Master Mummers - Quaint Lore of Nottinghamshire, Treasury of County Folklore IV (S.J.Coleman (no date))

S.J.Coleman (no date)


Source:

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.

Index Terms:

Locations: *Notts.
Subjects: Mummers; Plough Bullock Day; Plough Monday; Plough Bullocks; House Visiting; Costumes; St. George; Turkish Knight; Old Squire; Beelzebub; Folklore
People: Stanley Jackson Coleman (Auth.)
Archives: 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.