Negus

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NEGUS. English, Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody was originally published in Charles and Samuel Thompson's Compleat Collection, vol. 3 (London, 1773). As with numerous tunes from the Thompson's 1773 collection, it was entered into the 1788 music copybook of fiddlers John and William Pitt Turner (Norwich, Conn.). Negus [1] is a drink made from wine, often port, mixed with hot water, and sugared and spiced. It takes its name (according to Malone) from an early 18th century courtier named Col. Francis Negus, who invented the drink. During a heated exchange between Tories and Whigs during the reign of George I, Negus is said to have recommended they drink--as he did--wine diluted with water, to help curb their excesses. Negus was drunk at Fezziwig's Christmas party in Dickens' Christmas Carol and is mentioned in several other literary works of the 18th and early 18th centuries.

Excellent Negus:--1 bottle of sherry (or port), 2 1/2 pints of water, juice of 1 lemon, a little of the peel rubbed off on sugar; grated nutmeg, and sugar to taste; add 1 drop essence of ambergris, or 10 drops essence of vanilla; all to be made and drunk warm.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3), 1773; No. 170.

Recorded sources:




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