Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Ban on Christmas

 Above is a missive in the hand of Oliver Cromwell complaining how his ban on Christmas was being defied by the citizens of London.  But what really disturbed him were the pictures of Charles I. To quote:
The Councell haveing received severall Informations that there was avery wilfull & strict observation of the day com[m]only called Christmasse day throughout the Cittyes of London & Westm[inster] by agenerall keeping of their shops shut up and that there were Contemptuous speeches used by some in favour thereof, which the Councell conceiveing to be upon the old grounds of superstition and malignancy and tending to the avowing of the same and Contempt of the present Lawes and governm[en]t have thought fit that the Parlam[en]t be moved to take the same into Consideration for such further provisions and penaltyes for the abolishing & punishing of those old superstitions observations and meeting w[i]th such malicious contradiction of offenders in that behalfe as their wisedomes shall iudge fit, They have likewise received informations of frequent resort unto and exerciseing of the idolatrous masse in severall places to the great dishono[u]r of Almightie God, notorious breach of the lawes and scandal of the governm[en]t wherein according to notice given they have already taken some Course and desire the parlam[en]t will be pleased to take that matter alsoe into their Consideration for further remedies & suppression of that Idolatrie in such way as to them shall seeme meet.That it be likewise reported to the Parl[amen]t that the Councell is informed that there are still remaining the Armes and pictures of the late King in severall Churches Halls, upon the Gates and in other publique places of the Citty of London.

That the parl[amen]t bee moved to appoint whom they shall thinke fitt to see the same armes & pictures taken downe and defaced and to give an Account of their executing the same w[i]thin such tyme as they shall thinke fit to allow for that purpose.


Stephanie A. Mann said...

Also during the Interregnum period, Parliament passed laws ordering days of fasting. If December 25th happened to be declared a fast day, no Christmas celebrations could be permitted. Even if Christmas fell on a Sunday, no special church service celebrations were allowed. The vestiges of pre-Reformation Christmas festivities were just too Catholic for the Puritans.

Theresa Bruno said...


It's interesting that you chose this topic today. Today, I am writing about Puritans and Christmas on my blog, God willing.

Good post!

Brantigny said...

We see by this, the folly of the legislation of morality. This is the foundation of the Puritan idea of "we know better than you do". which has borne it's fruit here in the liberal movement. What they do not agree with they (he) called "superstition and malignancy". Words that would find echo in the French revolution.
No heresy is ever new.

Julygirl said...

Yes, it is scary how the - What I believe is truth and what you believe is fallacy- mentality is so prevalent. Many of us have been taught to stand up for our convictions, but where does standing up for one's convictions end and shoving them down someone's throat begins.

lara77 said...

I think the comments reflect what is going on in our country today; what one sees as positive the other sees as negative. What ever happened to respect and treating others with the same dignity that we all want. People today preach too often and do not listen. As I recently told a family member, "try putting yourself in their shoes."