Thos. Ratcliffe (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: No. 27: Worksop and Derbyshire Variants
"Some of the lads about here used to give a 'nominy' made up out of 'St.
George,' 'Th' Owd Hoss,' and 'The Darby Tup'; a frightful mixture enough to give
one a nightmare a month long.
The characters that I have known are Betsy Beelzebub, Fool, St. George, Knight,
or Slasher (a man of many parts in the play), the Doctor, and Devil Doubt, or
Dowt. Betsy Beelzebub and Devil Dowt are one and the same; one a female devil,
the other a male ditto.
The 'Morrises' or 'Sword Dancers' is quite a different matter; all sword play
and dance, with no dialogue, yet a bit of carolling. 'Th' Owd Hoss' is a sort
of rough play in uncouth language; and 'The Darby Tup,' or 'Ram,' is a version
of an old song well known in the town and shire. It, too, has variations, one
of which is in Jewitt's 'Songs and Ballads of Derbyshire.' It begins:-
As I was going to Darby, sir,
All on a market day.
I met the finest tup, sir,
That ever was fed on hay.
Given in dialect the broadest Derbyshire, with gestures and in costumes, it is a
most remarkable composition, and introduces a lot of characters besides the one
who is 'Th' Owd Tup.'
I have a number of items, odd-bits, rants and verses, very distinct from the
ballad itself, which would take some dealing with and occupy too much space.
T.Ratcliffe was based in Worksop, Notts.
Worksop, Notts. (SK5879); Derbys.
Nominy; "St. George"; "Th' Owd Hoss"; "The Darby Tup"; Betsy Beelzebub; Fool; St. George; Knight; Slasher; Plays; Doctor; Devil Doubt; Devil Dowt; Morrises; Sword Dancers; Carolling; "The Darby Ram"; Song; Jewitt,L. (1867) "Songs and Ballads of Derbyshire"; Text Fragment; "Th' Owd Tup"
Thomas Ratcliffe (Auth.)
TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00207;
W.E.Doubleday Scrapbook, Vol.IV, p.85;;
Local Notes & Queries Scrapbook, 1908-1918
* indicates data that has not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.
Last Updated Mar 1990 by Idwal Jones.