Corby Pole Fair


Corby Pole Fair
   Held in Corby, Northamptonshire, on Whit Monday, the fair claims to have been founded by charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1585, in gratitude for an incident in which locals rescued her from a nearby bog into which she had somehow wandered. Needless to say, no such charter can be found, but Charles II did confirm the fair in 1682, and it is now held every twenty years. The distinctive feature from which the fair gets its name involves the barring of local roads and exacting tolls from anyone who wants to pass. Anyone who refuses to pay, or commits any other misdemeanour, is carried through the fair on a pole (or, if female, on a chair) and placed in the stocks. Compare *Riding the Stang.
   ■ Kightly, 1986: 87; Hole, 1975: 163; Stone, 1906: 1-4.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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