Parson Woodforde's Christmas

31/12/2018

The Revd James Woodforde was my great-great-great-grandfather's uncle. He is notable for his diaries which span more than half a century, recording his time in Oxford and his many years as a parson of a quiet Norfolk parish.  They were published in edited form by OUP in the 1920s, and have been in print ever since.

Parson James described many Christmas events and activities whilst at Weston Longville in Norfolk.  Here is one entry from over two hundred years ago:

25 Dec. 1786 -  It being Christmas Day, I had the following old men dine at my House on roast beef & plumb Pudding and after Dinner half a Pint of strong ale and a shilling to each to carry home to their Wives - Richd Buck, Thos Cushing, Thos Cary, Thos Carr, Nathaniel Heavers, John Buckman, and my Clerk Js Smith.

The famous portrait of James Woodforde, which once hung above the mantlepiece in my grandfather's front room (where I celebrated many a Christmas when I was a child) is by Samuel Woodforde RA, the parson's nephew.  It is now in All Saint's Church in Weston Longville.