BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.

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50                              THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
distinguished individual was selected to preside over the arrange­ments.
The publication of the Loseley Manuscripts enables us to pre­sent our readers with some very curious particulars, illustrative at once of the nature of those arrangements, and of the heavy cost at which they were furnished. By an order in council, dated the 31st of September, 1552, and addressed to Sir Thomas Cawar-den, at that time master of the King's Revels, after reciting the appointment of the said George Ferrers, the said Sir Thomas is informed that it is his Majesty's pleasure " that you se hym furneshed for hym and his bande, as well in apparell as all other necessaries, of such stuff as remayneth in your office. And whatsoever wanteth in the same, to take order that it be provided accordinglie by yor discretion."
For the manner in which the Lord of Misrule availed himself of this unlimited order, we recommend to such of our readers as the subject may interest, a perusal of the various estimates and accounts published by Mr. Kempe, from the MSS. in question. Were it not that they would occupy too much of our space, we should have been glad to introduce some of them here, for the purpose of conveying to the reader a lively notion of the gorgeousness of apparel and appointment exhibited on this occa­sion. We must, however, present them with some idea of the train for whom these costly preparations are made, and of the kind of mock court with which the Lord of Misrule surrounded himself.
Amongst these we find mention made of a chancellor, treasurer, comptroller, vice chamberlain, lords-councillors, divine, philoso­pher, astronomer, poet, physician, apothecary, master of requests, civilian, disard (an old word.for clown), gentleman-ushers, pages of honor, sergeants-at-arms, provost-marshal, footmen, messen­gers, trumpeter, herald, orator; besides hunters, jugglers, tum­blers, band, fools, friars (a curious juxtaposition, which Mr. Kempe thinks might intend a satire), and a variety of others. None seem, in fact, to have been omitted who were usually included in the retinue of a prince; and over this mock court the mock monarch appears to have presided with a sway as absolute, as far as regarded the purposes of his appointment, as the actual
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