Town Crier ashpot modeled by Diana Capener and produced by Audley Porcelain of England circa 1980 using its Studio D trademark. For centuries before the coming of newspapers, it was the Town Crier in his cocked hat and resplendent uniform who sang out the latest news to the townspeople. He made important announcements regarding forthcoming events, the time of town meetings, details of strayed animals, articles lost and found, and the like. He would ring a bell to attract attention and precede his proclamations by repeating three times in a loud voice, "Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!;" oyez being the old Norman French for hear ye. He was the "walking newspaper" of the American colonies during the seventeenth century. The tradition is carried on today when occasionally the hearty call of "Oyez!" can still be heard in many an English town square.