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  • We just don't have holidays like this anymore.

    September 5, 2008

  • "An annual fair held at Charlton, in Kent, on St. Luke's day, the 18th of October. It consists of a riotous mob, who after a printed summons dispersed through the adjacent towns, meet at Cuckold's Point, near Deptford, and march from thence in procession, through that town and Greenwich, to Charlton, with horns of different kinds upon their heads; and at the fair there are sold rams horns, and every sort of toy made of horn; even the gingerbread figures have horns. The vulgar tradition gives the following history of the origin of this fair: King John, or some other of our ancient kings, being at the palace of Eltham, in this neighborhood, and having been out a-hunting one day, rambled from his company to this place, then a mean hamlet; when entering a cottage to inquire his way, he was struck with the beauty of the mistress, whom he found alone; and having prevailed over her modesty, the husband returning suddenly, surprised them together; and threatening to kill them both, the king was obliged to discover himself, and to compound for his safety by a purse of gold, and a grant of the land from this place to Cuckold's Point, besides making the husband master of the hamlet. It is added that, in memory of this grant, and the occasion of it, this fair was established, for the sale of horns, and all sorts of goods made with that material. A sermon is preached at Charlton church on the fair day."

    September 5, 2008