Folk Play Links - Guisers, Guising; Guizers, Guizing, etc.

Compiled by C. Little

Some non-play customs and their practitioners have the same names as the plays and their actors. e.g. Cakers, Guisers, Mummers, Pace Eggers, Morris Dancers, Plough Bullocks, Soulers, Sword Dancers etc. This can be confusing.

Publications listed may be cited as well as full text.


001 * Crich Parish [Elsie Jones - Guisers, 1900-1925]
002 * Highways and Byways in Derbyshire [by J.B. Firth, 1905, p.350 - (Ball and) Guising at Eyam, until recent years]
003 * Natives of Milton [Eyam] [by R.Murray Gilchrist, 1902, p.132 - 'A Sale in Peakland' - "They be only fit for guisers at Kirsmas time!" - Literary Work]
004 * The Plague-Stricken Derbyshire Village : or What to See in and around Eyam [2nd edition] [by Rev J.M.J. Fletcher [was Vicar of Tideswell], 1916 - 'Old Customs' - "Guising"]
005 * The True Story of Adam Bede [by A. Johnson, in Littell's Living Age, 5th Ser. Vol.XLV No.2072, 8th Mar. 1884, p.638 - as Sunday Magazine]
006 * The True Story of Adam Bede [by Mrs A. Johnson, in Sunday Magazine, Vol.XII No.9, ? 1884, p.128 - guisers at Wirksworth - [incidentally, George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans] based the character on Robert Evans [her father] and the character of Seth Bede on Samuel Evans [her uncle]]]
007 * Two Collections of Derbicisms [by Samuel Pegge [Rector of Whittington], eds. by Rev Prof Skeat & Thomas Hallam, 1896, 'Supplement from a Second Series' pp.103 - entry for 'Guisers'; 112 - entry for 'Mummers'; (115 - entry for 'Plough Monday')]


008 * A Glossary of North Country Words, [by John Trotter Brockett, 1825, p.82 - entry for 'Gisers, Guisers']
009 * A Glossary of North Country Words, [3rd edition, corrected and enlarged] [by John Trotter Brockett, [rev.] by W.E. Brockett [his son], 1846, Vol.I p.202 - entry for 'Guisers' - especially with Mell-suppers]
010 * A Glossary of North Country Words, [New edition] [by John Trotter Brockett, 1829, p.143 - entry for 'Guisers' - especially with Mell-suppers]
011 * A Glossary of Provincial Words Used in Teesdale in the County of Durham [by [Frederick Trotter Dinsdale], 1849, pp.57 - entry for 'Guisers' - with Mell suppers; (129-130 - entry for 'Sword Dancers' - Staindrop fragment?)]
012 * History and Characteristics of Bishop Auckland: [by Matthew Richley, 1872, p.174 - "guisers" with "Mell Supper"]
013 * History of Hartlepool, [Re-Print edition] [by the late Sir Cuthbert Sharp, 1851, p.176 - "Guisers" with "mell supper"; (sword dancers; stot plough)]
014 * History of Hartlepool, A [1st edition] [extract from Sir Cuthbert Sharp, 1816, p.152 - "Guisers" with "mell supper"; (sword dancers; stot plough)]
015 * Memorials of Old Durham [ed. by Henry R. Leighton, 1910, pp.58; (59) - 'Folk-Lore of the County of Durham', by Mrs Newton W. Apperley - "guisers" with mell supper; ("guisers")]
016 * Notes on the Folk Lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders [by William Henderson, 1866, pp.67-68 - "guisers" with mell-supper not far from [Durham]; (68 - north Yorkshire; 69 - Cleveland)]
017 * Pit-Yacker [extract from George Hitchin, 1962, p.24 - guysers at Seaham]
018 * Pit-Yacker [by George Hitchin, 1962, p.24 - guysers at Seaham]
019 * The Denham Tracts [ed. by Dr James Hardy, Vol.II, 1895, pp.3 - as Folk Lore, or Manners and Customs, of the North of England - Guising with Mell Supper, 1825 & 1826; (214-215 - as Miscellaneous - [unlocated] south Northumberland fragment; 215 - as Miscellaneous - Wooler fragment; 347-348 - as Border Sketches and Folklore - [unlocated] text)]
020 * Up the Ladder : 'My Memories', by Adeline Hodges, [1980] [internet only] [guysers at Seaham]


021 * Eccles and Barton's Guising War" [by William Harrison, in Notes and Queries, 3rd Ser. Vol.VI No.141, 10th Sep. 1864, p.206 - citation of The History of Eccles and Barton's Contentious Guising War, by F. H**r**g**n, [1778]; citation of Hibbert]
022 * Illustration of the Customs of a Manor in the North of England, during the fifteenth century [Ashton-under-Lyne] [by Samuel Hibbert, 1822, pp.18-20 - "guisings" or "marlings" - as his article]
023 * The History of Eccles and Barton's Contentious Guising War [by F. H**r**g**n [F. Harrington ?], 1777 - Subscription required for Gale: Eighteenth Century Collections Online]

North Yorkshire

024 * A Glossary of the Cleveland Dialect: [by Rev J.C. Atkinson [Incumbent [Perpetual Curate] of Danby], 1868, pp.237 - entry for 'Guizard'; (386 - entry for 'Plough-stots')]
025 * Examples of Printed Folk-Lore concerning the North Riding of Yorkshire, York and the Ainsty [County Folk-Lore, Vol.II : Printed Extracts, No. 4] [coll. & ed. by Mrs Gutch, 1901, pp.257-259 - extract from Rhymes & Sketches to Illustrate the Cleveland Dialect [2nd edition], by Mrs G.M. Tweddell, 1892, pp.49-51; 259-266 - extract from article, by Richard Blakeborough, in Leeds Mercury Supplement, 14th Jan. 1899 - ('The Mell Supper Act', 1820;) "Guisers" with mell supper - both informed by [?]]
026 * Notes on the Folk Lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders [by William Henderson, 1866, pp.(67-68 - "guisers" with mell-supper not far from [Durham];) 68 - north Yorkshire; 69 - Cleveland]
027 * Rhymes & Sketches to Illustrate the Cleveland Dialect [2nd edition] [by Mrs G.M. Tweddell, 1892, pp.49-51 - 'Awd Tahms an' Awd Fooaks' - Mell Suppers]
028 * Tales of the Ridings [by F.W. Moorman, 1921, 'Corn-Fever' - guisers with Mell Suppers - Literary Work]
029 * Wit, Character, Folklore & Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire [by Richard Blakeborough, 1898, pp.86, 144 - guisers with mell suppers around Bilsdale]
030 * Yorkshire Folk-Talk : with characteristics of those who speak it in the North and East Ridings [by Rev M.C.F. Morris [Vicar of Newton-on-Ouse], 1892, Chapter XI - "guisers" with Mell Supper; (ploughstots; sword-dancers / 'Glossary' - entry for 'Pleugh-stots' [- as below ?]; entry for 'Sword-dancers')]


031 * A Memoir of Thomas Bewick, [by Thomas Bewick, 1862, pp.25-26 - "a guising" with "kirn supper" [near to Eltringham]; (81 - "foulpleughs" [far from Eltringham], 1774-1775)]
032 * A View of Northumberland [by W. Hutchinson, 1778, Vol.II 'Ancient Customs' pp.17-19 - Mell-Supper; ("sword dance"; Stot Plough)]
033 * Once a Year [extract from Homer Sykes, 1977, pp.156-159 - Photo of some Allendale Town guisers]


034 * A History of Fife and Kinross [by Ae.J.G. Mackay, 1896, p.296 - [unlocated] song]
035 * A History of Moray and Nairn [by Charles Rampini, 1897, p.347 - at [unlocated]]
036 * A History of the Border Counties (Roxburgh Selkirk Peebles) [by Sir George Douglas, 1899, p.242fn - citation of Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, Vol.I, p.308]
037 * Ane Compendious Booke, of Godly and Spirituall Songs [Andro Hart reprint][2nd augmented edition only?] [by [James, John & Robert Wedderburn ?], 1621, img.107 - "ballads changed out of profane songs" - Subscription required for Chadwyck-Healey: Early English Books Online]
038 * Annals of the Parish of Lesmahagow [by J.B. Greenshields, 1864, p.149 - presbytery of Lanark - 1626]
039 * Charters and Documents relating to the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 [1897, pp.250-278 - citation of Selections from the Records of the Kirk Session, Presbytery, and Synod of Aberdeen, ed. by John Stuart, 1846, pp.49-50, xxiv]
040 * Ecclesia Antiqua or, the History of an Ancient Church (St Michael's, Linlithgow) [by Rev John Ferguson [Minister of Linlithgow], 1905, p.166 - "playing at gysers" - extract from Records of the Presbytery of Linlithgow]
041 * Ecclesiastical Records. : Selections from the Minutes of the Presbyteries of St. Andrews and Cupar, M.DC.XLI. - M.DC.XCVIII. [by G.R. K. [George Ritchie Kinloch], 1837, pp.83-84, 82 - guizers at Leuchars, 30th Jan. 1666 & 14th Feb. 1666]
042 * Ecclesiastical Records. : Selections from the Registers of the Presbytery of Lanark. M.DC.XXIII - M.DCC.IX [by John Robertson [via George Ritchie Kinloch], 1839, p.5 - '4th Jan. 1627' & 'Feb. 1627' - at Douglas]
043 * Edinburgh Picturesque Notes [by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1879, Chapter IX - "guisards"]
044 * Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae [New edition only ?] [by Hew Scott, Vol.I, 1915, p.192 - 'Presbytery of Linlithgow' - 'Bathgate' - 29th Dec. 1613 - gysers]
045 * Folk Lore [by Penguin [pseud], in Antiquary, Vol.III No.45, 11th Jan. 1873, pp.19-20 - Angus song, after a memory of nearly forty years]
046 * Folk Lore [by Alison [pseud], in Antiquary, Vol.III No.48, 1st Feb. 1873, p.57 - Angus song]
047 * Golspie : Contributions to its Folklore [coll. & ed. by Edward W.B. Nicholson, 1897, pp.99-100, 330 - 'Guising', by A. C. [Annie Cumming] & B. C. [Bella Cumming]]
048 * Hogmanay Custom [by D. Whyte, in Notes and Queries, 5th Ser. Vol.XI No.263, 11th Jan. 1879, p.39 - [unlocated] song; extract from The Poetical Works of Robert Anderson,, by himself, 1820, Vol.I, pp.lviii-lix]
049 * Inverness before Railways [by Isabel Harriet Anderson, 1885, p.13 - "Bulliegeizers"]
050 * Inverness Kirk-Session Records 1661-1800 [ed. by Alexander Mitchell, 1902, p.50 - 12th Jan. 1702]
051 * Life of the Rev John Milne of Perth [Minister of Free St Leonard's] [5th edition] [by Horatius Bonar, 1870, pp.298, 292 - "Guizard" boys at Perth, 1860 - songs superseded by hymns]
052 * Lindores Abbey and its Burgh of Newburgh [by Alexander Laing, 1876, pp.391-392 - Guisers song]
053 * Lowland Scotch as Spoken in the Lower Strathearn District of Perthshire [Dunning] [by Sir James Wilson, 1915, pp.226-227 - 'Mummers' Verses on the Last Day of the Year']
054 * Memoirs, Miscellanies and Letters of the Late Lucy Aikin: [ed. by Philip Hemery Le Breton, 1864, p.88 - "guisards" at Edinburgh]
055 * New Year Observances in Scotland [by Robert Chambers, in Edinburgh Literary Journal;, No.163, 24th Dec. 1831, pp.364-366 - [Peebles song]; guizards at Edinburgh]
056 * New Year Observances in Scotland [by Robert Chambers, in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, No.101 [Vol.II No.49], 4th Jan. 1834, pp.391-392 - [Peebles song]; guizards at Edinburgh]
057 * New Year's Day (rather Hogmanay) Custom [by John Carrie, in Notes & Queries, 5th Ser. Vol.X No.249, 5th Oct. 1878, pp.277-278 - [Friockheim] song]
058 * New Year's Day Custom [by C. G., in Notes & Queries, 5th Ser. Vol.X No.238, 20th Jul. 1878, p.59 - [Kelso ?] song]
059 * New Year's Day in Scotland, 1909 [by David Rorie, in Folk-Lore, Vol.XX No.IV, Dec. 1909, pp.481-482 - "guizanting" at Kelso; "guizers" "guizing" at Lerwick; "guizing" at North Berwick - extracts from Scotsman, 2nd Jan. 1909]
060 * Notes on the Folk-Lore of the North-East of Scotland [Morayshire, Banffshire and Aberdeenshire] [by Rev Walter Gregor [Minister of Pitsligo [parish][Rosehearty], 1881, p.158 - "gysers"]
061 * Personal Recollections of Thomas de Quincey [by John Ritchie Findlay, 1886, pp.15-17, 12 - "guisers" at Lasswade]
062 * Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville [US edition] [by Martha Somerville [her daughter], 1874, p.54 - "guisarts" at Edinburgh]
063 * Popular Rhymes of Scotland [3rd edition][Select Writings of Robert Chambers Vol.7] [ed. by Robert Chambers, 1847, pp.306 - "guizards" (non-play); (299-306 - (Peebles text;) (Falkirk fragment;) (West of Scotland fragment;) citation of Hone; citation of Sandys;) (306-310 - extract from Scott)]
064 * Records of the Meeting of the Exercise of Alford : 1662-1688 [sic] [ed. by Rev Thomas Bell, 1897, pp.31, 408-409 - guseris; extract from Selections from the Records of the Kirk Session, Presbytery, and Synod of Aberdeen, ed. by John Stuart, 1846, pp.49-50]
065 * Scotland : Social and Domestic [by Rev Charles Roger[s] [son of Minister of Dunino], 1869, pp.144-145 - extract from Callander; Aberdeenshire song; Southern Districts song; Fife "Cake-day" song]
066 * Selections from the Records of the Kirk Session, Presbytery, and Synod of Aberdeen [ed. by John Stuart, 1846, pp.49-50, xxiv]
067 * Some Memories of a Border Manse and a Border District [by [William Robert Shaw][son of Minister], in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol.CXL No.DCCCLIII, Nov. 1886, p.694 - Langholm song]
068 * Some Rhymes and Sayings of Childhood [by J.Charles Thomson, in Scottish Notes and Queries, Vol.IV.No.4, Sep. 1890, pp.73-74 - [Aberdeen ?] song]
069 * Studies in Lowland Scots [by James Colville, 1909, p.104 - Galloway laird [?] informed by his tenants [Anon] that Guisers are only known as Mummers [- dubious example of dialect knowledge not being commensurate with class]]
070 * The Dialect of Banffshire: [by Rev Walter Gregor, 1866, p.72 - entry for 'Gyse']
071 * The Disputed Inheritance [by Grace Webster, 1845, Vol.I p.205 - Literary Work - [Edinburgh ?] song]
072 * The Manners of my Time [by C.L.Hawkins Dempster, 1920, pp.38-39 - "guising" at Skibo Castle, Clashmore, on old Handsel Monday, 1843]
073 * The Poetical Works of Robert Anderson, [by himself, 1820, Vol.I, pp.lviii-lix - 'An Essay on the Character, Manners, & Customs of the Peasantry of Cumberland', by Thomas Sanderson - [Kirklinton ?] song]
074 * The Records of Elgin : 1234-1800 [comp. by the late William Cramond, ed. by Rev Stephen Ree, Vol.II, 1908, p.35 - 'Extracts from Kirk Session Minutes' - '4th Jan. 1594' - gysing]
075 * The Scottish Songs; [coll. by Robert Chambers, 1829, pp.xxxviii-xxxix Vol.I - extract from sacred imitation in Godly and Spiritual Songs, 1621; Peebles song]
076 * Thomas Coriate Traueller for the English VVits: Greeting [by Thomas Coryate, 1616, p.55 - letter from R. R. [Robert Richmond ?] - "gizard" - Subscription required for Chadwyck-Healey: Early English Books Online]
077 * Traditions of Perth, [by George Penny, 1836, p.40 - "Guisards"]
078 * Vintage Lundin Links [extract from In My Ain Words : An East Neuk Vocabulary, by Murray - Fife "cake day" song]


079 * Brown Edge [Peter Turner - (souling song;) guizing song]

Tristan Da Cunha

080 * FTX-609 - Tapioca's Big Toe : Traditions of Tristan da Cunha [CD for sale: by Peter Kennedy, 1977 - Tracks 30 & 33 - Mary Swain and Percy Lavarello, of songs, dances and customs, including Christmas and New Year]
081 * S.Atlantic : Where in the World? [Photo of Christmas/New Years Celebrations with masked and disquised characters Unidentified location, but the Tristan da Cunha Administrator's house is in the background.]
082 * The English of Tristan da Cunha [extract from Arne Zettersten, 1969, 'Holidays, parties, games' - entry for 'Guisers']
083 * The Lonely Island [by R.A. Rogers, 1926, Chapter 8 - Including a description of New Year mumming i.e. singing and dancing]
084 * Three Years in Tristan da Cunha [by K.M. Barrow, 1910, p.108 - Diary account of house-visiting in fancy dress on New Year's Eve, 1907]

West Yorkshire

085 * A Glossary of the Dialect of Almondbury and Huddersfield [comp. by the late Rev Alfred Easther [was Head Master of the Grammar School of King James in Almondbury] & ed. by Rev Thomas Lees, 1883, pp.58 - entry for 'Guisors' - (non-play); (98 - entry for 'Peace Egg' - chapbook; 111, xii - entry for 'Rush-bearing' - informed by Joe Armitage, who formerly went about "raper" dancing)]

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