the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

England: history of the pipe and tabor

Cotswold morris dance

1828 onwards - Joseph Woods, Adderbury, north Oxfordshire

“Music was provided by pipe and tabor or whittle and dub as they were known locally. These were played …  
by Joseph Woods of Deddington, who also played for other sides such as those at Brackley, North Aston
and DunsTew. Woods was born in 1812, and started playing for the morris at the age of sixteen; … he recollected
playing the whittle and dub in London early in the century, when he and his wife went up to take the earlier hay
harvest there.  When Woods was ill or otherwise indisposed, the older Walton called on James Blencowe of King's Sutton.”

‘Village song & culture : a study based on the Blunt collection of song from Adderbury, north Oxfordshire’ by Pickering, Michael, 1982

Cecil Sharp note (1894): Deddington, Oxfordshire. "Joseph Woods now very old (born 1812) and deaf played
whittle & dub for the morris. He began learning when 10 and has played in villages 25 miles round. He also plyaed
in London when he and his wife went up for hay making 60 years ago."
1830 The Duke and Duchess of St. Albans gave a grand fete champetre, at Holly Lodge...
‘There was likewise a company of moms dancers, who perambulated the grounds with the pipe and tabour.’
Star (London) - Monday 03 May 1830
1830 Dancing Marston 1830’The legend of Shakspeare's crab tree, with a descriptive account, showing its relation to the poet's traditional history. Illustrated by a series of nine
lithographic prints, from sketches taken by him on the spot’ by Green, Charles Frederick, 1857

1830 London

“…It is pleasant, just before the beginning of hay-harvest in the environs, to observe the monotony of some
long dull street of dingy houses, broken by the simple music of the pipe and tabor, and the ringing of bells
on the legs of the morris-dancers. It tells of the country and its delights to the dull ear of the Londoner…
They generally perform three (perhaps more) different dances, one with sticks, the rattling of which, struck
against one another, keeps time to the music ;— another with handkerchiefs, which are gracefully waved
in various directions ; and a third, in which the hands are clapped in unison with the pipe and tabor. All
are pleasing, when executed with precision….”

The Gentleman's Magazine 1830-07: Vol 100

1830 story

''… it is like enough that the tabor and the pipes, and the May games of the youths and the maidens, will keep him
abroad, and make him too busy to be curious… And now, my lads” said Barnabas '' practise your morris-dance,
and we will all away to the mansion of Sir Hugh Fitz… and then for the green wood, and to bring home the May
boughs for the procession.  Dance boys, dance, and I'll give you a touch on the tabor and pipes."… The sounds
which disturbed this learned discourse were of a mingled nature… and the blithe minstrelsy of pipe and tabor…
there comes Maid Marian the May Queen, led on by the soft music of flutes, lutes, tabor and pipe. John Fygge,
the piper, has the best hand at a tabor-stick in all the county….the morris-dancers tripped forward to take his place,
and waved their silken scarfs, and jingled their bells merrily, as they footed it round the May-pole to the music of pipe and tabor.


18331833 theatre dancersMorning Post - Saturday 18 May 1833
1836 Maypole dancing

“…And then at home the joyous scene !
The MayPole on the village green,
With ribbons, flag, and chaplets bound ;
And pipe and tabor’s mirthful sound;
And merry bells in concert ringing ;
And merry voices blithely singing ;
And merry footsteps featly glancing
With jingling bells; and morris-dancing,…”

‘The Saturday Magazine’ 1836-05-07: Vol 8 Iss 247

1837 1837Oxford Journal - Saturday 06 May 1837

1837 story

“… the sound of a pipe and tabor was heard in the neighbourhood. " Ha  " cried Herbert, jumping up, and looking
out, " there 's a pipe and tabor ! By cock and pie ! I never hear the sound without finding my feet keeping time."
And he began to skip about the room.  ' Ha I ha! ha !" laughed one of the company, Will Harrison, the son of a city
alderman. " I saw Bruin dance the same pavise at the Bear-Garden yesterday ! Bring thyself to a seat, and I'll sing
thee a song made by Jack Davy, the player on this same pipe and tabor."

" A song ! a song !" cried the company ; and Herbert sat down, while Harrison, with a preparatory hem or two,
sang as follows ; —
“Hey for the sound of pipe and tabor I "
It is music fit for prince or king ;
The one we'11 blow, the other belabour.
Till we make the welkin ring :
The wailing flute
May lovers suit ;
But pipe and tabor
Give to me ;
We’ll foot it while the sun goes down ;
Then thump and blow right lustily !...”
“By the time the applause which fallowed this song had subsided, the author of the music were under the windows.
They were three countrymen, dressed up with ribbons, as morris-dancers ; one of them carrying a pipe and tabor….”

'Bentley's Miscellany 1837'

1840 ‘Pittville the Centenary Fete’1840Cheltenham Examiner - Wednesday 19 August 1840
1842 1842Cheltenham Journal and Gloucestershire Fashionable Weekly Gazette. - Monday 23 May 1842
1843 Whitsuntide1843Cheltenham Journal and Gloucestershire Fashionable Weekly Gazette. - Monday 12 June 1843
Early Victorian North Leigh, Oxfordshire

"The Ale started with a procession round the village to the Lord's Hall,....

The procession was completed by the Morris with a ‘pipe and taborer’.

Entry in the US Library of Congress catalogue, with no image:

"This Pipe and Tabor, i.e., Wittle & Dub, belonged to Thomas Humphries of Haley, near Witney, [Oxfordshire],
& was played by him at most of the Morris dances in the Villages & Towns in Oxfordshire for nearly 40 years.
He died in 1886 aged 80 years."

18441844 painting by Danby at Stowe House, Buckingham

1844 Buckingham:
Festivities on the Coming of Age of the Marquis of Chandos1844Bucks Herald - Saturday 14 September 1844

1844 Whitesunale at Woodstock
“An old custom which occurred every seven years ...On Monday morning, (say 1844)...a set of ‘morris dancers’ dressed in
clean white trousers ... the merry dance was engaged in during the week in the bower to the time of the tabor and pipe.”

Banbury Guardian - Thursday 29 May 1884

1845 story: wedding procession

“…A short time before this took place, a procession moved from the yeoman’s cottage, in the direction of the church
,… Then came a company of morris-dancers on foot, jingling it very prettily, with a most moving accompaniment
of pipe and tabor….”

The Rover, a Dollar Weekly Magazine 1845-06-28: Vol 5 Iss 15

18451845Northampton Mercury - Saturday 11 January 1845
1845 feteWeekly Chronicle (London) -  Sunday 24 August 1845


1846 newspaper report “The Whitsuntide Festivities”1846Cheltenham Journal and Gloucestershire Fashionable Weekly Gazette. - Monday 08 June 1846

“ a very few years before, he witnessed "a numerous retinue of morris-dancers, remarkably well habited,
skilfully performing their evolutions to the tune of a tabor and pipe, in the streets of Oxford University ;”

Lytell Geste of Robin Hode, Gutch," 1847, note, p. 365. in Rush Bearing, Alfred Burton, 1891

1849 182918291829Glasgow Herald - Friday 05 January 1849

1850 Greenhill Bower in Lichfield, Staffordshire, on Whit Monday, consisted of a Court Leet followed by a procession that included a pipe and tabor and morris men. 1850 processionWolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser - Wednesday 29 May 1850

The Illustrated London News of Saturday 25 May 1850 also listed those in the procession: 1850 Lichfield

Lichfield player1850 Lichfield procession

In 1853 the order at the front of the procession was: 1853Derby Mercury - Wednesday 25 May 1853

1851 WOOTTON, William ('Old Piper') 1768 - 1851

"An inquest was held on the 14th inst., at the Locomotive Inn, in this place, by R. Weston, Esq., Coroner, on view
of the body of William Wootton, mason, aged 81 years. The deceased was well known in the neighbouring villages,
as the "Old Piper." It appears he retired to bed at 7 o'clock in the evening as usual, and about 6 o'clock next morning
he spoke to a boy, who left his room about that time, and at half past 8 was found dead in his bed.
Verdict - "Visitation of God."

The Banbury Guardian 24 April 1851

Mid 19th century - John Potter of Sutton, Oxfordshire
One of the best known and respected morris dance musicians in west Oxfordshire during the middle decades
of the nineteenth century was John Potter, of Sutton, a village adjacent to Stanton Harcourt.  He was renowned
over a wide area for playing the instrumental combination of three-holed pipe and tabor drum

At Ilmington, Warwickshire, for most of the nineteenth century the local morris was danced to a pipe and tabor:
three generations of the same family, from the founder George Arthur (1769-1836) from Snowshill, Warwickshire,
through his son Tom (1802-1890), a mason and grandson James (1828-1906), a carpenter.

“the pipe and tabor player, James Arthur, son of the original player, became too old to play, and as there was no one
to take his place, the dancing came to an abrupt conclusion”. Cecil Sharp. In 1908 a letter was written to the
Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press with a history of Ilmington Morris, including the fact that:

1908 newspaper cutting

The pipe and taborer Nelson, got so drunk once that he had to be tied upright to a tree so he could continue playing.
He performed with several sides in north Oxfordshire. Good musicians were much in demand and sometimes played
on a strictly commercial basis for a sum of money agreed before-hand.

1860's the quoted fees for a pair of pipe and tabor players at Finstock were 5s. and 7s. per day
Sharp MSS, Folk Dance Notes, vol. 2, ff. 42-43

James Simpson, alias McDonald, aka 'Jim the Laddie', of Sherborne, Gloucestershire

James Simpson was widely known by the nickname 'Jim the Laddie,' which is easily explained once his Scottish origin
is considered.  At what age he learned to play the three-holed pipe and tabor drum is unrecorded, but his reputation as
a player was widespread across an extensive area of east Gloucestershire and west Oxfordshire.  He accompanied the
Sherborne Morris set, but in addition probably also went out with the side from Northleach (Glos), and possibly that
based at Great Rissington (Glos). ...
'He used to play it at most of the Morrises for Miles Round.'
In 1856 " Thirty years ago come the Whitsun week he had been round the country to the club feasts with his boys,
as he called the dancers, and in a stable at Bourton-on-the-Water, with his tabor and pipe in his hand, poor Jim the
Laddie lay down and died."
"the Dub ie Tabour Cannot be found at Present. It was seen among some Rubbish some 4 years Back but if it is found
we shall be sure to get it." (Pitt Rivers Museum)

Old Heddon of Forlay Thomas Edens, the pipe-and-tabor player, was probably connected with the dancers at Spelsbury, and was buried at Fawler on 26 June 1857, aged eighty-three      
pipe & tabor belonging to Thomas Humphries (1806-1886) of Oxfordshire, who played at most of the morris dances in that county for almost 40 years. Humphries pipe and tabor    

The pipe and tabor of John Fathers (1789-1873) born at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, had a sticky end:

"He Played the Whittle and Dub for the different Morris round about - the wife of his son ..
told me that she gave her Children the Whittle and Dub to Play with and she remembers
them Breaking them to Pieces."

[Manning d.200:74]


1854 political comment in a newspaper printed in the Republic of Ireland:: 1854Warder and Dublin Weekly Mail - Saturday 11 November 1854


1854 “... dancers from five different villages met at Minster Lovel to decide their supremacy, when Leafield
was victorious….Many of the dancers would go up to London and the south to work at the early hay harvest,
and tramp northwards for the later harvest at home. During this tour they would give exhibitions of dancing,
and so increase their harvest wages.

The music was always supplied by the pipe and tabour, or, as it was more generally called, the ‘ whittle-and-dub.’
I know of no one now living who can play these instruments, and it is to be feared that the traditional style is lost…
.The tabour stick is about nine inches long. It has a very large knob for holding in the hand, and a small knob for
beating the tabour….”

‘Some Oxfordshire Seasonal Festivals’ Publications FOLK-LORE A QUARTERLY REVIEW  OF MYTH, TRADITION, INSTITUTION,
&-CUSTOM' The Transactions of the Folk-Lore Society

Cecil Sharp interview regarding Bampton Morris: 19th century"formerly the dance was always played with the Wit and Dub a wooden whittle and a small drum
but late years the musician has always played on the fiddle."  
1856 a love poem ‘Celebrated Women No. 3 Fair Rosamund’: 1856Commercial Journal - Saturday 19 July 1856 [Dublin]    
1856 poem 'The Death of the Old Year':1856Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Tuesday 30 December 1856 for more on Jesters and the coxcomb hood and asses ears see here  

1857 procession

“At Charlton-on-Otmoor, Oxon, on May morning a procession used to start from the vicarage, headed
by two men carrying a large garland of flowers on a stick. With them went six morris-dancers, a fool or
" Squire," who carried a bladder and a money-box, and a man who played the pipe and tabour. At the
end of the day, after the dancing was over, the garland was taken to the church, and hung up on the rood
-screen in place of the rood, where it was left till the next May Day, when it was taken down and redressed.
The procession and dancing has been given up since 1857…”

P. H. Ditchfield,’Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time’ (London: G. Redway, 1896)

before 1858 1858Whitsun in 19th century  Oxfordshire by Alun Hokins
1858 story 1858South London Times and Lambeth Observer - Saturday 27 February 1858

1858 May-Day 1858Leamington Spa Courier - Saturday 01 May 1858

1858 Report on the Whitsun morris dancing at Bampton, Oxfordshire :
"The dancing was very creditably performed, but we cannot approve of the substitution of a squeaking fiddle
for the appropriate, and to our mind, orthodox "tabor and pipe"

Jackson's Oxford Journal of 29 May 1858, p 8

A former dancer of Leafield, Oxfordshire said:
"Their musician, John Williams, played fiddle and whittle and dub, but all preferred to dance to the latter"
Sharp, MS Folk Dance Notes, Clare College, Cambridge, vol I, p 79 in Micheal Heaney ‘Must every fiddler play a fiddle?’

1859 1859 newspaper reportThe Era - Sunday 28 August 1859

until 1862 during The Whit Hunt in Oxfordshire:
“…While the hunters were gone, those who were left behind set up a Maypole on the village-green, and a party
of morris-dancers, accompanied by a fool and a pipe-and tabour player, gave an exhibition of their skill…."

‘Some Oxfordshire Seasonal Festivals’ Publications FOLK-LORE A QUARTERLY REVIEW  OF MYTH, TRADITION, INSTITUTION,
&-CUSTOM' The Transactions of the Folk-Lore Society

1863 play

“ But this is a day of enjoyment; away with business, and let the time be spent in pleasure.
[Pipe and tabor without.]
Ah! here come the morris dancers; you see I have not forgotten your taste for rural sports, my dear.
Sir Michael. You forget nothing, Lady Audley, that can minister to my amusement.
[He leads her to a garden seat, R. ]

Enter VILLAGERS, followed by MORRIS DANCERS, C., who perform a dance and exeunt

LADY AUDLEY'S SECRET first produced at the Royal Victoria Theatre, London, 25 May 1863

1863 Whit Monday celebrations
"25 May 1863: The morris-dancers made their appearance, but there was not much of novelty
in their proceedings or their dress; they still obstinately persist in employing a
squeaking 'fiddle,' instead of the more legitimate tabor and pipe, notwithstanding
what had been said respecting it, and which considerably marred the effect of the whole." "The comments lamenting the substitution of the fiddle for the older musical combination
of pipe and tabor were recurrent ones with that(anonymous) newspaper correspondent..."

'Probably the most widely known gipsy for many a mile around': the life and musical activity of Thomas Boswell, aka Thomas 'Gypsy' Lewis' (1838-1910).
Jackson's Oxford, Journal, 30 May 1863, p. 8.

made 1863scrimshawscrimshaw of morris taborer 1864 taborer1864 playing for mummers
at Chilworth, Hampshire


"Finstock Morris danced to tunes played by Stephen Dore
and Thomas Langford on the Pipe and Tabor and that they
were in demand with other sides including Ascott-underWychwood
in 1864 and even played for Bampton."

1864 story

“…Hark, the pipe and tabor. Let us go forth and witness the sports upon the common….Pipe and tabor, drum and fife, sounded too, as a company of Morescos or Morris dancers emerged from the adjacent village…”

‘Geraldine Maynard, or, The abduction : a tale of the days of Shakspeare’ by Curling, Henry

1866 historical play

“…Sir Maurice Chudleigh, pedler, is my foster-brother, and will ere long grace my wedding with his presence.
With him come most of his servingmen to foot it merrily to pipe and tabour…”
”…And you, lads and lasses, whose bells are tinkling and whose feet are ready for a merry measure, fall to,
and foot it your best for the honour of Devonshire. Strike up, Pipe and Tabour !
[A party of Morris-dancers then advances . After saluting the bride and bridegroom , an ancient
English Morris-dance is gone through….]”

‘True to the Core, a story of the Armada’ by Angiolo Robson Slous

1867 Tom Arthur, of Ilmington, died 1867'Warwickshire Folklore' by Roy Palmer, 2004
OxfordshireOxfordshire'Whitsun in 19th century Oxfordshire' by Alun Hokins
1880's?c.1880's Joe Powell (1845-1937) and Bucknell Morris Men taborand stickJoe Powell's tabor and stick
Photog Phil Day

This tabor is a fairly standard C19th shallow morris tabor, constructed from a cheese box with second-hand parchment heads. 

Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

1901 Oxford University Antiquarian Society annual meeting1901Oxford Times - Saturday 22 June 1901

“Bucknell's Whit Ale survived until later … The scene of the festivities was the Rectory Barn…
There was dancing on the ground in front of the barn, as many as fifty couples dancing at a time.
  There were also morris-dancers... accompanied by a musician who carried a pipe and small drum.”

‘Whitsun in 19th century Oxfordshire’ by Howkins, Alun, 1974

1870 poem ' THE LADY HILDEGARDE'S WEDDING'1870'Old Song and New' by Preston, Margaret Junkin

1882, 13 May

"the minstrelsy of tuneful tabor, pipe, and horn the motley morrice dancers merrily mingling the throng! "

Staffordshire Advertiser

1884 An exhibition of antique artefacts was shown at the Newbury Art and Industrial Exhibition:1884Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser - Thursday 25 September 1884
18911891 Whitson
drawn as though it
was the 17th century
in Rush Bearing, by
Alfred Burton, 1891

Victorian North Leigh, Oxfordshire
"The Ale started with a procession round the village to the Lord's Hall,.... The procession was completed by the Morris with a ‘pipe and taborer’."

LichfieldLichfield, newspaper picture 18971897 copy of 17th century
painting (page 243)
1886 ‘Revival of the Morris Dance at Bidford’.
The “first performance for many years, in this district, of the ancient Morris Dance.”1886
1886 Bidford Shakesperian Morris Dancers1886Bristol Times and Mirror - Wednesday 03 March 1886
1886 Bidford Morris Men contributed towards a “Carefully arranged and extremely picturesque May Revels”
performed at the Agricultural Halls in Islington, London. 1886 performance1886 Bidford MorrisMorning Post - Monday 10 May 1886
1886 A talk and demonstration of morris dance was given by Mr D’arcy Ferris in Cheltenham Assembly Room 
with a 100 year-old tabor.  He also showed an old pipe which was unserviceable.1886Cheltenham Examiner - Wednesday 10 March 1886
1886 Talk and demonstration at the Victoria Rooms, Clifton1886Western Daily Press - Monday 08 March 1886

Notes on D'Arcy Ferris:
In 1885-1886 he had established himself as an enterprising and efficient organizer of fetes and public entertainments.

In the autumn of 1885, Ferris was beginning to look seriously for morris-dancers, for descriptions of dances,
and for a pipe and tabor. ... A letter 28 October 1885 offered Ferris an old tabor for five shillings, ...
Finding a pipe was more difficult...
Ferris met Joseph Powell: Powell wrote to Ferris on 26 February refusing to sell his pipe and tabor:
" 'i have playd it since you was up here and now i cant part with it sir"
The search for a living piper was a problem for Ferris...

Lectures: To conclude his lecture various 'relics of the Dance' were exhibited, a tabor 'more than 100 years old'
from Timothy Howard, gaiters and bells 'more than 50 years old' from Jonathon Harris, a pipe 'at least 200 years old':

1886Cheltenham Examiner - Wednesday 10 March 1886

A grand indoor pageant as part of a Charity Bazaar at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, on 8 May,
'Ye Right Merrie Sports of May Day' . In this he used the Bidford Morris as one element, although the
emphasis which reports placed on pipe and tabor and hobby-horse cause some doubt as to whether
a full side was actually there:

1886 ‘The May Queen at Islington, London’ 1886Morning Post - Monday 10 May 1886

D'Arcy Ferris and the Bidford Morrisby Roy Judge
American Morris NewsletterRepring series 1994 number 3

1886 Ilmington morris 1886Oxfordshire Weekly News - Wednesday 09 June 1886
Michael Johnson played the fife and tabor for Ilmington morris (page 35)

1886 Ilmington morris newspaper advertisement: 1886 ilmington morrisAlcester Chronicle - Saturday 19 June 1886

1886 Rose Show at Malvern: 1886Worcestershire Chronicle - Saturday 03 July 1886
1887 ‘The Flute – Interesting Lecture at Alderley Edge’1887Alderley & Wilmslow Advertiser - Friday 28 October 1887
Benjamin Denley, pipe and tabor player with the Withington morris side, Gloucestershire, died in 1888 .
More on Gloucestershire morris dancing to the pipe and tabor here
1888 ‘The King’s Head, Walworth Road’, Lambeth, London1888South London Chronicle - Saturday 16 June 1888
1888 A newspaper correspondent remembered his childhood: 1888John Bull - Saturday 25 August 1888
1888 Christmas Entertainment at Olympia: 1888Daily News (London) - Monday 24 December 1888
1890 May Revel,extracts from letter to the editor: 1890Gloucestershire Echo - Friday 02 May 1890
18901890Bridport News - Friday 23 May 1890
1891 - as reported in the Monmouthshire Beacon - Saturday 09 May 1891.
As part of the May Day Revels the procession included 'Taborer Mr J Cumbley' followed by named morris dancers.

1891 Monmouthshire

at “…the coming-of-age celebrations of J. Maclaren-Rolls ... where the six male morris dancers
“attracted much attention by their contribution to the performance, … in excellent time to music dating
from the 13th century played by the piper and taborer”

‘The Ancient English Morris Dance’ 2023

1891" Old Meg of Herefordshire, for a Mayd Marian, and Hereford Toivnc for a Morris Daunce ; or
Twelve Morris Dauncers in Herefordshire of Twelve Hundred Years Old." It is dedicated : " To that renowned
Ox-leach, Old Hall, Taborer of Herefordshire , and to his most invincible, weather-beaten, Nutbrowne Tabor,
being alreadie old and sound, threescore years and upward…. Now, Twelve-pipe, that famous Southern Taberer
with the Cowleyan windpipe, who for whuling hath beene famous through the Globe of the world, did never gain
such renowne and credite by his pipe and Taber, as thou (old Hall), by striking up to these twelve hundred yeares
Morris-dauncers : Nor art thou alone (sweet Hall) a most exquisite Taber-man, but an excellent Oxe-leach, and
canst pleasure thy neighbours. The people of Herefordshire are beholding to thee, thou guist the men light hearts
by thy Pype, and the women light heeles by thy Taber : O wonderful Pyper, O admirable Taber-man,… thou,
sweet Hereford Hall bequeath in thy last will thy velom-spotted skin, to cover Tabors: at the sound of which to
set all the shires a dauncing...Next to him went old Harrie Rudge, the taborer. This was old Hall, of Hereford.
The waits of three metropolitan cities make not more music than he can, with his pipe and tabor,.."



"In every parish they raised a May-pole hung with garlands and ribbons;.... And there was morris-dancing,
with Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Little John, Tom the Piper, and Tom the Fool, with hobby-horses, pipe and tabor,
mummers and devils, and I know not what;"

London by Walter Besant

1894 during the Festival of Village Choirs at Eaton Hall ‘The Merry Men of Sherwood Forest’ a pastoral operetta
was performed, with words and music by W H Birch. "The cast performed a ‘lively morris dance to the pipe and tabor"

Crewe Chronicle - Saturday 31 March 1894

1894 Percy Manning collected morris artefacts: 1894


'Music and musicians of the 18th century', a lecture by  Mr F Cunningham Woods, showed a pipe and tabor  
otherwise known as ‘ whittle and dub’  formerly belonging to an inhabitant of Hailey.

Oxfordshire Weekly News - Wednesday 14 August 1895

1896 18961896Cork Examiner - Friday 11 December 1896 [Republic of Ireland]

1896 May Day procession

“At Charlton-on-Otmoor, Oxon, on May morning a procession used to start from the vicarage, headed by two men
carrying a large garland of flowers on a stick. With them went six morris-dancers, a fool or " Squire," who carried a
bladder and a money-box, and a man who played the pipe and tabour”

'Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time An Account of Local Observances Festival Customs and Ancient Ceremonies
yet Surviving in Great Britain' by T. H. Titchfield, London, 1896

1897 Arthur Sullivan's ballet ‘Victoria & Merrie England’ :

"Morrice Dancers and 6 lady morris dancers arrive and perform to a very attractive jaunty 6/8 theme
in which The Era again noted clever use of 'pipe and tabor' effects"

1897The Era - Saturday 29 May 1897

1897 Oxfordshire

Thomas Radbone played the pipe and tabour for morris dancing in Bampton;
as told by his daughter who was 80 in 1897

‘Some Oxfordshire Seasonal Festivals’ Publications FOLK-LORE A QUARTERLY REVIEW  OF MYTH, TRADITION, INSTITUTION, &-CUSTOM'
The Transactions of the Folk-Lore Societv

1898 ‘The Corporation Concerts at Wister Gardens by the Royal Marines Band. 
Leslie Stuart's march ‘The Dandy Fifth’ “suggests the morris tabor and pipe

Cheltenham Examiner - Wednesday 12 October 1898

1899 In a newspaper review entitled ‘Exhibition of morris dancing – an interesting revival’ at the Corn Exchange in Oxford,
the reviewer noted :

“During the interval Mr Manning exhibited the pipe, tabor (drum) and bells used by the Headington Morris Dancers
upwards of 70 years ago.”

Oxford Journal - Saturday 18 March 1899

By1900 the practice of Morris dancing in a traditional context was almost defunct in the south Midlands region of
England, after more than three centuries during which it had been a widespread element in working class cultural activity

for other types of dance see :
dance of death
18th century dance
Regency dance
folk customs


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