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

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)

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. Thank you for this month’s picture. This Samuel Collings picture is an interesting one. The milkmaids’ garland of silverware has almost morphed into a Jack in the Green; it is almost the same shape. You can just make out the name of the street, Milk Street, just off Cheapside, so you can see why they went there! Fowlers Troop and the Deptford Jack also used to visit this street in the 1980s. There used to be a pub called the Magog as well!

    February 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm

  2. It is a fascinating picture and really does show how the Jack in the Green evolved. Milk Street and the Magog really do have a place in Jack history, I believe that in 1984 three Jacks paraded in Milk Street

    February 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s