Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bean’s Bread, Pease Loaf, And Lammastide.


This Article is taken from, and can be read in full at, MEDIEVAL HISTORIES

Lammastide means the time has come for "hlafmaesse",
or "Loaf-Mass", the ancient offering to God
of The First Bread of The Season.
What went before was a meagre time.

Hunger in haste then
seized Waste by the maw
And wrung him so by the belly
that both his eyes watered;
The Breton he buffeted
about the cheeks
That he looked lantern-jawed
all his life after.

He beat them so both
that he near burst their ribs;
Had not Piers with a Pease-Loaf
Prayed Hunger to cease
They had been buried both
believe thou none other !
`Suffer them to live,’ he said
let them eat with the hogs
Or else beans and bran
baked up together,
Or else milk and mean ale’
thus Prayed Piers for them.

Loungers for fear thereof
fled into barns
And flapped on with flails
from morning till eve,
So that Hunger less hardily
looked upon them,
For a potful of pease
that Piers had made.


Labourer with a spade,
from Piers Plowman.
Source: Bodleian Library,
MSDouce 104, f 039r/wikipedia.

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

In some English-speaking Countries in The Northern Hemisphere, 1 August is Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "Loaf-Mass"), the Festival of The Wheat Harvest, and is the first Harvest Festival of the year. On this day, it was customary to bring to Church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide.

The loaf was Blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England, it might be employed afterwards to work magic; a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the "lammas bread" be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly-harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called "The Feast of First Fruits". The Blessing of First Fruits was performed annually in both The Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being The Feast of The Transfiguration of Christ).

Lammas has coincided with The Feast of Saint Peter in Chains, Commemorating Saint Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison, but, in The Liturgical reform of 1969, The Feast of Saint Alphonsus Liguori was Transferred to this day, the day of Saint Alphonsus' death.

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