S.Race (1946)


*Sydney Race (Auth.)
*Mummers [The Mummers' Play: Notts versions for Plough Monday.]
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, 2nd Feb.1946

*The S.Race Collection contains a manuscript of the above article, to which is attached the typescript of a "Selston" play text (see S.Race Collection, 1924, J.P.Scothorne). This is annotated "Wkly 2/2/46". However, no copy of an actual publication has yet been located. "Wkly" most probably refers to the weekly edition of the Nottinghamshire Guardian. The article states;

"Almost as familiar in Victorian times as the carols of Christmas was the Mummers' Play & its popularity was widespread. Thomas Hardy in one of his Wessex stories describes a performance, & there are versions of it in print which come from Cornwall, Devon & Hampshire, from Oxford & Warwickshire, from Lancashire & the neighbouring counties, & even from northern Ireland.

It had a firm hold in Nottinghamshire, particularly in the district around Retford & in the villages near to the Vale of Belvoir. A newspaper of January 1871 states that 'a party of Mummers lately visited the towns & villages of North Notts and highly diverted the inhabitants by their dancing, singing of old songs, & the play of the Hobby Horse'. Mrs Chaworth Musters in her story of 'A Cavalier Stronghold' printed a version for Plough Monday which she had collected from Cropwell.

In the years between the two wars, there was a great revival of interest in the play, & quite probably in this first Christmas of the peace there have been places in which it has again been seen.

There are many versions of the play & Here is one, a little abbreviated, which was obtained in the Selston district, twenty years ago."

Index Terms:

Locations: *Bagthorpe, Notts. (SK4751); Selston, Notts. (SK4553)
Years: Perf. about 1926
Subjects: *Full Text; Christmas; Play; Fool; St. George; Slasher; Doctor; Beelzebub; Devil Doubt; Mummers; Chaworth-Musters (1890); Hardy,Thomas (?)
Archives: TDRG Archive, Ref. TD00499

* indicates data that has not yet been validated against the original source and/or has yet to be completely indexed.

Last Updated Jan 1992 by Peter Millington.