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II. MIMUS AND Sc6.p . . . . . . . 23 












XIV. THE FEAST OF FOOLS (continued} , . . .301 
XV. THE BOY BISHOP . . . . . - 33 6 





XIX. LITURGICAL PLAYS (continued) . . . . 41 
















I. Durham Priory . 240 

II. Maxstoke Priory 244 

III. Thetford Priory 245 

IV. Winchester College 246 

V. Magdalen College, Oxford 248 

VI. Shrewsbury Corporation 250 

VII. The Howards of Stoke-by-Nayland, Essex . -255 
VIII. The English Court 256 

F. MINSTREL GUILDS . . . . . . . .258 

G. THOMAS DE CABHAM ....... 262 


I. A Squire Minstrel . . . . , . 263 

II. The Coventry Hock-Tuesday Show . . .264 

I. Sweden (sixteenth century) 270 

II. Shetland (eighteenth century) . . . .271 



I. The Sarum Office 282 

1 II. The York Computus 287 












I. Miracle-Plays 407 

II. Popular Moralities 436 

III. Tudor Makers of Interludes . . . . 443 

IV. List of Early Tudor Interludes .... 453 




heje vpon a doune, 

)?er al folk hit se may, 
a mile from J?e toune, 

aboute J>e midday, 
f>e rode is vp arered ; 
his frendes aren afered, 

ant clynge)> so J>e clay; 
]>z rode stond in stone, 
marie stont hire one, 

ant seij? f weylaway * ! 


[Bibliographical Note. The liturgical drama is fully treated by 
W. Creizenach, Geschichte des neurren Dramas (vol. i, 1893), Bk. 2; 
L. Petit de Julleville, Les Mystires(iSSo), vol. i. ch. 2 ; A. d f Ancona, Origini 
del Teatro Italiano (2nd ed. 1891), Bk. i, chh. 3-6; M. Sepet, Origines 
catholiques du Theatre moderne (1901), and by L. Gautier in Le Monde 
for Aug. and Sept. 1872. 'The studies of W. Meyer, Fragmenta Burana 
(1901), and C. Davidson, English Mystery Plays (1892), are also valuable. 
A. W. Ward, History of English Dramatic Literature (2nd ed. 1899), vol. 
i. ch. I deals very slightly with the subject. A good popular account is 
M. Sepet, Le Drame chrttien an Moyen Age (1878). Of older works, the 
introduction to E. Du Merit's Origines latines du Thtdtre moderne (1849, 
facsimile reprint, 1896) is the best. The material collected for vol. ii of 
C. Magnin's Origines du Theatre is only available in the form of reviews in 
the Journal des Savants (1846-7), and lecture notes in the Journal gtntral 
de r Instruction publique (1834-6). Articles by F. Clement, L. Deschamps 
de Pas, A. de la Fons-Melicocq, and others in A. N. Didron's Annales 
arche'ologiques (1844-72) are worth consulting; those of F. Clement are 
reproduced in his Histoire de la Musique religieuse (1860). There are 
also some notices in J. de Douhet, Dictionnaire des My stores (1854). 
The texts of the Quern quaeritis are to be studied in G. Milchsack, Die 
Oster-und Passionsspiele, vol. i (all published, 1880), and C. Lange, Die 
lateinischen Osterfeiern (1887). The former compares 28, the latter no 
less than 224 manuscripts. The best general collection of texts is that of 
Du M^ril already named : others are T. Wright, Early Mysteries and 
other Latin Poems (1838) ; E. de Coussemaker, Drames liturgiques du 
pfoyen Age (1860), which is valuable as giving the music as well as the 
words ; and A. Gast, Les Drames liturgiques de la Cathe*drale de Rouen 
{^893). A few, including the important Antichristus> are given by 
R. Froning, Das Drama des Mittelalters (1891). The original sources 
lire in most cases the ordinary service-books. But a twelfth-century manu- 
||rtpt from St. Martial of Limoges (Bibl. Nat. Lat. 1139) has four plays, 
a Quern quaeritis^ a Rachel^ a Prophetae^ and the Sponsus. Facsimiles 
are in E. de Coussemaker, Histoire de ?Harmonie au Moyen Age (18*2). 
A thirteenth-century manuscript from Fleury (Orleans MS. 178) has no less 
than ten, a Quern quaeritis^ a Peregrin*, a Stella in two parts, a Conversio 
Paulij a Suscitatio Lazari and four Miracula S. Nicholai. Two later 
plays and fragments of three others are found in the famous thirteenth- 
century manuscript from Benedictbeuern (Munich MS. 19,486, printed in 
J. A. Schmeller, Carmina Burana y 3rd ed. 1894, with additional fragments 
in W. Meyer, Fragmenta Burana, 1901). This is probably the repertory 
of travelling goliardic clerks. The twelfth-century manuscript which 
preserves the three plays of Hilarius (Bibl. Nat. Lat. 11,331, printed in 
J. J. Champollion-Figeac, Hilarii Versus et Ludi, 1838) is of a similar 
character. The tropes are fully dealt with by L. Gautier, Hist, de la 



Potsi* titurgique au Moyen Age, vol. i (all published, 1886), and W. H. 
Frcre, The Winchester Troper (1894). I have not been able to see 
A. Reiners, Die Tropen-, Prosen- und Prafations-Gesange des feierlichen 
Hochamtes im Mittelalter (1884). Antiquarian data are collected by 
H. J. Feasey, Ancient English Holy Week Ceremonial (1897), and 
A. Heales, Easter Sepulchres, in Archaeologia, vol. xlii. I have printed 
an important passage from the Regularis Concordia of St. Ethelwold 
(965-75) in Appendix O. The Planctus Mariae are treated by A. Sch6n- 
bach, Die Marienklagen (1874), and E. Wechssler, Die romanischen 
Marienklagen ( 1 893 ). W. Koppen, Beitrdge zur Geschichte der deutschen 
Weihnachtsspiele (1893), and M. Sepet, Les Prophltes du Christ (1878), 
contain valuable studies of the evolution of the Stella and the Prophetae 
respectively. The relation of 'dramatic to iconic art in the Middle Ages is 
brought out by P. Weber, Geistliches Schauspiel und kirchliche Kunst 
(1894). A rather primitive bibliography is F. H. Stoddard, References for 
Students of Miracle Plays and Mysteries (1887). Authorities forEnglish 
facts given without references in the present volume will be found in 
Appendices W and X.] 

THE discussions of the first volume have often wandered 
far enough from the history of the stage. But two or three 
tolerable generalizations emerge. The drama as a living 
form of art went completely under at the break-up of the 
Roman world : a process of natural decay was accelerated by 
the hostility of Christianity, which denied the theatre, and 
by the indifference of barbarism, which had never imagined it. 
If anything of a histrionic tradition survived, it took the shape 
of pitiable farce, one amongst many heterogeneous elements 
in the spectacula of disreputable mimes. For the men of the 
Middle Ages, however, peasants or burghers, monks or nobles, 
such spectacula had a constant attraction : and the persistence 
of the deep-rooted mimetic instinct in the folk is proved by 
the frequent outcrops of primitive drama in the course of 
those popular observances which are the last sportive stage 
of ancient heathen ritual. Whether of folk or of minstrel 
origin, the ludi remained to the last alien and distasteful to 
the Church. The degradation of Rome and Constantinople 
by the stage was never forgotten ; nor the association with an 
heathenism that was glossed over rather than extinct : and 
though a working compromise inevitably tended to establish 
itself, it remained subject to perpetual protest from the 
austerer spirit in the counsels of the clergy. 

It is the more remarkable that the present volume has to 
describe a most singular new birth of the drama in the very 
bosom of the Church's own ritual. One may look at the 



event as one will, either as an audacious, and at least partly 
successful, attempt to wrest the pomps of the devil to a 
spiritual service, or as an inevitable and ironical recoil of 
a barred human instinct within the hearts of its gaolers them- 
selves. From either point of view it is a fact which the 
student of European culture cannot afford to neglect. And 
apart from its sociological implications, apart from the insight 
which it gives into the temper of the folk and into the appeal 
of religion, it is of the highest interest as an objpct lesson in 
literary evolution. The historian is not often privileged to 
isolate a definite literary form throughout the whole course 
of its development, and to trace its rudimentary beginnings, 
as may here be done, beyond the very borders of articulate 

The dramatic tendencies of Christian worship declared 
themselves at an early period l . At least from the fourth 
century, the central and most solemn rite of that worship was 
the Mass, an essentially dramatic commemoration of one of 
the most critical moments in the life of the Founder 2 . It is 

1 On these tendencies generally, 
see Davidson, 130; Ward, i. 32; 
R. Rosi&res, SocittJ fran$aise au 
Moyen Age^ ii. 228 ; E. King, 
Dramatic Art and Church Liturgy 
(Dublin Review, cxxv. 43). Mediae- 
val liturgiologists such as Belethus, 
Durandus, and Honorius of Autun 
(P.L. clxxii), lay great stress on the 
symbolical aspect of ritual and cere- 
monial. J. M. Robertson, The 
Gospel Mystery-Play (The Re- 
former, N.S. iii (1901), 657), makes 
an ingenious attempt to show that 
the earlier gospel narratives of the 
Passion, those of Saints Matthew 
and Mark, are based upon a 
dramatic version. This, he thinks, 
to have been on classical lines, and 
to have been performed liturgically 
until about the second century, 
when it was dropped in deference 
to the ascetic views of the stage then 
prevalent (cf. vol. i. p. 1 1). But the 
narrative, with its short speeches, 
its crowd of characters and its 
sufferings 'coram populo* cannot, 
on the face of it, be derived from a 

classical drama. A nearer parallel 
would be the Graeco-Jewish'Ef aywyij 
of Ezechiel (first century B.C., cf. 
Ward, i. 3). The Gospel narrative 
is, no doubt, mainly *a presenta- 
tion of dramatic action and dia- 
logue * ; but this may be because it 
was built up around Logia. Of 
external evidence for Mr. Robert- 
son's view there is none. The ritual of 
the first two centuries was probably 
a very simple one ; cf. F. E. Warren, 
Liturgy of the Ante-Nicene Church , 
54. The earliest liturgical dramas, 
even in the Greek churches, and 
those only guessed at, are of the 
fourth (cf. p. 206). Mr. Robertson 
claims support from Gatatians, iii. i 
of? /car* oy>0aX/Lioirff 'Irjarovs Xpiorbs 
rrpotypdcfrr) t'orat/pctytcpo?. Lightfoot, 
however, declares that the meaning 
of npoypafatv is ' write up in public/ 
1 placard/ ' proclaim.' If it cannot, 
as he says, mean ' paint/ still less 
can it mean * represent dramati- 

2 Duchesne, 47: A. V. G. Allen, 
Christian Institutions, 515. 

B 2 


his very acts and words that day by day throughout the year 
the officiating priest resumes in the face of the people. And 
when the conception of the Mass developed until instead of 
a mere symbolical commemoration it was looked upon as an 
actual repetition of the initial sacrifice, the dramatic character 
was only intensified. So far as the Canon of the Mass goes, 
this point needs no pressing. But the same liturgical princi- 
ple governs many other episodes in the order of the mediaeval 
services. Take, for example) the ritual, of Gallican origin, 
used at the dedication of a church l . The bishop and his 
procession approach the closed doors of the church from 
without, but one of the clergy, quasi latens, is placed inside. 
Three blows with a staff are given on the doors, and the 
anthem is raised Tollite portas, principes, vestras et elevamini, 
portae aeternales, et introibit Rex glorias. From within comes 
the question Qttis est iste 'rex gloriae ? and the reply is given 
Dominus virtutum ipse st Rex gloriae. Then the doors are 
opened, and as the procession sweeps through, he who was 
concealed within slips out, quasi fugiens, to join the train. It 
is a dramatic expulsion of the spirit of evil. A number of 
other instances are furnished by the elaborate rites of Holy 
week. Thus on Palm Sunday, in commemoration of the 
entry into Jerusalem, the usual procession before Mass was 
extended, and went outside the church and round the church- 
yard or close bearing palms, or in their place sprigs of yew, 
box, or withies, which the priest had previously blessed 2 , 

1 Duchesne, 393, 469, with the chcsne, 486) as already in use at 
Ordo dedications Ecclesiae from a Jerusalem in the fourth century, 
ninth-century Metz Sacramentary * Etiain cum coeperitesse hora uncle- 
tfcere printed ; Maskell, Monum. cima, legitur ille locus de evangelic, 
Rit. EccL AngL (1882) I. cccxxvi, ubi infantes cum ramis vel palmis 
196, with text from Sarum Pontifi- occurrerunt Domino, dicentes : 
caL The ceremonies are symboli- Benedictus qui venit in nomine 
cally explained by Hugo of St. Domini. Et statim levat se epi- 
Victor, de Sacramentis, ii. 5. 3 (P. Z,; scopus et omnis populus porro : inde 
clxxvi, 441), who says, 'Interrogate de summo monte Oliveti totum 
inclusi. ignorantia populi. 1 pedibus itur. Nam totus populus 

2 Duchesne, 236; Martene, iii. ante ipsum cum ymnis vel anti- 
71 ; Gast, 69 ; Feasey, 53 ; Use of phonis,respondentes semper: Bene- 
-Sarum, i. 59 ; Sarum Missal, 258 ; dictus qui venit in nomine Domini. 
Sarum Processional, 47; York Etcjuotquot sunt infantes in hisdem 
Missal, i. 84 ; York Processional^ locis,usque etiam qui pedibus ambu- 
148. The custom is described in lare non possunt, quia teneri sunt, 
the Peregrinatio Silviae (Du- in collo illos parentes sui tenent, 



The introduction of * Palmeul might make the ceremony 
more dramatic still 2 . Some of the texts used were of a pro- 
phetic character, and the singer of these was occasionally 
dressed as a prophet 2 . At the doors of the church the pro- 
cession was greeted by boys stationed upon the roof of the 
porch, and certain French uses transferred to the occasion the 
dedication solemnity of Tottite portas just described 3 . The 
reading of the gospel narratives of the Passion, which on 
Palm Sunday, on the Monday or Tuesday, and the Wednes- 
day in Holy week and on Good Friday preceded the Gospel 
proper, was often resolved into a regular oratorio. A tenor 
voice rendered the narrative of the evangelist, a treble the 
sayings of Jews and disciples, a bass those of Christ himself 4 . 
To particular episodes of these Passions special dramatic 
action was appropriated. On Wednesday, at the words Velum 
templi scissum est, the Lenten veil, which since the first Sunday 
in Lent had hidden the sanctuary from the sight of the 
people, was dropped to the ground 5 . On Good Friday the 

omnes ramos tenentes, alii palma- 
rum, alii olivarum ; et sic deducitur 
episcppus in eo typo quo tune 
Dominus deductus est. Et de 
summo monte usqce ad civitatem, 
et inde ad Anastase per totam civi- 
tatem, totum pedibus omnes, sed et 
si quae matronae sunt aut si qui 
domini, sic deducunt episcopum 
respondentes, et sic lente et lente, 
ne lassetur populus ; porro Jam sera 
pervenitur ad Anastase.' 

1 Cf. ch.xiv. 

2 Collier, i. 82 ; Ffcasey, 68, 75, 
quoting payments * for the prophets. 1 
their ' raiment/ ' stages ' for them, 
&c., from sixteenth-century Revels 
and churchwardens' accounts. The 
Sarum Processional, 50 (from eds. 
1508, 1517), has 'finito evangelio, 
unus puer ad modum prophetae in* 
dutus, stans in aliquo eminent! loco, 
cantat lectionem propheticam modo 
cjuo sequitur.' Then come alternat- 
ing passages between the 'propheta' 
and ' tres clerici.' Perhaps the latter 
were also sometimes disguised, but 
the Sarum Processional, as well as 
the thirteenth-century Consuetu- 

dinary and the York Missal (MS. 
D), all specify that the clergy, other 
than the prophet, shall be 'habitu 
non mutato.' Several of the London 
records given by Mr.Feasey mention 
an ' angel/ and one of them a 
'chylde that playde a messenger.* 
A Coutances Order of 1573 (Gast^, 
74) forbids ' spectacula . . . cum 
habitibus inhonestis ' at the Gospel 
during Mass on Palm Sunday. 

5 Martene, iii. 72 ; Gastd, 72 ; R. 
Twigge, Mediaeval Service Bks. 
of Aquitaine (Dublin Review, cxv. 
294 ; cxvii. 67) ; Pearson, ii. 296. 

* Sarum Missal, 264. The York 
Missal, i. 102, says, for Good Friday, 
' Diaconus legat Passionem,' but 
MS. D. adds * vel legatur a tribus 
Presbyteris, si sic ordinatum erit.' 
Payments for the singers of the 
Passion are quoted from church- 
wardens' accounts (1447-1562) by 
Feasey , 8 1 . The singing was some- 
times done from the rood loft. 

1 Feasey, 17 ; Use of Sarum, i. 
140 'quarta autem feriaante pascha 
dum passio domini legitur ad pro- 
lacionem ipsius clausulae Velum 


words Partiti stint vestimenta were a signal for a similar 
bit of by-play with a linen cloth which lay upon the altar * 
Maundy Thursday had its commemorative ceremony of the 
washing of feet 2 ; while the Ttnebrae or solemn extinction, 
one after another, of lights at the Matins of the last three days 
of the week, was held to symbolize the grief of the apostles 
and others whom those lights represented 3 . 

These, and many other fragments of ceremonial, have the po- 
tentiality of dramatic development. Symbolism, mimetic action, 
are there. The other important factor, of dialogued speech, is 
latent in the practice of antiphonal singing. The character- 
istic type of Roman chant is that whereby the two halves of the 
choir answer one another, or the whole choir answers the single 
voice of the cantor ', in alternate versicle and respond 4 . The 
antiphon was introduced into Italy by St. Ambrose of Milan. 
It had originated, according to tradition, in Antioch, had 
been in some relation to the histrionic tendencies of Arianism, 
and was possibly not altogether uninfluenced by the traditions 
both of the Greek tragic chorus and of Jewish psalmody 5 . 

templi scissum est : praedictum York Missal, i. 102 c hie distrahan- 

velum in area presbiterii decidat.' tur linteamina super altare con- 

The same rubric is in the Wells nexa ' ; Sarum Missal^ 323 * hie 

Ordinale (H. E. Reynolds, Wells accedant duo ministri in superpelli- 

Cathedral) 42). ceis, unus ad dextrum et alius ad 

1 J. W. Legg, Westminster Missal sinistrum cornu altaris ; et inde duo 

(H.B.S.), 1469; G. F. Aungier, linteamina amoveant quae ad hoc 

Hist, and Antiq. of Sy on Monastery, super altare fuerunt apposita.' I 

350; Lanfranc, Decreta pro Ord. find the custom in Aquitaine(Z>#//# 

S.Bened.(P.L.c\. 465) 'Ubi dicitur Remew( 1897), 3^6), and in Hungary 

Partiti sunt vestimenta mea sibi, (Dank6, Vetus Hymnarium Eccles. 

sint duo de indutis iuxta altare, Hungariae> 534) 

hinc et inde trahentes ad se duos 2 Martene, iii. 99 ; Feasey, 107 ; 

pannos qui ante officium super altare Wordsworth, 1 84. 

missi fuerant, linteo tamen rema- * Feasey, 84 ; Wordsworth, 290. 

nente subtus missale ' ; Leofnc's * Strictly speaking the Antiphon 

Missal (Exeter, eleventh century), is begun by one half of the choir 

261 ' hac expleta statim duo diaconi and finished by the other ; the Re- 

nudant altare sindone quae prius sponsorium is a solo with a short 

fuerit sub evangelic posita in refrain sung by the choir, like the 

modum furantis. Aliqui vero, ante- secular carole ; cf. ch. viii, and Use 

quam legatur passio domini, prae- of Sarum, i. 307 ; Dank6, Vetus 

parant sindones duas sibi coherentes Hymnarium EccL Hung. II. 

et in eo versu ubi legitur: Partiti 5 Duchesne, 108; Davidson, 134; 

sunt 'vestimenta^ scindunt hinc inde F. E. Warren, Liturgy of the Ante- 

ipsas sindones desuper altare in Nicene Church, 74. 
modum furantis^et secum auferunt *; . 


At any rate, it lent itself naturally to dialogue, and it is from 
the antiphon that the actual evolution of the liturgical drama 
starts* The course of that evolution must now be followed. 

The choral portions of the Mass were stereotyped about 
the end of the sixth century in the Antiphonarium ascribed 
to Gregory the Great l . This compilation, which included 
a variety of antiphons arranged for the different feasts and 
seasons of the year, answered the needs of worship for some 
two hundred years. With the ninth century, however, began 
a process, which culminated in the eleventh, of liturgical 
elaboration. Splendid churches, costly vestments, protracted 
offices, magnificent processions, answered especially in the 
great monasteries to a heightened sense of the significance of 
cult in general, and of the Eucharist in particular 2 . Naturally 
ecclesiastical music did not escape the influence of this move- 
ment The traditional Antiphonarium seemed inadequate to 
the capacities of aspiring choirs. The Gregorian texts were 
not replaced, but they were supplemented. New melodies 
were inserted at the beginning or end or even in the middle 
of the old antiphons. And now I come to the justification of 
the statement made two or three pages back, that the begin- 
nings of the liturgical drama lie beyond the very borders 
of articulate speech. For the earliest of such adventitious 
melodies were sung not to words at all, but to vowel sounds 
alone. These, for which precedent existed in the Gregorian 
Antiphonarium^ are known as neumae 8 . Obviously the next 
stage was to write texts, called generically c tropes/ to them ; 
and towards the end of the ninth century three more or less 
independent schools of trope-writers grew up. One, in 
northern France, produced Adam of St. Victor ; of another, 

1 Frere, vi. The Gregorian Liber Aemukbatur tamen quaeque gens 

Antiphonarius is in P.L. kxviii, 641 . Christicolarum adversus alteram 

* Radulphus Glaber, Hist, sui decentiore frui. Erat enim instar 

Temporis (t 1044), iii. 4 (Bouquet, ac si mundus ipse excutiendo semet, 

Rerum Gallic, et Frantic. Script, x. reiecta vetustate, passim candidam 

29) * Igitur infra supradictum mille- ecclesiarum vestem induerit.' 
simum tertio iam fere imminente * Ekkehardus, Vita B. Notkeri 

anno, contigit in universe pene ter- Balbuli> c. xvi (Goldast, Rerum 

rarum orbe, praecipue tamen in Alaman. Script. i. 235) 'lubiius, 

Italia et in Galliis, innovari Ecclesi- id est neuma ... si autem tristitiae 

arupi Basilicas, licet pleraeque de- fuerit oratio, ululatus dicitur, si veto 

center locatae minime indiguissent. gaudii, iubilus.' 


at the Benedictine abbey of St. Gall near Constance, Notker 
and Tutilo are the greatest names ; the third, in northern 
Italy, has hitherto been little studied. The Troparia or col- 
lections of tropes form choir-books, supplementary to the 
Antiphonaria. After the thirteenth century, when trope- 
writing fell into comparative desuetude, they become rare ; 
and such tropes as were retained find a place in the ordinary 
service-books, especially the later successor of the Antipho- 
aarium, the Graduate. The tropes attached themselves in 
varying degrees to most of the choral portions of the Mass. 
Perhaps those of the Alleluia at the end of the Graduate are 
in themselves the most important. They received the specific 
names, in Germany of Sequentiae, and in France of Prosae> 
and they include, in their later metrical stages, some of the 
most remarkable of mediaeval hymns. But more interesting 
from our particular point of view are the tropes of the Officium 
or Introit) the antiphon and psalm sung by the choir at the 
beginning of Mass, as the celebrant approaches the altar 1 . 

Several Introit tropes take a dialogue form. The following is a 
ninth-century Christmas example ascribed toTutilo of St. Gall 2 . 

4 Hodie cantandus est nobis puer, quern gignebat ineffabiliter 
ante tempora pater, et eundem sub tempore generavit inclyta 

1 Gautier, Les Tropes, passim ; Chester, Canterbury, Worcester, 

Winchester Troper^ vi ; Dank6, St. Albans, Dublin ; Pamelius, 

Vetus Hymnarium Eccles. Hun- Liturgicon(lfaQ))\\.bll an English 

gariae, 15 ; Julleville, Myst. i. 21 ; Troper in the library of St. Bavon's, 

Creizenach, i. 47. Gautier, i, defines Ghent. Amongst tropes in the 

a trope, 'Qu'est-ce qu'un Trope? wider sense are included the 

C'est Tinterpolation d'un texte htur- farsurae (vol. i. p. 377). Many of the 

gique,' and M. Gerbert, de cantu later tropes are trivial, indecent, or 

et musica sacra (1774), * 34? profane. They are doubtless the 

'Tropus, in re liturgica, est versi- work si goliardi (vol. i. p, 60). 

culus quidam aut etiam plures ante * St. Gall MS. 484, f. 13 (ninth 

intervelpostaliosecclesiasticoscan- century); cf. Gautier, 34, 62, 139, 

tus appositi.' Of earlier writers* cf. 218 ; Winchester Troper^ xvi ; 

Durandus, iv. 5 * Est autem proprie Meyer, 34. It is also in the Win- 

tropus quidam versiculus qui in prae- Chester Tropers (tenth-eleventh 

cipuis festiyitatibus cantatur imme- century), and the Canterbury Tro- 

diate ante introitum quasi quoddam per (fourth century), and is printed 

praeambulum et continuatio ipsius therefrom in Winchester Troper, 

introitus.' Gautier, in, describes 4, 102. Here it is divided between 

a large number of Tropers ; Frere, two groups of Cantore$> and has the 

Winchester Troper^ xxvii, xxx, heading * Versus ante officium ca- 

those of English uses from Win- nendi in die Natalis Domini 9 



quis est iste puer quern tarn magnis praeconiis dignum 
vociferatis ? dicite nobis ut collaudatores esse possimus. 

hie enim est quern praesagus et electus symmista dei ad 
terram venturum praeuidens longe ante praenotavit, sicque 

The nature of this trope is obvious. It was sung by two 
groups of voices, and its closing words directly Introduce the 
Introit for the third mass (Magna missa) on Christmas day, 
which must have followed without a break 1 . It is an example 
of some half a dozen dialogued Introit tropes, which might 
have, but did not, become the starting-point for further dra- 
matic evolution 2 . Much more significant is another trope of 
unknown authorship found in the same St. Gall manuscript 8 . 
This is for Easter, and is briefly known as the Quern quaeritis. 
The text, unlike that of the Hodie cantandus, is based closely 
upon the Gospels. It is an adaptation to the form of dialogue 
of the interview between the three Maries and the angel at 
the tomb as told by Saints Matthew and Mark 4 . 

'Quern quaeritis in sepulchro, [o] Christicolae ? 
lesum Nazarenum crucifixum, o caelicolae. 

non est hie, surrexit sicut praedixerat. 
ite, nuntiate quia surrexit de sepulchro. 


This is the earliest and simplest form of the Quern quaeritis. 

1 The Introit is : ' Puer natus est rr&.s'vermssacerdotales in Hartker's 

nobis, et films datus est nobis : tenth-century St. Gall Antiphona- 

cuius imperium super humerum rium (J. M. Thomasius, Opera, iv. 

eius, et yocabitur nomen eius 187). 

magni consilii angelus. Ps> Cantate * St. Gall MS. 484, f. \\\ printed 

domino canticum novum.' and facsimiled by Gautier, 916, 

8 Gautier, 219, prints a dialogued 220. 

trope for a feast of St. Peter from * S. Matthew xxviii. 1-7 ; S. 

an eleventh-century troper of St. Mark xvi. 1-7. 

Martial of L,imoges : the Winches- " The Introit is : ' Resurrexi et 

ter Troper^ 6, 103, has one for St. adhuc tecum sum, alleluia : posui- 

Stephen's day (Winchester) and sti super me manum tuam, alle- 

one for St. John the Evangelist's Una; mirabilis facta est scientia 

(Canterbury). Meyer, 35, calls tua. alleluia, alleluia. Ps. Domine, 

attention to the dialogued Christ- probasti me/ 


It recurs, almost unaltered, in a tenth-century troper from 
St. Martial of Limoges *. In eleventh-century tropers of the 
same church it is a little more elaborate 2 . 


Quern quaeritis in sepulchro, Christicolae ? 
Ihesum Nazarenum crucifixum, o caelicole. 

non est hie, surrexit sicut praedixerat, 
ite, nuntiate quia surrexit. Alleluia. 

ad sepulchrum residens angelus nuntiat resurrexisse 

Christum : 
en ecce completum est illud quod olim ipse per pro- 

phetam dixerat ad patrem taliter inquiens, 


Here the appended portion of narrative makes the trope 
slightly less dramatic. Yet another addition is made in one 
of the Limoges manuscripts. Just as the trope introduces the 
Introit) so it is itself introduced by the following words : 

'Hora est, psallite. iube, dompnus, canere. 
eia, eia, dicite.' 

As M. Gautier puts it, the trope is troped 3 . 

In the Easter Quern quaeritis the liturgical drama was born, 
and to it I shall return. But it must first be noted that it was 
so popular as to become the model for two very similar tropes 
belonging to Christmas and to the Ascension. Both of these 
are found in more than one troper, but not earlier, I believe, 
than the eleventh century. I quote the Christmas trope from 
a St. Gall manuscript 4 . 

1 Lange, 22, from BibL Nat. Lat. all of the eleventh century, are 

MS. I240,f. 30 b . As to date (923- described by Gautier, in; cf. 

34) and provenance of the MS., I p. 29. 

follow H. M. Bannister in Journal 8 Bibl. Nat. 1118, f. 40*; cf. 

of Theological Studies ( April, 1901). Gautier, 226; Frere, 176. 

Lange, 4, considers it an eleventh- * Bodl. Douce MS. 222, f. 6 

century Antiphonar from Beaune. (eleventh century ; cf. Gautier, 136), 

* Printed by Frere, 176 ; cf. printed and facsimiled by Gautier, 

Gautier, 219. The version in 215, 219, Du Mtfril, Or. Lat. 149, 

Lange, 20, is incomplete. The gives it from a Limoges Troper 

Limoges Tropers (Bibl. Nat. 887, (B.N. 909, f. 9) : it is also in BJW. 

909, 10849 11x8, 1119, 1 120, 1121), 1118, f. 8 VO , and probably the other 


1 In Natale Domini ad Missam sint parati duo diaconi induti 
dalmaticis^ retro altare dicentes 

Quern quaeritis in praesepe, pastores, dicite ? 
Respondeant duo cantores in choro 

salvatorem Christum Dominum, infantem pannis involutum, 
secundum sermonem angelicum. 
Item diaconi 

adest hie parvulus cum Maria, matre sua, de qua, vatici- 
nando, Isaias Propheta : ecce virgo concipiet et pariet filium. 
et nuntiantes dicite quia natus est. 
Tune cantor dicat excelsa voce 

alleluia, alleluia, iam vere scimus Christum natum in 
terris, de quo canite, omnes, cum Propheta dicentes : 

Puer natus est! 

The Ascension trope is taken from an English troper 
probably belonging to Christ Church, Canterbury *. 
* Quern cernitis ascendisse super astra, o Christicolae ? 
Ihesum qui surrexit de sepulchro, o caelicolae. 

iam ascendit, ut praedixit, ascendo ad patrem meum et 

patrem vestrum, deum meum et deum vestrum. 
alleluia : 

regna terrae, gentes, linguae, conlaudate dominum : 
quern adorant caeli cives in paterno solio: 
deo gratias dicite eia.' 

I return now to the Easter Quern quaeritis. In a few 
churches this retained its position at the beginning of Mass, 
either as an Introit trope in the strict sense, or, which comes 
to much the same thing, as a chant for the procession which 

Limoges MSS. Frere, 145, gives A. xiv (eleventh century). It comes 

it from the twelfth-century St between an illumination of the 

Magloire Troper (B.N. 13,252), and Ascension and the heading ' In Die 

R.Twigge, in Dublin Review (1897), Ascensionis Domini.' It is also in 

362, from a fifteenth-century bre- the St. Magloire Troper (B.N. 1 3,2 52, 

viary of Clermont-Ferrand (Cl. F. f. io v ) under the heading ' In Ascen- 

MS. 67). Here it is sung by two sione Tropi ad Processionem,' and 

boys, and near the altar after the in the St. Martial of Limoges Tro- 

Te Deum at Matins. According pers (Gautier, 219 ; Lange, 20). 

to Gautier, 123, it is also in the Martene, iii. 193, describes it as 

late eleventh-century Nevers Troper sung in the procession before Mass 

(B.N. 9449). at Vienne. 
1 Frere, 1 10, from Cott. MS. Calig. 



immediately preceded. This was the use of the Benedictine 
abbey of Monte Cassino at the beginning of the twelfth century, 
of that of St Denys in the thirteenth 1 , and of the church of 
St. Martin of Tours in the fifteenth 2 . Even in the seventeenth 
century the Quern quaeritis still appears in a Paris manuscript 
as a * tropus V and Martene records a practice similar to that 
of Monte Cassino and St. Denys as surviving at Rheims in 
his day 4 . 

But in many tropers, and in most of the later service- 
books in which it is found, the Quern quaeritis no lofiger 
appears to be designed for use at the Mass. This is the case 
in the only two tropers of English use in which, so far as 
I know, it comes, the Winchester ones printed by Mr. Frere 5 . 
I reproduce the earlier of these from the Bodleian manuscript 
used by him 6 . 

1 Martene, iv. 147 ' " Post proces- 
sionem," addunt Dionysianae con- 
suet* [thirteenth century], "ascen- 
dant iuxta Sancta Sanctorum cjui- 
dam bene cantantes, alii in dextro 
Ifitere, alii in sinistro latere assi- 
stentes, bene et honorifice tropas 
scilicet : Quern quaeritis ; coniubi- 
lantes,et sibi invicem respondentes; 
et cum intonuerint, Quia surrexi^ 
dicens, P&tri, mox Archicantor et 
duo socii eius assistentes in chpro 
regias virgas in manibus tenentes, 
incipiant pfficium." Hunc ritum 
accepisse videntur a Cassinensibus, 
quorum Ordinarium [before 1105] 
haec habet : " Processione finita, 
vadat Sacerdos post altare, et versus 
ad chorum dicat alta voce, Quern 
quaeritis f et duo alii Clerici st^ntes 
in medio chori respondeant : lesum 
Nazarenumj et Sacerdos ; Non est 
hie; illi vero conversi ad chorum 
dicant : Alleluia. Post haec alii 
quatuor cantent tropos, et agatur 
rnissa ordine suo. As usual in 
Ordin&ria (cf. e. g. p. 309) only the 
opening words of the chants are 
given. A similar direction is con- 
tained in MS. Casinense, 199, a 
twelfth-century breviary (Biblu>~ 
theca CasinensiS) iv. 124) : cf. also 
Lange, 21, 23. 

9 Martene ; iii. 173 ; Lange, 24 

(Tours i). 

8 Lange, 26. Cf. the account of 
the Vienne Quern quaeritis (p. 26). 

4 Martene, iv. 148. 

Mr. Frere does not print any 
fytroit tropes from the Worcester, 
St. Albans, and Dublin tropers : a 
leaf is unfortunately missing from 
the Canterbury troper (Frere, 107) 
where the Quern quaeritis might 
have come. It is not amongst the 
few tropes taken by Pamelius, 
Liturgicon (1609), ii. 611, from the 
English troper at St. Bavon's, 
Gherjt (Frere, 142). As the Con- 
cordia Regularis was partly based 
on Ghent customs (cf. p. 307), I 
should gladly know more of this. 

6 Bodl. MS, 775 ; described by 
Frere, xxvii, as MS. E * Its date 
lies between 979 and 1016, since 
Ethelred is mentioned as reigning 
sovereign in the Litany on f. i8 v , and 
inconsequence it hassometimesbeen 
called " The Ethelred Troper." Also, 
as it has the Dedication Festival on 
the 24th of November, it is probably 
anterior to the re-dedication of the 
Cathedral on Oct. 20, 980, since 
this day became subsequently the 
Dedication Festival.' A facsimile 
from the MS. was published by the 
Palaeographical Society (Series ii. 
pi. iii), and it was suggested that it 



Quern quaeritis in sepulchre, Christicolae ? 
Sanctarum mulierum responsio. 

Ihesum Nazarenum crucifixum, o caelicola t 
Angelicae voces consolatus. 

non est hie, surrexit sicut praedixerat, 

ite, nuntiate quia surrexit, dicentes : 
Sanctarum mulierum ad omnem clerum modulatio 

alleluia I resurrexit Dominus hodie, 

leo fortis, Christus filius Dei ! Deo gratias dicite, eia ! 
Dicat angelus: 

venite et videte locum ubi positus erat Dominus, 

alleluia! alleluia! 
Iterum dicat angelus : 

cito euntes dicite discipulis quia surrexit Dominus, 

alleluia ! alleluia ! 
Mulieri una voce canant iubilantes : 

surrexit Dominus de sepulchrd, 

qui pro nobis pependit in ligno.' 

In this manuscript, which is dated by Mr. Frere in 979 or 
980, the text just quoted is altogether detached from the 
Easter day tropes. Its heading is rubricated and immediately 
follows the tropes for Palm Sunday. It is followed in its turn, 
under a fresh rubric, by the ceremonies for Holy Saturday, 
beginning with the Benedictio Cerei. From the second, some- 
what later Cambridge manuscript, probably of the early 
eleventh century, the Holy Saturday ceremonies have dis- 
appeared, but the Quern quaeritis still precedes and does not 
follow the regular Easter tropes, which are headed Tropi in 
die Christi Resurrectionis *. The precise position which the 

is in an early eleventh-century hand, MtS. and does not appear to be 

but possibly copied an earlier text, quite complete. It is facsimiled by 

But surely it would have been Frere (pi. 26*). The printed text 

brought up to date on such a matter in Frere, 1 7,represents both versions ; 

as the Dedication Festival. that in Manly, i. xxi, follows the 

1 C.C.C. Cambridge MS. 473, of Bodl MS. Both Frere and Manly 

the middle of the eleventh century, have * Angelice uocis consolatio f 

described by Frere, xxvii, as MS. CC. where the Bodl. MS., as I read it, 

The text of the Quern quaeritis dif~ has ' Angelice uoces consolatus ' 

fers slightly from that of the Bodl. (clearly in error), 


Quern quaeritis was intended to take in the Easter services is 
not evident from these tropers by themselves. Fortunately 
another document comes to our assistance. This is the Con- 
cordia Regularis^ an appendix to the Rule of St. Benedict 
intended for the use of the Benedictine monasteries in 
England reformed by Dunstan during the tenth century. 
The Concordia Regularis was drawn up by Ethelwold, bishop 
of Winchester, as a result of a council of Winchester held at 
some uncertain date during the reign of Edgar (959-79) ; it 
may fairly be taken for granted that it fixed at least the 
Winchester custom. I translate the account of the Quern 
quaeritis ceremony, which is described as forming part, not of 
the Mass, but of the third Nocturn at Matins on Easter 
morning *. 

c While the third lesson is being chanted, let four brethren 
vest themselves. Let one of these, vested in an alb, enter as 
though to take part in the service, and let him approach the 
sepulchre without attracting attention and sit there quietly 
with a palm in his hand. While the third respond is chanted, 
let the remaining three follow, and let them all, vested in copes, 
bearing in their hands thuribles with incense, and stepping 
delicately as those who seek something, approach the sepulchre. 
These things are done in imitation of the angel sitting in the 
monument, and the women with spices coming to anoint the 
body of Jesus. When therefore he who sits there beholds 
the three approach him like folk lost and seeking something, 
let him begin in a dulcet voice of medium pitch to sing 
Quern quaeritis. And when he has sung it to the end, let the 
three reply in unison Ihesu Nazarenum* So he, Non est 
hic> surrexit sicut praedixerat. Jte, nuntiate quia surrexit 
a mortuis. At the word of this bidding let those three turn 
to the choir and say Alleluia! resurrexit Dominus ! This 
said, let the one, still sitting there and as if recalling them, say 
the anthem Venite et videte locum. And saying this, let him 
rise, and lift the veil, and show them the place bare of the 
cross, but only the cloths laid there in which the cross was 

1 A full account of the Concordia Regularis and extracts from the Latin 
text are in Appendix O. 


wrapped And when they have seen this, let them set down 
the thuribles which they bare in that same sepulchre, and 
take the cloth, and hold it up in the face of the clergy, and as 
if to demonstrate that the Lord has risen and is no longer 
wrapped therein, let them sing the anthem Surrexit Dominus 
de sepulchre^ and lay the cloth upon the altar. When the 
anthem is done, let the prior, sharing in their gladness at the 
triumph of our King, in that, having vanquished death, He 
rose again, begin the hymn Te Deum laudamus. And this 
begun, all the bells chime out together. 1 

The liberal scenario of the Concordia Regularis makes plain 
the change which has come about in the character of the 
Quern quaeritis since it was first sung by alternating half- 
choirs as an Introit trope *. Dialogued chant and mimetic 
action have come together and the first liturgical drama is, in 
all its essentials, complete. 

I am not quite satisfied as to the relations of date between 
the Concordia Regularis and the Winchester tropers, or as to 
whether the Quern quaeritis was intended in one or both of 
these manuscripts for use at the Easter Matins 2 . But it is 
clear that such a use was known in England at any rate 
before the end of the tenth century. It was also known in 
France and in Germany : the former fact is testified to by the 
Consuetudines of the monastery of St. Vito of Verdun 8 ; the 

1 I cannot understand why Mr. of the tropers. 
Frere, xvi, thinks that the Quern 8 Martene, iv. 299 ' Saecnlo, ut 

quaeritis was ' a dramatic dialogue aiunt, x scriptae ' : cf. Douhet, 849. 

which came to be used as a trope Martene, iii. 173, cites another 

to the Introit of Easter: but at Matins version from a 'vetustissi- 

Winchester it kept its independent mum rituale ' of Poitiers. If this is 

place/ It is used as a trope a cen- identical with the ' pontificate ve- 

tury before the date of the Con- tustissimum : annorum circiter 800' 

cordia Regularis. mentioned in his list of authorities 

a Why is the Quern quaeritis in (i. xxii) it may be earlier than the 

the Bodl. MS. apparently on Good tenth century. It is certainly not 

Friday ? Perhaps this was an ir- the ' liber sacramentorum annorum 

regular use reformed by Bp. Ethel- 900 circiter ' with which Douhet, 

wold. If so the C.R. must be about 848, would identify it. The Ponti- 

980 or later. This is not impossible ficale was used by Martene in his 

(cf. App. O). In the later C.C.C.C. edition of 1738 ; about the first edi- 

JfS. the Q. q. might, I think, from tion of 1700-6, I cannot say. This 

its position be intended for Easter version is not in Lange, and, as the 

Matins. The version described in omission of the usual first line is 

the C R. differs slightly from that curious, I print it below (p. 29). 


latter by the occurrence of the Qutm quaeritis in a troper of 
Bamberg, where it has the heading Ad visitandum sepukhrum 
and is followed by the Matins chant of TV Deum l . 

The heading of the Bamberg version and the detailed 
description of the Concordia Regularis bring the Quern quae- 
ritis drama into close relations with the Easter c sepulchre ' 2 . 
They are indeed the first historical notices of the ceremony 
so widely popular during the Middle Ages, Some account 
of the Easter sepulchre must accordingly be inserted here, 
and its basis shall be the admirably full description of 
St. Ethelwold 3 . He directs that on Good Friday all the 
monks shall go discalceati or shoeless from Prime * until the 
cross is adored J 4 . In the principal service of the day, which 
begins at Nones, the reading of the Passion according to 
St. John and a long series of prayers are included. Then 
a cross is made ready and laid upon a cushion a little way 
in front of the altar. It is unveiled, and the anthem Ecce 
lignum crucis is sung. The abbot advances, prostrates him- 
self, and chants the seven penitential psalms. Then he humbly 
kisses the cross. His example is followed by the rest of the 
monks and by the clergy and congregation. St. Ethelwold 
proceeds : 

c Since on this day we celebrate the laying down of the 
body of our Saviour, if it seem good or pleasing to any to 
follow on similar lines the use of certain of the religious, which 
is worthy of imitation for the strengthening of faith in the 
unlearned vulgar and in neophytes, we have ordered it on this 
wise. Let a likeness of a sepulchre be made in a vacant part 
of the altar, and a veil stretched on a ring which may hang 
there until the adoration of the cross is over. Let the deacons 
who previously carried the cross come and wrap it in a cloth 

1 Lange, 29; cf. Creizenach, L return to the choir 'cruce vacua 

49. * nuntiantes: Surrexit Dontinus* 

9 The Verdun Consuetudines do (Martene, iv. 299). 

not. The burial and resurrection s Appendix O. 

of the cross clearly formed no part * Barje feet continued to be the 

of the Good Friday and Easter rule for the Adaratio Crucis. An 

rites. The dialogue takes place 'in exception is at Exeter, where, ac- 

subterraneis specubus,' i.e. the crypt, cording to Pearson, ii. 296, they 

and the representatives of the Manes were forbidden, cf. Feasey, 115. 


in the place where it was adored l . Then let them carry it 
back, singing anthems, until they come to the place of the 
monument, and there having laid down the cross as if it were 
the buried body of our Lord Jesus Christ, let them say an 
anthem. And here let the holy cross be guarded with all 
reverence .until the night of the Lord's resurrection. By night 
let two brothers or three, or more if the throng be sufficient, 
be appointed who may keep faithful wake there chanting 

The ceremony of the burial or Depositio Crucis is followed 
by the Missa Praesanctificatorum, the Good Friday com- 
munion with a host not consecrated that day but specially 
reserved from Maundy Thursday; and there is no further 
reference to the sepulchre until the order for Easter day itself 
is reached, when St. Ethelwold directs that ' before the bells 
are rung for Matins the sacristans are to take the cross and 
set it in a fitting place/ 

In the Concordia Regularis, then, the Depositio Crucis is 
a sequel to the Adoratio Crucis on Good Friday. The latter 
ceremony, known familiarly to the sixteenth century as 
'creeping to the cross,' was one of great antiquity. It was 
amongst the Holy week rites practised at Jerusalem in the 
fourth century 2 , and was at an early date adopted in Rome 3 . 
But the sepulchre was no primitive part of it 4 ; nor is it 

1 StEthel wold's Latin is atrocious, 8 Duchesne, 238. For the medi- 

but I think that the sepulchre was aeval ceremony, cf. Feasey, 114; 

made on the altar, not in the hollow Pearson, ii. 293; Milchsack, 121; 

of it, and covered from sight until Rock, Hi. 2, 241 ; Martene, iii. 

wanted by a veil let down all round 129 ; iv. 137 ; Sarum Missal, 

it from a circular support above. 328 ; York Missal, i. 105 ; York 

Cf. the Latin text in Appendix O : Manual, 156, and the Durham 

perhaps it is corrupt. extract in Appetldix P : for that of 

* Percgrinatio Silviae in Du- modern Rome, Malleson and Tuker, 

chesne,49O. The object of adoration ii. 271. 

was a fragment of the true Cross, 4 

' sanctum lignum crucis.' The In- cra 

yention of the Cross by St. Helena century, ed. H. A. Wilson, 77); 

is put ISy tradition t326. Doubtless nor the Sacramentum Gregorianum 

many other churches obtained a (teighth century, P. L. Ixxviii. 86), 

fragment, and used it for the same ' qua salutata et reposita in loco 

purpose : cf, Feasey, 1 16. Thus suo ' ; nor in the Roman Ordines 

the cross used at Rome was 'lignum collected by Mabillon (P. L. Ixxviii) 

pretiosae crucis' (Duchesne, 465 : nor in those added by Duchesne, 

cf. his ed. of the Liber Pontificalis, 451, 464. The Ordines of 954 and 

i 374)- 963 repeat the Gregorian formula, 




possible to trace either the use which served St. Ethelwold 
as a model \ or the home or date of the sepulchre itself. It 
is unlikely, however, that the latter originated in England, 
as it appears almost simultaneously on the continent, and 
English ritual, in the tenth century, was markedly behind 
and not in advance of that of France and Germany 2 . St. 
Ethelwold speaks of it as distinctively monastic but certainly 
not as universal or of obligation amongst the Benedictine 
communities for whom he wrote. Nor did the Concordia 
Regularis lead to its invariable adoption, for when ^Eifric 
adapted St. Ethelwold's work for the benefit of Eynsham 
about 1005 he omitted the account of the sepulchre 3 , and 
it is not mentioned in Archbishop Lanfranc's Benedictine 
Constitutions of io75 4 . At a later date it was used by many 

which is expanded by those of 1215 
and 1319 into ' in suo loco super 
altare.' There is no mention of the 
sepulchrum in the Gallican liturgical 
books collected by Mabillon (P. Z. 
Ixxii). Of English books Leofric's 
Exeter Missal (tenth century, ed. 
F. E. Warren) has no Sepulchrum ; 
nor the Missal of St. Augustine's 
Canterbury (tiioo, ed. M. Rule), 
'reposita in loco solito* ; nor the 
Missal of Robert of Jumi&ges (ninth 
and tenth century, ed. H. A. Wilson 
for H. B. S0c.). Pearson, ii. 316, 
suggests that the cross used for 
adoration was the great rood usually 
placed in the rood-loft, but some- 
times * super altare.' 

1 Ethelwold's Concordia Regu- 
laris was largely founded on that 
of Benedict of Aniane (t8i7 ; cf. 
Miss Bateson in E, H. Review, 
ix. 700), but there is no Easter 
week ordo in this (P. L. ciii. 701 ) 
nor in the same writer's Memoriale 
or Ordo Monasticus (P. L. Ixvi. 
937: cf. his Vita^ c. viii, in Acta 
SS. Feb. ii. 618). Ethelwold also 
borrowed customs from Fleury 
and Ghent (Appendix O). The 
sepulchrum is not mentioned in the 
Consuetudines Floriacenses (tenth 
century, ed. De Bosco, Floriac. 
Vet. Bibl. (1605), 390) ; cf. Creize- 
nach, i. 49 ; nor in the description 
of a thirteenth-century coutumier 

in Rocher, Hist, de ? Abbaye de St.- 
Benctt-sur-Loire> 323. The only 
Fleury Quern quaeritis is of a late 
type in a thirteenth-century MS.; 
cf. p. 32. At Ghent, however, an 
inventory of treasures remaining at 
StBavon's after a Norman invasion 
(1019-24) includes ' tabulas de se- 
pulchro 23,' which appear to be 
distinct from reliquiae 'de sepul- 
chro Domini* and 'de operculo 
ligneo quod super corpus ipsius 
positum fuit in sepulchro' (Neues 
Archiv, viii. 374). Did the pos- 
session of these * reliquiae' sug- 
gest to the monks of St. Bavon's 
the construction of an Easter 
sepulchre ? 

" It is merely a guess to say St. 
Gall. Schiibiger, Sangerschule 
St. Gallens, 69, mentions the se- 
pulchre there, but gives no very 
early notice. The sepulchre was 
known in the Eastern, as well as 
the Western Church, and for all 
I know may have come from Jeru- 
salem (Feasey, 177). As to date, 
Weber, 32, suggests that pictorial 
representations of the Maries at 
the tomb show the influence of the 
dramatic Visitatio Sepulchri as far 
back as the ninth century. His 
chief point is that the Maries carry 
turribula (Cf. p. 25, n. 5). 

8 E. H. Review, ix. 706. 

4 P. L. cl. 465 'adorata ab omni- 



Benedictine houses, notably by the great Durham Priory l ; 
but the Cistercians and the Carthusians, who represent two 
of the most famous reforms of the order, are said never to 
have adopted it, considering it incompatible with the austerity 
of their rule 2 . On the other hand it was certainly not, in 
mediaeval England, confined to monastic churches. The 
cathedrals of Salisbury 3 , York 4 , Lincoln 5 , Hereford 6 , Wells 7 , 
all of which were served by secular canons, had their sepulchres, 
and the gradual spread of the Sarum use probably brought 
a sepulchre into the majority of parish churches throughout 
the land 8 . 

There are naturally variations and amplifications of the 
sepulchre ceremonial as described by St. Ethelwold to be 
recorded. The Depositio Cruets, instead of preceding the 
Missa Praesanctificatorum, was often, as in the Sarum use, 

bus cruce, portitores eius elevantes 
earn incipiant antiphonam Super 
omnia ligna cedrorum, et sic vadant 
ad locum ubi earn collocare debent/ 
This does not exclude a sepulchre, 
but probably the locus was an altar 
which might serve as a statio for 
the processions 'ad crucifixum' 
ordered on Easter Saturday after 
vespers and thrice a day through 
Easter week. Such processions 
continued in later ritual to visit 
the cross after its Elevatio on 
Easter morning : cf. York Manual, 


1 See the description of the 
ceremony by a sixteenth-century 
eye-witness in Appendix P. The 
sepulchrum was also used by the 
Bridgettines of Sion monastery, an 
order of reformed Benedictine nuns 
(G. F. Aungier, Hist, of Syon 
Monastery ', 350). 

* J. D. Chambers citing J. B. 
Thiers, De Exposition 5. Sacra- 
menti< iii. 19. 

3 See the extracts from Sarum 
service-books in Appendix Q. 

4 York Missal, L 106; York 
Manual, 163, 170. 

8 Wordsworth, 278. 
8 Hereford Missal (ed Hender- 
son), 96. 

7 H. E. Reynolds, Wells Cathe- 
dral, 32. 

8 The fullest accounts of the 
Easter sepulchre in England are 
those by H. J. Feasey, Ancient 
English Holy Week Ceremonial, 
129, and A. Heales, Easter Sepul- 
chres: their Object, Nature, and 
History in Archaeologia, xlii. 263 ; 
cf. also Monumenta Vetusta (Soc. 
of Antiquaries), iii. pll. xxxi, xxxii ; 
Parker, Glossary of Architecture, 
s.v. Sepulchre; M. E. C Walcott, 
Sacred Archaeology, s.v. Easter Se- 
pulchre ; T. F. Dyer, Church Lore 
Gleanings, 219; W. Andrews, Old 
Church Lore, iii ; J. D. Chambers, 
App.yuKN ; Micklethwaite,52; Rock, 
iii. 2. 92, 240, 251. Continental or- 
dines and notices may be found in 
Martene, iii. 131, 172, 178; iv. 141, 
145 ; Milchsack, 41, 121 ; Pearson, 
ii. 295 ; Wetzer and Welte, Kirchen- 
Lexicon, s.v. Grab ; J. Dank6, 
Vetus Hymn. Eccl. Hungariae^ 535, 
579. I have not seen this writers 
Die Feier des Osterfestes (Wien, 
1872). On representations of the 
sepulchre in mediaeval art, cf. P. 
Weber, 32, and the miniature from 
Robert of Jumifcges* Missal (ed. 
F, E. Warren for H. . Soc. pi. 


transferred to the end of Vespers, which on Good Friday 
followed the Missa without a break 1 . The Elevatto regularly 
took place early on Easter morning before Matins* The 
oldest custom was doubtless that of the Regularis Concordia, 
according to which the cross was removed from the sepulchre 
secretly by the sacristans, since this is most closely in agree- 
ment with the narrative of the gospels. But in time the 
Elevatio became a function. The books of Salisbury and 
York provide for it a procession with the antiphons Ckristus 
resurgens and Surrexit Dominus. Continental rituals show 
considerable diversity of custom 2 . Perhaps the most elaborate 
ceremonials are those of Augsburg and Wiirzburg, printed by 
Milchsack. In these the Tollite portas procession, which we 
have already found borrowed from the dedication of churches 
for Palm Sunday, was adapted to Easter day 8 . But the old 
tradition was often preserved by the exclusion or only partial 
admission of the populace to the Elevatio. In the Augsburg 
ritual just quoted, all but a few privileged persons are kept 
out until the devil has been expelled and the doors solemnly 
opened 4 . A curious light is thrown upon this by a decree of 
the synod of Worms in 1316, which orders that the ' mystery 
of the resurrection ' shall be performed before ft&plebs comes 

1 At Exeter on the other hand vel cimeterium . . . usque ad ulti- 

Vespers on both Good Friday and mamianuam,quaeclaudatur.' Here 

Easter Eve were sung before the the Tollite portas dialogue is held 

Sepulchre ; and so with the Hours with the levita iunior, vel alius in 

at Tours (Feasey, 130). figura dial^oli grossa voce.' On the 

* Martene, iii. 179; Milchsack, other xhand, in the Ordo Wirce- 
122; Lange, 135. The latter gives burgensis of 1564 the procession 
a Passau fifteenth-century version knocks at the door from inside, and 
which ends 'quibus finitis stantes the respondent 'loco Sathanae' is 
ante altare, mutua caritate se invi- without. 

cem deosculentur, dicentes: Sur- * 'Sacerdos . . . antequam con- 

rtxit dominus vere. Et afparuit gregetur chorus, cum processione 

symoni. Dicatur una oratio de sibi paucorum adiunctorum . . . 

resurrectione. Statim fiat pulsatio.' foribus ecclesiae clausis, secretius 

The Easter greeting and kiss of tollat sacramentum de sepulchre ' ; 

peace Were in use, either before or cf. the fifteenth-century Passau 

after Matins at many chfcrches Breviary (Lange, 135) 'clam sur- 

(Martene, iii. 171, 180) and do not gitur' and the Ordo Sepulturae in 

depend upon the sepulchre. the Missalis Posoniensis of 1341 

* Milchsack, 128, 135 ; cf. Meyer, (Dank6, 579) Maicis exclusis,' 
64. The Ordo Augvstensis &i 1487 I have not noticed any such liraita- 
directs that a procession shall go tion in English rubrics later than 
from the sepulchre ' per ambitum the Concordia Regularis. 



into the church, and gives as a reason the crowds caused by 
a prevalent superstition that whoever saw the crucifix raised 
would escape for that year c the inevitable hour of death ' \ 

A widespread if not quite universal innovation on the 
earlier use was the burial, together with the cross or crucifix, 
of a host, which was consecrated, like that used in the Missa 
Praesanctificatoruni) on Maundy Thursday. This host was 
laid in a pyx 2 , monstrance 8 , or cup 4 , and sometimes in a 
special image, representing the risen Christ with the cross 
or labarum in his hands, the breast of which hdd a cavity 
covered with beryl or crystal 6 . Within the sepulchre both 
the host and the crucifix were laid upon or wrapped in a fine 
linen napkin. 

The actual structure of the sepulchre lent itself to consider- 
able variety. St Ethelwold's assimilatio quaedam sepulchri 
upon a vacant part of the altar may have been formed, like 
that at Narbonne several centuries later, by laying together 
some of the silver service-books 6 . There are other examples 
of a sepulchre at an altar, and it is possible that in some of 

1 Milchsack, 119 'quum a no- 
stris antecessoribus ad nos perve- 
nerit, ut in sacra nocte dominicae 
resurrectionis ad sustollendam cru- 
cifixi imaginem de sepulchre, ubi in 
parasceve locata fuerat, nimia vi- 
rorum et mulierum numerositas, 
certatim sese comprimendo, eccle- 
siam simul cum canpnicis et vicariis 
introire nitantur, opinantes errpnee, 
quod si viderent crucifixi imaginem 
sustolli, evaderent hoc anno inevita- 
bilem mortis horam. His itaque 
obviantes statuimus,ut resurrectionis 
mysterium ante ingressum plebis 
in ecclesiamperagatur ' : cf. Pearson, 
ii. 298. 

2 A Finchale inventory of 1481 
(J. T. Fowler, Trans, of Durham 
and North. Arch. Soc. iv. 134) 
includes ( Item I pixis argentea cum 
coopertorio et ymagine crucifixi in 
summitate cpopertorii pro corpora 
x 1 deferendo in passione x 1 / A pyx 
was also used in the Sarum rite 
(Appendix Q). 

* Feasey, 165 ; Dank6, Vet. 
Hymn. EccL Hung. 535. 

4 York Manual, 174 * cuppa in 
qua est sacramentum.' 

5 At Durham (Appendix P) and 
at Lincoln (Wordsworth, 278) ; cf. 
Feasey, 164; Heales, 307. The 
image ' cum corona spinea ' used at 
York (York Manual^ 170) was of 
course the crucifix. A Reformation 
record of 1566 at Belton, Lincoln- 
shire, speaks of 'a sepulker with 
little Jack broken in pieces ' (Feasey, 
165). Either a mere image or a 
mechanical puppet (cf. p. 158) may 
be meant. The labarum is the 
sign of the risen Christ in the later 
versions of the Quern quacritis\ 
cf. p. 35. It figures in nearly all 
paintings of the Resurrection. 

6 Narbonne Ordinarium (1*1400) 
Mevent cum filo pannum, qui est 
super libros argenti super altare 
in figura sepulcri' (Martene, Hi. 
172 ; Lange, 65) ; Le Mans, Ordi~ 
narium 'Tune tres derici acce- 
dentes ad altare cum reverentia 
sublevent palium cum quo sepul- 
chrum fuerit coopertum* (Lange, 
66) ; cf* Pearson, ii. 293. 


these the altar itself may have been hollow and have held the 
sacred deposit. Sometimes the high altar was used, but 
a side-altar was naturally more convenient, and at St. Law- 
rence's, Reading, the c sepulchre awlter * was in the rood-loft 1 . 
The books were a primitive expedient. More often the sepul- 
chre was an elaborate carved shrine of wood, iron, or silver. 
If this did not stand upon the altar, it was placed on the north 
side of the sanctuary or in a north choir aisle. In large 
churches the crypt was sometimes thought an appropriate 
site 2 . Often the base of the sepulchre was formed by the 
tomb of a founder or benefactor of the church, and legacies 
for making a structure to serve this double purpose are not 
uncommon in mediaeval wills. Such tombs often have a 
canopied recess above them, and in these cases the portable 
shrine may have been dispensed with. Many churches have 
a niche or recess, designed of sole purpose for the sepulchre 3 . 
Several of these more elaborate sepulchres are large enough to be 
entered, a very convenient arrangement for the Quern quaeritis* ; 
a few of them are regular chapels, more than one of which is 
an exact reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, and 
is probably due to the piety of some local pilgrim 5 . Wood, 
metal, or stone, permanent or movable, the sepulchre was 
richly adorned with paintings and carvings of the Passion and 
the Resurrection, with Easter texts, with figures of censer- 
swinging angels and sleeping knights 6 . A seal was, at least 

1 Feasey, 131. In versions of Tarrant Hinton, Dorset, which is 

the Quern quaeritis given by Lange, not amongst those mentioned by 

24, 25, 26, the action is at the altar. Heales or Feasey. 

A Senlis Breviary (fourteenth cen- 4 The performers are sometimes 

tury) has ' elevantes palium altaris ' directed to enter the sepulchre ; 

(Lange, 27), and a Sens thirteenth- cf. e.g. Lange, 28. 

century MS. 'Sublevans tapetum 5 Feasey, 149. There is such 

altaris, tamquam respiciens in se- a chapel beneath the choir of the 

pulchrum' (Lange, 64). But I am Jerusalem church at Bruges. The 

not sure that there was a genuine Winchester sepulchre is a chapel, 

sepulchre in all these cases : cf. but not of the Jerusalem type. At 

P 26. St. Gall the sepulchre was (t 1583) 

* Wlirzburg Breviary (fourteenth in the 'sacellum S. Sebastian! ' 

century) 'descendunt in criptam ad (Lange, 69). 

visitandum sepulcrtnn' (Lange, 53) : 6 J. Britton, Redcliffe Church, 47, 

cf. the Verdun Consuetudines (p. 16), prints a contemporary description 

where there may or may not have of a sepulchre given in 1470 by 

been a regular sepulchre. 'Maister Canynge' to St. Mary 

9 1 have seen a beautiful one at Redcliffe, Bristol, with, amongst 


at Hereford and in Hungary, set upon it l , A canopy was hung 
over it and upon it lay a pall, also a favourite object for a pious 
legacy. Similar legacies might -meet the expense of the 
' sepulchre light/ which was kept burning from Good Friday 
to Easter morning, and was only extinguished for a few 
minutes on Easter Saturday to be re-lit from the freshly 
blessed 'new fire 2 / Or the light might be provided by one 
of the innumerable guilds of the Middle Ages, whose members, 
perhaps, also undertook the devout duty of keeping the two 
nights' vigil before the sepulchre 3 . This watch was important. 
The Augsburg ritual already quoted makes the possibility of 
arranging it a condition of setting up the se'pulchre at all 4 . 
The watchers sang psalms, and it is an example of the irre- 
pressible mediaeval tendency to mimesis that they were some- 
times accoutred like the knights of Pilate 6 . After the Elevatio, 
the crucifix seems to have been placed upon a side-altar and 
visited by processions in Easter, while the host was reserved 
in a tabernacle. The Sarum Custumary directs that the 
empty sepulchre shall be daily censed at Vesperg and removed 

other adornments, 'Heaven made 
of timber and stain'd clothes ' and 
'Hell, made of timber and iron- work 
thereto, with Divels to the number 
of 13.' This is apparently not a 
Chatterton forgery. Feasey, 166, 
gives a somewhat similar London 
specification, and also (p. 145) de- 
scribes a fourteenth-century wooden 
sepulchre from Kilsby, Northants, 
believed to be the only one in 
existence. I have a suspicion that 
the wooden so-called 'watcher's 
chamber' to the shrine of St. 
Frideswide in Christ Church, 
Oxford, is really a sepulchre. It is 
in the right place, off the north 
choir aisle, and why should a 
watcher of the shrine want to be 
perched up in a wooden 'cage ou 
the top of a tomb? 

1 Dank6, 536, 580. Two instances 
are given. In one the sepulchre 
was sealed, in the other the pyx, 
'sigillo vel clavi ecclesiae.' At 
Hereford 'episcopus . . . cereo 
claudat sepulchrum' (Feasey, 159, 
from Harl. MS. 2081). 

3 Cf. vol. i. p. 126. 

8 Wordsworth, 279; Feasey, 161 ; 
Heales, 272, 299. 

4 Milchsack, 127. 

B G. Gilpin, The Bee- Hive of the 
Romish Church (1579) (translated 
from Isaac Rabbotenu of Louvain, 
1569) 'They make the graue in a 
hie place in the church, where men 
must goe up manie steppes, which 
are decked with blacke cloth from 
aboue to beneath, and upon everie 
steppe standeth a siluer candlesticke 
with a waxe candle burning in it, 
and there doe walke souldiours in 
harnesse, as bright as Saint George, 
which keep the graue, till the 
Priests come and take him up; 
and then commeth sodenlie a 
Jlash of fire, wherwith they are 
~all afraid and fall downe ; and then 
up startes the man, and they begin 
to sing Alleluia, on all handes, and 
the clocke striketh eleuen.' Feasey, 
1 68, quotes De Moleon for a state- 
ment that the watchers at Orleans 
were dressed as soldiers. 


on the Friday in Easter week before Mass l . Naturally there 
was some division of opinion at the Reformation as to the 
precise spiritual value of the Easter sepulchre. While Bishop 
Hooper and his fellow pulpiters were outspoken about the 
idolatrous cult of a * dead post V the more conservative views 
which ruled in the latter years of Henry VIII declared the 
ceremony to be ' very laudable ' and * not to be contemned and 
cast away V The Cromwellian Injunctions of 1538 sanctioned 
the continued use of the sepulchre light, and by implication 
of the sepulchre itself. The Edwardine Injunctions of 1547 
suppressed the sepulchre light and were certainly interpreted 
by Cranmer and others as suppressing the sepulchre 4 . The 
closely related * creeping to the cross ' was forbidden by pro- 
clamation in 1548; and in 1549, after the issue of the first 
Act of Uniformity and the first Prayer Book of Edward VI, 
the disallowance of both ceremonies was legalized, or renewed 
by Articles for the visitation of that year 6 . Payments for the 
breaking up of the sepulchre now appear in many church- 
wardens' accounts, to be complicated before long by payments 
for setting the sepulchre up again, in consequence of an order 
by Queen Mary in 1554 6 . In the same year the crucifix and 
pyx were missing out of the sepulchre at St. Pancras' Church 
in Cheapside, when the priests came for the Elevatio on Easter 
morning, and one Marsh was committed to the Counter for 

1 Appendix Q. Majesty, 1536 (Burnet, i. I. 435; 

* Hooper, Early Writings (Par- i. 2. 472 ; cf. Froude, ii. 486) ; 
ker Soc.), 45 'The ploughman, be Siry?*, Eccles. Memorials, i. 1.546; 
he never so unlearned, shall better i. 2. 432. 

be instructed of Christ's death and * Dixon, ii. 82, 432, 513, 516; 

passion by the corn that he soweth iii. 37 ; Hardy and Gee, Doc. 

in the field, and likewise of Christ's illustrative of English Church 

resurrection, than by all the dead History ', 278 ; Cardwell, Documen- 

posts that hang in the church, or tary Annals of the Reformation^ 

are pulled out of the sepulchre with i. 7 ; Froude, iv. 281. There 

Christus resurgent. What resem- certainly were sepulchres in 1548 

blance hath the taking of the cross (Feasey, 175). 

out of the sepulchre and going a 5 Dixon, in. 37 ; Wilkins, iv. 32. 

procession with it, with the resur- The Act of* and 3 Edward VI, 

rectidn of Christ? None at all: c. 10 (Froude, iv. 495), against 

the dead post is as dead when they images and paintings, was probably 

sing Jam non moritur, as it was also held to require the demolition 

when they buried it with In pace of many sepulchres : cf. Ridley's 

foetus est locus etus 9 : cf. Ridley, Visitation Articles of 1550, quoted 

Works (Parker Soc.), 67. by Hcales, 304. 

* Articles devised by the Kings * Dixon, iv. 129. 


the sacrilege 1 . The Elizabethan Injunctions of 1559, although 
they do not specifically name the sepulchre, doubtless led to 
its final disappearance 2 . In many parts of the continent 
it naturally lasted longer, but the term * visiting sepulchres * 
seems in modern times to have been transferred to the devotion 
paid to the reserved host on Maundy Thursday 8 . 

I now return to the Quern quaeritis in the second stage of 
its evolution, when it had ceased to be an Introit trope and 
had become attached to the ceremony of the sepulchre. 
Obviously it is not an essential part of that ceremony. The 
Depositio and Elevatio mutually presuppose each other and, 
together, are complete. For the dramatic performance, as 
described by St. Ethelwbld, the clergy, having removed the 
cross at the beginning of Matins, revisited the empty sepulchre 
quite at the close of that service, after the third respond 4 , 
between which and the normal ending of Matins, the Te Deum> 
the Quern quaeritis was intercalated. The fact that the Maries 
bear censers instead of or in addition to the scriptural spices, 
suggests that this Visitatio grew out of a custom of censing the 
sepulchre at the end of Matins as well as of Evensong 6 . But the 
Visitatio could easily be omitted, and in fact it was omitted in 
many churches where the Depositio and Elevatio were in use. 
The Sarum books, for instance, do not in any way prescribe 
it. On the other hand, there were probably a few churches 

1 Dixon, iv. 1 57 ; S. R. Maitland, (Feasey, 142), and pious legacies 

Essays on the Reformation (ed. begin to direct tombs ' whereas 

1899), 1 86. the sepulchre was wonte to stande.' 

* Hardy and Gee, op. cit. 428. * Davidson, 140; Malleson and 

Art xxiii forbids * monuments of Tuker, ii. 263, 267, 272. The 

. . . idolatry and superstition.' The latest examples of the Quern quae- 

Elizabethan Visitation Articles col- ritis are of the eighteenth century 

lected in the Second Report of the from Cologne and Angers (Lange, 

Ritual Commission make no men- 36, 39) and Venice (Z. f. d. A. xli. 

tion of sepulchres. They generally 77). 

follow pretty closely the wording 4 This respond begins Dum trans- 

of the Injunctions. But the Articles isset Sabbatum. 

of Bentham, Bishop of Lichfield * Cf. p. 18, n. 2. The Sarum 

and Coventry (1565), specify ' monu- Custumary provides for censing on 

ments of idolatry and superstition ' feasts (a) at the anthem ' super 

as including * Sepulchres which Magnificat ' at Vespers, (b) during 

were used on Good Friday '(Heales, or after the Te Deum at Matins 

307). Notices of the destruction of (Use of Sarum> i. 113, 121). The 

sepulchres become numerous, being sepulchre is included only at Vespers 

found, for instance, in the case of (cf. Appendix Q), but the variation 

50 out of 153 Lincolnshire churches I suggest would not be great. 



which adopted the Visitatio without the more important rite. 
Batnberg seems to have been one of these, and so possibly 
were Sens, Senlis, and one or two others in which the Quern 
quaeritis is noted as taking place at an altar 1 . However, 
whether there was a real sepulchre or not, the regular place 
of the Quern quaeritis was that prescribed for it by St. Ethel- 
wold, between the third respond and the Te Deum at Matins. 
It has been found in a very large number of manuscripts, and 
in by far the greater part of them it occupies this position 2 . 
In the rest, with the exception of a completely anomalous 
example from Vienne 3 , it is either a trope *, or else is merged 

1 Cf. p. 22, n. I. The Bamberg 
Agenda of 1-1597 (Lange, 93) has 
an Ordo msitandi sepulchrum 
which opens with directions for 
the construction of a sepulchre, 
which would obviously not be the 
case if the Depositio and Elevatio 
had preceded. Lange rarely prints 
more than the Visitatio^ but of one 
group of texts he notes (p. 135) that 
the MSS. generally have also the 

8 Lange's collection from 224 
MSS. supersedes those of Du M^ril, 
CoussemaUer, Milchsack, &c. He 
supplemented it by versions from 
Meissen, Worms, Venice, and Grau 
in Hungary in Z. /. d. A. (1896), 
xli. 77 ; and has not got those from 
the (*) Winchester Tropers (cf. 
p. 12); (b) Autun and Nevers 
Tropers of the eleventh century 
(Gautier,'l26, 219) ; (c) St. Magloire, 
twelfth-century Troper (cf. p. n); 
(ct) Dublin Processionals (Appen- 
dix R); *(e) Laon twelfth-century 
Ordinary (Chevalier, Ordinaires 
de Laon, 118); (/) Clermont- 
Ferrand fifteenth-century Breviary 
(cf. p. ii); (g) Poitiers Ritual 
(Martene, iii. 173); (ft) Verdun, 
tenth-century Consuetudinary ( Mar- 
tene, iv. 299; cf. p. 15). The MSS, 
extend from the tenth to the eigh- 
teenth century. The majority of 
them are Breviaries; some are 
Ordinaries, Antiphoners, Proces- 
sionals ; a few are late Tropers, in 
which, besides the Tropes proper, 
the Holy week Ordo is included (cf. 

Gautier, 81) ; two (B. ff. Lat. 1139 
from Limoges, and Orleans MS. 
178, from Fleury) are special books 
of dramatic repraese&tationes\ cf. 
p. i. 

8 Martene, iii.i 80, from an undated 
Caeremoniale. Lange, 26, only gives 
a portion of the text containing the 
Quern quaeritis proper, which was 
sung as a processional trope before 
the Missa maior. The procession 
had immediately before gone to the 
sepulchre and sung other anthems. 
But the sepulchre played a part at 
two other services. Before Matins 
the clergy had in turn entered the 
sepulchre, found i empty, came 
out and given eacn other the kiss 
of peace and Easter greeting. No 
Elevatio is described; perhaps it 
was still earlier * clam. 1 After Lauds, 
the Missa matutinalis was sung 
' ad sepulchrum * and the prosa or 
Alleluia trope was thus performed: 
4 Prosa Victimae Pasckali. Finite V 
Dicat nobis Maria, clericulus stans 
in sepulcro cum amictu parato et 
stola, dicat f. Angelicos testes. 
Chorus respondeat Die nobis Maria. 
Clericulus dicat Angelicas testes* 
Clericus dicat Surrexit Christus. 
Chorus Credendum est magis usque 
ad finem.' On this prose and its 
relation to the Quern quaeritis cf. 
p. 29. At St Mark's, Venice 
(Z.f.d.A. xli. 77), the position ofthe 
Quern quaeritis is also abnormal, 
coming just before Prime, but this 
version dates from 1736. 

4 Cf. p. 12. 


with or immediately follows the Elevatio before Matins \ The 
evidence of the texts themselves is borne out by Durandus, 
who is aware of the variety of custom, and indicates the end 
of Matins as \hzproprior locus*. 

No less difficult to determine than the place and time at 
which the Easter sepulchre itself was devised, are those 
at which the Quern quaeritis, attached to it, stood forth as 
a drama. That the two first appear together can hardly 
be taken as evidence that they came into being together. 
The predominance of German and French versions of the 
Quern quaeritis may suggest an origin in the Prankish area : 
and if the influence of the Sarum use and the havoc of service- 
books at the Reformation may between them help to account 
for the comparative rarity of the play in these islands, no such 
explanation is available for Italy and Spain. The develop- 
ment of the religious drama in the peninsulas, especially in 
Italy, seems to have followed from the beginning lines some- 
what distinct from those of north-western Europe. But 
between France and Germany, as between France and 
England, literary influences, so far as clerkly literature goes, 
moved freely : nor is it possible to isolate the centres and 
lines of diffusion of that gradual process of accretion and 
development through which the Quern quaeritis gave ever fuller 
and fuller expression to the dramatic instincts by which 
it was prompted. The clerici vagantes were doubtless busy 
agents in carrying new motives and amplifications of the text 
from one church to another. Nor should it be forgotten that, 
numerous as are the versions preserved, those which have 
perished must have been more numerous still, so that, if all 

1 Lange, 28 (Parma), 30 (Laon), faciunt, antequam matutinum in- 

47 (Constance), 68 (Rheinau), 69 choent, sed hie est proprior locus, 

(St. Gall). At Rheinau, the Elevatio eo quod Te deum laudamus cxpri- 

takes place in the course of the mit horam, qua resurrexit. Quidam 

Quern quaeritis : at Parma, and etiam earn faciunt ad missam, cum 

probably in the other cases, the dicuntur sequentia ilia Victimae 

' sacrista pervigil ' has already re- paschali, cum dicitur versus Die 

moved the * Corpus Christ!/ nobis ct sequentes. 1 Joannes Ab- 

* Durandus, lib. vi. c. 87. He rincensis, deOffic.eccles.(P.L.v&\\\. 

describes the normal Visitatio^ in 54), briefly notes the 'officium se- 

terms much resembling those of pulchri* as 'post tertium respon- 

Belethus (cf. p. 31), and adds sorium/ and says no more* 
' quidam vero hanc presentationem 


were before us, the apparent anomaly presented by the 
occurrence of identical features in, for instance, the plays 
from Dublin and Fleury, and no others, would not improbably 
be removed. The existence of this or that version in the 
service-books of any one church must depend on divers con- 
ditions ; the accidents of communication in the first place, and 
in the second the laxity or austerity of governing bodies at 
various dates in the licensing or pruning of dramatic elabora- 
tion. The simplest texts are often found in the latest manu- 
scripts, and it may be that because their simplicity gave no 
offence they were permitted to remain there. A Strassburg 
notice suggests that the ordering of the Quern quaeritis was 
a matter for the discretion of each individual parish, in inde- 
pendence of its diocesan use l ; while the process of textual 
growth is illustrated by a Laon Ordinarium> in which an earlier 
version has been erased and one more elaborate substituted 2 . 

Disregarding, however, in the main the dates of the manu- 
scripts, it is easy so to classify the available versions as to 
mark the course of a development which was probably com- 
plete by the middle of the twelfth and certainly by the 
thirteenth century. This development affected both the text 
and the dramatic interest of the play. The former is the 
slighter matter and may be disposed of first 8 . 

The kernel of the whole thing is, of course, the old St. Gall 
trope, itself a free adaptation from the text of the Vulgate, 
and tlie few examples in which this does not occur must 
be regarded as quite exceptional 4 . The earliest additions 
were taken from anthems, which already had their place 

1 Strassburg Agenda of 1513 qualitate commodum fore iudica- 

(Lange, 50) ' Haec prescripta visi- verint.' 

tatio sepulcri observetur secundum a Laon Ordinarium of twelfth 
consuetudinem cuiuslibet ecclesiae.' century (U. Chevalier, Ordtnaires 
Meyer, 33, quotes a passage even de Laon> 118). The change con- 
more to the point from the Bamberg sisted mainly in the introduction of 
Agenda of 1587 ' Haec dominicae the Victimae paschali : cf. p. 29. 
resurrectionis commemoratio cele- 8 Cf. the mil discussion, mainly 
brioribus servit ecclesiis, unde alia- from the textual point of view, 
rum ecclesiarum utpote minorum et throughout Lange's book, with that 
ruralium rectores et parochi ex of Meyer, and Creizenach, i. 47 ; 
ordine hie descripto aliquid saltern Froning, 3 ; Wirth, I. 
desumere possunt, quod pro loci * The Bohemian fourteenth-cen- 
et personarum illic convenientium tury version (Lange, 130) is nearly 



in the Easter services, and which in some manuscripts of the 
Gregorian Antipkonarium are grouped together as suitable for 
insertion wherever may be desired l . So far the text keeps 
fairly close to the words of Scripture, and even where the 
limits of the antiphonary are passed, the same rule holds 
good. In time, however, a freer dramatic handling partly 
establishes itself. Proses, and even metrical hymns, beginning 
as choral introductions, gradually usurp a place in the dialogue, 
and in the latest versions the metrical character is very marked. 
By far the most important of these insertions is the famous 
prose or sequence Victimae paschali, the composition of which 
by the monk Wipo of St. Gall can be pretty safely dated in the 
second quarter of the eleventh century 2 . It goes as follows : 

'Victimae paschali laudes immolant Christiani. 
agnus redemit oves, Christus innocens patri reconciliavit 

mors et vita duello conflixere mirando, dux vitae mor- 

tuus regnat v'ivus. 

all narrative sung by the Ebdo- 
marius : the only dialogue is from 
the Victimae paschali. Martene, 
iii. 173, gives, from a * vetustissimum 
Rituale,' this Poitiers version, not 
in Lange, ' Finitis matutinis, acce- 
dunt ad sepulchrum, portantes lu- 
minaria. Tune incipit Maria : Ubi 
est Christus meusf Respondet 
angelus Non est hie. Tune Maria 
aperit os sepulchri, et dicit publica 
voce : Surrexit Christus. Et omnes 
respondent Deo gratias.' Possibly 
Maria here is the Virgin, who is not 
usually included in the Visitatio. 
But the same anthem opens a 
twelfth-century Limoges version, 
headed 'Oc est de mulieribus' in 
B. N. Lot. MS. 1139, a collection 
of ritual plays. The full text is ' Ubi 
est Christus meus dominus et films 
excelsus ? ' which is not really appro- 
priate to any other speaker: cf. 
Milchsack, 38. A frequent variant 
on * Quern quaeritis in sepulchro, 
o Christicolae ? ' is ' Quern quaeritis, 
o treoiulae mulieres, in hoc tumulo 
plorantes ?'; nor can the two forms 
be localized (Lange, 84). 

1 Lange, 32. These MSS. are of 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries. 
I find no such section in the normal 
text of the Gregorian Liber respon- 
sa/tSj which is the antiphonary for 
the office (P. L. Ixxviii. 769). The 
'antiphonae deresurrectione domini 
ubicumque voluerjs ' of the B. N. 
Lot. MS. 17,436 include the 'Cito 
euntes dicite, &c.,' * Currebant duo 
simul, &c.,' ' Ardens est cor meum, 
&c./ and others which are regularly 
introduced into the play. Another 
commonly used is the Christus 
resurgens with its verse, ' Dicant 
nunc ludaei, &c.,' which the Sarum 
books assign to the Elevatio (Ap- 
pendix Q) : cf. Lange, 77. 

1 Text in Daniel, Thesaurus 
HymnologicuS) ii. 95 ; Kehrein, 
Lateiniscne Sequenzen des Mittel- 
alters j 8 1, and with facsimile and 
setting in A. Schiibiger, Die Sanger- 
schuleSt. Gallens, 90, &c. ; cf. Lange, 
59; Meyer, 49, 76; Miichsack, 34 ; 
Chevalier, Repertorium Hymno- 
logicum, s. vv. ; A. Schiibiger, La 
Sequence de PAques Victimae 
chali et son auteur (1858). 


die nobis, Maria, quid vidisti in via ? 

sepulchrum Christi viventis et gloriam vidi rcsurgentis; 

angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes. 

surrexit Christus, spes mea, praecedet suos in Galilaeam. 

credendum est magis soli Mariae veraci, quam ludaeo- 

rum turbae fallaci. 
scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere: tu nobis, 

victor, rex, miserere/ 

Originally written as an Alleluia trope or sequence proper, 
a place which it still occupies in the reformed Tridentine 
liturgy 1 , the Victimae paschali cannot be shown to have made 
its way into the Quern quaeritis until the thirteenth century 2 . 
But it occurs in about a third of the extant versions, sometimes 
as a whole, sometimes with the omission of the first three 
sentences, which obviously do not lend themselves as well 
as the rest to dramatic treatment. When introduced, these 
three sentences are sung either by the choir or by the Maries: 
the other six fall naturally into dialogue. 

The Victimae paschali is an expansion of the text of the 
Quern quaeritis, but it does not necessarily introduce any new 
dramatic motive. Of such there were, from the beginning, 
at least two. There was the visit of the Maries to the 
sepulchre and their colloquy with the angel ; and there was 
the subsequent announcement of the Resurrection made by 
them in pursuance of the divine direction. Each has its 
appropriate action : in the one case the lifting of the pall and 
discovery of the empty sepulchre, in the other the display by 
the Maries of the cast-off grave-clothes, represented by a 
linteum, in token of the joyful event. It is to this second 
scene, if the term may be used of anything so rudimentary, 
that the Victimae paschali attaches itself. The dialogue of 
it is between the Maries and the choir, who stand for the 
whole body of disciples, or sometimes two singers, who are 
their spokesmen 3 . A new scene is, however, clearly added to 

1 Malleson-Tuker, ii. 27. It is (Chevalier, Ordinaires de Loon, 

used throughout Easter week, 1 1 8). 

1 Lange,6o. It was interpolated 8 Narbonne, ti4oo (Lange, 65) 

during the thirteenth century in 'duo canonici, tanquam apostoli ; 

a twelfth-century Laon version cf. Lange, 75. 


the play, when these two singers not only address the Maries, 
but themselves pay a visit to the sepulchre. Now they repre- 
sent the apostles Peter and John. In accordance with the 
gospel narrative John outstrips Peter in going to the sepulchre, 
but Peter enters first : and the business of taking up the 
linteum and displaying it to the other disciples is naturally 
transferred to them from the Maries. The apostle scene first 
makes its appearance in an Augsburg text of the end of the 
eleventh century, or the beginning of the twelfth \ *It occurs 
in rather more than half the total number of versions. 
These are mainly German, but the evidence of Belethus is 
sufficient to show that it was not unknown in twelfth-century 
France 2 . The addition of the apostle scene completed the 
evolution of the Easter play for the majority of churches. 
There were, however, a few in which the very important step 
was taken of introducing the person of the risen Christ him- 
self ; and this naturally entailed yet another new scene. Of 
this type there are fifteen extant versions, coming from 
one Italian, four French, and four German churches 3 . The 
earliest is of the twelfth century, from a Prague convent. The 
new scene closely follows the Scripture narrative. Mary 

1 Augsburg liber liturgicus of has, like the older Roman liturgies, 
eleventh or twelfth century (Lange, * crucifixus in suum locum reponi 
82). debet ' (c. xcviii). Durandus, vi. 87j 

2 Belethus, c. cxiii (P. L. ccii. has an account very similar to that 
119) * fit enim in plerisque Ecclesiis of Belethus, but says ' Si qui autem 
ut cantato ultimo response, cum habent versus de hac representa- 
candelis cereis et solemni proces- done composites, licet non authen- 
sione eant ex choro ad locum quern- ticos non improbamus ' ; cf. alsc 
dam, ubi imaginarium sepulcrum p. 27. 

compositum est, in quod mtrodu- 8 Engelberg (1372), Cividal* 

cuntur aliquot in personis mulierum (fourteenth century), Nuremberg 

et discipulorum loannis et Petri, (thirteenth century), Einsiedeh 

quorum alter alterp citius re vertitur, (thirteenth century), Prague (six 

sicut Joannes velocius cucurrit Petro, twelfth to fourteenth centuries) 

atque item alii quidam in personis Rouen (two, thirteenth and fifteentl 

angelorum qui Christum resurrexisse centuries), Mont St-Michel (four 

dixerunt a mortuis. Quo quidem teenth century ),Coutances( fifteen tl 

facto personae eae redeunt ad cho- century), Fleury (Orleans MS. 178 

rum, referuntque ea quae viderint thirteenth century) ; all printed b; 

et audierint. Tune chorus, audita Lange, 136 sqq. Gaste', 58, 63, als< 

Christ! resurrectione, prorumpit in gives the Rouen and Coutance 

altam vocem, inquiens, Te Deum versions, the latter more fully tha 

laudamus? It is to be observed that Lange. Meyer, 80, discusses th 

Belethus knows no Depositio and interrelations of the texts. 
Elevatio. After the Adoratio^ he 


Magdalen remains behind the other Maries at the sepulchre. 
The Christ appears ; she takes him for the gardener, and he 
reveals himself with the Noli me tangere. Mary returns with 
the new wonder to the choir. This is the simplest version of 
the new episode. It occurs in a play of which the text is 
purely liturgical, and does not even include the Victimae 
paschali. A somewhat longer one is found in a Fleury play, 
which is in other respects highly elaborate and metrical, 
Here the Christ appears twice, first disguised in similitudinem 
hortolani^ afterwards in similit^inem domini with the labarum 
or resurrection banner. The remaining versions do not depart 
widely from these two types, except that at Rouen and Mont 
St-Michel, the Christ scene takes place, not at the sepulchre 
but at the altar, and at Cividale in a spot described as the 
ortus Christi 1 . 

The formal classification, then, of the versions of the Quern 
quaeritis, gives three types. In the first, the scenes between 
the Maries and the angel, and between the Maries and the 
choir, are alone present ; in the second the apostle scene is 
added to these ; the third, of which there are only fifteen 
known examples, is distinguished by the presence of the 
Christ scene. In any one of these types, the Victimae paschali 
and other proses and hymns may or may not be found 2 . And 
it must now be added that it is on the presence of these that 
the greater or less development of lyric feeling, as distinct 
from dramatic action, in the play depends. The metrical 
hymns in particular, when they are not merely choral overtures, 
are often of the nature of planctus or laments put in the 
mouths of the Maries as they approach the sepulchre or at 
some other appropriate moment. These planctus add greatly 
to the vividness and humanity of the play, and are thus an 
important step in the dramatic evolution. The use of them 

1 Lange, 138. In this text the the apparition 'in sinistro cprnu 

Maries have a locus suus. The altaris,' for at Easter, 1570, divine 

MS. i$ a Processional^ and it may service was performed in a * paradis 

be that the play was given not in dresse* avec la plus grande solennite 

the church, but in the open square, dans la chapelle Notre- Dame, der- 

as was the Annunciation play in the riere le chceur ' (Gaste*, 58). 

same MS. (Coussemaker, 284; cf. * These are of course the 'versus* 

p. 67). It is none the less litur- spoken of with tolerance in the 

gical. Rouen had probably an passage just quoted from Duran- 

6 ortus Christi ' out of which came dus. 


may be illustrated by that of the hymn Heu I plus pastor 
occiditur in the Dublin version found by Mr. Frere and printed, 
after a different text from his, in an appendix \ This play has 
not the Christ scene, and belongs, therefore, to the second type 
of Quern guaeritis,but, in other respects, including \hsplanctus, 
it closely resembles the Fleury version described above. 
Another planctus, found in plays of the third type from 
Engelberg, Nuremberg, Einsiedeln, and Cividale, is the Heu 
nobis ! internets mentes 2 ; a third, the Heu ! miser ae cur contigit> 
seems to have been interpolated in the Heu f pius pastor at 
Dublin ; a fourth, the Omnipotent pater altissime> with a refrain 
Heu quantus est dolor noster f is found at places so far apart 
as Narbonne and Prague 3 : and a fifth, Heu dolor > keu quam 
dira doloris angustia I is also in the Fleury text 4 . 

Another advance towards drama is made in four Prague 
versions of the third type by the introduction of an episode 
for which there is no Scriptural basis at all. On their way to 
the sepulchre, the Maries stop and buy the necessary spices 
of a spice-merchant or unguentarius. In three thirteenth- 
century texts the unguentarius is merely a persona muta ; in 
one of the fourteenth he is given four lines 5 . The unguentarius 
was destined to become a very popular character, and to afford 
much comic relief in the vernacular religious drama of 
Germany. Nor can it be quite confidently said that his 
appearance in these comparatively late liturgical plays is a 
natural development and not merely an instance of reaction 
by the vernacular stage. 

1 Appendix R. The Heu / pius Ungentarius : 
fas for occiditur does not seem to *dabo vpbis ungenta optima, 

nave been found outside the Fleury salvatoris ungere vulnera, 

and Dublin plays (Chevalier, Re- sepulturae eius ad memoriam 

pert. Hymn. n. 7741). et nomen eius ad gloriam.' 

8 Lange, 136, 141 ; Milchsack, The earlier texts have * aromata . . . 

35. 66. memori,' preceded by ' Mariae can- 

* Lange, 64, 74. tantes " aromata " procedant ad 

4 Ibid. 162. unguentarium pro accipiendis un- 

6 Ibid. 151. The fourteenth- gentis' and followed by 'quibus 

century text runs : acceptis accedant ad sepulchrum. 1 

Tres Mariae; Meyer, 58, 91, 106, calls this scene, 

' aromata preciosa querimus, in which he finds the first introduc- 

Christi corpus ungere volumus, tion of non-liturgical verse, the 

holocausta sunt odorifera Zehnsilber spiel , and studies it at 

sepulturae Christi memori.' great length. 



The scenic effect of the Quern quaeritis can be to some 
extent gathered from the rubrics,although these are often absent 
and often not very explicit, being content with a general 
direction for the performers to be arrayed in similitudinem 
mulierum or angelorum or apostolorum, as the case may be. 
The setting was obviously simple, and few properties or 
costumes beyond what the vestments and ornaments of the 
church could supply were used. The Maries had their heads 
veiled \ and wore surplices, copes, chasubles, dalmatics, albs, or 
the like. These were either white or coloured. At Fecamp 
one, presumably the Magdalen, was in red, the other two in 
white 2 . The thuribles which, as already pointed out, they 
carried, were sometimes replaced by boxes or vases represent- 
ing the ointment and spices 3 . Sometimes also they carried, 
or had carried before them, candles. Two or three rubrics 
direct them to go pedetemptim, as sad or searching *. They 
were generally three in number, occasionally two, or one only. 
The angels, or angel, as the case might be, sat within the 
sepulchre or at its door. They, too, had vestments, generally 
white, and veiled or crowned heads. At Narbonne, and 
probably elsewhere, they had wings 5 . They held lights, 
a palm, or an ear of corn, symbolizing the Resurrection 6 . The 
apostles are rarely described ; the ordinary priestly robes 
doubtless sufficed. At Dublin, St. John, in white, held a palm, 
and St. Peter, in red, the keys 7 . In the earliest Prague version 
of the Christ scene, the Christ seems to be represented by one 
of the angels 8 . At Nuremberg the dominica persona has 
a crown and bare feet 9 . At Rouen he holds a cross, and 

1 Lange, 24, 51, 64 'coopertis mam manu tenens, in capite fanu- 
capitibus' (Tours, fifteenth century), lumlargumhabens'(Toul, thirteenth 
' capita humeralibus velata ' (Rhei- century), ' tenens spicam in manu ' 
nauVamictibus in capitibus eorum ' ( Rouen, fifteenth century), * tenens 
(Narbonne, 1 1400). palmam in manu et habens coronam 

2 Lange, 36 (fourteenth century), in capite' (Mont St-Michel, four- 

8 Ibid. 27, 36, 53, 64, &c. ; Ap- teenth century), ' vestitus alba 
pendix R. deaurata, mitra tectus caput etsi 

4 Lange, 51, 160; cf. Cone. Re- deinfulatus, palmam in sinistra, 

gularis (Appendix O). ramum candelarum plenum tenens 

Lange, 04 'induti albis et amict- in manu dextra ' (Fleury, thirteenth 

ibus cum stolis violatis et sindone century), 

rubea in facie eorum et alls in 7 Appendix R. 

humeris ' (Narbonne, 1 1400). * Lange, 147. 

9 Lange, 40, 155, 158, 162 'pal- ' Ibid. 143 'quae sit vestita 


though there is a double appearance, there is no hint of any 
change of costume l . But at Coutances and Fleuiy the first 
appearance is as hortulanus, indicated perhaps by a spade, 
which is exchanged on the second for the cross a . 

It must be borne in mind that the Quern quaeritis remained 
imperfectly detached from the liturgy, out of which it arose. 
The performers were priests, or nuns, and choir-boys. The 
play was always chanted, not spoken 8 . It was not even com- 
pletely resolved into dialogue. In many quite late versions 
narrative anthems giving the gist of each scene are retained, 
and are sung either by the principal actors or by the choir, 
which thus, as in the hymns or proses which occur as over- 
tures 4 , holds a position distinct from the part which it takes 
as representing the disciples 5 . Finally the whole performance 
ends in most cases with the Te Deum laudamus, and thus 
becomes a constituent part of Matins, which normally comes 
to a close with that hymn. The intervention of the congrega- 
tion, with its Easter hymn Christ ist erstanden, seems to lie 
outside the main period of the evolution of the Quern quaeritis. 
I only find one example so early as the thirteenth century 

dalmatica casulamque complicatam perhaps throw light on the relation 

super humeros habeat ; coronamque of the versions to each other. I am 

capiti superimpositam, nudis pedi- sorry that it is beyond my powers': 

bus.' moreover Lange does not give the 

1 Lange, 156 'albatus cum stola, notation ; Coussemaker gives it for 

tenens crucem.' half a dozen versions. 

* Ibid. 159, 164 c in habitu 4 For such overtures cf. Lange, 

ortplani ... redeat, indutus capa 36,62,64; Milchsack, 37, 38,40. On 

serica vel pallio serico, tenens era- the doubtful use of the Gloriosi et 

cem ' (Coutances) ; * praeparatus in famosi at Einsiedeln, cf. p. 4. 

similitudinem hortolani ... is, 6 In the Prague versions (Lange, 

qui ante fuit hortulanus, in simili- 151). The choir, or rather 'con- 

tudinem domini veniat, dalmati- ventus/ introduces the scenes with 

catus Candida dalmatica, Candida the three following anthems: (i) 

infula infulatus, phylacteria pretiosa ' Maria Magdalen a et alia Maria 

in capite, crucem cum labaro in ferebant diluculo aromata, dominum 

dextra, textum auro paratorium in querentes in monumento, 7 (ii)' Maria 

sinistra habens' (Fleury). The stabat ad monumentum foris 

labarum is the banner of Constan- plorans ; dum ergo fleret, inclinavit 

tine with the Chi-Ro monogram se et prospexit in monumentum,* 

(cf. Gibbon-Bury, if. 567) : but the (iii) * Currebant duo simul et ille 

banner usually attached to the cross alius discipulus praecucurrit cicius 

in mediaeval pictures of the Resur- petro et venit prior ad monumen- 

rection itself bears simply a large turn.' 

cross ; cf. Pearson, ii. 310. 4 Lange, 146 (Nuremberg) ; for 

9 A study of the music might later examples cf. Lange, 99 sqq. 

D 3 


It is in quite late texts also that certain otfrer Easter motives 
have become attached to the play. The commonest of these 
are the whispered greeting of Surrexit Ckristus and the kiss 
of peace, which have been noted elsewhere as preceding 
Matins 1 . At Eichstadt, in 1560, is an amusing direction, 
which Mr. Collins would have thought very proper, that the 
pax is to be given to the dominus terrae, si ibi fuerit> before 
the priest The same manuscript shows a curious combina- 
tion of the Quern guaeritis with the irrepressible Tottite portas 
ceremony 2 . Another such is found at Venice 8 . But this is 
as late as the eighteenth century, to which also belongs the 
practice at Angers described by De Moleon, according to 
which the Maries took up from the sepulchre with the linteum 
two large Easter eggs deux ceufs d'autruche 4 . 

Besides the Quern quaeritis, Easter week had another 
liturgical drama in the Peregrini or Peregrinus*. This 
was established by the twelfth century. It was regularly 
played at Lichfield 6 , but no text is extant from England, 
except a late transitional one, written partly in the ver- 
nacular 7 . France affords four texts, from Saintes 8 , Rouen 9 , 

The hymn generally comes just 6 Lichfield Statutes of Hugh de 
before the Te Denm. A fourteenth- Nonant, 1 188-98 (Lincoln Statutes^ 
century Bohemian version from ii. 15, 23) 'Item in nocte Natalis 
Prague (Lange, 131) has a similar representacio pastorum fieri con- 
Bohemian hymn * Buoh wssemoh- suevit et in diluculp Pasche repre- 
uczy.' At Bambergin 1597 'potest sentacio Resurreccionis domimcae 
chorus populo iterum praecjnere et representacio peregrinorum die 
cantilenas pascales Germanicas ' lune in septimana Pasche sicut in 
(Lange, 95). At Rheinau in 1573 libris super hijs ac alijs compositis 
it is suggested that the Quern quae- continetur . . . De officio succentoris 
ritis itself may as an alternative be . . . et providere debet quod repre- 
sung in German (Lange, 68) ( hisce sentacio pastorum in nocte Natalis 
aut German icis versibus cantatis.' domini et miraculorum in nocte 
At Aquileja in 1495 * Populus Pasche et die lune in Pascha con- 

?cole des 

Ymnum suum : Te Deum ' (Lange, *Chartes, xxxiv. 314, from B. N. Lot. 

67). t 16,309 (thirteenth-century Saintes 

1 Lange, *39, 119, 122, 124; cf. Breviary), begins 'Quando fiunt 

Martene, iii. 171. Peregrini, non dicitur prosa, sed 

3 Lange, 41. peregrini deforis veniunt canendo 
* Z.f.d. A. xli. 77. ista* ; ends with Magnificat and 

4 Lange, 39. Oratio, l Deus qui sollempnitate 

5 Creizenach, i. 56; JullevilJe, i. paschali/ 

67. ' Text in Gastd, 65 ; Du M6ril, 


Beauvais \ and Fleury M . The play is also recorded at Lille 
In Germany it is represented by a recently-discovered frag- 
ment of the famous early thirteenth-century repertory of the 
scholar es vagantes from the Benedictbeuern monastery 4 . 
The simplest version is that of Saintes, in which the action 
is confined to the journey to Emmaus and the supper there. 
The Rouen play is on the same lines, but at the close the 
disciples are joined by St Mary Magdalen, and the Victimae 
paschali is sung. The Benedictbeuern play similarly ends 
with the introduction of the Virgin and two other Maries to 
greet the risen Christ. But here, and in the Beauvais and 
Fleury plays, a distinct scene is added, of which the subject is 
the incredulity of Thomas and the apparition to him. It 
is, I think, a reasonable conjecture that the Peregrini^ in 
which the risen Christ is a character, was not devised until 
he had already been introduced into the later versions of the 
Quern quaeritis. Indeed the Fleury Peregrini>vt\fa its double 
appearance and change of costume for Christ, seems clearly 
modelled on the Fleury Quern quaeritis. But the lesser play 
has its own proper and natural place in the Easter week 
services. It is attached to the Processio ad fontes which is 
a regular portion, during that season, of Vespers 5 . The Christ 
with the Resurrection cross is personated by the priest who 

1 1 7, from Rouen Ordtnarium (four- Orleans MS. 178 (thirteenth cen- 

teenth century), begins ' Officium tury), begins ' Ad faciendam simili- 

Peregrinorum debet hie fieri hoc tudinem dominicae apparitionis in 

modo ' ; ends ' Et processio, factis specie Peregrini, quae fit in tertia 

memoriis, redeat in choro et ibi feria Paschae ad Vesperas ' ; ends 

finiantur vesperae.' Gast, 68, * Salve, festa dies.' 

quotes an order of 1452 'Domini * E. Hautcceur, Documents litur* 

capitulantes concluserunt quod in giquesde Lille, $$,tomOrdinarium 

isfcs festis Paschae fiat misterium of thirteenth century, ' Feria ii. . . . 

representans resurrectionem Christ! in vesperis . . . post collectam fit 

et apparitionem eius suis discipulis, representatio perejpnorum. Qua 

eundo apud castrum de Emaux, facta cantatur Christus resurgens, 

amotis et cessantibus indecenciis.' et itur in chorum/ 

1 Text in G. Desjardins, Hist, de * W. Meyvr $ Fragmenta Burana, 

la Cath. de Beauvais (1865), 115, 131, with text and facsimile. The 

269, begins ' Ordo ad suscipiendum play begins ' Incipit exemplum 

peregnnum in secunda feria Paschae apparicionis domini discipulis suis 

ad vesperas ' ; ends with Oratio de (mxta) castellum Emaus, ubi illis 

Resurrectione. Meyer, 133, de- apparuit in more peregrin!,' &c 

scribes the MS. as of the first half * Use of Sarum> i. 157 ; Sarum 

of the twelfth century. Breviary \ i. dcccxxix. 

1 Text in Du Mfril, 120, from 


normally accompanies the procession cum cruce. At Rouen 
the play was a kind of dramatization of the procession itself 1 ; 
at Lille it seems to have had the same position ; at Saintes 
and Beauvais it preceded the Magnificat and Oratio or Collecta, 
after which the procession started. In the remaining cases 
there is no indication of the exact time for the Peregrini. 
The regular day for it appears to have been the Monday in 
Easter week, of the Gospel for which the journey to Emmaus 
is the subject ; but at Fleury it was on the Tuesday, when 
the Gospel subject is the incredulity of Thomas. At Saintes, 
a curious rubric directs the Christ during the supper at 
Emmaus to divide the * host' among the Peregrini. It seems 
possible that in this way a final disposal was found for the 
host which had previously figured in the Depositio and Elevatio 
of the sepulchre ceremony, 

A long play, probably of Norman origin and now preserved 
in a manuscript at Tours, represents a merging of the Elevatio >, 
the Quern quaeritis, and the Peregrini*. The beginning is 
imperfect, but it may be conjectured from a fragment belonging 
to Klosterneuburg in Germany, that only a few lines are 
lost 3 . Pilate sets a watch before the sepulchre. An angel 
sends lightning, and the soldiers fall as if dead 4 . Then come 
the Maries, with planctus. There is a scene with the un- 
guentarius or mercator^ much longer than that at Prague, 
followed by more planctus. After the Quern quaeritis, the 
soldiers announce the event to Pilate, A planctus by the 

1 The Peregrini start ' a vestiario also contains the * Ordo representa- 

. . . per dextram alam ecclesiae cionis Adae/ and is not native to 

usque ad portas occidentals, et Tours, cf, p. 71. 

subsistentes in capite processionis.' 8 Milchsack, 105 ; Creizenach, i, 

Then the Sacerdos, ' nudus pedes, 90. The beginning and end of the 

ferens crucem super dextrum Klosterneuburg play were printed 

humerum ' comes * per dextram from a thirteenth-century MS., now 

alam ecclesiae' to meet them, lost, by B. Fez, Thesaurus novus 

They lead him ' usque ad taberna- Anecd. ii, i. liii. It began * Prime 

culum, in piedio navis ecclesiae, in producaturPilatuscumresponsorio: 

similitudinem castelli Emaux prae- Ingressus Pilatusj and ended with 

paratum.' * Christ, der ist erstanden'; cf. 

1 Text in Milchsack, 97 ; Cousse- Meyer, 126. 

maker, 21, from Tours MS. 927 4 ' Modo veniat angelus et iniciat 

(twelfth or thirteenth century) ; cf. eis fulgura ; milites cadunt in ter- 

Creizenach, i. 88 ; Julleville, i. 62 ; ram velut mortui.' 
Meyer, 95 ; and on the MS. which 


Magdalen leads up to the apparition to her. The Maries 
return to the disciples. Christ appears to the disciples, then 
to Thomas, and the Victimae paschali and Te Deum conclude 
the performance. A fragment of a very similar play, breaking 
off before the Quern quaeritis, belongs to the Benedictbeuern 
manuscript already mentioned l . 

It is clear from the rubrics that the Tours play, long as 
it is, was still acted in church, and probably, as the Te Deum 
suggests, at the Easter Matins f . Certainly this waa the case 
with the Benedictbeuern play. In a sense, these plays only 
mark a further stage in the process of elaboration by which 
the fuller versions of the Quern quaeritis proper came into 
being. But the introduction at the beginning and end of 
motives outside the events of the Easter morning itself points 
to possibilities of expansion which were presently realized, 
and which ultimately transformed the whole character of the 
liturgical drama. All the plays, however, which have so far 
been mentioned, are strictly plays of the Resurrection. Their 
action begins after the Burial of Christ, and does not stretch 
back into the events of the Passion. Nor indeed can the 
liturgical drama proper be shown to have advanced beyond 
a very rudimentary representation of the Passion. This began 
with the planctus, akin to those of the Quern quaeritis, which 
express the sorrows of the Virgin and the Maries and St. John 
around the cross 8 . Such planctus exist both in Latin and 

1 Meyer, 97, 125, with text and crum praedicti milites, procidant 

facsimile, ' Incipit ludus immo ex- quasi mortui, nee surgant donee 

einplum Dominice resurrection is.' incipiatur Te Deum , . . . &c. J There 

The episode of the Resurrection is no actual appearance of the 

with the dismay of the soldiers is Rising Christ in any of these three 

found not only in the Tours and plays as originally written. But a 

Benedictbeuern MS., but also in the later hand has inserted in the Bene- 

simpler Coutances Quern quaeritis. dictbeuern MS. directions for the 

Lange, 157, omits this passage, but Christ to appear, discourse with the 

Gastl, 63, gives it; 'Si Mariae angels, and put on the 'vestem 

debeant representarig finito respon- ortulani. 1 

sorio quatuor cleria armati acce- * Creizenach thinks the play (like 

dentes ad sepukrum Domini pannis Adam) was outside the church, 

sericis decenter ornatum et secum because the Maries appear ' ante 

dicant personagia sua. Quo facto, ostium ecclesiae.' But 'ante 9 may 

duo pueri induti roquetis veniant be inside. Mary Magdalen at one 

ad monumentum ferentes duas point is ' in sinistra parte ecclesiae 

virgas decorticatas in quibus sunt stans,' and most of the action is 

decem candelae ardentes ; et statim round the sepulchrum. 

cum appropinquaverint ad sepul- * E. Wechssler, Die romani* 



the vernacular. The earliest are of the twelfth century. 
Several of them are in dialogue, in which Christ himself 
occasionally takes part, and they appear to have been sung 
in church after Matins on Good Friday *. The planctus must 
be regarded as the starting-point of a drama of the Passion, 
which presently established itself beside the drama of the 
Resurrection. This process was mainly outside the churches, 
but an early and perhaps still liturgical stage of it is to be 
seen in the Itidus breviter de passione which precedes the 
elaborated Quern quaeritis of the Benedictbeuern manuscript, 
and was probably treated as a sort of prologue to it. The 
action extends from the preparation for the Last Supper to 
the Burial. It is mainly in dumb-show, and the slight 
dialogue introduced is wholly out of the Vulgate. But at 
one point occurs the rubric Maria planctum faciat quantum 
melius potesty and a later hand has inserted out of its place in 
the text the most famous of all the laments of the Virgin, the 
Planctus ante nescia 2 . 

schen Marienklagen (1893) ; A. 
Schonbach, Die Marienklagen 
(1873) ; cf. Creizenach, i. 241 ; 
Julleville, i. 58 ; Sepet, 23 ; Milch- 
sack, 92 ; Coussemaker, 285, 346 ; 
Meyer, 67 ; Pearson, ii. 384. 

1 A planctus ascribed to Bona- 
ventura (thirteenth century) has the 
titles * Officium de compassione 
Mariae' (Wechssler, 14), and 
' Officium sanctae crucis' ( 
ffccoledes Chartes^ xxxiv. 315). An- 
other, the 'Surgit Christus cum 
trophaeo,' is headed in thirteenth- 
ana fourteenth - century MSS. 
' Sequentia devota antiquorum no- 
strorum de resurrectionis argu- 
mentis. Sanctarum virginum 
Mariae ac Mariae Magdalene de 
compassione mortis Christi per 
modum dyalogi sequential The 
chorus begins, and ' tres bene voci- 
ferati schol&res respondent' (text 
in Milchsack, 92 ; cf. Wechssler, 
14). A third, ' 6 fratres et sorores,' 
is headed 'Hie incipit planctus 
Mariae et aliorum in die Parasceves* 
(text from fourteenth-century Civi- 
dale MS. in Coussemaker, 285 ; 
Julleville, i. 58 ; cf. Wechssler, 17). 

Ducange, s. v. Planctus, quotes a 
(thirteenth-century)Toulouse rubric, 
' planctum beatissimae Virginis 
Mariae, qui dicitur a duobus 
puerulis post Matutinum et debent 
esse monachi, si possunt reperiri 
ad hoc apti.' This planctus was 
sung from the * cathedra praedica- 
torii.' On the use of vernacular 
Italian planctus by the laudesi in 
churches through Lent, cf. Wechs- 
sler, 30. The vernacular German 
'ludus passionis* printed by O. 
Schonemann, Der Sundenfall und 
Marienklage (1855), 129, from a 
Wolfenbiittel fifteenth- century, MS., 
seems to have still been meant for 
liturgical use, as it has the rubric 
'debet cantari post crux fidelis et 
sic finiri usque ad vesperam lamen- 
tabiliter cum caeteris sicut con- 
suetum est fieri.' It incorporates 
the Depositio. 

122, with text and facsimile. The 
piece ends 'et ita inchoatur ludus 
de resurrectione. Pontifices : O 
domine recte meminimusj which 
is the opening of the Easter play 
already ? ^ 


THE * Twelve days ' of the Christmas season are no less 
important than Easter itself in the evolution of the liturgical 
drama. I have mentioned in the last chapter a Christmas 
trope which is evidently based upon the older Easter dialogue. 
Instead of Quern quaeritis in sepulchre, o Christicolae ? it 
begins Quern quaeritis in praesepe, pas tores, dicitef It occurs 
in eleventh- and twelfth -century tropers from St. Gall, 
Limoges, St. Magloire, and Nevers. Originally it was an 
Introit trope for the third or c great ' Mass. In a fifteenth- 
century breviary from Clermont-Ferrand it has been trans- 
ferred to Matins, where it follows the Te Deum ; and this is 
precisely the place in the Christmas services occupied, at 
Rouen, by a liturgical drama known as the Ojficium Pastorum^ 
which appears to have grown out of the Quem quaeritis in 
praesepe ? by a process analogous to that by which the Easter 
drama grew out of the Quem quaeritis in sepulchro l ? A 
praesepe or c crib/ covered by a curtain, was made ready 
behind the altar, and in it was placed an image of the Virgin. 
After the Te Deum five canons or vicars, representing the 
shepherds, approached the great west door of the choir. 
A boy in similitttdinem angeli perched in excelso sang them 
the * good tidings/ and a number of others in voltis ecclesiae 
took up the Gloria in excelsis. The shepherds, singing a hymn, 
advanced to the praesepe. Here they were met with the 
Quem quaeritis by two priests quasi obstetrices*. The dia- 

1 Printed by Du M&U, 147; 904); it is also in B. N. Lat. 1213 

Gastl, 25 ; Davidson, 173, from (fifteenth century) and Bibl. Maza- 

Rouen Ordinaria (Rouen MSS. rin. 216 (Du M&il, 148). 

Y. 108 of fifteenth century, Y. 1 10 * The * obstetrices ' figure in the 

of fourteenth century); Cousse- ProtevangeliumIacobi,Mi.i%$<y\. 
maker, 235, with notation, from 
Rouen Gradual (Bibl. Nat. Lat. 


logue of the trope, expanded by another hymn during which 
the shepherds adore, follows, and so the drama ends. But the 
shepherds 'rule the choir' throughout the Missa in Gallicantu 
immediately afterwards, and at Lauds, the anthem for which 
much resembles the Quern quaeritis itself 1 . The misterium 
pastorum was still performed at Rouen in the middle of the 
fifteenth century, and at this date the shepherds, cessantibus 
stultitiis et insolenciis> so far as this could be ensured by the 
chapter, took the whole ' service ' of the day, just as did the 
deacons, priests, and choir-boys during the triduum 2 . 

If the central point of the Quern quaeritis is the sepukhrum^ 
that of the Pastores is the praesepe. In either case the drama, 
properly so called, is an addition, and by no means an invari- 
able one, to the symbolical ceremony. The Pastores may, in 
fact, be described, although the term does not occur in the 
documents, as a Visitatio praesepis. The history of the 
praesepe can be more definitely stated than that of the sepul- 
chrum. It is by no means extinct. The Christmas c crib ' or 
crhhe, a more or less realistic representation of the Nativity, 
with a Christ-child in the manger, a Joseph and Mary, and 
very often an ox and an ass, is a common feature in all 
Catholic countries at Christmas time 3 . At Rome, in par- 
ticular, the esposizione del santo bambino takes place with 
great ceremony 4 . A tradition ascribes the first presepio 
known in Italy to St. Francis, who is said to have invented it 
at Greccio in 1233*. But this is a mistake. The custom is 

gelium, ch. 13 (Tischendorf, 77). &c. Et ipsi responderunt : Natum 

In the latter they are named Salome vidimus' 

and Zelomi. * Gast, 33. 

1 Gastg, 31 ' Archiepiscopus, * Tille,Z>. ^.309; Pollard, xiii ; 

vel alias sacerdos versus ad Pasto- Durandus-Barth&emy, iii. 411 ; 

res dicat: Quern vidistis, pastores > E. Martinengo-Cesaresco, Puer 

dicitej annunciate nobis in terris Parvulus in Contemporary Review > 

quis apparuit. Pastores respon- Ixxvii (1900), 117; W.H.D. Rouse, 

deant : Natum vidimus et choros in F. L. v. 6 ; J. Feller, Le Beth- 

aneelorum collaudantes Dominum. Mem Vervittois, 10. I find a modern 

Alleluia, alleluia^ et totam anti- English example described in a 

phonam finiant': cf. Meyer, 39; letterof 1878 written by Mr.Coventry 

Sarum Breviary, clxxxviii ; Mar- Pat more's son Henry from a Catholic 

tene, iil 36; Durandus, yi. 13, 16 school at \3sh&9t(Li/eofC.Patmore 9 

'inlaudibus matutinis quasi choream i. 308). 

ducimus, unde in prima antiphona 4 Malleson-Tuker, ii. 212. 

dicimus ; Quern wdistis, pastores t 5 P. Sabatier, Life of St. Francis 


many centuries older than St. Francis. Its Roman home 
is the church of S. Maria Maggiore or Ad Praescpe, otherwise 
called the 'basilica of Liberius.' Here there was in the 
eighth century a permanent praesepe *, probably built in imi- 
tation of one which had long existed at Bethlehem, and to 
which an allusion is traced in the writings of Origen 2 . The 
praesepe of S. Maria Maggiore was in the right aisle. When 
the Sistine chapel was built in 1585-90 it was moved to the 
crypt, where it may now be seen. This church became an 
important station for the Papal services at Christmas. The 
Pope celebrated Mass here on the vigil, and remained until 
he had also celebrated the first Mass on Christmas morning. 
The bread was broken on the manger itself, which served as 
an altar. At S. Maria Maggiore, moreover, is an important 
relic, in some boards from the culla or cradle of Christ, which 
are exposed on thtpresepio during Christmas 3 . Thepresepio 
of S. Maria Maggiore became demonstrably the model for 
other similar chapels in Rome 4 , and doubtless for the more 
temporary structures throughout Italy and western Europe 
in general. 

In the present state of our knowledge it is a little difficult 
to be precise as to the range or date of the Pastores. The 
only full mediaeval Latin text, other than that of Rouen, 
which has come to light, is also of Norman origin, and is still 
unprinted 6 . In the eighteenth century the play survived at 
Lisieux and Clermont 6 . The earliest Rouen manuscript is of 
the thirteenth century, and the absence of any reference to 

(Eng. transl.), 285, from Thomas 6 Gast, 33, citing Montpellier 

of Celano, Vita Prima, 84, and MS. H. 304. The play occurs, with 

Bonaventura, Vita^ 149 ; cf. D'An- an Offidum Stellae> in an anony- 

cona, i. 116. mous treatise De ratione divini 

1 Usener, L 280. It is called officiL The Amiens Ordinarium 
'oratorium sanctum quod praesepe of 1291 (Grenier, 389) gives direc- 
dicitur' (t73i-4i) and ' camera tions for a Pastores during the 
praesepii ' (1-844-7). procession after the communion at 

2 Origen, adv. Celsum> i. 51 ; cf. the midnight mass. In preparation 
Usener, i. 283, 287. lights were lit at \ht praesepe during 

8 Usener, i. 281; Tille, D. W. first vespers *dum canitur versus 

54; Malleson-Tuker, ii. 210. praesepe iamfulget tuum? At the 

4 Usener, i. 280. Gregory IV end of the first nocturn the figure 

(827-43) ' sanctum fecit praesepe of a child was placed there. At the 

ad similitudinem praesepii S. del first lesson of the second nocturn 

genetricis quae appellatur maior/ the cry of noel was raised, 

in S. Maria in Trastevere. Du M6il, 148. 


the Officium Pastorum by John of Avranches, who writes 
primarily of Rouen, and who does mention the Officium 
Stellae^ makes it probable that it was not there known about 
I070 1 . Its existence, however, in England in the twelfth century 
is shown by the Lichfield Statutes of 1 188-98, and on the whole 
it is not likely to have taken shape later than the eleventh. 
Very likely it never, as a self-contained play, acquired the 
vogue of the Quem quaeritis. As will be seen presently, it 
was overshadowed and absorbed by rivals. I find no trace 
of it in Germany, where thzpraesefe became a centre, less for 
liturgical drama, than for carols, dances, and ' crib-rocking V 

Still rarer than the Pastores is the drama, presumably 
belonging to Innocents' day, of Rachel. It is found in a 
primitive form, hardly more than a trope, in a Limoges 
manuscript of the eleventh century. Here it is called Lamen- 
tatio Rachel, and consists of a short planctus by Rachel her- 
self, and a shoit reply by a consoling angel. There is nothing 
to show what place it occupied in the services 8 . 

The fact is that both the Pastores and the Rachel were in 
many churches taken up into a third drama belonging to the 
Epiphany. This is variously known as the Tres Reges^ the 
Magi) HerodeSy and the Stella. It exists in a fair number of 
different but related forms. Like the Quem quaeritis and the 
Pastores, it had a material starting-point, in the shape of a 
star, lit with candles, which hung from the roof of the church, 
and could sometimes be moved, by a simple mechanical 
device, from place to place*. As with the Quem quaeritis^ 

1 loannes Abrincensis, De officiis 153 'stellam pendentem in filo, 

ecclesiasticis (P. L. cxlvii. 41, 43). quae antecedit eos* (Limoges). The 

Neither Belethus nor Durandus churchwardens' accounts of St. 

mentions the Pastores. Nicholas, Yarmouth, from 1462-1512 

8 Cf. vol. i. p. 273. The prae- (Norfolk Archaeology^. 334), con- 

sepe is of course in the Stella, which tain payments for ' making a new 

is found at Strassburg, Bilsen, and star,' ' leading the star,' * a new balk 

Einsiedeln, but even this is more line to the star and ryving the same 

characteristic of France than of star. 9 Pearson, ii. 325, lays stress 

Germany. * on the prominence of the star in 

8 Text ed, C. Magnin (Journal the German vernacular mysteries. 

des Savants (1846), 93), frbm Bibl. J. T. Micklethwaite, Ornaments of 

Nat. Lot. 1139. the Rubric, 44, says that the ' star 1 

* Gastl, 50 ' Corona ante cru- was called a 'trendle' or 'rowell.' 

cem peadens in modura stellae Its use does not necessarily imply 

accendatur' (Rouen); Du M6ril, the presence of a drama. 


the development of the Stella must be studied without much 
reference to the relative age of the manuscripts in which it 
happens to be found. But it was probably complete by the 
end of the eleventh century, since manuscripts of that date 
contain the play in its latest forms *. 

The simplest version is from Limoges 2 . The three kings 
enter by the great door of the choir singing zprosula. They 
show their gifts, the royal gold, the divine incense, the myrrh 
for funeral. Then they see the star, and follow it to the high 
altar. Here they offer their gifts, each contained in a gilt 
cup, or some other locale pretiosum, after which a boy, repre- 
senting an angel, announces to them the birth of Christ, and 
they retire singing to the sacristy. The text of this version 
stands by itself: nearly all the others are derived from a 
common tradition, which is seen in its simplest form at 
Rouen 3 . In the Rouen Officium Stellae> the three kings, 
coming respectively from the east, north, and south of the 
church, meet before the altar. One of them points to the 
star with Jhis stick, and they sing : 

1 1. Stella fulgore nimio rutilat, 

2. Quae regem regum natum demonstrat 

3, Quern venturum olim prophetiae signaverant. 1 

1 The account of the Stella here Bibl. Nat. Lot. MS. 904 (thirteenth- 
given should be supplemented from century Gradual, with notation) ; 
Creizenach, i. 60 ; Koppen, 10. P. L. cxlvii. 135, from B.N. 904 and 
The latter studies the verbal rela- B.N.Lat. 12 13 (fifteenth-century Or- 
tion of the texts much more fully dinarium) ; cf. Gast, 3. The rubric 
than can be done here. Meyer, 38, begins ' Officium regum triumsecun- 
argues for their origin in an arche- dum usum Rothomagensem. Die 
type from Germany. There are epyphaniae, tercia cantata-' John 
doubtless many other texts yet of Avranches(t 1070) describing the 
unprinted. Ch. Magnin, Journal de Epiphany service, probably of 
f Instruction publique, Sept. 13, Rouen, says, after mentioning the 
1835, mentions such in Soleures, Evangelium genealogiae, which 
Fribourg, and Besangon Rituals. follows the ninth responsorium of 

* TextinDuMril,isi ; Martene, Matins, 'Deinde stellae officium 

Hi. 44, from Limoges Ordinarium incipiat ' (P. L. cxlvii. 43). Gast, 

of unspecified date. The version 53, quotes some Rouen chapter 

is partly metrical, and the action orders. In 1379 Peter Chopillard, 

took place ' cantato offertorio, ante- painter, was paid * pro pingendo 

quam cant ad offerendum. baculos quos portant Reges die 

8 Text in Gast, 49; Du Mril, Apparitionis.' In 1 507 the chapter 

153; Davidson, 176; from Rouen after 'matura deliberatio 9 ordered 

MS?i. 1 10 (fourteenth-century Ordi- the 'representatio trium Regum ' to 

narium)\ Coussemaker, 242, from beheld. In 1521 they suppressed it 


They kiss each other and sing an anthem, which occurs also in 
the Limoges version : Eamus ergo et inquiramus eum t offe- 
rentes ei munera ; aurum thus et myrrham. A procession is 
now formed, and as it moves towards the nave, the choir chant 
narrative passages, describing the visit of the Magi to Jerusa- 
lem and their reception by Herod. Meanwhile a star is lit 
over the altar of the cross where an image of the Virgin has 
been placed- The Magi approach it, singing the passage 
which begins Ecce Stella in Oriente. They are met by two in 
dalmatics, who appear to be identical with the obstetrices of 
the Rouen Pas fores. A dialogue follows : 

'Qui sunt hi qui, Stella duce, nos adeuntes inaudita 

Magi respondeant : 

nos sumus, quos cernitis, reges Tharsis et Arabum et Saba, 
dona ferentes Christo, regi nato, Domino, quern, Stella dedu- 
cente, adorare venimus. 

Tune duo Dalmaticati aperientes cortinam dicant : 

ecce puer adest quern queritis, lam properate adorate, 
quia ipse est redemptio mundi. 

Tune procidentes Reges ad terram> simul salutent puerum> ita 
dieentes : 

salve, princeps saeculorum. 

Ttinc unus a suofamulo aurum accipiat et dicat : 

suscipe, rex, aurum. 

Et offerat. 

Secundus ita dicat et offerat: 

tolle thus, tu, vere Deus. 

Terdus ita dicat et offerat : 

mirram, signum sepulturae.' 

Then the congregation make their oblations. Meanwhile the 
Magi pray and fall asleep. In their sleep an angel warns 
them to return hpme another way. The procession returns 
up a side aisle to the choir; and the Mass, in which the Magi, 
like the shepherds on Christmas day, f rule the choir,' follows. 
In spite of the difference of text the incidents of the Rouen 
and Limoges versions, except for the angelic warning intro- 
duced at Rouen, are the same. There was a dramatic advance 


when the visit to Jerusalem, instead of being merely narrated 
by the choir, was inserted into the action. In the pky per- 
formed at Nevers *, Herod himself, destined in the fullness of 
time to become the protagonist of the Corpus Christi stage, 
makes his first appearance. There are two versions of the 
Nevers play. In the earlier the new scene is confined to 
a colloquy between Herod and the Magi : 

1 \MagiI\ Vidimus stellam eius in Oriente, et agnovimus 
regem regum esse natum. 

\Herodes^\ regem quern queritis natum Stella quo signo didi- 
cistis ? Si ilium regnare creditis, dicite nobis. 

[Magi.~\ illurrt natum esse didicimus in Oriente Stella mon- 

\HerodesI\ ite et de puero diligenter investigate, et inventum 
redeuntes mihi renuntiate.' 

The later version adds two further episodes. In one a 
nuntius announces the coming of the Magi, and is sent to 
fetch them before Herod : in the other Herpd sends his 
courtiers for the scribes, who find a prophecy of the birth of 
the Messiah in Bethlehem. Obviously the Herod scene 
gives point to the words at the end of the Rouen play, in 
which the angel bids the Magi to return home by a different 

At Comptegne the action closes with yet another scene, in 
which Herod learns that the Magi have escaped him 2 . 

' Nuncius. Delusus es domine, magi viam redierunt aliam. 
\Herodes. incendium meum ruina extinguam 8 .] 

1 Texts ed.L.Delisle, in Romania^ one, a free revision of the normal 

iv (1875), I. The earlier version is text, is headed: 

from Bibl. Nat. Lot. 9449 (tio6o, ' Sic speciem veteres stellac 

a Gradual, or, according to Gautier, struxere parentes, 

Les Tropes, 123, a Troper). The quatinus hos pueri versus 

text is headed 'Versus ad Stellam psallant duo regi.' 

faciendam.' The later is from ..* Text in K. A. M. Hartmann 

. N. Lot. 1235 (twelfth-century Uber das altspaniscke Dreikonig* 

Gradual). It is headed ' Ad spiel (Leipzig Diss. 1879), 43, from 

Commfunionem].* Of the first eleventh-century B. N. Lat. MS 

part, down to the end of the inter- 16,819. 

view with Herod, there are two * This line is not actually in the 

alternative forms in this MS. The Compigne text. But it is in most 


Armiger. decerne, domine, vindicari iram tuam, et stricto 
mucrone quaerere iube puerum, forte inter occisos occidetur 
et ipse. 

Herodes. indolis eximiae pueros fac ense perire. 

Angelus. sinite parvulos venire ad me, talium est enim 
regnum caelorum. 1 

In a Norman version which has the same incidents as the 
Compi&gne play, but in parts a different text, the armiger is the 
son of Herod, and the play ends with Herod taking a sword 
from a bystander and brandishing it in the air \ Already he 
is beginning to tear a passion to tatters in the manner that 
became traditionally connected with his name. Another 
peculiarity of this Norman version is that the Magi address 
Herod in an outlandish jargon, which seems to contain frag- 
ments of Hebrew and Arabic speech. 

The play of the Stella must now, perhaps, be considered, 
except so far as mere amplifications of the text are concerned, 
strictly complete. But another step was irresistibly suggested 
by the course it had taken. The massacre of the Innocents, 
although it lay outside the range of action in which the Magi 
themselves figured, could be-not merely threatened but actually 
represented. This was done at Laon 2 . The cruel suggestion 
of Archelaus is carried out. The Innocents come in singing 
and bearing a lamb. They are slain, and the play ends with 
a dialogue, like that of the distinct Limoges planctus> between 
the lamenting Rachel and an angelic consolatrix. 

The absorption of the motives proper to other feasts of the 
Twelve nights into the Epiphany play has clearly begun. 
A fresh series of examples shows a similar treatment of the 
Pastores. At Strassburg the Magi> as they leave Herod, meet 
the shepherds returning from Bethlehem : 

of the later versions of this scene, unfortunately not printed by Caste*, 

and is interesting, as being a classi- 53. It is from the De ratione divini 

cal tag from Sallust, Catilina y c. 32 ; officii in Montpellier MS. H. 304. 
cf. K6i>pen, ai; Creizenach, i. 63. f Text, headed *Ordo Stellae* 

Reminiscences of Aeneid, viii. 112; in U. Chevalier, Ordinaires de 

ix. 376, are sometimes put into ffgtise de Laon, xxxvi, 389 from 

Herod's mouth in the scene with Laon MS. 263 (thirteenth-century 

the Magi (Du Mtfril, 164, 166). Trophonarium). 
1 The version is described, but 


'Pastores, dicite, quidnam vidistis? 
infantem vidimus/ 

This, however, is not taken from the Pastores itself, but from 
the Christmas Lauds antiphon 1 . Its dramatic use may be 
compared with that of the Victimae paschali in the Quern 
quaeritis. In versions from Bilsen 2 near Li&ge and from 
Mans 3 , on the other hand, although the meeting of the Magi 
and the shepherds is retained, a complete Pastores p , with the 
angelic tidings and the adoration at the praesepe> forms 
the first part of the office, before the Magi are introduced 
at all. 

The Strassburg, Bilsen, and Mans plays have not the 
Rachel^ although the first two have the scene in which the 
nuntius informs Herod that the Magi have deceived him. 
A further stage is reached when, as at Freising and at 
Fleury, the Pastores \ Stella and Rachel all coalesce in a single, 
and by this time considerable, drama. The Freising texts, 
of which there are two, are rather puzzling 4 . The first closely 
resembles the plays of the group just described. It begins with 
a short Pastores, comprising the angelic tidings only. Then 
the scenes between the Magi and Herod are treated at great 
length. The meeting of the Magi and the shepherds is followed 
by the oblation, the angelic warning, and the return of the 

1 Text printed by Lange in Zeitsch. The 'rex 1 who presided and 
/. deutsch. Alterthutn, xxxii. 412, possibly acted Herod (cf. p. 56) 
from B. M. Add. MS. 23,922 (Anti- was, I suppose, an Epiphany king 
phoner of ft 200). The play was or ' rex fatuorum. 9 

' In octava Epiphaniae ' after the 8 Translation only in P. Piolin, 

Magnificat at Vespers. ThtAtre chretien dans le Maine 

2 Text in C.Cahier and A. Martin, (1891), 21. The exact source is 
Melanges d > ArMologie,i.(i%tf-<)), not given. 

258 ; Ctement, 113, from eleventh- * The first text in Du Merit, 156 ; 

century Evangeharium^ now in a Davidson, 174, from Munich MS. 

Bollandist monastery in Brussels 6264* (eleventh century). Appar- 

(Meyer, 41). It is a revision of the ently it begins with a bit of dumb 

normal text. The author has been show, ' Rex sedens in solio quaerat 

so industrious as even to put many consilium : exeat edictum ut pe- 

of the rubrics in hexameters. The reant continue qui detrahunt eius 

opening is jmperio.' Then comes * Angelus, 

' Ordo. Post Benedicdmus puero- in primis. 9 Second text, headed 

rum splendida coetus 'Ordp RachaehV in Du Me*ril, 171 ; 

ad regem pariter debent proten- Froning, 871, from Munich MS. 

deregressu, 6264 (eleventh century). It is 

praeclara voce necnon istic re- mainly metrical. 




messenger to Herod. In the second Freising text, which 
is almost wholly metrical, the Pastores is complete. It is 
followed by a quite new scene, the dream of Joseph and his 
flight into Egypt. Then come successively the scene of fury 
at court, the massacre, fazplancttis and consolation of Rachel, 
Clearly this second text, as it stands, is incomplete. The 
Magi are omitted, and the whole of the latter part of the 
play is consequently rendered meaningless. But it is the 
Magi who are alone treated fully in the first Freising text. 
I suggest, therefore, that the second text is intended to 
supplement and not to replace the first It really comprises 
two fragments : one a revision of the Pastores, the other a 
revision of the closing scene and an expansion of it by a Rachel. 

As to the Fleury version there can be no doubt whatever *. 
The matter is, indeed, arranged in two plays, a Herodes and 
an Interfectio Puerorum, each ending with a Te Deum ; and 
the performance may possibly have extended over two days. 
But the style is the same throughout and the episodes form 
one continuous action. It is impossible to regard the Inter- 
fectio Puerorum as a separate piece from the Herodes, acted 
a week earlier on the feast of the Innocents ; for into it, 
after the first entry of the children with their lamb, gaudentes 
per monasterium, come the flight into Egypt, the return of 
the nuntius, and the wrath of Herod, which, of course, pre- 
suppose the Magi scenes. Another new incident is added 
at the end of the Fleury play. Herod is deposed and Archelaus 
set up ; the Holy Family return from Egypt, and settle in the 
parts of Galilee 2 . 

I have attempted to arrange the dozen or so complete 
Epiphany plays known to scholars in at least the logical order of 
their development. There are also three fragments, which fit 
readily enough into the system. Two, from a Paris manuscript 
and from Einsiedeln, may be classed respectively with the 

1 Texts in Du.M^ril, 162,- 175; the name *Le Galilee,' given at 

Davidson, 175 ; Coussemaker, 143 ; Lincoln to a room over the south 

Wright, 32, from Orleans M S. 178, porch and also found elsewhere, 

The first part begins with the rubric may be * derived from some inci- 

* Para to Herode et ceteris per- dent in the half-dramatic Paschal 

sonis . . .'; the second with 'Ad ceremonies.' For another liturgical 

interfectionem Puerorum . . .' drama in which ' Galilee ' is re- 

1 Wordsworth, 147, suggests that quired as a scene, cf. p. 60. 


Compi&gne and Strassburg texts l . The third, from Vienne, is 
an independent version, in leonine hexameters, of the scene in 
which the Magi first sight the star, a theme common to ^11 the 
plays except that of Limoges 2 . I do not feel certain that this 
fragment is from a liturgical drama at all. 

The textual development of the Stella is closely parallel 
to that of the Quern quaeritis. The more primitive versions 
consist of antiphons and prose sentences based upon or in 
the manner of the Scriptures. The later ones, doubtless 
under the influence of wandering scholars, become increasingly 
metrical. The classical tags, from Sallust and Virgil, are 
an obvious note of the scholarly pen. With the exception 
of that from Limoges, all the texts appear to be derived by 
successive accretions and modifications from an archetype 
fairly represented at Rouen. The Bilsen text and the Vienne 
fragment have been freely rewritten, and the process of re- 
writing is well illustrated by the alternative versions found 
side by side in the later Nevers manuscript. With regard 
to the place occupied by the Stella in the Epiphany services, 
such manuscripts as give any indications at all seem to point 
to a considerable divergence of local use. At Limoges and 
Nevers, the play was of the nature of a trope to the Mass, 
inserted in the former case at the Offertorium, in the latter at 
the Communio 3 . At Rouen the Officium followed Tierce, and 
preceded the ordinary procession before Mass. At Fleury 
the use of the Te Deum suggests that it was at Matins ; at 
Strassburg it followed the Magnificat at Vespers, but on the 
octave of Epiphany, not Epiphany itself. Perhaps the second 
part of the Fleury play was also on the octave. At Bilsen 
the play followed the Benedicamus, but with this versicle 
nearly all the Hours end 4 . I do not, however, hesitate to 

1 B.N. Lat. 1152 (eleventh cen- Eoy.' The first three lines, headed 

\&ryY\KBibLdercoledesChartes, 'Stella/ are an address to the 

xxxiv. 657. Einsiedeln fragment * exotica plebs ' ; each of the re- 

(eleventh-twelfth century) printed maining ten lines is divided between 

by G. Morel in Pilger (1849), three speakers, * Aureolus,' * Thure- 

401 ; cf. Kdppen, 13. olus/ ' Myrrheolus.' 

* Text in Du Mril, 151, from s On the use of tropes at these 

Vienne MS. 941 (fourteenth cen- points in the Mass, cf. Frere, xix. 

tury). It is entitled ' Ad adorandum * Use ofSarum> i. 280. 
filium Dei per Stellam invitantur 



say that the Limoges use must have been the most primitive 
one. The kernel of the whole performance is a dramatized 
Offertorium. It was a custom for Christian kings to offer 
gold and frankincense and myrrh at the altar on Epiphany 
day 1 ; and I take the play to have served as a substitute 
for this ceremony, where no king actually regnant was 

There is yet one other liturgical play belonging to the 
Christmas season, which for the future development of the 
drama is the most important of all. This is the Prophetae *, 
It differs from the Quern quaeritis^ the Peregrini> the Pastores> 
and the Stella by the large number of performers required, 
and by the epical mode of its composition. Its origin, in 
fact, is to be sought in a narrative, a lectio, not a chant. The 
source was the pseudo-Augustinian Sermo contra ludaeos^ 
Paganos et Arianos de Symbolo, probably written in the sixth 
century, but ascribed throughout the Middle Ages to the 
great African 3 . A portion of this sermon was used in many 
churches as a lesson for some part or other of the Christmas 
offices 4 . The passage chosen is in a highly rhetorical vein. 
Vos, inquam, convenio, O ludaei cries the preacher, and calls 
upon the Jews to bear witness out of the mouths of their own 
prophets to the Christ. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Moses, 
David, Habakkuk, Simeon, Zacharias and Elisabeth, John 
the Baptist ; each in turn is bidden to speak, and each 
testimony is triumphantly quoted. Then : Ecce> convertimur 

1 Martene, Hi. 44 ; in England Sepet has exaggerated the impor- 
the royal offering is still made, by tance of the Prophetae in the de- 
proxy, at the Chrpel Royal, St. velopment of the O.T. dramatic 
James's (Ashton, 237). cycle. 

* I follow the epoch-making 8 Text in P.L* xlii. 1117 ; on the 

ttude of M. Sepet, Les Prophetes date cf. Weber, 41. The lectio is 

du Christ^ in BibL de rcole des printed by Sepet, xxviii. 3. 
Chartes, xxviii. (1867), i, 210, xxix. * At Aries it was the sixth lectio 

(1868), 205, 261, xxxviii. (1877), 397 at Matins on Christmas day (Sepet, 

(I am sorry not to be able to cite xxviii. 2) ; at Rome the fourth lesson 

the separate editibn printed at Paris, at Matins on Christmas eve (Mar* 

1878) ; cf. also Creizenach, i. 67 ; tene, iii. 31) ; at Rouen it was read 

Julie ville, Myst. i. 35 ; and, espe- at Matins two days earlier (Mar- 

cially, Weber, 41. But none of tene, iii. 34) ; in the 3 *arum Breviary \ 

these writers could make use of the i. cxxxv, it makes the fourth, fifth, 

Laon version discovered by M. and sixth lectiones at Matins 6n the 

Chevalier. Meyer, 53, suggests that fourth Sunday in Advent 


ad gentes. V\Tg\\poeta facundissimus is pressed into the 
service, for the famous line of his fourth eclogue : 

*iam nova progenies caelo demittitur alto 1 / 

Nebuchadnezzar, who saw four walking in the furnace, and 
finally the Erythraean Sibyl, whose acrostic verses on the 
'Signs of Judgement' first appear in the writings of Eusebius 2 . 
The dramatic form of this lectio possibly led to its being 
chanted instead of read, and distributed between several 
voices in the manner of the Passions from Palm Sunday to 
Good Friday 3 . At any rate in the eleventh century there 
appears in a Limoges manuscript a metrical adaptation in 
which it has been wholly converted into a dramatic dialogue 4 . 
This Limoges Prophetae follows the sermon pretty closely in 
its arrangement. A Precentor begins : 

'Omnes gentes congaudentes, dent cantum laetitiae! 
deus homo fit, de domo David, natus hodie/ 

He addresses a couplet each Ad ludaeos, Ad Gentes, and then 
calls in turn upon each of the prophets, who reply, Virgil 
pronouncing his line, the Sibyl the ludicii Signum, and the 
others a couplet or quatrain apiece. They are nearly identical 
with the personages of the sermon :- Israel is added, Zacharias 
disappears, and the order is slightly different. Finally the 
Precentor concludes : 

{ ludaea incredula, 
cur manens adhuc inverecunda?' 

Two later versions, belonging respectively to Laon 6 and to 

1 BucoL iv. 7. * Text in Du M&il, 179 ; Cousse- 

2 Eusebius, Orat.Const. maker, II ; Wright, 60; from Bibl. 
Sanctorum Coetum> c. 18 (P.G. xx. Nat. Lat. 1139 (eleventh or twelfth 
1288). On the ludicii Signum and century). Weber, 51, gives an in- 
the Dit des quinze Signes (Text in teresting account of the Prophetae 
Grass, Adamsspiel, 57) derived from in art, and points out that the play 
it, cf. Sepet, xxviii. 8 ; Du M&il, seems to have influenced such 
185. According to Martene, iii. 34, representations in Italy early in the 
the Versus Sibyllae were often sung eleventh century. 

at Matins on' Christmas day, ap- 5 Text in U. Chevalier, Ordt- 

parently apart from the sermo. Thus naires de FEglise de Laon, xxxvi, 

at Limoges they were sung after the 385, from Laon MS. 263 (thir- 

sixth responsorium. teenth century Trophonarium). It 

* Sepet, xxviii. 13 ; cf. p. 5. is headed * Ordo Prophetarum.' 


Rouen 1 , diverge far more from the model. They are at 
much the same stage of development. In both the play 
is ushered in with the hymn Gloriosi et famosi^ the verses 
of which are sung by the prophets, and the refrain by the 
choir 2 . The costumes and symbols of the prophets are 
carefully indicated in the rubrics. The Precentor of Limoges 
is represented by two singers, called at Laon> and 
at Rouen Vocatores. The dialogue is amplified beyond that 
of Limoges. Sex ludaei and sex Gentiles, for instance, take 
parts: and the Vocatores comment with the choir in an 
identical form of words on each prophecy. The Laon text 
is a good deal the shorter. The prophets are practically the 
same as at Limoges, with one remarkable exception. At 
the end is introduced Balaam, and to his prophecy is appended 
a miniature drama, with the angel and the ass : thus 

1 Hie veniat Angelus cum gladio. Balaam tangit asinam, et 
ilia non praecedente, dicit iratus : 

quid moraris, asina, 

obstinata bestia? 

iam scindent calcaria 

costas et praecordia. 
Puer sub asina responded: 

1 Text in Gast, 4, from Rouen * The Gloriosi et famosi hymn 

MS. Y. 1 10 (fourteenth-century occurs in a twelfth-century Einsie- 

Ordinarium). The opening is deln MS. (Milchsack, 36) as an 

'NoteyC&ntorisiFestumAstnorum overture to the Quern quaeritis. 

fiat, processio ordinetur post Ter- It is arranged for 'chorus' and 

ciam. Si non fiat Festum, tune ' Prophetae, and was therefore bor- 

fiat processio, ut nunc praenotatur. rowed from Christmas. Itisifollow- 

QrdoProcesstomsAsinorumszcun- ed by another hymn, more strictly 

dum Rothomagensem usum. Tercia &sz\u\)\.\itHortumpraedestinatio, 

cantata, paratis Prophetis iuxta and this, which is also used with 

suum ordinem, fornace in medio the Sens Quern quaeritis (Milch- 

navis ecclesiae lintheo et stuppis sack, 58), is sung at the end of the 

constituta, processio moveat de Rouen Profhetae by 'omnes pro- 

claustro, et duo clerici de secunda phetae $t mmistri [? vocatores] in 

sede, in cappis, processionem re- pulpito' a curious double borrowing 

gant, hos versus canentes : Gloriosi between the two feasts. Meyer, 5 1 , 

et famosi. . . . Ttihc processio in argues that the Einsiedeln MS., 

medio ecclesiae stet.' At the end which is in a fragmentary state, 

the * Prophetae et ministri ' rule contained a Prophetae> to which, 

the choir. Unfortunately the MS., and not to the Quern quaeritis , the 

like other Ordinaria y only gives the Gloriosi et famosi belonged, 
first words of many of the chants. 


angelus cum gladio, 
quern adstare video, 
prohibet ne transeam; 
timeo ne peream. 1 

The Rouen text adds quite a number of prophets. The full 
list includes Moses, Amos, Isaiah, Aaron, Jeremiah, Daniel, 
Habakkuk, Balaam, Samuel, David, Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, 
Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Ezekiel, 
Malachi, Zacharias, Elisabeth, John the Baptist, Simeon, 
Virgil, Nebuchadnezzar, and the Sibyl. In this version, also, 
the part of Balaam is expanded into a drama. 

'Duo missi a rege Balac dicant: 

Balaam, veni et fac. 

Tune Balaam^ ornatus^ sedens super asinam, habens calcaria, 
retineat lora et calcaribus percutiat asinam, et quidam iuvenis, 
habens alas, tenens gladitim, obstet asinae. Quidam sub asina 
dicat : 

cur me cum calcaribus miseram sic laeditis. 
Hoc die to, Angelus ei dicat : 

desine regis Balac praeceptum perficere. 1 

Here, too, another little drama is similarly introduced. This 
is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, which, with 
an imago for the brethren to refuse to worship and a fornax 
for them to be cast into, attaches itself to the vocatio of 

In the Limoges manuscript the Prophetae is followed by 
the words Hie inchoant Benedicamus l . As has been pointed 
out in the case of the Bilsen Pastores, this is not conclusive 
as to the hour at which the performance took place. The day 
was probably that of Christmas itself. But even the day would 
naturally vary with the variable position of the lectio out of 
which the Prophetae grew. At Lincoln it was likewise 
Christmas day. But at Rouen the processio asinorum was 
on Christmas eve, and took the place of the ordinary festal 
procession after Tierce and before Mass 2 . And at St. Martin 

1 Sepet, xxviii. 25. Puer natus est> which belongs to 

* So says Gast, 4. But I think the Afagna missa of the feast-day, 

he must be wrong, for the Jntroit and not to the eve. 

with which the text concludes is 


of Tours the Prophetae was on New Year's day, performances 
being given both at Matins and Vespers \ 

The question naturally suggests itself : What was the rela- 
tion of these liturgical plays of the Christmas season to the 
Feast of Fools and other ecclesiastical ludi of the Twelve 
nights, which were discussed in the first volume? At Rouen, 
the Prophetae received the name of processio asinorum and 
took place at a festum asinorum^ a name which we know to 
have been elsewhere synonymous with festum fatuorum. 
At Tours, it was played at a reformed festum novi anni^ 
with a Boy Bishop and at least traces of expelled disorder. 
So, too, with the other plays. The Rouen Pastores was 
infected by the fifteenth century with the stultitiae et inso- 
lentiae of the triduum. At Bilsen the Stella was performed 
before a rex, who can hardly have been any other than a rex 
fatuorum of Epiphany. At Autun the regnum Herodis was 
considered a Feast of Fools 2 . Probably in both churches the 
rex acted Herod in the play. I think it must be taken for 
granted that the plays are the older institution of the two. 
They seem all to have taken shape by the eleventh century, 
before there is any clear sign that the Kalends had made their 
way into the churches and become the Feast of Fools. The 
plays may even have been encouraged as a counter-attraction, 
for the congregation, to the Kalends outside. On the other 
hand, I do not hold, as some writers do, that the riotous 
Feasts of Asses were derived from the pious and instructive 
ceremony so called at Rouen 3 . On the contrary, Balaam and 
his ass are an interpolation in the Prophetae both at Rouen 

1 Martene, iii. 41, from a four- [responsorium ?] in pulpito 

teenth-century Rituale : ' dicto ver- Post [primam] recitatur miraculum 

siculo tertii nocturni, accenditur to- [Martene conjectures martyrolo- 

tum luminare, et veniunt Prophetae giunt\ in claustro . . . [Ad vesperas] 

in capitulo revestiti, et post cantant dictis psalmis et antiphpnis, ducunt 

insimul Lumen Patris, et clericus ad poftam Thesaurarii prophetas, 

solus dicit In gaudio, et post legitur sicut ad matutinum et reducunt in 

septima lectio. Post nonam lecti- chorum similiter, et habent clerici 

onem ducunt prophetas de capitulo virgas plenas candelis ardentibus, 

ad portam Thesaurarii cantilenas vocant eos clerici duo sicut ad ve- 

cantando, et post in chorum, ubi speras[? matutinum].' Presentlyfol- 

dicunt cantori prophetias, et duo lows the DeQosuit : cf. vol.i.p. 309. 

clericuli in pulpito cantando eos * Cf. vol. i. p. 313. 

appellant. Post dicitur nonum 3 Caste*, 20. 


and, more obviously, at Laon. Balaam, alone of the Laon 
performers, is not from the pseudo-Augustine sermon. Is he 
not, therefore, to be regarded as a reaction of the Feast of 
Fools upon the Prophetae, as an attempt to turn the estab- 
lished presence of the ass in the church to purposes of 
edification, rather than of ribaldry l ? I think the explanation 
is the more plausible one. And I find a parallel reaction of the 
turbulence of the Feast of Fools upon the Stella^ in the vio- 
lence of speech and gesture which permanently associated itself 
at a very early stage with the character of Herod. The view 
here taken will be confirmed, when we come to consider certain 
ecclesiastical criticisms passed upon the liturgical plays in the 
twelfth century. 

Whatever the exact relation of the divine and profane ludi 
at Easter and Christmas may be, it seems to have been, in the 
main, at these two great seasons of festivity that what may be 
called the spontaneous growth of drama out of liturgy took 
place. There are yet a fair number of Latin plays to be 
spoken of which are in a sense liturgical. That is to say, 
they were acted, certainly or probably, in churches and during 
intervals in the services. But of these such a spontaneous 
growth cannot be asserted, although it cannot also, in the 
present state of the evidence, be confidently denied. Their 
metrical and literary style is parallel to that of the Easter 
and Christmas plays in the latest stages of development ; and, 
until further data turn up, it is perhaps permissible to con- 
jecture that they were deliberately composed on the model of 
the Quern quaeritis and the Stella^ when these had become 
widespread and popular. Indeed, some such derivation of 
the Peregrini from the Quern quaeritis and of the Stella itself, 
at least in part, from the Pastores^ has already appeared 

In dealing with this new group of plays, we come, for the 
first and only time, upon an individual author. As might be 
expected, this author is a sckolaris vagan$> by name Hilarius, 

1 Sepet, xxviii. 219, suggests that Possibly, yet his introduction at the 

Balaam, when first introduced into end of the Laon play (unknown to 

the Prophetae, merely prophesied, Sepet) looks as if he were an appen- 

as he does in the Adam (Grass, 46). dix for the sake of his ass. 


It would even /be doing him no great injustice to call him 
a goliard. Wh^t little is known of Hilarius is gathered from 
his writings, which exist in a single manuscript. He may 
have been an Englishman, for a large proportion of his verses 
are addressed to English folk. He was a pupil, about 1125, 
of the famous Abelard at his oratory of Paraclete in a desert 
near Nogent-sur-Seine. Afterwards he made his way to 
Angers. Many of his verses are of the familiar goliardic 
type, amorous and jocund; but amongst them are three 
plays l . Two of these are comparatively short, and contain 
each a few stanzas of French interspersed amongst the Latin. 
The subject of one is a miracle wrought by St. Nicholas 2 ; 
of the other, the Suscitatio Lazari*. The third play, wholly 
in Latin, falls into two parts, and gives at considerable length 
the story of Daniel*. I take it that these plays were not 
written for any church in particular, but represent the repertory 
of a band of wandering clerks. At the end, both of the Daniel 
and of the Suscitatio Lazari, is a rubric or stage-direction, 
to the effect that, if the performance is given at Matins, the 
Te Deum should follow; if at Vespers, the Magnificat. 
Evidently the connexion with the church service, so organic 
in the plays of the more primitive type, has become for 
Hilarius almost accidental. As to the place of the plays 
in the calendar, the manuscript gives no indication, and 
probably Hilarius and his friends would be willing enough 
to act them whenever they got a chance. But the St. Nicholas 

1 Champollion * Figeac, Hilarii Quo finite, si factum fuerit ad 

Versus et Ludi (1838), from B. N. Matutinas, Lazarus in piat : Te 

Lat.MS.iiffii. The plays are also Deum laudamus: si vero ad Ve- 

printed by Du Mril, Or. Lot. On speras : Magnificat anima mea 

thelife cf. Hist. la France^**. Dominum? 

627; D. N. B. s.v. Hilary; Morley, * Du Me*ril, 241 'Historia de 

English Writers, Hi. 107. Daniel repraesentanda/ with a list 

1 Du M&ril, 272 * Ludus super of the 'personae necessariae' and 

iconia Sancti Nicolai.' There is a a final rubric as in the 'Suscitatio 

* persona iconic.' A Barbarus speaks Lazari': cf. Sepet, xxviii. 232, on 

partly in French. , this and similar plays and their 

9 Du Meril, 225 * Suscitatio relation to the Prophetae. From 

Lazari : ad quam istae personae the names * Hilarius/ ' lordanus/ 

sunt necessariae : Persona Lazari, * Simon/ attached to parts of the 

duarum Sororum, quatuor ludaeo- Daniel in the MS., it would seem 

rum, lesu Christi, duodecim Apo that Hilarius had collaborators for 

stolorum,vel sex ad minus . . . (ends), this play (Sepet, xxviii. 248). 


play would come most naturally on the day of that saint, 
December 6. The Suscitatio Lazari would be appropriate 
enough as an addition to the Quern quaeritis and fatPeregrini 
in Easter week. The story is told, indeed, in the Gospel for 
Friday in the fourth week in Lent ; but that does not seem 
a very likely date for a play. The Daniel perhaps grew, 
as we have seen a Balaam and a Nebuchadnezzar growing, 
out of a Prophetae\ and may have been a substitute for 
a Prophetae at Christmas. 

These dates are borne out, or not contradicted, by other 
similar plays, which have more of a local habitation. For no 
one of Hilarius* three stands quite alone. Of Latin plays of 
St. Nicholas, indeed, quite a little group exists ; and the great 
scholastic feast evidently afforded an occasion, less only than 
Easter and Christmas, for dramatic performances. The earliest 
texts are from Germany. Two are found in a Hildesheim 
manuscript of the eleventh century * ; a third in an Einsiedeln 
manuscript of the twelfth 2 . The thirteenth-century Fleury 
playbook contains no less than four, two of which appear 
to be more developed forms of the Hildesheim plays. The 
theme is in every case one of the miraculous deeds which 
so largely make up the widespread legend of the saint 8 , 
Nicholas restores to life the three clerks 

1 quos causa discendi literas 
apud gentes transmisit exteras,' 

and whom the greed of an innkeeper has slain 4 . He provides 
with a dowry the daughters of a poor gentleman, who are 
threatened with a life of shame 6 . He brings back from 
captivity the son of his wealthy adorer 6 . His image preserves 

1 E. Dummler, in Z.f. d. Alter- The play ends with the Te Deum. 

thum y xxxv. 401 ; xxxvi. 238, from The same subject is treated in the 

B. M. AddL MS. 22,414 (' Liber Einsiedeln play, and one of those 

Sancti Godehardi in Hild[esheim] '). from Hildesheim. 

On the group of Nicholas plays cf. 6 Du M&il, 254 ; Coussemaker, 

Creizenach, i. 105. 83. The play ends with the anthem 

s G. Morel, in Anzeiger fur ' O Christi pietas,' used at second 

Kunde der deutschen Vorzeit, vi. Vespers on St. Nicholas' day 

(1859), 207, from Einsiedeln MS. 34. (Sarum Breviary, iii. 38). The 

8 Golden Legend, ii. 109 ; same subject is treated in the other 

Wace, Vie de Saint-Nicolas (ed. Hildesheim play. 

Delius, 1850). ' Du M&il, 276 ; Coussemaker, 

* DuM&il,262; Coussemaker, 100. 123 ; begins ' Ad repraesentandum 


from housebreakers the riches of a Jew 1 . Alone of the extant 
Latin plays, these of St. Nicholas are drawn from outside the 
Biblical story. Each of the Fleury versions introduces at 
the end one of the anthems proper to St. Nicholas* day, and 
their connexion with the feast is therefore clear. 

A second Lazarus play, which includes not only the Susci- 
tatio but also the episode of Mary Magdalen in the house of 
Simon, is likewise in the Fleury playbook 2 . A second Daniel^ 
composed by the iuventus of Beauvais, occurs in the same 
manuscript which contains the Office of the Circumcision for 
that cathedral 3 . It was perhaps intended for performance on 
the day of the asinaria festa. Other plays seem, in the same 
way as the Daniel, to have budded off from the Prophetae. 
A fragment is preserved of an Isaac and Rebecca from Kloster 
Vorau in Styria 4 . A twelfth-century mention of an Elisaeus 6 
and an eleventh-century one of a Convivium Herodis 6 , which 
suggests rather the story of John the Baptist than that of the 
Magi) point to an activity in this direction of which all the 
traces have possibly not yet been discovered. 

quomodoSanctusNicolaus, &c. . . . ': As in the Beauvais Officium Circum- 

ends wjth anthem ' Copiosae carita- cisionis, there are many processional 

tis ' used at Lauds on St. Nicholas 1 chants or conductus, in one of which 

day (Sarum Breviary ', iii. 37). are the terms ' celebremus Natahs 

* Du Me*ril, 266 ; Coussemaker, solempnia ' and ' in hoc Natalitio ' 
109 ; begins ' Aliud miraculum de which attach the play to Christmas, 
Sancto Nicolao, &c. . . . ' : ends or at least the Christmas season, 
with anthem. ' Statuit ei Dominus/ The text begins ' Incipit Danielis 
not in Sarum Breviary , but used at ludus,' and ends with the Te Deum. 
Rome as Introit on feasts of Pontiffs. The following quatrain serves as 
This is the subject of Hilarius* prologue: 

play. ' Ad honorem tui, Christe, 

2 Text in DuM^ril, 213; Cousse- Danielis ludus iste 

maker, 220. The play contains a in Belvaco est inventus 

Paschal sequence and ends with a et invenit hunc iuventus.' 

Te Deum. Part of the action is in Meyer, 56, finds relations between 

2i4latea\ Simon hasa<&pi#.r, which the Beauvais Daniel and that of 

afterwards 'efficiatur quasi Beth- Hilarius. 

ania.' Other * loci ' represent 4 Text in Anzeigerfur Kunde d. 

'Jerusalem* and 'Galilaea 1 (cf. deutschen Vorzeit (1877), 169, from 

p. 50), and the 'Suscitatio* takes late twelfth-century MS. ; cf.Creizc- 

place at a 'monumentum' (probably nach, i. 74. 

the Easter sepulchre). * Cf. p. 99. 

* Text in Coussemaker, 49, and * Creizenach, i. 6, 71. The un- 
Danjou, Revue de la Musique religi- authentic Annales of Corvei men- 
euse, iv. (1848), 65. Cf. Sepet, xxviii. tion also a play on Joseph under the 
232, and on the MS., vol. i. p. 284. year 1264 (Creizenach, i. 75). 


Three plays, each more or less unique in character, complete 
the tale. The Fleury playbook has a Convtrsio Beati Pauli 
Apostoli^ doubtless designed for the feast on January 25 l . 
The shorter, but highly interesting collection from Limoges, 
has a play of the wise and foolish virgins, under the title of 
Sponsus 2 , This has attracted much attention from scholars, 
on account of the fact that it is partly in French, or more 
strictly in a dialect belonging to the Angoumois, and slightly 
affected by Prove^al. As it is therefore of the nature of 
a transitional form, it may be well to give a somewhat full 
account of it It opens with a Latin chorus beginning 

' Adest sponsus qui est Christus : vigilate, virgines I ' 

The angel Gabriel then addresses the virgins, and warns them 
in four French stanzas to expect ' un espos, Sauvaire a nom.' 
Each stanza has a refrain, probably sung chorally : 

1 gaire noi dormet : 
aici 's Tespos que vos or atendet I 

Then comes a lyric dialogue, in which the Fatuae^ who have 
wasted their oil, attempt in vain to get some, first from the 
Prtidentes, and then from somtMercatores> whose presence here 
recalls the unguentarius in the Prague versions of the Quern 
quaeritis*. This dialogue is in Latin, but with a French 
refrain : 

c dolentas, chaitivas, trop i avem (or avet) dormit' 

1 Text in Du M&il, 237 ; Cousse- 385. The manuscript is BibL Nat. 

maker, 210; begins 'Ad repraesen- Lat. 1139. MM. Cloetta (p. 221) 

tandam conversiohem beati Pauli and G. Paris ( au moyen 

apostoli, &c. . . . ' : ends with Te Age 2 , 237, 246) assign the Sponsus 

Deum. Four * sedes ' are required, to the earlier half or second third 

and a * lectus ' for Ananias. of the twelfth century, and the 

1 Latest text, with long introduc- former, with the delightful diffidence 

tion, mainly philological, by W. of a philologist, thinks, on linguistic 

Cloetta, in Romania, xxii. (1893), grounds, that it was written at 

177 ; others by Du Mril, 233 ; Saint Amant de Boixe (sixteen 

Coussemaker, i ; E. Boehmer, in kilometres north of Angoulme). 

Romanische Studien, iv. 99 ; K. It only remains for some archivist 

Bartsch, Lang, et Litt. fran^atses^ to find a clerk of St. Martial of 

13; cf. also Julleville, JLes Myst. i. Limoges whose native place was 

27 ; E. Stengel, Z.f. rom. Phil. iii. this very village. 
233 ; E. Schwan, Z.f. rom. Phil. xi. * Cf. p. 33. 
469 ; H. Morf, Z. f. rom. Phil. xx. 


Then comes the Sponsus, to whom the Fatuae finally appeal : 

' audi, sponse, voces plangentium : 
aperire fac nobis ostium 
cum sociis ad dulce prandium ; 
nostrae culpae praebe remedium ! 
dolentas, chaitivas, trop i avem dormit 


amen dico, vos ignosco, nam caretis lumine, 
quod qui perdunt procul pergunt huius aulae limine, 
alet, chaitivas, alet, malaureias ! 
a tot jors mais vos son penas livreias, 
e en efern ora seret meneias ! 
Modo accipiant eas daemones et praecipitentur in infernuw! 

This stage direction, together with an allusion in the opening 
lines of the Sponsus to the ' second Adam/ link this remark- 
able, and, I venture to think, finely conceived little piece to 
the Christmas play of Adam to be discussed in the next 
chapter. It has essentially an Advent theme, and must have 
been performed either in Advent itself or at the Christmas 
season, with which Advent is prophetically connected *. 

Finally, there is a play which was almost certainly performed 
at Advent 2 . This is the Tegernsee play of Antichristus 3 . It 
is founded upon the prophecy in St. Paul's second epistle to 
the Thessalonians of the homo peccati, filius perditionis, who 
shall sit in the temple of God until the Christ shall slay him 
with the breath of his mouth, and destroy him with the glory 
of his advent 4 : and it is an elaborate spectacle, requiring for 

1 H. Morf, loc. tit., considers the to do with Easter. The latest and 

Sponsus an Easter play. best edition is that by W. Meyer, in 

* Creizenach, i. 77. An Italian Sitsungsberichted. hist. -pkil. Class* 

dramatic Lauda on the same sub* d. kbnigL bayr. Akad\ d. Wiss. 

ject is headed 'In Dominica de (Munich), 1882, i. The unique 

Adventu ' (D'Ancona, i. 141). MS. is Munich MS. 19,41 1 (twelfth- 

8 Text in Froning, 206, from edi- thirteenth century), formerly in 

tion of Zezschwitz, Vom romischtn Kloster Tegernsee. Both Zezschwitz 

Kaisertum deutscher Nation (1877). and Meyer have long and valuable 

The earliest edition is by Fez, introductions ; cf. also Froning, 

Thesaurus Anecd. Noviss. (1721-9), 199; Creizenach, i. 78. T. Wright 

ii. 3, 187. This writer introduced prints the play from Fez, in Chester 

confusion by giving the play the P/qys, ii. 227. 

title Ludus paschalis de aaventu et 4 2 Thessalonians, ii. 3-12. Ac- 

interitu Antichristi. It has nothing cording to York Missal, i. 10, part 


its proper performance a large number of actors and a spacious 
stage, with a temple of God and seven royal sedes, together 
with room for much marching and counter-marching and 
warfare 1 . It must have taken up the whole nave of some 
great church. It begins with a procession of Emperor, Pope, 
and Kings, accompanied by personages emblematic of Gentili- 
tas, Sinagoga and Ecclesia with her attendants Misericordia 
and lustitia. The first part of the action represents the 
conquest of the four corners of Christendom by the Emperor 
and his championship of Jerusalem against the King of 
Babylon. Ecclesia^ Gentilitas, and Synagoga punctuate the 
performance with their characteristic chants. Then come the 
Hypocrites, sub silentio et specie humilitatis inclinantes circum- 
quaque et captantes favorem laicorum. They are followed by 
Antichrist himself, who instructs Hypocrisy and Heresy to 
prepare the way for his advent. Presently Antichrist is 
enthroned in the temple and gradually saps the Empire, 
winning over the King of the Greeks by threats, the King of 
the Franks by gifts, and the King of the Teutons, who is 
incorruptible and invincible, by signs and wonders. He marks 
his vassals on the brow with the first letter of his name. 
Then the Hypocrites attempt to persuade Synagoga that 
Antichrist is the Messiah ; but are refuted by the prophets 
Enoch and Elijah. Antichrist has the rebels slain ; but while 
he is throned in state, thunder breaks suddenly over his head, 
he falls, and Ecclesia comes to her own again with a Laudem 
dicite deo nostro. 

The author of the Antichristus is not only a skilled crafts- 
man in rhyming Latin metres ; he is also capable of carrying 
a big literary scheme successfully to a close. His immediate 
source was probably the tenth-century Libellus de Antichristo 

of this passage is read at Mass on Roman! ; huic collocantur sedes 

Saturday in the Quatuor Tempora regis Theotonicorum et sedes 

of Advent. regis Franconim. 

1 ' Templum domini et vii sedes Ad austrum sedes regis Graecorum. 

regales primum collocentur in hunc Ad meridiem sedes regis Babiloniae 

modum : et Gentilitatis.' 

Ad orientem templum domini; huic Other than this direction the play 

collocantur sedes regis Hieroso- has no heading, but in later stage- 

limorum et sedes Sinagogae. directions it is incidentally called a 

Ad occidentem sedes imperatoris 'ludus.' 


of Adso of Toul l . Into this he has worked the central theme 
toittutProphetae and the debating figures from that very popular 
dfbat or ' estrif/ the Alter catio Ecdesiae et Synagogae 2 . His 
work differs in several obvious respects from the comparatively 
simple, often naive, liturgical dramas which have been con- 
sidered. It is ambitious in scope, extending to between four 
and five hundred lines. It introduces allegorical figures, such 
as we shall find, long after, in the moralities. It has a pur- 
pose other than that of devotion, or even amusement. It is, 
in fact, a Ttndenzschrift> a pamphlet. The instinct of the 
drama, which sways the imaginations of men perhaps more 
powerfully than any other form of literature, to mix itself up 
with politics is incorrigible : Antichristus is a subtle vindica- 
tion, on the one hand, of the Empire against the Papacy, on the 
other of the rex TeutonicoPum against the rex Francortitn. It 
probably dates fromabout 1 160, when Frederick Barbarossa was 
at the height of his struggle with Alexander III, who enjoyed 
the sympathies of Louis VII of France. And it is anti-clerical. 
The Hypocrites who carry out the machinations of Antichrist 
are the clerical reformers, such as Gerhoh of Reichersberg 3 , 
who were the mainstay of the papacy in Germany. 

It is improbable that the few and scattered texts which 
have come to light represent all the liturgical plays which had 
made their appearance by the middle of the twelfth century. 
Besides the lost Elisaeus and Convivium Herodis, there is 
evidence, for example, of scholars' plays in honour, not only 
of St. Nicholas, but of their second patron, the philosophical 
St. Catharine of Alexandria. Such a ludus de Sancta Katarina 
was prepared at Dunstable in England by one Geoffrey, a 
Norman clerk who had been invited to England as school- 
master to the abbey of St. Albans. For it he borrowed certain 

1 Printed in P. L. ci. 1291. and its place in the religious drama 

a Pseudo - Augustine, De alter- and religious art. It is a most 

catione Ecdesiae et Synagogae - valuable study, but I find no ground 

dialogus in P. L. xlii. 1131. On for the conjecture (Weber, 31, 36) 

this theme and the dtbats based that the Alter catio, like the Pro- 

thereon cf. Hist. Litt. xxiij. 216; phetae, had already, before the A nti- 

G. Paris, 155; Pearson, ii. 376. christ, been semi-dramatically ren- 

P. Weber, Geistltches Schauspiel dered in the liturgy. 

und kirchlicke Kunst (1894), is Cf. p. 98. 
mainly occupied with this motive 


choir copes belonging to the abbey, and had the misfortune 
to let these be burnt with his house. Deeply repentant, 
he took the religious habit, and in 1119 became abbot of 
St. Albans. From this date that of the ludus may be judged 
to be early in the twelfth century l . 

It cannot, of course, be assumed that every play, say in the 
fifteenth century, which although probably or certainly written 
in the vernacular was performed in a church, had a Latin 
prototype 2 . Many such may have been written and acted for 
the first time on existing models, when the vernacular dranja 
was already well established. But there are certain feasts 
where it is possible to trace, on the one hand, the element of 
mimetic ceremony in the services, and on the other, perhaps, 
some later representation in the dramatic cycles, and where 
a Latin text might at any time turn up without causing 
surprise. With a few notes on some of these this chapter 
must conclude. A highly dramatic trope for Ascension day, 
closely resembling the Quern quaeritis, has already been quoted 
from the tropers of Limoges 3 . An Ordinarium of St. Peter's 
of Lille directs that, after the respond Non vos relinquam, the 
officiant shall mount a pulpit and thence appear to ascend 
towards heaven from the top of a mountain *. Fifteenth-century 
computi speak of this or of a more elaborate performance as 
a mysterium, and include amongst other items payments for 
painting the scars on the hands of the performer 5 . On Whit- 

1 Representations y s.v. D unstable, degustasset, cantato responsorio 
8 At Rouen, e.g., a confraternity Non vos relinquam^ ambonem as- 
played a misterium on the feast of cendebat,ubiexmonteeffictocoelum 
the Assumption in a waxen ' hortus ' petere videbatur ; tune f>ueri syrn- 
set up in their chapel; and this phoniaci veste angelica induti de- 
between 1446 and 1521 required cantabant Viri Galilaei, etc.' 
reformation from various ' derisio- * Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 9; 
nes,' especially a ' ludus de mar- Annales archtologiques, xviii. 173 
mousetis ' (Caste*, 76). But I know 'pro pingendo cicatrices in manibus 
of no evidence for a Latin Assump- D. lohannis Rosnel, facientis my- 
tion play, although such may quite sterium in die Ascensionis ' (1416), 
well have existed. The Lincoln ' pro potandum cum discipulis,' ' vi- 
Assumption play was given in the cariis representantibus Crucifixum 
cathedral, as a wind-up to a cycle cum suis discipulis et ibidem simul 
(Representations ) s.v. Lincoln). manducantibus et bibentibus vi- 
8 Cf. p. n. num,' ' pro pingendo vulnera,' 'pro 
4 Ducange, s.v. Festum Ascen- faciendo novas nubes/ 'pro pictura 
stonis, 'qui . . . oflficio hac die prae- dictarum nilbium,' ' pro cantando 
erat, cum modicum panis et vini nonvos.' In Germany (Naogeorgos 




Sunday it was the custom at St. Paul's in London and many 
other churches, during the singing of the hymn Vent Creator 
Spiritus at Tierce, to open a hole in the roof and let down 
symbols of the Pentecost ; a dove, a globe of fire, bits of 
burning tow to represent tongues of fire, a censer, flowers, 
pieces of flaky pastry l . This same hole in the roof sometimes 
served a similar purpose at a mimetic representation of the 
Annunciation. The Gospel for the day was recited by two 
clerks dressed as Mary and the angel, and at the words 
Spiritus Sanctus supervenit in te a white dove descended from 
the roof. This can hardly be called a drama, for, with the 
exception of a short fifteenth-century text from Cividale, only 
th^ words of the Gospel itself seem to have been used ; but 
obviously it is on the extreme verge of drama. A curious 
variant in the date of this ceremony is to be noted. In several 

in Stubbes, i. 337) the crucifix was 
drawn up by cords and an image of 
Satan thrown down. For England, 
see the end of Lambarde's account, 

1 Grenier, 388 (Amiens, 1291, 
and elsewhere in Picardy) ; Haut- 
cceur, Documents liturgiques de 
Lille, 65 (thirteenth century), and 
Histoire de rEglise de Lille^ i. 427 ; 
Gaste*, 75 (Bayeux, thirteenth cen- 
tury, Caen, Coutances) ; D'Ancona, 
i. 31 (Parma), i. 88 (Vicenza, 1379, 
a more elaborate out-of-door per- 
formance) ; Naogeorgos in Stubbes, 
i 337 (Germany) ; Ducange, s. v. 
nebulae. I have three English ex- 
amples : Hone, E. D. Book, i. 685 
(Computus of St. Patrick's, Dublin, 
for 1 509), ' we have iv* vii d paid to 
those playing with the great and 
little angel and the dragon ; Hi 8 paid 
for little coids employed about the 
Holy Ghost ; iv" vi d for making the 
angel censing (thurijficantis)^ and 
ii 1 ii d for cords of it all on the 
feast of Pentecost' ; Lincoln Sta- 
tutes^ i. 335 ; ii. cxviii. 165 (1330) 
1 in distributione autem Pentecostali 
percipiet . . . clericustlucens colum- 
bam vj denarios ' ; W. Lambarde, 
Alphabetical Description of the 
Chief Places in England and Wales 
(1730, written in sixteenth century), 

459, s. v. Wytney, ' The like Toye I 
myselfe (beinge then a Chyld) once 
saw in Poules Church at London, at 
a Feast of Whitsontyde, wheare the 
comynge downe of the Holy Cost 
was set forthe by a white Pigion, 
that was let to fly out of a Hole, 
that yet is to be sene in the mydst 
of the Roofe of the great He, and by 
a longe Censer, which descendinge 
out of the same Place almost to the 
verie Grounde, was swinged up and 
downe at suche a Lengthe, that it 
reached with thone Swepe almost 
to the West Gate of the Churche, 
and with the other to the Quyre 
Staires of the same, breathynge out 
over the whole Churche and Com- 
panie a most pleasant Perfume of 
suche swete Thinges as burned 
thearin; with the like doome 
Shewes also, they used every whear 
to furnishe sondrye Partes of their 
Churche Service, as by their Spec- 
tacles of the Nativitie, Passion, and 
Ascension of Christe? From further 
notices in W. S. Simpson, St. Paul's 
and Old City Life, 62, 83, it appears 
that the censing was on Monday, 
Tuesday, and Wednesday in Whit- 
week, that the Lord Mayor attended, 
and that the ceremony was replaced 
by sermons in 1548. 



Italian examples, of which the earliest dates from 1261, and in 
one or two from France, it belongs to the feast of the Annuncia- 
tion proper on March 25 l . But in later French examples, 
and apparently also at Lincoln 2 , it has been transferred to 
the Advent season, during which naturally the Annunciation 
was greatly held in remembrance, and has been attached 
to the so-called ' golden ' Mass celebrated ten days before 
Christmas during the Quatuor Tempora*. It thus became 
absorbed into the Christmas dramatic cycle. 

1 Creizenach, 5. 76 ; D'Ancona, i. 
90, 92, 1 14 (Padua, Venice, Trevigi), 
and i. 29 (Parma Ordinarium of 
fifteenth century) * ad inducendum 
populum ad contritionem, ... ad 
confirmandum ipsum in devotione 
Virginis Mariae ... fit reverenter 
et decenter Repraesentatip Virginis 
Mariae . . . cum prophetis et aliis 
solemnitatibus opportunist Cousse- 
maker, 280 (Cividale Proces- 
sionalia of fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries). In the fourteenth century 
there was a procession to the market- 
place, where * diaconus legat evan- 
gelium in tono, et fit repraesentatio 
Angeli ad Mariam.' In the fifteenth 
century ' In Annuntiatione B. M. 
Virginis Repraesentatio* was a 
similar procession and * cantatur 
evangelium cum ludo, quo finito, 
revertendo ad ecclesiam, cantatur 
Te Deum.' The text goes slightly 
beyond the words of the Gospel 
(Luke 5. 26-38) having a part for 
' Helisabeth.' Caste*, 79, describes 
the foundation of a mystere of the 
Annunciation during vespers on the 
eve of the feast at Saint- Lo, in 1521. 

2 I gather this from the consuetude 
of giving gloves to Mary, the Angel, 
and the Prophets at Christmas 
(Representations, s. v. Lincoln). 
Here, as at Parma, the Propketae 
appear in connexion with the An- 
nunciation ceremony. 

3 See the curious and detailed 
document in Appendix S as to the 
Tournai ceremony founded by Peter 
Cotrel in the sixteenth century. A 
precisely similar foundation was 
that of Robert Fabri at Saint Omer 
in 1543 (Bull. arch, du Comite* 
des travaux historiques (1886), 80 ; 
Mtm. de la Soc. des Antiquaires de 
la Morinie> xx. 207). The inventory 
of the ' ornementz et parementz ' in 
a 'coflfre de cuir boully' includes 
' ung colomb de bois revestu de 
damas bianco.' Alike at Tournai, 
St. Omer, and Besan^on (Martenc, 
iii. 30) the ceremony was on th* 
Wednesday in the Quatuor Tempora 
of Advent. For the ' golden Mass ' 
of this day the Gospel is the same 
as that of the Annunciation ; cf. 
York Missal, i. 6; Pfannenschmidt, 



{Bibliographical Note. The best general account of the vernacular 
religious drama of Europe is that of W. Creizenach, Geschichte desneueren 
Dramas (vol. i. 1893), Books 2-4; and this may be supplemented by 
K. Hase, Das gdstliche Schaitspiel (1858, trans. A. W. Jackson, 1880) ; 
R. Proelss, Geschichte des neueren Dramas (1880-3), vol. i. ch. I ; 
C. Davidson, English Mystery Plays (1892), and G. Gregory Smith, The 
Transition Period (1900), ch. 7. There is also the cumbrous work of 
J. L. Klem, Geschichte des Dramas (1865-86). The nearest approach to 
a general bibliography is F. H. Stoddard, References for Students of 
Miracle Plays and Mysteries (1887). For Germany may be added 
R. Froning, Das Drama des Mittelalters (1890-1); K. Pearson, The 
German Passion Play (in The Chances of Death and Other Studies in 
Evolution, 1897, vol. ii) ; L. Wirth, Die Osier- und Passionsspiele bis zum 

16. Jahrhundert (1889) ; J. E. Wackernell, Altdeutsche Passionsspiele aus 
Tirol, 1897 ; R. Heinzel, Beschreibung des geistlichen Schauspiels im dent- 
schen Mittelalter(\%$&)< and the articles by F. Vogt on Mittelhochdeutsche 

Literatur, 73, and H. Jellinghaus on Mittelniederdeutsche Literatur, 5, 
in H. Paul, Grundriss der germanischen Philologie, vol. ii (2nd ed. 1901). 
F. Vogt gives a few additional recent references. Older works are 

F. I. Mone, Schauspiele des Mittelalters (1846) ; H. Reidt, Das geistliche 
Schauspiel des Mittelalters in Deutschland (1868), and E. Wilken, 
Geschichte der geistlichen Spiele in Deutschland (1872). Many of the 
books named print texts. Lists of others are given by Pearson and by 
Heinzel, and full bibliographical notices by K. Goedeke, Grundriss zur 
Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung (2nd ed.), vol. i (1884), 67, 92, and 
vol. ii (1886), 145. For France, L. Petit de Julleville, Les Mysteres 
(1880), is excellent and exhaustive, and contains many bibliographical 
references, although the * Liste des ouvrages a consulted intended as part 
of the work seems never to have been printed. M. de Julleville is also 
the writer of the article on Thdtre religieux in the Hist, de la Langue et 
de la Literature fran$aises> vol. ii (1896). G. Grober's article on Franzo- 
sische Litteratur, 129, 362 in his Grundriss der romanischen Philologie, 
vol. ii (i 901-2 ),bf ings the subject upto date and adds some recent authorities. 
Mortensen, Medelttdsdramat i Frankrike (1899), is beyond my range. 

G. Paris, La Literature fran^aise au moyen dge (2nd ed., 1890), is a brief 
summary, and L. Cledat, Le Tht&tre au moyen dge (1897), a useful 
popular account. G. Bapst, Essai sur FHistoire du TMdfre (1893), is 
good on matters of stage arrangement. Older works are O. Le Roy, 
Etudes sur les Mystires (1837), and J. de Douhet, Dictionnaire des 
Mysteres (1854). t)nly fragments of C. Magnin's investigations are 
available in the Journal des Savants (1846-7) and the Journal gtntral 
de r Instruction publique (1834-6). Texts are in A, Jubinal, Mysteres rfu 
15* sitcle (1837) ; Monmerque et Michel, Thtdtre fran$ais au moyen dge 
(1842); E. Fournier, Le Thtdtre fran^ats avant la Renaissance (1872), 


and the series published by the Soritte* des Anciens TexUs fran$ais . The 
most recent text of Adam is that by K. Grass, Das Adamsspiel (1891). 
M. Wilmotte, Les Passions allemandes du Rhin dans leur Rapport awe 
fancien Thtdtre franyris (1898), deals with the interrelations of the French 
and German texts. C. Hastings, Le Thtdtre fran$ais et anglais (1900, 
trans.icxn ), is a compilation of little merit. For Italy there is A. D'Ancona, 
Origini del Teatro italiano (2nd ed. 1891), with texts in the same writer's 
Sacre Rappresentazioni (1872), in Monaci, Appunti per la Storia del 
Teatro italiano (Rivista di Filologia Romana, vols. i,ii), and in F. Torraca, 
// Teatro italiano dei Secoli xiii^ xiv> e xv (1885). For Spain, A. F. von 
Schack, Gesch\chte der dramatischen Litteratur und Kunst in Spanien 
(1845-54), and G. Baist, Spanische Litteratur, 19, 63, in Grober>s 
Grundnss^ vol. ii (1897). For the minor Romance dramatic literatures, 
Provencal, Catalan, Portuguese, I must be content to refer to the last- 
named authority, and for that of Holland to the similar Grundriss^oi 
H. Paul] 

THE evolution of the liturgic play described in the last 
two chapters may be fairly held to have been complete about 
the middle of the thirteenth century. The condition of any 
further advance was that the play should cease to be liturgic. 
The following hundred years are a transition period. During 
their course the newly-shaped drama underwent a process 
which, within the limits imposed by the fact that its subject- 
matter remained essentially religious, may be called seculari- 
zation. Already, when Hilarius could write plays to serve 
indifferently for use at Matins or at Vespers, the primitive 
relation vtrepraesentatio to liturgy had been sensibly weakened. 
By the middle of the fourteenth century it was a mere sur- 
vival. From ecclesiastical the drama had become popular. 
Out of the hands of the clergy in their naves and choirs, it 
had passed to those of the laity in their market-places and 
guild-halls. And to this formal change corresponded a 
spiritual or literary one, in the reaction of the temper of the 
folk upon the handling of the plays, the broadening of their 
human as distinct from their religious aspect. In their origin 
officia for devotion and edification, they came, by an irony 
familiar to the psychologist, to be primarily spectacula for 
mirth, wonder, and delight. 

It is, however, the formal change with which I am here 
mainly concerned ; and of this it will be the object of the 
present chapter to trace as briefly as possible the outlines. 
The principal factor is certainly that tendency to expansion 
and coalescence in the plays which has been already seen at 


work in the production of such elaborate pieces as the Quern 
quaeritis of the Tours or that of the Benedictbeuern manu- 
script, the Fleury Stella, the Rouen Prophetae and the Anti- 
christus. This culminates in the formation of those great 
dramatic cycles of which the English Corpus Christi plays are 
perhaps the most complete examples. But before we can 
approach these, we must consider a little further the indepen- 
dent development of the Easter and Christmas groups. 

It is noteworthy that, during the period now under dis- 
cussion, the importance of Christmas falls markedly into the 
background when compared with that of Easter ; and a reason 
for this will presently suggest itself. The Stella, indeed, as 
such, appears to have almost reached its term * ; for such 
further growth as there is we must look chiefly to the Pro- 
phetae. The process by which little episodic dramas, as of 
Balaam and Nebuchadnezzar at Rouen, bud out from the 
stem of the Prophetae, is one capable of infinite extension. 
By 1204 the play had found its way to Riga, on the extreme 
border of European civilization, and the ludus prophetarum 
ordinatissimus there performed included scenes from the wars 
of Gideon, David, and Herod 2 . The text of the Riga play is 
unfortunately not preserved, but the famous Norman-French 
Ordo repraesentationis Adae is an example of a Prophetae, in 
which the episodes, no longer confined to the stories of the 
prophets in the stricter sense, have outgrown and cast into the 
shade the original intention 8 . Most things about the Adam 

1 Creizenach, i. 154, 317, 346. A neophytis, quam paganis, qui ade- 
slight addition to the S fella is made rant, per interpretem diligentissime 
by two Provencal plays of ti3co exponebatur. Ubi autem armati 
(ed. P. Meyer in Romania, xiv. 496) Gedeonis cum Philistaeis pugna- 
and 1333 (dramatis personae only bant; pagani,timentebOtddi,fugere 
in Revue des Socie'th savantes, viii. coeperunt, sed caute sum revocati 
259) which introduce episodes from ... In eodem ludo erant bella, 
the life of the Virgin previous to vtpote Dauid, Gedeonis, Herodis. 
the Nativity. , Erat et doctrina Veteris et No\* 

2 Creizenach, i. 70, quoting Gesta Testament!.' 

Alberti Uvomensis episcopi (ti226) 3 Text edited by V. Luzarche 

mGruber,OrtginsLiv0niae(i74o) 9 (Tours, 1854); L. Palustre (Paris, 

34 4 Eadem hyeme factus est ludus 1877) ; K* Bartsch, Chrestomatkie, 

prophetarum ordinatissimus, quam ed. 1880, 91) ; K. Grass (Halle, 

Latini Comoediam yocant, in media 1891); cf. the elaborate study by 

Riga, ut fidei Christianae rudimenta Sepet, xxix, 105, 261, and Julleville, 

gen tilitas fide etiamdisceretoculata. Les Myst. i.8i; ii.ai7; Creizenach, 

Cuius ludi et comoediae materia tarn i. 130 ; Ctedat, 1 5. The manuscript 


are in dispute. Scholars differ as to whether the manuscript 
belongs to the twelfth or the thirteenth century, and as to 
whether it is the work of a Norman or of an Anglo-Norman 
scribe. The piece is manifestly incomplete, but how far 
incomplete it is hard to say. What we have consists of three 
sections. There is a long play of nearly six hundred lines on 
the Fall and Expulsion from Paradise, in which the speakers 
are Adam and Eve, the Figura of God and the Diabolus. 
Then comes a much shorter one of Cain and Abel ; and 
finally a Prophetae, which breaks off after the part of Nebu- 
chadnezzar. Of the general character of this interesting piece 
something further will be said presently, but the point to 
notice here is that, although Adam and Abel may of course be 
regarded as prophetic types of Christ, if not exactly prophets, 
yet there is a real extension of the dramatic content of the 
Prophetae in the prefixing to it of a treatment of so momen- 
tous a subject as the Fall l . For with the addition of the Fall 
to the already dramatized Redemption, the framework of a 
structural unity was at once provided for the great cosmic 
drama of the future. And the important motive seems to 
have been still further emphasized in a lost play performed 
at Regensburg in 1195, which treated, besides the Prophets 
and the Creation and Fall of Man, the Creation of the Angels 
and the Fall of Lucifer 2 . 

is Tours MS. 927, formerly belong- prophecy. The remaining contents 

ing to the Benedictines of Mar- of the first part of the MS., which 

moutier. Grass, vi, summarizes the may be of the twelfth century, are 

opinions as to its date. In any some hymns and the Latin Tours 

case the text is probably of the Quern quaeritis (p. 38). 

twelfth century, and Grass, 171, 1 Sepet, xxix, 112, 128, points out 

after an elaborate grammatical in- that certain lecticnes and respon- 

vestigation, confirms the opinion soria which accompany the Adam 

of Luzarche, doubted by Littre* and and Cain and Abel are taken from 

others, that it is of Anglo-Norman the office for Septuagesima. Pos- 

rather than Norman origin. But, sibly an independent liturgical drama 

even if the writer was an Anglo- of the Fall arose at Septuagesima 

Norman clerk, the play must have and was absorbed by the Prophetae, 

been written for performance in But mention of the * primus Adam ' 

France. I doubt if it was ever is not uncommon in the Nativity 

actually played or finished. It is liturgy ; cf. Sepet, xxix, 107, and the 

followed in the MS. by a Norman Sponsus (p. 61). 

(not Anglo-Norman) poem on the * Annale$Ratisponenses(M*G*H. 

Fifteen Signs of Judgement (text in Scriptores, xvii. 590) * Anno Domini 

Grass, 57), which looks like material 1 194. Celebratus est in Ratispona 

collected for an unwritten Sibyl ordocreacionisangelorumetruina[e] 


Yet another step towards the completion of the Christmas 
cycle was taken when the Prophetae and the Stella were 
brought together in a single drama. Such a merging is repre- 
sented by two related texts from German sources l . One is 
from a fourteenth -century manuscript now at St. Gall 2 . The 
structure is of the simplest. The setting of the pseudo- 
Augustine sermon has altogether disappeared. Eight prophets 
deliver a speech apiece, announcing their own identities after 
a naYve fashion Ich bin der alte Balaam^ and so forth which 
strongly recalls the 'folk' or 'mummers" plays. Then follows 
without break a Stella, whose scenes range from the Marriage 
of the Virgin to the Death of Herod. Far more elaborate is 
the Christmas play found in the famous repertory of the 
scholares vagantes from Benedictbeuern 3 . A peculiarity of 
this is that for the first time Augustine appears in propria 
persona. He presides over the prophecies, taking the place of 
the Precentor of the Limoges Prophetae ', and the Appellatores 
or Vocatores of Laon and Rouen. The only prophets are 
Isaiah, Daniel, the Sibyl, Aaron, and Balaam, and there is 
once more a special episode for Balaam's ass. 

' Qninto loco procedat Balaam sedens in asina et cantans : 
vadam, vadam, ut maledicam populo huic. 
Cut occurrat Ahgelus evaginato gladio dicens: 
cave, cave ne quicquam aliud quam tibi dixero loquaris. 
Et asinus cui inside t Balaam perterritus retrocedat. Postea 
recedat angelus et Balaam cantet hoc : 
orietur stella ex lacob, etc/ 

A long disputatio follows between Augustine, an Archisyna- 
gogus, and the prophets, in which at one point no less a person 
intervenes than the Episcopus Puerorum, affording an inter- 

Luciferi et suorum, et creacionis 8 Text in Schmeller, Carmina 

hominis et casus et prophetarum Burana, 80; Du Mril, 187; 

. . . septima Idus Februarii.' Froning, 877, from a Munich 

1 KSppen, 3 5, discusses the textual MS. of thirteenth to fourteenth 

relation between the St. Gall and century formerly in the abbey 

Benedictbeuern plays and their of Benedictbeuern in Bavaria ; cf. 

common source, the Freising Stella. Creizenach, i. 96; Sepet, xxxviii, 

* Text in Mone, Sckauspiele des 398. The title ' Ludus scenicus 

Mittdalters, i. 143 ; cf. Creizenach, de nativitate Domini' given by 

i. 123- Schmeller is not in the MS. 


esting example of that interrelation between the religious 
plays and the festivities of the triduum and the Feast of 
Fools, about which something has already been said l . Pre- 
sently the prophets retire and sit in locis suis propter honorem 
ludi. The Stella extends from the Annunciation to the Flight 
into Egypt. Here the original play seems to have ended ; 
but a later writer has added a scene in Egypt, in which the 
idols fall at the approach of the Holy Family, and some frag- 
ments adapted from the Antichristus^ and hardly worked up 
into anything that can be called a scene. 

The form of Christmas play, then, characteristic of the 
transition century, consists of a version of the Prophetae ex- 
tended at the beginning by a dramatic treatment of the Fall, 
or extended at the end by the absorption of the Stella. It so 
happens that we do not, during the period in question, find 
examples in which both extensions occur together. But this 
double amplification would only be the slightest step in 
advance, and may perhaps be taken for granted. The Rouen 
My s tire de t Incarnation et la Nativitt of 1474 offers, at a 
much later date, precisely the missing type 2 . 

The Easter cycle, also, received memorable accretions 
during the period. The Quern quaeritis of the Tours manu- 
script, it will be remembered, included a series of scenes 
beginning with the Setting of the Watch before the Sepulchre, 
and ending with the Incredulity of Thomas. Important 
additions had still to be made, even within the limits of this 
cadre. One was a more complete treatment of the Resurrec- 
tion itself through the introduction of the figure of Christ 
stepping with the labarum out of the sepulchre, in place of 
a mere symbolical indication of the mystery by the presence 
of angels with lighted candles and the dismay of the soldiers 3 . 
Another, closely related to the Resurrection, was the scene 
known as the Harrowing of Hell. This was based upon the 
account of the Descensus Christi ad Inferos, the victory over 
Satan, and the freeing from limbo of Adam and the other Old 

1 Cf. p. 56. The Balaam in Adam Bibliophiles normands}; cf. Julie- 
is * sedens super asinam,' but no ville, Les Myst. ii. 36, 430. 
further notice is taken of the animal. 8 Cf. p. 38. 

2 Text ed. Le Verdier (Sec. des 


Testament Fathers, which forms part of the apocryphal Gospel 
of Nichodtmus 1 . The narrative makes use of that Tollite 
portas passage from the twenty-fourth Psalm, which we have 
already found adapted to the use of more than one semi- 
dramatic ceremonial 2 , and naturally this found its way into 
the Harrowing of Hell, together with the so-called canticum 
triumpkale, a song of welcome by the imprisoned souls : 

1 Advenisti, desirabilis, quern exspectabamus in tenebris, ut 
educeres hac nocte vinculatos de claustris. 
te nostra vocabant suspiria. 
te larga requirebant lamenta. 
tu factus es spes desperatis, magna consolatio in tormentis/ 

I cannot share the view of those who look upon the East 
Midland English Harrowing of Hell as intended for dramatic 
representation. The prologues found in two of the three 
manuscripts leave it clear that it was for recitation. It is in 
fact of the nature of an 'estrif ' or dtbat> and may be compared 
with an Anglo-Saxon poem of the eighth or tenth century on 
the same subject 3 . But there is evidence that the scene had 
found its way into the Easter cycle at least by the beginning 
of the thirteenth century, for it occurs amongst the fragments 
of a play of that date from Kloster Muri ; and in later versions 
it assumed a considerable prominence 4 . 

1 Tischendorf, Evangelia Apo- The Harleian has : 

crypha (1876), 389. ' Alle herkneth to me nou, 

* Cf. pp. 4, 5, 20. One of the A strif will I tellen ou/ 

anthems for Easter Saturday in The Auchinleck prologue lacks 

the Sarum Breviary is Elevamini^ the beginning, but the end agrees 

portae. with the Harleian. Boddeker, who 

8 Text in Pollard, 166 ; K. B6d- accepts the dramatic character of 

deker, Altenglische Dichtungen des the piece, thinks that the prologues 

MS. Harl. 2253 (1878), 204; E. were prefixed later for recitation. 

Mall,7%* Harrowing of Hell '(1871); In any case this poem became a 

cf. Ten Brink, ii. 242 ; Ward, i. 90 ; source for a play in the Ludus 

Creizenach, i. 158. There are three Coventriae cycle (Pollard, xxxviii). 

MSS.: (a) Bodl. Digby MS. 86 * Text of Muri fragments in 

(late thirteenth century) ; (b) Harl. Froning, 228 ; cf. Creizenach, i. 

AfS. 225 3 (1-1310); (c)Edin.Advoc. 114; Wirth, 133, 281, A French 

Libr. (Auchinleck}^ MS. W. 41 fragment (t 1300-50) also intro- 

(early fourteenth century). The ducing this theme is printed by 

Digby version has a prologue J. Bdier, in Romania^ xxiv. (1895), 

beginning: 86. Pez, Script, rerum auslria- 

* Hou ihesu crist herewede helle carum, ii. 268, describes a vision 

Of hardegates ich wille telle.' of the thirteenth-century recluse 


The liturgical drama proper abstained in the main from 
any strictly dramatic representation of the Passion. The 
nearest approach to such a thing is in the dialogued versions 
of the Planctus Mariae and in the Benedictbeuern Ludus 
breviter de Passione, which extends very slightly beyond these. 
The central event of the transition period is, therefore, the 
growth side by side with the Quern quaeritis of a Passion play, 
which in the end rather absorbs than is absorbed by it. 
A marked advance in this direction is shown in an Anglo- 
Norman fragment, probably written in the twelfth century, 
which includes, not indeed the Crucifixion itself, but the 
Descent from the Cross, the Healing of Longinus, and the 
Burial of Christ *. The first recorded Passion play is in Italy. 
It took place at Siena about 1200 2 . In 1244 the Passion and 
Resurrection were played together at Padua 3 . The earliest 
text of a Passion play is contained in the Benedictbeuern 
manuscript 4 . It opens with the Calling of Andrew and Peter, 
the Healing of the Blind, Zacchaeus and the Entry into Jeru- 
salem. Then follows a long episode of Mary Magdaden. 
She is represented with her lover, buying cosmetics of a 
Mercator we have had the Mercator in the Quern quaeritis 
and in the Sponsus and with a profane song upon her lips : 

Wilbirgis: 'Item quadam nocte MS. is of the fourteenth century, 

Dominicae Resurrectionis, cum in but the Norman-French, which 

Monasterio ludus Paschalis tarn a some writers, as with the Adam, 

Clero quam a populo ageretur, think Anglo-Norman, is assigned 

quia eidem non potuit corporaliter to the end of the twelfth century, 

interesse, cpepit desiderare, ut ei * D'Ancona, i. 90. The original 

Dominus aliquam specialis consola- authority for the statement, taken 

lionis gratiam per Resurrectionis from a MS. treatise on the Com- 

suae gaudia largiretur. Et vidit media italiana by Uberto Benvo- 

quasi Dominum ad Inferos descen- glienti, is not given, 

dentem et inde animas eruentem, * D'Ancona, i. 87, quoting several 

quae quasi columbae candidissimae chronicles : ' hoc anno in festo 

circumvolantes ipsum comitabantur, Pascae facta fuit Reppraesentatio 

et sequebantur ab inferis redeun- Passionis et Resurrectionis Christ! 

tern. 1 Meyer, 61, 98, deals fully solemniter et ordinate in Prato 

with the development of the Resur- Vallis.' 

rection and Harrowing of Hell * Text in Schmeller, Carmina 

themes in the early vernacular plays. Burana> 95 ; Du Mlril, 1 26 ; 

1 Text in Monmerqu et Michel, Froning, 284 ; cf. Creizcnach, i. 

Thtdtre fr. au moyen Age y 10, 92; Wirth, 131, 278. The only 

from Bibl. 902 ; c Creize- heading to the play in the MS. is 

nach, i. 135; Julleville, Les Myst. 'SanctaMariaassitnostroprincipio! 

i. 91; ii. 220; Ctedat, 59. The amen. 7 


'Mundi delectatio dulcis est et grata, 
cuius conversatio suavis et ornata.' 

She is converted in a dream, puts on black, buys ointments 
from the same Mercator, and adores the Lord in the house of 
Simon. Then come, far more briefly treated, the Raising of 
Lazarus, the Betrayal by Judas, the Last Supper, the Mount 
of Olives, the Passion itself, from the Taking in Gethsemane 
to the Crucifixion. The introduction here of some planctus 
Mariae points to the genesis of the drama, which closes with 
the Begging of the Body of Christ by Joseph of Arimathaea. 
And so, at a blow, as it were, the content of the Easter play 
is doubled. Certain episodes, such as the Conversion of 
Mary Magdalen and the Raising of Lazarus had, as we 
know, received an independent dramatic treatment ; but in the 
main the play before us, or its source, bears the character of 
a deliberate composition on the lines of the pre-existing Quern 
quaeritis. That it was to be followed in representation by 
a Quern quaeritis may perhaps be taken for granted. Indeed 
there is one personage, the wife of the M creator > who is named 
in a list at the beginning, but has no part in the text as it 
stands 1 . She may have come into the Benedictbeuern Quern 
quaeritis, of which a fragment only survives, and this may have 
been intended for use, as might be convenient, either with the 
Ludus breviter de Passione^ or with the longer text now under 
consideration. At all events, Passion and Resurrection are 
treated together in two slightly later texts, one from the south 
of France 2 , the other from St. Gall 8 . The St. Gall Passion 
play takes the action back to the beginning of the missionary 
life of Christ, giving the Marriage at Cana, the Baptism, 
and the Temptation. It also includes a Harrowing of 

Certain forms of the Passion play, as the conjoint Passion 
and Resurrection may now be termed, show an approximation 
to the type of the Christmas play. It is obvious that the 

1 Scenes between 'the Mercator> teenth-century texts exist, one in 

his wife, and their lad Rubin play Provencal, one in Catalan. 
a large part in the later German 3 Text in Mone, Sckauspiele des 

Passion plays ; cf, Wirth, 168. Mittelalters^ i. 72 ; cf. Creizenach, 

* Creizenach, i. 155. Two four- i. lai ; Wirth, 135, 282. 


Fall and the Prophetae would be as proper a prologue to the 
Passion which completes the Atonement as to the Nativity 
which begins it. And the presence of Adam and other Old 
Testament characters in the Harrowing of Hell would be the 
more significant if in some earlier scene they had visibly been 
haled there. The first trace of these new elements is in the 
St. Gall play, where the Augustine of the Prophetae is intro- 
duced to speak a prologue. A long Frankfort play of the 
fourteenth century, of which unfortunately only the stage 
directions and actors' cues are preserved, carries the process 
further l . Again Augustine acts as presenter. A Prophetae 
begins the performance, which ends with the Ascension, a 
Disputatio Ecclesiae et Synagogae and the baptizing of the 
incredulous Jews by Augustine. On the other hand, the Fall 
forms the first part of an early fourteenth-century Passion 
play from Vienna 2 . Both the Fall of Lucifer and that of 
Adam and Eve are included, and there is a supplementary 
scene in hell, into which the souls of a usurer, a monk, a robber, 
and a sorceress are successively brought. Lucifer refuses to 
have anything to do with the monk, an early use of the 
Tomlinson motive. 

The dramatic evolution is now within measurable distance 
of the ' cosmic ' type finally presented by the English Corpus 
Christi plays. Two further steps are necessary : the juxta- 
position of the Nativity and Passion scenes behind their 
common Old Testament prologue, and the final winding up 
of the action by the extension of it from the Ascension to the 
second coming of the Christ in the Last Judgement. The 
eschatological scenes of the Sponsus and the Antichristus are 
already available for such an epilogue. That the whole of 
this vast framework was put together by the beginning of the 
fourteenth century may be inferred from the notices of two 
performances, in 1298 and 1303 respectively, at Cividale 3 . The 

1 Text in Froning, 340 (begins scalis'); cf. Creizenach, i. 92, 120; 
' Incipit ordo sive registrum de Wirth, 134, 293. 

passione domini ') ; cf. Creizenach, 8 Giuliano da Cividale, Cronaca 

i. 219; Wirth, 137, 295. Friulana (D'Ancona, i. 915 

2 Text in Froning, 305 (begins Muratori, Rer. ItaL Script, xxiv, 
* Ad materiae reductionem de pas- 1205, 1209): 'Anno domini 
sione domini. Incipit ludus pa- MCCLXXXXVindieviiexeunte Maio, 



first included the Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, Advent of 
the Holy Spirit, and Advent of Christ to Judgement: the 
second added to these the Creation, Annunciation, Nativity, 
with much else, and the Antichrist. Any further development 
could now be merely episodic. The text could be amplified 
at the fancy of the individual writer, or upon the suggestion 
of the great epic narratives, such as the Cursor Mundi, the 
Passional, the Erlosung 1 . An infinity of new scenes could 
be added from the Old Testament 2 , from the apocryphal 
gospels and acts, from the historic narratives of the vengeance 
of the Crucified One upon Rome and Jewry 3 . But beyond 
the limits of the fixed cadre it was now impossible to go, for 
these were coincident with the span of time and eternity. 

It is now necessary to consider briefly some modifications 
in the general character of the religious plays which accom- 
panied or resulted from this great expansion of their scope. 

videlicet in die Pentecostes et in 
aliis duobus sequentibus diebus, 
facta fuit Repraesentatio Ludi 
Christi, videlicet Passionis, Resur- 
rectionis, Ascensionis, Adventus 
Spiritus Saiicti, Adventus Christi 
ad iudicium, in curia Domini Pa- 
et laudabiliter, per Clerum civita- 
tensem . . . Anno MCCCIII facta fuit 
per Clerum, sive per Capitulum 
civitatense, Repraesentatio : sive 
factae fuerunt Repraesentationes 
infra scriptae : In primis, de Crea- 
tione primorum parentum ; deinde 
de Annunciatione Beatae Virginis, 
de Partu et aliis multis, et de Pas- 
sione et Resurrectione, Ascensione 
et Adventu Spiritus Sancti, et de 
Antichristo et aliis, et demum de 
Adventu Christi ad iudicium. Et 
predicta facta fuerunt solemniter in 
curia domini Patriarchae in festo 
Pentecostes cum aliis duobus diebus 
sequent ibus,praesente r. d.Ottobono 
patriarcha aquileiensi, d. lacobo q. 
d. Ottonelli de Civitate episcopo 
concordiensi, et aliis multis nobili- 
bus de civitatibus et castris Foro- 
iulii, die xv exeunte Maio.' Still 
earlier, some dramatic fragments 
not later than the mid-thirteenth 

century from Kloster Himmelgarten 
near Nordhausen, include scenes 
from both the early and late life of 
Christ (Text, ed. Sievers, in Zeitsch. 
/. d. Phil. xxi. 393 ; cf. Creizenach, 
i. 124) ; but these might conceivably 
belong to a set of plays for different 
dates, such as those of the Sainte 
Genevi&ve MS. (Julleville,/>j Myst. 
" 379)* Besides the English cosmic 
cycles, there are several fifteenth- 
century French ones described by 
Julleville, Les Mystjn. 394 sqq. : in 
Germany plays of this scope are rare. 

1 Pearson, ii. 312; Koppen, 49; 
Ten Brink, i. 287. . 

2 Cf. Sepet, xxxviii, 415 ; Creize- 
nach, i. 260 ; G. Smith, 253 ; Julle- 
ville, Les My st. ii. 352. Le Mistire 
du viel testament, printed 1*1510 
ted. Rothschild, 1878-91, for Soc. 
des anciens textes fran$ats), is a 
fifteenth-century compilation of 
O. T. plays from various sources. 

8 French versions of the Ven- 
geance de Notre Seigneur, of which 
the chief episode is the Siege of 
Jerusalem, appear in the fifteenth 
century /Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 12, 
415, 451). A late Coventry play on 
the same theme is unfortunately 


These all tend towards that process of secularization, that 
relaxing of the close bonds between the nascent drama and 
religious worship, which it is the especial object of this chapter 
to illustrate. Of capital importance is the transference of the 
plays from the interior of the church to its precincts, to the 
graveyard or the neighbouring market-place. This must have 
been primarily a matter of physical necessity. The growing 
length of the plays, the increasing elaboration of their setting, 
made it cumbrous and difficult to accommodate them within 
the walls. It is a big step from the early Quern quaerit%s^ 
Pastores or Stella^ with their simple mises-en-sctne of sepulch- 
rum and praesepe to the complicated requirements, say, of the 
Fleury group, the tabernaculum in similitudinem castelli 
Emaus for the Peregrini, the half-dozen loca, domus, or sedes 
demanded by the Suscitatio Lazari or the Conversio Pauli. 
Still more exigent is the Antichristus with its templum domini 
and its seven sedes regales^ and its space in between for march- 
ings and counter-marchings and the overthrowing of kings. 
Yet for a long time the church proved sufficient. The Tours 
Quern quaeritis and some, if not all, of the Fleury plays were 
demonstrably played in the church. So was the Rouen Pro- 
phetae> and an allusion of Gerhoh of Reichersberg makes it 
extremely probable that so was the Antichristus^. One must 
conceive, I think, of the performances as gradually spreading 
from choir to nave, with the doimts y loca> or sedes set at intervals 
against the pillars, while the people crowded to watch in the 
side aisles. It is in the twelfth century that the plays first 
seek ampler room outside the church. Of the transition plays 
dealt with in the present chapter, the Adam> the Benedict- 
beuern Christmas play, the Anglo-Norman Resurrection^ were 
certainly intended for the open, and the contrary cannot be 
affirmed in any case with the same assurance. Again, the 
Riga Prophetae of 1204 was in media Riga^ the Padua Passion 
play of 1244 was * n a meadow, the Pratum Vallis, while in 
England an early thirteenth-century biographer of St. John of 
Beverley records a miracle wrought at a Resurrection play in 
the churchyard of the minster. 


Of the type of performance now rendered possible, a very 
good notion is given by the full stage directions of the Adam. 
These are so valuable a document for the history of stage 
management that I must take leave to excerpt from them 
somewhat liberally. The opening rubric recalls at once the 
minute stage directions of Ibsen and the counsel to the players 
in Hamlet. 

1 A Paradise is to be made in a raised spot, with curtains 
and cloths of silk hung round it at such a height that persons 
in the Paradise may be visible from the shoulders upwards. 
Fragrant flowers and leaves are to be set round about, and 
divers trees put therein with hanging fruit, so as to give the 
likeness of a most delicate spot. Then must come the Saviour 
clothed in a dalmatic, and Adam and Eve be brought before 
him. Adam is to wear a red tunic and Eve a woman's robe 
of white, with a white silk cloak ; and they are both to 
stand before the Figure, Adam the nearer with composed 
countenance, while Eve appears somewhat more modest. And 
the Adam must be well trained when to reply and to be 
neither too quick nor too slow in his replies. And not only he, 
but all the personages must be trained to speak composedly, 
and to fit convenient gesture to the matter of their speech. 
Nor must they foist in a syllable or clip one of the verse, but 
must enounce firmly and repeat what is set down for them 
in due order. Whosoever names Paradise is to look and point 
towards it/ 

After a lectio and a chant by the choir, the dialogue begins. 
The Figura instructs Adam and Eve as to their duties and 
inducts them into Paradise. 

* Then the Figure must depart to the church and Adam 
and Eve walk about Paradise in honest delight Meanwhile 
the demons are to run about the stage (per plateas), with suit- 
able gestures, approaching the Paradise from time to time and 
pointing out the forbidden fruit to Eve, as though persuading 
her to cat it. Then the Devil is to come and address Adam.' 

The diabolus thinks he is prevailing upon Adam. He joins 
the other demoas and make sallies about the plateae. Then 
he returns hylaris etgaudens to the charge. But he fails. 

c Then, sadly and with downcast countenance, he shall leave 
Adam, and go to the doors of hell, and hold council with the 


other demons. Thereafter he shall make a sally amongst the 
people, and then approach Paradise on Eve's side, address- 
ing her with joyful countenance and insinuating (blandiens) 

Eve, too, is hard to persuade, and is scolded by Adam for 
listening to the diabolus. But when a serpens artificiose 
compositus rises hard by the trunk of the forbidden tree, she 
lends her ear, is won over, takes the apple and gives it to 

' Then Adam is to eat part of the apple ; and after eating 
it he shall immediately recognize his sin and debase himself. 
He must now be out of sight of the people, and shall put off 
his solemn raiment, and put on poor raiment sewn together of 
fig-leaves, and with an air of extreme dolour shall begin his 
lament. 1 

When the Figure * wearing a stole ' comes again, Adam and 
Eve hide in a corner of Paradise, and when called upon stand 
up, ' not altogether erect, but for shame of their sin somewhat 
bowed and very sad/ They are driven out, and an angel 
with a radiant sword is put at the gate of Paradise. The 
Figure returns to the church. 

' Then Adam shall have a spade and Eve a hoe, and they 
shall begin to till the soil and sow corn therein. And when 
they have sown, they shall go and sit down a while, as if 
wearied with toil, and anon look tearfully at Paradise, beating 
their breasts. Meanwhile shall come the devil and shall plant 
thorns and thistles in their tillage, and avoid. And wheii 
Adam and Eve come to their tillage and see the thorns 
and thistles sprung up, they shall be smitten with violent grief 
and shall throw themselves on the earth and sit there, beating 
their breasts and thighs and betraying grief by their gestures. 
And Adam shall begin a lament/ 

Now the last scene is at hand. 

'Then shall come the devil and three or four devils with 
him, carrying in their hands chains and iron fetters, which 
they shall put on the necks of Adam and Eve. And some 
shall push and others pull them to hell; and hard by hell 
shall be other devils ready to meet them, who shall hold high 
revel (tripudium) at their fall. And certain other devils shall 



point them out as they come, and shall snatch them up and 
carry them into hell ; and there shall they make a great 
smoke arise, and call aloud to each other with glee in their 
hell, and clash their pots and kettles, that they may be heard 
without. And after a little delay the devils shall come out 
and run about the stage ; but some shall remain in hell. 9 

The shorter play of Cain and Abel is similarly conceived. 
The sacrifices are offered on two great stones 'which shall 
have been made ready for the purpose ' ; and at the end of 
the performance the devils hale off Cain and Abel also to hell 
' beating Cain often ; but Abel they shall lead more gently.' 
The prophets, who have been prepared in a secret spot, now 
advance one by one and deliver their prophecies. Their 
appearance is described much as in the earlier Prophetae^ and 
it is noted that each in turn at the finish of his harangue is to 
be led off to hell by the devils. 

Unless the Adam extended much beyond the text left to 
us, a comparatively small number of loca would suffice for 
its representation. The contemporary Anglo-Norman Resur- 
rection play required thirteen, as is set out at length in a 
versified prologue: 

f En ceste manere recitom 
La seinte resurreccion. 
Primerement apareillons 
Tus les lius e les mansions : 
Le crucifix primerement 
E puis apres le monument. 
Une jaiole i deit aver 
Pur les prisons emprisoner. 
Enfer seit mis de cele part, 
E mansions de 1'altre part, 
E puis le ciel ; et as estals 
Primes Pilate od ces vassals. 
Sis u set chivaliers aura. 
Catphas en 1'altre serra ; 
Od lui seit la jeuerie, 
Puis Joseph, cil d'Arimachie. 
El quart liu seit danz Nichodemes. 


Chescons i ad od sei les soens. 
El quint les deciples Crist. 
Les treis Maries saient el sist 
Si seit pourv^u que Tom face 
Galilee en mi la place; 
Jemaiis uncore i seit fait, 
U Jhesu fut al hostel trait ; 
E cum la gent est tute asise, 
E la p^s de tutez parz mise, 
Dan Joseph, cil d'Arimachie, 
Venge a Pilate, si lui die/ 

I have ventured to arrange these lius (loco) and mansions 
(domus) or estals (sedes\ upon the indications of the prologue, 
in the following plan : 



Monument [] fl Jaiole 


Ciel [] P Enfer 

Maries (J [] Pilate 

Deciples [] CD fj Caiphas 

Nichodemes PI |~j Joseph 


And I would point out that such a scheme is simply a con- 
tinuation of the arrangement down the choir and nave o* 
a church suggested above 1 . The crucifix is where it would 
stand in the church, above the altar. The place of the 
monument corresponds to that most usual for the sepulchrum 
on the north side of the chancel. The positions of heaven 
and hell are those in the former case of the stairs up to the 

1 Cf. p. 79- 



rood-loft, in the latter of the stairs down to the crypt; and what, 
in a church, should serve for hell and heaven but crypt and 
rood-loft 1 ? The Galilee answers to the porch at the west 
end of the church, which we know to have been so called 2 ; 
and the castle of Emmaus stands in the middle of the nave, 
just as it did in the Fleury Peregrini. With my conjectural 

A. B. C. The three divisions 
of the stage, corre- 
sponding to the nave, 
choir, and sanctuary 
of a church. 

1. The first door. 

2. Hell. 

3. The Garden of Gethse- 


4. Mount Olivet. 

5. The second door. 

6. Herod's palace. 

7. Pilate's palace. 

8. The pillar of scourging. 

9. The pillar for the cock. 

10. The house of Caiaphas. 

11. The house of Annas. 

12. The house of the Last 


13. The third door. 

14. 15, 16, 17. Graves from 

which the dead arise. 
1 8, 19. Crosses of the two 

20. Cross of Christ. 

21. The Holy Sepulchre. 

22. Heaven. 


plan may be compared this actual plan of a sixteenth-century 
stage from Donaueschingen, in which a similar principle is 
apparent, the three divisions formed by cross - barriers 
corresponding to the three divisions of a church sanctuary, 
choir, nave 8 . 

1 Pearson, ii. 315; and cf. the 
angels aloft in the Rouen Pastores 
(P- 41)- 

Cf. p. 50. 

8 Plan in Mone, ii. 156 ; Froning, 
277 ; Davidson, 199 ; Pearson, ii. 


The Anglo-Norman Resurrection play was pretty clearly 
out of doors l ; and the double line of sedes may be thought 
of as stretching from the west door of the church right across 
the market-place. In Adam the Figura comes and goes 
from and to the church, which thus serves for a del ; in the 
Benedictbeuern Christmas play, the chair of Augustine is set 
in fronte ecclesiae. This arrangement, also, can be paralleled 
from later plays, both French and German. At Freiburg 
in 1504 the stage was built across the cathedral yard from 
the south door to the Kaufhaus, a space of some 1 10 feet long*. 
At Rouen, in 1474, the establies went across the market-place 
from the Axe and Crown to the Angel 3 . It must not, 
however, be supposed that the rectangular stage survived 
as the invariable type. In particular a round type was 
sometimes preferred. The Cornish guary-plays were given 
in rounds, and a round is figured in a fifteenth-century 
miniature by Jean Fouquet, representing a play of Saint 
Apollonia 4 . 

I have spoken of a stage, but I am not sure that there was 
any stage in the sense of a platform. There is certainly no such 
scaffold in Fouquet's miniature, and the plateae of the Fleury 
Suscitatio Lazari and the Adam are probably only the open 
spaces kept free for the actors between the sedes 5 . In the 
Adam the devils are able to make sallies from the plateae 
amongst the spectators. The latter probably crowded upon 
barriers between the sedes. In the miniature, however, the 
sedes stand close together and are considerably raised, with 

320 ; Konnecke, Bilderatlas, 55 : rand, Lit. Hist. i. 470. 

on the play, cf. Creizenach, i. 224 ; D'Ancona, i. 191, however, de- 

Wirth, 139, 327. Another sixteenth- scribes the Italian devozioni as 

century plan from Lucerne is given taking place on talami or platforms 

by Leibing, Die Inscenierung des in the naves of churches. In France, 

2-tagjgen Ostersfiiels, 1869; cf. minor religious plays at least took 

Creizenach, i. 168. place on scaffolds, built up some- 

1 See the mention of ' en mi la times against the wall of a church 

place ' in the prologue ; but * place ' (Bapst, 23, 29). A raised stage, 

might be only the French equivalent with sedes along the back of it, is 

of * platea ' as used in the Fleury shown by the miniatures in the MS. 

Suscitatio Lazari. of the Valenciennes Passion (re- 

8 Pearson, ii. 322. produced in Jusscrand, SAa&esfeare 

8 Julleville, Les Afyst. ii. 37. in France, 63 ; cf. Julleville,' Les 

4 Reproduced in Ctedat,4; Bapst, Mysttres, ii. 153) ; but this is as late 

33, from Horae of 1 1460 ; cf. Jusse- as 1 547. 


ladders running up to them. The spectators stand beneath. 
The prologue to the Anglo-Norman Resurrection speaks of 
la gent as seated, and possibly raised scaffolds for the audience 
were already in use. These were certainly known later, and 
the descriptions of some of them as no less than nine stories 
high have given rise to an erroneous theory that the plays were 
performed upon a many-storied stage \ It is clear that this 
was not really the case. All the sedes were on the same level, 
except that, for greater dignity, the Calvary, the Heaven, the 
Paradise might be, as in Adam, loco eminentiore^ and that the 
infernum or hell, conventionally represented by the head and 
open gullet of a monstrous dragon, was low down, as if in the 
bowels of the earth 2 . It should be added that, as early as the 
first quarter of the twelfth century, plays had begun to make 
their way from the church, if not into the open, at any rate 
into buildings of domestic use. The authority for this 
is Gerhoh of Reichersberg, who speaks of performances 
in the refectory of Augsburg, when he was magister 
cholae there about H23 3 , Some of the Fleury or other 
early plays may conceivably have been intended for the 

The expansion of the cycles caused difficulties of time, as 
well as of space. Without a compression of manner alien 
to the long-winded Middle Ages, it was sometimes impossible 
to get the whole of the matter to be treated within the limits 
of a single day. The problem was amenable to more than 
one solution. The performance could be spread over two 
or more sittings. The first recorded example of such an 
arrangement is at Cividale in 1 298 4 , but it is one that would 
naturally suggest itself, especially for the Easter cycle, which 
fell naturally enough into the two dramas of Passion and 
Resurrection, from which, indeed, it sprang. In the Frankfort 
cue-book of % fourteenth century, it is carefully noted, that 

1 Julleville, Les Myst. i. 386; est' (Julleville, Les Myst. il 77) 

Bawt, 28. Just such an ' enfer ' is represented' 

c * ur p / I37 -' J Amongst the m th * Fouquet and Valenciennes 

estabhes required for the Rouen miniatures, 

play of 1474 was ' Enfer faict en 3 Cf. p. 98. 

maniere d'une grande gueulle se 4 Cf. p. 77. 
cloant et ouvrant quant besoing en 


if the audience are being kept too long, the rectores of the 
play shall defer the Resurrection to a second day l . Another 
device, which does not occur so early, was to divide the cycle 
into parts and play them in successive years. This method 
was adopted with the play of the Seven Joys of Mary at 
Brussels 2 , and English examples will be found in a later 
chapter 3 . 

The cycles required in many cases a larger number of actors 
than the ecclesiastical bodies, even with the aid of wandering 
clerks and the cloister schools, could supply. It was necessary 
to press the laity into the service. The Easter play, of which 
the thirteenth-century anchoress Wilburgis was disappointed, 
was acted tarn a clero quam a populo 4 . It was a further step 
in the same direction when the laity themselves took over the 
control and financing of plays. For this one must look mainly 
to that most important element in mediaeval town life, the 
guilds. Just as the Feast of Fools passed from the hands 
of the clergy into those of the soctttfs joyeuses, so did the 
religious drama into those of more serious confraternities. 
The burgenses of Cahors, who in 1290 and 1302 played 
a ludum de miraculis beati Marcialis in the graveyard of 
St. Martial of Limoges, not improbably belonged to a guild 
formed to do honour to the patron 5 . The primary purpose 
of such guilds as these was devotional, and if they acted plays, 
it was doubtless with the countenance and assistance of the 
clergy to whose church they were affiliated. But those more 
secular and literary guilds, the puys> also undertook to act 
religious plays no less than softies and farces ; and in them 

1 Froning, 363 'Et notandum, Augsburg version of 1487 (Milch- 
quod optime congruit, ne populus sack, 129) concludes * Permittitur 
nimiam moram faciendo gravetur, tamen aliis, qui forsan huiusmodi 
et ut resurrectio domini gloriosius personas [i.e. * sacerdotes ' et 'can- 
celebretur, ut ulterior ordo ludi in tores '] non habent, ut cum aliis 
diem alterum conservetur ; quod si personis et etiam moribus honestis 
apud rectores deliberatum fuerit, tamen et discretis, huiusmodi visi- 
Augustinus coram populo proclamet tationem sepulchri exequantur.' See 
dicens sine rigmo, ut in die crastino also the jest of Tyll Ulenspiegel 
revertatur.' with the parson's concubine who 

* Creizenach, i. 340. played the angel, quoted by Pearson, 

9 Cf. p. 130. ii. 308. 

4 Cf. p. 74. By the fifteenth 6 Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 2. For 

century lay performers appear even plays by German guilds cf. Pearson, 

in the ritual Quern quaeritis. An ii. 364. 


it may be suspected that the influence of the clergy would 
have to contend shrewdly with that of the minstrels *. It is 
not surprising to come in time upon signs of a rivalry between 
lay and clerical actors. Thus, in 1378, the scholars of 
St. Paul's are said to have presented a petition to Richard II, 
praying him to prohibit a play by some c unexpert people ' of 
the History of the Old Testament, a subject which they them- 
selves had prepared at great expense for the ensuing Christmas. 
It may have been some similar dispute which led about the 
same date to the formation of the Parisian Confrtrie de la 
PassioHy which received from Charles VI a privilege to perform 
in and about the city, and became a model for many similar 
confrMes throughout France. The charter bears the date of 
1402. In 1398 the provost of Paris seems to have been moved 
to forbid dramatic performances without special sanction in 
the city or suburbs, a prohibition which, by the way, was 
flouted on the day of its proclamation at Saint-Maur. 
Exactly what led to this interposition of authority is not 
clear ; but it probably induced the confrtrie, who may have 
had a previous less formal existence, to apply for their 
privilege 2 . The confrtrie de la Passion seem to have acted, 
as a rule, in closed rooms. It is not unlikely that the puys 
did the same. 

The altered conditions of representation naturally reacted 
upon the style and temper of the plays themselves. This 
is not a subject that can be discussed in detail here, but a few 
points may be briefly noted. The first is the gradual sub- 
stitution of vernacular tongues for the Latin of the liturgical 
drama. This was almost inevitable, where laymen performed 
to a lay audience. But the liturgical drama itself did not 
absolutely exclude the vernacular. In the Sponsus, and in the 
Suscitatio Lazari and the Nicholas play of Hilarius, frag- 
ments of French are inserted, just as they are in the c farced ' 
epistles used at <the feasts of certain saints, notably at that of 
St. Stephen 3 . It was a step further when in the fourteenth 

1 Creizenach, i. 137 ; Julleville, belong to the repertoires vipuys. 
Les Myst. i. 115; Les Com. 43. * Julleville, Les Afyst.i. 412 ; Les 

Probably the ' Jeu de Nicholas 1 of Com. 55. 

Jean Bodel, and the fourteenth- * Du Mril, 410, 414, prints ex- 
century c Miracles de Notre Dame, 1 amples of such tpttres farcies for 


century the nuns of Origny Ste.-Benoite rewrote their liturgical 
Quern quaeritiS) leaving indeed some of the more solemn parts, 
such as the dialogue of the Maries with the angel, or that of 
the Magdalen with the risen Christ, in Latin, but turning the 
rest into French 1 . Such an arrangement as this of Origny 
Ste.-Benoite became in the transition plays, intended for out- 
of-door performance to a popular audience, the rule. There 
was naturally some local variation. Of the two longer scholars' 
plays in the Benedictbeuern manuscript, the Christmas play 
is wholly, the Passion play mainly, in Latin. A large propor- 
tion of Latin seems to have been retained in the Frankfort 
Passion play of the fourteenth century. But on the whole, 
as the texts grow, and especially as they draw upon the 
apocryphal books or the great mediaeval vernacular epics 
for matter not in the liturgical plays, the vernacular steadily 
gets the upper hand, until in the latest versions the traces 
of Latin must be regarded as mere survivals. 

In some cases where Latin and vernacular appear together, 
the latter is of the nature of a translation, or rough and often 
much expanded paraphrase, of the former. This type of mixed 
and obviously transitional text can, as it happens, be illustrated 
from French, German, and English sources. It occurs, for 
instance, in the Adam. Here the Adam and Eve and Cain 
and Abel scenes are wholly, but for the preliminary lectio and 
the interpolated chants by the choir, in Norman-French. 
The prophecies, however, are given in the double form. 
Thus Isaiah says : 

' Egredietur virga de radice Jesse, et flos de radice eius 
ascendet, et requiescet super eum spiritus domini. 
* Or vus dirrai merveillus diz : 
Jesse sera de sa raYz. 
Verge en istra, qui fera flor, 
Qui ert digne de grant unor. 

the feasts of St. Stephen and St. i. 64. The Quern quaeritis includes 

Thomas of Canterbury : cf. the the Hortulanus scene and has, like 

numerous references in D'Ancona, the Prague versions, the Mercator. 

i. 66, and vol. i. p. 277. It was probably written later than 

1 Text in Coussemaker, 256, from 1286, as the Ordinarius of that 

BibLSt.QuentmMS. 75 (fourteenth year (Coussemaker, 337) directs a 

century) ; cf. Julleville, Les Myst. shorter version in Latin. 


Saint espirit Tavra si clos, 
Sor ceste flor iert sun repos/ 

There are many similar examples in German plays, of which 
the most complete is a Quern quaeritis in a fourteenth-century 
manuscript at Troves 1 . In England Professor Skeat discovered 
at Shrewsbury a fragmentary text of this type in a manuscript 
of the early fifteenth century 2 . It is written in a northern, 
probably Yorkshire, dialect, and contains the part, with cues, 
of a single actor in three plays, a Pastores^ a Quern quaeritis^ 
and a Peregrini. In the first he played the Third Shepherd, 
in the second the Third Mary, in the last probably Cleophas, 
The fragment shows clearly enough the way in which the 
Latin text was first sung by a group of performers together, 
and then expanded by them separately in the vernacular. 
The two documents last quoted mark not only the transition 
from Latin to the vernacular, but also that from the sung 
drama of the liturgies to the spoken drama of the great cycles. 
In Professor Skeat's Shrewsbury fragments the Lajtin alone 
is musically noted. In the Trfeves Quern quaeritis the Latin 
and portions of the German are noted, and a careful distinction 
is made between the lines to be spoken and those to be sung 
by the use of the terms cantat and dicit in the rubrics 3 . 

Again, the laicization of the drama was accompanied by a 
further development of the secular and even comic elements, 
of which the germs already existed in the plays. A more 
human and less distinctively ecclesiastical handling became 
possible 4 . The figure of Herod offered a melodramatic 
type of ranting tyrant which the tradition of the stage did 
not readily forget. The life of the unconverted Magdalen 
in gaudio gave the dramatist his opportunity to paint scenes 
of wholly secular luxury and romance. Naturally the comic 
developments attached themselves largely to personalities not 

1 Text in Froningf, 49, from Trier text from Shrewsbury MS. Mus. 

MS. 75 (begins ' incipit ludus de iii. 42 f. 48 (a book of anthems), 

nocte paschae, de tribus Mariis et Manly, i. xxviii, also gives it with 

Maria Magdalena ' . . . ends * ex- some valuable notes of his own. 

plicit ludus *) ; cf. Creizenach, i. 8 Creizenach, i. 109. 

112; Davidson, 149; Wirth, 120, 4 Ibid. i. 99, 202; Pearson, ii. 271, 

235- 302, 394J Wirth, 168, 201, 215; 

* Cf. Academy for Jan. 4 and n, D'Ancona, i. 62. 
1890, where Prof. Skeat prints the 


already defined in the Testament narratives. The Mercator> 
for instance, whose domesticities with his wife and his 
apprentice do so much to enliven the later German plays, 
is a thoroughly characteristic production of the mediaeval 
folk spirit, for the delectation of which Rutebeuf wrote the 
Dit de lErberie \ It is not, perhaps, altogether unjustifiable 
to trace a relation between him and the inveterate quack 
doctor of the spring folk drama itself 2 . This would not be 
the only point of contact between the ludi of the Church and 
those of the folk. The significance, from this point of view, 
of Balaam's ass has already been touched upon 3 . And in 
the growth of the devil scenes, from their first beginnings 
in the Sponsus or in the devil-deacon of the Tollite portas*> 
to their importance in the Adam or the various treatments 
of the Fall of Lucifer and the Harrowing of Hell, may we not 
trace the influence of those masked and blackened demon 
figures who from all time had been a dear scandal of the 
Kalends and the Feast of Fools 5 ? It is certain that the imps 
who sallied amongst the spectators and haled the Fathers off 
to their limbo of clashed kettles and caldrons must have been 
an immensely popular feature of the Adam ; and it is note- 
worthy that in more than one place the compagnies joyeuses 
who inherited the Feast of Fools joined forces with more 
serious confrtries and provided comic actors for the religious 
plays 6 . 

In yet another way the coming of the vernacular affected 
the character of the religious drama. It had been cosmopolitan ; 
it was to be national: and from the fourteenth century, in 
spite of a few lendings and borrowings, and of a certain 
uniformity in the general lines of development, it really 
requires separate treatment in each of the European countries 7 . 
In Italy the divergence from the common type was perhaps 
most marked of all, although I think that Signor D'Ancona 
and others have perhaps pushed the doctrine of the independ- 
ence and isolation of Italian drama to an extreme. They 

1 Cf. vol. i. p. 83. 6 Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 412 ; 

2 Cf. vol. L pp. 185, 207, 213. Les Com. 149, 237 (Chaumont), 239 

3 Cf. p. 56. (Chauny). 

4 Cf. p. 4. T Creizenach, i. 356 ; cf. p. 146. 
6 Cf. vol. i. pp. 258, 268, 327, 


consider that it almost began afresh with the religious stirrings 
of the Umbrian Flagellants in 1260. The compagnie or asso- 
ciations of disciplinati, who were the outcome of this thoroughly 
folk movement, were wont, as they lashed themselves, to sing 
hymns of praise, laudes, whence they got the secondary name 
of laudesi. The lauds were mostly sung in the chapels of the 
compagnie after mass and a sermon on Sundays. Several 
fourteenth-century collections are extant, and contain examples 
intended for use throughout the circle of the ecclesiastical year. 
Many of them were dialogued, and appear to have been 
recited in costume with scenic accessories. The dramatic 
lauds were specifically known as devozioni^ and by the end 
of the fourteenth century were in some cases performed rather 
elaborately upon a talamo or stage in the nave of a church, 
with litoghi deputati for the accommodation of the chief actors. 
According to Signor D'Ancona, the devozioni, which were 
composed by poor folk, were taken direct from the liturgy 
and owed little more than the initial hint or impulse to the 
liturgical drama ; while at the other end of these developments, 
they became the source of the out-of-door and splendidly- 
staged sacre rappresentazioni which originated in Florence 
in the fifteenth century and thence spread to other Italian 
cities *. On this theory it must be observed that the devozioni 
have not been shown to be independent of the liturgical 
drama, and that the derivation of the sacre rappresentazioni 
from the devozioni is purely conjectural 3 . The sacre rappre- 
sentazioni were out of doors and produced by the clergy or 
laity ; the devozioni, which have not been traced to Florence, 
were produced indoors by religious guilds of a very distinct 
type. The sacre rappresentazioni) moreover, included subjects, 
such as the profeti, which are not within the cycle of the 

1 D'Ancona, i. 87 sqq. ; F. Tor- Monaci, Appunti per la storia del 

raca, Discussioni e ricerche (1888), teatro itaiiano in Rivista di Filo- 

92 ; Creizenach, i. 299 sqq. ; J. A. logia Romany i. 235, ii. 29. For 

Symonds, Renaissante in Italy, iv. other collections cf. D'Ancona, i. 

242 sqq.; G. Smith, 297 ; Wechssler, 153; Gaspary, i. 361. D'Ancona 

30; Gaspary, i. 138, 357; I. S. A. * has published Sacre Rappresenta- 

Herford, The Confraternities of zioni (1872). A selection of Lauds, 

Penance^ their Dramas and thetr Devozioni, and Rappresentazioni is 

Lamentations in E. Jf. Review^ vi. in F. Torraca, // teatro itaiiano dei 

(1891), 646. A first instalment of Secoli #*', #/, e xv (1885). 
dramatic Lauds was published by 


devozioni) but do belong to the liturgical drama. It is at 
least a tenable view, that the devozioni were merely a back- 
water of the drama, and that the sacre rappresentazioni were 
derived, like the fifteenth-century plays of other countries, 
from the liturgical drama through the medium of such tran- 
sitional types as those already noted at Padua, Siena, and 
Cividale. The fact that the only transitional texts preserved 
are those of the devozioni has perhaps led to an exaggerated 
estimate of the importance of these. Even liturgical dramas 
are rare in Italy, although there are sufficient thoroughly to 
establish their existence. The chroniclers, however, mention 
one or two events which point to another dramatic tradition 
in Italy than that of the devozioni. At Florence itself, in 
1306, there was a show of Heaven and Hell upon the Arno, 
which though merely pantomimic, may have been based on 
some dramatic representation of the Last Judgement 1 . At 
Milan, in 1336, was a Stella, in which the Magi rode through 
the streets, and Herod sat by the columns of San Lorenzo 2 . 
Both of these performances, like those at Padua and Cividale 

1 D'Ancona, i. 94. cedentibus, simiis, babuynis, et di- 

a Galvano Flamma, de rebus versis generibus animalium, cum 

gestis a Vicecomitibus (D'Ancona, mirabili populorum tumultu, per- 

i. 97 ; Muratori, Rer* ItaL Script, venerunt ad ecclesiam Sancti Eu- 

xii. 1017). The ceremony was storgii. Ubi in latere altaris maioris 

4 in die Epifanie in conventu fra- erat praesepium cum bove et asino, 

trum Praedicatorum . . . Fuerunt etinpraesepioeratChristusparvulus 

coronati tres Reges in equis magnis, in bracbiis Virginis matris. Et isti 

vallati domicellis, vestiti variis, cum Reges obtulerunt Christo munera ; 

somariis multis et familia magna deinde visi sunt dormire, et Angelus 

nimis. Et fuit Stella aurea discur- alatus ei dixit quod non redirent 

rens per aera, quae praecedebat per contratam Sancti Laurentii, sed 

istos tres Reges, et pervenerunt ad per portam Romanam : quod et 

columnas Sancti Laurentii, ubi erat factum fuit. Et fuit tantus concur- 

rex Herodes effigiatus, cum scribis sus populi et militum et dominarum 

et sapientibus. Et visi sunt inter- et clencorum, quodnunquamsimilis 

rogareregemHerodem,ubiChristus fere visus fuit Et fuit ordinatum, 

nasceretur, et revolutis multis libris quod pmni anno istud festum fieret.' 

responderunt, quod deberet nasci This is precisely the liturgic Stella 

in civitate Bethleem in distantia translated into an out-of-door 

quinque milliariorum a Hierusalem. spectacle^ which in its turn becomes 

Quo audito, isti tres Reges coronati the model for many a Quattrocento 

aureis coronis, tenentes in manibus painting ; c, e.g., Botticelli's Magi 

scyphos aureos cum auro, thure et in the Uffizi, or Gentile da Fabrianos, 

myrrha, praecedente Stella per aera, with the baboons done to the life, 

cum somariis et mirabili famulatu, in the Accademia. 
clangentibus tubis, et bucinis prae- 


and the sacre rappresentazioni themselves, were out of doors, 
It is true that the sacre rappresentazioni fell less into big 
cycles than did the contemporary plays of other countries : 
but cycles were not unknown \ and it must be borne in mind 
that the extreme beauty and elaboration of the Florentine 
mise-en-sctne made a limited scheme, on grounds both of time 
and expense, almost imperative. 

' With out-of-door plays climatic conditions began to be of 
importance. Even in sunny France, Christmas is not exactly 
the season to hang about the market-place looking at an 
interminable drama. It is not to be denied that Christmas 
plays continued to be occasionally acted well through the 
fifteenth century 2 , but the number of these, compared with 
the Passions, is small 3 . Even Easter weather is not invariably 
genial. Nor, as the cycles lengthened, was the attachment 
of them to any one of the feasts, whose events they com- 
memorated, a matter of first-rate importance. A tendency 
set in towards playing them, as far as possible in the long 
warm days of the summer months. The first Whitsuntide 
performances are those at Cividale in 1298 and 1303; and 
Whitsuntide became a very favourite date 4 . At Florence 
the great patronal feast and procession of St. John the Baptist 
on June 24 was a natural occasion for sacre rappresentazioni 5 . 

1 D'Ancona, i. 94, 301, considers, are elaborately described 'in the 
however, that the late fifteenth- Storia of Matteo di Marco Palmier! 
century Passio of Revello was not about 1454 (D'Ancona, i. 228). 
a native growth, but modelled on Early in the morning of June 22 
contemporary cyclic plays from started a procession of clergy, com- 
France. P a g n * e i edifizii, and cavalleria. 

2 The Rouen play of 1474 (Julie- These stopped in the Piazza della 
ville, Les Myst. ii. 36) was one, Signoria, and rappresentazioni, 
and cf. pp. 119, 122. forming a complete cycle from the 

8 Creizenach, i. 242 ; cf. the lists Fall of Lucifer to the Last Judge- 
in Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 183. ment, and lasting sixteen hours, were 

* Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 9 sqq. given upon the edifizii. D'Ancona 

* D'Ancona, i. 218; Guasti, Le suggests that the dumb show type of 
Jeste di San Giovann\ Baptista in rappresentazioni preceded the dia- 

Firenze (1884). Rappresentazioni lo^ued one,' come piu semplice.' But 

on St. John's day were known to this seems equally inconsistent with 

the late fourteenth-century Floren- his view that the rappresentazioni 

tine historian Goro di Stagio Dati. grew out videvozioni, and mine that 

An account of the feast in 1407 they were an adaptation of earlier 

makes no mention of them, but cyclical plays to the conditions of the 

they appear in that of 1439, and Florentine feast 


Another high day for the cyclical drama from the fourteenth 
century onwards, notably in England 1 and Spain 2 , and to 
a much less degree in Germany 3 and France 4 , was the 
recently-established feast of Corpus Christi. This, the most 
materialistic of all the Church's celebrations, is in honour of 
the mystery of the transubstantiated sacrament. It originated 
locally in an alleged revelation to Juliana, a Cistercian religious 
of Li&ge. Pope Urban IV designed in 1264 to make it a 
universal festival, but he died in the same year, and the bull 
which he had issued remained inoperative until it was con- 
firmed by Clement V at the council of Vienne in 1311. 
Corpus Christi day was the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. 
An office was compiled for it by St. Thomas Aquinas, and 
the leading ceremony was a great procession in which the 
host, escorted by local dignitaries, religious bodies and guilds, 
was borne through the streets and displayed successively at 
out-of-door stations 6 . When the plays were transferred to 
Corpus Christi day, they became more or less attached to this 
procession. Sometimes, perhaps, the procession served as 
a mere preliminary parade for the actors, such as sometimes 
preceded plays at other times 6 . The play itself would 
follow on a fixed stage of the ordinary type. But the method 
of the great English cycles seems to point to a more complete 
merging of play and procession than this. The domus> loci, 
or sedes were set upon wheels, and known as 'pageants 7 '; 
and the performance was gone through during the procession, 

1 Cf. ch. xxi. are those of Innsbruck, 1 1395 (Text 

* D'Ancona, i. 243 ; Schack, ii. in Monc, Altteutsche Schauspiele, 

103 ; Ticknor, Hist, of Spanish 145), and of Kiinzelsau, 1 1479 

Lit. ii. 249. The Autos Sacra- (ed. H. Werner, in Germania^ iv. 

mentales are so named from their 338). Cf. the description (1*1553) 

connexion with this day. of Naogeorgos (transl. Googe) in 

8 Creizenach, i. 170, 227. The Stubbes, i. 337. 

earliest German mention is at the 4 Julleville, ii. 208. 

council of Prague in 1366 (Hofler, B Ward, i. 44 ; Davidson, 215 ; 

Concilia Pragensia, 13, in Abhandl. Malleson-Tuker, ii. 227. 

d. konigl. bohmischen Gesellsch. der 6 See e. g. the * Processio huius 

Wiss. series v. vol. 12) 'omnibus ludi' at the end of the text of the 

. . . clericis et laicis . . . mandatur Alsfeld Passion of 1501 (Froning, 

ut ludos theatrales vel etiam fistu- 858) ; cf. Pearson, ii. 365. As to 

latores vel ioculatores in festo cor- the general relations of processions 

poris Christi in processionibus ire and plays, cf. p. 1 60. 

quovis modo permittant et admit- 7 Cf. p. 136. 
tant. 9 Extant Frohnleicknamsspiele 

being repeated at the various stations made by the host. 
If the cycle was a very long one, time could be saved by 
making an early play at one station coincident with a later 
play at that in front of it. It is, however, easy to see that with 
the arrangement here suggested the popularity of the pageants 
might throw the strictly religious aspect of the procession 
rather into the shade. The two would then be severed again, 
but the play might still retain its processional character. 
This is not, I think, an unreasonable conjecture as to how 
the type of play found, say at York, may have come into 
existence l . To Chester, where the plays were not on Corpus 
Christi day, but at Whitsuntide, the method must have been 
transferred at a later date. 

During this brief survey of the critical period for the 
religious drama between the middle of the thirteenth and 
the middle of the fourteenth century, I have attempted to 
bring into relief the tendencies that were at work for its 
remodelling. But it must not be supposed that either the 
tendency to expansion or the tendency to secularization acted 
universally and uniformly. The truth is quite otherwise. 
To the end of the history of the religious drama, the older 
types, which it threw out as it evolved, co-existed with the 
newer ones 2 . The Latin tropes and liturgical dramas held 
their place in the church services. And in the vernaculars, 
side by side with the growing Nativities and Passions, there 
continued to be acted independent plays of more than one 
sort. There were the original short plays, such as the Stella, 
the Annunciation, the Sponsus, the Antichrist, by the running 
together of which the cycles came into being. There were 
plays, on the other hand, which originated as episodes in the 
cycles, and only subsequently attained to an independent 

1 The closest merging of play prosessionquejeu,etquelesestran- 

and procession is suggested by an giers le voient aisement.' Perhaps 

order at Draguignan in 1558 (Julie- the short speeches of the Innsbruck 

ville, Les Myst. ii. 209), where it play were similarly delivered while 

was ordered * Le dit jeu jora avec the procession was moving. The 

la procession comme auparadvant nearest continental approach to the 

et le plus d'istoeres et plus brieves English type is the Kiinzelsau play, 

que puront estre seront et se dira which was divided into three parts 

tout en cheminant sans ce que j>er- and played at three different stations 

sonne du j'eu s'areste pour eviter (Creizenach, i. 227). 

prolixit^ et confusion taut de ladite. * Creizenach, i. 2^ 


existence. The majority of these were Old Testament plays, 
budded off, like the Daniel, from the Prophetae. And finally 
there were numerous plays drawn from hagiological legends, 
many of which never came into connexion with the cycles 
at all. Thus in the transition period we find, not only plays 
on St. Nicholas and St. Catherine for which liturgical models 
existed, but also the great French series of Miracles of the 
Virgin, and plays on Saints Theophilus, Dorothy, Martial, 
and Agnes *. The natural tendency of great churches to 
magnify their own patron saints led to further multiplication 
of themes. In the same way, long after the lay guilds and 
corporations had taken up the drama, performances continued 
to be given or superintended by the clergy and their scholars 2 . 
Priests and monks supplied texts and lent vestments for the 
lay plays. To the last, the church served from time to time 
as a theatre. All these points, as well as the traces of their 
liturgical origin lingering in the cycles, will be fully illustrated, 
so far as England is concerned, in the following chapters. 

The question presents itself: What was the official attitude 
of the high ecclesiastical authorities towards the growing 
religious plays? It is not precisely answered, as the history 
of the Feast of Fools has shown, by the fact that the chapters 
and inferior clergy encouraged and took part in them. The 
liturgical drama had its motive, as St. Ethelwold is careful 
to point out, in a desire for devotion and the edification oi 

1 Creizenach, i. 128, 137sqq., 156; voce, lingua latina et materna, cuni 
Jujleville, Les Myst. i. 95, 107, 115, magna reverentia et honore ac di 
185; ii. 2, 4, 5, 221, 226, 345 ; Les versis personacium et habituuir 
Com. 49 ; Sepet, 202, 242 ; Ctedat, generibus ad hoc congruis et neces- 
63, 73, 105. sariis, solemniter et pubhce vitan 

2 Creizenach, i. 130, 165, 176; et miracula egregii confessoris e 
Julleville, Les Myst. i. 347; Les pontificis Machuti, recitare et ex 
Com. 291 ; D'Ancona,i. 57; Pearson, ponere, missamque solemnem ir 
ii. 303 ; Wirth, 144. A play could pontificalibus, in platea seu plateii 
be given outside the church without supradictis super altare portatil, 
wholly losing its connexion with consecrato per alterum vestrum 
the liturgy. It became a sort of canonicorum vel alium ydoneum 
procession: cf. pp. 32, 67. D'Ancona, sacerdotem celebrare . . . licentiam 
' 59, quotes from J?/^/. deffceoledes et auctoritatem impertimus per 

S) iii. 450, a licence given by praesentes/ Cf. the examples of 

the Bishop of Langres in 1408 'Ut plays at the Feasts of Fools and 

in quadem platea vel plateis congruis of the Boy Bishop (vol. i. pp. 295, 

et honestis, infra vel extra villam, 296, 299, 304, 306, 309, 313, 342, 

prope et supra rippariam loci, coram 348, 349, 380). 
clero et populo, alta et intelligibili 




the vulgar 1 . The hope of affording a counter-attraction to 
the spring and winter ludi of hard-dying paganism probably 
went for something. Herrad of Landsberg, in the twelfth 
century, utters a regret that the Stella rightly instituted at 
Epiphany by the Fathers of the Church had given place to 
a shameless revel 2 . But a contrary opinion to Hen-ad's arose 
almost contemporaneously amongst the reforming anti-imperial 
clergy of Germany. This finds expression more than once in 
the writings of Gerhoh of Reichersberg 3 . He scoffs at the 
monks of Augsburg who, when he was magister scolae there 
about 1 1 32, could only be induced to sup in the refectory, 
when a representation of Herod or the Innocents or some 
other quasi-theatrical spectacle made an excuse for a feast 4 . 
And he devotes a chapter of his De Investigatione Antichristi, 
written about 1161, to an argument that clergy who turn the 
churches into theatres are doing the work of that very Anti- 
christ of whom they make a show 6 . Evidently Gerhoh has 

Cf. p. 16. 

s Cf.voli.p.3i8. Pearson, ii.285, 
translates: ' The old Fathers of the 
Church, in order to strengthen the 
belief of the faithful and to attract 
the unbeliever by this manner of 
religious service, rightly instituted 
at the Feast of Epiphany or the 
Octave religious performances of 
such a kind as the star guiding the 
Magi to the new-born Christ, the 
cruelty of Herod, the dispatch of 
the soldiers, the lying-in of the 
Blessed Virgin, the angel warning 
the Magi not to return to Herod, 
and other events of the birth of 
Christ. But what nowadays happens 
in many churches? Not a cus- 
tomary ritual, not an act of reverence, 
but one of irreligion and extrava- 
gance conducted with all the license 
of youth. The priests having changed 
their clothes go forth as a troop of 
warriors; there is 'no distinction 
between priest and warrior to be 
marked. At an unfitting gathering 
of priests and laymen the church 
is desecrated by feasting and drink- 
ing, buffoonery, unbecoming jokes, 
play, the clang of weapons, the 
presence of shameless wenches, 

the vanities of the world, and all 
sorts of disorder. Rarely does 
such a gathering break up without 

8 On Gerhoh (1093-1169) see the 
article in the 2nd ed. of Wetzer 
and Welte's Kirchenlexicon. He 
took a strong reforming and anti- 
imperial line in the controversies of 
his day. 

4 Gerhoh us, Comm* in Ps. cxxxii 
(P. L. cxciv. 890) ' Cohaerebat ipsi 
Ecclesiae claustrum satis honestum, 
sed a claustrali religione omnino 
vacuum, cum neque in dormitorio 
fratres dormirent, neque in refectorio 
maxime in quibus Herodem reprae- 
sentarent Christi persecutorem, par- 
vulorum interfectorem, seu ludis 
aliis aut spectaculis quasi theatra- 
libus exhibendis comportaretur 
symbolum ad faciendum convivium 
in refectorio aliis pene omnibus 
temporibus vacuo.' 

5 Gerhohus, de fnv.Ant.lib. i. c, 5, 
de spectaculis tkeatricis in ecclesia 
Dei cxhibitis (Gerhohi Opera Inc- 
dita, ed. Scheibelberger, i. 25) <Et 
sacerdotes, qui dicuntur, iam non 
ecclesiae vel altarif ministerio dcditi 


been stung by the lampooning of his party as the Hypocritae 
in the pro- imperialist Antichristus which is still extant. But 
he includes in his condemnation plays of a less special and 
polemical character, referring especially to the Nativity cycle 
and to a lost play of Elisaeus. He repeats some of the old 
patristic objections against larvae and spectacula> and tells 
tales, such as Prynne will tell after him, of how horrors 
mimicked by actors have been miraculously converted into 
verities 1 . Literary historians occasionally commit them- 
selves to the statement that Innocent III forbade the clergy 
to participate in miracle-plays 2 . It is more than doubtful 

sunt, sed exercitiis avaritiae, vani- 
tatum et spectaculorum, adeo ut 
ccclesias ipsas, videlicet orationum 
domus, in theatra commutent ac 
mimicis ludorum spectaculis im- 
pleant. Inter quae nimirum spec- 
tacula adstantibus ac spectantibus 
ipsorum feminis interdum et anti- 
christi, de quo nobis sermo est, 
non ut ipsi aestimant imaginariam 
similitudmem exhibent sed in veri- 
tate, ut credi potest iniquitatis ipsius 
mysterium pro parte sua implent. 
Quidni enim diabolus abutatur in 
serium rebus sibi exhibitis in vani- 
tatis ludicrum, sicut Dominus 
quoque lesus convertens in seria 
ludibria, quibus apud ludaeos vel 
Pilatum in passione sua affectus 
est ? ... Quid ergo mirum si et isti 
nunc antichristum vel Herodem in 
suis ludis simulantes eosdem non, 
ut eis intentioni est, ludicro men- 
tiuntur sed in veritate exhibent, ut- 
pote quorum vita ab antichrist! laxa 
conversatione non Ipnge abest ? . . . 
Contigit, ut comperimus, aliquando 
apud tales, ut eum quem inter 
ludicra sua quasi mortuum ab 
Elisaeo propheta suscitantem exhi- 
berent peracta simulatione mortuum 
invenirent. Alius item antichristo 
suo quasi suscitandus oblatus intra 
septem dies vere mortuus, ut com- 
perimus, et sepultus est. Et quis 
scire potest an et cetera simulata 
antichrist! scilicet effigiem, dae- 
monum larvas, herorUanam insaniem 
in veritate non exhibeant? . . . Exhi- 

bent praeterea imaginaliter et sal- 
vatoris infantiae cunabula, parvuli 
vagi turn, puerperae virgin is matro- 
nalem habitum, steliae quasi sidus 
flammigerum, infantum necem, ma- 
ternum Rachelis ploratum. Sed 
divinitas insuper et matura facies 
ecclesiae abhorret spectacula thea- 
tralia, non respicit in vanitates et 
insanias falsas, immo non falsas sed 
iam veras insanias, in quibus viri 
totos se frangunt in femmas quasi 
pudeat eos, quod viri sunt, clerici 
in milites, homines se in daemonum 
larvas t ran sfigu rant . . .' 

1 Prynne, Histriomastix, 556, 
refers to 'the visible apparition of 
the Devill on the Stage at the Bel- 
savage Play-house, in Queene Eliza- 
beth's dayes (to the great amazement 
both of the Actors and Spectators) 
whiles they were there prophanely 
playing the History of Faustus 
(the truth of which I have heard 
from many now alive, who well 
remember it), there being some 
distracted with that fearefull sight. 9 

a Pollard, xxiv. I do not know 
how Ward, i. 43, gets at the very 
different theory that in 1210 (sic for 
1207) Innocent III ordered plays 'to 
be represented outside the church 
as well as inside.' Mr. Pollard, by 
the way, assigns the prohibition to 
1 Pope Gregory/ a further mistake, 
due, I suppose, to the fact that it 
was subsequently included in the 
Gregorian Decretals. 




whether this was so. The prohibition in question is familiar 
to us, and it is clear that the ludi theatrales which Innocent 
barred from the churches were primarily the Feasts of Fools, 
and the like *. And as a matter of fact the glossa ordinaria 
to the decretal by Bernard de Bottone, which itself dates from 
about 1263, so interprets the words of the Pope as expressly 
to allow of Christmas and Easter representations calculated 
to stimulate devotion 2 . Yet there would have been no need 
for the gloss to have been written had not an opposite inter- 
pretation also been current. It was perhaps on the strength 
of the decree that another reformer, Robert Grosseteste, 
justified his action when in 1244 he directed his archdeacons 
to exterminate, so far as they could, the miracula, which he 
put on the same level as May-games and harvest-Mays, or 
the scotales of the folk 3 . And it is certainly appealed to 
before the end of the thirteenth century in the Manuel des 
Ptchts of the Anglo-Norman William of Waddington 4 . Robert 

1 Cf. vol. i. p. 279. 

1 Quoted by Creizenach, i. 101, 
' Non tamen hie prohibetur reprae- 
sentare praesepe Domini, Herodem, 
magos et qua! her Rachel ploravit 
filios suos, etc., quae tangunt fe- 
stivitates illas, de quibus hie fit 
mentio, cum talia ad devotionem 
potius inducant homines quam ad 
lasciviam vel voluptatem, sicut in 
pascha sepulcrum Domini et alia 
repraesentantur ad devotionem exci- 
tajidam': cf. vol i. p. 342. J. 
Aquila, Opusculum Enchiridion 
appellatum ferme de omni ludorum 
genere, f. 14 (Oppenheim, 1516), 
after referring to the canon, says, 
* Demonstrationes quae fiunt ad 
honorem dei puta passion is Christi 
aut vitae alicuius sancti non prohi- 
bentur in sacris locis ac temporibus 
fieri.' Both canon and gloss are 
cited in Dives and Pauper , a book 
of fifteenth-century English morality 
(F. A. Gasquet, Eve of Reformation, 
317): cf. also D'Ancona, i. 54. 

8 Cf. vol. i. p. 91. An anchoress 
of Tarrant Keynston (AncrenRiwle^ 
1-1150, C S. 318) was bound to 
confess if she 'code oe pleouwe 
ine chircheie : biheold hit 

wrastlinge t o^er fol gomenes ' : 

but 'pleouwe,' like ludus (vol. i. 

P- 393)f may have a very general 


4 Manning, 146: 
Un autre folie apert 
Vnt les fols clercs cuntroue, 
Qe ( miracles' sunt apele; 
Lur faces vnt la deguise 
Par visers, li forsene, 
Qe est defend u en decree ; 
Tant est plus grand lur peche. 
Fere poent representement, 
Mes que ceo seit chastement 
En office de seint eglise 
Quant horn fet la deu servise, 
Cum iesu crist le fiz dee 
En sepulcre esteit pose, 
Et la resurrectiun, 
Pur plus auer deuociun. 
Mes, fere foles assemblez 
En les rues des citez, 
Ou en cymiters apres mangers, 
Quant venent les fols volunters, 
Tut dient qe il le funt pur bien, 
Crere ne les deuez pur rien 
Qe fet seit pur le honur de dee, 
Eim del deable, pur verite, 
Seint ysidre me ad testimone 
Qe fut si bon clerc lettre; 
11 cist qe cil qg funt sepectacles 


Grosseteste presumably, and William of Waddington speci- 
fically, objected to miracula even out of doors, which is surely 
stretching the words of Innocent III beyond what they will 
reasonably bear. In any case the austere view of the matter 
was not that which prevailed. The lax discipline of the 
4 Babylonish captivity ' at Avignon, which allowed the Feast 
of Fools to grow up unchecked through the fourteenth century, 
was not likely to boggle at the plays. The alleged indulgence, 
not without modern parallels *, of Clement VI to the spectators 
of the Chester plays and the performance of a Stella given 
by the English bishops in honour of their continental col- 
leagues at the council of Constance in Hi; 2 are two out of 

Cume lem fet en miracles, 
Or ius qe nus nomames einz 
Burdiz ou turneinens, 
Lur baptesme vnt refusez, 
E deu de ciel reneiez/ &c. 

Robert Mannyng of Brunne 
(1303) translates : 
' Hyt ys forbode hym,yn the decre, 
Myracles for to make or se ; 
For myracles, jyf |>ou begynne, 
Hyt ys a gaderyng, a syghte of 

He may yn J>e cherche j>urghe 

)>ys resun 

Pley )>e resurrecyun, 
pat ys to seye, how Gode ros, 
God and man yn my}t and los, 
To make men be yn beleue gode 
That he has ros wyb flesshe and 

blode : 
And he may pleye wyj>outyn 


Howe god was bore yn jole nyght, 
To make men to beleue stedfastly 
pat he lyghte yn )>e vyrgyne Mary. 
3uf f>ou do hyt in weyys or greuys, 
A syghte of synne truly hyt semys. 
Seynt Ysodre, y take to wytnes, 
For he hyt seyj> bat soj> hyt es ; 
pus hyt sey)> yn nys boke, 
Pey foresake at )>ey toke 
God and here crystendom 
pat makeswyche pleyysto any man 
As myracles and bourdys, 
Or tournamentys of grete prys/ &c. 
The reference to 'Seynt Ysodre' 
is to Isidore of Seville, Etymolo- 
giarum xviii. 59, de horum \ludo- 

rum] exsecratione (/>... Ixxxii. 660). 
The saint is speaking of course of 
the Roman spectacula. 

1 On the * pardon ' or * Ablass * 
given to actors at Oberammergau, 
and the meaning, or want of mean- 
ing, to be attached to it, see an 
amusing controversy in the Nine- 
teenth Century for January and Feb- 
ruary, 1901. 

2 L'Enfant, Hist, du Concile de 
Constance (1727), ii. 404; Hardt, 
Magnum Oecumenicum Constan- 
tiense Concilium (1700), iv. 1089; 
K. Schmidt, Die Digby-Spiele, 12. 
The performance, which was pos- 
sibly a dumb show, took place at 
a banquet on Jan. 24, 141$, and was 
repeated on the following Sunday 
before the emperor, who had arrived 
in the interval. Hardt quotes the 
German of one Dacher, an eye- 
witness : * Am 24 teQ tag des Monats 
Januarii, das war auff Timotheus 
tag, da luden die Bischoff aus Enge- 
land, der Bischoff Salisburgensis, 
der Bischoff von Londen, und 
demnach funff Bischoff von Enge- 
land, alle Raht zu Costniz und 
sonst viel ehrbar Burger daselbst, 
in Burchart Walters Haus, das man 
vorzeiten nennt zu dem Burgthor, 
itzt zu dem gulden Schvvert, aller- 
nachst bey S. Laurenz. Und gab 
ihnen fast ein kostlich mahl, ie 2. 
Gericht nacheinanderJedesGericht 
besonder mit8 Essen : Die trug man 
allvveg eins mahl dar, deren allweg 



many proofs that the later mediaeval Church found no difficulty 
in accommodating itself to the somewhat disconcerting by- 
product of its own liturgy 1 . Such opposition to the religious 
drama as can be traced after the thirteenth century came not 
from the heads of the Church but from its heretics. It is 
chiefly represented by a curious Tretise of miraclis pleyinge 
which dates from the end of the fourteenth century and may 
safely be referred to a Wyclifite origin 2 . The burden of it 
is the sin of making ' oure pleye and bourde of tho myraclis 
and werkis that God so ernestfully wroujt to us/ On this note 
the anonymous preacher harps rather monotonously, and 

waren 4 vefguld oder versilbert. In 
dem mahl, zvvischen dem Essen, 
so machten sie solch bild und 
geberd, als unser Frau ihr Kind un- 
sern Herrn und auch Gott gebahr, 
mit fast k6stlichen Tuchern und 
Gevvand. Und Joseph stellten sie 
zu ihr. Und die heiligen 3 Konige, 
als die unser Frauen die Opffer 
brachten. Und hatten gemacht 
einen lauteren guidnen Stern, der 
ging vor ihnen, an einem kleinen 
eisern Drat. Und machten Konig 
Herodem, vvie er den drey Konigen 
nachsandt, und vvie er die Kindlein 
ertodtet. Das machten sie alles 
mit gar ktfstlichem Gevvand, und 
mit grossen guldenen und silber- 
nen Gurteln, und machten das mit 
grosser Gezierd, und mit grosser 

1 The provincial C. of Sens ( 1 460), 
c, 3 (Labbe', xiii. 1728), while con- 
firming the Basle decree, allowed 
* aliquid iuxta consuetudines eccle- 
siae, in Nativitate Domini, vel Re- 
surrectione ... fiat cum honestate 
et pace, absque prplongatione, im- 
pediment o, vel diminutione seryitii, 
larvatione et sordidatione faciei'; 
cf. the Toledo decree of 1473 quoted 
vol. i. p. 342. The C of Compostella 
(1565), c.c. 9-11 '(Aguirra Cone. 
Hispan. v. 450, 460), forbade ' actus 
sive repraesentationes * during ser- 
vice in church; they might take 
place with leave of the bishop,, or in 
his absence the chapter, before or 
after service. Devotional 'actus' 
were allowed ia Passion week on 

similar conditions. The Corpus 
Christi procession * semel tantum 
subsistat, causa horutn actuum vel 
representationum in eo loco extra 
ecclesiam quem Praelatus aut [capi- 
tulum] idoneum iudicabit.' On the 
other hand the C. of Seville (1512), 
c. 21 (Aguirra, v. 370), had forbid- 
den priests or monks to perform or 
give a ' locus ' for such * actus ' : 
k Sumus informati, quod in quibus- 
dam Ecclesiis nostri Archiepiscopa- 
tus et Provinciae permittitur fieri 
nonnullas repraesentationes Pas- 
sionis Domini nostri lesu Christi, 
et alios actus, et memoriam Resur- 
rectionis, Nativitatis Salvatoris 
nostri, vel alias repraesentationes. 
Et quia ex talibus actibus orta sunt, 
et oriuntur plura absurda, et saepe 
saepius scandala in cordibus illorum 
qui non sunt bene confirmati in 
nostra sancta fide Catholica,videntes 
confusiones, et excessus, qui in hoc 
committuntur . . / Cf. also the 
Langres licence of 1408 (p. 97). 

2 Text in Reliquiae Antiquae, ii. 
42; Hazlitt,73; from late fourteenth- 
century volume of homilies formerly 
in library of St. MartinVin-the- 
Fields. There is also in Rel. Ant. 
i. 322 a satirical English poem from 
Cott. MS. Cleop. B. ii (fifteenth cen- 
tury), against the miracle plays of 
the 'frer mynours,' apparently at 
Rome. But the Minorite in Pierce the 
Ploughman's Crede (ti394, ed. 
Skeat), 107, says of his order, 'At 
marketts & myrades * we medlej) vs 


adds that < myraclis pleyinge . . . makith to se veyne sijtis 
of degyse, aray of men and wymmen by yvil continaunse, 
eyther stiryng othere to letcherie and of debatis.' Like 
Gerhoh of Reichersberg, he thinks the plays 'gynnys of 
the dyvul to drawen men to the byleve of Anti-Crist/ He 
elaborately confutes the views that they are for the worship 
of God, or the more compassion of Christ, or lead to conver- 
sion. He will not allow that * summe recreatioun men moten 
han, and bettere it is or lesse yvele that thei han theyre recrea- 
coun by pleyinge of myraclis than bi pleyinge of other japis.* 
The analysis of the piece need not, perhaps, be pushed further. 
The opinions expressed do not appear to have had any weight 
either of popular or of ecclesiastical sentiment behind them ; 
but they curiously antedate the histriomastic tracts of many 
a sixteenth and seventeenth-century Puritan. 

This chapter may be fitly closed by a few words on the 
subject of nomenclature l . The old classical terms of tragoedia 
and comoedia are not of course normally used of the religious 
plays until the Renaissance influences come in towards the 
end of the fifteenth century. Their mediaeval sense, in 
fact, implies nothing distinctively dramatic 2 . The liturgical 
plays have often a purely liturgical heading, such as Processio 
Asinorum*) or Officium Sepulchri*> or OrdoRachaelis^. Perhaps 
officium may be taken to denote the thing itself, the special 
service or section of a service ; ordo rather the book, the 
written directions for carrying out the officium. Or they have 

1 Creizenach, i. 157, 162: Julie- 48,93, 95, 146; 'Ordo visitationis 
v\\\t,LesMyst. 1.107, 187; G. Smith, sepulchri'(Strassburg, 1513), 'Ordo 
251; Pollard, xix; Ward, i. 41. visitandi sepulchrum' (Bamberg, 

2 Cf. ch. xxv. IS97)> 'Ordo ad visitandum sepul- 
s Cf. p. 54 (Rouen, Prophetae, chrum' (Prague, twelfth century, 

fourteenth century). Haarlem, thirteenth century), ' Ordo 

4 Cf. pp. 37, 41, 45 ; Lange, 130, sepulchri ' (Wiirzburg, thirteenth 

155; ' officium sepulchri/ ' officium century), 'Ordo ad suscipiendum 

peregrinorum/ ' officium pastorum/ peregrinum ' (Beauvais), ' Ordo 

'officium regum trium, 'stellae stellae ' (Laon, thirteenth century), 

officium' (Rouen, eleventh century- * [stellae] 1 (Bilsen, eleventh 

fifteenth century) ; ' resurrectionis century), ' Ordo Rachaelis ' (Frei- 

domini aguntur officia* (Prague, sing, eleventh century), 'Ordo 

fourteenth century). At Melk in Prophetarum 1 (Laon, thirteenth 

1517, 'acturus officium angeli f century), 'Ordo creacfonis, etc.' 

(Lange, no), 'officium 1 has rather (Regensburg, 1194), 'Ordo, sive 

the sense of ' part/ registrum de Passione domini ' 

' Cf.pp. 37,48,49,53,71,77; Lange, (Frankfort, fourteenth century). 


a title derived from their subject, such as Visitatio Sepulchri 1 , 
or Suscitatio Lazari*. Or they are introduced in terms 
which cannot be said to have a technical signification at all, 
ad f attendant similitudinem 3 , ad suscipiendum 4 , ad repraesen- 
tandum 5 . Similitude I do not find outside Fleury, nor the 
corresponding exemplum outside the Benedictbeuern manu- 
script 6 . From ad repraesentandum^ however, a technical term 
does arise, and repraesentatio must be considered, more than 
any other word, as the mediaeval Latin equivalent of 'dramatic 
performance V This the Italian vernacular preserves as rappre- 
sentazione. A synonym for repraesentatio, which naturally 
came into use when the intention of recreation began to 
substitute itself for devotion, is Indus, with its vernacular 
renderings, all in common use, of jeu> Spiel, ' play/ But 
ludus> as already pointed out 8 , is a generic term for ' amuse- 
ment/ and the special sense of 'dramatic play' is only a 
secondary one 9 . c Clerks' play ' as a variant for miracle-play 
is occasionally found I0 . Yet another synonym which makes 
its appearance in the twelfth century, is miraculum ; and this, 
originally a mere convenient shorthand for repraesentatio mira- 
culi, came, especially in England, to stand for 'religious play' in 
general 11 . Mysttre> or 'mystery/ on the other hand, is not 

1 See last note. rum . . . resurreccionis . . . pere- 

3 Cf. p. 58. grinorum' (Lichfield, tiiQo). 

3 Cf.pp. 36, 37, 47; Lange, 160 'ad 8 Cf. vol. i. p. 393. 
faciendum similitudinem domini 9 Cf. pp. 63, 73, 'ludus super 
sepulchri,' * ad faciendam similitu- iconia Sancti Nicolai' (Hilarius, 
dinem domini appantioms* (Fleury, twelfth century) ; cf. the Antichrist 
thirteenth century), 'versus ad stel- and Benedictbeuern Nativity, and 
lam faciendam > (Nevers, tio6o), note n below. 

' fiunt peregrini ' (Saintes, thirteenth 10 Cf. pp. 140, 202. 

century). n Cf. vol. i. p. 91 ; vol. ii. pp. 60, 

4 Cf. p. 103, n. 5 above. 380; 'miraculum deSanctoNicolao' 
8 Cf.pp. 58,60; Lange, 157; c ad (Fleury, thirteenth century), 're- 

repraesentandum quomodo sanctus praesentationes miraculorum ' (Fitz- 

Nicolaus* (Fleury, thirteenth cen- Stephen, tii8o), ' miraculum in 

turyj/historiade Daniel repraesen- nocte Paschae* (Lichfield, fugo; 

tanda' (Hilarius, twelfth century), cf. note 7 above), 'ludum . . . 

* si Mariae debearit repraesentari * quern Miracula vulgariter appella- 

(Coutances, fifteenth century). mus' (Matthew Paris, thirteenth 

* Cf. pp. 37, 39. century), ' ludos quos vocant mira- 

7 Cf. pp. 45, 107 ; Lange, 136 ; ' in cula ' (Grosseteste, 1244). The 

resurrcctione domini repraesentatio' vernacular 'miracles/ 'myraclis,' is 

(Cwidale, fourteenth century), * re- found in the Handlyng Synnt, and 

praesentatio trium Regutn f (Rouen, the Tretise of miraclis pleyinge. 
1507, 1521), ' repraesentacio pasto- 


English at all, in a dramatic sense *, and in France first appears 
as misterie in the charter given by Charles VI in 1402 to 
the Parisian confrtrie de la Passion 2 . This term also acquires 
a very general signification by the end of the fifteenth century. 
Its radical meaning is still matter of dispute. Probably it is 
derived from ministerium, should be spelt misttre> and is spelt 
mystire by a natural confusion with the derivative of jmvor^pioi;. 
Even then the question remains, what sort of ministeriumt 
M. Petit de Julleville would explain it as a 'religious functiori, 1 
and thus equate it precisely with officium*. Only it does not 
appear in connexion with the liturgical plays 4 , and perhaps 
it is more plausible to regard it as denoting the ' function ' 
of the guild of actors, just as its doublet menestrie, the English 
' minstrelsy/ denotes the ' function ' of the minstrels 5 , or its 
doublet metier, which in English becomes in fact * mystery/ 
denotes the ' function ' of the craft guilds. Perhaps the 
theory of M. de Julleville finds a little support from the term 
actio y which appears, besides its meaning in connexion with 
the Mass 6 , to be once at least used for a play 7 . At any rate 
actus is so used as a Latin equivalent of the Spanish auto 8 . 

1 Pollard, xix; Ward, i. 41. The des sainctes.' 

first English use of the term s Julleville, Les Myst. i. 189. 

* mystery ' is in the preface to Dods- 4 Except after its dramatic sense 

ley's Select Collection of Old Plays was already well established ; cf. 

(1744). The distinction between pp. 42, 65, 'mysterium in die Ascen- 

4 mysteries ' which * deal with Gos- sionis' (Lille, 1416), 'misterium 

pel events only' and * miracles/ Pastorum' (Rouen, 1457). 

which * are more especially con- 6 Cf. Appendix B. 

cerned with incidents derived from 6 Walafridus Strabo, de rebus 

the legends of the Saints of the eccles^ c. 22, in the ninth century, 

Church ' is a not very happy inven- gives the name *actio' to the 

tion of the literary historians. * canon ' or unchangeable portion 

2 Julleville, Les Myst. i. 417 of the Mass (Maskell, Ancient 
'Licence de faire et jouer quelque Liturgy of the Church of England > 
Misterre que ce soit, soit dicte 1 12). 

Passion, et Re'surreccion, ou autre 7 ^Representations^.**. Shipton. 
quelconque tant de saincts comme * Cf. supra, p. 102, note I. 



S Bibliographical Note. The English miracle play has been often, 
y, and admirably studied from the point of view of dramatic literature ; 
perhaps less so from that of stage history. The best accounts are those 
of B. Ten Brink, History of English Literature, bk. v, chs. 2-6 (trans. 
W. C Robinson, vol. ii, 1893) ; A. W. Ward, History of English Dramatic 
Literature (2nd ed., 1899), vol. i, ch. I ; W. Creizenach, Geschichte des 
neueren Dramas , vol. i (1893) ; an( * ^ e introduction to A. W. Pollard, 
English Miracle Plays, Moralities and Interludes (3rd ed., 1898). These 
supersede J. P. Collier, History of English Dramatic Poetry (2nd ed., 
1879), vol. ii, and J. L. Klein, Geschichte des englischen Dramas (1876), 
vol. i. Other useful books are J. A. Symonds, Shakspere's Predecessors 
in the English Drama (1884), ch. 3 ; K. L. Bates, The English Religious 
Drama (1893), and J. J. Jusserand, Le Thtdtre en Angleterre (1881), ch. 2. 
The substance of this last is incorporated in the same writer's Literary 
History of the English People, vol. i (1895), bk "> c ^ 6. W. J. Courthope, 
History of English Poetry, vol. i (1895), ch. 10, should also be consulted, 
as well as the valuable detailed investigations of A. Hohlfeld, Die 
altenglischen Kollektivmisterien, Anglia,vQ\.x\ (1889), andC. Davidson, 
Studies in the English Mystery Plays (1892). I do not think that S. W. 
Clarke, The Miracle Play in England (n A.), and C. Hastings, Le Thtdtre 
fran$ais et anglais (1900, trans. 1901), add very much. A. Ebert, Die 
englischen My sterien, vcijahrbuchfurromanischeund englische Literatur, 
vol. i (1859), is an early manifestation of German interest in the subject, 
and the still earlier native learning may be found in T. Warton, History 
of English Poetry (ed. W. C. Hazlitt, 1871), 6, 33 ; E. Malone, 
Historical Account of the English Stage, in Variorum Shakespeare (1821), 
vol. iii; W, Hone, Ancient Mysteries Described ( 1823). The antiquarianism 
of T. Sharp, Dissertation on the Pageants or Dramatic Mysteries Anciently 
Performed at Coventry (1825), is still a mine of material on the Realien of 
the stage. The four great cycles have been edited as follows, in most 
cases with important introductions : the Chester Plays by T. Wright 
(Shakespeare Society, 1843-7) and by H. Deimling (E.E.T.S., part only 
issued in 1893) ; the York Plays by L. T. Smith (1885) ; the Towneley or 
Wakefield Plays by an uncertain editor (Surtees Society ', 1836), and by 
G. England and A- W. Pollard (E.E. T.S. 1897) ; the Ludus Coventriae, 
by J. O. Halliwell [-Phillipps] (Shakespeare Society, 1841). A miscel- 
laneous collection of l&te plays from one of the Bodleian Digby MSS. has 
been printed by T. Sharp (Abbotsford Club, 1835), and F. J. Furnivall 
(New Shakespeare Society^ 1882, E.E.T.S. 1896). The Cornish cycle 
is in E. Norris, The Ancient Cornish Drama (1859). Good selections of 
typical plays are in A. W. Pollard's book, and J. M. Manly, Specimens of 
the Pre-Shakespearean Drama (1897), vol. i. Older books of the same 
kind are J. P. Collier, Five Miracle P/ays, or Scriptural Dramas (1836), 
and W. Marriott, A Collection of English Miracle Play$ or Mysteries 


(Basle, 1838). The bibliographies given by Miss Bates and by F. H. 
Stoddard, References for Students of Miracle Plays and Mysteries (1887), 
may be supplemented from my Appendices of Representations and Texts, 
which I have tried to make as complete as possible.] 

THERE is no reason to doubt that England had its full 
share in the earlier development of the religious drama. Texts 
of the liturgical period are, indeed, rare. The tenth-century 
version of the Quern quaeritis from Winchester and the 
fourteenth-century version from Dublin stand, at least for 
the present, alone. But the wholesale destruction of liturgical 
books at the Reformation is sufficient to account for such 
a sparseness, and a few stray notices gathered from the 
wreckage of time bear sufficient witness to the presence in 
this country of several amongst the more widespread types 
of liturgical play. The Lichfield statutes (1188-98) pro- 
vide for repraesentationes of the Pastores> the Resurrectio> the 
Peregrini\ those of York (t I ^55) for the Pastor es and the 
Tres Reges ; a Salisbury inventory of 1323 includes * crowns' or 
more probably ' stars ' (coronae) ad repraesentationes faciendas\ 
while Lincoln account books of the early fifteenth century 
appear to add the Annuntiatio and the Prophetae, a visus 
called Rubum quern viderat in 1420 perhaps forming a Moses 
scene in the latter. So late as 1518 the Quern quaeritis was 
performed in Magdalen College chapel, and plays of the 
Nativity and the Resurrection by the clerks of the chapel 
are contemplated at about the same date in the household 
regulations of the Earl of Northumberland at Leconfield. 
Nor were dramatic versions of the legends of saints unknown. 
I do not trace a St. Nicholas cycle in England, although 
Hilarius, in whose repertory a St. Nicholas play is included, 
is thought to have been an Englishman by birth. But the 
memory of a play of St. Catherine prepared by Geoffrey 
the Norman at Dunstable early in the twelfth century was 
preserved, owing to the accident which led to Geoffrey 
ultimately becoming abbot of St. Albans ; and towards the 
close of the same century William Fitzstephen records 
the representations of the miracles of holy confessors and the 
passions of martyrs which took the place of minstrelsy in 
London. For the most part such early plays are found 


in close connexion with the cathedrals and great monasteries. 
But a document of about 1220, the interpretation of which 
must, however, be considered doubtful, would seem to suggest 
that plays (actiones) were habitually given at no less than five 
chapelries within the single parish of Shipton in Oxfordshire, 
and that the profits thereof formed an .appreciable part of the 
income derived from that living by the prebendaries of Salisbury 

Examples of the transitional forms by which the liturgical 
drama grew into the popular religious drama of the great 
cycles can also be found in England. At Beverley a Resur- 
rection play is described as taking place in the graveyard of 
the minster about 1220. The intrusion of the vernacular is 
represented by the curious bilingual text of a single actor's 
parts in the Pastores> Quern quaeritis and Peregrini> printed 
by Professor Skeat from a manuscript found at Shrewsbury. 
These are probably still liturgical in character, and it is to 
be observed that their subjects are precisely those of the three 
plays known to have been used in the neighbouring cathedral 
of Lichfield. It must remain a moot point whether the 
religious drama passed directly, in this country, from Latin 
to English, or whether there was a period during which per- 
formances were given in Norman- French. Scholars are 
inclined to find an Anglo-Norman dialect in that very 
important monument of the transition, the Repraesentatio Adae, 
as well as in an early example of the expanded Easter play. 
But even if the authors of these were, like Hilarius, of English 
birth, it hardly follows that their productions were acted in 
England. Nor do the probable borrowings of the Chester 
and other cycles from French texts much affect the question 1 . 
That the disfavour with which the austerer section of the 
clergy looked upon the vernacular religious plays had its 
spokesmen in England, was sufficiently illustrated in the 
last chapter. 

The English miracle-play reaches its full development with 
the formation of the great processional cycles almost imme- 
diately after the establishment of the Corpus Christi festival 
in 1311. The local tradition of Chester, stripped of a certain 

1 Cf. p. 146. 


confusion between the names of two distinct mayors of that 
city which has clung about it, is found to fix the foundation 
of the Chester plays in 1328. The date has the authority 
of an official municipal document, forms part of a quite 
consistent story, several points in which can be independently 
corroborated, and is on a priori grounds extremely plausible. 
Unfortunately, owing to the comparative scarcity of archives 
during this period, the first fifty years of the history of 
municipal drama are practically a blank. A mention, about 
1350, of a ludus filiorum Israelis, in connexion with a guild 
of Corpus Christi at Cambridge, spans a wide gulf. There 
is no actual record of plays at Chester itself until 1462. 
Those of Beverley are first mentioned in 1377, those of York 
in 1378, and those of Coventry in 1392. But it must be added 
that the Beverley plays were an antiqua consuetude in 1390, 
and that those of York were to take place at stations anti- 
quitus assignatis in 1394. It is in 1378 that the earliest 
notice of plays Jn London, since the days of William 
Fitzstephen, comes to light. The fuller records which are 
from this time onward available reveal, during the next 
hundred and fifty years, a vigorous and widespread dramatic 
activity throughout the length and breadth of the land. 
It manifests itself at such extreme points as the Cinque Ports 
in the east, Cornwall in the west, and Newcastle in the north. 
It penetrates to Aberdeen and to Dublin. And though 
naturally it finds its fullest scope in the annually repeated 
performances of several amongst the greater cities, yet it is 
curious to observe in what insignificant villages it was from 
time to time found possible to organize plays. Performers 
from thirteen neighbouring places, many of them quite small, 
made their way to New Romney between 1399 and 1508; 
whilst the churchwardens of Chelmsford, in the twelve years 
after their own play in 1562, reaped a profit by hiring out their 
stock of garments to the men of some seventeen aspiring 
parishes. On the other hand, there were several important 
towns in which, so far as we can judge from documents, such 
as craft ordinances, which would almost certainly have referred 
to the plays of the crafts, if these had existed, the normal 
type of municipal drama failed to establish itself. London 


is one, although here the want was supplied in another way ; 
others are Northampton, Nottingham, Bristol, Oxford, and 
Reading. And occasionally plays, which had once been 
annual, were allowed to fall into desuetude and decay. The 
corporation of Canterbury, for instance, called upon the crafts 
about 1500 to revive a Corpus Christi play which for some time 
had been 'left and laid apart/ Certainly, by the sixteenth 
century, if there was still pride and interest taken in many 
of the municipal plays, signs were not wanting that they were 
an institution which had almost outlived its day. A reason for 
this need hardly be sought beyond the Zeitgeist. No doubt 
the plays were a financial burden upon the poorer crafts and 
the poorer members of crafts. There was much grumbling 
at Beverley in 1411 because certain well-to-do persons 
(generosi\ who did not practise any trade or handicraft, 
had hitherto escaped the payment of contributions to the 
civic function ; and municipal authorities were constantly 
called upon to adjust and readjust the responsibility for this 
and that pageant with the fluctuations of prosperity amongst 
the various occupations. But on the other hand, the plays 
were the cause of much and profitable resort to those fortu- 
nate towns which possessed them. The mercers' guild at 
Shrewsbury found it necessary to impose a special fine upon 
those of its members whose business avocations required 
them ' to ride or goe to Coventrie Faire ' at Corpus Christi 
tide, and so to miss the procession of guilds at home 1 . And 
although the mayor of Coventry wrote to Thomas Cromwell, 
in 1539, that the poor commoners were put to such expense 
with their plays and pageants that they fared the worse all 
the year after, yet against this may be set the statement 
made to Dugdale by 'some old people who had in their 
younger days been eye-witnesses of these pageants ' that ' the 
confluence of people from farr and neare to see that shew was 
extraordinary great, and yeilded noe small advantage to this 
cittye.' Moreover the levy upon individuals was a trifling 
one ; the whole of the company of smiths at Coventry only 
paid 3^. 4^. amongst them for 'pagent pencys' in 1552. 
A leitourgia is always an unpopular institution, and these 
1 Trans, of Shropshire Antiq. Soc. viii. 2731 


complaints resemble nothing so much as the groans of an 
opulent London tradesman in the twentieth century over 
an extra penny on the education rate. In the smaller 
places it is clear that plays, far from being a source of expense, 
were a recognized method of raising funds for public purposes. 
Even in 1220 the emolumentum actionum from the chapelries of 
Shipton went to swell the purses of the Salisbury prebendaries. 
In 1505 the churchwardens of Kingston-on-Thames made 4 
towards their new steeple by getting up a play for which 
they secured the patronage of royalty. At Braintree, in Essex, 
funds were similarly raised by Nicholas Udall and others, 
between 1523 and 1534, for the repair of the church. I have 
little doubt that when the mayor of Coventry said economy 
he meant Protestantism, just as when, under Elizabeth, the 
corporation of London wished to make a Puritanic attack 
upon the theatres, they were always smitten with a terrible 
dread of the infection of the plague ** 

Certainly the spirit of Protestantism, although it came to 
be willing to use the religious drama for its own purposes 2 , 
was inclined to see both profanity and superstition in the 
ordinary miracle-plays 3 . Here, as elsewhere, it inherited 
the hostile tradition which such reforming clerics as Gerhoh 
of Reichersberg in the twelfth century and Robert Grosseteste 
in the thirteenth had handed down to Wycltf and his Lollards. 
At Bungay in 1514 certain ill-disposed persons 'brake and 
threw down five pageants ' usually borne about the town on 
Corpus Christi day. One may fairly suspect, even at this 
early date, a Lollardist intention in the outrage, and perhaps 
also in the interposition of the authority of the warden of the 
Cinque Ports to suppress the play of New Romney in 1518. 
With the progress of the new ideas the big cycles began to be 
irregularly performed or to undergo textual modification. 
The plays of York, for example, were shorn in 1548 of the 
pageants representing the Death, Assumption, and Coronation 

1 Analytical Index to Remem- of Abuse, 1579 (ed. Arbcr) ; W. 
brancia of City of London^ 330 sqq. ; Prynne, Histriomastix (1633), with 
350 sqq. the authorities there quoted ; and 

2 Cf. ch. xxv. the tracts in W. C. Hazlitt, The 
. * For the general Puritan attitude English Drama and Stage. 

to the stage, see S. Gosson, School* 


of the Virgin. On the other hand, religious plays sometimes 
became a rallying-point for those who favoured the old order 
of things. There is extant a letter from Henry VIII to the 
justices of York, in which he refers to a riot promoted by 
certain papists at a play of St. Thomas the Apostle, and 
warns them not to suffer upon such occasions any language 
likely to tend to a breach of the peace. The brief Marian 
reaclion led to the resumption of the plays in more than one 
town which had dropped them. The Lincoln corporation 
ordered ' St. Anne's Gild with Corpus Cristi play ' to be 
brought forward again in 1554 and 1555. In London Henry 
Machyn records during 1557 a Passion play at the Grey Friars, 
and another in the church of St. Olave's, Silver Street, 
on the festival of the patron. The New Romney play was 
elaborately revived, after forty-two years' interval, in 1560. 
But the process of decay soon set in again. Even where 
the plays survived, they were Protestantized, and as Corpus 
Christi day was no longer observed, the performances had to 
be transferred to some other date. At York the text of the 
Corpus Christi play was ' perused and otherwise amended f 
in 1568. In 1569 it was acted upon Whit-Tuesday. Then 
it lay by untir 1579, when the book was referred to the 
archbishop and dean for further revision, and apparently 
impounded by them. The Creed play was suppressed, by 
advice of the dean, in 1568, as unsuitable to 'this happie time 
of the gospell.' The Paternoster play was revised and played 
in 1573. Then this text also fell into the hands of the 
archbishop, and the corporation seem to have been unable 
to recover it. So ended the religious drama in York. In 
Chester the municipal authorities stood out gallantly for 
their plays. John Hankey and Sir John Savage, mayors in 
1572 and 1575 respectively, were called before the privy 
council for sanctioning performances in spite of ihhibitions 
from the archbishop of York and other persons of authority. 
They had revised the text, and had a new and Protestant 
version of the preliminary * banns' prepared. Copies of the 
text appear to have been got ready for yet another perform- 
ance in 1600, but the local annalists record that Henry 
Hardware, then mayor, 'would not suffer anv Playes.' In 


one or two cities, new plays, dealing with apocryphal or other 
merely semi- religious themes, were substituted for the old 
ones. Thus at Lincoln a Standing play* of the story of 
Tobit was given in 1564 and 1567 ; and in Coventry, where 
the old cycle had been ' laid down ' in 1580, an Oxford scholar 
was hired in 1584 to write a semi-religious semi-historical 
drama of the Destruction of Jerusalem. In 1591, the Conquest 
of the Danes and the History of King Edward the Confessor 
were proposed as alternatives for this. By the end of the 
sixteenth century all the cycles of which most is known had 
come to an end The smaller places Chelmsford in 1574, 
Braintree in 1579, Bungay in 1591 had sold off their stock 
of playing-garments. For such dramatie entertainment as the 
provinces were still to get, they must look to travelling com- 
panies taking their summer vacation from the metropolis. 
Miracle-plays during the seventeenth century were a mere 
survival. They lingered in distant Cornwall and at Kendal in 
the hill country of the north ; and had been replaced by morals, 
themselves almost equally obsolete, at Manningtree. The 
last religious play recorded in England is a quite exceptional 
one, given at the end of James Ts reign before Gondomar, 
the Spanish ambassador, and an audience which numbered 
thousands at Ely Place in Holborn. 

In giving some account of the distribution of the various 
types of religious play throughout England during the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, I am dispensed from any 
obligation to be exhaustive by the fact that the greater 
municipal dramas at least have already been the subject of 
more than one fairly adequate discussion. All I shall attempt 
will be a brief general summary of the main points which 
emerge from the more or less detailed local notices collected 
in a lengthy appendix. 

The characteristic English type of play was the long cycle 
given annually under the superintendence of the corporation 
or governing body of an important city and divided into 
a number of distinct scenes or ' pageants/ each of which was 
the special charge of one or more of the local * crafts/ ' arts/ 
or 'occupations.' Such cycles, organized upon very similar 
lines, can be studied in the records available from Chester, 



York, Beverley, Coventry, Newcastle, Lincoln, and Norwich ; 

and the same general model is known or conjectured 

sometimes, it is true, on the slightest indication to have 

been followed in the plays of Lancaster, Preston, Kendal, 

Wakefield, Leicester, Worcester, Louth, Bungay, Canterbury, 

Dublin, and Aberdeen. As in all matters of municipal 

custom, the relative functions of the corporations and the 

crafts were nicely adjusted. The direction and control of 

the plays as a whole were in the hands of the corporations. 

They decided annually whether the performance should be 

given, or whether, for war, pestilence, or other reason, it 

should be withheld. They sent round their officers to read 

the proclamation or c banns' of the play. They kept an 

official version of the text, at Chester an * original/ at York 

a 'register* copied from the 'originals' belonging to the crafts. 

Agreements and disputes as to the liability of this or that 

craft to maintain or contribute to a particular pageant were 

entered or determined before them. They maintained order 

at the time of the play and inflicted fines on the turbulent, or 

upon crafts neglectful- or unskilful in carrying out their 

responsibilities. In particular they required the provision 

of properly qualified actors. Thus Robert Greene and others 

were admonished before the leet of Coventry in 1440, that 

they should play bene et sufficienter so as not to cause a 

hindrance in any iocus. Similarly, Henry Cowper, c webster/ 

was fined by the wardens of Beverley in 1452, quod nesciebat 

ludum suum. An order at York, in 1476, directed the choice 

of a body of * connyng, discrete, and able players ' to test the 

quality of all those selected as actors. All 'insufficiant 

personnes, either in connyng, voice or personne* they were 

to Discharge, ammove, and avoide ' ; and no one was to perform 

more than twice in the course of the day. Sometimes the 

actual oversight of the plays was delegated to specially 

appointed officer's. At Beverley the wardens themselves 

1 governed ' the Corpus Christi plays, but the Paternoster play 

was in the hands of ' aldermen of the pageants/ At Aberdeen 

the Haliblude play was undertaken in 1440 by the local lord 

of misrule, known as the Abbot of Bon Accord ; for the 

Candlemas play 'bailyes* represented the corporation. At 


Lincoln the ' graceman ' of the guild of St. Anne was respon- 
sible, and had the aid of the mayor. At Leicester a number 
of 'overseers' with two 'bedalls 1 were chosen to have the 
'gydyng and rule 1 of the play. 

The corporations do not appear to have themselves incurred 
much expenditure over the performances. They provided 
sitting-room and refreshments for their own members, and for 
distinguished guests. Richard II was elaborately entertained 
with a special fagina when he visited York on Corpus Christi 
day, 1397. Sixty years later a collation, including *ij cofyns 
of counfetys and a pot of grene gynger/ was made ready for 
Queen Margaret on her visit to Coventry. At York and 
Beverley, but not at Coventry, the corporations paid the 
minstrels, and occasionally made a special contribution to 
the funds of a particularly poor pageant. At York the 
corporation could well afford to do this, for they claimed 
the right to fix certain 'stations* at which, as well as at two 
or three traditional ones, the plays should be given, and 
they made a considerable annual profit out of payments by 
well-to-do citizens who aspired to have one of these at their 
doors. The stations were marked by banners broidered with 
the arms of the city. At Leicester the 'playyng germands' 
seem to have belonged to the corporation. At Beverley in 
1391 they owned all the c necessaries/ pageant garments and 
properties, of the play of Paradise, and lent the same upon 
security to the craft charged therewith. The pageants may 
also have been originally corporation property in York, for 
it was stipulated in 1432 that one of them, like the banners at 
the stations, should bear the arms of the city, to the exclusion 
of those of the craft. 

As a rule, the cost of the plays fell almost wholly upon the 
crafts. The ordinances of the craft-guilds provide for their 
maintenance as a leitourgia or fraternal duty, in the same 
way as they often provide for a t serge ' or light to be burnt 
in some chapel or carried in the Corpus Christi procession, 
or, at Beverley, for the castellum in which the craft sat to do 
honour to the procession of St. John of Beverley in Rogation 
week. At Coventry, where the burden upon the crafts was 
perhaps heaviest, they were responsible for the provision, 

I 2 


repairing, ornamenting, cleaning, and strewing with rushes 
of the pageant, for the c ferme ' or rent of the pageant house, 
for the payment of actors, minstrels, and prompter, for the 
revision of play-book and songs and the copying of parts, for 
the ' drawing ' or c horsing ' of the pageant on the day of the 
performance, for costumes and properties, and above all for 
copious refreshments before and after the play, at the stations, 
and during the preliminary rehearsals. The total cost of the 
smiths' pageant in 1490 was 3 js. $\d. In 1453 ^7 ^ a< ^ 
contracted with one Thomas Colclow to have 'the rewle of 
the pajaunt' for twelve years at an annual payment of 
% 6s. 8d. y and other examples of ' play lettine* can be traced 
at Newcastle and elsewhere. But it was more usual for the 
crafts to retain the management of the pageants in their own 
hands ; at York each guild appointed its c pageant-masters ' 
for this purpose. The expense to the craft primarily in charge 
of a pageant was sometimes lightened by fixed contributions 
from one or more minor bodies affiliated to it for the purpose. 
Part of it was probably met from the general funds of the 
craft; the rest was raised by various expedients. A levy, 
known as 'pagent pencys' at Coventry and as 'pajaunt 
silver* at York, was made upon every member. The amount 
varied with the numbers of the craft and the status of the crafts- 
man. At York it ranged from id. to %d. At Beverley the 
journeymen paid 8rf. to light, play, and castle, and 6d. only 
in years when there was no play. At Coventry the ordinary 
members of more than one craft paid is. ; others apparently 
less. To the proceeds of the levy might be added fines for 
the breach of craft ordinances, payments on the taking out of 
freedom by strangers and the setting up of shop or indenturing 
of apprentices by freemen. At York, the mercers are found 
granting free admission to a candidate for their fraternity on 
condition of his entering into a favourable contract for the 
supply of a new pageant At Coventry, in 1517, one William 
Pisford left a scarlet and a crimson gown to the tanners for 
their plays, together with $s. ^d. to every craft charged with 
the maintenance of a pageant. Besides the levy, certain 
personal services were binding upon the craftsmen. They 
had to attend upon the play, to do it honour the Coventry 


cappers expected their journeymen to do the horsing' of the 

In some cities, the crafts received help from outside. At 
Coventry, in 1501, the tilers' pageant got a contribution of 5s. 
from the neighbouring tilers of Stoke. At Chester, vestments 
were borrowed from the clergy; at Lincoln from the priory 
and the local gentry. A 'gathering 1 was also made in the 
surrounding districts. The only trace of any charge made 
to the spectators, other than the fees for ' stations ' at York, 
is at Leicester, where, in 1477, the players paid over to the 
pachents ' certain sums they had received for playing. 

The majority of the crafts in a big city were, of course, 
already formed hito guilds for ordinary trade purposes, and in 
their case the necessary organization for the plays was to hand . 
But no citizen could wholly escape his responsibility in so 
important a civic matter. At Coventry it was ordered in 1494 
that every person exercising any craft must become con- 
tributory to some pageant or other. At York the innholders, 
who do not appear to have been a regular guild, were organized 
in 1483 for the purposes of a pageant on the basis of a yearly 
contribution of 4^?. from each man. The demand at Beverley 
in 1411 for the appropriation of a play to the generosi has 
already been alluded to. In a Beverley list of 1520 the 
c Gentylmen ' are put down for the * Castle of Emaut.' It may 
be suspected that some of the other crafts named in the same 
list, such as the ' Husbandmen ' and the ' Labourers/ were not 
regular guilds ; not to speak of the * Prestes/ who played the 
' Coronacion of Our Lady.' This participation of religious 
bodies in the craft plays can be paralleled from other towns. 
At York the hospital of St. Leonard took the Purification in 
1415; at Lincoln the cathedral clergy, like the priests at 
Beverley, were responsible for the Coronation or Assumption 
of the Virgin, a play which at Chester was given by the 
'worshipfull wyves of this town/ and at York by the inn- 
holders. Both at York and Chester this scene was dropped 
at the Reformation. Possibly its somewhat exceptional 
position may be accounted for by its having been a compara- 
tively late addition in all four cycles. Some endeavour after 
dramatic appropriateness is visible in the apportioning of the 


other plays amongst the crafts. Thus Noah is given to the 
shipwrights (York, Newcastle), the watermen (Beverley, 
Chester), the fishers and mariners (York) ; the Magi to the 
goldsmiths (Beverley, Newcastle, York); the Disputation in 
the Temple to the scriveners (Beverley), the Last Supper to 
the bakers (Beverley, Chester, York) ; the Harrowing of Hell 
to the cooks (Beverley, Chester). 

A somewhat anomalous position is occupied amongst towns 
in which the plays were in the hands of the crafts by Lincoln. 
Here the task of supervision was shared with the corporation 
by a special guild, religious and social rather than industrial 
in character 1 , of St. Anne. Perhaps this guild had at one time 
been solely responsible for the plays, and there had been 
a crisis such as took place at Norwich in 1527. Before that 
date the charge of the plays had been borne, fittingly enough, 
by the guild of St. Luke, composed of painters and metal- 
workers. But in 1527 this guild was ' almost fully decayed/ 
and upon the representation of its members the corporation 
agreed that in future the pageants should be distributed 
amongst the various crafts as was customary elsewhere. The 
Lincoln plays were on St. Anne's day, but one does not find 
a position comparable to that of the St. Anne's guild held by 
Corpus Christi guilds in other towns. As a rule such guilds 
concerned themselves with the Corpus Christi procession, but 
not with the plays. At Ipswich, indeed, the Corpus Christi 
guild had the whole conduct of the plays, and the craft-guilds 
as such were not called upon ; but this Ipswich guild arose 
out of a reorganization of the old merchant-guild, included 
all the burgesses, and was practically identical with the 
corporation. Other towns, in which the corporation managed 
the plays itself, without the intervention of the craft-guilds, 
are Shrewsbury, New Romney, and Lydd. 

On the other hand, where neither the corporation nor the 
crafts undertook plays, it was no uncommon thing for a 
guild of the religious or social type to step into the breach. 
A series of London plays recorded in 1384, 1391, 1409, and 
1411 may all be not unreasonably ascribed to a guild of 

1 On such guilds cf.Cutts, Parish Gasquet, The Eve of the Rcforma- 
Priests, 476 ; Rock, ii. 395 ; F. A. tion, 351. 


St. Nicholas, composed of the ' parish clerks ' attached to the 
many churches of the city. At a later date the performances 
of this guild seem to have become annual and they are trace- 
able, with no very great certainty, to the beginning of the 
sixteenth century. They were cyclical in character, but not 
processional, and took place hard by the well known indiffer- 
ently as Skinners 1 well or Clerkenwell, amongst the orchards 
to the north of London. Chaucer says of his ' parish clerk/ 
the ' joly Absolon,' that 

' Somtyme, to shewe his lightnesse and maistrye, 
He pleyeth Her6des, on a scaffold hye V 

These London plays may have had some original con- 
nexion with the great fair of the neighbouring priory of 
St. Bartholomew upon August 24 ; but they are recorded at 
various dates during the summer, and extended over four, 
five, or even seven days. Whether the guild of St. Nicholas 
bore any relation to the clerks of St. Paul's, who petitioned 
Richard II in 1378 against the rivalry of certain 'unexpert 
people ' in the production of an Old Testament play, must be 
matter for conjecture. The performance contemplated at 
St. Paul's was to be at Christmas. The Cambridge guild 
of Corpus Christi was responsible for a Indus Filiorum Israelis 
about 1350, and this is more likely to have formed part 
of a cycle than to have stood alone. An unverified extract 
of Warton's from a Michael- House computus suggests that 
some of the Cambridge colleges may have assisted in 
dramatic undertakings. At Abingdon the hospital of Christ 
held their feast on Holy Cross day (May 3), 1445, 'with 
pageantes and playes, and May games.' At Sleaford, in 1480, 
a play of the Ascension was performed by the guild of the 
Holy Trinity. At Wymondham a guild seems to have 
existed in the sixteenth century for the express purpose of 
holding a 'watch and play ' at Midsummer. The proceedings 
were directed by officers designated 'husbands.' The one 
example of an isolated play under the management of a craft- 
guild is at Hull. Here an annual play of Noah, with a ship 
or ark which went in procession, was in the hands of the 

1 C. Tales, 3383 (Millers Tale). 


Trinity House, a guild of master mariners and pilots. The 
records extend from 1431 to 1529. There is no sign of 
a dramatic cycle at Hull. The Noah play was given on 
Plough Monday, and it is possible that one may trace here 
a dramatized version of just such a ship procession as may 
be found elsewhere upon the coasts in spring 1 . After the 
performance the * ship ' was hung up in the church. The text 
of the play was perhaps borrowed from that of the watermen 
of the neighbouring city of Beverley. 

Where there were craft-plays, social and religious guilds 
sometimes gave supplementary performances. The 'schaft 1 
or parochial guild of St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, owned a play 
of Abraham and Isaac in 1491. This may have been merely 
a contribution towards the craft-cycle on Corpus Christi day. 
On the other hand, the play of St. George, contemplated by 
the guild of that saint at New Romney in 1490, was probably 
an independent undertaking. The town play here was a 
Passion play. At York there were two rivals to the Corpus 
Christi plays. One was the Paternoster play, for the pro- 
duction of which a guild of the Lord's Prayer was in existence 
at least as early as 1378. By 1488 this guild was absorbed 
into the Holy Trinity guild of the mercers, and in the year 
named the play was given, apparently at the charges of the 
mercers, instead of the ordinary cycle. All the crafts con- 
tributed to similar performances in 1558 and 1572. But 
by this time the supervision, under the corporation, of the 
play had passed to one of the few religious guilds in York 
which had escaped suppression, that of St. Anthony. The 
other extraordinary York play was a Creed play, bequeathed 
to the guild of Corpus Christi in 1446. This was stationary, 
and was acted decennially about Lammas-tide (August i) 
at the common hall. In 1483, it was ' apon the cost of the 
most onest men of every parish/ who were, it may be 
supposed, members of the guild. In 1535 the crafts paid 
for it instead of their usual cycle. Upon the suppression of 
the guild, the play-book passed into the custody of the 
hospital of St. Thomas. 

In the same way there are instances in which the clergy, 
1 Cf. vol. i. p. 121. 


who elsewhere lent help to the craft-plays, gave independent 
exhibitions of their own. At Chester, before the Reformation, 
they eked out the Whitsun cycle by a supplementary perform- 
ance on Corpus Christi day. The priors of St. John of 
Jerusalem, Holy Trinity, and All Saints contributed their 
share to the somewhat incongruous blend of religious and 
secular entertainments provided by the traders of Dublin for 
the earl of Kildare in 1538. The so-called Ludus Coventriae 
has often been supposed to be the play- book of a cycle acted 
by the Grey Friars or Franciscans of Coventry. This theory 
hardly survives critical examination. But in 1557, during the 
Marian reaction, a Passion play was given at the Grey Friars 
in London, and the actors were possibly restored brethren. 
Miracle-plays must often have been performed in choir schools, 
especially upon their traditional feast-days of St. Nicholas, 
St. Catherine, and the Holy Innocents. But there are only 
two examples, besides that of St. Paul's in 1378, actually upon 
record. In 1430 the fueri eleemosynae of Maxstoke acted on 
Candlemas day in the hall of Lord Clinton's castle ; and 
in 1486 those of St. Swithin's and Hyde abbeys combined 
to entertain Henry VII with the Harrowing of Hell as he sat 
at dinner in Winchester. 

Many minor plays, both in towns and in country villages, 
were organized by the clergy and other officials of parish 
churches, and are mentioned in the account books of church- 
wardens. At London, Kingston, Oxford, Reading, Salisbury, 
Bath, Tewkesbury, Leicester, Bungay, and Yarmouth, such 
parochial plays can be traced, sometimes side by side with 
those provided by craft or other guilds. The parochial 
organization was the natural one for the smaller places, 
where the parish church had remained the centre of the 
popular life 1 . The actiones in the chapelries of Shipton in 
Oxfordshire during the thirteenth century may have been 
plays of this type. The municipal records of Lydd and New 
Romney mention visits of players to the towns between 1399 
and 1508 from no less than fourteen neighbouring places in 

1 On the economics of a mcdi- Churchwarden^ Accounts^ xi (So- 
aeval parish and the functions of merset Record Soc.) 
the churchwardens cf. Hobhouse, 


Kent and Sussex, many of which must have been then, as 
they are now, quite insignificant. They are Hythe, Wittersham, 
Herne, Ruckinge, Folkestone, Appledore, Chart, Rye, Wye, 
Brookland, Halden, Bethersden, Ham, and Stone. A few 
other village plays are to be traced in the fifteenth century. 
In the sixteenth century they are fairly numerous, especially 
in the eastern counties. In Essex they are found at Chelms- 
ford, Braintree, Halstead, Heybridge, Maiden, Saffron Walden, 
Billericay, Starford, Baddow (by 'children'), Little Baddow, 
Sabsford, Boreham, Lanchire, Witham, Brentwood, Nayland, 
Burnham, High Easter, Writtle, Woodham Walter, and Han- 
ningfield ; in Cambridgeshire at Bassingbourne ; in Lincolnshire 
at Holbeach; in Norfolk at Harling, Lopham, Garboldisham, 
Shelfhanger,andKenninghall; in Suffolk atBoxford,Lavenham, 
and Mildenhall ; in Leicestershire at Foston ; in Somersetshire 
at Morebath ; and in Kent once more at Bethersden. The 
latest instance is a ' Kynge play ' at Hascombe in Surrey in 1579. 
Parochial plays, whether in town or country, appear to 
have been in most cases occasional, rather than annual. 
Sometimes, as at Kingston and Braintree, they became 
a means of raising money for the church, and even where 
this object is not apparent, the expenses were lightened in 
various ways at the cost of neighbouring villages. 'Banns' 
were sent round to announce the play ; or the play itself was 
carried round on tour. Twenty-seven villages contributed 
to a play at Bassingbourne in 1511. The Chelmsford play 
of 1562 and 1563 cost about 50, of which a good proportion 
was received from the spectators. The play was given at 
Maiden and Braintree as well as at Chelmsford, and for years 
afterwards the letting out of the stock of garments proved 
a source of revenue to the parish. This same practice of 
hiring garments can be traced at Oxford, Leicester, and else- 
where. The parochial plays were always, so far as can be 
seen, stationary. * At Leicester, Braintree, Halstead, and 
Heybridge they were in the church. That of Harling was 
* at the church gate/ that of Bassingbourne in a ' croft ' ; that 
of Chelmsford in a 'pightell/ At Reading performances in 
the market-place and in an open piece of ground called (then 
and now) the 'Forbury' are mentioned. 


There remain a certain number of plays as to the organiza- 
tion of which nothing definite can be said. Such are the 
minor plays, on the legends of saints, recorded by the annalists 
of London, Coventry, and Lincoln ; those referred to in the 
corporation accounts of King's Lynn, as given by unspecified 
players between 1385 and 1462 ; and those which took place, as 
late as the seventeenth century, in * rounds ' or amphitheatres 
at St. Just, Perranzabulo, and elsewhere in Cornwall* 


THE last chapter occupied itself mainly with the diffusion 
of the vernacular religious plays in England, with their 
organization, and with their part in municipal and village 
life. That study must be completed by at least the outline 
of another, dealing with the content and nature of the per- 
formances themselves. Here again it is variety rather than 
uniformity which requires attention ; for the records and texts 
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries bear witness to the 
effective survival of all the diverse types of play, to which the 
evolution of the dramatic instinct gave birth in its progress 
from liturgical office to cosmic cycle. 

The term of the evolution the cosmic cycle itself is 
represented by five complete texts, and one fragment suf- 
ficiently substantial to be ranked with these. There are the 
plays of the York and Chester crafts. The manuscript of 
the former dates from the middle of the fifteenth century; 
those of the latter from the end of the sixteenth and 
beginning of the seventeenth: but in both cases it may be 
assumed that we possess the plays> with certain modifications, 
additions, and omissions, as they were given in the palmy 
days of their history. There are also, in a fifteenth-century 
manuscript, the so-called ' Towneley ' plays, as to whose origin 
the most likely theory is that they are the craft-plays of 
Wakefield. There is the Ludus Coventriae, also of the 
fifteenth century, which has probably nothing to do with 
Coventry, but is either, as scholars generally hold, the text 
of a strolling company, or, as seems to me more probable, 
that of a stationary play at some town in the East Midlands 
not yet identified. If I am right, the Ludus Coventriae 
occupies a midway position between the three northern craft 
cycles, which are all processional plays, split up into a number 


of distinct pageants, and the fifth text, which is Cornish. 
This is probably of the fourteenth century, although extant 
in a fifteenth-century manuscript, and doubtless represents 
a stationary performance in one of the * rounds' still to be 
seen about Cornwall. The fragment, also Cornish, is not a 
wholly independent play, but a sixteenth-century expansion 
of part of the earlier text 

A study of the table of incidents printed in an appendix 
will show the general scope of the cyclical plays 1 . My 
comments thereon must be few and brief. The four northerly 
cycles have a kernel of common matter, which corresponds 
very closely with just that dramatic stuff which was handled 
in the liturgical and the earliest vernacular dramas. It in- 
cludes the Fall of Lucifer, the Creation, Adam and Eve, 
Cain and Abel; then the Annunciation and the group of 
scenes, from the Pastores to the Massacre of the Innocents, 
which went to make up the Stella ; then the Passion in the 
narrower sense, centring in the planctus Mariae and ex- 
tending from the Conspiracy of the Jews to the Descent from 
the Cross ; then the Resurrection scenes, centring in the 
Quern quaeritis and ending with the Peregrini and Incredulity 
of Thomas ; then the Ascension, the Pentecost, and finally the 
Indicium or Doomsday. Almost equally invariable is some- 
thing in the way of a Prophetae. But at York this is thrown 
into narrative instead of dramatic form ; and at Chester the 
typical defile of prophets, each with his harangue, is deferred 
to almost the close of the cycle (Play xxiii), and in its usual 
place stand two independent episodes of Balaam and of Octavian 
and the Sibyl. Two other groups of scenes exhibit a larger 
measure of diversity between the four cycles. One is that 
drawn from the history of the Old Testament Fathers, out 
of which the Deluge and the Sacrifice of Isaac are the only 
incidents adopted by all four. The other is the series taken 
from the missionary life of Christ, where the only common 
scenes are the Raising of Lazarus and the Feast in the House 
of Simon the Leper, both of which can be traced back to the 
liturgical drama 2 . 

1 Cf. Appendix T. * Cf. pp. 58, 60. 


The principal source of the plays belonging to this common 
kernel is, of course, the biblical narrative, which is followed, 
so far as it goes, with considerable fidelity, the most remark- 
able divergence being that of the Ludus Coventriae, which 
merges the Last Supper with the scene in the House of 
Simon. But certain embroideries upon scripture, which found 
their way into the religious drama at an early stage of its 
evolution, are preserved and further elaborated. Thus each 
of the four cycles has its Harrowing of Hell, which links the 
later scenes with the earlier by introducing, as well as the 
devils, such personages as Adam and Eve, Enoch and Elijah, 
John the Baptist and others 1 . Similarly the Suspicion of 
Joseph and the obstetrices at the Virgin Birth finds a place in 
all four 2 , as does the Healing of Longinus, the blind knight, 
by the blood-drops from the cross 8 . Other apocryphal or 
legendary elements are confined to one or more of the cycles 4 . 
The Chester plays, for example, have a marked development 
of the eschatological scenes. Not only is the Indicium itself 
extremely long and elaborate, but it is preceded by two 
distinct plays, one a section of the split-up Propketae ending 
with the Fifteen Signs, the other an Antichrist, in which, 
as in the Tegernsee Antickristus*> Enoch and Elijah appear 
as disputants. The most legendary of the northerly cycles is 
without doubt the Ludus Coventriae. It has the legend of 
Veronica, which is only hinted at in the corresponding York 
play. And it has so long a series of scenes drawn from the 
legends of the Virgin as to make it probable that, like the 
Lincoln plays and another East Midland cycle of which 

1 Cf. p. 73. chief earlier sources are probably 

* Cf. p. 41. the Evangelism Pseudo-Matthaei 

8 Cf. p. 75. and the Evangelium Nicodemi (in- 

4 I can only give the most genera] eluding the Gesta Pilati and the 

account of the legendary content Descensus Christi ad In/eros), 

of the plays. For full treatment of both in Tischendorf, Evangelia 

this in relation to its sources cf. Apocrypha, and the Transitus Ma- 

the authorities quoted in the biblio- riae in Tischendorf, Apocalypses 

graphical note to chapter xxi, and Apocrypha*. The later sources 

especially L. T. Smith, York Plays, include the Legenda Aurea of Ja- 

xlvii; P. Kamann, \i\Anglia, x. 189; cobus de Voragme (t 1275) and the 

A. Hohlfeld, in Anglia^ xi. 285. Cursor Mundi (ed. R. Morris for 

Much still remains to be done, E.E.T.S.), a Northumbrian poem 

especially for the Chester plays of the early fourteenth century. 

and the Ludus Coventriae. The * Cf. p. 63. 


a fragment is extant, it was performed not on Corpus Christi 
day but on that of St. Anne. Before the Annunciation it 
inserts the episodes of Joachim and Anne, Mary in the 
Temple, and the Betrothal of Mary, To the common episode 
of the Suspicion of Joseph it adds the Purgation of Mary. In 
the Resurrection scene is a purely legendary Apparition of 
Christ to the Virgin ; while the Death, Burial, Assumption, 
and Coronation of Mary intervene between the Pentecost 
and the Indicium. This matter from the after-history of the 
Virgin belongs .also to the York plays, which add the Appari- 
tion to St. Thomas of India. 

The Cornish plays, although in many respects they are 
parallel to those of the north, have yet some very marked 
features of their own. They have episodes of the miraculous 
Release of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea from Prison, 
and of the Death of Pilate and the Interview of Veronica 
with Tiberius 1 . But their most remarkable legendary addi- 
tion is an elaborate treatment of the history of the Holy 
Rood, which provides the motives for the scenes dealing with 
Seth, Moses, David, Solomon, Maximilla, and the Bridge 
upon Cedron 2 . On the other hand the Cornish plays close 
with the Ascension and entirely omit the sub-cycle of the 
Nativity, passing direct, but for the Holy Rood matter, from 
the Sacrifice of Isaac to the Temptation. 

1 Cf. the Mors Pilati in Tischen- ses cut the rods, and did miracles 

dorf, Evang. Apocr. 456. with them. At his death they were 

* The ' Holy Rood ' episodes are planted in Mount Tabor. An angel 

those numbered 6, 13, 14, 16-20, in a dream sent David to fetch 

6 1 in the table. The fullest ac- them. They grew into one tree, in 

counts of the legend in its varied the shade of which David repented 

literary forms are given by W. of his sin with Bathsheba. When 

Meyer, Die Geschichte des Kreuz- the Temple was building, a beam 

holzes vor Christus (Abhandlungen was fashioned from the tree, but it 

der k. bayer. Akad. der IViss. I. would not fit and was placed in the 

Cl. xvi. 2. 103, Munich, 1881), and Temple for veneration. The woman 

A. S. Napier, History of the Holy Maximilla incautiously sat upon it 

Rood-tree (TL&rtS. 1894). Roughly, and her clothes caught fire. She 

the story is as follows : Seth went prophesied of Christ, and the Jews 

to Paradise to fetch the oil of mercy, made her the first martyr. The 

An angel gave him three pips from beam was cast into the pool of 

the tree of knowledge. These were Siloam, to which it gave miraculous 

laid beneath the tongue of Adam properties, and was finally made into 

at his burial, and three rods, signi- a bridge. At the Passion, a portion 

lying the Trinity, sprang up. Mo- of it was taken for the Rood. 


It is not improbable that the majority of the Corpus Christi 
and other greater English plays reached the dimensions of 
a cosmic cycle. But in only a few cases is any definite 
evidence on the point available. Complete lists are preserved 
from Beverley and Norwich. The Beverley series seems to 
have been much on the scale of the four extant cycles. It 
extended in thirty-six pageants from the Fall of Lucifer to 
Doomsday. Like the Cornish cycle, it included the episode 
of Adam and Seth ; and it presented an exceptional feature 
in the insertion of a play of the Children of Israel after the 
Flight into Egypt. The Norwich cycle, which began with 
the Creation and ended with Pentecost, was a short one of 
twelve pageants 1 . The small number is due, partly to the 
grouping of several episodes in a single play, partly to the 
omission of the Passion proper. The Resurrection followed 
immediately upon the Baptism. Of other plays, the chroniclers 
record that in 1391 the London performance covered both 
the Old and New Testament, that in 1409 it went from the 
Creation to the Day of Judgement, and that in 1411 it was 
'from the begynnyng of the worlde.' The fragmentary 
indications of the records preserved show that the Chelmsford 
play stretched at least from the Creation to the Crucifixion, 
the Newcastle play at least from the Creation to the Burial of 
the Virgin 2 , the Lincoln play at least from the Deluge to the 
Coronation of the Virgin. On the other hand the range of 
the Coventry plays can only be shown to have been from the 
Annunciation to Doomsday, although it may be by a mere 
accident that no Old Testament scenes are here to be 
identified 3 . 

Examples, though unfortunately no full texts, can also be 
traced of the separate Nativity and Easter cycles, the merging 
of which was the most important step in the formation of the 
complete Corpus Christi play. Both, if I read the evidence 
aright, existed at Aberdeen. There was a * Haliblude ' play 

1 The Norwich play of the Fall tant, the Shearmen and Taylors' 

is extant in two sixteenth-century play, extending from the Annun- 

versions. elation to the Massacre of the Inno- 

* The Newcastle play of the cents, and the Weavers* play of the 
Building of the Ark is extant. Purification and Christ in the 

* Two Coventry plays are ex- Temple. 


on Corpus Christi day, which I conceive to have been essen- 
tially a Passion and Resuitection, and a play at Candlemas, 
which seems to have included, as well as the Purification, 
a Stella, a Presentation in the Temple, and something in the 
way of a Prophetae. There were performances of Passions in 
Reading in 1508, in Dublin in 1528, at Shrewsbury in 1567, 
and in London in 1557 and as late as between 1613 and 1632. 
I do not suppose that in any of these cases c Passion ' excludes 
c Resurrection/ The New Romney town play, also, seems to 
have been a Passion in the wider sense. The records of 
Easter plays at Bath (1482), Leicester (1504-7), Morebath 
(1520-74), Reading (1507, 1533-5), and Kingston (1513-65), 
are too slight to bear much comment. They may relate to 
almost anything from a mere Latin Quern quaeritis to a full 
vernacular Passion and Resurrection. 

One interesting text falls to be considered at this point. 
This is a fifteenth-century Burial and Resurrection of northern 
provenance. It is very lyrical in character, and apparently the 
author set out to write a * treyte ' to be read, and shortly after 
the beginning changed his mind and made a play of it. There 
are two scenes. The first is an elaborate planctus, ' to be 
playede on gud-friday after- none/ The second, intended for 
' Esterday after the resurrectione, In the morowe ' is a Quern 
quaeritis. An Ascension play was performed by the Holy 
Trinity guild at Sleaford in 1480. A c Christmasse play ' is 
recorded at Tintinhull in 1451. How much it included can 
hardly be guessed. But the Stella maintained its independent 
position, and is found at Yarmouth (1462-1512), Reading 
(1499, J 539)> Leicester (i547)> Canterbury (1503), Holbeach 
(1548), and Hascombe (1579) * 

The plays just enumerated may be regarded as of pre- 
cyclical types. But there are a few others which, although 
they occur independently, would have their more natural 
position in cycles of less or greater range. In some of these 
cases it is probable that the independence is only apparent, 

1 Probably these smaller plays, chapel and the Resurrection play 

chiefly Paschal, were in English, in Magdalen College chapel may 

The Nativity and Resurrection have been in Latin (cf. p. 107). 
plays in Lord Northumberland's 



a mere matter of incomplete evidence. There are two fifteenth- 
century plays, both on the subject of Abraham and Isaac, 
one of which is preserved in the * Book of Brome ' from 
Suffolk, the other in a manuscript now at Dublin, but probably 
of South Midland provenance. It is of course not impossible 
that these represent isolated performances, but it is on the 
whole more likely that they are fragments of lost cycles. 
A third play, of Midland origin, preserved in the Digby 
manuscript, occupies an exceptional position. It deals with 
the Massacre of the Innocents and the Purification, and 
allusions in a prologue and epilogue make it clear that it 
belonged to a cycle in which it was preceded by a Pastores 
and a Magi, and followed by a Christ in the Temple. This 
cycle, however, was not played all at once, but apportion was 
given year by year on St. Anne's day. One of the groups of 
plays brought together in the Ludus Coventriae was evidently 
intended for performance under similar conditions. It is 
probable that the ludus Filiorum Israelis of the Cambridge 
Corpus Christi guild about 1350, the Abraham and Isaac of 
the 'schaft 1 of St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, between 1491 and 
1520, and the Adam and Eve (1507) and ' Cayme's pageaunt ' 
I 5 I ^~5) of St. Lawrence's, Reading, formed parts of Corpus 
Christi cycles given in those towns. 

Isolated performances of plays picked out of a cycle, or 
upon subjects usually treated in a cycle, are, however, not 
unknown. One or more of the Chester plays occasionally 
formed part of the civic entertainment of a royal or noble 
personage. When Henry VII visited Winchester in 1486, the 
schoolboys of the two great abbeys of Hyde and St. Swithin's 
gave a Christi Descensus ad Inferos before him at dinner. 
At York the acting of an 'interlude of St. Thomas the 
Apostle* on a St Bartholomew's eve towards the end of the 
reign of Henry VIII became the occasion for a papist de- 
monstration. Thi? might have been either the Incredulity of 
Thomas (Play xlii) or the Apparition of the Virgin to St. 
Thomas in India (Play xlvi) from the Corpus Christi cycle. 
At York, also, there was, in the hands of a Corpus Christi 
guild, a distinct play, frequently performed between 1446 and 
the Reformation, called the Creed play. This was apparently 


an expansion of a motive found in the Pentecost scene at 
Chester and probably at Coventry, but not at York itself, 
wherein, after the coming of the Holy Ghost, each of the 
apostles in turn enunciates one of the articles of the so-called 
Apostles' creed. At Hull, where I find no trace of a cycle, 
the Trinity guild of sea-faring men had their play of Noah. 
At Lincoln, a play of Tobit, which does not actually, so far 
as I know, form part of the Old Testament section of any 
English cycle x , was substituted for the regular Corpus Christi 
play after the Reformation. Naturally such exceptional per- 
formances became more common in the decadence of the 
religious drama 2 . Thus the very scratch series of plays shown 
before the earl of Kildare at Dublin, in the Christmas of 
1528, included, besides other contributions both sacred and 
secular, an Adam and EVQ by the tailors and a Joseph and 
Mary by the carpenters. The choice of these subjects was 
evidently motived by their appropriateness to the craft re- 
presenting them. Similarly, when John Bale was bishop of 
Ossory in 1553, he had performed at the market-cross of 
Kilkenny, on the day of the proclamation of Queen Mary, 
a short fragment of a cycle consisting ot&Prophetae, a Baptism, 
and a Temptation. One fancies that this strange protagonist 
of the Reformation must have had in his mind some quaint 
verbal analogy between * John Bale * and * John Baptist/ for 
he states that he also wrote a dramatic Vita JD. loannis 
Baptistae in fourteen books. Nor is this the only example 
of the treatment of a subject, merely episodic in the Corpus 
Christi cycles, in a distinct and elaborate play. The invaluable 
Digby manuscript contains a similar expansion, from the East 
or West Midlands, of the story of Mary Magdalen. It follows 
the narrative of the Golden Legend, and introduces the familiar 
scenes of the Raising of Lazarus, the Feast in the House of 
Simon the Leper, the Quern quaeritis^ and the Hortulanus, 
preceding these with episodes of the life of the Magdalen 
in g audio y and following them with the Conversion of the 

1 'Thobie* is included in the * On the way in which the later 

French collection of mysteries local miracle-play and the scriptural 

known as the Viel Testament interlude merge into each other, 

(Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 354, 370). cf. p. 191. 

K 3 


King and Queen of Marseilles, and of Mary's Life in the 
Wilderness and Death. As offshoots from the Corpus Christi 
cycle may also be regarded the Deaths of the Apostles played 
in the Dublin series of 1528, Thomas Ashton's Julian the 
Apostate at Shrewsbury in 1565, and the Destruction of 
Jerusalem^ written by John Smith in 1584 to take the place 
of the traditional plays at Coventry *. 

The Mary Magdalen and the rest of the group just de- 
scribed ^may be considered as standing halfway between the 
plays of and akin to the Corpus Christi cycle and those founded 
on the legends of saints. Of regular saint-plays there are 
unfortunately only two texts available from these islands. 
The Digby manuscript contains an East Midland Conversion 
of St. Paul, which, however, is almost wholly biblical and not 
legendary. It will be remembered that the subject was one 
known even to the liturgical drama 2 . There is also a Cornish 
play of St. Meriasek or Mereadocus, the patron saint of 
Camborne, written at the beginning of the sixteenth century. 
Other such plays are, however, upon record. It is perhaps 
curious that no mention should be found of any English 
parallel to either the Saint Nicholas plays or the Miracles de 
Nostre Dame of France. It can hardly be doubted that the 
former at least existed in connexion with the widespread 
revel of the Boy Bishop 3 . The most popular English saint 
for dramatic purposes appears to have been St. George. 
A play of St. George was maintained by the town of Lydd, 
and was probably copied by a neighbouring guild at New 
Romney. Another, on an elaborate scale, was given by 
a group of villages at Bassingbourne in 1511. These seem 
to have been genuine dramas, and not mere ' ridings ' or folk- 
plays such as occur elsewhere 4 . A St. George play, described 
by Collier at Windsor in 1416, can be resolved into a cake. 

1 The Destruction of Jerusalem, Mercacte (11414). A representation 

together with the Visit of Veronica of a Vengeance, following close on 

to Tiberius and the Death of Pilate, one of a Passion, is recorded at 

which are scenes in the Cornish Metz in 1437, and there are several 

cycle, forms the subject-matter of later examples (Julie vitte, Lts Mysf. 

a French Vengeance de Nostre Sei- ii. 12, 175, 415, 451). 

gneur> printed in 1491. Another a Cf. p. 61. 

Vengeance de Nostre Seigneur is 8 Cf. p. 97. 

attached to the Passion of Eustache 4 Cf. vol. i. p. 22* 

St. Thomas of Canterbury was only Honoured with a dumb 
show in his own city, but there was a play upon v\[ m a t King's 
Lynn in 1385. Of quite a number of other saint-play^ *v e 
barest notices exist. London had hers on St. Catherine ; 
Windsor on St. Clotilda ; Coventry on St. Catherine and St. 
Crytyan; Lincoln on St. Laurence, St. Susanna, St. Clara, 
and St. James ; Shrewsbury on St. Feliciana and St. Sabina ; 
Bethersden in Kent on St. Christina ; Braintree in Essex on 
St. Swithin, St. Andrew, and St. Eustace. The Dublin shoe- 
makers contributed a play on their patron saints Crispin and 
Crispinian to the Dublin festival of 1528. In London, the 
plays on the days of St. Lucy and St. Margaret at St. 
Margaret's, Southwark, may have been on the stories of those 
saints ; and during the Marian reaction a ' goodly ' stage-play 
was given at St. Olave's church on St. Olave's day. 

Quite unique, as dealing with a contemporary ' miracle/ 
is the play of the Blessed Sacrament, performed at one of 
the many places bearing the name of Croxton, in the latter 
half of the fifteenth century. According to the manuscript, 
the event upon which it was based, the marvellous conversion 
of a Jew who attempted an outrage upon a host, took place 
at Heraclea in Spain, in 1461. There is, curiously enough, 
a late French play, quite independent of the English one, 
upon an exactly parallel miracle assigned to Paris and the 
thirteenth century *. 

The variation in the types of English miracle-plays naturally 
implies some variation also in the manner of representation. 
The normal craft cycles of the greater towns were processional 
in character. They were not played throughout by a single 
body of actors and upon a single stage ; but the action was 
divided into a number of independent scenes, to each of which 
was assigned its own group of performers and its own small 
movable stage or * pageant. 1 And each scene was repeated 
at several ' stations ' in different parts of the city, pageant 
succeeding pageant in regular order, with the general effect 
of a vast procession slowly unrolling itself along the streets 2 . 

1 Jullcville, Les Myst. ii. 574. Plays^ xix) ' They first bcgannc at 

2 Archdeacon Rogers thus de- y* Abbaye gates ; & when the firste 
scribes the Chester plays (Digby pagiente was played at y Abbaye 


This method of &*r***S was convenient to the distribution 
of the lei*^ r g* a among the guilds, and was adopted in all 
those places, Chester. York, Beverley, and Coventry, from 
which our records happen to be the fullest. But it was not the 
primitive method and, as has been pointed out in a previous 
chapter, it probably arose from an attempt about the begin- 
ning of the fourteenth century to adapt the already existing 
miracle-plays to the distinctive feature of the festival of 
Corpus Christi. To this point it will be necessary to recur *, 
The processional play was rare outside England, and even in 
England it at no period became universal. Two at least of 
the great cycles that survive, the Cornish one and the Ludus 
Coventriae^ as well as several smaller plays, can be clearly 
shown from internal evidence to have been intended for 
stationary performance. They do not naturally cleave asunder 
into distinct scenes. The same personages appear and re- 
appear : the same properties and bits of scenery are left and 
returned to, often at considerable intervals. Moreover sta- 
tionary performances are frequently implied by the records. 
At Lincoln, after the suppression of the old visus of St. Anne's 
processional play, the corporation ordered the performance of 
a c standing ' play ' of some story of the Bible.' At Newcastle, 
although pageants of the plays went in the procession, the 
actual performance seems to have been given in a ' stead.' 
This arrangement is exactly parallel to that of the Florentine 
rappresentazioni on St. John's day in 1454 2 . Elsewhere 
there was commonly enough no * pageant ' at all. The * stand- 
ing' plays may be traced at various removes from their 
original scene, the floor of the church 3 . Indeed, the exam- 
ples of Braintree in 1523 and 1525, of Halstead in 1529, of 
Heybridge in 1532, seem to show that, quite apart from the 
survival of ritual plays proper, the miracle-play, even at the 
very moment of t its extinction, had not been always and 
everywhere excluded from the church itself. The Beverley 

gates, then it was wheeled from y e Bridge-streete, and soe all, one 

thence to the pentice at y highe after an other, tell all y* pagiantes 

crosse before y Mayor ; and before weare played.' 

that was donne, the seconde came, * Cf. pp. 95, 160. 

and y* firste wente in-to the water- f D'Ancona, i. 228. 

gate streete, and from thence vnto ' Cf. p. 83. 


repratsentatio dominicae resurrtctionis about 1220 had got as 
far as the churchyard. At Bungay in 1566 they played in 
the churchyard, and at Harling in 1452 ' at the cherch gate. 1 
The latest of all the village plays, that of Hascombe in 1579, 
was at, but perhaps not in the church. The next step 
brought the plays to the market-place, which itself in many 
towns lay just outside the church door. At Louth the 
Corpus Christi play was in the ' markit-stede, 1 and so were 
some at least of the Reading plays. A neighbouring field 
might be convenient ; the Bassingbourne play was in a * croft/ 
that of Chelmsford in a c pightell.' Certain places had a bit 
of waste ground traditionally devoted to the entertainment 
of the citizens. Such were the ' Forbury ' at Reading and 
the ' Quarry ' at Shrewsbury. The Aberdeen Haliblude play 
took place apud ly Wyndmylhill. Edinburgh constructed its 
'playfield* in the Greenside at considerable cost in 1554, 
while in Cornwall permanent amphitheatres were in use. 
A writer contemporary with the later performances describes 
these as made of earth in open fields with an enclosed ' playne ' 
of some fifty feet in diameter. If they are correctly identified 
with the ' rounds ' of St. Just and Perranzabulo, these examples 
at least were much larger. The St. Just round is of stone, 
with seven tiers of seats, and measures 126 feet in diameter ; 
the earthen one at Perranzabulo is 130 feet, and has a curious 
pit in the centre, joined to the edge by a trench. The dis- 
position of these rounds at the time of performance can be 
studied in the diagrams reproduced from the fifteenth-century 
manuscript of the plays by Mr. Norris. Within a circular 
area is arranged a ring of eight spots which probably represent 
structures elevated above the general surface of the ' playne/ 
They have labels assigning them to the principal actors. 
Thus for the Origo Mundi the labels are Celum, Tortores> 
Infernum^ Rex Pharao, Rex Dauid y Rex Sa1\pmon\ Abraham^ 
Ortus. From the stage directions it would appear that the 
raised portions were called pulpita or tenti, and by Jordan 
at a later date * rooms ' ; that the ' playne ' was the platea ; 
and that the action went on partly on the pulpita, partly 
on the platea between them. Except that it is circular 
instead of oblong, the scheme corresponds exactly to that 


of the continental plays shown in an earlier chapter to have 
been determined by the conditions of performance within 
a church l . Those plays also had their platea ; and their 
domus, loca, or sedes answer to the pulpita and tenti of Corn- 
wall. Judging by the somewhat scanty indications available, 
the disposition of other English ' standing ' plays must have 
been on very similar lines. In some cases there is evidence 
that the level platea was replaced by a raised 'platform/ 
4 scaffold/ or * stage.' Thus Chaucer's ' joly Absolon ' played 
Herod * on a scaffold hye V But the ' stages ' or ' scaffolds ' 
mentioned in accounts are sometimes merely for the spectators 
and sometimes equivalent to the loca of leading actors. In 
the Digby play of St. Mary Magdalen, a practicable ship 
moves about t\it platea. Possibly a similar bit of realism was 
used elsewhere for the ever popular ' Noy schippe/ and, if so, 
this may explain the pit and trench of the Perranzabulo ' round V 
As to the ' pageant ' or movable stage of the processional 
plays, a good deal of information is preserved. Dugdale 
describes it at Coventry as a * Theater . . . very large and 
high, placed upon wheels ' ; Rogers at Chester as ' a highe 
place made like a howse with ij rowmes, beinge open on 
y e tope : the lower rowme they apparelled and dressed them 
selues ; and in the higher rowme they played ; and they 
stood vpon 6 (v.l. 4) wheeles.' According to an inventory 
of 1565 the grocers' pageant at Norwich was 'a Howse of 
Waynskott paynted and buylded on a Carte w* fowre 
whelys/ It had a square top or canopy ; on it were placed 
a gilt griffin and two large and eighty-three small vanes ; and 
about it were hung three painted cloths. Similar adornments 
of the pageant were in use at Coventry. At York it bore 
the arms of the city or of the guild. M. Jusserand has 
unearthed from a Bodleian manuscript two fourteenth-century 
miniatures which apparently represent pageants. These have 
draperies covering the whole of the lower 4 room ' down to the 

1 Cf. p. 83. Reading, Dublin. 

1 C T. 3384 (MilleSs Tale). * Cf. M. Jusserand, in Furnivall 

This 'scaffold' may have .been Miscellany, 186, and the pit for La 

merely a throne or sedes for Herod. Mer on the 1547 Valenciennes Pas- 

But plays on platforms or scaffolds sion play stage figured in his Shake- 

are found at Chelmsford, Kingston, speare in France^ 63. 


ground and resemble nothing so much as the ambulant theatre 
of a Punch and Judy show l . The pageants were probably 
arranged so that the action might be visible from every side. 
The scenery would therefore be simple a throne, a house. 
Certain plays, however, necessitate a divided scene, such as 
the inside and outside of a temple 2 . For the 'hell/ the 
traditional monstrous head on a lower level, with practicable 
chains and fire, was required 3 . The pageant used for the 
Flood scene was doubtless shaped like an ark, ' The c shipp ' 
belonging to the Trinity guild of Hull cost 5 8j. ^d. The 
ordinary pageant may have been less expensive. That of 
the Doom at York was made ' of newe substanciale * for seven 
marks, the old pageant and a free admission into the guild. 
At Lincoln three times as much was charged for housing the 
ship as for any other pageant. 

The origin of the pageant is capable of a very easy explana- 
tion 4 . Like the edifizio of the Italian rappresentazioni, it 

1 Furnivall Miscellany y 192, 194, 
from BodL MS. 264, if. 54*, 76*. 

8 The directions to the Coventry 
Weavers* play refer to the * for pa- 
gand ' and the ' upper part ' ; those 
of the Grocers' play at Norwich to 
the 'nether parte of y e pageant/ For 
the purposes of the dramas these 
are distinct localities. 

8 Cf. p. 86. The Digby St. Mary 
Magdalen play has the stage direc- 
tion, 'a stage, and Helle ondyr- 
neth that stage.' At Coventry the 
Cappers had a ' hell-mouth ' for the 
Harrowing of Hell and the 
Weavers another for Doomsday. 

* Every conceivable spelling of 
the word ' pageant ' appears in the 
records. The Promptorium Parvu- 
lorum^ ii. 377 (f 1440, ed. A. Way 
for Camd. Soc.), has ' Pagent, Pa- 
ginaj and this is the usual Latin 
spelling, although pagenda and 
pagentes (ace. pi. ) occur at Beverley. 
The derivation is from pagina *a 
plank.' The Catholicon Anglicum 
(1483, ed. S. J. H. Heritage for 
E. E. T. S.) has A Paiande ; luso* 
riumj and there can be little doubt- 
that ' playing-place,' ' stage * is the 
primary sense oi the word, although 

as a matter of fact the derivative 
sense of 'scene' or 'episode' is the 
first to appear. Wyclif so uses it, 
speaking of Christmas in his Ave 
Maria (English Works, E, E. T. S. 
206) ' he that kan best pleie a pagyn 
of the deuyl, syngynge songis of 
lecherie, of batailis and of lesyngis 
... is holden most merie mon.' In 
Of Prelates (loc. cit. 99) he says that 
false teachers 'comen in viserid 
deuelis* and 'pleien the pagyn of 
scottis/ masking under St. George's 
'skochen.' The elaborate pageants 
used in masks and receptions (cf. 
p. 176, and vol. i. p. 398) led to a 
further derivative sense of 'mechan- 
ical device.' This, as well as the 
others, is illustrated in the passages 
quoted by the editors of the Prompt. 
Parv. and the Cath. Angl. from W. 
Herman, author of Vulgaria (1519) 
' Alexander played a payante more 
worthy to be wondred vpon for his 
rasshe aduenture than for his man- 
hede . . . There were v coursis in 
the feest and as many paiantis in 
the pley. I wyll haue made v stag; 
or bouthis in this playe (scenas). 
I wolde haue a place in the middyl 
of the pley (orchestra) that I myght 


is simply the raised locus, sedes> or domus of the stationary 
play put upon wheels. Just as the action of the stationary 
play took place partly on the various sedes, partly in the 
platea, so Coventry actors come and go to and from the 
pageant in the street. Here Erode ragis in the pagond & in 
the strete also/ says a stage direction. It should be observed 
that the plays at Coventry were exceptionally long, and that 
scaffolds seem to have been attached to the pageant proper in 
order to get sufficient space. 

The number of ' stations ' at which the plays were given 
varied in the different towns. At York there were from 
twelve to sixteen ; at Beverley six ; at Coventry not more 
than three or four can be identified. The many scenes and 
frequent repetitions naturally made the processional plays 
very lengthy affairs. At Chester they were spread over three 
days ; at York they were got through in one, but playing 
began at half-past four in the morning. At Newcastle, on the 
other hand, the plays were in the afternoon. The banns of 
the Ludus Coventriae promise a performance 'at vj of the 
belle,' but whether in the morning or evening is not stated. 

The normal occasion for the greater plays was the feast 
of Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. 
A few exceptions are, however, to be noted. At Chester, 
Norwich, New Romney, and apparently Leicester, the date 
chosen was Whitsuntide. Yet at Chester the play is called 
the ' Corpus Christi play ' in craft documents of the fifteenth 
century, and even in the municipal * White Book ' of the 
sixteenth; from which it must be inferred either that the 
term was used of all cyclical plays without regard to their 
date, or, more probably, that at Chester a performance 
originally given on Corpus Christi day had been for some 
reason transferred to Whitsuntide. The motive may have 
been a desire to avoid clashing between the plays and the 
great Corpus Christi procession in which the crafts everywhere 

se euery paiaunt. Of all the crafty 'cariadge' (Chester) and <karre f 

and subtyle paiantis and pecis of (Beverley); in the sense of ' scene, 1 

warke made by mannys wyt, to go iocus (Coventry), visus (Lincoln), 

or moue by them selfe, the clocke processus or 'processe* (Towneley 

is one of the beste. 1 Synonyms for andDigby plays, Croxton Sacra****/ 

' pageant ' in the sense of stage f are and Med*,vall's morality of Nature). 


took a prominent part. A difficulty arose on this score at 
York in 1436, and a Franciscan preacher, one William Melton, 
tried to induce the citizens to have the plays on the day 
before Corpus Christi. Ultimately the alternative was adopted 
of having the procession on the day after. At Lincoln the 
plays were on St. Anne's day (July 36) and the last pageant 
was acted by the clergy in the nave of the cathedral. At 
Aberdeen there appear to have been two cycles, a pro-> 
cessional Nativity at Candlemas and a Haliblude play on 
Windmill Hill at Corpus Christi. 

The oversight of the actors was, as pointed out in the last 
chapter, an important element in the civic control of the 
craft-plays. The mention at York of a commission of 
'connyng, discrete and able players' must not be taken to 
imply that these were in any sense professionals. All 
the actors received fees, on a scale proportionate to the 
dignity of their parts. Thus at Coventry one Fawston got 
4d. c for hangyng Judas/ and 4^. more ' for coc croyng. 1 
The payment to the performer of God was y. ^d, A 
'sowle,' whether 'savyd* or 'dampnyd,' got 2o</., and a 
' worme of conscyence * only &/. At Hull, Noah was generally 
paid is., God and Noah's wife a trifle less. But there is 
nothing to show that the performers were drawn from the 
minstrel class : they were probably, like * joly Absolon,' mem- 
bers of the guilds undertaking the plays. The Chester men 
describe themselves in their banns as not * playeres of price * 
but * Craftes men and meane men. 1 The epilogue to the 
Conversion of St. Paul? in the Digby manuscript similarly 
deprecates unkindly criticism of folk 'lackyng lytturall 
scycns . . . that of Retoryk haue non intellygens.' A char- 
acteristic of the acting which greatly impressed the imagina- 
tion of the audience seems to have been the rant and bombast 
put from very early times in the mouths of such royal or 
pseudo-royal personages as Herod and Pilate. 1 In the Chester 
1 Cf. p. 90, and Hamlet, iii. 2. able dumb-shows and noise: I 
9 ' O, it offends me to the soul to would have such a fellow whipped 
hear a robustious peri wig-pate d for o'erdoing Termagant; it out- 
fellow tear a passion to tatters, to herods Herod/ The Miller in 
very rags, to split the ears of the Cant. Tales, 3124, cries out 'in Pi- 
groundlings, who for the most part lates vois.' The torturers also seem 
are capable of nothing but inexplic- to have been favourite performers ; 


plays fragments of French, as in a liturgical play frag- 
ments of gibberish x , are used to enhance this effect. In the 
Cornish plays, as in the modern music hall, each performer 
at his first appearance displays himself in a preliminary strut 
about the stage. Hie pompabit Abraham, or Moses > or David, 
say the stage directions. As is usually the case with 
amateurs, the function of the prompter became an exceed- 
ingly important one. If the Cornish writer Richard Carew 
may be trusted, the local players did not learn their parts 
at all, but simply repeated them aloud after the whispers of 
the * ordinary V Probably this was exceptional ; it certainly 
was not the practice at Beverley, where there is a record of 
an actor being fined quod nesciebat ludum suum. But it may 
be taken for granted that the * beryng of the boke/ which is 
so frequently paid for in the accounts, was never a sinecure. 
Another functionary who occasionally appears is the stage- 
manager. In the later Cornish plays he is called the c con- 
veyour/ The great Chelmsford performance of 1562 was 
superintended by one Buries who was paid, with others, for 
' suing ' it, and who probably came from a distance, as he and 
his boy were boarded for three weeks. 

The professional assistance of the minstrels, although not 
called in for the acting, was welcome for the music. This 
was a usual and a considerable item in the expenses. At the 
Chelmsfoni performance just mentioned the waits of Bristol 
and no less than forty other minstrels were employed. There 
is no sign of a musical accompaniment to the dialogue of 
the existing plays, which was spoken, and not, like that of 
their liturgical forerunners, chanted. But the York and 
Coventry texts contain some noted songs, and several plays 
have invitations to the minstrels to strike up at the conclusion 
or between the scenes. Minstrels are also found accom- 
panying the proclaimers of the banns or preliminary 
announcements of 1 plays. These banns seem to have been 

cf. the Poem on the Evil Times of * In Jean Fouquet's miniature 

Edward II (T. Wright, Political representing the French mystery oi 

Soqgs, C. S. 336) : St. Apollonia (cf. p. 85) a priest, 

'Hh ben degised as turmentours with a book in one hand and a wand 

that comen from cierkes plei.' in the other, appears to be conduct- 

1 Cf. p. 48. ing the play. 


versified, like the plays themselves. They are often men- 
tioned, and several copies exist. Those of Chester were 
proclaimed by the city crier MI St. George's day ; those of 
theCroxton play and the Ludus Coventriae were carried round 
the country-side by vexillatores or banner-bearers. Minstrelsy 
was not the only form of lighter solace provided for the 
spectators of the plays. Two of those in the Digby manu- 
script were accompanied with dances. At Bungay a * vyce \ 
was paid ' for his pastyme before the plaie, and after the 
plaie.' There were * vices ' too at Chelmsford, and ' fools/ 
by which is meant the same thing \ at Heybridge and New 
Romney. But these examples are taken from the decadence 
of the miracle-play, rather than from its heyday. 

The accounts of the Bassingbourne play in 1511 include 
a payment to 'the garnement man for garnements and 
propyrts and playbooks.' This was an occasional and not 
an annual play, and apparently at the beginning of the six- 
teenth century such plays were sufficiently frequent to render 
the occupation of theatrical outfitter a possible one. Certainly 
those lucky parishes, such as Chelmsford or St. Peter's, Oxford, 
which possessed a stock of * game gear/ found a profit in 
letting it out to less favoured places. The guilds respon- 
sible for the greater plays naturally preserved their own 
costumes and "properties from year to year, supplementing 
these where necessary by loans from the neighbouring gentry 
and clergy. The Middle Ages were not purists about 
anachronism, and what was good enough for an English 
bishop was good enough for Annas and Caiaphas. The 
hands of the craftsmen who acted were discreetly cased 
in the gloves, without which no ceremonial occasion was 
complete, and sometimes, at least, vizors or masks were 
worn. But, as a rule, the stage setting left a good deal to 
the imagination. The necessaries for the play of Paradise 
at Beverley in 1391 consisted of the 'karre* or pageant, 
eight hasps, eighteen staples, two vizors, a pair of wings for 
the angel, a fir-spar (the tree of knowledge), a worm (the 
serpent), two pairs of linen breeches, two pairs of shifts, and 
one sword. For a similar play the Norwich grocers possessed 

1 Cfc p. 203. 


in 1565, besides the pageant and its fittings, sufficient ' cotes 
and hosen ' for all the characters, that of the serpent being 
fitted with a tail, a ' face ' and hair for the Father, hair for 
Adam and Eve, and 'a Rybbe colleryd Red.' A few other 
interesting details can be gathered from various records. At 
Canterbury the steeds of the Magi were made of hoops and 
laths and painted canvas. In the Doomsday scene at 
Coventry the ' savyd ' and ' dampnyd ' souls were distinguished 
by their white or black colour 1 . The hell mouth was pro- 
vided with fire, a windlass, and a barrel for the earthquake. 
There were also three worlds to be set afire, one, it may be 
supposed, at each station. The stage directions to Jordan's 
Cornish Creation of the World are full of curious information. 
The Father appears in a cloud and when he speaks out of 
heaven, 'let ye levys open/ Lucifer goes down to hell 
* apareled fowle w th fyre about hem ' and the plain is filled 
with * every degre of devylls of lether and spirytis on cordis.' 
In Paradise a fountain and * fyne flowers ' suddenly spring up, 
and a little later * let fyshe of dyuers sortis apeare & serten 
beastis.' Lucifer becomes * a fyne serpent made w th a virgyn 
face& yolo we heare upon her head.' Adam and Eve depart- 
ing from Paradise * shewe a spyndell and a dystaff.' For the 
murder of Abel, according to old tradition, a c chawbone ' 
is needed 2 , and for the ark, timber and tools, including ' a 
mallet, a calkyn yren, ropes, masstes, pyche and tarr.' I have 
not space to dwell further on these archaeological minutiae. 
One point, however, seems to deserve another word. Many 
writers have followed Warton in asserting that Adam and 
Eve were represented on the stage in actual nakedness 3 , 

1 Hen. V, ii. 3. 42 'Do you their nakedness: this very pertinent- 
lot remember, a* saw a flea stick ly introduces the next scene, in 
ipon Bardolph's nose, and a 9 said which they have coverings of fig* 
t was a black soul burning in hell* leaves. This extraordinary spec* 
ire?' tacle was beheld by a numerous 

2 Hamlet, v. I. 85 ( Cain's jaw- assembly of both sexes with great 
x>ne, that did the first 'murder. 1 composure : they had the authority 

8 Warton, ii. 223 ( In these Mys- of scripture for such a representa- 

eries I have sometimes seen gross tion, and they gave matters just as 

md open obscenities. In a play of they found them in the third chap- 

The Old and New Testament^ Adam tcr of Genesis. It would have been 

md Eve are both exhibited on the absolute heresy to have departed 

tage naked, and conversing about from the sacred text in personating 


The statement is chiefly based upon a too literal interpretation 
of the stage directions of the Chester plays l . There is a fine 
a priori improbability about it, and as a matter of fact there can 
be very little doubt that the parts were played, as they would 
have been on any other stage in any other period of the 
world's history, except possibly at the Roman Floralia*> in 
fleshings. Jordan is quite explicit Adam and TLve are to be 
4 aparlet in whytt lether,' and although Jordan's play is a late 
one, I think it may be taken for granted that white leather was 
sufficient to meet the exigencies even of mediaeval realism. 

The accounts of miracle-plays frequently contain entries of 
payments for providing copies of the text used. When the 
sto'ck of the Chelmsford play was dispersed in 1574, the 
copies were valued at 4. Such copies were naturally of more 
than one kind. There was the authoritative text kept for 
reference by the guild or other body of presenters. This is 
sometimes called the ' play-book ' or game-book. 1 The 
Cornish term is ordinale, a derivative from the ordo of the 
liturgical drama 8 . That in use elsewhere is more commonly 
' original/ which appears in a variety of quaint spellings 4 . In 
the great towns where plays were given by the crafts under 
the general supervision of the corporation, each craft held the 
* original ' of its own play, but approved transcripts of these 
were also in the hands of the corporation officers. At Chester 
this transcript was itself called the ' original ' ; at York it was 
the registrant. Most of the extant manuscripts of plays 
appear to be of the nature of 'originals.' From York and 
probably from Wakefield we have registra. The Chester 
texts are, however, late transcripts due to the zeal of local 
antiquaries, perhaps in view of some frustrated revival. 
Specimens exist also of two other kinds of copy. There are 
single plays from both Chester and York which have all the 
appearance of having been folded up for the pocket of a 

the primitive appearance of our or prompter (p. 140) is the man in 

first parents, whom the spectators charge of the ordinals. 

so nearly resembled in simplicity.' 4 * Oreginale de S. Maria Ma$da- 

1 Deimling, i. 30 'Statim nudi lena* (Digby MS.)\ 'originall 

sunt .. . Tune Adam et Eva co- booke,' 'regenall,' 'rygynall,' *or- 

operiant genitalia sua cum foliis.' raginall ' (Chester) ; ' oxygynall,' 

* Cf. vol. i. p. 5. 'rygenale' (Coventry) ; ' 

' Cf. p. 103. So the 'ordinary 9 (Louth); 'ryginall' (SI 


prompter. And the nature of the ' parts ' prepared for in- 
dividual actors may be seen from the transition example 
edited by Professor Skeat from a manuscript found at Shrews- 
bury. They contained the actors' own speeches, with the 
'cues' or closing words of the preceding speeches which 
signalled to him that his turn was at hand *. 

Indications of the authorship of plays are very scanty. 
John Bale has preserved a list of his own plays, some at 
least of which were acted in mediaeval fashion. It may 
perhaps be assumed that Nicholas Udall, afterwards author 
of Ralph Roister Doister^ wrote the play performed at Brain- 
tree in 1534, while he was vicar there. At Bassingbourne 
in 1511 one John Hobarde, 'brotherhood priest, 1 was paid 
1 for the play-book/ In this and in several of the following 
cases it is impossible to determine whether an author or 
merely a copying scribe is in question. The corporation of 
Beverley employed Master Thomas Bynham, a friar preacher, 
to write ' banis ' for their plays in 1423. At Reading we find 
Mr. Laborne * reforming ' the Resurrection play about 1533. 
The later Cornish play of the Creation of the World was 
' wryten' by William Jordan in 1611, and that of St. Meriasek 
by ' dominus Hadton ' in 1504. At Bungay William Ellys was 
paid in 1558 ' for the interlude and game-book 2 , and Stephen 
Prewett, a priest at Norwich, for some labour about the matter 
of a game-book in 1536. This same Stephen Prewett had 
a fee from the Norwich grocers * for makyng of a new ballet ' 
in 1534* One of the extant Coventry plays was 'nevly 
correcte' and the other 'nevly translate' by Robert Croo in 
1535- The name * Thomas Mawdycke ' and the date 1591 are 
written at the head of some songs belonging to the former. 
In 1566 Thomas Nycles set a song for the drapers. Robert 
Croo or Crowe seems to have made himself generally useful 
in connexion with the Coventry plays. In 1563 the smiths 
paid him for *ij leves of our pley boke.' In 1557 he wrote 
the ' boke ' for the drapers, and between 1556 and 1562 further 
assisted them by playing God, mending the devell's cottes, 1 

* Cf. p. 90. bought, from which the 'partes/ 

1 As the price paid was only at a cost of MjV were written; cf. 
iiij* ' a printed play was probably p. 192. 


and supplying <iij worldys* for burning and a hat for the 
Pharisee. A later Coventry playwright was John Smith of 
St. John's College, Oxford, who wrote the * new play * of the 
Destruction of Jerusalem in 1584 for a sum of ^13 6s. &/. 
The fifteenth-century Croxton play has the initials ' R. C.' 
One of the plays in the Digby manuscript * Ihon Parfre ded 
wryte. 1 The three others have the initials * M. B./ and against 
the Poeta of the prologue to one of them a later hand has 
written in the margin c Myles Blomfylde.' I repeat the caution 
that some at least of these names may be those of mere 
copyists. Miles Blomfield has been identified with a monk 
of Bury of that name. As he was born in 1525 he obviously 
was not the original author of the Digby plays, which are 
probably of the fifteenth century. A much greater monk of 
Bury, John Lydgate, has been claimed as the author oftheLudus 
Coventriae> but there does not seem to be any real evidence 
for this l . On the other hand I see no reason to doubt the 
old Chester tradition which connects the plays of that city 
with the name of Randulph Higden, author of tiitPolychronicon. 
The story is very fairly coherent, and the date (1328) which 
it assigns for the plays falls within the period of Higden's 
monastic life at St. Werburgh's abbey. 

It must, of course, be borne in mind that the notion of author- 
ship is only imperfectly applicable to the miracle-plays. The 
task of the playwrights was one less of original composition 
than of adaptation, of rewriting and rearranging existing 
texts so as to meet the needs of the particular performances 
in which they were interested. Obviously this was a process 
that could be carried out with more or with less individuality. 
There were slavish adapters and there were liberal adapters. 
But on the whole the literary problem of the plays lies in 
tracing the evolution of a form rather than in appreciating 
individual work. Even when written, the plays, if periodically 
performed, were subject to frequent revision, motived partly 
by the literary instinct for furbishing up, partly by changing 
conditions, such as the existence of a varying number of craft- 

1 Ritson, BibL Poet. 79, in- tified. On the ' Procession of Coi> 

eluded in his list of Lydgate's works pus Christi,' which follows in the 

a * Procession of pageants from the fist, cf. p. 161. 
creation 9 which has not teen iden- 

CHAMBKlg. 11 L 


guilds ready to undertake the responsibility for a scene 1 . 
Further alterations, on theological rather than literary grounds, 
were naturally called for at the Reformation. Thus Jordan's 
Cornish Creation of the World is clearly based upon the older 
play printed by Mr. Norris. The book of the Norwich grocers 
contains twb versions of their play of Paradise, the later of which, 
1 newely renvid accordynge unto y e Skrypture,' was substituted 
for the earlier in 1565. The Towneley manuscript has two alter- 
native versions of the Pastor es. That of York has a fragmentary 
second version of the Coronation of the Virgin, and when read 
with the records affords much evidence of the dropping, in- 
sertion, and rearrangement of scenes, and of doctrinal revision 
during the sixteenth century. At Coventry the local annals 
mention ' new playes ' in 1520, fifteen years before the existing 
texts were * nevly correcte ' and ' translate ' by Robert Crowe. 
The determination of the relations in which the plays stand 
towards one another is a field in which literary scholars, 
delayed by the want of trustworthy critical texts, are only 
just beginning to set foot. The question lies outside the scope 
of these pages. But I may call attention to Mr. Pollard's 
analysis of the various strata in the Towneley plays 2 , and to 
the studies by Professor Hohlfeld 3 and Professor Davidson 4 
upon the greater cycles in general and especially upon the 
influence exercised by York over the Towneley and other 
plays, as excellent examples of what may be looked for. The 
Ludus Coventriae will afford a good subject for investigation, 
when the manuscript has been properly re-edited. It is 
evidently a patchwork cycle, roughly put together and in 
parts easy to break up into its constituent elements. The 
problem is not confined to English literature. The Chester 
tradition represents Higden's work as an affair rather of 
translation than of anything else. It is not quite clear whether 
translation from the Latin or from the Norman- French is 
intended. In any case it is probable that the earlier English 
playwrights made use of French models, and certain parallels 

1 Ten Brink, ii. 235 'An inces- drama generally/ 

sant process of separating and unit- * Towneley Play v(E. E. T. S-X *iv. 

ing, of extending and curtailing, * Anglia, xi. 253. 

marks the history of the liturgical * Davidson, 252. 
drama, and indeed of the mediaeval 


have already been traced between English plays and others 
to be found in the French collection known as the Viel 
Testament. Here, as elsewhere, the international solidarity of 
mediaeval literature is to be taken into account. 

Two chapters back I defined the change which took place 
in the character of the religious drama of western Europe 
during the thirteenth century as being, to a large extent, 
a process of secularization. c Out of the hands of the clergy/ 
I said, in their naves and choirs, the drama passed to those 
of the laity in their market-places and guild-halls.' And 
I pointed to the natural result of these altered conditions in 
'the reaction of the temper of the folk upon the handling of 
the plays, the broadening of their human as distinct from their 
religious aspect V A study of the texts and records of the 
fully developed miracle-play as^it existed in these islands from 
the fourteenth to the sixteenth century can only confirm this 
view. I have indeed shown, I hope, in the course of this 
imperfect summary, that the variety of mediaeval theatrical 
organization was somewhat greater than a too exclusive 
attention to the craft-cycles of the great towns has always 
allowed scholars to recognize. But, with all qualifications and 
exceptions, it is none the less true that what began as a mere 
spectacle, devised by ecclesiastics for the edification of the 
laity, came in time to appeal to a deep-rooted native instinct 
of drama in the folk and to continue as an essentially popular 
thing, a ludus maintained by the people itself for its own 
inexhaustible wonder and delight 2 . Literary critics have laid 
stress upon the emergence of the rude humour of the folk, 
with its love of farce and realism, in somewhat quaint juxta- 
position to the general subject-matter of the plays. I only 
desire to add here that the/instinct which made the miracle- 
plays a joy to the mediaeval burgher is the same instinct 
which the more primitive^peasant satisfied in a score of modes 
of rudimentary folk-drama 3 . The popularity and elaboration 

1 Cf. p. 69. 8 There is but little of direct 

1 Thus at York, the Corpus merging of the plays with folk-cus- 

Christi procession which the plays toms. At Aberdeen the * Haliblude ' 

were originally designed to magnify, play was under the local lord of 

had become by 1420 a hindrance to misrule. At Norwich the play watf 

them ; c p. 139. on Whit- Monday; the lord of misrule 


of the devil scenes in the plays is the most striking manifesta- 
tion of this identity l . For your horned and blackened devil 
is the same personage, with the same vague tradition of the 
ancient heathen festival about him, whether he riots it through 
the cathedral aisles in the Feast of Fools, or hales the Fathers 
to limbo and harries the forward spectators in the market- 
place of Beverley or Wakefield. 

One must not look for absolute breaches of continuity, even 
in a literary evolution. That the liturgical types of religious 
drama continued to exist side by side with their popular 
offshoots, that here the clergy continued to present plays, and 
in spite of a certain adverse current of ascetic feeling, to assist 
the lay guilds in divers ways, has already been there shown. 
It is to be added that the texts of the plays bear traces to the 
end of their liturgical origin. The music used is reminiscent 
of church melodies 2 . The dialogue at critical moments follows 
the traditional lines and occasionally even reverts to the 
actual Latin of the repraesentationes. More than one play 
the Towneley Tuditium, the Croxton Sacrament, the Digby 
St. Mary Magdalen closes with the Te Deum which habitually 
ended Matins when the dramatic interpolation of the office 
was over. And what are the Expositor of the Ludus Coventriae^ 
the Doctor of the Brome play, or even Balaeus Prolocutor 
himself, but the lineal descendants, through the dramatized 
St. Augustine, of certain German plays and the appellatores 
or vocatores of the Prophetae, of the priest who read the 
pseudo-Augustinian Christmas lectio from which the Prophetae 
sprang? Survivals such as these impress upon the student 
the unity of the whole religious drama of the Middle Ages, 
from trope to Corpus Christi cycle, 

held revel on Whit-Tuesday. At the delight taken by the spectators 
Reading there were plays on May- in the devils of the Cornish plays. 
day. At Chelmsford and Wymond- Collier, ii. 187, quotes a jest about 
ham they were attached to the the devil in a Suffolk stage-play 
Midsummer 'watch'* or 'show/ from C. Mery Talys (1*1533). In 
Typically 'folk* personages, the the Conversion of St. Paul of the 
1 wodmen ' (cf. vol. i. p. 185), appear Digby MS., a later hand has care- 
in the Aberdeen Candlemas proces- fully inserted a devil scene. On 
sion, and at Hull the 'hobby-ship 1 the whole subject of the represen- 
(cf. vol. i. p. 12 1) becomes the centre tation of devils in the plays, cf. 
of a play. Cushman, 16; Eckhardt, 53. 
1 Richard Carew lays stress on * York Plays, 524. 


[Bibliographical Note. The English moralities are well treated from 
a literary point of view in the books by Ten Brink, Ward, Creizenach, 
Pollard, Collier, Klein, Symonds, Bates, Jusserand, and Court hope, named 
in the bibliographical note to Chapter xxi, and also in the Introduction to 
A. Brandl, Quellen des weltlichen Dramas in England vor Shakespeare 
(1898). Some texts not easily available elsewhere are given in the same 
book ; others are in Dodsley's A Select Collection of Old English Plays 
(ed. W. C. Hazlitt, 1874-6), vol. i, and J. M. Manly, Specimens of the 
Pre-Shakespearean Drama (1897), vol. i. Extracts are given by Pollard. 
Lists both of popular moralities and of moral interludes will be found in 
Appendix X. The French plays of a similar type are dealt with by 
L. Petit de Julleville, La Comtdie et les Mceurs en France au Moyen Age 
(1886) and Repertoire du Thtdtre comique en Frante au Moyen Age 
(1886). On puppet-plays, C. Magnin,//fr/0*>0 des Marionnettes en Europe 
(1852), and A. Dietcnch, Pulcinella (1897), may be consulted. The 
traditional text of the stock English play is printed, with illustrations by 
G. Cruikshank, in J. P. Collier, Punch and Judy (1870). English 
pageants at the Corpus Christi feast and at royal entries are discussed by 
C. Davidson, English Mystery Plays (1892), xvii, and Sir J. B. Paul, in 
Scottish Review ', xxx (1897), 217, and the corresponding French my stores 
mimts by L. Petit de Julleville, Les Mysttres (1880).] 

I HAVE endeavoured to trace from its ritual origins the full 
development of that leading and characteristic type of mediaeval 
drama, the miracle-play. I now propose to deal, very briefly, 
with certain further outgrowths which, in the autumn of the 
Middle Ages, sprang from the miracle-play stock ; and a final 
book will endeavour to bring together the scattered threads 
of this discursive inquiry, and to touch upon that transforma- 
tion of the mediaeval into the humanist type of drama, which 
prepared the way for the great Elizabethan stage. 

The miracle-play lent itself to modification in two directions: 
firstly, by an extension of its subject-matter ; and secondly, 
by an adaptation of its themes and the methods to other 
forms of entertainment which, although mimetic, were not, in 
the full sense of the term, dramatic. There are a few plays 


upon record which were apparently represented after the 
traditional manner of miracles, but differ from these in that 
they treat subjects not religious, but secular. Extant examples 
must be sought in the relics, not of the English, but of the 
continental drama. The earliest is the French Estoire de 
Griselidis, a version of the story familiar in Chaucer's Clerkes 
Tale, which was written and acted, according to the manu- 
script, in 1395*. Slightly later is a Dutch manuscript which 
contains, amongst other things, probably the repertoire of 
some compagnie joyeuse> three plays on the subjects respec- 
tively of Esmoreit, Gloriant of Brunswick, and Lanseloet and 
Sanderijn 2 . Both the French and Dutch plays belong to 
what may be called the wider circle of chivalric romance. 
An obvious link between such pieces and the ordinary miracle- 
play is to be found in those of the Miracles de Nostre Dame 
which, like Amis et Amiles or Robert le Diable> also handle 
topics of chivalric romance, but only such as are brought 
technically within the scope of the miracle-play by the 
intervention of the Virgin at some point of the action 3 . 
Similarly, another French play, dating from about 1439, on 
the subject, drawn not from romance but from contemporary 
history, of the Siege of Orleans, may be explained by the 
sanctity already attributed in the national imagination to Joan 
of Arc, who is naturally its leading figure 4 . But the usual range 

1 Ed. Groeneveld (1888) ; cf. noute, Ronchevale, Florys und 

Creizenach, i. 362 ; Julleville, Les Blancheflor, Gryselle (Griseldis) ; 

My st. i. 1 80, ii. 342. cf. Creizenach, i. 372. 

* I do not think that these Dutch s Julleville, LesMyst. ii. 284, 310. 

plays have been printed. The MS., 4 Ed. F. Guessard et E. de Cer- 

m the Royal Library at Brussels, is tain (1862) in Collection des docu- 

described by Hoffmann von Fallers- ments historiques ; cf. Creizenach, i. 

leben, Horae Belgicae^ vi, xxix ; cf. 372 ; Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 576 ; 

Creizenach, i. 366. Besides the H. Tivier, Etude sur le Myst. du 

three chivalric plays, it contains Stige #0. (1868). The play may 

a dramatized estrif of Summer have been designed for performance 

and Winter (cf. vol. i. p. 187) in- at the festival held at Orleans in 

eluded with them under the general memory of the siege on May 8. 

*itle of 'abele Spelen,' and also The passage quoted from Sir 

a long farce or * Boerd.' To each Richard Morrison on p. 221, sug- 

of the five plays, moreover, is gests that a similar commemoration 

attached a short farcical after-piece, was held in the sixteenth century 

A few notices of other fifteenth- by the English at Calais of the 

century Dutch chivalric plays are battle of Agincourt in 1415. 
preserved. The subjects are Ar- 


of subject was certainly departed from when Jacques Millet, 
a student at Orleans, compiled, between 1450 and 1453, an 
immense mysttre in 30,000 lines on the Istoire de la destruction 
de Troye la grant \ In England, the few examples of the 
mingling of secular elements with the miracle-plays which 
present themselves during the sixteenth century can hardly 
be regarded as mediaeval 2 . The only theme which need 
be noticed here is that of King Robert of Sicily. A play 
on this -hero, revived at the High Cross at Chester in 1529, 
is stated in a contemporary letter to have been originally 
written in the reign of Henry VII. But a still earlier Indus 
de Kyng Robert of Cesill is recorded in the Lincoln Annales 
under the year 1453. 

Far more important than this slight secular extension of 
miracle-plays is another development in the direction of 
allegory, giving rise to the c moral plays ' or * moralities/ as 
they came to be indifferently called 3 , in which the characters 
are no longer scriptural or legendary persons, but wholly, or 
almost wholly, abstractions, and which, although still religious 
in intention, aim rather at ethical cultivation than the stab- 
lishing of faith. The earliest notices of morals are found 
about the end of the fourteenth century, at a time when the 
influence of the Roman de la Rose and other widely popular 
works was bringing every department of literature under the 
sway of allegory 4 . That the drama also should be touched 
with the spirit of the age was so inevitable as hardly to call 
for comment. But it will be interesting to point out some 
at least of the special channels through which the new 
tendency established itself. In the first place there is the 
twelfth-century Latin play of Antichristus. In a sense the 
whole content of this may be called allegorical, and the allegory 
becomes formal in such figures as Heresis and Ypocrisis, 

1 Ed.Stengei(i883);cf.Creizenach, la Vigne (Julleville, Rtp. com. 73) 

comes nearest. But its leading 
episode, the siege of the fortress of 
Danger, is reflected in the siege 
' morality ' a ' recent ' one, but it was of the Castle of Perseverance and 
used in 1503 : cf. p. 201. that of the Castle of Maudleyn in 

* There is not much direct imita- the Mary Magdalen of the Digby 
tion of the Roman de la Rose in the MS. On the general place of aJle- 
moralities. Perhaps the French gory in contemporary literature ct 
Honneur des Dames of Andrieu de Courthope, i. 341. 


lustitia and Misericordia> and in those of Ecclesia> Synagoga, 
and Gentilitas, suggested to the clerkly author by a well- 
known disputatio. The same theme recurs in more than 
one later play 1 . Secondly, there is the theme of the Recon- 
ciliation of the Heavenly Virtues, which is suggested by the 
words of the eighty-fifth Psalm : ' Mercy and Truth are met 
together: Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other.' 
This is treated in two unprinted and little known French plays, 
also of the twelfth century, which I have not as yet had occasion 
to mention and of which I borrow the following analysis from 
Dr. Ward : 'These four virtues appear personified as four sisters, 
who meet together after the Fall of Man before the throne of 
God to conduct one of those disputations which were so much 
in accordance with the literary tastes of the age ; Truth and 
Righteousness speak against the guilty Adam, while Mercy 
and Peace plead in his favour. Concord is restored among 
the four sisters by the promise of a Saviour, who shall atone 
to Divine Justice on behalf of man.' One of these pieces is 
ascribed to the Anglo-Norman poet, Guillaume Herman 
(11^7-70), the other to Stephen Langton, afterwards arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. They are generally spoken of as 
literary exercises, not intended for representation 2 . But it 
is obvious that they might very well find their places in 
miracle-play cycles, as links between the scenes dealing 
respectively with the Fall and the Redemption. Further, 
precisely such an episode, in precisely such a position, does 
occur, three hundred years later, in the English cycle known 
as the Ludus Coventriae. Nor is this the only allegorical 
element which distinguishes a certain part of this patchwork 
cycle from nearly all the other English plays 3 . It is not, 
perhaps, of great importance that in the Assumption scene the 

1 Cf. pp. 63, 77. of the fourteenth century (R. F. 

* Ward, i. 105 ; Arckaeologia^ Weymouth, The Castel of Love* 

xiii. 232. A (Ubat on^ precisely this 273) the passage begins 

theme is introduced into the Chas- * For now I chul tellen of J>e stryf 
teau <T Amour, a theological work pat a-mong e foure sustren lib.' 
in the form of a romance, ascribed s No stress is of course to be laid 

to Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253), upon the late introduction of Dolor 

on which cf. F. S. Stevenson, Life and Myserye into the Grocers' play 

of Grosseteste, 38 ; Jusserand, Eng. at Norwich, when the text was re- 

Lit. i. 214. In the English version written in 1565. 


risen Christ receives the name of Sapientta, or that Con- 
templatio is the 'exposytour in doctorys wede,' by whom 
several other scenes are introduced. But there is a striking 
passage at the end of the Slaughter of the Innocents, where 
1 Dethe, Goddys masangere,' intervenes to make an end of the 
tyrannic Herod \ and here, I think, may clearly be traced yet 
a third stream of allegorical tendency making its way into the 
drama from that singular danse macabre or c Dance of Death/ 
which exercised so powerful a fascination on the art of the 
Middle Ages. Death hobnobbing with pope and king and 
clown, with lord and lady, with priest and merchant, with 
beggar and fool, the irony is familiar in many a long series 
of frescoes and engravings. Nor are cases lacking in which 
it was directly adapted for scenic representation. An alleged 
example at Paris in 1424 was probably only a painting. But 
in 1449 a certain jeu, histoire et moralitt sur le fait de la 
danse macabre was acted before Philip the Good at Bruges, 
and a similar performance is recorded at Besan9on in 1453 2 - 

The process of introducing abstractions into the miracle- 
plays themselves does not seem to have been carried very 
far. On the other hand, the moralities, if God and the Devil 
may be regarded as ab5tractions, admit of nothing else. Two 
at least of the motives just enumerated, the Dance of Death 
and the Reconciliation of the Heavenly Virtues, recur in 
them. But both are subordinate to a third, which may be 
called the Conflict of Vice and Virtue. This dktfdtf-like theme 
is of course familiar in every branch of allegorical literature. 
Prof. Creizenach traces one type of it, in which the conflict is 
conceived under the symbols of siege or battle, to the Psycho- 
machia of Prudentius 3 , and perhaps even further to the 
passage about the * whole armour of God* in St. Paul's 
epistle to the Ephesians 4 . For the purposes of the stage it 

1 Ludus Cov. 106 (play xi, Vir- Totentdnze des Mittelalters (Jahrb. 

tutes)) 70, 79, 89, 105, 124, 129, d. Vereinsf.mederdeutscheSprach- 

289 (plays viii-xiii, xxix, Content- forschung, xvii. i). A bibliography 

placio), 184 (play xix, Mors\ 386 of the Dance of Death is given by 

(play xli, Sapientia) ; cf. Hohlfeld, Goedeke, i. 322 (bk, iii. 92). 

in Anglia, xi. 278. 8 Prudentius, Psychomachia 

* Jusserand, Tktdtre, 123 ; Pear- {t 400 P. L. be. n) ; cf. Creizenach, 

son, i. 2 ; Creizenach, i. 461 ; Cap- L 463. 

tain Cox, clxvi ; W. Seelmann, Die * Ephesians, vi. II. 


is eminently suitable, both because it lends itself to many and 
various modes of representation, and because conflict is the 
very stuff out of which drama is wrought 

As the earliest notices of moralities are found in English 
records and as this particular development of the drama is 
thoroughly well represented in English texts, I may save 
space by confining my attention to these, merely noting as 
I pass the contemporary existence of precisely parallel records 
and texts on the continent and particularly in France l . The 
first English moralities seem to have been known as Pater- 
noster plays. Such a play is mentioned by Wyclif about 
1378 as existing at York, and at some date previous to 1389 
a special guild Orttionis Domini was founded in that city 
for its maintenance. The play, however, survived the guild, 
and was acted from time to time as a substitute for the 
ordinary Corpus Christi plays up to 1572. Similarly, at 
Beverley a Paternoster play was acted by the crafts, probably 
in emulation of that of York, in 1469, while a third is mentioned 
in Lincoln documents as played at various dates from 1397 to 
15^1. Although all these Paternoster plays are lost, their 
general character can be made clear. In that of York * all 
manner of vices and sins were held up to scorn and the 
virtues were held up to praise/ while an incidental entry in 
a computus shows that one division of it was known as the 
Indus accidiae. The information to be derived from Beverley 
is even more explicit. There were eight pageants. One was 
assigned to * Vicious,' probably a typical representative of frail 
humanity, the other seven to the seven deadly sins which 
beset him, 'Pryde: Invy: Ire: Avaryce: Sleweth (or Accidie): 
Glotony : Luxuria.' The Paternoster play seems, therefore, 
to have been in some fashion a dramatization of the struggle 
of the vices and the corresponding virtues for the soul of man, 

1 Creizenach, i. 470; Julleville, name, somewhat later in date, is 

La Com. 44, 78. The earliest a morality. Other early French 

French notice is that of the ' Gieux morals on a large scale are 

des sept vertuz et des sept pechiez L'Homme juste et FHomme mon- 

mortelz' at Tours in 1390. A dam (1508) and LHomme picheur 

' myst&re de Bien-Avisl et Mai* (t 1494) (Julleville, Rty. com. 39, 


' is said to have been played 67, 72). All these are on variants 
in 1396 (Julleville, Rtp. com. of the Contrast of Vice and Virtue 
324). The extant play of that theme. 


and the name given to it may be explained by the mediaeval 
notion that each clause of the Lord's Prayer was of specific 
merit against one of the deadly sins 1 . Here then is one 
version of just that theme of the Conflict of Vice and Virtue 
noted as dominant in the moralities. 

Of the half dozen extant English moralities which can with 
any plausibility be assigned to the fifteenth century, two are 
based upon a motive akin to that of the Dance of Death. 
These are the fragmentary Pride of Life, which is the earliest 
of the group, and Everyman^ which is by far the finest a . In 
the former Death and Life contend for the soiil of Rex Vivus> 
the representative of humanity, who is only saved from the 
fiends by the intervention of the Virgin. In the latter, God 
sends Death to summon Everyman, who finds to his dismay 
that of all his earthly friends only Good Deeds is willing to 
accompany him. The Conflict of Vice and Virtue is resumed 
in the moral of Mundus et Infans and in the three morals of 
the Macro manuscript, the Castle of Perseverance, Mind, Will 
and Understanding^ and Mankind. In all four plays the 
representative of humanity, Infans or Humanum Genus or 
Anima or Mankind, is beset by the compulsion or swayed 
this way and that by the persuasion of allegorized good and 
bad qualities. At the end of the Castle of Perseverance the 
motive of the Reconciliation of the Heavenly Virtues is 
introduced in a scene closely resembling that of the Ludus 
Coventriae or the earlier essays of Guillaume Herman and 
Stephen Langton, 

A somewhat unique position between miracle-play and 
morality is occupied by the Mary Magdalen drama con- 
tained in the Digby manuscript The action of this, so far 
as it is scriptural or legendary, has already been summarized 3 ; 
but it must now be added that the episodes of the secular 
life of the Magdalen in gaudio are conceived in a wholly 
allegorical vein. The 'kyngs of the world and the flesch* 
and the 'pry rise of dylles' are introduced with the seven 

1 Creizenach, t. 465, quoting a original or a translation of the 

thirteenth-century German sermon. Dutch Elckerlijk, or whether the 

* Cf. p. 201 and Texts (ii). It two plays have a common source, 

is not quite clear whether the * Cf. p. 131. 
English play of Everyman is the 


deadly sias and a good and a bad angel. The castle of 
Magdala, like the castle of Perseverance, is besieged. The 
Magdalen is led into a tavern by Luxuria and there betrayed 
by Curiosity, a gallant. We have to do less with a mystery 
beginning to show morality elements than with a deliberate 
combination effected by a writer familiar with both forms of 

The manner of presentation of the fifteenth-century morali- 
ties did not differ from that of the contemporary miracle-plays. 
The manuscript of the Castle of Perseverance contains a 
prologue delivered by vexillatores after the fashion of the 
Ludus Coventriae and the Croxton Sacrament. There is also, 
as in the Cornish mysteries published by Mr. Norris, a 
diagram showing a circular 'place' bounded by a ditch or 
fence, with a central 'castel' and five 'skaffoldys' for the 
principal performers. Under the castle is 'Mankynde, is 
bed ' and near it c Coveytyse cepbord/ The scaffolds are the 
now familiar loca or sedes. The scantier indications of more 
than one of the other moralities proper suggest that they 
also were performed in an outdoor 'place' with sedes, and 
a similar arrangement is pointed to by the stage directions of 
the Mary Magdalen. Nor could the moralities dispense with 
those attractions of devils and hell-fire which had been so 
popular in their predecessors. Belial, in the Castle of Per- 
severance, is to have gunpowder burning in pipes in his hands 
and ears and other convenient parts of his body ; Anima, in 
Mind> Will and Understanding, has little devils running 
in and out beneath her skirts ; and in Mary Magdalen, the 
* prynse of dylles ' enters in ' a stage, and Helle ondyr-neth 
^that stage/ The later moralities, of which the sixteenth 
century affords several examples, were presented under some- 
what different conditions, which will be discussed in another 
chapter \ Allusions to the ' morals at Manningtree,' however, 
in the beginning of the seventeenth century, suggest that 
moralities may have continued in out-of-the-way places to 
hold the open-air stage, just as miracle-plays here and there 
did, to a comparatively late date. Actual examples of the 
more popular type of morality from the sixteenth century 

1 Cf. p. 199. 


are afforded by Skelton's Magnificence and by Sir David 
Lyndsay's Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis> shown successively 
at Linlithgow in 1540, on the Castle-hill at Cupar of Fife in 
*552, and in the Greenside at Edinburgh about 1554. This 
remarkable piece differs in many ways from the English 
moralities. The theme consists of the arraignment of the 
estates of the realm before Rex Humanitas. Various * vycis ' 
and allegorical personages appear and plead, and the action 
is enlivened by farcical interludes for the amusement of the 
vulgar, and wound up by a sermon of ' Folie, 1 which points 
rather to French than to English models 1 . The flight of 
time is also shown by the fact that the Satyre aims less at 
the moral edification with which the fifteenth-century plays 
contented themselves, than at the introduction of a sharp 
polemic against abuses in church and state. Skelton's 
Magnificence had also, not improbably, some political bearing. 
To this matter also I return in another chapter 2 . 

Miracle-plays and moralities ranked amongst the most 
widespread and coloured elements, century after century, of 
burgher and even of village life. It is not surprising that 
their subjects and their methods exercised a powerful influence 
upon other manifestations of the mediaeval spirit. The share 
which their vivid and sensuous presentations of religious ideas 
had in shaping the conceptions of artists and handicraftsmen 
is a fascinating topic of far too wide a scope to be even 
touched upon here 3 . But a few pages must be devoted to 
indicating the nature of their overflow into various pseudo- 
dramatic, rather than strictly dramatic, forms of enter- 

One of these is the puppet-show. It has been pointed out, 
in speaking of the liturgical drama, that the use of puppets 
to provide a figured representation of the mystery of the 
Nativity, seems to have preceded the use for the same 
purpose of living and speaking persons ; and further, that the 
puppet-show, in the form of the 'Christmas crib/ has outlived 
the drama founded upon it, and is still in use in all Catholic 

1 Cf. vol. i. p. 381. interesting study of P. Weber, 

* Cf. p. 218. Geistliches Schauspiel und kirch- 

8 See Pearson, ii. 260, and the liche Kunst (1894). 


countries l . An analogous custom is the laying of the crucifix 
in the 'sepulchre' during the Easter ceremonies, and there 
is one English example of a complete performance of a 
Resurrection play by 'certain smalle puppets, representinge the 
Persons of Christe, the Watchmen, Marie and others/ This 
is described by a seventeenth-century writer as taking place 
at Witney in Oxfordshire ' in the dayes of ceremonial religion,' 
and one of the watchmen, which made a clacking noise, was 
1 comorily called Jack Snacker of Wytney V This points to 
the use of some simple mechanical device by jvhich motion 
was imparted to some at least of the puppets. A similar 
contrivance was produced by Bishop Barlow to point a sermon 
against idolatry at Paul's Cross in 1547 and was given after- 
wards to the boys to break into pieces 3 . More elaborate 
representations of miracle-plays by means of moving puppets 
or marionnettes make their appearance in all parts of Europe 
at a period when the regular dramatic performances of similar 
subjects were already becoming antiquated, nor can they be 
said to be even yet quite extinct 4 . Most of them belong to 
the repertory of the professional showmen, and it will be 
remembered that some form or other of marionnette seems 
to have been handed down continuously amongst the minstrel 
class from Roman times 5 . In England the puppet-shows 
were much in vogue at such places as Bartholomew Fair, where 
they became serious rivals of the living actors 6 . The earliest 
name for them was 'motions 7 / Italian players brought 'an 
instrument of strange motions 'to London in 1574 8 . Autolycus, 
in The Winters Tale, amongst his other shifts for a living, 

1 Cf. p. 42. 1900). 

1 W. Lambarde, Alphabetical * Cf. vol. i. p. 71. 

Description of the Chief Places in ' Morley, passim ; Hone, 229 ; 

England and Wales (1730, written Strutt, 164; T. Frost, Old Showmen 

in the sixteenth century), 459, s.v. and 'Old 'London Fait -^(1874); W.B. 

Wvrtney. Boultpn, Amusements of Old Lon- 

* Gairdner, 253, quoting an un- don, ii. 49, 224. 
named chronicler, * a picture of the 7 The term * motion ' is not, how- 
Resurrection of Our* Lord made ever, confined to puppet-plays, 
with vices, which put out his legs of Bacon, Essay xxxvii, uses it of 
sepulchre, and blessed with his the dumb-shows of masquers, and 
hand and turned his head.' Jonson, Tale of a Tub, v. I, of 

4 Magnin, Marionnettes ; J. Feller, shadow-plays. 

Le Bethltem veruittois (Bull de la ' P. C. Acts % viii. 131. 
Soc. vervittoise fArch. et tfHist. 


'compassed a motion of the Prodigal Son V Ben Jonson, in 
Bartholomew Fair, introduces one Lanthorn Leatherhead, a 
puppet-showman, who presents in his booth a curious rigmarole 
of a motion in which Hero and Leander, Damon and Pythias, 
and Dionysius are all mixed up 2 . It would appear to have 
been customary for the showman, like his brethren of the modern 
Punch and Judy, to ' interpret ' for the puppets by reciting a 
suitable dialogue as an accompaniment to their gestures 3 . 
The repertory of Lanthorn Leatherhead contained a large 
proportion of ' motions ' on subjects borrowed from the 
miracle-play. Similar titles occur in the notices of later per- 
formances at Bartholomew Fair 4 and of those given by the 
popular London showman, Robert Powell, during the reign of 
Queen Anne 6 . In more recent times all other puppet-shows 
have been outdone by the unique vogue of Punch and Judy 6 . 
The derivation of these personages from the Pontius Pilate 
and Judas Iscariot of the miracle-plays is the merest philo- 
logical whimsy. Punch is doubtless the Pulcinella 7 , who makes 

1 Winters Tale, iv. 3. 102. 

a Bartholomew Fair, v. 3 ; cf, v. 
I. 8 'O, the motions that I, Lan- 
thorn Leatherhead, have given light 
to in my time, since my master Pod 
died! Jerusalem was a stately 
thing, and so was Nineveh, and the 
City of Norwich, and Sodom and 
Gomorrah, with the rising of the 
prentices and pulling down the 
bawdy-houses there upon Shrove- 
Tuesday ; but the Gunpowder Plot, 
there was a get-penny! I have 
presented that to an eighteen or 
twenty pence audience, nine times 
in an afternoon'; also Every Man 
out of His Humour, Induction: 
' Will show more several motions in 

his face 

Than the new London, Rome, or 

8 Lanthorn Leatherhead says 
of his puppets, * I am the mouth of 
them all'; cf. Hamlet, iii. 2. 256 
1 1 could interpret between you and 
your love, if I could see the puppets 
dallying ' ; Two Gentlemen of 
Verona, n. I. 100 *O excellent 
motion 1 O exceeding puppet! Now 

will he interpret to her.' 

4 Morley, 179, 187, 190, 247, 261, 

273, 304, 321, records 'Patient 

Grisel ' (1655, l &77)> * Susanna* 

J 655), 'Sodom and Gomorrah* 

1656), 'Judith and Holophernes' 

1664), r jephtha's Rash Vow' 

1697, 1698, 1701, 1704, 1733), 'The 

Creation of the World ' (1701). 

6 Powell's performances of the 
'Creation of the World' at Bath 
and ' Susanna ' at Covent Garden 
are referred to in the Tatler for 
May 14, 1709, and the Spectator 
for March 16, 1711. 

* Hone, 230, describes a 'gal- 
lantee show ' of the Prodigal Son 
and of Noah's Ark with a scene of 
'Pull Devil, Pull Baker,' showing 
the judgement upon a baker who 
gave short weight (cf. the cut in 
Morley, 356)1 seen by him in London 
in 1818. This was an exhibition of 
ombres chinoises rather'than a pup- 
pet-play proper. 

1 A. Dieterich, Pulcinella, 234, 
considers Pulcinella a descendant 
of Maccus, derives the name from 
pullicenus, puldnus, pullus, and 


his appearance about 1600 as a stock figure in the impromptu 
comedy of Naples. Under other names his traditions may, 
for all one knows, go back far beyond the miracle-plays to 
the fabulae Atellanae. But the particular drama in which 
alone he now takes the stage, although certainly not a 
mincle-play, follows closely upon the traditional lines of the 
moralities *. 

Another kind of religious dumb-show, at once more ancient 
and more important than that of the puppets, was presented by 
living persons in the 'ridings' or processions which formed 
an integral part of so many mediaeval festivals. Like the 
miracle-plays themselves, these tableaux reached their highest 
point of elaboration in connexion with the ceremonies of 
Corpus Christi day; and, in order to understand their relation 
to the regular dramas, it is necessary to return for a moment 
to the early history of the great feast. It has already been 
suggested that the processional character of the great English 
craft-cycles, with their movable pageants and, their 'stations,' 
may be explained on the hypothesis, that the performances 
were at one time actually given during the 'stations' or 
pauses before temporary street altars of the Corpus Christi 
procession itself. The obvious inconveniences of such a 
custom, if it really existed, might not unnaturally lead to its 
modification. Except at Draguignan, where the dialogue 
was reduced to the briefest limits, no actual traces of it are 
left 2 . In England the difficulty seems to have been solved 
at Newcastle by sending the ^pageants round with the pro- 
connects the fowl-masks of Italian tion of the World. Punch was also 
comedy with the cockscomb of the amongst the dramatis personae of 
English fool (cf. vol. i. p. 385). Robert Powell. The nature of these 

1 Collier, Punch and Judy ( 1 870), earlier Punch plays is unknown. 
1 1 sqq. ; Frost, The Old showmen That now traditional in England 
and the Old London Fairs^ 29. is implied by the ballad of Punch's 
The earliest English notice of Pranks (^ 1790). Collier, who prints 
Punch in England is in the over- it as given by one Piccini in Drury 
seers' books of St. Martin's-in-the- Lane, with cuts by Cruikshank, 
Fields for 1666 and 1667, 'Re^of considers it to be derived from 
Punchinello, y 6 I talianpopet player, Don Juan. But it seems to me to 
for his booth at Charing Cross/ come still nearer to the morality 
In a Bartholomew Fair playbill of plays. French Punch plays have 
the early eighteenth century, ' the many other themes, 
merry conceits of Squire Punch * Julleville, Les Myst. ii. 208; 
and Sir John Spendall' were attach- cf. p. 95. 
ed to the poppet-show of the Crea- 


cession in the early morning and deferring the actual plays 
until the afternoon. At Coventry representatives of the 
dramatis personae appear to have ridden in the procession, 
the cumbrous pageants being left behind until they were 
needed. Herod, for instance, rode on behalf of the smiths. 
At other places, again, the separation between procession and 
play was even more complete. The crafts which produced 
the plays were as a rule also burdened by their ordinances 
with the duties of providing a light and of walking or riding 
in honour of the host ; but the two ceremonies took place at 
different hours on the same day, and there was no external 
relation, so far as the evidence goes, between them. Even so 
there was still some clashing, and at York, after an un- 
successful attempt on the part of the clergy in 1426 to get 
the plays put off, the procession itself appears to have been 
transferred to the following day. 

On the other hand the difficulty seems to have been met 
in certain towns by suppressing the plays and reducing them 
to dumb-show * pageants' carried in the procession. Lists 
are extant of such pageants as they were assigned to the 
crafts at Dublin in 1498 and at Hereford in 1503, and 
although it is not of course impossible that there were to be 
plays later in the day, there is no proof that this was the case. 
For a similar procession of tableaux held in London, in the 
earlier part of the fifteenth century, a set of descriptive verses 
was written by John Lydgate, and the adoption of this 
method of 'interpreting* the dumb-show seems to put the 
possibility of a regular dramatic performance out of court * 

1 Printed by Halliwell, Minor piece is n. 153 in the list of Lyd- 

Poems of Lydgate (Percy Soc.), gate's works given by Ritson, Bibl. 

95,fromShirle/s//ar/.225i,f. 293, Poet* 79. It may be doubted 

as a Processioune of Corpus Cristi, whether Ritson's n. 152 * A Proces- 

with a note at the end that 'Shirley sion of pageants from the creation' 

kowde fynde no more. 1 It is also, is really distinct Lydgate describes 

with the same note,in Shirley's Trin. to his hearers ' figures shewed in 

Coll. Camb. A/IS". R. 3. 20, f. 348, your presence' which embody 

with the heading, * Ordenaunce of * gracious mysteries grounded in 

a p'cessyoun of the feste of Cor- Scripture.' Of course 'mysteries' 

pus Cristi, made in London by has no technical dramatic sense 

Daun John Lydegate * (E. P. Ham- here. Lydgate's method of ' inter- 

mond, in Anglia, xxii. 364), and is preting ' may have been based on 

copied thence by John Stowe in the incorrect mediaeval notion of 

B. M. Add. MS. 29,729, f. 166. The the methods of the classical stage, 



There were pageants also in the Corpus Christ! processions 
at Bungay and at Bury St. Edmunds, but the notices are too 
fragmentary to permit of more than a conjecture as to whether 
they were accompanied by plays. The tableaux shown at 
Dublin, Hereford, and London were of a continuous and 
cyclical character, although at Hereford St. Catherine, and at 
Dublin King Arthur, the Nine Worthies, and St. George's 
dragon were tacked on at the tail of the procession 1 . A 
continental parallel is afforded by the twenty-eight remon- 
trances^ making a complete cycle from the Annunciation to 
the Last Judgement, shown at B&hune in 1549 2 . But else- 
where, both in England and abroad, the shows of the Corpus 
Christi procession were of a much less systematic character, 
and Dublin was not the only place where secular elements 
crept in 3 . At Coventry, in addition to the representative 
figures from the craft-plays, the guild of Corpus Christi and 
St. Nicholas, to which, as to special Corpus Christi guilds 
elsewhere, the general supervision of the procession fell, 
provided in 1539 a Mary and a Gabriel with the lily, Saints 
Catherine and Margaret, eight Virgins and twelve Apostles. 

which he adopts in his Troy Book tiQnofN&ogzQTgbs 9 Popish Kingdom 

(cf. p. 208). The ' figures f re- (1553)? > v - 699 (Stubbes, i. 337) : 

presented twenty-seven persons * Chnstes passion here derided is, 

whose utterances revealed the with sundriemaskes and playes; 

mystery of the Mass. There were Faire Ursley with hir maydens 

eight patriarchs, the Ecclesiast , four all, doth passe amid the wayes : 

prophets, the Baptist, four evan- And valiant George, with speare 

gelists, St. Paul, and seven Chris- t hou ki lies t the dread full dragon 

tian doctors. here ; 

1 Sharp, 172, quotes from aeon- The deuil's house is drawne about, 

temporary writer a passage showing wherein there doth appere 

that the Dublin procession, like A wondrous sort of damned 

those of Coventry and Shrewsbury, sprites, with foule and fearefull 

lasted to a recent date: 'The looke; 

Fringes was a procession of the Great Christopher doth wade and 

trades and corporations, performed passe with Christ amid the 

in Ireland on Corpus Christi day, brooke: 

even within the author's recolleo Sebastian full of feathred shaftes, 

tion. King Solomon, Queen of the dint of dan doth feele ; 

Sheba, with Vulcan, Venus, and There walketh Kathren with hir 

Cupid, were leading persons upon sworde in hande, and cruell 

this occasion. 1 wheele : 

1 Julleville, Les Myst. ix. 21 1; The Challis and the singing Cake, 

Davidson, 219, with Barbara is led, 

9 The following is from an account And sundrie other Pageants 

of a continental Corpus Christi pro- playde in worship of this bred, 

cession in Baraabe Googe's transla- &c/ 


The Coventry procession, it may be added, outlived the 
Corpus Christi feast. In the seventeenth century Godiva had 
been placed in it and became the most important feature. 
By the nineteenth century the wool-combers had a shepherd 
and shepherdess, their patron saint Bishop Blaize, and Jason 
with the Golden Fleece \ At the Shrewsbury ' Show/ which 
also until a recent date continued the tradition of an older 
Corpus Christi procession, Saints Crispin and Crispinian rode 
for the shoemakers. At Norwich the grocers sent the 
1 griffin ' from the top of their pageant and a c tree ' which may 
have been the tree of knowledge from their Whitsun play of 
Paradise, but which was converted by festoons of fruit and 
spicery into an emblem of their trade 2 . 

Aberdeen seems to have been distinguished by having two 
great mimetic processions maintained by the guilds. The 
interpretation of the data is rather difficult, but apparently 
the 'Haliblude' play, which existed in 1440 and 1479, had 
given way by 1531 to a procession in which pageants of the 
Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Coronation of the Virgin 
were eked out by others of Saints Sebastian, Laurence, 
Stephen, Martin, Nicholas, John, and George. The other pro- 
cession seems originally to have been introduced as an episode 
in a play of the Presentation in the Temple on Candlemas day. 
Its 'personnes' or * pageants' are such as might furnish out 
the action of a short Nativity cycle, together with 'honest 
squiares ' from each craft, ' wodmen,' and minstrels. But in 
this case also the play seems to have vanished early in the 
sixteenth century, while the procession certainly endured until 
a much later date. 

There are no other English religious dumb-shows, outside 
those of Corpus Christi day, so elaborate as the Aberdeen 
Candlemas procession. On the same day at Beverley the 
guild of St. Mary carried a pageant of the Virgin and Child 
with Saints Joseph and Simon and two angels holding a great 

1 Sharp, 217, records a play of the in 1522 (cf. p. 165). 

Golden Fleece provided by Robert * Cf. the Paradise show, at the 

Crowe for the Cappers' Candlemas London reception of Henry VI in 

Dinner in 1 525 ; the London drapers 1432 (p. 170). 
had a pageant with the same title 

M a 


candlestick 1 . The guild of St. Helen, on the day of the 
Invention of the Cross (May 3), had a procession with a boy 
to represent the saint, and two men bearing a cross and a 
shovel 2 . The guild of St. William of Norwich paraded 
a knave-child between two men holding candles in honour 
of the youthful martyr 8 . In the Whitsuntide procession at 
Leicester walked the Virgin and Saint Martin, with the twelve 
Apostles 4 . More interesting is the pageant of St. Thomas 
the Martvr on December 29 at Canterbury, with the saint 
on a cart and knights played by children and an altar and 
a device of an angel and a 'leder bag for the blodeV 
Probably this list could be largely increased were it worth 
while 6 . The comparatively modern elements in the Corpus 
Christi pageantry of Coventry, Shrewsbury, and Dublin may 
be paralleled from the eighteenth-century festival of the 
Preston guild merchant on or near St. John Baptist's day 
with its Crispin and Crispinian, Bishop Blaize, Adam and 
Eve, Vulcan, and so forth 7 , or the nineteenth-century wool 
trade procession on St. Blasius' day (February 3), at Bradford, 
in which once more Bishop Blaize, with the Jason and Medea 
of the Golden Fleece, appears 8 . It is noticeable how, as such 
functions grow more civic and less religious, the pageants 
tend to become distinctively emblematic of the trades 
concerned. The same feature is to be observed in the choice 
of subjects for the plays given by way of entertainment to 
the earl of Kildare at Dublin in 1528. 

The dumb-show pageants, which in many cities glorified 
the 'ridings' on the day of St. George (April 23), have been 

1 Toulmin Smith, English Guilds, < rolle of velom, cou'ed with a golde- 

14 ?'Tt_... . skyn ' in J 4 6 3 (Hone, 81), were 

! [Did. 148. Ibid. 30. probably not, as Davidson, 224, 

Kelly, 7, 1 1. thinks, * a description and represen- 

Cf. Representations, s. v. Can- tation of the pageants which were 

terbury. carried in procession by the guild/ 

The 'pagent's paynted and but illuminated pages (paginae). 

lemenyd with gold ' of the Holy For a similar misunderstanding cf. 

Trinity, Saints Fabian, Sebastian, p.4oi,n. i. Abp.Thoresby ^1357) 

and Botulph, ' and the last pagent circulated a ' tretys in Englisce . . . 

of the terement, & gen'all obyte, of in smale pagynes 1 (Shirley, Fasd- 

the brether'n and suster'n, that be culi Zizaniorum, xiii). 

passed to God/ which the London 7 Representations, s. v. Preston. 

guild of the Holy Trinity had on a 8 Dyer, 60. 


described in an earlier chapter 1 . These * ridings/ of curiously 
mingled religious and folk origin, stand midway between the 
processions just mentioned and such seasonal perambulations 
as the 'shows' and 'watches' of Midsummer. Even in the 
latter, elements borrowed from the pageants of the miracle- 
plays occasionally form an odd blend with the * giants ' and 
other figures of the < folk ' tradition 2 . The c wache and playe ' 
went together at Wymondham, and also apparently at Chelms- 
ford, in the sixteenth century. At York we find the pageants 
of some of the crafts borrowed for a play, though apparently 
a classical and not a religious one, at the Midsummer show 
of 1585. At Chester, when the Whitsun plays were beginning 
to fall into desuetude, the crafts were regularly represented in 
the Midsummer show by some of their dramatis personae> 
who, however, rode without their pageants. The smiths sent 
the Doctors and little God/ the butchers sent ' the divill in 
his fethers/ the barbers sent Abraham and Isaac, the brick- 
layers sent Balaam and the Ass, and so forth. These with 
the giants, a dragon, a man in woman's clothes, naked boys, 
morris-dancers and other folk elements, made up a singular 

In London, pageants were provided for the Midsummer 
show by the guilds to which the lord mayor and sheriffs for 
the year belonged. Thus the drapers had a pageant of the 
Golden Fleece in 1522, and pageants of the Assumption and 
Saint Ursula in 1523 3 . To a modern imagination the type 
of civic pageantry is the annual procession at the installation 
of the lord mayor in November, known familiarly as the lord 
mayor's show. This show was important enough from the 
middle of the sixteenth century, and the pens of many goodly 
poets, Peele, Dekker, Munday, Middleton, and others, were 
employed in its service 4 . But its history cannot be taken 
much further back, and it is exceedingly probable that when 
the Midsummer show came to an end in 1538, the pageants 
were transferred to the installation procession, 'the earliest 

1 Cf. vol. i. p. 221. (1837) ; F. W. Fairholt, Lord 

a Cf. vol. i. pp. 1 1 8, 120, Mayor's Pageants (1843-4, Percy 

1 Qi. Representations^, v. London. Soc. n ci . 38, 43), and The Civic 

4 J. G. Nichols, London Pageants Garland (Percy Soc. 1845). 


clear notice is in 1540, when a pageant of the Assumption, 
perhaps that which had already figured at the Midsummer 
show of 1523, was used l . The ironmongers had a pageant 
when the lord mayor was chosen from their body in 1566. 
It was arranged by James Peele, father of the dramatist, and 
there were two 'wodmen ' in it, but unfortunately it is not 
further described 2 . In 1568, Sir Thomas Roe, merchant 
tailor, had a pageant of John the Baptist 3 . William Smith, 
writing an account of city customs in 1575, mentions, as a 
regular feature of the procession, c the Pagent of Triumph 
richly decked, whereupon, by certain figures and writings, 
some matter touching Justice and the office of a Magistrate 
is represented 4 .' And about ten years later the series of 
printed ' Devices ' of the pageants begins. 

The influence of miracle-plays and moralities is also to be 
looked for in the municipal ' shows ' of welcome provided at the 
state entries of royal and other illustrious visitors. A large 
number of these, chiefly at coronations, royal marriages and 
the like, are recorded in chronicles of London origin, and with 
the London examples in their chronological order I will briefly 
deal. The earlier features of such ceremonies include the 
riding of the mayor and corporation to meet the king at some 
place outside the gates, such as Blackheath, or, in the case of 
a coronation, at the Tower, and the escorting of him with 
joyous tripudium or carole to the palace of Westminster, the 
reading of loyal addresses and the giving of golden gifts, 
the decking of walls and balconies with costly robes and 
tapestries, the filling of the conduits with wine, white and 
red, in place of the accustomed water 6 . The first example 

1 Herbert, i. 457. The same * Herbert, i. 199. 

writer quotes a payment from 4 W. Smith, A breffe description 

the drapers' accounts of 1516 of oj 'the Roy 'all Citie of 'London (1575), 

/ 1 3 4^.7^ for ' Sir Laurens Aylmer's quoted by Nichols, 95. 

PagjeKuU. 1 But thjs cannot have * The Annales Londonienses 

been intended for a lord mayor's record at the visit of the Emperor 

show, IOT Aylmer's only mayoralty Otho to King J[ohn in 1207 >* tola 

was in 1507-8, and a grocer, not a civitas Londpniae indui* solem- 

draper, was mayor in 1515-6 and pnitatem pallis et aliis ornamentis 

in 1516-7* circumornata,' and at the entry of 

* Malcolm, Londinium Redivi- Edward II after his marriage in 

MM, 11.42; W. C. Hazlitt, Livery 1308 'tapeti aurei* and the city 

Companies (ityz), 310. dignitaries 'corpi rege et regina 


of pageantry in the proper sense occurs about the middle of 
the thirteenth century, in certain ' devices and marvels * shown 
at the wedding of Henry III to Eleanor of Provence in 
1236 l . These are not described in detail ; but when Edward I 
returned to London after the defeat of William Wallace at 
Falkirk in 1298, it is recorded by a chronicler, quoted in 
Stowe's Annals, that the crafts made ' great and solemne 
triumph ' and that the fishmongers in particular * amongst 
other pageantes and shewes ' had, as it was St. Magnus's day, 
one of the saint accompanied by a thousand horsemen, and 
preceded by four gilded sturgeons, four salmons on horseback 
and ' sixe and fourtie knights armed, riding on horses made 
like luces of the sea V It was the fishmongers again who on 
the birth of Edward III in 1313 went in a chorea to West- 
minster with an ingeniously contrived ship in full sail, and 
escorted the queen on her way to Eltham 3 . At the coronation 
of Richard II in 1377 an elaborate castle was put up at the 
head of Cheapside. On the four towers of this stood four 
white-robed damsels, who wafted golden leaves in the king's 
face, dropped gilt models of coin upon him and his steed, and 
offered him wine from pipes laid on to the structure. Between 
the towers was a golden angel, which by a mechanical device 
bent forward and held out a crown as Richard drew near 4 . 
Similar stages, with a coelicus ordo of singers and boys and 
maidens offering wine and golden crowns, stood in Cheapside 
when Richard again rode through the city in 1392, in token 

karolantes ' (Chronicles of the rity quoted in the margin is * Chro. 

Reigns of Edw. I and Eaw. If, Dun./ which I cannot identify. It 

R. S. i. 13, 152). At the corona- is not the Dunsiable Annals in the 

tion of Henry IV in 1399 was an Annales monastici (R.S.), vol. Hi. 
'equitatio magnifica' (Annales * Annales Londonienses (Chron. 

Hen. IV, R. S. 294), and the streets of Edw. I and Ediv. II, R. S.), i. 

were hung with 'paremens, 1 and 221 'quaedam navis, quodam 

there were ' noeuf broucherons a mirabili ingenio operata, cum malo 

maniere de fontaines en Cep a et veto erectis, *t depictis de supra- 

Londres, courans par plusieurs dictis armis [of England and 

conduits, jettans vin blanc et ver- France] et varietate plurima ' ; cf. 

meil ' (Froissart, Chroniques, ed. H. T. Riley, Memorials of London, 

Kervyn de Lettynhove, xvi. 205). 107, from Corporation Letter Book 

1 M. Paris, Chronica Maiora D. f. 168. 

(R. S.), iii. 336 'quibusdam pro- * T. Walsingham, Hist. Anglica 

digiosis ingenris et portends.' (R. S.), i. 331. 

* Stowe, Annals, 207. Theautho- 


of reconciliation with the rebellious Londoners. And at 
St. Paul's was a youth enthroned amongst a triple circle of 
singing angels; and at Temple Bar St. John Baptist in the 
desert surrounded by all kinds of trees and a menagerie of 
strange beasts l . No similar details of pageantry are recorded 
at the coronations of Henry IV or Henry V. But when the 
latter king returned to London after the battle of Agincourt 
in 1415 there was a very fine show indeed. The procession 
came to the city from Eltham and Blackheath by way of 
London Bridge. Upon the tower masking the bridge stood 
two gigantic figures, one a man with an axe in his right hand 
and the city keys in his left, the other a woman in a scarlet 
mantle. Beyond this were two columns painted to resemble 
white marble and green jasper, on which were a lion and an 
antelope bearing the royal arms and banner. Over the foot 
of the bridge was a tower with a figure of St. George, and on 
a house hard by a number of boys representing the heavenly 
host, who sang the anthem Benedictus qui venit in nomine Dei. 
The tower upon the Cornhill conduit was decked with red and 
had on it a company of prophets, who sent a flight of sparrows 
and other birds fluttering round the king as he passed, while 
the prophets chanted Cantate Domino canticum novum. The 
tower of the great Cheapside conduit was green, and here were 
twelve Apostles and twelve Kings, Martyrs and Confessors of 
England, whose anthem was Benedic, anima y Domino, and who, 
even as Melchisedek received Abraham with bread and wine, 
offered the king thin wafers mixed with silver leaves, and 
a cup filled from the conduit pipes. On Cheapside, the 
cross was completely hidden by a great castle, in imitation 
white marble and green and red jasper, out of the door of 
which issued a bevy of virgins, with timbrel and dance and 
songs of * Nowell, Nowell,' like unto the daughters of Israel 
who danced before David after the slaying of Goliath. On 
the castle stood boys feathered like angels, who sang Te Deum 
and flung down gold coins and boughs of laurel. Finally, on 
the tower of the little conduit near St. Paul's, all blue as the sky, 

1 Fabyan, 538; H. Knighton, regent Ricardum II et civitatem 
Chronicon (R. S.), ii. 320 ; Richard London (Political Poems> R. S. i. 
Maydiston, De concordia inter 282). 


were more virgins who, as when Richard II was crowned, 
wafted golden leaves out of golden cups, while above were 
wrought angels in gold and colours, and an image of the sun 
enthroned 1 . The details of the reception of Henry and 
Catherine of France, six years later, are not preserved 2 . Nor 
are those of the London coronation of Henry VI in 1429. 
But there was a grand dumb-show at the Paris coronation in 
1431 3 , and it was perhaps in emulation of this that on his 
return to London in the following year the king was received 
with a splendour equal to that lavished on the victor of 
Agincourt. There is a contemporary account of the pro- 
ceedings by John Carpenter, the town clerk of London 4 . As 
in 1415 a giant greeted the king at the foot of London Bridge. 
On the same * pageant 6 ' two antelopes upbore the arms of 
England and France. On the bridge stood a magnificent 
'fabric/ occupied by Nature, Grace, and Fortune, who gave 
the king presents as he passed. To the right were the seven 
heavenly Virtues, who signified the seven gifts of the Holy 
Ghost, by letting fly seven white doves. To the left, seven 
other virgins offered the regalia. Then all fourteen, clapping 
their hands and rejoicing in tripudia, broke into songs of 
welcome. In Cornhill was the Tabernacle of Lady Wisdom, 
set upon seven columns. Here stood Wisdom, and here the 
seven liberal Sciences were represented by Priscian, Aristotle, 
Tully, Boethius, Pythagoras, Euclid, and Albumazar. On 
the conduit was the Throne of Justice, on which sat a king 
surrounded by Truth, Mercy, and Clemency, with two Judges 
and eight Lawyers. In Cheapside was a Paradise with a grove 
full of all manner of foreign fruits, and three wells from which 

1 Full contemporary accounts in 8 Cf. p. 174. 

Gesta Henrici Quinti (Eng. Hist. * Printed from Corp. Letter Book 

Soc.), 61, and a set of verses by K. f. 103*, by H. T. Riley, Liber 

John Lydgate printed in London <d/6us(R.S.), iii.457; cf. descriptive 

Chronicle, 214, and H. Nicolas, verses by Lydgate, Minor Works 

Hist, of Agincourt (1833), 326; (Percy Soc.), 2 ; London Chronicle, 

more briefly in London Chronicle^ no; Fabyan, 603 * Gregory, 173. 

103 ; T. Walsingham, Hist. Anglic. * Carpenter uses the termpagina, 

(R. S.), ii. 314 ; cf. C. L. Kingsford, which here occurs for the first time 

Henry V, 156. in connexion with these London 

2 T. Walsingham, Hist. Anglica receptions. Mr. Riley quite un- 
(R. S.), ii. 336 'ludicis et vario necessarily proposes to read ma- 
apparatu.' china. 


gushed out wine, served by Mercy, Grace, and Pity. Here the 
king was greeted by Enoch and Elijah x . At the cross was 
a castle of jasper with a Tree of Jesse, and another of the 
royal descent ; and at St. Paul's conduit a representation of 
the Trinity amongst a host of ministering angels. In 1445 
Margaret of Anjou came to London to be crowned. Stowe 
records ' a few only ' of the pageants. She entered by South- 
wark bridge foot where were Peace and Plenty. On the 
bridge was Noah's ship ; in Leadenhall, ' madam Grace 
Chancelor de Dieu ' ; on the Tun in Cornhill, St. Margaret ; 
on the conduit in Cheapside, the Wise and Foolish Virgins ; 
at the Cross, the Heavenly Jerusalem ; and at Paul's Gate, 
the General Resurrection and Judgement 2 . 

The rapid kingings and unkingings of the wars of the Roses 
left little time and little heart for pageantries, but with the 
advent of Henry VII they begin again, and continue with 
growing splendour throughout the Tudor century. Space 
only permits a brief enumeration of the subjects chosen for 
set pageants on a few of the more important occasions. 
Singing angels and precious gifts, wells of wine and other 
minor delights may be taken for granted 3 . As to the details 
of Henry VII's coronation in 1485 and marriage in 1486 
the chroniclers are provokingly silent, and of the many 
6 gentlemanlie pageants' at the coronation of the queen in 
1487 the only one specified is 'a great redde dragon spouting 
flames of fyer into the Thames,' from the ' bachelors' barge ' 

1 A pun was concealed here, for her Crownacion of the reign of 

John de Welles, grocer, was mayor, Henry VI I (Antiquarian Repertory, 

and the * oranges, almonds, and the i. 302) has the following direction 

pomegranade ' on the 'trees were for the riding from the Tower to 

the grocers' wares. Cf. the tree of Westminster, * at the condit in 

the Norwich grocers in the Corpus Cornylle ther must be ordined a 

Christi procession (p. 163). sight w* angelles singinge and 

* Stowe, Annals^ 385; cf. London freche balettes y'on in latene, 

Chronicle, 134 'goodly sights engliche and ffrenche, mad by the 

ayenst her coming'; Fabyan, 617 wyseste docturs of this realme ; and 

4 sumptuous and costly pagentes, the condyt of Chepe in the same 

and resemblaunce of dyuerse olde wyse ; and the condit must ryn 

hystoryes ' ; Gregory, 186 * many bothe red wyn and whit wyne ; and 

notabylle devysys in the cytte.' the crosse in Chepe muste be araid 

According to Stowe, Lydgate wrote in y e most rialle wyse that might 

verses for these pageants. be thought ; and the condit next 

9 A memorandum of ceremonial Poules in the same wyse.' 
Asfforthe ressavnge off a Quen* and 


of the lord mayor's company as she passed up the river from 
Greenwich to the Tower 1 . At the wedding of Prince Arthur 
to Katharine of Aragon in 1501, *vi goodly beutiful page- 
auntes ' lined the way from London Bridge to St. Paul's* The 
contriver is said to have been none other than Bishop 
Foxe the great chancellor and the founder of Corpus Christi 
College in Oxford. The subject of the first pageant was the 
Trinity with Saints Ursula and Katharine ; of the second, the 
Castle of Portcullis, with Policy, Nobleness, and Virtue ; of 
the third, Raphael, the angel of marriage, with Alphonso, 
Job, and Boethius ; of the fourth, the Sphere of the Sun ; of 
the fifth, the Temple of God ; and of the sixth, Honour with 
the seven Virtues 2 . As to Henry VIII's coronation and 
marriage there is, once more, little recorded. In 1523 came 
Charles V, Emperor of Germany, to visit the king, and the 
city provided eleven pageants 'very faire and excellent to 
behold 3 / The ' great red dragon ' of 1487 reappeared in 1533 
when yet another queen, Anne Boleyn, came up from Green- 
wich to enjoy her brief triumph. It stood on a * foist ' near 
the lord mayor's barge, and in another ' foist ' was a mount, 
and on the mount Anne's device, a falcon on a root of gold 
with white roses and red. The pageants for the progress by 
land on the following day were of children * apparelled like 
merchants/ of Mount Parnassus, of the falcon and mount once 
more, with Saint Anne and her children, of the three Graces, 
of Pallas, Juno, Venus, and Mercury with the golden apple, of 
three ladies, and of the Cardinal Virtues 4 . The next great 
show was at the coronation of Edward VI in 1547, and 
included Valentine and Orson, Grace, Nature, Fortune and 
Charity, Sapience and the seven Liberal Sciences, Regality 
enthroned with Justice, Mercy and Truth, the Golden Fleece, 
Edward the Confessor and St. George, Truth, Faith, and 

1 Contemporary account in Le- 8 Stowe, Annals, 517 ; Hall, 

land, Collectanea (ed. Hearnc), iv. 638 ; cf. Representations (London). 
218, and J. Ives, Select Papers 4 Minutely detailed contem- 

(1773), 127- porary account in Antiquarian 

* Minutely detailed contemporary Repertory, ii. 232; Hall, 801 ; 

account in Antiquarian Repertory, Collier, ii. 353. Leland's and Udall's 

it. 248; cf. Stowe, Annals, 483; verses for the pageants are \nBallads 

Hazlitt-Warton, iii. 160, from MSS., i. 378 (Ballad Soc.). 


Justice. There was also a cunning Spanish rope-dancer, who 
performed marvels on a cord stretched to the ground from 
the tower of St. George's church in St. Paul's churchyard l . 
Mary, in 1553, enjoyed an even more thrilling spectacle in 
c one Peter a Dutchman/ who stood and waved a streamer on 
the weathercock of St. Paul's steeple. She had eight pageants, 
of which three were contributed by the Genoese, Easterlings, 
and Florentines. The subjects are unknown, but that of the 
Florentines was in the form of a triple arch and had on the 
top a trumpeting angel in green, who moved his trumpet to 
the wonder of the crowd 2 . There were pageants again when 
Mary brought her Spanish husband to London in 1554. At 
the conduit in Gracechurch Street were painted the Nine 
Worthies. One of these was Henry VIII, who was represented 
as handing a bible to Edward ; and the unfortunate painter 
was dubbed a knave and a rank traitor and villain by Bishop 
Gardiner, because the bible was not put in the hands of Mary 3 . 
At the coronation of Elizabeth in 1559, w ^ which this list 
must close, it was Time and Truth who offered the English 
bible to the queen. The same pageant had representations 
of a Decayed Commonwealth and a Flourishing Common- 
wealth, while others figured the Union of York and Lancaster, 
the Seat of Worthy Governance, the Eight Beatitudes, and 
Deborah the Judge. At Temple Bar, those ancient palladia 
of London city, the giants Gotmagot and Corineus, once 
more made their appearance 4 . 

I do not wish to exaggerate the influence exercised by the 
miracle-plays and moralities over these London shows. London 
was not, in the Middle Ages, one of the most dramatic of 
English cities, and such plays as there were were not in the hands 
of those trade- and craft-guilds to whom the glorifying of the 
receptions naturally fell. The functions carried out by the 
fishmongers in 1298 and 1313 are much of the nature of 
masked ridings or * disguisings,' and must be held to have 
a folk origin. The ship of 1313 suggests a 'hobby ship 5 .' 

1 Contemporary account in Le- * Holinshed, iii. 1121. 

land, Collectanea (ed. Hearne), iv. * Contemporary account in Ni- 

311. chols, Progresses of ElizoJ>eth % i. 38. 

f Stowe, Annals, 616 ; cf. Texts* 5 Cf. vol i. p. 121. 
s.v.John Hey wood. 


Throughout the shows draw notions from many heterogeneous 
sources. The giants afford yet another * folk ' element. The 
gifts of gold and wine and the speeches of welcome l need no 
explanation. Devices of heraldry are worked in. The choirs 
of boys and girls dressed as angels recall the choirs perched on 
the battlements of churches in such ecclesiastical ceremonies 
as the Palm Sunday procession 1 . The term ' pageant* 
(pagina), which first appears in this connexion in 1432 and 
is in regular use by the end of the century, is perhaps a loan 
from the plays, but the structures themselves appear to have 
arisen naturally out of attempts to decorate such obvious 
architectural features of the city as London Bridge, the 
prison known as the Tun, and the conduits which stood in 
Cornhill and Cheapside 3 . It is chiefly in the selection of 
themes for the more elaborate mimetic pageants that the 
reflection of the regular contemporary drama must be traced. 
Such scriptural subjects as John the Baptist of 1392 or the 
Prophets and Apostles of 1415 pretty obviously come from 
the miracle-plays. The groups of allegorical figures which 
greeted Henry VI in 1432 are in no less close a relation to 
the moralities, which were at that very moment beginning 
to outstrip the miracle-plays in popularity. And in the reign 
of Henry VII the humanist tendencies begin to suggest 
subjects for the pageants as well as to transform the drama 

Certainly one does not find in London or in any English 
city those mysttres mims or cyclical dumb-shows, with which 
the good people of Paris were wont to welcome kings, and 
which are clearly an adaptation of the ordinary miracle-play 
to the conditions of a royal entry with its scant time for 
long drawn-out dialogue. The earliest of these upon record 
was in 1313 when Philip IV entertained Edward II 
and Isabella. It is not quite clear whether this was 

1 Warton, iii. 158, says that them, and read or not read aloud 

1 Speakers seem to have been ad- when the visitor approached, as 

mitted into our pageants about the might be convenient, 

reign of Henry VI. 1 But there r Cf. p. 5. 

were songs, and for all we know, 8 Wheatley-Cunnjngham,Z^*fc& 

speeches also in 1377 and 1415. Past and Present, i. 373, 458; iii. 

Verses such as Lydgate wrote for 409. 
pageants were often fastened on 


a procession like the disguising called the procession du 
renard which accompanied it, or a stationary dumb-show 
on pageants. But there is no doubt about the moult piteux 
mystere de la Passion de Nostre Seigneur au vif given before 
Charles VI and Henry V after the treaty of Troyes in 1420, 
for this is said to have been on eschaffaulx and to have been 
modelled on the bas-reliefs around the choir of Notre-Dame. 
Very similar must have been the moult bel mystere du Vieil 
testament et du Nouvel which welcomed the duke of Bedford 
in 1424 and which fut fait sans parler ne sans signer , comme 
ce feussent ymaiges enlevez contre ung mur. Sans parler, 
again, was the mysttre which stood on an esckaffault before 
the church of the Trinity when Henry VI was crowned, only 
a few weeks before the London reception already mentioned *. 
It may be added that in many provincial towns the pageants 
used at royal entries had a far closer affinity to the miracle- 
plays proper than was the case in London. The place most 
often honoured in this sort was Coventry. In 1456 came 
Queen Margaret and poor mad Henry VI. One John 
Wedurley of Leicester seems to have been employed to 
organize a magnificent entertainment. At Bablake gate, 
where stood a Jesse, the royal visitors were greeted by 
Isaiah and Jeremiah. Within the gate was a ' pagent ' with 
Saint Edward the Confessor and St. John the Evangelist. 
On the conduit in Smithford Street were the four Cardinal 
Virtues. In the Cheaping were nine pageants for the Nine 
Worthies. At the cross there were angels, and wine flowed, 
and at another conduit hard by was St. Margaret 'sleyng' 
her dragon and a Company of angels. The queen was so 
pleased that she returned next year for Corpus Christi day. 
It appears from the smiths' accounts that the pageants used 
at the reception were those kept by the crafts for the plays. 
The smiths' pageant was had out again in 1461, with Samson 
upon it, when Edward IV came after his coronation, and in 
1474 when the young prince Edward came for St. George's 
feast. The shows then represented King Richard II 
and his court, Patriarchs and Prophets, St. Edward the Con- 
fessor, the Three Kings of Cologne and St. George slaying 
1 Jullcville, L*s Myst. \. 196; ii. 186. 


the dragon. Prince Arthur, in 1498, saw the Nine Worthies, 
the Queen of Fortune, and, once more, Saint George. For 
Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon in 1511 there were 
three pageants: on one the ninefold hierarchy of angels, 
on another ( divers beautiful damsels,' on the third ' a goodly 
stage play. 1 The mercers' pageant * stood ' at the visit of the 
Princess Mary in 1525, and the tanners', drapers', smiths', and 
weavers' pageants at that of Queen Elizabeth in 1565. I do 
not know whether it is legitimate to infer that the subjects 
represented on these occasions were those of the Corpus 
Christi plays belonging to the crafts named 1 . 

York was visited by Richard III in 1483, and there were 
pageants, the details of which have not been preserved, as 
well as a performance of the Creed play 2 . It was also 
visited by Henry VII in 1486, and there exists a civic order 
prescribing the pageants for that occasion. The first of these 
was a most ingenious piece of symbolism. There was a 
heaven and beneath it c a world desolaite, full of treys and 
floures.' Out of this sprang * a roiall, rich, rede rose ' and * an 
othre rich white rose,' to whom all the other flowers did c lowte 
and evidently yeve suffrantie.' Then appeared out of a cloud 
a crown over the roses, and then a city with citizens with 
'Ebrauk' the founder, who offered the keys to the king. 
The other pageants represented Solomon and the six Henries, 
the Castle of David, and Our Lady. There were also devices 
by which a rain of rose-water and a hailstorm of comfits fell 
before the king 8 . During the same progress which took 
Henry to York, he also visited Worcester, where there were 
pageants and speeches, ' whiche his Grace at that Tyme harde 
not' but which should have represented Henry VI and a 
lanitor ad lanuam. Thence he went to Hereford, and was 
greeted by St George, King Ethelbert, and Our Lady ; thence 
to Gloucester, where the chronicler remarks with some surprise 
that ' ther was no Pageant nor Speche ordeynede ' ; and 
finally to Bristol, where were King Bremmius, Prudence, 
Justice, 'the Shipwrights Pageannt,' without any speech, 

1 Sharp, 145. (Suttees Soc., vol. Ixxxv), 53, from 

1 Davies, 162, 171, 282. Corporation House Book, vi. 15. 

9 J. Raine, English Miscellanies 


and a ' Pageannte of an Olifaunte, with a Castell on his Bakk ' 
and ' The Resurrection of our Lorde in the highest Tower of 
the same, with certeyne Imagerye smytyng Bellis, and all wente 
by Veights, merveolously wele done V In 1503 Henry VII's 
daughter Margaret married James IV of Scotland, and was 
received into Edinburgh with pageants of the Judgement of 
Paris, the Annunciation, the Marriage of Joseph and Mary, 
and the Four Virtues 2 . Eight years later, in 1511, she 
visited Aberdeen, and the 'pleasant padgeanes* included 
Adam and Eve, the Salutation of the Virgin, the Magi, and 
the Bruce 3 . 

The facts brought together in the present chapter show 
how 'pageant' came to have its ordinary modern sense of 
a spectacular procession. How it was replaced by other 
terms in the sense of play ' will be matter for the sequel. It 
may be added that the name is also given to the elaborate 
structures of carpenters' and painters' work used in the early 
Tudor masks 4 . These the masks probably took over from 
the processions and receptions. On the other hand, the recep- 
tions, by an elaboration of the spoken element, developed into 
the Elizabethan 'Entertainments, 1 which are often classified 
as a sub-variety of the mask itself. This action and reaction 
of one form of show upon another need not at this stage cause 
any surprise. A sixteenth-century synonym for ' pageant ' is 
'triumph/ which is doubtless a translation of the Italian 
trionfo, a name given to the edifizio by the early Renascence, 
in deliberate reminiscence of classical terminology 5 . 

1 Contemporary account in Le- T. S.), $. 

land, Collectanea (ed. Hearne), iv. * Leknd, Collectanea, iv. 263. 

185. A description of an earlier 8 Cf. Representations, s.v. Aber- 

reception of Edward IV at Bristol deen. 

with ' Wylliam conquerour/ 'a greet 4 Cf. vol. i. p. 398. 

Gyaunt delyueryng the Keyes,' and * Symonds, Renaissance in Italy, 

St. George is in Furnivall, Political, iv. 338. 
Religious, and Love Poems (. . 



Patronage cannot kill art : even in kings' palaces the sudden 
flower blooms serene. 




[Bibliographical Note. The Annals of the Stage in J. P. Collier, 
History of English Dramatic Poetry (new ed. 1879), although ill ar- 
ranged and by no means trustworthy, now become of value. They may 
be supplemented from the full notices of Tudor spectacula in E. Hall, 
The Union of Lancaster and York, 1548, ed. 1809, and from the various 
calendars of State papers, of which J. S. Brewer and J. Gairdner, Letters 
and Papers of the Reign of Henry VII I ( 1862- 1903), including the Revels 
Accounts and the Kings Books of Payments, is the most important. 
Some useful documents are in W. C. Hazlitt, The English Drama and 
Stage (1869). The French facts are given by L. Petit de Julleville, Let 
Come'diens en France au Moyen Age (1889).] 

THE closing section of this essay may fitly be introduced 
by a brief retrospect of the conclusions already arrived at. 
The investigation, however it may have lingered by the way, 
has not been altogether without its logos or rational frame- 
work. The first book began with a study of the conditions 
under which the degenerate stage of the Roman Empire 
ceased to exist. The most important of these were the 
indifference of the barbarians and the direct hostility of the 
Church. A fairly clean sweep was made. Scarcely a thread 
of dramatic tradition is to be traced amongst the many 
and diverse forms of entertainment provided by mediaeval 
minstrelsy. But the very existence of minstrelsy, itself a 
singular blend of Latin and barbaric elements, is a proof of 
the enduring desire of the western European peoples for 
something in the nature of spectacula. In the strength of this 
the minstrels braved the ban of the Church, and finally won 
their way to at least a partial measure of toleration from their 
hereditary foes. In the second book it was shown that the 
instinct for spectacula had its definitely dramatic side. The 
ludi of the folk, based upon ancient observances of a forgotten 
natural religion, and surviving side by side with minstrelsy, 

N 3 


broke out at point after point into mimesis. Amongst the 
villages they developed into dramatic May-games and dra- 
matic sword-dances: in their bourgeois forms they overran 
city and cathedral with the mimicries of the Feast of Fools 
and the Boy Bishop; they gave birth to a special type of 
drama in the mask ; and they further enriched Tudor revels 
with the characteristic figures of the domestic fool or jester 
and the lord of misrule. Upon the folk ludi, as upon the 
spectacula of the minstrels, the Church looked doubtfully. 
But the mimetic instinct was irresistible, and in the end it 
was neither minstrels nor folk, but the Church itself, which 
did most for its satisfaction. The subject of the third book 
is a remarkable growth of drama within the heart of the 
ecclesiastical liturgy, which began in the tenth century, and 
became, consciously or unconsciously, a powerful counterpoise 
to the attraction of ludi and spectacula. So popular, indeed, 
did it prove that it broke the bonds of ecclesiastical control ; 
and about the thirteenth century a process of laicL atton set 
in, which culminated during the fourteenth in the great 
Corpus Christi cycles of the municipal guilds. The subject- 
matter, however, remained religious to the end, an end which, 
in spite of the marked critical attitude adopted by the 
austerer schools of churchmen, did not arrive until that 
attitude was confirmed by successive waves of Lollard and 
Protestant sentiment. Nor was the system substantially 
affected by certain innovations of the fifteenth century, a 
tendency to substitute mere spectacular pageantry for the 
spoken drama, and a tendency to add to the visible present- 
ment of the scriptural history an allegorical exposition of 
theological and moral doctrine. 

It is the object of the present book briefly to record the 
rise, also in the fifteenth century, of new dramatic conditions 
which, after existing for a while side by side with those of 
mediaevalism, were destined ultimately to become a substitute 
for these and to lead up directly to the magic stage of 
Shakespeare. The change to be sketched is primarily a social 
rather than a literary one. The drama which had already 
migrated from the church to the market-place, was to migrate 
still further, to the banqueting-hall. And having passed from 


the hands of the clergy to those of the folk, it was now to 
pass, after an interval of a thousand years, not immediately 
but ultimately, into those of a professional class of actors. 
Simultaneously it was to put off its exclusively religious 
character, and enter upon a new heritage of interests and 
methods, beneath the revivifying breath of humanism. 

A characteristic note of the new phase is the rise of the 
term interludium or ' interlude.' This we have already come 
across in the title of that fragmentary Interludium de Clerico 
et Puella which alone amongst English documents seemed to 
bear witness to a scanty dramatic element in the repertory of 
minstrelsy *. The primary meaning of the name is a matter 
of some perplexity. The learned editors of the New English 
Dictionary define it as 'a dramatic or mimic representation, 
usually of a light or humorous character, such as was com- 
monly introduced between the acts of the long mystery-plays 
or moralities, or exhibited as part of an elaborate entertain- 
ment/ Another recognized authority, Dr. Ward, says 2 : ' It 
seems to have been applied to plays performed by pro- 
fessional actors from the time of Edward IV onwards. Its 
origin is doubtless to be found in the fact that such plays 
were occasionally performed in the intervals of banquets and 
entertainments, which of course would have been out of the 
question in the case of religious plays proper/ I cannot 
say that I find either of these explanations at all satisfactory. 
In the first place, none of the limitations of sense which 
they suggest are really borne out by the history of the 
word. So far as its rare use in the fourteenth century goes, 
it is not confined to professional plays and it does not 
exclude religious plays. The Interludium de Clerico et Puella 
is, no doubt, a farce, and something of the same sort appears 
to be in the mind of Huchown, or whoever else was the 
author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight^ when he speaks of 
laughter and song as a substitute for 'enterludez ' at Christmas 3 . 

1 Cf. vol. i. p. 86. term into literary nomenclature. I 

9 Ward, i. 1 08. The limitation do not so limit the word. 

by Collier, ii. 299, of * what may be 8 Gawain and the G. K. 472 : 

properly, and strictly, called Inter- c Wel bycommes such craft vpon, 

ludes ' to farces of the type affected cristraasse, 

by John Heywopd has introduced Laykyng of enterludez, to laje & 

a most inconvenient semi-technical to syng.' 


But on the other hand, Robert Mannyng of Brunne, at 
the very beginning of the century, classes ' entyrludes ' 
with 'somour games' and other forbidden delights of the 
folk 1 , while the Wyclifite author of the Tretise on Miriclis 
at its close, definitely uses * entirlodies ' as a name for the 
religious plays which he is condemning 2 . In the fifteenth 
century, again, although * interlude ' is of course not one of 
the commonest terms for a miracle-play, yet I find it used 
for performances probably of the miracle-play type at New 
Romney in 1426 and at Harling in 1452, while the jurats of 
the former place paid in 1463 for ' the play of the interlude 
of our Lord's Passion V The term, then, appears to be equally 
applicable to every kind of drama known to the Middle Ages. 
As to its philological derivation, both the New English 
Dictionary and Dr. Ward treat it as a ludus performed in 
the intervals of (inter) something else, although they do not 
agree as to what that something else was. For the perform- 
ance of farces ' between the acts of the long miracle-plays ' 
there is no English evidence whatever 4 . The farcical episodes 
which find a place in the Towneley plays and elsewhere are in 
no way structurally differentiated from the rest of the text. 
There are some French examples of combined performances 
of farces and miracles, but they do not go far enough back to 
explain the origin of the word 6 . A certain support is no doubt 

1 Cf. vol. i. p. 93. Representations, s.v. King's Lynn. 

2 Hazlitt, E. D. S. 80 'How * A'vyce' made pastime before 
thanne may a prist pleyn in en- and after a play at Bungay, but 
tirlodies?' In Baroour, Bruce this was not until 1566. 

(t 1375), x. 145 * now may je heir ... 6 Julleville, Les Com. 97. These 

Interludys and iuperdys, )>at men performances were known as les 

assayit on mony vis Castellis and pots piUs and began about the 

pelis for till ta,' the sense is meta- middle of the fourteenth century, 

phorical, as in 'ioculando et talia The Anglo - French entr elude y 

verba asserendo interludia fuisse asterisked by the N. E. D., is 

vanitatis' quoted by Ducange from found in 1427 (cf. p. 186). Collier's 

Vit. Abb. S. Alb.\, i.e. probably theory receives some support from 

Thomas Walsingham (t 1422), not the Spanish use of the term entre- 

Matthew Paris (t 1249). The read- mes for a comic piece played in 

ing is doubtful in Anastasius Biblio- conjunction with a serious auto. 

thecarius (9th cent.), Hist. Ponttf. But the earlier sense of entremes 

(P. /,. Ixxx. 1352), ' quern iussit sibi itself Appears to be for an hide- 

praesentari in interlude noctu ante pendent farce played at banquets 

templum Palladis.' (Ticknor, Hist, of Span. Lit. (ed. 

5 For probable 1385 cases, cf. 1888), i. 231 ; ii. 449). 


given to the theory of the New English Dictionary by the 
' mirry interludes ' inserted in Sir David Lyndsay's morality 
Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaits, but, once more, it is difficult 
to elucidate a term which appears at the beginning of the 
fourteenth century from an isolated use in the middle of 
the sixteenth. Dr. Ward's hypothesis is perhaps rather more 
plausible. No doubt plays were performed at court and 
elsewhere between the banquet and the 'void' or cup of 
spiced drink which followed later in the evening, and possibly 
also between the courses of the banquet itself 1 . But this fact 
would not differentiate dramatic ludi from other forms of 
minstrelsy coming in the same intervals, and the fact that 
miracle-plays are called interludes, quite as early as anything 
else, remains to be accounted for. I am inclined myself to 
think that the force of inter in the combination has been 
misunderstood, and that an interludium is not a Indus in the 
intervals of something else, but a ludus carried on between 
(inter) two or more performers ; in fact, a ludus in dialogue. 
The term would then apply primarily to any kind of dramatic 
performance whatever. 

In any case it is clear that while ' interlude ' was only 
a subordinate name for plays of the miracle-type, it was the 
normal name, varied chiefly by c play ' and * disguising/ for 
plays given in the banqueting-halls of the great 2 . These 

1 Cf. the accounts in Leland, Col- * For a curious distinction, prob- 

lectanea, iv. 228, 236, of the court of ably neither original nor permanent, 

Henry VII. Douglas, Palace of drawn about 1530 between * stage 

Honour , ii. 410 'At eis they eit playes '(presumably out of doors) m 

with interludis betwene,' dates from the summer and ' interludes ' (pre- 

1501. Herman, Vulgaria (1519), sumably indoors) in the winter, cf. the 

quoted on p. 137, speaks of the document sprinted by H. R. Plomer, 

4 paiantis ' of a play as correspond- in Trans *of Bibliographical Society, 

ing in number to the courses of a iv (1898), 153, and A. W. Pollard in 

feast. Much earlier Raoul de Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse, 

Presles (tl374) in his Exposicion to 305, about a suit between John Ras- 

Augustine, de Civ. Dei, ii. 8 (Abbe- tell, lawyer, printer, and playwright, 

ville, 1486), says that comedies and one Henry Wai ton. Rastell, going 

* sont proprement apellez inter- on a visit to France about 1 525, had 

ludia, pour ce quilz se font entre left with Walton a number of players 1 

les deux mengiers.' But the use of garments. These are fully described. 

interludere by Ausonius, Idyll, x. They were mostly of say or sarcenet, 

76, * interludentes, examina lubrica, and the tailor, who with the help 

pisces,' and Ambrose, Epist. xlvii. of RastelPs wife had made them, 

4, ' interludamus epistolis,' supports valued them at 2os. apiece. Walton 

my view* failed to restore them, and for some 


begin to claim attention during the fifteenth century. Dr. 
Ward's statement that religious plays could not have been 
the subject of such performances does not bear the test of 
comparison with the facts. A miracle of St. Clotilda was 
played before Henry the Sixth at Windsor Castle in 1429, a 
Christi Descensus ad Inferos before Henry the Seventh during 
dinner at Winchester in 1486 ; nor is it probable that the 
play performed by the boys of Maxstoke Priory in the hall 
of Lord Clinton at Candlemas, 1430, was other than religious 
in character l . The records of the miracle-plays themselves 
show that they were often carried far from home. There was 
much coming and going amongst the villages and little towns 
round about Lydd and New Romney from 1399 to 1508. 
One at least of the existing texts, that of the Croxton Sacra- 
ment, appears to be intended for the use of a travelling troupe, 
and that such troupes showed their plays not only in market- 
places and on village greens but also in the houses of 
individual patrons, is suggested by entries of payments to 
players of this and that locality in more than one computes 2 . 

years let them on hire, to his own ment, and had a counter-claim for 

profit. Evidence to this effect was 40?. balance of a bill for 50^. costs 

given by John Redman, stationer, ' in making of stage for player in 

and by George Mayler, merchant RestalPs grounde beside Fyndes- 

tailor, and George Birche, coriar, bury, in tymbre, bourde, nayle, 

two of the king's players. These lath, sprigge and other thyngs.' 

men had played in the garments He held the clothes against pay- 

themselves and had seen them used ment of this amount, which Rastell 

in ' stage pleyes ' when the king's challenged. 

banquet was at Greenwich [in 1527 ; 1 In 1503 a Afap* was given in 

cf. vol. i. p. 400]. They had been Canterbury guildhall. Some of the 

used at least twenty times in stage crafts of Coventry (1478-1568) and 

plays every summer and twenty Newcastle (1536) had plays at their 

times in interludes every winter, guild feasts. The indoor perfdrm- 

and Walton had taken, as the ances of Chester plays in 1 567 and 

* common custume ' was, at a stage 1 576 are late and exceptional, 
play ' sumtyme xl d ., sometyme 5j 8 ., * Cf. Appendix E, ii (Maxstoke), 

as they couth agree, and at an inter- iii (Thetford), vii (Howard), viii 

lude viij d for every tyme.' Rastell (Tudor Court). * Moleyn's wedding ' 

had brought a previous suit in the attended by Lord Howard, is the 

mayor's court, but could only re- first of many at which the players are 

ceive 35^. 9^., at which the goods recorded to have made the mirth, 

had been officially appraised. But Some of the entries may imply 

they were then ( rotten and tome/ visits to the plays, rather than of 

whereas Rastell alleged that they the plays, ana this I suppose to be 

were nearly new when delivered to the case with Henry Vll's payment 

Walton and worth 20 marks. Wai- ' to the players at Myles End.' It 

ton relied on the official appraise- is perhaps a little arbitrary to 


Thus Maxstoke Priory, between 1422 and 1461, entertained 
lusores l from Nuneaton, Coventry, Daventry, and ColeshiU ; 
while Henry the Seventh, between 1492 and 1509, gave 
largess, either at court or abroad, to 'pleyers* from Essex, 
Wimborne Minster, Wycombe, London, and Kingston. The 
accounts of the last-named place record an ordinary parochial 
play in the very year of the royal ' almasse.' 

It is obvious that this practice of travelling must have 
brought the local players into rivalry with those hereditary 
gentlemen of the road, the minstrels. Possibly they had 
something to do with provoking that querelosa insinuatio 
against the rudes agricolae et artifices diversarum misterarum 
which led to the formation of the royal guild of minstrels 
in 1469. If so, the measure does not seem to have been 
wholly successful in suppressing them. But the minstrels 
had a better move to make. Their own profession had fallen, 
with the emergence of the trouvtre and the spread of printing, 
upon evil days. And here were the scanty remnants of their 
audiences being filched from them by unskilled rustics who 
had hit upon just the one form of literary entertainment 
which, unlike poetry and romance in general, could not dis- 

assume, as I have done, that players is often demonstrably correct and 
locally named are never professional, never demonstrably incorrect, ex- 
Thus the lusores de Writhill paid cept that when Colet in his Oratio 
by the duke of Buckingham on adClerum of 1511 quotes the canon 
Jan. 6, 1508) are almost certainly 'ne sit publicus lusor' he seems 
identical with the lusores Dni de to use the term in its canonical sense 
Wrisell (his brother-in-law, the of 'gambler.' The English version 
earl of Northumberland) paid by (1661) has * common gamer or 
him at Xmas, 1507 (Archaeologia y player.' A similar ambiguity is, I 
xxV' 3 ! 8 3 2 4)> although it happens think, the only one which attaches 
curiously enough that the Chelms- itself to ' player 1 where it is a tech- 
ford wardrobe was drawn upon by nical term after the middle of the 
players of Writtle in 1571-2. The fourteenth century. Lydgate in his 
local designation of members of Interpretacyon of the names of 
the minstrel class is exceptional; Goddys and Goddesses (quoted by 
but cf. the York example in the Collier, i. 31) uses it of an actor, 
next note. The locally named lusores although an older sense is preserved 
may, however, sometimes have acted by the Promptorium Parvulorum 
not a miracle, but a May-game or (1440), ' Bordyoure or pleyere, iocu- 
sword-dance ; e.g., at Winchester lator. 9 The sense of ludentes, \ 
College in 1400 when they came think, is wide. The ludentes ' de 
1 cum tripudio suo ' < App. E, iv). Donyneton ' and ' de Wakefield* 
1 I have taken lusores in the paid by the York corporation 
computi as always meaning per- in 1446 (York Plays, xxxviii) are 
formers of a dramatic ludus. This more likely to have been minstrels 



pense with the living interpreter 1 . What could they do 
better than develop a neglected side of their own art and 
become players themselves ? So there appear in the computi> 
side by side with the local lusores, others whose methods and 
status are precisely those of minstrels 2 . The generosity 
of Henry the Sixth at the Christmas of 1427 is called forth 
equally by the entreludes of the jeweis de Abyndon and the 
jeuues et entreludes of Jakke Travail et ses compaignons. By 
1464 ' players in their enterludes ' were sufficiently recognized 
to be included with minstrels in the exceptions of the Act of 
Apparel 3 . Like other minstrels, the players put themselves 
under the protection of nobles and persons of honour. The 
earliest upon record are those of Henry Bourchier, earl of 
Essex, and those of Richard, duke of Gloucester, afterwards 
Richard the Third. Both companies were rewarded by Lord 
Howard in 1482. The earls of Northumberland, Oxford, 
Derby, and Shrewsbury, and Lord Arundel, all had their 
players before the end of the century 4 . The regulations of 
the Northumberland Household Book, as well as entries in 

whom the corporation did provide 
for the plays than actors whom 
they did not. On the other hand 
about inter ludentes&h& interlusores^ 
neither of them very common terms, 
there can be no doubt. Lusiatores 
occurs as a synonym for lusores at 
Shrewsbury only. Mimi and hi" 
striones I have uniformly treated as 
merely minstrels. At a late date 
they might, I suppose, be actors, 
but it is impossible to differ- 

1 Plays were sometimes read, 
even in the fifteenth century. The 
prologue of The Burial and Resur- 
rection has 'Rede this treyte,' al- 
though it was also converted into 
'a play to be playede'; and the 
epilogue of the Digby St. Mary 
Magdalen has ' I desyer the redars 
to be my frynd.' Thomas Wylley in 
1537 describes some of his plays to 
Cromwell as * never to be seen, but 
of your Lordshyp's eye.' Prynne, 
834, asserts that 'Bernardinus 
Ochin his Tragedy of Freewil, 
Plessie Morney his Tragedie of 

Jeptha his daughter, Edward the 
6 his Comedie de meretrice Ba- 
bilonica, lohn Bale his Comedies 
de Christo et de Lazaro, Skelton's 
Comedies, de Virtute, de Magni- 
ficentia, et de bono Ordine, Nicho- 
laus Grimoaldus, de Archiprophetae 
Tragedia . . . were penned only 
to be read, not acted ' ; but this is 
incorrect as regards Bale and Skel- 
ton and probably as regards others. 
The earliest printed plays are per- 
haps Mundus et Infans (1522) and 
Hickscomer (n. d.) both by Wynkyn 
de Worde (1501-35), Everyman 
(n. d.) by Richard Pynson (1509- 
27), If a Nigramansir, by Skelton, 
was really, as Warton asserts, 
printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 
1504, it might take precedence. 

2 Cf. Appendix E. 

8 3 Edw. Jlf, c. 5 ; cf. vol. i. p. 45. 
This was continued by I Hen . VII 1^ 
c. 14, 6 Hen. VIII^ c. I, and 24 
Hen. VIII, c. 13. 

4 Cf. Appendix E ; Hist. MSS. 
v. 548. 


many computi, show that by the reign of Henry the Eighth the 
practice was widespread 1 . Naturally it received a stimulus 
when a body of players came to form a regular part of the 
royal household. Whether Richard the Third retained his 
company in his service during his brief reign is not upon 
record. But Henry the Seventh had four lusores regis, alias> 
in lingua Anglicana, les pleyars of the Kyngs enter luds at 
least as early as 1494. These men received an annual fee 
of five marks apiece, together with special rewards when they 
played before the king. When their services were not re- 
quired at court, they took to the road, just as did the minstrels, 
ioculator, and ursarius of the royal establishment In 1503 
they were sent, under their leader John English, in the train 
of Margaret of Scotland to her wedding with James the 
Fourth at Edinburgh, and here they * did their devoir ' 
before the Scottish court 2 . Henry the Eighth increased their 
number to eight, and they can be traced on the books of the 
royal household through the reigns of Edward the Sixth and 
Mary, and well into that of Elizabeth 3 . 

1 Percy, N. H. B. 22, 158, 339. In 1488 occurs a payment to 'Pat- 

An estimate for 1511-12 includes rik Johnson and the playaris of 

' for rewardes to Players for Playes Lythgow that playt to the King,' 

playd in Christynmas by Stranegers and in 1489 one to ( Patrick Johnson 

in my house after xx d every play and his fallowis that playt a play 

by estimacion. Somme xxxiij 8 to the kyng in Lythqow.' This 

iiij d .' Another of 1514-15 has 'for Johnson or Johnstone, celebrated 

Rewards to Players in Cristynmas m Dunbar's Lament for the Ma- 

IxxijV By 1522-3 the customary karis> seems to have held some 

fee had largely grown, for a list of post, possibly as a minstrel, at court 

' Al maner of Rewardis ' of about (L. H. T. Accts. i. c, cxcviii, ccxliv, 

that date has 'Item. My Lorde 91, 118 ; ii. 131; Dunbar, Poems 

usith and accustometh to gif yerely (ed. S. T. S.), i. ccxxxvii). 

when his Lordshipp is at home to * Collier, i. 44 and passim; Henry, 

every Erlis Players that comes to Hist. ofBritain^ 454 ; cf. Appendix 

his Lordshipe bitwixt Cristynmas E, viii. The Transactions of the 

ande Candelmas If he be his New Shakspere Soc. (1877-9), 4*5i 

8 peciall Lorde and Frende ande contain papers about a dispute in 

Kynsman, xx s . . . to every Lordis 1 529 between one of the company 

Players, x".' George Mailer, glazier, and his ap- 

* Leland, Collectanea (ed. prentice, who left him and went 

Hearne), iv. 265. The computi of travelling on his own account. 

James IV (L. H. T.Accts.u. 131, From these it appears that 'the 

387; iii. 361) contain entries for Kinge's plaierz ' wore ' the Kinge's 

plays before him by ' gysaris ' in- bage. 1 George Mailer is the same 

eluding one at this wedding ; but player who appeared as a witness 

there is no evidence of a regular in the Rastell suit (cf. p. 184). 

royal company at the Scottish court There he is described as a merchant 


The new conditions under which plays were now given 
naturally reacted upon the structure of the plays themselves. 
The many scenes of the long cyclical miracles, with their 
multitudinous performers, must be replaced by something 
more easy of representation. The typical interlude deals 
with a short episode in about a thousand lines, and could 
be handled in the hour or so which the lord might reasonably 
be expected to spare from his horse and his hounds 1 . 
Economy in travelling and the inconvenience of crowding 
the hall both went to put a limit on the number of actors. 
Four men and a boy, probably in apprenticeship to one 
of them, for the women's parts, may be taken as a normal 
troupe* In many of the extant interludes the list of dramatis 
fersonae is accompanied by an indication as to how, by the 
doubling of parts, the caste may be brought within reasonable 
compass 2 . The simplest of scenic apparatus and a few 
boards on trestles for a stage had of course to suffice. But 
some sort of a stage there probably was, as a rule, although 
doubtless the players were prepared, if necessary, to perform, 
like masquers, on the floor in front of the screen, or at best 
upon the dais where the lord sat at meals 3 . The pleasure- 
loving monks of Durham seem as far back as 1465 to have 
built at their cell of Finchale a special player-chamber for the 

tailor ; here as a glazier. That a ... and then it will not be past 

king's player should have a handi- three quarters of an hour of length.' 

craft, even if it were only nominal, J This method begins with the 

at all, looks as if the professional Croxton Sacrament^ which has 

actors were not invariably of the twelve parts, but ' ix may play it at 

minstrel type. Perhaps the glamour ease.' Bale's Three Laws claims 

of a royal 'bage' made even to require five players and Lusty 

minstrelsy respectable. Arthur, Juyentusfovn. Several of the early 

prince of Wales, had his own com- Elizabethan interludes have similar 

pany in 1498 (Black Book of Lin- indications. 

coln'slnn,\. 119), and Henry, prince 3 A .Winchester computes of 1 579 

of Wales, his by 1506. (Hazlitt-Warton, ii. 234) has 'pro 

1 Medwall's Nature is divided diyersis expensis circa Scaffoldam 

into two parts, for performance on erigendam et deponendam, et pro 

different days. But Medwall was domunculis de novo compositis cum 

a tedious person. Another inter- carriagio et recarriagio ly joystes 

lude of his played in 1514 was so et aliorum mutuatorum ad eandem 

longand dull that Henry VIII went Scaffoldam, cum vj linckes et j 

out before the end. The Four Ele- duodeno candelarum, pro lumine 

-ments was intended to take an hour expensis, tribus noctibus in ludis 

and a half 'but if you list you may cpmediarum et tragediarum xxv* 

leave out much of the said matter viijV 



purposes of such entertainments l . Henry the Eighth, too, 
in 1527 had a 'banket-house ' or * place of plesyer,' called the 
c Long house/ built in the tiltyard at Greenwich, and decor- 
ated by none other than Hans Holbein 2 . But this was 
designed rather for a special type of disguising, half masque 
half interlude, and set out with the elaborate pageants which 
the king loved, than for ordinary plays, A similar banquet- 
ing-house Mike a theatre' had been set up at Calais in 1520, 
but unfortunately burnt down before it could be used 3 . 
Another characteristic of the interlude is the prayer for 
the sovereign and sometimes the estates of the realm with 
which it concludes, and which often helps to fix the date 
of representation of the extant texts 4 . 

Like the minstrels, the interlude players found a welcome 
not only in the halls of the great, but amongst the bourgeois 
and the village folk. In the towns they would give their 
first performance before the municipality in the guild-hall and 
take a reward 6 . Then they would find a profitable pitch in 
the courtyard of some old-fashioned inn, with its convenient 

1 Appendix E (i). 
1 Brewer, iv. 1390, 1393, 1394; 
Hall, 723 ; Collier, i. 98. 
8 Stowe, Annals, 511. 

4 The miracle-plays and popular 
morals have a more general prayer 
for the spiritual welfare of the 
4 sofereyns,' ' lordinges,' and the 
rest of their audience. 

5 Willis, Mount Tabor (1639, 
quoted Collier, ii. 196), describing 
the morality of The Castle of Se- 
curity seen by him as a child, says 
' In the city of Gloucester the man- 
ner is (as I think it is in other like 
corporations) that when Players of 
Enterludes come to towne, they 
first attend the Mayor, to enforme 
him what noble-mans servants they 
are and so to get licence for their 
publike playing : and if the Mayor 
like the Actors, or would show 
respect to their Lord and Master, 
he appoints them to play their first 
play before himselfe and the Alder- 
men and Common Counsell of the 
City ; and that is called the Mayor's 

play, where every one that will 
comes in without money, the 
Mayor giving the players a rewaid 
as hee thinks fit, to show respect 
unto them. At such a play, my 
father tooke me with him, and 
made mee stand betweene his leggs, 
as he sate upon one of the benches, 
where we saw and heard very well. 1 
In Histriomastix, a play of 1590- 
1610 (Simpson, School of Shake- 
speare y ii. i), a crew of tippling 
mechanicals call themselves 'Sir 
Oliver Owlet's men and proclaim 
at the Cross a play to be given in 
the townhouse at 3 o'clock. They 
afterwards throw the town over to 
play in the hall of Lord Mavortius. 
In Sir Thomas More (t 1590, ed. 
A. Dyce, for Shakespeare Society, 
1844) ' my Lord CardinalTs players, 9 
four men and a boy, play in the 
Chancellor's hall and receive ten 
angels. For similar scenes cf. the 
Induction to The Taming of the 
Shrew, and Hamlet, ii. 2 ; ill 2. 



range of outside galleries 1 . It is, however, rather surprising 
to find that Exeter, like Paris itself 2 , had its regular theatre 
as early as 1348, more than two centuries before anything 
of the kind is heard of in London. This fact emerges from 
two mandates of Bishop Grandisson ; one, already quoted 
in the previous volume, directed against the secta or or do, 
probably a socittt joyeuse^ of Brothelyngham 8 , the other 
inhibiting a satirical performance designed by the youth of 
the city, in disparagement of the trade and mystery of the 
cloth-dressers. In both cases the ' theatre ' of the city was to 
be the locality of the revels *. Much later, in 1538, but still 
well in anticipation of London, the corporation of Yarmouth 

1 The earliest record of plays at 
inns which I have noticed is in 1557, 
when some Protestants were ar- 
rested and their minister burnt for 
holding a communion service in 
English on pretence of attending a 
play at the Saracen's Head, Isling- 
ton (Foxe, Acts and Monuments^ 
ed. Cattley, viii. 444). 

2 Eustace Deschamps (ti4is), 
Miroir de Mariage (CEuvres, in 
Anc. Textes franc, vol. ix), 3109 
(cf. Julleville, La Com. 40) : 

Mais assez d'autres femmes voy, 
Qui vont par tout sanz nul convoy 
Aux festes, aux champs, au theatre, 
Pour soulacier et pour esbatre : 

Elles desirent les cit^s, 
Les douls mos a euls recites, 
Festes, marches, et le theatre, 
Lieux de delis pour euls esbatre. 

This theatre was probably one 
established towards the end of the 
fourteenth century by the confrMe 
de la Passion. From about 1402 
they performed in the Hdpital de la 
Trinit\ cf. Julleville, Les Com. 
6 1, La Com. 40. 

8 Cf. vol. i. p. 383. * 

4 Register of Bishop Grandisson 
(ed. Hmgeston-Randolph), ii. 1120. 
The letter, unfortunately too long- 
winded to quote in full, was written 
on Aug. 9, 1352, to the archdeacon 
of Exeter or his official. Grandisson 
says : ' Sane, licet artes mechani- 

cas, ut rerum experiencia continue 
nos informat, mutuo, necessitate 
quadam,oporteatse iuvare; pridem, 
tamen, intelleximus quod nonnulli 
nostrae Civitatis Exoniae inpruden- 
tes filii, inordinate lasciviae dediti, fa- 
tue contempnentes quae ad ipsorum 
et universalis populi indigenciam 
fuerunt utiliter adinventa, quendam 
Ludum noxium qui culpa non caret, 
immo verius ludibrium, in contu- 
meliam et opprobrium allutariorum, 
necnon eorum artificii, hac instant! 
Die Dominica, in Theatro nostrae 
Civitatis predictae publice peragere 
proponunt, ut inter se statuerunt et 
mtendunt; ex quo, ut didicimus, 
inter praefatos artifices et dicti Ludi 
participes, auctores pariter et fau- 
tores, graves discord iae, rancores, 
et rixae, cooperante satore tarn exe- 
crabilis irae et invidiae, vehementer 
pululant et insurgunt.' The ludus 
is to be forbidden under pain of 
the greater excommunication. At 
the same time the allutarii are to 
be admonished, since they them- 
selves, 'in mercibus suis distra- 
hendis plus iusto precio, modernis 
temporibus,' have brought about the 
trouble, 'ne exnunc, m vendendo 
quae ad eos pertinent, precium per 
Excellentissimum Principem et Do- 
minum nostrum, Angliae et Franciae 
Regemillustrem,etConsilium suum, 
pro utilitate publica limitatum, exi- 
gant quovis modo.' 


appear to have built a 'game-house' upon the garden of 
the recently surrendered priory 1 . 

In the villages the players probably had to content them- 
selves with a stage upon the green ; unless indeed they could 
make good a footing in the church. This they sometimes did 
by way of inheritance from the local actors of miracles. For 
while the great craft-cycles long remained unaffected by the 
professional competition and ultimately came to their end 
through quite different causes, it was otherwise in the smaller 
places. If the parson and the churchwardens wanted a miracle 
in honour of their patron saint and could readily hire the 
services of a body of trained actors, they were not likely 
to put themselves to the trouble of drilling bookless rustics 
in their parts. And so the companies got into the churches 
for the purpose of playing religious interludes, but, if the 
diatribes of Elizabethan Puritans may be trusted, remained 
there to play secular ones 2 . The rulers of the Church con- 
demned the abuse 3 , but it proved difficult to abolish, and 
even in 1602 the authorities of Syston in Leicestershire had 
to buy players off from performing in the church 4 . 

Even where the old local plays survived they were probably 

1 L. G. Bolingbroke, Pre-Eliza- 134) 'Such like men, vnder the 

bethan Plays and Players in Nor- title of their maisters or as re- 

folk (Norfolk Archaeology, xi. 336). teiners, are priuiledged to roaue 

The corporation gave a lease of the abroad, and permitted to publish 

* game-house ' on condition that it their raametree in euerie Temple of 

should be available 'at all such God, and that through England, 

times as any interludes or plays vnto the horrible contempt of praier. 

should be ministered or played.' So that now the Sanctuane is become 

John Rastell's 505-. stage in Fins- a plaiers stage, and a den of theeues 

bury about 1520-5 (cf. p. 184), and adulterers.' Possibly only the 

although not improbably used for publication of the banns of plays in 

public representations, is not known church is here complained of. Cf.also 

to have been permanent. Fuller, Church History (1655), 391. 

* At Rayleigh, Essex (1550), 2or. * Bonnets Injunctions, 17, of 
from the produce of church goods April, 1542 (Wilkins, iii. 864), for* 
was paid to stage-players on Trinity bade ' common plays games or 
Sunday (Archaeologia, xlii. 287). interludes ' in churches or chapels. 
An Answer to a Certain Libel Violent enforcers of them were to 
(1572, quoted Collier, ii. 72) ac- be reported to the bishop's officers ; 
cuses the clergy of hurrying the cf. the various injunctions of Eliza- 
service, because there is ' an enter- bethan bishops in Ritual Contmis- 
lu^e'tobe played, and if no place sion, 409, 411, 417, 424, 436, and 
else can be gotten, it must be doone the 88th Canon of 1604. 
in the church ' ; cf. S. Gosson, Third 4 Kelly, 1 6 ' Paid to Lord Morden's 
Blast of Retrait from Plates and players because they should not 
^Theaters y 1580 (Hazlitt, E. D. S. play in the church, xij d .' 


more or less assimilated to the interlude type. It was cer- 
tainly so with those written by John Bale and played at 
Kilkenny. It was probably so with the play of Placidas or St. 
Eustace given at Braintree in 1534, if, as is most likely, it was 
written by Nicholas Udall, who was vicar of Braintree at the 
time. And when we find the wardens of Bungay Holy 
Trinity in 1558 paying fourpence for an 'interlude and game- 
booke * and two shillings for writing out the parts, the con- 
jecture seems obvious that what they had done was to obtain 
a copy of one of the printed interludes which by that time 
the London stationers had issued in some numbers. On the 
other hand the example of the travelling companies sometimes 
stirred up the folk, with the help, no doubt, of Holophernes 
the schoolmaster, to attempt performances of secular as well 
as religious plays on their own account. The rendering of 
Pyramus and Thisbe by the mechanicals of Athens, which 
is Stratford-upon-Avon, is the classical instance. But in 
Shropshire the folk are said to have gone on playing debased 
versions of Dr. Faustus and other Elizabethan masterpieces, 
upon out-of-door stages, until quite an incredibly late date \ 

I return to the atmosphere of courts. It must not be 
supposed that, under the early Tudors, the professional players 
had a monopoly of interludes. On the contrary, throughout 
nearly the whole of the sixteenth century, it remained doubt- 
ful whether the future of the drama was to rest in professional 
or amateur hands. The question was not settled until the 
genius of Marlowe and of Shakespeare came to the help of 
the players. Under the pleasure-loving Henries accomplish- 

1 Jackson-Burne, 493, citing Sir of presenter or chorus, playing ' all 

Offley Wakeman in Shropshire manner of megrims 'ana 'going on 

Archaeological Transactions^ vii. with his manoeuvres all the time.' 

383. Such plays were performed I have not been able to see a paper 

on wagons at Shropshire wakes on Shropshire Folk-play s\*y]..M. 

within the last century. The Dovaston. G. Borrow, Wild Wales, 

' book ' seems to have J>een adapted chh. lix, Ix (ed. 1901, p. 393), de- 

from the literary drama, if one may scribes similar Welsh interludes 

judge by the subjects which in- which lasted to the beginning of 

eluded * St. George,' c Prince Muci- the nineteenth century. The titles 

dorus,' * Valentine and Orson/ and named suggest moralities. He 

'Dr. Forster' or 'Faustus.' But analyses the Riches and Poverty 

a pan was always found for a Fool of Thomas Edwards. This, like 

in a hareskin cap, with balls at his the Shropshire interludes, has its 

knees. He is described as a sort 'fool.' 



ment in the arts of social diversion was as likely a road to 
preferment as another. Sir Thomas More won a reputation 
as a page by his skill in improvising a scene *., John Kite 
stepped almost straight from the boards to the bishopric 
of Armagh. His performances, not perhaps without some 
scandal to churchmen, were given when he was subdean of 
the Chapel Royal 2 . This ancient establishment, with its 
thirty-two gentlemen and its school of children, proved itself 
the most serious rival of the regular company. Both gentle- 
men and children, sometimes together and sometimes separ- 
ately, took part in the performances, the records of which 
begin in 1506 8 . The rather exceptional nature of the reper- 
tory will be considered presently. Few noblemen, of course, 
kept a chapel on the scale of the royal one. But that of the 
earl of Northumberland was of considerable size, and was 
accustomed about 1523 to give, not only a Resurrection play 
at Easter and a Nativity play at Christmas, but also a play 
on the night of Shrove-Tuesday. The functionary to whom 
it looked for a supply of interludes was the almoner 4 . 

1 Roper, Life and Death of Sir 
Thomas More (t 1 577, J. R. Lumby, 
More*s Utopia, vi) * would he at 
Christmas tyd sodenly sometymes 
stepp in among the players, and 
never studinge for the matter, make 
a parte of his owne there presently 
amonge them'; Erasmus, Epist. 
ccccxlvii 'adolescens comoediolas et 
scripsit et egit. 1 Bale, Scriptores 
(1557 J, i. 655, ascribes to him 'co- 
moedias iuveniles. Lib. I.' In 
the play of Sir Thomas More (cf. 
p. 189) he is represented, even 
when Chancellor, as supplying the 
place of a missing actor with an 
improvised speech. Bale, ii. 103, 
says that Henry Parker, Lord Mor- 
ley (1476-1556) 'in Anglicasermone 
edidit comoedias et tragoedias, 
libros plures.' 

* The Revels Account for 1511 
(Brewer, ii. 1496) notes an interlude 
in which 'Mr. Subdean, now my 
Lord of Armykan ' took part In 
his Oratio ad Clerum of the same 
year Colet criticizes the clerics who 
' se ludis et iocis tradunt ' (Collier, 


i. 64). A Sermo exhortatorius can- 
cellarii Eboracensis his qui ad sa- 
cros ordines petunt promoveri 
printed by Wynkyn de Worde 
about 1525 also calls attention to 
the canonical requirement that the 
clergy should abstain 'a ludis 
theatralibus' (Hazlitt, Bibl. Coll. 
and Notes, 3rd series (1887), 274). 

8 Collier, i. 46 and passim ; Ber- 
nard Andrew, Annales Hen. VII 
in Gairdner, Memorials of Henry 
VII (R. S.), 103; Hall, 518, 583, 
723; Kempe,62; Revels Accounts, 
&c., in Brewer, passim ; cf. Ap- 
pendix (viii). The Chapel 
formed part of the household of 
Henry I about 1135 (Red Book of 
Exchequer, R. S. Hi. cclxxxvii, 807); 
for its history cf. Household Ordi- 
nances, 10, 17, 35, 49; . F. Rim- 
bault, The Old Cheque Book of the 
Chapel Royal (C. S.) ; F. J. Furni- 
vall, Babees Book (E. E. T. S.), Ixxv. 

* Percy, N. H. B. 44, 254. 
345. In household lists for 1511 
and 1520 comes the entry 'The 
Almonar, and if he be a maker of 


The gentlemen of the Inns of Courts were always ready to 
follow in the wake of courtly fashion. Their interludes were 
famous and important in the days of Elizabeth, but, although 
Lincoln's Inn entertained external lusores in 1494 and 1498 *, 
Gray's Inn is the only one in which amateur performances 
are recorded before 1556. A * disguising ' or ' plaie ' by one 
John Roo was shown here in 1526, and got the actors into 
trouble with Wolsey, who found, or thought that he found, 
in it reflections on his own administration 2 . All ' comedies 
called enterludes' were stopped by an order of the bench 
in 1550, except during times of solemn Christmas 8 . In 1556 
an elaborate piece for performance by all the Inns was in 
preparation by William Baldwin 4 . 

There were interludes, moreover, at universities and in 
schools. The earliest I have noted are at Magdalen College, 
Oxford, where they occur pretty frequently from 1486 onwards. 
They were given in the hall at Christmas, and overlap in 
point of time the performances of the Quern quaeritis in the 
chapel 6 . There was a play at Cardinal's College in 1530*. 
Nicholas Grimald's Christus Redivivus was given at Erase- 
nose about 1542. Possibly his Archipropheta was similarly 
given about 1546 at Christ Church, of which he had then 
become a member. Beyond these I do not know of any 
other Oxford representations before 1558. But in 1512 the 
University granted one Edward Watson a degree in grammar 
on condition of his composing a comedy 7 . At Cambridge 

Interludys than he to have a Ser- court, distinct from the ' Abbot of 

vaunt to the intent for Writynge of Miserewll ' (vol. i. p. 418). 

the Parts and ells to have non.' * Black Books of Lincolffs Jnn, 

There were nine gentlemen and six i. 104, 119. 

children of the chapel. The 1522- f Hall, 719 ; Collier, i. 103. 

3 list of ' Rewardes ' has ' them of * R. I. Fletcher, Pension Book 

his Lordship Chappell and other of Gray s Inn, xxxjx, 496. 

his Lordshipis Servaunts that doith * Hist. MSS. vii. 613. The play 

play the Play befor his Lordship was to comprehend a 'discourse 

uppon Shroftewsday at night, x",' of the world/ to be called Love 

and again, ' Master of the Re veils and Life, and to last three hours. 

. . . yerly for the overseyinge and There were to be sixty-two dramatis 

prdennge of his Lordschip's playes persona*, each bearing a name 

* X1 J 

days of Xmas, xxV This latter 7 Boase, Register of the Uni- 
officer seems to have been, as at wrsity of Oxford J$. H. S.), L 298. 



the pioneer college was St. John's, where the Plutus of 
Aristophanes was given in Greek ir\ 1536 *. Christ's College 
is noteworthy for a performance of the antipapal Pammachius 
in 1545 2 , and also for a series of plays under the management 
of one William Stevenson in 1550-3, amongst which it is 
exceedingly probable that Gammer Gurtorfs Needle was 
included 8 . Most of these university plays were however, 
probably, in Latin. The Elizabethan statutes of Trinity 
College 4 and Queens 1 College 6 both provide for plays, and 
in both cases the performances really date back to the reign 
of Henry VIII. At Trinity John Dee seems to have pro- 
duced the Pax of Aristophanes, with an ingenious contrivance 
for the flight of the Scarabaeus to Zeus, shortly upon his 
appointment as an original fellow in 1546. 

The Westminster Latin play cannot be clearly shown to be 
pre-Elizabethan 7 , and the Westminster dramatic tradition is, 

1 Mullingcr, Hist, of Cambridge, 
ii. 73. Ascham, Epist. (1581), f. 
I26 V , writing tiSSo (quoted Hazlitt- 
Warton, Hi. 304) says that Antwerp 
excels all other cities ' quemadmo- 
dum aula lohannis, theatrali more 
ornata, seipsam post Natalem su- 
perat/ Speaking in The Schole- 
master(etii. Mayor, 1863), 168, of his 
contemporaries at St. John's (t 1 530- 
54), Ascham highly praises the 
Absalon of Thomas Watson, which 
he puts on a level with Buchanan's 
Jephthah* Watson, however, 
' would never suffer it to go abroad/ 
This play apparently exists in 
manuscript ; cf. Texts (iy). Ascham 
himself, according to his Epistles, 
translated the Philoktetes into Latin 
(Hazlitt, Manual, 179). In The 
Scholemaster, he further says, * One 
man in Cambrige, well liked of 
many, but best liked of him selfe, 
was many tymes bold and busie to 
bryng matters upon stages which 
he called Tragedies/ Ascham did 
not approve of his Latin metre. 
Possibly he refers to John Christo- 
pherson, afterwards bishop of 
Chichester, to whom Warton, iii. 
303; Cooper, Athtncu Cantab, i. 
1 88; D. N. B. attribute a tragedy 
in Greek and Latin of, Jepthes 

(1546). I can find no trace of this. 
It is not mentioned by Bahlmann. 

* Cf. p. 220. 

3 J. Peile, Christ's College, 54; 
cf. p. 216. 

* Mullinger, Hist, of Cambridge, 
ii. 627. Statute 24 of 1560, De 
comoediis ludisque in Natali Christi 
exhibendis, requires that 'novem 
domestic! lectores . . . bini ac bini 
singulas comoedias tragoediasve 
exhibeant, excepto primario lectore 
quern per se solum unamcomoediam 
aut tragoediam exhibere volumus/ 
A fine is imposed on defaulters, and 
the performances are to be , in the 
hall 'privatim vel publice' during 
or about the twelve nights of Christ- 
mas. On an earlier draft of this 
statute cf. vol. i. p. 413. 

* Statute 36 (Documents relating 
to Cambridge, iii, 54) ; cf. Mullin- 
ger,^. cit. ii. 73- 

6 Dee, Cpmpendious Rehearsall 
(app. to Hearne, loh. Glastoniensis 
ChronicoHy 501), after mentioning 
his election, says ' Hereupon I did 
sett forth a Greek comedy of 
Aristophanes* play named in Greek 
Eipqi/ij, in Latin Pax! 

7 J. Sargeaunt, Annals of West- 
minster i 49; Athenaum (1903), i. 


therefore, less old than that of either Eton or St Paul's. 
Professor Hales has, indeed, made it seem plausible that 
Udall's Ralph Roister Doister dates from his Westminster 
(? 1553-6) and not his Eton mastership (1534-41). But 
the Eton plays can be traced back to 1525-6 *, and were 
a recognized institution when Malim wrote his Consuetu- 
dinary about 1561 2 . In 1538 the Eton boys played, under 
Udall, before Cromwell 3 . A decade earlier, in 1527, John 
Ritwise had brought the boys of Colet's new foundation 
at St. Paul's to court. They acted an anti-Lutheran play 
before Henry and probably also the Menaechmi before 
Wolsey. Certainly they acted the Phormio before him in 
the following year 4 . The dramatic history of this school is 
a little difficult to disentangle from that of its near neighbour, 
the song-school of St. Paul's cathedral *. The song-school 
probably provided the children whom Heywood brought 
before the princess Mary in 1538* and to court in 1553. 
But some doubt has been cast upon the bona fides of the 
account which Warton gives of further performances by them 
before the princess Elizabeth at Hatfield in 1554 7 . Plays, 

1 Maxwell-Lyte, Hist, of Eton ofWolsey(*&. Singer), 201; Collier, 
($rd ed. 1899), 118 'pro expensis i. 104. 

circa ornamenta ad duos lusus in * Lupton, Life of Colet, 154. 

aula tempore natalis Domini, x 1 / * Texts, s. v. Heywood. 

2 Printed in E. S. Creasy, Me- 7 Warton speaks of a play by 
moirs of Eminent Etonians , 91 the 'children' or 'choirboys' of 
'circiter festum D. Andreae ludi- St. Paul's at a visit to Elizabeth by 
majjpster eligere solet pro suo Mary and of another play of Holo- 
arbitrio scaenicas fabulas optimas phernes ( perhaps ' by the same 
et quam accommpdatissimas, quas children later in the year. But the 
pueri feriis natalitiis subsequent!- dates given in his Hist, of Poetry 
bus, non sine ludorum elegantia, (ed. Hazlitt), ii. 234, iii. 312, and 
populo spectante, publice aliquando his Life of Sir Thomas Pope (ed. 
peragant. Histrionum levis ars est, 1780), 46, do not agree together, and 
ad actionem tamen oratorum et the authority to which he refers 
gestum motumque corporis decen- (Machyn's Diary, then in MS.) 
tern tantopere tacit, ut nihil magis. does not bear him out. On his 
Interdumetiamexhi^etAnglicoser- bona fides cf. H. E. D. Blakiston, 
mone contextas fabulas, quae ha- in E. H. Review, for April, 1896. 
beant acumen et leporem.' Ward, i. 1 53, rather complicates the 

8 Brewer, xiv. 2. 334 'Woodall, matter by adding to Holophernes 

the schoolmaster of Eton, for play- a second play called The Hanging 

ing before my Lord, ^5.' of Antiock, but even in Warton^ 

1 Brown, Cat. of Venetian Pa- account this 'hanging' was only 

pers, iv. 3. 208, 225 ; Brewer, iv. a curtain. 
3563 ; Hall, 735 ; Cavendish, Life 



either in English or in Latin, of which Bale preserves a list, 
were also acted in the private school set up in 1538 by one 
Ralph Radclif in the surrendered Carmelite convent of 
Hitchin 1 . 

It will be seen that the non-professional dramatic activities 
of England, outside the miracle-plays, although of some 
importance in the sixteenth century, came late and hardly 
extended beyond courtly and scholastic circles. There is 
nothing corresponding to the plentiful production of farces 
by amateur associations of every kind which characterized 
fifteenth-century France. Besides the scholars and the 
Basoche, which corresponded roughly to the Inns of Court, 
but was infinitely more lively and fertile, there were the 
Enfants sans Scucis in Paris, and in the province a host 
of puys and socittts joyeuses. All of these played both 
morals and farces, particularly the latter, for which they 
claimed a very free licence of satirical comment 2 . As a result, 

1 Bale, Scriptores (1557), i. 700 
'Radulphus Radclif, patna Ce- 
striensis, Huchiniae in agro Hart- 
fordiensi, & in coenobio, quod paulo 
ante Carmelitarum erat, ludum 
literarium anno Domini 1538 ape- 
ruit, dpcuitque Latinas literas. 
Mihi quidem aliquot dies in unis & 
eisdem aedibus commoranti, multa 
arriserunt: eaque etiam laude di- 
gnissima. Potissimum vero thea* 
trum, quod in inferior! aedium 
parte longe pulcherrimum extruxit. 
Ibi solitus est quotannis simul iu- 
cunda & honesta plebi edere spe- 
ctacula, cum ob iuventutis, suae 
fidei & institution! commissae, inu- 
tilem pudorem exUendum, turn ad 
formandum os tenerum & balbu- 
tiens, quo clare, eleganter, & dis- 
tincte verba eloqui & effari con- 
suesceret Plurimas in eius museo 
vidi ac legi tragoedias & comoedias 
. . . Scripsit de Nominis ac Verbi, 
potentissimorum regum in regno 
Grammatico, calamitosa & 

Exitiali pugna y Lib. 2 ... 

Depatientia Grisilidis^ Com. I ... 

De Melibaeo Chauceriano, Com. 
I ... 

De Titi 6- Gisippi amicitia, 

Com. i ... 

De Sodomae incendio, Tra. I ... 

De lo. Hussi damnation*, Tra. 
I ... 

De lonae defectione^ Com. I . . 

De Lazaro ac diuite> Com. i . . . 

Deludithfortitudine, Com. \ ... 

De lobi afflictionibuS) Com. I ... 

De Susannae liberation*) Tra. 

I ... 

Claruit Raddifus, anno a Christi 
servatoris ortu 1552 . . . Nescioque 
an sub Antichristi tyrannide adhuc 
vivat.' Bale, Index, 333, has fuller 
titles. Some of Radclif's plays 
were almost certainly in Latin, for 
Bale gives in Latin the opening 
words of each, and as Herford, 
1 13, points out, those of the Lazarus 
and the Griselda clearly form 
parts of Latin verses. But he 
showed them 'plebi.' Professor 
Herford learnt 'that no old MSS. 
in any way connected with Radclif 
now remain at Hitchin, where his 
family still occupies the site of his 
school. 9 

2 Julleville, Z*r Com., passim. A 
collection of farces is in E. L. N. 
Viollet-le-Duc, Ancien TMdtre 
(1854-7). For morals 


although salaried jaueurs de personnages begin to make their 
appearance in the account books of the nobles as early as 
1392-3 l y the professional actors were unable to hold their 
own against the unequal competition, ahd do not really 
become of importance until quite the end of the sixteenth 
century 2 . In England it was otherwise. The early sup- 
pression of the Feast of Fools and the strict control kept 
over the Boy Bishop afforded no starting-point for soctitfs 
joyeuses, while the late development of English as a literary 
language did not lend itself to the formation of puys. We 
hear indeed of satirical performances by the guild of 
Brothelyngham at Exeter in 1348, and again by the filii 
civitatis in 1352 3 , but Bishop Grandisson apparently suc- 
ceeded in checking this development which, so far as the 
information at present available goes, does not seem to have 
permanently established itself either at Exeter or elsewhere. 

and farces at the Feasts of Fools played at the meetings of the Re- 

and of the Boy Bishop abroad, and derijkerkammern^ and the Ger- 

for the satirical tendency of such man Fa$tnachtsspiele> which d ^rive 

entertainments, cf. vol. i. p. 380. largely from folk ludi, by associa- 

In 1427, after the feast of St. Lau- tions of handicraftsmen (Creize- 

rent, Jean Bussteres, chaplain of nach, i. 404, 407). 

St. Remi de Troyes, ' emendavit * Julleville, Les Com. 325. 

quod fecerat certum perconnagium 2 Ibid. 342. There is nothing to 

rimarum in cimiterio dicte ecclesie show the character of the French 

Sancti Remigii ; de cjuibus rimis players who visited the English 

fuerat dyabolus et dixerat plura court in 1494 and 1495 (Appenu.x 

vefba contra viros ecclesiasticos ' E, viii). 

(Inv. des Arch, de PAube^ sdr. 8 Cf. p. 190 and vol. i. p. 383. 

G, i. 243). The fifteenth-century The only known English puy is that 

Dutch farces appear to have been of London (vol. i. p. 376). 


[Bibliographical Note. The literary discussions and collections of 
texts named in the bibliographical note to chap, xxiii and the material 
on the annals of the stage in that to chap, xxiv remain available. 
W. Creizenach, Geschichte des neueren Dramas^ vols. i-iii (1893-1903), is 
the best general guide on the classical drama and its imitations during the 
Middle Ages and the Renascence. W. Cloetta, Beitrage zur Litteratur- 
geschichte des Mittelalters und der Renaissance : i. Kombdieund Tragodie 
im Mittelalter (1890); ii. Die Anfange der Renaissancetragbdie (1892), 
deals very fully with certain points. C. H. Herford, Studies in the Literary 
Relations of England and Germany in the Sixteenth Century (1886), has 
an admirable chapter on The Latin Drama. G. Saintsbury, The Earlier 
Renaissance (1901 ), chap, vi, may also be consulted. Useful books on the 
beginnings of the Elizabethan forms of drama are R. Fischer, Zur Kunst- 
cntvuiMung der englischen Tragodie von ihren ersten Anfangen bis xu 
Shakespeare (1893) ; J. W. Cunlitte, The Influence of Seneca on Elizabethan 
Tragedy (1893) ; L. L. Schiicking, Studien uber die stoff lichen Beziehungen 
der englischen Kombdie zur italienischen bis Lilly (1901) ; F. E. Schellmg, 
The English Chronicle Play (1902). The best bibliographies are, for the 
Latin plays, P. Bahlmann, Die Emeuerer des antiken Dramas und ihre 
ersten dramatischen Versuche, 1314-1478 (1896), and Die lateinischen 
Dramen von Wimphelings Stylpho bis zur Mitt e des sechzehnten Jahrhun- 
dertS) 1480-1550 (1893) ; and lor English plays, W. W. Greg, A List of 
English Plays written before 1643 and printed before ijoo (1900). This 
may be supplemented from W. C. Hazlitt, A Manual for the Collector 
and Amateur of Old English Plays (1892). A list of early Tudor inter- 
ludes will be found in Appendix X.] 

THE dramatic material upon which the interlude was able 
to draw had naturally its points of relation to and of 
divergence from that of the popular stage, whose last days 
it overlapped. It continued to occupy itself largely with the 
morality. The c moral interludes ' of the early Tudor period 
are in fact distinguished with some difficulty from the popular 
moralities by their comparative brevity, and by indications of 
the mise en schte as a * room* or 'hall' rather than an open 
'place 1 / The only clearly popular texts later than those 

1 The titles of the printed plays case 'enterlude' does not exclude 
do not help, as they were probably a popular play, 
added by the printers, and in any 


of the fifteenth century, discussed in a previous chapter, are 
Sir David Lyndsay's Scottish Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis^ 
and the Magnificence^ which alone survives of several plays 
from the prolific pen of the 'laureate 1 poet, John Skelton. 
A somewhat intermediate type is presented by the Nature 
of Cardinal Morton's chaplain, Henry Medwall. This was 
certainly intended for performance as an interlude, but it 
is on the scale of the popular moralities, needing division 
into two parts to bring it within the limits of courtly patience ; 
and like them it is sufficiently wide in its scope to embrace 
the whole moral problem of humanity. The conditions of 
the interlude, however, enforced themselves, and the later 
morals have, as a rule, a more restricted theme. They make 
their selection from amongst the battalions of sins and 
virtues which were wont to invade the stage together, and 
set themselves the task of expounding the dangers of 
a particular temperament or the advantages of a particular 
form of moral discipline. Hickscorner shows man led into 
irreligion by imagination and freewill. Youth concerns itself 
with pride, lechery, and riot, the specific temptations of the 
young. The Nature of the Four Elements and John Red- 
ford's somewhat later Wit and Science preach the importance 
of devotion to study. The distinction between the episodic 
and the more comprehensive moralities was in the conscious- 
ness of the writers themselves ; and the older fashion did not 
wholly disappear. William Baldwin describes his play for 
the Inns of Court in 1556 as 'comprehending a discourse 
of the worlde * ' ; and mention is more than once made of an 
interesting piece called The Cradle of Security ', which seems 
to have had a motive of death and the judgement akin to that 
found in The Pride of Life and in Everyman** 

1 Hist. MSS. vii. 613. Hit nayle o' th' head, Impa- 

1 Collier, ii. 196, quotes the de- cient Pouertie, 

scription by Willis, Mount Tabor The play of Foure Pees, Diues 
(1639), and refers to* other notices and Lazarus, 

of the play. In Sir Thomas More Lustie Juuentus, and the Mariage 

of Witt and Wisedom.' 

ed. A. Dyce, from. HarL 

S. 7368 for Shakes. Soc" 1844) The ascription of these plays to 

* my lord Cardinall's players ' visit Wolsey's lifetime must not be 

More's house and offer the following pressed too literally. Of Hit Nayle 

repertory: o 9 th' Head nothing is known. 

The Cradle of Securitie, Radclif (p. 197) wrote a Dives and 


The morality was not, perhaps, quite such an arid type of 
drama as might be supposed, especially after the dramatists 
learnt, instead of leaving humanity as a dry bone of conten- 
tion between the good and evil powers, to adopt a biographic 
mode of treatment, and thus to introduce the interest of 
growth and development 1 . But by the sixteenth century 
allegory had had its day, and the light-hearted court of 
Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon might be excused 
some weariness at the constant presentation before it 
of argumentative abstractions which occasionally yielded 
nothing more entertaining than a personified dJbat*. Cer- 
tainly it is upon record that Medwall's moral of ' the fyndyng 
of Troth/ played at the Christmas of 1513, appeared to Henry 
so long, that he got up and ' departyd to hys chambre V The 
offenders on this occasion were English and his company of 
household players. They seem to have been unwisely 
wedded to the old methods. They pursued the princess 
Margaret to Scotland with a ' Moralite ' in 1503, and in the 
reign of Edward VI they were still playing the play of 
Self-Love *. Perhaps this explains why they make distinctly 

Lazarus. For the rest cf. p. 189 ; vided for the court a pageant of 

Texts (iv). The piece actually per- c The Father of Hevin ' in which a 

formed in Sir Thomas More is called dialogue, both in English and Latin, 

Wit and Wisdom^ but is really an of riches and love, written by John 

adaptation of part of Lusty Jim entus. Redman, and also a * barriers ' were 

A play of Old Custome, probably introduced (Brewer, iv. 1394; Collier, 

a morality, was amongst the effects i. 98 ; Hall, 723 ; Brown, Venetian 

of John, earl of Warwick, in 1545- Papers, iv. 105). A dialogue of 

50 (Hist. MSS. ii. 102). Riches and Youth, issuing in a 

1 Cf. Brandl, xl. The perform- * barriers/ is described by Edward 
ances of Everyman given in the VI in 1552 (Remains ', ii. 386). On 
courtyard of the Charterhouse in the vogue during the Renascence of 
1 90 1, and subsequently in more than this dialogue literature, which de- 
one London theatre, have proved rives from the mediaeval dtbats^ cf. 
quite unexpectedly impressive. Herford, ch. 2. 

* John Rastell printed ti536 Of * Collier, i. 69. This notice is 

gentylnes and nooylyte^ A dyalogue said by Collier to be from a slip of 

. . . compilit in maner of an enter- paper folded up in the Revels 

lude with divers toys and gestis Account for 1513-4. It is not 

addyd thereto to make mery pastyme mentioned in Brewer's Calendar, 

and disport j cf. Bibliographica^ ii. *Leland,CW//a#*a(ed.Hearne), 

446. Hey wood's Witty and Witless iv. 265; Computes for 1551-6 of 

is a similar piece, and a later one, Sir Thos. Chaloner (Lansd. MS. 

Robin Conscience, is in W. C. Haz- 824, f. 24) ' Gevyn on Shrove mon- 

litt, Early Popular Poetry ', iii. 221. day to the king's players who playd 

In 1527 Rastell seems to have pro- the play 6f Self-love . . . xx / 


less show in the accounts of Tudor revels than do their 
competitors of the Chapel. Unfortunately none of the pieces 
given by this latter body have been preserved. But, to judge 
by the descriptions of Hall, many of them could only be 
called interludes by a somewhat liberal extension of the 
sense of the term. There was perhaps some slight allegorical 
or mythological framework of spoken dialogue. But the real 
amusement lay in an abundance of singing, which of course 
the Chapel was well qualified to provide, and of dancing, in 
which the guests often joined, and in an elaborately designed 
pageant, which was wheeled into the hall and from which the 
performers descended. They were in fact masques rather 
than dramas in the strict sense, and in connexion with the 
origin of the masque they have already been considered 1 . 

The popular stage, as has been said, had its farcical 
elements, but did not, in England, arrive at any notable 
development of the farce. Nor is any marked influence of 
the overseas habit even now to be traced. The name is not 
used in England, although it is in Scotland, where at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century the relations with France 
were much closer 2 . Whether directly or indirectly through 
French channels, the farce is perhaps the contribution of 
minstrelsy to the nascent interlude. That some dramatic 
tradition was handed down from the mimi of the Empire to 
the mimi of the Middle Ages, although not susceptible of 
demonstration, is exceedingly likely 3 . That solitary mediaeval 
survival, the Inter ludium de Clerico et Puella, hardly declares its 
origin. But the farce, in its free handling of contemporary life, 
in the outspokenness, which often becomes indecency, of its 
language, in its note of satire, especially towards the priest and 
other institutions deserving of reverence, is the exact counter- 

1 Cf. ch. xvi. theatre une petite piece, une courte 

* There was a 'farsche' atEdin- et vive satire formed d'e'l&nents 

burgh in 1554 (Representations , vane's et souvent mle*e de divers 

s. v.). In 1558 the Scottish General langages et de diffe'rents dialectes. 

Assembly forbade 'farseis and . . . Plus tard, ce sens premier 

clerke playis ' (Christie, Account of s'effaga ; le mot de farce n'dveilla 

Parish Clerks > 64). Julie ville, La plus d'autre ide*e que celle de 

Com. 51, explains the term. Farsa come'die tres rejouissante.' Farce 

is the L. L. past part, of farcire is, therefore, in its origin, precisely 

' to stuff.* Besides its liturgical use equivalent to the Latin Satura. 

(vol. i. p. 277) ' on appela/ara au 3 Cf. vol. i. p. 8$. 


part of one of the most characteristic forms of minstrel 
literature, \hzfabliati. These qualities are reproduced in the 
interludes of John Heywood, who, though possibly an Oxford 
man, began life as a singer and player of the virginals at 
court, and belonged therefore to the minstrel class. He 
grew quite respectable, married into the family of Sir Thomas 
More and John Rastell the printer, and had for grandson 
John Donne. He was put in charge of the singing-school of 
St. Paul's, the boys of which probably performed his plays. 
Of the six extant, Wit and Folly is a mere dialogue, and 
Love a more elaborate disputation, although both are pre- 
sented 'in maner of an enterlude.' But the others, The 
Pardoner and the Friar, The Four P's, The Weather^ and 
John> Tib and Sir John are regular farces. And with them 
the farce makes good its footing in the English drama. 

Those congeners of the French farce which took their 
origin from the Feast of Fools, the Sottie and the Sermon 
joyeux, are only represented in these islands by the Sermon 
of 'Folie' in Sir David Lyndsay's Satyre of the Thrie 
Estaitis^. But the 'fool* himself, as a dramatic character, 
is in Shakespeare's and other Elizabethan plays, and it :..u:t 
now be pointed out that he is in some of the earliest Tudor 
interludes. Here he has the not altogether intelligible name 
of the 'vice.' A recent writer, Professor Cushman of the 
Nevada State University, has endeavoured to show that 
the vice came into the interludes through the avenue of the 
moralities. Originally 'an allegorical representation of 
human weaknesses and vices, in short the summation of the 
Deadly Sins/ he lost in course of time this serious quality, 
and c the term Vice came to be simply a synonym for 
buffoon 2 / This theory has no doubt the advantage of 

1 Texts, s. v. Lyndsay. The only off the Droichis Pairt of the Play. 

other fragment of the Scottish From internal evidence the piece 

drama under James IV is that as- is a cry or banes. LI. 138-41 show 

cribed to Dunbar ( Works, ed. Scot, that it was for a May-game : 

Text Soc., ii. 314). In one MS. ' je noble merchandis ever ilkane 

this is headed 'Ane Littill Interlud Address Jow furth with bow and 

of the Droichis Part of the [Play] flane 

but in another Heir followis the In lusty grene lufraye, 

maner of the crying of ane playe. And follow furth on Robyn Hude.' 

Both have the colophon. Finis s Cushman, 63, 68. 


explaining the name. Unfortunately it proceeds by dis- 
regarding several plays in which the vice does occur, and 
reading him into many where there is none l . ' Vicious ' had 
his pageant in the Beverley Paternoster play, and vices in the 
ordinary sense of the word are of course familiar personages 
in the morals, which generally moreover have some one 
character who can be regarded as the representative or the 
chief representative of human frailty. But the vice is not 
found under that name in the text, list of dramatis personae, 
or stage directions of any popular morality or of any pre- 
Elizabethan moral interlude except the Marian Respublica. 
The majority of plays in which he does occur are not morals, 
even of the modified Elizabethan type ; and although in those 
which are he generally plays a bad part, even this is not an 
invariable rule. In The Tide Tarrieth for No Man, as in the 
tragedy of Horestes, he is Courage. Moreover, as a matter 
of fact, he comes into the interludes through the avenue of 
the farce. The earliest vices, by some thirty years, are those 
of Hey wood's Love, in which he is * Neither Loving nor Loved/ 
who mocks the other disputants, and plays a practical joke 
with fireworks upon them, and The Weather, in which he is 
'Merry Report/ the jesting official of Jupiter. And in the 
later plays, even if he has some other dramatic function, 
he always adds to it that of a riotous buffoon. Frequently 
enough he has no other. It must be concluded then that, 
whatever the name may mean and irresponsible philology 
has made some amazing attempts at explanation 2 the 
character of the vice is derived from that of the domestic 
fool or jester. Oddly enough he is rarely called a fool, 
although the description of Medwall's Finding of Truth 
mentions * the foolys part V But the Elizabethan writers 

1 No play in the first two sections so called. . 

of the * vice-dramas ' tabulated by a Cushman, 68. It has been de- 
Cushman, 55. has a vice. Of the rived from vis d'dne, and from 
eleven plays (excluding King John, vis, ' a mask ' ; from the Latin vice, 
which has none) that remain, eight because the vice is the devil's re- 
can be called morals. But to these presentative ; from device, 'a pup- 
must be added Heywood's Love pet moved by machinery, 1 and 
and Weather, Grimald's Archipro- finally, by the ingenious Theobald, 
pheta, Jack juggler, Hester, Tom from <O. E. jeckGb. ffcaZ, i.e. 
Tiler and His Wife, none of which fiicai feut formal character.' 
are morals! unless the first can be ' Cf. Texts> s. v. Medwall. In 


speak of his long coat and lathen sword, common trappings 
of the domestic fool 1 . Whether he ever had a cockscomb, 
a bauble, or an eared hood is not apparent. A vice seems 
to have been introduced into one or two of the later miracle* 
plays 2 . At Bungay in 1566 he* made pastime * before and 
after the play, as Tarleton or Kempe were in time to do with 
their ' jigs ' upon the London boards. And probably this was 
his normal function on such occasions. 

From the moral the interlude drew abstractions ; from the 
farce social types. The possibility of vital drama lay in an 
advance to the portraiture of individualities. The natural 
way to attain to this was by the introduction of historical, 
mythical, or romantic personages. The miracle-play had, 
of course, afforded these ; but there is little to show that the 
miracle-play, during the first half of the sixteenth centuiy, 
had much influence on the interlude 8 . The local players 
brought it to court, but, for the present, it was dtmodt* It 
was, however, to have its brief revival. The quarry of 
romantic narrative had hardly been opened by the Middle 
Ages. An old theme of Robert of Sicily, once used at 
Lincoln, was now remembered at Chester. Robin Hood 
had yielded dramatic May-games, and his revels were popular 
at Henry VIII's court 4 . New motives, however, now 
begin to assert themselvfes. Some at least of these were 
suggested by the study of Chaucer. Ralph Radclif 's school 
plays at Hitchin included one on Griselda and one on 
Melidoeus 5 . Nicholas Grimald wrote one on Troilus, and 
another had been acted by the Chapel at court in I5i6 8 . 
Radclif was also responsible for a Titus and Gisippus, while 
the king's players, shaking off their devotion to the moral, 
prepared in 1552 ' a play of Aesop's Crow, wherein the most 
part of the actors were birds 7 / An extant piece on 'the 

Misogonos (t 1560) Cacurgus, the have played miracles. But they 

Morio, is a character, and is called may have been merely praestigia- 

'foole' and 'nodye' but not 'vice/ tores. 

1 Collier, ii. 191 ; Cushman, 69; * Of. voL i. p. 1 80. 

ct ch. xvi. * Cf. p. 197, n. I. 

* Cf. Representations, s. w. Bun- * Cf. Texts, s. v* Grimald 

gay, Chelmsford. 7 W. B[aldwin], Bell the Cat 

8 The ' pleyers with Marvells ' at (1553). 
court in 1498 are conjectured to 


beauty and good properties of women ' and * their vices and 
evil conditions ' is really a version through the Italian of the 
Spanish Celestina, one of the first of many English dramatic 
borrowings from South European sources. 

So far I have written only of developments which were 
at least latent in mediaevalism. But the interlude had its 
rise in the very midst of the great intellectual and spiritual 
movement throughout Europe which is known as humanism ; 
and hardly any branch of human activities was destined to 
be more completely transformed by the new forces than 
the drama. The history of this transformation is not, how- 
ever, a simple one. Between humanism and mediaevalism 
there is no rigid barrier. As at all periods of transition, 
a constant action and reaction established themselves between 
the old and new order of ideas. Moreover, humanism itself 
held elements in solution that were not wholly reconcilable 
with each other. Many things, and perhaps particularly the 
drama, presented themselves in very different lights, according 
as they were viewed from the literary or the religious side 
of the great movement Some brief indication of the in- 
and-out play of the forces of humanism as they affected the 
history of the interlude during the first half of the sixteenth 
century is, therefore, desirable. 

The chief of these forces is, of course, the influence of 
classical comedy and tragedy. These, as vital forms of 
literature, did not long survive the fall of the theatres, with 
which, indeed, their connexion had long been of the slightest. 
In the East, a certain tradition of Christian book dramas 
begins with the anti-Gnostic dialogues of St. Methodius in 
the fourth century and ends with the much disputed Xptoros 
n<i<rxa>j; in the eleventh or twelfth *. It is the merest con- 
jecture that some of these may have been given some kind 
of representation in the churches 2 . In the West the Aulu- 


1 Krumbacher, 534, 644, 653, 717, Theodorus Prodromus, but Krum- 

746j 75 If 766, 775. The Xpcorta bacher thinks the author unidenti- 

Udcrxw (ed. by J. G. Brambs, 1885 ; fied. A third of the text is a cento 

and in P. G. xxxviii. 131) was long from extant plays, mainly of Euri- 

ascribed to the fourth - century pides. 

Gregory Nazianzen. Later scholars 8 Krumbacher, 645. 
have suggested Joannes Tzetzes or 


laria of Plautus was rehandled under the title of Querolus 
at the end of the fourth century, and possibly also the 
Amphitruo under that of Geta\ In the fifth, Magnus, the 
father of Consentius, is said by Sidonius, as Shakespeare 
is said by Ben Jonson, to have * outdone insolent Greece, or 
haughty RomeV Further the production of plays cannot 
be traced. Soon afterwards most of the classical dramatists 
pass into oblivion. A knowledge of Seneca or of Plautus, 
not to speak of the Greeks, is the rarest of things from the 
tenth century to the fourteenth. The marked exception is 
Terence who, as Dr. Ward puts it, led ' a charmed life in 
the darkest ages of learning/ This he owed, doubtless, to 
his unrivalled gift of packing up the most impeccable senti- 
ments in the neatest of phrases. His vogue as a school 
author was early and enduring, and the whole of mediaevalism, 
a few of the stricter moralists alone dissenting, hailed him 
as a master of the wisdom of life 3 . At the beginning of 
the eleventh century, Notker Labeo, a monk of St. Gall, 
writes that he has been invited to turn the Andria into 
German 4 . Not long before, Hrotsvitha, a Benedictine nun 
of Gandersheim in Saxony, had taken Terence as her model 
for half a dozen plays in Latin prose, designed to glorify 
chastity and to celebrate the constancy of the martyrs. The 
dramaturgy of Hrotsvitha appears to have been an isolated 
experiment and the merest literary exercise. Her plays 
abound in delicate situations, and are not likely to have 
been intended even for cloister representation 5 . Nor is 
there much evidence for any representation of the Terentian 

1 Teuffel, ii. 372 ; Cloetta, i. 3, 70; Gbttinger gelehrte Anzeigen (1835), 

Creizenach, i. 4, 20, The Querolus 911. 

(cd. L. Havet, 1880) was ascribed fl Creizenach, i. 17; Cloetta, i. 

by the Middle Ages to Plautus him- 127; Ward, i. 6; Pollard, xii; A. 

self. The Geta, if it existed, is lost. Ebert, Gesch. d. Litt. d. Mittelalters 

8 Sidonius, Carm. xxiii. 134. (1887), iii. 314; W. H. Hudson in 

8 Cloetta, i. 14 ; ii. I ; Creizenach, E. H. R. iii. 431. The plays of 

i. i, 486; Bahlmann, Em. 4; M. Hrotsvitha (ed.K. A. Barack, 1858 ; 

Manitius, in Philologus, suppl. vii. ed. P. L. Winterfeld, 1901) are the 

758 ; Ward, i. 7, quoting Hrotsvitha, Gallicanus^ Dulcitius^ Callimachus, 

' sunt etiam . . . Abraham, Paphnutius, Safientia. 

qui, licet alia gentilium spernant, They were discovered by Conrad 

Terentii tamen fragmenta frequen- Celtes and edited in 1501. It is 

tius lectitant.' not probable that he forged them. 

4 Creizenach, i. 2; Ward, i. 8; 


comedies themselves. A curious fragment known as Tertn- 
tius et Delusor contains a dialogue between the vetus poeta 
and a persona delusoris or mime. The nature of this is 
somewhat enigmatic, but it certainly reads as if it might 
be a prologue or parade written for a Terentian repre- 
sentation. In any case, it is wholly unparalleled *. In fact, 
although the Middle Ages continued to read Terence, the 
most extraordinary ideas prevailed as to how his dramas 
were originally produced. Vague reminiscences of the panto- 
mimic art of later Rome led to the mistaken supposition that 
the poet himself, or a recitator^ declaimed the text from 
a pulpitum above the stage, while the actors gesticulated 
voicelessly below 2 . By a further confusion the name of 
Calliopius, a third- or fourth-century grammarian through 
whose hands the text of Terence has passed, was taken for 
that of a recitator contemporary with the poet, and the Vita 
Oxoniensis goes so far as to describe him as a powerful and 
learned man, who read the comedies aloud in the senate 3 . 
The same complete ignorance of things scenic declares itself 
in the notions attached to the terms tragoedia and comocdia, 

1 Printed in Appendix U. The noble dedes that were hys- 

3 Creizenach, i. 5 ; Cloetta, i. 38. toryall, 

One of the exceptionally learned Of kynges & prynces for me- 

men who really knew something moryall . . . 

about the classical drama was John All this was tolde and red of the 

of Salisbury (t 1159), Polycraticus> Poete, 

i.8'comicisettraoedisabeuntibus, And whyle that he in the pulpet 

cum omnia levitas occupaverit, stode, 

dientes eorum, comoedi videlicet With deadly face all deuoyde of 

et tragoedj, exterminati sunt'; iii. blode, 

8 'comoedia est vita hominis super Synging his ditees with muses all 

terrain, ubi quisque sui oblitus per- to rent, 

sonam expnmit alienam ' (P. L. Amydthetheatreshrowdedinatent, 

cxcix. 405, 488). For the popular There came out men gastfull of 

notion cL Lydgate, Troy Book (ed. their cheres, 

I555)> " " perhaps translating Disfygured their faces with viseres, 

Guido delle Colonne : Playing by sygnes in the peoples 

' In the theatre there was a smale syght, 

aulter, That the Poet songe hath on 

Amyddes sette that was half heyght, . . . 

Circuler, And this was done in Apryll and 

Which into East of custome was in May/ 

directe, 8 Creizenach, i. 6 ; Cloetta, i. 35. 

Upon the whiche a Pulpet was See the miniature reproduced from 

erecte, a fifteenth-century MS. of Terence 

And therin stode an auncientpoete, in P. Lacroix, Sciences et Lettres 

For to reherse by rethorykes swete, au Moyen Age (1877), 


not only vulgarly, but in the formal definitions of lexico- 
graphers and encyclopaedists l . 

The characteristics which really differentiate the drama 
from other forms of literature, dialogue and scenic representa- 
tion, drop out of account, the latter entirely, the former very 
nearly so. Both tragedy and comedy are regarded as forms 
of narrative. Tragedy is narrative which concerns persons of 
high degree, is written in a lofty style, and beginning happily 
comes to a sad conclusion. Comedy, on the other hand, con- 
cerns itself with ordinary persons, Uses humble and everyday 
language, and resolves its complications in a fortunate ending 2 . 
Even these distinctions are not all consistently maintained, and 
the sad or happy event becomes the only fixed and invariable 
criterion 8 . The origin of such conceptions is to be found 
partly in the common derived classical use of tragoedia and 
comoedia to describe tragic and comic events as well as the 
species of drama in which these are respectively represented ; 
partly in a misunderstanding of grammarians who, assuming 
the dialogue and the representation, gave definitions of tragedy 
and comedy in relation to each other * ; and partly in the 
solecism of the fifth-century epic writer Dracontius, who 

1 Cloetta, i. 14, has accumulated cipe per le corna e per la barba, 
a fund of learning on this subject ; e dietro e sozzo mostrando le na- 
cf. Creizenach, i. 9. tiche nude e non avendo con che 

2 Johannes Januensis, Catholicon coprirle, cosl la tragedia incomincia 
(1286), quoted by Cloetta, i. 28 dal principio con felicitk e poi ter- 
'differunt tragoedia et comoedia, mina in miseria.' Krumbacher, 
quia comedia privatorum hominum 646, describes the very similar his- 
continet facta, tragoedia regum et tory of the terms rpaya>&a and 
magnatum. Item comoedia humili xw/iw&'n in Byzantine Greek. 

stilo describitur, tragoedia alto. * Boethius, who of course under- 

Item comoedia a tristibus incipit stood the nature of comedy and 

sed cum laetis desinit, tragoedia e tragedy, says (Cons. Phiiosoph. 

contrario.' ii. pr. 2. 36) 'quid tragoediarum 

3 Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum clamor aliud deflet, nisi indiscrete 
maius triplex (t 1250), i. 109 ictu fortunam felicia regna verten- 
c Comoedia poesis exordium triste tern ? ' This becomes in the para- 
laeto fine commutans. Tragoedia phrase of his eleventh-century com- 
vero poesis a laeto principio in mentator Notker Labeo (ed. Hat- 
tristem finem desinens/ The Dante- temar, 52**) ' tragoediae sfnt luctuosa 
commentator Francesco da Buti, carmina. &lso dfu sfnt. dfu sopho- 
quoted by Cloetta i. 48, illustrates cles scrdib apud grecos. de euer- 
this notion with an extraordinary sionibus regnorum et urbium. un- 
explanation of the derivation of desfntuuidemuartigtiencomoediis. 
tragedia from Tpa-yos; 'come il in dien uuir fo geh6ren laetum 
becco ha dinanzi aspetto di prin- unde iocundum exitum/ 


seems to have called his Orestes a tragedy, merely because 
it was from tragedies that the material he used was drawn l . 
The comoedia and tragoedia of the Latin writers, thus defined, 
was extended to all the varieties of narrative, in the widest 
sense of the word. The epics of Lucan and Statius, the 
elegies of Ovid, are tragoediae\ the epistles of Ovid, the 
pastoral dialogues of Virgil, are comoediae; the satires of 
Horace, Persius, Juvenal, are one or the other, according 
to the point of view 2 . It is curious that, with all this wide 
extension of the terms, they were not applied to the one form 
of mediaeval Latin composition which really had some 
analogy to the ancient drama ; namely to the liturgical 
plays out of which the vernacular mysteries grew. These 
must have been written by learned writers : some of them 
were probably acted by schoolboys trained in Terence; 
and yet, if Hrosvitha, as she should be, is put out of the 
reckoning, no inward or outward trace of the influence of 
classical tragedy or comedy can be found in any one of 
them. In the manuscripts, they are called officium^ ordo, ludus, 
miraculum, repraesentatio and the like, but very rarely comoedia 
or tragoedia, and never before 1 204 3 . From the Latin the medi- 
aeval notions of tragedy and comedy were transferred to similar 
compositions in the vernaculars. Dante's Divina Commedia 
is just a story which begins in Hell and ends in Paradise 4 . 

1 Cloetta, i. 4; Teuffel, ii. 506. of Innocent III and others (vol. i. 

Blossius Aemilius Dracontius was p. 40 ; vol. ii. p. 99) seem to be 

a Carthaginian poet. The Orestes not miracle-plays, but the Feast of 

is printed in L. Baehrens, Poet. Lat. Fools and similar mummings. 
Min. (BibL Teub.), v. 218. There 4 Dante, Dedicatio of Paradiso 

seems a little doubt whether the to Can Grande (Opere Latine, ed. 

title Orestis tragoedia in the Berne Giuliani, ii. 44) 'est comoedia ge- 

MS. is due to the author or to a nus quod dam poeticae narrationis 

scribe. The Ambrosian MS. has . . . Differt ergo a tragoedia in 

Horestis fabula. materia per hoc quod tragoedia in 

9 Creizenach, i. 12. principio est admirabilis et quieta, 

8 Ibid. i. 7 ; Cloetta, i. 49. The in fine sive exitu est foetida et horri- 

ludus prophetarum played at Riga bills . . . comoedia vero inchoat as- 

in 1204 (p. 70) is called ' ludus peritatem alicuius rei, sed eius 

. . . quam Latini comoediamvocant.' materia prospere terminator.' P. 

Probably this is a bit of learning on Toynbee (^omania^yxvi. 542) shows 

the part of the chronicler; cf. the that Dante substantially owed these 

Michael-House instance (p. 344). definitions to the Magnat Derives 

For scraps from non-dramatic tiones of the late twelfth-century 

classical authors in liturgical plays, writer, Uguccione da Pisa. 
cf. p. 48. The ' theatricales ludi* 


Boccaccio *, Chaucer 2 , and Lydgate 3 use precisely similar 
language. And, right up to the end of the sixteenth 
century, ' tragedy ' continues to stand for ' tragical legend ' 
with the authors of the Mirror for Magistrates and their 
numerous successors 4 . Long before this, of course, human- 
istic research, without destroying their mediaeval sense, had 
restored to the wronged terms their proper connotation. 
There is a period during which it is a little difficult to say 
what, in certain instances, they do mean. When Robert 
Bower, in 1447, speaks of comoediae and tragoediae on the 
theme of Robin Hood and Little John, it is a matter for 
conjecture whether he is referring to dramatized May-games 
or merely to ballads 6 . Bale, in writing of his contemporaries, 
certainly applies the words to plays ; but when he ascribes 
tragoedias vulgar es to Robert Baston, a Carmelite friar of the 
time of Edward II, it is probable that he is using, or quoting 
a record which used, an obsolescent terminology 6 . What the 
comoediae of John Scogan, under Edward IV, may have been, 
must remain quite doubtful 7 . 

It is in the early fourteenth century and in Italy that a 
renewed interest in the Latin dramatists, other than Terence, 
can first be traced. Seneca became the subject of a commen- 
tary by the English Dominican Nicholas Treveth, and also 
attracted the attention of Lovato de' Lovati and the scholarly 
circle which gathered round him at Padua. The chief of these 
was Albertino Mussato, who about 1314 was moved by indig- 
nation at the intrigues of Can Grande of Verona to write his 
Ecerinis on the fate of that Ezzelino who, some eighty 

1 Boccaccio's Ameto bears the 2, 78, to the passage already quoted 
sub - title Comedia delle Nmfe on p. 20 ; and the description of 
fiorentine. Troilus in T. C. v. 1786. 

2 Chaucer, Monk's Prologue, 8 Lydgate, Fall of Princes, prol.: 
(C. T. 13,999): 'My maister Chaucer with his 
* Or elles first Tragedies wol I telle fressh com medics, 

Of whiche I have an hundred in Is deed, alas, chefe poete of 

my celle. Bretayne : 

Tragedieistoseynacerteynstorie, That sometyme made full pitous 

As olde bokes maken us memorie, tragedies.* 

Of him that stood in g^eet pros- 4 W. F. Trench, A Mirror for 

peritee Magistrates; its Origin and In- 

And isy-fallen out of heigh degree fluence (1898), 18, 76, 82, 120, 125. 

Into miserie, and endeth wrecched- * Cf. vol. i. p. 177. 

ly.' 6 Bale, i. 370. 

Cf. the gloss in his Boetftius, ii. pr. 7 Ibid. ii. 68. 

P 2 


years before, had tyrannized over Padua. This first of the 
Senecan tragedies of the Renascence stirred enthusiasm 
amongst the growing number of the literati. It was read aloud 
and Mussato was laureated before the assembled university. 
Two learned professors paid it the tribute of a commentary. 
The example of Mussato was followed in the Achilleis (1390) 
of Antonio de* Loschi of Vicenza and the Prague (fi438) of 
Gregorio Corraro of Mantua. Petrarch was familiar not only 
with Terence, but also with Seneca and Plautus, and his 
Philologia, written before 1331 and then suppressed, may 
claim to take rank with the Ecerinis as the first Renascence 
comedy. It was modelled, says Boccaccio, upon Terence. 
A fresh impulse was given to the study and imitation of 
Latin comedy in 1427 by the discovery of twelve hitherto 
unknown Plautine plays, including the Menaechmi and the 
Miles Gloriosus, and various attempts were made to complete 
the imperfect plays. In 1441 Leonardo Dati of Florence 
introduced a motive from the Trinummus into his, not 
comedy, but tragedy of Hiempsal *. 

It must be borne in mind that during these early stages 
of humanism classical models and neo- Latin imitations alike 
were merely read and not acted. There is no sign whatever 
that as yet the mediaeval misconception as to the nature 
of Roman scenic representation had come to an end. It was 
certainly shared by Nicolas Treveth and probably by both 
Petrarch and Boccaccio 2 . It was not indeed in these regular 
dramas that the habit of acting Latin first re-established itself, 
but in a mixed and far less classical type of play. It is 
probable that in schools the exercise of reciting verse, and 
amongst other verse dialogue, had never died out since the 
time of the Empire. In the fourth century the Ludus Septem 
SapientuM of the Bordeaux schoolmaster Ausonius, which 
consists of no more than a set of verses and a * Plaudite ! ' for 
each sage, was doubtless written for some such purpose 3 . 
Such also may have been the destiny of the ' elegiac ' and 

1 Cloetta, ii. 4, 11, 91, 147; 8 The earliest printed text 

Creizenach, i. 487, $29, 572 ; Bahl- (tl47j) of Claudian's De Raptu 

maim, Ern. 9, 13, 15, 30, 40. Proserpinae is from a version 

1 Cloetta, ii. 69, 221; Creitenach, arranged as two pseudo-dramas 

i. 490, 510, 580. (Cloetta, i. 135). 


' epic * comedies and tragedies of which a fair number were 
produced, from the eleventh century to the thirteenth. These 
are comedies and tragedies, primarily, in the mediaeval sense. 
They are narrative poems in form. But in all of them a good 
deal of dialogue is introduced, and in some there is hardly 
anything else. Their subject-matter is derived partly from 
Terence and partly from the stock of motives common to all 
forms of mediaeval light literature. Their most careful 
student, Dr. Cloetta, suggests that they were intended 
for a half-dramatic declamation by minstrels. This may 
sometimes have been the case, but the capacity and the 
audience of the minstrels for Latin were alike limited, and 
I do not see why at any rate the more edifying of them may 
not have been school pieces l . By the fifteenth century 
it will be remembered, students, who had long been in the 
habit of performing miracle-plays, had also taken to producing 
farces, morals, and those miscellaneous comic and satiric 
pieces which had their origin in the folk-festivals. Many 
of these were in the vernaculars ; but it is difficult to avoid 
classing with them a group of Latin dialogues and loosely 
constructed comedies, written in Terentian metres and pre- 
senting a curious amalgam of classical and mediaeval themes. 
Of hardly any of these can it be said positively that they were 
intended to be acted. This is, however, not unlikely in the 
case of the anonymous Columpnarium> which goes back to 
the fourteenth century. Pavia probably saw a performance 
of Ugolini Pisani's Confabulatio coquinaria (1435), which has 
all the characteristics of a carnival drollery, and certainly 
of Ranzio Mercurino's De False Hypocrite^ which is stated in 
the manuscript to have been ' acta* there on April 15, 1437. 
The Admiranda of Alberto Carrara was similarly ' acta ' 
at Padua about 1456. The exact way in which these pieces 
and others like them were performed must remain doubtful. 
Acting in the strict sense can only be distinctly asserted 

1 Cloetta, i, passim ; Creizenach, diae Elegiacae ( 1 885), and T. Wright, 

i. 20; Peiper, Di* pro) r ane Komodie Early Mysteries and other Latin 

des Mittelalters, in Archiv f. Lit- Poems (1844). Cloetta gives refer- 

teraturgeschichte^ v. 497. Some of ences for the rest 
the texts are in Mullenbach, Comae- 


of Francesco Ariosto's dialogue of Isis which was given ' per 
personates ' at the Ferrara carnival of 1444 l . 

All this pseudo-classic comedy was looked upon with scorn 
by the purists of humanism. But it made its way over the 
Alps and had a considerable vogue in Germany. In France 
it found an exponent in Jean Tissier de Ravisy (Ravisius 
Textor), professor of rhetoric in the College of Navarre at 
Paris, and afterwards rector of the Paris University, who 
wrote, in good enough Latin, but wholly in the mediaeval 
manner, a large number of morals, farces, and dialogues for 
representation by his pupils 2 . Two at least of these were 
turned into English interludes. The classical element pre- 
dominates in the pseudo-Homeric Thersites, the production of 
which can be fixed to between October 12 and 24, 1537 ; the 
mediaeval in Thomas Ingelend's The Disobedient Child> which 
belongs to the very beginning of the reign of Elizabeth. 

It was doubtless the study of Vitruvius which awakened the 
humanists to the fact that their beloved comedies had after all 
been acted after very much the fashion so long familiar in 
farces and miracle-plays. Exactly when the knowledge came 
is not clear. Polydore Vergil is still ignorant, and even 
Erasmus, at the date of the Adagia> uncertain. Alberti put 
a theatrum in the palace built on the Vatican for Nicholas V 
about 1452, but there is no record of its use for dramatic 
performances at that time, and the immediate successors 
of Nicholas did not love humanism. Such performances 
seem to have been first undertaken by the pupils of a Roman 
professor, Pomponius Laetus. Amongst these was Inghirami, 
who was protagonist in revivals of the Asinaria of Plautus 
and the Phaedra of Seneca, These took place about 1485. 
Several other representations both of classical plays and 
of neo- Latin imitations occurred in Italy before the end of the 
century; and the practice spread to other countries affected 
by the humanist wave, soon establishing itself as part of the 
regular sixteenth-century scheme of education. By this time, 
of course, Greek as well as Latin dramatic models were avail- 

1 Crcizenach, i. 533, 548, 563, 581 ; 59 ; Bahlmann, L. D. 31 ; Julleville, 
Bahlmann, Em. 13, 36, 38, 44, 48. Les Com. 298 ; J. Bolte, in Vahlen- 
9 Creizenach, i. 569; ii. 23, 43, Festschrift (1900), ^89. 


able. The Latin translation of the Plutus of Aristophanes 
by Leonardo Bruni ($1417) found several successors, and the 
play was acted at Zwickau in 1521. The study of Sophocles 
and Euripides began with Francesco Filelfo (fi48i), but no 
representations of these authors are mentioned \ 

The outburst of dramatic activity in English schools and 
universities during the first half of the sixteenth century 
has already been noted. Wolsey may claim credit for an 
early encouragement of classical comedy in virtue of the 
performances of the Menaechmi and the Phormio given in his 
house by the boys of St. Paul's in 1527 and 1528 2 . The 
master of St. Paul's from 1522 to 1531 was John Ritwise, 
who himself wrote a Latin play of Dido, which also appears 
to have been acted before Wolsey 8 . The Plutus was given 
at St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1536 ; the Pax at Trinity 
about a decade later 4 . A long series of English translations 
of classical plays begins with one of the Andria printed, 
possibly by John Rastell, under the title of Terens in 
Englysh 6 . 

A more important matter is the influence exercised by clas- 
sical models upon the vernacular interludes. This naturally 
showed itself in school dramas, and only gradually filtered 
down to the professional players. Two plays compete for 
the honour of ranking as ' the first regular English comedy/ 
a term which is misleading, as it implies a far more complete 
break with the past than is to be discerned in either of them. 
One is Nicholas Udall's Ralph Roister Doister, the per- 

1 Creizenach, ii. I, 71, 88, 370, the Dido played before Elizabeth 

374; Heiland, Dramatische Auf> at Cambridge in 1564. But there 

fuhrungen^ in K. A. Schmid, Enc. is no reason to doubt the statement 

d.gesammtenErzichungs- und Un- of Hatcher's sixteenth-century MS. 

terrichtswesens (2nd ed. 1876-87). account of King's College (tran- 

1 Cf. p. 196. script \nBodl. 1 1,614) that the author 

8 A. Wood, Athenae (ed. Bliss), of this was Edward Halliwell, who, 

i. 35, s. v. Lilly ) says that Ritwise like Ritwise, was a fellow of the 

' made the Tragedy of Dido out of college. 

Virgil ; and acted the same with * Cf. p. 195. 

the scholars of his school before * For the translation of the 

cardinal Wolsey with great ap- Philoktetes of Sophocles by Roger 

plause.' The date of this perform- Ascham, cf. p. 195. Bale, Scrip- 

ance is given in the D. N. JB., tores (1557), i. 720, mentions a 

through a confusion with the and- translation from Greek into Latin 

Lutheran play at court (cf. p. 196), of tragoediasqua$damEuripidis\*y 

as 1527. it is often identified with Thomas Keye or Caius (t 1550). 


formance of which can be dated with some confidence in 
1553, by which time its author may already have been 
head master of Westminster ; the other is Gammer Gurtoris 
Needle^ which was put on the stage at Christ's College, 
Cambridge, has been ascribed to John Still, afterwards 
bishop of Bath and Wells, and to John Bridges, afterwards 
bishop of Oxford, but is more probably the work of one 
William Stevenson, who was certainly superintending plays 
at Christ's College in 1550-3. Both plays adopt the classical 
arrangement by acts and scenes. But of the two Gammer 
Gurtoris Needle is far closer to the mediaeval farce in its 
choice and treatment of subject. Ralph Roister Doister^ 
although by no means devoid of mediaeval elements, is in 
the main an adaptation of the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus. 
A slighter and rather later piece of work, Jack Juggler ', was 
also intended for performance by schoolboys, and is based 
upon the Amphitruo. The earliest ' regular English tragedy' 
on Senecan lines, or at least the earliest which oblivion has 
spared, is the Gorboduc or Ferrex and Porrex of 1561. This 
falls outside the strict scope of this chapter. But a frag- 
ment of a play from the press of John Rastell (1516-33) 
which introduces 'Lucres' and Publius Cornelius, suggests 
that, here as elsewhere, the Elizabethan writers were merely 
resuming the history of the earlier English Renascence, 
which religious and political disturbances had so wofully 

Towards the end of Henry VIU's reign, the course of 
the developing interlude was further diverted by a fresh 
wave of humanist influence. This came from the wing of 
the movement which had occupied itself, not only with 
erudition, but also with the spiritual stirrings that issued 
in the Reformation. It must be borne in mind that the 
attitude of mere negation which the English Puritans, no 
doubt with their justification in 'antiquity/ came to adopt 
towards the stage, was by no means characteristic of the 
earlier Protestantism, The Lutheran reformers were human- 
ists as well as theologians, and it was natural to them to 
shape a literary weapon to their own purposes, rather than 
to cast it aside as unfit for furbishing. About 1530 a new 


school of 4ieo-Latin drama arose in Holland, which stood 
in much closer relations to mediaevalism than that which 
had had its origin in Italy. It aimed at applying the 
structure and the style of Terence to an edifying subject- 
matter drawn from the tradition of the religious drama. 
The English Everyman belongs to a group of related plays, 
both in Latin and in the vernaculars, on its moral theme. 
The Acolastus (1530, acted 1529) of William Gnaphaeus and 
the Asotus (1537, written f I 57) of George Macropedius 
began a cycle of ' Prodigal Son ' plays which had many 
branches. The movement began uncontroversially, but 
developed Protestant tendencies. It spread to Basle, where 
Sixt Birck, who called himself Xystus Betuleius, wrote a 
Susanna (1537), an Eva (1539), a Judith (1540), and to 
France, where the Scotchman George Buchanan added to 
the * Christian Terence ' a * Christian Seneca ' in the Jephthes 
(1554) and Baptises (1564) performed, between 1540 and 
1543, by his students at Bordeaux. In these, which are but 
ft few out of many similar plays produced at this period, the 
humanists drew in the main upon such scriptural subjects, 
many of them apocryphal or parabolic, as were calculated, 
while no doubt making for edification, at the same time to 
afford scope for a free portrayal of human life. This on the 
whole, in spite of the treatment of such episodes as the 
Magdalen in gaudio^ was a departure from the normal 
mediaeval usage 1 . 

A new note, of acute and even violent controversy, was 
introduced into the Protestant drama by the fiery heretic, 
Thomas Kirchmayer, or Naogeorgos. Kirchmayer wrote 
several plays, but thfe most important from the present point 
of view is that of Pammachius (1538), written during his 
pastorate of Suiza in TJiuringia before his extreme views 
had led, not merely to exile from the Empire, but also to 
a quarrel with Luther. The Pammachius goes back to one 
of the most interesting, although of course not one of the 

1 Creizenach, ii. 74; Herford, 84; diae aliquot ex Novo et Vetere 

Ward, i. 120; Bahlmann, L. D. lestamento desumptae (Brylinger, 

39> 53) 66, 82. Many plays of this Basle, 1540) and Dramata Sacra 

school are in Comoediae et Tragoe- (Oporinus, Basle, 1547)* 


most usual, themes of mediaeval drama, that of Antichrist ; 
and it will readily be conceived that, for Kirchmayer, the 
Antichrist is none other than the Pope. It is interesting to 
observe that the play was dedicated to Archbishop Cranmer, 
whose reforming Articles of 1536 had roused the expecta- 
tions of Protestant Germany. It was translated into English 
by John Bale, and was certainly not without influence in 
this country \ 

Both the merely edifying and the controversial type of 
Lutheran drama, indeed, found its English representatives. 
To the former belong the Chris tus Redivivus (1543) and the 
Archipropheta (1548) of the Oxford lecturer, Nicholas 
Grimald, one of which deals, somewhat exceptionally at 
this period, with the Resurrection, the other with John the 
Baptist. The Absalon of Thomas Watson, the Jephthes of 
John Christopherson (1546) 2 , and the Sodom, Jonah, Judith, 
Job) Susanna, and Lazarus and Dives of Ralph Radclif 
(1546-56) 3 , can only conjecturally be put in this class ; 
and Nicholas Udall, who wrote an Ezechias in English, 
certainly did not commit himself irrecoverably in the eyes 
of good Catholics. John Palsgrave's Ecphrasis or para- 
phrase of Acolastus (1540) is supplied with grammatical 
notes, and is conceived wholly in the academic interest. On 
the other hand controversy is suggested in the titles of 
Radclif s De lohannis Hussi Damnatione> and of the De 
Meretrice Babylonica ascribed by Bale to Edward VI 4 , 
and is undeniably present in the Chris tus Triumphans (1551) 
of John Foxe, the martyrologist. This, like Pammachius> 
to which it owes much, belongs to the Antichrist cycle. 

Nor was controversy confined to the learned language. 
As Protestantism, coquetted with by Henry VIII, and en- 

1 Creizenach,ii,76; Herford, 119; diam, scilicet Piscatorem . . . olio 

Bahlmann, L. D. 71. The play is titulo Fraus illusa vacatur (Bale, 

in Bry linger, 314. A fecent edition i. 712), seem to have been Protes- 

is that by Bolte and Schmidt (1891). tants, but nothing is known, of the 

* Cf. p. 195. Both Thomas character of their plays, which may 

Artour, of Cambridge (ob. 1532), have been either English or Latin* 
who wrote a Mtcrocosmum, tra- 8 Cf. p. 197. 
gocdiam^faMundumplumbeum^ * Bale, Script or ts, i. 674. It was 

tragoediam (Bale, i. 709), and John written in his eleventh year (1547- 

Hooker (ob. 1*1543), of Magdalen 8) : cf. his Remains, \. xvi. 
College, Oxford, who wrote a comoe- 


couraged by Cromwell, became gradually vocal in England 
and awakened an equally resonant reply, the vernacular 
drama, like every other form of literary expression, was 
swept into the war of creeds. This phase, dominating even 
the professional players, endured through the reigns of 
Edward VI and Mary, and still colours the early Eliza- 
bethan interludes. Its beginnings were independent of 
the Lutheran influences that so profoundly Affected its 
progress. The morality already contained within itself that 
tendency to criticism which was perhaps the easiest way 
to correct its insipidity. Historically it was politics rather 
than religion with which the interlude first claimed to inter- 
fere. The story begins, harmlessly enough, at court, with 
an allegorical ' disguising ' during the visit of the Emperor 
Charles V to London in 1523, in which the French king, 
typified by an unruly horse, was tamed by Amitie, who 
stood for the alliance between Charles and Henry l . In 1526 
John Roo's morality, played at Gray's Inn, of ' Lord Govern- 
aunce ' and ' Lady Publike-Wele ' wrung Wolsey's withers, 
although as a matter of fact it was twenty years old 2 . 
Religion was first touched in 1527 in a piece of which one 
would gladly know more. It was played, as it seems, in 
Latin and French by the St. Paul's boys under John Ritwise, 
before ambassadors from France. The subject was the 
captivity of the Pope, and amongst the singular medley of 
characters named are found ' the herretyke, Lewtar ' and 
c Lewtar's wyfe, like a frowe of Spyers in Almayn V This was, 
no doubt, all in the interests of orthodoxy ; and a similar tone 
may be assumed in the comedies acted before Wolsey in the 

1 Hall, 641. 'Lady Quyetnes,' 'Dame Tran- 

9 Hall, 719; Collier, i. 103. quylyte.* Brandl, Ivi suggests that 

* Hall, 735 ; Collier, i. 104 ; the play might have been related to 

Brewer, iv. 1603 ; Brown, Vene- the Ludus ludentem Luderum lu- 

tian Papers > iv. 208; Cavendish, dens of Johannes Hasenberg( 1 530), 

Life of Wolsey > i. 136. The and the analysis of this piece given 

characters further included ' an by Bahlmann, L. D. 48, shows that 

oratur,' a Poet, Religion, Ecclesia, the two had several characters in 

Veritas, Heresy, False Interpre- common. Another anti-Luther 

tation, 'Corrupcio Scriptoris,' play, the Monachopornomachia 

St. Peter, St. Paul, St. James, (1538) of Simon Lemnius (Bahl- 

a Cardinal, two Serjeants, the mann, L. D. 70), appears to be 

Dauphin and his brother, a Messen- distinct 
ger, three ' Almayns/ * Lady Pees,* 


following year on the release of the Pope 1 . But much water 
passed under the mill in the next few years, and in 1533 th ere 
was a comedy at court ' to the no little defamation of certain 
cardinals V In the same year, however, a proclamation 
forbade 'playing of enterludes' 'concerning doctrines in 
matters now in question and controversie V This is a kind 
of regulation which it is easier to make than to enforce. Its 
effect, if it had any, was not of long duration. In 1537 much 
offence was given to Bishop Gardiner, the Chancellor of Cam- 
bridge University, by the performance amongst the youth of 
Christ's College of a * tragedie/ part at least of which was ' soo 
pestiferous as were intolerable/ This * tragedie ' was none other 
than the redoubtable Pammachius itself 4 . In the same year, 
strict orders were issued to stay games and unlawful assemblies 
in Suffolk, on account of a * seditious May-game ' which was 
of a king, how he should rule his realm/ and in which * one 
played Husbandry, and said many things against gentlemen 
more than was in the book of the play 6 / These were 
exceptional cases. Both the students of Christ's and the 
Suffolk rustics had in their various ways overstepped the per- 
mitted mark. Certainly Henry was not going to have king- 
ship called in question on a village green. But it is notorious 
that, in matters of religion, he secretly encouraged many 
obstinate questionings which he openly condemned. And 
there is evidence that Cromwell at least found the interlude a 
very convenient instrument for the encouragement of Protes- 
tantism. Bale tells us that he himself won the minister's 
favour ob editas comedias 6 ; and there is extant amongst his 
papers a singular letter of this same year 1537, from Thomas 
Wylley, the vicar of Yoxford in Suffolk, in which he calls 
attention to three plays he has writtep, and asks that he may 

1 Brown, Venetian Papers, iv. Chris fs College, 48. The corre- 

220. ( spondence about the play between 

* Herbert of Cherbury, Life of Gardiner and Parker is printed in 
Henry P7//(Kennet, Hist. o/Eng- full in J. Lamb, Collection of Docu- 
land, ii, 173). mentsfrom C. C. C. C. (1838), 49. 

* Collier, i. 119, quoting Foxe, a Brewer, xii. I. 557, 585. 
Martyrologie (1576), 1339. 6 Bale, Scriptores, i. 702. Cf. 

4 Herford, 129 ; Mullinger, Hist, also S. R. Maitland, Essays on the 
of Cambridge, ii. 74; Cooper, An- Reformation, 182. 
nals of 'Cambridge, i, 422 ; J. Peile, 



have 'fre lyberty to preche the trewtheV Cranmer, too, 
seems to have been in sympathy with Cromwell's policy, 
for In 1539 there was an enterlude at his house which a 
Protestant described as ' one of the best matiers that ever 
he sawe towching King John/ and which may quite possibly 
have been John Bale's famous play 2 . 

The position was altered after 1540, when Cromwell had 
fallen and the pendulum of Henry's conscience had swung 
back to orthodoxy. Foxe records how under the Act Abolish- 
ing Diversity in Opinions (1539), known as the Act of the Six 
Articles^ one Spencer, an ex-priest who had become an inter- 
lude-player, was burned at Salisbury for * matter concerning 
the sacrament of the altar ' ; and how, in London, one Sher- 
mons, keeper of the Carpenters' Hall in Shoreditch, 'was 
presented for procuring an interlude to be openly played, 
wherein priests were railed on and called knaves V But the 
stage was by now growing difficult to silence. In 1542 the 
bishops petitioned the king to correct the acting of plays 
'to the contempt of God's Word 4> ; and in 1543 their desire 

1 Brewer, xii. I. 244; Collier, i. 
128. 'The Lorde make you the 
instrument of my hdpe, Lorde 
Cromwell, that I may have fre 
lyberty to preche the trewthe. 

I dedycat and offer to your Lorde- 1 
shype A Reverent Receyving of 
the Sacrament, as a Lenton matter, 
declaryd by vj chyldren, represent- 
yng Chryst, the worde of God, 
Paule, Austyn, a Chylde, a Nonne 
callyd Ignorancy ; as a secret thyng 
that shall have hys ende ons rehersyd 
afore your eye by the sayd chyldren. 

The most part of the prystes of 
Suff. wyll not reseyve me ynto ther 
chyrchys to preche, but have dys- 
daynyd me ever synns I made a 
play agaynst the popys Conselerrs, 
Error, Colle dogger of Conscyens, 
and Incredulyte. That, arid the 
Act of Parlyament had not folowyd 
after, I had be countyd a gret lyar. 

I have made a playe caulyd A 
Rude Commynawlte. I am a mak- 
yng of a nother caulyd The Woman 
on the Rokke, yn the fyer of fay the 
a fynyng, and a purgyng in the 

trewe purgatory ; never to be seen 
but of your Lordshyp's eye. 

Ayde me for Chrystys sake that 
I may preche chryst. 
Thomas Wylley 

of Yoxforthe Vykar 
fatherlesse and forsaken/ 

* Brewer, xiv. I. 22; Collier, i. 

8 Foxe, Acts and Monuments 
(ed. Cattley), v. 443, 446. 

4 Brewer, xvii. 79; Wilkins, iii. 
860. About the same date a Dis- 
course (Cotton MSS. Faustina, C. 
ii. 5) addressed by Sir Richard 
M orison to Henry VIII is de- 
scribed by Brewer xvii. 707 as pro- 
posing 'a yearly memorial of the 
destruction of the bishop of Rome 
out of the realm, as the victory of 
Agincourt is annually celebrated at 
Calais, and the destruction of the 
Danes at Hoptide (sic: cf. vol. i. 
p. 1 54). It would be better that the 
plays of Robin Hood and Maid 
Marian should be forbidden, and 
others devised to set forth and 
declare lively before the people's 


was met by the Act for the Advauncement of true Religion and 
for the Abolishment of the Contrary, which permitted of ' plays 
and enterludes for the rebukyng and reproching of vices and 
the setting forth of vertue * ; but forbade such as meddled 
with c interpretacions of scripture, contrary to the doctryne 
set forth or to be set forth by the kynges maiestie V This 
led to a vigorous protest from John Bale, writing under the 
pseudonym of Henry Stalbridge, in his Epistel Exhortatorye 
of an Inglyshe Christian. Its repeal was one of the first 
measures passed under Edward VI 2 . 

Lord Oxford's men were playing in Southwark at the very 
Iteur of the dirge for Henry in the church of St. Saviour's 3 . 
Almost immediately 'the Poope in play* and 'prests in play' 
make their appearance once more 4 . Edward himself wrote 
his comedy De Meretrice Babylonica. In 1551 the English 
comedies ' in demonstration of contempt for the Pope ' were 
reported by the Venetian ambassador to his government 6 . 
But the players were not to have quite a free hand. It was 
now the Catholic interludes that needed suppression. A pro- 
clamation of August 6, 1549, inhibited performances until the 
following November in view of some * tendyng to sedicion V 
The Act of Uniformity of the same year forbade interludes 

eyes the abomination and wicked- already (p. 185) called attention to 
ness of the bishop of Rome, the the ambiguity of the term 'comon 
monks, friars, nuns and such like, player, 1 and on the whole, in view 
and to declare the obedience due of a reference in the proclamation 
to the King.' In 1543 the Lord to 'theft and falsehood in play* I 
Mayor complained to the Privy think that gamblers are here in 
Council of the 'licentious manner question. In any case the pro- 
of players.' Certain joiners, who tected players were not suppressed, 
were the Lord Warden's players, * I Edw. VI, c, nz. 
were imprisoned and reprimanded 8 S. P. Dom. Edw. VI, i. 5 ; 
for playing on Sunday (P. C. Acts, Collier, i. 135. 
i. 103, 109, no, 122). 4 Kempe, 64, 74, with a list of 
1 34, 35 Hen. VIII, c. I ; Hazlitt, personages for precisely such a play. 
E. >. S. 3 ; Collier, i. 127. A pro- W. Baldwin, on whom cf. pp. 194, 
clamation of May 26, 1545 (Hazlitt, 200, and Modern Quarterly, i. 259, 
E. D. S. 6), states an intention to was probably a dramatist of this 
employ in the fleet ' all such ruffyns, temper. 

Vagabonds, Masteries men, Corapn * Brown, Venetian Papers, v. 

players and euill disposed persons ' 347 ; cf. the letters between Gar- 

as haunt * the Banke, and such like diner and Somerset, quoted by 

naughtie places,' and forbids the Maitland, Essays on the Reforma- 

retaining of servants, other than tion, 228, from Foxe, vi. 31, tf. 

household servants or others allowed * Hazlitt, E. D. S. 8; Collier, i. 

bylaw or royal licence. I have 142; Fuller, Ch. Hist. (1655), 391. 


' depraving and despising * the Book of Common Prayer l . 
A more effective measure came later in a proclamation of 
155 J requiring either for the printing or the acting of plays a 
licence by the king or the privy council a . Mary, at whose 
own marriage with Philip in 1554 there were Catholic inter- 
ludes and pageants 3 , issued a similar regulation in 1553, 
though naturally with a different intention 4 . But this was 
not wholly effectual, and further orders and much vigilance by 
the Privy Council in the oversight of players were required in 
the course of the reign 5 . 

Only a few texts from this long period of controversial 
drama have come down to us. On the Catholic side there is 
but one, the play of Respublica (1553). In this, and in the 
Protestant fragment of Somebody \ Avarice and Minister \ 
the ruling literary influence is that of Lyndsay's Satyre of the 
Thre Estaitis. Of the remaining Protestant plays, Nice 
Wanton (1560) and Thomas Ingelend's The Disobedient Child 
(n. d.) derive from the Dutch school of Latin drama and 
its offshoots. Nice Wanton is an adaptation of the Rebelles 
(1535) of Macropedius. The Disobedient Child has its rela- 
tions, not only to the play of Ravisius Textor already 
mentioned, but also to the Studentes (1549) of Christopher 
Stymmelius. More distinctly combative in tendency is the 
Lusty Juventus (n.d.) of R. Wever, who may be reckoned 
as a disciple of John Bale. The activity of Bale himself can 
be somewhat obscurely discerned as the strongest impelling 

1 2, 3 Edw. VI) c. I. inquire into a stage-play to be 

2 Hazlitt, E.D.S. 9; Collier, i. given at Shrovetide at Hatfield 
144. In 1550 'il plaiers' were Bradock, Essex, and directed him to 
sought for in Sussex (Remains of stop such assemblies. An order 
Edward VI, ii. 280). In 1551 the against strolling players who spread 
council gave Lord Dorset a licence sedition and heresy came in May. 
for his players to play in his pres- In June, 1557, performers of 
ence only (P. C. Acts, iii. 307). In * naughty* and 'lewd' plays were 
1552 Ogle sent to Cecil a forged arrested in London and Can- 
licence taken from some players terbury. An order forbade plays 
(S. P. Dom. Edw. VI, xv. 33). throughout the country during the 

8 Holinshed (1808), iv. 61. summer. In August a 'lewd' 

4 Hazlitt, E. D. S. 15; Collier, i. play called a 'Sackfull of News 1 

15; ; P. C. Acts, iv. 426. was suppressed at the Boar's Head, 

* -S. P. Dom. Mary,v\\\. 50; P. Aldgate ; and in. September plays 

C. Acts, v. 234, 237; vi. 102, no, were forbidden in the city except, 

118, 148, 1 68, 169. In Feb. 1556 after licence by the ordinary, be- 

the council sent Lord Rich to tween All Saints and Shrovetide. 


force on the Protestant side. He had his debts both to 
Lyndsay and to Kirchmayer, whose Pammachius> if not 
his other plays, he translated. But he is very largely original, 
and he is set apart from the other great figures of the 
Lutheran drama by the fact that all his plays were written 
in idiomate materno. Moreover, though not without classical 
elements, they were probably intended for popular perform- 
ance, and approach more closely to the mediaeval structure 
than to that of the contemporary interlude. In his Scriptores 
he enumerates, under twenty-two titles, some forty-six of 
them. The five extant ones were probably all ' compiled ' 
about 1538 while he was vicar of Thorndon in Suffolk. But 
some of them were acted at the market-cross of Kilkenny 
in 1553, and the others show signs of revision under Edward 
VI or even Elizabeth. In God's Promises, John Baptist^ 
and The Temptation, Bale was simply adapting and Pro- 
testantizing the miracle-play* The first is practically a 
Prophetae, and they are all 'actes,' or as the Middle Ages 
would have said 'processes' or 'pageants/ from a scriptural 
cycle. Of similar character were probably a series of eleven 
plays extending from Christ in the Temple to the Resurrec- 
tion. A Vita D. Joannis Baptistae in fourteen libri perhaps 
treated this favourite sixteenth-century theme in freer style. 
The polemics are more marked in Three Laws, which is 
a morality ; and in King John, which is a morality varied 
by the introduction of the king himself as a champion against 
the Pope and of certain other historical figures. It thus 
marks an important step in the advance of the drama towards 
the treatment of individualities. With the Three Laws and 
King John may be grouped another set of lost plays whose 
Latinized titles point unmistakably to controversy. An 
Amoris Imago might be merely edifying ; but it would be 
difficult to avoid meddling in matters of doctrine with such 
themes to handle as De Sectis Papisticis^ Erga Momos et 
Zoilos, Perditiones Papistarum> Contra Adulterantes Dei 
Verbum^ De Imposturis Thomae Beckett. A pair of plays 
Super utroque Regis Coniugio^ must have been, if they were 
ever acted, a climax of audacity even for John Bale. 
What then, in sum, was the heritage which the early 


Elizabethan writers and players of interludes received from 
their immediate predecessors? For the writers there were 
the stimulus of classical method and a widened range both 
of intention and of material. Their claim was established 
to dispute, to edify, or merely to amuse. They stood on the 
verge of more than one field of enterprise which had been 
barely entered upon and justly appeared inexhaustible. 
* Tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, his- 
torical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical- 
pastoral ' ; they possessed at least the keys to them all. 
Their own work is a heterogeneous welter of all the dramatic 
elements of the past and the future. Belated morals and 
miracle-plays jostle with adaptations of Seneca and Plautus. 
The dramatis personae of a single play will afford the abstrac- 
tions of the allegory and the types of the farce side by side 
with real living individualities ; and the latter are drawn 
indifferently from contemporary society, from romance, from 
classical and from national history. These are precisely the 
dry bones which one day, beneath the breath of genius, should 
spring up into the wanton life of the Shakespearean drama. 
The players had made good their footing both in courts and 
amongst the folk. But their meddlings with controversy had 
brought upon them the hand of authority, which was not 
to be lightly shaken off. Elizabeth, like her brother, signal- 
ized the opening of her reign by a temporary inhibition of 
plays 1 ; and her privy council assumed a jurisdiction, by 
no means nominal, over things theatrical. In their censorship 
they had the assistance of the bishop of London, as ' ordinary/ 
The lesser companies may have suffered from the statute 
of 1572 which confined the privilege of maintaining either 
minstrels or players of interludes to barons and personages of 
higher degree 8 . But the greater ones which had succeeded 
in establishing themselves in London, grew and flourished. 

1 The proclamation of 16 May this. By I Ehz. c. a (the Act of 

1559 is printed in Hazlitt, E. D. S. Uniformity) the provision of 2, 3 

19 ; Collier, i. 166 ; N. S. S. Trans. Edw. VI, c. I, against ' derogation, 

1880-5, 17 1. I do not think the depraving or despising* the Book 

proclamation loosely referred to by of Common Prayer in interludes 

Holinshed (1587), lii. 1184, as at was re-enacted with a penalty of 

' the same time ' as another procla- 100 marks, 

mation of 7 April is distinct from * Cf. vol. i. p. 54. 


They lived down the competition of the amateurs which 
during the greater part of the century threatened to become 
dangerous, by their profitable system of double performances, 
at court and in the inn yards. Thus they secured the future 
of the drama by making it economically independent ; and 
the copestone of their edifice was the building of the per- 
manent theatres. But for courtesy and a legal fiction, they 
were vagabonds and liable to whipping : yet the time was 
at hand when one player was to claim coat armour and enter- 
tain preachers to sack and supper at New Place, while another 
was to marry the daughter of a dean and to endow an irony 
for all time in the splendid College of God's Gift at Dulwich. 




[The tribunus voluptatum wste a municipal officer of the later Empire 
charged with the superintendence of the spectacula. He seems to have 
been appointed for life by the Emperor, and to have taken over functions 
formerly discharged by the praetors and quaestors. Mommsen, Ostgothi- 
sche Studien (Neues Archiv, xiv. 495), says that he first appears in the 
fifth century. Possibly, therefore, Suetonius, Tiberius, 42, 'novum deni- 
que officium instituit a voluptatibus, praeposito equite R.T. Caesonio 
Frisco ' refers to some other post. A titulus, ' de officio tribuni voluptattt 
qd a temelicis et scenariis,' which should be C. Th. i. 19, is missing from 
the text. C. Th. xv. 7, 13 (413), is addressed to the tribunus voluptatum of 
Carthage. The office was maintained in Italy under Theodoric (493-526). 
The formula of appointment here 'given is preserved by Cassiodorus, 
Variae, vii. 10; cf. Var. vi. 19 'cum lascivae voluptates recipiant 
tribunum.' The Senate is informed by Var. i. 43 (tsog) of the promotion 
of Artemidorus, who had held the office, to be praefectus urbanus. The 
tribunus voluptatum of Rome is referred to in two inscriptions of 522 and 
526 (Rossi, Inscr. Christ, i. Nos. 989, 1005). One Bacauda is appointed 
tribunus voluptatum in Milan by Var. v. 25 (523-6). Constantine 
Porphyrogenitus de Caer. i. 83 mentions an &p\uv rf}r %iXijf in the tenth- 
century court of Byzantium, who may be the same officer.] 

Formula Tribuni Voluptatum. 

Quamvis artes lubricae honestis moribus sint remotae et histrionum 
vita vaga videatur efferri posse licentia, tamen moderatrix providit 
antiquitas, ut in totum non effiuerent, cum et ipsae iudicem sustinerent 
amministranda est enim sub quadam disciplina exhibitio voluptatum, 
teneat scaenicos si non verus, vel umbratilis ordo iudicii. temperentur 
et haec legum qualitate negotia, quasi honestas imperet inhonestis, et 
quibusdam regulis vivant, qui viara rectae conversationis ignorant, 
student enim illi non tantum iucunditati suae, quantum alienae laetitiae 
et condicione perversa cum dominatum suis corporibus tradunt, servire 
podus animos compulerunt Dignum fuit ergo moderatorem suscipere, 
qui se nesciunt iuridica conversatione tractare. locus quippe tuus bis 
gregibus hominum veluti quidam tutor est positus. nam sicut illi 
aetates teneras adhibita cautela custodiunt, sic a te voluptates fervidae 


impensa maturitate frenandae sunt. age bonis institutis quod nimia 
prudentia constat invenisse maiorcs. leve desiderium etsi verecundia 
non cohibet, districtio praenuntiata modificat. agantur spectacula suis 
consuetudinibus ordinata, quia nee illi possunt invenire gratiam, nisi 
imitati fuerint aliquam discipfinam. Quapropter tribunum te volup- 
tatum per illam indictionem nostra fecit electio, ut omnia sic agas, 
quemadmodum tibi vota civitatis adiungas, ne quod ad laetitiam 
constat inventum, tuis temporibus ad culpas videatur fuisse transmissum. 
cum fama diminutis salva tua opinione versare. castitatem dilige, cui 
subiacent prostitutae : ut magna laude dicatur : ' virtutibus studuit, 
qui voluptatibus miscebatur/ optamus enim ut per ludicram ammi- 
nistrationem ad seriam pervenias dignitatem. 


John of Salisbury, Polycraticus i. 8 (tii59, P. L. cxcix, 406), says, 
Satius enim fuerat otiari quam turpiter occupari. Hinc mimi, salii 
vel saliares, balatrones, aemiliani, gladiatores, palaestritae, gignadii, 
praestigiatores, malefici quoque multi, et tota iculatorum scena 
procedit.' The specific terms belong to John of Salisbui s classical 
learning rather than to contemporary use ; but his generic ioculator is 
the normal mediaeval Latin term for the minstrel in the widest sense. 
Classically the word, like its synonym iocularis> is an adjective, ' given 
to ioca/ 'merry/ Thus Cicero, ad Ait. iv. 16. 3 'huic ioculatorem 
senem ilium interesse sane nolui/ Similarly Firmicus Maternus 
(fourth century), Mathesis, viii. 22 'histriones faciat, pantomimes, ac 
scaenicos ioculatores/ and 4 Cone. Carthag. (398), c. 60 (C. I. C. 
Deer. Gratiani) i, 46. 6) f clericum scurrilem et verbis turpibus iocula- 
torem ab officio retrahendum censemus.' Here the technical meaning 
is approached, which Gautier, ii. 12, declares to be complete in Salvian 
(fifth century), dt gubernatione Dei. I cannot, however, find the word 
in Salvian, though I do find iugulator^ * cut-throat/ I have not come 
across ioculalor as a noun before the eighth century (vol. i. p. 37), 


but thenceforward it is widely used for minstrels of both the $c6p and 
the mimus type. A rarer form is iocista. Ioculator gives rise to the 
equally wide French term jouglere, jougleur, which seems to merge 
with the doublet jogeler,jougler, from iocularis. Similarly ioca becomes 
jeu, the equivalent of the classical and mediaeval Latin ludus, also in 
the widest sense. In Provencal ioculator becomes joglar, in English 
jugelour y jugelere,jogeler t &c. Thus *S*. Eng. Leg. i. 271 (t 1290) 'Is 
iugelour a day bifore him pleide faste And nemde in his ryme and in is 
song J>ene deuel atj>e laste' ; King Horn (ed. Ritson), 1494 (tisoo) 
' Men seide hit were harperis, Jogelers, ant fythelers/ The incorrect 
modern French form jongleur seems due to a confusion between 
jougleur zndjangleur, ' babbler, 1 and the English jangler has a similar 
use ; cf. Piers the Plowman^ B. Text, passus x. 31 (ed. Skeat, i. 286) 
< laperes and logeloures, and langelers of gestes.' Here both words 
appear side by side. The English jogelour sometimes has the full 
sense of the French jougleur, as in the instances just given, but as 
a term for minstrels of the higher or scdp type it has to compete, firstly, 
with the native gleeman, from O. E. gleoman, gligman, and secondly, 
with minstrel \ and as a matter of fact its commoner use is for the 
lower type of minstrel or buffoon, and in particular, in the exact sense 
of the modern juggler , for a conjuror, tregetour or prestigiator* The 
latter is the usual meaning of jogelour, with the cognate jogelrye, in 
Chaucer; for the former, cf. Adam Davie (11312) 'the minstrels sing, 
the jogelours carpe.' In English documents the Latin ioculator itself 
to some extent follows suit ; the ioculator regis of late fifteenth or early 
sixteenth-century accounts is not a minstrel or musician, but the royal 
juggler (cf. vol. i. p. 68). On the other hand the Prove^al/^/ar is 
differentiated in the opposite sense, to denote a grade of minstrelsy 
raised above the mere bufos (vol. i. p. 63). 

A street in Paris known at the end of the thirteenth century as the 
{ rue aus JugUeursl came later to be known as the rue des MJne'triers 
(Bernhard, iii. 378). This is significant of a new tendency in nomen- 
clature which appears with the growth during the fourteenth century 
of the household entertainers at the expense of their unattached 
brethren of the road. Minister is classical Latin for ' inferior ' and so 
* personal attendant.' The ministeriales of the later Empire are officers 
personally appointed by the Emperor. Towards the end of the 
thirteenth century minister, with its diminutives ministellus and mim- 
strallus (French menestrel), can be seen passing from the general 
sense of ' household attendant ' to the special sense of ' household 
loiulator' A harper was one of the minis tri of Prince Edward 


in 1270 (vol. i. p. 49). Gautier, ii. 13, 51, quotes K famles 
(famuli) as a synonym for such ioculatores, and such doublets as 
' menestrel et serviteur/ * menestrel et varlet de chambre/ The mini- 
steralli of Philip IV in 1268 include, with the musicians, the rex 
heraudum and the rex ribaldorum. From the beginning of the 
fourteenth century, however, ministrallus, with French menestrel, me- 
nestrier, and English menestrel, mynstral, is firmly established in the 
special sense. The antithesis between the ministrallus and the un- 
attached ioculator appears in the terminology of the 1321 statutes of 
the Paris guild, ' menestreus et menestrelles, jougleurs et jougleresses'; 
but even this disappears, and the new group of terms becomes equiva- 
lent to the ioculator group in its widest sense* So too, ministralcia, 
menestrardie, minstralcie, although chiefly used, as by Chaucer, for 
music, are not confined to that; e.g. Derby Accounts , 109, 'cuidam 
tumblere facienti ministralciam suam/ The word is here approaching 
very near its kinsman mttier (vol. ii. p. 105). Wright- Wttlcker, 596, 
693, quotes from the fifteenth-century glossaries, ' simphonia, myn- 
strylsy/ and ' mimilogium, mynstrisye/ 

Ioculator and ministrallus are in their technical sense post-classical. 
But it is to be noted that the classical histrio and mimus, widened in 
connotation to an exact equivalent with these, remain in full use 
throughout the Middle Ages. They are indeed the more literary 
and learned words, as may be seen from the fact that they did not give 
rise to Romance or English forms ; but they are not differentiated as 
to meaning. In particular, I do not find that mimus is used, as I have 
occasionally for convenience used it, to denote the lower minstrel of 
classical origin, as against the higher minstrel or scdp. Here are 
a few of many passages which go to establish this complete fourfold 
equivalence of ioculator, ministrallus, tnimus and histrio \ Gloss, in JB. N. 
MS. 4883*, f. 67 b (Du M6ril, Or.Lat. 23) * istriones sunt ioculatores'; 
Constit. regis Minorcae (1337, Mabillon, Ac/a SS. Bened. Ian. iii. 27) 
* In domibus principum, ut tradit antiquitas, mimi seu ioculatores licite 
possunt esse'; Cone. Lateran. (1215), c. 16 'mimis, ioculatoribus 
et histrionibus non intendant' This triple formula, often repeated by 
ecclesiastics, is of course conjunctive, like ' rogues and vagabonds/ 
Guy of Amiens (tio68) calls Taillefer both histrio and mimus (vol. i. 
p. 43). At the beginning of the sixteenth century the royal minstrels 
are histriones in the accounts of Shrewsbury, ministralli in those of 
Winchester College (App. E. (&>)), mimi in those of Beverley (Leach, 
Sever ley MSS. 171). The ioculator regis, as already said, is by this 
time distinct The Scottish royal minstrels appear in the Exchequer 


Rolls for 1433-50 as mfmf, hisfriones, toculatores (L.H.T. Accounts, 
i, cxcix). The town musicians of Beverley, besides their specific 
names of watts and spiculatores, have indifferently those of histriones, 
ministralli) mimi (Leach, Beverley MSS. passim). It is largely a 
matter of the personal taste of the scribe. Thus the Shrewsbury 
accounts have both histriones and menstralles in 1401, htsiriones in 
1442, mini sir alii regularly from 1457 to 1479, an( * histriones regularly 
from 1483 onwards. 

Many other names for minstrels, besides these dominant four, have 
been collected by scholars (Gautier, ii. 10; Julleville, Les Com. 17; 
Gr6ber, ii. 489 ; B&Iier, 366). From the compliments exchanged in the 
fabliau of Des Deux B ordeors Ribaux (Montaiglon-Raynaud, i. i) one 
may extract the equivalence of menestrel, trouvtre, riband, bordeor, 
jougleur\ chanteur, lecheor, pantonnier. Of such subordinate names 
many are specific, and have been dealt with in their turn in chh. iii, iv. 
Others, again, are abusive, and found chiefly in the mouths of ecclesi- 
astics, or as distinctive of the lower orders of minstrels. There are 
garciO) nebulo, delusor, saccularius, bufo 9 riband, harlot. There are 
bourdyour, japer, gabber , jangler (vol. i. p. 84). There is scurra, an 
early and favourite term of this class ; cf. JElfric's gloss (Ducange, s.v. 
Iocisfa\ ' Mimus, iocista> scurra, gligmon ' ; Wright- Wtilcker, 693 
(fifteenth-century gloss), ' scurra, harlot ' ; and vol. i. p. 32, There is 
leccator^ leccour (cf. above and App. JF 1 . s.v. Chester). And finally, 
there are a few terms of general, but not very common, application. 
Scenici and thymelici come from the early Christian prohibitions (vol. 
i. pp. 12, 17, 24). More important are a group derived from ludus, which 
like/w has itself the widest possible sense, covering ever}' possible kind 
of amusement. The Sarum Statutes of 1319, in a /i 'lulus dealing with 
histriones, speak of those ' qui " menestralli " et quandoque " ludorum 
homines " vulgari eloquio nuncupantur ' (vol. i. p. 40). In the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries appear such terms as lusor, lusiator, ludens, 
interlusor, interludes. The two latter of these are always specific, 
meaning ' actor ' ; the three former are usually so, although they may 
occasionally have the more general sense, and this is probably also 
true of the English player. This question is more fully discussed in 
vol. i. pp. 84, 393, and vol. ii. p. 185. 



[From Manners and Household Expenses of England in the Thirteenth 
and Fifteenth Centuries, 141 (Roxburghe Club, 1841), from Exchequer Roll 
(King's Remembrancer's Dept.) in Rolls Office. The Pentecost feast of 
1306 was that at which Prince Edward, who became in the next year 
Edward II, was knighted. It is described in the Annales Londonienses 
(Chronicles of Edward 1 and Edward //, R. S. i. 146).] 

Solutio facta diversis Menestrallis die Pentecostes anno xxxiiii* . 

[A.D. 1306.] 

Le Roy de Champaigne 
Le Roy Capenny 
Le Roy Baisescue 
Le Roy Marchis 
Le Roy Robert 
Phelippe de Caumbereye Ix.j. ; summa, Ix.j. 

1 cuilibet \\\}.marc. ; 
c. vj.j. viij.rf. 
(cuilibet xl.j.; 
summa, iiij./i. 

cuilibet v.marc. ; 

summa, xyj./i*. 

i. marc. 

Robert le Boistous 
Gerard de Boloigne 



Maistre Adam le Boscu 





Le menestral Mons. de Montmaranci 

Le Roy Druet 

Janin le Lutour 

Gillotin le Sautreour 

Gillet de Roos 

Ricard de Haleford 

Le Petit Gauteron 

Baudec le Tabourer 


Mahu qui est ove la dammoisele de Baar 

Janin de Brebant 

Martinet qui est ove le Conte de Warwike 

Gauteron le Grant 

cuilibet xx.j. ; 
summa, Ix.j. 

cuilibet XXX..T. ; 
summa, iiij.//'. 


cuilibet xl. s. ; 
summa, xxyj.//'. 


Le Harpour Levesque de Duresme 
Guillaume le Harpour qui est ove le Patriarke 
Robert de Clou V 

Maistre Adam de Reve 
Henri le Gigour 
Corraud son compaignon 
Le tierz Gigour 
Gillot le Harpour 
Johan de Newentone 
Hugethun le Harpour lour compaignon 
Adekin son compaignon 
Adam de Werintone 
Adam de Grimmeshawe 
Hamond Lestivour 

Mahuet qui est ove Mons. de Tounny 
Johan de Mochelneye 
Janin Lorganistre 
Simon d le Messager 

Les ij. Trumpours Mons. Thomas de Brother- 

Martinet le Taborour 
Richard Rounlo 
Richard Hendelek 
Janin de La Tour son compaignon 
Johan le Waffrer le Roy 

C'll I Trumpours Mons. le Prince 

Le Nakarier 

Le Gitarer 


Tomasin, Vilour Mons. Le Prince 

Raulin qui est ove le Conte Mareschal 

Esvillie qui est ove Mons. Pierres de Maule 


Le Taborer La Dame de Audham 


Guillaume sanz maniere 

Lambyn Clay 

Jaques Le Mascun 

Son compaignon 



cuilibet ij.marc. ; 

xxj./i*. di.marc. 

cuilibet ].marc.\ 
summa, *\.marc. 



Mahu du North 

Le menestral ove les cloches 

Les iij. menestraus Mons. de Hastinges 

Thomelin de Thounleie 

Les ij. Trompours le Comte de Hereforde 

Perle in the eghe 

Son compaignon 

Janyn le Sautreour qui est ove Mons. de Percy 

Les ij. Trumpours le Comte de Lancastre 


Henri de Nushom 

Janyn le Citoler 




Hanecocke de Blithe 

cuilibet xx. s. ; 
summa, iiij./i*. 

Summa totalis, cxiiij./*'. x.j. Et issi demoerent des cc.marc., pur 
partir entreles autres menestraus de lacommune, xviij./*'. xvj.j. viij.d. 
Et a ceste partie faire sunt assigne Le Roy Baisescu, Le Roy Marchis, 
Le Roy Robert, et Le Roy Druet, Gauteron le Graunt, Gauteron le 
Petit, Martinet le Vilour qui est ove le Conte de Warewike, et del 
hostiel Mons. le Prince, ij. serjantz darmes . . . clerke. 

[Five lines of which only a few words are legible.] 

Richard le Harpour qui est ove le Conte de Gloucestre. 

Wauter Bracon Trounpour 

Wauter le Trounpour 

Johan le Croudere 

Tegwaret Croudere 

Geffrai le Estiveur 

Guillot le Taborer 

Guillot le Vileur 

Robert le Vilour 

Jake de Vescy 

Richard Whetacre 

A ceux xj., por toute la commune, xvii./;". iiii.j. viiirf. 

Denarii dati Mcntsirallis. 

Vidulatori Dominae de Wak' v.j. 

Laurentio Citharistae * Ai.marc. 

Johanni du Chat, cum Domino J. de Bur 9 . . . di.marc. 


Mellers ......... 

Parvo Willielmo, Organistae Comtissae Herefordiae . 
Ricardo de Quitacre, Citharistae ..... 

Ricardo de Leylonde, Citharistae ..... 

Carleton Haralde ....... 

Gilloto Vidulatori Comitis Arundelliae .... 

Amakyn Citharistae Principis ..... 

Bolthede ......... 

Nagary le Crouder Principis ..... 

Matheu le Harpour ....... 

Johanni le Barber ....... 

ij. Trumpatoribus J. de Segrave ..... 

Ricardo Vidulatori Comitis Lancastriae . . . 
Johanni Waffrarario Comitis Lancastriae * . . 
Sagard Crouther ........ 

William de Grymesar', Harpour ..... 

Citharistae Comitissae Lancastriae . . . . 

ij. Menestrallis J. de Ber[wyke] ..... 

Henrico de Blida ....... 

Ricardo Citharistae ....... 

William de Duffelde ....... 

v. Trumpatoribus Principis, pueris, cuilibet ij. s. . . 
iiijo*. Vigil' Regis, cuilibet di.marc ..... 

Adinet le Harpour ....... 

Perote le Taborer ....... 

Adae de Swylingtone Citharistae ..... 

David le Crouther ....... 

Lion de Norman ville ....... 

Gerardo ......... 

Ricardo Citharistae ....... 

Roberto de Colecestria ...... 

Johanni le Crouther de Salopia ..... 

Johanni le Vilour domini J. Renaude .... 

Johanni de Trenham, Citharistae ..... 

Willielmo Woderove, Trumpatori .... 

Johanni Citharistae J. de Clyntone .... 

Waltero de Brayles ....... 

Roberto Citharistae Abbatis de Abbyndone . . . 
Gkdfredo Trumpatori domini R. de Monte Alto . 
Richero socio suo ....... 

Thomae le.Croudere ....... 















xl. d. 

xl. d, 


x.s. in toto. 











Rogero de Corleye, Trumpatori ij.s. 

Audoeno le Crouther xij.d. 

Hugoni Daa Citharistae ij.s. 

Andreae Vidulatori de Hor' ij.s. 

Roberto de Scardeburghe xij.d. 

Guilloto le Taborer Comitis Warrewici . . . iij.s. 

Paul' Menestrallo Comitis Marescalli .... iij.s. 

Matheo Waffraris domini R. de Monte Alto . . . ij.s. 

iij. diversis menestrallis, cuilibet iij.s ix.s. 

Galfrido Citharistae Comitis Warrenniae . . . ij.s. 

Matiir Makejoye xij.d. 

Johanni Trumpatori domini R. de Filii Pagani . . xij.d. 

Adae Citharistae domini J. Lestraunge, . . . xij.d. 

Reginaldo le Menteur, Menestrallo domini J. de Buteturt xij.d. 

Perle in the Eghe xij.d. 

Gilloto Citharistae Domini P. de Malo Lacu . . x.s. 

Roberto Gaunsillie xl.d. Item, xl.rf. 

Jacke de Vescy di.marc. 

Magistro Waltero Leskirmissour et fratri suo, cuilibet iij. s. vj. s. 



The term rex is not seldom applied as a distinction amongst 
minstrels. At the wedding of Joan of England in 1290 were present 
King Grey of England and King Caupenny of Scotland, together 
with Poveret, minstrel of the Marshal of Champagne (Chappell, i. 15). 
Poveret is perhaps the 'roy de Champaigne 1 of the 1306 list, which 
also includes the 'roys' Capenny, Baisescue, Marchis, Robert, and 
Druet (Appendix C). A ' rex Robertas/ together with ' rex Pagius 
de Hollandia,' reappeats in accounts of the reign of Edward II 
(1307-27), while one of the minstrels of the king was William de 
Morlee, 'roy de North* (Percy, 416-8; cf. vol. i. p. 49). In France 
a list of the * ministeralli ' of Philip IV in 1288 includes the 'rex 
Flaiolatus/ 'rex Heraudum/ and 'rex Ribaldorum.' A certain 
Pariset, who was minstrel to the Comte de Poitiers in 1314, signs 


the statutes of the Paris guild in 1321 as 'Pariset, menestrel le roy/ 
and the various ' roys des menestreuls du royaume de France ' who 
appear in and after 1338 may have been heads at once of the king's 
household minstrels and of the guild (Appendix F\ cf. Bernhard, 
iii. 380). Further, the title is claimed by the authors of various 
pieces of minstrel literature. 'Adenet le roi' is the author oiCUomatRs 
(Paris, 84; Percy, 416-8), and 'Huon le roi/ perhaps identical with 
* Huon de Cambrai ' and c Huon Paucele/ of the fabliau of Du Vair 
Palefroi (Bedier, 438; Montaiglon-Raynaud, i. 3). The term rex 
is of course common enough in connexion with temporary or per- 
manent associations of all sorts, and is probably of folk origin 
(vol. i. chaps, iv, viii). It is possible that some of these < rois ' may 
have been crowned by 'puis' (Lavoix, ii. 377), but it is more probable 
that they had some official pre-eminence amongst their fellows, and 
perhaps some jurisdiction, territorial or otherwise. Clearly this was 
the case with the ' roy des ministralx ' at Tutbury. The appearance 
of the 'rex Flaiolatus' with the 'rex Heraudum* and the 'rex 
Ribaldorum' in the French list of 1288 is thus significant, for the 
latter had just such a jurisdiction over the riff-raff of the court 
(Ducange, s.v), and I conceive the relation of the minstrel ' roys * 
to their fellows to have been much that of the ' Kings at arms ' to the 
ordinary heralds. It seems that minstrels and heralds belonged to the 
same class oftm'm'stri. The order of the Emperor Henry II (vol. i. p. 52) 
couples 'ioculatores et armaturi' and 'Carleton Haralde' is actually 
rewarded in the 1306 list (App. C, p. 237). If one may quote a Celtic 
parallel, the Arwyddfardd or heralds formed a regular division (tnoo) 
of Welsh minstrelsy (E. David, La PoSsie et la Musique dans la Carnbrie, 
72-91). Under Richard II the head of the English royal minstrels 
was a rex, but from 1464 onwards the term used is marescallus 
(Rymer, xi. 512), and this again may be paralleled from the supreme 
position of the Earl Marshal in heraldry. At the head of the Earl of 
Lancaster's minstrels in 1308 was an armiger. I only find this term 
again in the burlesque account of the 'auncient minstrell' shown 
before Elizabeth at Kenilworth (Appendix H). He was 'a squier 
minstrel of Middilsex ' and, as he bore the arms of Islington, pre- 
sumably a ' wait.' 




[The entries, unless otherwise specified, are amongst the extracts 
(generally of Dona Prioris) from the Bursars' Rolls between 1278 and 
1371, printed by Canon Fowler in vols. ii, iii of the Durham Account 
Rolls (Surtees Soc.). D. H. B. Durham Household Book (Surtees Soc.), 
F. P. Inventories and Account Rolls of Finchale Priory (Surtees Soc.). 
This was a cell of Durham Priory. The minstrelsy often took place at 
the ludi Domini Prioris , either in his camera (D. A. ii. 424) or at 
Beaurepaire, Witton, or other maneria of the Priory. There seem to 
have been in most years four ludi ordinarii (D. A. ii. 296), though 
occasionally only two or three are mentioned. These were at the feasts 
of Candlemas, Easter, St. John Baptist, and All Saints (D. A. \. 242, 
iii. 932). But the Prior, Sub- Prior, and brethren seem often to have been 
ludenteS) spatiantes, or in recreacione (D. A. i. 118, 235), without much 
regard to fixed dates. In 1438-9 they were ludentes for as much as 
eleven weeks and four days at Beaurepaire (D. A. i. 71). See also D. A. 
i. 16, 116, 120, 129, 137, 138, 142, 166, 207, 263 ; ii. 287, 419, 456, 515 ; 
iii. 810, s.w. Ludi, &c. ; D. H. R. 9, 13, 54, 141, 240, 339 ; F. P. 30, 
ccxcv, ccccxxxvi.] 

1278 Menestrallo Regis Scociae. 

Menestrallo de Novo Castro. 
1299. Roberto le Taburer. 
1300-1. Cuidam hystrioni Regis. 
1302-3. Histrionibus domini Regis. 
1310-11. Hugoni de Helmeslaye stulto domini Regis. 
Cuidam lugulatori d'ni Regis. 
Cuidam Cytharistae. 
ti3io. Histrionibus d'ni H. de Bello Monte. 

In scissura tunicae stulti. 
+1315. Histrionibus ad Natale. 
1330-1. In uno garniamento pro Thoma fatuo empto. 
Histrionibus ad Natale. 

,, - in fest. S. Cuthberti in Marcio. 
ad fest. S. Cuthberti in Sept. 

d'ni Henrici de Beaumond. 

Citharistae (in another roll 'citharatori') d'ni Roberti de 

Horneclyff ex precepto Prioris. 

1333-4. Duobus histrionibus in die Veneris proximo post octavam 
bead Martini 


Histrionibus d'ni Regis quando d'nus noster Rex rediit de 

Novo Castro. 
Stulto d'ni Episcopi. 
Histrionibus comitis Warenne. 
Histrionibus Regis Scociae. 
1334-5. Histrionibus ad Natale. 
1335-6. Histrionibus d'ni Regis Scociae. 

Duobus histrionibus die Sci. Cuthberti. 

Duobus histrionibus ex precepto Prioris. 

Histrionibus Novi Castri ad fest, S. Cuthberti. 

Histrionibus d'ni R. de Nevill, per Priorem. 

In i Cythara empta pro Thorn. Harpour. 3 8 . 

Cuidam histrioni apud Beaurepaire per R. de Cotam ex 

dono Prioris. 

Thomae fatuo ex precepto eiusdem. 
1-1335. Istrionibus d'ni Regis. 

Istrionibus Reginae apud Pytingdon. 

Istrionibus [die Dominica proxima post festum Epiphaniae, 

quo die d'nus Episcopus epulabatur cum Priore]. 
Will'o de Sutton, Citharaedo d'ni Galfridi Lescrop eodem 


Istrionibus die Natalis Domini. 
1-1336. Duobus istrionibus d'ni Regis. 

Edmundo de Kendall, Cytharaeto, de dono Prioris ad Pascha. 
Menestrallis de dono [quando Episcopus epulabatur cum 


1*1337. I n * P ar i sotularium pro Thoma fatuo. 
1338-9. Several payments to * istriones ' and ' menestralli.' 

In 4 ulnis burelli scacciati emptis pro garniamento Thomae 

Pole per preceptum Prioris. 
1339-40. In panno empto in foro Dunelm. pro uno garniamento pro 

Thoma fatuo. 
Willelmo Piper istrioni d'ni Radulphi de Nevill die Circum- 

1341. Pelidod et duobus sociis suis histrionibus d'ni Regis post 

Natale Domini. 

1341-42. In garniamentis emptis pro . . . Thoma fatuo (and similar 
entries, or for ' Russet/ ' pannus/ ' Candelwykstret ' in 
other years). 

Various payment to ' Istriones/ 
' Istrionibus/ &c. 
u R 


1350-51. Istrionibus ad Natale. 

ad S. Cuthbertum in Sept. 
1355-6. Will'o Pyper et aliis istrionibus ad Natale. 

Item duobus istrionibus d'ni Episcopi et duobus istrionibus 
Comitis de Norhamton in festo ScL Cuthberti in Marcio. 
Item istrionibus d'ni Episcopi ad festum Paschae. 
Item istrionibus in festo Sci. Cuthberti in Sept. 
1356-7. In sepultura Thomae fatui et necessariis expensis circa 
corpus eius, per manus d'ni Prioris (similar entry in 
miscellaneous roll, 'Thomae Fole,' /?. A. iii. 719). 
Diversis ministrallis (D.A. iii. 718). 
ti357- Et Will'o Blyndharpour ad Natale. 

Et loh'i Harpour d'ni loh'is de Streuelyn et Will'o Blynd- 
harpour de Novo Castro. 
Et duobus Trompours Comitis de Norhamton apud 


Et cuidam Harpour vocato Rygeway. 
Istrionibus d'ni Episcopi (and Harpers, &c.). 
ti36o. Petro Crouder apud Pityngton, per Capellanum. 

Item eidem Petro pro uno quarterio ordii sibi dato per 


Duobus Istrionibus Episcopi in festo Assensionis Domini. 
Et cuidam Istrioni Maioris villae Novi Castri per Capellanum. 
1360-61. Will'o Pyper et aliis istrionibus ad Natale per manus 

loh'is del Sayles. 

Cuidam Welsharpour d'ni Will'i de Dalton. 
Item histrionibus aliorum dominorum. 
1361-2. In uno viro ludenti in uno loyt et uxori eius cantanti apud 

Bewrpayr (D. A. i. 127, Hostiller's Accounts). 
1362. Item cuidam hislrioni harper episcopi Norwychiae in festo 

Transl. Sci. Cuthberti. 

Cuidam Istrioni Jestour Jawdewyne in festo Natalis Domini. 
Will'o y e kakeharpour ad idem festum. 
Et Barry similem sibi ad id. festum. 

Et cuidam ystrioni caeco franco cum uno puero fratre suo. 
Barry harper ex precepto Prioris in una tunica empta. 
1363-4- Item cantoribus in Adventu Domini cum histrionibus ibidem 

ex dono Prioris. 

Item cuidam histrioni die Dominica Quasimodo geniti. 
1364-5. To two players of the Lord Duke at the said feast (of 
St. Cuthbert) (Raine, St. Cuthbert, 109, Surlces Soc.). 


1365-6. Barry Harpour, ystrionibus, &c. 

1366-8. Ministrallis, Istrionibus. 

1368-9. Rob'o Trompour et Will'o Fergos ministrallo in die Sci. 

1373-4. Duobus Ministrallis cum uno Weyng. 

1374. 12 ministrallis in festo S ci . Cuthb. 
1375-6. Ministrall. in die S. Cuthb. in Mar. 

Cuidam ministrallo ludenti coram domino Priori in camera 

Tribus ministrallis Comitis del Marchie ludentibus coram 

domino Priore. 
Cuidam ministrallo domini Regis veniente cum domino de 


12 ministrallis in festo Sci. Cuthb. in Sept. 
4 ministrallis domini Principis in festo exaltacionis S<. 


Cuidam ministrallo in festo S ci . Mathaei. 
Ministrallis in festo S<a. Cuthb. in Marcio anno Domini, &c. 

lxxv to . 

Duobus ministrallis in die Pasche. 
1376-7. Willielmo Fergos et Rogero Harpour caeco ad Natale 


Aliis ministrallis domini de Percy in eadem fest. 
1377-8. Haraldis, histrionibus et nunciis, ut patet per cedulam. 
1378-9. Histrionibus . . . dominorum Regis, Ducis, et aliorum 


1380-1. lohanni Momford ministrallo domini Regis. 
1381-2. Ministrallis domini de Neuill apud Beaurepaire cum domin a 

de Lomly. 
Ministrallo domini Ducis cum uno saltante in camera 

domini Prioris. 
(and others.) 

1384-5. Ministrallis domini Regis. 

1394-5. Ministrallis in festo S. Cuthb., TJenrici Percy, domini Ducis 
Lancastr., domini de Neuill, Ducis Eborac., de Scocia, 
comitis Canciae, ad Nat. Domini, de Hilton, Ric. Brome 
ministrallo, in fest. S. Cuthb. in Marc. 
Uni Trompet domini Regis. 
Uni Rotour de Scocia. 

1395. Item, in vino, speciebus, in donis datis Confratribus, minis- 
trallis et aliis diversis, ex curialitate (F 1 P. cxv). 
R 3 


1399-1400. Ministrallis. 
1401-2. Ministrallis. 
1416-7. Ministrallis. 

Diversis pueris ludentibus coram eodem priore in festo S4 

Stephani hoc anno. 
1441-2. Per . . . capellanum [et] . . , per bursarium ntinistrallh 

domini Regis et aliorum dominonim supervenientibus. 
1446-7. Ministrallis. 
1449-50. Ministrallis. 

1464-5. Et solvit lohanni Andrewson et sociis suis operantibus pro 
nova tectura unius camerae vocatae le Playerchambrc 
(F. P. ccxcv). 
1465. Item j por de ferro in camera Prioris, j in le plaer cha . . , 

(F. P. ccxcviii). 
1496. Paid to Robert Walssch for two days playing John Gibson 

of Elvet ' herper ' (Z>. H. . 340). 

1532-3. . . . bus lusoribus . . . Regis, in rtgardis, in auro, is 9 . 
Et custodi ursorum et cimearum dominae Principis. 
Et capellano, per bursarium, pro 4 lusoribus domini Comitis 
de Darby, in auro, 7 B . 6 d . (D.H.JB. 143, the last two 
items crossed out). 

1536-7. In diversis donis datis ministrallis diversorum dominorum. 
1538. Paid to the ministrels (mmistrallts) at Me musters' upon 

' le Gelymore.' 
1539-40. Paid to the players (lusoribus) of Auklande at Christmas 

before Master Hyndley, as a present (D. H. . 340). 
1554-5. [Cathedral Account.] Paid for two mynstralles. 

[Printed by Hazlitt-Warton, ii. 97, * ex orig. penes me.'] 

* In the Prior's accounts of the Augustine canons of Maxstoke in 
Warwickshire, of various years in the reign of Henry VI (1422-61); 
one of the styles or regular heads is DC loculatoribus et Mimis .... 

loculatori in septimana S. Michaelis, iv<*. 

Citharistae tempore natalis domini et aliis iocatoribus, iv^. 

Mimis de Solihull, vi d . 

Mimis de Coventry, xx d . 

Mimo domini Ferrers, vi d . 


Lusoribus de Eton, viii d . 
Lusoribus de Coventry, 
Lusoribus de Daventry, 
Mimis de Coventry, xii d . 
Mimis domini de Asteley, xii d . 
Item iiij mimis domini de Warewyck, x d . 
Mimo caeco, ii d . 
Sex mimis domini de Clynton. 
Duobus mimis de Rugeby, x d . 
Cuidam citharistae, vi d . 
Mimis domini de Asteley, xx d . 
Cuidam citharistae, vi d . 
Citharistae de Coventry, vi d . 
Duobus citharistis de Coventry, viii d . 
Mimis de Rugeby, viii d . 
Mimis domini de Buckeridge, xx d . 
Mimis domini de Stafford, ii 8 . 
Lusoribus de Coleshille, viij d . . . . 

[1432] Dat. duobus mimis de Coventry 'in die consecrationis 
Prioris, xii d .' 


[From Cottier, i. 55, 84, on the authority of a 'MS. of the expenses of 
the Priory of Thetford, from 1461 to 1540, lately in the collection of 
Mr. Craven Orde, and now of the Duke of Newcastle/] 

' The mention of " plays " and " players " does not begin until the 
13^ of Henry VII ; but " Minstrels " and " Waytes " are often spoken 
of there as receiving rewards from the convent. The following entries, 
regarding "plays" and "players," occur between the 13^ and 23 rd of 
Henry VII: 

13 Henry VII [1497-8]. It m . sol. in regard 12 capital plays, 4*. 

It, sol. to menstrell and players in festo Epiphaniae, 2*. 
19 Henry VII [1503-4]. It m . sol, to the play of Mydenale, i2 d . 
21 Henry VII [1505-6]. It m . sol. in regard lusoribus et men- 

strall, i7 d . 
23 Henry VII [1507-8], It m . sol. in regard lusoribus div. vices, 

3 8 4 d - 

It m . sol. in regard to Ixworth play, i6 d . 
It m . sol. in regard to Schelfanger play, 4 d . 


. . . From the I st to the 31^ Henry VIII, the King's players, the 
King's jugglers, the King's minstrels, and the King's bearwards were 
visitors of Thetford, and were paid various sums, from 4 d to 6 s 8 d , 
by the Prior of the convent there, as appears by the entries in the 
account-book during that period. On one occasion, 16 Henry VIII, 
Cornyshe, " the master of the King's chapel/' was paid 3 8 4 d by the 
prior; but he was then, probably, attendant upon the King, who is 
not unfrequently spoken of as having arrived, and being lodged at the 
Priory. Mr. Brandon and Mr. Smith are more than once rewarded 
as " Jugglers of the King." The Queen's players, the Prince's players, 
and the players of the Queen of France, also experienced the liberality 
of the Prior, as well as those of the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of 
Suffolk, the Earl and Countess of Derby, Lord and Lady Fitzwater, 
the Lord Privy Seal, the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Challoner and 
two gentlemen who are called Marks and Barney.' 


[Extracts from computi partly by Hazlitt-Warton, ii. 98, and partly by M. 
E. C. Walcott, William of Wykeham and his Colleges, 206. The satrapae 
of 1466 and 1479 are said by Mr. Walcott to have been local notables, 
but a collation to them would not cost so little or be grouped with 
rewards to minstrels in the computus. Ducange says that the word is 
used ' pro quodam ministro vel satellite.* The Magdalen accounts use it 
for the ' Serjeants ' of the mayor of Oxford (Macray, Register, i. 15).] 

1400. In dono lusoribus civitatis Wynton venient. ad collegium cum 

suo tripudio ex curialitate, xij d . 
1412. In dat. Ric. Kent bochier tempore regno suo vocat. Somer- 

kyng, xijd. 
1415. In dat. diversis hominibus de Ropley venientibus ad coll. die 

Sanct. Innoc. et tripudiantibus et cantantibus in aula coram 

Epo. scholarium, xx d . 
1422. Dat. histrioni d ni epi Wynton et ioculatori ejusdem 5^ die 

lanuarii, cuilibet, xx d . 

1425. Dat. Gloucester ioculatori ludenti coram custode et sociis 

penultimo die lulii, ob reverentiam ducis Exon. xij d . 

1426. Dat. ministrellis d. epi Wynton tempore Nat. Dni. ex curi- 

alitate et honestate, ij 9 viii d . 
Dat. ij ministrallis comitissae de Westmorland venient' ad 

coll. xxd. 

I 433 I* 1 d at - mimis $& cardinalis venient' ad collegium erga festum 
natale D n * iiijs. 


1462. Dat' Epo Nicholatensi visitanti Dominum custodem in hospitio 

suo de nocte S^. Nicholai, iiij d . 
1464. Et in dat. ministrallis comitis Kanciae venient. ad coll. hi 

mense lulii, iiij 3 iiij d . 

1466. Et in dat. satrapis Wynton venientibus ad coll. festo Epipha- 

niae, cum ij 9 dat. iiij, interludentibus et J. Meke citharistae 
eodem festo, iiij 8 . 

1467. Et in datis iiij or mimis dom. de Arundell venient. ad coll. xiij. 

die Febr. ex curialitate dom. custodis, ij*. 
In dat. loh. Pontisbery et socio ludentibus in aula in die 
circumcisionis, ij 8 . 

1471. In dat. uni famulo d ni regis Angliae venienti ad collegium cum 

Leone mense lanuarii, xx d . 

1472. Et in dat. ministrallis dom. Regis cum viij d . dat. duobus Bere- 

wardis ducis Clarentiae, xx d . 
Et in dat. lohanni Stulto quondam dom. de Warewyco, cum 

iiij d dat. Thomae Nevyle taborario. 
Et in datis duobus ministrallis ducis Glocestriae, cum iiij d . dat. 

uni ministrallo ducis de Northumberland, viij d . 
Et in datis duobus citharatoribus ad vices venient. ad colle- 
gium viij d . 
1477. Et in dat. ministrallis dom. Principis venient. ad coll. festo 

Ascensionis Domini, cum xx d . dat. ministrallis dom. Regis, V B . 
1479. Et in datis satrapis Wynton venientibus ad coll. festo Epipha- 

niae, cum xij d dat. ministrallis dom. episcopi venient. ad 

coll. infra octavas epiphaniae, iii 8 . 
Dat. lusoribus de civitate Winton. venientibus ad collegium in 

apparatu suo mens. lulii, v<* vij d . 
1481. Et in sol. ministrallis dom. regis venientibus ad collegium xv 

die Aprilis cum xij d solut. ministrallis dom. episcopi Wynton 

venientibus ad collegium i die lunii, iiij 8 iiij d . 
Et in dat. ministrallis dom. Arundell ven. ad coll. cum viij d 

dat. ministrallis dom. de la Warr, ij g iij d . 

1483. Sol. ministrallis dom. regis, ven. ad coll. iij iiij d . 

1484. Et in dat. uni ministrallo dom. principis et in aliis ministrallis 

ducis Glocestriae v die lulii, xx d . 
1536. In dat. ministrallis d ni regis venientibus ad coll. xiij die April 

pro regardo, ij 8 . 

1573. In regardis dat' tibicinis dominae reginae cum vino, vij 8 iiijd. 
In regardis dat. lusoribus dominae reginae, vj 8 viij d . 



[Extracts from account books made by J. R. Bloxam and W. D. Macray, 
A Register of the Members of St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford, First 
Series, ii. 235 ; New Series, i. 3 ; ii. 3. The dates given below are for the 
year in which the account begins.] 

1481. pro cerothecis pro chorustis, iiij d . 

1482. v<> die Decembris pro cerothecis episcopi in festo S. Nicholai iiij d . 

1483. pro cerothecis datis ad honorem Sancti Nicolai duobus 

choristis, viij d . 

1484. pro cerothecis Episcopi in festo Sancti Nicholai et eius crucem 

ferentis, viij d . 

1485. ' Ursarii' of Lord Stanley dined with the Fellows. 

1486. pro factura sepulturae erga pascham, xij d . 
* Sex vagatores ' dined with the servants. 

Solut vi die Ian. citharistis et mimis tempore ludi in aula in 
regardo, in tempore Nativitatis Domini, viij d . 

Solut. pro quodam ornamento lusorum vocato ly Cape mayn- 
tenawnce, ix d . 

1487. pro vestimentis lusorum tempore Nativ. Domini, consilio unius 

decani, ii 8 ij d . 
pro clavis ad pannos in ornatum aulae pendendos, j d . 

1488. Sol. lohanni Wynman pro scriptura unius libri de servicio 

episcopi pro die Innocencium, v 4 . 
1490. Singers from Abingdon, London and Hereford entertained. 

1494. Sol. Pescode servanti quandam bestiam vocatam ly merumsytt 

ex consilio seniorum, quia Rex erat apud Woodstocke, xij d . 

1495. Sol. Henrico Mertyn pro lino, alyn, et aliis emptis pro ludo in 

die Paschae, xvij d ob. 

Sol. Pescod ducenti duo animalia nuncupata mermosettes. 
1502. Sol. in expensis factis tempore Nativitatis Domini, in biberiis 
post interludia et alia, xiij* iiij d . 

1506. To John Burgess, B.A., . . . x d were paid for writing out a 

miracle-play (' scriptura lusi ') of S*. Mary Magd., and v. for 
some music ; and viij d to a man who brought some songs 
from Edward Martyn, M. A. For his diligence with regard to 
the above miracle-play, Kendall, a clerk, was rewarded with i. 
pro expensis mimi, iiij 8 , at Christmas. 

1507. in quatuor refectionibus citharistae, at Epiphany. 

1508. Sol. famulo Regis ducenti ursam ad collegium, ex mandate 

Vice-presidentis, xij d . 


1509. Sol pane, cibo et aliis datis pueris ludentibus in die Paschae, 

mandate Vicepr. xvijd ob. 

1510. Sol. pro expensisfactis in aula tempore Nativitatis Domini, xiij 8 iiij d . 
Sol. cuidam mimo tempore Nativitatis Domini in regardo, viijd. 

1512. Sol. Petro Pyper pro pypyng in interludio nocte Sancti 

lohannis, vj d . 
Sol. lohanni Tabourner pro lusione in interludio Octavis 

Epiphaniae, vj<*. 

Sol. Roberto Johnson pro una tunica pro interludiis, iiij 8 . 
1514. pro carnibus [? carbonibus] consumptis in capella tribus nocti- 

bus ante Pascha et in tempore Nativitatis, ij 8 . 

1518. To Perrot, the Master of the choristers, 'pro tinctura et factura 
tunicae ems qui ageret partem Christi et pro crinibus muli- 
eribus, ij 8 vj d .' 

1520. pro pane . . . datis clericis in vigiliis S*l Nicolai. 
pro cerothecis puerorum in festo Sancti Nicolai. 
1526. pro merendis datis episcopo capellanis clericis et aliis in vigilia 
St. Nicolai. 

1529. pro . . . episcopo Nicholai. 

1530. pro pueris in festo Sancti Nicholai. 

1531. Solut. mimis dominae principisshae, xx d . 

Pro biberio dato sociis et scolaribus post interludia in tempore 
Natalis Domini, vj 1 viijd. 

1532. To the Queen's players, by the President's order, xii d . 

pro biberio dato sociis post ludum baccalaureorum in magna 

aula, vj 8 viij d . 

1535. pro merenda facta in vigilia Sancti Nicolai. 
Actors at Christmas, iiii 8 iiijd. 
pro merenda facta post comediam actam, ix fl iij d . 
' ioculatoribus Regis,' by the President's order, xx d . 
l &36* P r <> biberio in nocte Sancti Nicholai. 

Sol. mimo pro solatiis factis sociis et scholasticis tempore Nativi- 
tatis Domini, viij 8 . 
X 537' P r carbonibus consumptis in sacrario, per custodes sepulchri, 

et per pueros in festis hiemalibus, ij 8 [and in other years]. 
I 539- P ro bellariis datis sociis cum ageretur comedia, viij 8 . 

1 540. pro epulis datis sociis eo tempore quo agebatur tragedia, viij 8 iiij<*. 
pro bellariis datis sociis et clericis vigilia divi Nicolai, iiij* viijd. 
pro pane et potu datis semicommunariis dum curabant publi- 

cam exhibere comediam, xx d . 

1541. A ' tympanista ' was hired at Christmas and comedies acted. 


*554 3 Ian- in adventu [dom. Matravers] ad tragedias per duas 
noctes, xlij8 viij d ob. 

Pro epulis datis sociis post exactas tragedias, x ix d . 
The only Elizabethan entry I need note is : 

1561. Sol. Joyner, pictori, depingenti portenta religiosorum in spec- 
taculo Baulino, iij 8 iiij d . . . depingenti nomina haeresium in 
spectaculo (in aula) quod choristarum moderator [Richard 
Baull] ordinavit. 


[Extracts from the Bailiffs* accounts by Owen and Blakeway, Hist, of 
Shrewsbury (1825), i. 262, 267, 275, 284, 290, 292, 325 sqq. ; and by W. D. 
Macray in Hist. MSS. xv. 10. 25. It is not always clear to which calendar 
year an entry belongs. The accounts run from Michaelmas to Michaelmas, 
but Owen and Blakeway generally quote entries under one calendar year 
and sometimes under one regnal year.] 

1401. * Histriones ' of the Prince and the Earl of Stafford. 

' Menstralles ' of the Earls of Worcester and Stafford. 
1409. Players [i. e. in these early accounts, ' histriones/ not ' lusores'j 
of the countess and earl of Arundel, of Lord Powis, Lord 
Talbot, and Lord Furnivall. 

Players ' in honorem villae ' at the marriage of a cousin of 
David Holbache. 

1437. Minstrels of earl of Stafford. 

1438. Livery to two town minstrels, 'voc. waytes! 

1442. Some town minstrels called ' histriones/ In same year, 

' histrionibus regis/ and in subsequent years * histrionibus ' of 

earl of Shrewsbury and others, including one ' voc. Trumpet/ 

1450. Players and minstrels at coming of duke of York from Ireland. 

1457. Denaria soluta uni ministrallo domini principis [Edward] pro 

honestate villae. 

Quatuor ministrallis domini ducis de Bukyngham. 
Duobus ministrallis d'ni de Powys. 
i lagenae vini de Ruyn dictis ministrallis. 
Denaria data uni ministrallo d'ni principis et suo puero. 
iiij. ministrallis d'ni ducis de Eboraco. 
iv. ministrellis d'ni ducis de Excestro. 
1474. Regardo ministrallis d'ni ducis de Clarence. 
1478. Waltero Harper ministrallo d'ni principis. 

Regardo dato uni ministrallo ducis Gloucestris vocato le 


Regardo sex ministrallis d'ni Regis. 
1479. Soluta pro liberata ministrallorum vocatorum Wayts, quilibet 

Soluta pro conductu unius ministralli vocati Wayt a villa de 

Norhampton usque Salop. 
Soluta pro quodam regardo dato uni ministrallo d'ni Regis via 

elemosinaria causa eius paupertatis et aetatis. 
[From this point histriones replaces ministralli in the accounts.] 
1483. Soluta pro quodam regardo dato sex histrionibus domini Regis 

pro honestate villae. 
Pro vino dato dictis histrionibus in praesencia ballivorum et 

aliorum proborum hominum pro honestate villae. 
Pro liberatura communium histrionum vocatorum le Wayts 

Soluta ursenario domini Regis pro honestate villae. 

1495. Pro vino dato domino Principi [Arthur] ad ludum in quarell. 

1496. Wine given to the minstrels of our Lord the King. 

To the King's minstrels. 

To the Queen's minstrels. 

To the Prince's players. 

To the Earl of Derby's players. 

To the Earl of Shrewsbury's players. 

1503. In regardo dato ij Walicis histrionibus domini Regis. 
1510. ' Lusoribus ' in feast of Pentecost. 

' Histrionibus ' of Earl of Shrewsbury and King. 

1516. In vino, pomis, waffers, et aliis novellis datis et expenditis 

super abbatem Salop et famulos suos ad ludum et demon- 
strationem martiriorum Felicianae et Sabinae in quarera 
post muros. 

In regardo dato lusoris eiusdem martirii tune temporis hoc 

1517. Regardo ursinario comitis Oxoniae. 

In regardo dato ursinario domini Regis pro agitacione bestia- 
rum suarum ultra denarios tune ibidem collectos. 

1518. In vino expendito super tres reges Coloniae equitantibus in 

interludio pro solacio villae Salop in festo Pentecost. 
1520. Ralph Hubard, minstrel of Lord de ' Mountegyle/ 

In regardo dato iiij or interlusoribus comitis Arundele ostenden- 
tibus ballivis et comparibus suis diversa interludia. 

Et in vino dato eis et aliis extraneis personis intuentibus inter- 
ludia, ultra denarios collectos. 


In regardo dato histrionibus lohannis Talbot militis pro 

melodia eorum facta in presencia ballivorum. 
In regardo dato iij histrionibus comitis Arundelle pro honestate 

villae Salop. 

In regardo dato Benet & Welles histrionibus comitis Salop. 
In regardo ij histrionibus comitissae de Derby pro honestate 

villae Salop. 
Et in vino expendito per ballivos et compares suos audientes 

melodiam eorum. 

Histrionibus domini Regis ex consuetudine. 
In regardo dato et vino expendito super Willelmum More 

histrionem domini Regis eo quod est caecus et principalis 

citherator Angliae. 

1521. Regardo dato M. Brandon iofculatori domini Regis pro 

honestate villae 
Et in vino expendito par ballivos & compares suos videntes 

lusum et ioculationem dicti ioculatoris ultra ij denarios 

collectos de qualibet persona villae extraneis exceptis. 
Soluta pro una roba nova depicta, sotularibus & aliis neces- 

sariis regardis & expensis factis super Ricardum Glasyer, 

abbatem de Marham, pro honestate & iocunditate villae. 
In regardo dato portitori communis campanae circa villam pro 

proclamacione facta pro attendencia facienda super abbatem 

de Marham tempore Mail hoc anno. 

In regardo dato iiij or histrionibus domini Regis de consuetudine. 
Histrionibus comitis Derby. 
Regardo dato ursinario ducis Suffolke ultra 2 g . 3 d . de pecu- 

niis collectis de circumstantibus ad agitacionem ursarum 

Pro ursinario domini marchionis Dorsett. 

1522. ' Ursenarius ' of duke of Suffolk. 

In regardo dato ioculatori domini Regis. 

1524. ' Histrio ' of Henry Knight. 

' Histriones ' of Earl of Derby. 
' Histriones ' of Lord Mount Egle. 

1525. In regardo dato iiij histrionibus comitis Arundell. 

Et in vino expendito super ballivos & compares suos audientes 

melodiam et ludentes inspicientes. 
In regardo dato iiij or interlusoribus ducis Suffolk. 
Interludes of the Lady Princess, and wine spent at hearing 

their interludes. 


1526. In regardo dato custodi camel! domini Regis ostendenti ballivis 

et comparibus suis ioca illius cameli. 
Interlusoribus dominae principissae. 
Ralph Hubard, minstrel of Lord de * Mountegyle/ with one 


1527. In regardo dato lusoribus villae tempore veris et mensis Mail 

pro iocunditate villae. 
Interlusoribus dominae principissae. 
Interluders of our Lord the King. 
' Histriones/ of Sir John Talbot, Arthur Neuton and Sir John 


1528. ' Ursenarius ' of marquis of Exeter. 

1 530. ' Histrio ' of baron of Burford. 

1531. Data interlusoribus dominae principissae. 

1533. Soluta Thomae Eton pro factura unius mansionis de duobus 

stagiis pro domino president! [Bishop of Exeter] et ballivis 

tempore ludi septimana Pentecostes. 
Et in regardo dato lusoribus ad dictum lusum et pro repara- 

cione ornamentorum suorum. 
In vino dato domino president! & ballivis in mansione sua 

tempore lusi in Quarrera pone muros. 
In regardo dato lusoribus & interlusoribus domini Regis osten- 

dentibus & offerentibus ioca sua. 
Et in vino expendito super eos et comitivam ballivorum 

& comparium suorum audientium & supervidentium lusum 

& melodiam eorum. 
In expensis factis in garniamentis, liberatis et histrion[ibus] 

pro domino abbate de Marham tempore mensis Maii pro 

honestate villae hoc anno. 
I 53S* la regardo m[agistro] Brandon, ioculatori domini Regis. 

In regardo dato histrionibus extraneis melodiam et cantilenas 

eorum coram ballivis et comparibus pronunciantibus. 
1538* Data in regardo lusoribus domini privati sigilli. 

Data in regarda lusoribus domini principis [Edward]. 
Expendita super lusores domini principis, domini privati sigilli, 

domini visitatoris . . . pro honestate villae. 
'Histriones* of Sir Thomas Cornewall and of Thomas New- 
Rogero Philipps, goldsmyth, pro argento et emendacione 

colarium histrionum villae. 
' Ursenarius ' of marquis of Exeter. 


1540. Data in regardo quibusdam interlusoribus de Wrexam luden- 

tibus coram ballivis et comparibus suis in vino tune 

'Item, Mr. Bayleffes left on p d more the same day at aft r 

the play. 

* Item, the vj men spend appon the kyng's pleyers in wyne. 
'Item, there was left on p d by Mr. Bayleffs w* my Lorde 

Prinssys plears on Sonday after Seint Bartlaumew day. 
'Item, there was sent them the nyght to supper a po 1 of red 

and a po 1 of claret. 
' Item, Mr. Bayleffs left on p d on Sonday after owre Lade day 

wyth my Lord Prinsys plears/ 
Cuidam iugulatori ludenti coram ballivis. 

1541. ' Ursenario duels Norfoxiae/ 

1542. In vino dato interlusoribus post interlusum in cimitirio sancti 

Cedde coram commissariis domini Regis ballivis et aliis. 
Cuidem ursuario de la Northewiche. 
Ursiatori praepotentis viri comitis Derby ad ij tempora. 
Pro reparacione et pictura ornamentorum abbatis de Mayvole. 
Et soluta pro una toga de nova facta dicto abbati de Mayvole. 
Soluta Ricardo Glasier pro labore suo in ludendo abbatem 

de Mardall. 

1548. Interlusoribus ludentibus cum domino abbate de Marall. 
Soluta lohanni Mason, peynter, pro pictura togae pro dicto 

domino de Marrall. 

In regardo istrionibus ludentibus ante viros armatos. 
Cuidam istrioni ludenti ante viros equiles equitantes ad 


1549. James Lockwood ' servienti et gestatori domini Regis/ 
Interludes of Sir John Bridges and of Sir Edward Braye. 
William Taylor, and others, interluders of the town of Salop, 

playing there in the month of May. 

' Histriones ' of William Sheldon and of Lord Ferrers [last use 
of term histrio]. 

1552. Interluders of Lord Russell. 

Soluta domino de abbott Marram et pro apparatu eorum 
videlicet pro calciamentis tunicis et aliis vestibus. 

1553. Expendita per ballivos et associates suos die lunae in le 

Whitson wuck post visum lusum. 

Pro tunicis et aliis vestimentis ac pistura eorundem pro 
Robyn Hood. 


In vino dato eisdem interlusoribus. 

In regardo le tomlers. 
1554. In regardo Thomae Staney le jugler. 

Wyett le gester. 

1559. Regardo lusiatoribus domini Stafford. 
1561. Item, gyvyn unto my lord Wyllybe's playarys in reward. 

Item, spent at the gullet on the saem playarys. 

1565. To Master Baly Pursell with the Quenes players. 

1566. Yeven Mr. Justes Throgmerton's mynstrell. 

1574. Paid and geven to my L. Sandwayes man, the berwart. 

The players of noblemen and others and ber-wards of 

noblemen and mynstrells of noblemen, this yere, viu u 

x 8 viij d . 

1576. Leid out to my lord of Derby and my lord Staffart's musicions. 
1582. Bestowed on her Majesty's players this yere. 
1591. To my lord of Derby's musysyons, and to the erle of Woster's 

players ... to my L. Beachem men, beinge players. 

[From Books of Council Orders in Hist. MSS. xv. 13, 16, 18.] 

1556. 1 6 May. The bailiffs to set forward the stage play this next 
Whitsontide for the worship of the town and not to disburse 
above 5 about the furniture of the play. 

1570. 8 July. Lease of pasture 'behind the walles, exceptinge the 
Quarrell where- the plases have bine accustomyd to be usyd/ 

r 575- *7 Juty' Five marks to be given to Mr. Churchyard for his 
pains taken in setting forth the show against the Queen's 
coming, being sent hither by the Lord President. 


[From accounts of Sir John Howard, in Manners and Household 
Expenses (Roxburghe Club, 1841), 325, 511.] 

2 May, 1465. Item that he [my master] delyverd the pleyers at 

Moleyns [a servant of Sir John's] weddynge, ij s . 
12 Jan. 1466. And the sonday nexte after the xij day, I jafe to the 

pleyeres of Stoke, ij 8 . 

[From accounts of John, Lord Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk, in 
Household Books of John, Duke of Norfolk, and Thomas^ Earl of Surrey 
(ed. Collier, Roxburghe Club, 1844), 104, 145, 146, 148, 149, 202, 336, 339.] 

29 Aug. 1481. I paid to the pleirs of Turton [Thorington] Strete, 


26 Dec. 1481. Item, the xxvj day of December, my Lord toke the 

Plaiers of Kokesale [Coggeshall], iij iiij d . 

27 Dec. 1481. Item, to the Plaiers of Hadley [Hadleigh], and the 

olde man and ij. children, vj viij d . 

7 Jan. 1482. Item, to the Plaiers of Esterforde, iij iiij d . 

9 Jan. 1482. Item, to Senclowe, that he paid to my Lord of Essex 
[Henry Bourchier] men, plaiers, xx d . 

Thei are of Canans. 
22 May, 1482. Item, that my Lord yaffe to the cherche on Whitson 

Monday at the pley, x 8 . 

25 Dec. 1482. Item, on Crystemas day, my Lord gaff to iiij pleyers 
of my lord of Gloucestres, iij iiij d . 

Item, the same day, my Lord gaff to iiij pleyers of Coksale, 
iij* iiij d . 

9 Jan. 1483. Item, the same day, my Lord paid to Garard, of Sud- 
bury, for all suche stoffe as folewyth, that he bought for the 
Dysgysing [a schedule of paper, gunpowder, ' arsowde/ pack- 
thread, &c., follows]. Summe totall, xxj ob. 

[From accounts of Thomas, Earl of Surrey, in Household Books (ut 
sufra), 515, 517, 519.] 

20 Dec. 1490. Payd for xviij yardes of lynen cloth, that M. Leyn- 
thorpe had for dysgysyng, at iiij d the yard, . . . vj iiij d . 

[Other expenses for the disguising follow.] 
27 Dec. 1490. Item, payd to the playars of Chemsford, vj*. viij d . 
2 Jan. 1491. Item, the said day, in reward to the panget [pageant (?)], 
iij iiij d . 

Item, payd to - , when he went to Bury to fach stuff for 
dygysers on Saynt Stevens day, xvj d . 

8 Jan. 1492. Item, in reward to the players of Lanam [Lavenham], 


[The Howard accounts also include many payments for minstrelsy, 
&c. The Duke of Norfolk kept singers, a harper, children of the 
chapel, and two fools, Tom Fool ' and Richard, ' the fool of the 


[From Rymer, Focdera, x. 387. A memorandum de strenis, liberatis 
et expensisy at Christmas, 1427.] 

A Jakke Travail et ses compaignons feisans diverses jeuues et entre- 
ludes dedeins le feste de Noell devant notre dit sire le roi, 4 lib. 


Et as autres jewels de Abyndon feisantz autres entreludes dedeins le 
dit festede Noel, 20 sol. 

[Extracted by Collier, i. 50, from the Household Book of Henry VII, 
1491-1505, and the Book of King's Payments, 1506-9. I cannot identify 
the former; the latter appears to be vol. 214 of the Miscellanea of the 
Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer (Scargill-Bird, Guide to the 
Public Records^ 228). I omit, here and below, entries referring to min- 
strelsy, disguisings, and plays by the King's players and the Chapel. 
Probably some of the performances were given at London ; others before 
the King on progress. I have corrected some of Collier's dates from the 
similar entries in Bentley, Excerpta Historica, 85, taken from a transcript 
in B. M. Add. MS. 7099.] 

i Jan. 1492. To my Lorde of Oxon pleyers, in rewarde, i. 
7 Jan. 1493. To my Lorde of Northumberlande Pleyers, in 
rewarde, i. 

1 Jan. 1494. To four Pleyers of Essex in rewarde, i. 

To the Pleyers of Wymborae Minster, i. 

6 Jan. 1494. To the Frenche Pleyers for a rewarde, i. 

31 Dec. 1494. To 3 Pleyers of Wycombe in rewarde, 13* 4*. 

4 Jan. 1495. To the Frenshe Pleyers in rewarde, 2. 

20 July, 1498. To the pleyers of London in rewarde, io . 

i4june, 1499. To the pleyers with Marvells, 4. 

6 Aug. 1501. To the Pleyers at Myles End, 3* 4^. 

2 Jan. 1503. To the Pleyers of Essex in rewarde, i. 

20 May, 1505. To the Players of Kingeston toward the bilding of 
the churche steple, in almasse, 3* 4 d . 

1 Jan. 1506. To the players that played afore the Lord Stewarde in 

the Hall opon Sonday nyght, 6 s 8 d . 
To my lorde Princes players that played in hall on 

new-yeres even, ib. 

25 Dec. 1506. To the Players that played affore the Lord Stewarde 
in the Hall opon Tewesday nyght, lo 8 . 

2 Jan. 1509. To my lord of Buckingham's pleyers that playd in 

the Hall at Grenewich, 6 8 d . 

[Extracted by Collier, i. 76, from the Book of King's Payments for 
1509-17, now vol. 215 of the Miscellanea of the Treasury of the Receipt 
of the Exchequer. The document is more fully analysed in Brewer, ii. 
1441. It is an account of the Treasurer of the Chamber.] 

6 Jan. 1512. To the Players that cam out of Suffolke, that playd 
affore the Lorde Stewarde in the Kings Hall opon Monday 
nyght, 13^ 4*. 


i Jan. 1515. To the Erie of Wiltyshires playres, that shulde have 
played in the Kings Hall oppon Thursday at nyght, in rewarde, 

13* 4 d - 
i Jan. 1516. To the Erie of Wilshire's players, 13* 4 d . 

[From Accounts of Treasurer of Chamber in Trevelyan Papers (C.S.), 
i. 146, 161, 174.] 

i Jan. 1530. To the Prince's plaiers. 
i Jan. 1531. To the Princes pleyers. 

Item, paid to certain Players of Coventrye, as in wey of the 
Kinges rewarde, for playnge in the Corte this last Cristmas. 
i Jsm. 1532. To the Princesse plaiers. 



1. Arras y +1105. 

The famous Put d* Arras (vols. i. p. 376, ii. p. 88) was in a sense 
a minstrel guild. According to tradition a plague was stayed by a 
simultaneous apparition of the Virgin in a dream to two minstrels, 
which led to the acquisition of 'le joyel d' Arras/ the miraculous 
'cierge de notre Dame/ This was about 1105, and the result was 
the foundation of the Confrtrie or Caritf de N. D. des Ardents, which 
afterwards developed into the put. This was not confined to minstrels, 
but they were predominant. The Statutes say, ' Ceste carit est estorde 
des jogleors, et les jogleors en sont signors V The objects of the puz\ 
however, were religious, social, and literary. It was not a craft guild, 
such as grew up two centuries later. 

2. Parts, 1321. 

Ordinances were made in 1321 '& Tacort du commun des menestreus 
et menestrelles, jougleurs et jougleresses ' of Paris for the reformation 
of their 'mestier/ and registered with the provost of Paris in 1341. 
They chiefly regulate the employment of minstrels within the city. 
The ' mestres du dit mestier ' are to be ' ii ou iii preudes hommes ' 
appointed by the provost on behalf of the King. A number of 
' gu&es ' and other minstrels sign, beginning with ' Pariset, menestrel 
le roy/ and ending with 'Jaque le Jougleur/ As a possible head 
of the ' mestier ' is named ' Ii prevost de Saint- Julian/ This seems 
to contemplate the foundation of the hospice et confrtrte under the 

1 Guy, xxvii. 


patronage of SS. Julian and Genesius, and in close connexion with 
the 'mestier/ which actually took place 1328-35. But in the later 
Statutes of 1407 the head of the guild is called the 'roy des m^nes- 
triers/ and as by this time the guild seems to claim some authority 
over the whole of France, it is probable that this * roy ' was identical 
with the ' roy des menestreuls du royaume de France/ a title which 
occurs in various documents from 1338 onwards. He may also have 
been identical with the 'roy' of the King'$ household minstrels 
(cf. p. 239). The Paris guild lasted until the suppression of all 
such privileged bodies in 1776*. 

3. Chauny. 

The corporation of Mes Trompettes jougleurs' of Chauny was 
founded during the fifteenth century. This town claimed to provide 
batelturs for all the north of France *. 


There are two early jurisdictions over minstrelsy, which are not 
strictly of the nature of guilds, 

i. Chester. 

Tradition has it that 1 1210 Randal Blundeville, Earl of Chester, 
besieged by the Welsh in Rhuddlan Castle, was relieved by Roger Lacy, 
constable of Cheshire, with a mob of riff-raff from Chester Midsummer 
fair. Randal gave to Lacy, and Lacy's son John gave to his steward 
Hugh de Button and his heirs the ' magistratum omnium leccatorum 
et meretricum totius Cestriae. 1 The fact of the jurisdiction is 
undoubted. It was reserved by the charter to the London guild 
in 1469, claimed by Laurence de Dutton in 1499, admitted upon an 
action of quo warranto as a right c from time immemorial/ further 
reserved in the first Vagrant Act (1572) which specifically included 
minstrels, and in the successive Acts of 1597, 1603, 1628, 1641, 1713, 
1740, 1744. It lapsed when this last Act was repealed in 1822. Up to 
1756 the heir of Dutton regularly held his curia Minstralciae at Chester 
Midsummer fair, and issued licences to fiddlers in the city and county 
for a fee of 4^., afterwards raised to 25. 6<t. Thomas Dutton 
(1569-1614), under puritan influences, inserted a proviso against 
piping and dancing on Sundays 9 . 

1 B. Bernhard, Reck, sur THist. de * Morris, 12, 346; Rymer, xi. 643 ; 
la Corp. des Minttriers ou Joueurs Ribton -Turner, 109, 129, 133, 148, 182, 
a" Instruments de la Ville de Paris (Bibl. aoi ; Onnerod, Hist, of Cheshire, i. 36 ; 
de rcole des CJiartes, iii. 377 ; iv. 525 ; Memorials of the Duttons (1901), 9, 
v. 354, 339)- 209. 

2 Julleville, Les Com. 238. 



2. Tutbury. 

Letters patent of John of Gaunt dated 1380 and confirmed by an 
' inspeximus ' of Henry VI in 1443 assigned ' le roy des ministralx ' 
in the honour of Tutbury to arrest all minstrels within the honour 
not doing service on the feast of the Assumption. It was a custom 
that the prior of Tutbury should provide a bull for a bull-running by 
the assembled minstrels on this feast. The court was still held by 
an annual ' king of the fiddlers/ with the steward and bailiff of the 
honour (including Staffs., Derby, Notts., Leicester, and Warwick), at 
the end of the seventeenth century, and the minstrels claimed to be 
exempt, like those of Chester, from vagrancy legislation. But their 
rights were not reserved, either by the Charter of 1469 or the Vagrant 
Acts \ 

The first English craft guild of minstrels is later by a century and 
a half than that of Paris. 

3. London. 

A charter of Edward IV (1469), *ex querelosa insinuatione 
dilectorum nobis Walteri Haliday, marescalli [and seven others] 
ministrallorum nostrorum/ declares that 'nonnulli rudes Agricolae 
et Artifices diversarum Misterarum Regni nostri Angliae finxerunt 
se fore Ministrallos. 'Quorum aliqui Liberatam nostram, eis minime 
datam, portarunt, seipsos etiam fingentes esse Ministrallos nostros 
proprios. Cuius quidem Liberatae ac dictae Artis sive Occupationis 
Ministrallorum colore in diversis Partibus Regni nostri praedicti 
grandes Pecuniarum Exactiones de Ligefis nostris deceptive colligunt 
et recipiunt.' Hence illegitimate competition with the real minstrels, 
decay of the art, and neglect of agriculture. The charter then does 
two things. It makes the royal minstrels a corporation with a 
marshall elected by themselves, and it puts them at the head of 
a * Fraternitatem sive Gildam' of minstrels already existing in the 
chapel of the Virgin in St. Paul's, and in the royal free chapel of 
St. Anthony. All minstrels in the country are to join this guild 
or be suppressed. It is to have two custodes and to make statutes 
and ordinances. The jurisdiction of Dutton over Chester minstrels 
is, as already stated, reserved f . A ' serviens ' or * serjeant ' seems to 
have been an officer of the guild 8 . With this exception nothing more 
is heard of it until 1594, when a dispute as to the office of the Master 

1 Carta le Roy de Ministralx, in x. 69. 

Dngdale, Monasticon (1822), iii. 397, * Rymer (1710), xi. 642, (1741) v.2. 

from Tutbury Register in Coll. of 169. 

Arm* ; Plot, Hist, of Staffs. (1686), ch. Percy, 373. 


of the Musicians' Company called for the intervention of the Lord 
Keeper 1 / In 1604 the Company received a new charter, which gave 
it jurisdiction within the city and a radius of three miles from its 
boundaries. It was further restricted to the city itself under Charles I. 
It still exists as the Corporation of the Master, Wardens, and 
Commonalty of the Art or Science of the Musicians of London *. 

The London guild would appear, from its peculiar relation to the 
royal household minstrels, and its claim to jurisdiction throughout 
the country, to have been modelled upon that of Paris. This claim 
was evidently not maintained, and in fact at least three other local 
guilds can be shown to have existed in the sixteenth century. 
A search, which I have not undertaken, would probably readily 
discover more. 

4. Canterbury. 

Ordinances, dated 1526, of the 'felowshyp of the craft and mystery 
of mynstrells ' give the prerogative right to perform in the city to the 
members of this body, saving the privileges of the city waits, and 

* the King's mynstrells, the Queane's, my Lord Prince's, or any 
honorable or wurshipfull mann's mynstrells of thys realmeV 

5. Beverley. 

An order of the Governors of the city (1555) recites an old custom 

* since Athelstan ' of the choice by minstrels between Trent and Tweed 
of aldermen of their fraternities during Rogation days, and renews 
orders for the ' fraternity of our Lady of the read arke in Beverley/ 
The statutes deal with the employment of minstrels in Beverley, and 
with their ' castells ' at the Rogation-day procession. A new member 
must be ' mynstrell to some man of honour or worship or waite of 
some towne corporate or other ancient town or else of such honestye 
and conyng as shalbe thought laudable and pleasant to the hearers/ 
It is claimed that such are excluded from the 'Kyng's acts where 
they speake of vacabonds and valiant beggers/ Quite in the spirit of 
the London charter of 1469 it is ordered that * no myler shepherd 
or of other occupation or husbandman or husbandman servant ' shall 
assume the functions of a minstrel outside his own parish 4 . The 
earliest notice of this guild in the Beverley archives seems to be in 
1557 8 , but the terms of the order and the existence of pillars put up 

* Analytical Index to Remembrancia * Civis, No. xxi. 

of the City of London, 92. 4 Poulson, Beverlac, i. 302 (probably 

* Grove, Diet, of Music, s.v. Musi- from Lansd. MS 896, f. 180). 
cians; W. C. Hazlitt, Livery Companies 5 Leach, Beverley AfSS. 179. 
of London. 


by the minstrels in fifteenth-century churches in Beverley 1 point to 
some informal earlier association. 

6. York. 

A craft of Mynstrells certainly existed by 1561, in which year they 
undertook the pageant of Herod at the Corpus Christi plays 2 . 


[The following extract from a Penitential formerly ascribed to John of 
Salisbury, but now to Thomas de Cabham, Bishop of Salisbury (t 1313), is 
printed by B. Haur^au, Notices et Extraits de Manuscrits, xxiv. 2, 284, 
from B. N. MSS. Lat. 3218 and 3529*, and by F. Guessard and 
C. Grandmaison, Huon de Bordeaux, vi, from B. N. Sorbonne MS. 1552, 
f. 71. The two texts differ in several points. According to Gautier, ii. 22, 
there are several similar thirteenth-century Penitentials y and it is difficult 
to say which was the original. The doctrine laid down about minstrels is 
often repeated in later treatises. See e. g. a passage from the fifteenth- 
century Lejardin des Nobles in P. Paris, Manuscritsfran$ais> ii. 144.] 

Tria sunt histrionum genera. Quidam transformant et trans- 
figurant corpora sua per turpes saltus et per turpes gestus, vel 
denudando se turpiter, vel induendo horribiles larvas, et omnes tales 
damnabiles sunt, nisi reliquerint officia sua. Sunt etiam alii qui nihil 
operantur, sed criminose agunt, non habentes certum domicilium, sed 
sequuntur curias magnatum et dicunt opprobria et ignominias de 
absentibus ut placeant aliis. Tales etiam damnabiles sunt, quia 
prohibet Apostolus cum talibus cibum sumere, et dicuntur tales 
scurrae vagi, quia ad nihil utiles sunt, nisi ad devorandum et male- 
dicendum. Est etiam tertium genus histrionum qui habent instrumenta 
musica ad delectandum homines, et talium sunt duo genera. Quidam 
enim frequentant publicas potationes et lascivas congregationes, et 
cantant ibi diversas cantilenas ut moveant homines ad lasciviam, et 
tales sunt damnabiles sicut alii. Sunt autem alii, qui dicuntur iocu- 
latores, qui cantant gesta principum et vitam sanctorum, et faciunt 
solatia hominibus vel in aegritudinibus suis vel in angustiis, et non 
faciunt innumeras* turpitudines sicut faciunt saltatores et saltatrices 
et alii qui ludunt in imaginibus inhonestis et faciunt videri quasi 
quaedam fantasmata per incajitationes vel alio modo. Si autem non 
faciunt talia, sed cantant in instrumentis suis gesta principum et alia 

1 Crowest, 244. 

1 York Plays, xxxviii, 125; M. Sellers in Eng. Hist. Review, ix. 284. 


talia utilia ut faciant solatia hominibus, sicut supradictum est, bene 
possunt sustineri tales, sicut ait Alexander papa. Cum quidam 
ioculator quaereret ab eo utrum posset salvare animam suam in 
officio suo, quaesivit Papa ab eo utrum sciret aliquod aliud opus 
unde vivere posset: respOndit ioculator quod non. Permisit igitur 
Papa quod ipse viveret de officio suo, dummodo abstineret a praedictis 
lasciviis et turpitudinibus. Notandum est quod omnes peccant morta- 
liter qui dant scurris vel leccatoribus vel praedictis histrionibus aliquid 
de suo. Histrionibus dare nichil aliud est quam perdere. 



[From Robert Laneham's Letter (ed. F. J. Furnivall for New Shakspere 
Society (1890) ; and in Nichols, Progresses of Elizabeth, i. 420) describing 
the entertainment of Elizabeth by the Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth, in 
July, 1575. G. Gascoigne, ThePrincelye Pleasures at the Courte at Kenel- 
worth (1576, in Nichols, i. 502), leaves undescribed what he calls the 
' Coventrie ' (ed. 2, ' Countrie ') shows.] 


Mary, syr, I must tell yoo : Az all endeuoour waz too mooue mirth 
& pastime (az I tolld ye) : euen so a ridiculoous deuise of an auncient 
minstrell <fe hiz song waz prepared to haue been profferd, if met time 
& place had b^en foound for it. Ons in a woorshipfull company, whear, 
full appointed, he recoounted his matter in sort az it should haue been 
vttred, I chaunsed too be: what I noted, heer thus I tel yoo: A parson 
very met seemed he for the purpoze, of a xlv. y^ers olid, apparelled 
partly as he woold himself. Hiz cap of: his bed seemly roounded 
tonster wyze : fayr kemb, that with a spoonge deintly dipt in a littl 
capons greaz was finely smoothed too make it shine like a Mallard's 
wing. Hiz beard smugly shauen : and yet hiz shyrt after the nu trink, 
with ruffs fayr starched, sleeked, and glistening like a payr of nu 
shooz: marshalld in good order: wyth a stetting stick, and stoout, 
that euery ruff stood vp like a wafer : a side gooun of kendall green, 
after the freshnes of the y&r noow, gathered at the neck with a narro 
gorget, fastened afore with a white clasp and a keepar close vp to the 
chin : but easily for heat too vndoo when he list : Seemly begyrt in 
a red caddiz gyrdl: from that a payr of capped Sheffield kniuez 
hanging a to side : Out of hiz bozome drawne forth a lappet of his 


napkin, edged with a blu lace, & marked with a trulooue, a hart, 
and A. D. for Damian : for he was but a bachelar yet. 

Hiz gooun had syde sleeuez dooun to midlegge, slit from the 
shooulder too the hand, & lined with white cotten. Hiz doobled 
sleeuez of blak woorsted, vpon them a payr of poynets of towny 
Chamblet laced a long the wreast wyth blu threeden points, a wealt 
toward the hand of fustian anapes: a payr of red neatherstocks : 
a pair of pumps on hiz fet, with a cross cut at the toze for cornz : 
not nu inddede, yet cleanly blakt with soot, & shining az a shoing 

Aboout hiz nek a red rebond sutable too hiz girdl: hiz harp in 
good grace dependaunt before him : hiz wreast tyed to a gren lace, 
and hanging by : vnder the gorget of hiz gooun a fair flagon cheyn, 
(pewter, for) siluer, as a squier minstrel of Middilsex, that trauaild the 
cuntr^e this soommer seazon vnto fairz & worshipfull mens hoousez : 
from hiz chein hoong a Schoochion, with mettall & cooller resplendant 
vpon hiz breast, of the auncient armez of Islington : 

[Apparently the minstrel was got ready ; but not shown. He was 
to have recited an Arthurian romance in verse,] 


And h^ertoo folloed az good a sport (me thooght) prezented in 
an historicall ku, by certain good harted men of Couentr^e, my 
Lordes neighboors thear : who, vnderstanding amoong them the thing 
that coold not bee hidden from ony, hoow carefull and studious hiz 
honor waz, that by all pleazaunt recreasions her highnes might best 
fynd her self wellcom, & bee made gladsum and mery, (the ground- 
worke indeede, and foundacion, of hiz Lordship's myrth and gladnesse 
of vs all), made petition that they moought renu noow their olid storiall 
sheaw : Of argument, how the Danez whylom h^ere in a troubloous 
seazon wear for quietnesse born withall, & suffeard in peas, that anon, 
by outrage & importabl insolency, abuzing both Ethelred, the king 
then, and all estates euerie whear beside : at the greuoous complaint 
& coounsell of Huna, the king's chieftain in warz, on Saint Brices 
night, Ann. Dom. 1012 (Az the book sayz) that falleth y^erely on the 
thirteenth of Nouember, wear all dispatcht, and the Ream rid. And 
for becauz the matter mencioneth how valiantly our English women 
for looue of their cuntr^e behaued themseluez : expressed in actionz 
& rymez after their maner, they thought it moought mooue sum myrth 
to her Maiestie the rather. 


The thing, said they, iz grounded on story, and for pastime woont 
too bee plaid in oour Citee yderely : without ill exampl of mannerz, 
papistry, or ony superstition: and elz did so occupy the heads of 
a number, that likely inoough woold haue had woorz meditationz : 
had an auncient beginning, and a long continuauns : tyll noow of late 
laid dooun, they knu no cauz why, onless it wear by the zeal of certain 
theyr Preacherz: men very commendabl for their behauiour and 
learning, & swdet in their sermons, but sumwhat too sour in preaching 
awey theyr pastime : wisht therefore, that az they shoold continu their 
good doctrine in pulpet, so, for matters of pollicy & gouernauns of the 
Citie, they woold permit them to the Mair and Magistratez : and 
seyed, by my feyth, Master Martyn, they woold make theyr humbl 
peticion vntoo her highnes, that they might haue theyr playz vp 

But aware, kep bak, make room noow, heer they cum ! And 
fyrst, . , . Captain Cox cam marching on valiantly before, clen 
trust, & gartered aboue the knde, all fresh in a veluet cap (master 
Goldingha^ lent it him) floorishing with hiz tonswoord, and another 
fensmaster with him : thus in the foreward making room for the rest. 
After them proudly prickt on formost, the Danish launsknights on 
horsbak, and then the English : each with their allder poll marcially 
in their hand. Eeuen at the first entree the meeting waxt sumwhat 
warm : that by and by kindled with corage a both sidez, gru from 
a hot skirmish vnto a blazing battail : first by speare and shield, 
outragious in their racez az ramz at their rut, with furious encoounterz, 
that togyther they tumbl too the dust, sumtime hors and man : and 
after fall too it with sworde & target, good bangz a both sidez : the 
fight so ceassing ; but the battail not so ended : folloed the footmen, 
both the hostez, ton after toother : first marching in ranks : then 
warlik turning, the from ranks into squadrons, then in too trianglz ; 
from that intoo rings, & so winding oout again: A valiant captain 
of great prowez, az fiers az a fox assauting a gooz, waz so hardy 
to giue the first stroke : then get they grisly togyther : that great waz 
the actiuit^e that day too be s^en thear a both sidez : ton very eager 
for purchaz of pray, toother vtterly stoout for redemption of libertie : 
thus, quarrell enflamed fury a both sidez. Twise the Danes had /Ae 
better; but at the last conflict, beaten doun, ouercom, and many led 
captiue for triumph by our English w^emen. 

This waz the effect of this sheaw, that, az it waz handled, made 
mooch matter of good pastime : brought all indeed intoo the great 
court, een vnder her highnes windo too haue been s&n: but (az 


vnhappy it waz for the bride) that cam thither too soon, (and yet waz 
it a four a clok). For her highnes beholding in the chamber delectabl 
dauncing indeed : and h^erwith the great throng and vnrulines of the 
people, waz cauz that this solemnitee of Brideale & dauncing, had not 
the full muster waz hoped for : and but a littl of the Couentr^e plea 
her highnes also saw : commaunded thearfore on the Tuisday folloing 
to haue it ful oout : az accordingly it waz prezented, whearat her 
Maiestie laught well : they wear the iocunder, and so mooch the more 
becauz her highnes had giuen them too buckes, and fiue marke in 
mony, to make mery togyther : they prayed for her Maiesty, long, 
happily to reign, & oft to cum thither, that oft they moought s6e her : 
& what, reioycing vpon their ampl reward, and what, triumphing vpon 
the good acceptauns, they vaunted their play waz neuer so dignified, 
nor euer any players afore so beatified. . . . 

Tuisday, according to commandement, cam oour Couentr^e men : 
what their matter waz, of her highnes myrth and good acceptauns, and 
rewarde vntoo them, and of their reioysing thearat, I sheawd you 
afore, and so say the less noow. 


[From Sir Walter Elliot, On the Characteristics of the Population of 
Central India> in Journal of the Ethnological Society of London^ N. S. i. 
94 (1869).] 

In the north-east corner of the central mountainous region repre- 
sented on the map, between the Mahanadi and Godavery rivers, is 
found a tribe which has preserved its normal character remarkably free 
from change and from external influence. The Konds, or, as they 
call themselves, the Kuingas, although only discovered within the last 
thirty-five years, are better known than most of the other barbarous 
tribes from the fact that for ages they have been in the habit of sacri- 
ficing human victims in great numbers to secure the favour of the 
deities presiding over their dwellings, fields, hills, &c., but especially 
of the earth-goddess. 

The successful efforts employed to abolish this barbarous rite have 
made the subject familiar to all, and it is remarkable that such know- 
ledge should have failed to attract attention to a practice precisely 
similar in its objects and in its details, which is observed in every 
village of Southern India, with this single difference, that a buffalo 


is substituted for a human victim. My attention was early drawn to 
this practice, which is called the festival of the village goddess (Devf, 
or Grama Devati), the descriptions of which led me to believe it might 
throw light on the early condition of the servile classes, and resolving 
to witness its celebrations, I repaired to the village of Seriir, in the 
Southern Mahratta country, in March, 1829. It would occupy too 
much time to describe the ceremony in full, which is the less necessary 
as the details vary in different places ; but the general features are 
always the same. 

The temple of the goddess is a mean structure outside the village. 
The officiating priests are the Farias, who, on this occasion, and on 
it alone, are exempt from the degrading condition which excludes 
them from the village, and from contact with the inhabitants. With 
them are included the Mangs or workers in leather, the Asddis or 
Ddsaris, paria dancing-girls devoted to the service of the temple, the 
musician in attendance on them called Rdniga, who acts also as a sort 
of jester or buffoon, and a functionary called P6t-raj, who officiates as 
pujdri to a rural god named also P6t-raj, to whom a small altar is 
erected behind the temple of the village goddess. He is armed with 
a long whip, which he cracks with great dexterity, and to which also 
at various parts of the ceremony divine honours are paid. 

All the members of the village community take part in the festival 
with the hereditary district officers, many of them Brahmans. The 
shepherds or Dhangars of the neighbouring villages are also invited, 
and they attend with their priests called Virgars or Irgars, accom- 
panied by the dhol or big drum peculiar to their caste. But the whole 
is under the guidance and management of the Farias. 

The festival commences always on a Tuesday, the day of rest 
among the agricultural classes, both for man and beast. The most 
important and essential ceremonies take place on the second and fifth 
days. On the former, the sacred buffalo, which had been purchased 
by the Farias, an animal without a blemish, is thrown down before the 
goddess, its head struck off by a single blow and placed in front of 
the shrine with one fore-leg thrust into its mouth. Around are placed 
vessels containing the different cereals, and hard by a heap of mixed 
grains, with a drill plough in the centre. The carcase is then cut up 
into small pieces, and each cultivator receives a portion to bury in his 
field. The blood and offal are collected into a large basket, over 
which some pots of the cooked food which had been presented as 
a meat offering (naivedya) had previously been broken, and P6t-raj 
taking a live kid called the hari-mariah) hews it in pieces over the 


whole. The mess (cheraga) is then mixed together, and the basket 
being placed on the head of a naked Mang, he runs off with it, flinging 
the contents into the air, and scattering them right and left, as an 
offering (bhut-bali] to the evil spirits, and followed by the other Parias, 
and the village Paiks, with drawn swords. Sometimes the demons 
arrest the progress of the party, when more of the mess is thrown 
about, and fowls and sheep are sacrificed, till the spirits are appeased. 

During the whole time of the sacrifice the armed paiks keep vigilant 
guard, lest any intruder should secrete a morsel of flesh or a drop 
of blood, which, if carried off successfully, after declaring the purpose, 
would transfer the merit of the offering to the strangers' village. 

On the return of the party from making the circuit of the village 
another buffalo, seized by force wherever it can be found (zulmi- 
khulga), is sacrificed by decapitating it in the same manner as the 
former ; but no particular importance is attached to it, and the flesh 
is distributed to be eaten. 

The third and fourth days are devoted to private offerings. On the 
former all the inhabitants of caste, who had vowed animals to the 
goddess during the preceding three years for the welfare of their 
families, or the fertility of their fields, brought the buffaloes or sheep 
to the paria pujdrt, who struck off their heads. The fourth day was 
appropriated exclusively to the offerings of the Parias. In this way, 
some fifty or sixty buffaloes and several hundred sheep were slain, and 
the heads piled up in two great heaps. Many women on these days 
walked naked to the temple in fulfilment of vows, but they were covered 
with leaves and boughs of trees and surrounded by their female relations 
and friends. 

On the fifth and last day (Saturday) the whole community marched 
in procession, with music, to the temple, and offered a concluding 
sacrifice at the P6t-raj altar. A lamb was concealed close by. The 
P6t-raj having found it after a pretended search, struck it simply with 
his whip, which he then placed upon it, and, making several passes 
with his hands, rendered it insensible ; in fact, mesmerised it. When 
it became rigid and stiff he lifted it up and carried it about on the 
palm of his hand, to the amazement of the spectators, and then laid 
it down on the ground. His hands were then tied behind his back by 
the pujdri, and the whole party began to dance round him with noisy 
shouts, the music and the shepherd's drum making a deafening noise. 
P6t-raj joined in the excitement, his eyes began to roll, his long hair 
fell loose over his shoulders, and he soon came fully under the influence 
of the numen. He was now led up, still bound, to the place where the 


lamb lay motionless. He rushed at it, seized it with his teeth, tore 
through the skin, and ate into its throat. When it was quite dead, he 
was lifted up, a dishful of the meat offering was presented to him ; 
he thrust his bloody face into it, and it was then, with the remains of 
the lamb, buried beside the altar. Meantime his hands were untied, 
and he fled the place, and did not appear for three days. The rest of 
the party now adjourned to the front of the temple, where the heap 
of grain deposited the first day was divided among the cultivators, 
to be buried by each one in his field with the bit of flesh. After this 
a distribution of the piled-up heads was made by the hand of the 
Rdniga. About forty sheep's heads were given to certain privileged 
persons, among which two were allotted to the Sircar ! For the rest 
a general scramble took place, paiks, shepherds, Farias, and many 
boys and men of good caste, were soon rolling in the mass of putrid 
gore. The heads were flung about in all directions, without regard 
to rank or caste, the Brahmans coming in for an ample share of the 
filth. The scramble for the buffalo heads was confined to the Farias. 
Whoever was fortunate enough to secure one of either kind carried it 
off and buried it in his field. The proceedings terminated by a pro- 
cession round the boundaries of the village lands, preceded by the 
goddess, and the head of the sacred buffalo carried on the head of 
one of the Mangs. All order and propriety now ceased. Rdniga 
began to abuse the goddess in the foulest terms ; he then turned his 
fury against the government, the head man of the village, and every one 
who fell in his way. The Farias and Asddis attacked the most 
respectable and gravest citizens, and laid hold of the Brahmans, 
Lingayats, and Zamindars without scruple. The dancing-women 
jumped on their shoulders, the shepherds beat the big drum, with 
deafening clangor, and universal license reigned. 

On reaching a little temple, sacred to the goddess of boundaries 
(polimera-amma), they halted to make some offerings, and bury the 
sacred head. As Soon as it was covered, the uproar began again. 
Riniga became more foul-mouthed than ever. In vain the head-men, 
the government officers, and others tried to pacify him by giving him 
small copper coins. He only broke out with worse imprecations and 
grosser abuse, till the circuit being completed, all dispersed ; the 
Farias retired to their hamlet outside the town, resuming their humble, 
servile character, and the village reverted to its wonted peaceful 

Next day (Sunday) the whole population turned out to a great 


I found this remarkable institution existing in every part of India 
where I have been, and I have descriptions of it corresponding in all 
essential points, from the Dekhan, the Nizam's country, Mysore, the 
Carnatic, and the Northern Circars. The details vary in different 
places, but the main features agree in all, and correspond remarkably 
with the Mariah sacrifice of the Konds, which also varies consider- 
ably on minor points in different places. 


I. SWEDEN (Sixteenth Century). 

[From Olaus Magnus, Historic* de gentibus septentrionalibus (1555)* 
Bk. xv. chh. 23, 24.] 

Ch. 23, de chorea gladiatoria vel armifera saltatione. 

Habent septentrionales Gothi et Sueci pro exercenda iuventute alium 
ludum, quod inter nudos enses et infestos gladios seu frameas sese 
exerceant saltu, idque quodam gymnastico ritu et disciplina, aetate 
successiva, a peritis et praesultare sub cantu addiscunt : et ostendunt 
hunc ludum praecipue tempore carnisprivii, maschararum Italico verbo 
dicto. Ante etenim tempus eiusdem carnisprivii octo diebus continua 
saltatione sese adolescentes numerose exercent, elevatis scilicet gladiis 
sed vagina reclusis, ad triplicem gyrum. Deinde evaginatis itidemque 
elevatis ensibus, postmodo manuatim extensis, modestius gyrando 
alterutrius cuspidem capulumque receptantes, sese mutato ordine in 
modum figurae hexagoni fingendi subiiciunt, quam rosam dicunt : et 
illico earn gladios retrahendo elevandoque resolvunt ut super unius- 
cuiusque caput quadrata rosa resultet: et tandem vehementissima 
gladiorum lateral! collisione, celerrime retrograda saltatione determinant 
ludum, quern tibiis Vel cantilenis, aut utrisque simul, primum per 
graviorem, demum vehementiorem saltum et ultimo impetuosissimum 
moderantur. Sed haec speculatio sine oculari inspectione vix appre- 
henditur quam pulchra honestaque sit, dum unius parcissimo praecepto 
etiam armata multitude quadam alacritate dirigitur ad certamen: 
eoque ludo clericis sese exercere et immiscere licet, quia totus 
deducitur honestissima ratione. 

Ch. 24. Alia etiam iuvenum exercitatio est, ut certa lege arcualem 
choream ducant et reducant, aliis quidam instruments, sed eadem ut 


gladiatorum saltantium disciplina reducta. Arcubus enim seu circulis 
inclusis [inclusi?], primum modesto cantu heroum gesta referente 
vel tibiis aut tympanis excitati, gyrando incedunt seque dirigentis, qui 
rex dicitur, sola voce reducunt, tandem solutis arcubus aliquantulum 
celerius properantes mutua inclinatione conficiunt, veluti alias per 
gladios, rosam, ut formam sexangularem efficere videantur. Utque id 
festivius sonoriusque fiat, tintinnabula seu aereas campanulas genu 
tenus ligant. 

II. SHETLAND (Eighteenth Century). 

[From Sir Walter Scott's Diary for August 7, 1814, printed in Lockhart, 
Life of Scott (1837), Hi. 162 ; (1878) i. 265. 

At Scalloway my curiosity was gratified by an account of the sword- 
dance, now almost lost, but still practised in the Island of Papa, belong- 
ing to Mr. Scott. There are eight performers, seven of whom represent 
the- Seven Champions of Christendom, who enter one by one with 
their swords drawn, and are presented to the eighth personage, who is 
not named. Some rude couplets are spoken (in English^ not Norse), 
containing a sort of panegyric upon each champion as he is presented. 
They then dance a sort of cotillion, as the ladies described it, going 
through a number of evolutions with their swords. One of my 
three M w . Scotts readily promised to procure me the lines, the rhymes, 
and the form of the dance. ... A few years since a party of Papa-men 
came to dance the sword-dance at Lerwick as a public exhibition with 
great applause. ... In a stall pamphlet, called the history of Bucks- 
haven [Fifeshire], it is said those fishers sprung from Danes, and 
brought with them their war-dance or sword-dance, and a rude wooden 
cut of it is given. 

[A footnote by Lockhart adds : ] 

Mr. W. S. Rose informs me that, when he was at school at 
Winchester, the morris-dancers there used to exhibit a sword-dance 
resembling that described at Camacho's wedding in Don Quixote ; and 
Mr. Morritt adds that similar dances are even yet performed in the 
villages about Rokeby [Yorks, N.R.] every Christmas. 

[The following account was inserted in a note to Scott's The Pirate 

To the Primate's account of the sword-dance, I am able to add the 
words sung or chanted, on occasion of this dance, as it is still per- 
formed in Papa Stour, a remote island of Zetland, where alone the 
custom keeps its ground. It is, it will be observed by antiquaries, 
a species of play or mystery, in which the Seven Champions of Chris- 


tendom make their appearance, as in the interlude presented in Airs 
Well that ends Well. This dramatic curiosity was most kindly pro- 
cured for my use by Dr. Scott of Haslar Hospital [died 1875], son of 
my friend Mr. Scott of Melbie, Zetland. Dr. Hibbert has, in his 
Description of the Zetland Islands , given an account of the sword-dance, 
but somewhat less full than the following : 



(Enter MASTER, in the character of SAINT GEORGE.) 
Brave gentles all within this boor 2 , 
If ye delight in any sport, 
Come see me dance upon this floor, 
Which to you all shall yield comfort. 
Then shall I dance in such a sort, 
As possible I may or cah; 
You, minstrel man, play me a Porte 8 , 
That I on this floor may prove a man. 

[He dows, and dances in a line. 
Now have I danced with heart and hand, 
Frave gentles all, as you may see, 
For I have been tried in many a land, 
As yet the truth can testify; 

In England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, and Spain, 
Have I been tried with that good sword of steel. 

\Draws y and flourishes. 

Yet I deny that ever a man did make me yield; 
For in my body there is strength, 
As by my manhood may be seen; 
And I, with that good sword of length, 
Have oftentimes in perils beeh, 
And over champions I Was king. 
And by the strength of this right hand, 
Once on a day I kill'd fifteen, 
And left them dead upon the land. 

1 So placed in the old MS. music on the bagpipe, to which ancient 

s Boor so spelt to accord with the instrument, which is of Scandinavian 

vulgar pronunciation of the word bower, origin, the sword-dance may have been 

8 Porte so spelt in the original. The originally composed. 

word is known as indicating a piece of 


Therefore, brave minstrel, do not care, 

But play to me a Porte most light, 

That I no longer do forbear, 

But dance in all these gentles' sight. 

Although my strength makes you abased, 

Brave gentles all, be not afraid, 

For here are six champions, with me, staid, 

All by my manhood I have raised. [He dances. 

Since I have danced, I think it best 

To call my brethren in your sight, 

That I may have a little rest, 

And they may dance with all their might ; 

With heart and hand as they are knights, 

And shake their swords of steel so bright, 

And show their main strength on this floor, 

For we shall have another bout 

Before we pass out of this boor. 

Therefore, brave minstrel, do not care 

To play to me a Porte most light, 

That I no longer do forbear, 

But dance in all these gentles' sight. 

[He dances, and then introduces his knights as undtr. 
Stout James of Spain, both tried and stour 1 9 
Thine acts are known full well indeed ; 
And champion Dennis, a French knight, 
Who stout and bold is to be seen ; 
And David, a Welshman born, 
Who is come of noble blood ; 
And Patrick also, who blew the horn, 
An Irish knight amongst the wood. 
Of Italy, brave Anthony the good, 
And Andrew of Scotland King ; 
Saint George of England, brave indeed, 
Who to the Jews wrought muckle tinte 1 . 
Away with this ! Let us come to sport, 
Since that ye have a mind to war. 
Since that ye have this bargain sought, 
Come let us fight and do not fear. 
Therefore, brave minstrel, do not care 

Stour great. f Muckle tinte much loss or harm ; so in MS. 



To play to me a Porte most light, 

That I no longer do forbear, 

But dance in all these gentles' sight. 

[He dances, and advances to JAMES of Spain. 
Stout James of Spain, both tried and stour, 
Thine acts are known full well indeed, 
Present thyself within our sight, 
Without either fear or dread. 
Count not for favour or for feid, 
Since of thy acts thou hast been sure ; 
Brave James of Spain, I will thee lead, 
To prove thy manhood on this floor. QAMKS dances. 

Brave champion Dennis, a French knight, 
Who stout and bold is to be seen, 
Present thyself here in our sight, 
Thou brave French knight, 
Who bold hast been; 
Since thou such valiant acts hast done, 
Come let us see some of them now 
With courtesy, thou brave French knight, 
Draw out thy sword of noble hue. 

[DENNIS dances, while the others retire to a side. 
Brave David a bow must string, and with awe 
Set up a wand upon a stand, 

And that brave David will cleave in twa *. [DAVID dances solus. 
Here is, I think, an Iri'sh knight, 
Who does not fear, or does not fright, 
To prove thyself a valiant man, 
As thou hast done full often bright; 

Brave Patrick, dance, if that thou can. [He dances. 

Thou stout Italian, come thou here ; 
Thy name is Anthony, most stout; 
Draw out thy sword that is most clear, 
And do thou fight without any doubt; 
Thy leg thou shake, thy neck thou lout 2 , 
And show some courtesy on this floor, 
For we shall have another bout, 
Before we pass out of this boor. 

1 Something is evidently amiss, or * Lout to bend or bow down, pro- 
omitted here. David probably ex- nounced loot, as doubt is doot in Scot- 
hibited some feat of archery. land. 


Thou kindly Scotsman, come thou here; 
Thy name is Andrew of Fair Scotland; 
Draw out thy sword that is most clear, 
Fight for thy king with thy right hand; 
And aye as long as thou canst stand, 
Fight for thy king with all thy heart; 
And then, for to confirm his band, 
Make all his enemies for to smart. 

[He dances. Music begins! 

'FlGVIR 1 . 

* The six stand in rank with their swords reclining on their shoulders. 
The Master (Saint George) dances, and then strikes the sword of 
James of Spain, who follows George, then dances, strikes the sword of 
Dennis, who follows behind James. In like manner the rest the 
music playing swords as before. After the six are brought out of 
rank, they and the Master form a circle, and hold the swords point 
and hilt. This circle is danced round twice. The whole, headed by 
the Master, pass under the swords held in a vaulted manner. They 
jump over the swords. This naturally places the swords across, which 
they disentangle by passing under their right sword. They take up 
the seven swords, and form a circle, in which they dance round. 

' The Master runs under the sword opposite, which he jumps over 
backwards. The others do the same. He then passes under the right- 
hand sword, which the others follow, in which position they dance, 
until commanded by the Master, when they form into a circle, and 
dance round as before. They then jump over the right-hand sword, 
by which means their backs are to the circle, and their hands across 
their backs. They dance round in that form until the Master calls 
" Loose," when they pass under the right sword, and are in a perfect 

' The Master lays down his sword, and lays hold of the point of 
James's sword. He then turns himself, James, and the others, into 
a clew. When so formed, he passes under out of the midst of the 
circle ; the others follow ; they vault as before. After several other 
evolutions, they throw themselves into a circle, with their arms across 
the breast. They afterwards form such figures as to form a shield of 
their swords, and the shield is so compact that the Master and his 
knights dance alternately with this shield upon their heads. It is then 

1 Figuir so spelt in MS. 
T 3 


laid down upon the floor. Each knight lays hold of their former 
points and hilts with their hands across, which disentangle by figuirs 
directly contrary to those that formed the shield. This finishes the 


* Mars does rule, he bends his brows, 
He makes us all agast/; 
After the few hours that we stay here, 
Venus will rule at last. 
Farewell, farewell, brave gentles all, 
That herein do remain, 
I wish you health and happiness 
Till we return again. [Exeunt! 

The manuscript from which the above was copied was transcribed 
from a very old one, by Mr. William Henderson, jun., of Papa Stour, 
in Zetland. Mr. Henderson's copy is not dated, but bears his own 
signature, and, from various circumstances, it is known to have been 
written about the year 1788, 



[From W. Kelly, Notices Illustrative of the Drama, 6r*c., . . .from . . . 
Manuscripts of the Borough of Leicester (1865), 53. The version is that 
* performed in some of the villages near Lutterworth, at Christmas 1863.'] 



1. CAPTAIN SLASHER, in military costume, with sword and pistol. 

2. King of England, in robes, wearing the crown. 

3. PRINCE GEORGE, King's Son, in robes, and sword by his side. 

4. Turkish Champion, in military attire > with sword and pistol 

5. A Noble Doctor. 

6. Beelzebub. 

7. A Clown. 

Enter Captain Slasher. I beg your pardon for being so bold, 
I enter your house, the weather's so cold, 
Room, a room! brave gallants, give us room to sport; 
For in this house we do resort, 

1 dgast so spelt in MS. 


Resort, resort, for many a day; 
Step in, the King of England, 
And boldly clear the way. 

Enter King of England. I am the King of England, that 

boldly does appear; 
I come to seek my only son, my only son is here. 

Enter Prince George. I am Prince George, a worthy knight ; 
I'll spend my blood for England's right. 
England's right I will maintain; 
I'll fight for old England once again. 

Enter Turkish Knight. I am the Turkish Champion ; 
From Turkey's land I come. 
I come to fight the King of England 
And all his noble men. 

Captain Slasher. In comes Captain Slasher, 
Captain Slasher is my name ; 
With sword and pistol by my side, 
I hope to win the game. 

King of England. I am the King of England, 
As you may plainly see, 
These are my soldiers standing by me; 
They stand by me your life to end, 
On them doth my life depend. 

Prince George. I am Prince George, the Champion bold, 
And with my sword I won three crowns of gold ; 
I slew the fiery dragon and brought him to the slaughter, 
And won the King of Egypt's only daughter. 

Turkish Champion. As I was going by St. Francis' School, 
I heard a lady cry ' A fool, a fool 1 ' 
4 A fool,' was every word, 
' That man 's a fool, 
Who wears a wooden sword/ 

Prince George. A wooden sword, you dirty dog! 
My sword is made of the best of metal free. 
If you would like to taste of it, 
I'll give it unto thee. 
Stand off, stand off, you dirty dog! 
Or by my sword you'll die. 
I'll cut you down the middle, 
And make your blood to fly. 

[They fight; Prince George falls, mortally wounded. 


Enter King of England. Oh, horrible ! terrible ! what hast 

thou done ? 

Thou hast ruin'd me, ruin'd me, 
By killing of my only son ! 
Oh, is there ever a noble doctor to be found, 
To cure this English champion 
Of his deep and deadly wound ? 

Enter Noble Doctor. Oh yes, there is a noble doctor to 

be found, 

To cure this English champion 
Of his deep and deadly wound. 

King of England. And pray what is your practice? 

Noble Doctor. I boast not of my practice, neither do I study 
in the practice of physic. 

King of England. What can you cure? 

Noble Doctor. All sorts of diseases, 
Whatever you pleases: 
I can cure the itch, the pitch, 
The phthisic, the palsy and the gout; 
And if the devil 's in the man, 
I can fetch him out. 
My wisdom lies in my wig, 
I torture not my patients with excations, 
Such as pills, boluses, solutions, and embrocations; 
But by the word of command 
I can make this mighty prince to stand. 

King. What is your fee? 

Doctor. Ten pounds is true. 

King. Proceed, Noble Doctor; 
You shall have your due. 

Doctor. Arise, arise ! most noble prince, arise, 
And no more dormant lay ; 
And with thy sword 
Make all thy foes obey. [The Prince arises. 

Prince George. My head is made of iron, 
My body is made of steel, 
My legs are made of crooked bones 
To force you all to yield. 

Enter Beelzebub. In comes I, old Beelzebub, 
Over my shoulder I carry my club, 
And in my hand a frying-pan, 


Pleased to get all the money I can. 

Enter Clown. In come I, who 's never been yet, 
With my great head and little wit: 
My head is great, my wit is small, 
111 do my best to please you all. 

Song (all join). And now we are done and must be gone, 
No longer will we stay here; 
But if you please, before we go, 
We'll taste your Christmas beer. \Exeunt omnes. 


[The text is taken from the following sources : 

i. BeauvaiS) thirteenth century. (a) [Due.] Ducange, Glossarium (ed. 
1733-^6), s.v.Festum, from a lost MS.; copied incorrectly by Caste*, 23, and 
apparently also by Clement, 158: (b) [B 1 ] Brit. Mus. Egerton MS. 
2615, f *> with music for singing in unison : (c) [B 2 ] Same MS. f. 43, 
with music harmonized in three parts; partly Facsimiled in Annales 
Archtologiques (1856), xvi. 259, 300. 

ii. Sens, thirteenth century. [S] MS. Senonense^ 46 A , as printed by 
G. M. Dreves, Analecta Hymnica^ xx. 217. The text has also been given 
from the MS. by F. Bourquelot, in Bull, de la Soc. Arch, de Sens (1858), 
vi. 79, and others. The version of Clement, 126 is probably, like the 
facsimile given by him in Ann. Arch. vii. 26, based on one ' caique* ' from 
the MS. by a M. Ame*, and, where it differs from that of Dreves, is the 
less trustworthy. Dreves, xx. 257 (cf. infra) and Millin, Monum. Ant. 
Indits> ii. 348, also give the music of the opening lines. Modern settings 
are provided by B. De la Borde, Essaisurla Musique (1780), and Clement, 
in Ann. Arch. vii. 26, and Chantes de la Sainte Chafelle. An old French 
translation of the text is printed in Leber, ix. 368. 

On these Beauvais and Sens MSS. cf. ch. xiii. 

iii. Bourges. [Bo.] The first verse with the music and variants in the 
later verses are given by A. Cachet d' Art \^j^NouveauxMhnoires( 1756), 
vii. 77, from a copy of a book given to Bourges cathedral by a canon 
named Jean Pastons. Part of the Bourges music is also given by Millin, 
loc. tit. 

I print the fullest version from Ducange, italicizing the lines not found 
elsewhere, and giving all variants, except of spelling, for the rest. 

Outside Beauvais, Sens, and Bourges the only localized allusion to the 
prose that I have found is the Autun order of 1411 (vol. i. p. 312) * nee 
dicatur cantilena quae dici solebat super dictum asinum.' It is not in 
the Puy officium for the Circumcision, which, though in a MS. of 1553, 
represents a ceremony as old as 1327 (U. Chevalier, Prosolarium Eccle- 
siae Anidensis, 1894). The officium is full of conductus and farsumina, 
and the clericuli at second Vespers tripudiant firmiter. The sanctum 
Praepucium was a relic at Puy. 

The following passage is from Theoph, Raynaudus, Indicium de puer- 


sni/n syuiphoniacorum processione in festo SS. Innocentium (Opera 
Omnia, 1665, xv. 209) : * Legi prosam quandam de asino e Metropolitanae 
cuiusdam Ecclesiae ntuali exscriptam ; quae super sacrum concinebatur 
in die S. Stephani,et dicebatur prosa fatuorum, qua nihil insulsius aut asino 
convenientius. Similis prosa de bove^ quae canebatur in die S. loannis, 
mtercidisse dicitur, haud magno sane dispendio. Itaque hae prosae erant 
particulae festi fatuorum, occoepti a die S. Stephani.' I have never come 
across the * Prose of the Ox,' or any notice of it which appears to be 
independent of Raynaud's.] 


Orientis partibus 

Adventavit Asinus, 

Pulcher et fortissimus, 
4 Sarcinis aptissimus. 

Hez, Sire Asnes, car chantez, 

Belle bouche rechignez, 

Vous aurez du foin assez 
8 Et de tavoine a planiez. 


Lentus erat pedibus, 
Nisi fore t baculus, 
Et eum in clunibus 
ia Pungeret aculeus. 
Hez, Sire Asnes, etc. 


Hie in collibus Sichen 
lam nutritus sub Ruben, 
Transiit per lordanem, 
ao Saliit in Bethleem. 
HeZy Sire Asnes, etc. 


Ecce magnis auribus 
Subiugalis filius 
Asinus egregius 
28 Asinorum dominus. 
Hez, Sire Asnes, etc. 

B 1 has heading Conduct ari(ni 18. B 1 . 2 ; S, Enulritus. 
nbC)addudtur\ S, Conductus ad tabu- 21-4. B 1 Hez, hez (and so in all 

*<" ^ , f verses but last) ; B 8 Hez (and so in all 

5-8 BS* Hez, hiz, sire Asnes, Juz\ verses) ; S, Hez, Sir asne, hez (and so 

S. Hez, Sir asnc t kez ; Bo. He, he, he, in all verses). 
Sire Ane. lit. 



Saltu vincit hinnulos, 
Dammas et capreolos, 
Super dromedaries 
36 Velox Madianeos. 
Hez, Sire Asnes, etc. 


Aurum de Arabia, 
Thus et myrrham de Saba 
Tulit in Ecclesia 
44 Virtus Asinaria. 
Hez, Sire Asnes, etc. 


Dum trahit vehicula, 
Multa cum sarcinula, 
Illius mandibula 
52 Dura terit pabula. 
Hez, Sire Asnes, etc. 


Cum aristis hordeum 
Comedit et carduum: 
Triticum e palea 
60 Segregat in area. 
Hez, Sire Asnes, etc. 


Amen dicas, Asine, 

lam satur de gramine, 

Amen, Amen, itera, 
68 Aspernare vetera. 

Hez va, hez va 1 hez va, hez ! 

Bialx Sire Asnes, car allez: 
71 Btlle louche, car chantez. 

vi. B^omit; Bo. places after viii. 69-7 1. B 9 Hez\ Clement, 

59. Due. a palea. Hez va I hez va / hez va ! hez ! 

65. Due. adds (hie genuflect ebatur). Bialx, sir asnts, car chantez, 

66. Bo. lam satis de carmine. Vous aurez dufoin assez 

Et de favoine a plantez* 



I append the air of the Sens prose, as given by Dreves, Anahcta 
Hymnica, xx. 257. 

IE 1 \ t 

3 l~ 


(ft) d re - 



d * 

-4 i 

i i i i 

i i 

O ... ri ... en...tis par...ti ... bus Ad . ven...ta...vit A ... si ... nus, 


Pnl...cher et ... mus, ap.. 


J rJ 

Hez, Sir, hez. 




[From C. Wordsworth, Ceremonies and Processions of the Cathedral 
Church of Salisbury (1901), 52, which follows the practically identical 
texts of the printed Processionals of 1508 (ed. Henderson, 1882, 17) and 
1555 and the printed Breviary (ed. Procter-Wordsworth, I. ccxxix). 
Mr. Wordsworth also found the office in two MS. breviaries (Sarum 
Chapter MS. 152 and Peterhouse y Cambridge, MS. 270). In the MS. 
(ti44S) processional from Salisbury Cathedral (Chapter MS. 148), on 
which his book is mainly based, there is a lacuna, probably due to inten- 
tional mutilation, where the office should come. I find no allusion to the 
Boy Bishop in the printed Sarum Missal (ed. Dickinson, 67), or in the 
Sarum Consuetudinary, Custumary, or Ordinal (Frere, Use of Sarum).} 

C In die sancti Johannts. 
[De Episcopo Puerorum.] 

Ad uesperas, post memoriam de S. Stephana eat processio Puerorum ad 
altare Innocencium, uel Sancfe Trinitatis et Omnium Sanctorum 
quod diciiur Salue, in capis sericis, cum cereis illuminatis et arden- 
tibus in manibus, cantando, Episcopo Puerorum pontifi calibus induto 
(fxecutore officy\siue Episcopo presence) incipience hoc responsorium. 

Solus Episccpus Innocencium, si assit, Christum Puerum, uerum et 
eternum, Pontificem dtsignans, incipiat: 

jR. Centum quadraginta quattuor millia qui empti sunt de terra: 
hij sunt qui cum mulieribus non sunt coinquinati, uirgines enim 


permanserunt. Ideo regnant cum Deo et Agno f et Agnus Dei 
cum illis. 

Tres pueri dicant hunc uersum. 

V. Hij empti sunt ex omnibus, primicie Deo et Agno, et in ore 
illorum non est inventum mendacium. Ideo. 

Omnes pueri dicant canlando simul hanc prosam 

Sedentem in superne. 

Chorus post vnumquemque uersum respondent cantum prose super 
vltimam liter am E. 

V. Sedentem in superne maiestatis arce-e. 

V. Adorant humillime proclamantes ad te-e. 

V. Sancte Sancte Sancte Sabaoth rex-e. 

V. Plena sunt omnia glorie tue-e. 

V. Cum illis vndeuiginti quinque-e. 

V. Atque cum innocentissimo grege-e. 

F. Qui sunt sine vlla labe-e. 

V. Dicentes excelsa uoce-e. 

V. Laus Tibi, Domine-e. 

Rex eterne glorie-e. 

Chorus respondeat Ideo regnant 

Ad hanc processionem non dicatur Gloria Patri sed dumprosa canitur 
tune Episcopus Puerorum thurificet altar e : deinde ymaginem Sancte 

Etpostea dicat Sacerdos, modesta uoce, hunc uersum. 

V. Letamini in Domino, et exvltate iusti. 

R. Et gloriamini omnes recti corde. 

Deinde dicat Episcopus Puerorum, sine Dominus uobiscum, sed cum 
Oremus, oracionem. 

Deus, cuius hodierna die preconium innocentes martires non 
loquendo sed moriendo confessi sunt : omnia in nobis uitiorum mala 
mortifica, vt fidem tuam, quam lingua nostra loquitur, eciam moribus 
uita fateatur. Qui cum Deo Patre. 

In redeundo precentor ptierorum incipiat responsorium de S. Maria, 
uel aliquam antiphonam de eadem. 

R< Felix namque es, sacra uirgo Maria, et omni laude dignissima. 
Quia ex te ortus est Sol iusticie, Christus Deus noster. 
Et, si necesse fuerit) dicatur uersus: 

V. Ora pro populo, interueni pro clero, intercede pro deuoto 
femineo sexu: senciant omnes tuum leuamen, quicumque celebrant 
tuam solempnitatem. Quia ex te Gloria Quia 

Et sic processio chorum intret>per*ostium occidentak, vt supra. Et 


omnts pueri, ex vtraque park chori, in super -tart gradu se recipiant; et 
ab hac hora vsque post processionem diet proximi succedentis nullus cleri- 
corum sole/ gradum superior em ascendere> cuiuscumque condicionis fuerit. 

Ad istam processionem pro disposicione puerorum scribuntur canonici^ 
ad ministrandum eisdem, maiores ad tkuribulandum, et ad librum 
deferendum, minores ad candelabra deferenda. 

Responsorio finito, cum sue uersu, Episcopus Puerorum in sede sua 
dicat uersum modes fa uocei 

V. Speciosus forma pre filijs hominum : 

JR. Diffusa est gracia in labijs tuis. 

Oracio. Deus qui salutis eterne beate Marie uirginitate fecunda 
humano generi premia prestitisti ; tribue, quesumus, vt ipsam pro nobis 
intercedere senciamus, per quam meruimus Auctorem uite suscipere, 
Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum. Que sic terminetur: 
Qui Tecum uiuit et regnat in vnitate Spiritus Sancti Deus. Per omnia 
secula seculorum. Amen. 

Pax uobis. 

JR. Et cum spiritu tuo. 

Sequatur Benedicamus Domino, a duobus uicarijs t uel a tribus, extra 

Tune Episcopus Puerorum intret stallum suum, et in sede sua, 
benedicat populum. 

Et interim cructferarius accipiat baculum episcopi, conuersus ad 
Episcopum^ et cum uenerit adistum versum Cum mansuetudine conuertat 
se ad populum et incipiat hanc antiphonam sequentem (que non dicatur 
Episcopo absente) : et cantet totam antiphonam vsque adfinem. 

Ant. Princeps ecclesie, pastor ouilis, cunctam plebem tuam bene- 
dicere digneris. Hie conuertat se ad populum sic dicendo : 

Cum mansuetudine et caritate, humilitate uos ad benediccionem. 

Chorus responded/: Deo gracias. 

Deinde retradat baculum Episcopo^ et tune Episcopus Puerorum, primo 
signando se infronte^ dicat \ hoc modo incipiens : 

Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini : 

Chorus respondeat sic : Qui fecit celum et terram. 

Item Episcopus^ signando se in pectore, dicat sic : 

Sit nomen Dei benedictum : 

Chorus respondeat ': Ex hoc nunc, et vsque in seculum. 

Deinde Episcopus Puerorum^ conuersus ad derum> eleuet brachium 
suum, et dicat hanc benediccionem : 

Crucis signo uos consigno : 

Hie conuertat se ad populum > sic dicendo : 


Nostra sit tuicio. 

Deinde conuertat se ad altar e^ dicens : 

Qui nos emit et redemit, 

Posted ad seipsum reuersus ponat manum suam super pec/us suum 
dtcendo : 

Sue carnis precio, 

Chorus responded/, vt sequitur, Amen. 

His iiaque peractis incipiat Episcopus Puerorum COMPLETORIUM de 
die, more soh'to, post Pater Noster et Aue Maria. 

Et post Comphtorium dicat Episcopus Puerorum ad chorum conuersus 
sub tono supradicio. 

Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, 

Chorus responded/: Qui fecit celum et terram. 

Episcopus Puerorum dicat : 

Sit nomen Domini benedictum : 

Chorus. Ex hoc nunc, et vsque in seculum. 

Deinde dicat Episcopus : 

Benedicat nos omnipotens Deus, Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus. 

Chorus \ Amen. 

C In die SS. Innocencium 
si in DOMINICA euenerit : 

Eodem modo processio fiat vt in die S. Siephani, excepto quod hac die 
tres pueri prosam in eundo dicant^ in medio procedentes : que in ipsa 
stacione ante crucem ab eisdem terminetur. 

In eundo, JR. Centum quadraginta. 

V. Hij empti. 

Prosd. Sedentem in superne. 

Sequatur. Gloria Patri, et Filio. 


In introitu chori, de Natiuiiate, vt supra. 

AD MATUTINAS in Die Innocencium : 

In tercio Nocturno, post lecciones et cetera, ad gradum altar is omnes 
pueri incipiant nonum Responsorium. 
R. Centum quadraginta, ut supra. 
Omnes simul dicant uersum : 
V. Hij empti. Gloria Patri. Ideo. 
V. Justi autem. 

IN LAUDIBUS, post Ps. Laudate, Episcopus Puerorum dicat modesta 
uoce, quasi legendo> Capitulum, loco nee habitu mutato, quia per totum 
diem capa serica vtitur (Apoc. xix.) 


Cap. Vidi supra montem Syon Agnum stantem, &c. 

Ympnus. Rex gloriose martirum. De Communi plurimorum marti- 
rorum (Brev. Sarum, ii. 406). 

V. Mirabilis Deus. 

Ant. Hij sunt qui cum mulieribus, et cetera, quam precentor ddbit 

Ps. Benedictus. 

Oracio. Deus, cuius hodierna, &c. Qui tecum uiuit. 

Tune omnes pueri dicant, loco Benedicamus, Verbum Patris (Brev, 
Sarum, i. p. cxc). 

Chorus responded/. 

Consequenter dicat Episcopus Puerorum benediccionem super populum 
eodem modo quo ad uesperas precedences. 

Post tres Memorias (scilicet de Natiuitate Domini, de S. Stephano, et 
de S. Johanne) dicat Episcopus Puerorum benediccionem super populum y 
sicut et post Completorium supra dictum est. 

Deinde tres de secunda forma dicant Benedicamus Domino, more 

AD VESPERAS. Episcopus Puerorum incipiat 

Deus in adiutorium meum intende. 

Ant. Tecum principium. 

Ps. Dixit Dominus (cix). 

Capitulum. Vidi supra montem, 

JR. Centum quadraginta. 

Hoc Responsorium ab vno solo Puero, scilicet Cancellario, incipiatur 
ad gradum chori, in capa serica, et suus versus ab omnibus pueris cantetur 
in superpelliceis in stacione puerorum, cum prosa> si placet, et eciam cum 
Gloria Patri. 

V. Hij empti sunt. 

Ympnus. Rex gloriose martirum. De Communi. 

V. Mirabilis Deus. 

Episcopus Puerorum incipiat antiphonam : 

Ant. Ecce vidi Agnum stantem. 

Ps. Magnificat. 

Or ado. Deus,' cuius hodierna. 

Dicta oracione, omnes pueri loco Benedicamus dicant Verbum Patris. 

Ant. ad gradum altaris. 

Et chorus totum respondeant. 

Ad Vesper as, post memoriam de S. Johanne t acdpiat cruciferarius 


laculum Episcopi Puerorum, et cantet antiphonam Princeps ecclesie, sicut 
adprimas ucsperas. 

Similiter Episcopus Puerorum bentdicat populum supradicto mode. 

Et sic compleatur seruicium (officium Puerorum) hums diet. 


[I have expanded the following document from the copy printed with 
all the contractions by Dr. E. F. Rimbault in The Camden Miscellany 
(C.S.), vii (1875), 31- The original roll was in the possession of the late 
Canon Raine.] 

Compotus Nicholay de Newerk custodis bonorum Johannis de Cave 
Episcopi Innocencium Anno domini etc. nonagesimo sexto. 

In primis receptum de xij denariis receptis in oblacione die Nativi- Clausura 
tatis domini. Et de xxiiij solidis j denario receptis in oblacione die 
Innocentium et j cochleare argenteum ponderis xxd. et j annulum 
argenteum cum bursa cerica eodem die ad missam. Et de xx</. rec. 
de Magistro Willelmo de Kexby precentore. Et de ijs. rec. de 
Magistro Johanne de Schirburne cancellario. Et de vjs. viijd. rec. 
de Magistro Johanne de Newton thesaurario ad Novam. Et de 
vjs. viijrf. rec. de Magistro Thoma Dalby archidiacono Richmunde. 
Et de vj s. viijd. rec. de Magistro Nicholao de Feriby. Et de vj s. viijd. 
rec. de Magistro Thoma de Wallworthe. Summa Ivs. vd. 

Item rec. de vjs. viijd. rec. de Domino Abbate Monasterii beatae Villa. 
Mariae virginis extra Muros Eboraci. Et de iijs. iiijd. rec. de 
Magistro Willelmo de Feriby Archidiacono Estridinge. 

Summa xs. 

Item de iijs. iiijrf. rec. de domino Thoma Ugtreht milite. Et de Patria. 
ijs. rec. de priore* de Kyrkham. Et de vjs. viijd. rec. de priore de 
Malton. Et de xxj. rec. de comitissa de Northumbria et j anulum 
aureum. Et de vjs. viijd. de priore de Bridlyngtone. Et de iijs. iiijrf. 
de priore de Watton. Et de iijj. iiijrf. de rectore de Bayntone. Et 
de iijs. iiijd. de Abbate de Melsa. Et de xxrf. rec. de priore de 
Feriby. Et de vjj. viijd. rec. de domino Stephano de Scrope. Et de 
ijs. de priore de Drax. Et de vjj. viijrf. de Abbate de Selby. Et 
de iijs. iiijd. rec, de priore de Pontefracte. Et de vjs. viijd. rec. de 
priore Sancti Oswaldi. Et de iij s. iiijd. rec. de priore de Munkbretton. 
Et de vjj. viij</. rec. de domino Johanne Depdene. Et de vjs. viijd. 
rec. de domina de Marmeon et j anulum aureum cum bursa cerica. 
Et de iijj. iiijd. de domina de Harsay. Et de vj s. viijd. de domina de 
Rosse. Et de ijs. rec. de Abbate Ryavalli. Et de ijs. rec. de Abbate 


Bcllalandi. Et de ijs. rec. de priore de Novoburgo. Et de xxrf. rcc. 
de priore de Marton. Summa v lib. xs. 

Summa totalis Receptorum viij lib. xvs. vd. 

De quibus dictus Nicholaus compotat. 

Ad * virgo virginum.' In pane pro speciebus jd. In cervisia vjd. 
tatem. " I tem * n sua Cena. In pane vijd. Et in pane dominico iiijd. In 
cervisia xxjrf. In carne vitulorum et mutulorum ixd. obolus. In 
sawcetiis iiijd. In ij anatibus iiijd. In xij gallinis ijj. vjd. In viij 
wodkoks et j pluver ijj. \}d. In iij dos et x feldfars xixd. In parvis 
avibus iijfl?. In vino ijs. iijd. In diversis speciebus xjd. In Ix 
wardens vd. ob. In melle ijd. ob. In cenapio jd. In ij libris 
candelorum ijd. ob. In floure ijd. In focali jd. ob. Item coco vjd. 

Summa xvs. vjd. ob. 

Item die Innocentium ad cenam. In pane \\}d. In cervisia vd. 
In carne vitulorum et mutulorum vijrf. In pipere et croco jd. 

Diebus veneris et sabbati nichil quia non visitarunt. 

Item dominica prima sequentibus diebus lunae Martis Mercurii 
nichil quia non visitarunt. 

Die Jovis seu die Octavarum Innocentium inierunt versus Kexby ad 
dominum de Ugtrehte et revenerunt ad cenam. In pane \]d. In 
cervisia iiijrf. In carne vd. 

Diebus veneris et sabbati nichil quia non visitarunt. 

Dominica ija seu die Sancti Willelmi devillaverunt. In pane ad 
Jantaculum \]d. In cervisia iijrf. In carne vd. 

Die lunae cum ebdomade sequente nichil quia extra villam. 

Dominica iija cum ebdomade sequente extra villam. 

Die sabbati revenerunt ad cenam. In pane jrf. ob. In cervisia iijrf. 
In lacte et piscibus iijd. 

Dominica iiija nichil. 

Die lunae inierunt ad scolas et post Jantaculum devillaverunt. In 
pane ijrf. In cervisia iijd. ob. In carne vijd. 

Die sabbati revenerunt ad cenam. In pane ijd. ob. In cervisia ijd. 
In piscibus vjd. 

Dominica va usque ad finem Purificationis nichil. 

Summa vs. vijd. ob. 

In primis. In zona empta pro episcopo iijd'. In emendacione 
pilii sui jd. In pane equino ante arreptum itineris ijrf. In oblacione 
apud Bridlyngtone ijd. In elemosina ibidem jd. In ferilay apud 
Melsam iiijd. In ferilay apud Drax iiijd. In pane equino apud 
Selby iiijrf. Item barbitonsori jd. In j garth apud Bridlyngton jd. 
In emendacione j garth ibidem ob. In ij pectinibus equinis emptis apud 


Bridlyngtone et Eboracum iiijrf. In j garth apud Beverlacum ]d. In 
ferracione equorum apud Feriby viijd. ob. In emendacione j garth 
ob. In cena apud Ledes xvijd. In feno et avena ibidem xiijd. 
Item in cena apud Riplay xvjd. In feno et avena ibidem xijd. ob. 
In ferracione equorum apud Fontans iiijd. In ferilay versus Harlsay 
iiijrf. In bay ting apud Allertone vjd. In vino pro episcopo viijd. 
In pane et feno equorum apud Helmslay vjd. In ferracione equorum 
apud Novumburgum iijrf. Summa xs. vijd. 

In primis, In j torchio empto ponderis xij lib. iiij s. iijd. In j pilio 
ixd. In j pari cirothecarum linearum iijd. In j pari manicarum iijd. 

In j pari cultellorum xiiijrf. In j pari calcarium vd. Item pro factura epixopi 

t ... , T - . , Y T infra civ* 

robae xvnjrf. In furura agnma empta pro supertumca ijj. v)d. Intern. 

fururis ex convencione vjs. In tortricidiis per totum tempus viijd. 
In carbone marino vijd. In carbone ligneo xd. In paris candelorum, 
iiij</. ob. In xxviij paribus cirothecarum emptis pro vicariis et magistris 
scolarum iijj. iiijrf. ob. Item pro emendacione capae cericae ijd, 

Summa xxiijj. jd. 

In primis Nicholao de Newsome tenori suo xiijj. iiij^. Et eidem Stipendia 
pro suo equo conducto ij s. Item Roberto Dawtry senescallo vjs. viijd. ^^Tet 
Et pro predicationibus ejusdem in capella ijs.jd. ob. Item Johanni eguorum. 
Baynton cantanti medium x s. Item Johanni Grene vj. Item Johanni 
Ellay iijs. iiijd. Item Johanni Schaptone servienti eidem cum ij equis 
suis xs. ijd. Item Thomae Marschale pro j equo iijs. iiijd. Item 
j sellare pro j equo iij j. vjd. Item pistori pro j equo iijs. vjd. Item 
Ricardo Fowler pro ij equis vs. Summa Ixvijs. xjrf. ob. 

In primis succentori vicariorum ijs. Subcancellario xijrf. Item Feoda mi- 

cerae puerorum xiiV. Item clericis de vestibus xijrf. Item sacristis ? l ' 

.. T T . , , . ,. .... T T . ,. 

xi] d. Item pro ornacione cathedrae episcopalis ui]d. Item in hgno 

pro stallis iiijd. Item in denariis communibus xviij^f. Item custodi c * um * 
choristarum iijs. iiijd. Summa xjs. vjd. 

Summa totalis Expensarum vj lib. xiiijj. xd. ob. Et sic Recepta 
excedunt expensas xls. vjd. ob. ad usum Episcopi. 




I, 190-200. TERTULLIAN. 

[From De Idololatria (Tertulliani Opera, ed. A. Reifferscheid and 
G. Wissowa, in Corpus Script. Eccles. xx ; P. L. i. 674). Part of the 
argument of c. 15 is repeated in De Corona Militari, c. 13 (P. L. ii. 97). 
In De Fuga in Persecution*, c. 13 (P.L. ii. 119), bribes given by 
Christians to avoid persecution are called ' saturnalitia ' given to soldiers.] 

c. 10. [de ludimagistris]. Ipsam primam novi discipvli stipem 
Minervae et honor! et nomini consecrat . . . quam Minervalia Minervae, 
quam Saturnalia Saturni, quae etiam serviculis sub tempore Saturnalium 
celebrari necesse est. Etiam strenuae captandae et septimontium, et 
Brumae et carae cognationis honoraria exigenda omnia, Florae scholae 
coronandae : flaminicea et aediles sacrificant creati ; schola honoratur 
feriis ; idem fit idolo natali : omnis diaboli pompa frequentatur. Quis 
haec competere Christiano existimabit, nisi qui putabit convenire 
etiam non magistris? 

c. 14. Quemadmodum, inquit, omnibus per omnia placeo, nimirum 
Saturnalia et Kalendas lanuarias celebrans hominibus placebat ? . . . 
Sabbata, inquit, vtstra et numenias et ceremonias odit anima mea; nobis, 
quibus sabbata extranea sunt et numeniae et feriae a deo aliquando 
dilectae, Saturnalia et lanuariae et Brumae et Matronales frequentantur, 
munera commeant et strenae, consonant lusus, convivia constrepunt. 

c. 15. Sed luceant, inquit, opera vestra; at nunc lucent tabernae 
et ianuae nostrae, plures iam invenias ethniconim fores sine lucernis et 
laureis, quam Christianorum . . . ergo, inquis, honor dei est lucernae 
pro foribus et iaurus in postibus ? . . . certi enim esse debemus, si 
quos latet per ignorantiam litteraturae saecularis, etiam ostiorum decs 
apud Romanos, Cardeam a cardinibus appellatam et Forculum a foribus, 
et Limentinum a limine et ipsum lanum a ianua ... si autem sunt 
qui in ostiis adorantur, ad cos et lucernae et laureae pertinebunt ; idolo 
feceris, quicquid ostio feceris . . . scis fratrem per visionem eadem 
nocte castigatum graviter, quod ianuam eius subito adnuntiatis gaudiis 
publicis servi coronassent. Et tamen non ipse coronaverat aut prae- 
ceperat ; nam ante processerat et regressus reprehenderat factum . . . 
accendant igitur quotidie lucernas, quibus lux nulla est ; affigant 
postibus lauros postmodum arsuras, quibus ignes imminent; illis 
competunt et testimonia tenebrarum et auspicia poenarum, Tu lumen 
es mundi et arbor virens semper; si templis rtnuntiasti, ne feceris 


templum ianuam tuam, minus dixi; si lupanaribus renuntiasti, ne 
induaris domui tuae faciem novi lupanaris. 

II. 190-200. TERTULLIAN. 
\ApologeticuSy c. 42 in P. L. i. 492.] 

Sed si ceremonias tuas non frequento, attamen et ilia die homo sum. 
Non lavo sub noctem Saturnalibus, ne et noctem et diem perdam: 
attamen lavo et debita hora et salubri. 

[Contra Symmachum> i. 237 in P. ZL. ix. 139.] 

lano etiam celebri de mense litatur 
auspiciis epulisque sacris, quas inveterato 
heu 1 mi seri sub honore agitant, et gaudia ducunt 
festa Kalendarum. 


[Pacianus, Paraenesis ad Poenitentiam (P.L. xiii. 1081). Jerome, de 
Viris illustrious, c. 106 (P. L. xxiii. 703), says of Pacianus, ' scripsit varia 
opuscula, de quibus est Cervus.'] 

Hoc enim, puto, proximus Cervulus ille profecit, ut eo diligentius 
fieret, quo impressius notabatur. . . . Puto, nescierant Cervulum facere, 
nisi illis reprehendendo monstrassem. 

V. 374-397. ST. AMBROSE. 

[From De Interpellation* Job et David, ii. i (P.L. xiv. 813), concluding 
a passage on the cervus as a type of David and of Christ. The Benedictine 
editors think that if the allusion were to the Ceruulus, St. Ambrose would 
have reprobated it. But in any case it is only a passing allusion.] 

Sed iam satis nobis in exordio tractatus, sicut in principio anni, more 
vulgi, cervus allusit. 

VI. 380-397. ST. CHRYSOSTOM. 

\Oratio Kalendis Habila (P. G. xlviii. 953). A sermon preached at 

'AXXa irpbs frcpa KorcTrctyovTa fjfuv 6 XJyoj &pfjLryrai 9 ra 
77? ? 7roAea>s airdcrris i/utaprry^rra . . . /cal yap Kal fjp>lv Tro 

vvv . . . baipdvuv TTOjji'nevcravTtov fal rijs ayopas. al yap 
Travvv\ib$ at ytr^/merat rrj^pov, Kal ra cr/cd)jLx/iara, Kal 
al XotSop^at, Kal al xopctat al i/VKrepii;a^ Kai ^ fcaray^Xaoros aZrr\ 

ricrav . . . irept^apTJy fifuv fj TroAts ytyovt Kai ^>at2pa\ Kal 
Kal Kaddvcp yvvr] </>tAoKocr/iO9 Kal TroXureXi??, otirca^ fj ayopa 
rt/Aa>? ^icaXX(07r^<raro crrj^po^ yjpvvia Tr^ptrt^e/utrri, /cat ijtxarta TroXv- 

U 2 


i}, Kal foroft^/utara, Kal lrp& TWO, rotafira, r&v h ToTy pya<m?pfoty 
rvj rc3z> olxtltov Ipyvv tiTLbft&i. rov 6fJLOT\vov trapabpa^elv 
<f>iXoj/KoiiyToy. *AXX' aiJn; /A>V ^ <tXonjxa, tl Kal Tratbutrjs tern 
^v\rjs ov8h> jut^ya Ov8fc vi/frjXdv <J>avTabjui&>Tj9, aXX' 
ov T0<r<xvrr\v CTTicrvperai f3\a/3riv. . . . AXX', forep Z<t>f]v, ov 
K\rjp,dTa>v &la ai/nj f) </>t\ort^^a* oi 8 fe TOIS 
fim yw6p,*voi Tripcpov, ofooi }&v /uuiXiora (J8vp<o-t, Kol 
ical icre/Jefaj ^TrcTrXT/jui^ot TroXXTjy' Acre^cfas /ut^y, #rt 
irapaTrjpovcrw ripe pas ol ravra Trotouz/re?, Acai o2a>i/^oi/rat, 
fovcriy, cl T^V i;ov/uT)y(ai; TOV jurjyds TOVTOV /utefl' ^801^9 Kal v 
l7T4TX^(rotV, /cal rdz; &7favra TOIOVTOV $(iv ivtavrdv* 
8^, rt vird r^i; ^ca yvi;atK69 Kal Kvbpts <f>i<l\a$ Kal itorfipia 
cravres ficr^ TroXX^j 7^9 a<ro>ra9 r6r ILK par ov -Trfcovcri. . . . TaSra 
Awd i/ovjutrjr(ay <iAocro'$a, raOra iird r^y Treptcffiov rfiy ^tavrSi; 
iiva\j.i,\jLvri(TK,ov . . . Td Traparr/pet^ fj^pas ov Xptartai;tK^y <f>i\oo-o<ptas, 
AXX* 'EXXryj/iK^y TrXcii^y i<rr^. . . . Ov8^ lx cty ^owdr irpi? TTJP y^y, 
8po/xot, Kal TT^oJot, Kal rj^pai . . . Td Trpdy f)p.^pas 
roiavraSy Kal TrXe^ora ^ avrai? bfyeo-Oai fjbovTJv, Kal 

&voias ecrriV. . . . Mr) roiwv lifl rrjs Ayopas bvaKavoys irvp 
dXX* ^l 7779 5tai/ota? &va\f/ov <f>&s Ttv^v^ari^v . . . Mry 
1^9 oi/aas crre^arciiaT/j, iXXa rotavrryy ^7rt8tai TroXtrc^aj;, (Sore 
^9 8iKa40cni;z;r;9 crrtyavav ay Kt<f>a\fi irapa ri)$ rov Xpurrov 
0at, %ip6s . . . *Orav iutofojis OopvfJovs, drafa9 Kal 
8iaj3oXiK(i9, TTOVTIP&V hvOpto-nuv Kal aKoXao-Tcov T^V byopav 
, ohot pdvj Kal riy9 rapax^J ATraXXrfrrov rat5nj9, Kal 

VII. 380-397. ST. CHRYSOSTOM. 

fe Lazaro i (/*. Z., xlviii. 963). Preached at Antioch on the 
day after No. vi.] 

iv ov<rav o-araiUKifi', ^iro|<rar vpels ioprrfv 
. . . AtTrXovr roivvv ovrco rd K/p8o9 t5juiii/ ytyovtv, on 
Kal r^9 ir^Krov rfli; ptOvovrtov &Tnj\\dyrjr \opttas, Kal 

OVK aKparov Kx^opro9, dXX^ 8t8a<TKaX^a9 
' Kal avXd9 iyV<r0 Kal KiO&pa rtf HvcvpaTi. 

/cpoCcrat ray v/xer^pay 

[CVwwf . iV Ephes. vi. 4 in P. Z. xxvi. 540.] 

Legant episcopi atque presbyteri, qui filios suos saecularibus litteris 
erudiunt, et faciunt comoedias legere, et mimorum turpia scripta 
cantare, de ecclesiasticis forsitan sumptibus erttditos; et quod in 


corbonam pro peccato virgo aut vidua, vel totam substantiam suam 
eflfundens quilibet pauper obtulerat, hex: kalendariam strenam, et 
Saturnalitiam sportulam et Minervale munus grammaticus, et orator, 
aut in sumptus domesticos, aut in templi stipes, aut in sordida scorta 

[Sermo adv. KaL Festum, in P. G. xl. 215.] 

Atfo Karci ravrbv kopral (rvvtbpap,ov M rfjs X^ffc *<& r W 
iUpas, ov <r6jjL<t><&vol re *al d8X<o, Ttav 8c roitvavrlov 
re Kal Ivavrltos l\ov<Tanipbs iXX?jXa9. *H p^vydp i<m rov 
crvp^eroC, iroXv (rvvdyovo'a TOV /Ltajuuopa TO &pyvpiov . . . ^>t\cl- 
rat n^v rb oro/ia, AyaTrarat 5^ rd vo'/uu<r/uia" rd <r)(^juta 8tad<ra>9, Kai 
rd Ipyoy TrXcoi/cfia? . . . ra 8^ iXXa wfiy &v riy etirot ; jm^ Kal ^K- 
Ka\v\lfdfjLvo$ yuvaiKL&Tat. 6 A/narcvs ; K.r.A. 

X. 387-430. ST. AUGUSTINE. 

[Sermo cxcviii in P. L. xxxviii. 1024. In Sermones cxcvi and cxcvii 
Augustine also attacks the Calends, but in more general terms.] 

Et modo si solemnitas gentium, quae fit hodierno die in laetitia 
saeculi atque carnali, in strepitu vanissimarum et turpissimarum 
cantionum, in conviviis et saltationibus turpibus, in celebratione ipsius 
falsae festivitatis, si ea quae agunt gentes non vo& delectent, con- 
gregabimini ex gentibus. . . . Qui ergo aliud credit, aliud sperat, aliud 
amat, vita probet, factis ostendat. Acturus es celebrationem strenarum, 
sicut paganus, lusurus alea, et inebriaturus te : quomodo aliud credis, 
aliud speras, aliud amas? . . . Noli te miscere gentibus similitudine 
morum atque factorum. Dant illi strenas, date vos eleemosynas. 
Avocantur illi cantionibus luxuriarum, avocate vos sermonibus scri- 
pturarum : currant illi ad theatrum, vos ad ecclesiam ; inebriantur illi, 
vos ieiunate. Si hodie non potestis ieiunare, saltern cum sobrietate 
prandete. . . . Sed dicis mihi; quando strenas do, mihi accipio et 
ego. Quid ergo, quando das pauperi, nihil accipis ? . . . Etenim ilia 
daemonia delectantur canticis vanitatis, delectantur nugatorio spe- 
ctaculo, et turpitudinibus variis theatrorum, insania circi, crudelitate 
amphitheatri, certaminibus animosis eorum qui pro pestilentibus 
hominibus lites et contentiones usque ad inimicitias suscipiunt, pro 
mimo, pro histrione, pro pantomimo, pro auriga, pro venatore, Ista 
facientes, quasi thura ponunt daemoniis de cordibus suis. 



\Homilia de Pythonibus et Maleficis (Mai, Spicilegium Romanum, 
x. 222). The author's name is given as Severian. A Severian was 
bishop of Gabala in Syria t4oo, a prolific preacher and an opponent of 
St. Chrysostom in Constantinople. It seems, however, a little hazardous 
to ascribe to him a Latin homily.] 

Ecce veniunt dies, ecce kalendae veniunt, et tota daemonum 
pompa procedit, idolorum tota producitur officina, et sacrilegio vetusto 
anni novitas consecratur. Figurant Saturnum, faciunt lovem, formant 
Herculem, exponunt cum venantibus suis Dianam, circumducunt 
Vulcanum verbis haletantem turpitudines suas, et plura, quorum, 
quia portenta sunt, nomina sunt tacenda ; quorum deformitates quia 
natura non habet, creatura nescit, fingere ars laborat. Praeterea 
vestiuntur homines in pecudes, et in feminas viros vertunt, honestatem 
rident, violant iudicia, censuram publicam rident, inludunt saeculo 
teste, et dicunt se facientes ista iocari. Non sunt ioca, sed sunt 
crimina. In idola transfiguratur homo. Et, si ire ad idola crimen 
est, esse idolum quid videtur ? . . . Namque talium deorum facies ut 
pernigrari possint, carbo deficit ; et ut eorum habitus pleno cumuletur 
horrore, paleae, pelles, panni, stercora, toto saeculo perquiruntur, et 
quidquid est confusionis humanae, in eorum facie collocatur. 

XII. 408-410. ST. JEROME. 
\Coftom. in Isaiam y Ixv. II (P.L. xxiv. 638).] 

Ei vos qui dereliquisiis Dominum, et obliti estis montem sanctum meum. 
Qui ponitis fortunae mensam et libatis super earn. . . . Est autem in 
cunctis urbibus, et maxime in Aegypto, et in Alexandria idololatriae 
vetus consuetudo, ut ultimo die anni et mensis eorum qui extremus 
est, ponant mensam refertam varii generis epulis, et poculum mulso 
mixtum, vel praeteriti anni, vel futuri fertilitatem auspicantes. Hoc 
autem faciebant Israelitae, omnium simulacrorum portenta venerantes : 
et nequaquam altari victimas, sed huiusce modi mensae liba fundebant 


\Homilia ciii, de Calendis Gentilium (P. L. Ivii. 491).] 

Bene quodammodo Deo providente dispositum est, ut inter medias 

gentilium festivitates Christus Dominus oriretur, et inter ipsas tene- 

brosas superstitiones errorum veri luminis splendor effulgeret. . . . 

Quis enim sapiens, qui dominici Natalis sacramentum colit, non 

ebrietatem condemnet Saturnalium, non declipet lasciviam calen- 

darum? . . . Sunt plerique, qui trahentes consuetudinem de veteri 


superstitione vanitatis, calendarum diem pro summa festivitate pro- 
curent ; et sic laetitiam habere velint, ut sit magis illis tristitia. Nam 
ita lasciviunt, ita vino et epulis satiantur, ut qui toto anno castus et 
temperans fuerit, ilia die sit temulentus atque pollutus; et quod nisi 
ita fecerit, putet perdidisse se ferias ; quia non intelligit per tales se 
ferias perdidisse salutem. Illud autem quale est, quod surgentes 
mature ad publicum cum munusculo, hoc est, cum strenis unusquisque 
procedit ; et salutaturus amicos, salutat praemio antequam osculo ? . . . 
Adhuc et ipsam munificentiam strenas vocant, cum magis strenuum, 

quod cogitur. . . . Hoc gutem quale est quod, interposita die, tali 

inani exordio, velut incipientes vivere, aut auspicia colligant, omniaque 
perquirant ; et exinde totius anni sibi vel prosperitatem, vel tristitiam 
metiuntur ? . . . Hoc autem malis suis addunt, ut quasi de auspicatione 
domum redeuntes ramusculos gestent in manibus, scilicet pro omine, 
ut vel onusti ad hospitium redeant. 

XIV. t4i2-t46s. MAXIMUS OF TURIN. 
\Homilia xvi, de Cal. Ian. (P. L. Ivii. 255).] 

Quamquam non dubitem vos . . . universas calendarum super- 
venientium vanitates declinare penitus et horrere . . . necessarium, nee 

superfluum reor . . . precedentium patrum vobis repetantur alloquia 

Et illorum gravior atque immedicabilis languor est, qui superstitionum 
furore et ludorum suavitate decepti sub specie sanitatis insaniunt. An 
non omnia quae a ministris daemonum illis aguntur diebus falsa sunt 
et insana, cum vir, virium suarum vigore mollito, totum se frangit in 
feminam, tantoque illud ambitu atque arte agit, quasi poeniteat ilium 
esse, quod vir est ? Numquid non universa ibi falsa sunt et insana, 
cum se a Deo formati homines, aut in pecudes, aut in feras, aut in 
portenta transformant ? Numquid non omnem excedit insaniam, cum 
decorem vultus humani Dei specialiter manibus in omnem pulchri- 
tudinem figuratum, squalore sordium et adulterina foeditate deturpant ? 
. . . Post omnia, ad offensionis plenitudinem, dies ipsos annum novum 
vocant. . . . Novum annum lanuarias appellant calendas, cum vetusto 
semper errore et horrore sordescant. Auspicia etiam vanissimi 
colligere se dicunt, ac statum vitae suae inanibus indiciis aestimantes, 
per incerta avium ferarumque signa imminentis anni futura rimantur. 

XV, t4i2-t46s. MAXIMUS OF TURIN? 

[Sermo vi, de Cal. Ian. (P.L. Ivii. 543). The Sermo is ascribed to 
Maximus in three good MSS. and the style agrees with his. Other MSS 
give it to St. Augustine or St. Ambrose, and it is printed in the Benedictine 
edition of the tetter's works (Sermo vii. in P. L. xvii. 617). The editors, 
however, do not think it his.] 


Est mihi adversus plerosque vestrum, fratres, querela non modica : 
de iis loquor qui nobiscum natale Domini celebrantes gentilium se 
feriis dediderunt, et post illud coeleste convivium superstitionis sibi 
prandium praepararunt . . . Quomodo igitur potestis religiose Epi- 
phaniam Domini procurare, qui lani calendas quantum in vobis est 
devotissime celebratis ? lanus enim homo fuit unius conditor civitatis, 
quae laniculum nuncupatur, in cuius honore a gentibus calendae sunt 
lanuariae nuncupatae; unde qui calendas lanuarias colit peccat, 
quoniam homini mortuo defert divinitatis obsequium. Inde est quod 
ait Apostolus : Dies observastis, et menses, et tempora y et annos ; timeo ne 
sine causa laboraverim in vobis. Observavit enim diem et mensem qui 
his diebus aut non ieiunavit, aut ad Ecclesiam non processit. Obser- 
vavit diem qui hesterna die non processit ad ecclesiam, processit ad 
campum. Ergo, fratres, omni studio gentilium festivitatem et ferias 
declinemus, ut quando illi epulantur et laeti sunt, nunc nos simus 
sobrii, atque ieiuni, quo intelligant laetitiam suam nostra abstinentia 

\Sermo civ in P. L. Hi. 609.] 

Ubi nostram Christus pie natus est ad salutem, mox diabolus divinae 
bonitati numeros^ genuit et perniciosa portenta, ut ridiculum de 
religione componeret, in sacrilegium verteret sanctitatem. . . . Quorum 
formant adulteria in simulacris, quorum fornicationes imaginibus man- 
dant, quorum titulant incesta picturis, quorum crudelitates commendant 
libris, quorum parricidia tradunt saeculis, quorum impietates personant 
tragoediis, quorum obscaena ludunt, hos qua dementia deos crederent, 
nisi quia criminum desiderio, amore scelerum possidentur, deos 
exoptant habere criminosos ? . . . Haec diximus, quare gentiles hodie 
faciant deos suos talia committere, quae sustinemus, et faciant tales 
qui videntibus et horrori sunt et pudori ; faciant ut eos aliquando et 
ipsi qui faciunt horreant et relinquant, et Christiani glorientur a talibus 
se liberates esse per Christum: si modo non eorum ex spectaculis 
polluantur. . . . Et si tanta est de assensione damnatio, quis satis 
lugeat eos qui simulacra faciunt semetipsos ? . . . Qui se deum facit, 
Deo vero contradictor exietit ; imaginem Dei portare noluit, qui idoli 
voluerit portare personam ; qui iocari voluerit cum diabolo, non 
poterit gaudere cum Christo. . . . Abstrahat ergo pater filium, servum 
dominus, parens parentem, civem civis, homo hominem, Christianus 
omnes qui se bestiis compararunt, exaequarunt iumentis, aptaverunt 
pecudibus, daemonibus formaverunt. 



[Sermo Pseud.-Augustin. cxxix de Kal. Ian. in P. L. xxxix. 2001. Parts 
of this sermon are reproduced * mutatis mutandis J in the eighth-century 
Frankish HomiliadeSacrilegiis ( 23-26), edited by Caspari (cf. No. xxxix, 
below), and also in a MS. homily, De Kalendis lanuariis^ in Cod Lat. 
Monac. 6108 (tenth century), f. 48 T . The rest of that homily is mainly 
from Maxim us Taurinensis, Horn. 16 (No. xiv, above). And nearly the 
whole of the present Sermo is included in the Homiliarium of Burchardus 
of Wiirzburg and printed from his MS. by Eckart, Francia Orientalis, 
i. 837- 

On the date and authorship of the Sermo, cf. Caspari, 67. It is ascribed 
to Augustine by a Codex Colbertinus. His editors, Blancpain and Coutant, 
treat it as not his (a) on account of the difference of style, (b) on account 
of the reference to the ieiunium prescribed by the sancti antiqui patres 
(i.e. amongst others, Augustine himself: cf. No. x). A Codex Aceiensis 
ascribes it to Faustinus (i.e. Faustus of Raji), and this is accepted by the 
Bollandists (Acta SS. Ian. i. 2), and by Eckart, op. tit. i. 433. Finally 
a codex Navarricus assigns it to Maxentius. This can hardly be the 
Scythian monk of that name (t52o). Caspari suggests that there has 
been a scribal error. The sermo is headed 'De natali Domini. In 
calendis ianuariis.' There is nothing about the Nativity in it, and 
possibly a Nativity sermon and the author's name of the Kalends sermon 
which followed it have dropped out. He also thinks Maximus Taurinensis 
may be meant. However Caspari finally agrees with Blancpain and 
Coutant, that the style and the allusion to the triduum ieiunii so closely 
resembling that of the Council of Tours (No. xxii) point to a writer of the 
first half of the sixth century, and that he may very likely be Caesarius 
of Aries, who, as his Vita (cf. No. xx) states, did preach against the 

Dies calendarum istarum, fratres carissimi, quas lanuarias vocant, 
a quodam lano homine perdito ac sacrilege nomen accepit. lanus 
autem iste dux quidam et princeps hominum paganorum fuit : quern 
imperiti homines et rustici dum quasi regem metuunt, colere velut 
Deum coeperunt. . . . Diem ergo calendarum hodiernanim de nomine 
lani, sicut iam dictum est, nuncuparunt : atque ut ei homini divinos 
honores conferre cupiebant, et finem unius anni et alterius initium 
deputarunt. Et quia apud illos lanuariae calendae unum annum 
implere, et alterum incipere dicebantur, istum lanum quasi in prin- 
cipio ac termino posuerunt, ut unum annum implere, alterum incipere 
diceretur. Et hinc est, quod idolorum cultores ipsi lano duas facies 
figurarunt. . . . Hinc itaque est quod istis diebus pagani homines 
perverse omnium reram ordine obscenis deformitatibus teguntur; ut 
tales utique se faciant qui colunt, qualis est iste qui colitur. In istis 
enim diebus miseri homines, et, quod peius est, aliqui baptizati, sumunt 
formas adulteras, species monstrosas, in quibus quidem sunt quae 
primum pudenda, aut potius dolenda sunt. Quis enim sapiens poterit 
credere, inveniri aliquos sanae mentis qui cervulum facientes, in 
ferarum se velint habitum commutare? Alii vestiuntur pellibus 


pecudum; alii assumunt capita bestiarum, gaudentes et exsultantes, 
si taliter se in ferinas species transformaverint, ut homines non esse 
videantur. . . . lamvero illud quale et quam turpe est, quod viri nati 
tunicis muliebribus vestiuntur, et turpissima demum demutatione 
puellaribus figuris virile robur efferainant, non erubescentes tunicis 
muliebribus inserere militares lacertos : barbatas facies praeferunt, et 
videri feminae volunt. . . , Sunt enim qui calendis ianuariis auguria 
observant, ut focum de domo sua, vel aliud quodcumque beneficium, 
cuicumque petenti non tribuant. Diabolicas etiam strenas, et ab aliis 
accipiunt, et ipsi aliis tradunt. Aliqui etiam rustici, mensulas in ista 
nocte quae praeteriit, plenas multis rebus, quae ad manducandum 
sunt necessariae, componentes, tota nocte sic compositas esse volunt, 
credentes quod hoc illis calendae ianuariae praestare possint, ut per 
totum annum convivia illorum in tali abundantia perseverent. . . . 
Qui enim aliquid de paganorum consuetudine in istis diebus observare 
voluerint, timendum est ne eis nomen christianum prodesse non possit. 
Et ideo sancti antiqui patres nostri considerantes maximam partem 
hominum diebus istis gulae vel luxuriae deservire, et ebrietatibus et 
sacrilegis saltationibus insanire, statuerunt in universum mundum, ut 
per omnes Ecclesias publicum indiceretur ieiunium. . . . leiunemus 
ergo, fratres carissimi, in istis diebus. . . . Qui etiam in istis calendis 
stultis hominibus luxuriose ludentibus aliquam humanitatem impen- 
dent, peccati eorum participem se esse non dubitet. 


\Sermo Pseud.- Augustin. cxxx in P.L. xxxix. 2003. The authorship is 
generally taken to follow that of No. xvii, although a Fleury MS. ascribes 
it to Bp. Sedatus of Besiers 

Sic enim fit ut stultae laetitiae causa, dum observantur calendarum 
dies aut aliarum superstitionum vanitas, per licentiam ebrietatis et 
ludorum turpem cantum, velut ad sacrificia sua daemones invitentur. 
. . . Quid enim est tarn demens quam virilem sexum in formam mulieris, 
turpi habitu commutare ? Quid tarn demens quam deformare faciem, 
et vultus induer^, quos ipsi etiam daemones expavescunt ? Quid tarn 
demens quam incompositis motibus et impudicis carminibus vitiorum 
laudes inverecunda delectatione cantare? indui ferino habitu, et 
capreae aut cervo similem fieri, ut homo ad imaginem Dei et similitu- 
dinem factus sacrificium daemonum fiat? . . . Quicunque ergo in 
calendis ianuariis quibuscunque miseris hominibus sacrilego ritu insa- 
nientibus, potius quam ludentibus, aliquam humanitatem dederint, non 
hominibus, sed daemonibus se dedisse cognoscant. Et ideo si in 


peccatis eorum participes esse non vultis, cervulum sive iuvencam 1 , 
aut alia quaelibet portenta, ante domos vestras venire non permittatis. 
. , . Sunt enim aliqui, quod peius est, quos ita observatio inimica sub- 
vertit, ut in diem calendarum si forte aut vicinis aut peregrinantibus opus 
sit, etiam focum dare dissimulent. Multi praeterea strenas et ipsi 
offerre, et ab aliis accipere solent. Ante omnia, fratres, ad confun- 
dendam paganorum carnalem et luxuriosam laetitiam, exceptis illis qui 
prae infirmitate abstinere non praevalent, omnes auxiliante Deo ieiune- 
mus ; et pro illis miseris qui calendas istas, pro gula et ebrietate, 
sacrilega consuetudine colunt, Deo, quantum possumus, supplicemus. 


\Sermo Pseud.- Augustin. 265, De Christiano Nomine cum Operibus non 
ChristianiS) in P.L. xxxix. 2239.] 

Licet credam quod ilia infelix consuetudo . . . iam . . . fuerit . . . 
sublata ; tamen, si adhuc agnoscatis aliquos illam sordidissimam turpi- 
tudinem de hinnicula vel cervula exercere . . . castigate. 


[Episcopi Cyprianus, Firminus et Viventius, Vita S. Caesarii Arela- 
tensis, i. 5. 42 ; P.L. Ixvii. 1021.] 

Predicationes . . . contra calendarum quoque paganissimos ritus . , . 


\Constitutio Childeberti^ De Abolendis Reliquiis ldolatriae> in Mansi, 
ix. 738 ; Boretius, i. 2.] 

Noctes pervigiles cum ebrietate, scurrilitate, vel canticis, etiam in 
ipsis sacris diebus, pascha, natale Domini, et reliquis festivitatibus, vel 
adveniente die Dominico dansatrices per villas ambulare. Haec omnia, 
unde Deus agnoscitur laedi, nullatenus fieri permittimus. 

[Maassen, i. 121 ; Mansi, ix, 803.] 

c. 1 8. [De ieiuniis monachorum] 

Quia inter natale Domini et epyfania omni die festivitates sunt, 
idemque prandebunt excepto triduum illud, quod ad calcandam genti- 
lium consuetudinem patris nostri statuerunt, privatas in kalendis 
lanuarii fieri letanias, ut in ecclesia psalletur et ora octava in ipsis 
kalendis circumcisionis missa Deo propitio celebretur. 

1 var. Uct. anulas, agniculam, anniculam. 


c. 23. Enimvero quoniam cognovimus nonnullos inveniri sequi- 
pedes erroris antiqui, qui Kalendas lanuarii colunt, cum lanus homo 
gentilis fuerit, rex quidam, sed esse Deus non potuit ; quisquis ergo 
unum Deuin Patrem regnantem cum Filio et Spiritu Sancto credit, non 
potest integer Christianas dici, qui super hoc aliqua custodit. 


[Martin von Bracara, De Correctione Rusticorum, ed. C. P. Caspari, 
Christiania, 1883.] 

c. 10. Similiter et Hie error ignorantibus et rusticis hominibus 
subrepit, ut Kalendas lanuarias putent anni esse initium, quod omnino 
falsissimum est. Nam, sicut scriptura dicit, viii. kal. Aprilis in ipso 
aequinoctio initium primi anni est factum. 

c. ii. ... Sine causa autem miser homo sibi istas praefigurationes 
ipse facit, ut, quasi sicut in introitu anni satur est et laetus ex omnibus, 
ita illi et in toto anno contingat. Observationes istae omnes pagano- 
rum sunt per adinventiones daemonum exquisitae. 

c. 1 6. ... Vulcanalia et Kalendas observare, menses ornare, lauros 
ponere, pedem observare, effundere [in foco] super truncum frugem et 
vinum, et panem in fontem mittere, quid est aliud nisi cultura diaboli ? 


[Quoted in the Decretum Gratiani, Pars ii, Causa 26, Quaestio 7, c. 13 
(C. f. Can. ed. Friedberg, i. 1044), as from ' Martinus Papa/ or * Martinus 
Bracarensis ' [c. 74]. Mansi, ix. 857, gives the canon with a reference to 
C. of Laodicea^ c. 39, which is a more general decree against taking part in 
Gentile feasts. Burchardus, x. 15, quotes it 'ex decreto Martialis papae.' 
Martin of Braga ob. 580. His Capitula are collected from the councils 
of Braga and the Great Councils. Caspari, Martin von BracarcCs De 
Con. Rusticoruni) xl, thinks that several of them, including c. 74, were his 
own additions.] 

Non licet iniquas observationes agere calendarum, et otiis vacare 
gentilibus, neque lauro aut viriditate arborum cingere domos : omnis 
enim haec observatio paganism! est. 

[Maassen, i. 179.] 

c. i. Non licet kalendis lanuarii vetolo aut cervolo facere vel streneas 
diabolicas observare, sed in ipsa die sic omnia beneficia tribuantur, 
sicut in reliquis diebus. 

c. 5. Omnino inter supra dictis conditionibu^ pervigilias, quos in 
honore domini Martini observant, omnimodis prohibite. 


c. xi* Non licet vigilia paschae ante ora secunda noctis vigilias per- 
expedire, quia ipsa nocte non licet post media nocte bibere, nee 
natale Domini nee reliquas sollemnitates. 

[Anonymi Vita S. Samsonis, ii. 13 (Acta S* S. fulii, vi. 590).] 

Nam cum quodam tempore in Resia insula praedicaret, veniente 
per annuam vertiginem Kalenda lanuaria, qua homines supradictae 
insulae hanc nequam solemnem inepte iuxta patrum abominabilem 
consuetudinem prae ceteris sane celebrate consueverant, ille providus 
spiritu ob duritiam eorum mitigandam, convenire eos omnes in unum 
fecit, ut, Deo revelante, sermo ad detestanda tarn gravia mala sit. 
Turn hi omnes verum de eo amantes, pravos ritus anathematizaverunt, 
ac verum iuxta praecepta tenus sine suscipere spoponderunt. Ille 
nihilominus in Domino secundum Apostolos gaudens, omnes parvulos 
qui per insulam illam ob hanc nefariam diem discurrebant, vocavit 
ad se, eisque singulis per sobriam vocem mercedem nummismunculi 
auro quod est mensura domuit, praecipiens in nomine Domini, ne 
ulterius ab illis haec sacrilega consuetudo servaretur. Quod ita Deo 
operante factum est, ut usque hodie ,ibidem spiritales ioci eius solide 
et catholice remanserint. 


[Sermo in Vita Eligii of Audoenus of Rouen (P. L. Ixxxvii. 524). 
According to E. Vacandard in JR. des Questions historiques y Ixiv. 471, 
this is largely a compilation from the sermons of St. Caesarius of Aries.] 

Nullus in Kalendis lanuarii nefanda et ridiculosa, vetulas aut cervulos, 
aut iotticos 1 faciat, neque mensas supra noctem componat, neque strenas 
aut bibitiones superfluas exerceat. 


[De Ecclesiasticis Officiis^ i. 41 ; De leiunio Kalendarum lanuariarum 
(P. L. Ixxxiii. 774). This is the chief source of the similar passage in the 
ninth-century Pseudo-Alcuin, De Div. Offic. c. 4 (P. L. ci. H77).J 

1. leiunium Kalendarum lanuariarum propter errorem gentili- 
tatis instituit Ecclesia. lanus enim quidam princeps paganorum fuit, 
a quo nomen mensis lanuarii nuncupatur, quern imperiti homines 
veluti Deum colentes, in religione honoris posteris tradiderunt, diem- 
que ipsam scenis et luxuriae sacraverunt. 

2. Tune enim miseri homines, et, quod peius est, etiam fideles, 

1 var. lect. ulerioticos. Ducange explains>//i^tf as ' Iudi t Gall jeux? 


sumentes species monstruosas, in feranim habitu transformantur : 
alii, femineo gestu demutati, virilem vultum effeminant. Nonnulli 
etiam de fanatica adhuc consuetudine quibusdam ipso die obser- 
vationum auguriis profanantur ; perstrepunt omnia saltantium pedibus, 
tripudiantium plausibus, quodque est turpius nefas, nexis inter se 
utriusque sexus choris, inops animi, furens vino, turba miscetur. 

3. Proinde ergo sancti Patres considerantes maximam partem 
generis humani eodem die huiusmodi sacrilegiis ac luxuriis inservire, 
statuerunt in Universo mundo per omnes Ecclesias publicum ieiunium, 
per quod agnoscerent homines in tantum se prave agere, ut pro eorum 
peccatis necesse esset omnibus Ecclesiis ieiunare. 

\Epist. iii in Eahfridum (P. L. Ixxxix. 93).] 

Et ubi pridem eiusdem nefandae natricis ermuli l cervulique cruda 
fanis colebantur stoliditate in profanis,. versa vice discipulorum gur- 
gustia (imo almae oraminum aedes) architect! ingenio fabre conduntur. 


[Cone. Quinisextinum or in Trullo, held at Constantinople, versio 
Latina, c. 62 (Mansi, xi. 971).] 

Kalendas quae dicuntur, et vota [Gk. /Jora], et brumalia quae 
vocantur ; et qui in primo Martii mensis die fit conventum ex fidelium 
universitate omnino tolli volumus : sed et publicas mulierum salta- 
tiones multam noxam exitiumque afferentes: quin etiam eas, quae 
nomine eorum, qui falso apud gentiles dii nominati sunt, vel nomine 
virorum ac mulierum fiunt, sallationes ac mysteria more antiquo et 
a vita Christianorum alieno, amandamus et expellimus; statuentes, 
ut nullus vir deinceps muliebri veste induatur, vel mulier veste viro 
conveniente. Sed neque comicas vel satyricas, vel tragicas personas 
induat; neque execrati Bacchi nomen, uvam in torcularibus expri- 
mentes, invocent ; neque vinum in doliis effundentes risum moveant, 
ignorantia vel vanitate ea, quae ab insaniae impostura procedunt, 


FGregorius II. Capitulare datum episcopo et aliis in Bavarian 
S) c. 9 (Mansi, xii. 260).] 

Ut incantationes, et fastidiationes, sive diversae observationes dierum 
Kalendarum, quas error tradidit paganorum, prohibeantur. 

1 Ermuli. Ducange, s. v., would read Usshcr though^ that the passage referred 
hinnuli. He says that Archbishop to the Saxon god Inninsul. 



[ludicia, c. 23 (P. L. Ixxxix. 594). In Epist. 3 sent to Germany on the 
return of Boniface from Rome in 739, Gregory gives the more general 
direction ' abstinete et prohibete vosmetipsos ab omni cultu paganorum ' 
(P.L. Ixxxix. 579).] 

Si quis . . . ut frater in honore lovis vel Beli aut lani, secundum 
paganam consuetudinem, honorare praesumpserit, placuit secundum 
antiquam constitutionem sex annos poeniteant. Humanius tres annos 


[Bonifatius, Epistola xlix (P. L. Ixxxix. 746). Epistola xlii (Jaffg, 
Monumenta Moguntina), Epistola 1 (Dummler, Epistolae Merowingici 
et Karolini Aevi, i. 301) : cf. K6gel, i. 28 ; Tille, Y. adC. 88. The letter 
is Ad Zachariam Papam.] 

Quia carnales homines idiotae Alamanni, vel Bagoarii, vel Franci, 
si iuxta Romanam urbem aliquid fieri viderint ex his peccatis quae nos 
prohibemus, licitum et concessum a sacerdotibus esse putant ; et dum 
nobis improperium deputant, sibi scandalum vitae accipiunt. Sicut 
affirmant se vidisse annis singulis in Romana urbe, et iuxta ecclesiam 
sancti Petri, in die vel nocte quando Kalendae lanuariae intrant, 
paganorum consuetudine choros ducere per plateas, et acclamationes 
ritu gentilium, et cantationes sacrilegas celebrare, et mensas ilia die 
vel nocte dapibus onerare, et nullum de domo sua vel ignem, vel 
ferramentum, vel aliquid commodi vicino suo praestare velle. Dicunt 
quoque se ibi vidisse mulieres pagano ritu phylacteria et ligaturas in 
brachiis et in cruribus ligatas habere, et publice ad vendendum venales 
ad comparandum aliis offerre. Quae omnia eo quod ibi a carnalibus 
et insipientibus videntur, nobis hie improperium et impedimentum 
praedicationis et doctrinae faciunt. 


[Zacharias Papa, Epistola ii (P.L. Ixxxix. 918), Epistola li (Dummler, 
Epist. Merow. et KaroL Aevi, i. 301). Written Ad Bonifatium in reply 
to No. xxxiii. The constitutio of Pope Gregory referred to appears to be 
No. xxxii.j 

De Kalendis vero lanuariis, vel ceteris auguriis, vel phylacteriis, et 
incantationibus, vel aliis diversis observationibus, quae gentili more 
observari dixisti apud beatum Petrum apostolum, vel in urbe Roma ; 
hoc et nobis et omnibus Christianis detestabile et perniciosum esse 
iudicamus. . . . Nam et sanctae recordationis praedecessoris atque nutri- 
toris nostri domini Gregorii papae constitutione omnia haec pie ac 
fideliter amputata sunt et alia diversa quara plura. 



[Cone. Romanum, c. 9 : Mansi, xii. 384. A slightly different version, 
headed 'Zacharias Papa in Cone. Rom. c. 9,' is in Decretum Gratiani, ii. 
26. 7, c. 14 (C. L Can. ed. Friedberg, i. 1045). This seems to be a result 
of Nos. xxxiii, xxxiv.] 

Ut nullus Kalendas lanuarias et broma ritu paganorum colere prae- 
sumpserit, aut mensas cum dapibus in domibus praeparare, aut per 
vieos et plateas cantiones et choreas ducere, quod maxima iniquitas 
est coram Deo : anathema sit. 


[Dicta Abbatis Priminii, c. 22 (Caspari, Kirchenhistorische Anecdota, 
\. 172). 
Priminius was a German contemporary of Boniface.] 

Nam Vulcanalia et Kalendas observare . . . quid aliut nisi cultura 
diabuli est ? ... Cervulos et vetulas in Kalendas vel aliud tempus 
nolite anbulare. Viri vestes femineas, femine vestes virilis in ipsis 
Kalandis vel in alia lusa quam plurima nolite vestire. 

\Penitentiale Egberti^ viii. 4 (Haddan and Stubbs, iii. 424).] 

Kalendas lanuarias secundum paganam causam honorare, si non 
desinit, v annos poeniteat clericus, si laicus, iii annos poeniteat. 


[Capit.Langobardicum, c. 3 ; Boretius, i. 202 ; Gr6ber,Zr Volkskunde 
aus Concilbeschliissen und Capitularien (1893), No. II.] 

De pravos homines qui brunaticus colunt et de hominibus suis 
subtus maida * cerias incendunt et votos vovent : ad tale vero iniquitas 
eos removere faciant unusquisque. 


[C. P. Caspari, Eine Augustin falschlich beilegte Homilia de Sacrilegiis 
(1886), 17. Caspari (pp. 71, 73) assigns the homily to a Prankish clerk, 
probably of the eighth century. Later on ( 23-26) is another passage 
on the Kalends taken from the pseud-Augustine, Sermo cxxix, which is 
No. xvii, above.] 

Quicumque in kalendas ienuarias mensas panibus et aliis cybis ornat 
et per noctem ponet et diem ipsum colit et [in eo] auguria aspicet vel 
anna in campo ostendit et feel urn 8 et cervulum et alias miserias vel lusa 

1 maida G. explains as Backtrog, i. e. Korting, Lot .Rom. Wortcrbuch, No. 
'kneading-trough' (Gk. fuSrrfxi); cf. 4980. 
Diez, Etym. Worterbuch* S.Y. madia; a TAS.fcctum. 


[facit] qu in ipso die insipientes solent facere, vel qui in mense 
februario hibernum credit expellere, vel qui in ipso mense dies spurcos 
ostendit, [et qui in kalendis ianuariis] aliquid auguriatur, quod in ipso 
anno futurum sit, non christianus, sed gentilis est. 

XL. Ninth century. PSEUDO-THEODORE. 

[Penit. Pseudo-Theod. c. xii (Wasserschleben, ut infra, 597 ; cf. Haddan 
and Stubbs, iii. 173). This Penitential, quoted by Tille, Y. and C. 98, 
and others as Theodore's, and therefore English, is really a Prankish 
one, partly based, but not so far as these sections are concerned, on the 
genuine Penitential of Theodore. I do not quote all the many Penitentials 
which copy from each other, often totidem verbis, prohibitions of the 
Cervulus and Vetula. They may be found in F. W. H. Wasserschleben, 
Bussordnungen der abendland. Kirche> 368, 382, 395, 414, 424, 428, 480, 
517 ; H. J. Schmitz, Die Bussbucher und die Bussdisciplin der Kirche^ 
3 11 ? 379* 479> 633. On the general character of these compilations and 
their filiation, see Schaff, vii. 371. Their ultimate authority for the 
particular prohibition of cervulus and vetula, under these names, is 
probably No. xxv.] 

19. Si quis in Kalendas ianuarii in cervolo aut vetula vadit, id 
est, in ferarum habitus se communicant et vestiuntur pellibus pecudum, 
et assumunt capita bestiarum : qui vero taliter in ferinas species se trans- 
formant, iii annos poeniteant, quia hoc daemoniacum est. 

24. Qui . . . kalendas Ianuarii, more paganorum, honorat, si 
clericus est, v annos poeniteat, laicus iii annos poeniteat. 


[Regino von Priim, De synodalibus causis et disciplina ecclesiastica 
(ed. Wasserschleben, 1840), i. 304.] 

Fecisti aliquid quod pagan! faciunt in Kalendis januariis in cervulo 
vel vetula tres annos poeniteas. 


\Collectio Decretorum, xix. 5 (Grimm, iv. 1743 ; P. L. cxL 960). The 
larger part of the book is from earlier Penitentials, &c., but the long 
chapter from which these extracts are taken appears to be based upon the 
writer's own knowledge of contemporary superstition. On the collection 
generally, cf. A. Hauck, in Sitzb. Akad. Leipzig^ pkil.-hist. A7., xlvi 
(1894), 65.] 

Observasti Kalendas lanuarias ritu paganorum, ut vel aliquid plus 
faceres propter novum annum, quam antea vel post soleres facere, ita 
dico, ut aut mensam tuam cum lapidibus vel epulis in domo tua prae- 
parares eo tempore, aut per vicos et per plateas cantores et choros 
duceres, aut supra tectum domus tuae sederes ense tuo circumsignatus, 
ut ibi videres et intellrgeres, quid tibi in sequenti anno futurum esset? 


vel in bivio sedisti supra taurinam cutem, ut et ibi futura tibi intelligeres? 
vel si panes praedicta nocte coquere fecisti tuo nomine, ut, si bene 
elevarentur et spissi et alti fierent, inde prosperitatem tuae vitae eo 
anno praevideres ? 

Credidisti ut aliqua femina sit quae hoc facere possit, quod quaedam 
a diabolo deceptae se affirmant necessario et ex praecepto facere 
debere, id est, cum daemonum turba in similitudinem mulierum 
transformatam, quam vulgaris stultitia holdam l vocat, certis noctibus 
equitare debere super quasdam bestias, et in eorum se consonio 
annumeratam esse ? 

Fecisti quod quidam faciunt in Kalendis lanuarii, i.e. in octava 
Natalis Domini ; qui ea sancta nocte filant, nent, consuunt, et omne 
opus quodcunque incipere possunt, diabolo instigante propter novum 
annum incipiunt ? 

Fecisti ut quaedam mulieres in quibusdam temporibus anni facere 
solent, ut in domo tuo mensam praeparares, et tuos cibos et potum 
cum tribus cultellis supra mensam poneres, ut si venissent tres illae 
sorores quas antiqua posteritas et antiqua stultitia parcas nominavit, 
ibi reficerentur ; et tulisti divinae pietati potestatem suam et nomen 
suum, et diabolo tradidisti, ita dico, ut crederes illas quas tu dicis esse 
sorores tibi posse aut hie aut in futuro prodesse ? 



[The following extracts are taken from the text printed by W. S. Loge- 
mann in Anglia^ xiii (1891), 365, from Cotton MS. Tiberius A. ///, 
1 1020-1030. This MS. has Anglo-Saxon glosses. Other MSS. are in 
Cotton MS. Faustina B. Ill, and Bodleian MS. Junius, 52, ii. Earlier 
editions of the text are in Reyner, De Antiquitate Ordinis Benedictinorum 
in Anglia> App. iii. p. 77, and Dugdale, Monasticum Anglicanum^ L 
xxvii. The literary history is discussed by W. S. Logemann in Anglia^ 
xv (1893), 20 ; M. Bateson, Rules for Monks and Canons in English Hist. 
Review, ix (1894), 700; and F. Tupper, History and Texts of the 
Benedictine Reform of the Tenth Century , in Modern Language Notes , 
viii. 344. The Prooemium of the document states that it was drawn up by 
the bishops, abbots, and abbesses of England upon the suggestion of King 
Edgar at a Council of Winchester, and that certain additions were made 
to it by Dunstan. The traditional ascription by Cotton's librarian and 
others of the authorship of the Regularis Concordia to Dunstan is 
probably based on this record of the revision which, as archbishop, he 
naturally gave it. The actual author is thought by Dr. Logemann, and by 

jtfaritai; Frig* holdam; var. fat. nnholdam. 


Dr. Stubbs (Memorials of Duns tan, R. S. ex) to have been <lfric, a monk, 
first of Abingdon and then of Winchester, who became abbot of Cerne, 
and in 1005 of Eynsham, and was a considerable writer in Anglo-Saxon. 
Dr. Logemann's view is based on a theory that the Concordia is the 
1 Regula Aluricii, glossata Anglice ' which occurs amongst the titles of 
some tracts once in the library of Christ Church, Canterbury (Anglia, xv. 
25). But the Concordia is more likely to have been the ' Consuetudines 
de faciendo servitio divino per annum, glossatae Anglice,' which is in the 
same list, and in fact the Canterbury copy is probably that in Cotton MS. 
Faustina, B. Ill (E. H. R. ix. 708). Perhaps the ' Regula Aluricii ' was 
a copy of the letter to the monks of Eynsham, which ^Elfric at some date 
after 1005 based upon the Concordia and the De Ecclesiasticis Officiis of 
Amalarius of Metz. This is printed, from C. C. C. C. MS. 265, by Miss 
Bateson, in Dean Kitchin's Obedientiary Rolls of St. Swithirfs, 
Winchester, 173 (Hampshire Record Sec.). It omits the Sepulchrum 
and its Visitatio. In any case this letter makes it clear that ^Ifric was 
not the author of the Concordia, for he says ' haec pauca de libro con- 
suetudinum quern sanctus Aethelwoldus Wintoniensis episcopus cum 
coepiscopis et abbatibus tempore Eadgari felicissimi regis Anglorum 
undique collegit ac monachis instituit observandum.' The author, there- 
fore, so far as there was a single author, was Ethelwold, whom I take to 
be the * abbas quidam ' of the Prooemium. He became Abbot of Abingdon 
about 954, and Bishop of Winchester in 963. In 965 Elfrida, who is also 
mentioned in the Prooemium, became queen. The date of the Concordia 
probably falls, therefore, between 965 and the death of Edgar in 975. 
There were Councils of Winchester in 969 and 975 (Wilkins, i. 247, 261) : 
but the Council at which the Concordia was undertaken may be an earlier 
one, not otherwise recorded. The Concordia is said in the Prooemium to 
have been based in part upon customs of Fleury and of Ghent. It is 
worth pointing out that Ethelwold had already reformed Abingdon after 
the model of Fleury, and that Dunstan, during his banishment, had found 
refuge in St. Peter's at Ghent (Stephens- Hunt, Hist, of the English 
Church, i. 347, 349). Miss Bateson suggests that another source is to be 
found in the writings of an earlier Benedictine reformer, Benedict of 
Aniane (E. H. R. ix. 700).] 

De Consuetudine Atonachorum. 

Prohemum Regularis Concordiae Anglicae Nationis Monachorum 
Sanctimonialiumque Orditur. 

[The Prooemium opens with an account of the piety of King Edgar 
' abbate quodam assiduo monente ' and the purification of the English 

. . . Regulari itaque sancti patrjs Benedict! norma honestissime 
suscepta, tarn abbates perplurimi quam abbatissae cum sibi subiectis 
fratrum sororumque collegiis sanctorum sequi vestigia una fide non 
tamen uno consuetudinis usu certatim cum magna studuerunt hilaritate. 
Tali igitur ac tanto studio praefatus rex magnopere delectatus arcana 
quaeque diligent! cura examinans synoda le concilium Wintoniae 
fieri decrevit . . . cunctosque . . . monuit ut Concordes aequali con- 
suetudinis usu . . . nullo modo dissentiendo discordarent . . . Huius 
praecellentissimi regis sagaci monitu spirituality conpuncti non tantum 

X % 


episcopi vermn etiam abbates et abbatissae . . . eius imperils toto 
mentis conamine alacriter obtemperantes, sanctique patroni nostri 
Gregorii documenta quibus beatum Augustinum monere studuit, ut 
non solum Romanae verum etiam Galliarum honestos ecclesiarum 
usus nidi Anglorum ecclesia decorando constituent, recolentes, accitis 
Floriacensibus beati Benedict! nee non praecipui coenobii quod celebri 
Gent nuncupatur vocabulo monachis quaeque ex dignis eorum moribus 
honesta colligentes, ... has morum consuetudines ad vitae honestatem 
et regularis observantiae dulcedinem . . . hoc exiguo apposuerunt 
codicello . . . Hoc etenim Dunstanus egregius huius patriae archie- 
piscopus praesago afflatus spiritu ad corroborandum praefati sinodalis 
conventus conciliabulum provide ac sapienter addidit, ut videlicet 

[On Maundy Thursday] In qua missa sicut in sequentium dierum 
communicatio prebetur tarn fratribus quam cunctis fidelibus reservata 
nihilominus ea die eucharistia quae sufficit ad communicandum cunctis 
altera die .... 

In die Parascevae agatur nocturna laus [i. e. the Tenebrae] sicut 
supra dictum est. Post haec venientes ad primam discalceati omnes 
incedant quousque crux adoretur. Eadem enim die hora nona abbas 
cum fratribus accedat ad ecclesiam. . . . Postea legitur passio domini 
nostri Ihesu Christi secundum lohannem . . . Post haec celebrentur 
orationes , . . Quibus expletis per ordinem statim preparetur crux 
ante altare interposito spatio inter ipsam et altare sustentata hinc et 
inde a duobus diaconibus. Tune cantent . . . Deferatur tune ab 
ipsis diaconibus ante altare, et eos acolitus cum pulvillo sequatur 
super quern sancta crux ponatur . . . Post haec vertentes se ad clerum 
nudata cruce dicant antiphonam Ecce lignum cruets . . . Ilico ea 
nudata veniat abbas ante crucem sanctam ac tribus vicibus se pro- 
sternat cum omnibus fratribus dexterioris chori scilicet senioribus et 
iunioribus et cum magno cordis suspirio vii* poenitentiae psalmos 
cum orationibus sanctae cruci competentibus decantando peroret . . . 
Et earn humiliter deosculans surgat. Dehinc sinisterioris chori omnes 
fratres eadem mente devota peragant. Nam salutata ab abbate vel 
omnibus cruce redeat ipse abbas ad sedem suam usque dum omnis 
clerus ac populus hoc idem faciat. Nam quia ea die depositionem 
corporis salvatoris nostri celebramus usum quorundam religiosorum 
imitabilem ad fidem indocti vulgi ac neofitorum corroborandam 
equiparando sequi si ita cui visum fuerit vel sibi taliter placuerit 
hoc modo decrevimus. Sit autem in una parte altaris qua vacuum 
fuerit quaedam assimilado sepulchri velamenque quoddam in gyro 


tensum quod dum sancta crux adorata fuerit deponatur hoc ordine. 
Veniant diaconi qui prius portaverunt earn et involvant earn sindone 
in loco ubi adorata est. Tune reportent earn canentes antiphonas . . . 
donee veniant ad locum monument! depositaque cruce ac si domini 
nostri Ihesu Christi corpore sepulto dicant antiphonam ... In eodem 
loco sancta crux cum omni reverentia custodiatur usque dominicae 
noctem resurrectionis. Nocte vero ordinentur duo fratres aut tres aut 
plures si tanta fuerit congregatio, qui ibidem psalmos decantando 
excubias fideles exerceant. . . . [The Missa de Pratsanctificatorum 
follows] . . . Sabbato sancto hora nona veniente abbate in ecclesiam 
cum fratribus novus ut supra dictum est afferatur ignis. Posito vero 
cereo ante altare ex illo accendatur igne. Quern diaconus more 
solito benedicens hanc orationem quasi voce legends proferens 
dicat . . . 

In die sancto paschae . . . eiusdem tempore noctis antequam matuti- 
norum signa moveantur sumant editui crucem et ponant in loco sibi 
congruo. . . . Dum tertia recitatur lectio quatuor fratres induant se, 
quorum unus alba indutus ac si ad aliud agendum ingrediatur atque 
latenter sepulchri locum adeat, ibique manu tenens palmam quietus 
sedeat Dumque tertium percelebratur responsorium residui tres 
succedant, omnes quidem cappis induti turribula cum incensu manibus 
gestantes ac pedetemptim ad similitudinem querentium quid veriant 
ante locum sepulchri. Aguntur enim haec ad imitationem angeli 
sedentis in monumento atque mulierum cum aromatibus venientium 
ut ungerent corpus Ihesu. Cum ergo ille residens tres velut erraneos 
ac aliquid querentes viderit sibi adproximare incipiat mediocri voce 
dulcisono can tare Quern quaeritis\ quo decantato fine tenus respondeant 
hi tres uno ore Ihesum Namrenum. Quibus ille, Non est hie : surrexit 
sicut praedixerat. lie nuntiate quia surrexit a mortuis. Cuius 
iussionis voce vertant se illi tres ad chorum dicentes Alleluia : resurrexit 
dominus. Dicto hoc rursus ille residens velut revocans illos dicat 
antiphonam Venite et videte locum : haec vero dicens surgat et erigat 
velum ostendatque eis locum cruce nudatum sed tantum linteamina 
posita quibus crux involuta erat. Quo viso deponant turribula quae 
gestaverunt in eodem sepulchro sumantque linteum et extendant 
contra clerum, ac veluti ostendentes quod surrexerit dominus, etiam 
non sit illo involutus, hanc canant antiphonam, Surrexit dominus de 
sepulchro, superponantque linteum altari. Finita antiphona Prior, 
congaudens pro triumpho regis nostri quod devicta morte surrexit, 
incipiat hymnum Te deum laudamus: quo incepto una pulsantur omnia 



[From A Description or Breife Declaration of 'all the Ancient Monu- 
ments, Rites and Customes belonginge or beinge within the Monastical 
Church of Durham before the Suppression (ed. J. Raine, Surtees Soc. xv). 
This anonymous tract was written in 1593. A new edition is in course of 
preparation for the Surtees Society.] 


Within the Abbye Church of Durham, uppon Good Friday theire 
was marvelous solemne service, in the which service time, after the 
PASSION was sung, two of the eldest Monkes did take a goodly large 
CRUCIFIX, all of gold, of the picture of our Saviour Christ nailed uppon 
the crosse, lyinge uppon a velvett cushion, havinge St. Cuthbert's 
armes uppon it all imbroydered with gold, bringinge that betwixt 
them uppon the said cushion to the lowest greeces in the Quire ; and 
there betwixt them did hold the said picture of our Saviour, sittinge of 
every side, on ther knees, of that, and then one of the said Monkes 
did rise and went a pretty way from it, sittinge downe uppon his 
knees, with his shooes put of, and verye reverently did creepe away 
uppon his knees unto the said Crosse, and most reverently did kisse 
it. And after him the other Monke did so likewise, and then they 
did sitt them downe on every side of the Crosse, and holdinge it 
betwixt them, and after that the Prior came forth of his stall, and did 
sitt him downe of his knees, with his shooes off, and in like sort 
did creepe also unto the said Crosse, and all the Monkes after him 
one after another, in the same order, and in the mean time all the 
whole quire singinge an himne. The seruice beinge ended, the two 
Monkes did carrye it to the SEPULCHRE with great reverence, which 
Sepulchre was sett upp in the morninge, on the north side of the 
Quire, nigh to the High Altar, before the service time ; and there lay 
it within the said SEPULCHRE with great devotion, with another picture 
of our Saviour Christ, in whose breast they did enclose, with great 
reverence, the most holy and blessed Sacrament of the Altar, senceinge 
it and prayinge unto it upon theire knees, a great space, settinge two 
tapers lighted before it, which tapers did burne unto Easter day in the 
morninge, that it was taken forth. 


There was in the Abbye Church of Duresme verye solemne service 
uppon Easter Day, betweene three and four of the clocke in the 
morninge, in honour of the RESURRECTION, where two of the oldest 


Monkes of the Quire came to the Sepulchre, being sett upp upon 
Good Friday, after the Passion, all covered with red velvett and 
embrodered with gold, and then did sence it, either Monke with a pair 
of silver sencers sittinge on theire knees before the Sepulchre. Then 
they both rising came to the Sepulchre, out of which, with great 
devotion and reverence, they tooke a marvelous beautifull IMAGE OF 
OUR SAVIOUR, representing the resurrection, with a crosse in his hand, 
in the breast wherof was enclosed in bright christall the holy Sacra- 
ment of the Altar, throughe the which christall the Blessed Host was 
conspicuous to the behoulders. Then, after the elevation of the said 
picture, carryed by the said two Monkes uppon a faire velvett cushion, 
all embrodered, singinge the anthem of CArisfus resurgent, they 
brought it to the High Altar, settinge that on the midst therof, 
whereon it stood, the two Monkes kneelinge on theire knees before 
the Altar, and senceing it all the time that the rest of the whole quire 
was in singinge the foresaid anthem of CArtstus resurgent. The which 
anthem beinge ended, the two Monkes tooke up the cushions and the 
picture from the Altar, supportinge it betwixt them, proceeding, in 
procession, from the High Altar to the south Quire dore, where there 
was four antient Gentlemen, belonginge to the Prior, appointed to 
attend theire cominge, holdinge upp a most rich CANNOPYE of purple 
velvett, tached round about with redd silke and gold fringe; and at 
everye corner did stand one of theise ancient Gentlemen, to beare 
it over the said image, with the Holy Sacrament, carried by two 
Monkes round about the church, the whole quire waitinge uppon it 
with goodly torches and great store of other lights, all singinge, 
rejoyceinge, and praising God most devoutly, till they came to the 
High Altar againe, whereon they did place the said image there to 
remaine untill the Ascension day. 


Over the [second of the iij Alters in that plage] was a merveylous 
lyvelye and bewtiful Immage of the picture of our Ladie, so called the 
LADY OF BOULTONB, which picture was maide to open with gymmers 
from her breaste downdward. And within the said immage was 
wrowghte and pictured the immage of our Saviour, merveylouse fynlie 
gilted, houldinge uppe his handes, and houlding betwixt his handes 
a fair large CRUCIFIX OF CHRIST, all of gold, the which crucifix was to 
be taiken fourthe every Good Fridaie, and every man did crepe unto it 
that was in that church at that daye. And ther after yt was houng upe 
againe within the said immage. 




[I give the various directions and rubrics referring to the sepulchre 
from the Consuetudinary (ti2io), Ordinal (ti27o), Customary (first half 
of fourteenth century), Processional (1508, &c.), Missal (1526, &c.), and 
Breviary (1531). The printed sixteenth-century rubrics practically repro- 
duce the later Ordinal of the middle of the fourteenth century.] 

The Depositio. 
[From the Processional, with which the Missal practically agrees.] 

Finitis vesperis, exuat sacerdos casulam, et surttens secum unum 
de praelatis in superpelliceis discalceati reponant crucem cum corpore 
dominico [scilicet in pixide, Missal] in sepulcrum incipiens ipse solus 
hoc responsorium Aeslimatus sum, genuflectendo cum socio suo, quo 
incepto statim surgat Similiter fiat in responsorio Sepullo Domino. 
Chorus totum responsorium prosequatur cum suo versu, genuflectendo 
per totum tempus usque ad finem servitii. Responsoria ut sic: 
Aestimatus sum. Chorus prosequatur cum descendentibus in locum . . . 
Dum praedictum responsorium canitur cum suo Versu, praedicti duo 
sacerdotes thurificent sepulcrum, quo facto et clauso ostio, incipiet 
idem sacerdos responsorium Sepulto Domino. . . . Item praedicti duo 
sacerdotes dicant istas tres antiphonas sequentes genuflectendo con- 
tinue : In pace . . . In pacefactus est . . . Caro mea . . . His finitis, et 
dictis prius orationibus ad placitum secrete ab omnibus cum genu- 
flexione, omnibus aliis ad libitum recedentibus, ordiite [non, Missal] 
servato, reinduat sacerdos casulam, et eodem modo quo accessit in prin- 
cipio servitii, cum diacono et subdiacono et ceteris ministris abscedat. 

The Sepulchre Light. 

[From the Processional f ,with which 
[From the Consuetudinary ^ S"" 1 Cusfoma ^ P racti - 

In die parasceues post repos- Exinde [i.e. from the Depo- 

itum corpus domini in sepulcro, sitio] continue ardebit unus cereus 

duo cerei dimidie libre ad minus ad minus ante sepulcrum usque 

in thesauraria tota die ante sepul- ad processionem quae fit in Re- 

crum ardebunt. In nocte se- surrectibne Dominica in die 

quente et exinde usque ad pro- Paschae: ita tamen quod dum 

cessionem quae fit in die pasche Psalmus Senedictus canitur et 

ante matutinas, unus illorum tan- cetera quae sequuntur, in sequent! 


nocte extinguatur: similiter et 
extinguatur in Vigilia Paschae, 
dum benedicitur novus ignis, 
usque accendatur cereus pasch- 

turn, magnum eciam cereum pa- 

[From the Consuetu- 

In die pasche ante 
matutinas conueniant 
clerici ed ecclesiam 
accents cunctis cereis 
per ecclesiarm : duo 
excellenciores presbi- 
teri in superpelliceis 
ad sepulchrum acce- 
dant prius incensato 
ostio sepulchri cum 
magna ueneratione, 
corpus dominicum 
super altare deponant : 
deinde crucem de se- 
pulchro tollant, ex- 
cellenciore presbitero 
inchoante antiphonam 
Christus resurgens et 
sic eant, per ostium 
australe presbiterif in- 
cedentes, per medium 
chori regredientes, 
cum thuribulario et 
ceroferariis precedent- 
ibus, ad altare sancti 
martini canentes prae- 
dictam antiphonam 
cumuersusuo. Deinde 
dicto uersiculo Surre- 
xit dominus de sepul- 
chre, et dicta oracione 

The Elevatio. 

[Froto the Ordinal.] 

In Die Pasche 
Ad Processionem 
ante Matutinas con- 
uehiant omnes clerici 
ad ecclesiam ac accen- 
dantur luminaria per 
ecclesiam. Episcopus 
uel decanus in super- 
pelliceo cum cerofe- 
rariis thuribulariis et 
clero in sepulcrum 
accedant, et incensato 
prius sepulcro cum 
magna ueneracione 
corpus domini assu- 
mant et super altare 
ponant. Iterum ac- 
cipientes crucem de 
sepulcro inchoet epi- 
scopus uel decanus 
Ant. Christus resur- 
gens. Tune omnes cum 
gaudio genua flectant 
et ipsam crucem ado- 
rent, idipsum canentes 
cum "#. Dicantnunc. 
Tune omnes cam- 
pane in classicum 
pulsentur, et cum 
magna ueneracione 
deportetur crux ad 

[From the Breviary ', 
with which the Pro- 
cessional, although less 
full, practically agrees.] 

In die sancto Paschae 
ante Matutinas et ante 
campanarum pulsati- 
onem conveniant Cle- 
rici ad ecclesiam, et 
accendantur lumin- 
aria per totam eccle- 
siam. Tune duo ex- 
cellentiores Presbyteri 
in superpelliceis cum 
duobus Ceroferariis, et 
duobus thuribulis, et 
clem ad sepulchrum 
accedant: et incensato 
*a praedictis duobus 
Presbyteris prius se- 
pulchro cum magna 
veneratione, videlicet 
genuflectendo, statim 
post thurificationem 
corpus Dominicum 
super altare privatim 
deponant : iterum ac- 
cipientes crucem de 
sepulchro, choro et 
populo interim genu- 
flectente incipiat ex- 
cellentior persona 
Ant. Christus resur- 
gens. Et Chorus pro- 
sequatur totam and- 


ab exceUenciore sa- 
cerdote post debitam 
campanarum pulsaci- 
onem inchoentur ma- 

phonam sic/or mortuis 
. . . Alleluya. 

Et tune dum cani- 
tur Antiphona, eat 
processio per ostium 
australe presbyterii 
incedens et per me- 
dium chori regrediens 
[per ostium presby- 
terii australe ince- 


locum ubi prouisum 

sit, clero canente pre- 

dictam antiphonam. 

Quo facto dicat Sa- 

cerdos 'ft. Surrexit 

dominus de sepukro. 

Or. Deus quipro nobis. 

Que terminetur sic, 

Per eundem christum 

dominum nostrum. 

dendo per medium chori, et ingrediens, Processional] cum praedicta 

cruce de sepulchro inter praedictos duos Sacerdotes super eorum brachia 

venerabiliter portata, cum thuribulis et Ceroferariis praecedentibus, per 

ostium presbyterii boreale exeundo, ad unum altare ex parte boreali 

ecclesiae, Choro sequente, habitu non mutato, minoribus [excellen- 

tioribus, Processional] praecedentibus : ita tamen quod praedicti duo 

excellentiores in fine processionis subsequantur, corpore Dominico 

super altare in pixide dimisso et sub Thesaurarii custodia [in subthe- 

saurarii custodia, Processional], qui illud statim in praedicta pixide in 

tabernaculo deponat [dependat ut potest in ista statione praecedente, 

Processional] : et tune pulsentur omnes campanae in classicum. 

Finito Antiphona praedicta, sequatur a toto Choro 

V. Dicant nunc Judei . . . Alleluya. 

Finita autem Antiphona cum suo Versu a toto Choro, dicat excel- 
lentior persona in sua statione ad altare conversus hunc Versum. 
V. Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro. 
R. Quipro nobis pependit in ligno. Alleluya. 

Oratio. Deus, quipro nobis . . . Per Christum Dominum nostrum. 
Et terminetur sub Dominicali tono ad processlonem : nee prae- 
cedat nee subsequatur Dominus vobiscum. 

Finita. Oratione omnes cum gaudio genuflectent ibidem et ipsam 
crucem adorent, in primis digniores, et tune secrete sine processione 
in chorum redeant 

His itaque gestis discooperiantur ymagines et cruces per totam 
eeclesiam: et interim pulsentur campanae, sicut in Festis princi- 
palibus, ad Matutinas more solito. 

The Censing in Easter Week. 

[From the Customary.] 
Ad primas uesperas . . . post inchoacionem antiphone super psal- 


mum Magnificat procedat executor officii cum alio sacerdote ... ad 
thurificandum altare ... In die tamen pasche et per ebdomadam 
thurificetur sepulchrum domini post primam thurificacionem altaris, 
scilicet antequam thurificator altaris circumeat 

The Removal of the Sepulchre. 
[From the Customary^ 

Die ueneris in ebdomada pasche ante missam amoueatur sepul- 



[From Bodleian MS. 15,846 (Rawlinson Liturg. D. 4), f. 130, a Sarum 
processional written in the fourteenth century and belonging in the fifteenth 
to the church of St. John the Evangelist, Dublin. A less good text from 
Dublin, Abp. Marsh's Library, MS. V. 3, 2, 10, another fourteenth 
century processional from the same church, is facsimiled by W. H. Frere, 
Winchester Troper, pi. 26 b , and printed therefrom by Manly, i. xxii. 
I give all the important variants of this version.] 

1 Finito iij R cum suo "# et G/0ria pa/ri uenient tres p^rsone in 
superpellicets et in capis 1 smcis capitibw uelatis quasi tres Marie 
querentes Ihesum 2 , siwgule portantes pixidem in manibwj quasi aroma- 
tibus, quorum prima ad ingressu/0 chori usque sepulcruw procedat 
per se 8 quasi lamentando dicat : 

Heu! pius pastor occiditur, 
Quern nulla culpa infecit: 

O mors lugendal 

Factoq** modico intmiallo, intret s^cda Maria co/isimili* modo 
et dicat : 

Heu ! nequam gens ludaica, 
Quam dira frendet uesania, 

Plebs execrandal 
Deinde iij Maria consimili modo dicat 8 : 

Heu! uerus doctor obijt, 
Qui uita/a f&#ctis contulit: 
O res plangendal 

*~* Omitted by Frert, probably because * Christum, 
it was inconvenient to facsimile part * et. * Simtli. 

only of a page. * Omitted. 


Ad hue paululu/0 procededo prima Maria dicat l : 
Heu! misere cur contigit* 
Uidere mortem Saluatoris? 
Deinde secunda Maria dicat 6 : 

Heu ! Consolacio nostra, 
Ut quid mortem sustinuitl 
Tuc 4 iij Maria : 

Heu! Redempcio nostra, 
Ut quid taliter agere uoluit! 

Tu#c se comugat et procedant ad gradual chor/ an/* altars simul 9 
dicewtes : 

lam, iam, ecce, iam properemus ad tumulum 
Unguentes* Delecti 7 corpus sanctissimum 

8 Deide procedawt $\mi\iter prope sepulchrum et pn'ma Maria dicat 
per se 

Condumentis aromatu^t 
Unganuw corpus sanctissimuw 

Quo preciosa 8 . 
Tu;*c secunda. Maria dicat per se : 

Nardi uetet commixtio, 
Ne putrescat in tumulo 

Caro beta! 
Deinde iij Maria 9 dicat per se 9 : 

Sed nequimus hoc patrare sine adiutorio. 
Quis nam saxum reuoluet 10 a monument! ostio? 
Facto intmiallo, zngelus nixus sepulcrum apparuit u eis et dicat hoc 
modo : 

Quern queritis ad sepulcrum, o Cristicole? 
Deinde respodeant tres Marie simul Mcentes 12 : 

Ihesum Nazarenum crucifixum, o celicolal 
Tune angelus dicet 11 : 

Surrexit, non est hie, sicut dixit; 
Uenite et uidete locum ubi positus faerat. 
Deinde pral/c/e Marie sepulcruw intrent ^/ 14 inclinantes se et 
prospicientes undiq^ intra sepulcrum, alta uoce quasi gaudentes lft et 
admirantes et paru#z a septilcro recedentes simul dicaat 16 : 

1 dicat hoc modo. Condimentis aromatum vngnentes cor- 

9 contingit. s Omitted. pus sontttssimum quo preciosa. 

* Deinde. 5 Omitted. >~ 9 Omitted. M reuoluit 

Ungentes. T Dilecti. ll appariat. lf Omitted. 
". Omitted: but a later hand has " dicat sic. 14 Omitted. 

written on a margin of the manuscript, " gaudendo. l * dicaift aimwL 


Alleluya! resurrexit Dominus! 
Alleluya! resurrexit Dominus hodie! 
Resurrexit potens, fortis, C Arts/us f Filius Dei! 
Deinde qngelus ad eas 1 : 

Et euntes dicite discipulis eius et Petro quia surrexit. 
In quo reuirtant ad angelum quasi mandatuw suum ad implendum 
parate simul dicentes 9 : 

Eya ! pergamus propere 
Mandatum hoc perficere! 

Interim ueniant ad ingressuw chori due p<?rsone nude pedes sub 
personis a,posfolorum lohannis et Petr*' indute albis sine paruris cum 
tunicis, quorum lohannes amictus tunica alba palmar in manu gestans, 
Petrus uero rubea tunica indutus claues in manu ferens 8 ; et pralicte 
mulieres de sepulcro reuertentes et quasi de choro simul exeuntes, 
dicat prima Maria 4 per se 4 sequentiam : 

Victime paschali laudes 
Immolant CAni/iani. 
Agnus redemit oues : 
Christus innocens Patri 
Reconsiliauit peccatores. 
Mors et uita duello 
Conflixere mirando: 
Dux uite mortuis 5 
Regnat uiuus. 

Tune obuiantes eis in medio chori predict! discipuli, interrogantes 
simul dicant: 

Die nobis, Maria, 
Quid uidisti in uia? 

Tuc pri'ma Maria respondeat quasi monstrando : 
Sepulcrum Christi uiuentis 
Et gloriam uidi resurgentis. 
Tuc ij Maria respondet similtter 6 monstrando : 
Angelicos testes, 
Sudarium et uestes. 
Tune iij 7 Maria respondeat : 

Surrexit CAristus, spes nostra, 
Precedet uos in Galileam. 
Et sic pr0cedant simul ad ostium chori ; interim 8 Currant duo ad 

1 eas dicens. lines 6-9 by Tercia Maria 

1 dicentes simul. f deferens. * Manly suggests mortaus. 

44 Omitted. Lines -^^of the sequence e respondeat quasi. 

are preceded by S^cda Maria, and 1 Tercia. 8 et interim. 


monumentum; uerumptamen ille disciptdos quern diligebat Ihesus 
uenit prior ad monumen turn, iuxta euangiliu/* : ( Currebant au/im duo 
siml et rile alius discipulus pr*cucurrit cicius Petro et uenit prior ad 
monumefltu/0, non tamm introiuit/ Uidentes discipuli predict 1 
sepulcru/H uacutuft */ uerbis Marie credentes reuirtaitt se ad chorum 
dicentes * : 

Credendum est magis soli Marie ueraci 
Quam ludeorum turbe fallacil 

Tune audita 8 CAristi resurreccione, chorus pro&equatur alta uoce 
quasi gaudewtes et exultantes sic dicentes 4 : 

Scimus Christum surrexisse 
A mortuis uere. 

Tu nobis, uictor Rex, miserere ! 
Qua fiw'ta, executor officii incipiat : 

Te Deum laudamus. 
5 Tune recedant sancfae Marie ^postofi et angelus 5 . 


[Communicated from Lille Bibl. Muntc. MS. 62 (sixteenth century) by 
L. Deschamps de Pas to the Annales archtologiques, xvii (1857), 167.] 

Sequuntur ceremonie et modus observandus pro celebratione misse 
Missus EST GABRIEL ANGELUS, &c., vulgariter dicte AUREE MISSE 
quolibet anno in choro ecclesie Tornacensis decantande feria x a ante 
festum nativitatis Domini nostri lesu-Christi, ex fundatione venerabilis 
viri magistri Petri Cotrel, canonici died ecclesie Tornacensis et in 
eadem archidiaconi Brugensis, de licentia et permissione dominorum 
suorum decani et capituli predicte ecclesie Tornacensis. Primo, feria 
tercia, post decantationem vesperum, disponentur per carpentatorem 
ecclesie in sacrario chori dicte ecclesie Tornacensis, in locis iam ad 
hoc ordinatis et sibi oppositis, duo stallagia, propter hoc appropriate, 
que etiam ornabuntur cortinis et pannis cericeis ad hoc ordinatis per 
casularium iam dicte ecclesie, quorum alterum, videlicet quod erit de 
latere episcopi, serviet ad recipiendam beatam virginem Mariam, et 
alterum stallagium ab illo oratorio oppositum, quod erit de latere 
decani, serviat ad recipiendum et recludendum Angelum. Item 

1 Omitted. f dicentes hoc mode. ' andito. * dicant. 

M Omitted. 


similiter eodem die deputatus ad descendendum die sequent! columbam, 
visitabit tabernaculum in altis carolis dispositum, disponet cordas, et 
parabit instrumentum candelis suis munitum, per quod descendet 
Spiritus Sanctus in specie columbe, tempore decantationis ewangelii, 
prout postea dicetur, et erit sollicitus descendere cordulam campanule, 
et illam disponere ad stallagium Angeli, ad illam campanulam pul- 
sandam suo tempore, die sequenti, prout post dicetur. Item in 
crastinum durantibus matutinis, magistri cantus erunt solliciti quod 
duo iuvenes, habentes voces dulces et altas, preparentur in thesauraria, 
hostio clauso, unus ad modum virginis seu regine, et alter ad modum 
angeli, quibus providebitur de ornamentis et aliis necessariis propter 
hoc per fundatorem datis et ordinatis. Item post decantationem 
septime lectionis matutinarum, accedent duo iuvenes, Mariam videlicet 
et Angelum representantes, sic parati de predicta thesauraria, ad 
chorum intrando per maius hostium dicti chori, duabus thedis ardenti- 
bus precedentibus : Maria videlicet per latus domini episcopi, in 
manibus portans horas pulchras, et Angelus per latus domini decani, 
p^rtans in manu dextra sceptrum argenteum deauratum, et sic morose 
p^ogredientur, cum suis magistris directoribus, usque ad summum 
ritare, ubi, genibus flexis, fundent ad Dominum orationem. Qua 
facta, progredientur dicti iuvenes quilibet ad locum suum, Maria 
videlicet ad stallagium, de parte episcopi preparatum, cum suo magistro 
directore, et Angelus ad aliud stallagium de parte decani similiter 
preparatum, etiam cum suo alio magistro directore, et ubique cortinis 
clausis. Coram quibus stallagiis remanebunt predicte thede, ardentes 
usque ad finem misse. Item clerici thesaurarie, durantibus octava et 
nona lectionibus matutinarum, preparabunt maius altare solemniter, ut 
in triplicibus festis, et omnes candele circumquaque chorum sacrarum 
de rokemes, et in corona nova existentes accendentur. Et clerici 
revestiarii providebunt quod presbyter, dyaconus, subdiaconus, choriste, 
cum pueris revestitis, sint parati, in fine hymni TE DEUM, pro missa 
decantanda, ita quod nulla sit pausa inter finem dicti himpni TE 
DEUM et missam. Et in fine praedicte misse sit paratus presbiter 
ebdomarius cantandi versum Ora pro nobis, et deinde, Deus in 
adiutorium, de laudibus illas perficiendo per chorum, et in fine psalmi 
De profundis dicendi, in fine matutinarum, more consueto, adiungetur 
collecta Adiuva nos pro fundatore ultra collectam ordinariam. Item, 
cum celebrans accesserit ad maius altare, pro incipienda missa, et ante 
Confiteor immediate cortine circumquaque oratorium Virginis solum 
aperientur, ipsa Virgine attente orante et ad genua existente suo libro 
aperto, super pulvinari ad hoc ordinato, Angelo adhuc semper clauso 


in suo stallagio remanente. Item cum cantabitur Gloria in Excelsis 
Deo tune cortine stallagii, in quo erit Angclus, aperientur. In quo 
stallagio stabit dictus Angelus erectus, tenens in manibus suis suum 
sceptrum argenteum, et nichil aliud faciens, quousque fuerit tempus 
cantandi ewangelium, nee interim faciet Virgo aliquod signum videndi 
dictum angelum, sed, submissis oculis, erit semper intenta ad oratio- 
nem. Item cum appropinquarit tempus cantandi dictum ewangelium, 
diaconus cum subdiacono, pueris cum candelis et cruce precedentibus, 
progredientur ad locum in sacrario sibi preparatum, et cantabit 
ewangelium Missus est Gabriel, et etiam cantabunt partes suas Maria 
et Angelus, prout ordinatum et notatum est in libro ad hoc ordinato. 
Item cum Angelus cantabit hec verba ewangelii, Ave, gratia plena, 
Dominus tecum, faciet tres ad Virginem salutationes ; primo ad illud 
verbum Ave, humiliabit se tarn capite quam corpore, post morose se 
elevando ; et ad ilia verba, gratia plena, faciet secundam humiliationem, 
flectendo mediocriter genua sua, se postea relevando ; et ad ilia verba, 
Dominus tecum, quae cantabit cum gravitate et morose, tune faciet 
terciam humiliationem ponendo genua usque ad terram et finita 
clausula assurget, Virgine interim se non movente. Sed dum Maria 
virgo cantabit Quomodo fief istud, assurget et vertet modicum faciem 
suam ad Angelum cum gravitate et modestia, non aliter se movendo. 
Et dum cantabit Angelus Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, etc., tune 
Angelus vertet faciem suam versus columbam illam ostendendo, et 
subito descendet ex loco in aids carolis ordinato, cum candelis in 
circuitu ipsius ardentibus, ante stallagium sive oratorium Virginis, ubi 
remanebit, usque post ultimum Agnus Dei, quo decantato, revertetur 
ad locum unde descenderat. Item magister cantus, qui erit in stallagio 
Angeli, sit valde sollicitus pro propria vice pulsare campanam in altis 
carolis, respondente in initio ewangelii, ut tune ille qui illic erit 
ordinatus ad descendendum columbam sit preadvisatus et preparet 
omnia necessaria et candelas accendat. Et secunda vice sit valde 
sollicitus pulsare dictam campanulam, ita quod precise ad illud verbum 
Spiritus Sanctus descendat ad Virginem columbam ornatam candelis 
accensis, et remaneat ubi descenderit, usque ad ultimum Agnus Dei 
decantatum, prout dictum est. Et tune idem magister cantus iterum 
pulsabit pro tercia vice eamdem campanulam, ut revertatur columba 
unde descenderit. Et sit ille disponendus vel deputandus ad descen- 
dendum dictam columbam bene preadvisatus de supra dicta triplici 
pulsatione et quid quilibet significant ne sit in aliquo defectus. Item 
predict!, diaconus, Maria, et Angelus complebunt totum ewangelium 
in eodem tono prout cuilibet sibi competit, et ewangelio finito reponet 


se Maria ad genua et orationem, et Angelus remanebit rectus, usque 
in finem misse, hoc excepto, quod in elevatione corporis Christ! ponet 
se ad genua. Item postea proficietur missa, Maria et Angelo in suis 
stallages usque in fine permanentibus. Item missa finita, post //<?, 
missa est, Maria et Angelus descendent de suis stallages et revertentur 
cum reliquiis et revestitis usque ad revestiarium predictum eorum, 
flambellis precedentibus. In quo revestiario presbiter celebrans cum 
predictis revestitis Maria et Angelo dicet psalmum De profttndis, prout 
in choro cum adiectione collecte Adtuva pro fundatore. Item fiet 
missa per omnia, ut in die Annunciationis dominice cum sequentia sive 
prosa Mittit ad virginem, cum organis et discantu prout in triplicibus. 


[This comparative table is based on that drawn up by Prof. Hohlfeld 
in Anglia, xi. 241. The episodes are taken in their scriptural order, which 
is not always that of the plays. I have added the Cornish data, using 
O. P. R. to indicate the Origo Mundi> Passio Domini, and Resurrectio 
Domini of the older text, and J. for William Jordan's Creation of the 
World. I have quoted H alii well's divisions of the Ludus Coventriae^ 
really a continuous text, for convenience sake.] 







I. Fall of Lucifer . 





O. 48 ': J.I 14-334- 

2. Creation and Fall of 




i, ii 

O.I-437: J.I-H3. 



3. Cain and Abel . 





0. 438-633: J. 


4. Wanderings of Cain 

J. 1332-1393. 

5. Death of Cain . 
6. Seth in Paradise and 



J. 1431-1726. 
O. 634-916 : J. 

Death of Adam 


1430, 1727-2093, 


7. Enoch 

J. 2094-2145. 

8. Noah and the Flood 

viii, ix 




O. 917-1258 : J. 


9. Abraham and Mel- 



10. Abraham and Isaac. 





0. 1259-1394. 

II. Jacob's Blessing 
12. Jacob's Wanderings . 


V 1 




1 Only a stage-direction, Hie ludit 
[! cadif} Lucifer de ceto. 
1 Imperfect. 

9 Jordan closes with an invitation to 
Rcdtmptio on the morrow. 









13. Moses and theExodus 




o. 1395-1714- 

14. Moses in the Wilder- 





O. 1715-1898. 

15. Balaam 


16. David and the Rods 

O. 1899-2104. 

17. David and Bathsheba 

O. 2105-2376. 

1 8. Building of the Tem- 
ple ... 

O. 2377-2628. 

19. Prophecy of Maxi- 
fhilla . 

, ._. 


O. 2629-2778. 

20. Bridge over Cedron . 

O. 2779-2824. 

21. Prophetae 

xii 1 



22. Joachim and Anna . 


23. Mary in the Temple 


24. Betrothal of Mary . 

X 1 


25. Annunciation . 





26, Salutation of Eliza- 

beth . 





27. Suspicion of Joseph . 





28. Purgation of Mary , 


29. Augustus and Cyre- 



30. Nativity . 




31. Conversion of Octa- 

vian . 


32. Pastores . 


xii,xiii 2 



33. Purification 

xii 3 




34. Magi before Herod . 


xvii 2 




35. Offering of Magi 





36. Flight into Egypt 





37. Massacre of Inno- 

cents . 





38. Death of Herod 


39. Presentation in Tem- 

ple ... 


xviii * 


40. Baptism . 




41. Temptation 




P. 1-172. 

42. Marriage in Cana . 


43. Transfiguration 


44. Woman in Adultery 




45. Healing of Blind in 

Siloam . 


46. Raising of Lazarus . 


xxxi 8 



47. Healing of Barti- 

maeus . 

P- 393-454- 

48. Entry into Jerusalem 




P- I73-330- 

49. Cleansing of Temple 


P. 331-392. 

50. Jesus in House of 

Simon the Leper . 


XX 1 



P- 455-552- 

51. Conspiracy of Jews . 





P. 553-584- 

1 Narrated. 

9 Duplicates. 


* Imperfect. 








52. Treachery of Judas . 





P. 585-616. 

53. Last Supper . 





P. 617-930. 

54. Gethsemane 





P. 931-1200. 

55. Jesus beforeCaiaphas 





P. 1200-1504. 

56. Jesus before Pilate . 




P. 1567-1616. 

57. Jesus before Herod . 




P. 1617-1816. 


58. Dream ofPilate'sWife 



P. 1907-1968, 


59. Remorse and Death 

of Judas 


xxxii * 


P. 1505-1566. 

60. Condemnation 





P. 1817-2533. 

61. Cross Brought from 


P. 2534-2584. 

62. Bearing of the Cross 



xv ii 


P. 2585-2662. 

63. Veronica . 



64. Crucifixion 





P. 2663-2840. 

65. Casting of Lots 




P. 2841-2860. 


66. Planctus Mariae [cf. 






P. 2925-2954. 

67. Death of Jesus . 





P. 2861-3098. 

68. Longinus 





P. 3003-3030. 

69. Descent from Cross 





P- 399-32oi. 

70. Burial 



P. 3202-3216. 

71. Harrowing of Hell 

xxx vii 




P- 3 3i-307# : 


R. 97-306. 

72. Release of Joseph anc 

R. 1-96, 307- 


334, 625-662. 

73. Setting of Watch 

xxxv iii 




R. 335-422. 

74. Resurrection . 





R. 423-678. 

75- Quern Quaeritis 





R. 679-834- 

76. Hortulanus 



xix 2 


R. 835-892. 

77. Peregnni 




xxx vii 

R. 1231-1344. 

78. Incredulity ofThomas 





R. 893-1230, 


79. Death of Pilate 

R. 1587-2360. 

80. Veronica and Tiber 


R. 1587-2360. 

81. Ascension 





R. 2361-2630. 

82. Pentecost 


[? lost; 



83. Death of Mary . 



84. Burial of Mary 



85. Apparition of Mary 

to Thomas . 


86. Assumption andCoro- 
nation . 

xlvii 8 



87. Signs of Judgemen 
[cf. p. 53] . 


88. Antichrist [cf. p. 62] 


89. Doomsday 




xlii 4 

Late addition. 3 Imperfect ? * And later fragment. * Imperfect. 

Y 2 



[Printed by Wright and Halliwell, Reliquiae Antiquae (1841), i. 145, 
from an early fourteenth-century MS., then belonging to the Rev. K. 
Yerburgh, of Sleaford. On the piece and its sources in the Latin, French, 
and English fabliaux of Dame Siriz, cf. Ten Brink, i. 255 ; ii. 295 ; 
Jusserand, Lit. Hist. i. 446. Ten Brink assigns the dramatic text, which 
is in the South Northumbrian dialect, to the reign of Edward I (1272- 

Hie incipit Inter ludium de Clerico et Puella. 

[Scene i.] 

Clericus. Damishel, reste wel. 

Puella. Sir, welcum, by Saynt Michel! 

Clericus. Wer esty sire, wer esty dame? 

Puella. By Code, es noner her at hame. 

Clericus. Wel wor suilc a man to life, 
That suilc a may mithe have to wyfel 

Puella. Do way, by Crist and Leonard, 
No wily lufe, na clerc fayllard, 
Na kepi herbherg, clerc, in huse no y flore 
Bot his hers ly wit-uten dore. 
Go forth thi way, god sire, 
For her hastu losye al thi wile. 

Clericus. Nu, nu, by Crist and by sant Jhon, 
In al this land ne wis hi none, 
Mayden, that hi luf mor than the, 
Hif me mithe ever the bether be. 
For the by sory nicht and day, 
Y may say, hay wayleuayl 
Y luf the mar than mi lif, 
Thu hates me mar than gayt dos chuief. 
That es noute for mys-gilt, 
Certhes, for thi luf ham hi Spilt 
A, ^uythe mayden, reu ef me 
That es ty luf, hand ay salbe. 
For the luf of [the] y mod of efhe ; 
Thu mend thi mode, and her my stevene. 

Puella. By Crist of heven and sant Jone I 
Clerc of scole ne kepi non ; 


For many god wymman haf thai don scam. 
By Crist, thu michtis haf be at hame. 

Clcricus. Synt it nothir gat may be, 
Jhesu Crist, by-tethy the, 
And send neulit bot thar inne, 
That thi be lesit of al my pyne. 

Puella. Go nu, truan, go nu, go, 
For mikel thu canstu of sory and wa 

[Scene 2.] 

Clericus. God te blis, Mome Helwis. 

Mome Helwis* Son, welcum, by san Dinis 1 

Clericus. Hie am comin to the, Mome, 
Thu hel me noth, thu say me sone. 
Hie am a clerc that hauntes scole, 
Y hidy my lif wyt mikel dole ; 
Me wor lever to be dedh, 
Than led the lif that hyc ledh, 
For ay mayden with and schen, 
Fayrer ho lond hawy non syen. 
Tho hat mayden Malkyn, y wene; 
Nu thu wost quam y mene, 
Tho wonys at the tounes ende, 
That suyt lif, so fayr and hende. 
Bot if tho wil hir mod amende, 
Neuly Crist my ded me send. 
Men send me hyder, vyt uten fayle, 
To haf thi help anty cunsayle. 
Thar for amy cummen here, 
That thu salt be my herand-bere, 
To mac me and that mayden sayct, 
And hi sal gef the of my nayct, 
So that hever al thi lyf 
Saltu be the better wyf. 
So help me Crist I and hy may spede, 
Rithe saltu haf thi mede. 

Mome Ellwis. A, son, wat saystu ? benedicite, 
Lift hup thi hand, and blis the. 
For it es boyt syn and scam, 
That thu on me hafs layt thys blam. 
For hie am an aid quyne and a lam. 


Y led my lyf wit Godis love. 

Wit my roc y me fede, 

Cani do non othir dede, 

Bot my pater noster and my crede, 

Tho say Crist for missedede, 

And my navy Mary, 

For my scynne hie am sory, 

And my de profundis, 

For al that yn sin lys. 

For cani me non othir think, 

That wot Crist, of heven kync. 

Ihesu Crist, of heven hey, 

Gef that hay may heng hey, 

And gef that hy may se, 

That thay be henge on a tre, 

That this ley as leyit onne me. 

For aly wymam (sic) ami on. 



[I follow the text of P. de Winterfeld, Hrotsvithae Opera (1902), xx ; 
the piece was previously edited by C. Magnin in Bibliotheque de FEcole 
des Charles ', i (1840), 517 ; A. de Montaiglon in L? Amateur des Livres 
(1849) ; A. Riese, in Zeits. /. d. osterreich. Gymn. xviii, 442 ; R. Sabbadini 
(1894). The only manuscript is B. N. Lat. MS. 8069 of the late tenth or 
early eleventh century. Various scholars have dated the poem from Jie 
seventh to the tenth century; Winterfeld declares for the ninth. It might 
have been intended as a prologue to a Terentian revival or to a mime. 
The homage paid to the vetus poet a by the delusor in his asides rather 
suggests the former ; cf. Cloetta, i. 2 ; Creizenach, i. 8.] 

Mitte recordari monimenta vetusta, Terenti ; 

cesses ulterius: vade, poeta vetus. 
vade, poeta vetus, quia non tua carmina euro; 

iam retice fabulas, dico, vetus veteres. 
dico, vetus veteres iamiam depone camenas, 

quae nil, credo, iuvant, pedere ni doceant. 
tale decens carmen, quod sic volet ut valet istud ; 

qui cupit exemplum, captet hie egregium. 
hue ego cum recubo, me taedia multa capescunt : 

an sit prosaicum, nescio, an metricum. 


die mihi, die, quid hoc est ? an latras corde sinistro ? 

die, vetus auctor, in hoc quae iacet utilitas? 

Nunc TERENTIUS exit for as audiens haec et ait\ 
quis fuit, hercle, pudens, rogo, qui mihi tela lacessens 
turbida contorsit? quis talia verba sonavit? 
hie quibus externis scelerosus venit ab oris, 
qui mihi tarn durum iecit ridendo cachinnum? 
quam graviter iaculo mea viscera laesit acuto ! 
hunc ubi repperiam, contemplor, et hunc ubi quaeram? 
si mihi cum tantis nunc se offerat obvius iris, 
debita iudicio persolvam dona librato. 

Ecce persona DELUSORIS praesentatur et hoc audiens mquit\ 
quern rogitas ego sum : quid vis persolvere ? cedo ; 
hue praesens adero, non dona probare recuso. 


tune, sceleste, meas conrodis dente Camenas? 
tu quis es ? unde venis, temerarie latro ? quid istis 
vocibus et dictis procerum me, a ! perdite, caedis ? 
tene, superbe, meas decuit corrumpere Musas ? 


si rogitas, quis sum, respondeo : te melior sum : 
tu vetus atque senex, ego tyro valens adulescens ; 
tu sterilis truncus, ego fertilis arbor, opimus. 
si taceas, vetule, lucrum tibi quaeris enorme. 


quis tibi sensus inest ? numquid melior me es ? . . . 
nunc, vetus atque senex quae fecero, fac adolescens. 
si bonus arbor ades, qua fertilitate redundas? 
cum sim truncus iners, fructu meliore redundo. 

PERSONA secum. 

nunc mihi vera sonat ; set huic contraria dicam 
quid magis instigas ? quid talia dicere certas ? 
haec sunt verba senum, qui cum post multa senescunt 
tempora, tune mentes in se capiunt pueriles. 


hactenus antiquis sapiens venerandus ab annis 
inter et egregios ostentor et inter honestos. 


sed mihi felicem sapientis tollis honorem, 
qui mihi verba iacis et vis contendere verbis. 


si sapiens esses, non te mea verba cierent. 
o bone vir, sapiens ut stultum ferre libenter, 
obsecro, me sapias; tua me sapientia firmet. 


cur, furiose, tuis lacerasti carmina verbis? 
me retinet pietas, quin haec manus arma cerebro 
implicet ista tuo: pessumdare te miseresco. 

PERSONA stcum. 

quam bene ridiculum mihi personat iste veternus.- 
te retinet pietas ? nam fas est credere, credo, 
me, peto, ne tangas, ne sanguine tela putrescant. 

cur, rogo, me sequeris ? cur me ludendo lacessis ? 

sic fugit horrendum praecurrens damna leonem. 


vix ego pro superum teneor pietate deorum, 
ad tua colla meam graviter lentescere palmam. 


vae tibi, pone minas: nescis quern certe minaris. 
verba latrando, senex cum sis vetus, irrita profers. 
i, rogo, ne vapules et, quod minitare, reportes ; 
mine ego sum iuvenis : patiarne ego verba vetusti ? 


o iuvenis, tumidae nimium ne crede iuventae : 
saepe superba cadunt, et humillima saepe resurgunL 
o mihi si veteres essent in pectore vires, 
de te supplicium caperem quam grande nefandum. 
si mihi plura iacis et tali voce lacessis, 




[I have attempted to bring together, under a topographical arrange- 
ment, the records of such local plays of the mediaeval type as I air 
acquainted with. Probably the number could be increased by systematic 
search in local histories and transactions of learned societies. But my list is 
a good deal longer than those of L. T. Smith, York Plays> Ixiv ; Stoddard, 
53 ; or Davidson, 219. For convenience I have also noted here a few 
records of Corpus Christi processions, and of folk ' ridings ' and othei 
institutions. The following index-table shows the geographical distribution 
of the plays. The names italicized are those of places where plays have 
been reported in error or are merely conjectural.] 

Dunstable,page 366. 


Abingdon, 337. 
Reading, 392. 
Windsor, 396. 

Wycombe, 398* 


Bassingbourne, 338. 
Cambridge, 344. 

Chester, 348. 


Camborne^ 344. 
Penrhyn, 390. 
Per Ranzabulo, 390. 
St. Just, 393. 

Wrexham, 398. 

Morebath, 384. 


Wimborne Minster, 


Bishop Auckland, 



Baddow, 338. 
Billericay, 341. 
Boreham, 342. 
Braintree, 342. 
Brentwood, 342. 
Burnham, 343. 
Chelmsford, 345. 
Coggeshall, 357. 
Colchester, 357. 
Easterford, 367. 
Hadleigh, 367. 
Halstead, 367. 
Hanningfield, 368. 
Heybridge, 370. 
High Easter, 370. 
Kelvedon, 373. 
Lanchire (?), 375. 
Little Baddow, 379. 
Maiden, 384. 
Manningtree, 384. 
Sabsford (?), 393. 
Saffron Walden, 393. 
Stapleford (?), 395. 
Stoke - by - Nayland, 


Witham, 397. 
Woodham Walter, 

Writtle, 398. 


Bristol, 342. 
Tewkesbury, 396. 

Winchester, 396. 

Hereford, 368. 


Appledore, 337. 
Bethersden, 338. 
Brookland, 343. 
Canterbury, 344. 
Folkestone, 367. 
Great Chart, 367. 
Ham Street, 367. 
Herne, 370. 
High Halden, 370. 
Hythe, 371. 
Lydd, 383. 
New Romney, 385. 
Ruckinge, 393. 
Stone, 396. 
Wittersham, 397. 
Wye, 398- 


Lancaster, 375. 
Preston, 392. 


Foston, 367. 
Leicester, 376. 


Holbeach, 370. 
Lincoln, 377. 
Louth, 383. 
Sleaford, 395. 


London, 379. 
Mile End, 384. 




Croxton, 363. 
Garboldisham, 367. 
Harling, 368. 
Kenninghall, 374. 
King's Lynn, 374. 
Lopham, 383. 
Middleton, 384. 
Norwich, 386. 
Shelfhanger, 393. 
Wymondham, 398. 
Yarmouth, 399. 


Daventry, 363. 
Northampton, 386. 

Newcastle, 385. 


Fyfield, 367. 
Idbury, 371. 
Langley, 375. 
Lyneham, 383. 
Milton, 384. 
Oxford, 389. 
Shipton, 394. 

Shrewsbury, 394. 


Bath, 338. 
Tintinhull, 396. 

Lichfield, 377. 


Boxford, 342. 
Bury St. Edmunds, 


Bungay, 343. 
Ipswich, 371. 
Ixworth, 373. 
Lavenham, 375. 
Mildenhall, 384. 


Hascombe, 368. 
Kingston, 374. 

Rye, 393- 


Coleshill, 357. 
Coventry, 357. 
Maxstoke, 384. 
Nuneaton, 389. 

Kendal, 373. 

Salisbury, 393. 

Worcester, 398. 


Beverley, 338. 
Hull, 370. 
Leconfield, 375. 
Leeds, 375. 
Wakefield, 396. 
Woodkirk, 398. 
York, 399. 

Aberdeen, 330. 
Edinburgh, 366. 

Dublin, 363. 
Kilkenny, 374. 


I summarize the references to plays and pageants in the Burgh 
Records \ 

May 13, 1440. Richard Kintor, abbot of Boneacord, was granted 
'unus burgensis futurus faciendus' (i.e. the fees on taking up the 
freedom), ' pro expensis suis factis et faciendis in quodam ludo de ly 
Haliblude ludendo apud ly Wyndmylhill.' 

Sept. 5, 1442. 'Thir craftes vndirwritten sal fynd yerly in the 
offerand of our Lady at Candilmes thir personnes vnderwrittin ; that 

is to say, 

The littistares sal fynd, 

The empriour and twa doctoures, and alsmony honeste squiares 
as thai may. 

The smythes and hammermen sal fynd, 

The three kingis of Culane, and alsmony honeste squiares as 
thai may. 

1 J. Stuart, Extracts from the Council vol. i. 1398-1570 (Spalding Club, 
Register of the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1844). 


The talzoures sal fynd, 

Our lady Sancte Bride, Sancte Helone, Joseph, and alsmony 
squiares as thai may. 

The skynnares sal fynd, 

Two bischopes, four angeles, and alsmony honeste squiares as 
thai may. 

The webstares and walkares sal fynd, 
Symon and his disciples, and alsmony honeste squiares, etc. 

The cordinares sal fynd, 
The messyngear and Moyses, and alsmony honeste squiares, etc. 

The fleschowares sal fynd, 
Twa or four wodmen, and alsmony honest squiares, etc. 

The brethir of the gilde sail fynd, 
The knyghtes in harnace, and squiares honestely araiit, etc. 

The baxsteiris sal fynd, 

The menstralis, and alsmony honest squyares as thai may/ 
May 21, 1479. Order for the alderman 'to mak the expensis and 
costis of the comon gude apon the arayment, and uthris necessaris, of 
the play to be plait in the fest of Corpos Xristi nixttocum/ 

Feb. i, 148^. Order for all craftsmen to 'beyr thare takyinis of 
thare craft apon thare beristis, and thare best aray on Canddilmes 
day at the Offerand/ 

Feb. 3, i5of. Fine imposed upon certain websters, because 'thai 
did nocht it that accordit thame to do one Candilmese day, in the 
Passioun [PPr'ssioun, "Procession"]/ owing to a dispute as to 
precedence with the tailors. 

Jan. 30, i5o|. Order for continuance of 'the aid lovabile con- 
suetud and ryt of the burgh' that the craftsmen 'kepit and decorit 
the procession one Candilmes day yerlie ; . . . and thai sale, in order 
to the Offering in the Play, pass tua and ij togidr socialie; in the 
first the flesshoris, barbouris, baxturis, cordinaris, skineris, couparis, 
wrichtis, hat makars [and] bonat makars togidr, walcaris, litstaris, 
wobstaris, tailyeouris, goldsmiths, blaksmithis and hammermen ; and 
the craftsmen sal furnyss the Pageants ; the cordinaris, the Messing[er] ; 
wobstaris and walcaris, Symeon; the smyths [and] goldsmiths, iij Kingis 
of Cullane; the litstaris, the Emperour; the masons, the Thrie 
Knichtis ; the talyors, our Lady, Sanct Brid, and Sanct Elene ; and 
the skynners, the Tua Bischopis; and tua of ilke craft to pass \vith 
the pageant that thai furnyss to keip thair geir.' 

May 28, 1507. Order for precedence 'in ale processiounis, baitht 
in Candilmes play and utheris processionis. 1 


Jan. 30, 1 5 if. The order of Jan. 30, 150$ repeated verbatim. 

Feb. 3, 1 5 if. Citizens fined 'becauss thai passt not in the pro- 
cession of Candilmes day to decoir the samyn.' 

Feb. 5, i52f. Johne Pill, tailor, to do penance, 'for the disobeing 
of David Anderson, bailze, becaus he refusit to pas in the Candilmess 
processioun with his taikin and sing of his craft in the place lemit to 
his craft, and in likewise for the mispersoning of the said Dauid 
Andersoun, the merchandis of the said guid town, in calling of thame 
Coffeis, and bidding of thame to tak the salt pork and herboiss in 
thair handis.' 

May 22, 1531. Order for the craftsmen to 'keipe and decoir the 
processioun on Corpus Cristi dais, and Candilmes day . . . every 
craft with thair awin baner . . . And euery ane of the said craftis, in 
the Candilmes processioun, sail furneiss thair pageane, conforme to 
the auld statut, maid in the yeir of God jai v<* and x yeris . . . 

The craftis ar chargit to furneiss thair panzeanis vnder writtin. 

The flescharis, Sanct Bestian and his Tourmentouris. 

The barbouris, Sanct Lowrance and his Tourmentouris. 

The skynnaris, Sanct Stewin and his Tourmentouris. 

The cordinaris, Sanct Martyne. 

The tailzeouris, the Coronatioun of Our Lady. 

Litstaris, Sanct Nicholes. 

Wobstaris, walcaris, and bonet makaris, Sanct John. 

Baxstaris, Sanct Georg. 

Wrichtis, messonis, sclateris, and cuparis, The Resurrectioun. 

The smithis and hemmirmen to furneiss The Bearmen of the 

June 13, 1533. A very similar order, but without the list of 
pageants, and so worded as to extend the obligation of furnishing 
pageants to the Corpus Christi, as well as the Candlemas procession : 
* The craftismen . . . sail . . . keip and decoir the processionis on XXi day 
and Candelmes day . . , euery craft with thair avin banar . . . with thair 
pegane . . . And euery craft in the said processionis sail furneiss thair 
pegane and banar honestlie as effers, conforme to the auld statut maid 
in the yeir of God jaj v and tene yers.' 

June 21, 1538, Dispute between goldsmiths and hammermen as 
to precedence ' in the processioun of Corpus Xri.' 

June 25, 1546. Litsters ordered to 'haue thar banar and Pagane, 
as uther craftis of the said Burgh hes, ilk yeir, on Corpus Xhri day, 
and Candilmess dayis processiounis/ 

June 4, 1553. Disputes as to ordering of Corpus Christi procession* 


May 21, 1554. Similar disputes. A 'Pagane' in procession 

May 29, 1556. Order for observance of statute as to Corpus 
Christi procession. 

The interpretation of these notices is not quite clear. Davidson, 220, 
seems to think that there was never more than a mystire mimf at 
Candlemas. But the 'play* is mentioned in 1506, 1507, and 1510. 
I conjecture that the Passion and Nativity cycles were not merged 
in Aberdeen. The Passion (Haliblude play) was performed, perhaps 
only occasionally, on Corpus Christi day ; the Nativity annually, at 
Candlemas. The 'persones' of 1442 and the 'Pageants' of 150^ 
are practically identical, and would furnish a short play, with Moses 
and Octavian to represent the Prophetae y a Stella, and a Presentation 
in the Temple. But there was certainly also a procession in which the 
'honest squiares' of 1442 figured. This may have preceded the play, 
but it may have been in some way introduced into it at ' the offerand ' 
(of the Virgin in the Temple, or of the Magi ?). The pageants in the 
list of 1531 are such as cannot all have formed part of a connected 
cycle. But some of them might come from the * Haliblude ' play, and 
I take it that this list was meant for the Corpus Christi procession 
only, the Candlemas procession being still regulated by the order 
of 1507. 

Bon Accord. 

The Haliblude play of 1440 was directed by the Abbot of Bon 
Accord. This was the Aberdeen name for the Lord of Misrule. 
There are many notices of him. 

April 30, 1445, Order 'for letting and stanching of diuerse 
enormyteis done in time bygane be the abbotis of this burgh, callit 
of bone acorde, that in time to cum thai will giue na feis to na sic 
abbotis. Item, it is sene speidful to thame that for the instant yher 
thai will haue na sic abbot; but thai will that the alderman for the 
tyme, and a balyhe quhom that he will tak til him, sail supple that 

August 17, 1491. Dispute as to fee of ' Abbat of Bonacord.' 

May 8, 1496. Choice, ' for vphaldin of the auld lovable consuetud, 
honour, consolacioun, and pleasour of this burgh/ of two ' coniunctlie 
abbotis and priour of Bonacord/ with fee of five marks. 

Nov. 30, 1504. All 'personis burges nichtbours, and burgyes 
sonnys ' to ride with ' Abbot and Prior of Bonaccord ' on St. Nicholas 
day annually when called on by them. 


[In 1511 and 1515 this function of the Abbot has passed to the 
provost and baillies.] 

May 16, 1507. ' All manere of youthis, burgeis and burges sonnys 
salbe redy everie halyday to pass with the Abbat and Prior of Bonacord/ 

May 8, 1508. 'All personis that are abill within this burghe sail 
be ready with thair arrayment maid in grene and yallow, bowis, arrowis, 
brass, and all uther convenient thingis according thairto, to pass with 
Robyne Huyd and Litile Johnne, all tymes convenient tharto, quhen 
thai be requirit be the saidis Robyne and Litile Johnne/ 

Nov. 17, 1508. Order for St, Nicholas riding 'with Robert Huyid 
and Litile Johne, quhilk was callit, in yers bipast, Abbat and Prior of 

April 13, 1523. Choice of ' Lordis of Bonaccord/ young men ' to 
rise and obey to thame/ They are also to be ' Mastris of Artuilyery/ 

April 30, 1527. Grant of 'x marks of the fyrst fremen that 
hapynnis to be frathinfurht ' to ' the Lord of Bonnacord and his fellow/ 

Aug. 3, 1528. Similar grant to 'thair lovits, Jhone Ratray and 
Gilbert Malisoun, thair Abbatis out of ressoun/ 

April 1 6, 1531. One of those chosen to be ' lords of Bonacord, to 
do plesour and blythnes to the toune in this sessoun of symmir in- 
cumming ' protests against his appointment. 

Oct. n, 1533. Grant of fee to 'lordis of Bonaccord/ 

April 30, 1535. Order 'that all the zoung abil men within this 
guid [toune] haue thair grene cottis, and agit men honest cottis, 
efferand to thame, and obey and decor the lordis of Bonaccord/ 

April 4, 1539. ' The lordis of Bonacordis desyr ' for their fee, and 
for ' all the yong able men within this guid towne to conwey ws euery 
Sunday and halyday, and wther neidfull tymes, aboulzeit as your M. has 
deuisit, and agit men to meit us at the crabstane or kirkyard ' is granted. 

June 23, 1539. Fee to ' lordis of Bonacord/ 

April 17, 1541. Similar fee ' to help to the decoration and plesour 
to be done be thaim to this guid towne/ 

April 17, 1542. Similar fee. 

April 24, 1542. 'Alex. Kayn, accusit in gugment for his wyff . . . 
for the hawy strublens and vile mispersoning of Alex. Gray and 
Dauid Kintoir, lordis of Bonacord, and thair company present with 
thame for the tyme, sayand common beggaris and skafferis, thair 
meltyd was but small for all thair cuttit out hoyss, with moy oder 
inurious wordis, unleful to be expremit/ 

July 24, 1545. Grant of ' compositioun siluer' as fee. 

April 20, 1548. Similar fee. 


April 14, 1552. 'The said day, the counsell, all in ane voce, 
havand respect and consideratioune that the Icrdis of Bonnacord in 
tymes bygane hase maid our mony grit, sumpteous, and superfleous 
banketing induring the tyme of thair regnn, and specialie in May, 
quhilks wes thocht nother profitabill nor godlie, and did hurt to sundry 
young men that wer elekit in the said office, becaus the last elekit did 
aye pretent to surmont in thair predecessouris in thair ryetouss and 
sumpteous banketing, and the causs principal and gud institutiounn 
thairof, quhilk wes in balding of the gud toun in glaidnes and blythtnes, 
witht danssis, farsiis, playis, and gamis, in tymes convenient, necleckit 
and abusit ; and thairfor ordinis that in tyme cummin all sic sumpteous 
banketing be laid doun aluterlie except thre sobir and honest, vizt., 
upoun the senze day, the first Sonday of May, and ane [ J 

upoun Tuisday efter Pasche day, and na honest man to pass to ony of 
thair banketis except on the said thre dais allanerlie ; and in ane place 
of the forsaid superfleouss banketing to be had and maid yeirly to 
generall plais, or ane at the lest, with danssis and gammes usit and 
wont; and quha souer refuisis to accept the said office in tyme 
cumming, beand elekit thairto be the toun, to tyne his fredome, 
priuelege, takis, and profit he hes or ma haf of the toun, and neuer to 
be admittit frathinfurtht to office, honour, nor dingnete/ 

May 27, 1552. Grant of fee, larger than usual, 'be ressoune that 
thai ar put to grytar coist this yeir nor utheris that bar office before 
thaim hes bene put to, and that be ressoune of cummyng of the quenis 
grace, my lord governor, and the maist of the lords and grit men of 
this realme, presently to this toun/ 

[1555. Parliament ' statute and ordanit that in all tymes cumming 
na maner of persoun be chosin Robert Hude nor Lytill Johne, Abbot 
of vnressoun, Quenis of Maij, nor vtherwyse, nouther in Burgh nor to 
landwart in ony tyme to cum, and gif ony Prouest, Baillies, counsall, and 
communitie, chesis sic ane Personage as Robert Hude, Lytill Johne, 
Abbottis of vnressoun, or Quenis of Maij within Burgh, the chesaris of 
sic sail tyne thair fredome for the space of fyve zeiris,and vtherwyse salbe 
punist at the Quenis grace will, and the acceptar of sicklyke office salbe 
banist furth of the Realme. And gif ony sic persounis sic as Robert 
Hude, Lytill Johne, Abbottis of vnresson, Quenis of Maij, beis chosin 
outwith Burgh and vthers landwart townis, the chesars s^ll pay to our 
Souerane Lady x pundis, and thair persounis put in waird, thair to 
remane during the Quenis grace plesoure. And gif ony wemen or 
vthers about simmer treis singand makis perturbatioun to the Quenis 
liegis in the passage throw Burrows and vthers landwart townis, the 


wemen perturbatouris for skafrie of money or vtherwyse salbe takin 
handellit and put upon the Cukstulis of everie Burgh or towne.] 

May 4, 1562. 'John Kelo, belman, wes accusit in jugement for 
the passing throw the rewis of the toune with the hand bell, be oppin 
voce, to convene the haill communitie, or sa mony thairof as wald 
convene, to pass to the wood to bring in symmer upoun the first 
Sonday of Maii, contravinand the actis and statutis of the quenis 
grace, and lordis of consell, eppeirandlie to raise tumult and ingener 
discord betuix the craftismen and the fre burgessis of gild, and the 
saidis craftismen to dissobey and adtempt aganis the superioris of the 
toun, gif it stuid in thair power, as the saidis prowest and baillies ar 
informit, the said Johnne hawing na command of the saidis prowest 
and baillies to do the same ; and inlykwyise, Alexander Burnat alias 
Potter wes accusit for passing throw the toun with ane swech, to the 
effect and occasioun aboun wryttin.' 

May 1 4 and 18, 1565. Several citizens disfranchised for disobeying 
the proclamation made by ' Johnne Kelo, belman,' forbidding any 
persons ' to mak ony conventione, with taburne plaing, or pype, or 
fedill, or have anseinges, to convene the quenis legis, in chusing of 
Robin Huid, Litill Johnne, Abbot of Ressoune, Queyne of Maii, or 
sicklyk contraveyne the statutis of parliament, or mak ony tumult, 
seism, or conventione/ 

Royal Entry. 

The entertainment of Queen Margaret, wife of James IV, in May, 
1511, seems to have included some of the pageants from the Nativity 
cycle. The following extract is from Dunbar's The Quenis Reception 
at Aberdein l : 

'Ane fair processioun mett hir at the Port, 

In a cap of gold and silk, full pleasantlie, 
Syne at hir entrie, with many fair disport, 

Ressauet hir on streittis lustilie; 

Quhair first the salutatioun honorabilly 
Of the sweitt Virgin, guidlie mycht be seine ; 

The sound of menstrallis blawing to the sky; 
Be blyth and blisfull, burgh of Aberdein. 

And syne thow gart the orient kingis thrie 
Offer to Chryst, with benyng reuerence, 

Gold, sence, and mir, with all humilitie, 

Schawand him king with most magnificence; 

1 Dunbar, Works (ed. J. Small, for Scottish Text Soc.), ii. 351. 


Syne quhow the angill, with sword of violence, 
Furth of the joy of paradice putt clein 

Adame and Eve for innobedience ; 
Be blyth and blisfull, burgh of Aberdein. 

And syne the Bruce, that euir was bold in stour, 

Thow gart as roy cum rydand vnder croun, 
Richt awfull, strang, and large of portratour, 

As nobill, dreidfull, michtie campioun; 

The [nobili Stewarts] syne, of great renoun, 
Thow gart upspring, with branches new and greine, 

Sa gloriouslie, quhill glaided all the toun : 
Be blyth and blisfull, burgh of Aberdein. 

Syne come thair four and twentie madinis jing, 
All claid in greine of mervelous bewtie, 

With hair detressit, as threidis of gold did hing, 
With quhyt hattis all browderit rycht bravelie, 
Playand on timberallis, and syngand rycht sweitlie; 

That seimlie sort, in ordour weill besein, 
Did meit the quein, hir saluand reverentlie : 

Be blyth and blisfull, burgh of Aberdein. 

The streittis war all hung with tapestrie, 
Great was the press of peopill dwelt about, 

And pleasant padgeanes playit prattelie; 
The legeiss all did to thair lady loutt, 
Quha was convoyed with ane royall routt 

Off gryt barrounes and lustie ladyis [schene] ; 

Welcum, our quein ! the commoness gaif ane schout : 

Be blyth and blisfull, burgh of Aberdein. 


Certain 'jeweis de Abyndon' were at Court at Xmas 1427 (Appen- 
dix E, viii). 

A seventeenth-century account of the Hospital of Christ says that 
the fraternity held their feast on May 3 (Holy Cross day), 1445, with 
' pageantes and playes and May games/ They employed twelve 
minstrels l . 


Appledore players were at New Romney in 1488. 

1 Hearae, Liber Niger Scaccarii (ed. a), ii. 598. 




The Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe was hired by 'children of 
during 1564-6. 


A play 'of the holy martyr St. George' was held in a field at 
Bassingbourne on the feast of St. Margaret, July 20, 1511. The 
churchwardens' accounts for the play show, besides payments for 
refreshments : 

' First paid to the garnement man for garnements and propyrts and 
playbooks, xx 8 . 

To> minstrel and three waits of Cambridge . . . 

Item ... for setting up the stages. 

Item to John Beecher for painting of three Fanchoms and four 

Item to Giles Ashwell for easement of his croft to play in, i 8 . 

Item to John Hobarde, Brotherhood Priest, for the play book, 
ii 9 . viii<V 

Twenty-seven neighbouring villages contributed to these expenses 1 . 


The accounts of St. Michael's, Bath, for 1482, include 'pro potatione 
le players in recordacione [' rehearsing ' ?] ludorum diversis vicibus/ 
with other expenditure on players and properties. As one item is ' et 
lohT Fowler pro cariando le tymbe a cimiterio dicto tempore ludi/ 
the play was perhaps a Quern quaeritis a . 

Chaucer's Wife of Bath, in her husband's absence at London during 
Lent, would make her ' visitaciouns ' 

' To pleyes of miracles and manages V 


The churchwardens' accounts record ludibeatae Christinae, in 1522. 
St. Christina's day was July 24*. Bethersden players were at New 
Romney in 1508. 


A thirteenth-century continuator of the Vita of St. John of Beverley 
records a recent (ti22o) miracle done in the Minster: 

1 B. H. Wortham, Churchwarden? a C. B. Pearson, Accounts of St. 

Accounts of Bassingbourne (Antiquary, Michaefs, Bath (. Hist. Soc. Trans. 

Tii. 25) ; Lysons, Maena Britannia, vii. 309). 

Cambridgeshire , 89; Dyer, 343, from Cant. Tales, 6140 (W. of B!s 

Antiquarian Repertory (1808), iiu Prol 558). 

3^0. * L. T. SmiA, York Plays, Ixv. 


' Contigit, ut tempore quodam aestivo intra saepta polyandri ecclesiae 
B. loannis, ex parte aquilonari, larvatorum, ut assolet, et verbis et actu 
fieret repraesentatio Dominicae resurrectionis. Confluebat ibi copiosa 
utriusque fcexus multitude, variis inducta votis, delectationis videlicet, 
seu admirationis causa, vel sancto proposito excitandae devotionis. 
Cum vero, prae densa vulgi adstante corona, pluribus, et praecipue 
statura pusillis, desideratus minime pateret accessus, introierunt plurimi 
in ecclesiam ; ut vel orarent, vel picturas inspicerent, vel per aliquod 
genus recreationis et solatii pro hoc die taedium evitarent/ Some 
boys climbed into the triforium, in order that, through the windows, 
' liberius personarum et habitus et gestus respicerent, et earundem 
dialogos auditu faciliori adverterent.' One of these fell into the 
church, but was miraculously preserved 1 . 

The Corpus Christi play is first mentioned in 1377. It was 'antiqua 
consuetudo' in 1390, when an 'ordinacio ludi Corporis Christi cum 
pena ' was entered in the Great Guild Book, requiring the crafts or 
1 artes ' to produce ' ludos suos et pagentes ' under a penalty of 40^. 
The plays were held annually, subject to an order by the oligarchical 
town council of twelve custodies or gubernatores on St. Mark's day. 
The custodes ' governed ' the play, and met certain general expenses. 
In 1423 they paid Master Thomas Bynham, a friar preacher, for 
writing 'banis'; also the waits (' spiculatores') who accompanied the 
'bams.' In the same year they gave a breakfast to the Earl of 
Northumberland. In 1460 they put up a scaffold for their own use. 
Apparently the pageants and properties belonged to them, for in 1391 
they handed over to John of Arras, on behalf of the ' hairers/ for his 
life and under surety, the necessaries for the play of Paradise ; ' viz. 
j karre, viij hespis, xviij stapels, ij visers, ij wenges angeli, j fir-sparr, 
j worme, ij paria caligarum linearum, ij paria camisarum, j gladius.' 
Otherwise the expenses were met by the crafts, whose members paid 
a fixed levy towards the play, the ' serge ' or light maintained by the 
craft in some chapel, and the wooden ' castle ' erected at the proces- 
sion of St. John of Beverley on Monday in Rogation week. Thus 
the Barbers' Ordinances in 1414 require their members to pay 2s. and 
a pound of wax on setting up shop, and 2s. on taking an apprentice. 
Certain fines also were in this company appropriated to the same 
purposes. In 1469 journeymen cappers paid Sd. for any year when 
there was a play, and 6d. when there was not. The town Ordinances 
of 1467 contemplate annual payments by all craftsmen. In 1449 the 

1 Acta Sanctorum, Mali, ii. 189; 328 (Rolls Series, Ixxi) ; Rock, ii. 430; 
Historians of the Church of York, i. A..Le&chinjFurnivaHMis<:ettany t 2Q6. 

Z Z 


custodes contributed 4$. to the Skinners' play as ' alms of the com- 
munity/ If a craft failed to produce its play, the custodes exacted the 
whole or a part of the fine of 40^. specified in the Ordinacio of 1390. 
They also levied other disciplinary fines ; as on John ' cordewainer ' 
in 1423, for hindering the play, on Henry Cowper, * webster/ in 1452, 
' quod nesciebat ludum suum ' ; on the alderman of the ' paynetors/ 
in 1520-1 * because their play was badly and confusedly played, in 
contempt of the whole community, before many strangers ' ; and so 
forth. The order of 1390 specified thirty-eight crafts to play; 'viz. 
mercers et drapers, tannatores, masons, skynners, taillors, goldsmyths, 
smyths, plummers, boilers, tumors, girdelers, cutlers, latoners, broche- 
makers, homers, sponers, ladilers, furburs, websters, walkers, coverlid- 
wevers, cartwrightes, coupars, fletchers, bowers, cordewaners, baksters, 
flesshewers, fysshers, chaundelers, barburs, vynters, sadilers, rapers, 
hayrers, shipmen, glovers, and workmen/ As elsewhere, changing 
conditions of social life led to alterations in this list, and consequent 
divisions and mergings of the plays. Thus in 1411 it seems to have 
been felt as a grievance that certain well-to-do inhabitants of Beverley, 
who belonged to no craft, escaped all charge for the plays, and it was 
agreed that in future the ' digniores villae ' should appoint four 
representatives and contribute a play. In 1493 the Drapers formed 
a craft of their own apart from the Mercers, and consequently a play 
was divided, the Drapers taking 'Demyng Pylate/ and leaving to the 
Mercers ' Blak Herod/ On the fly-leaf of the Great Guild Book is 
a list of crafts and their plays, dated by Mr. Leach ti52O, which differs 
considerably from that of 1390. It is as follows : 

1 Gubernacio Ludi Carports Christi. 

Tylers : the fallinge of Lucifer. Husbandmen : Bedleem. 

Saddelers\ the makinge of the World. Vynteners : Sheipherds. 

Walkers: makingeof Adam and eve. Goldsmyths : Kyngs of Colan. 

Ropers : the brekinge of the Fyshers : Symeon. 

Comaundments of God. Cowpers : fleyinge to Egippe. 

Crelers: gravinge and Spynnynge. Shomakers : Children of Ysraell. 

Glovers: Cayn. Scryveners: Disputacion in the 
Shermen : Adam and Seth. Temple. 

Wattermen : Noe Shipp. Barbours : Sent John Baptyste. 

Bowers and Fletshers : Abraham Laborers : the Pynnacle. 

and Isaak. The Mylners : rasynge of Lazar. 

Muster dmakers and Chanlers : Skynners : ierusalem. 

Salutation of Our Lady. Bakers: the Mawndy. 


Litsters : prainge at the Mownte. Wevers : the Stanginge. 

Tailyours: Slepinge Pilate. Barkers*. theTakinge oftheCrose. 

Marchaunts [i. e. Mercers] : Blak Cooks : Haryinge of hell. 

Herod. Wrights : the Resurrection. 

Drafters : Demynge Pylate. Gentylmen : Castle of Emaut, 

JBochtours: Scorgynge. Smyths: Ascencion. 

Cutlers and Potters : the Stedyn- Prestes : Coronacion of Our Lady. 

ynge. Marchaunts: Domesday. 

The thirty-eight pageants of 1390 have become thirty-six in 1520. 
Besides the ' Gentylmen/ dating from 1411, the ' Prestes' are notice- 
able. These are probably the ' clerus Gildae Corporis Christi/ who 
in 1430 led the Corpus Christi procession in which many of the crafts 
with their lights took part. Procession and play, though on the same 
day, seem to have been in 1430 quite distinct. The play lasted only 
one day, and was given in 1449 at six stations ; viz. at the North Bar, 
by the Bull-ring, between John Skipworth and Robert Couke in 
Highgate, at the Cross Bridge, at the Fishmarket (now called Wednes- 
day Market), at the Minster Bow, and at the Beck. Poulson stated 
that the performances lasted into the reign of James I. Mr. Leach 
could find no trace of them in the municipal archives after 1520 l . But 
the Ordinances, dated 1555, of the Minstrels' guild ' of our Lady of the 
read arke' provide that certain forfeits shall go to the 'comon place* 
(which I take to be ' common plays ') of Beverley. 

A second craft-play appears in 1469, when a number of crafts, 
thirty-nine in all, gave a Pater Noster play on the Sunday after St. Peter 
and Vincula (August i). Copies of the text (regtstra) were made for 
the crafts. The stations were those of the Corpus Christi play. There 
were eight ' pagends ' named after the eight principal * lusores/ viz. 
'Pryde: Invy: Ire: Avaryce: Sleweth (also called * Accidie'): Glotony: 
Luxuria : Vicious. 1 A number of crafts united to furnish each of 
these ; apparently the most important was that of ' Vicious/ provided 
by the ' gentiltnen, merchands, clerks and valets/ Aldermen of the 
pageants were appointed \ 


The Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe was twice hired by men of 
'Beleryca/ or 'Belyrica' during 1564-6. 

1 A. F. Leach, Beverley Town Docu- f. 133 (Warburton's eighteenth- century 

mtnts (Selden Soc. xiv), 1. lix. 33, 45, collections for a history of Yorkshire). 

75, 99, 109, 117; and in Furnivall * A. F. Leach, in Fumivall Mis- 

Miscellany, 208 ; Poulson, Beverlac^. cellany^ 220. 
268 sqq., 302; Lansdawne MS. 896, 



The lusores of ' Auklande ' received a present from Durham Priory 
for playing before Master Hyndley, at Christmas, 1539. (App. E, i.) 


' Casse of Boreham' hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe in 1566 
and 1573, and the 'players of Boreham/ at Twelfth Night, 1574. 


A play appears in the churchwardens' accounts for 1535 *. 

The churchwardens' accounts of St. Michael's include the follow- 
ing : 

' Anno 1523. A Play of S** Swythyn, acted in the Church on 
a Wednesday, for which was gathered 6 : 14 : u^; P d at the said 
Play, 3:1:4; due to the Church, 3 : 13 : 7^. 

Anno 1525. Theie was a Play of S fc Andrew acted in the Church 
the Sunday before Relique Sunday ; Rc d , 8:9:6; P d , 4 : 9 : 9 ; Due 
to the Church, 3 : 19:8. 

Anno 1529. A Play in Halstead Church. 

Anno 1534. A Play of Placidas alias S fc Eustace. R d , 14 : 17 : 6^; 
P d , 6: 13: 7j: due, 8 : 2 : 8. 

Anno 1567. R d of the Play money, 5:0:0. 

Anno 1570. Rec d of the Play money, 9:7:7; and for letting the 
Playing garments, o : i : 8. 

Anno 1571. Rc d for a Playbook, 2O d ; and for lending the Play 
gere, 8 : 7 d . 

Anno 1579. For the Players Apparel, 5o 8 V 

Nicholas Udall was vicar of Braintree, 1533-1537. The plays 
were probably in aid of the large expenditure on the fabric of the 
church between 1522 and 1535. 

The Chelmsford (q.v.) play was given at Braintree in 1562. 


* Mr. Johnston of Brentwoode ' hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe 
in 1566. 


A town-clerk's account of municipal customs, after describing the 
banquet on St. Katharine's Eve (Nov. 24), concludes : 

1 Corrie, Boxford Parish Accounts a Pearson, ii. 413 ; Morant, History 
(Cambridge Antiq. Sw. Trans, i. 266). of Essex (1768), li. 399. 


' And then to depart, euery man home : the Maire, Shiref, and the 
worshipfull men redy to reeeyue at theire dores Seynt Kateryns 
players, makyng them to drynk at their dores, and rewardyng theym 
for theire plays V Were these plays more than a ' catterning ' qufte 
(vol. i. p. 253) ? 

There is no mention of plays amongst the records, including several 
craft-guild ordinances, in the Little Red Book of Bristol (ed. W. B. 
Bickley, 1901). But 'the Shipwrights Pageannt' was used at the 
reception of Henry VII in 1486 (p. 175). 

Brookland players were at New Romney in 1494. 


On the night after Corpus Christi day, June 16, 1514, certain 
persons ' brake and threw down five pageants of the said inhabitants, 
that is to saye, hevyn pagent, the pagent of all the world, Paradyse 
pagent, Bethelem pagent, and helle pagent, the whyche wer ever wont 
tofore to be caryed abowt the seyd town upon the seyd daye in the 
honor of the blissyd Sacrement.' 

The churchwardens* accounts of St. Mary's show payments in 1526 
for copying the game-book, and to Stephen Prewett, a Norwich priest, 
for his labour in the matter. 

The accounts of Holy Trinity show payments: in 1558, to a man 
riding to Yarmouth for the 'game gear,' 'to William Ellys for the 
interlude and game booke, iiij d / 'for writing the partes, ij 8 '; in 1566, 
on occasion of 'the interlude in the churchy arde/ for apparel borrowed 
from Lord Surrey, 'for visors/ and 'to Kelsaye, the vyce, for his 
pasty me before the plaie, and after the playe, both daies, ij 9 / In 1577, 
a churchwarden gave a receipt to his predecessor for ' game pleyers 
gownes and coats, that were made of certayne peces of olid copes.' 
In 1591, 5J. was received for 'players cootesV 


' W m Crayford of Burnam ' hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe in 



The Ordinances of the Weavers (1477) assign half of certain fines 
to 'the sustentacione and mayntenaunce of the payent of the 

1 L.Toulrain Smith, Ricar? s Kalendar Archaeology ', xi. 336 ; Eastern Counties 
(Camden Soc.), 80. Collectanea^ 272. 

2 L. G. Bolingbroke, in Norfolk 


Assencione of oure Lord God and of the yiftys of the Holy Cost, 
as yt hath be customed of olde tyme owte of mynde yeerly to be had 
to the wurschepe of God, amongge other payenttes in the processione 
in the feste of Corpus Xri/ 

Journeymen weavers are to pay ' iiij d ' yearly to the * payent ' and 
all ' foreyne ' as well as ' deyzin ' weavers are to be contributory to it l . 

It is not clear whether the ' payent ' had a Indus or was a dumb- 

See Texts (i), Cornish Plays, Si. Meriasek. 


William de Lenne and Isabel his wife, joining the guild of Corpus 
Christi (1*1350), spent half a mark *in ludo Filiorum Israelis*! 

Warton says: 

c The oldest notice I can recover of this sort of spectacle [Latin 
plays] in an English University is in the fragment of an ancient 
accompt-roll of the dissolved college of Michael- House in Cambridge 
in which, under 1386, the following expense is entered: 'Pro ly 
pallio brusdato et pro sex larvis et barbis in comedia V 


A Burghmote order (tisoo) directed 'a play called Corpus Christi 
play . . . maintained and played at the costs of the Crafts and 
Mysteries/ although ' of late days it hath been left and laid apart/ to 
be revived at Michaelmas 4 . 

A book of the play of Abraham and Isaac, belonging to the 'schaft' 
or parochial guild of St. Dunstan's, lay in the keeping of the church- 
wardens of that church from 1491 to 1520 B . 

On Jan. 6, 1503, the corporation paid for a play of the Three Kyngs 
of Coleyn in the guildhall. The account mentions three ' bests ' made 
of hoops and laths and painted canvas, 'heddyng of the Hensshemen/ 
a castle in the courthall, and a gilt star. 

Annual accounts for ' the pagent of St. Thomas * on the day of his 

1 Hist. MSS. xiv. 8, 133; Arnold, Bodl. Qxon.' Mr. F. Madan kindly 

Memorials of St. Edmund* s Abbey informs me that the document cannot 

(R. S.), iii 361. now be identified amongst the Rawlinson 

Masters, Hist. o/C.C.C. Cambridge MSS. 

(ed. 1753), i. 5. * Arch. Cantiana, xvii. 147. 

1 Hazlitt-Warton, iii. 302. The only 8 Ibid. zviLJBo. 
reference given is ' MSS. Rawlins. Bibl. 


martyrdom (Dec. 29), appear amongst the financial records of the 
corporation from 1504-5 until 'far on in the reign of Queen Elizabeth/ 
I select some items : 


Paied to Sampson Carpenter and hys man hewyng and squeryng 

of tymber for the Pagent. 

For makyng S* Thomas Carte with a peyer of whyles. 
To iiij men to helpe to cary the Pagent. 
For a newe myghter. 
For two bagges of leder. 
For payntyng of the awbe and the hedde. 
For gunpowder. 

For lynnen cloth bought for S* Thomas garment. 
For forgyng and makyng the knyghts harnes. 
For the hyre of a sworde. 
For wasshynge of an albe and an amys.' 
In later years. 

i Pro le yettyng sanguynem. 

Pro le payntyng capitis Sci Thomae. 

For them that holpe to dress the Pagent and for standyng of 

the same in the barne. 

For a payer of new gloves for Seynt Thomas. 
For payntyng of the hede and the Aungell of the pagent. 
Paied to hym that turned the vyce. 
Paied for wyre for the vyce of the Angell. 

For i quarter of lambe and brede and drynke gevyn to the 
children that played the knyghtes, and for them that holpe to 
convey the Pagent abowte. 
For a new leder bag for the blode. 
For wasshyng of the albe and other clothys abowte the Auter, 

and settyng on agayn the apparell.' 

Until 1529 the pageant stood in the barn of St. Sepulchre's convent; 
thenceforward in the archbishop's palace. In 1536-7 'Seynt Thomas' 
became 'Bysshop Bekket/ and the show was suppressed, to be revived 
with some added 'gyaunts' under Mary 1 . 

This pageant was probably a dumb-show of the martyrdom of 


The Earl of Surrey rewarded the players of 'Chemsford' on 
Dec. 27, 1490 (Appendix E, vii). 

/. MSS. Comm. ix. I, 147. 


The churchwardens' accounts give minute details of a play held in 
1562 and 1563. The following are the chief items : 

'Inprms paid unto the Mynstrolls for the Show day and for the 
play day. 

Unto Willm. Hewet for makinge the vices coote, a fornet of borders, 
and a Jerken of borders. 

To John Lockyer for making iiij shep hoks and for iron work that 
Burle occupied for the hell. 

Item paide to Rob fc Mathews for a pair of wombes. 

to Lawrence for watching in the Churche when the temple was 

for carrying of plonk for the stages. 

for ... the scaffold. 

to M. Browne for the waightes of Bristowe. 

for makyng the conysants. 

forty Mynstrells meate and drinke. 

to William Withers for making the frame for the heaven stage and 
tymber for the same. 

for writtinge. 

to William Withers for makynge the last temple, the waies, and his 

to John Wryght for makynge a cotte of lether for Christ. 

to Solomon of Hatfild for parchmente. 

to Mother Dale and her company for reaping flagges for the scaffold. 

to Polter and Rosse for watching in the pightell on the play show. 

for fyftie fadam of lyne for the cloudes. 

for tenn men to beare the pagiante. 

to Browne for keapinge the cornehill on the showe daye. 

to Roistone for payntenge the Jeiants, the pagiante, and writing the 
plaiers names. 

for paper to wright the Bookes.' 

There are many other payments to workmen and for refreshments, 
and large sums to various people 'for suinge the play/ Is this 
* showing/ ' stage-managing ' ? One Buries, who was twice paid 
for * suinge/ was also boarded with his boy for three weeks. 

An inventory of garments made in February, 1564, includes, with 
many velvet gowns and jerkins, &c. : 

' ij vyces coates, and ij scalpes, ij daggers (j dagger wanted). 
v prophets cappes (one wantinge). 
iij flappes for devils, 
iiij shepehoks, iiij whyppes (but one gone)/ 


I infer that the play was a cyclical one, extending at least from 
Creation to Crucifixion. The temple, which required renewing, was 
probably rent in twain. There were heaven, hell, Prophetae, Pastores. 
The performance was not in the church, although the temple was put 
to dry there, but in a pightell ' or enclosure, upon a scaffold, with stages 
for the spectators. It was held in connexion with a * showe/ which 
was on Cornhill, and to which I assign the ' pagiante ' and ' jeiantes.' 
The time was therefore probably Midsummer. 

The accounts seem to cover two years and at least four performances. 
In 1562, Midsummer day with its show fell on a Saturday. The play 
was on Monday. On Tuesday it was repeated at Braintree, and later 
on at Maiden, and possibly elsewhere. Then in 1563 it was again 
given in Chelmsford at Midsummer. 

The total expenditure was over 50, although, unless the forty 
minstrels acted, nothing was paid to actors. Against this was received 
'at the seconde play' 17 us. 3</., and *at the ij last plaies' 
19 i$s. 4</., and 2 19^. was realized by letting out the garments 
to the men of Sabsford in 1562 and 1563, and i6s. more for letting 
them to ' M r William Peter, Knyght/ Nor did this source of income 
soon close. A second inventory of 1573 shows that the garments 
were carefully preserved. They became a valuable stock. In 1564-6 
alone the hire of them brought in 10 14^. %d. They were let to 
men of Colchester, Walden, Beleryca, Starford, Little Badow, and 
to ' children of Badow/ Further loans are noted as follows in later 
years : 

' Receipts, June 3, 1566. 

Sabsforde men. 

Casse of Boreham. 

Somers of Lanchire. 

Barnaby Riche of Witham. 

Will m Monnteyne of Colchester. 

M r . Johnston of Brentwoode, the loth Dec. 

Richard More of Nayland. 

Frauncis Medcalfe, the iiij of June, 1568. 

W m Cray ford of Burnam, the ij of June, 1568. 

High Ester men. 

Parker of Writtell. 

M rs Higham of Woodham Walter. 


Parker of Writtell, Aprill. 


The Earle of Sussex players. 
John Walker of Hanfild. 

Casse of Boreham. 

Players of Boreham, till the mondaye after twelfe day. 

In 1574 the 'playe books' were valued at 4, and in the same 
year all the garments, &c., included in the inventory of 1573 were 
sold to George Studley and others for 6 i2s. 4^. In 1575 one 
Mr. Knott was paid 3d. ' for the makinge of two oblijacyons for 
the assurance of the players garments belonginge to the Pyshe V 


[Authorities. (i) Editions of the plays by Wright and Deimling, 
described on p. 408. (li) Notices in Furnivall, Digby Plays, xviii, from 
(a) Harl. MSS. 1944, 1948, which are versions of a Breviary of the City 
of Chester ) compiled in 1609 by David Rogers from the collections of his 
father, Robert Rogers, Archdeacon of Chester, who died in 1 595 ; (b] local 
Annalesm Harl. 2125 (Randle Holme's Collections) , and Daniel King's 
Vale-Roy all (1656). (ni) Notices in R. H. Morris, Chester in the Planta- 
genet and Tudor Reigns (1894), from (a) Corporation archives, (b) accounts 
of the Smiths 7 Company in Harl. 2054, (c) a copy in Harl. 2150 (cited in 
error as Harl. 2050) of part or all of the contents of a record known as 
the White Book of the P entice. This was bound with other documents 
by Randle Holme, and indexed by him in 1669. I do not find any mention 
of such a ' White Book ' in the calendar of extant Corporation archives by 
Mr. J. C. Jeaffreson, in Hist. MSS. viii. I. 355, unless it is identical with 
the fentice Chartulary compiled in 1575-6 an the basis, partly of an older 
' Black Book, 1 ' translated oute of Laten and Frenche ' in' 1540, and partly 
of loose ' sceduls, papers and books ' in the Treasure House.] 

The Whitsun Plays: The Tradition. 

The Chester plays are traditionally ascribed to the mayoralty of one 
John Arneway. As ' John Arneway/ ' de Arnewey/ ' Hernwey/ or 
'Harnwey' served continuously as mayor from 1268 to I277 2 , and 
as no other of the great English cycles of municipal plays can claim 
anything like this antiquity, it is worth while to examine the evidence 
pretty closely. I therefore put the versions of the tradition in chrono- 
logical order. 

(a) 1544.- The following document is headed 'The proclamation 
for the Plaies, newly made by William Newhall, clarke of the Pentice, 
the first yere of his entre/ It is dated ' tempore Willi Sneyde, draper, 
secundo tempore sui maioritatis ' [Oct. 9, 1543-1544], endorsed as 
made ' opon the rode ee ' [Rood-eye], and stated on an accompanying 

1 Pearson, ii 414 ; Freemasons' Magazine and Magic fairror, Sept 1861. 
* Morris, 575. 


sheet to be * of laten into Englishe translated and made by the said 
William Newhall the yere aforesaid V 

1 For as moche as of old tyme, not only for the Augmentacon and 
increase of [the holy and catholick] faith of our Savyour, Jhu' Crist, 
and to exort the mynds of the co'mon people to [good devotion and 
holsome] doctryne thereof, but also for the co'men Welth and 
prosperitie of this Citie a plaie [and declaration ] and diverse stories 
of the bible, begynnyng with the creacon and fall of Lucifer, and 
[ending with the general] jugement of the World to be declared 
and plaied in the Witson wek, was devised [and made by one Sir] 
Henry Fraunces, somtyme monk of this dissolved monastery, who 
obtayned and gate of Clement, then beyng [bushop of Rome, a thou- 
sand] daies of pardon, and of the Busshop of Chester at that time 
beyng xl^ daies of pardon graunted from thensforth to every person 
resortyng in pecible maner with good devocon to here and se the 
sayd [plaies] from tyme to tyme as oft as they shalbe plaied within 
this Citie [and that every person disturbing the same plaies in any 
manner wise to be accursed by thaucloritie of the said Pope Clement 
bulls unto such tyme as he or they be absolved therof (erased)], which 
plaies were devised to the honour of God by John Arneway, then 
maire of this Citie of Chester, and his brethren, and holl cominalty 
therof to be brought forthe, -declared and plead at the cost and 
charges of the craftsmen and occupacons of the said Citie, whiche 
hitherunto have frome tyme to tyme used and performed the same 

Wherfore Maister Maire, in the Kynges name, straitly chargeth 
and co'mandeth that every person and persons of what estate, degre 
or condicion soever he or they be, resortyng to the said plaies, do use 
[themselves] pecible without makyng eny assault, affrey, or other 
disturbance whereby the same plaies shalbe disturbed, and that no 
maner person or persons who soever he or they be do use or weare 
eny unlaufull wepons within the precynct of the said Citie duryng the 
tyme of the said plaies \not only upon payn of cursyng by thauctoritie 

1 Morris, 317. Canon Morris does mayoralty of the younger man was 

not say where he found the document. 1543-4. And the appointment of 

He dates it in ' 24 Hen. VIII, 1531.' Newhall as clerk of the Pentice was in 

[The regnal year, 24 Hen. VIII, by the 1543 (Morris, 204). Oddly, Canon 

way, is 1532-3.] But the monastery is Morris's error was anticipated in a copy 

called 'dissolved,' which it was not of the proclamation made on the fly-leaf 

until 1541. The list of Mayors (Morris, of HarL MS. 2013 of the plays (Deim- 

582) gives William Snead (1516-7), ling, i), which states that it was * made 

William Sneyde (1531-2), William by W m newall, Clarke of the pentice 

Sneyde, jun. (1543-4). Obviously two [in R]udio 24, H. 8 [1532-3]-' 
generations are concerned. The second 


of the said Pope Clement Bulls, but also (erased)'] opon payn of 
enprisonment of their bodies and makyng fyne to the Kyng at 
Maister Maires pleasure. And God save the Kyng and Mr. Maire, 

&C. 1 ' 

(6) 1 1 544-7 a . The documents concerning the plays copied for 
Randle Holme out of the 'White Book of the Pentice 8 ' are (i) a list 
of the plays and the crafts producing them (cf. p. 408); (2) a note 
that ' On Corpus Xpi day the colliges and prestys bryng forth a play 
at the assentement of the Maire' ; (3) a note that all the arrangements 
detailed are subject to alteration by the Mayor and his brethren; 
(4) aversion, without heading, of Newhall's proclamation which entirely 
omits the allusions to Sir Henry Fraunces and the pardons, while 
retaining that to Arneway ; (5) verses headed * The comen bannes 
to be proclaymed and Ryddon with the Stewardys of every occupacon.' 
These are printed in Morris, 307. They give a list of ihe plays 
(cf. p. 408), and add that there will be a ' solempne procession ' with 
the sacrament on Corpus Christi day from * Saynt Maries on the 
Hill ' to ' Saynt Johns/ together with ' a play sett forth by the clergye 
In honor of the fest/ The passage referring to Corpus Christi is 
marked by Randle Holme's copyist as ' Erased in the Booke V The 
only historical statement in the Banns is that 

'Sir John Arnway was maire of this citie 
When these playes were begon truly/ 

( c ) 1 1551-1572. The later Banns, given most fully in Rogers's 
Breauarye of Chester (cf. Furnivall, xx), but also more or less imperfectly 
in MSS. h and B of the plays (Deimling, i. 2), were probably written 
for one or other of the post-Reformation performances, but not that 
of 1575, as they contemplate a Whitsun performance, while that of 
1575 was after Midsummer. They state that 

' some tymes there was mayor of this Citie 
Sir John Arnway, Knyght, who most worthilye 
contented hym selfe to sett out in playe 
The devise of one done Rondall, moonke of Chester abbe.' 

(d) 1609. The Breauarye itself, in an account probably due to 

1 I reproduce Canon Morris's text pageant ' of our lady thassumpcon ' not 

literatim. But he does not explain the in the list of plays, are perhaps rather 

square brackets, and I do not under- earlier, 

stand them. 8 Harl. MS. 2150, ff. 85 b -88 b . 

a The ' proclamation ' in the White * It is this entry which shows that 

Book is clearly a revision of the 1544 Harl. MS. 2150 is not the * White 

version. On the other hand, the Corpus Book/ but a copy. The official cata- 
Christi procession was suppressed in logue of the Harlei 
*547* The * Banns/ which include a doubt on this point. 


the elder Rogers, who may have himself seen some of the later 
performances, says (Furnivall, xviii) : ' Heare note that these playes 
of Chester called y 6 whitson playes weare the woorke of one Rondoll, 
a monke of y e Abbaye of S fc Warburge in Chester, who redused y 
whole history of the byble into Englishe storyes in metter, in y e 
englishe tounge ; and this moncke, in a good desire to doe good, 
published y e same, then the firste mayor of Chester, namely Sir lohn 
Arneway, Knighte, he caused the same to be played [" anno domini, 
i329"]V In a list of Mayors contained in the same MS. is given 
(Furnivall, xxv), under the year 1328 and the mayoralty of Sir John 
Arneway, * The whitson playes Inuented, in Chester, by one Rondoll 
Higden, a monke in Chester abbaye.' 

(e) 1628. On the cover of MS. Hot the plays (Harl MS. 2124) 
is this note : ' The Whitsun playes first made by one Don Randle 
Heggenet, a Monke of Chester Abbey, who was thrise at Rome, before 
he could obtain leaue of the Pope to haue them in the English tongue. 

The Whitsun playes were playd openly in pageants by the Cittizens 
of Chester in the Whitsun Weeke. 

Nicholas the fift Then was Pope in the year of our Lord 1447. 

Ano 1628. 

Sir Henry ffrancis, sometyme a Monke of the Monestery of Chester, 
obtained of Pope Clemens a thousand daies of pardon, and of the 
Bishop of Chester 40 dayes pardon for every person that resorted 
peaceably to see the same playes, and that every person that disturbed 
the same, to be accursed by the said Pope untill such tyme as they 
should be absolued therof/ 

(f) 1669. Randle Holme made a note upon his copy of the 
* White Book of the Pentice' (Harl. 2150, f. 86*>), of the 'Whitson 
plaies . . . being first presented and putt into English by Rand. Higden, 
a monck of Chester Abbey/ 

(g) Seventeenth century. A ' later hand ' added to the copy of 
NewhalPs proclamation on the fly-leaf of MS. h (1600) of the plays: 

' Sir lo Arnway, maior 1327 and 1328, at which tyme these playes 
were written by Randall Higgenett, a monk of Chester abby, and 
played openly in the witson weeke.' 

(K) Seventeenth century. An account of the plays amongst Lord De 
Tabley's MSS. 2 assigns them to * Randall Higden, a monk of Chester 
Abbey, A.D. 1269.' 

1 So printed by Furnivall, possibly as in Harl 1948. 
an addition to the text of Harl. 1944, * Hist. MSS. i. 49. 
from the shorter copy of the Breauarye 


Up to a certain point these fragments of tradition are consistent 
and, a priori, not improbable. About 1328 is just the sort of date to 
which one would look for the formation of a craft-cycle. Randall 
or Randulf Higden 1 , the author of the Polychronicon, took the vows 
at St. Werburgh's in 1299 and died in 1364. An accident makes 
it possible also to identify Sir Henry Francis, for he is mentioned as 
senior monk of Chester Abbey in two documents of May 5, 1377, and 
April 17, 1382. The occurrence of the name of this quite obscure 
person in a tradition of some 200 years later is, I think, evidence that 
it is not wholly an unfounded one. It is true that Newhall's proclama- 
tion states that Francis 'devised and made' the plays, whereas the 
Banns of 1575 and the later accounts assign the ' devise' to 'done 
Rondall.' But this discrepancy seems to have afforded no difficulty 
to the writer of 1628, who clearly thought that Heggenet 'made' the 
plays, and Francis obtained the 'pardon* for them. The Pope 
Clement concerned is probably Clement VI (1342-52), but might 
be the Antipope Clement VII (1378-94). The one point which 
will not harmonize with the rest is that about which, unfortunately, 
the tradition is most uniform, namely, the connexion of the plays 
with the mayoralty of Sir John Arneway. For neither Higden nor 
Francis could have worked for a mayor whose terms of office extended 
from 1268 to 1277. But even this difficulty does not appear to be 
insoluble. I find from Canon Morris's invaluable volume that a later 
mayor bearing a name very similar to Arneway's, one Richard Erneis 
or Herneys, was in office from 1327 to 1329, precisely at the date 
to which the tradition, in some of its forms, ascribes the plays. Is 
it not then probable that to this Richard Herneys the establishment of 
the plays is really due, and that he has been confused in the memory 
of Chester with his greater predecessor, the ' Dick Whittington ' of 
the city, John Arneway or Hernwey? I am glad to be the means 
of restoring to him his long withheld tribute of esteem. 

The Records. 

If the plays were actually established in 1327-9, the first hundred 
years of their history is a blank. The earliest notice in any record is 
in 1462, when the Bakers' charter refers to their 'play and light of 

1 C. L. Kingsford in D. N. B. s.v. in Rogers's list of Mayors, is an earlier 

Higden. Mr. Kingsford does not think form in the tradition than * Heggenett/ 
that * Randle Heggenett,' the author of a Ormerod, /fist, of Cheshire (ed. 

the Chester Plays, can be identified with Helsby), iii. 651 ; Morris, 315. 
Higden. Bat * Higden/ which occurs 


Corpus Christi/ The Saddlers 1 charter of 1471 similarly speaks 
of their ' paginae luminis et ludi corporis Christi V It will be observed 
that the play is here called a Corpus Christi play. The term 'Whitson 
Playe' first occurs in a record of I52O 2 , but there is no doubt that 
during the sixteenth century the regular season for the performances 
was Whitsuntide. As the 'White Book' (ti544) still speaks of 
* pagyns in play of Corpus Xpi V it is possible that a cyclical play 
was so called, whether actually given on Corpus Christi day or not. 
It is also, I think, possible that the Chester plays may have been 
transferred from Corpus Christi to Whitsuntide in order to avoid 
clashing with the procession, without quite losing their old name ; 
and this may be what is meant by the statement on the cover of 
MS. ' H ' of the plays that they were ' playd openly ... in the Whitsun 
Weeke' in 1447. It was in 1426 that a question as to the clashing of 
procession and plays arose in York (cf. p. 400). 

Nearly all the extant notices of the plays belong to the sixteenth 
century. Originally annual, they became occasional at the Reforma- 
tion. They can be traced in 1546, 1551, 1554, 1561, 1567 (at 
Christmas), 1568, 1569, 1572, and 1575. The two last performances 
aroused considerable opposition. In 1572 Mayor John Hankey 
'would needs have the playes go forward, against the wills of the 
Bishops of Canterbury, York and Chester.' Apparently an inhibition 
was sent by Archbishop Grindal; 'but it came too late/ In 1575, 
under Mayor Sir John Savage, the plays were subjected to revision, 
and such of them as were thought suitable given ' at the cost of the 
inhabitants' on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after 
Midsummer. This performance was ' to the great dislike of many, 
because the playe was in on parte of the Citty. J It was also in direct 
contravention of inhibitions from the Archbishop and the Earl of 
Huntingdon. As a result both Hankey and Savage were cited before 
the Privy Council, but the aldermen and common council took the 
responsibility upon themselves, and apparently nothing further came 
of the matter 4 . 

Probably 1575 was the last year in which the plays were given 
as a whole. A performance in 1600 has been alleged 8 , but this date 
is probably taken from the heading of the Banns in MS. * h ' of the 
plays, which runs : 

1 Morris, 316. The Painters and a Ibid. 
Glaziers* charter is quoted as calling 8 HarL MS. 2150, f. 85 b . 
them 'tyrne out of minde one brother- 4 Morris, 318; Fumivall, xxv ; Hist. 

hood for the ... plaie of the Shepperds* JI/SS. viii. i. 363, 366. 
Wach,' but no date is given. * Pennant, Wales, i. 145. 



' The reading of the banes, 1600. 

The banes which are reade Beefore the beginning of the playes of 
Chester 1600. 

4 June 1600.' 

Doubtless 1600 is the date of the transcript, as it is repeated after 
the signature to several of the plays. It is quite possible that this 
manuscript was made in view of an intended performance. George 
Bellin, the scribe, seems to have been of a Chester family. But if so, 
the intention was frustrated, for the annalists declare that Henry 
Hardware, mayor in 1600 * would not suffer any Playes.' It is to 
be noted also that David Rogers, whose Breauarye was completed in 
1609 and certainly contains matter subsequent to the death of his 
father in 1595, states that 1575 was the last time the plays were 

played \ 

Mode of Performance. 

The Banns were proclaimed on St. George's day by the city crier, 
with whom rode the Stewards of each craft. The Mayor's proclama- 
tion against disturbers of the peace was read upon the Roodee. The 
plays themselves lasted through the first three week-days of Whitsuntide. 
Nine were given on the Monday, nine on the Tuesday, and seven 
on the Wednesday. The first station was at the Abbey gates, the 
next by the pentice at the high cross before the Mayor, others in 
Watergate Street, Bridge Street, and so on to Eastgate Street. 
Scaffolds and stages were put up to accommodate the spectators, and 
in 1528 a law-suit is recorded about the right to a 'mansion, Rowme, 
or Place for the Whydson plaies/ Rogers describes the ' pagiente ' or 
' cariage ' as 

' a highe place made like a howse with ij rowmes, being open on y e 
tope : the lower rowme they apparrelled & dressed them selues ; and 
in the higher rowme they played; and they stood vpon 6 wheeles 
\HarL 1944. It is "4 wheeles" in Harl 1948].' 

The term ' pageant ' is used at Chester both for the vehicle and for 
the play performed on it; but, contrary to the custom elsewhere, 
more usually for the latter. The vehicle is generally called a 'carriage.' 
It was kept in a * caryadghouse ' and occasionally served two crafts 
on different days. The expenses of carriage, porters, refreshments, 
actors, and rehearsals fell, as shown by the extant Accounts of the 
Smiths' company, on the crafts. They were met by a levy upon each 
member and journeyman. Vestments were hired from the clergy; 
both minstrels and choristers were in request for songs and music. 

1 Furnivall, xxiii, xxviii. 


The Corporation supervised the performances, questions as to the 
incidence of the burden upon this or that craft coming before the 
Pentice court. In 1575 the Smiths submitted two alternative plays 
for the choice of the aldermen. The authoritative copy or ' originall 
booke ' of the plays seems to have belonged to the city. The Smiths 
paid for reading the ' Regenall/ ' an Rygynall ' or * orraginall.' In 
1568 one 'Randall Trevor, gent/ seems to have lost the book. 
There is an interesting allusion to the unprofessional quality of the 
actors, in the copy of the later Banns preserved by Rogers. The 

plays are not 

c contryued 

In such sorte & cunninge, & by such playeres of price, 
As at this day good playeres & fine wittes coulde devise, 

By Craftes men & meane men these Pageauntes are played 

And to Commons and Contryemen acustomablye before. 

If better men & finer heades now come, what canne be saide? 

But of common and contrye playeres take thou the storye; 

And if any disdaine, then open is y e doore 

That lett him in to heare; packe awaye at his pleasure; 

Oure playeinge is not to gett fame or treasure 1 .' 

Exceptional Performances. 

In 1567 'Richard Button, mayor, kept a very worthy house for 
all comers all the tyme of Christmas with a Lorde of Misrule and 
other pastymes in this city as the Whitson Plays.' 

Single plays from the cycle were similarly used for purposes of 
special entertainment. In 1488 was the Assumption before Lord 
Strange at the High Cross; in 1497 the Assumption before Prince 
Arthur at the Abbey gates and the High Cross; in 1515 the Assumption 
again together with the Shepherds' play in St. John's churchyard. In 
1576, the Smiths had 'our plas' (the Purification} 'at Alderman 
Mountford's on Midsomer Eve.' Finally, in 1578, Thomas Bellin, 
mayor, caused the Shepherds' play ' and other triumphs ' to be played 
at the high cross on the Roodee before the Earl of Derby, Lord 

Strange, and others 2 . 

Other plays. 

The play by the 'colliges and prestys' on Corpus Christi day 
mentioned in the ' White Book ' and in the ' Banes ' preserved therein 
has already been noted. 

1 D. Rogers, Breauarye, in Furnivall, xviii ; Morris, 303. 
8 Morris, 322, 353; Furnivall, xxvi. 

A a 2 


In 1529 King Robert of Sicily was shown at the. High Cross. 
This is doubtless the play on the same subject referred to in a 
fragmentary letter to some 'Lordshypp' among the State Papers 
as to be played on St. Peter's day at the cost of some of the companies. 
It was said to be 'not newe at thys time, but hath bin before shewen, 
evyn as longe agoe as the reygne of his highnes most gratious father 
of blyssyd memorye, and yt was penned by a godly clerke/ 

In 1563 'upon the Sunday after Midsommer day, the History of 
Eneas and Queen Dido was play'd in the Roods Eye. And were set out 
by one William Croston, gent, and one Mr. Man, on which Triumph 
there was made two Forts, and shipping on the Water, besides many 
horsemen well armed and appointed/ 

The entertainment of Lords Derby and Strange by Thomas Bellin 
in 1578 included a 'comedy' by the 'scollers of the freescole' at the 
mayor's house. Was this theatrical mayor a relative of George Bellin, 
the scribe of MSS. ' W' and 'h' of the Chester plays? 

In 1589 King Ebranke with all his Sons was shown before the Earl 
of Derby at the High Cross '. 

The Midsummer Show. 

This was doubtless in its origin a folk procession. Traditionally, 
it was founded in 1498 and only went in years when there were no 
Whitsun plays. The crafts were represented by personages out of 
their plays, 'the Doctors and little God* riding for the Smiths, the 
Devil for the Butchers, Abraham and Isaac for the Barbers, Balaam 
and his Ass for the Bricklayers, and so forth. It does not appear that 
the ' carriages ' were had out. Other features of the ' Show ' were 
four giants, an elephant and castle, an unicorn, a camel, a luce, an 
antelope, a dragon with six naked boys beating at it, morris-dancers, 
the ' Mayor's Mount ' and the ' Merchants' Mount,' the latter being of 
the nature of a hobby-ship. In 1600, Mayor Henry Hardware, 
a * godly zealous man/ would not let the ' Graull ' go at Midsummer 
Watch, but instead a man in white armour. He suppressed also ' the 
divill in his fethers/ a man in woman's clothes with another devil 
called ' cuppes and cans/ ' god in stringes/ the dragon and the naked 
ooys, and had the giants broken up. But next year the old customs 
were restored. The Midsummer Show again suffered eclipse under 
the Commonwealth, but was revived at the Restoration and endured 
until i678 2 . 

1 Morris, 322; Furnivall, xxvi; 9 Morris, 334; Furnivall, xxiii ; Fen- 
Collier, i. 112. wick, Hist, of Chester 9 370. 



Lord Howard rewarded the players of 'Kokesale' or 'Coksale' on 
Dec. 26, 1481, and Dec. 25, 1482 (Appendix E, vii). 


The Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe was twice hired by Colchester 
men during 1564-6 ; also by William Monnteyne of Colchester in 



The Musores de Coleshille 1 played at Maxstoke Priory between 1422 
and 1461 (Appendix E, ii). 


[Authorities. The facts are taken, where no other reference is given, from 
T. Sharp, A Dissertation on the Pageants or Dramatic Mysteries Anciently 
Performed at Coventry (1825), and J. B. Gracie, The Weavers' Pageant 
(1836 : Abbotsford Club). The latter accounts of J. O. Halliwell-Philhpps, 
Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare (ninth edition, 1890), i. 335, ii. 289, 
and M. D. Harris, Life in an Old English Town, 319, add a little. The 
Leet-Book and other municipal archives used by Sharp are described by 
Harris, 377 ; his private collection passed into that of Mr. Staunton at 
Longbridge House, and thence into the Shakespeare Memorial Library at 
Birmingham, where it was burnt in 1879. It included two craft-plays, the 
account-books of the Smiths, Cappers, Drapers, and Weavers, and one or 
two MSS. (one of which is referred to as * Codex Hales ') of a set of brief 
local seventeenth-century Annales, of which other texts are printed by 
Dugdale, Hist, of Warwickshire, i. 147, and Hearne, Fordnn's Scoti- 
chronicon, v. 1438. Several versions of these Annales are amongst the 
manuscripts of the Coventry Corporation (cf. E. S. Hartland, Science of 
Fairy Tales, 75). On their nature, cf. C. Gross, BibL of Municipal History, 

Corpus Christi Craft-Plays. 

The earliest notice is a mention of the ' domum pro le pagent 
pannarum' in a deed of 1392. There must therefore be an error, so 
far as the pageants go, in the statement of the Annals, under the 
mayoral year 1416-7, 'The pageants and Hox tuesday invented, 
wherein the king and nobles took great delight V Henry V was more 
than once at Coventry as prince, an 1404 for example, and in 1411. 
His only recorded visit as king was in 1421, too early for Corpus 
Christi or even Hox Tuesday 2 . There is frequent reference to the 
plays in corporation and craft documents of the fifteenth century. In 

1 Sharp, 8. same dates. The entry in the Leet 
8 C. L. Kingsford, Henry V, 346, Book (Harris, 139) brings him to Co- 
says that he reached Coventry alone on ventry on March 21 and with the queen. 
March 15, and joined Katharine at But this was Good Friday. If the Leet 
Leicester on March 19. Ramsay, K Book is right, he might have remained 
and L. i. 290, quoting J. E. Tyler, for Hox Tuesday, April I. 
Henry of Monmouth^ ii. 28, gives the 


1457 they were seen by Queen Margaret, who ' lodged at Richard 
Wodes, the grocer/ whither the corporation sent an elegant collation, 
including ' ij cofyns of counfetys and a pot of grene gynger.' With 
her were the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham, Lord and Lady 
Rivers, the elder and younger Lady of Shrewsbury, and ' other mony 
moo lordes and ladyes/ They were seen also by Richard III in 1485 
and twice by Henry VII. The first occasion was on St. Peter's day 
(June 29) in 1486, and the second in 1493, when say the Annals, 
rather oddly (cf. p. 420), * This yeare the King came to se the 
playes acted by the Gray Friers, and much commended them/ In 
1520 the Annals record 'New playes at Corpus Christi tyde, which 
were greatly commended/ In 1539 the mayor of Coventry, writing 
to Cromwell, told him that the poor commoners were at such expense 
with their plays and pageants that they fared the worse all the year 
after 1 . In the sixteenth century the Coventry plays were probably 
the most famous in England. The C. Mery Talys (1526) has a story 
of a preacher, who wound up a sermon on the Creed with ' Yf you 
beleue not me then for a more suerte & suffycyent auctoryte go your 
way to Couentre and there ye shall se them all playd in Corpus Cristi 
playe V And John Heywood, in his Foure PP> speaks of one who 

' Oft in the play of Corpus Cristi 
He had played the deuyll at CouentryV 

Foxe, the martyrologist, records that in 1553 Jhn Careless, in 
Coventry gaol for conscience sake, was let out to play in the pageant 
about the city. There is some confusion here, as Careless was only 
in gaol in Coventry for a short time in November before he was sent 
to London 4 . 

When the Annals say that in 1575-6 * the Pageants on Hox Tuesday 
that had been laid down eight years were played again/ there is 
probably some confusion between 'Hox Tuesday' and 'the Pageants/ 
for the account-books show that the latter were played regularly, 
except in 1575, until 1580, when the Annals report them as 'again 
laid down.' In 1584 a different play was given (cf. mfra), and 
possibly also in 1591, although the fact that the songs of the Taylors 
and Shearmen's pageant are dated 1591 rather suggests that after 
all the regular plays may have been revived that year. Some of 
the pageants were sold in 1586 and 1587, but the Cappers preserved 

1 Brewer, xiv (i), 77. (Manly, i. 510). 

8 C. Mery 7afys, Ivi (ed. Oesterley, * * Foxe,vi 411; viii. 170; Maitland, 

i oo). Essays on the Reformation^ 24, 
5 Heywood, The Foure PP t 831 


the properties of their play in 1597, and the Weavers had still players' 
apparel to lend in 1607. According to the Annals, by 1628 the 
pageants had * bine put downe many yeares since/ 

The plays were given annually and in one day at the feast of Corpus 
Christi. Contrary to the custom of the northern towns, there were 
only some ten or twelve pageants, each covering a fairly wide range of 
incident (cf. p. 423). Nor can the performances be shown to have 
been repeated at more than three or four stations. ' Gosford Street,' 
c Mikel ' or ' Much Park Street end ' and ' Newgate ' are recorded, and 
in one of these may have been the house of Richard Wodes, where 
Queen Margaret lay. The Drapers only provided three ' worlds ' for 
their pageant, and probably one was burnt at each station. Accord- 
ing to the Annals, part of the charges of the plays was met by the 
enclosure of a piece of common land (possibly to build pageant houses 
upon). Otherwise they fell wholly upon the crafts, to some one of which 
every artisan in the town was bound to become contributory for the 
purpose. The principal crafts were appointed by the Leet to produce 
the pageants, and with each were grouped minor bodies liable' only for 
fixed sums, varying from 3^. 4</. to i6s. Sd. In 1501 an outside craft, 
the Tilemakers of Stoke, is found contributing $s. to a pageant. 
These combinations of crafts varied considerably from time to time. 
Within the craft the necessary funds were raised, in part at least, by 
special levies. Strangers taking out their freedom were sometimes 
called upon for a contribution. Every member of the craft paid his 
' pagent pencys/ In several crafts the levy was is. Amongst the 
Smiths it must have been less, as they only got from 2s. 2d. to 3^. 4^. 
in this way, whereas the Cappers in 1562 collected 22^. 4</. In 1517 
William Pisford left a scarlet and a crimson gown to the Tanners for 
their play, together with $s. 4^. to each craft that found a pageant. 
The total cost of the Smiths' play in 1490 was 3 *js. $%d. In 
1453 we find the Smiths contracting with one Thomas Colclow to 
have c the rewle of the pajaunt ' for twelve years, and to produce 
the play for a payment of 46^. Sd. A similar contract was made in 
1481. But as a rule, the crafts undertook the management themselves, 
and the account-books studied by Sharp afford more detailed informa- 
tion as to the mode of production than happens to be available for any 
other of the great cycles. 

It is therefore worth while to give some account of the chief objects 
of expenditure. First of all there was the pageant itself. The name 
appears in every possible variety of spelling in Coventry documents. 
Dugdale, on the authority of eye-witnesses, describes the pageants as 


' Theaters for the severall Scenes, very large and high, placed upon 
wheels/ Painted cloths were used * to lap aboubt the pajent/ and 
there was a carved and painted top, adorned with a crest, with vanes, 
pencils, or streamers. On the platform of the pageant such simple 
scenic apparatus as a seat for Pilate, a pillar for the scourging, 
a ' sepulchre/ and the like, was fixed. The Weavers' pageant seems 
to have had an ' upper part ' representing the Temple ; also divisions 
described in the stage directions as ' the for pagand ' and ' the tempull 
warde.' The Cappers' pageant was fitted up with a 'hell-mouth/ 
The Drapers also had a ' hell-mouth/ with a windlass, and fire at the 
mouth, and a barrel for the earthquake, and three worlds to be set 
afire. ' Scaffolds,' distinct from the pageant itself, were drawn round 
with it. These, according to Sharp, were for spectators, but they may 
have been supplementary stages, made necessary by the number of 
episodes in each play at Coventry. Certainly the action was not 
wholly confined to the pageant, for in the Shearmen and Taylors' 
play, ' Here Erode ragis in the pagond & in the strete also ' ; and again, 
' the iij Kyngis speykyth in the strete/ The pageant was constantly 
in need of repairs. A pageant-house had to be built or hired for .. 
On the day of the feast it was cleaned, strewn with rushes; and the 
axle was greased with soap. Men were paid to ' drive ' or ' horse ' it, 
and the Cappers expected their journeymen to undertake this job. 

The players received payments varying with the importance of their 
parts. The sums allowed by the Weavers in 1525 ranged from lod. 
to zs. 4d. Minstrels, both vocalists and instrumentalists, were also 
hired, and in 1573 one Fawston, evidently an artist of exceptional 
talent, received from the Smiths, besides ^d. ' for hangyng Judas,' 
another 4^. ' for Coc croyng.' The Drapers paid as much as 3*. \d. 
' for pleayng God/ and 5$. ' to iij \vhyte sollys ' or ' savyd sowles/ $s. 
1 to iij blake sollys/ or l dampnyd sowles/ 1 6d. ' to ij wormes of con- 
scyence,' and the like. Payments also occur for speaking the pro- 
logue, preface, or * protestacyon/ 

The corporation exercised control over the players, and in 1440 
ordered under a penalty of 2os. 'quod Robertus Gfie et omnes alii 
qui ludunt in festo Corporis Christi bene et sufficienter ludant ita quod 
nulla impedicio fiat in aliquo ioco/ In 1443, an order forbade 
members of certain crafts to play in any pageant except their own 
without the mayor's licence. 

The players required refreshment at intervals during the day, and 
probably the craftsmen who attended the pageant took their share. 
Further expenses, both for refreshment, and for the hire of a room or 


hall, were incurred at rehearsals. The Smiths in 1490 had their 
first ' reherse ' in Easter week, and their second in Whitsun week. 

Each craft had its own ' orygynall ' or ' play-boke/ and paid for 
making the necessary copies, for setting or 'pricking' songs, for 
' beryng of ye Orygynall ' or prompting, and occasionally for bringing 
the text up to date. Thus the Smiths had a 'new rygenale' in 1491, 
and in 1573 a ' new play/ by which is apparently meant an additional 
scene to their existing play (cf. p. 423). The Drapers added ' the 
matter of the castell of Emaus ' in 1540. The Weavers paid 5^. ' for 
makyng of the play boke ' in 1535, and the colophon of their extant 
text shows it to have been ' newly translate ' in that year by Robert 
Croo. This was a regular theatrical man of all work. The matter of 
the Shearmen and Taylors' play was ' nevly correcte ' by him in the 
same year. In 1557 he got 2os. from the Drapers 'for makyng of 
the boke for the paggen.' The Smiths paid him in 1563 'for ij leves 
of our pley boke/ And between 1556 and 1562 he further assisted 
the Drapers, by playing God, mending the * devells cottes/ supplying 
a hat for the Pharisee, and manufacturing the requisite c iij worldys/ 

Finally, there was the not inconsiderable cost of costumes and 
properties, including the gloves for the performers which figure so 
invariably in mediaeval balance sheets. Further details as to these 
and all other objects of expenditure than I have here room for will be 
found in the invaluable volumes of Mr. Sharp. 

The Destruction of Jerusalem. 

In 1584, four years after the ordinary Corpus Christi plays were 
laid down, the Annals record c This year the new Play of the Destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem was first played/ This is confirmed 'by the accounts 
of the corporation, which include a sum of 13 6s. 8d. 'paid to 
Mr. Smythe of Oxford the xv th daye of Aprill 1584 for hys paynes 
for writing of the tragedye/ This was one John Smythe, a scholar 
of the Free School in Coventry and afterwards of St. John's College, 
Oxford. The play was produced at considerable expense upon the 
pageants of the crafts, but the day of performance is not stated. 
From the detailed accounts of the Smiths and the Cappers, Mr. Sharp 
infers that it was based upon the narrative of Josephus. 

In 1591, the old Corpus Christi plays seem to have been proposed 
for exhibition, as the MS. of the Shearmen and Taylors' songs bears 
the date of May 13 in that year. But on May 19 the corporation 
resolved ' that the destruction of Jerusalem, the Conquest of the Danes, 
or the historic of K[ing] E[dward] the X [Confessor], at the request 


of the Comons of this Cittie shal be plaied on the pagens on Mid- 
somer daye & St. Peters daye next in this Cittie & non other playes.' 
The two last-named plays may have been inspired by the traditional 
interpretations of the Hox Tuesday custom (cf. vol. i. p. 154). Which 
was chosen does not appear ; but some performance or other was given. 
Several of the crafts had by this time sold their pageants. Those who 
had not lent them ; and all compounded for the production of a scene 
by the payment of a sum down. This appears to have gone to one 
Thomas Massey, who contracted for the production. He had already 
supplied properties in 1584. In 1603 he quarrelled with the corpora- 
tion about certain devices shown on the visit of the Princess Elizabeth 
to Coventry. In 1606 he hired some acting-apparel from the 
Weavers' company l . 

Miscellaneous Plays. 

The Annals record : 

1490-1. ' This year was the play of St. Katherine in the little Park. 

1504-5. 'This yeare they played the play of St. Crytyan in the 
little parke V 

In 1511, one of the pageants at the entry of Henry VIII had 
a ' goodly Stage Play ' upon it s . 

The Dyers in 1478, the Cappers in 1525, and the Drapers in 1556, 
1566, and 1568 appear to have had plays at their dinners. Probably 
' the Golden Fleece/ for which the Cappers paid the inevitable Robert 
Crowe and two others, was a play 4 . 

The ' lusores de Coventry ' played at Maxstoke Priory between 1422 
and 1461 (Appendix E, ii). 'Certain Players of Coventrye 1 were at 
court in 1530 (Appendix E, viii). 

Towards the end of the sixteenth century occur notices of travelling 
' players of Coventrie/ They were at Bristol and Abingdon in 1570, 
and at Leicester in 1569 and 1571. At Abingdon they are described 
as * Mr. Smythes players of Coventree.' John Smythe, the writer of 
the Destruction of Jerusalem, was only seven years old in 1570. 
Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps would read ' the Smythes' players V 

The Corpus Chris It Procession. 

The procession or ' Ridyng ' on Corpus Christi day is first mentioned 
in the Leet Book in 1444, and in 1446 is an order * quod le Ruydyng 
in festo Corporis Christi fiat prout ex antiquo tempore consueverint.' 

* * Sharp, 12, 39, 64, 75, 78 ; Weavers' 3 Sharp, 157 ; Hearne, loc. cit. 
Play^ 21. * Sharp, 216. 

2 Sharp, 9 ; Hearne, Forduns Scoti- * 5 Sharp, 209; Halliwell-Phillipps, 

chrontcon, v. 1450. Outlines, ii. 296. 


It took place early in the day after a { breakfast.' The craft-guilds 
rode in it, and provided minstrels and torchbearers. The Trinity 
Guild seems to have borne a crucifix, and the Guild of Corpus Christi 
and St. Nicholas the host under a canopy. The accounts of the 
Smiths include the following items : 
* 1476. Item ffor hors hyre to Herod, iij d . 
1489. Item payd for Aroddes garment peynttyng that he went 

a prossasyon in, xx d / 

The other extant guild accounts throw no light on the presence of 
representatives of the plays in the procession ; but the Corpus Christi 
guild itself provided dramatic personages. 

'1501. payd for a Crown of sylver & gyld for the Mare on Corpus 

Christi day, xliij 9 ix d . 
I 539- P en 7 bred for the appostells, vj d . 
beiff for the appostles, viij d . 
to the Marie for hir gloves and wages, ij 8 . 
the Marie to offer, j d . 
Kateryne & Margaret, iiij d . 
viij virgyns, viij d . 

to Gabriell for beryng the lilly, iiij d . 
to James & Thomas of Inde, viij d . 
to x other .apostells, xx d . 

1540. for makyng the lilly, iij 8 iiij d . 

1541. to Gabryel for beryng the light [lilly?] iiij d . 
xij torches of wax for the apostles. 

1544. a new coat & a peir of hoes for Gabriell, iijX iiij. 1 ' 

See s. v. Texts (i), Croxton Play, The Sacrament. 


The ' lusores de Daventry ' played at Maxstoke Priory between 1422 
and 1461 (Appendix E, ii). 


The version of the Quern quaeritis used at the Church of St. John 
the Evangelist in the fourteenth century is printed in Appendix R. 

The Chain Book of the City contains the following memorandum, 
apparently entered in 1498. 

Corpus Christi day a pagentis : 

' The pagentis of Corpus Christi day, made by an olde law and 

1 Sharp, 159. 


confermed by a semble befor Thomas Collier, Maire of the Citte of 
Divelin, and Juries, Baliffes and commones, the iiiith Friday next after 
midsomer, the xiii. yere of the reign of King Henri the Vllth [1498] : 

'Glovers: Adam and Eve, with an angill followyng berryng a 
swerde. Peyn, xl.j. 

'Corvisers: Caym and Abell, with an auter and the ofference. 
Peyn, xl.j. 

' Maryners, Vynters, Shipcarpynderis, and Samountakers : Noe, with 
his shipp, apparalid acordyng. Peyn, xl.s. 

' Wevers : Abraham [and] Ysack, with ther auter and a lambe and 
ther offerance. Peyn, xl.s. 

< Smythis, Shermen, Bakers, Sclateris, Cokis and Masonys : Pharo, 
with his hoste. Peyn, xl.s. 

'Skynners, House-Carpynders, and Tanners, and Browders: for 
the body of the camell, and Oure Lady and hir chil[d]e well aperelid, 
with Joseph to lede the camell, and Moyses with the children of 
Israeli, and the Portors to berr the camell. Peyn, xl.s. and Steyners 
and Peyntors to peynte the hede of the camell. [Peyn,] xl.s. 

* [Goldsmy]this : The three kynges of Collynn, ridyng worshupfully, 
with the offerance, with a sterr afor them. Peyn, xl.s. 

' [Hoopers] : The shep[er]dis, with an Angill syngyng Gloria in 
excelsis Deo. Peyn, xl.s. 

' Corpus Christ! yild : Criste in his Passioun, with three Maries, and 
angilis berring serges of wex in ther hands. [Peyn,] xl.s. 

* Taylors : Pilate, with his fellaship, and his lady and his knyghtes, 
well beseyne. Peyn, xl.s. 

'Barbors: An[nas] and Caiphas, well araied acordyng. [Peyn,] 

' Courteours: Arthure, with [his] knightes. Peyn, xls. 
'Fisshers: The Twelve Apostelis. Peyn, xl.s. 
' Marchauntes : The Prophetis. Peyn, xl.^. 

* Bouchers : tormentours, with ther garmentis well and clenly peynted. 
[Peyn,] xl.s. 

1 The Maire of the Bulring and bachelers of the same : The Nine 
Worthies ridyng worshupfully, with ther followers accordyng. Peyn, 

'The Hagardmen and the husbandmen to berr the dragoun and 
to repaire the dragoun a Seint Georges day and Corpus Christi day. 
Peyn, xl.s. f 

This list is immediately followed *by a second, practically identical 
with it, of * The Pagentys of Corpus Christi Processioun/ 


These pageants, though the subjects are drawn from the usual 
Corpus Christi play-cycle (with the addition of King Arthur and the 
nine Worthies), appear, from their irregular order, to be only dumb- 
show accompaniments of a procession. In 1569 the crafts were 
directed to keep the same order in the Shrove Tuesday ball riding 
(cf. vol. i. p. 150), 'as they are appointed to go with their pageants 
on Corpus Christi daye by the Chayne Boke V 

The same intermixture of profane and sacred elements marks the 
late and scanty records of actual plays in Dublin. 

* Tho. Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 
the year 1528, was invited to a new play every day in Christmas, 
Arland Usher being then mayor, and Francis Herbert and John 
Squire bayliffs, wherein the taylors acted the part of Adam and Eve ; 
the shoemakers represented the story of Crispin and Crispinianus ; the 
vintners acted Bacchus and his story ; the Carpenters that of Joseph 
and Mary ; Vulcan, and what related to him, was acted by the Smiths ; 
and the comedy of Ceres, the goddess of corn, by the Bakers. Their 
stage was erected on Hoggin Green (now called College Green), and 
on it the priors of St. John of Jerusalem, of the blessed Trinity, and 
All Hallows caused two plays to be acted, the one representing the 
passion of our Saviour, and the other the several deaths which the 
apostles suffered 2 / In 1541 there were 'epulae, comoediae, et cer- 
tamina ludicra ' when Henry VIII was proclaimed King of Ireland. 
These included ' the nine Worthies/ On the return of Lord Sussex 
from an expedition against James MacConnell in 1557, 'the Six 
Worthies was played by the city V 

A seventeenth-century transcript of a lost leaf of the Chain Book 
has the following order for the St. George's day procession : 

'The Pageant of St. George's day, to be ordered and kept as 
hereafter followeth : 

' The Mayor of the yeare before to finde the Emperour and Empress 
with their followers, well apparelled, that is to say, the Emperor, with 
two Doctors, and the Empress, with two knights, and two maydens to 
beare the traynes of their gownes, well apparelled, and [the Guild of] 
St. George to pay their wages. 

1 J. T. Gilbert, Calendar of Ancient 8 Walker, loc. cit. ; Sir James Ware, 
Records of Dublin , i. 239; ii. 54. Cf. Annales Rerum Ilibern. (1664), 161 ; 
Davidson, a 2 a, and in Modern Language Variorum, iii. 30, from MS. in Trin. 
Notes, vii. 339. Coll. Dublin. W. F. Dawson, Christ- 

2 Harris, Hist, of Dublin, 147 ; J. C. mas: its Origin and Associations, 52, 
Walker, Hist. Essay on the Irish Stage says that Henry II kept Christmas at 
(Trans. Roy. Irish Acad. ii (1788), 2. Hogges in 1171 with 'miracle plays.' 
75), from MS. of Robert Ware. But I cannot find the authority for this. 


Item : Mr. Mayor for the time being to find St. George a-horseback, 
and the wardens to pay three shillings and four pence for his wages 
that day. And the Bailives for the time being to find four horses, 
with men upon them, well apparelled, to beare the pole-axe, the 
standard, and the Emperor and St. George's sword. 

' Item : The elder master of the yeald to find a mayd well aparelled 
to lead the dragon ; and the Clerk of the Market to find a good line 
for the dragon. 

1 Item : The elder warden to find St. George, with four trumpettors, 
and St. George's [Guild] to pay their wages. 

' Item : the yonger warden to finde the king of Dele and the queene 
of Dele, and two knightes to lead the queene of Dele, with two 
maydens to beare the trayne of her goune, all wholy in black 
apparell, and to have St. George's chappell well hanged and 
apparelled to every purpose with cushins . . . russhes and other 
necessaries belonging for said St. George's day 1 . 1 


One Geoffrey, a Norman, was 'apud Dunestapliam, expectans 
scholam S. Albani sibi repromissam; ubi quendam ludum de 
S. Katerina (quern Miracula vulgariter appellamus) fecit; ad quae 
decoranda petiit a Sacrista S. Albani, ut sibi capae chorales accommo- 
darentur, et obtinuit/ Unfortunately the ' capae ' were burnt. This 
must have been early in the twelfth century, as Geoffrey in grief 
became a monk, and was Abbot of St. Albans by 


The civic records show traces of municipal plays in 1554, but it is 
not clear that they were miracle-plays proper or of long standing. 
Sir David Lyndsay's Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis was played in the 
Greenside between 1550 and 1559 (cf. p. 442). On June 15, 1554, 
a payment was made to Sir William Makdougall, ' maister of werk/ for 
those 'that furneist the grayth to the convoy of the moris to the 
Abbay and of the play maid that saxnyn day the tent day of Junii 
instant/ Makdougall was to deliver to the dean of guild the ' hand- 
scenye [ensign] and canves specifiit in the said tikkit to be kepit to 
the behuif of the town/ Sums were also paid this summer for * the 
playing place ' or ' the play field now biggand in the Grenesid/ 

1 Gilbert, op. cit. i. 242. S. Albani (R. S.), i. 73 ; Bulaeus, Hi- 

1 Matthew Paris, Gesta Abbot. S. " storia Unwersitatis Parisiensis^vi. 226 j 
Altoni, ap. H. T. Riley, Gcsta Abbatum Collier, i 13. 


On Oct. 12 Walter Bynnyng was paid for 'the making of the play 
graith* and for painting the 'handsenye* and 'playariss facis/ He 
was to 'mak the play geir vnderwrittin furthcumand to the town, 
quhen thai haif ado thairwith, quhilkis he has now ressauit ; viz. viij 
play hattis, ane kingis crown, ahe myter, ahe fulis hude, ane septour, 
ane pair angell wingis, twa angell hair, ane chaplet of tryvmphe.' 

On Dec. 28 ' the prouest, baillies and counsale findis it necessar and 
expedient that the litill farsche and play maid be William Lauder be 
playit afoir the Quenis grace V I trace a note of regret for the doubt- 
ful morals and certain expense of the entertainments which the 
presence in Edinburgh of the newly-made Regent, Mary of Lorraine, 
imposed upon the burghers. 


Lord Howard rewarded the players of c Esterforde ' on Jan. 7, 1482 
(Appendix E, vii). This place is now known as Kelvedon. 


Folkestone players were at New Romney in 1474, and at Lydd 
in 1479. 


In 1561 the players of 'Fosson' borrowed 'serten stufe' from the 
churchwardens of St. Martin's, Leicester 2 . 

See s. v. SHIPTON. 

'Garblesham game' was at Harling (q.v.) in 1457. 

'Chart' players were at New Romney in 1489. 


Lord Howard rewarded the 'Plaiers of Hadley' on Dec. 27, 1481 

(Appendix E, vii). 


There was a play in the church in 1529 8 . 

Ham players were at Lydd in 1454. 

1 J. D. Marwick, Records of Edin- * Kelly, 19. 
burgh (Scottish Burghs Record Soc.)> ii- ' Pearson, ii. 413. 
193 sqq. 



'John Walker of Hanfild' hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe 
in 1572. 


In 1452 the wardens paid for the * original of an Interlude pleyed 
at the Cherch gate/ In 1457 payments were made for 'Lopham 
game/ and 'Garblesham game,' in 1463 for 'Kenningale game/ in 
1467 to the 'Kenyngale players 1 .' 


Amongst the Loseley MSS. is a deposition of i57f : 
'Coram me Henr. Goringe, an xij die Januar. 1578. George 
Longherst and John Mill ex d sayeth, that on Sondaye last they were 
together at widow Michelles house, in the parish of Hascombe, and 
there delyvered their mares to kepe till they came agayne, and sayde 
that they wold goo to Hascombe Churche, to a kynge playe w ch then 
was there. And sayeth y* they went thither and there contynued 
about an houre, at which tyme the sonne was then downeV 

The date suggests a performance on Jan. 6. Evidently a May 
' kynge playe ' is out of the question ; but a Twelfth Night King, or 
a ' Stella ' belated in the afternoon, are both possible. 


On April 30, 1440, John Hauler and John Pewte sued Thomas 
Sporyour in the city court *de placito detencionis unius libri de 
lusionibus, prec. iis. iiijrf. 3 ' 

The Register of the Corporation for 1503 contains a list of 

' The paiants for the procession of Corpus Christi : 

Furst, Glovers. Adam, Eve, Coyne and A dell (erased). 

Eldest seriant. Cayne, Abell, and Moysey, Aron. 

Carpenters. Noye ship. 

Chaundelers. Abram, Isack, Moysey cum iiii r pueris. 

Skynners. Jesse. 

Flacchers. Salutacon of our Lady. 

Vynteners. Nativite of our Lord, 

Taillours. The iii Kings of Colen. 

The belman. The purificacon of our Lady, with Symyon. 

1 L. G. Bolingbroke, Pre-Eliz. Plays a N and Q. xii. 210; Kelly, 68. 
and Players in Norfolk (Norfolk * s Hist. MSS. xiii. 4. 300. 
Archaeology, xi. 338). 


Drapers. The . . . (blank) deitours, goyng with the good Lord. 

Sadlers. Fleme Jordan. 

Gardeners. The castell of Israeli. 

Walkers. The good Lord ridyng on an asse ("judging at an 
assize/' in Johnson!) with xii Appostelles. 

The tanners. The story of Shore Thursday. 

Bochours. The takyng of our Lord. 

The eldest seriant. The tormentyng of our Lord with iiii tor- 
mentoures, with the lamentadon of our Lady [and Seynt John the 
evaungelist : faintly added by another hand\ 

[Cappers. Portacio crucis usque montem Oilverii: added.] 

Dyers. lesus pendens in cruce [altered by the second hand from 
Portacio crucis et lohanne evangelista portante Mariam]. 

Smythes. Longys with his knyghtes. 

The eldest seriant. Maria and Johannes evangelista (interlined). 

Barbours. Joseth Abarmathia. 

Dyers. Sepultura Christi. 

The eldest seriant. Tres Mariae. 

Porters. Milites armati custodes sepulcri. 

Mercers. Pilate, Cayfes, Annas, and Mahounde. [This last name 
has been partly erased.] 

Bakers. Knyghtes in harnes. 

Journeymen cappers. Seynt Keterina with tres (?) tormentors V 

At a law day held on Dec. 10, 1548, it was agreed that the crafts 
who were ' bound by the grantes of their corporacions yerely Jp bring 
forthe and set forward dyvers pageaunttes of ancient history in the 
processions of the cytey upon the day and fest of Corpus Xpi, 
which now is and are omitted and surceased' should instead 
make an annual payment towards the expense of repairing walls, 
causeways, &c. a The 1503 list seems to concern a dumb-show 
only, and it cannot be positively assumed that the lusiones of 1440 
were a Corpus Christi play. 

In 1706 a labourer went through the city in the week before Easter, 
being Passion week, clothed in a long coat with a large periwig, with 
a great multitude following him, sitting upon an ass, to the derision of 
our Saviour Jesus Christ's riding into Jerusalem, to the great scandal 
of the Christian religion, to the contempt of our Lord and his doctrine, 
and to the ill and pernicious example of others 8 . 

1 Hist. MSS. xiii. 4. 288. 

8 R. Johnson, Ancient Customs of Hereford (ed. 2. 1882), 119. 

8 Hist. MSS. xiiL 4. 352. 



Herne players were at New Romney in 1429. 


The churchwardens' accounts for 1532 show a play, with 'a fool' 
and * pagent players/ apparently in the church *. 

High Easter men hired the Chelmsford (q. v.) wardrobe in 1570-2. 

'Haldene' players were at New Romney in 1499. 


In 1548 the churchwardens paid v viij d for the 'costs of the iij kyngs 

of Coloyne V 


The accounts of the Trinity House, a guild of master mariners and 
pilots, contain entries concerning a play of Noah. 
' 1483. To the minstrels, vj d . 

To Noah and his wife, j vj d . 

To Robert Brown playing God, vj d . 

To the Ship-child, j d . 

To a shipwright for clinking Noah's ship, one day, vij d . 

22 kids for shoring Noah's ship, ij d . 

To a man clearing away the snow, j d . 

Straw, for Noah and his children, ij d . 

Mass, bellman, torches, minstrels, garland, &c., vj 8 . 

For mending the ship, ij d . 

To Noah for playing, j 9 . 

To straw and grease for wheels, d . 

To the waits for going about with the ship, vj d . 
1494. To Thomas Sawyr playing God, x d . 

To Jenkin Smith playing Noah, j 8 . 

To Noah's wife, viij d . 

The "blerk and his children, j* vj d . 

To the players of Barton, viijd. 

For a gallon of wine, viij d . 

For three skins for Noah's coat, making it, and a rope to 

hang the ship in the kirk, vij g . 


1 Nichols, Extracts from Churchwardens* Accounts, 175. 
9 W. Sandys, Christinas Carols^ xc. 


To dighting and gilding St. John's head, painting two 
tabernacles, beautifying the boat and over the table, 
vija ij<*. 

Making Noah's ship, v 1 * viip. 
Two wrights a day and a half, j 8 vj<*. 
A halfer (rope) 4 stone weight, iiij 8 viij d . 
Rigging Noah's ship, viij<V 

Hadley, the historian of Hull, extracts these items ' from the 
expences on Plough-day/ and says, ' This being a maritime society, 
it was celebrated by a procession adapted to the circumstance 1 / 
There are continental parallels for ship-processions at spring feasts 
(vol. i. p. 121); but evidently that at Hull had been assimilated, 
perhaps under the influence of Beverley, to a miracle-play or 
pageant. A recent writer, apparently from some source other than 
Hadley, says that the entries in the accounts run from before 1421 to 
1529. Amongst his additional extracts are: 
' A payr of new mytens to Noye, iiij d . 
Amending Noye Pyleh, iiijd. 
Nicholas Helpby for wryt* the pley, vij d . 
A rope to hyng the shipp in ye kyrk, ij d . 
Takyng down shype and hyngyng up agayn, ij 8 . 
Wyn when the shype went about, ij d . 
1421. New shype, v lj viij 8 iiij d V 

Hythe players were at New Romney in 1399 and at Lydd in 1467. 

See s. v. SHIPTON. 


In 1325 the former Guild Merchant was reconstituted as a Guild 
of Corpus Christi. The Constitution provides for a procession, on 
Corpus Christi day, unless it is hindered 'pro qualitate temporisV 

The notices in the seventeenth-century Annals of the town point to 
a play as well as a procession 4 . The Guild included all the burgesses ; 

1 G. Hadley, Hist, of Kingston upon Hist. MSS. ix. i. 245. 
.#W/(J788), 823. 4 Nathaniel Bacon, The Annalls of 

2 W. Andrews, Historic Yorkshire, Ipswich, 1654 (ed. W. H. Richardson, 
43; Curiosities of the Church, 19. 1884), 102 and passim. Some additional 

3 J. Wodderspoon, Memorials of the notices are in Hist, MSS. ix. i. 241 
Ancient Town of Ipswich (1850), 161 ; sqq. 

B b 2 


each paying i6d. a year and attending the dinner on Corpus Christi 

In 1443 the common marsh was devised ' to maintaine and repaire 
the pageants of the Guilde/ 

In 1445 J. Causton was admitted burgess on condition of maintaining 
for seven years 'the ornaments belonging to Corpus X 1 pageant 
and the stages, receiving the Charges thereof from the farmers of the 
Common Marshe and the Portmen's medow, as the Bayliffs for the 
time being shall think meete.' Arrears were paid to J. Caldwell for 
his charge of ' Corpus Chr. pageant. 1 

In 1491 an order was made, laying down, ' Howe euery occupacion 
of craftsmen schuld order themselves in the goyng with their pageantes 
in the procession of Corpus Christi/ The list closes with the * Friers 
Carmelites/ ' Friers Minors/ and ' Friers Prechors/ The subjects of 
the pageants are unfortunately not given. The pageant cost 455. id. 

In 1492 * areres of y e Pageant* were paid, and ' kepers of the 
Ornaments and utensiles of Corpus Christi appointed/ 

In 1493, Z 494 r 495 J 49^ orders were made for the provision of 
the * pageant/ In 1495 there was a grant of 3 n. o for it. In 
1496 it was ' at the charge of such as have been used/ 

In 1502 * Corpus Christi pageant shall hereafter be observed, and 
a convenient artificer shall be intertained to that end, and shall have 
40J/ Each Portman was to pay is. 4^., each of the c twenty-four ' Sd. ; 
the other 6s. 8d. to be levied. ' Noe Bayliff shall interrupt or hinder the 
pageant, unless by order of the great court or uppon special cause.' 
Collectors for the pageant were chosen. 

In 1504 the 'collectors for the play of Corpus Christi' were 'to 
make a free burgess for their expences at Corpus Christi play/ These 
collectors are again mentioned in 1505 and 1506, and in the latter 
year ' ornaments ' and ' stageing for Corpus Christi play/ 

In 1509 all inhabitants are to have ' their Tabernas and attendance 
at the f/east of Corpus Christi ' and ' everyone shall hold by the order 
of their procession, according to the Constitutions/ 

In 1511 a contribution is ordered to a pageant of St. George, and 
the Corpus Christi dinner and pageant are laid aside. 

From 1513 to 1519 the play is ordered to be laid aside in every 
year except 1517. In 1520 it ' shall hold this yere/ and the pageant 
is ordered to be ready. It is laid aside in 1521 until further order, 
and the master of the pageant called ' the shipp ' is to have the same 
ready under forfeiture of 1.0.* It is 'deferred' in 1522 and Maid 
aside for ever ' in 1531. 


Probably it was never revived. But there is an order for the pro- 
cession with the Sacrament in 1540, and in 1542 this had its 
* pageants ' to which each householder was rated at id. 

In 1552 the guild is held on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday, and 
similar meetings continue until 1644. 

On a possible performance of Bale's King John at the visit of 
Elizabeth to Ipswich in 1561 see Texts (iii), s. v. Bale. 


Thetford Priory made a payment ' in regard to Ix worth play/ in 
1507-8 (Appendix E, iii). 



The ' Boke of Record/ a municipal register begun at the incorpora- 
tion in 1575, refers to the Corpus Christi play by the crafts as 
established at that date. On Feb. 14, 1575, the corporation forbade 
feasts of more than twelve guests ; 

* Such lyke ... as have bene comonlye used at ... metyings of 
men off Occupacyons aboute orders for their severall pagiands off 
Corpus xpi playe . . . exceptyd and reserved/ 

An order 'ffor the playe' of Sept. 22, 1586, forbade the alderman 
to give permission for the acting of the play in any year without the 
consent of his brethren V 

The plays lasted into the seventeenth century. Thomas Heywood 
says in 1612, that, 'to this day/ Kendall holds the privilege of its fairs 
and other charters by yearly stage-plays 2 . And Weever, about 1631, 
speaks of 

* Corpus Christi play in my countrey, which I have scene acted at 
Preston, and Lancaster, and last of all at Kendall, in the beginning of 
the raigne of King James; for which the Townesmen were sore 
troubled ; and upon good reasons the Play finally supprest, not onely 
there, but in all other Townes of the Kingdome V 

In the MS. life of the Puritan vicar of Rotherham, John Shaw, is 
a description of how he spoke to an old man at Cartmel of salvation 
by Christ : 

' Oh Sir/ said he, ' I think I heard of that man you speak of once in 
a play at Kendall, called Corpus Christ's play, where there was a man 

1 R. S. Ferguson, A Boke of Record ... a See s. v. Manningtree. 
of Kirkbie Kendall (Cumb. and Westm. * Weever, Funeral Monuments t 405. 
Arch, and Ant. See.), 91, 136. 


on a tree, and blood ran down, &c. And afterwards he professed he 
could not remember that he ever heard of salvation by Jesus, but in 

that play V 


1 Kenningale game ' was at Harling (q. v.) in 1463, and the ' Kenyng- 
ale players' in 1467. 


John Bale, in his description of his brief episcopate of Ossory, gives 
an account of the proclamation of Queen Mary, at Kilkenny, on August 
20, 1553, 'The yonge men, in the Forenone, played a Tragedye of 
God's Promyses in the olde Lawe, at the Market Crosse, with Organe, 
Plainges, and Songes very aptely. In the Afternone agayne they 
played a Commedie of Sanct Johan Baptistes Preachinges, of Christes 
Baptisynge, and of his Temptacion in the Wildernesse, to the small 
contentacion of the Prestes and other Papistes there V 

These plays are extant ; cf. Texts (iii), s. v. Bale. 


There was a Corpus Christi guild as early as 1400, and the Tailors' 
Ordinances of 1449 require them to take part in the Corpus Christi 
procession ; but I do not find evidence of regular annual plays. The 
Chamberlains' Accounts for 1385, however, include: 

*iij 8 iiij d to certain players, playing an interlude on Corpus Christi day/ 

' iij s iiij d paid by the Mayor's gift to persons playing the interlude 
of St. Thomas the Martyr.' 

And those for 1462 

* iij B paid for two flagons of red wine, spent in the house of Arnulph 
Tixonye, by the Mayor and most of his brethren, being there to see 
a certain play at the Feast of Corpus Christi.' In the same year the 
Skinners and Sailors ' of the town ' received rewards ' for their labour 
about the procession of Corpus Christi this year V 

In 1409-10 Lady de Beaufort came to see a play 4 . 

See also s. v. MIDDLETON. 

On May 20, 1505, Henry VII made a payment 
' To the Players of Kingeston toward the bilding of the churche 
steple, in almasse, iij iiijd V 

1 I. Disraeli, Curiosities of Literature, s Hist. MSS. xi. 3. 165, 223, 224. 

Second Series, iii. 343. The original documents appear to be 

1 Bale, Vocacyon to Ossory (1553), in* in Latin. 

Harltian Miscellany (ed. 1745), vl * Harrod, King's Lynn Records t 87. 

402 ; ^ed. 1808), i. 345. Ct Appendix E (yni). 


The churchwardens' accounts for 1505-6 include 
' That we, Adam Backhous and Harry Nycol, amountyd of a 
play, 4 1 '-' 

A few later items relate to plays at Easter. 
' 1513-4. For thred for the resurrection, j d . 

For 3 yards of dorneck for a player's cote, and the 

makyng, xvd. 
1520-1. Paid for a skin of parchment and gunpowder for the play 

on Ester-day, viij<*. 
For bred and ale for them that made the stage and other 

thinges belonginge to the play, j* ij d . 
1565. Rec d . of the players of the stage at Easter, j ijd ob. 1 ' 


A Corpus Christi play was acted within the lifetime of Weever, 
who was bom 1576, and wrote 1631 a . 


' Somers of Lanchire ' hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe in 1566. 
But I can find no such place. 

See s. v. SHIPTON. 


The Earl of Surrey rewarded the players of * Lanam ' on Jan. 8, 
1492 (Appendix E, vii). 


The list of customary rewards given by the fifth Earl of Northumber- 
land to his servants, drawn up 1 152 2, includes : 

' Them of his Lordschipes Chapell if they doo play the Play of the 
Nativite uppon Cristynmes-Day in the mornynge in my Lords Chapell 
befor his Lordship, xx. 

. . . Them of his Lordship Chappell and other, if they doo play the 
play of Resurrection upon Esturday in the morning in my Lords 
Chapell, xx'V 


Ten Brink, ii. 256, says that Leeds formed a centre ' for the art of 
the cyclic plays, which were represented yearly ' ; and Ward, L 55, 

1 Lysons, Environs of London, i. a Sec s. v. Kendal. 
239. * Percy, N.H. B. 343, 345- 


that at Leeds ' the religious drama was assiduously cultivated by the 
citizens/ I cannot find any authority for this, and can only suggest 
that it is a misapprehension of an entry in the Catalogue of Ralph 
Thoresby's manuscripts appended to his Ducatus Leodensis (1715), 
517. This was copied by Sharp, 141. But it refers to the York 
Plays, then in Thoresby's possession. 


The Hall book of the Corporation contains the following entries : 
1477, March 26. 'The pleyers the which pleed the passion play 
the yere next afore brought yne a byll the whiche was of serten devties 
of mony and whed r the passion shulbe put to crafts to be bounden or 
nay. And at y fc tyme the seid pleyers gaff to the pachents y r mony 
which that thei had getten yn playng of the seid play euer fore to that 
day and all y r Rayments w h al oth r maner of stuff y* they had at that 
tyme. And at the same Common Halle be the advyse of all the 
Comons was chosen thies persones after named for to have the gydyng 
and Rule of the said play' [19 persons with 2 'bedalls' named] *. 

1495, Friday after xijte day. ' Y* ys ordent agreyt stabelechyd & 
acte for the comon well of the towne and of seche guds as ys yn a store 
hows in the Setterday marcat y fc ys to say wodde tymber and vdyr 
playyng germands yf ther be ony her hys chosyn to be oucrsears 
thereof [6 names] 2 . 

It is not clear on what day the Passion play took place. There 
were great processions on Whit Monday from the churches of 
St. Martin and St. Mary to that of St. Margaret, and in these the 
Twelve Apostles figured 3 . 

The accounts of the same churches show plays apparently distinct 
from the Passion play. 
St. Marys. 

1491. Paid to the Players on New-year's day at even in the 

church, vj d . 
1499. Paid for a play in the church, in Dominica infra Octavam 

Epiphaniae, ij 8 . 
1504. Paid for mending the garment of Jesus and the cross 

painting, j 8 iij d . 

Paid for a pound of hemp to mend the angels heads, iiijd. 
Paid for linen cloth for the angels heads, and Jesus hoose, 
making in all, ix d . 

1 Kelly. 27, 187. M. Bateson, /toottfr of Leicestershire t iv. L App. 378, 9. 
cf Leicester, ii. 297; J. Nichols, History a Kelly, 188. 8 Kelly, 7. 


1507. Paid for a pound of hemp for the heads of the angels, iij d . 

Paid for painting the wings and scaff, &c., viij d \ 
These entries suggest a Quern quaeriti$> but perhaps only a puppet- 

St. Martins. 
1492. Paid to the players on New-year's day at even in the 

church, vj d . 
1 546-7. P d for makynge of a sworde & payntynge of the same for 


1 555-6. P d . to the iij shepperds at Whytsontyde, vj d . 
1559-60. P d . to ye plears for ther paynes. 
1561. R d . for serten stufe lent to the players of Fosson 2 . 

In 1551 the Corporation came not to a feast * because of the play 
that was in the church 3 / 


The Cathedral Statutes of Bishop Hugh de Nonant (1188-98) 
provide for the Pastores at Christmas and the Quern quaeritis and 
Peregrini at Easter. 

' Item in nocte Natalis representacio pastorum fieri consueuit et in 
diluculo Paschae representacio Resurreccionis dominicae et repre- 
sentacio peregrinorum die lunae in septimana Paschae sicut in libris 
super hijs ac alijs compositis continetur.' 

Similarly in the account of the officium of the Succentor it is pro- 
vided : 

' Et prouidere debet quod representacio pastorum in nocte Natalis 
domini et miraculorum in nocte Paschae et die lunae in Pascha congrue 
et honorifice fiantV 


About 1244 Bishop Grosseteste names 'miracula' amongst other 
Mudi' which the archdeacons, so far as possible, are to exterminate 
in the diocese 5 . 

Chapter computi for 1406, 1452, and 1531 include entries of pay- 
ments, 'In serothecis emptis pro Maria et Angelo et Prophetis ex 
consuetudine in Aurora Natalis Dfii hoc anno V 

'In 1420 tithes to the amount of 8 8 8 d were assigned to Thomas 
Chamberleyn for getting up a spectacle or pageant (" cuiusdam ex- 

1 Kelly, 14, 16. 4 Lincoln Statutes, ii. 15, 33. 

8 Kelly, 15, 18, 19, ao ; T. North, 5 Cf. vol. i. p. 91. 

Accounts of Churchwardens of Sf. 6 Wordsworth, 126, and in Lincoln 

Martin's, a, ai, 74,86, 87. Statutes, ii. Iv. The entry given for 

8 Kelly, 193. 1453 in the latter omits ' et Prophetis.' 


cellentis visus ") called Rubum quern viderat at Christmas ... An 
anthem sung at Lauds on New Year's day . . . begins thus l ' (cf. 
Sarum Breviary, ccxciii). Was this spectacle a Moses play forming 
part of, or detached from, an Or do Prophetarum ? 

A set of local annals (1361-1515) compiled in the sixteenth century 
records the following plays : 

1397-8. Ludus de Pater Noster Ivi anno. 

1 4 1 o-i i . Ludus Pater Noster. 

1424-5. Ludus Pater Noster. 

1441-2. Ludus Sancti Laurentii. 

1447-8. Ludus Sanctae Susannae. 

1452-3. Ludus de Kyng Robert of Cesill. 

M55-6. Ludus de Sancta Clara. 

1456-7. Ludus de Pater Noster. 

1471-2. Ludus Corporis Christi. 

1473-4. Ludus de Corporis Christi. 

Canon Rock, apparently quoting the same document, also mentions 
a ' Ludus de Sancto lacoboV 

On Dec. 13, 1521, the Corporation 'agreed that Paternoster Play 
shall be played this year V 

In 1478-80 the Chapter Curialitaies include 'In commun' canoni- 
corum existent' ad videndum ludum Corporis Christi in camera 
lohannis Sharpe infra clausum, 17* n d V 

But the Corpus Christi play, although so called, would appear not 
to have been played upon Corpus Christi day, but to be identical 
with the visus or 'sights' of St. Anne's day (July 26). These are 
mentioned almost yearly in the city minute-books of the early sixteenth 
century, and appear to have been cyclic and processional. They 
certainly included Noah's Ship, the Three Kings of Cologne, the 
Ascension, and the Coronation of the Virgin. The Corporation 
ordered them to be played ; the mayor and the ' graceman/ or chief 
officer of the guild of Saint Anne, directed them ; the guild priest gave 
bis assistance in the preparations. In 1517 Sir Robert Denyer was 
appointed on condition of doing this. Garments were often borrowed 
from the priory and the local magnates. In 1521 Lady Powys lent 
a gown for one of the Maries, and the other had a crimson gown of 
velvet belonging to the guild. Each craft was bound under penalty to 
provide a pageant. In 1540 some of the crafts had broken their 

1 Wordsworth, ia6. * 8 Leach, loc. cit. 224. 

1 A. F. Leach, in Furnivall Afu- * Wordsworth, 139. 
cdlany, 323 ; Rock, ii. 430. 


pageants and were ordered to restore them. In the same year a large 
door was made at the late school-house that the pageants might be 
sent in, and ^d. was charged for housing every pageant, ' and Noy 
schippe i2 d .' In 1547 the valuables of the procession were sold, but 
the 'gear' (i.e. the theatrical properties) still existed in 1569. During 
the Marian reaction in 1554 and 1555 ' ft was ordered that St. Anne's 
Gild with Corpus Christi Play shall be brought forth and played this 
year V 

The friendly relations of the Cathedral Chapter to the civic play 
are noteworthy. In 1469 the chapter paid the expenses of the vt'sus 
of the Assumption given on St. Anne's day in the nave of the church. 
In 1483 it was similarly agreed to have * Ludum, sive Serimonium, de 
Coronatione, sive Assumptione, beatae Mariae, prout consuetum fuerat, 
in navi dictae Ecclesiae.' This was to be played and shown in the 
procession to be made by the citizens on St. Anne's day. Apparently 
the crafts played the earlier plays of the cycle during the progress of 
the St. Anne's procession through the streets, and the Chapter gave 
the Assumption as a finale to the whole in the cathedral itself. But 
their interest extended beyond their own visus. In 1488 Robert Clarke 
received an appointment, because ' he is so ingenious in the show and 
play called the Ascension, given every year on St. Anne's Day V 

Under Elizabeth a new play appears. In 1564 the Corporation 
ordered ' that a standing [i.e. non-processional ?] play of some story of 
the Bible shall be played two days this summertime.' The subject 
chosen was Tobias, and the place the Broadgate. Some of the pro- 
perties, e.g. * Hell mouth, with a nether chap,' were possibly the old 
' gear* of St. Anne's guild. In 1567 ' the stage-play of the story of 
Toby ' was again played at Whitsuntide 8 . 


Little Baddow men hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe during 


William Fitzstephen (t 1170-82), in a description of London pre- 
fatory to his Vita of St. Thomas & Becket, says : 

' Lundonia pro spectaculis theatralibus, pro ludis scenicis, ludos habet 

1 Leach, loc. cit. 224; Lincoln Sta- 6954, p. 152. The latter has 'Sere- 

tutes, ii. ccliv ; Hist. MSS. xiv. 8. 25. nomium ' (for Ceremonium). Mr. Leach 

1 Wordsworth, 141; Leach, loc. cit. reads 'Sermonium' and translates 

223, from Chapter Act Book, A. 31, 'speech/ 

f. 1 8 ; Shaks. Soc. Papers, iii. 40, from Leach, loc. cit. 227 ; Gentleman's 

copy of same document in liar I. MS. Magazine, liv. 103. 


sanctiores, representationes miraculorum quae sancti confessores 
operati sunt, seu representationes passionum quibus claruit constantia 
martyrum V 

Nothing more is heard of plays in London until 1378, when the 
scholars of St. Paul's petitioned Richard II, 

' to prohibit some unexpert people from representing the History of 
the Old Testament, to the great prejudice of the said Clergy, who have 
been at great expence in order to represent it publickly at Christmas V 

The chronicler Malvern records that in 1384, 

* Vicesimo nono die Augusti clerici Londoniae apud Skynneres- 
welle fecerunt quendam ludum valde sumptuosum, duravitque quin- 
que diebus V 

In 1391 Malvern again records, 

'Item xviijo die lulii clerici Londonienses fecerunt ludum satis 
curiosum apud Skynnereswell per dies quatuor duraturum, in quo tarn 
vetus quam novum testamentum oculariter ludendo monstrabant V 

In 1393, according to the London Chronicle, 'was the pley of 
seyirt Katerine V 

Other chronicles record a play in 1409 : 

'This yere was the play at Skynners Welle, whiche endured 
Wednesday, Thorsday, Friday, and on Soneday it was ended V 

The accounts of the royal wardrobe show that a scaffold of timber 
was built for the King (Henry IV), prince, barons, knights, and ladies 
on this occasion, and that the play showed, 

1 how God created Heaven and Earth out of nothing, and how he 
created Adam and so on to the Day of Judgment V 

Finally, the Grey Friars Chronicle mentions a yet longer play in 
1411 : 

1 J. C. Robertson, Materials for the to be paid them of his gift on account 

Hist. ofBecket (R. S.), lii. o. O f the play of the Passion of our Lord 

8 Dodsley, Collection of Old Plays and the Creation of the World by them 

(1744), i. xii. I cannot trace the performed at Skynner Well, after the 

original authority. Feast of Bartholomew last past.' But 

8 Malvern, Continuator to Higden's the dates do not quite agree, and there 

Polychronicon (ed. J. R. Lumby in R.S.), may have been a play at Bartholomew- 

ix 47- tide 1390 as well as that of July, 1391. 

4 Malvern, loc. cit. ix. 259. Probably 5 London Chronicle, 80. 
this is the play for which the Issue Roll of 6 London Chronicle, 91. The Cott. 

the Exchequer for EasterMichaelmas, MS. reads < Clerkenwelle ' for the 

1391 (F. Devon, Issues of the Exchequer, 'Skynners Welle* of the Harl. MS. 

Hen. Ill-Hen. VI, 244), records on Gregory's Chronicle (Hist. Coll. of a 

July 11, 1391, a payment 'to the Clerkes Citizen of London, Camden Soc.), 105, 

of the Parish Churches and to divers also mentions ' the grette playe at 

other clerkes of the City of London, inf Skynners Welle* in 1409. 
money paid to them in discharge of 10 * J. H. Wylie, Hist, of Henry IV > 

which the Lord and King commanded iv. 213, 


' This year beganne a gret pley from the begynnyng of the worlde 
at the skynners' welle, that lastyd vij dayes contynually ; and there 
ware the moste parte of the lordes and gen ty lies of YnglondV 

The performers in most, if not all, of this group of plays were the 
clerks in minor orders who naturally abounded in London. The 
Guild of St. Nicholas of Parish Clerks had existed since 1233. In 
1442 they received a charter, which refers to 'diversis charitatis et 
pietatis operibus per ipsos annuatim exhibitis et inventisV These 
opera possibly include the plays, which may have become annual 
between 1411 and 1442. They seem to have been given at various 
times of year, and hard by the well, variously described as Skinners 
Well or Clerkenwell. The Priory of St. Bartholomew is not far, and 
the plays may have had some connexion, at one time or another, with 
the famous Bartholomew Fair 3 . It was probably the double name of 
the well that led Stowe to say that ' the skinners of London held there 
certain plays yearly, played of Holy Scripture V 

There is another gap of a century in the history of these greater 
London plays. But on July 20, 1498, Henry VII rewarded 'the 
pleyers of London' (Appendix E, viii), and of 1508 the annalist of 
Henry VII, Bernard Andrew, says : 

' Spectacula vero natalis divi lohannis vespere longe praeclarissima 
hoc anno ostensa fuerunt, quemadmodum superioris mensis huiusque 
aliquot festis diebus pone Christi ecclesiam circa urbis pomaria divinae 
recitatae fuere historiae V 

Some of the London churches had their own plays, as may be seen 
from their churchwardens' accounts. Those of St. Margaret's, South- 
wark, have the following entries : 

' 1444-5. Peid for a play vpon Seynt Lucy day [Dec. 13], and for 
a pley vpon Seynt Margrete day [July 20], xiij 8 iiij d . 

1445-6. [Similar entry.] 

1447-8. Also peid for a pley vpon Seynt Margrete day, vij 8 . 

1449-50. Item, peyd vpon Seynt Lucy day to the Clerkes for 
a play, vj viij d . 

1450-1. [Similar entry.] 

1451-2. Fyrste, peyd to the Pleyrs vpon Seynt Margretes day, 
vij 8 . 

1 J. G. Nichols, Grey Friars s H. Morley, Memoirs of Bartholo- 

Chronicle (Camden Soc.\ 12 ; R. How- mew Fair, 15. 
lett, Monumenta Franciscana (R.S.), * Stowe, Survey, 7. 
164. 5 Andrew, Annales Henr. 

8 J. Christie, Some Account of Parish 121. 
Clerks, 24, 71. 


Also peyd for hyryng of Germentes xiiij d . 

1453-7 and 1459 [ a pky on St. Margaret's day in each year 1 ]/ 

Towards the end of Henry VIII's reign the Revels office was able 
to borrow ' frames for pageants ' from the wardens of St. Sepulchre's 2 . 

Probably the guild of Parish Clerks made it a profession to supply 
such church plays as these for a regular fee. They were employed 
also at the feasts of the city guilds. The Brewers, for instance, had 
plays in 1425 and 1433, anc * in 1435 paid '4 clerkis of London, for 
a play V The Carpenters paid iiij fl iiij d for a play in 1490 *. London 
players occasionally performed before Henry VII. Besides ' the 
players of London' in 1498, he rewarded in 1501 the players at 
'Myles endeV 

Attempts were made to revive religious plays during the Marian 
reaction. On June 7, 1557, 'be-gane a stage play at the Grey freers 
of the Passyon of Cryst V On St. Olave's day, July 29, in the same 
year 'was the church holiday in Silver street; and at eight of the 
clock at night began a stage play of a goodly matter, that continued 
until xij at mydnyght, and then they mad an end with a good song V 

The last such play in London was ' the acting of Christ's Passion 
at Elie house in Holborne when Gundemore [Gondomar] lay there, 
on Good-Friday at night, at which there were thousands present 8 / 
This would be between 1613 and 1622. 

Midsummer Watch. 

A ' marching watch ' was kept on the eves of Midsummer and 
SS. Peter and Paul (June 29) until 1538, and revived, for one year 
only, in 1548. Some 2,000 men went in armour; lamps and bonfires 
were lit in the streets, and * every man's door shadowed with green 
birch, long fennel, St John's wort ; orpine, white lilies and such like, 
garnished upon with garlands of beautiful flowers/ It seems to have 
been customary for the guilds to which the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs 
for the year belonged to furnish pageants. Stowe says that ' where 
the mayor had besides his giant three pageants, each of the sheriffs had 
besides their giants but two pageants, each their morris dance/ In 

1 Collier, in Skakesp. Soe. Papers, in the thirty-eighth year of his reign, 

iii. 40. The * pagents ' on a roll of 8 Herbert, hist, of Livery Companies, 

vellum belonging to the Holy Trinity i. 80. 

Guild in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate 4 E. B. Jupp, Hist, of Carpenters' 

(1-1463), were probably only paintings Company, 198. 

with descriptive verses (Hone, 81). 5 Collier, i. 51. 

1 Kempe,7i. The date given, Shrove- fl Machyn, 138. 

tide, 38 Hen. VIII, must be wrong, as the 7 Machyn, 145. 

king died before Shrovetide (Feb. 20-2) ' Prynne, 117. 


1505 the Grocers had ' a pageant for the maire [Sir John Wyngar] at 
Midsomer/ In 1510 Henry VIII, disguised as a groom, came to see 
the Midsummer Watch, and on St. Peter's eve came openly with the 
queen. There were ' diverse goodlie shewes, as had beene accustomed.' 
In 1522 the Drapers resolved * that there shall be no Mydsom* pageant 
becaus there was so many pageants redy standyng for the Emperors 
coming into London/ and * for divers considerations ' to ' surcease the 
said pageants and find xxx men in harness instead/ But later they 
decided to ' renew all the old pageants for the house ; including our 
newe pageant of the Goldyn Flees for the mayr against mydsom r ; 
also the gyant, lord Moryspyks, and a morys daunce, as was used 
the last year.' The account-books mention Lord Moryspyks or 
' Marlingspikes/ and a ' king of the Moors/ with a ' stage ' and ' wyld 
fire/ In 1523, the King of Denmark being in London, the Drapers 
allowed the Sheriff two pageants, c but to be no precedent hereafter/ 
They paid ' for garnyshyng and newe repay ring of th' Assumpcion, 
and also for making a new pageant of St. Ursula/ The King of 
Denmark was duly brought to see the watch. In 1524 they again had 
a pageant, the nature of which is not specified l . 

'Lopham game' was at Harling (q.v.) in 1457. 


An inventory of documents in the rood-loft in 1516 includes the 
'hole Regenall of corpus xfi play.' In 1558 the corporation paid 
for a play ' in the markit-stede on corpus xfi day/ 


The town accounts show a play of St. George on July 4, 1456, and 
payment to the 'bane cryars* of 'our play' in 1468. In 1422 the 
Lydd players acted at New Romney, and in 1490 the chaplain of the 
guild of St. George at New Romney went to see a play at Lydd, 
with a view to reproducing it. Between 1429 and 1490 the New 
Romney players acted often at Lydd, and also players of Ruckinge 
(1431), Wytesham (1441), Ham (1454), Hythe (1467), Folkestone 
(1479), Ry e ( I 48o), Stone (1490). Unnamed players were in the high 
street in 14 85'. 


See s. v. SHIPTON. 

1 Stowe, Annales, 489 ; Survey, 38 ; R. W. Goulding, Louth Records. 
Herbert, i. 197, 454; Brand-Ellis, i. 8 Hist. MSS. v. 517. 


The Chelmsford (q. v.) play was shown at Maiden in 1562. 


John Manningham, of the Middle Temple, wrote in his Diary, on 
Feb. 8, 1602, 'The towne of Manitree in Essex holds by stage plays V 
So Hey wood, in his Apology for Actors (1612),' To this day there be 
townes that hold the priviledge of their fairs and other charters by 
yearly stage-plays, as at Manningtree in Suffolke, Kendall in the North, 
and others V There are further allusions to these plays in T. Nash, 
The Choosing of Valentines, 

*a play of strange moralitie, 
Showen by bachelrie of Manning-tree, 
Whereto the countrie franklins flock-meale swarme 3 ' ; 
and in Dekker, Seven Deadly Sins of London (1607), ' Cruelty has got 
another part to play ; it is acted like the old morals at Manning-tree V 


The accounts of Maxstoke Priory (a house of Augustinian canons) 
for 1430 include, 'pro ientaculis puerorum eleemosynae exeuntium ad 
aulam in castro ut ibi ludum peragerent in die Purificationis, xiv^. 
Unde nihil a domini [Clinton] thesaurario, quia saepius hoc anno mini- 
stralli castri fecerunt ministralsiam in aula conventus et Prioris ad festa 
plurima sine ullo regardo V 


In 1444 the corporation of Lynn (q. v.) showed a play with Mary 
and Gabriel before Lord Scales 6 . 


Thetford Priory made a payment to ' the play of Mydenale ' in 
1503-4 (Appendix E, iii). 


Henry VII rewarded 'the Pleyers at Myles End' on Aug. 6, 1501 
(Appendix E, viii). 

See s.v. SHIPTON. 


The churchwardens' accounts record an Easter play at some date 
between 1520 and 1574 7 . 

1 Manninghants Diary (Camden * Dekker's Plays (ed. Pearson). 

Soc.)> 130. * Hazlitt-Warton, iii. 312. 

9 Heywood, Apology for Actqrs 6 Harrod, Kings Lynn Records, 88. 

(Shakespeare Soc ), 61. 7 W. Hobhouse, Churchwardens? 

3 Quoted in Variorum^ xvi. 395. Accounts (Somerset Record Soc.), 209. 



Richard More, of Nayland, hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe in 


The craft-plays on Corpus Christi day are mentioned in several 
fifteenth-century ordinaries, the earliest being that of the Coopers in 
142^. The last years in which performances can be proved to have 
been given are 1561 and 1562. Ordinaries dated from 1578 to 1589 
stipulate for a performance by the crafts 'whensoever the generall 
plaies of the town of Newcastle, antiently called the Corpus Christi 
plays, shall be plaied,' or the like. The determination of this point 
rested with the Corporation. The Goldsmiths drew up an 'invoic of 
all the players apperell pertainyng to* them in 159!. The cost 
of the plays fell on the crafts, who took fixed contributions from their 
members. The Taylors in 1536 required iij d from each hireling, and 
vijd from each newly admitted member. The Fullers and Dyers paid 
9J. in 1561 for 'the play lettine ' to four persons. 

The mentions of ' bearers of the care and batieres ' of them ' that 
wated of the paient * and of ' the carynge of the trowt and wyn about 
the town ' seem to show that the plays were processional. On the 
other hand the one extant play (cf. p. 424) ends with a remark of the 
Diabolus to * All that is gathered in this stead/ Perhaps the pageants 
first took part in the Corpus Christi procession proper and afterwards 
gathered in a field. The Mercers' ordinary of 1480 shows that the 
procession was ' by vij in morning/ and the plays were certainly in 
the evening, for it was deposed in a law-suit at Durham in 1569 that 
Sir Robert Brandling of Newcastle said on Corpus Christi day, 1562, 
that ' he would after his dinner draw his will, and after the plays would 
send for his consell, and make it up ' (Norfolk Archaeology > iii. 18). 

For the list of plays, so far as it can be recovered, see p. 424. The 
ordinary of the Goldsmiths (1536) requires their play (Kynges of 
Coleyn) to be given at their feast 1 . 


There are many notices of a play in the town accounts between 
1428 and 1560. In 1456 the wardens of the play of the Resurrection 
are mentioned. In 1463 the jurats paid Agnes Ford 6s. 8d. 'for the 

1 F. Holthausen, Das Noahspiel van kenzie, Hist, of N. (1827), ii. 664,707; 

N. upon T. (1897), ii ; H. Bourne, F. W. Dendy, Newcastle Gilds (Surtees 

Hist, of N. (1736), 139; J. Brand, Soc.), i. 4; ii. 161, 164, 171. 
Hist, of N. (1789), ii. 369; E. Mac- 



play of the Interlude of our Lord's Passion! From 1474 the banns 
of the play are mentioned. In 1477 the play was on Whit-Tuesday. 
In 1518 the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports forbade the play, but 
it was revived elaborately in 1560. The accounts mention the 
purchase of copes and vestures from the corporation of Lydd, and 
refer to ' a fool/ * the Cytye of Samarye,' ' our last play,' ' the iij tjl 
play/ 'the iiij th play/ and the 'bane cryers.' No crafts are mentioned : 
perhaps the play was produced by the corporation itself. The per- 
formances may have been on Crockhill or Crockley Green. ' Playstool ' 
is a common name for a bit of land in Kent. Performances were 
often given in other towns: see s.v. LYDD. The play seems to have 
been only a Passion and Resurrection play, and not a complete cycle. 
*Le Playboke' is mentioned from 1516. It is in an Elizabethan 
inventory of town records. A second play of St. George was probably 
started in 1490 when a chaplain of the guild of St. George went to see 
the Lydd St. George play, with a view to reproducing it. In 1497 the 
chaplains received the profits of the play. Players from the following 
towns are found acting at New Romney : Hythe (1399), Lydd (1422), 
Wittersham (1426, they 'shewed th' interlude'), Herne (1429), Ruckinge 
(1430), Folkestone (1474), Appledore (1488), Chart (1489), Rye 
(1489), Wye (1491), Brookland (1494), Halden (1499), Bethersden 
(1508) \ 


Brotanek (Angtia, ?cxi. 21) conjectures that the Abraham and Isaac 
of the Dublin MS. may come from Northampton (cf. p. 427), and 
hints at an explanation of the ' N. towne ' in the prologue to the Ludus 
Caventriae as ' Northampton] towne' (cf. p. 421). 

But the only allusion even remotely suggesting miracle-plays that 
I can find in the printed civic records is in 1581, in which year some 
interrogatories as to St. George's Hall contain a deposition by an old 
man to the effect that he had known the hall fifty years, and that the 
mayor and chamberlains had been wont to lay therein pageants, &c. a 


Whitsun Plays. 

J. Whetley writes from Norwich on Corpus Christi even (May 20), 
1478, to Sir John Paston in London, of ^ visit of Lord Suffolk to 
Hellesden, ' at hys beyng ther that daye ther was never no man that 

1 W. A. Scott-Robertson, ' The Passion xvii. 28. 

Play and Interludes at New Rofoncy a C. A. Markham and J. C. Cox, 

(Archatologia Cantiana, xiii. 216) ; Northampton Borough Records, ii. 184. 
Hist. MSS. v. 533 ; Arch. Cantiana, 


playd Herrod in Corpus Crysty play better and more agreable to hys 
pageaunt than he dud V 

I do not kn6w whether it is fair to infer from this that in 1478 the 
Norwich plays were not at Whitsuntide, but at Corpus Christi ; but 
this would account for J. Whetley's trope. 

On Sept, 21, 1527, the guild of St. Luke, composed of painters, 
braziers, plumbers, &c., made a presentment to the Assembly of the 
town that, 

' where of longtime paste the said Guylde of Seynt Luke yerly till 
nowe hath ben used to be kept and holden within the citie aforesaid 
upon the Mundaye in pentecoste weke at which daye and the daye 
next ensuyng many and divers disgisyngs and pageaunts, as well of 
the lieffs and martyrdoms of divers and many hooly Saynts, as also 
many other light and feyned figurs and picturs of other persones 
and bests ; the sight of which disgisings and pageaunts, as well yerly 
on the said Mondaye in pentecoste weke in the time of procession 
then goyng about a grett circuitte of the forsaid citie, as yerly the 
Tuysday in the same weke [serving] the lord named the Lord of 
Misrule at Tumlond within the same citie, hath ben and yet is sore 
coveted, specially by the people of the countre.' 

The presentment goes on to show that much resort and profit have 
accrued to the city, but all the cost has fallen on the guild, which ' is 
almost fully decayed ' ; and urges an order, 

< that every occupacion wythyn the seyd Citye maye yerly at the 
said procession upon the Mondaye in Pentecost weke sette forth one 

It was agreed that each craft should play, 

' one such pageaunt as shalbe assigned and appoynted by Master 
Mair and his brethern aldermen, as more playnly appereth in a boke 
thereof made." 

In the same hand is a list of crafts and plays (cf. p. 425)*. 

Some extracts made in the eighteenth century from the, now lost, 
books of the Grocers' Company, contain (a) two versions of their play 
on The Fall, dating from 1533 anc * I 5^5 respectively (cf. p. 425), and 
(&) various notices of the same from the Assembly Book. 

The latter begin in 1534, when '4 Surveyors of y e Pageant' with 
a ' Bedell ' were chosen, and an assessment of 22J. lorf. made for the 
pageant and the Corpus Christi procession. The expenses include, 
besides repairs to the pageant, fees to actors, refreshments, &c., 

1 Fasten Letter*, iii. 217. Early Norwich Pageants {Norfolk 

a H. Harrod, Particulars concerning Archaeology, iiL 3). 

CC 2 


4 It. to S r Stephen Prowet for makyng of a newe ballet, i2<*. 

House ferme for ye Pageant, a 8 .' 

The pageant went in 1535 and 1536. In 1537 it 'went not at 
Wytsontyde/ but went in October ' in y 6 Processyon for y Byrthe of 
Prynce Edward/ From 1538 to 1546 it went, the assessment for 
pageant and procession being about 20$. to 30^. As to 1547 the record 
is not clear. Then there is a gap in the extracts, and from 1556 
onwards the c Gryffon/ ' Angell/ and ' Pendon ' of the Corpus Christi 
procession, with flowers, grocery, and fruit ' to garnish y tre w*V &> 
appear alone in the accounts. In 1559 was ' no solemnite' at all. In 
1563 it was agreed that .the pageant should be 'preparyd ageynst y 
daye of M r Davy his takyng of his charge of y e Mayralltye/ with 
a ' devyce ' to be prepared by the surveyors at a cost of 6s. 8d. The 
play cannot have quite lapsed, for in 1565 a new version was written 
(cf. p. 425). It was apparently contemplated that it might be played 
either alone or in a cycle. To the same year belongs the following 

'Inventory ofy*p'ticulars appartaynyng toy* Company ofy* Grocer \r, 
a.d. ij6f. 

A Pageant, y* is to saye, a Howse of Waynskott paynted and buylded 
on a Carte w^ fowre whelys. 

A square topp to sett over y e sayde Howse. 

A Gryffon, gylte, w* a fane to sette on y e sayde toppe. 

A bygger Iron fane to sett on y e ende of y e Pageante. 

iiij* x iij small Fanes belongyng to y* same Pageante. 

A Rybbe colleryd Red. 

A cote & hosen w fc a bagg & capp for dolo r , steyned. 

2 cotes & a payre hosen for Eve, stayned. 
A cote & hosen for Adam, Steyned. 

A cote w* hosen & tayle for y serpente, steyned, w* a w* heare. 
A cote of yellow buckram w* y Grocers' arms for y e Pendon 

An Angell's Cote & over hoses of Apis Skynns. 

3 paynted clothes to hang abowte y e Pageant. 
A face & heare for y Father. 

2 hearys for Adam & Eve. 

4 head stallis of brode Inkle w th knopps & tassells, 
6 Horsse Clothes, stayned, w* knopps & tassells. 
Item, Weights, &c/ 

There is a final memorandum that in 1570 the pageant was broken 
to pieces for six years ' howse ferm ' due. There had been no ' semblye 
nor metynge ' of the Company for eight years. The pageant had 


stood for six years in a ' Gate bowse/ and then c at y* Black Fryers 
brydge in open strete/ where it became 'so weather beaten, y* y 
cheife parte was rotton 1 .' 


There were three notable annual processions at Norwich. 

(a) The Corpus Christi Procession, in which the crafts were held 
to take part in 1489, and which appears, as above stated, in the 
Grocers' records until 1558. They seem to have been represented 
by the ' griffon ' from the top of their pageant, a banner with their 
arms, a crowned angel, and an emblematic ' tree ' of fruit and grocery 
(possibly the ( tree of knowledge ') 2 . 

() The Procession of the Guild of S. Thomas & Becket on the day 
of his Translation (July 7) to his chapel in the wood. Here interludes 
were played 8 . 

(c) The Riding of the Guild of St. George on his day (April 23). 
This dates from at least 1408, and a good many details as to it are 
preserved *. 


The Musores de Eaton' played at Maxstoke Priory between 1422 
and 1461 (Appendix E, ii). 


The following extracts from the Bursars' computi of Magdalen 
College point to a Quern quaeritis of the longer type, with the ' Noli me 
tangere' episode. 

1486-7. ' pro factura sepulturae erga pascham. xij d .' 

1506-7. ' pro scriptura lusi ' of St. Mary Magdalen. x d .' 

[There were further payments in connexion with this play, and for 

1509-10. 'pro pane, cibo et aliis dads pueris ludentibus in die 
Paschae . , . xvij d ob.' 

i5 I 4-5 'pro carnibus consumptis in capella tribus noctibus ante 
Pascha et in tempore Nativitatis. ij 8 .' 

1518-9. 'pro tinctura et factura tunicae eius qui ageret partem 
Christi et pro crinibus mulieribus. ij fl vj d .' 

1536-7. 'pro carbonibus consumptis -in sacrario per qustodes 
sepulchri, et per pueros in festis hiemalibus. 1 

[Repeated in other years.] 

1 R. Fitch, Norwich Pageants : The Norfolk, iii. 176. 
Grocers' Play, in Norfolk Archaeology, * Blomfield, iv. 426. 
v. 8, and separately. * Cf. vol. i. p. 222. 

9 Fitch, op. cit. ; Blomfield, Hist, of 


A chapel inventory of 1495 includes 'unum frontale . . . et unum 
dorsale cum quibus solet sepulcrum ornari.' 

The same accounts (cf. p. 248) show items for plays in the hall at 
various seasons, and for the Boy Bishop at Christmas l . 

The churchwardens of St. Peter's in the East kept between 1444 
and 1600 a stock of players' garments, and let them out on hire 2 . 

See Texts (i), Cornish Plays, Origo Mundi. 


The earliest historical notice of plays in Cornwall is by Richard 
Carew in 1602 : 

'The Guary miracle, in English, a miracle-play, is a kinde of 
Enterlude, compiled in Cornish out of some Scripture history, with 
that grossenes which accompanied the Romanes vetus Comoedia. For 
representing it they raise an earthen Amphitheatre in some open field, 
hauing the Diameter of his enclosed playne some 40 or 50 foot. The 
Country people flock from all sides, many miles off, to hear and see it : 
for they haue therein, deuils and deuices, to delight as well the eye as 
the eare; the players conne not their parts without booke, but are 
prompted by one called the Ordinary, who followeth at their back with 
the book in his hand, and telleth them softly what they must pronounce 

Whereupon Carew has a story of a ' pleasant conceyted gentleman ' 
who raised laughter by repeating aloud all the Ordinary's asides to 

One Mr. Scawen (ti66o) describes the Guirremears as 

' solemnized not without shew of devotion in open and spacious 
downs, of great capacity, encompassed about with earthen banks, and 
in some part stonework of largeness to contain thousands, the shapes 
of which remain in many places to this day, though the use of them 
long since gone.' 

Bp. Nicholson, writing in 1700, says that the plays were : 

* called Guirimir, which M r Llhuyd supposes a corruption of Guari- 
mirkle, and in the Cornish dialect to signify a miraculous play or 
interlude. They were composed for begetting in the common people 
a right notion of the Scriptures, and were acted in the memory of some 
not long since deceased. 1 

The eighteenth-century antiquary, Borlase, identifies the places in 

1 Cf. Appendix E (v). 

a W. Hobhouse, Churchwardens' Accounts (Somerset Record Soc.), 232. 


which the miracle-plays were given with those known as ' rounds/ or, 
in Cornish, pldn an guare. Of these he describes and figures two. 
That of St. Just was of stone, 126 feet in diameter, with seven rows of 
seats inside. It was much decayed when Norris wrote in 1859. That 
of Perranzabulo, or Piran-sand, was of earth, 130 feet in diameter, 
with a curious pit in the centre, joined to the outer ring by a narrow 
trench. Borlase thought that this was used for a Hell l . It was more 
likely filled with water for Noah's ship to float upon. 

The Ordinalia printed by Mr. Norris take the Cornish plays back 
to at least the fourteenth, if not the thirteenth century. The circular 
diagrams in the manuscript exactly fall in with the round pldn an 
guare described by Borlase and others. They show a ring of eight loci 
or sedes (cf. p. 83), for which the terms used in the stagfc-directions are 
pulpita or tenti, with an open circular space in the middle, which the stage- 
directions call \hzplatea. The action is partly at thepu7pifa, partly in the 
platea. A new character often marks his appearance by strutting about 
his pulpitum, or perhaps around the ring Hie pompabit Abraham, &c. 

In the English stage-directions to the later (before 1611) Creation of 
the World, the platea becomes the playne> and for pulpitum the term 
room is used. The manager of the play is the ' conveyour/ Some of 
the directions are curious and minute. At the opening, ' The father 
must be in a clowde, and when he speakethe of heaven let y e levys 
open. 1 Within is a * trone/ which Lucifer tries to ascend. After the 
fight, * Lucifer voydeth & goeth downe to hell apareled fowle w tb fyre 
about hem turning to hell and every degre of devylls of lether & 
spirytis on cordis runing into y e playne and so remayne ther/ Mean- 
while are got ready ' Adam and Eva aparlet in whytt lether in a place 
apoynted by the conveyour & not to be sene tyll they be called & thei 
knell & ryse.' Paradise has ' ii fayre trees in yt ' and a ' fowntaine ' 
and 'fyne flowers/ which appear suddenly. Similarly, a little later, 
' Let fyshe of dyuers sortis apeare & serten beastis as oxen kyne shepe 
& such like/ Lucifer incarnates as ' a fyne serpent made w th a virgyn 
face & yolowe heare vpon her head/ Presently comes the warning, 
' ffig leaves redy to cover ther members/ and at the expulsion, ' The 
garmentis of skynnes to be geven to adam and eva by the angell. 
Receave the garmentis. Let them depart out of paradice and adam 
and eva following them. Let them put on the garmentis and shewe 
a spyndell and a dystaff? The Cain and Abel scene requires 'a 

1 Norris, ii. 452 ; E. H. Pedler in 2), 207 ; Nat. Hist, of Cornwall, 295 ; 

Norris, ii. 507 ; Carew, Survey of Corn- T. F. Ordish, Early London Theatres, 

wall ; D . <J il bert , History of Cornwall ; 15. 
Borlase, Antiquities of Cornwall (ed. 


chawbone' ('Cain's jawbone, that did the first murder'). Seth is led 
to Paradise and ' Ther he vyseth all thingis, and seeth ij trees and in 
the one tree sytteth mary the virgyn & in her lappe her son jesus 
in the tope of the tree of lyf, and in the other tree y e serpent wk 
caused Eva to eat the appell/ When Adam dies, his soul is taken 
'to lymbo/ and he is buried 'in a fayre tombe w th som churche 
songis at hys buryall.' The Noah scene requires ' tooles and tymber 
redy, w th planckis to make the arcke, a beam a mallet a calkyn yre[n] 
ropes mass[t]es pyche and tarr/ Presently let rayne appeare ' and 
'a raven & a culver ready.' When the flood ends, 'An alter redy 
veary fayre,' at which 'som good church songes' are sung, and 
' a Rayne bowe to appeare.' Like the earlier plays, this ends with a 
call on the minstrels to pipe for a dance. 

A study of the place names in the Ordinalia led Mr. Pedler to 
suggest that they probably belonged to the neighbourhood of Penrhyn, 
and may have been composed at the collegiate house of Glasney. The 
St. Meriasek play is assigned by Mr. Stokes to Camborne, of which 
that saint was patron. It ends with an invocation of St. Meriasek, 
St. Mary of Camborne, and the Apostles. 


A Corpus Christi play was acted within the lifetime of Weever, who 
was born 1576 and wrote 1631 *. 

I find no trace of plays at the meetings of the Guild Merchant, 
although there was always a great procession, which from 1762 or 
earlier included such allegorical figures as Adam and Eve for the 
Tailors, Vulcan for the Smiths, &c. a 


The churchwardens' accounts of St. Lawrence's record ' a gaderyng 
of a stage-play* in 1498. 

In 1507 a play of Adam and Eve was held on ' the Sonday afore 
Bartylmastyde ' ' in the Forbury.' * There was a ' schapfold/ but 
'pagentts' were also used. A Corpus Christi procession is also 
mentioned in 1509, 1512, and 1539. 

In 1512 also was the 'play of Kayme,' and in 1515, 'Cayme's 
pageaunt* in the market-place. 

On May i, 1499, and again in 1539, was the Kings of Cologne. 
This was distinct, no doubt, from the ' king play/ with its ' tree/ ' king 

1 Sces.v. Kendal. 

* W. A. Abram, Memorials of the Preston Guilds^ 18, ai, 61, 99. 


game/ or 'kyng ale/ which took place at Whitsuntide (cf. vol. i. 
p. 173)* But the date, May i (for which cf. Abingdon), is curious for 
a miracle-play, and must have been influenced by the folk feast. 

A payment for 'rosyn to the resurrecyon pley' (possibly for making 
a blaze: cf. p. 23, note 5) occurs in 1507, and in 1533-5 payments 
to *M r Laborne' 'for reforming the Resurrecon pley/ and 'for a 
boke ' of it. 

In 1508 was a 'pageaunt of the Passion on Easter Monday 1 .' 

Ruckinge players were at New Romney in 1430, and Lydd in 

Rye players were at Lydd in 1480, and at New Romney in 1489. 


'Sabsforde men 1 hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe in 1562, 
1563, and 1566. But I can find no such place. 


' Men of Waldyne ' hired the Chelmsford (q. v.) wardrobe during 



A cathedral inventory of 1222 includes : 

' Coronae ij de latone ad representations faciendas/ 

These latten ' coronae ' may, I suppose, have been either crowns for 

the Magi, or * stellae V 

The churchwardens' accounts of St. Edmund's for 1461 include an 

item * for all apparel and furniture of players at the Corpus Christi V 


Thetford Priory made a payment ' in regard to Schelfanger play ' 
in 1507-8 (Appendix E, iii). 

1 C. Kerry, History of St. Lawrence^ * W. H. R. Jones, Vctus Registrum 

Heading, 233. Extracts only from the Sarisburiense (R.S.), " 129. 

accounts are given; a full transcript 8 Col. State Papers, Dom. AddL 

would probably yield more informa- (1580-1625;, 101. 



It was decided (t 1220-28), as part of an award concerning the 
rights of collation to the churches of Shipton and Bricklesworth, both 
being prebends in Sarum cathedral, as follows : 

* Actiones autem, si quae competant, in villa de Fifhide et de Idebire 
cedant canonico de Brikeleswrth. Actiones vero, si quae competant, 
in villa de Mideltone et de Langele, cedant canonico de Schiptone. 
Emolumentum vero actionum, si quae competant, in villa de Linham 
aequaliter inter se dividant V 

The editor of the Sarum Charters can only explain actiones as 
' plays/ Ducange gives the word in the sense of spectacula. 

All the places named, Fyfield, Idbury, Milton, Langley, and Lyne- 
ham, are in Wychwood, and may have formed in the thirteenth century, 
if they do not all now, part of the parish of Shipton-under- Wychwood. 


The civic orders and accounts refer occasionally to plays. The 
first on record was given before Prince Arthur in 1495. In 1516 the 
abbot of Shrewsbury, in 1533 the bishop of Exeter, and in 1542 the 
royal commissioners were present. The subject in 1516 was the mar- 
tyrdoms of Saints Feliciana and Sabina. In 1518 it was the Three 
Kings of Cologne. In 1510, 1518, 1533, 1553, and 1556 the per- 
formances were at Whitsuntide. The bailiffs, according to a notice 
in 1556, 'set forward' the plays, and the 'lusores' belonging to the 
town, who are mentioned in 1527 and 1549, were perhaps the per- 
formers. The locality was, in 1542, the churchyard of St. Chad's. 
In 1495, 1516, and 1533 ^ was ^e quarry outside the walls, where it 
is stated in 1570 that 'the plases have bin accustomyd to be usydV 
Here there were traces of a seated amphitheatre as late as 17 79 s . 
Thomas Ashton became master of the free school in 1561, and he 
produced plays in the quarry. Elizabeth was to have been at his 
Julian the Apostate in 1565, but came too late. In 1567 he gave the 
Passion of Christ*. An undated list of Costs for the Play includes 
' a desert's (disarcfs) hed and berd/ ' vi dossen belles ' for a morris, 
1 gonne poudo r ' and other attractions for a devil 6 . 

Shrewsbury Show. 
The craft-guilds took part in the Corpus Christi procession, and 

1 Jones and Macray, Salisbury Char- 4 Phillips, aoi. 

/*rj(R.S.), xi, 103. * Owen 1 and Blakeway, hist, of 

1 Cf. Appendix E (vi). Shrewsbury, L 328. 

* Phillips, Hut. of Shrewsbury, aoi. 


the guild of Mercers inflicted a penalty of 1 2</. on brethren who on 
that feast should ' happen to ride or goe to Coventre Faire or elleswhere 
out of the town of Shrewesburye to by or sell 1 / Until about 1880 
Shrewsbury Show was held on the Monday after Corpus Christ! day. 
The crafts had tableaux which, after the Reformation at least, were 
emblematic rather than religious 2 ; thus 

Tailors. Adam and Eve or Painters. Rubens. 

Elizabeth. Bricklayers. King Henry VIII. 

Shearmen. St. Blasius or Ed- Shoemakers. SS. Crispin and 

ward IV. Crispinian. 

Skinners and Glovers. King Barbers. St. Katharine. 

of Morocco. Bakers. Venus and Ceres. 
Smiths. Vulcan. 


The accounts of the guild of Holy Trinity for 1480 include : 

' It. payd for the Ryginall of ye play for ye Ascencon & the wrytyng 
of spechys & payntyng of a garmet for god, iij 8 . viij d . 8 ' 

Miss Toulmin Smith finds in the same accounts for 1477, a 'kyngyng/ 
i. e. Three Kings of Cologne on Corpus Christi day 4 ; but I read the 
entry : 

' It. payd for the ryngyng of ye same day, ij d / 

Oliver, the historian of the guild, reads ' hymnall ' for ' Ryginall ' in 
the 1480 entry. He also asserts that there was a regular Corpus 
Christi play by the crafts. This seems improbable in a place of the 
size of Sleaford, and in fact Oliver's elaborate description is entirely 
based upon data from elsewhere, especially the Gubernacio Ludi of 
Beverley (cf. p. 340)*. 


'Men of Starford' hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) wardrobe during 
1564-6. I find no Starford, but a Stapleford Tawney and a Stapleford 
Abbots in Essex. 


Sir John Howard ' jafe to the pleyeres of Stoke, ij 8 ' on Jan. 12, 1466. 
Lord Howard ' paid to the pleirs of Turton Strete xx d ' on Aug. 29, 

1 Shropshire Arch. Soc. Trans, viii. from 1477 to 1545 are in this MS. ; 

273. but most of them are very summary. 

1 F. A. Hibbert, Influence and De- * York Plays, Ixv. 

velopment of English Craft Guilds ' G. Oliver, Hist, oj Holy Trinity 

(1891), 113. Guild at Sleaford (1837), 5> 68 73. 

J Add. MS. 28,533, flf. i r , a. Computi 82. 


1481. Thorington is still the name given to part of Stoke. There is 
also an independent township so named in Essex. 

On May 22, 1482, Lord Howard 'yaff to the cherche on Whitson 
Monday at the pley x 8 .' 

On Jan. 2, 1491, the Earl of Surrey paid iij 8 iiij d 'in reward to the 
panget ' [? pageant] *. 

Stone players were at Lydd in 1490. 


The churchwardens' accounts in ^578 mention payments for 'the 
players' geers, six sheep-skins for Christ's garments'; and an inventory 
of 1585 includes ' eight heads of hair for the Apostles, and ten beards, 
and a face or vizier for the Devil V 


The churchwardens* accounts for 1451-2 include a receipt: 
1 de incremento unius ludi vocati Christmasse play 8 / 

See Texts (i), Towneley Plays. 


Players of ' Wymborne Minster' Were rewarded by Henry VII on 
Jan. i, 1494 (Appendix E, viii). 


The early use of the Quern quatritis ia the liturgy of the cathedral 
served by the Benedictines of St. Swithin's Priory has been fully dis- 
cussed in Chapter xviii and Appendix O. 

In 1486, Henry VII was entertained at dinner on a Sunday in the 
castle with a performance of Christi descmstis ad inferos by the ' pueri 
eleemosynarii ' of the monasteries of St. Swithin's and Hyde 4 . 


On May 24, 1416, Henry V invested the Emperor Sigismund with 
the Garter, the annual feast being deferred from April 23 for that pur- 
pose. Mr. John Payne Collier says, ' A chronicle in the Cottonian 

1 Cf. Appendix E (vii). the possession of the Ecclesiastical 

1 Collier, ii. 67. Commissioners ( York Plays, Ixv). The 

8 Hothouse, 184. date is given as 1487 by Hazlitt-Warton, 

* Hazlitt-Warton, iii. 163, from but the visjt is said to be that ' on occa- 

Register of St. Swithin's. This is sion of the birth of Prince Arthur/ which 

amongst the Wulvuey MSS., now in took place in the autumn of 1486. 


collection gives a description of a performance before him and 
Henry V, on the incidents of the life of St. George. The representa- 
tion seems to have been divided into three parts, and to have been 
accomplished by certain artificial contrivances, exhibiting, first, "the 
armyng of Seint George, and an Angel doyng on his spores [spurs]"; 
secondly, " Seint George riding and fightyng with the dragon, with 
his spere in his hand " ; and, thirdly, " a castel, and Seint George 
and the Kynges daughter ledyng the lambe in at the castel gates." 
Here we have clearly the outline of the history of St. George of 
Cappadocia, which often formed the subject of a miracle-play ; but 
whether, in this instance, it was accompanied with dialogue, or was 
(as is most probable) merely a splendid dumb show, assisted by 
temporary erections of castles, &c., we are not informed' This 
performance is accepted from Collier, i. 29, by Ward, i. 50, Pollard, xx, 
and other distinguished writers. They ought to have known him better. 
The authority he quotes, Cotton. MS. Calig. B. II, is wrong. But 
in Cotton. MS. Julius B. I, one of the MSS. of the London Chronicle, 
is the following passage, ' And the first sotelte was our lady armyng 
seint George, and an angel doyng on his spores ; the ij de sotelte was 
seint George ridyng and fightyng with the dragon, with his spere in 
his hand; the iij de sotelte was a castel, and seint George, and the 
kynges doughter ledynge the lambe in at the castel gates. And all 
these sotelties were served to the emperor, and to the kyng, and no 
ferther: and other lordes were served with other sotelties after theire 
degrees V The representation, then, was in cake or marchpane. The 
term 'soteltie' is surely not uncommon 2 . But it has led a French scholar 
into another curious mistake. According to M. E. Picot ' La sotelty 
parait n'avoir 6t6 qu'une simple farce, comme la sotternie nlerlandaise 8 .' 
A mumming by Lydgate in 1429-30 seems to have introduced 
a 'miracle* of St. Clotilda and the Holy Ampulla (cf. vol. i. p. 397). 


1 Barnaby Riche of Witham ' hired the Chelmsford (q. v.) wardrobe 
in 1566. 


Wittersham players were at New Romney in 1426 and Lydd in 144 1. 


'Mrs. Higham of Woodham Walter' hired the Chelmsford (q.v.) 
wardrobe in 1570-2. 

1 London Chronicle, 159. Sutteltics erga Natale.' 

1 Cf. c. g. Durham Accounts, i. 95, * E. Picot, in Romania, vii. 245. 
101, 105 ' Soteltez . . . Sutiltez . . . 


See Jexts, (i) Townehy Plays. 


A cathedral inventory of 1576 includes: 

'players gere 

A gowne of freres gyrdles. A woman's gowne. A K fl cloke of 
Tysshew. A Jerkyn and a payer of breches. A lytill cloke of 
tysshew. A gowne of silk. A Jerkyn of greene, 2 cappes, and the 
devils apparell V 

There was a Corpus Christi play, mentioned in 1467 and 1559. It 
consisted of five pageants, maintained by the crafts, and was held 
yearly, if the corporation so decided. In 1584 a lease of the 'vacant 
place where the pagantes do stand ' was granted for building, and there 
was a building known as the 'Pageant House 1 until 17 38*. 


The corporation of Shrewsbury saw a play by ' quibusdam inter- 
lusoribus de Wrexam' in 1540 (Appendix E, vi). 


' Parker of Writtell ' twice hired the Chelmsford (q. v.) wardrobe 
during 1570-2. See also p. 184, n. 2. 


Henry VII rewarded players of Wycombe on Dec. 31, 1494 
(Appendix E, viii). 


Wye players were at New Ronrney in 1491. 


An account of the * husbands for the wache and play of Wymond- 
ham/ made up to June, 1538, includes payments for 'the play/ 
'devyls 3hoes/ 'the giant,' a man 'in armour/ 'the revels and 
dance's 8 / It was at this play on July i, 1549, that Kett's rebellion 
broke out. According to Alexander Neville, the ' ludi ac spectacula 
. . . antiquitus ita instituta ' lasted two days and nights ; according to 
Holinshed, c one day and one night at least V 

1 Hist. AfSS. xiv. 8, 187. 8 Norfolk Archaeology, ix. 145 ; xi. 

* Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 342 ; Toul- 346. 

min Smith, Ordinances of Worcester in * A. itfevyllus, De furoribus Norfol- 
English Guilds^ 385, 407 (E. E. T. S.). (unsium Ketto Dace (1575),!. 18; 

Holinshed (1587), iii. 1028. 



The churchwardens' accounts of St. Nicholas's contain items between 
1462 and 1512 for 'making a new star,' 'leading the star/ 'a new 
balk line to the star and ryving the same star/ In 1473 an ^ 1486 
are mentioned plays on Corpus Christi day; in 1489, a play at 
Bartholomew tide ; in 1493, a game played on Christmas day 1 . 


[Authorities. The chief are R. Davies, Municipal Records of the City 
of York (1843); L. Toulmin Smith, York Plays (1885). From one or 
other of these all statements below, of which the authority is not given, 
are taken. The municipal documents used are enumerated in York 
Plays, ix. The earliest date from 1371. F. Drake, Eboracum (1736) ; 
R. H. Skaife, Guild of Corpus Christi (Surtees Soc.) ; H. T. Riley, in 
Hist. MSS. Comm. i. 109 ; M. Sellers, City of York in the Sixteenth 
Century, in Eng. Hist. Rev. ix. 275 ; and some craft-guild documents in 
Archaeological Review, i. 221 ; Antiquary, xi. 107 ; xxii. 266 ; xxiii. 27, 
may also be consulted.] 

Liturgical Plays. 

The traditional Statutes of York Cathedral, supposed to date in 
their present form from about 1255, provide for the Pastor es and the 

4 Item inueniet [thesaurarius] Stellas cum omnibus ad illas pertinen- 
tibus, praeter cirpos, quos inueniet Episcopus Puerorum futurorum 
[? fatuorum], vnam in nocte natalis Domini pro pastoribus, et ij w 
in nocte Epiphaniae, si debeat fieri presentacio iij um regumV 

Corpus Christi Plays. 

The first mention is in 1378, when part of a fine levied on the 
Bakers is assigned 'a la pagine des ditz Pestours de corpore cristi/ 
In 1394 a civic order required all the pageants to play in the places 
'antiquitus assignatis/ in accordance with the proclamation, and 
under penalty of a fine. In 1397 Richard II was present to view 
the plays. In 1415 the town clerk, Roger Burton, entered in the 
Liber Memorandorum a copy of the Ordo paginarum ludi Corporis 
Christi, which was a schedule of the crafts and their plays, together 
with the Proclamacio ludi corporis cristi facienda in vigilia corporis 
cristi. At this date the plays were given annuattm. About 1440 
the existing manuscript of the plays was probably written. It was 
a 'register/ drawn up from the 'regynalls' or 'origenalls' in the 
possession of the several crafts, and kept by the city 8 . Halfway 

1 L. G. Bolingbroke, in Norfolk Sarum, i. xxii*. 
Archaeology \ xi. 334. * C p. 409. 

* Lincoln Statutes, ii. 98; cf. Use of 


through the sixteenth century performances become irregular. In 
1535 the Creed play, in 1558 the Paternoster play was given 
instead. In 1548 'certen pagyauntes . . . that is to say, the deyng 
of our lady, the assumption of our lady, and the coronacion of our 
lady/ were cast out. In 1550 and 1552 the play was suppressed on 
account of the plague, half the ' pageant silver' in 1552 being given 
to the sick. In 1562 the corporation attempted in vain to defer it 
to St. Barnabas day. In 1564, 1565, and 1566 it was not given, on 
account of war and sickness. In 1568 there was a dispute as to 
whether it should be played, and it was ordered that it must be 
'perused and otherwaise amended' first. In 1569 it was given on 
Whit-Tuesday. It then seems to have lain dormant until 1579, when 
the Council made an order that it should be played but * first the 
booke shalbe caried to my Lord Archebisshop [Edwin Sandys] and 
Mr. Deane [Mathew Hutton] to correcte, if that my Lord Arche- 
bisshop doo well like theron.' Various notes upon the 'register,' 
addressed to a ' Doctor/ and indicating that this or that play had been 
revised, were probably written at this time. In 1580 the citizens 
petitioned for the play, and the mayor replied that the request would 
be considered. There is no proof that any performance took place 
after this date; although the Bakers were still choosing 'pageant- 
masters' in I656 1 . 

The ordering of the plays about 1415 was as follows: Yearly in 
the first or second week in Lent, the town clerk copied the ' sedulae 
paginarum ' from the Ordo in the Liber Memorandorum and delivered 
it to the crafts 'per yj servientes maioris ad clavam.' On the eve 
of Corpus Christi a proclamation of mayor and sheriffs forbade 
: distorbaunce of the kynges pees, and ye play, or hynderyng of ye 
processioun of Corpore Christi/ It went on to direct that the pageants 
must be played at the assigned places, that the men of the crafts are 
to come forth in customary array and manner, ' careynge tapers of ye 
pagentz/ that there shall be provided 'good players, well arayed 
and openly spekyng/ and that all shall be ready to start * at the 
mydhowre betwix iiij th and V th of the cloke in the mornynge, and 
then all oyer pageantz fast followyng ilk one after oyer as yer course 
is, without tarieng/ Fines are imposed for any neglect or failure. 
At this date the play and the Corpus Christi procession were on the 
same day. In 1426 it is recorded that a Franciscan preacher, 
William Melton, while commending the play, ' affirmando quod bonus 
erat in se et laudabilis valde/ urged that it should be put on the day 

1 York Plays t xxxv, xli; Arch. Revitw> L 331. 


before Corpus Christi, so as not to interfere with the ecclesiastical 
feast ! . This seems to have been agreed to, but the arrangement 
did not last. The procession was under the management of a Corpus 
Christi guild, founded in 1408, and the statutes of this guild dated 
in 1477 show that it was then the procession which was displaced, 
falling on the Friday after Corpus Christi day 2 . 

Thus the plays were essentially the affair of the whole community, 
and the c6ntrol of them by the mayor and council may be further 
illustrated. In 1476 the council made an order regulating the choice 
of actors, and laid down 

' That yerely in the tyme of lentyn there shall be called afore the 
maire for the tyme beyng iiij of the moste connyng discrete and able 
players within this Citie, to serche, here, and examen all the plaiers 
and plaies and pagentes thrughoute all the artificers belonging to 
Corpus XH Plaie. And all suche as thay shall fynde sufficiant in 
personne and connyng, to the honour of the Citie and worship of the 
saide Craftes, for to admitte and able; and all other insufficiant 
personnes, either in connyng, voice, or personne to discharge, ammove, 
and avoide. And that no plaier that shall plaie in the saide Corpus X^ 
plaie be conducte and reteyned to plaie but twise on the day of 
the saide playe; and that he or thay so plaing plaie not ouere 
twise the saide day, vpon payne of xl* to forfet vnto the chaumbre 
as often tymes as he or thay shall be founden defautie in the 

By 'twise' is probably meant 'in two distinct pageants'; for each 
pageant repeated its performance at several stations. In 1394 these 
stations were 'antiquitus assignatis/ In 1399 the commons petitioned 
the council to the effect that Me juer et les pagentz de la jour dc 
corpore cristi ' were not properly performed on account of the number 
of stations, and these were limited to twelve. In later years there 
were from twelve to sixteen, and from 1417 the corporation made 
a profit by letting to prominent citizens the right to have stations 
opposite their houses. A list of 'Leases for Corpuscrysty Play 1 
in 1554, for instance, shows twelve stations bringing in from xiij d 
to iij 8 riijd each, while nothing was charged for the places 'at the 
Trinitie yaits where the clerke kepys the register/ 'at the comon 
Hall to my Lord Maior and his bredren,' 'at Mr. Bekwyth's at 

1 Drake, Eboracum, App. xxix; A. W. Ward (ed. 2, 1899), i. 53, trans- 

Davics, 243 ; York Plays, xxxiv. late ' professor of holy pageantry.' 

Melton is called ' sacrae paginae pro- The ' sacred page/ however, is the 

fessor,' which Drake and many light- Bible, and the title -S.T.P., or D.D. 

heaited scholars after hhn, down to a Davies, 245. 



Hosyerlane end, where as my Lady Mayres and her systers lay 1 
and 'uppon the Payment/ 

Outward signs of the civic control were the ' vexilla ludi cum armis 
civitatis,' which were set up at the stations by order of the mayor on 
Corpus Christi eve. Apparently the city claimed also to put its mark 
on the pageants themselves, for in an agreement of 1422 merging the 
pageants of the Shoemakers, Tilemakers, Hayresters, and Millers it 
was declared, ' quod nulla quatuor artium praedictarum ponet aliqua 
signa, arma, vel insignia super paginam praedictam, nisi tantum arma 
huius honorabilis civitatis/ But the more important crafts, who had a 
pageant to themselves, may not have been subject to this restriction. 

Although the corporation profited from the ' dimissio locorum ludi 
Corporis Christi/ they did not meet many of the expenses. They 
paid for the services of the minstrels employed, and for refreshments 
for themselves and for important visitors to the town. They occasion- 
ally helped out the resources of a poor craft. The following extract 
from the Chamberlains' accounts for 1397 seems to be quite 
exceptional : 

' Expens* in festo de Corpore Xp' L 

Item : pro steyning de iiij or pannos ad opus paginae, iiij 8 . 

Et pro pictura paginae, ij. 

Et pro vexillo novo cum apparatu, xij 8 ij d . 

Et in portacione et reportacione meremii ad barras coram Rege, ij 8 j d . 

Et pro xx fursperres ad barras praedictas coram Rege, v x d . 

Et pro xix sapplynges emptis de lohanne de Craven pro barris 
praedictis, vj 8 viij d . 

Et viij portitoribus ducentibus et moventibus paginam, v g iiijd. 

Et lanitori Sanctae Trinitatis pro pagina hospitanda, iiij d . 

Et ludentibus, iiij d . 

Et ministrallis in festo de Corpore Xp'i, xiij 8 iiij^ 

Et in pane, cervisiis, vino, et carnibus, et focalibus pro maiore et 
probis hominibus in die ad ludum, xviij* viij d . 

Et in ministrallis domini Regis ac aliorum dominorum supervenien- 
tibus, vip vij 8 iiijd. 

Et ministris camerae in albo panno et rubeo pro adventu Regis, 
Iviij* x<V 

Certainly the corporation did not themselves provide a * pagina ' in 
1415 or later years. I think that in 1397 they prepared one for some 
allegorical performance of welcome, distinct from the play itself, to 
Richard II. The king was evidently placed at the gate of Trinity 
Priory, where was the first station as late* as 1569. 


But the bulk of the cost fell upon the crafts. They had to build, 
repair, decorate, and draw the pageant (Latin, pagina\ English, pagtaunt, 
paiaunt) pachent, pagendt, pagyant^ padgin> padgion, paidgion, padzhand, 
&c., &c.). They had to house it in one of the 'pageant howses' 
which until recently gave a name to * Pageant green/ and for each of 
which a yearly rent of xij d seems to have been the usual charge. 
They had also doubtless to provide dress and refresh the actors ; and 
some of their members were bound personally to conduct the pageant 
on its journey. The fully organized craft-guilds appointed annual 
' pageant-masters/ and met the ordinary charges by a levy of ' pageant- 
silver' upon each member according to his status. The amounts 
varied from id. to &/., and were supplemented by the proceeds of fines 
and payments on admissions and on setting up shop. Smaller guilds 
were often grouped together, and produced one pageant amongst three 
or four of them. Even the unincorporated trades did not escape. In 
1483 four Innholders undertook the responsibility of producing a 
pageant for eight years on condition of a fixed payment of ^d. from 
each innholder in. the city. Exceptional expenses were sometimes met 
in exceptional ways. The Mercers gave free admission into their 
fraternity to one Thomas Drawswerd, on condition that he should 
1 mak the Pagiant of the Dome ... of newe substanciale for vij marks 
and the old pageant/ In 1501 the Cartwrights made four new wheels 
to a pageant, and were thereupon discharged from further charges for 
6d. a year. Evidently the obligation of producing a pageant was 
considered an onerous one, and as trades rose and fell in York, the 
incidence of it upon this or that trade or trades was frequently altered. 
All such rearrangements came before the civic authorities, and many 
of them are upon record. Naturally they involved some corresponding 
revision, piecing together, or splitting up of plays (cf. p. 412). I only 
find one example of a play produced by any other body than a craft. 
The Hospital of St. Leonard produced the play of the Purification in 
1415, but had ceased to do so some time before 1477. It is to be 
noted that in 1561 the Minstrels took their place with the other crafts, 
and became responsible for the Herod play 3 . 

Pater-Nosier Play. 

Wyclif in his De Officio Pas for alt, cap. 15 (1378), says that, 
' herfore freris han taujt in Englond j?e Paternoster in Englijcsh 
tunge, as men seyen in J>e pleye of Yorke V 

1 Antiquary, xxiii. 29. 8 Wyclif, English Works, ed. Mathew 

8 York Plays, xxi, 125 ; E.H.R. ix. (E. E. T. S.), 429. 

D d a 


The reference here is to a performance distinct from the Corpus 
Christi play. The preamble to a return of the ordinances and so forth 
of the guild ' Orationis Domini/ made in 1389, states that 

' Once upon a time, a Play setting forth the goodness of the Lord's 
Prayer was played in the city of York ; in which play all manner of 
vices and sins were held up to scorn, and the virtues were held up to 

The guild was formed to perpetuate this play, and the members were 
bound to produce it and accompany it through the streets. In 1389 
they had no possessions beyond the properties of the play and a chest. 
A computes of the guild for 1399 contains an entry of an old debt of 
2s. 2d. y owed by John Downom and his wife for entrance fee : 

' Seel dictus Johannes dicit se expendisse in diuersis expensis circa 
ludum Accidiae ex parte Ric. Walker ij 8 j d , ideo de praedicto petit 
allocari V 

It would appear that by 1488 the guild had been converted to or 
absorbed in a guild of the Holy Trinity, which was moreover the craft- 
guild of the Merchants or Mercers. Certainly in that year this guild 
chose four pageant-masters to bring forth the Paternoster play. They 
were to bring in the pageants < within iiij days next after Corpus Christi 
Day 2 / In 1488 the Paternoster play was presumably a variant for 
the usual Corpus Christi plays. It was similarly played on Corpus 
Christi day in 1558. The management was in the hands of one of the 
few unsuppressed guilds, that of St. Anthony; but the corporation 
gathered ' pageant silver ' from the crafts and met the charges. A 
; bayn/ or messenger, rode to proclaim the play on St. George's day, 
and another on Whit Monday. Another performance took place on 
Corpus Christi day (now called c Thursday next after Trinitie Sonday '), 
1572. The book was ' perused, amended and corrected/ Neverthe- 
less, on July 30 the council sent a < trewe copie ' of it, at his request, 
to the Archbishop [Grindal] of York, and although in 1575 they sent 
a deputation to urge him to appoint a commission to reform ' all suche 
the play bookes as perteyne this cittje now in his grace's custodie/ 
there is no proof that his grace complied. 

Creed Play. 

As already stated, the guild of Corpus Christi had nothing to do 
with the regular craft-plays. But in 1446, William Revetor, a chantry 
priest and \\arden of the guild, bequeathed to it a Mudus incompara- 

1 y*>* Plays, xxix; Tonlmin, English digs (E.E.T.S.), 137* 
a Antiquary, xxii. 265. 


bilis ' called the * Crede play,' to be performed every tenth year * in 
variis locis dictae civitatis/ An inventory of 1465 includes : 

'Liber vocatus Originale continens Articulos Fidei Catholicae in 
lingua anglicana, nuper scriptum, appreciatum x 11 . 

Et alius liber inveteratus de eodem ludo, c 8 . 

Et alius liber de eodem anglice vocatus Crede Play continens xxij 
There were also many banners and properties, amongst which 

' Et xij rotulae nuper scriptae cum articulis fidei catholicae, apprec' 
iij 8 iiij d . 

Et una clavis pro sancto Petro cum ij peciis unius tunicae depictae, 
apprec* xij d . 

Et x diademata pro Xp'o et apostolis cum una larva et aliis noveni 
cheverons, vjX* 

Various performances of the Creed play are recorded. In 1483 it 
was given on Sunday, September 7, before Richard III, by order of 
the Council, ' apon the cost of the most onest men of every parish in thys 
Cite.' From 1495 decennial performances can be traced, generally 
about Lammas (August i), and 'at the common hall/ In 1535 the 
Corpus Christi play proper was omitted, and the crafts contributed 
' pageant silver ' to the Creed play at Lammas. But they refused to 
give way to it again in 1545. The guild was suppressed in 1547, and 
the ' original or regestre ' passed into the hands of the hospital of 
St. Thomas. In 1562 the corporation proposed the Creed play as 
a possible alternative for ' th' ystories of the old and new testament ' on 
St. Barnabas day; and in 1568 they again designed to replace the 
regular Corpus Christi play by it^ But first they submitted it to the 
Dean of York, Matthew Hutton, who, in a letter still extant, advised 

' thogh it was plawsible to yeares ago, and wold now also of the 
ignorant sort be well liked, yet now in this happie time of the gospel), 
I knowe the learned will mislike it, and how the state will beare with 
it, I knowe not/ 

Consequently the book was delyveryd in agayn,' and no more is 
heard of it. 

Mr. Davies suggests that the play probably fell into twelve scenes, 
in each of which one of the apostles figured. If so, there is perhaps 
an allusion to a performance of it in a letter of Henry VIII to the 
justices of York in which he speaks of a riot which took place 

* at the acting of a religious interlude of St. Thomas the Apostle 
made in the said city on the 23** of August now last past . . . owing 


to the seditious conduct of certain papists who took a part in preparing 
for the said interlude/ 

He requires them to imprison any who in ' performing interludes 
which are founded on any portions of the Old or New Testament ' use 
language tending to a breach of the peace l . 

St. George Riding. 

In April, 1554, the Council made an order for ' Seynt George to 
be brought forth and ryde as hath been accustomed/ and the following 
items in the accounts show that the personages in the procession were 
much the same as at Dublin (q. v.) : 

* to the waites for rydyng and playing before St. George and the 

'to the porters for beryng of the pagyant, the dragon and St. 

1 to the King and Quene [of Dele] that playd/ 

1 to the May [the Maid].' 

''to John Stamper for playing St. George V 

Midsummer Show. 

As the regular plays waned, the 'show' or ' watch' of armed men on 
Midsummer eve became important. There is an ordinance for it in 
1581. In 1584 it took place in the morning, and in the afternoon 
John Grafton, a schoolmaster, gave at seven stations a play with 
'certaine compiled speaches/ for which the council allowed him to 
have * a pageant frame/ Apparently the Baker's pageant was repaired 
for the purpose. In 1585 Grafton borrowed the pageants of the 
Skinners, Cooks, Tailors, Innholders, Bakers, and Dyers, and gave 
another play. Grafton's account for 1585 mentions ' the hearse/ c the 
angell/ ' the Queene's crowne/ ' the childe one of the furyes bare/ 
He got iij 8 , vjs, viijd for his pains 8 . 

1 Halliwell, Letters of the Kings of * Davies, 263. 

England* i. 354, from a Latin original 8 Davies, 273 ; Arch. Review ', L 
in the Bodl. Rawtiwon AfSS. aai. 






(i) Hg. 1 1475-1500. Hengwrt MS. 229, in the library of 
Mr. Wynne of Peniarth, containing Play xxiv (Antichrist) only. 
Probably a prompter's copy, as some one has ' doubled it up and 
carried it about in his pocket, used it with hot hands, and faded 
its ink/ 

(ii) D. 1591. Devonshire MS., in the library of the Duke of 
Devonshire, written by * Edward Gregorie, a scholar of Bunbury/ 

(iii) W. 1592. Brit. Mus. Addl MS. 10,305. Signed at the 
end of each play 'George Bellin/ 

(iv) h. 1600. Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2013, a l so signed after some 
of the plays by ' George Bellin ' or ' Billinges/ A verse proclamation 
or ' banes ' is prefixed, and on a separate leaf a copy of the prose 
proclamation made by the clerk of the pentice in 1544 (cf. p. 349) 
with a note, in another hand. 

(v) B. 1604. Bodl. MS. 175, written by 'Gulielmus Bedford,' 
with an incomplete copy of the ' banes/ 

(vi) H. 1607. Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2124, in two hands, the 
second being that of ' Jacobus Miller/ An historical note, dated 1628, 
is on the cover. 

(vii) M. MS. in Manchester Free Library, containing fragment of 
Play xix (Resurrection) only. 

[The MSS. D, W, h, B are derived from a common source, best 
represented by B. MS. H varies a good deal from this group, and 
is the better text. MS. Hg is probably related to H.] 


(a) 1818. Plays iii, x (Noah, Innocents) and Banes; J. H. Mark- 
land, for Roxburghe Club (No. 1 1). 

(b) 1836. Play xxiv (Antichrist)', J. P. Collier, Five Miracle- 

(c) 1838. Plays iii, xxiv (Noah, Antichrist) ; W. Marriott, English 


(d) 1843-7, 1853. Cycle; Thomas Wright, from MS. W, for 
Shakespeare Society. 

(e) 1883. Part of Play xix (Resurrection), from MS. M, in 
Manchester Guardian , for May 19, 1883. 

(f) 1890. Plays iii, part of iv (Noah, Isaac); Pollard, 8. 

(g) 1893-. Cycle (vol. i with Introduction, Banes and Plays 
i-xiii only issued by 1902) ; H. Deimling, from MS. H (with colla- 
tion), for E. E. T. S. (Extra Series, Ixii). 

(h) 1897. Plays v, xxiv (Prophetae, Antichrist) ; Manly, i. 66, 
170, from (g) and MS. Hg respectively. 

[F. J. Furnivall, Digty Plays, xx, prints eighteen additional lines to 
the Banns as given by Deimling from MSS. h, B. These are from 
a copy in Rogers' s Breviary of Chester (cf. p. 350), HarL MS. 1944. 
A distinct and earlier (pre-Reformation) Banns is printed by Morris, 
307, from HarL MS. 2150 (cited in error as 2050), which is a copy of 
the White Book of the Pentice belonging to the City of Chester.] 

The Cycle. 

The list of ' pagyns in play of Corpus Xpi ' contained in the ' White 
Book of the Pentice ' (HarL MS. 2150, f. 85 b), and given apparently 
from this source, by Rogers (Furnivall, xxi), makes them twenty-five 
in number, as follows : 

i. The fallinge of Lucifer. xiv. The cominge of Christe to 

ii. The creation of y e worlde. lerusalem. 

iii. Noah & his shipp. xv. Christs maundy with his 

iv. Abraham & Isacke. desiples. 

v. Kinge Balack & Balaam xvi. The scourginge of Christe. 

with Moyses. xvii. The Crusifienge of Christ. 

vi. Natiuytie of our Lord. xviii. The harrowinge of hell, 

vii. The shepperdes offeringe. xix. The Resurrection, 

viii. Kinge Harrald & y mounte xx. The Castle of Emaus & the 

victoriall. Apostles. 

ix. Y e 3 Kinges of Collen. xxi. The Ascention of Christe. 

x. The destroyeinge of the xxii. Whitsonday ye makeinge of 

Childeren by Herod. the Creede. 

xi. Purification of our Ladye. xxiii. Prophetes before y e day of 

xii. The pinackle, withy 6 woman Dome. 

of Canan. xxiv. Antecriste. 

xiii. The risinge of Lazarus from xxv. Domes Daye, 
death to liffe. 

The list of plays contained in the pre-Reformation Banns is the 


same as this, with one exception. Instead of twenty-five plays it has 
twenty-six. After Wyt Sondqy is inserted the play 'of our lady 
thassumpcon/ to be brought forth by ' the worshipfull wyves of this 
towne/ This play of The Assumption was given in 1477, and as 
a separate performance in 1488, 1497, and 1515 (Morris, 308, 322, 
323). Doubtless it was dropped, as at York, out of Protestantism. 
The post-Reformation Banns and the extant MSS. of the cycle have 
it not. Further, they reduce the twenty-five plays of the * White 
Book f list to twenty-four, by merging the plays of the Scourging and 
Crucifixion into one. In MSS. B, W, h, the junction is plainly 
apparent (see Deimling, i. ix; Wright, ii. 50). In MS. H there is no 
break (Deimling, i. xxiv). 

Literary Relations. 

Wright, i. xiv, and Hohlfeld, mAnglta, xi. 223, call attention to the 
parallels between the Chester plays and the French Mystere du Viel 
Testament and to the occurrence in them of scraps and fragments of 
French speech. The chief of these are put into the mouths of Octavian, 
the Magi, Herod, and Pilate, and may have been thought appropriate to 
kings and lordings. They may also point to translation from French 
originals. Davidson, 254, suggests that the earliest performances 
at Chester were in Anglo-Norman, and points to the tradition of 
MS. H (cf. p. 351) as confirming this. There are slight traces of 
influence upon some of the Chester plays by the York cycle (Hohlfeld, 
loc. cit. 260; Davidson, 287). Hohlfeld, in M.L.N. v. 222, regards 
Chester play iv as derived from a common original with the Brome 
Abraham and Isaac. H. Ungemacht, Die Quellen der fiinf ersten 
Chester Plays, discusses the relation of the plays to the Brome play 
and the French mysteres^ and also to the Vulgate, the Fathers, 
Josephus, and the Cursor Mundi. 


($)Brit.Mus.Addl.MS. 35,290, recently AshburnhamMS. i37,fully 
described by L. T. Smith, York Plays, xiii. The MS. dates from about 
1430-40, and appears to be a 'register' or transcript made for the 
corporation of the 'origenalls' in the hands of the crafts. In 1554 
the ' register ' was kept by the clerk at the gates of the dissolved Holy 
Trinity Priory. After the plays ceased to be performed it got into the 
hands of the Fairfaxes of Denton. In 1695 it belonged to Henry 
Fairfax, and its ownership can be traced thence to the present day. 


(ii) Sykes MS. in possession of the York Philosophical Society, 
fully described in York Plays, 455. This is of the early sixteenth 
century. It contains only the Scriveners' play, of * The Incredulity 
of Thomas/ is not a copy from the Ashburnham MS., and may be an 
' origenall/ or a transcript for the prompter's use. It has a cover with 
a flap, and has been folded lengthwise, as if for the pocket. 


(a) 1797. Play xlii (Incredulity of Thomas], from Sykes MS., in 
J. Croft, Excerpta Antiqua, 105. 

(b) 1859. Pky xlii (Incredulity of Thomas), from Sykes MS., ed. 
J. P. Collier, in Camden Miscellany, vol. iv. 

(c) 1885. Cycle, from Ashburnham MS., in L. Toulmin Smith, 
York Plays. 

(d) 1890. Play i (Creation and the Fall of Lucifer), from York 
Plays, in Pollard, i. 

(e) 1897. Plays xxxviii, xlviii (Resurrection^ Judgment Day), from 
York Plays, in Manly, i. 153, 198. 

The Cycle. 

The subjects of the forty-eight plays and one fragment contained in 
the Ashburnham MS. are as follows : 

i. The Barkers. The Creation, Fall of Lucifer, 

ii. Playsterers. The Creation to the Fifth Day. 

iii. Cardmakers. God creates Adam and Eve. 

iv. Fullers. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, 

v. Cowpers. Man's disobedience and Fall, 

vi. Armourers. Adam and Eve driven from Eden, 

vii. Glovers. Sacrificium Cayme et Abell. 

viii. Shipwrites. Building of the Ark. 

ix. Fysshers and Marynars. Noah and the Flood. 

x. Parchmyners and Sokebynders. Abraham's Sacrifice. 

xi. The Hoseers. The Israelites in Egypt, the Ten Plagues, 

and Passage of the Red Sea. 

xii. Spicers. Annunciation, and visit of Elizabeth to Mary, 

xiii. Pewtereres and Foundours. Joseph's trouble about Mary. 

xiv. Tille-thekers. Journey to Bethlehem : Birth of Jesus. 

xv. Chaundelers. The Angels and the Shepherds, 

xvi. Masonns. Coming of the three Kings to Herod, 

xvii. Goldsmyths. Coming of the three Kings, the Adoration. 

' xviii. Marchalfo. Flight into Egypt. 


xix. Gyrdillers and Naylers. Massacre of the Innocents. 
xx. Sporiers and Larimers. Christ with the Doctors in the 


xxi. Barbours. Baptism of Jesus, 
xxii. Smythis. Temptation of Jesus, 
xxiii. Concurs. The Transfiguration, 
xxiv. Cappemakers. Woman taken in Adultery. Raising of 


xxv. Skynners. Entry into Jerusalem, 
xxvi. Cutteleres. Conspiracy to take Jesus, 
xxvii. Baxteres. The Last Supper, 
xxviii. Cordewaners. The Agony and Betrayal. 
xxix. Bowers and Flecchers. Peter denies Jesus : Jesus examined 

by Caiaphas* 
xxx. Tapiterers and Couchers. Dream of Pilate's Wife: Jesus 

before Pilate. 

xxxi. Lytsteres. Trial before Herod, 
xxxii. Cokts and Waterlederes. Second accusation before Pilate: 

Remorse of Judas : Purchase of Field of Blood, 
xxxiii. Tyllemakers. Second trial continued : Judgment on Jesus, 
xxxiv. Shermen. Christ led up to Calvary. 
xxxv. Pynneres and Paynters. Crucifixio Christi. 
xxxvi. Bocheres. Mortificacio Christi. 
xxxvii. Sadilleres. Harrowing of Hell, 
xxxviii. Carpenteres. Resurrection : Fright of the Jews. 
xxxix. Wyne-drawers. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalen after the 


xl The Sledmen. Travellers to Emmaus. 
xli. HatmakerS) Masons, and Laborers* Purification of Mary: 

Simeon and Anna prophesy, 
xlii. Escreueneres. Incredulity of Thomas, 
xliii. Tailoures. The Ascension, 
xliv. Potteres. Descent of the Holy Spirit 
xlv. Draperes. The Death of Mary, 
xlvi. Wefferes. Appearance of our Lady to Thomas, 
xlvii. Osteleres. Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin, 
xlviii. Merceres. The Judgement Day. 
(Fragment.) Inholders. Coronation of our Lady. 

The majority of these plays were entered in the register about 1440. 
The fragment of a later play on The Coronation of Our Lady was 
added at the end of the fifteenth century. It was doubtless intended 


to supersede xlvii. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (iv) and 
The Purification of Mary, Simeon and Anna prophesy (xli) were 
inserted in 1558. The former is probably of the same date as the 
rest ; the latter is thought by the editor to be later. It is misplaced 
both in the MS. and the printed text. It should follow xvii, but there 
was no room for it in the MS. Some notes, probably written when 
the plays were submitted to the Dean of York in 1579, state that xii, 
xviii, xxi, xxviii had been rewritten since the register was compiled. 

The register does not represent quite all the plays ever performed at 
York. Spaces are left for The Marriage at Cana and Christ in the 
House of Simon the Leper, which were never written in; and the 
corporation archives refer to a play of Fergus or Portacio Corporis 
Mariae, which came between xlv and xlvi and was ' laid apart ' in 
1485 ; and to a scene of Suspencio ludae, which was in 1422 an 
episode of xxxiii. In other respects the contents of the register agree 
substantially with the fifty-one plays of the Ordo paginarum entered 
by the Town Clerk in the Liber Memorandorum in I4I5 1 and with the 
fifty-seven plays of a second Ordo of uncertain date which comes a little 
later in the same Liber a . The three lists show some variations in the 
grouping of the subject-matter into pageants, due to the constant 
shifting of responsibility amongst the crafts. 

Literary Relations. 

Davidson, 252 sqq., attempts to trace the growth of the York plays 
out of a parent cycle, from which the Towneley and Coventry plays 
borrowed. The biblical and apocryphal sources are discussed by 
L. Toulmin Smith, Fork Plays, xlvii; A. R. Hohlfeld, in Anglia^ xi. 
285; P. Kamann, Die Quellen der York-Spiele, in Anglia, x. 189; 
F. Holthausen, in Arch.f.d. Studium d. neueren Sprachen und Litter aiur, 
Ixxxv. 425 ; Ixxxvi. 280; W. A. Craigie, in Furnivall Miscellany, 52. 
I have not been able to see O. Herrtrich, Studien zu den York Plays 
(Breslau Diss. 1886). There are textual studies by F. Holthausen 
as above, and in Philologische Studien (Sievers-Festgabe), 1896 ; 
E. Kalbing, in Englische Studien, xvi. 279 ; xx. 179 ; J. Hall, in Eng. 
Stud. ix. 448; Zupitza, in Deutsche Litter -aturzeitung, vi. 1304; 
K. Luick, in Anglia, xxii. 384. 



Written in the second half of the fifteenth century, formerly in the 
1 Printed in York Plays, xix. * Printed in Davies, 233. 


library of Towneley Hall, long in the possession of Mr. Quaritch, the 
bookseller, and now in that of Major Coates, of Ewell, Surrey. There 
are thirty-two plays in all, but twenty-six leaves are missing. 


(a) 1822. Play xxx (Indicium); F. Douce, for Roxburghe Club 
(Publications, No. 16). 

(b) 1836. Play xiii (Secunda Pasforum); ]. P. Collier, in Five 

(c) 1836. Complete cycle; for Surtees Soc. (It is uncertain whether 
the editor was J. Raine, J. Hunter, or J. S. Stevenson.) 

(d) 1838. Plays viii, xiii, xxiii, xxv, xxx (Pharao, Secunda Pasforum, 
Crucifixio, Extractio Animarum ab Inferno, ludicium)