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Going to Eccles Wakes

John Collier
1708 - 1786

This is an oil painting of a group of people on their way to Eccles Wakes by John Collier, a painter, engraver and cartoonist.

Eccles Wakes were a holiday to celebrate the dedication of the Parish Church.  They were celebrated annually until 1877 when the tradition was abolished by the Home Secretary.  Originally a pious affair the Wakes became increasing rowdy with races, competitions and blood sports, including bull and bear baiting and cock fighting.  This led to many local people complaining and its eventual ban.