Antrobus (SJ6479), Cheshire

V.Alford (1952)

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 is captioned;

"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

[Anon.] (Auth.)
*ANTROBUS [Souling Play]
W.M.Comber et al (1961), p.16,photo.

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.

J.Simpson (1981)

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: Guidelines".

* indicates data that not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.