15th – 17th January

15th January is an important historical day. On this date in 1535 King Henry VIII became Supreme Head of the Church of England under the Act of Supremacy. Twenty four years later, in 1559, his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, was crowned in Westminster Abbey on this day.

17th January marks the old twelfth night, under the old calendar. In former times this day and night were particularly important, and were marked by festivities rivalling those of Christmas Day itself. Exchange of gifts, and the performance of plays and holding of pageants took place throughout the land. Exotic cakes were cooked and eaten, and in later times gambling took place among the upper echelons of society.