Location: Truro, Cornwall, England (SW8244)
Year: Late 1780s
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]


A Play for Christmas
Enys Memoranda Cornwall Record Office, Cornwall Record Office, [No date], Ref.EN 1898




{A Play for Christmas}

William Solomon first part

Rume rume Galants rume Give me a rume to rime
for in this house i mine to shew some of my past time
now gentlemen an Ladys it is christmas time
i am a blade that knew my trade all people doth a dear me
i will swager an banter an i will drive the town be fore me
if i am neked or if i am prict i will give aman an answer
the very first man or boy i mits my Soard shall be is fencer
be hind the doar thare lye a score pray Git it out if you can sur
i walke away have nothing to pay an let in the swagering man sur

John Rowe part the Second [Father Christmas]

hare comes i ould father Christmas welcom or welcom not
i hope ould father Christmas will never be forgot
ould father Christmas a pair but woance a yare
he lucks like an ould man of 4 score yare

Penty Landin part the third

hopen the doar and Lat me in
i hope your faver i shall wind
wether irise or wether ifoll
i will do my endeavour to please you all
St George is at the doar and Swear he will com in
with soard an buckler by is side i fear he will purs my skin
i now he is no fool
i now he is some stoute why
he will say more by wan inch of candle
than ican performe white [Note 1] ten pound born out
and if you would not believe what i say
let the king of eagipt com in and clare the way

Wm. Williams King of Egipt Fouth

here am ithe king of eagipt ho plainly doth apare
St george he is my only son my only son an hear
walk in s't george and boldly act they part
let all the royal family see the royal act

J Roe 12 [Belzey Bob] [Note 2]

here comes i ould belzey bob
upon my shoulder i carry my club
and in my hand a dripen and
ham not i a hansam good loocking ould man


Henry Crossmans part 5 [St George]

Hear comes I son George from England have I sprung
sum of my worndras works now for to begin
first into a Closat I was put
then into a Cave was lock
I sot my foot upon a Rockhe stone
their did I make my sad an griveus mone
how many men have I slew
and rund the firehe dragon thrue
I fought them all Courragesly
and stil got of thire victory
England's right England admorration
now ear I drow my bloody weepon
ho is the man that doth be fore me Stand
I will cut him down with my Courrageus hand

Penty Landin 6 [Turkish Knight]

Hear come's I the Turkish Knight
came from the Turkish land to fight
I will fight sun George that man of Courrage
and if is blood is hot soon will I make it Could

Henry Crossman 7 [St George]

Thee come so far a way to fight such man as I,
I will cut thy dublats ful of Hylent hols
and make thy buttens fly

Penty Landin [Turkish Knight]

I am a man of vallour I will fight untill I die
sun George thou never will face me but away from me will fly

Henry Crossman [St George]

ha proud Turk what wilt will thou tell me so
with threting words and threting oath's
drow thy sord and fight drow thy pus and pay
for satisfaction I will have be fore I go a way

Penty Landin 10 [Turkish Knight]

no satisfaction shall you have
but in a moment's time I will bring thee to thy grave

Henry Crossman 11 [St George]

thee bring me to my Grave
I will fight with thee
no pardon shall you have
so drow thy sord and fight
for I will Concour you this night


Wm. Solomon [First Part]

as i gist stiping out of my bed
in hearing this my honly son was dead
o cruel christan what ast thou don
thou ast ruin'd me and killed my only son

Henry Crossman [St George]

he was the first that chalins'd me and how cani deny
to see the turkish dog stand up and i folldon and die

William Solomon [First Part]

i will seek the bouldest champin in my relam
this cruel christans blood to overwealam
o help me sampo help me
was thare ever a man in greater need
to fight like a sowlyar make thy hart to bleed

John Rowe [Sampo]

are am i sampo i will slafter the man that spilt my master blood
and with my body i will make the oashen flood

Wm. Solomon [First Part]

o docter docter is thire nary docter to be found
or to be had this night
can cuer this bloody wound
and make him stand up right

Wm Williams [Docter]

o is thare a docter to be found
or to be had this night
can heal this mans bloody wound
and make him stand up right

Wm. Solomon [First Part]

pray ware ast thou travled

Williams [Docter]

i have travled to London garmenay scotland an spain
by all my rich fortun safe returned to england again

Solomon [First Part]

What canst thou cure

Williams [Docter]

i can cure the hich the stich the pox the gout
all deses and comnpleases
if any man as got a scolin wife
my balsom will her cure
take but one drap of this upon my life
she will never scoal no more


Solomon 12 [First Part]

o docter docter wat is thy fee this champin for to rise
the site of him doth trouble me to see how dead he lies

W Williams 13 [Docter]

full fifty ginues is my fee and money to have doun
but sunes tis for is majesty i will do it for ten pound
i have alitle botle in the wrest bond of my britches
that goes by the name of halycompane
shall make this goodly champin rise and fight again
are jack take a little of my drip drop
pour it up in the tiptop
arize jack slash and fight again
behould this mortal now reving be
tis by my sceel and strength the ficik see
which make this goodly night revive
and bring is aged father now alive
awacke thou lustros knight also
and i will take thee by the hand an try if thou canst go

P Langdon 14 [Turkish Knight]

What places is are
what seens appare
whare ever itorn mine eye
tis all around
in chantin ground
and soft delusions rise
floury mountins
mosy fountins
what will veriety surprize
tis on the alow walks we walks
an hundrd ecos round us stock
from hils to hils the voices tost
rocks rebounding
ecos resounding
not one single words was lost

Henry Crossman 15 [St George]

Behould on yander risen ground
the bour that woander
ever ending
ever bending l [Note 3]
glades an glades
shades an shades
runing on eternal round

P Langdon 16 [Turkish Knight]

o pardon pardon St George one thing of thee icrav
spair me my life and i will be thy constant slave

H Crossman 17 [St George]

yes proude torke but arise and go in to thy on land
and tell what a bould champin there doth in England stand
had it ben a thousand or ten thousand such men as thee i would fight
for to mentain grait britans right
great britians right iwill mentain
and fight free for england wance again

Wm. Willims 19 [Bloody Waror]

Hear am I the bloody Waror
o have I spent my time in bloody Wor
slash cornary dam the Ribals carse
sholl I wolk one's twose thrise over the dark
with out hat stockin shart
Shall I bow dack to every drunkerd or poud sot
no by this Etarnal Sord in hand
the man that is not fit to dye is not fit to live stand
delever push your pikestaf by the Hye way hoop
that man's neck is not very big that fears a little rope
I pray Mis doldorty git me gud shir for supper
for I main to have gud shir
tis not your fether foul nor Apple pyes I main
as your chised ches crids nor crym I cant eat none
ad it ben a bit of a roceen pig I might have a chance to pic a bone
all I leve and all I lack
in come my man jack
and carrid all away in my nap sack

Wm. Solomon 20 [Little Man John]

Hear comes I little man John with a Sord in my hand
and if any man offend me I will make him to stand
I will cut him and slash him so smoll as the flys
and send him to jemecka to make Appel pyes

Wm. Solomon 21 [King of France]

Hear am I the King of France
King Henry I har is Riseing a Army a gaanst France
but let him com I will thonder him
back he can not me with stand
my milk wite corls my rid Caps
my yellow fethers deccar
my resoralson stout and bould
the Crown I will not spear
I am the Kink of France
and with my sord I will advace

Penty 22 [Page]

My master sent me onto you
ten ton of gold that is due to him
and if you dont send him is tribit home
some he in France land you see

Wm. Solomon 23 [King of France]

Go tel your master that he is yung and of tender years
not fit to come with in my degree
and I will send him Three Tennas bols
that with him he may larn to play


Penty Landin 24 [Page]

Hark hark wot sonding vads my ears
the conquars a porch I hear
tis Henrys march tis Henry tune
I now he comes he comes victorus Henry comes
with obboys Tropats fifes and drums
send from a far
and sound of war
foll of grief and every wind
from walk to walk from shade to shade
from Strim to poolin strim comvaid
thrue all the minglin of the groove
thrue all the minglin tracks of love
full of grfe and full of woe
impashent from my Lords return

Henry Crossman 25 [King Henry]

Whot nuse whot nuse my lovely Page
whot nuse have you brought onto me
I have brought such nuse from the King of France
that you and he will never agree
for he says you am young and of tender years
not fit come in your degree
and he will send you three tinnes bolls
that withthem you may Learn to Play

Henry Crossman 26

From yender march King Henry
with all my gallent company
now I have taken upon me a char ge
to govarn those poor ants that the may wolk more large
and gether in thire wonts that the may wolk more safe
and bring home thire relife
and keep that wich I have from every Idol Theft
but now the King is hear I will bow doun lowe my knee
all those that ventered hear is subjeck unto me
god bless the Roral King and send him a long to reain
and joy in every thing and free him from all pain
i an my men and mine my Ants and all I have
I command them the her mine and so the King god save

Wm. Solomon 27 [King of France]

O pardon pardon King Henry
the Ton of gould i will pay to thee
and the finest flour that is in all france
to the rose of ingland i will give free


P Langdon 28 [Bing Bing]

hear am I bing bing
ho in an alter of to swing
ho did the batle folter
o corced was the day
that first i went to sea to fight the french
and then to run away
now are i stand with sord in hand
and now i will fight any man

H Crossman 29 [Vornal Bould]

here am i vornal bould
took six ships and lead the spanyard gould
took shear of thare castle and port below
made the proud spanyards look dismel and yalow
but we was not danted a toll
untill their come a boll
and took us in the goll
and Queback foll from our hands
the first brod side the frinch did fire
the kild our Englesh men so free
we keeld ten thousand of the Frinch
the rest of them the rund a way
o as we march to the Frinch gates
with drums and Trumpets so merely
o then be spock the old king of France
lo he foll on his bended knee
prince Henry I one of his gollent Company
I soon for sook bold London Town
we went and took the Spani sh crwn
the spanish crwn we soon then won
and now we have shoud you all our fun


Gentlemen and ladies all your sport is don i can no longer stay
remember still s't george will bear the sway
gentlemon and lades all i hope you will be free
for to subscribe a litle part to pay the docters fee


here comes i that never come yate
with a great head and litle wit
if you please to throw in my hat what you think fit



Note 1 - "white" appears to be a writing mistake, the scribe having inadvertently crossed the "l" of "while"
Note 2 - Thurstan Peter (see below) gives this initial as "F". However, it looks unlike other capital "F"s in the manuscript. On the other hand, it does resemble capital "J"s, although it appears to have been crossed by mistake, hence the confusion.
Note 3 - The isolated "l" seems to be a mistake. There has possibly been an attempt to erase it, but it is difficult to tell from the photocopy of the manuscript.

Peter Millington's Notes:

This play was first published by Thurstan Peter "Replies : St. George Mumming Play" in Notes and Queries, Series 12, 13th May 1916, Vol.I, pp.390-393. The accuracy of Peter's transcription is generally good. The main major difference is that the order of MS pages 4 and 5 has been transposed. Peter's confusion appears to have arisen from a gap in numbering of speeches on Page 3, and the fact that, unlike other pages, it was written on the back of a sheet.

Peter's Notes:

"I have in my notebook ... a curious and interesting copy made by me from a MS. Used by some Cornish performers in the latter half of the last century. The players of this Cornish version - which I subjoin - went from house to house and performed in the open, borrowing a mat 'for the Turkish knight to die on' if the ground were damp.
The libretto is from a MS. In the possession of John D.Enys (1905), who got it from Mylor. The original is written by a very illiterate man; but I have followed it closely for fear of a wrong conjecture..."
This play was re-published by R.J.E.Tiddy (1923, pp.148-154) as an unlocated text from Cornwall, and published again, assigned to Mylor, by E.K.Chambers (1933) pp.71-83

Tiddy's notes:

Some segments of text come from Addison's (1707) 'Rosamond, an Opera', Act I, sc.i. Other lines come from the 18th century ballad 'King Henry the Fifth's Conquest of France'.

Further Indexer's Notes:

The original manuscript was located in Cornwall Record Office in 2000. From a combination of the physical appearance of the manuscript and biographical information on the actors named in the script, this play has been re-ascribed to Truro in the late 1780s. Full details of this reassessment are given by Peter Millington in "The Truro Cordwainers' Play: A 'New' 18th Century Christmas Play" Folkore, Apr.2003, Vol.114, No.1, pp.53-73.
How Addison's 'Rosamond' was incorporated into the Truro play, and the likely edition from which is was copied is discussed by Tom Pettitt in "From Stage to Folk: A Note on the Passages from Addison's Rosamond in the 'Truro' Mummers' Play", Folklore, Aug.2003, Vol.114, No.2, pp.262-270.

File History:

1995-07-01 - Scanned & OCRed from Tiddy (1923) by Peter Millington
1998-05-09 - Encoded by Peter Millington
1999-06-20 - Location corrected by Peter Millington
1999-12-28 - Proof-read against T.Peter (1916) by Peter Millington
2001-04-02 - Proof-read against the original manuscript by Peter Millington
2002-02-21 - Modified to reflect new attribution of place and date by Peter Millington
2003-05-21 - Corrected and updated by Peter Millington
2006-12-28 - Footnote added for Pettitt (2003). by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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