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Swearing on the Horns: Ancient ceremony of merriment to be hosted by Highgate pub for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:02 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:02 06 March 2020

The tradition held in 1910. Picture: Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution

The tradition held in 1910. Picture: Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution

Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution

A bizarre historic tradition dating back to the 17th century which allows participants the ‘right’ to kick a pig out of a ditch will be held in a Highgate pub.

The event will fundraise for Muswell Hill charity CPotential. Picture: John OakesThe event will fundraise for Muswell Hill charity CPotential. Picture: John Oakes

Hornsey Round Table will enact 'Swearing on the Horns' at the Gatehouse in North Road on March 12 at 8pm - a farcical oath mentioned by Byron in a 19th century poem which confers the 'Freedom of Highgate'.

The jovial, quirky event will raise funds for Muswell Hill charity CPotential, which supports children with special needs to gain skills, independence and confidence.

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Fundraising manager Kevin Gillespie said: "We are delighted to have the continued support of John Martin and Hornsey Tablers at this historical event.

"Thanks to such generosity, we can help families who rely on our local services to improve their child's independence and quality of life."

In times gone by, Swearing on the Horns has involved a series of statements read by a clerk confirming participants' commitment to merriment and debauchery.

Revellers would then kiss or salute a set of horns, and be sworn in as 'Freemen of Highgate'.


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