Bodmin Riding and Heritage Weekend
5 Jul 2019 to 7 Jul 2019
We’re thrilled to announce that this year the festival will take place over THREE DAYS – including a feast day on Friday 5th July, a day of dressing up, entertainment and fun on Heritage Day, Saturday 6th July, and a sports and activities day on Sunday 7th.
The feast day follows the tradition of the hanging of the Mayor: you all know the story - that Nicolas Bowyer, Mayor of Bodmin was hanged in 1549 for his part in the Prayer Book Rebellion. But did you know, far from being afraid before his execution, the unwitting mayor threw a feast? An account from The Newgate Calendar states:
“Sir William sent [Bowyer] word he would dine with him on a certain day, for whom the mayor provided an hospitable entertainment. A little before dinner the provost took the mayor aside, and whispered in his ear, that there was to be an execution that afternoon […] and after dinner the provost took the mayor by the hand, and desired him to lead him to the place of execution, which, when he saw, he asked him, "If he thought the gallows was strong enough?" "Yes," says the mayor. "Well then," replied Sir William, "get up and try, for it is provided for you!" "I hope, Sir," answered the mayor, "you are not in earnest?" "By my troth," says the provost, "there is no remedy, for you have been a busy rebel." And accordingly, without delay, or liberty to make a defence, the mayor was executed.”
There will be ‘an hospitable entertainment’ aplenty on Friday 5th July 2019 (but without the threat of an execution!)
Other plans include a day of sports and activities on Sunday the 7th July, an idea rooted in the 1700’s when the main focus of the festival was sporting pursuits, including Cornish wrestling, horse racing at Halgavor, and the tradition of the Guildsmen ‘beating the bounds’.