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some think she died at Ephesus, and others imagine she ended her days at Jerusalem.

MINSTREL'S BULL-RUNNING AT TUTBURY,*-August 16. -In the monastic times it was the custom on the morrowt of the Assumption,-that is to say, on the 16th of August-for the Prior of Tutbury to turn out a bull at the abbey-gate for the amusement of the minstrels, who appear at one period to have formed a sort of guild in that part of the country. As soon as the bull's "horns are cut off, his ears cropt, his taile cut by the stumple, all his body smeared over with soap, and his nose blown full of beaten pepper-in short being made as mad as 'tis possible for him to be-after solemn proclamation made by the steward that all manner of persons give way to the bull, none being to come near him by 40 foot, any way to hinder the minstrells, but to attend his or their own safeties, every one at his perill; he is then forthwith turned out to them, (anciently by the prior, now by the Lord Devonshire or his deputy) to be taken by them, and none other, within the county of Stafford between the time of his being turned out to them and the setting of the sun on the same day; which if they Diluculo autem levaverunt Apostoli cum lectulo corpus ejus, posueruntque illud in monumento." S. GREGORII TURONIS OP. De Gloria Martyrum, cap. 10.

* "Stutesberie, Toteberie, or Tutbury as it is now called, is an antient honour situated in the North-east borders of the hundred of Offlow, about five miles from Burton, and on the south banks of the river, Dove, which separates it from the county of Derby. It probably derives its name from some statue or altar erected on the Castle Hill, in the time of the Saxons to the Gaulish God Tot, or Thoth, Mercury, from whom also Tuesday has its appellation, as Wednesday hath from Woden." Shaw's History of Staffordshire, vol. i. p. 37, folio, London, 1798.

The learned reader will, I trust, excuse me if I venture to remind others that the morrow of the assumption is a very different thing from the morning; in fact it means the day afterwards.

can not doe, but the bull escapes from them untaken, and gets over the river* into Darbyshire, he remains still my Lord Devonshire's bull; but if the said Minstrells can take him, and hold him so long as to cutt off but some small matter of his hair, and bring the same to the Mercat Cross in token they have taken him, the said bull is then brought to the bailiff's house in Tutbury, and there coller'd and roap'd and so brought to the bull-ring, in the high-street, and there baited with doggs, the first course being allotted for the king; the second for the honour of the towne; and the third for the king of the Minstrells. Which, after it is done, the said Minstrells are to have him for their owne, and may sell, or kill, and divide amongst them, according as they shall think good."+

Dr. Plot imagines that this custom was derived from the Spanish bull-fights, and introduced into this country by John of Gaunt; but this seems to be a very idle conjecture; as regards the first part of it, there is no similarity whatever between the two sports, while, as to the second, the bull was provided by the prior and not by John of Gaunt, who was the receiver, instead of the giver, on this occasion, the Minstrels paying him a yearly fine for their privilege. I should imagine then that the delivery of the bull belonged to some obsolete, and now forgotten, tenure, though the Minstrels came in after times to enjoy the benefit of it, and probably when first

* i.e. the river Dove.

+ Dr. Plot's HISTORY OF STAFFORDSHIRE, p. 435, folio, Oxford, 1686. + "Item est ibidem quædam consuetudo quòd histriones, venientes ad matutinas in festo Assumptionis beatæ Mariæ, habebant unum taurum de Priore de Tuttebury, si ipsum capere possuit citra Aquam, Doue, propinquiorem Tuttebury; vel Prior dabit eis x1a. pro qua quidem consuetudine dabuntur domino ad dictum festum annuatim xxd."-Dugdale MONASTICON ANGLICANUM, vol. iii. p. 397. Tutbury Priory, folio, London, 1821.

John of Gaunt issued his letters patent compelling them to do the usual suits and services on the feast of the Assumption. This last mentioned document is still extant in an inspeximus of King Henry the Sixth, relative to the customs of Tutbury; it bears date the 22nd of August, in the fourth year of King Richard the Second, is entitled "CARTA DE ROY DE MINSTRALX," and runs thus" Henry, by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, to all whom these presents shall come, greeting. We have inspected the letters patent of John, late King of Castile and Leon, and Duke of Lancaster, our great grandfather, in these words-John by the Grace of God King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Lancaster, to all who shall see or hear these our letters, greeting. Know we have ordained, constituted, and assigned our well-beloved King of the Minstrels in our honour of Tutbury, who is, or for the time shall be, to apprehend and arrest all the Minstrels in our said honour and franchise that refuse to do the service and minstrelsy, appertaining to them from old times at Tutbury aforesaid yearly, on the Assumption of our Lady; giving and granting to the said king of the minstrels for the time being, full power and command to execute reasonable judgment, and to constrain them to do their services and minstrelsies in manner as belongs to them, and as it hath been used there and of ancient times accustomed. In witness whereof we have caused these our letters patent to be made, given under our privy seal at our castle of Tutbury, the 22nd day of August, in the fourth year of the reign of our most gracious king, Richard the Second '-And we, at the request of our beloved in Christ Thomas Gedney, Prior of Tutbury, have by these presents caused the aforesaid letters to be exemplified, in witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Given under the seal of our

Duchy of Lancaster, at our palace of Westminster, this 22nd day of February, in the twenty-first year of our reign."*

In the process of time either the King of the Minstrels, like other monarchs, grew too despotic, or his subjects. too rebellious, for it was found requisite to establish a court to hear and determine controversies, over which the steward of the honour presided. This was held on the

* "CARTA DE ROY DE MINSTRALX. (Ex registro de Tutbury penes Henricum Ayard militem. Nunc penes Coll. Armor.) Henricus, sextus, Dei gratia rex Angliæ, et Franciæ, et dominus Hiberniæ, ad quos præsentes literæ pervenerint, salutem. Inspeximus literas patentes Johannis nuper regis Castellæ et Legionis, ducis Lancastriæ, proavi nostri, factas in hæc verba. Johan, par la grace de Dieu roy de Castile et de Leon, duke de Lancastre, a touts ceux qui cestes nos letres vorront ou orront saluz. Saches nous avoir ordenoz constitut et assignez nostre bien ame le roy des ministraulx deins nostre honour de Tutebury quore est, ou qui pur le temps serra, pur prendre et arrester touts les ministralx deins meisme nostre honour et franchise queux refusont de faire lour services et ministralcie as eux appurtenants a faire de ancient temps a Tuttebury suisdit annualment les jours del Assumption de Nostre Dame. Donants et grantant au dit roy de ministralx pur le temps esteant plein poiar et mandement de les faire resonablement justifier et constrener de faire lour services et ministralscies en maner come appeint et come illonque ad este use et de ancient temps accustome. En testimoignance de quel chose nous avons fait faire cestes noz letres patens, don souz nostre privie seal a nostre castell de Tuttebury le xx11. jour de August le an de regne nostre tresdulces le roy Richard Second quart.' Nos autem literas prædictas

ad requisitionem dilecti nobis in Christo. Thomæ Gedney prioris de Tuttebury duximus exemplificandas per præsentes. In cujus rei testimonium has literas nostras fieri fecimus patentes. Datum sub sigillo nostri ducatus Lancastr. apud palatium nostrum de Westmonast. XXII. die Februar. anno regni nostri vicesimo primo."-Dugdale's MONASTICON ANGLICANUM, vol. iii. p. 397, folio, Lond. 1821. I should observe that the word "sextus" is not in any copy of Dugdale that I have seen, but as it certainly seems essential I have ventured to give it on the authority of Blount's FRAGMENTA ANTIQUITATIS, p. 167.

morrow of the Assumption, or August 16, to which day the feast also was transferred, though wherefore, or at what precise time, it is now impossible to ascertain. The earliest account we have of this ceremony is in the "Coucher Book of the Honour of Tutburye," (cap. de Libertatibus,) from which the following extract has been given by the indefatigable Blount.*

"The prior of Tutburye shall have yerely one oure Ladye day the Assumption a bukke delivered him of seyssone by the woodmaster and kepers of Nede woode; and the woodmaster and kepers of Needwoode shale every yere mete at a loddge in Needwoode, called Birkeley lodgye, by one of the cloke att afternone, one Seynt Laurence day,§ at which day and place a woodmote|| shall be


Fragmenta Antiquitatis, p. 168. 8vo. ed. and 529 of 4to.

+ i. e.-on.

i. e. season.

§ That is on the tenth of August, so that there seem to have been some few changes as to the time of holding this festival.

The WOODMOTE COURT was a court of the forest "held for the foresters to bring in their attachments concerning any hurt or injury done in viridi et venatione"- -or as it is usually called vert and venison -" in the forest; and for the verders to receive and enroll the same; and this court being held by the charter of the forest, ad videndum attachiamenta, 'tis therefore called the court of attachments," (Manwood's Forest Laws, p. 23.) But it would seem from the passage in our text that the judicature of these courts was not restricted to vert and venison only, and perhaps we shall not greatly err in supposing that it extended to most matters connected with the forest, notwithstanding that Manwood expressly says (Idem) "this court is not to meddle with any thing but such which concerns an injury or hurt done, or to be done, to the vert or venison." He adds too that it is only a court of inquest, the offender can not be convicted here; he can be attached by his goods only, and not in person, except he was actually taken in the commission of the offence, or, as it was styled in the case of killing deer, red-handed.

At first these courts were held at no fixed times, their less or greater frequency being regulated by the will of the chief officers of the forest.

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