Folklore, proverbs and wisdom

Who goeth a borrowing

goeth a sorrowing

few lend (but fools)

their working tools

When the fern is as high as a spoon

you may sleep an hour at noon

when the fern is as high as a ladle

you may sleep as long as you are able

when the fern begins to look red

then milk is good with brown bread.

If Candlemas day be fair and bright

winter will have another fight

if on Candlemas day it be shower and rain

winter is gone and will not come again.

Penny and penny laid up will be many

who will not keep a penny shall never have many.

Good riding at two anchors men have told

for if one should break the other will hold

A man of words and not of deeds

is like a garden full of weeds

The higher the plum tree the riper the plum

the richer the cobbler the blacker his thumb

Children pick up words as pigeons pease

and utter them again as God should please.

Our fathers who were wondrous wise

did wash their throats before their eyes

Make haste when you are purchasing a field but when you are to marry a wife be slow.

Let every house sweep the dirt from its own doorstep and then the whole street will soon be clean.

For there be those who wear the lords livery and do the devils work all day long.

So many days old the moon is on Michaelmas Day then so many floods will be that winter

Chelmsford Church and Writtle Steeple

both fell down

but killed no people

Poor Robins Almanac in 1691 provided guidance for most months


Roast beef, strong ale, good fires are now three things

which this cold season much contentment brings.



The four and twentieth day the stars foretell

of pancakes and of fritters a great smell

and many hundred cocks their death shall meet

by boys throwing cudgels at them in the street



Now doth the spring put on her new apparel

and the kind butler broaches a fresh barrel

the days and nights are even without a quarrel

when summer comes winter must take its farewell



Now lasses into groves and meadows gets

to gather primroses and violets

but let them heed they do not too far stray

lest their maiden heads do lose that way.



Now Phoebus he his greatest strength forth yields

and beggars scorn the barns and lie in fields

if laziness do in some people lurk

a whip laid on their backs will make them work.



Now Virgo rules, the maid by whom is born

in her fair hands the ripened ears of corn.



This month having an R in't , is the reason

that oysters they do come again in season



Fair summer's pride begins to fade away

and night encroach upon the hours of day

the winged choristers do cease their notes

and stately forests don their yellow coats



Now stormy blasts enforce the quaking trees

to wrap their trembling limbs in mossy frieze

roast beef, minced pies are good to those that try them

but the worst of it is how to come to them.