From a police report in the Sydney Herald, 22nd of April, 1833
Paddy Cary was charged with having been drunk some six hours before, leaning against a lamp post as a supporter, and whistling Michael Wiggins.
Cary -Faith and troth your holiness, I did it in the openness of my heart, ’twas all along for the honour of ould Ireland.
Bench – You must pay to the poor five shillings, or go to the stocks for two hours.
Cary – Och now, devil a tenpenny have I, so I’ll e’en put up with wooden leggings for want of the coin.
From a police report in the Sydney Herald, 16th of May, 1833
John McMahon, John Dixon, John Oldfield, and John Pamington, were charged with having been taken up in Kent-street, practising the last set of quadrilles with great vivacity. The only music they had to keep time to, was McMahon whistling Michael Wiggins. They marched in an orderly manner to the watch-house, and now marched equally as orderly to the stocks, where they were billeted for three hours each.
The tune and associated dances appear in Power’s Collection of Fashionable Dances for 1810; Fentum’s Annual Collection of Twenty-four Favorite Dances For the Year 1810; and Hime & Son’s Collection of 24 Country Dances For the Year 1823.
None of the dance instructions are the same between the three dance books, however, the tune is consistent.
The 23 years between earliest and latest references indicates a prolonged period of popularity for this tune.
A Collection of Fashionable Dances for 1810. (1810). Strand, London: Powers.
Annual Collection of Twenty-four Favorite Dances For the Year 1810. (1810). London: Fentum.
Hime & Son’s Collection of 24 Country Dances For the Year 1823. (1823). Liverpool: Hime & Son.
POLICE INCIDENTS. (1833, April 22). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 2 (Supplement to the Sydney Herald.). Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12846670
POLICE INCIDENTS. (1833, May 16). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842), p. 3. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12846824