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Ilmington Morris Dancers

The Histories of the Morris in Britain

The Histories of the Morris in Britain presents the proceedings from a two-day conference held at Cecil Sharp House on the 25th and 26th March 2017, organized by the Historical Dance Society and the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Morris is an enduring feature of British culture across more than six centuries, and this conference celebrated the dance form and shared the latest in morris dance research. Topics ranged from the early days of morris dance as found in the Jacobean court, to the revival and formation of women’s sides, alongside explorations of context, costume, and competing art forms.


Histories of the Morris book cover

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The History of History

  1. How to Read The History of Morris Dancing
    by John Forrest

Morris at Court

  1. Morris and Masque at the Jacobean Court
    by Anne Daye
  2. Rank Outsider or Outsider of Rank: Mr Isaac's Dance 'The Morris'
    by Jennifer Thorp

The Morris Dark Ages

  1. 'Time to Ring some Changes': Bell Ringing and the Decline of Morris Dancing in the Earlier Eighteenth Century
    by Jameson Wooders
  2. Morris Dancers in the Political and Civic Process
    by Michael Heaney
  3. Coconut Dancers in Lancashire, Mallorca, Provence and on the Nineteenth-century Stage
    by Peter Bearon
    Note: Note: The scope of this chapter did not include consideration of any potentially racist aspects of coconut dances, or of the obvious racism in some of the quoted historical sources. Neither the author or the publishers (EFDSS and the HDS) condone any folk dance that could be considered racially offensive through (for example) the use of blackface make-up. Read about how EFDSS is reassessing its historical archives at

The Early Revival

  1. 'I Ring for the General Dance': Morris and Englishness in the Work of Conrad Noel
    by Katie Palmer Heathman
  2. 'Pilgrimages to Holy Places': the Travelling Morrice, 1924–1939
    by Matt Simons
  3. 'Destruction not Inscription': How a Pioneering Revival Side Developed
    by Roy Fenton
  4. Morris Tunes Collected by James Madison Carpenter
    by Elaine Bradtke

The Later Revival

  1. Merrie England, May Day and More: Morris Dances in Cumbria in the Early Twentieth Century
    by Sue Allan
  2. A Different Sort of Revival: The Life and Times of the Manley Morris Dancers
    by Derek Schofield
  3. Consequences of Bringing North-west Morris to the South-east of England: The Chanctonbury Ring Effect
    by Sean Goddard and Ed Bassford
  4. Morris Dancing at Kirtlington Lamb Ale: Heyday, Decline and Revival
    by Robert Dunlop

Women in Morris

  1. What to Dance? What to Wear? The Repertoire and Costume of Morris Women in the 1970s
    by Sally Wearing
  2. The Women's Morris Federation—from Start to Finish
    by Val Parker
  3. This Girl Can Morris Dance: Girls' Carnival Morris Dancing and the Politics of Participation
    by Lucy Wright

Material Culture

  1. Why do Morris Dancers Wear White?
    by Chloe Metcalfe
  2. Materializing Morris Dancing: Tangible Aspects of an Intangible Heritage
    by David Petts


Media files referenced

p. 89, Figure 1: Els Moretons, Mancor, Mallorca
(video by Peter Bearon)