London (TQ3079), London

P.H.Ditchfield (1896)

P. H. Ditchfield (Auth.)
Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time: An Account of Local Observances, Festival Customs, and Ancient Ceremonies yet Surviving in Great Britain
London: George Redway, 1896, pp.47-50

*This is an oft quoted book. Pages 47-50 describes Plough Monday customs from Cambridgeshire, Great Gransden, Hunts., Lincs. (Plough-Bullocks), Yorks. (Plough-Stotts), Wyverton Hall, Notts., and London. The Wyverton Hall description comes from Chaworth-Musters (1890), and mentions the characters Hopper Joe, Sergeant, Beelzebub and an Old Woman. The book also includes a number of Mummers' plays from southern England.

P.H.Ditchfield (1901)

P. H. Ditchfield (Auth.)
Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time: An Account of Local Observances, Festival Customs, and Ancient Ceremonies yet Surviving in Great Britain
London: Methuen & Co., 1901, pp.47-50

Reprint of P.H.Ditchfield (1896). Q.v. for abstract.

Nottinghamshire Weekly Express (1903)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
*Nottinghamshire Weekly Express, 16th Jan.1903

Article concerning January customs. In the part dealing with Twelfth Night there are quotations from "Notts Gleanings" p. 59 by J.Potter Briscoe.

The Plough Monday section also quotes from Briscoe writing in 1877 but it is unclear if it is the same source. It refers to Plough Bullock Day in Shelford where youngsters go round during the day with hats decorated with strips of coloured paper and red-ochred faces, asking: "Please can you remember the Plough Bullocks?". In the evening youths go out with blackened faces and are followed later by men drawing a plough and saying "My back is made of iron, my body's made of steel, And if you don't believe it, put on your hands and feel". The article goes on to refer to Washington Irving's account of Plough Monday at Newstead Abbey. It also refers to ploughmen keeping plough-lights burning in church in pre-Reformation days.

Finally, an article from the Telegraph on the previous Tuesday is quoted as follows:

"'Plow Monday' in other times, when agriculture was really the greatest interest in the country was the date when the labourers returned to work after the Christmas holidays. It is still marked in the City by a very ancient ceremony - a renewal of certain obligations - which gives the Corporation an extra body of constables, who may be called on at any time the interests of peace in the City require their services. Over 200 officials, headed by the City Marshal, and including the officers of the City Courts and markets and the beadles, are annually placed on this emergency roll, where some of them now figure for the thirtieth time.Accordingly, the Lord Mayor yesterday attended in State at the Guildhall to receive this ready allegiance. A civic officer is by the ceremony entitled to act as a police-constable. For instance, the Lord Mayor is always preceded by the City Marshal and two police outriders and it sometimes happens that the driver of a vehicle is not always disposed to delay his business out of respect for authority, and will try to dash out of a bye-street behind the mounted constables and in front of the mayoral carriage into the official route. In that case the City Marshal has simply to raise his hand just as an ordainary constable does, and the impatient driver, if he declines the warning, has to answer for the offence of endeavouring to pass a policeman who is 'holding him up'. It is not often that this impressive warning is disregarded, and, indeed, the respect in which the chief magistrate is held is so implanted in the Londoner that is is rarely given. In the evening the Lord Mayor extended the hospitality at the Mansion House to his household and the staff of the Corporation, and a very numerous company sat down to dinner."

Nottinghamshire Guardian (1918)

*[Anon.] (Auth.)
Local Notes and Queries: The Old-Time Ploughmen's Guild: Notts Mumming Play Revived.
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 16th Feb.1918

Blurb taken from P.H.Ditchfield (1896) about ploughs being trailed round on Plough Monday to support plough lights, and plough up the doorsteps of those who did not contribute. Mentions Lincs., Plough-bullocks, Yorks., Plough-stots and the City of London's Plough Monday banquet. Re-quotes Ditchfield's quotation relating to Mrs. Chaworth-Musters' account of the play at Wyverton Hall, Notts.

J.M.Rose (1935)

Col. J. Markham Rose (Auth.)
Retford, Gainsborough & Worksop Times, 12th Jul.1935, p.5 a-b

This article gives the full text (123 lines) of a Plough Monday play broadcast by Boy Scouts from East Markham, Notts., in 1935. The introduction gives a general description of Plough Monday, mentioning the Lord Mayor of London's Banquet, plough trailing and malicious ploughing. Extensive details are included of the costumes and the social background of the original performers. The Plough Boys characters were; Tom Fool, Recruiting Sergeant, Plough Boy, Lady Bright and Gay, Cow Boy/Teezum/Squeezum and Doctor. The printed cast list includes a Farmer and Farmer's Wife - clearly introduced for effect just for the broadcast. The Cow Boy's alternative names appear in the dialogue as "In comes I, young teezum, squeezum". Pity about the comma. Following practice in other plays, one would expect a single name Teezum Squeezum rather than two names.

Nottingham Guardian (1947)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
Nottingham Guardian, 13th Jan.1947, No.28269, p.4c

Oddly enough, the Corporation of the City of London is one of the bodies which unfailingly keeps up a twofold observance of Plough Monday. On this day, by ancient usage, a Ward Mote must be held for the purpose of delivering into the Court of Aldermen the returns of those elected to the Court of Common Council, while the Lord Mayor later entertains the Corporation staff at the Mansion House. During the war the formal dinner had to be replaced by luncheon, but this year's Lord Mayor (Sir Bracewell Smith) is reviving the Plough Monday dinner."

The following appears later on:

"One of the most picturesque Plough Monday traditions is associated with Tollerton, Nottinghamshire, where for many years it was the custom to perform a 'plough play.' A band of men in strange costumes and with faces painted visited the farmhouses and other homesteads and performed the play in return for a ration of bread and beer. The play closed with the actors chanting:

'Put bread into our hopper and beer into my can,
Let's hope you never will forget the jolly farmer's man'"

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