Folk Play Links - May Boys and Wren Boys

Compiled by C. Little

Some non-play customs and their practitioners have the same names as the plays and their actors. e.g. Cakers, Guisers, Mummers, Pace Eggers, Morris Dancers, Plough Bullocks, Soulers, Sword Dancers etc. This can be confusing.

Publications listed may be cited as well as full text.


001 * A Statistical Account, or Parochial Survey of Ireland, Vol.II [by William Shaw Mason, 1816, p.460 - mummers or wren-boys at Kilrush, now grown obsolete]
002 * An Historical Essay on the Irish Stage [by Joseph C. Walker, in Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, [Vol.II], 1788, p.78fn - (in Ireland; citation of Remarks on the text, and last edition of Shakespear, by Mr Ritson;) May boys - Subscription required for Gale: Eighteenth Century Collections Online]
003 * Fairy Legends and Traditions [by Thomas Crofton Croker [born at Cork], 1825, Chapter XV - May-day mummers]
004 * Historical and Descriptive Notices of the City of Cork and its Vicinity [by J. Windele, 1839, pp.38-39 - "May-day mummers", become more infrequent]
005 * Hunting the Wren [by Peter Wood, in Cara, Nov.-Dec. 1997 - Wrenboys and Mummers in Ireland in general and Kerry in particular]
006 * Irish Popular Superstitions [Continued] [by [W.R. Wilde], in Dublin University Magazine, Vol.XXXV No.CCIX, May 1850, pp.553-555 - May-boys particularly in Connacht and Munster, within the last twenty years - informed by Thomas Lally]
007 * Irish Popular Superstitions [Readings in Popular Literature] [by W.R. Wilde [born at Castlerea, Kilkeevin], n.d., pp.(vii, vi - 'Queries'; 15 - 'Discursive Introduction' - mummers, left off when a gossoon;) 64-67 - as his article but without footnote; (81, 104, 95 - as his article)]
008 * Kilnadeema Mummers / Kilnadema CCE [photos]
009 * Private Memoirs of Captain Rock [by Decimus Rock [Michael Whitty ?], in Captain Rock in London, No.12, 21st May 1825, p.89 - May or Christmas a-mumming - Literary Work [- he just did a Review of "Fairy Legends and Traditions" by Thomas Crofton Croker]]
010 * Seventy Years of Irish Life [by W.R. Le Fanu [son of Rector of Abington][incidentally, brother of Sheridan Le Fanu], 1893, pp.105-107, 7 - "wren boys" or "mummers" at Abington, Limerick, in former days]
011 * Tales of Ireland and the Irish [by J.G. MacWalter, 1854, pp.50-70 - 'Betty Brien's Fortune; or, The Magic of May' - "May mummers" or "May boys" - Literary Work]
012 * Tales of the Munster Festivals [by [Gerald Griffin], 1827, Vol.II pp.287-288 - 'Suil Dhuv, the Coiner' - May-day mummers - Literary Work]
013 * The Parish of Clontuskert : Glimpses into its Past [2nd edition] [ed. by Joe Molloy, 2013, p.343 - Mummers]
014 * William Finnerty [Photos of various groups at New Inn Mummers Festival]
015 * Woodford Mummers Feile

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