[North Nottinghamshire], Nottinghamshire


Newark Advertiser (1871)

*[Anon.] (Auth.)
*Mummers [Hobby Horse play, etc., in North Notts.]
*Newark Advertiser, 18th Jan.1871

*Source states;

"A party of mummers visited the towns & villages of North Notts during the past fortnight, and highly diverted the inhabitants by their dancing, singing of old songs, & the play of the Hobby Horse. The latter play was in existence in the days of the Plantagenets, & probably the song & tune which they sang, viz 'When Joan's ale was new.'"

From a transcript of J.M. (1871) in the T.F.Ordish Collection.

J.M. (1871)

J. M. (Auth.)
*Mummers [Hobby Horse play, etc., in North Notts.]
*Notes & Queries (Series 4), 1871, Vol.VII, p.121

*Source states;

"Mummers- 'A party of mummers visited the towns & villages of North Notts during the past fortnight, and highly diverted the inhabitants by their dancing, singing of old songs, & the play of the Hobby Horse. The latter play was in existence in the days of the Plantagenets, & probably the song & tune which they sang, viz "When Joan's ale was new."' This paragraph from the Newark Advertizer of Wed. Jan 18. 1871, may be deserving of a place in your columns, as a proof of the continued existence of a very ancient custom."

T.Ratcliffe (1898)

Thos. Ratcliffe (Auth.)
"CHRISTMAS-TUP"
Notes & Queries (Series 9), 24th Dec.1898, Vol.II, p.511

Description of plays variously known as the "Christmas-Tup", "The Derby Ram", "Darby Tup", "t'owd tup" and "a little tup", performed by Guisers in Derbys., North Notts. (implying Worksop), and Yorks. Several verses of the texts are given, and quotes from Llewellynn Jewitt's (1867) "Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire". The "mummering play" incorporating dialogue is also described, which had five characters besides "t'tup", including a woman, the owner, a butcher, and a female devil - Betsy Belzebub. Additionally, "th'poor owd hoss" is also mentioned as being taken round Worksop and parts of Derbys., at Christmas.

Nottinghamshire Weekly Express (1899)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES : CHRISTMAS EVE IN NORTH NOTTS IN EARLY VICTORIAN DAYS
*Nottinghamshire Weekly Express, 22nd Dec.1899

Article quotes from Notes and Queries (7th Series, Vol.2, pp.501) which describes Christmas traditions in north Notts., 50 years previously. It includes the following description of Christmas Eve:

"A variety of indoor games, interspersed with songs, passed the evening on, and (even so recently!) the mummers might be expected to call to entertain and be rewarded."

Nottinghamshire Weekly Express (1906a)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: FACTS, CUSTOMS AND LEGENDS OF OLD-TIME CHRISTMASES IN NOTTS I
*Nottinghamshire Weekly Express, 7th Dec.1906

Article describing various Christmas customs. One section, taken from a correspondent to 'Notes and Queries' in 18— writing about 50 years previously in villages and towns in North Notts. refers to mummers visiting on Christmas Eve. This sounds like the correspondent referred to in Nottinghamshire Weekly Express (1920)

Another section taken from Notes and Queries 5th series, vol 8, p.481 refers to the Christmas period in Derbyshire and quotes: "The lads of the house with those of their neighbours, have been learning their parts, and getting ready their dresses for the 'Christmas guising' and the household daily talk is full flavoured of Christmas."

This section is identical to parts of T.Ratcliffe (1883).

Nottinghamshire Weekly Express (1920)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES : NOTTS. CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS IN THE TIME OF GEORGE III
*Nottinghamshire Weekly Express, 17th Dec.1920

Article describing Christmas customs in Notts. The information is taken from a correspondent writing to "Notes and Queries" 34 years previously with reference to North Notts 50 years before that. This resembles the correspondent referred to in Nottinghamshire Weekly Express (1906a).

Included is the following: "During the evening the procedings were varied with visits from Christmas singers and the mummers, all of which were well entertained."

S.R. (1924)

S. R. (Auth.)
PLOUGH MONDAY: THE MUMMERS' PLAY: RELIC OF AN OLD CUSTOM: NOTTINGHAMSHIRE VERSIONS
Nottingham Guardian, 7th Jan.1924, No.21151, p.3 b-c

The theories on the origins of Mummers' plays propounded by Cecil Sharpe and R.J.E.Tiddy (1923) are briefly reviewed. There is a detailed description with most of the text of a Selston play (collected by Capt. J.P.Scothorne from boys at Bagthorpe). This includes the characters; Fool, St. George, Slasher, Doctor, Beelzebub and Devil Doubt. Fragments are also quoted from the East Retford play published by E.Sutton (1912) but here only located as "North Notts." The characters given are; Herald, Hero, St. George and Doctor. Mention is also made of relic plays in Nottingham suburbs and also of a plough procession in East Bridgford, Notts.

Worksop Guardian (1924)

[Anon.] (Auth.)
PLOUGH MONDAY: ONCE UPON A TIME IN NOTTS. [Plays in Worksop and North Notts.]
Worksop Guardian, 11th Jan. 1924, p.9 a-b

General blurb and extracts from plays, mentioning two casts (1) Worksop, Notts., with St. George, Slasher, Beelzebub, Devil Doubt and the Fool [also Doctor], and (2) an unlocated version [North Notts.] with St. George, Doctor, Herald and the Hero.

S.R. (1926)

S. R. (Auth.)
THE MUMMERS' PLAY: More Light on the Origin of Plough Monday Masque
Nottingham Journal, 12th Jan.1926, No.31235, p.4 d-f

The author starts by mentioning the reproduction of Mrs. Chaworth Musters' version of a Plough Monday play [Cropwell, Notts.] in A.H. (1926), and its discussion in E.K.Chambers' (1903) "The Mediaeval Stage". However he clearly disagrees with Chambers' discussion of folk plays. Race recognises two sorts of play, the Christmas St. George play, and the Plough Monday play. The St.George play is the older version, with a plot or structure dating back to pagan times, and a text dating back to the Crusades. The Plough Monday play he considers to be a "2nd edition" produced to extend the actors' touring season. He notes that Robin Hood did not appear in Notts., plays, and that the "Recruiting Sergeant" of Plough Monday plays probably originated with the Napoleonic Wars. He further notes that chapbooks were a source of some plays in the 1870s.

Quotes fragments of Notts., texts from Cropwell, the Selston district, and "North Notts. round Retford", the latter probably taken from E.Sutton (1913).

A.Sharp (1929)

*Arthur Sharp (Auth.)
THE MUMMER'S PLAY: OLD COUNTRY CUSTOM STILL SURVIVING: "OWD HOSS" IN NOTTS
Nottingham Evening Post, 3rd Jan.1929, No.15762, p.3 f

*Article on "mumming" and its putative ritual origins. A typical play is said to have the characters; St. George, Fool, Slasher, Doctor, Beelzebub and Devil Doubt. "A version that was popular in the Midlands during the last century" had the characters; Herald, Hero, St. George and Doctor. This would appear to refer to E.Sutton's (1912) play from East Retford. Other characters and fragments are given from Chambers (presumably 1903). These include; Father Christmas, Grand Turk/Turkish Knight and Dragon. Other Notts., fragments are also quoted, the plays being current. "The Owd Hoss" or "Hooden Horse" is mentioned from North Notts.

Some doubt as to the correctness of the author. A.Sharp may just be a cited author.

A.Sharp (1936)

*Arthur Sharp (Auth.)
OLD REVELS OF TWELFTH NIGHT AND PLOUGH MONDAY: Notts Versions of Ancient Mummer's Play: "Hooden Horse" That Sang Verses in Villages
Nottingham Evening Post, 30th Dec.1936, No.18246, p.6 a-b

Brief description of Twelfth Night customs, including the Twelfth Cake and King of the Bean. The description of Plough Monday Mummers' plays mentions the characters of Selston, Notts.; Fool, Saint George, Slasher, Doctor, Beelzebub, and Devil Doubt. A North Notts., version (evidently E.Sutton, 1912) had the characters; Herald, Hero, St. George and Doctor, and a couple of fragments of text are quoted. Another custom was the Hooden Horse or Owd 'Oss, which the author appears to have performed in himself. He calls the performers "hoodeners", and the play used to be found in both Notts., and Derbys. Discussing the origins of Plough Monday, mention is made of Plough Lights, and the trailing of a "Fool Plough" by Plough Bullockers, and accompanied by Morris Dancers and a "Bessy". Mention is also made of the horn dance at Pagets Bromley in Staffs. This is another name for Abbots Bromley

A.Sharp (1944)

Arthur Sharp (Auth.)
YULETIDE WEATHER AND CUSTOMS
*Nottingham Guardian [?], 23rd Dec.1944

*Mostly describes very cold Christmases but part relates to the "Owd 'oss" in Notts. and Derbys., and quotes 2 lines. The actors are also called "hoodeners". It finishes by saying that "No Christmas in the North Notts. village would have been complete without a visit from the 'plough bullockers,'..."

"J.Granby" (1949b)

"John Granby" (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: Notts. ploughing feasts
Nottinghamshire Guardian, 31st Dec.1949, No.5459, p.10c

Talks of six "plough feasts" being observed in North Notts up to the mid 19th Century. These were Plough Monday, Shrovetide, sheep shearing, Wake Day, Harvest Home, and Seed Cake Feast. Cites without detail; W.Howitt (1834), T.Miller, and F.Kitchen's (1939) "Brother to the Ox"

F.Kitchen (1963)

Fred Kitchen (Auth.)
Brother to the Ox: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FARM LABOURER [2nd.ed.]
London: J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd., 1963, pp.14-15

Includes a description of Christmas at the farm bailiff's where they were visited on Christmas Eve by mummers who performed the Derby Tup. The first verse of the song is given.

Fred Kitchen was brought up in North Notts., and South Yorks.

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