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Jack-in-the-Green was certainly a familiar figure in the late eighteenth century because he features in illustrations and political cartoons from about 1800. Collections has several. They were always associated with May Day celebrations and were part of the groups which toured the streets. However, though May Day customs went on and on Jack-in-the-Green himself seems to have all but died out by 1900. Only Knutsford survived with an unbroken record. Oxford’s, so much a fixture of their May Morning rituals was ‘revived’ in 1951, though there are plenty of references to earlier incarnations. Much more recently there have been several ‘revivals’ as part of elaborate May ‘festivals’. Their Jacks-in-the-Green are certainly based on genuine traditions but most of the rest is crazed invention. You can’t make a custom. In case you are wondering how the traditional Jack is actually constructed, most accounts mention on-message wood or wicker frames covered with foliage gathered before dawn. Collections can reveal that when we were at Knutsford the foliage was stuck into a chicken wire construction, held together with string...