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Dufton, Westmorland; the earliest date given in the book is 1766

Transcribed into ABC Music Notation for The Village Music Project by Hugh Taylor

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Hugh Taylor's notes:-
1715 apprenticed in Bolton (between Morland and Dufton in Westmorland) to William Bowness, possibly as a butcher
1741 living in Dufton from a court record
1763 date given after the Bass Hornpipe in the tune book
1764 date on frontispiece of tune book, but also 17766(sic), 1771, 1778

The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure, Vol. LXXVI p378; 1785 June 25th.
listed as a bankrupt – “Thomas Cowper, late cf Dufton, Westmoreland, dealer”. The occupation of ‘Dealer’ could tie in with the various names and cash entries in the book.(H.T.) Alternatively they could equally well be subscriptions to a dance series (C.G.P.)
SKELTON REGISTERS 1753; Thomas s[on]. of Matthew Cowper of Skelton
SKELTON REGISTERS 1768; visitation by Rev d M r Cowper, Vicar
SKELTON REGISTERS 1782 Thomas s. of Joseph Cowper of Pingle
and numerous others

Begins with various prayers.
Rev?  Thomas cowper His Own Book Aprile 27 17766 (sic)
Book Aprile 27 Day 1778
Thompson Compleet the Country Dances
Psalms and a prayer then
Joseph Cowper 1778
Joseph Sewell Taken of
Crouks Rethmay Tick
more prayers and psalms then
a list of tickets sold (nine barely legible names, a dozen tickets) but not payed yet:-
Lots more psalms prayers and accounts
14 pages of tunes
More psalms and prayers
Upside down - Wm Tyson, Boot
The Gamut or Scale of Musick
If whose Book is this if you would know in letters low I will you show the first is 1. I bought the other 2. too all men's sight and if you chance too spell amiss pray look below and there it is; I Thomas Cowper, steal not this book for fear of shame, for hear shall stand the owner's, Thomas Cowper's own book April 27 1766
In a childish hand - Joseph Carper one (own) copy book 1771 Christmas Day John Carper
Thomas Cowper of Dufton

The dates are problematic. One would expect, from parallels, a music manuscript book to be started early in life, late teens to early twenties. If it were the Thomas born in 1715 then all the dates in the book lie between his fifties and his late sixties. In the list above there are the occupations of butcher and dealer, in the book itself there is possibly Rev(erend) and many prayers and psalms, which leads me to suspect that our Thomas is of a later generation. The significance of the date April 27th seeming to appear in both 1766 and 1776 is unknown, if not a mistake.

Notes on the tunes

This is a very interesting manuscript, containing many tunes apparently written down from memory, and tunes that I have not found elsewhere.

T:Kick the World Before You. TCo.01
Kick the World Before Me
and see Mad Moll (in D major) in Kershaw

This has no time signature in the MS and the key signature is very unclear. We can assume 9/8
There are versions/variations in print and in manuscript from the early and mid 18th century onwards, including some that are not the same tune
John Walsh's The Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master edition of 1735
The melody also appears in the Drummond Castle Manuscript (in the possession of the Earl of Ancaster at Drummond Castle), inscribed "A Collection of Country Dances written for the use of his Grace the Duke of Perth by Dav. Young, 1734."

T:The High Way to Dublin. TCo2
Although there are several tunes with the same name at this period, they are all jigs and not similar to this one in common time.
I have rebarred and rebeamed it to make sense of it since it is not available elsewhere. If you are of an idiosyncratic bent, as I know some of you are, you may restore the odd D crotchet to the end of each phrase, but personally I can't make it scan like that.

T:Donet Be Lasey. TCo.06
This could be barred as 12/8?

T:Brave Capt. Death. TCo.07
Captain William Death was an 18th century privateer from Middlesex, England who died in battle December 1756
in the first year of the Seven Years War. Presumably this is the tune of the song about him

T:The Sailor Bold. TCo.10
A stirring song, the nature of which suggests that the sailor concerned was not likely to have been a deckhand. More likely at least a First Lieutenant!

T:Weaver's Rant. TCo.14
I have attempted an edited version of this as there is no other available.

T:O'er the Side and At 'Em. TCo18
A nautical reference!

T:A Bass Hornpipe. TCo.20
An interesting tune, I have not attempted reconstruction. Might repay a bit of work from a cellist?

T:Tell Me What the Fiddle ?als. TCo.20
This rare tune is mentioned in poetry of the time. I have only found one other version, which is not yet available online.

Chris Partington, August 2016

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