“At the Lammas Fair, it was the custom for unmarried persons of both sexes to choose a companion, according to their liking, with whom they were to live till that time next year.
This was called Hand-fasting, or hand-in-fist. If they were pleased with each other, then they continued together for life: if not, they seperated, and were free to make another choice.”
‘Old Statistical Account’, Parish of Eskdalemuir, 1794
1555 – Edward Kelley born. An ambiguous figure in English Renaissance occultism and self-declared spirit medium who worked with John Dee in his magical investigations. Besides the professed ability to summon spirits or angels on a crystal ball, which John Dee so valued, Kelley also claimed to possess the secret of transmuting base metals into gold.
Legends began to surround Kelley shortly after his death. His flamboyant biography, and his relative notoriety among English-speaking historians (chiefly because of his association with Dee) may have made him the source for the folklorical image of the alchemist-charlatan.
1715 – The English Riot Act came into effect; when 12 or more people were unlawfully assembled and refused to disperse, they were, after the reading of a section of this Act by a person in authority, immediately considered to be criminals.
1800 – The Acts of Union 1800 was passed, which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
1834 – Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire.
1931 – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott born. American folk singer. Elliott’s nickname came not from his traveling habits, but rather the countless stories he related before answering the simplest of questions. Folk singer Odetta claimed that it was her mother who gave him the name, remarking, “Oh, Jack Elliott, yeah, he can sure ramble on!”