The Proclamation of Lammas Fair takes place on Friday (17 July). Originating from before the Norman Conquest, the Lord Mayor's procession of the Lammas Glove, includes civic dignitaries and local school children, some in period costume. This year the Lord Mayor will be joined by the Mayor of Bad Homburg, Germany - Exeter’s twin city - and his delegation, who will be visiting Exeter as part of the celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of the twinning of Exeter and Bad Homburg.
Starting at 11am, the procession will travel down the High Street to the Guildhall where the proclamation will be read by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Olwen Foggin. The Lammas Glove will be erected above the Guildhall. This year, the City Council will be bringing out the Sheriff’s Coach.
The word Lammas derives from the Anglo-Saxon Hlafmaesse or Loaf Mass. Lammas Day, the festival of St Peter and vincula, was when the first fruits of the harvest were offered to the Church in the form of a loaf.
The franchise of a fair was a very valuable possession, giving exclusive right to tolls on all articles sold. The fair generally lasted for 3 days.
The Lammas Fair White Glove was displayed during the Fair and was a sign of Royal protection of the peace. The large leather, stuffed glove was attached to a long pole and was decorated with ribbons and a garland of flowers. Prior to the hoisting of the Glove, a Proclamation was made to declare the Fair open. The Proclamation was issued at the time of Edward III in 1330.
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