Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cheshire Rounds/The Old Lancashire Hornpipe

Albion Band

Cheshire Rounds (1)

English, Country Dance Tune (3/4 time). D Major. Standard. AABB (Chappell, Raven): AABBCCDD (Plain Brown). This melody appears in Playford's Dancing Master (2nd and subsequent editions), Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master (vol. i), and Gay's Polly and other ballad operas. The Cheshire Rounds was also a once‑popular dance, and Chappell (1859) found several references to its performance:

In Bartholomew Fiar, at the Coach‑house on the pav'd

stones at Hosier‑Lane end, you will see a Black that dances

the Cheshire Rounds to the admiration of all spectators."

(Play‑bill by Dogget, 1691. In fact, the only known portrait

of Dogget shows him dancing the Cheshire Round.)


John Sleepe now keeps the Whelp and Bacon in Smithfield
Rounds, where are to be seen a young lad that dances a
Cheshire Round to the admiration of all people." (Playbill)


It is one of the tunes called for by "the hobnailed fellows"

in A Second Tale of a Tub (8vo, 1715).


The name Cheshire is an ancient contraction of Chestershire. See also the melody “Our Cat Has Kitted” from the Joseph Kershaw manuscript for a 19th century version from North West England. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), Vol. 2, 1859; pg. 167. Plain Brown Tune Book, 1997; pg. 5 (Chappell’s setting, preceded by two other parts). Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; pg. 15.


T:Cheshire Rounds [1]



S:Chappell – Popular Music of the Olden Time (1859)

Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion


fe/f/ g/f/e/d/ f/g/ab e2 d cAfe/f/ g/f/e/d/ f/g/aA d2 A FD:

:BA/B/ =c/B/A/G/ F2E e2 d ^cB/A/BA/B/ =c/B/A/G/ F>ED d2 A FD:

Cheshire Round (2)

English, Country Dance Tune (3/2 time). C Major. Standard. AABBCC. A different tune than “Cheshire Rounds [1]." The melody was published in Walsh’s third collection of Lancashire tunes (Lancashire Jiggs, Hornpipes, Joaks, etc.) around the year 1730. Source for notated version: Edward Jones’ 1798 publication Popular Cheshire Melodies. Knowles (A Northern Lass), 1995; pg. 8.

T:Cheshire Round [2]





c4 B4 A4 A2 d4 A2 BcdB c4 B4 A4 G2 c4 A2 BcdB::e2 g4 B2 A4 A2 a4 A2 BcdB\

d2 g2 B2 g2 A4 G2 c4 A2 BcdB::cdec BcdB ABcA A2 d4 A2 BcdB c2 g4 B2 ABcA\ G2 c4 A2 BcdB:

Two Lancashire Hornpipes

(1) English, Hornpipe. North‑West England. D Major. Standard. AABB. The name Lancaster is derived from the Roman occupation of England, with ‘–caster’ stemming from the Latin word castra (in Old English, ceaster) and the first part of the word referring to the river Lune; thus Lancaster is the ‘settlement on the Lune’. Knowles (Northern Frisk), 1988; No. 41.

(2) Scottish, Country Dance Tune (3/2). The melody, in the old hornpipe metre, appears in the Bodleian Manuscript (in the Bodleian Library, Oxford), inscribed "A Collection of the Newest Country Dances Performed in Scotland written at Edinburgh by D.A. Young, W.M. 1740." The old hornpipe metre survived particularly in the English midland counties, especially Lancashire.

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