1

“In the feast of Christmas,” says Stow in his “Survey,” “there was in the King's House, wheresoever he lodged, a Lord of Misrule, or Master of merry disports, and the like had ye in the house of every nobleman of honour or good worship, were he spiritual or temporal.

So a lord of misrule is in the King's house? What does "and the like had ye in the house of every nobleman of honour or good worship, were he spiritual or temporal." mean and which part of the sentence does it link to?

2

This is Early Modern English (Stow was a 16th-century antiquarian) and has several uses which are rare or obsolete today.

  • The like — this is a now rare use of the adjective like, meaning "similar", as a nominal

  • Ye is the old 2nd-person plural pronoun

  • The object of the verb had, the like, is moved to the front of the clause for emphasis

  • good worship employs worship as a noun with the sense entitled to respect, a use which is now obsolete

  • were with a third-person singular subject is the so-called "subjunctive", which was then used much more widely in conditional contexts. In many cases, as here, it implies a conditional construction; in this case, since the complement is an or conjunct, it implies a whether clause.

  • temporal and spiritual are the two broad categories of nobility: "lords temporal" had that dignity by virtue of their hereditary ownership of land or of some important office under the Crown, "lords spiritual" by virtue of an office in the Church.

HAVE, the verb in this clause, is employed in the sense "have before one, find"—in effect, "exist". This is still in use.

The entire passage, then, may be paraphrased

... and there was a similar Lord of Misrule in the house of every distinguished noble, whether his title was lay or clerical.

0

“In the feast of Christmas,” says Stow in his “Survey,” “there was in the King's House, wheresoever he lodged, a Lord of Misrule, or Master of merry disports, and the like had ye in the house of every nobleman of honour or good worship, were he spiritual or temporal.

This is not contemporary English. "ye" is an archaic form for "you".

Stow, in his Survey says that there was a "Lord of Misrule" in the King's House wherever he happened to stay, during the Christmas feast. That Lord of Misrule was a master of merry activities, and you had a similar fellow in the house of every nobleman of honor or good reputation, whether his nobility happened to be through the church or by blood.

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