Transcription of the Stephens manuscript

This is a transcription of the ‘Stephens’ manuscript, British Library MS Add 41996.

The BL won't let you take photos of this one. For Newcastle, I've copied the transcription from Geoff Mendham and Tom Cook's 1985 pamphlet on the subject (although I did double check it and couldn't find fault in it). The rest were transcribed in the reading room with Daisy's assistance (a fun date!)

I've not included information about crossings out and deletions. However it's noteable that in the final dance Put up thy dagger, the 3 in “3 Fig” has been corrected from a 2, with several lines crossed out in the middle of that figure, and the second figure written after it. It's pretty clear that the author realised the mistake mid-writing and corrected it. I've kept them in the order they appear but obviously figure 2 should be done before figure 3.

As is usual for the age, note that the letter ‘y’ was used as a substitute for the letter thorn (þ), pronounced ‘th’ – so e.g. ‘yᵉ’ and ‘yᵗ’ mean ‘the’ and ‘that’ respectively. Also the letters i and j used to be the same letter so e.g. ‘ioyning’ means ‘joining’.

The Maurice Daunce

Lead all yᵉ mates round yᵉ roome

1 Fig: The 1 & 2ᵈ Man meete the 1 & 2ᵈ woman & passe through them to yᵉ contrary side, & set faces about, then yᵉ 1 & 2ᵈ Cu take handes each other, then let goe hands & turne round all 4 single: then yᵉ 1 man takes yᵉ 2ᵈ man by yᵉ right hand & soe also yᵉ 1 woaman yᵉ 2ᵈ woa: & turne yᵉⁱʳ places & soe caper, then doe yᵉ same back with his mate & caper againe. Doe this all along.

2ᵈ Fig: The 1 Cu: cast of & goe downe into yᵉ 2ᵈ place whilst the 2ᵈ Cu: lead up betweene them into yᵉ 1 place & there change places one with another stil holding hands: then yᵉ 2ᵈ Cu: being in yᵉ 1 place cast of & goe downe as yᵉ first Cu: did before whilst the 1 Cu: doe as yᵉ 2ᵈ Cu: did before then go yᵉ 1 & 2ᵈ man take right hands & change places as in yᵉ first fig: yᵉ 1 & 2 woaman yᵉ same at yᵉ same time then each change with his mate as yᵉ first fig: Doe this all along.

3ᵈ Fig: The 1 & 2ᵈ man take hands, yᵉ 1 & 2ᵈ woaman yᵉ same, & fall back from each other, then meete & change places each with his mate then yᵉ 1 Cu: cast of & goe downe into yᵉ 2 place whilst yᵉ 2ᵈ Cu: goe up into yᵉ first place betweene them, then yᵉ 1 & 2ᵈ man ioyne both hands, & soe yᵉ 1 & 2ᵈ woemen & meete each other slipping one foote before yᵉ other; then slip apart againe yᵉ men from yᵉ woemen still holding hands, & soe Caper, then take hands each man with his mate, & change places with them then Caper. Doe this all along.


Lead up a double back againe set all & goe back, lead up againe, back againe, & set as before.

1 Fig: The 1 Cu: slip downe on yᵉ outside yᵉ 2d Cu: they two slipping up at yᵉ same time, & then clap hands all foure; then slip backe again into your places & soe clap hands again all foure, then yᵉ first Cuppl cast of into yᵉ 2ᵈ place, & there turne hands, yᵉ second Cu: goeing up betweene yᵐ turne hands also. Doe this all along.

2 Fig: The first Cu: lead downe betweene yᵉ 2ᵈ Cu: & soe yᵉ 1 man goe behind yᵉ 2ᵈ man & peepe forward yᵉ 1 woaman, who at yᵉ same time goes behind yᵉ 2 woaman & peeps also, then they two turne about againe & meete in yᵉ 2ᵈ place, & there turne: this all along

3 Fig: The 1 Cu: meete yᵉ 2ᵈ Cu: backe againe, then yᵉ 1 man turne hands with yᵉ 2ᵈ man, & yᵉ 1 woaman with yᵉ 2ᵈ woaman, then back with his owne mate at yᵉ same time: Doe this all along.

Newcastle a round daunce for eight only!

1 Fig: Take hands all & goe half round then set & turne all round single, then take hands all againe & goe backe into your places all holding hands togeather, then set againe, & turne all round single againe, then every man take his mate by yᵉ right hand & turne her, & put in his right hand into yᵉ midst of yᵉ ring & soe all fowre men ioyning hands a cross goe halfe round that way as their faces are turned, & yᵉ woemen’s faces being contrary to yᵉ mens goe round single at yᵉ same time also till each woaman meets his man, yᵉ woemen all standing on yᵉ right side of their men ; then each man take his woeman by yᵉ left hand, & turne her & all the woemen put in their right hands into yᵉ midst of yᵉ ring & so they fowre goe round with their hands a cross whilst yᵉ fowre men goe round single on yᵉ outside of them till each man meets with his mate in yᵉ same place where he was at first.

2 Fig: Every man sides with his owne mate at yᵉ same time & backe againe then change places with them, then every man sides with yᵉ next woaman backe againe then change place with them : then those two Cupple that stand at each end of yᵉ roome opposite one to yᵉ other meete each others in yᵉ midst of yᵉ ring ioyning hands with their owne mates, & when they are met each man takes yᵉ contrary woaman, & leads her betweene yᵉ other two cupple that stand still one cupple goeing betwene one of the other Cu. yᵗ stand still & yᵉ other betweene yᵉ other, & soe each man meete his mate all fowre goeing round about the Cupple they went betweene, then yᵉ other fowre doe yᵉ same.

3 Fig: Every man turne hands with his woaman, then change places with her, then turne hands with yᵉ next woaman, & change places with her all at yᵉ same time, & now every man meetes with his owne mate he had at first, then two men & two woamen hold hands & stand apart from yᵉ other fowre a cross yᵉ roome then meete all fowre & change places to yᵉ contrary side, then fall fowre hand in hand to one end & fowre to yᵉ other end of the roome & soe meete, & change places, this brings every man to his owne place as they were at first.

Put up thy dagger

Lead up, back againe, & set, this all againe.

1 Fig: The first man & 2ᵈ woaman meete, whilst yᵉ first woaman & second man fall backe, then yᵉ 1 man & second woaman fall backe from each other whilst yᵉ first woaman, & 2ᵈ man change places & as they change take right hands, & the other two presently afterwards take right hands a cross also & soe all forward goe round hand in hand. Doe this all along.

3 Fig: The 1 man & 2ᵈ woaman change place, yᵉ 1 woaman & 2ᵈ man yᵉ same, then yᵉ first man (being now in yᵉ 2ᵈ place) take right hands with his owne mate & change sides with her afterwards yᵉ 2ᵈ man doe yᵉ with his mate also.

2 Fig: Take hands all foure & goe halfe round hand in hand in a ring, then yᵉ first Cupple being now in the second place cast off, & come backe into yᵉ 2ᵈ place againe, yᵉ other Cupple still following them, & then change places each man with his mate.