Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Archbishop Sharp's Jig

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Archbishop Sharp's Jig (J4x48) 4C set Lewis N Derrick 1988

1-4 The 1st and 2nd couples and the 3rd and 4th couples dance four hands round to the left, retaining nearer hands with partners the 1st and 3rd couples end facing down, the 2nd and 4th couples facing up
5-8 All set, then the 1st and 3rd couples dance down the dance under arches formed by the 2nd and 4th couples who dance up, the 2nd and 3rd couples end on the sidelines in top and bottom places respectively
9-16 The 1st and 4th couples repeat bars 1-8 to end facing the nearest corner person
17-20 The 4th and 1st couples set to and turn corners, giving both hands, and move on to the next corner person on their left
21-24 The 4th and 1st couples set to and turn second corners, giving both hands, ending on the sidelines between their two corners
25-32 All dance eight hands round and back
33-40 The 4th and 1st couples dance right hands across and left hands across back to end 2413 all on own sidelines
41-44 With hands joined on the sides, all set to partners then cross over, women passing partners by the right shoulder dance under arches made by the men
45-48 All repeat bars 41-44 back to own sides

Repeat three more times from new positions each time

(Dance Crib compiled by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick 2020)


Dance Notes

In order to help the dancing couples move on from first to second corners (particularly up and down the set) all dancers should start turning while setting on bars 17-18.

(Dance Notes by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)


Dance Information

This dance, Archbishop Sharp's Jig, was devised to commemorate James Sharp (1618 - 1679), Archbishop of St Andrews, whose persecution of the Covenanters led to his brutal murder by them on Magus Muir, near St Andrews, in front of his daughter Isabel.

Suggested tune: My Tocher's the Jewel.

Devised January 1988; revised 1990 and 1992; first published 1992; republished electronically 2020.

Copyright 1988, 1990, 1992, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.


James Sharp, or Sharpe, (1618 - 1679) was a minister in the Church of Scotland, or kirk, who served as Archbishop of St Andrews from 1661 to 1679.

His support for Episcopalianism, or governance by bishops, brought him into conflict with elements of the kirk who advocated Presbyterianism, rule by congregations. Twice the victim of assassination attempts, the second cost him his life.

Archbishop Sharp - Information Video

Archbishop Sharp
Contemporary Portrait Of James Sharp, Archbishop Of St. Andrews By Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680)


Dance information from The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Books, Volume 5, The Real McGhie And Other Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original James Sharp - Bishop article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Sir Peter Lely, 1618-1680 / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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