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Reg Hall

[William Nathan]

(b Bampton, Oxon., 1868; d after 1949). English country fiddler, melodeon player, dancer and Morris fool. The son of a footman, he earned his living as a hawker around the neighbouring villages of Bampton. In 1887, he began to play the part of the fool for the Bampton Morris team and gradually became the driving force behind its organization. He first played the fiddle for them two years later. In 1926, after some disagreement, Wells played fiddle for a set of newly trained dancers while Bertie Clark played for the established team. Wells's last official performance was in 1949.

In 1909, folksong and dance collector, Cecil Sharp met Jinky Wells and the Bampton Morris in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, later publishing some of the tunes he noted down from them. In 1913, Mary Neal invited Wells and the Bampton Morris to take part in May Day revels at the Globe Theatre, London; and in ...