The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Plum Porridge

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. 2, pp. 496-97

Both plum-porridge and Christmas pies are noticed in the following passage in Needham's "History of the Rebellion," 1661:ó

"All plums the prophetís sons defy,
And spice-broths are too hot
Treasonís in a December pye,
And death within the pot.
Christmas, farewell; thy days I fear
And merry days are done:
So they may keen feasts all the year,
Our Saviour shall have none.
Gone are those golden days of yore,
When Christmas was a high day:
Whose sports we now shall see no more;
ĎTis turníd into Good Friday."

Mr. Brand notes : I dined at the Chaplainís table at St. Jamesís on Christmas Day, 1801, and partook of the first thing served up and eaten on that festival at table2 i.e. a tureen of rich luscious plum-porridge. I do not know that the custom is anywhere else retained.

One of the adventures of Bamfylde Moore Carew was to cry Plumb-Puddinq, hot Plumb-Puddzng, piping-hot, smoaking-hot, hot Plumb-Pudding, up and down the streets of Bristol in female attire in the midst of the press-gang, the members of which bought his commodities. Life and Adventures, 1745, p. 52-3.

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