A hundred and fifty years later than Piers Plowman we get another picture of an English ale-house, by no less celebrated a poet. This famous house, the “Running Horse,” still stands at Leatherhead, in Surrey, beside the long, many-arched bridge that there crosses the river Mole at one of its most picturesque reaches. It was kept in the time of Henry the Seventh by that very objectionable landlady, Elynor Rummyng, whose peculiarities are the subject of a laureate’s verse. Elynor Rummyng, and John Skelton, the poet-laureate who hymned her person, her beer, and her customers, both flourished in the beginning of the sixteenth century. Skelton, whose genius was wholly satiric, no doubt, in his Tunning (that is to say, the brewing) of Elynor Rummyng, emphasised all her bad points, for it is hardly credible that even the rustics of the Middle Ages would have rushed so enthusiastically for her ale if it had been brewed in the way he describes.
- The Old Inns of Old England, Volume I (of 2)
A Picturesque Account of the Ancient and Storied Hostelries of Our Own Country
Author and illustrator: Charles G. Harper
Published in 1906
Available from gutenberg.org
- Posted on
- Saturday 16 October 2021