A History of Brown Edge, a Staffordshire Moorlands Village

The Brown Edge and Biddulph Moor Mumming play.

This play was collected from a lady (whose name escapes me at the moment) in 1966 by John Levit. She lived at Biddulph moor but came from Brown Edge as a child.  She remembered the play being performed in local pubs primarily at christmas time.


King George    The Prince of Paradise

Slasher            Bealzebub
The Doctor      The Little Devil Doubt

Devil Doubt

Open this door to let in,
For I am one bound to win.
Whether  I rise or whether I fall
I’ll do my duty to please you all.
A  room, a room which I desire,
Stir up this fire, and  make a light,
For to see this Jovial act by night
I act by night, I act by day,
I mean to act this jovial  act before I go way
If you don’t believe these words I say,
Step in King George and clear the way.

King George

Here art I, King George
The Noble champion bold, of all the world,
With my bright  buckled sword down my side
I won ten thousand pounds in Gold
Because I have fought the fiery dragon
And bought him to the slaughter
By these means   I won the King of Egypts daughter


Here am I Slasher,
Brave, bold, gallant slasher,
Slasher is my name,

The Turkish Moor, a knight of fame
If I fought a fight with thee,
I fear thou art not able
For as I draw my glittering sword
I’m sure I‘ll thee disable.

King George

Disable, disable?
I’m not in thy power
If I draw my glittering sword
I’m sure I’ll thee devour
Stand back Slasher, let no more be said 
If I draw my glittering sword

I’m sure to break thy head




How canst thou break mine head

For my head is made of iron, my body of steel

My hands of fearsome knuckle bone

I’ll challenge thee to a fight


Slasher fights and falls


Devil Doubt

Call in the prince

The Prince of paradise

            Here am I the prince, the prince of paradise

King George  King George

What hast thou done

Thou has killed and slain mine only son, mine only heir

Look there he lies a bleeding there.

I will pay  a thousand pounds

A doctor to engage

Devil Doubt

A doctor a doctor?

What Kind of doctor?

The Doctor

            Make way make way

For I am a doctor!

Devil Doubt

            Since when, since when.

How becomes thou a doctor?


Form Italy, Sicily, Germany, France and Spain

I have now come to cure diseases in old England again.

King George

What diseases canst thou cure


All sorts

King George

All sorts, what kind of ailment is that?


It’s the Itch, the twitch, the palsy and gout

The pain that’s within and the pain without

I’ve cured a man with 15 devils in his soul

And cast 20 out

Surely I can cure this poor chap.

Here take a little out of my bottle

And let it run down thy throttle

If thou are not quite slain

Then rise up to fight again


My Back my back


What’s amiss with thy back


My Back is wounded

My Heart is confounded

To be struck out of seven senses into four score

Likewise I have never seen it before


Here am I old Beelzebub

Over my shoulder I carry my club

In my hand a dripping pan

I think myself a jolly old man

Put up these swords and spears to rest

As peace and quietness is the best

Ive lived in houses lands and cities

Ive sung all the songs and the ditties

Ive seen the men eating dumplings and pancakes

Ive seen Bulls and piglets running up the street

Old peter comes up with a turmit cart and got struck on the crown

And made him shout termits all over the town.


Little Devil Doubt


Here am I Little Devil Doubt

If you don’t give me money I shall sweep all of you out

Money I want and money I crave

If you don’t give me money I’ll sweep you to the grave

Now ladies and gents as you sit at your ease

Put your hand in your pocket

And give what you please

If you haven’t got a copper a silver will do

Pull out your purse and give us a few.

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