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Astley's Hornpipe (Tunes from Chris Beaumont manuscript)

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Source: Manuscript from F W Davoll
Performer: Unknown
Collector: Beaumont, Chris

Chris Beaumont’s manuscript has the inscription “F. W. Davoll” on the front cover, but was purchased in a second-hand bookshop. Davoll is an unusual name mainly found in Staffordshire, but a F W Davoll was Headmaster at Upton Bishop (Glos / Hereford border) primary school and lived in the School House there in 1901. He died in 1918. He was born in Staffordshire in the mid 19th Century and seems to have married in Cheadle. He may have been the owner and compiler of the book.

In the linked abc file this is tune number X:5

Astley’s Hornpipe Published in Thompson’s Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, Vol 5, London 1788, this tune is often encountered in fiddle manuscripts as “Ashley’s Hornpipe”. It appears to have been popular throughout the country. Philip Astley (1742-1814) served in the Seven Years War as a sergeant-major in the 15th Light Dragoons. After the war he used his riding ability to open an establishment at Westminster, teaching in the morning and performing trick riding in the afternoon. In the 1770s this had become so popular that he concentrated on the performances, adding acrobats, tightrope walkers and clowns within a circular area he called the “circus”.