Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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xciv
the office has of late years been discontinued. It is true there was an ordinance of Common Council in the 1st and 2nd of Mary for retrenching ex-pences, whereby, amongst other things, it was di­rected, that the Lord Mayor or Sheriffs should not keep any Lord of Misrule in any of their houses.*
Stubbs, in his " Anatomie of Abuses," printed in 1595, reprobates the conduct of a sort of parish or country Lord of Misrule, with his hobby-horses, dragons, and riotous followers decorated with scarfs, ribbons, and laces, hung over with gold rings, pre­cious stones, and other jewels, with bells about their legs and rich handkerchiefs in their hands: they carried their licence so far as to dance into the churches even during the time of service. These rude revellers, however, partook more of the nature of morris-dancers than of the Christmas Prince. His reign was interrupted by the progress of Puritanism, though, as before stated, there were some celebrated exhibitions of this description even as late as the seventeenth century.
In the Christmas at the Middle Temple in 1632, the Lord of Misrule was attended by his Lord Keeper, Lord Treasurer, eight white staves, a band of pensioners with their captain, and two chaplains, with other officers. His venison was supplied by Lord Holland, his Justice in Eyre, and the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London furnished his wine. Evelyn says that he was invited to the solemn foolery of the Prince de la Grange, at Lin­coln's Inn, in January 1662, when the King and Duke of York, &c. were present; and in January 1668, he went to see the revels at the Middle Temple, which was an old but riotous custom.
The Society of Lincoln's Inn used to choose a
* Archseologia, vol. xviii. p. 314.

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