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BILLY PIT. AKA - "William Pitt." English, Reel. England, Yorkshire. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title honors one of the William Pitts who was Prime Minister of Britain. Pitt the Elder was in office from 1766-1768, while Pitt the Younger held sway from 1783-1801 and again in 1804-1806. "Billy Pitt" appears in Lawrence Leadley's Yorkshire manuscript (mid-19th century) and in the music manuscript copybook (1838) of Cumbrian musician William Irwin. As "William Pitt" (Wm. Pitt) the tune appears in the c. 1825 music manuscripts (BF13.004) of the Browne family of Troutbeck, in the old county of Westmoreland in the English Lake District. It now is located in the relatively new county of Cumbria. The manuscripts are apparently the work of different individuals over time, with the Browne family the last owners of the book before they were collected and donated to the Armitt Library, where they are kept today.
Source for notated version: a MS by fiddler Lawrence Leadley, 1827-1897 (Helperby, Yorkshire) [Merryweather & Seattle].
Printed sources: Merryweather & Seattle (The Fiddler of Helperby), 1994; No. 109, p. 61.