Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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except at the celebration of Christmas; and that then the whole body of students should jointly con­tribute towards the dresses, scenes, and decora­tions.
During the short reign of the youthful monarch Edward the Sixth, the splendour of the royal Christ-masses somewhat abated, though they were still continued; and the King being much grieved at the condemnation of the Duke of Somerset, it was thought expedient to divert his mind by additional pastimes at the following Christmas (1553). George Ferrers of Lincoln's Inn, a gentleman of some rank, was therefore appointed Lord of Misrule, or Mas­ter of the King's pastimes, and acquitted himself so well as to afford great delight and satisfac­tion. The expences on the occasion were more than £700.
The troubled reign of Mary was not congenial to these sports, though they were still kept up with spirit in different parts of the country ; but in the first Christmas after the accession of Queen Eliza­beth there were plays and entertainments before her; the former however unfortunately contained some offensive, and probably indecent matter, as the actors were commanded to leave off. Eliza­beth, like her father, was fond of pomp and show, and particularly encouraged theatrical exhibitions. Complaints however having been made of the ex-pence of these entertainments, she determined to control them, and directed an estimate to be made in the second year of her reign for the masks and pastimes to be shewn before her at Christmas and Shrovetide, Sir Thomas Cawarden being then, as he had for some time previous been, Master of the Revells. The estimate amounted to £227. lis. 2d. being nearly £200 less than the expences in former

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