Boy Bishop Token

A token issued by the church to commemorate the election of a 'boy bishop'. In the medieval period a choir boy was chosen to act as bishop for the Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28th) or the feast of St Nicholas (December 8th). On the eve of the feast day the boy and his colleagues took possession of the church or cathedral and performed all the ceremonies except for mass. The boy would be given a coin issued by the Church as a token of his election together with several more which he would then distribute amongst the poorest children in the village. The practice was abolished by Elizabeth I.

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