Honley Feast (1850)

The 1850 Honley Feast took place between Sunday 22 September and Tuesday 24 September.

The 1850 Feast featured Brierley's Circus, a "humble half-penny peepshow" and "Johnson's patent 'high-flyer'." The Chronicle reported that there was an "abundant display of creature comforts" in the form of gingerbread and other danties which the "lasses of Honley" indulged in to "the utmost extent of their masticating powers"(!)[1]

Prior to the Feast, William Hepplestone, "being a vendor and hawker of nuts", had travelled up from Sheffield and stayed overnight in Holmfirth. Around midnight, he was woken by the sound of his "nut-cart" being trundled off down the road by a group of rowdy revellers. Hepplestone gave chase and found that they had "inflicted considerable injury" to his property. John Turner of Rattle Row and Eli Hoyle of Norridge agreed to pay damages to avoid having the case brought before the local court.

As the Feast began on the Sabbath, the local "Dogberrys"[2] were out in force to arrest anyone breaking the Sunday trading laws. George Brook and "his portly spouse", being "dealers in gingerbread and nuts", fell foul and were brought before the magistrates at the Guildhall in Huddersfield after having refused to "move on" when ordered to by Constable M. Riley.[3]

Notes and References

  1. "Honley: The Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Sep/1850).
  2. From Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing", the term was used to describe those who over-zealously upheld the letter of the law.
  3. "Honley: The Results of the Feast" in Huddersfield Chronicle (05/Oct/1850).