Wants List

Wants Lists for Traditional Drama Studies.

When making a collection like this, there are three basic stages. Firstly, you have to learn that a piece exists and get enough details to identify it. Then you have to locate a source, and then try to get a copy. Most of the initial information comes from items already obtained – bibliographies, footnotes or brief mentions in the text. Frustratingly some of these are not always accurate or complete. As time goes on the lists inevitably accumulate items which cannot easily be found or for which the information is incomplete.

Some years ago I produced the ‘Mother of All Wants Lists’, running to many pages, which I sent to those friends and collaborators whom I thought might be able to help me. Thanks to their generosity the list is now reduced to the point where it hardly justified its grandiose title. In 2003, I decided to re-issue the list, and Peter Millington kindly offered to put it on the Website. Since then, some new wants have been added to the list, but a slightly larger number have been removed.

If anyone can supply copies of any items on the list, I shall be most grateful.
Also, it will be seen that many references lack essential details that are necessary to order them from the British Library or other sources. This applies particularly to journals and newspapers. Any information which will complete these refs would be a great help. Contact Me


  • [Various authors]. A [county name] Christmas.
 Sutton. [Various dates].
    [I have seen Berkshire, Black Country, Cotswold, Devonshire, Hampshire, Kent, Lakes, London, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Country, Wiltshire & Yorkshire. Also The Brontes’, Dickens’, Hardy’s & Shakespeare’s.]
  • ARMSTRONG, Edward A. The Wren Hunt and the Folk Play in Ireland. In The Folklore of Birds: An Enquiry into the Origins and Distribution of Some Magico-Religious Traditions. London: Collins, 1958. pp. 157-161.
  • Anon. a volume of essays by the English Association. Clarendon Press. dated Dec 1911 or 1912. One of them deals with “A Yorkshire Christmas play of very great antiquity”
  • Ballroom Guide. 1893.
? cited in Parle’s ‘The Mummers of Wexford’.
    BARING-GOULD, REV W. S. Curious Myths. 2nd series. 1868. pp.?-?..
[‘2 notices of Reviving Balsam’]
  • BEECH, John, Owen HAND, Mark MULHERN, Jeremy WESTON, eds. Scottish Life and Society: Oral Literature and Performance Culture. A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology vol 10. Scottish Life and Society Series. John Donald. 2007. Anything relevant.
  • BLADEY, Conrad. The Wassail Book.Vol.2-Literature and Drama, ISBN 9780983357360. Hutman Productions. pp.172-189.
  • BUCKTON Henry. Yesterday’s Country Customs: A History of Traditional English Folklore. Stroud: History Press, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7524-6797-9, 56pp., £12.99. Anything on Mumming.
  • CATER, Colin. A Penny for the Ploughboys. Hedingham Fair. 2009. The Merry Actors (song) words + dots.
  • Drama in English, 1558-1625. possibly Mary BLACKSTONE. TRY TO FIND AUTHOR FROM SHELFMARK
  • NOLAN, Maura. 2005. John Lydgate and the Making of Public Culture. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature (No. 58). 2- Lydgate’s mummings. 3- Lydgate’s disguisings. [It can apparently be downloaded from http://www.ebook3000.com/John-Lydgate-and-the-Making-of-Public-Culture_62681.html but I can’t get it to work]
  • REDMOND, John. The Alexandra Sequence (Book of poems due out in 2016) [see L.84-C]
  • RESTAD, Penne Lee. Christmas in America: A History. OUP. 1995. pp? 35;40; 180-81n; 16;; 205n; 17; 206n; [KINDLE]
  • SWINGLEHURST, Edmund. # 1987. Glorious Britain: A Guide to the Glamorous Events and Pageantry of the British Isles. pp.234-6; 245-6. The Hamlyn Publishing Group
  • TAYLER, E. D(ouglas) # Mummers’ Song. Part Song for male voices, words and music. E. Douglas Tayler: Books




  • The film/CD/DVD ‘Mummers, Masks and Mischief’. Aughakillymaude Mummers, Co Fermanagh
  • Discordant Comicals: The Christmas Hoodeners of East Kent, by George E. FRAMPTON. Tradition and Revival. Faversham Papers No.99. The Faversham Society. (2006)
  • Along Their Merry Way by Suzanne HANSBERRY. TimeOut Press. 2000
  • In Comes I: Performance, Memory and Landscape. Mike PEARSON. Uni. of Exeter Press. 2006.
  • Who Wants to See the White Boys Act. Stephen MILLER. Chiollagh Books. 2010.
  • COMMUNIQUE, (Pietersburg). [Transvaal, SA] 5/1, 1980. pp.32-9. The Morality Play Everyman.
  • COUNTRYSIDE MAGAZINE & SUBURBAN LIFE Harrisburg, PA, USA, 12.1914. p.? 
Christmas Mysteries & Masques, LANGDON, (W.)C.
  • EVENING MAIL. # (Dublin) Thurs. 4 Aug 1955. [“A team of Americans will visit Rosslare Harbour… to make a film…”]
  • Kirkus Reviews. New York, NY, USA, 44. 1 Mar 1976. p.312.
 Review of Glassie’s ‘All Silver and No Brass’,
    Christmas 1911. # pp.2-3. The Muddymore Mummers, O’BRIEN, F.
    28 Feb 1912. # p.?. The Co. Wexford Mummers. O’BRIEN, John J.
    22 Nov 1930: p.496. The Mummers’ Rhymes. O’TOOLE, Edward.
    15 Nov 1930: 482. The Mummers’ Rhymes. O’TOOLE, Edward.
    8 Nov 1930: 457. The Mummers’ Rhymes. O’TOOLE, Edward.
    1 Nov 1930: 421. The Mummers’ Rhymes. O’TOOLE, Edward.
    44. 1.March.1976. p.312. Revue of Glassie’s All Silver & No Brass.
    THE LADY 3 Dec 1936. p.? A Winter’s Tale, BORELL, Louise
. In Alex Helm Collection.9:45-46.
    MEDIEVAL ENGLISH THEATRE. 22. 2000. pp.122-126. 
The Coventry Hock Tuesday Play: Its Origin and Relationship to Hocktide. MARTY, Paulette.
    RURAL HISTORY, 14:2. (Oct 2003) pp.240-241. Review- ‘May Day to Mummers: Folklore & Traditional Customs in Oxfordshire’ by Christine Bloxham. HOWKINS, Alun.
    MEDIEVAL ENGLISH THEATRE. [NOT Hull. The American High School Weekly, perhaps Pittsburgh ? ]
    31:24E. 18. Dec. 1937. Selected List of Christmas Plays.
    33.3T. 17. Dec.1938. Christmas Bibliography.
    SOMERSET DRAMA # 1922 Somerset Folk No 7, DIALECT. Glastonbury Mummers. John READ.
    TREASURY, (THE?) JAN 1907. Winter Customs. DITCHFIELD, Rev P.H.



  • COURIER-POST [Cherry Hill, NJ, USA], 29 Dec 1979. p.?. The New Jersey Mummers’ Connection, WELCH, Charles E. Cited in Roomer.
  • MID-WEEK ADVERTISER [Andover], 22 Dec 1982. p.3.
The Strange & Ancient Tradition of Mummers. ‘BYSTANDER’
. No issue for date’ – ends 15 Dec 1982. Cited in Roud & Marsh’s ‘Mumming Plays in Hampshire’.
  • THE SHAMROCK, # 24.12.1875. [BLx-no issue for date] Memories of Christmas Revels. SAVAGE
  • WEXFORD FREE PRESS. # “1920’s & 30’s” Series of articles. BROWNE, Kathleen A
  • WEXFORD INDEPENDENT. # Articles by the editor, O’BRIEN, Stan


  • Sheffield grinder’s Christmas dinner, with mummers. # Painting. Location n.k. TURNER, Robert Exhibited at the Royal Academy 1841. (ref 632) Location Unknown.
  • Western Canada Theatre [Photos and cast for performances of ‘Scrooge Meets the Mummers’ at the Sagebrush Theatre, 28th Nov. – 7th Dec. 2002] Webssite ‘cannot be found’.
  • Worcestershire Mummers. # Painting. Pre-1859. Location not known.