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“ Laint Catharine", faint Clement, the holie Innocents, and “ and such like ', Children [boys] be strangelie decked and ap“ parayled, to counterfeit Priestes, Bisshopes, and Women, and “ so be ledde with Songes and Dances from house to house, “ blessing the people, and gathering of money; and Boyes do “ finge masse, and preache in the pulpitt, with such other vnfit

tinge and inconuenient vsages, rather to the deryfyon than “ anie true glorie of God, or honor of bis sayntes : The Kynges “ maieftie therefore, myndinge nothinge so moche as to aduance " the true glory of God without vain superstition, wylleth and “ commandeth, that from henceforth all fvch svperstitious obferuations be left and clerely extinguished throwout all this “ his 'realme and dominions, for-as moche as the same doth res “ femble rather the vrılawfull fuperftition of gentilitie, than the " pyre and sincere religion of Christe." With respect to the disguisings of these young fraternities, and their processions from house to house with singing and dancing, specified in this edict,

1. 377. ch. xlix.

* The reader will recollect the old play of Saint Catharine, LUDUS CATHARINA, exhibited at saint Albans abbey in 1160. Strype says, in 1556, “ On Saint Katha“ rines day, at fix of the clock at night, « S. Katharine went about the battlements “ of S. Paul's church accompanied with ** fine singing and great lights. This was “ faint Katharine's Procession." Eccl. Mem. iii. 309. ch. xxxix. Again, her proceflion, in 1553, is celebrated with five hundred great lights, round faint Paul's steeple, &c. lbid. p. 51. ch. v. 57. ch. v.

. Among the church-proceffions revived by Queen Mary, that of S. Clement's church, in honour of this faint, was by far the moft fplendid of any in London. Their procesion to S. Pauls in 1557, " was made very pompous with fourscore s banners and ftreamers, and the waits of " the city playing, and threescore priests " and clarkes in copes.

And divers of " the Inns Court were there, who went

“ next the priests, Sc.) Strype, ubi fupr. iii.

P In the SYNODUS CARNOTENSIS, under the year 1526, It 'is ordered, “ In “ fefto fancti Nicholai, Catharinæ, Inno. “ centium, aut alio quovis die, prætextu « recreationis, ne Scholastici, Clerici, Sa“ cerdotesve, ftultum aliquod aut ridicu. "' lum faciant in ecclefia. Denique ab ec“ clefia ejiciantur VESTES FATUORUM per“ fonas SCENICAS agentium." See Bochellus, Decret. Eccles. GALL. lib. iv. Tit. vii. C. 43, 44. 46. p. 586. Yet these sports seem to nave remained in France so late as 1585. For in the Synod of Aix, 1585, it is enjoined, “ Cefsent in die Sanc

torum Innocentium ludibria omnia et

pueriles ac theatrales lusus." Bochell. ibid. C. 45. p. 586. A Synod of Tholouse, an. 1590, removes plays, spectacles, and histrionum circulationes, from churches and their cemeteries. Bochell. ibid. lib. iv. Tır, 1. C. 98. p. 560.

And p:

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in a very mutilated fragment of a COMPUTUS, or annual Accompt-roll, of faint Swithin’s cathedral Priory at Winchester, under the year 1441, a disbursement is made to the singing-boys of the monastery, who, together with the choristers of saint Elisabeth's collegiate chapel near that city, were dressed up

like girls, and exhibited their sports before the abbess and nuns of saint Mary's abbey at Winchester, in the public refectory of that convent, on Innocent's day?. “ Pro Pueris Eleemofynariæ una “ cum Pueris Capellæ sanctæ Elizabethæ, ornatis more puella

rum, et saltantibus, cantantibus, et ludentibus, coram domina “ Abbatiffa et monialibus Abbathiæ beatæ Mariæ virginis, in “ aula ibidem in die sanctorum Innocentium".” And again, in a fragment of an Accompt of the Celerar of Hyde Abbey at Winchester, under the year 1490.

" In larvis et aliis indu“ mentis Puerorum visentium Dominum apud Wulsey, et Con“ stabularium Caftri Winton, in apparatu suo, necnon subin!trantium omnia monasteria civitatis Winton, in ffesto fancti “ Nicholai .” That is, “ In furnishing masks and dresses for “ the boys of the convent, when they visited the bishop at

" Item pro

. In the Register of Wodeloke bishop of Winchester, the following is an article among the INJUNCTIONs given to the nuns of the convent of Rumsey in Hamp. thire, in consequence of an episcopal vilitation, under the year 1310. “ hibemus, ne cubent in dormitorio pueri “ masculi cum monialibus, vel foemellæ, “ nec per moniales ducantur in Chorum, “ dum ibidem divinum officium celebra“ tur." fol 134. In the fame Register these Injunctions follow in a literal French translation, made for the convenience of the nuns.

MS, in Archiv. Wulvef. apud Winton. It appears to have been a practice for itinerant players to gain admittance into the nunneries, and to play Latin Mysteries before the nuns. There is a curious Canon of the Council of Co. LOGNE, in 1549, which is to this effect.

“ We have been informed, that certain
Actors of Comedies, not contented with
" the stage and theaters, have even enter-
« ed the nunneries, in order to recreate
“ the nuns, ubi virginibus commoveant vo-
"luptatem, with their profane, amorous,
“ and secular gesticulations. Which spec.
“ tacle, or plays, although they confifted
“ of sacred and pious subjects, can yet
“ notwithftanding leave little good, but

the contrary much harm, in the
“ minds of the nuns, who hehold and ad-
“ mire the outward gestures of the per-
“ formers, and understand not the words,
" Therefore we decree, that henceforward

no Plays, Comedias, shall be admitted “ into the convents of nuns, &c.” Suri CONCIL. tom. iv, .p. 852. Binius, tom. iv. p. 7657

s MS. Ibid. See supr. p. 303•


“ Wulvesey.

Wulvesey-palace, the constable of Winchester-castle, and all “ the monasteries of the city of Winchester, on the festival of « faint Nicholas.' As to the divine service being performed by children on these feasts, it was not only celebrated by boys, but there is an injunction given to the Benedictine nunnery of Godstowe in Oxfordshire, by archbishop Peckham, in the year 1278, that on Innocent's day, the public prayers 1hould not any more be said in the church of that monastery PER PARVULAS, that is, by little girls '.

The ground-work of this religious mockery of the boy-bishop, which is evidently founded on modes of barbarous life, may perhaps be traced backward at least as far as the

year 867".

At the Constantinopolitan fynod under that year, at which were present three hundred and seventy-three bishops, it was found to be a solenın custom in the courts of princes, on certain stated days, to dress some layman in the episcopal apparel, who should exactly personate a bishop both in his tonsure and ornaments : as also to create a burlesque patriarch, who might make sport for the company w. This scandal to the clergy was anathematised. But ecclefiaftical synods and censures have often proved too weak to suppress popular spectacles, which take deep root in the public manners, and are only concealed for a while, to spring up afresh with new vigour.

After the form of a legitimate stage had appeared in England, MYSTERIES and MIRACLES where also revived by queen Mary, as an appendage of the papistic worship.

En, iterum crudelia retro
Fata vocant !

? Harpsfield, Hist. Eccl. Angl. p. 441. edit. 1622. [See fupr. vol. ii. P. 362.]

Or, 870. w Surius, Concil. iii. 529. 539. Baron. . ANNAL. Ann. 869. §. 11. See Concil.

Basil. num. xxxij. The French have a
miracle.play, Beau Miracle de S. Ni.
COLAS, to be acted by twenty four perfo-
nages, printed at Paris, for Pierre Sergeant,
in quarto, without date, Bl. Lett.
* Virgil, Georg. iv. 495.

In the year 1556, a goodly stage-play of the Passion of Christ was presented at the Grey friers in London, on CorpusChristi day, before the lord mayor, the privy-council, and many great estates of the realm'. Strype also mentions, under the year 1557, a stage-play at the Grey-friers, of the Passion of Christ, on the day that war was proclaimed in London against France, and in honour of that occafion'. On faint Olave's day in the same year, the holiday of the church in Silver-street which is dedicated to that saint, was kept with much folemnity. At eight of the clock at night, began a stage-play of goodly matter, being the miraculous history of the life of that faint", which continued four hours, and was concluded with many religious fongs 6.

Many curious circumstances of the nature of these miracleplays, appear in a roll of the church-wardens of Bassingborne in Cambridgeshire, which is an accompt of the expences and receptions for acting the play of Saint George at Baffingborne, on the feast of saint Margaret in the year 1511. They collected upwards of four pounds in twenty-seven neighbouring parishes for furnishing the play. They disbursed about two pounds in the representation. These disbursements are to four minstrels, or waits, of Cambridge for three days, V, s. vj, d. To the players, in bread and ale, iij, s. ij, d. To the garnementman for garnements, and propyrts", that is, for dresses, decora

Y MSS. Cott. Vitell. E. 5: STRYPE. See Life of SIR THOMAS Pope, Pref.

P. xii.

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2 Eccl. Mem, vol. iii. ch. xlix.

Strype, ibid. p. 379. With the reli. gious pageantries, other antient sports and fpectacles also, which had fallen into disuse in the reign of Edward the fixth, began to be now revived. As thus, “ On * the 30th of May was a goodly May.

game in Fenchurch-street, with drums, " and guns, and pikes, with the Nine " Worthies who rid. And each made “ his speech. There was also the Morice.

" dance, and an elephant and castle, and
“ the Lord and Lady of the May appear.
ed to make up this show." Strype, ibid.
376, ch. xlix.

• Ludovicus Vives relates, that it was
customary in Brabant to present annual
plays in honour of the respective saints to
which the churches were dedicated : and
he betrays his great credulity in adding a
wonderful story in consequence of this cus-
tom. Not. in Augustin. De Civit. Dei,
lib. xii. cap. 25. C.

· The property-room is yet known at our theatres.

tions, and implements, and for play-books, xx, s.

To John Hobard brotherhoode preeste, that is, a priest of the guild in the church, for the play-book, ij, s. viij d. For the crofte, or field in which the play was exhibited, j, s. For propyrte-making, or furniture, j, s. iv, d. “ For fish and bread, and to setting up the “ stages, iv, d.” For painting three fanchoms and four tormentors, words which I do not understand, but perhaps phantoms and devils ... The rest was expended for a feast on the occasion, in which are recited, “ Four chicken for the gentilmen, iv, d.” It appears from the manuscript of the Coventry plays, that a temporary scaffold only, was erected for these performances. And Chaucer says, of Absolon a parish-clerk, and an actor of king Herod's character in these dramas, in the MILLER'S TALE,

And for to shew his lightnesse and maistry

He playith Herawdes on a SCAFFALD HIE'. Scenical decorations and machinery which employed the genius and invention of Inigo Jones, in the reigns of the first James and Charles, seem to have migrated from the masques at court to the public theatre. In the instrument here cited, the priest who wrote the play, and received only two shillings and eight pence for his labour, seems to have been worse paid in proportion than any of the other persons concerned. The learned Oporinus,

• Mill. T. v. 275. Urr. Mr. Steevens and Mr. Malone have shewn, that the accommodations in our early regular theatres were but little better. That the old scene. ry was very simple, may partly be collected from an entry in a Computus of Winchester-college, under the year 1579. viz. Comp. Burs. Coll. Winton. A. D. 1573, Eliz. xv°.-" CUSTUS AULÆ. Item, pro “ diversis expenfis circa Scaffoldam erigen“ dam et deponendam, et pro Domunculis “ de novo compositis cum carriagio et re

carriagio ly joystes, et aliorum mutuato

rum ad eandem Scaffoldam, cum vj linckes “ et jo [uno] duodeno candelarum, pro lu. “ mine expenfis, tribus noctibus in Ludis


« comediarum et tragediarum, xxv, s. viij, “ d.” Again in the next quarter, “ Pro “ vij ly linckes deliberatis pueris per M. " Informatorem (the school-master) pro “ Ludis, iij, s." Again, in the laft quarter, “Pro removendis Organis e templo in “ Aulam et præparandis eisdem erga Lu« dos, v, s.'

By DOMUNCULIS I ander. ftand little cells of board, raised on each fide of the stage, for dresling rooms, or retiring places. Strype, under the year 1559, says, that after a grand feast at Guildhall, “ the same day was a Scaffold “ set up in the hall for a play.” Ann. Ref. i. 197. edit. 1725.

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