All things Green Man & Jack-in-the-Green

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The Holly Man

Holly Man copyright © Damian Frost

Holly Man copyright © Damian Frost

 

David Risley sent us this picture of his latest manifestation of the Greenman at the Lions part Twelfth Night festival that took place on 4th Jan. For this festival the Holly man, his winter guise, was rowed up the Thames and landed at the Bankside where much Wassailing ensued. The picture is by Damian Frost.

Book of the Month – February

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Our book of the month for February is “In Search of the Green Man” by Peter Hill

It is available via  The Company of the Green Man’s Amazon bookshop by clicking on the picture above or 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.

Historical Jack-in-the-Green – February

Samuel Collings May Day in London1784

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 1832: A WET MAY-DAY

The rain of yesterday morning wholly damped the spirit of the May-day. Melancholy and miserable looked “Jack-i’-the-green,” as his laurels dripped over his black forehead ; one of these spectacles in Whitehall was a sad lesson to that sport which so frequently ends in mourning. The chief sweep and his lady, in all their glistening finery (by the way, they understand the jeweller’s rule of contrast admirably, setting “barbaric pearl and gold” in black), slinked along one side of the street in the manner of an ejected dog, beneath (oh, march of intellect!) a silk umbrella ; close behind came a Falstaffian regiment of beardless sweeps, melancholy, miserable, and muddy, vainly striving to look sedate and sober – your wet day is a great gin provoker – and the rear was brought up by “Jack” – at least “the green,” moved along but danced not, neither did it rejoice as of old on May-day ; twirl gave it none, and but that it did move, bore no other sign of tenancy.

The True Sun, 2 May 1832, page 1.

The picture featured this month is May Day in London by Samuel Collings (1784)

Green Man

copyright © Albion James

My thanks to Albion James for sending us this wonderful picture. You can see more of his work here:

http://albionart.wix.com/albionjames

Rock Troll

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HAND MADE CRAFTS FORGED FROM FOLKLORE AND FIRE

www.rocktroll.co.uk

Book of the Month – January

Explore Green Men

 

Our book of the month for January is “Explore Green Men” by Mercia MacDermott with photographs by Ruth Wylie

It is available via  The Company of the Green Man’s Amazon bookshop by clicking on the picture above or 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.

Historical Jack-in-the-Green – January

Jack in the Green a May Day scene sixty years ago Charles Green 1830

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

1st May 1864: GOING A-MAYING.

The boughs and flowers were used to decorate the doors and windows of the houses, and were often associated with superstitious ceremonies, including protection against witchcraft and securing a good milking season. Indeed, the milkmaids appear always to have had a special interest in May Day festivities ; and even within living memory a number of them would assemble, in a street near Moorfields, on the first day of the month, there to perform a sort of grotesque dance around a figure which was evidently the original “Jack in the Green.” This was a man who bore upon his head a pyramid of May flowers and green boughs, all hung round, with mugs and silver tankards ; and it not frequently happened that the party was afterwards joined by a number of sweeps’ climbing-boys who were decked out with ribbons and accompanied the milkmaid’s fiddle and tabor with a brush and shovel obbligato. These sweeps, who by a popular fiction were supposed to have their holiday in virtue of its being the anniversary of the recovery of young Montagu, who had been stolen for a climbing-boy, soon had May Day to themselves; and now the “Ramoneur” – which recent Parliamentary disclosures prove has not superseded climbing-boys, enactments notwithstanding – has nearly abolished May Day, even amongst the sweeps…

The Illustrated Times, 7 May 1864, page 302.

The picture featured this month is “Jack in the Green a May Day scene sixty years ago” by Charles Green (1830)

The Company of the Green Man Membership Badge

badge

I am extremely pleased to announce that the Company of the Green Man membership badge is now available. Our leather badge was designed and crafted by clog maker and leather worker Phil Howard. Phil is well known to many Morris dancers and festival attendees and he has designed and crafted many of the leather badges worn by Morris sides throughout the country. Each badge is hand crafted and therefore no two are the same, they measure 2inches across and look fantastic on tatters, top hats, bags, backpacks or any standard item of clothing.

You can purchase your very own badge via the Members Badge tab above or THIS LINK

If you are not already a member of The Company of the Green Man you can join for free via the “Join Us” link above.

Historical Jack-in-the-Green – December

May Day or Jack in the Green

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 1839: THE ENGLISH CARNIVAL

 The 1st of May is unquestionably a species of carnival in this country ; it comprises among Charles Lamb’s friends the chummies or sweeps, “fiddling, masking, dancing, and other things that may be had for asking” – that is, a few pence ; and, thanks be to this cold northern clime of ours, nothing more. Pity it is that they should be to the busy – those intent on worldly gain – a nuisance. They are so in the strait-built streets of the city, where the commerce of the world is transacted. But who of kindly heart, on the 1st day of May, cares for the growls of the obstructed merchant, or the curses of the hemmed importer? Look at the children how they flock together – how they run after “Jack-in-the-green,” and his masked, and piping, and fiddling, and drum-beating suite. Wednesday was a lovely May-day, and the streets of the metropolis profited by it. Jack-in-the-green had been seldom seen clad in greener or gayer colours, and rarely has he been followed by a more numerous or laughing cortège. Every lane and alley – hotbeds of population – poured out its juvenile and imitating admirers after him.

The Charter, 5 May 1839, page 230.

The picture featured this month is entitled “May Day or Jack in the Green” The artist and date are unknown 

Merry Yule

The Oak King copyright © Rose Blakeley

The Oak King copyright © Rose Blakeley

I would like to wish all our members a Merry Yuletide and a Happy Christmas. My thanks for all your support in the last year and my best wishes to you all for 2015.

My thanks to Rose Blakeley for sending us her wonderful picture above and poem below, perfect for our Yuletide post!

 

The Oak King

Come forth my king, through forests of snow

As the quiescent land, it freezes below,

For all life awaits for your lantern of light,

The winter to flee and the dark to ignite.

See how the thaw, it now does begin

As an emerald glow gleams from your luminous skin

And your cascading cloak of acorn and oak,

At its touch, an awakening, it does provoke.

Bring white waxing moons, my clement king,

Unfurl the leaf bud, herald the spring,

Summon the blossom, the sweet flowers of May,

Turn the axis of time this mid-winter day.

Cast down your eyes of green on the soil,

So the snowdrop, from slumber, will slowly uncoil

To face a warm sun, and an amiable breeze,

As you relish your reign amongst the viridescent trees.

By Rose Blakeley

www.roseblakeley.moonfruit.com

 

 

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