Hallowe’en Play from Balmaghie, 1897

W.Gregor (1898a)

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Location: Balmaghie, Kirkudbright, Scotland (NX7166)
Year: Reported 1897
Time of Occurrence: Hallowe'en
Collective Name: [Not given]


Rev. Walter Gregor
Further Report on Folklore in Scotland
Report of the Sixty-Seventh Meeting of the British Association, London, Murray, 1898, pp.259-261

Cast: (Click on any name for the character name index.)


Here comes I, Bell Hector;
Bold Slasher is my name.
My sword is buckled by my side,
And I am sure to win this game.


This game, sir! This game, sir!
It's far beyout your power.
I'll cut you up in inches
In less than half a hour.


You, sir!


I, sir!


Take out your sword and try, sir!

{They fight and the General is killed.}


The Doctor.

{One runs and calls the doctor. He enters.}


Here comes I, old Doctor Brown,
The best old doctor in town.


And what diseases can your cure?


I can cure all diseases to be sure.


What are they?


Hockey-pockey, jelly-oakey,
Down amongst the gravel.

{The Doctor gives the General a draught from his bottle, and he starts to his feet.}


Gregor’s Notes:

The performers were school-children, seven in number. Three of them, Bauldie, the Captain, and the General were dressed alike, in a 'fause face', (a mask) commonly black, a big coat, and an ordinary cap. Each of the three carried a stick as a sword. The Doctor also wore a mask (Black with red spots on his chin, cheeks and brow), a big 'tile' hat, and he carried a stick in one hand and a bottle of water in the other. For Peggy, the face was painted white, and she wore an old ankle-length dress and an old mutch, and she carried an old umbrella. The Policeman had a blackened face, a big brown paper-bag on his head, a stick in his hand, and wore a big black coat. Wean had a whitened face, and wore a small frock, and an ordinary hat with ribbons. The practice was for all except the Doctor to enter the kitchen. On being asked 'What do you want?', they would reply by singing 'Gentle Annie' or any other school song, before beginning the dialogue. The performance took place at Hallowe'en.

Indexer’s Notes:

Scanned by me from the transcript in B.Hayward (1992) Galoshins : The Scottish Folk Play. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1992, ISBN 07486 0338 7, pp.110-112

Hayward gives the page in Gregor (1898) as p.259, whereas E.C.Cawte et al (1967) give the pages as pp.459-461

File History:
22nd February 2002 – Scanned and coded by Peter Millington

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Last generated on 26/12/2007 by P.Millington (Peter.Millington1@virgin.net)