Carlisle Races

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X: 1 T:Carlisle Races. Car.02 M:6/8 L:1/8 Q:3/8=120 S:CarlisleMS,Anon.c1812.AGG's transcription R:.jig O:England A:Carlisle Z:vmp.Chris Partington K:G D|G2B d2e|dBd g2d|c2e dBG|F<AA A2D|! G2B d2e|dBd g2d|c2e DEF|FGG G2:|! |:d|gab agf|efg dcB|cde dBG|F<AA A2d|! gab agf|efg dcB|c2e DEF|FGG G2:|

CARLISLE RACES. English, Country Dance Tune or Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The name Carlisle was originally Caer Leul, caer being Welsh for castle while Leul is a contraction of the Latin form of the name of a Celtic deity known by the Irish as Lug, all processed by Norman clerks who knew nothing of the spelling of either (Matthews, 1972). Carlisle, in Cumbria, northwest England, was a Celtic settlement since prehistoric times. The Romans garrisoned and fortified it and made it the anchor of the western end of Hadrian's Wall, although as their power waned it was sacked by the Picts in 181 and 367, and then by the Danes in 875. At the end of the first millennium it formed part of the kingdom of Strathclyde, but was conquered by the Normans in 1092. Carlisle Castle was the first place of imprisonment for Mary, Queen of Scots. Royalist Carlisle fell the Scots in 1645, and captured again by Bonnie Prince Charlie in the rebellion of 1745.

Carlisle has a history of horseracing dating back some five centuries, and the racetrack remains one of the premier tracks in the country. The oldest races were the Carlisle Bell (first run in 1599) and the Cumberland Plate, which may date from the reign of Charles II and which are still run today. Flagging attendance at the racecourse led the local gentry to add wrestling as an attraction to the racing programme in 1808, and the matches became quite famous. The innovation worked, for a period newspaper noted that, on October, 1811, "on the first day of the races, 20 guineas were wrestled for on the Swifts in a roped ring, sixty yards in diameter...the wrestling was most severely contested in the presence of 10,000 people, by some of the most sinewy and active youths we ever saw enter a ring. We observed among the spectators the Marquis of Queensbury, the Earl of Lonsdale, Lord Lowther...etc."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Knowles (A Northern Lass), 1995; p. 41.

Recorded sources: -Harbourtown HARCD 047, The Boat Band - "A Trip to the Lakes."

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