From 1908 onwards Sharp visited Oxfordshire many times, primarily to recover morris tunes and dances from surviving dancers. With occasional help from others (Butterworth, Blunt), he was able to reconstruct 11 different 'traditions' (in date order): Headington Quarry; Bampton; Eynsham; Abingdon; Ducklington; Fieldtown; Ascot-under-Wychwood; Bucknell; Adderbury; Wheatley; and Kirtlington. This involved interviews with the main informants here listed (25 men), who contributed either morris tunes (total of 115) or else the relevant dance figures. Their average age was 72.3 yrs - 14 were agricultural labourers plus 1 shepherd and 1 carter; 4 were bricklayers or general labourers; 1 each policeman, baker, publican, shoemaker and skin dealer. Three of these dancers also contributed 10 songs between them.

In addition Sharp collected a further 73 songs from 15 singers (9 men, 6 women) in the county - most notably Shadrach ('Shepherd') Hayden who alone sang 27 songs. Of the male singers with stated occupations, 4 were agricultural labourers, 1 each shepherd, railwayman and mechanical engineer. None of the women informants stated a waged occupation in any censuses.

Useful starting points for modern folk in Oxfordshire: try https://folkinoxford.co.uk and any of the morris organisations (Morris Ring, Morris Federation and Open Morris).

Books by Author David Sutcliffe

Cecil Sharp and the Quest for Folk Song and Dance

A new biography of Cecil Sharp, written by David Sutcliffe

£20.00 + p&p

The Keys of Heaven - The Life of Revd Charles Marson

This is the first biography of the Revd Charles Marson.

£6.00 + p&p