Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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REIGNS OF JAMES I. AND CHARLES I.                                343
Various ballads were written to a tune called The buff coat has no fellow (see, for instance, Pepys Coll., iii. 150; Roxburghe, i. 536; &c), and as the buff coat was a distinguishing mark of the soldier of the seventeenth century, if the words could be recovered, it might prove to be the song in question.
" In the reign of King James I.," says Grose, " no great alterations were made in the article of defensive armour except that the buff coat, or jerkin, which was originally worn under the cuirass, now became frequently a substitute for it, it having been found that a good buff leather would of itself resist the stroke of a sword ; this-, however, only occasionally took place among the light-armed cavalry and infantry, complete suits of armour being still used among the heavy horse."— Military Antiquities, 1801, 4to., ii., 323. I have been favored with the follow­ing note on the same subject by F. W. Fairholt, F.S.A.:—" The buff coat was peculiarly indicative of the soldier. It first came into use in the early part of the seventeenth century, when the heavier defensive armour of plate was dis­carded by all but cavalry regiments. The infantry, during the great civil wars of England, were all arrayed in buff coats; and in Rochester Cathedral are still preserved some of these defensive coverings, as worn by Oliver's soldiers in their unwelcome visits there; as well as the bandoleers worn over them, to hold the charges for muskets. The officers and cavalry at this time only added the cuirass; the leather coat was frequently very thick and tough, and a defence against a sword cut. The foreign, as well as the English armies, about this time, discarded heavier armour; and the prints by Gheyn, of Low-Country troopers, as well as those by Ciartes, of the soldiers of the French King, are all habited in the buff coat, which displays, in the rigidity of its form, its innate strength." Grose gives an engraving of those that were worn over corslets, from one that belonged to_ Sir Francis Rhodes, Bart., of Balbrough Hall, Derbyshire, in the time of Charles I.
The tune, The buff coat has no fellow, is to be found in the fourth and every subsequent edition of The Dancing Master ;* in the earlier editions as Buff coat, and afterwards as Buff coat, or Excuse me. The following list of ballad-operas, in all of which songs may be found that were written to the tune, sufficiently proves its former popularity:—Polly ; The Lottery ; An Old Man taught Wisdom ; Tlie Intriguing Chambermaid; The Lovers' Opera; The Bay's Opera ; The Lover his own Rival; The Grub Street Opera ; The Devil of a~Duke, or Trapolin's Vagaries; The Fashionable Lady, or Harlequin's Opera; The Q-enerous Freemason; and The Footman.
This popularity extended to Ireland and Scotland; and although, in its old form, purely English in character, the air has been claimed both as Irish and as Scotch. T. Moore appropriated it, under the name of My husband's a journey to Portugal gone, although in the opinion of Dr. Crotch, Mr. Wade, and others, " it is
■ Mr. Stenhouse, in his notes to Johnson's Scot's Musical      is to be found in it. Mr. Stenfiouse had before him one
Museum, asserts that this air is to be found In Playford's       of the last editions of vol. I. of The Dancing Master,
Dancing Master of 1057, a book which he quotes con-      printed by Pearson and Young, between 1713 and 1725,
stantly, and which, I am convinced, he never saw. Having      and consisting of 358 pages, to which only can all of his
tested all his references to that work, I have no hesi-      quotations be referred. tation in saying that nQt even one of the airs he mentions