Back to Bevis Mount
BEVIS MOUNT. English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. Richard John King's volume A handbook for travellers in Surrey, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight (1865) explains:
Immediately opposite, below the common, is Bevis Mount, a place full of interesting associations, the grounds of which are being covered with bricks and mortar at an alarming rate. The "Mount" in the gardens (possibly an ancient barrow) was traditionally pointed out as the tomb of Sir Bevis of Hampton, whose castle it was also said, stood close by. The place was purchased in the early part of the last [18th] century by Lord Peterborough, the hero of the War of the Succession, and perhaps the most striking union of great wit and madness the world has ever seen. Here he spent his last years, with his wife Anastasia Robinson, building and gardening, entertaining Pope and Swift, and writing indignant notes in the margin of Burnet's "History." He alludes to Bevis Mount in some of his letters as "the wild romantic cottage where I pass my time"--"My Blenheim"--"I confess that the stately Sachrissa at Stowe, but am content with my little Amoret." He made great additions to both house and grounds, "taming", says Pope,
"--the genius of the stubborn plain
Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain."
At the entrance to the lawn he arranged guns, flags and weapons taken by himself in the Spanish war, whence Pope's allusion to "our generals" who "hang their old trophies o'er the garden gate." From here Pope and Lord Petersborough went to Winchester on the distribution of prizes at the college, Pope having given as the subject for a prize poem 'The Campaign of Valencia,' in compliment to the Iberian conqueror; and from hence Pope wrote to Martha Blount an account of the last days spent with Lord Peterborough in the autumn of 1735, just before he set out on his Lisbon voyage. "This man," he says, "was never born to die like other men, any more than to live like them."
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Skillern (Skillern's Compleat Collection of Two Hundred & Four Reels...Country Dances), 1780; p. 16. Straight and Skillern (Two Hundred and Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), c. 1775; No. 31, p. 16.