Newstead (SK5252), Nottinghamshire
Llewellynn Jewitt (Auth.)
ON ANCIENT CUSTOMS AND SPORTS OF THE COUNTY OF NOTTINGHAM
*Journal of the British Archaeological Association,
1853, Vol.8, pp.229-240
A rambling general summary of customs in Notts. It followed two similar
papers concerning Cheshire and Derbyshire, and a certain amount of
extrapolation from these counties is evident.
Among the customs covered are; drawing lots for Valentines near Mansfield, the
blessing of St. Ann's Well, Nottingham on Easter Monday and of another well at
Newark, a May-pole at Hucknall Folkard [presumably meant to be Hucknall
Torkard], divination on All Hallows at Lenton, the perambulation of crib called a
Wassail Cup at Christmas, and Groaning Cakes & Cheeses - a birth custom.
He quotes Deering's description of the Midsummer's Eve watch at Nottingham.
The description of Christmas says "... the mummers, or guisors, pass from house
to house, and still perform their play of St. George..."
Also; "On Plough Monday, as well as during the Christmas holidays, the plough
bullocks are still to be seen in various parts of the country. This extremely
picturesque and popular custom, - with its plough, drawn by farmer's men, gaily
dressed in ribbands, its drivers, with their long wands and bladders, its
sword-dancers, its fool and its celebrated Bessy, and hobby-horse, - I have
described in my Derbyshire paper; it will therefore be sufficient to say, that
amongst other places the neighbourhoods of Newstead, Mansfield, and Southwell,
are still famous for its observance, and that it has been well described by
Washington Irving in his Newstead Abbey."
"John Granby" (Auth.)
Local Notes and Queries: PLOUGH MONDAY'S PLAYS.: Part II
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"
* indicates data that not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.