Each month we publish a random newspaper article that featured the traditional Jack-in-the-Green. Each of these articles is a magical window into a bygone era. For more information about the Jack in the Green both current and historical visit our main website at: www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk
1st May 1835 MAY-DAY.
There was but a very limited show of sable masqueraders on the 1st instant. The sweeps, in fact, have become too enlightened for such wulgar exhibitions. Jack Scroggins, who is “up and down to every move,” did not let the chance go by, and was out as “grand Serag,” to a tolerably decent set of Carnivalists. He displayed a cocked-hat, bag wig, nankeen decencies, silk stockings, and a dress-coat, with brick-dust varnish to his mug. Mrs. Scroggins was, of course, with him, carrying the ladle, and wore a complete full dress suit of the “good old days of Queen Bess.” Her carroty locks induced many persons to believe she meant to assume the appearance of the virgin Queen. Josh Hudson was “Jack in the Green,” but was little seen save when he poked his sooty bill through the wentilator to receive his reglars of heavy wet. All three complained that their pumps were out of order from the disorderly state of the pavement ; but they forgot all their troubles when seated at the Half Moon in the evening, where there was the customary May-day ball and trimmings. Scroggins on this occasion played his celebrated solo on the salt-box ; and Mrs. Scroggins sung “Had I a heart for falsehood framed,” with a degree of pathos that made poor Josh, who has naturally a feeling heart, blubber like a bull in convulsions. All the elite of Leadenhall were present, and continued to “foot it merrily,” till summoned by the calls of the carcase butchers to their customary duties on market morning. Lord Winchester, although invited, did not attend. It is clear there is “a screw loose” between him and Josh. Old Frank Hobler, his chief secretary, was, however, as usual, among the happiest of the happy, and, as “Billy Waters,” stumped it right jollily upon his timber toe. Being incog., he was only known to the marshalmen who were observable in the maizy throng. Frank being a musical genus [sic], acted as cat-gut scraper for the night, and it was clear had “enough of it,” for he did not mount his perch at the Mansion till one o’clock, and then could scarcely see a hole through London bridge without his glass.
Bell’s Life in London, and Sporting Chronicle, 3 May 1835, page 3.
Our book of the month for September is “The Green Man” by Richard Hayman
It is available via The Company of the Green Man’s shiny new Amazon bookshop using THIS LINK
If you buy your green man books via our Amazon links you pay nothing extra but a small referral fee may go towards the Company of the Green Man. This helps us to keep our website and membership free for all our members. In fact anything you purchase from Amazon after going through one of the links may be eligible to earn us a small referral fee so please consider doing so whenever you are planning to shop at Amazon.
Nina Lyon is writing a book on The Green Man and has asked for some help from our members and readers of this blog:
“I’m writing a book, due to be published next year, about the Green Man in contemporary society and what it means about our relationship with nature and religion. I’m not trying to write an established history, but to find out how this ancient image has developed into its use today, and that depends entirely on the people who use it. I’m looking for people who identify with the Green Man, personally or politically or spritiually, to find out what their relationship is with it as an image or idea. I would be extremely grateful if you could drop me a line for a very brief chat by phone or email: email@example.com – thank you!”
My thanks to Ross Parish for some great pictures of the 1996 Bristol Jack-in-the-Green. It’s always fascinating to be able to see how the revivals have changed over the years. You can see more of these pictures in our Flickr Archive Here
I am hoping that the archive will eventually contain pictures of every Jack from every year, so if you have some old pictures of any Jack-in-the-Green on your laptop, phone, in your dusty photo album or even on negatives in the little boots envelope (remember those) please do get in touch.
I’m very pleased to announce the opening of The Company of the Green Man’s very own Amazon Bookshop.
Just click on THIS LINK or on the bookshop page above and you will be instantly transported to our bespoke bookshop packed with books related to the Green Man, the Traditional Jack-in-the-Green and other related titles.
Whilst I’ve published links to many green man and Jack-in-the-Green related books on our websites bookshop page over the years it was always a bit clunky and difficult to navigate (and update). Our shiny new bookshop makes browsing the shelves and purchasing your books pure joy. For the full experience I recommend that you brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee, sit in a comfy chair and pull up your laptop/Ipad/IPhone/Android Phone/ (delete as appropriate) and browse the virtual bookshelves at your leisure
If you buy your green man books via our Amazon Book Shop you pay nothing extra but a small referral fee may go towards the Company of the Green Man. This helps us to keep our website and membership free for all our members. In fact anything you purchase from Amazon after going through one of the links may be eligible to earn us a small referral fee so please consider doing so whenever you are planning to shop at Amazon.
And if you know of a title you would like added to our bookshelves please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the “contact us” link above.