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The Kirby Feight

from Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales - PLACES AND FAMILIES





Eighty-eight wor Kirby feight,
When nivver a man was slain;
They yatt ther meaat, an drank ther drink,
An sae com merrily heaam agayn.

After the abdication of James the Second, in the year 1688, a rumour was
spread in the North of England that he was lying off the Yorkshire
coast, ready to make a descent with a numerous army from France, in
hopes of regaining his lost throne. This report gave the Lord Lieutenant
of Westmoreland an opportunity of showing his own and the people's
attachment to the new order of things; he accordingly called out the
posse comitatus, comprising all able-bodied men from sixteen to sixty.
The order was obeyed with alacrity; and the inhabitants met armed in a
field called Miller's-close, near Kendal, from whence they marched to
Kirby Lonsdale. This historical fact explains the above popular rhyme,
the meaning of which is, at this day, perhaps not generally
understood.--West. and Cumb. Dial. 89.





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