Location: Burghclere, Hampshire, England (SU4657)
Year: Col. 1914
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: [Not given]


The Mummers' Play
Oxford, University Press, 1923, pp.189-191



Father Xmas

In comes I old Father Xmas welcome in or welcome not
I hope old Father Xmas will never be forgot.
Xmas comes but once a year
and when it comes it brings good cheer.
Roast beef plum pudding strong ale and mince pies
who likes that better than I.
Now I have brought some gallant men with me
that will show you some great activity.
Activity of youth, activity of age,
such acting as you have never seen or heard upon a stage
for they have fought in battles great and in battles small,
and now ladies and gentlemen you shall see which is the greatest of them all.

St George

In comes I St George that noble knight
who have fought great men of old,
for I cared not if they were so strong as a lion and as bold
for with my broad sword in my heand I won £10000 in gold
it was I that fought that fiery dragon and brought him to a slaughter
and by that great deed I won the King of Egypt's daughter.
Manhood so free a valiant of old
I conquered Nations while I remained in the army
till I resign I still remain the Champion.

Turkish Knight

In comes I the bold Turkish Knight
just come from that foreign land to fight
St George that noble knight of old
and if his blood runs hot I will quickly make it cold.

St George

Hold on Turkish Knight thou talks very bold,
draw thy sword and fight or draw thy purse and pay
for satisfaction I'll have of thee before thou goes away.

Turkish Knight

Satisfaction, no satisfaction at all
I'll battle thee to see who on this ground shall fall.

St George

Battle to Battle with thee I call
to see who on this ground shall fall.

Turkish Knight

Battle to Battle with thee I play
to see who on this ground shall lay.

{Turkish Knight is wounded in the knee.}

Father Xmas

Stop, Stop, St George thou hast wounded this good man.
Now can you find a doctor that can cure this wound for him.

St George

Yes, Father,
I'll go and get a doctor that will heal this wound.

{St George goes out and comes back in with a doctor.}

Father Xmas

Well doctor and what canst thee do ?


I can cure the itch the stich the palsy and the gout,
the pain within and the pain without
bring me an old woman fourscore and ten
if she's nor a tooth in her head
I'll bring her round young and plump again.

Father Xmas

Then cure this man.


If he'll take one of my tic tolerune pills
and use a little of this ointment
he will be well enough to fight again.

{St George and Turkish Knight fight again and Turkish Knight is wounded again.}

Father Xmas

Dr Dr cure my son
which lies wounded and bleeding on the ground.


I am sorry father but it is beyond my powers
bringing dead men back to life again.

{Enter Jack Viney.}


What's thy name ?

Jack Viney

Jack Viney a man of fame
comes from Spain
do more than thee or any man again.


Well Jack and what canst thee cure?

Jack Viney

A magpie with the toothache.


How do you do that?

Jack Viney

Cut off his head and throw his body in the ditch.


Well cure this man.

Jack Viney

Give I my spectacles,
give I my plyers,
here's a tooth enough to kill any man
but this one will cure this man
and if he'll take one drop out of my drug bottle
which is one pennyworth of pigeon's milk,
mixed with the blood of a dying donkey,
well shaken before taking,
I'll be bound he will rise and fight no more.

Johnny Jack

In comes I little Johnny Jack
with my wife and family up my back
and in my hand I hold a frying pan
dont you think I am a jolly old man:
my family large and I am small,
a little if you please will help us all:
the roads or dirty, my shoes are bad,
so please put a little into my bag.

Old Woman

Ah Ah Ah, in comes I as aint been it,
with my big head and little wit,
my head so big my wit so small
I brought my fiddle to please you all.
All blue sleeves and yellow lace
now old boys we dance apace.

{Then we give a step dance and finish up by singing}


Carol Carol Christians carol joyfully
carol for the coming of Christ Nativity
go into the Forest when the myrtle grows
where the pine and orle bends beneath the snow.
May God bless our friends here,
with a merry merry Christmas and a happy New Year.


Tiddy Notes:

"The following version, which is apparently traditional in the village, was found by F.C.Hutchins (address, Lime Works Burghclere) 'in his box'. He sent it to Mr. Tiddy with a letter in which he said: 'We were often asked for this piece when we went round afterwards, but we used to have fresh chaps nearly every year and of course they did not know it and I could not find it. I do not know where it ca ne from first, but I have had it for years.'
Father Christmas wore a mask and a long cloak with pieces of wadding sewed on it. St. George was dressed as a soldier. The Turkish Knight, whose face was blacked, wore a turban. The Doctor and Jack Viney were dressed alike, wearing top- hats, breeches, and stockings. Johnny Jack wore an old cap and old clothes, and the Old Woman was dressed as a woman."

Peter Millington's Notes:

Presumed to have been communicated to Tiddy at the same time as the other text from Burghclere sent to him by F.C.Hutchins - i.e. 1914

File History:

1995-07-01 - Scanned & OCRed by Peter Millington
1998-10-14 - Encoded by Peter Millington
1999-09-15 - Year of collection adjusted by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


Dramaturgical Chart

Dramaturgical chart for 91su45h2
Click on the image to view the chart full size.

The chart reveals the dramaturgical structure of the play by showing which speeches in the script are spoken by which character. Vertical lines indicate stage directions.

TEI-encoded File

A TEI-encoded XML version of this text can be downloaded here.

Text Relatives Map

See how many of the lines in this text also appear in other plays:
  • As a histogram sorted by the number of shared lines
  • On a map with markers sized according to the number of shared lines

Other Information

There may be more about this text at: