Coxbench (SK3743), Derbyshire
Rosemary Meynell (Auth.)
Come, Brave Bow Slash and his men [Three Derbys. Guisers' plays]
Dec.1957/Jan.1958, Vol.23, No.1, pp.22-23,35
A remarkable article describing and giving the texts of three Derbyshire
Guisers' (Guisering) plays, and fragments of a fourth. These are;
(1) Play performed about 1897 at Horsley, written down by Mr. Jim Burton of
Lower Kilburn. The characters were No. One, No. Two/Bow Slash, No.
Three/Doctor, No. Four/Old Belzebub
(2) Play written down by Mr. G. Gibson of Breaston, and performed in the Hilton
district. It was taken to "locals" at Marston, Hoon, Hilton and Egginton on
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The characters were Bulguyar, King
George, Woman, Doctor, Belzebub/Bel-ze-bub, Mr. Miller
(3) Play performed at Kirk Hallam about 1907, and written down by Mr. James
Carrier. The characters were First Guiser/Opener, King George, Young Turk,
Princess of Paradise, Doctor/Doctor M.D. Brown and Betsy Betsy Belzebub
(4) Brief recollections of the authoress of Guisers visiting Coxbench from
Holbrook performed sometime after 1918. The characters included, Prince,
Doctor, Bold Robin Hood, and a Suffragette.
Doris Howe (Auth.)
The Story of Holbrook [includes Guising]
Cromford: Scarthin Books, 1984, 0-907758-05-3
A book concerning the local history of the parish of Holbrook,
Derbys. Chapter VII covers customs; The Wakes, Damson Sunday, Guising, Tin
Panning, Old Emma (a drug), and Squirrel Hunting. The description of Guisers
includes the texts of three plays, collected by a Miss Clark, and a number of
other bits of information.
The first text (70 lines), entitled "Old Belzebub", was performed in Holbrook
village and had the characters; No.1 [introducer], Old Guy, No.3/King George,
Doctor, and Old Belzebub.
The second text (27 lines), entitled "Sanken Benny", was reputedly from
Holbrook Moor. This had the characters; No.1 [introducer], Old Sanken Benny,
The last text (49 lines) is entitled "Robin Hood, Arthur and John". The
characters are; No.1, No.2 and Little John. Which if No.1 and No.3 is Robin
Hood and which Arthur is unclear. This is essentially a dramatisation of the
ballad "Robin Hood and the Tanner"
The authoress herself witnessed a performance about 1915. She cites an undated
general article by Miss A.B.Smedley in the 'Derby Evening Telegraph', and
R.Meynell's (1957/58) account of the Holbrook Guisers visiting Coxbench Hall at
Finally, she relates an anecdote from Mr. Jim Brown about when the paper
streamers of his costume caught fire. His play included St. George and Turk.