Mile End Assembly

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MILE END ASSEMBLY. English, Country Dance Tune and Jig (6/8 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody first appears in It also appears in the (probably) Dutch collection of G. Willsim called Recueil de 24 Contredances Angloise Les Plus Usite (1755). The Mile-end [1] is in Stepney, east Whitechapel, (east) London, and was anciently one of the earliest suburbs of the city, although later it was considered an unfashionable district. The dance assemblies there were open to the public through the purchase of a ticket. Robert Plumer Ward, in his book Pictures of the World at Home and Abroad (1832), gives this sketch of one Mile-end assembly:

At eight o'clock on a Monday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Maxfield, attended by their nephew, entered the ball-room of the George and Vulture. It was some fifty feet long, formed by throwing down the partitions of three other rooms, into which it had usually been divided. At the upper end, lighted with tallow candles, was a sort of gallery, filled with a band of musicians, certainly not Weippert's, under which sat Mr. Deputy Robson, Mr. Jobson, Mr. Hobson, Mr. Dobson, and their ladies, and sundries of their progeny, from the ages of fifteen to twenty. These instantly made room for among them from Mr. and Mrs. Maxfield, who were much respected by them, and who introduced their nephew to them in form.

Robert's heart smote him as the awful ceremony proceeded. For the first time for several months, his old malady recurred; and he looked fearfully up and down the room, to see if any of the companions of his former greatness might not, by some miracle, be witnessing this momentous débût. All, however, was safe; and tea and bread and butter, and a slight portion of cake, were handed round, previous to the commencement of the "Cameronian Rant'; for waltzes and quadrilles had not then, as we know, reached England, much less the George and Vulture. (p. 349).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: John Johnson (Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 6), London, 1751; p. 95. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), 1757; No. 14. John Walsh (Caledonian Country Dances vol. II), c. 1737; No. 303, p. 43.

Recorded sources:




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