A brownie; a household sprite, also called Hob Thurse, which may have been the original form. The Hobthrush of Elsdon Moat performed a great amount of household and other labor. He wore a shocking bad hat, and out of commiseration, the inhabitants place a new one in his accustomed haunt. As soon as he found the hat, however, he disappeared, uttering a short wailing cry:

"New hat, new hood,
Hobthrush 'ill do no more good."

Another Hobthrush was attached to the family residing at Sturfit Hall, near Reeth. He used to churn, make up fires, and so on, until the mistress, pitying his forlorn condition, provided him with a hat and clock. He left with a similar valediction and not been seen since.

Servant girls would regularly put the cream in the churn, and say "I wish Throb would churn that."

There was a Hobt'rush Rook at Farndale, Yorkshire. See also hob.



  • Denham, M.A. (1892). The Denham Tracts. Vol. 1. Strand: David Nutt, pp. 339-340.
  • Henderson, W. (1879). Notes on the folk-lore of the northern countries of England and the borders. Covent Garden: W. Satchell, Peyton and Co., p. 264.
  • Scott, C.P.G. (1895). "The Devil and His Imps: An Etymological Inquisition." In Transactions of the American Philological Association. Vol. 26. Boston: Ginn & Co.
  • Wright, J. (1905). The English dialect dictionary. Vol. 6. London: H. Frowde.