"Badby is a village in Northamptonshire, about three miles south of Daventry. The Morris team broke up about forty years ago; there is now only one survivor, Mr Ephraim Cox, aged seventy-four, and it is from him that our knowledge of the three following dances has been derived. Mr Cox gave us the names of several more dances which used to be regularly performed; unfortunately, however, he was unable to remember their tunes, and therefore could not show the movements: for no traditional Morris-man can dance a single step until he hears, actually or in imagination, the particular tune he wants; nor, as a rule, is it of any avail to whistle him a version – even of a well-known air – other than the one to which he has been accustomed.
The Badby dancers used to wear white pleated shirts, with epaulettes and rosettes attached, two white silk scarves crossed, 'Scotch' cap with ribands, and white trousers. The sticks they used were rather larger and stouter than usual, about 25 inches in length and a full inch in diameter. The music was supplied by a fiddler"
The Morris Book, Part V, p36, C.J.Sharp and G. Butterworth, Novello and Co., 1913
Photo: James Locke, one time dancer with Badby Morris
(Ring Archive Ref: PE 26)
The dances and tunes as listed in A Handbook of Morris Dances
- Beaux of London City (MDT)
- Shepherds' Hey (MDT)
- Old Black Joe (MDT)
- Old Black Joe 2, (RD, Col. by John Black, OUMM)
Additional Dance Tunes are :-
Balance the Straw (as Fieldtown)
Flowers of Edinburgh
MB V; Butterworth MSS (RD). See also "The Badby Morris Tradition (Northamptonshire)", Reconstruction of the tradition by Moulton Morris Men. "The Morris Dancer", 1997, 3(4), 106.
Barry Care writes:
“The sources of the additional dances came to Moulton Morris Men via Badby enthusiast L.E. ‘Ginger’ Saunders of Westminster Morris Men. He had been taught by ‘Sinner’, Marjorie Sinclair an EFDSS teacher of Morris from the 1930’s. She had received her information and practical dancing skills from George Butterworth himself. Lionel Bacon gave Morris Sunderland as another source, who gave copies of unpublished tunes noted down from Butterworth’s Mss matching those sent by Ginger. We reconstructed all the other dances and I taught a number of instructionals in the 1980’s.”
John Burke (King John's Morris Men) was responsible for the ‘From Night Till Morn’ tune for Broad Cupid.