Friday, July 11, 2014

The Haxey Hood Game

From the Haxey Hood website:
The Haxey Hood is a annual event held in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire. It is most easily described as a kind of rugby game with unlimited participants and few rules, where a leather tube is slowly walked by a large unorganised rugby scrum to 1 of 4 pubs. Here it it remains until the following year's game. 
The official story is that in the 14th century, Lady de Mowbray, wife of an Isle landowner, John De Mowbray, was out riding towards Westwoodside on the hill that separates it from Haxey. As she went over the hill her silk riding hood was blown away by the wind. Thirteen farm workers in the field rushed to help and chased the hood all over the field. 
It was finally caught by one of the farm workers, but being too shy to hand it back to the lady, gave it to one of the others to hand back to her. She thanked the farm worker who had returned the hood and said that he had acted like a Lord. Whereas the worker who had actually caught the hood was a Fool. 
So amused was she by this act of chivalry and the resulting chase, that she donated 13 acres of land on condition that the chase for the hood would be re-enacted each year. This re-enactment over the centuries has become known as "The Haxey Hood"
The Getty Images website dates this photo to c.1928 and goes on to say:
Caption:circa 1928: The inhabitants of Haxey in Lincolnshire take part in the Haxey Hood Game, held every January 6th. Wearing a garlanded top hat, the Chief Boggin is escorted to the village church by a group of 'boggins' carrying 'hoods', rolls of leather about three feet long.

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