the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

Famous people who also played the pipe and tabor

Charles Benfield -Victorian morris musician

When Jim 'the laddie' Simpson died from an overdose of alcohol (Oxford Chronicle 14 June 1856) his instruments were passed to Charles Benfield . Benfield became a key character in the local morris playing for Milton-under-Wychwood, Idbury, Fyfield and Longborough, Oxfordshire. By the early 1880s, Benfield led the junior side comprising dancers born in the 1860's, and only ceased playing in the 1890's. His playing ensured a link across almost 4 generations of morris dancers. His enduring enthusiasm eventually enabled the dances to be recorded by Cecil Sharp and later demonstrated and refined by the Travelling Morrice.

The first issue of the magazine Countryman magazine used this drawing of Charles Benfield as it's frontispiece. This portrait was then used on the cover of the Fiddlers Tune Book

The Pitt Rivers Museum comments on a pipe in its collection:

"The Last Player was Charles Benfield of Foxcott nr C. Norton. He is Still Living but Very Feeble he Played this Pipe 20 odd years ago".  

edited by Frances Oct 2009


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