334 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 S.X.APRII, 29,1922. Catalogue evidently could not be troubled to record the burlesque travesties of ' Bos,' neither does it give any entries of the publi- cation of ' Black Bess ' or ' Fatherless Fanny.' ARCHIBALD SPABKE. MOTHERING SUNDAY. (12 S. x. 249,292.) HAZLITT ( ' National Faiths and Popular Customs ' ) says : In former days when the Roman Catholic was the established religion, it was the custom for people to visit their Mother Church on Mid- Lent Sunday, and to make their offerings at the ihigh altar. Cowel, in his ' Interpreter,' 1607, observes that the now remaining practice of Mothering, or going to visit parents upon Mid- Lent Sunday, is really owing to that good custom. Nay it seems to be called Mothering from the respect so paid to the Mother Church, when the pistle for the day was, with some allusion. Galat. iv. 21, " Jerusalem Mater omnium," which epistle for Mid-Lent Sunday we still retain though we have forgotten the occasion of it. The statement quoted from Cowell is an earlier reference to " mothering " than that given by the ' N.E.D.' from Herrick. Hazlitt (op. cit.) also states, under ' Mid- Lent Sunday,' that in the Household Roll of 18 Edward I., is the following item on Mid-Lent Sunday, " Pro pisis jd," and that the question is whether these peas were substitutes for frumenty, or carlings, which are eaten at present in the north of England on the following Sunday, commonly called Passion Sunday, but by the vulgar in those parts Carling Sunday. He also says that Aubanus speaks of a practice in Franconia of eating milk peas and dried pears on this day, but it was, according to him, only partial. Hazlitt, quoting from The Antiquary for May, 1893, further states that at Leckford, near Stockbridge, Hants, Mid -Lent Sunday is called Wafering Sunday, from the wafer - pake impressed with an iron bearing an impression like a seal, offered by the young people to their mothers on this occasion. The iron has two stamps : three locked hearts surmounted by a cross enclosed within a circle, and an anchor with foliate 'ornaments on either side. Two or three of these utensils, which were made red-hot over a charcoal fire, seem to suffice for the village, which employs a person named a waferer to do the work. In some 'Notes on Altcar Parish,' Lancashire, in vol. xlvii. of the Trans- actions of the Historical Soc. of Lancashire and Cheshire, the Rev. William Williams, ! the vicar, writes : Mid-Lent Sunday was known in Altcar as Braggot Sunday. A specially concocted drink was prepared for this Sunday which was of a non-intoxicating character, and was called brag- got. As the older generation passed away, the secret of its manufacture seems to have been lost, and its place was taken by mulled ale. The publicans, in later days, provided small cakes for the occasion. Every labourer expected four eggs from his employer, with which he repaired to the ale-house, where the eggs, with spices, were drunk in hot ale. This custom died with the closing of the public-houses. It may be noticed that on one of the Sundays in Lent, figs or fig pies were eaten in many parts of the country, and from this circum- stance it was known as Fig Sunday or Fig- pie Sunday. The Sunday on which this occurred, however, varied with the locality. Hazlitt (op. cit.) states that " Fig Sunday" was a popular name for the Sunday before Easter, in allusion to our Saviour's alleged desire to eat that fruit on His way from Bethany, and he gives quotations showing the prevalence of the eating of figs on this Sunday in Northamptonshire and Hert- fordshire. This was also the case in some parts of Oxfordshire (* British Popular ! Customs,' by T. F. T. Dyer). From Dyer's book it also appears that Fig-pie Wake was kept in the parish of Draycot-in-the- Moors (Staffordshire) and in the neigh- bouring villages on Mid-Lent Sunday, where the fig pies were made of dry figs, sugar, treacle, spice, &c. A writer in ' N. & Q.' (2 S. ii. 320) states | that fig pies (made of dry figs, sugar, treacle, I spice, &c., and by some described as " luscious," by others as " of a sickly taste ") or, as they are locally termed, " fag pies," are, or were at least till recently, eaten in Lancashire on a Sunday in Lent, thence called " Fag -pie Sunday." Harland and Wilkinson ( ' Lancashire Folk Lore ") say that in the neighbourhood of Burnley, Fag -pie Sunday is the second Sunday before Easter, or that which comes between Mid -Lent and Palm Sunday, but that about Blackburn fig pies are always | prepared for Mid-Lent Sunday, and visits j are usually made to friends' houses in order I to partake of the luxury. The practice at | Clitheroe was to make fig puddings for j Mid -Lent Sunday. The late Professor Skeat's derivation of " simnel " is as follows : Old French slmenel ; Lov Latin simmellus, I bread of fine flour ; also called simella in Low i Latin. Latin si mi la. wheat flour of the finest
Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/408
This page needs to be proofread.