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Swearing on the Horns: Revellers of ancient Highgate ceremony fundraise for Muswell Hill charity

PUBLISHED: 10:55 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:55 20 March 2020

From left to right: The Clerk - John Martin Esq; The Judge - His Honour Thomas Harvey, and The Registrar - Mr Patrick Keaney. Picture: Polly Hancock

From left to right: The Clerk - John Martin Esq; The Judge - His Honour Thomas Harvey, and The Registrar - Mr Patrick Keaney. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

From left to right: Ellie Puckalls and David Campbell from The Gatehouse, The Clerk - John Martin Esq, The Judge - His Honour Thomas Harvey, customers Sofia Ball and Nicola Bell, and Lydia McNulty from The Gatehouse. Picture: Polly HancockFrom left to right: Ellie Puckalls and David Campbell from The Gatehouse, The Clerk - John Martin Esq, The Judge - His Honour Thomas Harvey, customers Sofia Ball and Nicola Bell, and Lydia McNulty from The Gatehouse. Picture: Polly Hancock

Swearing on the Horns - a quirky Highgate ceremony dating back to the 17th century - has raised £113 for a Muswell Hill charity.

The jovial event, a farcical oath mentioned by Byron in a 19th century poem, was held at the Gatehouse pub in North Road and organised by Hornsey Round Table.

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Muswell Hill charity CPotential, which supports children with special needs to gain skills, independence and confidence, benefited from the fundraiser.

The Clerk and The Judge officiate as Gatehouse customers swear on the horns. Picture: Polly HancockThe Clerk and The Judge officiate as Gatehouse customers swear on the horns. Picture: Polly Hancock

John Martin, of Hornsey Round Table, said: “It was brilliant fun and a great evening of activity which raised money for an important local charity.

“Everyone drank a bit too much which always helps!”

Swearing on the Horns involves a series of statements read by a clerk confirming participants’ commitment to merriment and debauchery.

Revellers then kiss or salute a set of horns and are sworn in as ‘Freemen of Highgate’.


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