Random Quote #81 topic: vulgar-tongue, Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, Grose, Francis, 1731-1791

HORN FAIR. An annual fair held at Charlton, in Kent, on St.
Luke's day, the 18th of October. It consists of a riotous
mob, who after a printed summons dispersed through the
adjacent towns, meet at Cuckold's Point, near Deptford,
and march from thence in procession, through that town
and Greenwich, to Charlton, with horns of different kinds
upon their heads; and at the fair there are sold rams
horns, and every sort of toy made of horn; even the gingerbread
figures have horns, The vulgar tradition gives the
following history of the origin of this fair; King John,
or some other of our ancient kings, being at the palace of
Eltham, in this neighbourhood, and having been out a
hunting one day, rambled from his company to this place,
then a mean hamlet; when entering a cottage to inquire
his way, he was struck with the beauty of the mistress,
whom he found alone; and having prevailed over her
modesty, the husband returning suddenly, surprised them
together; and threatening to kill them both, the king was
obliged to discover himself, and to compound for his safety
by a purse of gold, and a grant of the land from this
place to Cuckold's Point, besides making the husband
master of the hamlet. It is added that, in memory of this
grant, and the occasion of it, this fair was established, for
the sale of horns, and all sorts of goods made with that
material. A sermon is preached at Charlton church on
the fair day.


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