Inwood, John

Dancer

Collection date: Sept 1922

Area: Buckinghamshire


John Inwood of Steeple Claydon morris: age 77. Sharp wrote ‘Inward’ but it is definitely ‘Inwood’: On 8 Sept 1922 John Inwood played the ‘Old Molly Oxford’ tune (FT4886) to Sharp on his half-size fiddle, which he said was his father’s grandfather’s fiddle. He was a morris dancer too and said that the ‘Old Molly Oxford’ tune was the only tune the dancers used.

In Folk Dance Notes vol4/87 Sharp wrote that ‘Inward danced the morris step to us with great agility and spring for a man of 77, throwing out his legs further and therefore higher than usual …’ Sharp described the dance figures and, though he did not publish the dance in any of his Morris Books, the dance did appear in Lionel Bacon’s ‘Handbook of Morris Dances’ (1974 pp299ff).

John Inwood was born in Buckingham in January qr 1845 (6-387), 2nd son of Benjamin Inwood, agricultural labourer and his wife Martha. The family had moved to Steeple Claydon by the time of the 1861 census. John was an agricultural labourer all his life. John married Mary Stevens in July qr 1864 (3a 721) and they spent the rest of their lives in Steeple Claydon. Mary had 12 children but sadly lost 8 of them in infancy. John Inwood’s date of death is yet to be confirmed.

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