Transcription of the Sloane manuscript

This is my transcript of the ‘Sloane’ manuscript.

I hesitated to do this one as Peter Durham has a transcript online already, however there are a number of mistakes in that, and I think I've managed to make sense of a few more bits that are difficult to read. In all fairness, I had the luxury of being able to photograph it and transcribe it at home magnified, whereas the previous transcript had to be done at the British Library.

I've not included annotations indicating the crossings out and corrections, but I have put words in square brackets where I've made a guess. I've also not shown precise line breaks and have taken some liberties with the depictions of horizontal lines in the name of readability. I've made a basic effort to indicate capital letters but the distinction between cases is quite vague, usage moderately arbitrary and not relevant to interpretation anyway so I've not worried too much. I've attached a PDF at the bottom of the page which includes the photos I took of it to make this transcription – if you want more precise details, have a look at that. Or visit it in the BL!

The manuscript peters out twice: the first time in Abergany, where the author only gets as far as writing ‘lead up’; then after the manuscript has restarted on a new page, it ultimately peters out in the middle of Jack Pudding.

As always, read ‘yᵉ’ as ‘the’.

I Bobbing Joe.

Lead up twice. Sett twice.

First man Set to the next woman.

First woman Set to th’ next man:

First man Change place with yᵉ Second woman:

First woman change place with the Second man.

Sides twice. Sett twice.

First woman and Second man hold hands while yᵉ other goe about.

First man and second Woman hold hands while their mates goe about:

All hands held, they goe about till the first come into yᵉ Second place, and each sets to his owne.

Armes twice. Sett twice.

The first paire with hand in hand meet the second hand in hand: who breake and follow the first, who breake too, and walke generally about the Station of the 2d, till they first come againe to the second Station, and then each tunes his Owne.

II The Marriners

They first Lead up: they slide along one before the other to one side and then turne Backes, then faces againe. and then clap hands. first their owne together, then right hands: then their owne againe then left hands. then their owne againe; then their Thighs: and with both hands the both hands of the other:

The man pass’es to the next Woman, et e Con verso; and after Sides to one another; slide as before. &C

III Amy: for 4.

They meet hand in hand leading up, and Sett to their owne twice.

Then hand in hand they fall Back, presently meet, first one breakes and the other passe thorough and are followd returning all to their Owne places: then the tother breakes, and &C.

Then Changing Women hand in hand: they doe the same: But first Sides and sett first to their Owne, then to the others.

Armes & Setting first to th’ one then to th’ other:

Men goe in, women fall back: then Women goe in, men fall back: then Women goe in, men fall back: Women fall back men goe in, take right hands, turne onother and then their owne.

Men goe in &C.

IIII Parsons farewell. 4.

They meete hand in hand; and then Slide aside one another: then fall back: and Slide againe till they be opposite.

The men Leape, then the Women; then all: then Men fall in Turne about, on onother, and then their owne Women.

They meet hand in hand then each takes his neighbours Women, and lead away; then too em againe & take their owne, and lead away.

The Men goe in, take first the right hand, then the left; and both held turn about and turn their Owne:

The Women goe in take first the left hand &C.

They meet with both hands &C.

The Man turnes his Woman about and walks the hay his woman following him: to the other side:

Then the Woman turnes the man &C.

V. The Boone Companion.

Lead up: then the first thorough all and every man about single.

Lead the faces the other way. and the first back againe &C.

The Men Sett to the women, then passe round about them their faces the same way:

The women Sett &C.

Sides, the first thorough and back againe:

Men and Women Change places; and whilst the men goe about, the women, they come to their owne side.

The same again, and the men are as they were before.

Armes, and thorough.

Hands, and then Clap hands, and first the Uppermost half together and lowermost halfe [around?] Take hands and Clap hands againe and then the men and women by themselves.

VI Sollibrand.

Lead up, and Sett twice.

Two first men fall back hand in hand, and soe the two first women together, then they meet and passe thorough quite then fall back, take hands backward, and about till the first come to the second place, and then they sett each to his Owne.

Sides twice.

Two first Men and Women Change places

First man againe with the second woman, et e converso, and soe hand in hand round till they first come to the 2d place.

Armes Twice

First man with both hands takes both his W hands, whiles he leads her thorough the next two casts her over to the mens side, the man goes, about the woman, and his made [his?] man, and shees [cast?] back againe to the womens side

VII Abergany.

Lead up.

Ladie Duchesse.

Lead up.

The Two uppermost and lowermost fall of and slide Downe, and there turne single, and then with the Lowermost that in the same manner slipd into the middle, hand in hand [and?] turne [round?].

In the meane time the middlemost hand in hand goe up to their respective Ends, there Slide from one another, and then turne their mates around.


The two middlemost men and women take hands and cast of to the uppermost there turne round single, and fall in with their mates round about the uppermost which then are middlemost till againe they come to be uppermost.

In the meane time the two uppermost fall in turne round and then turne round about the upper.

The middlemost fall in, the uppermost fall [of?]: The middlemost turne their mates to the other side, halfe turne the extreames of that side they are on and then half turne their mates and they are the uppermost:

Note every of these changes is twice done.

Jog on.

Lead up.

The Two uppermost fall of, put the Next couple in, and then all foure hand in hand turne round


The two uppermost both hands in hands come below the two middlemost both hands in hands and the man turnes the man the woman the woman.


The 2 uppermost dance to the next: the man cast the woman so turne the next man about, and he turnes the next woman, and both turns one another.

Sheppheards Holi. of 6

They lead up, turne their mates to the other sides.

The two uppermost fall within, the middlemost, the [neithermost?] behind, and all turne round to their places.

Then the neitherm fall in, the Uppermost, and turne about the other way to their owne places.

Sides, and turne [round?] single.

The extreames change sides, and then the middlemost, and the sides goe the hay

then the middlemost first change sides, and the extremes. and the hay againe

Arme, and round single.

The men and women apart hand in hand meete and fall of againe then hand in hand they turne round;

They apart now fall backe & then meete then hand in hand backward turne round into their owne places

Jack Pudding

[Six?] by two stand trianglewise, faces the same way.

They Lead up.

The two hindmost, goe halfe round those on yᵉ left hand before, when they are come behind passe under their hands then goe to the other two, and there the four formost turne round hand in hand.

They Set

then yᵉ men fall in hold up their hands together while, their pass under about their owne.

Then the women fall in &C.


The two hindmost


Attached files