The Every Day Book
William Hone (1780-1842 ), 2 Vols.
London: William Tegg, 1825, 1827.
William Hone was born June 3, 1870 to William Hone, Sr. and Francis Maria Stawell Hone in Bath, England. In 1873 the family moves to London. In 1792, Hone takes first job as "factotum" for solicitor in Bishopsgate Street. The next year, he publishes a broadside critical of the French Revolution, beginning a long career political career. He married Sarah Johnson on July 19, 1800. Also in that year, he opens a small stationary shop and circulating library in Southwark. Over the years, he would open, and close, several book stores and similar enterprises. In 1817, he is arrested on three occasions for blasphemous and seditious libel charges allegedly made against Lords Sidmouth and Castlereagh. After three trials, and three acquittals, Hone becomes a celebrity. After 1820, he became less political, and focused on publishing books such as The Lost Books of the Bible (1820), Ancient Mysteries Described (1823), The Every Day Book (1825, 1827), The Table Book (1827), and The Year Book (1832). He died following a stroke in Tottenham on November 6, 1842. The engraving, left, is from The Every Day Book (Volume 1, 1825).
Concerning the saints. Hone gives this note under January 1, Volume 1:
“Without noticing every saint to whom each day is dedicated in the Roman catholic calendar, the names of saints will be given day by day, as they stand under each day in the last edition of their “Lives,” by the Rev. Alban Butler, in 12 vols. 8vo. On the authority of that work the periods will be mentioned when the saints most noted for their miracles flourished, and some of those miracles be stated. Other miracles will be given: First, from “The Golden Legend,” a black letter folio volume, printed by W. de Worde. — Secondly, from “The Church History of Britain,” by the Benedictine father, S. Cressy, dedicated by him to the queen consort of Charles II., a folio printed in 1668. — Thirdly, from the catholic translation of the “Lives of the Saints,” by the Rev. Father Peter Ribadencira, priest of the society of Jesus, second edition, London, 1730, 2 vols. Folio; and Fourthly, from other sources which will be named. By this means the reader will be acquainted with legends that rendered the saints and the celebration of their festivals popular.”
For most days, only that information which specifically relates to the Christmas-related holiday or customs will be reproduced.
In all texts, I have inserted "[?]" where I am not certain of the typography. The volumes from which I worked, at the time of this transcribing, were 179-181 years old; the text was in very good, but not perfect, condition. The bindings were poor, but this did not affect the contents.
Additions are also made from other works by Hone: Ancient Mysteries Described (1823) and The Year Book (1832). I am also hoping to acquire The Table Book (1827).
Links To The Days
Advent through Candlemas
Advent, being the closest Sunday to the feast day of St. Andrew, November 30.
December - A General Introduction To The Month And Season
December 14 - Beginning of Ember Week, an ancient fast, and the Approach of Christmas.
December 25 - The Nativity of Christ, or Christmas Day
December 27 - St. John, The Apostle and Evangelist
December 28 - The Holy Innocents, Childermas Day
Handsel Monday, the First Monday Following New Year's Day
January 7 - St. Distaff's Day, the Day Following Epiphany
Plough Monday, the First Monday Following Epiphany
January 28 - Identified by Hone as Old Twelfth-Day, which he stated was still observed in some parts of England (Volume 2, 1827). See entry for January 6.
February 14 - Identified by Hone as Old Candlemas Day Day (Volume 2, 1827).
Other topics of interest from Hone:
A Political Christmas Carol (1920)
A note from Hone: To The Reader (December 1825).
Amusements: The London Christmas Evenings of 1826.
Hocus Pocus (Entry from December 19, The Year Book)
The Waits (Entry from December 25, The Every Day Book)
Hob or Nob (Entry from December 26, The Year Book)
Fairies (Entry from December 27, The Year Book)
These Christmas Bills (January 1826), a humorous observation, as true now as then.
Laud and Prynne (Entry from January 10, The Year Book)
Cricket On The Hearth (Entry from January 12)
King Charles's Martyrdom - 1644 (January 30)
Old Shrove-tide Revels (February 15, with mention of the duties of the king of Christmas)
May Day At Hitchin (May 1)
Corpus Christi Day and the Performance of Mysteries (June 2), an extensive discussion of the mystery plays.
Concerning the derivation of Lamb's-wool (from the entry for October 31 in Volume 1, and other entries).
St. Michael, The Archangel (Entries from May 8 and September 29)
Christmas Carols (From Ancient Mysteries Described, 1823)
William Hone, The Year Book of Daily Recreation and Information. London: Thomas Tegg, 1832. December 11.
[To Mr. Hone.]
I am accustomed to seek for amusement in odd places. The other night I turned over some volumes which, common readers, would not appear Likely to afford recreation; viz, the “Statutes at Large:” and in the course of my pastime I noted down a few curious specimens of ancient laws, which I subjoin for your use
I am, Sir,
H. W. LANDER.
September 12th, 1827.
... Masks and Mummers. — Mummers shall be imprisoned three months, and fined at the justices’ discretion. The penalty for selling visors, or keeping them, is to forfeit twenty shillings, and to be imprisoned at the discretion of the justices. — (3 Henry VIII. cap. 9).
For more information:
Papers of William Hone, with a biography
Frederick William Hackwood, William Hone: His Life and Times. Augustus M. Kelley, Publishers: June 1970.
Works of William Hone at the Internet Archive:
William Hone - His Life And Times - Frederick William Hackwood (1912)
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