Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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" By Christofer Gyles, a Cutler, a meate knyf with a feyer hafte of white bone; a conceyte in it.
" By Morgan, Apotticary, thre boxes, one of gynger candy, another of grene gynger, and the thirde orenge candit.
" By Smyth, Dustman, two boltes of cameryck.
All persons who made her these gifts, had in general gifts in " guilte plate" of different value in return.
In 1578-9 is the following:—" By Morrys Wat-kins, eighteen larkes in a cage:" in reward for these Watkins had 20s.
In 1581-2, " Item, a juell of golde, being a catt, and myce playing with her, garnished with smale dyamondes and perle. Geven by the Lady How-arde,
" Item, a flower of golde, garnished with sparcks of diamonds, rubyes, and ophales, with an agathe of her Majestis phisnamy, and a perle pendante, with devices painted in it. Geven by Eight Maskers in Christmas-weeke."
I have understood that the practice was con­tinued up to the time of George III.; and Brand mentions that in his time the nobility used to send the King a purse with gold in it. And until these few years past there was a remnant left, in a custom of putting a crown-piece under the plates of the chaplains in waiting at dinner; but the crown-pieces have latterly gone after the plum-porridge.
Formerly, tenants used to make presents at this time to their landlords, frequently a capon, or some­thing of similar value, and the custom still partially exists. Richard Evelyn, Esq. High Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1634, held a splendid Christ­mas at his mansion at Wotton, having a regular Lord of Misrule for the occasion; and it appears it was then the custom for the neighbours to send

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