Happy Plough Monday!

Kingsfavorite by Susan Holloway Scott

As Jo noted in her introduction to our Christmastide posts, our characters (i.e., mostly English men and women living before 1850) would have had a much broader sense of Christmas than we do now.  To them, Christmas was more of a holiday “season” than the modern one-day extravaganza, with many smaller, specialized celebrations spread out over two weeks.

One of these celebrations that has been largely forgotten is Plough Monday.  Traditionally the first Monday after the Twelve Days of Christmas, Plough Monday represented the end of the holiday season in rural communities, and signaled the return to labor.

Like many holidays, this one began with religious roots.  On the Sunday before Plough Monday, ploughmenPlough Monday jpb

would carry their ploughs into church for a blessing for the new year, a prayer for good crops, health, and prosperity.  It’s  similar to christening a new boat or pinning a bit of greenery to the cross-post of a newly framed house: an entirely human wish for a fresh start and good luck, a happy mixture of ancient pagan superstition and Christian ritual. 

The day that followed –– Plough Monday –– was a whole different affair.  This was pure pagan revelry and excess, more kin to Halloween than Christmas, and the last real holiday before the long, grim winter months.  On Plough Monday, the newly-blessed plows would be festively decorated with ribbons, and the Plough-Boy or Plough-Bullock (the name varies) would carry your plough throughout the neighborhood, demanding pennies.  Anyone foolish enough to ignore these demands had their yard or garden cheerfully ploughed into a muddy mess, an earlier form of t.p.’ing the house that gives bum candy to trick-or-treaters.

Plough_monday_fool
The collected pennies were contributed to a village-wide “frolic” later in the day.  The frolic involved all kinds of foolery with the decorated ploughs as the centerpiece, from Molly-dancing to mummer’s plays to mock sword-fights to kissing games, overseen by a cross-dressing “queen”  –– usually the most burly and unattractive man to be found in the village, and likely the one with the best sense of humor, too –– who was known as Bessy for the duration of his/her reign. 

And, of course, there was drinking.  Lots and lots and LOTS of drinking.

For more about traditional Plough Mondays, check out this entry from Chamber’s Book of Days.  Published in 1879, it already has a little of the golden haze of the quaint past, but you’ll still get the idea.  The early 19th century engravings illustrating this blog capture the spirit, too.

Personally, I think Plough Monday is a holiday worth reviving.  Imagine all of us Wenches hauling our Hone
computers off to be blessed (probably not a bad idea) for the new year, and then dragging them from door to door as we asked for pennies for a big ol’ celebration of double-mocha-lattés at the nearest Starbuck’s. Surely writers crave their caffeine as much as any ploughmen did their John Barleycorn.

Any takers out there?  Or if you had to choose one symbol of your daily labor that you’d like graced with good luck for the new year, what would it be?

And Happy Plow Monday to you all!

120 thoughts on “Happy Plough Monday!”

  1. There are so many old traditions that are being lost as our lives become more homogenized. I’m guessing that country farm life in England is suffering the same decline as family farms are here in America. The only source you quote is over a hundred years old. Do you (or anyone else) know if Plough Monday is being celebrated anywhere in England any longer?
    I just love the history pieces that you and Jo put up. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  2. There are so many old traditions that are being lost as our lives become more homogenized. I’m guessing that country farm life in England is suffering the same decline as family farms are here in America. The only source you quote is over a hundred years old. Do you (or anyone else) know if Plough Monday is being celebrated anywhere in England any longer?
    I just love the history pieces that you and Jo put up. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  3. There are so many old traditions that are being lost as our lives become more homogenized. I’m guessing that country farm life in England is suffering the same decline as family farms are here in America. The only source you quote is over a hundred years old. Do you (or anyone else) know if Plough Monday is being celebrated anywhere in England any longer?
    I just love the history pieces that you and Jo put up. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  4. There are so many old traditions that are being lost as our lives become more homogenized. I’m guessing that country farm life in England is suffering the same decline as family farms are here in America. The only source you quote is over a hundred years old. Do you (or anyone else) know if Plough Monday is being celebrated anywhere in England any longer?
    I just love the history pieces that you and Jo put up. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  5. There are so many old traditions that are being lost as our lives become more homogenized. I’m guessing that country farm life in England is suffering the same decline as family farms are here in America. The only source you quote is over a hundred years old. Do you (or anyone else) know if Plough Monday is being celebrated anywhere in England any longer?
    I just love the history pieces that you and Jo put up. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  6. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  7. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  8. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  9. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  10. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  11. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  12. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  13. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  14. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  15. Susan said… “Any takers out there?” I’m game! There’s enough Wenches and wenchlings in the PA/MD/DC area that I bet we could pull it off in grand style… enough to fill up a Starbucks, at least. It would be awesome to have my Dell receive a wenchly blessing.
    I’ve really enjoyed this season of posts. I hadn’t realized how we (or perhaps just Americans) had compressed Christmas. Almost to the breaking point, imho. Why do you think we’ve done this? When did it start? Was it because our rebel ancestors were so eager to shrug off English roots, or did it happen more when we moved from an agrarian to a decidedly industrial culture? Anyone’s thoughts, please.

    Reply
  16. Susan here:
    Thank you for the compliment, May. I do love all these little-known scraps of history, the more obscure the better! *g*
    As for whether or not Plough Monday is still celebrated in some fashion in England — I’m afraid I don’t know. Perhaps one of our English readers can tell us?
    I do agree that modern holidays are becoming increasingly squeezed and homogenized, just as you say. I don’t have an answer to that, either.
    But as much fun as Plough Monday frolics sound, I’d sadly have to say that they wouldn’t fly now. First, the ploughmen and “bullocks” would be regarded as thoroughly sexist: where are the plough-women? The begging door-to-door would doubtless be considered trespassing, and ploughing the yards of those who didn’t cooperate would be destruction of property: those pesky modern laws! Someone would surely object to the cross-dressing Queen Bessy, and the excessive drinking would be frowned upon, too.
    ::sigh::
    So much for old-time holidays! 🙂

    Reply
  17. Susan here:
    Thank you for the compliment, May. I do love all these little-known scraps of history, the more obscure the better! *g*
    As for whether or not Plough Monday is still celebrated in some fashion in England — I’m afraid I don’t know. Perhaps one of our English readers can tell us?
    I do agree that modern holidays are becoming increasingly squeezed and homogenized, just as you say. I don’t have an answer to that, either.
    But as much fun as Plough Monday frolics sound, I’d sadly have to say that they wouldn’t fly now. First, the ploughmen and “bullocks” would be regarded as thoroughly sexist: where are the plough-women? The begging door-to-door would doubtless be considered trespassing, and ploughing the yards of those who didn’t cooperate would be destruction of property: those pesky modern laws! Someone would surely object to the cross-dressing Queen Bessy, and the excessive drinking would be frowned upon, too.
    ::sigh::
    So much for old-time holidays! 🙂

    Reply
  18. Susan here:
    Thank you for the compliment, May. I do love all these little-known scraps of history, the more obscure the better! *g*
    As for whether or not Plough Monday is still celebrated in some fashion in England — I’m afraid I don’t know. Perhaps one of our English readers can tell us?
    I do agree that modern holidays are becoming increasingly squeezed and homogenized, just as you say. I don’t have an answer to that, either.
    But as much fun as Plough Monday frolics sound, I’d sadly have to say that they wouldn’t fly now. First, the ploughmen and “bullocks” would be regarded as thoroughly sexist: where are the plough-women? The begging door-to-door would doubtless be considered trespassing, and ploughing the yards of those who didn’t cooperate would be destruction of property: those pesky modern laws! Someone would surely object to the cross-dressing Queen Bessy, and the excessive drinking would be frowned upon, too.
    ::sigh::
    So much for old-time holidays! 🙂

    Reply
  19. Susan here:
    Thank you for the compliment, May. I do love all these little-known scraps of history, the more obscure the better! *g*
    As for whether or not Plough Monday is still celebrated in some fashion in England — I’m afraid I don’t know. Perhaps one of our English readers can tell us?
    I do agree that modern holidays are becoming increasingly squeezed and homogenized, just as you say. I don’t have an answer to that, either.
    But as much fun as Plough Monday frolics sound, I’d sadly have to say that they wouldn’t fly now. First, the ploughmen and “bullocks” would be regarded as thoroughly sexist: where are the plough-women? The begging door-to-door would doubtless be considered trespassing, and ploughing the yards of those who didn’t cooperate would be destruction of property: those pesky modern laws! Someone would surely object to the cross-dressing Queen Bessy, and the excessive drinking would be frowned upon, too.
    ::sigh::
    So much for old-time holidays! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Susan here:
    Thank you for the compliment, May. I do love all these little-known scraps of history, the more obscure the better! *g*
    As for whether or not Plough Monday is still celebrated in some fashion in England — I’m afraid I don’t know. Perhaps one of our English readers can tell us?
    I do agree that modern holidays are becoming increasingly squeezed and homogenized, just as you say. I don’t have an answer to that, either.
    But as much fun as Plough Monday frolics sound, I’d sadly have to say that they wouldn’t fly now. First, the ploughmen and “bullocks” would be regarded as thoroughly sexist: where are the plough-women? The begging door-to-door would doubtless be considered trespassing, and ploughing the yards of those who didn’t cooperate would be destruction of property: those pesky modern laws! Someone would surely object to the cross-dressing Queen Bessy, and the excessive drinking would be frowned upon, too.
    ::sigh::
    So much for old-time holidays! 🙂

    Reply
  21. For the past three years I’ve attended the Cal Revels performances.
    http://www.calrevels.org/
    That’s where I first heard about plowing up a gentleman’s lawn and other cool things such as the Abotts-Bromley Horn Dance. The Revels combine history with theater and it comes out as wonderful entertainment every year.

    Reply
  22. For the past three years I’ve attended the Cal Revels performances.
    http://www.calrevels.org/
    That’s where I first heard about plowing up a gentleman’s lawn and other cool things such as the Abotts-Bromley Horn Dance. The Revels combine history with theater and it comes out as wonderful entertainment every year.

    Reply
  23. For the past three years I’ve attended the Cal Revels performances.
    http://www.calrevels.org/
    That’s where I first heard about plowing up a gentleman’s lawn and other cool things such as the Abotts-Bromley Horn Dance. The Revels combine history with theater and it comes out as wonderful entertainment every year.

    Reply
  24. For the past three years I’ve attended the Cal Revels performances.
    http://www.calrevels.org/
    That’s where I first heard about plowing up a gentleman’s lawn and other cool things such as the Abotts-Bromley Horn Dance. The Revels combine history with theater and it comes out as wonderful entertainment every year.

    Reply
  25. For the past three years I’ve attended the Cal Revels performances.
    http://www.calrevels.org/
    That’s where I first heard about plowing up a gentleman’s lawn and other cool things such as the Abotts-Bromley Horn Dance. The Revels combine history with theater and it comes out as wonderful entertainment every year.

    Reply
  26. Susan again:
    Nina, I’m glad you’re game! However, I think the Wenches’ computers would have to be on the receiving end of the blessing, considering all they go through in a year. I doubt any of us feel competent to banish much of anything (let alone the creep and crawl induced by Typepad) on our own. *g*
    BigBen, you’re right — there’s definitely a Monty Python feel to the descriptions of Plough Monday!
    Helen, thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  27. Susan again:
    Nina, I’m glad you’re game! However, I think the Wenches’ computers would have to be on the receiving end of the blessing, considering all they go through in a year. I doubt any of us feel competent to banish much of anything (let alone the creep and crawl induced by Typepad) on our own. *g*
    BigBen, you’re right — there’s definitely a Monty Python feel to the descriptions of Plough Monday!
    Helen, thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  28. Susan again:
    Nina, I’m glad you’re game! However, I think the Wenches’ computers would have to be on the receiving end of the blessing, considering all they go through in a year. I doubt any of us feel competent to banish much of anything (let alone the creep and crawl induced by Typepad) on our own. *g*
    BigBen, you’re right — there’s definitely a Monty Python feel to the descriptions of Plough Monday!
    Helen, thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  29. Susan again:
    Nina, I’m glad you’re game! However, I think the Wenches’ computers would have to be on the receiving end of the blessing, considering all they go through in a year. I doubt any of us feel competent to banish much of anything (let alone the creep and crawl induced by Typepad) on our own. *g*
    BigBen, you’re right — there’s definitely a Monty Python feel to the descriptions of Plough Monday!
    Helen, thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  30. Susan again:
    Nina, I’m glad you’re game! However, I think the Wenches’ computers would have to be on the receiving end of the blessing, considering all they go through in a year. I doubt any of us feel competent to banish much of anything (let alone the creep and crawl induced by Typepad) on our own. *g*
    BigBen, you’re right — there’s definitely a Monty Python feel to the descriptions of Plough Monday!
    Helen, thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  31. Susan again:
    Jane George and Anne — Thanks for the links to your local Revels — and it’s great to think they’re on opposite coasts! Seeing these dredged up a hazy memory of a Philadelphia-area version back in the 80s and 90s. When I worked at Bryn Mawr College, the college would lease their auditorium (a very medieval stone-and-iron affair) to a company over the holidays. Don’t know if they’re still in production, but it was great fun, and another side of a “traditional” Christmas. Long live the Lord of Misrule!

    Reply
  32. Susan again:
    Jane George and Anne — Thanks for the links to your local Revels — and it’s great to think they’re on opposite coasts! Seeing these dredged up a hazy memory of a Philadelphia-area version back in the 80s and 90s. When I worked at Bryn Mawr College, the college would lease their auditorium (a very medieval stone-and-iron affair) to a company over the holidays. Don’t know if they’re still in production, but it was great fun, and another side of a “traditional” Christmas. Long live the Lord of Misrule!

    Reply
  33. Susan again:
    Jane George and Anne — Thanks for the links to your local Revels — and it’s great to think they’re on opposite coasts! Seeing these dredged up a hazy memory of a Philadelphia-area version back in the 80s and 90s. When I worked at Bryn Mawr College, the college would lease their auditorium (a very medieval stone-and-iron affair) to a company over the holidays. Don’t know if they’re still in production, but it was great fun, and another side of a “traditional” Christmas. Long live the Lord of Misrule!

    Reply
  34. Susan again:
    Jane George and Anne — Thanks for the links to your local Revels — and it’s great to think they’re on opposite coasts! Seeing these dredged up a hazy memory of a Philadelphia-area version back in the 80s and 90s. When I worked at Bryn Mawr College, the college would lease their auditorium (a very medieval stone-and-iron affair) to a company over the holidays. Don’t know if they’re still in production, but it was great fun, and another side of a “traditional” Christmas. Long live the Lord of Misrule!

    Reply
  35. Susan again:
    Jane George and Anne — Thanks for the links to your local Revels — and it’s great to think they’re on opposite coasts! Seeing these dredged up a hazy memory of a Philadelphia-area version back in the 80s and 90s. When I worked at Bryn Mawr College, the college would lease their auditorium (a very medieval stone-and-iron affair) to a company over the holidays. Don’t know if they’re still in production, but it was great fun, and another side of a “traditional” Christmas. Long live the Lord of Misrule!

    Reply
  36. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  37. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  38. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  39. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  40. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  41. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  42. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  43. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  44. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  45. When I first glanced at the pictures, I didn’t realize that many of the figures were men in drag. Then I clicked to enlarge for detail. Too funny! Must have been a humdinger of a party. I love these old pictures. Loretta and Jo have used them for illustrations before, too, I think. These are the little things that make this blog special. Thank you, ladies, and a blessed, happy new year.

    Reply
  46. That’s okay, Barbara — I think that Typepad must still be recovering from New Year’s Eve, what with all the hiccuping and double-posts. *g*
    And I’m glad you like the old engravings!

    Reply
  47. That’s okay, Barbara — I think that Typepad must still be recovering from New Year’s Eve, what with all the hiccuping and double-posts. *g*
    And I’m glad you like the old engravings!

    Reply
  48. That’s okay, Barbara — I think that Typepad must still be recovering from New Year’s Eve, what with all the hiccuping and double-posts. *g*
    And I’m glad you like the old engravings!

    Reply
  49. That’s okay, Barbara — I think that Typepad must still be recovering from New Year’s Eve, what with all the hiccuping and double-posts. *g*
    And I’m glad you like the old engravings!

    Reply
  50. That’s okay, Barbara — I think that Typepad must still be recovering from New Year’s Eve, what with all the hiccuping and double-posts. *g*
    And I’m glad you like the old engravings!

    Reply
  51. Excellent post!
    Maybe that old adage “Time is Money” got too involved with people pursuing the “good things in life”

    Reply
  52. Excellent post!
    Maybe that old adage “Time is Money” got too involved with people pursuing the “good things in life”

    Reply
  53. Excellent post!
    Maybe that old adage “Time is Money” got too involved with people pursuing the “good things in life”

    Reply
  54. Excellent post!
    Maybe that old adage “Time is Money” got too involved with people pursuing the “good things in life”

    Reply
  55. Excellent post!
    Maybe that old adage “Time is Money” got too involved with people pursuing the “good things in life”

    Reply
  56. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  57. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  58. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  59. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  60. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  61. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  62. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  63. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  64. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  65. Susan again:
    Thanks, Louis. Glad you enjoyed it!
    You’re probably right about “time is money.” Modern Americans take fewer holidays and vacations than anyone else, and even in idylic vacation resorts, most of the people seem physically unable to part with their laptops and cellphones. When I worked in academia, it was common practice to close the campus from Christmas to New Years, and we got endless grief as “slackers” from the rest of the world. To stop working for the entire length of Christmastide — which certaiinly seems to have been the case, if Plough Monday signaled the end of the holiday — would be unthinkable to most modern folk, or at least to their bosses.
    Sez I who work seven days a week….*g*

    Reply
  66. Susan again:
    So now I’m the one who blurped twice. Ahh, it’s a fine day at Typepad, isn’t it? Double or nothing! *g*

    Reply
  67. Susan again:
    So now I’m the one who blurped twice. Ahh, it’s a fine day at Typepad, isn’t it? Double or nothing! *g*

    Reply
  68. Susan again:
    So now I’m the one who blurped twice. Ahh, it’s a fine day at Typepad, isn’t it? Double or nothing! *g*

    Reply
  69. Susan again:
    So now I’m the one who blurped twice. Ahh, it’s a fine day at Typepad, isn’t it? Double or nothing! *g*

    Reply
  70. Susan again:
    So now I’m the one who blurped twice. Ahh, it’s a fine day at Typepad, isn’t it? Double or nothing! *g*

    Reply
  71. A book on my shelf states that the first written mention of Plough Monday dates back to the early fifteenth century (1415) and was more to do with the church where the ‘common’ plough, shared by the villagers, was kept and candles were lit and any money raised toting the plough round the village went to the church. The candle lighting was banned during the Reformation and the whole thing died down only to be revived in the late eightenneth century with no church referenecs, much wilder celebrations and the money raised going toward the partying. Various regions had differing customs to do with fools, face painting and men dressing as women. There were even Plough Plays. It was the party-poopers of the late nineteenth century who suppressed the wilder aspects of Plough Monday. The book gives a quote referring to Plough Monday celebrations from a Bedfordshire journal dated 1926 then goes on to say with the increase of mechanization and depressions that saw many leave the land, Plough Monday celebrations gradually faded away.
    The book is called The English Year: A month-by-month guide to The Nations’s Customs & Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night. It is by Steve Roud who has apparently been searching out British folklore & ancient customs etc for many years.
    I too would like to add how much I enjoy all the little-known oddities I learn from the Whenches.

    Reply
  72. A book on my shelf states that the first written mention of Plough Monday dates back to the early fifteenth century (1415) and was more to do with the church where the ‘common’ plough, shared by the villagers, was kept and candles were lit and any money raised toting the plough round the village went to the church. The candle lighting was banned during the Reformation and the whole thing died down only to be revived in the late eightenneth century with no church referenecs, much wilder celebrations and the money raised going toward the partying. Various regions had differing customs to do with fools, face painting and men dressing as women. There were even Plough Plays. It was the party-poopers of the late nineteenth century who suppressed the wilder aspects of Plough Monday. The book gives a quote referring to Plough Monday celebrations from a Bedfordshire journal dated 1926 then goes on to say with the increase of mechanization and depressions that saw many leave the land, Plough Monday celebrations gradually faded away.
    The book is called The English Year: A month-by-month guide to The Nations’s Customs & Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night. It is by Steve Roud who has apparently been searching out British folklore & ancient customs etc for many years.
    I too would like to add how much I enjoy all the little-known oddities I learn from the Whenches.

    Reply
  73. A book on my shelf states that the first written mention of Plough Monday dates back to the early fifteenth century (1415) and was more to do with the church where the ‘common’ plough, shared by the villagers, was kept and candles were lit and any money raised toting the plough round the village went to the church. The candle lighting was banned during the Reformation and the whole thing died down only to be revived in the late eightenneth century with no church referenecs, much wilder celebrations and the money raised going toward the partying. Various regions had differing customs to do with fools, face painting and men dressing as women. There were even Plough Plays. It was the party-poopers of the late nineteenth century who suppressed the wilder aspects of Plough Monday. The book gives a quote referring to Plough Monday celebrations from a Bedfordshire journal dated 1926 then goes on to say with the increase of mechanization and depressions that saw many leave the land, Plough Monday celebrations gradually faded away.
    The book is called The English Year: A month-by-month guide to The Nations’s Customs & Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night. It is by Steve Roud who has apparently been searching out British folklore & ancient customs etc for many years.
    I too would like to add how much I enjoy all the little-known oddities I learn from the Whenches.

    Reply
  74. A book on my shelf states that the first written mention of Plough Monday dates back to the early fifteenth century (1415) and was more to do with the church where the ‘common’ plough, shared by the villagers, was kept and candles were lit and any money raised toting the plough round the village went to the church. The candle lighting was banned during the Reformation and the whole thing died down only to be revived in the late eightenneth century with no church referenecs, much wilder celebrations and the money raised going toward the partying. Various regions had differing customs to do with fools, face painting and men dressing as women. There were even Plough Plays. It was the party-poopers of the late nineteenth century who suppressed the wilder aspects of Plough Monday. The book gives a quote referring to Plough Monday celebrations from a Bedfordshire journal dated 1926 then goes on to say with the increase of mechanization and depressions that saw many leave the land, Plough Monday celebrations gradually faded away.
    The book is called The English Year: A month-by-month guide to The Nations’s Customs & Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night. It is by Steve Roud who has apparently been searching out British folklore & ancient customs etc for many years.
    I too would like to add how much I enjoy all the little-known oddities I learn from the Whenches.

    Reply
  75. A book on my shelf states that the first written mention of Plough Monday dates back to the early fifteenth century (1415) and was more to do with the church where the ‘common’ plough, shared by the villagers, was kept and candles were lit and any money raised toting the plough round the village went to the church. The candle lighting was banned during the Reformation and the whole thing died down only to be revived in the late eightenneth century with no church referenecs, much wilder celebrations and the money raised going toward the partying. Various regions had differing customs to do with fools, face painting and men dressing as women. There were even Plough Plays. It was the party-poopers of the late nineteenth century who suppressed the wilder aspects of Plough Monday. The book gives a quote referring to Plough Monday celebrations from a Bedfordshire journal dated 1926 then goes on to say with the increase of mechanization and depressions that saw many leave the land, Plough Monday celebrations gradually faded away.
    The book is called The English Year: A month-by-month guide to The Nations’s Customs & Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night. It is by Steve Roud who has apparently been searching out British folklore & ancient customs etc for many years.
    I too would like to add how much I enjoy all the little-known oddities I learn from the Whenches.

    Reply
  76. My pleasure, Susan. *g*
    Wow, Amazon’s is a much nicer copy than mine. I got the paperback for about $25 AUD at an airport bookshop of all places!

    Reply
  77. My pleasure, Susan. *g*
    Wow, Amazon’s is a much nicer copy than mine. I got the paperback for about $25 AUD at an airport bookshop of all places!

    Reply
  78. My pleasure, Susan. *g*
    Wow, Amazon’s is a much nicer copy than mine. I got the paperback for about $25 AUD at an airport bookshop of all places!

    Reply
  79. My pleasure, Susan. *g*
    Wow, Amazon’s is a much nicer copy than mine. I got the paperback for about $25 AUD at an airport bookshop of all places!

    Reply
  80. My pleasure, Susan. *g*
    Wow, Amazon’s is a much nicer copy than mine. I got the paperback for about $25 AUD at an airport bookshop of all places!

    Reply
  81. Susan again:
    Alison, I’ll tell you what really sold me on the edition available on Amazon — the cover art shows a 17th century Frost Fair on the Frozen Thames. I’ve already written a blog about the Frost Fairs as well as written one into a book (“Duchess”), so I probably won’t go there again *g*, but still, I took that as a good sign for the book!
    Interesting that you found your copy in an airport. I wonder if this edition is one repackaged for the American market?

    Reply
  82. Susan again:
    Alison, I’ll tell you what really sold me on the edition available on Amazon — the cover art shows a 17th century Frost Fair on the Frozen Thames. I’ve already written a blog about the Frost Fairs as well as written one into a book (“Duchess”), so I probably won’t go there again *g*, but still, I took that as a good sign for the book!
    Interesting that you found your copy in an airport. I wonder if this edition is one repackaged for the American market?

    Reply
  83. Susan again:
    Alison, I’ll tell you what really sold me on the edition available on Amazon — the cover art shows a 17th century Frost Fair on the Frozen Thames. I’ve already written a blog about the Frost Fairs as well as written one into a book (“Duchess”), so I probably won’t go there again *g*, but still, I took that as a good sign for the book!
    Interesting that you found your copy in an airport. I wonder if this edition is one repackaged for the American market?

    Reply
  84. Susan again:
    Alison, I’ll tell you what really sold me on the edition available on Amazon — the cover art shows a 17th century Frost Fair on the Frozen Thames. I’ve already written a blog about the Frost Fairs as well as written one into a book (“Duchess”), so I probably won’t go there again *g*, but still, I took that as a good sign for the book!
    Interesting that you found your copy in an airport. I wonder if this edition is one repackaged for the American market?

    Reply
  85. Susan again:
    Alison, I’ll tell you what really sold me on the edition available on Amazon — the cover art shows a 17th century Frost Fair on the Frozen Thames. I’ve already written a blog about the Frost Fairs as well as written one into a book (“Duchess”), so I probably won’t go there again *g*, but still, I took that as a good sign for the book!
    Interesting that you found your copy in an airport. I wonder if this edition is one repackaged for the American market?

    Reply
  86. I agree with everyone else. Susan, I love the quirky history posts! Keep them coming!
    It’s also the reason I find the WordWenches books so satisfying. No wallpaper history, and I appreciate the research you all need to do it right.

    Reply
  87. I agree with everyone else. Susan, I love the quirky history posts! Keep them coming!
    It’s also the reason I find the WordWenches books so satisfying. No wallpaper history, and I appreciate the research you all need to do it right.

    Reply
  88. I agree with everyone else. Susan, I love the quirky history posts! Keep them coming!
    It’s also the reason I find the WordWenches books so satisfying. No wallpaper history, and I appreciate the research you all need to do it right.

    Reply
  89. I agree with everyone else. Susan, I love the quirky history posts! Keep them coming!
    It’s also the reason I find the WordWenches books so satisfying. No wallpaper history, and I appreciate the research you all need to do it right.

    Reply
  90. I agree with everyone else. Susan, I love the quirky history posts! Keep them coming!
    It’s also the reason I find the WordWenches books so satisfying. No wallpaper history, and I appreciate the research you all need to do it right.

    Reply

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