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Chagford festivals

Festivals
Locality Chagford
Vicinity c. 23 km W of Exeter
Coordinates 50.673055555556, -3.84
Adm. div. Devon
Began 1554/55
Ended 1587/88
Events The Hood; Robin Hood and his company; Hoodsmen; the Hood's coat; bringing home the summer rood (summer pole); silver arrow
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Chagford.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2015-08-23. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-12.

[1537:]
for dowing the office of the Howde Coat[1]


[1554/55:]

The accompte of the yongemen off the parysche of Chagfford Iohn
Northecott and other for the howde made the vijth day of Aperell yn
the yere and Raygne of phylepp and marye Kyng and quene of yngland
the ferst & second for one holle yere before past.
  There Reseytte ys Clere      x s

...[2]

[1555:]

...Item of Iohn Northcutt And other Roben Howde ys Company /
x s/ ...

...[3]

[1555/56:]

The accompte of Robard lopass Iohn frend and other of the howde
ys men of the parysche of Chagford made the xxijth day of ffebreary
yn the yere of owre lord god 1556/ for one holle yere be forre past

...Item of iiij s payd for ij Cotes...
...[4]

[1556:]
To Henry Hyll for fetheryn and heddyng of arowys.[5]

[1557/58:]

The accompte of Iohn Newcomb Iunior and other of the howddes
men with yn the parysche [f] of Chagfford made the xij day of febreary
yn the yere of owre lord god 1558 for one holle yere be forre past.

   There holle Ressyettes Ys Clere      xxiiij s iiij d
...[6]

[1557/58:]

The accompte of Roberd lopas Iohn penycott and of other of the
howdde ys men yn the parysche of Chaygford made the xxvj day of
Ianewary yn the yere of owre lord god 1558 for the yere of owre
lord god 1557
...

...Item of vj s viij d for the howddes Cote ...
...[7]

[1558/59:]

Item of Robert Lapas howdde þat yere      xx s viij d
Item of Iohn Newcomb Iunior & other owddes
men that yere      xxiiij s iiij d

...[8]

[1559/60:]

Item of Iohn [Newcomb‹.› Iunior] ˹Row˺ & other hys
felowys howdesmen      v s.

...[9]

[1562:]
[John Newcombe paid 35s.] for dowing the office of the Howde[10]

[1563/64:]

...
The accompte of Nycollas peryman & otheres of hys Companye the
howdes men made the xxiij day of aperell yn the yere of owre lord
god 1564 for one holle yere be forre past
Ressevyd for ale sold thatt yere xlv s

Summa      xlv s
...[11]

[1564:]

...
Item of Iohn Newcomb & other howdesmen      iij li ix d

f 296c v  (Expenses)

...Item of iiij s v d wyche Rest yn the handes of Iohn ffrend vppon
the accompte of Iohn [Io] Newcomb beyng howde ...
...
f 303   (Receipts)
...
Item of Nycollas peryman & other howdes men      xlv s

...[12]

[1587/88:]

...

Bestowed in dringke for helping home of the sommerrode

...
payed for the Iesteres ˹shooes˺

xvj d


ii s iiii d

   Somme sollut ‹...› iij li. xviij s x d
Nota there restey ‹..› wherevppon the [yong] George Peryman [in]
& others wer Chargyd with ys v li xj s [v] j d ˹& a sylver arrow˺ &
one [Sumer ‹..› Somer Rodde] soe remaynyth to paye xij s ix d [one
Somer Rodde] ˹Recevyd xviij˺ & a sylver arrowe whereof
Barnabe hore paide in his accoumpt vij s iiij d so remayneth v.s 5. d

& the siluer arrow[13]

Source notes

"˂...˃" indicates "lost or illegible letters in the original".
"⌜⌝" indicates "interlineation above the line".
"˄" represents a caret mark in Wasson's source.
"[]" indicates cancellation in Wasson's source[14] Non-bracketed ellipses as in Wasson (1986).
1537: Lega-Weekes quotes this from G. Wareing Ormerod's article.[15]
1554/55 entry in churchwardens' accounts under heading: "Young Men's Guild", rendered Apr. 7; "the howde": the Hood.
1555 entry under heading "Church Receivers' Receipts", rendered Dec. 20.
1555/56 entry under heading "Hoodsmen's Account: Expenses", rendered Feb. 22.
1st pg. of 1557/58 entries under heading "Hoodsmen's Account", rendered Feb. 12; "[f]": cancelled in MS;
2nd and 3rd pg. under "Hoodsmen's Account: Receipt", rendered Jan. 26.
1558/59 entries under "Accounts of the Four Men: Receipts", rendered Jan. 15.
1559/60 entry under heading "Church Receivers' Receipt", rendered Jan. 14; "Newcomb[one illegible letter] Iunior" cancelled and "Row" written above line instead.
1563/64 entry under heading "Hoodsmen's Account: Receipts".
1563/64. Wasson (1986), p. 441 (Endnotes): "This is not the church ale, for which there is a separate account, as well as an account of ale sold by the guild of St George. The hoodsmen seem to have sold their ale at some sort of spring festival or entertainment. Chagford still holds an annual 'church ale' at the vicarage, the dramatic entertainment now being a locally adapted variant of the Punch and Judy show."
1564 entries under heading "Receipts;, rendered Dec. 20; "[Io]": cancelled.
1587/88 entries under heading "Young Men's or Hoodsmen's Account: Payments" accounting year: December to December; matter in brackets: deleted; 2nd line: "& a sylver arrow" inserted above line; ‹...›: illegible characters.
1587/88. Wasson (1986), p. 441 (Endnotes): "This note is nearly illegible; the paper is fragmentary, a caustic ink has burned through what remains, and the original note has been much revised and interlined. Clearly the 'Sommer Rode' has been sold for 18 d between the making of the account and its audit. The silver arrow for the Robin Hood play remains, but it is not mentioned again in these accounts."
1587/88. Wasson (1986), p. 444 (Endnotes): "As late as 1587-8, Chagford still had a silver arrow noted in the Hoodsmen's account."
Wasson, p. xxv, notes the relative abundance of Robin Hood entries in Devon records, but warns against assuming the events in question were all of a dramatic nature, noting that the chief tasks of the persons elected Robin Hood and Little John were to collect money for the parish and frequently to serve as ale wardens; in most cases the records are not explicit as to the nature of the events.

IRHB comments

The Hoodsmen were evidently a fraternity of the young men of Chagford.[16] One Warryng was paid for playing on Whitsunday of 1545/46.[17] Throughout the period covered by the MS churchwardens' accounts of the parish of St. Michael's, Chagford (1480-1600) are found entries relating to beer or ale brewed and sold by members of the various fraternities of the parish. The entries refer to 'ale wardens', 'Beer Wardens', 'wardens of the church ale', 'guardians of the beer' etc.[18] A 1485 receipt relating to the church house 'for hire of the house for doing the brewing' makes it clear this was where the ale was prepared, and though we have no evidence of this, it may well also have been consumed there, for church houses were built for such communal occasions and purposes. The church house was also hired out for brewing, for instance in 1511.[19] The accounts contain frequent items relating to income from hire of the cauldron or kettle.[20] The receipts for 1544 include £5 from "ale sold at 'Whyett Sunday'",[21] so here as in so many other parishes a church ale was held on Whit Sunday. However, the very frequent items relating to sale of beer (or ale) make it clear that several ales were held annually by parish fraternities; the Whitsun ale certainly was not the only church ale in Chagford.

Lists and gazetteers

MS sources

Printed sources

Studies and criticism

Background

Notes

  1. Lega-Weekes, Ethel. '"Howde Men" Robin Hood's Men at Chagford', Notes & Queries, Series 11, vol. I (1910), p. 346, citing Ormerod, G. Wareing. 'The Early Churchwardens' Accounts of Chagford, Devon', The Chagford Parish Magazine (1857), vol. ?, pp. ?-?. This churchwardens' account entry is not included in Wasson, John M., ed. Devon. (Records of Early English Drama) (Toronto; Buffalo; London, ©1986), from which it may conceivably have been excluded as not necessarily relating to dramatic activities. However, it also is not found in Osborne, Francis Mardon, transcr.; [Lega-Weekes, Ethel, transcr.]; [Osborne, Winifred, introd.] The Church Wardens' Accounts of St. Michael's Church, Chagford, 1480-1600 (Chagford, Devon: [s.n.], 1979). Is the date cited by Lega-Weekes (from Ormerod) incorrect? Was Ormerod in fact referring to the similarly worded 1587 entry or was he paraphrasing an entry in a part of the MS accounts that has since disappeared or become illegible?
  2. Wasson (1986), p. 54.
  3. Wasson (1986), p. 54.
  4. Wasson (1986), p. 54.
  5. Lega-Weekes (1910). Not included in Wasson (1986).
  6. Wasson (1986), pp. 54-55.
  7. Wasson (1986), p. 55.
  8. Wasson (1986), p. 55.
  9. Wasson (1986), p. 55.
  10. Lega-Weekes (1910). Not included in Wasson (1986).
  11. Wasson (1986), pp. 55-56.
  12. Wasson (1986), p. 56.
  13. Wasson (1986), p. 56.
  14. Wasson (1986), p. 2.
  15. Ormerod, G. Wareing. 'The Early Churchwardens' Accounts of Chagford, Devon', The Chagford Parish Magazine (1857), vol. ?, pp. ?-?.
  16. Lega-Weekes (1910), and Wasson (1986), p. xxxiv.
  17. Wasson (1986), p. 54.
  18. Osborne (1979), pp. 1, 4, 13, 16, 22, 25, 28, 31, and passim.
  19. Osborne (1979), pp. 6, 36.
  20. Osborne (1979), passim.
  21. Osborne (1979), p. 163.
  22. Either this or the next volume includes the 1537 entry.
  23. Either this or the preceding volume includes the 1537 entry.