“In Ipswich, we are sober and grave.”   -The World Turned Upside Down

“We hate bearbaiting, not because it gives pain to the bear, but because it gives pleasure to the spectators.”

As England shifted to a more puritan lifestyle, people were encouraged to behave with far more restraint. There was to be no drinking, no gambling, no fashionable clothes, no dancing, and no playing football on Sundays. They even banned unnecessary rowing in boats. It was easy to see how such a way of living could easily create a judgemental nation, and as people became more ingrained in showing God how restrained they could be, they became more judgemental of those who just wanted to have fun.

The Christmas Riots

While some people happily accepted the new puritan ways, others were far less willing to give up the things they loved. In 1647, Oliver Cromwell, England’s head of state, ordered a ban on Christmas.

In Ipswich, people armed with spiked clubs wandered the streets persuading shops to close on Christmas Day despite what the Puritan law had ordered. They still wanted to celebrate. Among the chaos was a man actually named Christmas, who subsequently died in the following riots.


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