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to lie birched upon it. Three of the head boys of the school threw dice for these
prizes. Six of the head boys were called ' wedding boys.' and they always received
information from the sexton when a wedding was going to take place, and the} - took
it in turns for one to meet the bridal couple at the church, and say, ' Please remember
the Free School hoys." and they always received a gratuity varying from a shilling to
iwo or three guineas (according to the position in life of the parties), which was di-
vided among the privileged boys. On the ' Mayor-choosing days " all the boys, taking
their school bags, went to the house of the Mayor, and were admitted — possibly
into the yard— and twelve at a time were taken into the dining-room and stood in a
row. when a young lady, accompanied by a servant with a basket of apples, would
put two into each bag as she walked up the row ; another couple followed, wdto gave
two pears in the same way : and another couple two cakes ; and another a gill of
nuts, to each bag. Then came a servant with a tray of cups of strong port wine, and
a young lady handed a cup to each boy. • This wine was similar to that used by the
Corporation. Thus each boy had two apples, two pears, two cakes, a gill of nuts.
and a cup of wine. Then the twelve boys went out at the front door, as a fresh
dozen were brought into the dining-room. This custom was repeated at the houses
of the High and Low Bailiffs, who were supplied with these refreshments by the
Mayor. As the boys came out of each house, the)' had to fight their way through a
crowd of National School boys, who tried to get from the Free School hoys a share
of their good things, but by using their bags with their contents, as their only means
of defence, swinging them into the faces of s lhe boys, the apples, pears, and cakes
were beaten into a mush."

As this writer refers to the "cock-pennies,' - perhaps a few
remarks on the origin of cock-pence will not be out o( place at ibis


point. Mr. W. Nixon, of Warrington, writing to the Newcastle

Weekly Chronicle states that

•• In old times schoolboys brought their cock-pennies to school and the
master provided the cocks, as in fighting, and presided over the game. The pool
bird was tied to a stake with a short cord and the boys or men who were to throw
at it — for like cock lighting from being a boyish it soon began to be considered a
manly game, on the most festive occasions — took their stand about twenty yards
distant with short oaken cudgels in their hands which they threw at the pour helpless
creature until they had battered the life out of it. According to a writer in the
Gentleman's Magazine it was dangerous to be near the place where the sport was
practised. Hens were frequently substituted for cocks. There is a humorous picture
in Hone's ' Every Day Book ' which represents a hen tied to a stake and her owner
just about to take a shy at her, when she turns round upon him and his companions.
from whom she had already received a severe maiding, and rales him at considerable
length for his barbarous treatment ol one that had been useful to him and hisfamily.
The owner and his friends, with their sticks in their hands, stand gaping in amaze-
ment to hear the poor bird reproving- them in their own language for their shameful
conduct. The incident is said to have occurred at some unnamed place in Stafford-

From the Literary Antiquarian 1 take the following account
of the origin of the cock-penny at Grammar Schools :

" After the Reformation had excited a spirit of inquiry in the nation, the
people of Cumberland, Westmorland, and the adjacent parts of Yorkshire, soon pei
ceived classical literature to be the cause which had conferred such high importance
on the clergy in preceding ages ; and this discover) 1 was followed by a laudable and
general desire to impart the same kind of knowledge to the laity of succeeding gener-
ations. Every plan of public improvement that meets with universal patronage b
sure to prosper ; and this was the case with the system of education projected by
our ancestors, for Free Schools were established in process of time in every township
or hamlet, besides a common parochial school in the vicinity of each parish church.
Every seminar}- of this description was endowed with a stipend for the maintenance
of a master, who instructed the children of all conditions within his district . in English,
Latin, and Greek, free of expense. The nature of this establishment entitled the
preceptor to nothing- more than his salary, but the parents of his pupils thought
proper to reward his diligence by an annual gratuity at Shrovetide called a cock-
penny. A stranger to the customs of the country will suspect something whimsical
in this name, but it has its foundation in reason ; for the boys of every school were
■divided into two parties every Shrovetide, headed by their respective captains, whom


the master chose from amongst his pupils ; this was probably done in imitation of the
Romans who appointed the principes juvenum on certain occasions."

' Threshing the hen ' was another Shrovetide brutality. A live hen was
tied to the back of some man, who was also hung round with horse-bells, which
jingled at every movement he made ; the threshers were blindfolded and, following
the sound of the bells, threshed away at the man and the hen and at each other. At
the finish the hen was boiled with bacon and eaten with pancakes and fritters by the

William Fitzstephen, who lived in the reign of Henry II, and died in HQI,
mentions cock-fighting and football as being among the amusements of Londoners in
his time. Cock-fighting was probably practised by the Chinese and other Asiatic
nations before its introduction into Europe. Themistocles is believed to have first
familiarised the Athenians with the game and in due course annual cock-fighting
games were instituted.

Brady tells us that " Among the ancient customs of this country which have
sunk into disuse, was a singularly absurd one, continued even to so late a period as the
reign of George I. During the Lenten season, an officer, denominated the King's
Cock Crower, crowed the hour each night, within the precincts of the Palace, instead
of proclaiming it in the ordinary manner of watchman."

Educational Charities.

Let us now advert to one or two educational charities, to
the Marsh Freehold Inheritance, and the Boys' National School, in the
Green Area. This building, 85ft. by 45ft. was erected in 1817-18, at a
cost of jQi 1,000, the stone being- laid by the Vicar (the Rev. John
Manby) of St. Mary's, on the 5th of June, 1817, the land being - given
for the purpose by the Corporation. On the 21st of November,
1817, Mr. Matthew Pyper, of Whitehaven, one of the Society of
Friends, endowed the school most liberally with the sum of ^2,000,
navy five per cent, annuities. Previous to the establishment of the
school for the gratuitous education of the children of the poor of all
denominations, there existed a separate "charity," or blue coat
school, established in the year 1770, for educating and clothing 50
bovs, who were allowed £6 as an apprentice fee, out of funds
raised by voluntarv subscriptions. This charity was united with the


National School on the 4th December, 1816. A Girls' National
School was built in Fenton Street, on land given by John Fenton
Cawthorne, Esq., M.P. for Lancaster in 1820; the Girls' Charity
School, or Blue Coat School, in High Street, was established in
1772, for about 60 poor girls to be instructed in reading, writing,
knitting, spinning, and sewing, out of funds raised by voluntary
subscriptions and the proceeds of their own industry. Each girl
was to have the fourth part of her earnings, payable to her at
Christmas. The Catholic Charity School was established in 1820,
in Friars' Passage, for the benefit of the children of the Catholic

The Pyper Indenture is between Samuel Gregson, Mayor,
Thomas Mason and Richard Willock, gentlemen bailiffs, and the
commonalty of the vill or town of Lancaster. The witnesses to the
signature of Matthew Pyper's Indenture, which is dated 21st
November, 1817, are Samuel Gregson, Mayor, and Thomas Mason
and Richard Willock, bailiffs. The witnesses to the affixing of the
seals are William Sharp and Thomas Hodson. It is signed, sealed,
and delivered by the within named Matthew Pyper in the presence
of William Lewthaite and Thomas Hudson, and the date of enrol-
ment in His Majesty's High Court of Chancery is February 5th,
1818. Signature to enrolment J. Mitford.

The date of the Deed of Enrolment in regard to the National
School for Girls is 1st June, 1819. It is between John Fenton
Cawthorne, John Dowbiggin, and William Sharpe of the one part,
and Thomas Walling Salisbury, Mayor, and Edward Burrow and
John Charnley, gentlemen bailiffs.




Celebrities of ihk. pas'j connected with Lancaster — The Great Dike
ok Lancaster— Odd Bequests— Traditions as< ribed ro ihk Duke.

ND now for the greater history, the history
of persons who have made themselves some-
thing more than "a local habitation and a
name. "

When the Normans came to Lancaster
they found it in a state of decay, the ancient
city was reduced to a village, and the im-
press of desolation was everywhere visible.
Hut a new era of stirring events was in store
for " Loncastre," Chercaloncaster or Kirkby
Lancaster. The successful conqueror, o\\
more properly speaking, thief, conferred upon one of his knights
and companions in arms, Sir Roger de Poictou, son of Sir Roger
de Montgomery, no less than three hundred and ninety-eight
manors. The enriched Norman was not slow to perceive the ad-
vantages to be trained bv restoring 1 the Castle of Lancaster and
making it his chief baronial dwelling. So the old Roman and
Saxon structure was repaired and enlarged, and once more a
flourishing city gathered round its walls. And it may not be im-
proper to state at this juncture that the real old Lancaster stood
mostly on the north side of the Castle and the Church. If you visit
the Churchyard from an antiquarian point of view you will perceive
in the field over the north boundarv of the burial ground many
indications of edifices and thoroughfares in the lumpy mounds
l hat exist all about the close or pasture. You can trace the ancient
road, the pavement of which has been seen and particles found a
lew years ago, when some workmen were engaged in laying down


1411s or water pipes. The road curves round, and is plainly discern-
ible where it crossed the Churchyard and ran by the Castle hill. It
It is a thousand pities excavations are not made in this locality,
but, if it is true that prophets have no honour in their own
country, equally true it is that antiquaries as well as prophets
receive but small regard on the part of the people whom they live
amongst. The County of Lancaster, we learn, had almost lost its
identity at the time of the Norman invasion. Under the Saxons
and the Danes it had been included partly in Yorkshire and partly
in Cheshire. But the great Poictou soon restored Lancastrian
individuality and identity, and declared Lancaster the capital of all
his dominions. It is evident that people inav be turned into
enemies by treating" them too kindly or too well, and we find an
exemplification of this in the case of the Norman baron. So power-
ful had he become that he lost respect for his benefactor, imagined
himself a king, and thus grew so ambitious that it was essential
not just to take him down a peg or two, but to put him down
altogether and show him that he had forfeited his possesions since
the same were the king's to withdraw as well as to give.

After the battle of Tewkesburv, in 1 106, the honour ot' Lan-
caster devolved, by royal grant, upon Ethelred or Eldred, son of
Ivo de Taillebois, and second Lord of Kendal. So Lancaster and
Furness fell to Eldred, while the possessions held by Poictou
between the Mersey and the Ribble were given bv the king tc
Ranulph de Briscasard, the third Earl of Chester. As Lancaster
has figured so prominentlv in the wedding' of thrones and domina-
tions, we may be allowed to trace the succession of the latter for
the sake of those who may not remember or have known the origin
of the House of Lancaster and how it obtained the crown.

Etheldred or Eldred was succeeded by his son, Chetil or
Ketel, a name which Mark Antony Lower considers synonymous
with Chellet or Kellet, in his " Patronymica Britannica," i860
edition. Chetel was the father of Gilbert, the fourth baron, suc-
ceeded by William the fifth. By permission oi' Henry II. this


William assumed the surname of Lancaster, and was summoned to
Parliament by that name. In the eighteenth of Stephen, he married
Gundred, widow of Roger, Earl of Warwick, and his son and heir
was generally named William the second of Lancaster, and was
summoned to Parliament by that style. This second William de
Lancaster married Helewise, daughter of Stuteville, Lord of Knares-
boro', the only issue of the union being a daughter, named after
her mother, who ultimately married Gilbert Fitz Reinfrede (a name
of Teutonic origin, meaning son of judgment and peace), a favourite
of Ring John. This Gilbert obtained from John the possession of
the honour of Lancaster, executing the office of High Sheriff of the
County in the jth and the 17th years of the reign of John. To his
credit be it said, that the favours granted bv the king did not pre-
vent him from uniting with the other barons of the realm and
discharging his duty to his country, for, bv contributing' to gain the
Magna Charta for the people, he lost the custody of the Honour and
Castle of Lancaster. His successor in the fourth year of Henry III.
was his son William, who, in the eighteenth year of that reign, was
High Sheriff, holding the office without intermission till the thirtieth
year inclusive. This William died without issue in 1246, and
Peter le Brus, the son of Peter, by Helewise de Lancaster, obtained
the Castle and Manor of Kendal ; but the Castle and Honour of
Lancaster were, in the year 1266, conferred upon Edmund Crouch-
back, who obtained also the vast estates between the Ribble and
the Mersey. The history is easily reproduced. Ranulph, the
fourth Earl of Chester, succeeded to the honours and possessions of
his father, but not until the}- had been presented by King Stephen
to his son William de Blois. From the fourth Earl of Chester, the
inheritance descended in 1 156 to Hugh de Kevelioc, and to Ranulph,
surnamed de Blundeville, son and grandson of the former. Ranulph
died in 1232, and leaving no issue his inheritance was shared by his
four sisters and co-heiresses. Agnes, the third sister, married
William, Earl of Ferrers, the sixth in lineal descent from Robert de
Verrers, raised by King Stephen to the Earldom of Derby (from
the County town of that name) for his prowess at the battle
of the Standard, fought on the 23rd of August, 1 138. In the


distribution of the property of Earl Ranulph, all the lands be-
tween Mersey and Ribhle were apportioned to Agnes, and became
in right of this marriage the possession of Earl Ferrers, who in the
year 1223, was constituted governor and made custos of the Castle
and honour of Lancaster. On the 20th September, 1247, the earl
died, and his countess died in the following" month having lived
together as husband and wife for seventy-five years. William,
Earl of Ferrers, his son and heir did homage to Henry III. and had
a mandate to the Sheriff of Lancaster, for the enjoyment of all the
lands between the Ribble and the Mersey, owned by his uncle
Ranulph, Earl of Chester, in Lancashire and elsewhere. At his
death he was succeeded by Robert de Ferrers, in the Earldom of
Derby, but Robert, having taken part with Simon de Montfort, was
deprived of his earldom and his estates in 1265, amongst which
were , confiscated, all his possessions between the Ribble and the
Mersey, which Henry III united with the honour of Lancaster, and
in 1266, gave to Edmund Crouchback his youngest son, who was
created Earl of Lancaster. This was the first earl of the name.
The honours of Hinckley, Derby and Leicester, with the castles of
the two latter towns, the last one the seat of Simon de Montfort,
fell to Edmund's share, together with the forests of Wyresdale and
Lonsdale, and the honour and castle of Monmouth to hold of him-
self and the heirs of his body. In this first earl was laid therefore
the ground work of the future glory of the House of Lancaster.
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, Edmund's eldest son, then a minor,
succeeded his father about the Feast of Pentecost, in the vear 1296.
This Thomas marched with Edward I. in the 26th year of the king's
reign into Scotland, the Earl of Lancaster being then Sheriff of
Lancaster by inheritance as the Earls of Thanet were hereditarv
sheriffs of Westmoreland. In the 5th Edward II, Thomas, Earl of
Lancaster, was the chief of the nobles who entered into a combin-
ation for the purpose of removing Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall,
the weak Edward's greatest favourite. This terminating into
actual rebellion, a battle was fought at Boroughbridge, Thomas of
Lancaster was brought to Pontefract and there executed for high
treason 15th Edward II. History states that the munificence of


the earl was unbounded. When land let for from 3d. to 6d. an
acre, and a fat ox sold for sixteen shilling's, his annual expenditure
amounted to ,£7,597 13- 4 'id, which at a very moderate computa-
tion could not be less in value than ^100,000 of our present money.
Baines, drawing" largely from the old chroniclers and from Dugdale
tells how Henry, Earl of Lancaster, brother and heir of Thomas,
obtained an act dated March 7th, in the first of Edward III. for
reversing" the attainder of his unfortunate brother, on the ground
that he had not been tried by his peers, and thereupon he came into
possession of all his brother's honours, lands and lordships includ-
ing the Earldoms of Lancaster and Leicester, and the lands thereto
appertaining. The earl died in 1345, and was succeeded by his son
Henry, created Earl of Derby, in the 2nd year of Edward III., for
his services in the Scotch wars. This earl subjected no fewer than
56 cities in France ; and his name was a terror far and wide, for at
the cry of " A Derby," the gates of their chief cities flew open from
sheer trepidation. This earl is said to have been the Marlborough
or Wellington of his age, and his mode of living was princely, for
he spent ^100 a day while engaged in foreign campaigns, which
sum was equivalent to ,£1,000 of present day cash. In his dav
the Order of the Garter was created and Prince Edward was the
first knighted champion, and Henry, Earl of Lancaster, the second.
Having established his reputation and judgment, and being so
successful on the field we find him advanced by special charter
bearing date March 6th, 1351, to the title and dignity of Duke of
Lancaster, with powers to have a chancery in the County of Lan-
caster and to issue out writs therein under his own seal, as well as
touching pleas to the Crown as any other relating to the common
law of the nation ; and likewise to enjoy all other liberties and
regalities belonging to a county palatine in as ample manner as the
Earl of Chester was known to enjoy them within his county. This
first Duke of Lancaster built the Savoy Palace at a cost of 52,000
marks, and the captive monarch of France was entertained here.
For this great Duke's liberality and piety he was called " the good
Duke of Lancaster," and when the French King presented him
with valuable gifts he declined them all save a thorn out of the


crown of our Saviour, which he brought to England and left as a

relic to the Collegiate Church of Our Lady at Leicester. To the
monks of Whalley he gave 183 acres of pasture and 200 acres ol~
wood, with two cottages and seven acres of meadow land, all lying
in the chase of Blackburne. He also gave 126 acres of land, 26
acres of meadow and 13 of pasturage in the neighbourhood of Pen-
hulton and Clitheroe in order to maintain two recluses to pray for
the souls of himself, his ancestors and heirs in the churchyard of
Whalley. The deed concerning this munificence is dated January
2nd, 1360. As the same year wore on the life of this great peer,
who had no equal, was terminated by the plague on the 24th of
March. He left issue, two daughters, his heiresses — Maud, wife of
Ralph Lord Strafford, and Blanche, married to John of Gaunt, Earl
Of Richmond, fourth son of Edward III. By virtue of his marriage
this prince inherited a " number of castles and manors in Yorkshire,
Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Cheshire, Essex, and Northumber-
land ; and in the County of Lancaster the Wapentakes of Lonsdale,
Amounderriess, and Leyland, and the manors of Oves Walton,
Preston, Shingleton, Riggeby-cum-Wray, Overton, Skerton, and
Lancaster, and Slyne ; the Royal Bailiwick of Blackbournshire and
the Park of Ightenhill." He was Master Forester beyond the
Ribble and held the " vaccary of Wyresdale with its members,
likewise the manors of Penwortham, Totyngton, and Rochdale, the
Wapentake of Cliderhowe (Clitheroe) with the demesne lands there,
and Parliament with all the liberties and regalities of an Earl pala-
tine, as also Earl of Leicester and Derby, with the office of High
Steward of England. He next obtained the grant of a chancery in
his Duchy of Lancaster. These grants are dated 1340, and were
accompanied by this obligation only "that the Duke should send
two knights to Parliament as representatives of the commonality of
the Count} - of Lancaster and two burgesses for every borough
within the said Count)." Rymer Facd VII. 138. The royal de-
claration in favour of the Duke was as follows: — "We have
granted for ourselves and our heir to our son (John), that he shall
have during life, within the County of Lancaster, his Court of
Chancery, and writs to be issued out under his seal belonging to


the office of Chancellor ; his justices both for holding the pleas of
the Crown, and for all other pleas relating - to common law, and the
cognizance thereof ; and all executions by his writs and officers
within the same, and all other liberties and royalties relating to the
county Palatine as freely and fully as the Earl of Chester is. known
to enjoy them within the County of Chester."

By a second marriage with Constance, daughter of Peter,
King of Castile, John of Gaunt, for some time enjoyed the title of
King of Leon and Castile, but he renounced that title and bore
the following" : — "John, son of the King of England, Duke of
Aquitaine and Lancaster, Earl of Derby, Lincoln, and Leicester,
Seneschal of England." John of Gaunt had his council in Lanca-
shire before the grant to him of jura regalia, and in the grants and
leases from the Duke that body is styled "The thrice noble council
of the thrice noble Duke of Lancaster." The honour of Lancaster
has, therefore, been closely identified with the throne, for since the
time of Roger de Poictou (or Pictavensis), who held prior to his
first rebellion 398 manors enabling him to erect the castles of Lan-
caster and Liverpool, it was held by William de Blois, Earl of
Montaigne and Boulogne, upon whose demises Richard I. g'ave it
to his brother John of Magna Charta notoriety. Then Henry III.
gave the castle and honour to his youngest son, Edmund Crouch-
back, first Earl of Lancaster, as we have seen, and ultimately
Thomas, Edmund's eldest son, who married the heiress of the house
of Lacy, succeeded, but lived to find himself a prisoner for revolting
against his sovereign and Piers de Gaveston, and to be put to death
at Pontefract. Even his corpse was treated with great indignity,
though his effigy is held to have been adored at St. Paul's, where it
was said to have worked miracles. The place of his interment has
never been fully ascertained ; but a skeleton in a stone coffin, with
the decapitated head placed between the thighs, was dug up at
Water Fryston, near Pontefract, on the 25th of March, 1822 ; and
many believe that the remains were those of Thomas, Earl of Lan-
caster, thus disinterred after a repose of 500 years. Having now
arrived at the interesting part of our notes concerning John of

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