Bugbee's Hole

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BUGBEE'S HOLE. AKA and see "Beadle of Grubb St. (The)" English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was first published in London in 1726 by John Young in the Dancing Master, vol. 3, 2nd edition (p. 121) under the title "Bugbee's Hole". "The Beadle of Grubb Street" was given as an alternate title. It apparently does not appear in any other period publications. Bugbee's Hole, or Bugsby's Hole was a location on the Thames between Woolwich and Greenwich, albeit more commonly spelled 'Bugby's'. A 'hole' on the river Thames traditionally refers to an anchorage. Bugsby's Hole was an embarkation point for London shipping, and a place where hanged pirates were displayed in chains, pour encouragement des autres. The earliest reference to the name of 'Bugsby’s Hole' in print is in the Gentleman's Magazine of March 1735 which recorded that one "Williams the pirate" was hung in chains at Bugsby's Hole'. He did not personally suffer from that indignity, however, as he had previously expired from being hanged at Execution Dock in Wapping. He apparently deserved his fate, for he had been convicted in Admiralty Court of absconding with the ship Buxton Snow, bound from Bristol to the Island of Malemba Angola on the African coast (probably to participate in the slave trade). In the course of this crime he also murdered the ships Captain, a man named Beard, by taking an ax to his throat.

Printed source: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986 (appears as "Burghee's Hole"). Bently (Fallibroome Collection, vol. 4), 1971 (appears as "Burghee's Hole").

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