Nottinghamshire Guardian (1931)
F. B. (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Plough Monday "Patter"
"Mr.A.Barker, Nottingham, asks if we can supply any of the 'patter'
used by mummers in Plough Monday celebrations. On this subject a
local historian wrote: 'Until a few years ago Plough Monday was a
great day with the agricultural labourers. Bodies of them used to
parade the village streets adorned with paper finery, and their
cheeks dyed a deep red by the application of ochre, soliciting
contributions with the request 'Remember the Plough Bullocks.' The
writer has a distinct recollection of a party of them visiting his
father's house at night adorned with paint and feathers, and
performing a play. The text of this grotesque representation is
given in 'Hone's Every Day Book' as one used by Christmas mummers,
though it was customery to intersperse songs and speeches appropriate
to the occasion, according to the skill of the actors. The play
commenced with one of the party delivering the following little
prologue: Room, a room, brave gallants room,
Within this room I do resort To show some sport And pastime.
Gentlemen and ladies in the present time.
'Then appear other members of the company such as Plough Bullock,
a Turkish Knight and St. George. The two latter enter into a fierce
encounter with swords, which adds to the excitement of the scene.
The Turkish Knight is mortally wounded, but a doctor comes in to try
and cure him. Other actors in the play are an Old Squire, Hub-Hub,
and the Box-Holder'.
An Old Mumming Play. As our correspondent asks for some of the
'patter' or spoken in the mumming plays - which also served for
Plough Monday - we give extracts from one which has survived in
There follows 31 lines of text spoken by St. George, The Turkish
Knight, Doctor, Beelzebub or Hub-Hub and Box Holder. There is no
indication of where the text comes from. However the account in
the first paragraph is evidently taken from C.Brown (1891) -
Play; Plough Monday; Mumming; Guising; Christmas; Hone,W. (1827); Text Fragments; Brown,C. (1891); Plough Bullocks; St. George; Turkish Knight; Beelzebub; Hub-Hub; Box Holder; Old Squire
Mr. A. Barker (Enquirer)
TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00010;
Local Notes & Queries Scrapbook, 1931-32, p.9
* 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.