Hock-Tuesday play or Hock play

Definition

Theater

  • A form of traditional English folk theater presentedannually in Coventry, Worcester, Shrewsbury, Hungerford, and othertowns on the second Tuesday after Easter. It was banned in Worcester in 1450 and gradually ceased elsewhere, but was revived in 1575 during Queen Elizabeth I's visit to Kenilworth.

    The play begins with Captain Cox leading English knights (eachon a hobby horse) to battle against the invading Danes; thecaptured Danes are finally led away and imprisoned by the Englishwomen. It seems to have been associated with an ancient custom in whichwomen tried to catch ('hock') a man and demand a forfeit, the game beingreversed the following day when the women were the prey.

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