Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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lxiii
wick, to be shipp'd for London, for Sir Hen. Grey, Bart, a pie, the contents whereof are as follows: viz. 2 bushels of flour, 201bs. of butter, 4 geese, 2 turkies, 2 rabbits, 4 wild ducks, 2 woodcocks, 6 snipes, and 4 partridges; 2 neat's tongues, 2 cur­lews, 7 blackbirds, and 6 pigeons : it is supposed a very great curiosity, was made by Mrs. Dorothy Patterson, housekeeper at Howick. It was near nine feet in circumference at bottom, weighs about twelve stones, will take two men to present it to table; it is neatly fitted with a case, and four small wheels to facilitate its use to every guest that in­clines to partake of its contents at table." Turkies and geese are also common at Christmas, the latter being the dish in the western counties, while the turkey prevails in London.
In Spain it was customary for patients to send their medical attendants presents of turkeys, so that doctors in large practice had to open a kind of trade in them. Capons were formerly used at this time, probably because many landlords then re­ceived them from their tenants. Gascoigne, in 1575, says,
And when the tenauntes come to paie their quarter's rent, They bring some fowle at Midsummer, a dish of fish in
Lent, At Christmasse a capon, at Michaelmasse a goose; And somewhat else at New-yeres tide, for feare their
lease Jiie loose.
The liquors drunk at this time were the same as at any other great feast. The Anglo-Saxons, and other northern nations, who in times of paganism drank in honour of Odin, Thor, and their other fabulous deities, afterwards, when converted to Christianity, being unwilling to resign their pota­tions, drank large draughts of liquor in honour of Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, and other

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