The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

December 27 - St. John

William Hone, The Every Day Book, 2 Vols. London: William Tegg, 1825, 1827.

Volume 1

St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. St. Theodorus Grapt, A.D. 822.

St. John.

This festival of St. John is observed by the church of England, and consequently his name is in the church calendar and the almanacs. The church of Rome, from whence the celebration is derived, also keeps another festival to St. John on the 6th of May, concerning which, and the evangelist, there are particulars at p. 617. Mr. Audley says of him, "Tradition reports, that when he was a very old man, he used to be carried into the church at Ephesus, and say, 'little children, love one another.' He returned from his banishment, and lived till the third or fourth year of Trajan; so that he must have been nearly a hundred years of age when he died. The appellation of divine given to St. John is not canonical; but was first applied to him by Eusebius, on account of those mysterious and sublime points of divinity, with the knowledge of which he seems to have been favoured above his fellow apostles. Perhaps this may explain the etymology of the word divine, as applied to Christian ministers."


Barnaby Googe, from the Latin of Naogeorgus, thus introduces the day:—

Nexte John the sonne of Zebedee
      hath his appoynted day,
Who once by cruell tyraunts will,
      constrayned was they say
Strong poyson up to drinke, therefore
      the papistes doe beleeve
That whoso puts their trust in him,
      no poyson them can greeve.
The wine beside that halowed is
      in worship of his name,
The priestes doe give the people
      that bring money for the same.
And after with the selfe same wine
      are little manchets made,
Agaynst the boystrous winter stormes,
      and sundrie such like trade.
The men upon this solemne day,
      do take this holy wine
To make them strong, so do the maydes
      to make them faire and fine.



Flame Heath. Erica flammea.
Dedicated to St. John.

Editor's Note: See, generally, Hymns To St. John The Evangelist

Volume 2

December 27

The Clayen Cup.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

January 12, 1825.

Sir,—In your account of the ceremonies now practised in Devon at Christmas regarding the apple-trees, you in calling it a “clayen cup,” it should be a clome or clomen cup; thus all earthen-ware shops and china shops are called by the middling class and peasantry dome or clomen shops, and the same in markets where earthenware is displayed in Devon, are called clome-standings. I feel assured you will place this note to the right account, a desire that so useful and interesting a work should be as perfect as possible.

Perhaps the spirit of Christmas is kept up more in Devon, even now, than in any other part of England.

I am, &c.
An Exonian

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