BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Lett this boare's head and mustard
Stand for pigg, goose, and custard,
And so you are welcome all."
So important was the office of boar's-head bearer considered to be, that, in 1107, Holinshed has chronicled the circumstance of England's king, Henry II., bringing up to the table of his son, the young prince, a boar's head, with trumpeters going before him. From this species of service, it is probable that many of our heraldic bearings have originated. " The ancient crest of the family of Edgecumbe," observes Ritson, " was the boar's head, crowned with bays, upon a charger; which," he adds, "has been very injudiciously changed into the entire animal."
This same diligent arranger and illustrator of our old ballads gives us, in his collection of ancient songs, a Boar's-head Carol— which probably belongs to the fourteenth century,—from a manu­script in his possession,—now, we believe, in the British Mu­seum.—
In die nativitatis.
" Novvell, nowell, nowell, nowell, Tydyngs gode y thyngke to tell.                          ,
The borys hede that we bryng here, Be tokeneth a prince with owte pere, Ys born this day to bye vs dere,
A bore ys a souerayn beste, And acceptable in every feste So mote thys lorde be to moste & leste,
This borys hede we bryng with song, In worchyp of hym that thus sprang Of a virgyne to redresse all wrong,
The printing-press of Wynkyn de Worde has preserved to us the carol, believed to have been generally used, prior to 1521, upon these occasions ; a modernized version of which continues to be sung, in Queen's College, Oxford. It is entitled, " A Caroll, bringyne in the Bores heed," and runs thus:—
Previous Contents Next