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The Lancers Quadrilles
Contributed by Paul Cooper, Research Editor
A previous paper has discussed the First Set of Quadrilles. In this article we'll consider the other incredibly successful Quadrille Set from the Regency era, The Lancers1. There were several versions of The Lancers in circulation, we're going to learn about their origin and history during the greater Regency era.
There are two main variants of The Lancers, those of John Duval, and of Joseph Binns Hart. There has been debate about which version came first; my research is firmly in support of Duval's primacy. Duval's Set are made up of five separate Quadrilles, La Dorset, Lodoiska, La Native, Les Graces and Les Lanciers; they're a lovely set of dances, and easily my favourite Quadrille Set. They were first published in 1817, by the early 1820s they had become the most popular Quadrille Set in England, second only to the First Set.
Duval of Dublin
Duval was a second generation dance master. His father had, presumably, left France at some point in the second half of the 18th century. There is anecdotal evidence that John Duval (senior) was married in Liverpool in 17642. By 1797 Duval senior was working at the Theatre-Royal in Dublin3, a year later he was advertising his new Rooms and his ability to teach dancing and fencing4. There was also a prominent dance master in London in the 1780s called Mr Wall du Val, I've no reason to believe he was related to the Duval's of Dublin, though there could be a connection.
By 1807 Duval Junior was advertising his own dancing business in Dublin, promising
The Quadrille was a dance form we've investigated in other papers, it had already enjoyed a rich history in Dublin by 1817. French Cotillion dances (a predecessor to the Quadrille) were sold in Dublin in the 1770s (e.g. Saunders's News-Letter, 15th March 1773), and dancing masters such as Signor Callori (Saunders's News-Letter, 11th April 1778) and Mr Dempsey (Dublin Evening Post, 12th November 1782) taught them. Dances explicitly identified as Quadrilles were introduced in the 1780s. A Fete conducted by Mr Castro in 1784 at Dublin's Rotunda promised
Duval did have family in London. One of his sisters had married a London based dancing master called Mr Burghall around 1801 (Morning Chronicle, 16th January 1802). Burghall advertised that he had
Figure 2. The first report of Duval's Lancers, April 22nd 1817. With Thanks to Irish Newspaper Archives (www.irishnewsarchive.com).
Duval's Second Set
Most of Duval's Quadrilles have been forgotten, but his second Set1 were different (see Figure 1). The earliest reference I've found to them is from April 22nd 1817. We're told in an advert in the Freeman's Journal that
The advert, by Dublin based publisher J. Willis mentions four of the dances that make up Duval's Lancers:
Figure 3. Spagnoletti in Dublin, December 1816. With Thanks to Irish Newspaper Archives (www.irishnewsarchive.com).
Yaniewicz, Spagnoletti and Duval were regularly mentioned in Dublin's newspapers around 1817. Their celebrity, combined with that of The Countess of Farnham and The Duchess of Dorset, must have helped to promote these dances in Ireland.
The Lancers happened to be published in Dublin at the same time as the Quadrille dance form was experiencing a dramatic rise in popularity in England; the Lancers were sufficiently different from the London Quadrilles to excite interest.
There's a good reason that Willis didn't mention Les Graces in his advert. It was a popular and established Quadrille in London, well known at the time. Duval didn't create this dance, and was unable to credit the composer (it's the only uncredited music in the Set). It contains a particularly distinctive figure similar to The Triumph figure from Country Dancing.
Figure 5 is a caricature of this distinctive figure25, published in May 1817. The title
The Les Graces Quadrille had previously been published in London as part of James Paine's 1816 3rd Set of Quadrilles. Edward Payne also included it in the second edition of his 5th Set of Quadrilles c.1817 (it replaced a Quadrille called
J. S. Pollock in his c.1830 La Terpsichore Moderne reported that
The earliest edition of Duval's The Lancers that I've seen is a facsimile of the third edition, it's in Volume 7 of Dr. John Gardiner-Garden's Historic Dance29 series. It's effectively the same as the version in Figure 1, but can't be dated to a specific year. I'm lucky enough to be in possession of a hand written copy of Duval's Second set, on paper watermarked for 1818 (but otherwise undatable), this copy is also identical to the version in Figure 1. The earliest independently datable document I've found that shows Les Graces alongside the other dances from The Lancers is a newspaper advert for Willis' A Selection of Quadrilles, Dances and Waltzes from 181830 (see Figure 6). It uses the French name Les Lanciers.
Figure 5. Les Graces de Chesterfield, May 1817. Courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.
The Lancers, the Early Years
The Lancers Quadrilles originated in Dublin, but their influence soon spread to Britain. At some point Yaniewicz began selling copies from his shop in Liverpool. His 1821 advert in the Liverpool Mercury claims that they are
Incidentally, Yaniewicz's copyright only applied to Les Lanciers; it was eventually (according to a footnote in later editions of Duval's Lancers) transferred to Willis, and then to Messrs Cocks & Co32. Earlier versions of Duval's Lancers explicitly stated that the Les LanciersAir is published by permission of Mr. Yaniewicz.
A brief report in the Freeman's Journal for 1821 says
Amusing anecdotes begin to surface around this time of socialites who are unaware of The Lancers. An 1821 story in The Etonian tells of a lady who was asked if she was fond of
Figure 6. Willis' New Quadrilles, 1818. With Thanks to Irish Newspaper Archives (www.irishnewsarchive.com).
At least four other Quadrille Sets called
A second collection was mentioned in the Morning Post for 16th October 1821, it refers to Quadrilles called
The other new versions were the 1820 Les Lanciers of Joseph Binns Hart, and the c.1821 Original Lancers by G.M.S. Chivers. They are different to Duval's Set, but related; Hart's version claims to recreate a Welsh variant
The origin of Hart's version of the Lancers is a little unclear. Hart called his Set
I've been able to compare several copies of Hart's Lanciers, including an 1820 first edition and a c.182538 4th edition. A copy of the 4th edition is available online39, though it's missing its cover; I've authenticated it through comparison to a copy at the British Library. The 4th edition are made up of La Rose, La Lodoiska, La Dorset, L'Etoile and Les Lanciers.
I don't know how Hart came to publish his version. He clearly had access to Duval's music, and knew the names of some of the dances, but the figures are slightly different. Perhaps he had a musician's hand written copy of the music, and wrote the figures from memory? It's unlikely to have been plagiarism in the modern sense, as dances were often copied (for example, consider how Les Graces came to be included in Duval's Lancers, or the Country Dance Captain Wyke). I suspect that he either knowingly and deliberately simplified Duval's version, or the
Hart subtitled his version asLes Lanciers, a second set of Quadrillesand described them as havingentirely new figures. This could imply that they are Hart's second Set of Quadrilles, but a different Set is known by that name40. So perhaps Hart was acknowledging his variant as a second version of Duval's original. As it happens, they may genuinely have been Hart's second Set of Quadrilles to be published, though I suspect they were his third or fourth. The 1820 Quadrille Set that eventually came to be known as Hart's Third Set was subtitledThe Hussars40 and were presumably intended to be a sequel to The Lancers.
Figure 7. Yaniewicz's advert, 1821.
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
There are alterations introduced to Hart's figures between the 2nd and 4th editions of his Lanciers. The differences in the 1825 4th edition correct what appear to be mistakes in the 1st edition, and cause later editions to be more similar to those of Duval. The key differences are that the order of the 4th and 5th Quadrilles are transposed (the first edition had the Les Lanciers Quadrille in 4th position, and L'Etoile in 5th), and the initial figure of La Rose is taken away from the first Gentleman and given instead to the first Lady. The correction of mistakes strongly imply that Hart's Quadrilles are derived from Duval's.
Yaniewicz's 1821 statement in Figure 7 is tantalisingly unclear, it's possible (though unlikely) that he was advertising Hart's version of The Lancers, having separately licensed his copyright for the Les Lanciers music. It's notable that a W. Burton Hart was employed as a dancing master in Swansea from at least 1805 (The Cambrian, 26th October 1805); it's possible that they were related, and that W.B. Hart was present at the 1819 Ball at Tenby at which the Lancers were danced, and was Joseph's immediate source of information. W. Burton Hart published a collection of Country Dances for 1812 called Cambrian Trifles, the subtitle to which implied an awareness of the fashionable dancing at Tenby.A Mr Hart, probably Joseph but potentially a family member, advertised his services in London as a
professor of dancingbetween 1820 and 1822. This teacher emphasised that he taught
Quadrilles - Les Lanciers(The Times, 24th December, 1822). One of the adverts hint that this teacher had the initial
T., which is either a misprint or indicates that it wasn't Joseph himself. It's possible that Joseph provided the music while a relation specialised in teaching the figures.
However it came about, Joseph Hart's simplified Lanciers were published in London in 1820, and helped to fuel the interest in The Lancers. Hart himself went on to publish many more Quadrille Sets, including the Der Freyschutz (his 10th Set, in 1823); this Set was singled out by Thomas Wilson in his 1824 Danciad as being both popular and
The author of the c.1830 The Fashionable Quadrille Preceptor described Duval's Lancers as
It appears that Willis was concerned about the popularity of Hart's version, he published an advert in 1826 emphasising that
The Original Lancers by G.M.S. Chivers (see Figure 10) derives from Hart's version. The word
The Ventagli Quadrille Fan44, tentatively dated to 1816, contains figures for the First Set on one side, and Hart's Lanciers on the other. If the Fan's 1816 date was confirmed, it would represent significant new evidence, and date Hart's Lanciers before those of Duval! I suspect the correct date of the Fan should be 1820 or later.
It's unclear which version of The Lancers was preferred in the 1820s, but an 1824 review of Mr Lloyd's Quadrilles says that they
Figure 9. Hart's 1820 Les Lanciers, a Second Set of Quadrilles with entirely New Figures
Image © BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD, g.270.d.(12.) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Les Lanciers, a Mystery
A different version of the fifth Quadrille, Les Lanciers, circulated in Scotland from at least 1822. Alexander Strathy included this dance in his 1822 Elements of the Art of Dancing46. His version is related to that of Duval and Hart, with significant differences. It was also included in the Lowe brothers' 1831 third edition of their Ball Conductor and Assembly Guide, which was first published in Glasgow in 1822. Ellis Rogers in The Quadrille47 calls this a
Another interesting possibility is offered by John Gardiner-Garden in volume 7 of Historic Dance29. He makes an argument for Strathy having recorded an older version of Les Lanciers from France, and that Duval adopted this older original (much as Les Graces was adopted). Duval may have invented the name
A further possibility is that Yaniewicz supplied the name
Unfortunately I'm unable to shed any further light on these issues.
With the exception of the
I've not discussed how to dance The Lancers. You can use the animations here at RegencyDances.org to help learn both Duval's and Hart's versions, or for the academically minded, I can recommend Ellis Rogers' The Quadrille47 and volume 7 of John Gardiner-Garden's Historic Dance29.
Figure 10. Chivers' 4th Set of Quadrilles, c.1821 The Original Lancers.
Image © BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD, 558*.c.40 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
1. Duval, 1817, The Lancers' Quadrilles
2. Rootschat, Dublin dancing master 1770-1800
6. Liverpool Mercury, Feb 07, 1817: An advert in the name of Mr. Duval
7. Liverpool Mercury, Mar 06, 1818: An advert in the name of Mr. Duval
17. Kreutzer, 1791, Lodoiska
19. Greene, 2011, Theatre in Dublin, 1745-1820: A Calendar of Performances, Volume 6
20. Wikipedia, The Beggar's Opera
21. Gay, 1760 The Beggar's Opera
22. Liverpool Mercury, Feb 09, 1821: An advert for Yaniewicz and Weiss's Music Warehouse
24. Gerber et. al., 1824, A Dictionary of Musicians
25. Fores, 1817, Les graces de Chesterfield, or Quadrille dancing pour la pratique
26. Dun, 1818, A Translation of Nine of the Most Fashionable Quadrilles
28. Cheltenham Chronicle, And Gloucestershire Advertiser, Dec 25, 1817: Home News
29. Gardiner-Garden, 2013, Historic Dance, Volume VII
31. Liverpool Mercury, Feb 09, 1821: An advert for Yaniewicz and Weiss's Music Warehouse
32. Duval, c.1857, The Lancers' Quadrilles
34. Knight et. al, 1821, The Etonian
35. Manchester Iris, Jun 29, 1822, The Pons Asinorum
36. The Morning Chronicle, London, Apr 14, 1819: Advert for White's Quadrilles
37 The Morning Post, London, Oct 16, 1821: 'Margate'
38. Ayrton, 1825, The Harmonicon
39. Hart, 1820, Anonymous Lancers Set
40. Ayrton, 1824, The Harmonicon
41. Wilson, 1824, The Danciad
42. Wilson, 1824, The Danciad
43. Ayrton, 1826, The Harmonicon
45. The Morning Post, London, Dec 14, 1824: News
46. Strathy, 1822, Elements of the Art of Dancing
47. Rogers, 2008, The Quadrille, 4th Edition
48. Durang, 1856, The Fashionable Dancer's Casket
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