Saturday, 13 April 2013

A-Z Challenge 2013: L is for Lord of Misrule

Imagine you are a lowly servant in a mediaeval palace, castle, or manor house.  Christmas is coming - but during the twelve days of Christmas (from December 25 onwards) you are chosen by lot to be the Lord of Misrule (in Scotland, the Abbot of Unreason; in France, the Prince des Sots).

So, what does the Lord of Misrule do?  The Lord has "licence to organize boisterous activities and to make fun of his social superiors." [The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History, by David Hey]

Although the custom originates in Rome, with much overeating and drunkenness, and slaves being served at the feast by their masters, plus giving them orders, it was also observed in Britain.  It was abolished by Henry VIII in 1541, restored by Mary, then abolished again by Elizabeth I.

6 comments:

  1. The Lord of Misrule had an important role to play--poke fun at the stiff-necked. We all need humor in our lives.
    Francene.
    A - Z Challenge
    http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. I couldn't agree more, Francene! Things can get so depressing when we get too serious. That's why I choose some weird-and-wonderful items for my A-Z Challenge; it's to make people smile as much as maybe learn something they didn't know before. :o)

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  3. Wonder if they had trouble after the holidays.

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  4. You achieved your goal Ros. I found this intriguing and learnt something new too. It put a smile on my face.

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  5. Sounds like my kind of job! At least think I'm funny enough.
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds good fun, doesn't it, Connie? :o)

    ReplyDelete

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