Did the Puritans dislike Christmas pudding?

Last fall while speaking at Hespeler Baptist Church on the Puritans a friend gave me a page she had found in the catalogue of a British firm that shipped various British foods overseas. This particular page advertised Christmas pudding.


Part of the ad ran thus: “Christmas pudding should be so wickedly good it makes you feel like repenting. That’s the effect it had on the Puritans, who, back in Britain in 1664, banned the rich dessert as a lewd tradition. Thankfully, King George gave in to temptation and removed the ban in 1714.”


Pasing by the incredible statement of the first line, it seems as if this ad derived its historical data from this webpage of BBC2: “Traditional Christmas Pudding” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A660836), where we are further informed that the Puritans' argument against the pudding was that “mainly due to its rich ingredients” they deemed it “unfit for God-fearing people.” When George reintroduced it, according to this web page, the Quakers objected, calling it “the invention of the scarlet whore of Babylon.” Doing a quick check, it appears that a number of places on the Web have similar information and the same dates.


There are some obvious problems here. First, the Puritans, if we mean the English Puritans, had no power to be banning anything in 1664 since the Restoration in 1660 had led to their complete removal from the halls of power. Then, the Quakers are not to be confused with the Puritans. King George of the ad is presumably George I (r.1714-1727). George, who spoke virtually not a word of English—he was a Hanoverian from Germany—became king in August of 1714. And it was that December he reinstated the Christmas pudding.


Well, someone who loves the Puritans needs to research this and find out the truth. This would make a very good term paper!