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Title: Fairlop and Its Founder; or, Facts and Fun for the Forest Frolickers.

Author: Famed First Friday Fairgoer

Release date: February 8, 2016 [eBook #51154]

Language: English

Credits: Transcribed from the Charles Clark’s Private Press 1847 edition by David Price


Transcribed from the Charles Clark’s Private Press 1847 edition by David Price, email






A DAY of fun and jollity.—Tom Thumb.


Contains Memoirs, Anecdotes, Poems, Songs,
&c. with the curious Will of Mr. Day,
never before printed.






p. 1The History and Origin of Fairlop Fair, with Memoirs of Mr. Daniel Day, the Founder, &c.

THIS curious and interesting account, written by a gentleman of Essex, intimate with one of the descendants of Mr. Daniel Day, will afford us an instance of its being in the power of almost every man, to add to the felicity of his neighbours and fellow creatures.  The subject before us, though in the middling rank of life, for a series of years had the gratification to see the hearts of hundreds annually rejoiced and made glad, by his means, around the old Oak, and thousands to this time assemble there, on the day he set apart for innocent pastime and rational recreation, so that the benevolent views of his heart were not buried with him in his grave: and, we most sincerely hope, while the spot whereon stood the far-famed Fairlop Oak is to be pointed out, the sons and daughters of freedom and hilarity will meet beneath the delightful shades of the Forest of Hainault, in commemoration of the Founder of the Feast and Fair, Daniel Day.

Daniel Day was born in the parish of St. Mary Overy, (in which parish his father was an opulent brewer) in the year 1683, and for a great number of years, until his death, was a very considerable engine, pump, and blockmaker, in the parish of St. John’s, Wapping, where, to this day, his memory is respected as a great benefactor to that parish, particularly in the gift of the great bell at the consecration of the new church in 1760, and as an upright and ingenious tradesman, a great mechanic, as the many inventions he has left behind him in the construction of various descriptions of engines and pumps, and of the improvement he made in the jiggers used by brewers in the starting of beer, which is worked by them to this day, sufficiently proves.  He was of a most charitable p. 2and humane temper, and exemplarily generous and liberal in his principles and actions; to evince this we need only mention his portioning off his twin nieces in his life-time with £1000 each, one of whom lies buried near him.  He would not only lend a distressed friend considerable sums, but he invariably refused the smallest interest, and very frequently forgave the principal; in short, his character for probity was such, that his neighbours were ever satisfied with his arbitrations in their disputes, to which his abilities were amply adequate; his memory was astonishingly retentive, in so great a degree, as to enable him to repeat, almost verbatim, a long discourse or sermon.  He was not the enemy of any man, or particular description of men, but the muscles of his face were violently agitated whenever he heard of litigation in law, and he always professed to be uneasy in the company of the practitioners of it.

Notwithstanding the very large sums he distributed in charities and lent, he lived in comfort and died rich, leaving to the eight fatherless children of his niece, whom we have already alluded to, the bulk of his property to be equally divided.

It is with some degree of pain we mention that Mr. Day was never married, because with a heart replete with the milk of human kindness, and possessing an understanding at the same time solid and elevated, he wanted only the additional great characters of a husband and father to have made him more completely the great and good man.

Mr. Day had many eccentricities, but they were unoffending in their nature, and no man was ever splashed or injured by his hobby-horse.  We should be doing injustice to his memory if we did not mention a peculiar and very high trait in his character, and that was, his kindness to his servants; in a few words, he was their friend.  He had a widowed house-keeper who lived with him for thirty years, and died in his life-time at a very advanced age.  She p. 3had two very strong attachments, one to her wedding-ring and garments, and the other to tea; when she died, Mr. Day would not permit her ring to be taken off—he said, “If that was attempted, she would come to life again,” and directed that she should be buried in her wedding suit, and a pound of tea in each hand; and these directions were literally obeyed.

This whim was highly illustrative of his good nature, for although he had an aversion to tea, and never drank it, he did not debar his servants the use of it; and in the instance of his old house-keeper, carried his liberality even into her grave, by providing her a commodity there, which she was so fond of here.  And although a bachelor, no man honoured more the marriage state, as will be seen hereafter.

Mr. Day enjoyed as much as any man his friend and pitcher, but he was temperate and regular in his mode of living, and very fond of the exercise of walking; by this means he enjoyed an uncommon share of health, until his death.

We are now drawing towards that last scene which sooner or later must happen to the mighty and the weak, the rich and the poor, the good and the bad.

A few years before Mr. Day’s death, a branch of the Old Oak received a shock, either by decay, by lightning, or storm; this operated upon Mr. Day as the warning of an old friend—it pointed out to him the instability of life, and the effects of time; and he received the call with the resignation of a christian, and the fortitude of a man, who was conscious of having performed his allotted part with propriety.

He set about with alacrity, a task which to some men would have been an awful preparation for the journey: his first business was to provide the repository; by the favour of the lord of the manor, he procured the dismembered limb of his favourite tree: this being done, he employed a Mr. Clear, a carpenter, to measure him for a coffin, and to make it out p. 4of this oak.  Mr. Clear executed his job, and brought home his work, which was neatly pannelled, and highly rubbed and varnished with bees-wax.  Mr. Day viewed his future habitation with the utmost serenity and philosophy, and addressing himself to the carpenter, said, “Mr. Clear, I have heard that when a person dies he is much stretched, and consequently much longer than when living,” and, punning upon the man’s name, went on, “now, Mr. Clear, it is not very CLEAR to me that you have made this coffin long enough, but, however, we’ll try;” and laying himself down in the coffin, he found it too short.  “Never mind it,” says the Stoic, “you must desire my executors to cut off my head and put it between my legs.”

His next care was the disposition of his estate, and in this instance, as well as in every action of his life, he demonstrated himself to be a just and honest man.

After bequeathing several legacies, and providing for the children of his niece, as we have before observed, he carried his harmless oddities to the last action possible, and in that his mind shone with its wonted benignity.  He directed his executors to convey his remains, by water, to Barking, accompanied by six journeymen pump and block-makers, as bearers; to each of whom he gave a new white leather apron and a guinea.

There is a proof of his munificence that ought not to be omitted; it was his custom, upon the birth of all his niece’s children, to present the mother with a gold coral, a pap-boat, and a purse of 50 guineas.  I appeal to those of my fair country-women who are mothers, whether such a gallant present would not be very pleasing to them upon such occasions; and I cannot dismiss this account without observing, that the poor were daily fed at his door, and never craved other relief from him in vain.

Mr. Day was not one of those persons who left the grand account to be balanced at the hour of dissolution, p. 5or who have to trust only to a sick-bed repentance for the errors of their whole lives: he was a protestant, and a constant attendant upon divine worship at his parish church, and though he had no child of his own, he would always enforce the attendance of his nephews and nieces, their children, and of his servants.

Mr. Day was not without his aversions, which were generally well founded and immoveable, but he had few resentments.

In his dress and manners he was simplicity itself, and he was an amateur of music and dancing, the meetings of which he frequently attended; upon one of these occasions he was invited to a superior circle, where he was told it would be necessary to wear ruffles, and a pair of the finest point lace was presented to him; he viewed them with some degree of contempt, and said, “If it was the custom he must comply, but it should be in his own way,” and directed his house-keeper to get the lace dyed green, in which colour he wore them at that assembly, and upon all similar occasions.

Mr. Day retained his health until within a day or two of his death, and his faculties to the last.  As he had lived, so he died—a devout christian, a sincere friend, a good master, and an honest man; he was just without austerity, liberal without profuseness, free without intemperance, and lively without excess; in fine, he lived merry and wise, and died universally revered and lamented on the 19th of October, 1767, in the 84th year of his age, and was buried agreeable to his Will, in his oak coffin, in the churchyard at Barking, in Essex, where the following epitaph may be seen:—

Here lieth interr’d the Body of Mr. Daniel Day, Block and Pump Maker, late of the Parish of St. John’s Wapping; who departed this Life October the 19th 1767, Aged 84 years.

Death, from this world, hath set me free
From all my pain and misery.

p. 6On the reverse side of the stone appears the following:—

As a respectful tribute to the memory of the Founder of Fairlop Fair, the Company of Block Makers caused this stone to be repaired A.D. 1829, under the direction of the following members:—Joseph Flowers, William James Grinyer, Thomas Hemingway, Abraham Kimm, William Row, and John Owen, Treasurer.

Close to his grave is a brick tomb, with an inscription to the memory of his sister, Mrs. Sarah Killick, who died the 22d of August, 1782, in the 93d year of her age.  A woman remarkable for the beauty of her person, sweetness of disposition, and the share of health she also enjoyed through life.  Till her death she could play at cards, and read and work, without spectacles.

Having thus briefly introduced to the reader, an outline of the character of Mr. Daniel Day, who in the latter part of his life was called “Old Daniel Day,” we will proceed to say a few words of his favourite Oak.—This venerable and stupendous tree stood in Hainault Forest, about 10 miles from London, 3 from Ilford, and 2 from the village of Chigwell, in Essex.  The trunk, or main stem, of this giant of the forest measured, about a yard from the ground, 36 feet in circumference!  From this issued 11 vast arms, each of the dimensions of a tree of moderate growth.  In the meridian of the day, about 60 years ago, it is said that its shadow extended over nearly an acre of ground!  This tree was, about the year 1800, fenced round with a close paling, above five feet high, almost all the extremities of its branches sawed off, and Mr. Forsyth’s composition applied to them, to preserve them from decay; and the injury which the trunk of the tree had sustained from the lighting of fires in the cavities, was repaired, as much as possible, by the same composition.  At the same time, on one of the branches, was fixed a board, with this inscription: “All good Foresters are requested not to hurt this old Tree, a plaster having been lately applied to its wounds.”  The rabble, however, regardless p. 7of the respect due to the veteran of the Forest, soon broke down the paling, lighted fires within the trunk, as heretofore, and in consequence, before long, several of the limbs were broken quite off.

On the 25th of June, 1805, this famous Oak was discovered to be on fire, occasioned by a party of sixty persons, who came from London in several carriages during the morning, and amused themselves through the day with playing at cricket and other sports; they had kindled a fire, which had spread very considerably after they left the spot, but it was not discovered for two hours.  A number of persons came with water to extinguish the flames, which was not effected until the main branch on the south side, with part of the body, was consumed.

The high winds of February 1820, however, stretched its massy trunk and limbs on that turf which it had for so many ages overshadowed with its verdant foliage; and thus it exhibited a melancholy memento of the irresistable power of time in bringing to an end not only the flower of a season, but also the towering growth of many ages.

The remains of the Fairlop Oak were purchased by Mr. Seabrooke, the builder of St. Pancras Church, and both the magnificent pulpits of that church were formed out of it, and they are certainly the most beautiful of their kind to be met with.

Our friend Mr. Day—for the friend of mankind never dies—had a small estate, whether hereditary, or a purchase, we do not know, near the Fairlop Oak, and thither he annually resorted, about a fortnight after Midsummer, to receive his rents; the congeniality of his temper would not suffer him to receive the good things of this world alone, and it was his custom to invite a few of his neighbours to accompany him, and there he would treat them with a repast of beans and bacon, &c. under the canopy of the Oak, the accomodations being provided from an adjacent small public-house, the Maypole.  Mr. Day’s p. 8friends were so well pleased with the rural novelty, that they one and all pledged themselves to accompany him on the same occasion every year, on the first Friday in July, during their lives.

In the course of a few years, this amicable meeting greatly increased, and became known to the neighbouring gentry, farmers, and yeomanry; and a vast number of them annually, on the day of Mr. Day’s jubilee, visited the place.  Suttling booths were soon found to be necessary for their accommodation, which naturally produced various other booths for sale, arranged around the huge Oak; and about the year 1725, this charming spot began to present every resemblance of a regular fair.  It progressively increasing, puppet-shows, wild beasts, fruits, gingerbread, ribbons, and toys, of all descriptions, attended with the usual pastimes of a country wake, soon succeeded, and in a very few years it became one of the most respectable, well-regulated, and harmonious, fairs round the metropolis.  This new generation of Mr. Day’s creation became his principal hobby-horse, and he found himself highly flattered by the honest attentions of his numerous visitors.

Suffer me here to digress for a few moments: methinks we see the good old man indulging the graceful sensations resulting from a knowledge of his having founded and promoted a meeting of innocent conviviality, and receiving the smiling congratulations of artless beauty, dancing around him and his venerable Tree, with bosoms light and pure as the atmosphere above them.  Say, ye sons and daughters of dissipation, who indulge in midnight revelry, are your pursuits equal to the simple joys of a country fair?  Is there no difference between the confined and crowded play-house, or opera, where you are all gasping for a little contaminated effluvia, and the healthful and fragrant breezes of sylvan Fairlop?

See the ruddy glow of rosy health, so fascinatingly contrasted with the lily’s rival, and the natural ringlets p. 9flowing with the playful wind!  Behold the modest, yet delightful work of nature!  Is there no distinction between these simple beauties, and the artful manufactured face, on which the faithless rouge and poisonous white lay waste God’s best of works, and leave not a wreck behind?

But to return: the open and generous heart of Mr. Day expanded with inexpressible delight at being the cause of happiness to others, he thought some little return due to the lads and lasses, who so graciously favoured him with their company; he provided several sacks of beans, and a sufficient quantity of bacon, dressed; the bacon was mixed in slices with the beans, and distributed from the trunk of the Tree to the multitude in pansful.  The happy, frolicksome contest for the envied portion, is more easily conceived than described.  Unfortunate was he who did not procure a share for his fair-one.  Blessings were the donor’s reward, and the air resounded with huzzas; the very leaves of the venerable Tree nodded in silent and majestic gratitude: this custom he continued to his death.  How long the chosen companions of this festival lived to accompany the founder, is not known.  It is not to be doubted but they individually kept their word.  Mr. Day survived them all, about ten in number, several years.

In the former part of Mr. Day’s life, he usually walked to Fairlop and back again; later in life he was wont to ride on horseback, but having a fall from his horse, he declared he would never cross another; he kept his vow, sold his horse, and purchased a mule: this obstinate animal also, unconscious of the worth he bore, threw his rider in the mire.  Mr. Day discarded his mule as he had done his horse, and determined never more to trust himself upon the back of a four-legged beast.  His next resource was a post-chaise or a coach; in one of these he also met with an accident, and ever after refused to enter into either.  This last circumstance induced him to direct his remains to be conveyed by water to the place of burial, p. 10saying, “If he was conveyed in a hearse, he should be awakened.”  He next invented a machine to go by the aid of mechanical power without horses, which, after two years successful trial, broke down in attempting the third expedition.  His dernier resort was a jockey-cart, in which, attended by music, he took his annual trip up to the July preceding his death.

Long previous to Mr. Day’s exit, Fairlop Fair was known all over Essex, and the adjoining counties; and naturally the inhabitants of Wapping, and the eastern parts of London, could not be ignorant of it, consequently it was attended by a vast concourse of people.  The engine-makers, pump-makers, and block-makers of Wapping, and other places contiguous to the river, a few years before Mr. Day’s death, to the amount of about thirty or forty, every year went to the Fair in a boat made of one piece of entire fir, covered with an awning, mounted on a coach-carriage, drawn by six horses, with flags, streamers, and pendants flying, and a band of music, attended by a great many persons on horseback, in carriages, and on foot.  This custom, on the first Friday in every July, has been successively observed to this time, in compliment, and in commemoration of their old friend and “brother chip,” to whose pious memory they never fail to drink.  The great annual resort to Fairlop Fair is so well known for twenty miles around, that it is needless to say more on the subject than that in point of the number of persons who go to it, and in accomodations and articles for sale, it is not inferior to any fair near the metropolis, excepting that it is only of one day’s duration.  Seven and twenty years have now elapsed since the famous Fairlop Oak ceased to attract the attention of the holiday-makers, but the mirth and festivity, gypsying, archery, donkey-riding, swinging, &c. are still to be witnessed to a great extent.  Long may Fairlop’s Friday continue to be joyously looked forward to by all as “the good Day’s” day of “fun and jollity!”



Extracted from the Registry of the
Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

In the Name of God, Amen.

I, DANIEL DAY, of the Parish of Saint John, Wapping, in the County of Middlesex, late Block and Pump Maker, do hereby revoke all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made, and do make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament.  I desire to be decently buried in Barking Church Yard, in the County of Essex, at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named.  And I desire to have six men of the same trade that I followed to attend my funeral, and to put my body into a boat, and to convey the same to Barking aforesaid by water, and then to see the same interred.  And I give and bequeath to the said six men one guinea each, and also a new apron, and a pair of gloves to each of them for their trouble therein.  I give and bequeath unto Thomas Dillow, of the Parish of Broughing, in the County of Hertford, five pounds.  I give and bequeath to Thomas Wright, of the Parish of Standon, in the said County of Hertford, five pounds.  I give and bequeath to my Servant, Elizabeth Richardson, five pounds, and a bed, in case she shall be living with me at the time of my decease.  I give and bequeath to the Treasurer of the Charity School of the Parish of Saint John, Wapping, aforesaid, the sum of five pounds, in trust, and for the sole use and benefit of the Children belonging to the said School.  I give and bequeath to the poor of the Parish of Barking, aforesaid, the sum of two pounds, to be distributed amongst them by the Church Wardens and Overseers of the said Parish, in such manner as they shall think proper.  I give and bequeath to the Children of Blagrave Gregory the sum of one hundred pounds, to be equally divided to and amongst them, share and share alike, and to be paid to them by my Executors hereinafter named, when and so soon as they shall respectively attain their ages of twenty-one years, or days of marriage, which shall first happen; and in case any or either of them shall happen to die before they shall attain their ages of twenty-one years, or be married, then the share of him, her, or them, so dying, shall be equally divided to and amongst the survivor or survivors of them; and in case there shall be but one such Child who shall live to attain the age of twenty-one years, or be married, then I give the said one hundred pounds to such surviving Child.  And as to all my money in the public funds, goods, chattels, and all other the rest, residue, and remainder of my personal Estate, of what nature or kind soever, which I shall be possessed of, interested in, or entitled unto, at the time of my decease, after payment of my just debts and funeral expences, I will, order, and direct, that my Executors hereinafter named, and the Executors and Administrators of the survivor p. 12of them, shall stand seized and possessed of the same upon trust and confidence; nevertheless, to make sale of any part of my goods and chattels, and to call in and receive such parts of my said personal Estate as is now outstanding, and to invest the money arising thereby in some or one of the public funds, or Government securities, in the names of my said Executors; and when the same shall be so invested, as aforesaid, it is my will and I do hereby give and bequeath all the residue of my said personal Estate (after payment of my just debts and legacies, hereinbefore mentioned) unto William Weale, Tabitha Weale, Sarah Ann Weale, Daniel Weale, James Weale, Esther Day Weale, and Louisa Weale, the sons and daughters of James Weale, late of the Parish of Saint John, Wapping, aforesaid, Block Maker, deceased, to be equally divided to and amongst them, share and share alike, and to be paid to them respectively on their attaining their respective ages of twenty-one years, or days of marriage, which shall first happen; and in case any or either of them shall happen to die before he, she, or they, shall attain their ages of twenty-one years, or be married, then the share of him, her, or them, so dying, shall go to the survivor, or survivors, of them, share and share alike.  And I do hereby order and direct that my said Executors shall not be answerable, or accountable, for the acts, deeds, receipts, or payments, of the other of them, but each of them for his and their own acts, deeds, receipts, and payments, respectively.  And that my said Executors, their Executors, or Administrators, shall deduct and retain in his or their hands, all such costs, charges, and expences, which they, any, or either, of them shall sustain, or be put unto, in, or about, the execution of this my Will.  And I do hereby constitute and appoint William Camden, and John Camden, of the said Parish of Saint John, Wapping, aforesaid, Sugar Refiner, and Peter Manswell, of the Parish of Saint Matthew, Bethnal Green, in the said County of Middlesex, Tallow Chandler, Executors of this my Will.  In witness whereof, I, the said Daniel Day, the Testator, have to this, my last Will and Testament, contained in three sheets of paper, annexed together and sealed with my seal, to the two first of the said sheets set my hand, and to the last my hand and seal, and published and declared the same, this thirty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand, seven hundred, and sixty-six.

Daniel Day.

Signed, sealed, published, and declared, by the said Testator, Daniel Day, as and for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, who, in his presence, and at his request, and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto.

Robert Tudman,
Matthew Coates,
John Yourson.

Proved at London the 24th October, in the year of our Lord 1767.


JULY 3, 1846.

COME lovers of doggrel, come lovers of sport,
Haste here—at the bidding of Momus resort,
And toss up your “toppers” ten feet in the air,
Since we’ve had a fair day for the Day of our Fair.

Sure, Jove at our bidding fulfill’d our desire,
And each rider, each walker, each seller, and buyer,
Of pleasure and profit came in for their share,
As they hail’d the fair day, on the Day of the Fair.

If the Satyrs and Fawns were unseen in the dance,
And the Dryads themselves look’d a little askance,
Yet the beaux and the belles throng’d in many a pair,
Nor thought of an absence from Fairlop the Fair.

Of splendor or merriment kept up the ball;
And Venus herself, or else some to compare,
Adorn’d the fair day, and the Day of the Fair.

How delightful the scene!—how great were the joys
Of the saunt’rers, and simp’rers, and venders of toys;
And the lov’d and the lovely of each had their share,
And enjoy’d the fair day, and the Day of the Fair.

Not more had there been of din, frolic, and fun,
Had Bacchus been present, bestriding his tun;
And Mercury himself had his followers there,
Who hail’d the fair day, and the Day of the Fair.

’Tis certain at evening Diana look’d down,
And eclipsed in a trice all the gas-lights in Town;
Whilst our taverns, though brilliant, shone forth in despair,
As the night drew her curtain of cloud round the Fair.

Then, lovers of doggrel, and lovers of sport,
Next year at the bidding of Momus resort;
And Apollo himself shall in future repair,
And still give a fair day for the Day of our Fair.



COME to Fairlop Fair; we good fellows invite;
So partake of that day, which is our delight;
For we have spirits like fire; our courage is good;
And we meet with the best of respect on the road;
When you see us, you’ll say we are mounted quite gay;—
Success to the lads, that delight in that day.
   Haste away, haste away; all nature seems gay,
   Let us drink to the joys of old Fairlop so gay!

Our horses are all of the very best blood;
Our boat is well built, and her rigging is good.
With our boats and our badges we unanimous declare,
And join hand in hand, to support the old Fair;
We’ll jovially sing, and our music shall play,
   And a set of staunch ponies will tow us away.
   Haste away, haste away, &c.

’Twas one Daniel Day, that first founded this Fair,
And as hearty a fellow as ever was there;
The Lord of the Manor a Charter did gain,
And all true sons of Neptune will uphold the same;
We’ll enjoy all the pleasure that springs from that day,
And ever remember good old Daniel Day.
   Haste away, haste away, &c.

From Wapping Old Stairs, away then we drive,
When the first Friday in July does arrive;
We breakfast at Woodford; at Loughton we lunch,
And at our old friend’s house we’ll dine and drink punch;
When our Boatswain will start us away for the Fair,
While Phoebus does shine on our Colours so clear.
   Haste away, haste away, &c.

It’s when from the Forest to Ilford we steer,
Every town we go through, we will give them three Cheer!
Then on our way home we will still get refreshed;
Then return back to Wapping, to sup of the best;
Where we’ll dance and we’ll sing so cheerful and gay,
And ever remember good old Daniel Day.
   Haste away, haste away, &c.

Now having described our boat, horses, and crew,
And old Fairlop so gay, which you all may review,
Our boat now comes home by the winding of caul;—
And so you are welcome unto Fairlop Hall!—
Our boat we’ll put by for another Fair-day,
And ever remember good old Daniel Day.
   Haste away, haste away; all nature seems gay,
   Let us drink to the joys of old Fairlop so gay!



LADS, let us jovial float
Merry in our tight-rigg’d boat;
Our Pilot so gay with badge and coat
   Shall tow us along:
The music shall so sweetly play,
And all shall be so blithe and gay;
   We’ll laugh and joke,
   And drink and smoke,
And join the cheerful song.
         Lads, let us, &c.

On the first Friday after June,
Like the birds, we’re in full tune;
We rise up in the morning soon,
   Our neat boat to trim.
From St. George’s turnpike we do start,
And with joy from home depart,
   Music playing,
   Colours flying,
Then does the fun begin.
         Lads, let us, &c.

Then first to Ilford we do steer,
And, when we have had breakfast there,
Then to Romford do repair;
   From thence to Hornchurch go;
Thence back again we go to dine,
Where we booze on punch and wine,
   Singing, dancing,
   Life enhancing,
For pleasure all on tip-toe.
         Lads, let us, &c.

Then to Fairlop Fair we steer,
With carriages in front and rear,
Our skins quite brimful with good cheer;
   So mellow then we start;
Then we o’er the Forest ride,
Neither fearing wind nor tide,
   Singing, laughing,
   Drinking, quaffing,
Merrily we glide.
         Lads, let us, &c.

When Phœbus to the west draws near,
And the feather’d race doth disappear,
Then from the Forest we do steer,
   At Ilford awhile to stay;

p. 16Then from the Angel at Ilford
Merry we’re tow’d along the road;
   All hearty, jovial,
   Quite convivial,—
Thus we finish the day.
         Lads, let us, &c.


(Exhibiting the Dialect of the Peasantry of Essex.)

AIR—“The Teetotaller.”


YOUN’ SIMON ov Fairlop, a noice steady lad was he,
The jouy ov his moather—the proide ov his dad was he;
An’, as a ploughmun, folks say, yow scace ever ded
Clap oyes upun one wot his wark hafe so clever ded.

To “come oup” to him, all his mates, they bestirrers wor,
For straight—proper straight uns—they spied all his thurrars wor;
But, our Simon, nut onny at ploughin’ excel ded he,
If he sew, rep, or mew, stell the same, oh! so well ded he!

Stron’ an’ clunchy was Simon, an’ noice carlly hair he had,
With health’s tint on his chakes, through the dale ov fresh air he had:
With a charriter gud, ne’er lack “dubs” in his puss ded he,—
Ollis “bobbish” an’ gay, long pass his loife thus ded he.

Howsomever, this genus—this lad ov ability—
Soon foun’ a sad stup put to all his tranquillity;
For into his heart soon much fudder love’s urrars went,
Thun into the mouls e’er the teeth ov his hurrars went!

All the cause ov his troubles, ’twas werry soon sin, they say,—
He had so fell in love with one fair Dorcas Winn, they say;
Such a noice gal was Dorcas, the chaps all look’d sloy at her,
An’, poor Simon, he too, had oft caist a ship’s eye at her.

Quoite the proide ov the willage this naarbour’s gud darter was,
Whoile for some toime our Simon’s wesh her to “goo arter” was;
An’ that wot cud nut be at some oather places done,
Was—in wuds nut so wusser—at Fairlop with graces done!

Nation plased now was Simon—his sithin’ was banish’d quoite;
To his gal he’d “struck oup,” an’, his fares, they had wanish’d quoit:
His Dorcas’s conduct, oh! now it was such, he ded
E’en begin to hev thotes ov the axin’ at chutch, he ded!

Our Simon an’ Dorcas, stell yit at the Fair wor they—
Now sot down in some “Tavin,” quoite free from all care wor they:
Where there was such guzzlin’, an’ such ham-an’-wealin’ it,—
Whoile many loike blazes kept on toe-an’-heelin’ it.

p. 17At Fairlop, the pair, oup an’ down long parade ded they,
An’ oyed all the “soights”—all the wonders display’d ded they;
’Ginst the shows, with mouth opun, our Simon, long stan’ ded he,
Tell, ov coas, into etch, with much grace, his lass han’ ded he!

Whoile at Fairlop, poor Dorcas, once or twoice rayther frown’d had she,
For, somehows, so dartied her best yallar gownd had she;
An’, our Simon, some chaps there to bouy ded beset him so,
He at last ded agree, when he foun’—they had chet him so!

To be oaf frum their “Tavin” quoite toime it now gittin’ was,—
’Sides, there was such a tarnation smudge where etch sittin’ was:
So when ’mong the stawls they had had a shote roam agin,
Frum the Forest they trapsed on to Dorcas’s home agin.

When snoug frum the boustle, fond Simon, full oft ded he,
“To her head,” tell his love such a kit ov things “soft” ded he;
An’ his Dorcas, she trusted—(but wot lover do less ded he?)—
That he’d soon come agin—for wot, Simon, guess ded he!

A few moanths arter this, our pair, made but one wor they,
“Tied oup,” one foine moarn, by some grave Levi’s son wor they;
An’, by the smoile on etch face—so yow’d guess it stell—
Their trip to oad Fairlop, much cause they’ve to bless it stell!



COME, come, my boys, with a hearty glee,
To Fairlop Fair—bear chorus with me;
At Hainault Forest, ’tis known very well,
This famous Oak has long borne the bell.
      Let music sound, as the boat goes round;
      If we tumble on the ground, we’ll be merry, I’ll be bound,
      We will booze it away; dull care we’ll defy,
      And be happy on the first Friday in July.

To Hainault Forest Queen Anne she did ride,
And beheld the beautiful Oak by her side;
And, after viewing it from the bottom to the top,
She said to her Court, that it was Fair-lop!
      It is eight fathoms round, spreads an acre of ground;
      They plaster’d it round, to keep the Tree sound;
      So we’ll booze it away; dull care we’ll defy,
      And be happy on the first Friday in July.

About a century ago, as I have heard say,
This Fair it was kept by one Daniel Day,
As hearty a good fellow as ever there could be;
His coffin was made of a limb of the Tree.
      p. 18With black-strap and sherry, he made his friends merry,
      All sorrows for to drown in brandy, rum, and perry;
      So they boozed it away; dull care we will defy,
      And be happy on the first Friday in July.

At Hainault old Forest there standeth a tree,
And round it have been dances, mirth, pranks, and glee;
It is surrounded with woods, lawns, and plains,
Where the merry little warblers pour forth their sweet strains.
      So we’ll dance round the Tree, and merry we will be;
      Every year we’ll agree the fair Fair for to see;
      And we’ll booze it away; dull care we will defy,
      And be happy on the first Friday in July.


AIR,—“The Maypole.”


LAST Fairlop Fair—to drive away care,
   To toddle there we swore—
There was ugly Bob, and Sam the snob,
   And five and twenty more.
Pat Murphy promised Fair,
   So him we couldn’t doubt—
And what was pleasant, I declare,
   Our mothers let us out.  Tol lol, &c.

A cart and horse we hired, in course,
   Of Costermonger Joe—
Who swore the nag was like a stag,
   A regular good ’un to go.
We took him at his word,
   And paid a suvverin down,
And away we toddled, toddled, toddled,
   And hook’d it out of town.  Tol lol, &c.

Sam wore whites, and Bob wore tights,
   With a spicy long-tail’d blue,
While all the rest were up and drest
   In toggery “petter as new.”
Besides, it was agreed
   By Sam and ugly Bobby,
A nosegay we should wear apiece,
   To make us all look nobby.  Tol lol, &c.

Away we went, on pleasure bent,
   As hard as we could trot—
The horse look’d bold, no wives did scold,
   But the sun was werry hot.
p. 19The perspiration roll’d,
   The ladies’ colours run,
Which clearly proved, and no mistake,
   They’d all been in the sun.  Tol lol, &c.

A treat, I’m blow’d, ’twas, down the road,
   To see him gallop hard,
When all at once, the stupid dunce,
   He wouldn’t stir a yard.
We give it him over the nob,
   And whopp’d him on the flank—
But, lord! you might as well have tried
   To move the precious Bank.  Tol lol, &c.

The people laugh’d, and jeer’d and chaff’d,
   As down the road they pass’d—
Though we were first, says Bob, I’m cursed
   If we shan’t be the last.
We shoved away behind,
   And so did Bob’s fat mother—
But as fast as we could shove one way,
   The hunter shoved the other.  Tol lol, &c.

At last, cried Sam, “I’ve got a plan!”
   Then a bunch of carrots ties
To the end of a stick—an artful trick—
   And fix’d ’em afore his eyes.
Away the hunter went
   With his precious livin’ load,
When all at once the tail fell down,
   And spilt us in the road.  Tol lol, &c.

The women bawl’d—the babbies squall’d,
   We book’d ourselves for dead—
Some were hurt, and choked with dirt,
   And some pitch’d on their head.
The grub got spoilt, on which
   Our hopes did so depend;
And the goosegog pie had all got jamm’d
   By Bobby’s latter end.  Tol lol, &c.

By the time we’d quite got o’er our fright,
   The folks were coming back,—
So we got done out of our fun,
   Through the precious lazy hack.
Next time we pleasuring went,
   We swore with all our rage,
If we couldn’t get a better horse,
   We’d go by the Marrowbone stage.  Tol lol, &c.


Tatham: Printed at Charles Clark’s Private Press.