Annotation:Captain Flash (1)

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X:1 T:Captain Flash [1] M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune B:John Walsh – Caledonian Country Dances vol. II (1737, No. 342, p. 82) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C c3 ecA|afd {c}B3|cGF EFG|ABc dBG| A2c B2d|c2g f/g/af|edc G2B|c3 C3:| |:ecA e2^f|g3 G3|dBG d2e|=f3 F3| dBG def|edc BAG|(A/B/)cA (B/c/)dB|c3 C3:|]

"The Modern Duel", an episode from David Garrick's farce "Miss in her Teens" at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, with Garrick as Fribble and Henry Woodward as Captain Flash.
CAPTAIN FLASH [1]. English, Country Dance Tune and Jig (6/8 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Captain Flash was a stage character depicting military braggadocio in the English stage in the mid-to-latter 18th century (surviving into the 20th century in George MacDonald Fraser's "Flashman" series of novels). For example, Captain Flash is a character in the pantomime Harlequin Captain Flash; or, Columbine in her Teens (1747) and in the afterpiece farce Miss in Her Teens. Not surprisingly, 'Captain Flash' entered English popular culture whenever a boasting, overbearing character was required, and was even employed by the criminal underworld:

Thomas Lewis, alias "Captain Flash", had served seven years in the Royal Navy when he was discharged in 1749, after the close of the War of the Austrian Succession. Unable to find honest work, he joined a gang robbing wealthy Londoners. Collared in early 1750, and committed to Newgate Prison by the magistrate and novelist Henry Fielding, Lewis saved his neck by turning king's evidence. Yet old habits died hard. Within a month Lewis was back in jail on suspicion of robbery. This time his crime left no room for mercy: he was hanged for relieving John Matthews of two gold rings and a handful of coins, ramming a pistol into his mouth with sufficient force to make his gums bleed.[1]

Additional notes

Printed sources : - John Johnson (A Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 4), 1748; p. 1. John Walsh (Caledonian Country Dances vol. II), c. 1737; No. 342, p. 82.

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  1. From a review of Nicholas Rogers' MAYHEM: Post-war crime and violence in Britain, 1748-53 [Brumwell, Stephen. "From Gin Lane to Tyburn." TLS. Times Literary Supplement, no. 5758, 9 Aug. 2013, p. 23. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 17 Feb. 2024.]