T:Royal Circus, The
B:Samuel, Ann & Peter Thompson -- Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 5 (1788, No. 113, p. 57)
(F/G/)|AFc cBA|BGd dcB|Acd cBA|BGG G2 (F/G/)|
AFc cBA|BGd dcB|Acf gae|fff f2:|
|:(e/f/)|gec cdc|afc cdc|bag agf|efg c2c|
dBd dgb|cAc cfa|bag agf|cde f2:|]
ROYAL CIRCUS. AKA and see “Drury Lane.” English, Scottish; Jig or March (6/8 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Gow, Howe): AA’BB’ (Cranford/Holland). A tune by this name appears in Gow’s 2nd Collection, probably named for the Royal Circus in the New Town of Edinburgh, so called because of its shape complimentary to Royalty. Perhaps the most famous use of the name Royal Circus dates to 1782 when a former member of Phillip Astley’s equestrian performance company, Charles Hughes (1747-1797), struck out on his own. Astley’s performance hall was called the Royal Amphitheater, while rival Hughes’ named his The Royal Circus, located on Black-friar’s Road at St. George’s Fields, London (see note for “Astley's Ride” for more). Hughes, who opened his entertainment in conjunction with the popular songwriter Charles Dibdin, is credited with inventing the name circus (in the context of a program consisting of live acts), meaning 'circle', referring to the ring around which the equestrians rode during their performances.