1740: A jig called 'Cuckfield Place'


A nonchalant doctor dancing a jig amidst unhappy patients in a decrepit hospital ward.

This is a jig called ‘Cuckfield Place’ from 'The Compleat Country Dancing-Master' printed by John Walsh, London c1740 . There is no further information about this. Assuming it was genuine it originated from what we now call Cuckfield Park, we get a sense of the entertainment and fun the family and friends must have had.

A jig, folk dance, was usually solo, and particularly popular in Scotland and northern England in the 16th and 17th centuries and in Ireland from the 18th century. It is an improvised dance performed with rapid footwork and a rigid torso.


The date of the dance suggests that it would have been hosted by Charles Sergison or his successor of the estate, Thomas (Warden) Sergison.


The relationship is as follows: Charles Sergison (1655-1732) had an elder brother, Michael, whose daughter married Prudence married Thomas Warden. In turn they had a son also called Thomas who, on the death of Charles Sergison adopted the name 'Sergison' and inherited the bulk of the Cuckfield Park estate.


Hear the tune here. [This links to an MP3 file it's a very brief piano performance]. Any problems with the audio file then take the abcnotation link below and find the link there.



Sources

The music: https://tunearch.org/wiki/Cuckfield_Place

and http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?=trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/book/JohnWalsh/Cuckfield_Place/0000


Illustration: A nonchalant doctor dancing a jig amidst unhappy patients in a decrepit hospital ward. Coloured etching by C. Williams, 1813. Wellcome Collection gallery, a public domain image.


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.