E. B. (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES &.QUERIES: Origin of Plough Monday
"I do not know if the plough is still drawn about Notts. and
Derbyshire villages on Plough Monday but I remember the time
when 'plough bullocks' with blackened faces, used to come round
like carol singers and collect money in Nottingham streets.
The first Monday after Twelfth Day is commonly said to have been
called Plough Monday because ploughing was resumed on that day.
But this is only part of the origin. Blomefield's 'History of
Norfolk' explains that in old times the church 'plough light'
was maintained by husbandmen and on Plough Monday they went about
with a plough and dancers in procession to get money to maintain
the light which was kept burning in the church before some saint.
'Money for light' was the old demand of the 'plough bullocks'
but in later times their chief object was 'money for beer' - E.B.,
While E.B. cites F.Blomefield's (1775) views on plough trailing
and Plough Lights. This would probably have been taken from a
secondary source, rather than the original.
Nottingham, Notts. (SK5739); Norfolk
Plough Trailing; Plough Lights; Plough Monday; Plough Bullocks; House Visiting; Blomefield,F. (1775)
TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00006;
Local Notes & Queries Scrapbook, 1918-1922, p.113
* indicates data that has not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.
Last Updated Apr 2005 by Idwal Jones.