Addy, Sidney Oldall


Addy, Sidney Oldall
(1848-1933)
   A solicitor in Sheffield from 1877 until his retirement in 1905, his real passion was for the dialect, folklore, and history of the Yorkshire/Derbyshire area in which he lived and worked. He was an enthusiastic member of local societies and regular contributor to local journals and newspapers, as well as national publications such as *Notes & Queries and *Folk-Lore. Addy joined the *Folklore Society in 1894, having already published enough to make him an acknowledged expert in his area, but soon became disenchanted with the Society's policy which at the time foregrounded reiterative publishing of previously printed works (exemplified by their County Folk-Lore series) and the construction of high theory, at the expense of first-hand fieldwork. Addy was one of several regional folklorists who felt similar frustration, and after urging, unsuccessfully, a new policy of active collection (e.g. in Folk-Lore 13 (1902), 297-9) he resigned from the Society in 1905, although he continued to gather and publish material eleswhere. In retrospect, Addy was ahead of his time in the quality of his fieldwork, combining careful observation with interviews and an ethnographic approach, which can be seen in his article on the *Castleton Garland custom published in 1901. Much of his folklore work remains little known, buried in local publications, and would certainly repay collecting together and republishing.
   Major folklore publications: Glossary of Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield (1888); Household Tales and Traditional Remains (1895); 'Garland day at Castleton', Folk-Lore 12 (1901) 394-428; 'Guising and Mumming in Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeology and Natural History Society Journal 29 (1907), 31-42.
   ■ John Ashton, Folklore Historian 15 (1998), 5-13; John Ashton, Folklore 108 (1997), 19-23; Walter T. Hall, 'The Late Sidney Oldall Addy', Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society 4 (1937), 221-5.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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