"All the Year Round" (1888)
"All the Year Round" (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES No.CCCCVI: PLOUGH MONDAY [Leicester]
Initially a description of plough trailing customs on Plough
Monday featuring Bessy with a collecting tin and threats of
malicious ploughing but no mention of any location or indication
of when this when done.
Finally comes the following: "When a schoolboy I remember seeing
a band of farm men and lads, decked out in all manner of grotesque
devices, parading the streets of Leicester as 'ploughboys,' and
capering about but with no plough accompanying them. Tusser's
'Husbandry' tells us that:
'Plough Monday next after the Twelfth tide is past.
Bide out with the plough: the worst husband is last.'
Before leaving Plough Monday I must refer to a custom observed
on the morning of this day amongst rural[?] men and maids. These
always strove the one to be up and dressed before the other. If
the men were up and dressed by the side of the fireplace with
some of their implements of husbandry before the maids could put
the kettle on, the latter were under fine to provide a fowl for
the men next Shrovetide; or as an alternative, if any of the
ploughmen, returning at night came to the kitchen hatch and cried
'look in the pot' before the maids could cry 'look on the dunghill'
they incurred the same penalty."
Leicester, Leics. (SK5904)
Plough Trailing; House Visiting; Plough Monday; Bessy; Malicious Ploughing
TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00144;
Local Notes & Queries Scrapbook, Vol.I, p.54
* indicates data that not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.
Last Updated Jun 2005 by Idwal Jones.