Clifton, has been fortunate enough to obtain one from a young woman after the last feast-day ; and I thereupon asked her per- mission to show it to the members of the Society. I under- stand from her that this Uttle figure was served in a pie last autumn ; there were several other similar dogs in this pie, one of them being a very small one. Miss Mendham also promised to try and interview the old man in whose house the pie was made, and who, she has been told, always keeps up the custom.
I tried some years ago to obtain some information as to the origin of the custom, but I could only obtain some more or less ridiculous stories about it. One correspondent said, "I know very little about ' Bow-wow cakes.' Thirty years ago ' Bow-wow cake-day ' was kept nearly universally, but now the custom is almost dead, nobody seems to keep it up. Any cake or pie will do, so long as there is a small china dog baked with it. The day was kept on Painswick feast-day." He also says, "Any china dog will do, one from the first toy-shop. You remember the old- fashioned china ornaments on cottage mantel-pieces, usually a shepherdess, a lamb, and a dog ? Well, the dog would go into the cake." "As to the origin," this gentleman continues, "there is a tale that some ' Gothamites ' from Stroud came to Painswick and ordered a meat-pie. This was duly prepared, but unfor- tunately got eaten by mistake by some other folks who had not ordered it ; and as there was no more meat to be had at the village butcher's, a poor dog was slaughtered and made into a pie for the strangers. This gave rise to the origin of the feast, and to the circumstance that the Painswick people have since been called ' bow-wows,' and should you say (at Stroud) ' that you were going to dine at Painswick,' it was usual to reply ' On dog ? ' "
Mr. U. J. Davis sent me (through the Rev. W. S. Guest Williams) another story : " At the Lamb Inn, in Bisley Street, many of the navvies engaged in making the new road between Cheltenham and Bath at the beginning of this century lodged. They were a low, rough, vulgar lot of fellows, who w^ere the terror of the neighbourhood and the bugbear of the landlady of the Lamb. It was their special delight and boast ' to eat her out of house and home;' and the poor woman, especially on a Sunday, had the greatest difficulty in satisfying the voracious appetites of these formidable gluttons. At last she resolved to put an end to her troubles and rid herself of her gluttonous, drunken guests.