‘Part pub crawl, part rugby brawl’ 700-year-old Haxey Hood game is held in Yorkshire

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IT IS part rugby scrum, part pub crawl: a 700 year-old tradition in which villagers go to war over a piece of leather.

January 6, traditionally Three Kings’ Day, is when the village of Haxey, south of the Humber and east of Doncaster, abandons 21st century niceties in favour of the peculiarly local medieval practice of congregating around a 2ft leather tube, known as a hood, which is walked around four pubs dispensing free ale.

The Haxey Hood is played out on the Isle of Axholme

The Haxey Hood is played out on the Isle of Axholme

The ritual has its origins in the tale of Lady de Mowbray, wife of a local landowner, who lost her silk riding hood to the wind. A shy farm worker caught it after 12 others had failed, but then passed it to a colleague, who handed it back to Her Ladyship. He was, she said, a Lord; the shy farmer a fool.

In gratitude, she donated 13 acres of land on condition that the chase for the hood would be re-enacted each year.

In the modern version of the Haxey Hood game, a man dressed as “fool” recites an old English chant which translates as: “House against house, town against town, if a man meets a man, knock him down but don’t hurt him.”

This has been gradually watered down from an earlier, less politically correct incarnation, in which the fool was suspended over a fire until he suffocated.

Haxey Hood, Haxey, Lincolnshire January 06 2017. The Haxey Hood is a 700 year-old annual event held in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire.  The  annual game takes place on the afternoon of 6 January, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. A scrum, called the 'sway', pushes a leather tube called the 'hood' to 1 of 4 pubs, where it remains until the following year's game. The 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, he 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.

Haxey Hood, Haxey, Lincolnshire January 06 2017. The Haxey Hood is a 700 year-old annual event held in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire. The annual game takes place on the afternoon of 6 January, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. A scrum, called the 'sway', pushes a leather tube called the 'hood' to 1 of 4 pubs, where it remains until the following year's game. The 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, he 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.

Haxey Hood, Haxey, Lincolnshire January 06 2017. The Haxey Hood is a 700 year-old annual event held in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire.  The  annual game takes place on the afternoon of 6 January, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. A scrum, called the 'sway', pushes a leather tube called the 'hood' to 1 of 4 pubs, where it remains until the following year's game. The 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, he 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.

Haxey Hood, Haxey, Lincolnshire January 06 2017. The Haxey Hood is a 700 year-old annual event held in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire. The annual game takes place on the afternoon of 6 January, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. A scrum, called the 'sway', pushes a leather tube called the 'hood' to 1 of 4 pubs, where it remains until the following year's game. The 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, he 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.

The Haxey Hood Fool, Dale Smith, Haxey, Lincolnshire January 06 2017. The Haxey Hood is a 700 year-old annual event held in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire.  The  annual game takes place on the afternoon of 6 January, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. A scrum, called the 'sway', pushes a leather tube called the 'hood' to 1 of 4 pubs, where it remains until the following year's game. The 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, he 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

The Haxey Hood Fool, Dale Smith, Haxey, Lincolnshire January 06 2017. The Haxey Hood is a 700 year-old annual event held in the village of Haxey, North Lincolnshire. The annual game takes place on the afternoon of 6 January, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. A scrum, called the 'sway', pushes a leather tube called the 'hood' to 1 of 4 pubs, where it remains until the following year's game. The 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, he 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

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