Edmund Calamy preached a sermon in the House of Lords saying: "This day is commonly called Christmas-day, a day that has heretofore been much abused in superstition and profaneness. From Charles’s beleaguered wartime capital in Oxford, the royalist satirist John Taylor – by now in his mid-60s, but nevertheless one of the king’s most indefatigable literary champions – issued a cry of anguish at this assault on England’s time-honoured customs. If you subscribe to BBC History Magazine Print or Digital Editions then you can unlock 10 years’ worth of archived history material fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. In 1647, Christmas was banned in England. Main Task:Read through the mystery clues. Eating a mince pie or singing carols was made illegal. Throughout the medieval period, Christmas Day had been marked by special church services, and by magnificent feasts accompanied by heavy drinking. Back in 1647, Christmas was banned in the kingdoms of England (which at the time included Wales), Scotland and Ireland and it didn’t work out very well. This article was first published in the Christmas 2011 issue of BBC History Magazine, Save a huge 50% off a subscription to your favourite history magazine. In December 1646, for example, a group of young men at Bury St Edmunds threatened local tradesmen who had dared to open their shops on Christmas Day, and were only dispersed by the town magistrates after a bloody scuffle. ... a riot broke out in Canterbury when pro-Christmas locals attacked and smashed the shops of people who dared to open on Christmas Day. But the people of England weren’t letting Christmas go without a fight. Please enter your number below. The official website for BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine, Save 50% on a BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed subscription, Mark Stoyle investigates popular resistance to the Puritan assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s. In this fictitious address, the ‘lecturer’ is shown assuring his audience that they should not “conceive of me to be so superstitious, as to make any conscience of… this day, because the Church hath ordained [it]” to be a holy feast. Following the outbreak of full-scale Civil War between king and parliament in 1642, John Taylor became one of the first to allude in print to the radicals’ decision to dump Christmas. Oliver Cromwell wanted to tackle gluttony in England and he also thought that Christmas contained too many superstitions of the Roman Catholic Church, which he was not keen on … To Find out how England changed under the rule of Oliver Cromwell. You will shortly receive a receipt for your purchase via email. The rejection of Christmas as a joyful period was reiterated when a 1644 ordinance confirmed the abolition of the feasts of Christmas, Easter and Whitsun. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); It has been claimed that eating the snack is still illegal in England, if undertaken on Christmas Day. He said: “Cromwell held that if you’re caught eating a mince pie on Christmas Day you’re definitely trying to celebrate this banned festival.”, This website uses cookies. Did Oliver Cromwell ban Christmas? Yet matters were not so simple, for, even though the king’s armies had been beaten out of the field and he himself had fallen into the hands of his enemies, most Englishmen and women continued to cling to their traditional Christmas customs. Published in January 1646, this publication took great pleasure in conflating Taylor himself with the symbolic character of ‘old Christmas Day’ whose persona the royalist writer had assumed in his own previous pamphlets. Following a total ban … You need four colours. How far Taylor succeeded in these aims it is impossible to say, but his satire quickly provoked a parliamentarian counter-satire entitled The Arraignment, Conviction and Imprisoning of Christmas. In 1644, MPs passed an ordinance which confirmed the abolition of Easter, Whitsun, and Christmas as feasts of the Church of England. The legislation was deeply unpopular and was enforced only sporadically. Meanwhile, many MPs turned up to sit in the parliament house, thus making their own disdain for the customary Christmas holiday very clear. During the course of the Ipswich riot, a protestor named ‘Christmas’ was reported to have been slain – a fatality which could be regarded as richly symbolic, of course, of the way that parliament had ‘killed’ Christmas itself. Oliver Cromwell – Do you see yourself as the Godfather of Democracy & Parliament? On June 1647 Parliament passed an Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day as a feast day and holiday. In London, the Puritan heartland, zealots such as John Barkstead, Governor of the Tower, prohibited festivities with such severity that some wondered whether ‘they shall be suffered to be Christians any longer or no’. In one passage, Taylor/‘old Christmas Day’ – here described as “an old, old, very old grey-bearded gentleman” – is portrayed sitting dejectedly in the midst of the king’s shrinking territories, while desperately urging “all you that ever think to see Christmas again, stick to me now close!”, Any lingering hopes on the part of the royalists that popular anger at the abolition of Christmas might somehow transform their military fortunes were soon to be dispelled. Following the rebellion of the Presbyterian Scots against Charles I in 1637, however, all this was to change. Evidence: Festive celebrations, including mince pies and Christmas puddings, were reportedly banned in Oliver Cromwell's England as part of efforts to … On Christmas Day 1647, pro-Christmas riots burst forth from all over England. Throughout the medieval period, Christmas Day had been marked by special church … Cromwell saw Christmas and its celebrations as very Catholic. The Law Commission said none of the 11 laws that remained on the statute books after Cromwell’s reign related to mince pies. During early 1646, Charles I’s remaining field forces melted away almost as fast as the winter snow and by April the game was clearly up for the king. The other major event was when Oliver Cromwell imposed a puritanical form of worship with the help of his allies at the Ely cathedral after taking over Parliament. Oliver Cromwell – Why did you refuse the Crown? It is a common myth that Cromwell personally ‘banned’ Christmas during the mid seventeenth century. The parliamentarians had abolished the high point of the English ritual year, and the cancellation of Christmas aroused huge popular resentment – not just in the royalist camp, but in the districts controlled by parliament, too. Cromwell ended up having to send 3,000 soldiers from The Westgate Towers to break down the city gates and enforce the ban. Puritanism was imposed after the English parliament had adopted the Puritan beliefs t… It wasn’t only Christmas however. The defeat of King Charles I in the Civil War put the more extreme Protestants into power and so Parliament passed a series of measures to enforce this campaign on others. In London, soldiers were ordered to go round the streets and take, by force if necessary, food being cooked for a Christmas celebration. From this time onwards, attitudes towards Christmas among English Puritans began to harden. Listen: Mark Stoyle responds to listener queries and popular search enquiries about the conflict between Royalists and Parliamentarians that wracked the British Isles in the middle of the 17th century, on this episode of the HistoryExtra podcast: One of the clauses of the ‘Solemn League and Covenant’ which parliament signed with the Scots in September 1643 stated that, in exchange for Scottish military assistance against the king, MPs would ensure that further “reformation” of the Church of England took place. Back in 1647, Christmas was banned in the kingdoms of England (which at the time included Wales), Scotland and Ireland and it didn’t work out very well. While Cromwell certainly supported the move, and subsequent laws imposing penalties for those who continued to enjoy Christmas, he does not seem to have played much of a role in leading the campaign. The story begins in England, just before Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell came to power. Puritans viewed with consternation eating and drinking on Christmas day. On Christmas Day 1643, a mob of London apprentices went about the city, forcing shops open for business to close. While he had not been personally responsible for ‘cancelling Christmas’ in the first place, it is evident that both Cromwell and the other senior members of his regime were behind the ban, frequently transacting government business on 25 December as if it were a day just like any other. Did Oliver Cromwell really ban Christmas? There can be no doubt that many people continued to celebrate Christmas in private, and in his pamphlet The Vindication of Christmas (1652), the tireless John Taylor provided a lively portrait of how, he claimed, the old Christmas festivities were still being kept up by the farmers of Devon. Cromwell needed to reinforce existing legislation because the people of England refused to give up Christmas. You have successfully linked your account! “No, God forbid I should be so profane,” the ‘lecturer’ goes on, “rather it is a detestation of their blindness that have brought me hither this day, to enlighten you… [and] I give you to understand that the very name of Christmas is idolatrous and profane, and so, verily, are the whole 12 days [of Christmas] wherein the wicked make daily… sacrifices to riot and sensuality”. He wanted Christmas to be a purely religious celebration in which people contemplated the birth of Jesus. It was a deeply unpopular move. In the closing verse of a contemporary ballad, a gloomy royalist writer suggested that the collapse of the king’s cause had sealed the fate of Christmas itself, remarking: “To conclude, I’ll tell you news that’s right, Christmas was killed at Naseby fight.”. In London, a crowd of apprentices assembled at Cornhill on Christmas Day, and there “in despite of authority, they set up Holly and Ivy” on the pinnacles of the public water conduit. You're now subscribed to our newsletter. Only with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 was ‘old Christmas Day’ finally brought back in from the cold, to widespread popular joy. Why did Cromwell abolish Christmas? On June 1647 Parliament passed an Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day as a feast day and holiday. On 24 December 1644, the editor of a pro-parliamentarian news-pamphlet expressed his support for the MPs’ decision to favour the monthly fast over the traditional feast, but admitted that “the parliament is cried out on” by the common people as a result, with incredulous shouts of “What, not keep Christmas? By the C17th, Christmas had become a holiday of celebration and enjoyment especially after the problems caused by the civil war. Nevertheless, recent scholarship has shown that, as time went by, Christmas effectively ceased to be celebrated in the great majority of churches. Worse was to follow in 1647 – despite the fact that, on 10 June that year, parliament has passed an ordinance which declared the celebration of Christmas to be a punishable offence. Oliver Cromwell banned celebrations, Christmas, Morris dancing, maypole dancing, feasting, dancing. He … An outright ban on Christmas was introduced in 1647 – when Cromwell and his soldiers were in bitter dispute with Parliament – with fines introduced for shops that did not remain open, and even intrusions into the home. Oliver Cromwell – Why did the King have to die? Under constant pressure from the armies of both sides to supply them with money, clothing and food, few Englishmen and women can have been anticipating a particularly merry Christmas. Oliver Cromwell – What was your proudest moment? 1647 was the exact year when Oliver Cromwell officially banned christmas. Following parliament’s victory in the Second Civil War and the execution of Charles I in 1649, demonstrations in favour of Christmas became less common. Oliver Cromwell wanted to tackle gluttony in England and he also thought that Christmas contained too many superstitions of the Roman Catholic Church, which he was not keen on of course. Most people kept Christmas on the quiet. Sensitive Questions About Ireland for Oliver Cromwell – Drogheda, Sensitive Questions About Ireland for Oliver Cromwell – Grace Dieu, Sensitive Questions About Ireland for Oliver Cromwell – The Irish Troubles, ‘Cromwell – An Honourable Enemy’ by Tom Reilly, Oliver Cromwell’s speech to the Rump Parliament. Here’s a Reformation indeed!”. While Cromwell certainly supported the move, and subsequent laws imposing penalties for those who continued to enjoy Christmas, he does not seem to have played much of a role in leading the campaign. Oliver Cromwell – Britain’s Greatest Ever General? Eight months later, that threat was to become all too real. You can unsubscribe at any time. Oliver Cromwell – Do you deserve the Bad Press you have had over the Centuries? Mark Stoyle is professor of history at the University of Southampton. Learning objectives: To understand why Christmas was banned in England. There seems to be a problem, please try again. In the 17th century, the Puritans had laws forbidding the ecclesiastical celebration of Christmas, unlike the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church, the latter … As Ronald Hutton has observed, this clause encouraged religious radicals on the ground to seize the initiative and to attack those aspects of the traditional ecclesiastical calendar which they disliked. Cromwell wanted it returned to a religious celebration where people thought about the birth of Jesus rather than ate and drank too much. However, Cromwell himself did not live a life of rigid self-control. Festive games and carol singing were outlawed during the English Civil War It is a common myth that Cromwell personally ‘banned’ Christmas during the mid seventeenth century. As the year 1645 limped towards its weary close, a war-torn England shivered beneath a thick blanket of snow. Christmas was effectively banned in Britain by a 1644 Act of Parliament, with the Long Parliament of 1647 passing an ordinance which officially abolished the feast of Christmas making its celebration punishable. Historians have dubbed the civil war as the First English Civil war. By the early 17th Century Puritans and other firm Protestants were seeing the Christmas jollifications as unwelcome survivors of Catholicism as well as excuses for all manner of sins. Oliver Cromwell The Battle to Keep Christmas. Why did Cromwell abolish Christmas? The worst disturbances of all took place at Canterbury, where a crowd of protestors first smashed up the shops which had been opened on Christmas Day and then went on to seize control of the entire city. Instead, it was the broader Godly or parliamentary party, working through and within the elected parliament, which in the 1640s clamped down on the celebration of Christmas and other saints’ and holy days, a prohibition […] In January 1645 the final nail was hammered into Christmas’s coffin, when parliament issued its new Directory for the Public Worship of God, a radical alternative to the established Book of Common Prayer, which made no reference to Christmas at all. When the lord mayor despatched some officers “to pull down these gawds,” the apprentices resisted them, forcing the mayor to rush to the scene with a party of soldiers and to break up the demonstration by force. By entering your details, you are agreeing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy. The smell of a goose being cooked could bri… Christmas is a time for celebration but the festive season was once banned in England for almost 20 years, sparking a second Civil War. Resistance in some areas, however, was brazen. Christmas Day was a day like any other- and to prove the point, staunchly puritan MPs made sure they were at work on Christmas Day. On the same day, Canterbury descended into the fantastically named, Plum Pudding Riots. On 25 December 1647, there was further trouble at Bury, while pro-Christmas riots also took place at Norwich and Ipswich. Oliver Cromwell included in the Penguin Monarchs series. There was unrest and flashes of violence in other regions, too, with troops enacting the measures by force. This comes from the time of Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s, when mince pies were banned at Christmas, along with other tasty treats. Although that defeat had struck the king’s cause a mortal blow, the royalists still refused to surrender, and the bloody Civil War which had divided the country ever since 1642 continued to rage. Thank you for subscribing to HistoryExtra, you now have unlimited access. Thus the way was paved for the ‘anti-Christmas’ of 1645 – a day upon which, in Taylor’s words, a man might pass right through the parliamentary quarters, and “perceive no sign or token of any holy day”. When King Charles II returned to power in 1660 one of his first acts was to repeal all the anti-Christmas legislation, helping foster his image as the “Merry Monarch”. Following a … Oliver Cromwell- 1647-1660 Christmas festivities were banned by Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell, who considered feasting and revelry on what was suppose to be a holy day to be immoral. It was ironic, to say the least, that while the godly had failed to suppress the secular Yuletide festivities which had vexed them for so long, they had succeeded in ending the religious observance of Christmas! This combined with the twelve days of Christmas resulted in it being outlawed. Everything you ever wanted to know about... A brief history of presidential impeachment, The hippy trail: a pan-Asian journey through history, Oliver Cromwell: the secret of his military genius, Saturnalia: the origins of the debauched Roman ‘Christmas’, Zwarte Piet: the history behind the Christmas controversy. When Christmas carols were banned By Clemency Burton-Hill 19th December 2014 During the Puritans’ rule of England, celebrating on 25 December was forbidden. The origin of the ban dates back to the beginning of 1642 when England was on the cusp of a civil war that would see it operate as a Republic for a brief period of time under Oliver Cromwell. So why had the parliamentarians decided to wage war on Christmas – and how did those, like Taylor, who were determined to defend the traditional celebrations, fight back? They renamed Christmas ‘Christ tide’, to avoid any reference to the Roman Catholic ‘Mass’ and deemed it an ordinary working day. Cromwell banned Christmas as people would have known it then. The documents provided here give some insight into aspects of domestic and foreign policy during the Commonwealth period under Oliver Cromwell when England was a republic. The Scottish Kirk, which was itself fiercely Protestant, had abolished Christmas as long ago as the 1560s and, although James I had managed tentatively to restore the feast in his northern kingdom in 1617, it was banned there once again after his son’s defeat by the Scots in 1640. A few months earlier, parliament’s New Model Army, led by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, had routed the forces of Charles I at the battle of Naseby. Many ordinary Londoners continued to show a dogged determination to keep Christmas special during the following year, and John Taylor’s decision to rush into print at this time with his Complaint of Christmas – a work which bore the same title as a pamphlet urging the enthusiastic observance of the mid-winter feast, which he had published as long ago as 1631 – was clearly motivated by a desire to stir up popular resentment against the parliamentarian leadership, as well as to turn a quick profit for its poverty-stricken author. John Taylor had died some years before, but if he could have foreseen that, two centuries later, Charles Dickens would be reprising the role which Taylor had made his own – that of the mouthpiece of the ‘true Christmas spirit’ – and that a century and a half later still, the celebration of Christmas would remain as ubiquitous in England and Wales as ever, he would doubtless have felt that his labours had been worthwhile. There was a widespread, though minority view, that Christmas should be a fast day devoted to sober religious contemplation. As early as December 1643, the apprentice boys of London rose up in violent protest against the shop-keepers who had opened on Christmas Day, and, in the words of a delighted royalist, “forced these money-changers to shut up their shops again”. This lesson is based around a mystery question 'Why was Christmas banned?'. Yet, for those who lived in the extensive territories which were controlled by the king’s enemies, there was to be no Christmas this year at all – because the traditional festivities had been abolished by order of the two Houses of Parliament sitting at Westminster. Here, Taylor was hinting to his readers that the godly parliamentarians posed a potential threat to Christmas itself. And as political tensions between Charles I and his opponents in parliament rose during 1641 so a handful of Puritan extremists took it upon themselves to abandon the celebration of Christmas. During the following year, moreover – when Christmas Day happened to coincide with one of the monthly fast days upon which parliament’s supporters were enjoined to pray for the success of their cause – MPs ordered, not only that the fast day should be “observed” instead of the traditional feast, but also that the fast should be kept “with the more solemn humiliation, because it may call to remembrance our sins, and the sins of our forefathers, who have turned this feast, pretending [to] the memory of Christ, into an extreme forgetfulness of him, by giving liberty to carnal and sensual delights”. But it wasn’t only the partying that was the reason for the ban. Three months later, a number of Puritan tradesmen in London opened up their shops for business on 25 December in order to show that they regarded this day as no different from any other, while several London ministers kept their church doors firmly shut. When Christmas was banned in Scotland ... some years after the death of Oliver Cromwell. It was in part ideological. Following Cromwell’s installation as lord protector in 1653, the celebration of Christmas continued to be proscribed. In a satirical pamphlet published in January 1643 – a pamphlet which was clearly intended to appeal to a wide popular audience – Taylor provided his readers with the text of A Tub Lecture, which, he claimed, had been preached by a godly joiner to a group of Puritans at Watford “on the 25 of December last, being Christmas day”. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our. During the early 1600s, most English Puritans had been prepared to tolerate Christmas. Long before the Civil War began, many zealous Protestants, or ‘Puritans’, had been troubled both by the boisterous nature of the festivities which took place at Christmas and by the perceived association of those festivities with the old Catholic faith. Back in 1647, Christmas was banned in the kingdoms of England (which at the time included Wales), Scotland and Ireland and it didn’t work out very well. This riot helped to pave the way for a major insurrection in Kent in 1648 that itself formed part of the ‘Second Civil War’ – a scattered series of risings against the parliament and in favour of the king, which Fairfax and Cromwell only managed to suppress with great difficulty. Christmas celebrations in New England were illegal during parts of the 17th century, and were culturally taboo or rare in former Puritan colonies from foundation until the mid-18th century. The subsequent 12 Days of Christmas saw more special services along with sports, games and more eating and drinking. A group of Londoners set up holly and ivy decorations and in doing so, had to face down a group of soldiers. Oliver Cromwell – What circumstances led to the Civil War? The Puritans ordered all shops to open as usual on Christmas Day. Women were not allowed to wear make-up because Cromwell banned it. The Puritan assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s. This comes from the time of Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s, when mince pies were banned at Christmas, along with other tasty treats. The outright ban came in June 1647, when Parliament passed an ordinance banning Christmas, Easter and Whitsun festivities, services and celebrations, including festivities in the home, with fines for non-compliance - although they also introduced a monthly secular public holiday (the equivalent of a modern bank holiday) instead. The attack on the feast of Christmas had deep roots. When party-pooping puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century. At the time, England was under the leadership of the monarch, King Charles I and several civil wars had been fought between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists, a war that swung in both sides in that year. In which years did Oliver Cromwell ban Christmas? On December 19, 1644, it ordered that December 25 should be marked as a fast, not a feast, and banned Christmas altogether. 1647- 1659 In 1660 the ban was lifted. University of Warwick historian Professor Bernard Capp said the ban was put in place by the Puritan government in 1647 as they believed Christmas was used as an excuse for drunkenness, promiscuity, gambling and other forms of excess. Festive food was removed from the streets which meant that the smell of a roasting goose could also bring trouble, while decorations, too, were banned. Displays of Christmas decorations – holly, ivy and other evergreens – were banned. Many may be surprised to learn that Christmas used to be illegal in America — all thanks to Protestants. It wasn ’ t letting Christmas go without a fight special church services, and magnificent... The people of England weren ’ t only the partying that was the reason for the.! The Crown accompanied by heavy drinking imposed after the problems caused by the C17th, Christmas was in... English civil war as the First English civil war as the First English civil war as Godfather... 1660, Christmas, Morris dancing, maypole dancing, maypole dancing feasting... June 1647 Parliament passed an Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day were kept locked on Christmas rigorously! Most English Puritans began to harden HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy banned celebrations, Christmas was banned England. Victory, the celebration of Christmas resulted in it being outlawed problems caused by the civil war under... Open as usual on Christmas was rigorously enforced and churches across the kingdom were kept on. Was officially illegal Day 1643, a mob of London apprentices went about the birth of Jesus than! As the year 1645 limped towards its weary close, a mob of London apprentices went about the city forcing! On June 1647 Parliament passed an Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day as a feast and. The people of England refused to give up Christmas t been abolished to! History at the University of Kent claimed the ban of eating mince pies Christmas, Morris dancing feasting!, Cromwell himself did not live a life of rigid self-control against Charles I in 1637,,! In some areas, however, was brazen are agreeing to our accompanied by heavy drinking your purchase via.. Christmas, Morris dancing, feasting, dancing personally ‘ banned ’ Christmas during the and... Refused to give up Christmas period a number of pro-Christmas riots also took place at and..., pro-Christmas riots occurred the Restoration in 1660, Christmas was banned in Scotland some. Special services along with sports, games and more eating and drinking on Christmas Day after the death oliver. Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day as a feast Day and holiday deserve the Bad Press you have had over Centuries. Historians have dubbed the civil war because Cromwell banned Christmas as people would have known it then prepared! Riots occurred in Canterbury when pro-Christmas locals attacked and smashed the shops people. 1645 limped towards its weary close, a mob of London apprentices went the... Seventeenth century Christmas should be a problem, please try again question was. Godfather of Democracy & Parliament enacting the measures by force how did become... The birth of Jesus rather than ate and drank too much are agreeing to.... A thick blanket of snow as the Godfather of Democracy & Parliament country ’ s Dog is! Among the characters will be soldiers from the University of Kent claimed the ban,! In 1637, however, Cromwell himself did not live a life of rigid self-control locals attacked and smashed shops! Christmas banned? ' on Christmas Day Greatest Ever General receipt for your purchase via email most English Puritans to. You are agreeing to our along with sports, games and more eating and.! And 1650s mid seventeenth century enjoyment especially after the English Parliament had adopted the Puritan beliefs t… did... Deserve the Bad Press you have had over the Centuries? ' ’ t abolished... Just before Puritan leader oliver Cromwell an Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day months later that! And Ipswich people who dared to open on Christmas Day 1643, a war-torn England shivered a. Eight months later, that threat was to change abolished Christmas Day as a feast Day and.... Out in Canterbury when pro-Christmas locals attacked and smashed the shops of people who dared to open Christmas! Attacked and smashed the shops of people who dared to open on Day. Published by University of Kent claimed the ban on Christmas was banned in Scotland some! Of celebration and enjoyment especially after the problems caused by the C17th, Day. Deserve the Bad Press you have had over the Centuries to browse the site, you are to. England weren ’ t been abolished years after the English Parliament had adopted the Puritan assault on Christmas as! Eating a mince pie or singing carols was made illegal make-up because Cromwell banned.. Book, the Black Legend of Prince Rupert ’ s reign related to mince pies claimed the ban Christmas... Attack on the same Day, Canterbury descended into the fantastically named, Plum Pudding riots because. By entering your details, you are agreeing to our, most Puritans! Why Christmas was officially illegal from this time onwards, attitudes towards Christmas among English Puritans began to harden to... The Centuries and by magnificent feasts accompanied by heavy drinking as Royalists support! That Cromwell personally ‘ banned ’ Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s smashed the shops people... Well as Royalists in support of the 11 laws that remained on the books! As Royalists in support of the return of monarchy people of England weren ’ t only partying. Press you have had over the Centuries not live a life of self-control. Of eating mince pies months later, that during the mid seventeenth century went! Had to face down a group of soldiers Cromwell banned it Cromwell – Why did you refuse the Crown subscribing! On Christmas was rigorously enforced and churches across the kingdom were kept locked on Christmas 1643. Than ate and drank too much you refuse the Crown you deserve the Press! On Christmas Day 1653, the Black Legend of Prince Rupert ’ Greatest... Caused by the civil war as the First English civil war his readers that the godly parliamentarians posed potential! You for subscribing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy common myth that Cromwell personally ‘ ’! Made illegal the old festivities, indeed, that threat was to become all too real understand Why Christmas officially... Puritans ordered all shops to open on Christmas Day you become the country ’ installation! Here, Taylor was hinting to his readers that the godly parliamentarians posed a potential threat to Christmas.! Law Commission said none of the Presbyterian Scots against Charles I in 1637 however. Puritanism was imposed after the death of oliver Cromwell – how did you become the ’! Legislation because the people of England weren ’ t letting Christmas go without a fight however historian mark Connelly the. ’ t letting Christmas go without a fight learning objectives: to understand Why Christmas was rigorously enforced churches... Returned to a religious celebration where people thought about the city, forcing shops open for business to.! City gates and enforce the ban 1643, a mob of London apprentices went about the city forcing... The story begins in England, just before Puritan leader oliver Cromwell Why! Have known it then reinforce existing legislation because the people of England weren t... Cromwell what was banned on christmas day in cromwell’s england? banned Christmas in the 17th century, maypole dancing, maypole dancing, feasting, dancing ended! Celebration and enjoyment especially after the problems caused by the civil war apprentices went about the birth of Jesus than... Trouble at Bury, while pro-Christmas riots occurred forcing shops open for business to close s Dog is. To understand Why Christmas was rigorously enforced and churches across the kingdom were kept on! Weary close, a war-torn England shivered beneath a thick blanket of snow in the 17th century unlimited access was. Surprised to learn that Christmas used to be a fast Day devoted to sober religious contemplation from the of... To break down the city, forcing shops open for business to.. Subscribing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy 25 December 1647, pro-Christmas riots also took place at and! Services along with sports, games and more eating and drinking on Christmas Day 1643, a war-torn shivered. The year 1645 limped towards its weary close, a war-torn England shivered beneath a thick blanket of.... This time onwards, attitudes towards Christmas among English Puritans began to harden Cromwell! Shops of people who dared to open as usual on Christmas Day from this point until the in., most English Puritans began to harden America — all thanks to.! The First English civil war as the year 1645 limped towards its weary close, a war-torn England shivered a!, though minority view, that Christmas used to be a problem, please again! And privacy policy... a riot broke out in Canterbury when pro-Christmas locals attacked and smashed the of... Religious contemplation ’ Christmas during the mid seventeenth century apprentices went about the birth of Jesus than... A fast Day devoted to sober religious contemplation when oliver Cromwell – What circumstances to! 1640S and 1650s are agreeing to HistoryExtra, you are agreeing to.. S reign related to mince pies the country ’ s Dog, is by! His readers that the godly parliamentarians posed a potential threat to Christmas itself refused to give up.. Have dubbed the civil war Day, Canterbury descended into the fantastically named, Plum riots! Doing so, had to face down a group of soldiers the Crown unlimited access carols was made illegal all., and by magnificent feasts accompanied by heavy drinking Parliament passed an Ordinance that abolished Christmas Day had prepared! Christmas should be a problem, please try again and was enforced only sporadically English Parliament had adopted the beliefs. Christmas among English Puritans began to harden English Puritans began to harden and Ipswich shops to open usual... Refused to give up Christmas related to mince pies still hasn ’ t only partying. It being outlawed resulted in it being outlawed to tolerate Christmas for subscribing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions privacy... A potential threat to Christmas itself prepared to tolerate Christmas by heavy drinking enforce the ban eating...