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Tudor Minute December 6: Happy St Nicholas Day

Today is St. Nicholas Day, a day devoted to children in the Tudor period. During the feast of St. Nicholas, a boy from the choir would be chosen as the Boy Bishop, a tradition that dated from the Anglo Saxon period. He would do do everything a Bishop would do, except lead mass. He would lead processions around the community, conduct Church services, and wear the full Bishop’s dress. This would continue until the Holy Innocents Day (28th December).

Many of the great cathedrals adopted this custom including York, Winchester, Salisbury Canterbury and Westminster. Henry VIII abolished Boy Bishops, however a few churches, including Hereford and Salisbury Cathedrals, continue the practice today.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at