Willingham (SK8784), Lincolnshire

I.T.Jones Collection (1881, Census - Willingham)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
A Plough Monday Frolic: 1881 Census - Willingham
I.T.Jones Collection, Recorded 1881, Ref.L5-2

Census returns housed in Lincoln Library. 1881 Census reel 26 covers Willingham. The following names match those in Retford & Gainsborough Times (1882)

a. John Butler, age 18, labourer, lived in High Street

b. George Rawson, age 24, unmarried, indoor farm servant, lived in Stow Road, born in Kirton, Lincs.

Retford & Gainsborough Times (1882)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
Retford & Gainsborough Times, 20th Jan.1882, No.612, p.2f

Court case concerning six men from Willingham who ploughed up five asparagus beds, a celery row and some raspberry canes belonging to a surgeon in Willingham on Plough Monday. The defending counsel said they were called plough fags and thought that they had a right to plough the garden because they did not receive any money.

Lincolnshire Chronicle (1882)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
Lincolnshire Chronicle, 20th Jan.1882, No.2743, pp.7f-g

"...James Houghton, David Linton, James Hudson, John Butler, George Murlin and George Strawson were charged with maliciously damaging a number of raspberry canes, an asparagus bed and the lawn of the rectory of Willingham, belonging to Dr. Sutton and others. It appeared that the defendants, on the 9th January, obtained a plough and got some boys to pull, and then they went into the gardens and did considerable damage. P.C.Spray proved the case. Fined 8s10d including costs."

I.T.Jones Collection (1983, I.T.Jones - d)

Mr. Idwal Jones (Col.)
A Plough Monday Frolic: Notes [Willingham, Lincs. 1882]
I.T.Jones Collection, Written 1983, Ref.L5-1

The Retford & Gainsborough Times (1882) describes a case in the Gainsborough Petty Sessions where 5 men from Willingham were convicted of ploughing through 5 asparagus beds and a celery row and destroying some raspberry canes on Plough Monday 12/1/1882. The prosecutor said that these people were plough fags and when they did not get any money they imagined they had the right to plough across the garden. Lincolnshire Chronicle (1882) gives a similar account but describes them damaging a number of raspberry canes, an asparagus bed and the lawns of the rectory and gives the name of one defendant as George Strawson and not George Rawson.

Gainsborough Petty Sessions records at Lincoln Castle Archives only begin in 1910. Census returns could give more information on the plough fags.

This research is described in I.T.Jones (1983) - TD00586