East Markham (SK7472), Nottinghamshire

P.H. (1935)

P. H. (Auth.)
East Markham Mumming Play
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 13th Jul.1935

Account of a wireless programme on the last Thursday in June [1935] in the Children's Hour of the Midland programme. Col. Markham Rose explained the East Markham Plough Monday Mumming Play which was represented by the East Markham troop of the Boy Scouts.

Nottinghamshire Guardian (1935c)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
More About East Markham Mummers
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 17th Aug.1935

Gives the end half of the Plough Monday Mummers' play revival from East Markham, Notts., originally published by J.M.Rose (1935). See Nottinghamshire Guardian (1935a) for the first half of the text.

This part of the text (42 lines) has the characters; Cow Boy, Plough Boy, Recruiting Sergeant, Lady, Tom Fool, and Doctor.

Nottinghamshire Guardian (1935a)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
*LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES : East Markham Mummers' Play
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 10th Aug.1935

Gives a description and first part of the text of the Plough Monday play revived at East Markham, Notts. Reprinted from J.M.Rose (1935). Text is given for Tom Fool, Recruiting Sergeant, Plough Boy, and Lady. Cow Boy, Doctor, Farmer's Wife, and Farmer are listed as other characters.

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.

Nottinghamshire Guardian (1939a)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
The End Of Plough Mondays
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 7th Jan.1939

A general description of Plough Monday, with quotations on the disrepute of the custom through malicious ploughing, from W. Howitt (1834). S.R.Hole (1901) and Chaworth-Musters (1890) are also cited. Mentions "guisers", and the characters Robin Hood and Maid Marion.

Places in Notts., listed as having seen the custom within living memory are; Newark, Mansfield, Southwell, Bulwell, Radford, Wiverton, Cropwell, and Tithby (1890), Caunton (1900), and East Markham.

"J.Granby" (1952b)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
Local Notes and Queries: PLOUGH MONDAY'S PLAYS.: Part II
Nottinghamshire Guardian, 12th Jan.1952, No.5565, p.11 b

Crams a lot into three paragraphs. Says that the hobby horse was common on Plough Monday at Mansfield, Cuckney and Elkesley, Notts., until about 1870. Summarises M.W.Barley (1951) - again mis-cited as M.W.Bramley. Mentions the Cropwell/Wiverton play in Chaworth-Musters (1890), recent observances at East Markham and Weston-on-Trent, and the likelihood of Newstead and Southwell as good areas to collect. Ends by citing P.Crawford's (1938) "In England Still"

"J.Granby" (1960a)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
*LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Old customs still exist - but some have a "new look" [Plough Monday in Notts.]
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 12th Mar.1960

Article on extant customs in Nottinghamshire.

"The Monday closest to that date (January 6) is Plough Monday, the day on which the plough was taken round a parish by youths and men, who probably never knew that the money collected from cottagers and others was originally for the maintenance of the farmers' light in church and pocketed it for themselves.

This lingered long into the Victorian era at Radford and Bulwell, but roughness crept in and it was generally abandoned, though the accompanying folk-drama and mumming seem never to have quite died out locally. Mrs. Chaworth-Musters's 'Cavalier Stronghold' gives full details of the play as performed at Wiverton 50 years ago; early in the present century it was flourishing at Caunton, and since then it has been revived at Tollerton and East Markham and perhaps elsewhere."

Other customs mentioned include ringing the pancake-bell on Shrove Tuesday, sports and games on hills on the same day, Mothering Sunday, simnel cakes, and clipping the church.

"J.Granby" (1960b)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Old Christmas customs still survive in Notts.
*Nottingham Guardian Journal, 24th Dec.1960

Article on Christmas customs extant in Nottinghamshire.

"...until recently musicians and *'guisers' in fantastic attire were to be heard and seen at Weston-on-Trent as the mummers were in the Norwell district on Christmas Eve."

"*'GUYSER' – Here we see the use of the word 'Guiser.' It was used by W.H.Lawrence [sic] in the story he wrote around this custom of dressing up and which appeared in the Weekly Guardian of 1907 under the name of Jessie Chambers of Haggs Farm. It was Lawrence's first published work – and the story submitted in his own name was returned. He used this ruse to submit more than one entry because the conditions of the competition stipulated one only. The story was reprinted in the Christmas Weekly of December 1949. 'Guyser' is the form used by Lawrence."


Plough Monday falls on the Monday after Twelfth Night and although villagers no longer perambulate with a plough in quest of pence for the maintenance of the 'ploughman's light' in their parish church the custom has been revived in modernised form in which the old folk-drama has been retained.

About half-a-century ago Mrs. L. Chaworth-Musters reintroduced it at Wiverton, Caunton copied it; in 1935 the Boy Scouts performed the traditional play at East Markham and in 1939 it was resuscitated at Tollerton. The plough is represented by pieces of shaped paper, the actors are lavishly tricked out with beribboned fancy costumes, 'Bessie' is still a boy in feminine guise; the quack doctor restores the slain man to life, and wooden swords and humorous buffonery prevailed as of yore."

'W.H.Lawrence' is evidently a misprint for D.H.Lawrence.

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