining the honourable soniewliat varies from the verses beneath testimony of their connubial happiness, the before-mentioned prints, the swear is made of oak, and though large, seems
were entitled to the flitch, or hardly big enough for any pair, but gammon.
such as had given proofs of their mutual The “ Gentleman's Magazine," of good-nature and affection. It is still 175), mentions that on this day.“ John preserved in Dunmow Church, and Shakesbanks, woolcomber, and Anne makes part of the admiranda of tha. his wife, of the parish of Weathersfield, place. It is undoubtedly of great alin Essex, appeared at the customary tiquity, probably the official chair of the court at Dunmow-parva, and claim'd prior, or that of the lord of the manor, the bacon according to the custom of in which he held the usual courts, and that manor." This is all the notice of received the suit and service of his the last claim in that miscellany, but tenants. There is an engraving of the the old “ London Magazine," of the chair in the “ Antiquarian Repertory," same year, adds, that “the bacon was from whence this notice of it is ex. delivered to them with the usual form- tracted: it in no way differs from the alities." It is remarkable that in both chief chairs of ancient halls. these magazines the parties are named “Shakeshanks." On reference to the Of “the bacon," it is stated, on Ogcourt-roll, the real name appears to be borne's print, that “ before the dissoluShakeshaft.
tion of monasteries, it does not appear, Ogborne's print affirms that this cus
by searching the most ancient records, tom was instituted in or about the year to have been demanded above three 1111, by Robert, son of Richard Fitz times, and, including this (demand of Gilbert, Earl of Clare: but as regards Shakeshaft's) just as often since.” These the date, which is in the time of Henry demands are particularized by Dugdale; I., the statement is inaccurate; for if it from a manuscript in the College of originated with Robert Fitzwalter, as Arms, † to the following effect:hereafter related, he did not live till the “Robt. Fitzwalter, living long beloved time of “ • King Henry, son of King of king Henry, son of king John, as also
• Plott, in his Staffordshire, from History of Robert Fitzwalter. Lond. 1616.
Inscription on Ogborne's Print,
of all the realme, betook himself in his the said Richard a side or Aitch of latter dayes to prayer and deeds of cha- bacon. rity, gave great and bountifull alms to Anno 7 Edw. IV. 1467, one Stephen the poor, kept great hospitality, and re Samuel of Ayston-Parva, in the county edified the decayed prison (priory) of of Essex, husbandman, on the day of Dunmow, which one Juga (Baynard), the Blessed Virgin in Lent (25th March) a most devout and religious woman, in the 7th year of king Edward IV. being in her kinde his ancestor, had came to the priory of Dunmow, and rebuilded; in which prison (priory) arose quired a gammon of bacon; and he was a custome, begun and instituted, eyther sworn before Roger Bulcott, then prior by him, or some other of his successours, of the place and the convent, and also which is verified by a commou proverb before a multitude of other neighbours, or saying, viz.—That he which repents and there was delivered to him a gamhim not of his marriage, either sleeping mou of bacon. or waking, in a year and a day, may Anno 2 Hen. VIII. 1510, Thomas le lawfully go to Dunmow and fetch a Fuller of Cogshall, in the county of gammon of bacon. It is most assured Essex, came to the priory of Dunmow, that such a custome there was, and that and on the 8th day of September, being this bacon was delivered with such so Sunday, in the 2d year of king Henry lemnity and triumphs as they of the VIII. according to the form of the chara priory and the townsmen could make. ter, was sworn before John Tils, then I have enquired of the manner of it, and Prior of the house and the convent, and can learne no more but that it continued also before a pultitude of neighbours, untill the dissolution of that house, as and there was delivered to him, the said also the abbies. And that the party or Thomas, a gammon of bacon. pilgrim for bacon was to take his oath “Hereby it appeareth,” Dugdale says, before prior and convent, and the whole “ that it was according to a charter, or town, humbly kneeling in the church. donation, given by some conceited beyard upon two hard pointed stones, which nefactor to the house; and it is not to stones, some say, are there yet to be be doubted, but that at such a time, the seen in the prior's church-yard; his bordering towns and villages resorted, oath was ministered with such long pro and were partakers of their pastimes, cess, and such solemve singing over him, and laughed to scorne the poore mau's that doubtless must make his pilgrimage pains *." (as I may term it) painfull: after, he was takes up upon men's shoulders, and carried, first about the priory church-yard,
Jo a letter from F. D. to“Mr. Urban," and after, through the town with all the Shakeshaft, alias Shakeshank, is called fryers and brethren, and all the town's
the ancient woolcomber of Weathersfield, folke, young and old, following him with
and a copy of the register of the form shouts and acclamations, with his bacon
and ceremouy, observed fifty years beborne before him, and in such manner
fore, is communicated as follows:(as I have heard) was sent home with Extract from the Court Roll. his bacon; of which I find that some had a gammon, and others a flecke, or
*Dunmow, Nuper AT a court baron of Priorat
the right worshipa flitch; for proof whereof I have, from
ful Sir Thomas May, knt. There holdeu the records of the house, found the names of three several persons that at several
upon Friday the 7th day of June, in the
13th year of the reign of our sovereign times had it."
lord William III. by the grace of God, Anno 23. Henry VI. 1445, one Richard
&c. and in the year of our lord 1701, Wright of Badbury, hear the city of
before Thomas Wheeler, gent. steward Norwich in the county of Norfolk, la
of the said manor, it is thus enrolled: bourer (Plebeius) came to Duomow and required the bacon, to wit, on the 27th (Elizabeth Beaumont, Spinster of April, in the 23d year of the reign of
D Henrietta Beaumont, Spinster king Henry VI. and according to the
Annabella Beaumont, Spinster form of the charter was sworu before
June Beaumont, Spinster John Cannon, prior of the place and the
Mary Wheeler, Spinster convent, and very many other neighbours, and there was delivered to hini,
. Dugdale's Monasticon.
“Be it remember'd, that at this court, Nor since you were married man and wife, in full and open court, it is found, and By houshold brawls, or contentious presented by the homage aforesaid, that
strife, William Parsley, of Much Euston in the
Or otherwise, in bed or at board,
Offended each other in deed or in word; county of Essex, butcher, and Jane his wife, have been married for the space
Or in a twelvemonth's time and a day, of three years last past, and upward; Or since the church clerk said Amen,
Repented not in thought any way ; and it is likewise found, presented, and
Wished yourselves unmarried again, adjudged, by the homage aforesaid, that But continued true, and in desire the said William Parsley, and Jane his As when you joyned bands in holy quire. wife, by means of their quiet, peaceable, tender, and loving cohabitation, for the
“And immediately thereupon, the said space of time aforesaid, (as appears by claiming the said gammon of bacon, the
William Parsley, and Jane bis wife, the said homage) are fit and qualify'd persons to be admitted by the court to court pronounced the sentence for the receive the antient and accustom'd
same, in these words, or to the effect
followingoath, whereby to entitle themselves to have the bacon of Dunmow delivered
Since to these conditions, without any
fear, unto them, according to the custom of the manor.
Of your own accord you do freely swear,
A whole gammon of bacon you do reWhereupon, at this court, in full and
ceive, open court, came the said William Par
And bear it away with love and good sley, and Jane his wife, in their proper leave, persons, and humbly prayed, they might for this is the custoin of Dunmow well be admitted to take the oath aforesaid;
kpown; whereupou the said steward, with the Tho' the pleasure be ours, the bacon's jury, suitors, and other officers of the
your own. court, proceeded, with the usual solem “And accordingly a gammon of bacon nity, to the antient and accustomed was delivered unto the said William place for the administration of the oath, Parsley, and Jane bis wife, with the and receiving the gammon- aforesaid, usual solemnity. (that is to say) the two great stones ly
* Examined per Thomas Wheeler, ing wear the church door, within the
steward." said manor, where the said William Parsley, and Jane his wife, kuceling
The same day a gammon was delidown on the said two stones, and the
vered to Mr. Reynolds, steward to Sir said steward did administer unto them Churles Barrington, of Hatfield Broad the above-mentioned oath in these
Oak. words, or to this effect following, viz.
The custom of this manor is commeYou do swear by custom of confession, That you ne'er made nupial transgression,
morated “ in this old distich" viz.
He that repents him not of his Marriage in a year and a day either
sleeping or waking May lawfully goe to Dunmow and fetch a gammon of Bacon.
It is further mentioned in “ Piers of Tutbury," the whole whereof is here Plowman's Vision," and Chaucer refers set forth in Dr. Plot's words, viz.: to it in the following words:
“I find that Sr. Philip de Somervile
10 of Edw. 3. held the Manors of WhichThe bacon was not set for hem I trowe, That some men haue in Essex at Don
novre, Scirescot, Ridware Netherton, and
Cowlee, all in Com. Stafford of the Earles Wife of Bath's Prologue. of Lancaster Lords of ihe Honor of Tut
bury, by these memorable Services, viz. CUSTOM OF WHICHNOVRE, STAFFORDS.
By two small fees, that is to say,
" When other Tenants pay for ReBacon and Corn.
liefe one whole Knight's fee, One hunThere is a similar usage, in the “Honor dred Shillings, be the said Sir Philip
shall but Fifty shillings : and when perform the services which they owe to Escuage is assessed throgheowtt the the Baconne. And, at the day assign'd, land; or to Ayde for to make th' eldest all such as owe services to the Baconne, sonne of the Lord, Knyght ; or for to shall be ready at the Gatte of the Mamarry the eidest daughter of the Lord, noir off Whichenovre, frome the Sonnethe said Sir Philip shall pay bott the rysing to None, attendying and awatyn moitye of it that other shall pave. Ne- for the comyng for hym, that fetchetha vertheless, the said Sir Philip shall the Baconne. And, when he is comyn, fynde, meyntienge, and susteingne one there shall be delivered to hym and hys Bacon flyke, hanging in his Hall at felowys, Chapeletts; and to all those Whichenovre, redy arrayede all times of whiche shall be there ; to do their serthe yere, butt (except) in Lent; to be vices deue to the Baconne: And they given to everyche mane, or woman mar shall lede the seid Demandant wythe ried, after the day and the yere of their Trompes and Sabours, and other maner marriage be passed: and to be gyven of Mynstralseye, to the Halle-dore, to everyche mane of Religion, Archbi- where he shall fyude the Lord of Whis shop, Bishop, Prior, or other Religious; chrnovre, or his Steward, redy to deliver and to everyche Preest, after the year the Baconne, in this manere and day of their profession finished, or “ He shall enquere of hym, whiche of their dignity reseyved, in forme fol- demandeth the Baconne, yf he have lowyog Whensvever that ony suche brought tweyn of hys Neghbors with byforenamed, wylie come for to enquire hym. Whiche must answere ; They be for the Baconne, in there own persone ; here ready. And then the Steward shall or by any other for them, they shall cause thies two Neighbours to swere, come to the Baillyse, or to the Porter of yf the seyd Demandaunt be a weddyt the Lordship of IV hichenovre, and shall man ; or have be a man weddyt: and. say to them, in the manere as ensew- yf sythe his Marriage, one yere and a
day be passed: and, yf he be a freeman,
or a villeyn. And yf hys seid weghBayliffe, or Porter, I doo
to knowe ; that I am come for my self all thies three poynts rehersed; then
bours make Othe, that he hath for hyın (or, if he be come for any other, shew. shall the Baconne be take downe, and ing for whome) to demaunde one Bacon Ayke, hanging in the Halle, there be layd upon one halfe a Quarter
broghte to the Hall-dore ; and shall of the Lord of Whichenovre, ufter of Wheatte'; & upon one other of Rye. the forme thereunto belongyng.
And he that demandeth the Baconne After which relacioun, the Baillyffe or shall kneel upon his knee ; and shall Purter shall assign a day to him, upon hold his right hand upon a booke ;: promyse, by his feythe to retourne ; and which booke shall be layde above the with him tú bryng tweyne of his neigh- Baconne, and the Corne; and shall bours.
make Othe, in this manere. “ And, in the meyu tyme, the said “Here ye, Sir Philippe de Somervile, Baillitfe shall take with himn tweyne of Lord of Whichenovre, mayntener and the Freeholders of the Lordship of gyver of this Baconne ; That I A. Whichenovre; and they three, shall go sithe 1 Welded B. my wife, and sythe to the Manoir of Rudlowe, belongynge I hadd hyr in my kepyng, and at my to Robert Knyghtleye, and there shall wylle, by a yerc und a day, after our somon the forseid Knyghteley or his Mariage ; I wold not have chaunged Baillyffe ; commanding him, to be redy for none other ; furer, ne fouler ; at Whichenovre, the day appoynted, at rycher ne pourer ; ne for none other pryme of the day, withe his Caryage ; descended of greater lynage ; slepthat is to say, a Horse and a Sadylle, a yny, ne waking, at non tyme. And Sakke, and a Pryke, for to convey
yf the seyd B. were sule, and I sole, carye the said Baconne, and Corne, a I would take her to be my Wyfe, bejourney owtt of the Countee of Stafford, fore alle the wymen of the worlde; of at hys costages. · And then the sayd what condiciones soever they be ; Baillyfie, shall, with the sayd Free good or erylle, as helpe me God ond holders, somone all the Tenaunts of the
hys Seyntys; and this fleshe, and all said Manvir, to be ready at the day ap feshes. poynted, at Whichenovre, for to doo and * And hys neighbors shall make Othe,