Rugby Christmas Mumming Play, 1899

I.Gatty (1948) pp.21-22

Folk Play Home Scripts Intro County List Class List Characters

Location: Rugby, Warwickshire, England (SP5075)
Year: Col. 1899
Time of Occurrence: Christmas
Collective Name: Mumming


Ivor Gatty
Collectanea: The Eden Collection of Mumming Plays
Folk-Lore, 1948, Vol.59, pp.16-34

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

{MUMMING PLAY. Eden Collection.}

{F.Bromwich. Rugby. Nov. 39, 1899.}

[Prologue]? ?

I open the door, I enter in,
I see bold face before I win.
Whether I sit, stand, or fall,
I'll do my duty to please you all.
A room, a room, a gallant room,
A room to let us in,
We are not of the ragged sort
But of the Royal King.
If you don't believe these words, I say
Step in King George and clear the way.

{Enter King George.}

King George.

In comes I King George.
King George is my name.
Sword and pistol by my side,
I am bound to win the game.

Royal King.

Game Sir! It's not within your power,
I'll chop you into mince-meat in less than half an hour.

King George.

You Sir?

Royal King.

Yes me Sir!

King George.

Draw swords and try.

{Fencing. Royal King killed.}


Is there a doctor to be found?


Yes, there's a doctor to be found.


Five pound for a doctor.


No five pound.


Ten pound.


No ten pound.


Here, I will give twenty pound.


In comes I Doctor Brown,
The cleverest doctor in the town.


What cures can you cure?


All cures. Hipsy, pipsy, palsy and the gout
Pains within, and pains without.
What's this man got?


The gout.


There's somebody in him, I can surely fetch him out.
Drink of my bottle and arise.

{Enter Beelzebub.}


In comes I, Beelzebub,
Under my arm I carry my club.
On my head a dripping-pan,
Don't you think I'm a jolly old man.

{Enter Humpty-back.}


In comes I old Humpty-back,
In comes I old Humpty-back,
Wife and family on my back,
Some at the Work-house, some at home,
I'll bring the rest when I get home.

{Enter Butcher-boy.}


In comes I the Butcher-boy,
I'm not the baby who plays the toy,
But the famous butcher of all the land,
Who kills a sheep with a knife in his hand.

{Enter Little Dick.}

Little Dick.

In comes I, Little Dick.
All head and no wits.
Me Head so big, me wits are so small,
I will sing you a song to please you all


The cock sat up in the oak tree, the hens came cackling by,
I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a good fat pig in the sty.
The roads are very dirty, my shoes are very thin,
I have a little pocket here to put a penny in.
Sailing down the river in a penny steam-boat, to see some far off shores,
and after sailing seven long years we landed upon the shore.
Ah ! Ah ! cabbage on the vingo. I see njggero.
Humbug Sam, the niggero.
I chiggle, I chiggle, I chiggle. Laurem Sambo.
Christmas is a-coming, and the geese are getting fat,
Will you please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you aint got a penny, a half-penny will do,
If you aint got a half-penny, God bless you!


Gatty's Note:

"N.B. The handwriting is clearly that of a boy. He gives his name and the date. The word 'Rugby' is added by Mrs.Eden. I.G."

Biographical Notes from Keith Chandler

"From the online 1901 Census Index:

RUGBY, Warwickshire, 1901 census

Frank Bromwich, aged 12, [no occupation noted]

Fred Bromwich, aged 18, Carters Labourer

Frederick Bromwich, aged 13, Errand Boy

Fredrick Bromwich, aged 22, Groom Domestic

All four born in Rugby"

File History:
22nd Feb.2002 - Scanned & Coded by Peter Millington
1st Feb.2005 - Chandler's notes added by PTM

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