The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Mummers

Source: Brand's Popular Antiquities Of Great Britain

W. Carew Hazlitt, Faith and Folklore: A Dictionary of National Beliefs, Superstitions and Popular Customs, Past and Current, With Their Classical and Foreign Analogues, Described and Illustrated.

Forming A New Edition of "The Popular Antiquities of Great Britain" By Brand and Ellis, Largely Extended, Corrected, Brought Down To The Present Time, and Now First Alphabetically Arranged.

In Two Volumes

London: Reeves and Turner, 1905.

Vol. 1, p. 121

A proclamation issued 8 Edward III., AD. 1334, by the authorities of the City of London, concludes thus: "Also we do forbid, on the same pain of imprisonment, that any man shall go about at this feast of Christmas with companions disguised with false faces, or in any other manner, to the houses of the good folks of the City, for playing at dice there . . . . " Riley’s Memorials of London, 1868, p. 192. At Tenby, among the Christmas mummings, was a dialogue between Father Christmas, St. George, Oliver Cromwell, and Beelzebub, where St. George is made to say:

First, then, I fought in France;
Second, I fought in Spain;
Thirdly, I came to Tenby,
To fight the Turk again."

Where by Turk we are to understand the corsairs of Barbary, who at one time infested nearly every coast.

Editor's Note: The play refered to here is the Tenby Guisers' Play by L.P.Barnaschone (1857), which can be found at the Folk Play Research Home Page.

See also Mumming, The Custom Of Mumming - Henry Vizetelly, and The Christmas Masque from Washington Irving.

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