St Clement's Day

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(23 November).

Claimed as the patron saint of blacksmiths, who celebrated his Day in various ways. Earlier references, however, indicate that other trades had an interest in the day, and that it was previously an important festival: ‘Itm. geuen to the bakers of the Prince house on saynt Clementes Even comyng wt theyre Bolle vs (November 1537)’ (Hazlitt, 1905: 131), and similarly at Newcastle in 1637 (J. J. Anderson, Records of Early English Drama: Newcastle Upon Tyne (1982), 157–8). Proclamations of 1540 and 1541 to suppress boy bishop ceremonies also include St Clement's as one of the times that children should not be dressed up and taken in procession (Ian Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records of Britain (1984), 66).

See also SOULING, for the VISITING CUSTOM called ‘Clementing’.

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