Collection date: Jan 1913
Thomas Sadler of the Sowerby sword dance: Sharp met Thomas Sadler on Fri 17 Jan 1913 and he clearly wrote ‘Sowerby, nr Thirsk’ against the tune he collected from Sadler (FT2815) – rather than Sowerby Bridge, nr Halifax. He transcribed his interview as Folk Dance Notes 3/25-34 but did not publish the dance in his Sword Dance books.
Sharp had been tipped off about the presence of 4 surviving dancers in Sowerby by Rev W.Kingsley, vicar of nearby South Kilvington. He had responded to a questionnaire that Sharp had sent out to local vicars in Yorkshire in Dec 1912. Sharp analysed the results of his survey and drew up an action plan https://www.vwml.org/search?q=CJS1/8/2/8/1%20&is=1 - quite a modern way of working!
Thomas Sadler was born c1837, details to be confirmed. In the 1851 census for Sowerby he was listed as a shoemaker, age 14. He married Elizabeth Musther in April qr 1858 (Thirsk 9d 567) and they remained in Sowerby, raising 12 children, 2 of whom died young. Thomas left off shoemaking and became a general labourer (1901 census ref is RG13/4547 f85 p7). Thomas died in the January qr 1914 aged 77 (Thirsk 9d 559).
Note: Sowerby concluded a hectic (and very cold) week for Sharp – he collected sword dances at 5 different locations. Although he (unusually) had the use of a car for 2 days*, he navigated his way to the following locations: Tues 14th January Handsworth, nr Sheffield (Mr Siddall); Wed 15th to Haxby, 5 miles N of York (Messrs Peckitt & Daker); Thurs 16th to Askham Richard, 6 miles SW of York (Sam Bland); Fri 17th 10 miles NW of York to Linton-on-Ouse for Ampleforth dance (George Fox) then on to Thirsk, 2 miles out to Sowerby (Mr Sadler). *Letter to Maud Karpeles MK/3/26