Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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xxvi
and then only in their masters' houses by the latter; and a penalty of 6s. Sd. was incurred by any house­holder allowing such games, except during those holidays; which, according to Stow, extended from All-hallows evening to the day after Candlemas-*day. The Act of 33 Henry VIII. c. 9, enacts more particularly, " That no manner of Artificer or Crafts­man of any handicraft or occupation, Husbandman, Apprentice, Labourer, Servant at husbandry, Jour­neyman, or Servant of artificer, Mariners, Fisher­men, Watermen, or any Serving-man, shall from the said feast of the Nativity of St. John Baptist, play at the Tables, Tennis, Dice, Cards, Bowls, Clash, Coyting, Logating, or any other unlawful Game, out of Christmas, under the pain of xxs. to be for­feit for every time ; and in Christmas to play at any of the said Games in their Masters' houses, or in their Masters' presence."
Many of the nobility imitated the royal splen­dour in the arrangement of their domestic esta­blishments, maintaining such numerous retinues as to constitute a miniature court. The various house­hold books that still exist shew the state in which they lived; among these, that of the Northumber­land family is the best known, having been printed, and frequently quoted. It appears from the regu­lations here laid down, (1512,) that the " Almonar" was frequently " a maker of Interludys;" and if so, " than he to have a servaunt to the intent for writ-ynge of the Parts; and ells to have non." The persons on the establishment of the chapel per­formed plays from some sacred subject during Christmas ; as " My lorde usith and accustomyth to gyf yerely, if his lordship kepe a chapell and be at home, them of his lordschipes chapell, if they doo play the Play of the Nativite uppon cristynmes day in the mornnynge in my lords chapell befor his

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III