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James 'Jimmy' Rutland (1884-1951)


Jimmy Rutland was born in 1884 at Frans Green, a small village between Norwich and East Dereham. Both he and his father were farm workers and Jimmy’s family moved around a fair bit, living in various villages (Weston Longville, Erpingham, Hockering, Walsingham, Lenwade), before moving to Well-Next-the-Sea in North Norfolk, where they lived in The Glebe and then in a farm cottage in Branthill were Jimmy worked as a cowman for Flints and as a team man with horses.

His dulcimer came from his grandfather. Jimmy played in pubs and went around on his bike with his dulcimer held on his back with straps. In Wells he played particularly in the Ship (closed 1969) and the Eight Ringers (closed 1970). He also played bass drum in the Wells Band.

Peter Clifton and Anne-Marie Hulme visited north Norfolk in the mid 1970s to research traditional music, step dancing and social dance, and noted that quoits matches were popular between village teams, with music following the matches. Referring to the village of Hindringham, they commented that 'it was customary for dancing to follow the matches and this drew local musicians from further afield. Mr Herbert Remmington accompanied the Briston team, bringing his one-string fiddle or dulcimer; another dulcimer player - Mr Rutland - accompanied the Wells team.’


Jimmy married Daisy Arthurton in 1908. Between 1938 until 1940 Jimmy and Daisy became the landlord and landlady of the Swan in Guist (which closed in 1983). They had 13 children. Kathy (b 1910), Mollie (b 1915) and Alice (b 1920) all learned to play the dulcimer and Kathy was said to be the best player although it was Mollie (Whitaker) who continued to play and became the owner of the dulcimer. Jimmy Rutland died in 1951, aged 67.

The Swan, Guist

Jimmy Rutland's dulcimer which inherited from his father and handed down to Mollie Whitaker

     a      b






Click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture

Dimensions of this dulcimer


Photo descriptions & sources

Main photo: 1 and 2 : James Rutland (from the family)

3  Daisy Rutland (from the family)

a. James Rutland's dulcimer front (John Howson)


b. James Rutland's dulcimer back (JH)

c. James Rutland's dulcimer sound holes (JH)

d. James Rutland's dulcimer bridges (JH)



e. James Rutland's dulcimer handle (JH)

f.  James Rutland's dulcimer stand (JH)

f.  James Rutland's dulcimer profile (JH)


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