Logical fallacy: there are ragtime dances, this is ragtime, therefore this is a dance.
There is also a hornpipe by the name of “Mad Moll of the Cheshire Hunts”, maybe they were the same person.
As early Presbyterian services wouldn’t have had music (or even, very early on, unaccompanied hymn signing), I’m not sure whether the title of this tune is taking the mickey.
I don’t know who Miss Hasking was.
I used to work in the shadow of Windsor Castle, and have dined in the Queen’s own restaurant (the crown estate owns a MacDonald’s on the Slough retail park).
I played this from Hardy’s manuscript, where it’s untitled, but a more fiddly version of the same tune is in the William Winter tunebook and gives it this title.
There definitely is a twang of birdsong to this tune.
Another one for Nelson, this tune is written in D in Rev. Harrison’s book from the beginning of the 19th century.
And it is indeed a mirthful and jolly little jig.
The ever-present Thomas Hardy:
‘Twas Christmas, and the Phoenix Inn
Was lit with tapers tall,
For thirty of the trooper men
Had vowed to give a ball
As “Theirs” had done (fame handed down)
When lying in the self-same town
Ere Buonaparté’s fall.
Later on, The Dance at the Phoenix lists the “Famed Major Malley’s Reel” as one of the dances, after that “favourite quick-step Speed the Plough“.