St Nicholas's saints day.
On that day, our ancestors believed this Saint Nicholas brought gifts such as nuts, fruits and marzipan sweets, and with these gifts the ability to foretell the events of the following year. While most of the Fenland community where knocking back the Christmas ale, Crowland Abbey was not so festive. Within the abbey the monks were busy with local and national affairs, on one hand they were trying to keep talk of a local dispute quiet and on the other being quite vocal in its criticism
of Christmas in the court of King Richard III.
at Richard's Christmas parties. The writer of the famous Croyland Chronicle states that he was unable to account for many of the activities in the court at this time “because it is shameful to speak of them” even Queen Anne and Elizabeth of York were considered "vain" because they had more than one party outfit. Richards best buddy, Bishop Thomas Langton, joined these medieval party poopers by stating "‘sensual pleasure holds sway to an increasing extent.’
What on earth did this mean?
Did Richard kiss the lovely Ann more than once under the mistletoe I wonder?
Not one of the writers made any attempt to elaborate on any of the events they were writing about.
Surely, even the pious, like Richard, should not be frowned upon for having a good time, obviously there was more to these statements than meets the eye.
Perhaps these people were just a tad miffed and just bit disgruntled at not to being invited. Did they
watch from a distance or listen enviously to tales told the following morning of how Catesby, Lovell and Ratcliffe danced in silly animal party hats or King Richard drank way too ale and threw iced cakes at the Earl of Warwick.
The Benedictine residents of Crowland Abbey had at their head one Lambert Fossdyke who had been Abbot at Crowland since January 1484 and who was a Bachelor of Law and it was such a man with a degree in law who was considered to be the writer of these malicious rumors about Richard III.
John Russell, Bishop of Lincoln, is commonly thought to be the author but it could just as well have been Fossdyke dictating to one of his monks?