Sunday 15 December 2019

Rough music

From time to time I've come across local accounts of people taking matters into their hands and showing their disapproval of others behaviour by subjecting the perpetrator to the humiliation of "rough music". One report not far from here recounted how a man had beaten his wife and in revenge those who lived near him surrounded his home, shouting abuse and banging on tin cans and pans until the perpetrator was driven out of town. All sorts of misbehaviours could be deal with by this form of vigilantism from unwed mothers to husbands who were browbeaten by their wives. This example hangs in the hall at Montacute House. The husband has been drinking when he is supposed to have been looking after the baby and his wife has hit him round the head with a shoe for his misdemeanours. He has then had to face the wrath of the mob for his weakness.

On the first Sunday after 15th December the Tin Can Band in Broughton resurrects itself. Thankfully nowadays it is no longer used for rough music, but to drive away evil spirits and mark the village boundaries. Probably best to behave yourself just in case though!!



  1. What a very elegant depiction of "rough music", right up there with the cherubim playing gilt harps! Reminds me of the motto one used to see displayed in some gentlemen's studies: "Illegitimi non corubundum." (Don't let the bastards wear you down.)

    1. I like that phrase...I might make it my personal motto.


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