Paul Davenport who has recently published a book on Yorkshire Traditional Seasonal Dance has drawn our attention to the following reference to Tickhill concerning Plough Monday in the Yorkshire Post of 1947.
Our thanks to Paul for this contribution.
SK 59194 93481 (M)
The Yorkshire Evening Post for 20th January 1947 carried the following report:
The ancient religious custom of Blessing the Plough was carried out at the Parish Church last night. The Vicar (Rev. G. T. Cook), conducted the ceremony which was revived last year. Just before the sermon, a plough was brought into the chancel by six members the Young Farmers’ Club, and the assistant secretary, Ernest Lofthouse, asked the Vicar’s blessing on the implement in the name the land workers of the parish. One of the party was Arnold whose family have farmed the area for about 300 years. Mr F. S. Newborn, well-known farmer and member the Urban Council, lent the plough, and the lessons were read by the Earl of Scarbrough, president of the Young Farmers’ Club. About 50 years ago Plough Monday was still observed at Tickhill, when farm hands took a plough from house to house in the village, collecting money for jollification. The religious ceremony was discontinued some time before.’(YEP 1947)
In Maltby there was a similar activity recorded in the 1890s as ‘Plough Bullocks’ - groups of farm workers would drag a plough from house to house and there perform a crude morris dance. They then cried, ‘Largess!’ and if paid in cash or food and drink would dog on their way. If no payment was forthcoming they would shout, ‘Hunger and Starvation!” and then drive the ploughshare into the lawn or path of the householder, ploughing a short but damaging furrow into the property. The Maltby Phoenix Sword Dancers and Plough Stots have revived the less anti-social aspects of this custom in recent years, touring Maltby on the Saturday nearest Plough Monday, and visited Tickhill last December (2014).
To see the context of this ceremonial please visit Paul Davenport’s website at