Also known as: Henry Taylor
Collection date: May 1910
‘Harry’ (Henry) Taylor at Longborough, Glos (1843-1921): age 67, 10 morris tunes on 2nd & 13th May 1910 (FT2481-90) + 1 final tune on 14 April 1911 (FT2597): Longborough is 3 miles north of Stow-on-the-Wold. All Harry’s tunes made it into Lionel Bacon’s Handbook of Morris Dances (1974) and so are danced today. Sharp published tunes and figures in Morris Book 4 (Novello 1911).
Sharp first met Harry Taylor at Condicote village, a mile or so from Longborough, where Harry happened to be working (haystacking). Sharp had cycled over on a pouring wet day but Harry whistled the music and the two men danced about, using wisps of hay in lieu of handkerchiefs! The Longborough morris style has handkerchiefs but no sticks (just handclapping*). See Folk Dance Notes vol 1 pp138-41.
Harry Taylor was baptised at Longborough on 23/4/1843, second child of Stephen Taylor, labourer and his (second) wife Elizabeth (née Phipps). Harry left home to work as a groom for a farmer in Notgrove (1861). On 22/8/1868 he married Jane Spragg at Longborough and they had 11 children, 2 of whom died young. Harry was an agricultural labourer according to all censuses at Longborough 1871, 1891 and 1901. In 1881 he was a cowman at Lyneham. He was buried at Longborough on 12/3/1931 aged 87.
There is no morris side at Longborough today but a new side Taylor's Morris was formed in 2016 specifically to dance the Longborough style www.taylorsmorris.org
*A dance Country Gardens has been developed as a stick dance, drawing upon manuscripts of George Butterworth.