AUBREY, writing in 1678, gives some curious notes on the changes of manners and customs. Some of his notes refer to the sixteenth century:--
"Antiently ordinary men's houses and copyholders, and the like had no chimneys, but flues like louver holes: some of 'em were in being when I was a boy.
In the halls and parlours of great houses were wrote texts of scripture on the painted cloths.
Before the last civil wars, in gentlemen's houses, at Christmas, the first dish that was brought to table was a boar's head, with a lemon in his mouth.
The first dish that was brought up to table on Easter day was a red herring riding away on horseback, i.e. a herring ordered by the cook something after the likeness of a man on horseback set in a corn sallad.
The custom of eating a gammon of bacon at Easter (which is still kept up in many parts of England) was founded on this, viz. to show their abhorrence of Judaism at that solemn commemoration of our Lord's resurrection.
The use of your humble servant came first into England on the marriage of Queen Mary, daughter of Henry IV. of France, which is derived from votre très humble serviteur. The usual salutation before that time was, God keep you, God be with you, and among the vulgar How dost do? with a thump on the shoulder.
Till this time the Court itself was unpolished and unmannered: King James's court was so far from being civil to women, that the ladies, nay, the Queen herself, could hardly pass by the king's apartment without receiving some affront.
Heretofore noblemen and gentlemen of fine estates had their heralds, who wore their coats of arms at Christmas and at other solemn times, and cried 'Largesse' thrice.
A neat built chapel, and a spacious hall, were all the rooms of not: the rest were small. At Tomarton, in Gloucestershire, antiently the seat of the Rivers, is a dungeon 13 or 14 feet deep: about 4 feet high are iron rings fastened in the wall, which was probably to tye offending villains to, as all lords of manors had this