This article is based on an examination of the manuscript collections made by the clergyman-antiquary Thomas Machell (1647–98) from Westmorland. It argues that the six volumes of Machell's notebooks have been largely overlooked as a valuable source for the social life and popular culture of the north-west of England in the late seventeenth century. Analysis of Machell's writings, however, reveals him to be an original and sympathetic recorder of the beliefs and prejudices, customs and practices, of his neighbours. It is suggested that he shares much in common with John Aubrey as an important, and sometimes unique, commentator on vernacular traditions, children's games and calendar rituals.
- POPULAR CULTURE
- SEVENTEENTH CENTURY