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Denham Tracts


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Michael Aislabie Denham (died 1859) a general merchant of Piercebridge, Durham, was early in the field of folklore collecting, and he died before the new movement had become fashionable. As with many of his generation, Denham's interests were wide and he collected coins and other physical antiquities as well as less tangible beliefs, proverbs, rhymes, and sayings in Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland, Westmorland, Isle of Man, and Scotland. The mass of material which he gathered was published in a series of limited circulation booklets and leaflets, newspaper articles, and other ephemeral formats. The nature of these publications has made them very difficult to obtain, and we would know hardly anything of him if many of them had not been collected and reprinted by the Folklore Society as The Denham Tracts: A Collection of Folklore by Michael Aislabie Denham, edited by James Hardy (London: David Nutt, 1892–5, 2 vols.) which immediately became a standard source for material on the northern counties of England.


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