When: 1st – 4th June 2012
Where: Combe Martin, Devon
£: Free to watch but collections towards good causes in the village are made during the weekend
What is it?
Revived in 1974, The Hunting of the Earl of Rone is Combe Martin’s unique annual custom. For four days over the bank holiday weekend the villagers joined by the Grenadiers, the Hobby Horse and the fool search for the ‘Earl of Rone’.
Once captured the ‘Earl of Rone’ is paraded through the village back-to-front on a donkey. He is led down towards the beach where he is ‘shot’ and thrown into the sea. Villagers and locals from the surrounding area dress up and join in the festivities but anyone is welcome to watch.
There are several theories about how the custom began but no one knows for sure. One theory is that fleeing Ireland Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, was shipwrecked and hid in the woods until he was captured by Grenadiers.
More info: www.earl-of-rone.org.uk