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Town Crier toby jug produced in England circa 1940. A town crier, also called a bellman, is an officer of a royal court or public authority who makes public pronouncements in the streets as required. Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th century, in a red and gold coat, white breeches, black boots and a tricorn hat. In English-speaking countries, they carried a handbell to attract people's attention, as they shouted the words "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!" before making their announcements. The word "Oyez" means "hear ye," which is a call for silence and attention.
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