Old English Customs – P. H. Ditchfield
Many customs have vanished, quietly dying out without giving a sign. The present generation has witnessed the extinction of many observances which our fathers practised and revered, and doubtless the progress of decay will continue.
We have entered upon a diminished inheritance. Still it is surprising to find how much has been left; how tenaciously the English race clings to that which habit and usage have established; how ancient customs hold sway in the palace, the parliament, the army, the law courts, amongst educated people as well as unlearned rustics; how they cluster around our social institutions, are enshrined in religious ceremonial, and are preserved by law; how carefully they have been guarded through the many ages of their existence, and how deeply rooted they are in the affections of the English people.