With Yuletide just around the corner don’t forget that the The Company of the Green Man’s very own Amazon Bookshop is a quick and easy click away for all your Christmas Present requirements. I’ve decked the shelves in virtual tinsel and Holly and if I could figure a way of offering visitors virtual egg nog and mulled cider I would.
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.
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.
Our book of the month for November is ” The Pitkin Guide to The Green Man” by Jeremy Harte
It is available via The Company of the Green Man’s 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.
Each month I publish a newspaper article that featured the traditional Jack-in-the-Green along with a picture or photograph from the archive. Each of these articles is a fascinating 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
May 1st 1862: MAY-DAY AND THE SWEEPS
Yesterday there was scarcely any room in London for that ingenious class of persons who, under the general designation of “Sweeps,” contrive to make a holiday of the first of May, and to levy contributions on the public. Chimney sweeping by machinery was a sad blow to the festivities of May-day, and although there were yesterday some specimens of Jack-in-the-Green, with his attendant satellites, they were, as a rule, only to be found in retired districts which formed no part of the road to the Great Exhibition, and were but very feeble representatives of the sweeps of bygone years. In the neighbourhood of Brompton and Kensington a few appeared but the thoughts of the people seemed bent on the Exhibition, and the sooty fraternity – always, by the way scrupulously clean on May-day – seemed to meet with very little encouragement. Many foreigners who came into contact with the moveable Jacks-in-the-Green, appeared to be profoundly astonished at the wonderful system by which such apparently lifeless bodies could have had such wonderful activity imparted to them, and upon the principle of Omne ignotum pro magnifico, rewarded to some extent the ladies and gentlemen who politely extended the familiar long-handed spoons, in which they are accustomed to receive their favours. Jack is supposed to have three days’ holiday at this time of year, and it might be hoped for his sake, that as to-day and to-morrow will be less exciting days than this has been, he may reap a bountiful harvest before the week has drawn to a close.
The Standard, 2 May 1862, page 3
The picture featured this month is Mayday or Jack in the Green possibly by Isaac Cruikshank published by Laurie and Whittle 1795
The Green Man as a pub name may have a number of sources beyond that of the Green Man of church and folklore, including from the Green Man and Still heraldic arms used by the Distiller’s Company in the seventeenth century. Some pub signs will show the green man as he appears in English traditional sword dances (in green hats). Or as the Wild Man associated with drinking and revelry and usually carrying a club. There is also a strange interconnection between the Green Man and Robin Hood. Indeed some Green Man pubs changed their signs to foresters or Robin Hood from shaggy green men used as a symbol of the Distillers’ company in the 17th century. Apparently there are no pubs in Robin’s own county of Nottinghamshire named the Green Man but there are many Robin Hoods.
It also seems that some pubs are changing their signs back from images of Robin to that of the traditional Green Man himself.
One of The Company of the Green Man’s projects is to create a comprehensive list of current and historical Green Man public houses throughout the United Kingdom. The current listing can be found here : http://freespace.virgin.net/polter.geist/greenman_page0007.htm if anybody know of any pubs missing from the list we would love to hear from you via the contact tab above.