Christmas plays, masques, pageants and the like were largely patronized by the Tudor sovereigns, and the fashion set by the. Court was followed in the country. Queen Elizabeth was not only devoted to the drama, and herself performed, but she was very critical and exacting; and the high demand which she did so much to stimulate, was followed by ,such supply as was given by the surpassing dramatic genius of the Elizabethan age of literature. Later, Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones combined to produce the Court masks, one of which, ? the well-known "Mask of Christmas," had for chief characters, Christmas and his children, Misrule, Carol, Mince Pie, Gambol, Post and Pair, New Years? Gift, Mumming, Wassel, Offering, and Baby?s Cake. In the 17th century the Christmas Mummeries of the Inns of Court were conducted with great magnificence and at large cost.
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