Antrobus (SJ6479), Cheshire
Violet Alford (Auth.)
Introduction to English Folklore
London: G.Bell & Son Ltd., 1952
This is a general folklore book, with the main chapter headings; I. What
Folklore is, II. The Calendar, III. Village Seasonal Life, IV. Our Dances and
Drama, V. Our Songs and Their Folklore, VI. Our Tales, and VII. A Page of
Magic. Chapter IV is subdivided into; 1. The Sword Dance, 2. The Play
[i.e. the St. George Play], 3. The Other Play [i.e. the Plough Play], 4. The
Morris Dance, and 5. Our Country Dances.
A number of plays from from all over the country are aluded to, but none in
any individual detail. A.Brice's reference to the play in Exeter (allegedly
1738) is given, as is the tune of the Mummers' Carol from Overton, Hants.
One of the photographs (facing p.40) shows seven characters in costume, and
"Ib. Plough Play Mummers, Tollerton, Notts., coming down the street." This
does not appear to be referred to in the text of the book. The list of
illustrations credits the photo to the "Nottingham Guardian".
Other photos show; The Old Tup from Handsworth, Yorks., the White Horse of
the Burringham, Lincs., Plough Jags, North Waltham, Hants., Mummers, and the
Wild Horse, Antrobus, Ches., 1952.
W.M.Comber et al (1961) p.16
*ANTROBUS [Souling Play]
W.M.Comber et al (1961),
A chapter on the local history of Antrobus, Ches. It states;
"Mr. Arnold Boyd (1885-1959) wrote articles and books about bird life in
Cheshire and about its folklore. He helped to revive the Soul-Caking Play for
which Antrobus is famed. It has much in common with old Mummers' Plays and is
performed round about All Souls Day inside houses that are visited in turn by
the 'Gang'. Nowadays the 'Gang' travel by car but the horse's head they use is
well over one hundred years old. In a fight between King George and the Black
Prince the latter is slain. Mr.Boyd describes the play as of great antiquity
with restoration to life of a dead man and appearance of a man in woman's
clothes as salient points."
A photograph showing King George and the Black Prince crossing swords is
reprinted from the "Farmer's Weekly", 22nd Dec.1950.
Jaqueline Simpson (Auth.)
London: The Post Office, 1981
This is a series of seven work cards produced by the Post Office for
use in schools. They accompany the commemorative stamps issued on 6th
Feb.1981. One is headed; "Entertainments: Mumming and Hobby Horses".
It features two photos of Marshfield, Glos., Mummers, and one of Antrobus,
Ches., play. There is also a description of the Antrobus horse, and a
general account of folk plays. Another card, headed "The Calendar:
Hallowe'en and Mayday" includes one photo of the Antrobus, Ches. play
team. "Folklore on the Farm" details a Plough Monday custom practised by
the Young Farmers' Club at Exeter Cathedral. The other work cards are:-
"The Lore of the Landscape", "Superstitions: Luck and Charms",
Supernatural: Fairies, Witches and Dragons", and "Teacher's Notes:
* indicates data that not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.