The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Make We Mery Bothe More And Lasse

For Christmas

Words: English Traditional from the Hill Ms., Balliol College Ms. 354

Compare: Make We Merry, Both More And Less (Rickert)

Music: Not Stated

Source: E. K. Chambers and F. Sidgwick, eds., Early English Lyrics (London: A. H. Bullen, 1907), #CXXXVI, p. 234.

Make we mery bothe more and lasse,
For now is the time of Cristemas !

Lett no man cum into this hall,
Grome, page, nor yet marshall,
But that sum sport he bring with all ;
    For now is the time of Cristemas !

If that he say he can not sing,
Some oder sport then lett him bring,
That it may please at this festing ;
    For now is the time of Cristemas !

If he say he can nought do,
Then for my love aske him no mo,
But to the stokkes then let him go ;
    For now is the time of Cristemas !

Notes to CXXXVI, p. 373.

Balliol 354. Printed Anglia, xxvi. 241; Flugel, W.L. 69; N.L. 123; Pollard, 86.

13. Stokkes. The Earl of Misrule at Christmas kept stocks, like the Earl of Gloucester in King Lear or any other Lord, and exercised his festival jurisdiction by condemning to them offenders against the amenities of the revel; cf. three examples in Chambers, Medieval Stage, i. 406, 408, 410, including a lord at court in 1551 who had 'pilory, gibbet, hedding block, stokkes, little ease'.

Extended Citations:

Anglia, xxvi. 241;
Ewald Flügel, ed., “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders Aus Der Zeit Heinrichs VIII. III. 6. Die lieder des Balliol Ms. 354,” in Eugen Einenkel, ed., Anglia - Zeitschrift für englische Philologie enthaltend Beitrage zur Geschlicht der englischen Sprache und Literatur. Band XXVI. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1903), p. 241.

Flügel, N.L., 123 ;
Ewald Flügel, Neuenglisches Lesebuch (Herausgegeben von Ewald Flugel: Band I, 1695), p. 123.

Flügel, W.L., 69;
Ewald Flügel, "Englische Weihnachtslieder aus einer Handschrift des Balliol College zu Oxford." In Forschungen zur deutschen Philologie: Festgabe fur Rudolf Hildebrand, (Leipzig, 1894), p. 69. Texts from Balliol 354.

Pollard, 86.
A. W. (Alfred William) Pollard, ed., Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse. (A. Constable and Company, Limited, 1903), p. 86.

Balliol 354.
Balliol 354. Paper, 11 1/2 x 4. Commonplace book of Richard Hill, who describes himself as ‘seruant with Mr. Wyngar, alderman of London.' John Wyngar, grocer, was alderman in 1493, mayor 1504, and died 1505. Richard Hill married in 1518 Margaret, daughter of Harry Wyngar, haberdasher, 'dwellyng in bowe parishe in London,' and the births of his seven children are recorded in the MS. from 1518 to 1526. The MS. is a miscellany of the widest character, English, French, and Latin, poems, romances, fabliaux, extracts from Gower and Sir Thomas More, receipts, legal notes, London customs, etc. Some pieces, signed by Hill, must be in his own hand ; so probably is most of the MS. The latest date in it is 1535, but part must have been written before 1504. Rimbault, 120, refers apparently to the MS. in 1851, (see notes on CXXXI), and said he intended to print it entire. Chappell (1855-59), 50, notes that this MS. had been 'recently found in the library . . . , where it had been accidentally concealed, behind a bookcase, during a great number of years.' Extracts printed by Flugel, W.L., in 1894; and thence by Pollard, 1903 ; also in Flugel, N.L. Edited, almost complete, with full table of contents, by Flugel in Anglia, xxvi, 94, printing 126 items. Source: Notes, p. 307-308.


Editor's Note:

See also

Balliol Ms. 354 is available on-line at Early Manuscripts at Oxford University; see Balliol Ms. 354.

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