Eden, Mrs Horatia

Dancer

Collection date: Aug 1910

Area: Yorkshire


Mrs Horatia Eden (1846-1945): was an intermediary who helped Sharp to obtain the Grenoside dance in August 1910. Horatia Gatty was born in the town of Ecclesfield, Sheffield, South Yorks in 1846, fourth child of Rev Alfred Gatty and his wife Margaret. By way of explanation, her maternal grandfather had been chaplain to Horatio Nelson.

Alfred Gatty was vicar of Ecclesfield all his working life (from 1839 till his death in 1903). He was a local historian and wrote a history of Sheffield (1873). The parish of Ecclesfield (population then of 7,000) lies 2 miles east of the Grenoside district within the city of Sheffield.

Horatia had moved to London by 1881 and was editor of Aunt Judy's magazine for children before marrying schoolmaster Thomas Bainbridge Eden in April qr 1889 (9c 334). They lived at Burgess Park, West Hampstead, not far from Cecil Sharp.

Sharp wrote to her on 11 July 1910, enquiring after ‘morris dances in your native village in South Yorkshire’. He said he had been tipped off by both Ralph Vaughan Williams and his friend and fellow composer Nicholas Gatty (Horatia’s nephew). Quickly Sharp was put in touch with Horatia’s older brother Rev Reginald Gatty and his wife Florence in Hooton Roberts, nr Rotherham. They in turn contacted a Mr Wragg - perhaps Joe Wragg, a dancer or Walter Wragg, musician of the Grenoside troupe, who promised to get the dancers ready (see Sharp’s letter to Horatia Eden 24 August 1910 at vwml CJS1/8/1/4).

The dance was collected and Sharp made sure to send Mrs Eden a copy of his book ‘The Sword Dances of Northern England’ (Book 1, 1911). She later assisted him with information about Flamborough and Sleights dances.

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