Chelsea Reach

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CHELSEA REACH. AKA and see "Buckingham House (2)." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. First published in 1657 in John Playford's third edition of his Dancing Master [1] (p. 128) as "Chelsea Reach," and was repeated with that title in the printing of 1665. The melody was retained in the Dancing Master 4th through 7th editions (until 1686), albeit with the title altered to "Buckingham House or Chelsea Reach." The manor at Chelsea was constructed in 1524 by Sir Thomas More (executed in 1535 by Henry VIII) who incorporated an older 15th century structure. By the reign of Charles I it was known as Buckingham House, being owned by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Later, after the restoration of Charles II, the house was purchased by the Duke of Beaufort and became known as Beaufort House. The Old English name Chelsea was, in the year 785, Cealc hyth, having to do with the loading or unloading of chalk. Chelsea Reach is a stretch of the Thames River in London, although in Playford's time it was still undeveloped.

Printed sources: Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 117, p. 39. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Fleming-Williams & Shaw (English Dance Airs; Popular Selection, Book 1), 1965; p. 6. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 20. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 28.

Recorded source: Maggie's Music MMCD216, Hesperus - "Early American Roots" (1997).


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