brought to England in the reign of Edward III., when John of
Gaunt returned from Spain. In the dance, bells were jingled, and staves
or swords clashed. It was a military dance of the Moors or Moriscos, in
which five men and a boy engaged; the boy wore a morione or
head-piece, and was called Mad Morion.
(See Maid Marian.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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