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There are that three nightes onely do
perfourme this foolish geare, To this intent, aad thinke ihemselues
in safetie all the yeare*
It appears that in the reign of Alfred a law was made relative to holidays which ordained the twelve days after the nativity to be kept as festivals.f
The grand state of the Sovereign, on Twelfth day, and the manner of keeping festival at court, in the reign of king Henry VII., are set forth in Le Neve's MS. called the Hoyalle Book," to the following effect:—
As for Twelfth Day the king must go crowned in his royal robes, kirtle, surcoat, his furred hood about his neck, his mantle with a long train, and his cutlas before him; his armills upon his arms, of gold set full of rich stones; and no temporal man to touch it, but the king himself; and the squire for the body must bring it to the king in a fair kercheif, and the king must put them on himself; and he must have his sceptre in his right hand, and the ball with the cross in the left hand, and the crown upon his head. And he must offer that day gold, myrrh, and sense; then must the dean of the chapel send unto the archoishop of Canterbury by clerk or priest the king's offering that day; and then must the archbishop give the next benefice that falleth in his gift to the same messenger. And then the king must change his mantle when he goeth to what, and take off his hood and lay it about his neck, and clasp it before with a great rich ouche; and this must be of the same color that he offered in. And the queen in the same form when she is crowned.
The same day that he goeth crowned he ought to go to mating ; to which array belongeth his kirtle, surcoat, tabard, and his furred hood slyved over his head, and rolled about his neck ; and on his head his cap of estate, and his sword before him.
At even-song he must go in his kirtle, and surcoat, and hood laid about his shoulders, and clasp the tippet and hood together before his breast with a great rich ouche, and his hat of estate upon his head.
As for the Void on the Twelfth night the king and the queen ought to have it in the hall. And as for the wassail, the steward, the treasurer and the controller,
* Naogeorgus, Popish Kingdome. t Collier's Eccles. Hisu
shall come for it with their staves in their hands; the king's sewer and the queen's having fair towels about their necks, and dishes in their hands, such as the king and the queen shall eat of: the king's careers and the queen's shall come after with chargers or dishes, such as the king nr the queen shall eat of, and with towels about their necks. And no man shall bear any thing unless sworn for three months. And the steward, treasurer, comptroller, and marshal of the hall shall ordain for all the hall. And, if it be in the great chamber, then shall the chamberlain and ushers ordain after the above form ; And if there be a Bishop, his own squire, or else the king's, such as the officers choose to assign, shall serve him: And so of all the other estates, if they be dukes or earls; and so of duchesses and countesses. And then there must come in the ushers of the chamber with the pile of cups, the king's cups and the queen's, and the bishop's, with the butlers and wine to the cupboard, and then a squire for the body to bear the cup, and another for the queen's cup, such as is sworn for hire.
The [singers of the chapel] may stand at the one side of the hall: and when the steward cometh in at the hall door, with the wassail,he must cry thrice" Wassaile,"&c, and then shall the chapel answer it anon with a good song : and thus in like wise if it please the king to keep the great chamber. And then when the king and queen have done they will go in to the chamber. And there belongeth, for the king, two lights with the void, and two lights with the cup; and for the queen as many."
Few are unmoved by either agreeable or painful feelings, on account of ancient customs coming to their notice. We are in general similarly, and more affected by recollections of sports familiar and Jear to our childhood, which man, more than time, has changed, sometimes really, and always to our thinking, for the worse. In this place it is convenient to arrange for an engraving on the next page, and there not being a subject appropriate to a design for the day under notice, I presume, under favor, upon introducing a brief notice, with an engraving of an old place which I knew when a child, and which when I see or think of it, associates with some of my fondest remembrances.
q Antiq. Rep.
These premises are at the corner of the ilampstead Road, and the New Road to Paddington, which is the site of the old manor house of Toten Hall. This was a lordship belonging to the deans of St. Paul's Cathedral at the time of the Norman conquest. In 1560 it demised to the crown, and has always since been held on lease. In 1768 the manor vested in Lord Southampton, whose heirs pay an annuity, in lieu of a reserved rent, to the prebendary of Tottenham. Contiguous to the Adam and Eve, and near the reservoir of the New River Company, in the Ilampstead road, there was lately standing an ancient house, called, in various old records, King John's Palace.
The Adam and Eve is now denominated a coffee-house, and that part which has been built of late years, and fronts the Paddington New road, with the signboard at the top corner, is used for tavern purposes, and connects with the older part of the building; the entrance to which is through the gateway with the lamp over it, in the Ilampstead road. Within my recollection it was a house standing
alone, with spacious gardens in the rear and at the sides, and a fore-court with large timber trees, and tables and benches for out-of-door customers. In the gardens were fruit-trees, and bowers, and arbours, for tea-drinking parties. In the rear there were not any houses; now there is a town.
At that time the " Adam and Eve Tea Gardens" were resorted to by thousands as the end of a short walk into the country; and the trees were allowed to grow and expand naturally, unrestricted by art or fashion, which then were unknown to many such places as this, and others in the vicinage of London. At that time, too, there was only one Paddington stage. It was driven by the proprietor, or, rather, tediously dragged, along the clayey road from Paddington to the city, in the morning, and performed its journey in about two hours and a-half, "quick time." It returned to Paddington in the evening, within three hours from its leaving the city; this was deemed " fair time," considering the necessity for precaution against the accidents of" night travelling!"
Twelfth Day resumed. Some notion may be formed of the great revelries in all ranks of society, on Twelfth night, from this fact that in 1622 the gentlemen of Grays Inn, to make an end of Christmas, shot off all the chambers they had borrowed from the tower, being as many as filled four carts. The king (James I.) awakened with the noise started out of bed and cried "Treason ! Treason!" The court was raised and almost in arms, the earl of Arundel with his sword drawn ran to the bed chamber to rescue the king's person, and the city was in an uproar..
On January 6th, 1662, being Twelfth night, Mr. Evelyn records in his diary as follows:—This evening, according to custom, his majesty (Charles II.) opened the revels of that night by throwing the dice himself in the privy chamber, where was a table set on purpose, and lost his £100 (the year before he won £1500). The ladies also played very deep. I came away when the duke of Ormond had won about £1000 and left them still at passage, cards, &c, at other tables: both there and at the groom porter's, observing the wicked folly and monstrous excess of passion amongst some losers; sorry I am that such a wretched custom as play to that excess should be countenanced in a court which ought to be an example to the rest of the kingdom.'' Postage.
This game, called in French Patse dix, was played with dice, is still a military game, and mentioned by the late Capt. Grose as "A camp game with three dice : and doublets making up ten or more, to pass or win ; any other chances lose." It is more largely described, in the "Complete Gamester, 1680," thus:— "Passage is a game at dice to be played at but by two, and it is performed with three dice. The caster throws continually till he hath thrown doublets under ten, and then he is out and loseth, or doubltts above ten, and then he pasteth and wins." The stock or fund, as also the place where the game is played, is called the Pass-bank, f
The Carnival commences on Twelfthday; but its public festivities are reserved for the last week or ten days. Formerly, they commenced with an execution, a criminal being reserved for the purpose. But this custom Cardinal Gonsalvi, to his great honour, abolished. The Carnival holds out some most favorable traits of the actual condition of the Italians; for, if the young and profligate abuse its days of indulgence, a large portion of the middle and inferior classes are exhibited to public observation in the touching and respectable aspect of domestic alliance and family enjoyment; which under all laws, all religions, and all governments, those classes best preserve. A group of three generations frequently presents itself, crowded into an open carriage, or ranged on hired chairs along the Corso, or towering emulously one above the other in galleries erected near the starting-post of the course; taking no other part in the brilliant tumult than as the delighted spectators of a most singular and amusing scene. For several days before the beginning of these festivities, " the city of the dead" exhibits the agitation, bustle, and hurry of the living. The shops are converted into wardrobes; whole streets are lined with masks and dominos, the robes of sultans and jackets of pantaloons; canopies are suspended, balconies and windows festooned with hangings and tapestry; and scaffolds are erected for the accommodation of those who have not the interest to obtain admission to the houses and palaces along the whole line of the Corso.
At the sound of the cannon, which, fired from the Piazza di Venezia, each day announce the commencement of the amusements, shops are closed, palaces deserted, and the Corso's long and narrow defile teems with nearly the whole of the Roman population. The scene then exhibited is truly singular, and, for the first day or two, infinitely amusing. The whole length of the street, from the Porta del Popolo to the foot of the Capitol, a distance of considerably more than a mile, I is patrolled by troops of cavalry; the windows and balconies are crowded from the first to the sixth story by spectators and actors, who from time to time descend and take their place and parts in the procession of carriages, or among the maskers on foot. Here and there the monk's crown, and cardinal's red skull-cap, are seen peeping among heads not more fantastic than their own. The chairs aud
scaffolding along the sides of the streets are filled to crushing, with maskers, and country folk in their gala dresses (by far the most grotesque that the carnival produces). The centre of the Corso is occupied by the carriages of princes, potentates, the ambassadors of all nations, and the municipality of Rome; and the two lines of carriages, moving in opposite directions on each side, are filled by English peers, Irish commoners, Polish counts, Spanish Grandees, German barons, Scotch lairds, and French marquises; but, above all, by the hired jobs of the budaudt and pizzicnroU of Home. These form not the least curious and interesting part of the procession, and best represent the carnival, as it existed a century back. In an open carriage sits, bolt upright, la signora padrona, or mistress of the family, her neck covered with rows of coral, pearl, or false gems; her white satin robe, and gaudy head-dress, left to " the pitiless pelting of the storm," showered indiscriminately from all the houses, and by the pedestrians, on the occupants of carriages, in the form of sugar-plums, but in substance of plaster of Paris, or lime. Opposite to her sits her euro sposo, or husband, dressed as a grand sultan, or Muscovite czar: while all the little signorini of the family, male and female, habited as harlequins, columbines, and kings and queens, are crammed into the carriage: even the coachman is supplied with a dress, and appears in the character of an elderly lady, or an Arcadian shepherdess; and the footman takes the guise of an English miss, or a French court lady, and figures in a spencer and short petticoat, or, accoutred with a hoop and a fan, salutes the passers-by with " buun giour, messieurs."
At the ave maria, or fall of day, the cannon again fire, as a signal to clear the street for the horse course. All noise then ceases; the carriages file off by the nearest avenue; their owners scramble to their windows, balconies, chairs, or scaffolds; while the pedestrians that have no such resources, driven by the soldiery from the open street, are crowded on the footways, to suffocation. But no terror, no discipline, can restrain their ardor to see the first starting of the horses.
A temporary barrier, erected near the Porta del Popolo, is the point from which the race commences; another, on the Piazza di Venezia, is the termination of the course. The horses are small and of
little value. They have no rider, but are placed each in a stall behind a rope, which is dropped as soon as the moment for starting arrives, when the animals seldom require to be put in motion by force. A number of tinfoil and paper flags are stuck over their haunches; small pointed bodies are placed to operate as a spur; and the noise and the pain of these decorations serve to put the horse on its full speed, to which it is further urged by the shouting of the populace. At the sound of the trumpet (the signal for starting), even at the approach of the officer who gives the order, the animals exhibit their impatience to be off, and they continue their race, or rather their [ flight, amidst the screams, plaudits, and vivats of the people of all ranks. This scene forms the last act of each day's spectacle, when every one is obliged to quit his carnival habit; for it is only on one or two particular evenings that there is a masked carnival at the aliberte.
Twelfth Day Table Diversion.
John Nott, editor of the Cook and Confectioners' Dictionary, 1726, describing himself as late cook to the dukes of Somerset, Ormond, and Batton, and the lords Lansdown and Ashburnham, preserves in that work, "some divertisements" which were used in old times, on twelfth day and other festivals. His account is to this effect:—
Ancient artists in cookery inform us that, in former days, when good housekeeping was in fashion amongst the English nobility, they used either to begin or conclude their entertainments, and divert their guests, with such pretty devices as these following, viz.:
A castle made of paste-board, with gates, draw-bridges, battlements, and portcullises, all done over with paste, was set upon the table in a large charger, with salt laid round about it, as if it were the ground, in which were stuck egg-shells full of rose, or other sweet waters, the meat of the egg having been taken out by a great pin. Upon the battlements of the castle were planted kexes, covered over with paste, in the form of cannons, and made to look like brass, by covering them with dutch leaf-gold. These cannons being charged with gunpowder, and trains laid, so that you might fire as many of them as you pleased, at one touch; this castle was set at one end of the table.
Then, in the middle of the table, they
would set a stag, made of paste, but hot- iow, and filled with claret wine, and a broad arrow stuck in his side; this was also set in a large charger, with a ground made of salt,having egg-shells of perfumed waters stuck in it, as before.
Then, at the other end of the table, they would have a ship made of pasteboard, and covered all over with paste, with masts, sails, flags, and streamers; and guns made of kexes, covered with paste and charged with gunpowder, with a train, as in the castle. This, being placed in a large charger, was set upright in, as it were, a sea of salt, in which were also stuck egg shells full of perfumed waters.
Then, betwixt the stag and castle, and the stag and ship, were placed two pies made of coarse paste, filled with bran, and washed over with saffron and the yolks of eggs: when these were baked, the bran was taken out, a hole was cut in the bottom of each, and live birds put into one and frogs into the other; then the holes were closed up with paste, and the lids neatly cut up, so that they might be easily taken off by the funnels, and adorned with gilded laurels.
These being thus prepared, and placed in order on the table, one of the ladies was persuaded to draw the arrow out of the body of the stag, which being done, the claret wine issued forth like blood from a wound, and caused admiration in the spectators; which being over, after a little pause, all the guns on one side of the castle were, by a train, discharged against the ship; and afterwards, the guns of one side of the ship were discharged against the castle; then, having turned the chargers, the other sides were fired off, as in a battle: this causing a great smell of powder, the ladies or gentlemen took up the egg-shells of perfumed water and threw them at one another. This pleasant disorder being pretty well laughed over, and the two great pies still remaining untouched, some one or other would have the curiosity to see what was in them, and, on lifting up the lid of one pie, out would jump the frogs, which would make the ladies skip and scamper; and, on lifting up the lid of the other, out would fly the birds, which would naturally fly at the light, and so put out the candles. And so, with the leaping of the frogs below, and the flying of the birds above, would cause a surprising and diverting hurlyburly amongst the guests, in the dark. After which, the candles being lighted, the
banquet would be brought in, the music sound, and the particulars of each person's surprise and adventures furnish matter for diverting discourse.
The art of confectionery was anciently employed in all solemn feasts, with the most profuse delicacy. After each course was a "subtilty." Subtilties were representations of castles, giants, saints, knights, ladies and beasts, all raised in pastry; upon which legends and coat armor were painted in their proper colors. At the festival, on the coronation of Henry W., in 1429, there was *' a subtilty of St. Edward, aud St. Louis, armed, and upon either, his coat armor; holding between them a figure of king Henry, standing also in his coat armor; and an incription passing from both, saying, 'Beholde twoe perfecte kynges vnder one coate armoure.'"*
The following account of a penny dole, given formerly on twelfth day, at Walsall, in Staffordshire, is derived from "An abstract of the title of the town of Walsall, in Stafford, to valuable estates at Bascott, &c, in the county of Warwick, with remarks by James Cottrell, 1818."
In 1453 Thomas Moseley made a feoffment of certain estates, to William Lyle and William Maggot, and their heirs, in trust, for the use of the town of Walsall; but John Lyle, son of William Lyle, to whom these estates would have descended, instead of applying the produce of the estates for the use of the town, kept them, and denied that the property was in trust, pretending it to be his own inheritance; but the inhabitants of Walsall not choosing to be so cheated, some of them went to Moxhal, and drove away Lyle's cattle, which unjustifiable act he did not resent, because he was liable to be brought to account for the trust estate in his hands. At length a suit was commenced by the town against Lyle, and the estates in question were adjudged for the use of the town of Walsall. Accordingly, in 1515, John Lyle of Moxhal, near Coleshill, Warwickshire, suffered a recovery, whereby these estates passed to Richard Hunt, and John Ford, and they, in 1516, made a feoffment of the land, to