Town crier  

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A town crier, or bellman, is an officer of the court who makes public pronouncements as required by the court (cf. Black's Law Dictionary). The crier can also be used to make public announcements in the streets. Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th century, in a red and gold robe, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat.

They carry a handbell to attract people's attention, as they shout the words "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!" before making their announcements. The word "Oyez" means "hear ye," which is a call for silence and attention. Oyez derives from the Anglo-Norman word for listen. The proclamations book in Chester from the early 19th century records this as O Yes, O Yes!

See also

  • Herald, another type of messenger sent by a monarch or noble.
  • Vic Garth, reputed in 2005 to be the oldest town crier in the world.
  • Dead bell used to announce deaths and funerals.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Town crier" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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