Location: Edingley, Nottinghamshire, England (SK6655)
Year: Col. early 1920s
Time of Occurrence: Plough Monday
Collective Name: Plough Boys


Albert Sorby Buxton
Plough boy's Play - Edingley Version
A.S.Buxton Collection, Notebook: "Plough Monday Plays", Undated, pp.23-29





"Can I come in?
"In comes I the man
who's never been before.
There's four more jolly farmers stand outside the door.
If you cant believe me what I do say,
Step in Farmer while I clear the way"

{Enter Farmer}


"In comes I the farmer man
Dont you see my whip in hand
As I go forth to plough the land
To turn it downside up
Straight I go from end to end
I scarcely make a baulk or bend
Then to my horses I attend
Then "Gee wharve to the furrow Spider [Note 1] .

{Enter St Geo.}

[St George]

"In comes I St George.
Who hath brought this fiery dragon
To bring these men to the slaughter
And by these means these dreadful means
To slay bold Slasher's daughter.

{Enter Eesum Sqeecum.}


"In comes I old Eesum Sqeecum
on my back I carry my besom
In my hand a frying pan
Don't you think I'm a jolly old man.

{Enter Sam.}


"Here comes I Sam dirty old man
Washed his face in the frying pan
Combed his hair with the garden rake
Don't you think he's a dirty old Snake.

{Enter Slasher.}


"In comes I bold Slasher
Bold Slasher is my name,
I wish to win one game,
And if this game will do me good,
I'll quickly St George's blood."

{They fight}

{Slasher kills St Geo.}

First Man

"Doctor, doctor, five pounds for a doctor."


"£10 to stop away."


"£15 to stop away."
{Dr. knocks at the door.}
"Dr. Dr."



"You a Doctor?"


"Yes me a doctor."


"How did you become a doctor?


"By my travels."


"Where did you travel?"


"From bedside to fireside,
From fireside to the cupboard,
Where I pinched lots of my old woman's pork-pie."


"What can you cure?"


"Ipsy, pipsy, palsy and the gout,
Pains within & pains without
If the lads' in I can get him out,
Draw a leg, set a tooth,
Poison cats physic rats
& almost bring a dead man to life again."


"A clever doctor you must be
Try your skill on this young man."


"By your leave I will."

{feels his pulse.}


"That's not the way to feel a man's pulse."


"This man is not dead but in a trance."
If you can sing & we can dance
Arise old chap & lets' begin"

{Song (all)}


Good master & good mist-er-ess
As you sit by the fire.
Pray think of us poor plough lads,
That ploughs through mud & mire.
The mire it is so deep
The water runs so clear.
Put what you like into our box
And a drink of your best beer.
[- " -]
We're not the London Actors
That act upon the stage
We're just the country plough lads,
That plough for little wage,
We've done our best that best can do,
And best can to no more
We wish you all goodnight
And another happy year."



Peter Millington's Notes:

Note 1: Spider is the name of a horse.
This play is in one of two notebooks of folk play texts in the A.S.Buxton Collection. The notebooks contain fair copies of material transcribed from various sources, including uncited books and manuscripts, some of which were supplied by fellow local historians Reginald Felix Wilkinson and Everard Leaver Guilford. There is no indication of the original source of this particular version. It could even have been copied from the Mansfield Reporter .
This play is undated either in terms of performance date or date of collection. Albert Sorby Buxton (1867-1932) was the principal of Mansfield Art College and was an active local historian from about 1900 onwards. His interest in Plough Monday plays seems to have occurred in the early 1920s, when he presented a paper on Mansfield's Plough Monday play to the Old Mansfield Society (A.S.Buxton, 1922/23). It is therefore likely that this version was copied out by Buxton around 1922 or 1923.

File History:

2002-10-08 - Digitised by Peter Millington
2004-04-26 - Proof-read against A.S.Buxton's notebook by Peter Millington
2021-01-15 - TEI-encoded by Peter Millington


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