Religious Reform in Seventeenth Century England
…witnessed the trial and execution of a king, the formation of a republic in England, a theocracy in Scotland and the subjugation of Ireland. 
… encouraging subjects to treat the mid-winter period '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 the memory of Christ, into an extreme forgetfulness of him, by giving liberty to carnal and sensual delights'.
The origins of Christmas stretch back thousands of years to prehistoric celebrations around the midwinter solstice. And many of the traditions we cherish today have been shaped by centuries of changing beliefs, politics, technology, taste and commerce.
'Lord of Misrule' & the Christmas Cracker
The Scottish Ban on Christmas
In the Christmas of either 1563 or 1564, Mary, Queen of Scots (r. 1561-1567) held a ball at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where she and her guests celebrated the ‘Feast of the Bean’. The ritual began at the start of the Christmas period and involved hiding a bean in a cake: the person to find it would be crowned ‘King/Queen of the Bean’. In this year, Mary Fleming, who was one of the Queen’s ladies, found the bean and was dressed in the Queen’s clothes as a prize.
In 1575 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland abolished ‘all days that hereto have been kept holy except the Sabbath day, such as Yule day, saints’ days and such others’. Nevertheless, Scots continued to celebrate Hogmanay. Changes in church government meant that in 1640 and again in 1690 Parliament abolished the ‘Yule Vacance’ observed by the courts. The 1640 Act stated:
“….the Kirk within this kingdom is now purged of all superstitious observations of dates…thairfor the Saudis estates have discharged and simply dischairges the foirsaid Yule vacance and all observation thairof in tymecoming”
“…the Kirk within this kingdom is now purged of all superstitious observation of days…therefore the said estates have discharged and simply discharge the foresaid Yule vacation and all observation thereof in time coming”
Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (www.rps.ac.uk)
The National Archives: Women and the English Civil Wars, How did these conflicts affect their lives?
The BCW Project, British Civil Wars, Commonwealth & Protectorate 1638 – 1660
BBC History, (Extracts from the diary of Samuel Pepys explained)
An Instance of the Fingerpost (Readers Guide Only)
 Historic England, Did Oliver Cromwell really ban Christmas?
 English Heritage takes a tour of ‘Christmas’ through the ages starting 5000 years ago with the Neolithic
 Christmas at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
 National Records of Scotland, Christmas Banned in Scotland