IRISH 19'th Century Dance

"Terpsichore - Her Votaries and Fashions"
T. Leggett-Byrne

27 Adelaide Road, Dublin, Ireland

(click on theclick hereimage to see the scanned pages)

Page Scans
Advertisements: Suppliers of clothes, costumes and other services for those preparing to attend a ball at Dublin Castle. (front) click herethro'click here
Contents 3 click here
List of Illustrations 4 click here
Preface 5

click here

Juvenile Instruction 7 click here
The Waltz 16 click here
Rheinländer 22 click here
Polka 23 click here
The Alsation Polka 24 click here
The Galop 27 click here
Barn Dance 28 click here
Washington Post 29 click here
Schottische 30 click here
Highland Schottisce 33 click here
Polka Mazurka 34 click here
Tantivy 35 click here
Mignon 41 click here
Lancers 44 click here
The Quadrilles 62 click here
The Caledonians 74 click here
The Prince Imperial Quadrille 83 click here
Valse Cotillion 90 click here
Sir Roger de Coverley 91 click here
Norwegian Country Dance 93 click here
Circassian Circle 94 click here
La Tempete 97 click here
Health Exercises - Introduction 98 click here
Free movements 100 click here
Dumb Bells 110 click here
Etiquette of Presentation at Dublin Castle 132 click here
On Fancy Dress Balls 142 click here
Advertisements: Mr. & Mrs. Legget-Byrne's dancing classes click here&click here
Advertisements: Suppliers of clothes, costumes and other services for those preparing to attend a ball at Dublin Castle. (rear) click here&click herethro'click here

This fascinating volume was discovered by one Aidan Vaughan - renowned Irish set dance (quadrilles) collector, researcher and teacher - in an old bookshop in 1997 - almost a 100 years since its publication. Most of the pages describing the dances are extant, although many of the photographs are missing. The volume was subsequently photocopied by Diana Jewitt at Cecil Sharp House for the archives there. Later in 1998 Michael Tubridy found a complete copy in the National Music Archives in Dublin.

The author and publisher - T. Leggett-Byrne - was obviously a well travelled and experienced teacher of both social dancing, step dancing, calisthenics, physical drill, deportment, fencing and children's fancy dances. These were all typical skills taught by the majority of travelling dancing masters throughout the UK and Europe in the 1800s - as has been well documented by Tom and Joan Flett (see "Traditional Dancing in Lakeland," "Traditional Dances of Scotland (incl. Cape Breton)"), and Chris and Ellis Rogers (see "Nonsuch: Early Dance Vol. V11a - Late 18'th and 19'th C. Ballroom Dances").

And it is obvious that what are now called traditional Irish sets evolved from the quadrille dances taught by such dancing masters as the Leggett-Byrnes, the main sources being Paris and London; the former as the main source of new social dancing fashions throughout Northern Europe and the latter as the one of the main sources of new dances in Ireland via the then English and Irish upper classes and the seasons at Dublin Castle.

Interestingly very similar dances were also popular in Scotland. Indeed in the 1800s the dances were truly pan-European. However whereas the English have largely lost almost all of their traditional dances, the Scots held onto and developed their country dances, and the Irish (just about) held onto and developed their sets (quadrilles).

From advertisements in the book both Leggett-Byrne and his wife evidently ran summer schools and classes not only in Dublin, but also in Fermoy, Lismore, Sligo, Athlone, Parsonstown, Tullamore, and Youghal, and presumably in many other places in Ireland.

It is also interesting to read the many advertisements at the front and back of the book. It is evident that there were many commercial enterprises in Dublin and elsewhere to supply the huge demand for dancing shoes, costumes, dance floors, fancy dress, etc., especially for those hoping to be 'presented' at Dublin Castle during the 'season.'

Listed are only some of these enterprises mentioned:

Bouquets for balls, weddings, presentations - J. Henderson & Sons, Lincoln Place, Dublin.
Hosiers, glove and shirts makers, military and colonial outfitters - Kennedy & McSharry, Westmoreland St. and D'Olier St., Dublin.
Wines and Champagne for dances - Alex Findlater & Co., Dublin.
Boots, evening shoes, dancing shoes for ladies and children - G. Jordan & Sons, Leinster St., Dublin.
Dancing floors, ball-room floor polish - Lambert Brien & Co., Grafton St., Dublin.
Court siuts, dress suits, dinner jackets - Kenny Owens Tailors, Dame St., Dublin.
Children's & young ladies' evening gowns & dancing dresses, evening petticoats, combination knickers and skirts, - lace trimmed, spun silk stockings and gloves to match - Mrs. Lewers, Grafton St., Dublin.
Fans, real Irish and foreign lace, ostrich feathers, gauze, marabout, Parisian Diamonds, oriental pearls, necklets, bracelets, hair ornaments, brooches, earrings, opera glasses, etc. - Paris House, Grafton St., Dublin.
Boys fancy suits, boys dress suits - "Our Boys House," Grafton St., Dublin.
Tresses of long fine hair, ladies ornamental hair, fringes - Jules & Co., Stephen's Green and Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.
Grand Hotel, Malahide, Dublin.
Court furriers, sable necklets and muffs, real sealskin coats and capes, theatre and evening wraps - J.M.Barnardo & Sons, Grafton St., Dublin.
Scientific gymnastic apparatus, calisthenic goods and fencing goods, musical dumb-bells, pulley weights, etc. - Geo. Spencer, Goswell Road, London.
Theatrical bookseller, bootmaker, costumer, hosier, stage jewellery, costumes for fancy dress balls, waxwork exhibitions, negro entertainment, dresses and masks to represent monkeys, wolves, bears, lins, elephants, donkeys, etc. - John Burkinshaw, Colquitt St., Liverpool.
Dancing, calisthenics, deportment, classes for children and adults, private lessons and and court presentation lessons by appointment - Mr. and Mrs. Leggett-Byrne, Adelaide Rd., Dublin.
'Summer Teaching' in May in the following towns: Fermoy, Lismore, Sligo, Athlone, Parsonstown, Tullamore, Youghal, etc., children's fancy dances - Mr. & Mrs. Leggett-Byrne.
Dancing, calisthenics, deportment, private and court presentation lessons by appointment, country teaching - April to August inclusive, special arrangements for children's fancy dances at fetes, bazaars, concerts, etc. - Mrs. and the Misses Haines, Donegall Pass, Belfast.
Photographers and carbon portraits - by special appointment to Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales - Chancellor & Son, Lower Sackville St., Dublin.
Visiting, marriage & invitation cards, dance programmes a speciality - Waller & Co. Engravers, Suffolk St., Dublin.
Bouquets for drawing room season, bedding plants, etc. - J.A.Anderson, Sligo.

Home # Top

Email: Chris Brady
No. of visitors since 20-10-99: [ 1320 ]
Site last modified: October 11, 2011
© Chris Brady

Top # Home