Two years later Charles II, the executed king's son, was back from exile. But, perhaps surprisingly, the nation did not instantly return to the traditional feasting and celebration.The restoration of the monarchy led to the easing of restrictions on pleasure. For most people, Christmas as a time of rejoicing had almost been forgotten in those 18 years, and there was no great groundswell to restore it. He was by now a well-regarded writer of poems, pamphlets and books.
One of them noted that "more mischief is committed at that time than in all the year besides" - a sentiment with which many might agree today.
He went on: "What eating and drinking, what feasting, and all to the great dishonour of God and the impoverishment of the realm."But the Puritans did not just object to over-indulgence. "Christ's Mass" had a ring of Roman Catholicism about it, which was anathema for Protestants.
So the season was changed to "Christ tide" and any celebration confined to one day - of fasting!
Winstanley gave the women homemade perfume and the men quill pens he had expertly cut from feathers, while his wife Anne handed out sweets, jars of jam and slabs of dark, spicy gingerbread. And so to Twelfth Night, to be marked by wassail songs around the tallest apple tree in the orchard and the dousing of its roots with cider for good luck.
Then came the final supper - of roast swan, followed by "caudle Sack [sherry] posset", a thick, extremely alcoholic custard.