S.J.Coleman (no date)
S. Jackson Coleman (Auth.)
*Quaint lore of Nottinghamshire, Treasury of County Folklore IV
*[Douglas]: Folklore Fellowship, [c.1950], [19pp.]
Mimeographed pamphlet designed to encourage schoolchildren to study local
folklore. It covers a wide range of customs, superstitions, tales, etc.
[p.6] "MUMMERS' PLAY ON PLOUGH BULLOCK DAY
Plough Monday was an agricultural festival
celebrated in most Notts. villages until a couple
of generations ago. It was regarded as a
'red letter day' by the village boys, who, adorned with paper finery, and
with their cheeks dyed a deep red, paraded the lanes soliciting contributions
with requests to 'Remember the Plough Bullocks'. As the evening
approached, the turn of the farm labourers came. These excelled the
efforts of the juveniles so far as their persona[l] adornment was concerned.
Paints, feathers, strange clothes and other articles were brought into
requisition. The men generally met at some appointed place and then
visited the residences of the tradesmen and farmers. After being admitted
into the kitchen the 'mummers' - as they were termed - would clear the
furniture aside and prepare to enact a traditional play in which St.
George and a Turkish Knight took the leading part, a circumstance which
readily suggests that it was at least as old as the Crusades. An exciting
encounter ended in the Turkish Knight being struck down by St. George.
Other characters introduced into the Notts. version included the old
Squire and Beelzebub. At the end of the performance one of the men
stepped forward, and, rattling a collection box, made the declaration:
Ladies and Gentlemen, or story is ended,
Our money box is recommended,
Four or five shillings will do us no harm.
'The plough bullocks' then proceeded to other farm houses to repeat the
performance, winding up the day with a supper and jollifications at the
nearest public house."
The copy in Nottingham Central Library only as 17 pages and lacks any reference to the Folklore Fellowship. It may therefore be incomplete.
Mummers; Plough Bullock Day; Plough Monday; Plough Bullocks; House Visiting; Costumes; St. George; Turkish Knight; Old Squire; Beelzebub; Folklore
Stanley Jackson Coleman (Auth.)
TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00264;
Notts. County Library, Local Studies Division, Ref.qL39 Coleman
* indicates data that has not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.
Last Updated Apr 1986 by Peter Millington.