the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

England: history of the pipe and tabor

Victorian (1830 - 1900)




hand embroidered bag

close-up of embroideryclose-up of embroidery on bag

The pipe and tabor are in decline. They are occasionally seen when country folk come to the main towns.
However there is a folk memory of idyllic times in the rural past: the pipe and tabor is used to evoke this in
romantic prose and poetry.


"The writer is informed by Mr. William Chappell that Hardman, a music-seller at York, described the instruments to him fifty years ago
... adding that he had sold them, and that country people still occasionally bought them."


1826 Newspaper report of local election:

The Gentlemen with music must have been accompanied by the pipe and tabor as
the later paragraph in the newspaper report says 'without tabor, pipe'.

1826 Election song for Liddell in Northumberland:

“Liddell for ever
Strike up in full concert
pipe, tabor and fiddle;
Northumbrian freeholders
rejoice one and all...”

Newcastle Courant - Friday 20 May 1887

1842 meet and greet1842 It appears to be the custom to greet respectable visitors with a procession that includes the pipe and tabor.
1850 Greenhill Bower in Lichfield, Staffordshire, on Whit Monday, consisted of a Court Leet followed by a procession that included a pipe and tabor and morris dancers. LichfieldWolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser - Wednesday 29 May 1850 1850 Lichfield1850 Lichfield procession


1850's pipe and stick 1850's pipe and stick Victoria and Albert Museum tabortabor Victoria and Albert Museum  
The Victorians started to research and publish old documents so they did not get lost:

Joseph Strutt quotes from many older documents. Illustrations from the 1838 edition include 'a cock dancing on stilts
to the pipe and tabor, a' 14th century pipe and tabor player with an animal with horns and 'a horse dancing to the pipe and tabor'.

(source: 'Sports and Pastimes of the People of England from the earliest period', original 1801, 2nd ed.1903)

1845 copy of Betley Window1845 Old England.
Illustration from Old England,
A Pictorial Museum - copy of the 17th century Betley Window
1847 copy of medieval manuscript1847 copy of a medieval manuscript
after a miniature in a manuscript psalter,
from 'Le Moyen Age et La Renaissance'
by Paul Lacroix (1806-84) published 1847

idealised 17th centuryidealised 17th century
village (detail)

1892 copy1892 copy of
medieval manuscript
'Gregory Decretals'

In 1839 Francis Douce did much research and wrote 'Illustrations of Shakespeare and of Ancient Manners with Dissertations On the Clown and Fools of Shakespeare; On the Collections of Popular Tales Entitled Gesta Romanorum; and On the English Morris Dance' ( London, 1839)


copy of 1486Douce copy of a 1486 French translation:
a fool playing the pipe and tabor
1917 copy1917 copy
(After Lkcit delta Robbia)

Dictionaries of all sorts were compiled before the old phrases and words were completely lost:


"WAITS. The Corporation of Northampton, within the remembrance of my informant, had a band of musicians called the corporation
waits, who used to meet the judges at the entrance into the town at the time of the assizes. They were four in number, attired in long
black gowns, two playing on violins, one on the hautboy, and the other on a whip and dub, or tabor and pipe."

"Glossary of Northamptonshire Words and Phrases" by Anne Elizabeth Baker (1854), vol II page 388

Also see 'terminology' for other dictionaries.

In 1885, 'Cries of London, A History', the following is reported:

 "Holloway cheese-cakes" was once one of the London cries; they were sold by a man on horseback; and in
"A Drum's Entertainment," a Comedy, I600, in a random song, the festive character of this district is denoted:

"Skip it and trip it nimbly, nimbly,
Tickle it, tickle it, lustily,
Strike up the tabor for the wenches favour,
Tickle it, tickle it, lustily.
Let us be seene on Hygate-Greene,
To dance for the honour of Holloway.
Since we are come hither, let's spare for no leather,
To dance for the honour of Holloway."


18311831 British Museum 1830's dance macabra1830's dance macabre  

There were many inventions of musical instruments: 1847 patent 11847 patent 2

in the Mechanics Magazine, 1847, page165/166

The pipe and tabor accompanied many leisure-time activities:

1835 'Grand Excursion of the City Committee for General Purposes'
The boat travelled down the River Thames, London, to the sound of the pipe and tabor.

Morning Advertiser - Monday 03 August 1835

1847 Death notice for pipe and tabor player: 1847 Death notice for pipe and tabor player:
18631863Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette - Saturday 26 December 1863
1852 synonomous with celebration: 'Gold Fever It’s Social Effects'1852Bristol Times and Mirror - Saturday 02 October 1852

1869 celebration: ‘Pipes and tabors sound your best’ 1869Essex Times - Wednesday 11 August 1869


The pipe and tabor were occasionally to be heard in the concert-hall:

Worcester Herald - Saturday 29 August 1857 reveiwed a concert in which: ...”tabor pipe, bagpipes and such-like instruments
all in their turn being called into requisition:...”

Concert in Worcester College hall reviewed in 1860: 1860Worcester Herald - Saturday 15 September 1860

Morning Advertiser - Wednesday 14 February 1866 reviewed a concert given in aid of the University College Hospital,
Gower Street, London. ‘The programme was remarkable for its novelty...1866


1867 Reading Philharmonic Society’s Grand Concert1867Berkshire Chronicle - Saturday 21 December 1867
1876 Newark Vocal Society concert ‘The May Queen’ : 1876Newark Herald - Saturday 26 February 1876
1877 Grenadier Guards Concert at the Agricultural Hall, Snowhill, Wolverhampton;
‘Christmas Dance The Holly Bush’ with pipe and tabor accompaniment’
Wolverhampton Express and Star - Thursday 18 January 1877
1878 Concert by the Coggeshall Choral Society:
1878Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 26 April 1878
1880 criticism of the church: 1880Bolton Evening News - Saturday 25 September 1880
1880 Washpord Musical Society Concert included a ‘Part-song with pipe and tabor obbligato’ and: 1880West Somerset Free Press - Saturday 23 October 1880
1880 report on a Concert at Taunton Memorial Hall:1880Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 15 December 1880

It was thought that the pipe and tabor were instruments of the lower classes:

1829, July 4th (letter addressed To the Editor of the Mirror.)

"Three years ago you .... lamented the decrease of village
festivity and rural merriment, which in days langsyne cheered the honest
hearts and lightened the daily toil of our rustic ancestors. ... the song, the dance, and innocent
revelry are not quite forgotten in some part of our land, .....a village fete which I lately witnessed
and enjoyed....the company were just arriving in procession, preceded by a pink and white silken banner,
while a pipe and tabor regulated their march. ... led the party off in
the order they came to witness the ceremony of "dressing" the May-Pole...."

In a novel in 1836
"soon after the sound of pipe and tabor came from the servant’s hall"

Waldie's select circulating library, Volume 7


" Music, of all arts, gives the most universal pleasure, and pleases longest and oftenest. 
Infants are charmed with the melody of sounds, and old age is animated by enlivening notes.
... the English peasant delights in his pipe and tabor;"


1842 The Maid of Saxony OR, WHO'S THE TRAITOR?
an opera in three acts from Poems by George Pope Morris


Lads and lasses, trip away
To the cheerful roundelay !
At the sound of tambourine,
Care is banished from the scene,
And a happy train we bound,
To the pipe and tabour's sound.
Merrily, merrily, trip away,
"I is a nation's holiday !
Merrily, merrily, merrilie,
Let's be jocund while we may ;
And dance dance dance “

1847 painting1847 ' The Village Merry-Making
A Hundred Years Ago'

1858 newspaper review of the New Opera House in Covent Garden of 'Marta':

“The pipe and tabor is cleverly introduced for the chorus of peasants outside...”

Morning Advertiser - Friday 02 July 1858

1862 Advertisement: 1862Illustrated London News - Saturday 23 August 1862
1895 In an unfavourable review of the life works of James Bird, the Suffolk Poet, (1788-1839), these lines are quoted: 1895 unfavourable newspaper reviewEast Anglian Daily Times - Wednesday 16 October 1895
1898 Gentlewoman - Saturday 11 June 1898 newspepr cutting
1890 Rustic cartoon1890 'Rustic' newspaper satire
In 1895 The Stage comments on a scene in 'Happy Aradia' : 1895


Street entertainers in towns were common but they earned very little:

Sunday, November 13, 1831 Bell's Weekly Messenger

"Whole houses are inhabited by these wretched boys, who sleep eight and nine in a bed; ... The following are the charges made by the proprietors upon the juvenile crew:...For a dog and monkey (the latter may be frequently seen in the street riding on the dog's back), 3s. per day. For dancing dogs, four in number, including dresses, spinning-wheel, pipe and tabor, &c. 5s. per day...Some of these boys, by their artlessness of manner and gesticulations, it is said, obtain six or seven schillings a day, and some more."

1826, London, 'Plaintiff Bumpkin, and Defendant Ape': description of a court case from
the Oxford University and City Herald - Saturday 21 January 1826:1826

18331833 school interupted

Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine, Volume 20


1838-9 The Poughkeepsie Casket, Volume 2

1868 Race meeting Chester

“Fellows were there with monkeys and music; the pipe and tabor and the hurdy gurdy.  Jugglers and montebanks with apes and bears.”

Liverpool Weekly Courier - Saturday 09 May 1868

Wedding procession 1840:

wedding procession description

Works, by Edward Howard, Volume 1  ‘Jack Ashore’, p143


“The street dances are always performed on a small piece of board (about three feet long and two feet wide), placed in the middle
of the road... Included in the twelve London street-dancers are six children; these are girls from five to fifteen years of age. The
fathers of these girls play the drum and pipes..."

1849-50 ‘The Morning Chronicle : Labour and Poor’ Henry Mayhew

18501850 newspaper cuttingIllustrated London News - Saturday 30 March 1850
1839 from 1839 magazine illustration 1852 from: Leisure Hour Monthly Vol 1 magazine report

In 1859, at  nine o'clock in the evening:
“a fife and tabour announce the advent of a little dancing boy and girl, with a careworn mother, in the street below. I look from
my window, and see the little painted people capering in their spangles and fleshings and short calico drawers.”

‘Twice Round the Clock, or The Hours of the Day and Night in London’, by George Augustus Sala


"Who knows how he may have been disturbed? A pretty milliner may have attracted Harry’s attention out of window—
a dancing bear with pipe and tabor may have passed along the common—a jockey come under his windows to show off a horse there?
There are some days when any of us may be ungrammatical and spell ill. "

 'The Virginians' William Makepeace Thackeray

“The air resounds with the pipe and tabor, and the drums and trumpets of the showmen shouting at the doors of their caravans,
over which tremendous pictures of the wonders to be seen within hang temptingly; while through all rises the shrill "root-too-too-too"
of Mr. Punch, and the unceasing pan-pipe of his satellite.”

1857 'Tom Brown’s School-days' Thomas Hughes

Mr Taphouse (Oxford) quote:

Rustic Sounds, and Other Studies in Literature and Natural History by Sir Francis Darwin

1858 at a Midsummer Fair: 1858Essex Herald - Tuesday 23 March 1858


"At the fair ... and the lads and lasses footing it to the fife and tabor, and the people chattering in groups"

'Griffith Gaunt; or, Jealousy' by Charles Reade


"Frightful Infant Mortality - The world with pipe, tabor and dance move on unmindful of calamities which if simutaneously thrust
upon it would make society stand appalled..."

Wiltshire Independent - Thursday 18 October 1860

1864 ‘Outdoor Music in London’18641864 Pandean pipes

1897 dancing monkey entertained in the street:

..." a jackanapes he had seen once at the Stratford fair, which wore a crimson jerkin and a cap. The man who had the jackanapes
played upon a pipe and a tabor; and when he said, "Dance!" the jackanapes danced, for it was sorely afraid of the man.”

'Master Skylark' a novel by John Bennett

Victorian folk customs

Traditional celebrations:

Punch and Judy: 1849 St Giles Fair, Oxford 1849Oxford University and City Herald - Saturday 08 September 1849

May Day

"Hertfordshire has a long tradition of celebrating May Day ... The traditional celebrations started very early in the morning, before
dawn, when groups of young people, usually accompanied by musicians playing instruments such as the pipe and tabor, would
gather to collect branches of may (hawthorn) from local woodlands."

1896 May Day procession

“At Charlton-on-Otmoor, Oxon, on May morning a procession used to start from the vicarage, headed by two men carrying a large
garland of flowers on a stick. With them went six morris-dancers, a fool or " Squire," who carried a bladder and a money-box, and
a man who played the pipe and tabour”

'Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time An Account of Local Observances Festival Customs and (Ancient Ceremonies yet Surviving in Great Britain'
by T. H. Titchfield, London, 1896

Dunmow Flitch: The Flitch Trials are held every 4 years in Great Dunmow, Essex. They exist to award a flitch of bacon to married
couples from anywhere in the world, if they can satisfy the Judge and Jury of 6 maidens and 6 bachelors that in 'twelvemonth and
a day'
, they have 'not wisht themselves unmarried again'. Four musicians were at the front of the procession in 1841, one of
whom was a pipe and tabor player' who played with so much glee that he cannot refrain from dancing to his own music.'
Two pipe and tabor players accompanied the Flitch of Bacon in the procession in 1855.

1841 Dunmow Flitch1841 Dunmow Flitch procession, musicians 1850 child player1850 child player
in procession
1832 satire1832 satire, playing for maypole dancers 1836 playing for maypole dancers1836 playing for maypole dancers
1889Bucks Herald - Saturday 30 November 1889

1823, 1 May: The chimney-sweepers as usual paraded the streets, but with more pomp than last year.
In addition to their ordinary finery they had a drum & pipe, &c.

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS.Eng.hist.c.144. Frederic Madden MSS., 'Journal for 1823', f.86.


1836 The sweeps procession, in costume, entered "Bedford-row with a fife and drum, followed by an immense crowd of persons,
when they commenced dancing and disturbing the whole of the neighbourhood .."

The Morning Post, 4 May 1836, page 4.

18411841 sweeps festivalWolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser - Wednesday 02 June 1841

1842 Lambeth, London

 Two gentlement "were driving a spirited horse past ...
Kennington-road, when some sweeps, accompanied
with drums and fifes, startled the horse, which became
wholly unmanageable, and in a few seconds dashed the
vehicle against the iron corner post"



 "The juvenile members of the [sweeps] profession disport themselves in fancy dresses - faded finery from Drury Lane, and things
that once were smart from Monmouth Street - and parade the thoroughfares with drums and fifes ... To-day, however, in violation
of all the canons of art in such matters, some of the sweeps set at nought the good old custom, and actually had the hardihood to
appear in washed faces!"

1869 'Chambers Book of Days', May 1st

Jack-in-the-Green procession: "All of these figures or persons stop here and there in the course of their rounds, and dance to the
music of a drum and fife, expecting of course to be remunerated by halfpence from the onlookers. It is now generally a rather poor
show, and does not attract much regard; but many persons who have a love for old sports and day-observances, can never see the
little troop without a feeling of interest, or allow it to pass without a silver remembrance."

By the 1880's the Jack-in-the-Green procession had changed as the sweeps were invited to a formal dinner rahter than processing
round the streets:

"And on May-morning the deceivers take on the character of sweeps, and dance the unwary out of halfpence. As for the real sweeps,
they have advanced in luxury, and dine at Copenhagen-house. They dance, too, but then it is to the sounds of hireling minstrels ;
they have become respectable, and have left the streets to cheats and imposters"

Punch [almanac] VI (London: Punch, 1844), page 196.

1880 newspaper report: milkmaids procession

The Graphic (London, England)
Saturday, May 1, 1880; Issue 544.
milkmaids procession 1872 1872 milkmaids procession,
pipe and tabor with fiddler
(The Graphic)

Whitson Ale:

May 15th 1869

"It was the custom of our simple ancestors to have parochial meetings every Whitsuntide,... all agreeing to be good friends for once
in the year, and spend the day in a sober joy. The squire and lady came with their piper and taborer; the young danced or played
at bowls; the old looked on, sipping their ale from time to time. It was a kind of pic-nic..."

Francis Douce described an ‘ale’ ... "A large empty barn, or some such building, is provided for the lord's hall, and fitted up with
seats to accommodate the company. ... The lord's music, consisting of a pipe and tabor, is employed to conduct the dance."

harvest time

1836 New Lyrical Almanack for 1837: 1836 harvest time

early Victorianearly 19th century, playing for harvest home

Harvest home evening by John Prescott Knight RA; description from the exhibition catalogue of a painting, exhibited in Liverpool in
1837. (Liverpool was the first town in the 18thc to hold art exhibitions.)

"The last load is brought in and stops under the village maypole which has been decorated for the occasion.  The harvest queen
advances accompanied by the cheerful pipe and tabor"

1838 Harvest home:

" Crown'd with the cares of cornc, now come,
And, to the pipe, sing harvest home.
Come forth, my lord, and see the cart,
Drest up with all the country art.

 The pipe and the tabor are now busily set awork,
and the lad and the lass will have no lead on their heels.
O, 'tis the merry time," 

The New Monthly Magazine and Humorist, part 3, ed Theodore Hook, Rural Festivals

1857 from:" Ballad: THE HAYMAKER'S SONG.

[AN old and very favourite ditty sung in many parts of England at
merry-makings, especially at those which occur during the hay-
harvest. It is not in any collection.]

And when that bright day faded,
And the sun was going down,
There was a merry piper
Approached from the town:
He pulled out his pipe and tabor,
So sweetly he did play,
Which made all lay down their rakes,
And leave off making hay.

Then joining in a dance,
They jig it o'er the green; ..."

Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England,
edited by Robert Bell, part 4

1858 'The Old Water Mill' by John Farmer1858 Harvest HomeBorough of Greenwich Free Press - Saturday 12 June 1858

1859 writing about the 17th century:

"the Harvest Cart, and the garland of flowers crowns the captain of the Reapers : the battle of the field is now stoutly fought. The pipe and the tabor are now busily set a- work ; and the lad and the lass will have no lead on their heels...."

Victorian harvest home, playing for dancers
pipe and tabor with fiddler
harvest home
1863 Frant Harvest Home 1863Surrey Gazette - Tuesday 22 September 1863
18671867Western Gazette - Friday 27 September 1867
1869 ' Harvest Home' by E J de Barr1869 The Ipswich Journal - Saturday 28 August 1869

Sept 24th 1869 Harvest Home:

a procession from the harvest fields when all the work was done

" while a pipe and tabor went merrily sounding in front, and the reapers tripped ..."

1891 from the poem 'Tis Harvest Time (Scotland)

"At daylight forth to labour
The healthy peasant hies;
Nor sound of pipe and tabor
Could happier make him rise ..."

1893 from the poem ‘Michaelmas’

"Of peasants when they bring
The harvest of the earth.
With pipe and tabor hither roam
All ye who love our Harvest-home.
Hurrah for the English yeoman"

Fleet Street eclogues (1893) Davidson, John

Mumming plays were still performed: 1850's mumming1850's mumming contdreport of 1872 in the Penny Illustrated Paper (London, England),
Saturday, December 21, 1872; pg. 404; Issue 587 and 588.
1877 The Holy Thorn Bush was supposed to bloom at midnight on the old Christmas Day: 1877newspaper cuttingWeston-super-Mare Gazette, and General Advertiser - Saturday 13 January 1877

1884 traditional Christmas Mumming Play : translation from French, verse 5:

"Christmas quaffs our English wines,
        Nor Gascoigne juice, nor French declines,
          Nor liquor of Anjou:
        He puts th’ insidious goblet round,
        Till all the guests in sleep are drown’d
        Then wakes ’em with the tabor’s sound,
          And plays the prank anew."

CHRISTMASTIDE its History, Festivities, and Carols. 
by William Sandys
1885 Mumming play England - Heyford men had their own version of a Mumming Play, figuring King George and Bonaparte, at least until 1885, and John Fathers of Heyford was one of the last players of the 'whittle and dub', the traditional Oxfordshire instruments for dancing.
sheet music coversheet music cover depicting an idyllic village scene mid Victorian drawingmid Victorian drawing statuettebronze statuette  
clockclock missing pipe clockclock missing pipe and drum-stick late 19th century clocklate 19th century clock, France
clockVictorian clock


"In summer they have music before they go to bed. We are in a city that has always been fond of music.
The noise of crowd and pipe, tabor and cithern, is now silent in the streets. Rich men kept their own musicians."

1892 London

"In the following chapters it has been my endeavor to present pictures of the City of London..... showing the streets, the buildings,
and the citizens at work and at play....  the cheerful sound of pipe and tabor; the stage with its tumblers and its rope-dancers;.....

It is an evening in May. What means this procession? Here comes a sturdy rogue marching along valiantly, blowing pipe and
beating tabor
. After him, a rabble rout of lads and young men, wearing flowers in their caps, and bearing branches and singing lustily
.... Presently the evening falls.  The noise of crowd and pipe, tabor and cithern, is now silent in the streets...

Everywhere singing—everywhere joy and happiness. In the streets the very prentices and their sweethearts danced, to the pipe
and tabor
, those figures called the Brawl and the Canary, and better dancing, with greater spirit and more fidelity to the steps,
had I never before seen."

Celebrate all occasions:

1886 celebrationSt James's Gazette - Wednesday 17 February 1886

the pipe and tabor as a metaphor for peace
1856 - regarding the Crimea War 
fought from October 1853 to February 1856 : 1856 newspaper cuttingPreston Chronicle - Saturday 22 March 1856
18561856Morning Advertiser - Saturday 05 April 1856
1856 newspaper criticism on how the war was being carried out: 1856Sun (London) - Friday 16 May 1856

1869 in a story ‘Sybil of Tynemouth: A Tale of the Great Rebellion’1869Newcastle Chronicle - Saturday 06 February 1869

18761876Wolverhampton Express and Star - Monday 23 October 1876
1877 ‘Turkey’s Difficulties’
1877Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) - Tuesday 06 February 1877
1879 Political Rhyme - ‘To the Liberal electors of North Norfolk'1879Durham County Advertiser - Friday 07 February 1879
18801880Colchester Gazette - Wednesday 22 September 1880
1843 Election procession: 1843Bell's Weekly Messenger - Monday 01 May 1843
1869 Election band: 1869Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 16 September 1869
1877 A political satire upon William Gladstone:
GladstoneaVarious people from all walks of lifeGladstonebTruth - Thursday 06 September 1877
1879 in 'Forfar Notes' 1879Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 13 February 1879
The decline of traditional activities was commented upon throughout Victorian times:
1829:1829 decline of pipe and tabor

Library of entertaining knowledge, Volume 27 1829
 By Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (Great Britain)

1829 engraving1829 magazine illustration of showman
18501850 no dancing dogsIllustrated London News - Saturday 30 March 1850


"“for some few years ago, the dancing on May-day began to decline;
small sweeps were observed to congregate in twos or threes, unsupported by a
"green," with no " My Lord" to act as master of the ceremonies, and no " My Lady"
to preside over the exchequer. Even in companies where there was a green, it was an
absolute nothing — a mere sprout; and the instrumental accompaniments rarely extended
beyond the shovels and a set of Pan-pipes, better known to the many, as a mouth organ."

"Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-day Life, and Every-day People, Charles Dickens page 337


"The May-day of the milkmaids is passed away -
the May-day of hawthorn, garlands, and pipe and tabor is departed"

 Punch [almanac] VI (London: Punch, 1844), page 196

18451845 decline of rustic sports

Sun (London) - Monday 04 August 1845

1845 poem 'The Merrie Times of Old'1845Leamington Spa Courier - Saturday 01 March 1845

18501850 no more pipe and tabor 1850 travelling to collect the harvest:
Newspaper report entitled 'Labour and tbe Poor
the Rural Districts' 1850 travelling to collect the harvest:

Decline of traditional activities: many lamented the passing of the old days:

1850 Interview with a' musicianer' in London:

1850 quote



“Ah! those were the days of pipe and tabour, of joy and gladness, of cake and wine; of the mirror before any of the quicksilver at the back is worn off; of the plated service before whitening and chamois leather have been too often used, and the copper begins to show. “

1859 ‘Gaslight and Daylight’, by George Augustus Sala (1828 - 1895), ch32

18541854Leamington Spa Courier - Saturday 20 May 1854  


1855 May traditions B1855 May traditions A1855 C

18571857 newspaper commentWakefield and West Riding Herald - Friday 30 October 1857
18601860North London Record - Monday 31 December 1860
18631863West Surrey Times - Saturday 05 September 1863
1865 newspaper review; 1865Dublin Evening Post - Tuesday 07 March 1865
1865 Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 04 May 1865
18661866Newry Telegraph - Tuesday 13 November 1866

Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser - Thursday 06 October 1870

Mr Lowesley showed part of his antiquarian collection of curiosities to the Field Club, which included a pipe and tabor.


Newspaper article 1874:

“It would of course be hopeless to return to some of the ancient revelries
that ushered in Christmastide.  They have lost their meaning to us. ...
The Yule log is no longer brought in with pipe and tabor ...”

1880 in a commentary on 'New Music' the newspaper crtiic opins: 1880South London Press - Saturday 04 December 1880
1885 ' A Carol for Christmas'1885Leicester Journal - Friday 25 December 1885

In 1887 it was noted in a newspaper report that:

“the strains from a piano organ or a German band take the place of the pipe and tabor

1892 newspaper comment: 1892 newspaper cutting


“Now these old world customs have either passed away, or have come to only a partial and precarious hold upon the minds of the present generation.”

Thetford & Watton Times and People's Weekly Journal. 
Saturday 09 September 1899


"Where are the echoes that bore the strains
Each to his nearest neighbour;
And all the valleys and all the plains
Where all the nymphs and their love-sick swains
Made merry to pipe and tabor?

Where are they gone? "

The Bed-Book of Happiness by Harold Begbie (1871-1929)


Not everyone appreciated the sound of these instruments:

1830 tabor and pipe are a noisy disturbance

1830 quote

1842extract from 'Punch'Punch, Volume 3 MDCCCXLII Punch’s Comic Mythology: page 190,  Acis and  Galatea, chapter 3


“ Some strollers make more noise than others: the dull, heavy, thumping sound of the tabor, and the shrill tone of the pipe are heard”’

‘Rural pickings; or, Attractive points in country life and scenery, for the use of young persons’ George Mogridg


1849Illustrated London News - Saturday 22 December 1849  
1892 comment
1857 ‘A Little Gossip About Christmas’1857 newpaper cuttingMaidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Saturday 26 December 1857

1857 infamy and vice: 1857East London Observer - Saturday 24 October 1857

1862 newspaper review of opera selections at the Oxford Playhouse: 1862 quote

“ Let us not, like the sour preacher, cry out upon a young man because he glorifies his body by fine raiment.
To such a jagg'd and embroidered sleeve is as bad as the sound of pipe and tabor or the sight of a playhouse. ..."

1892 London byWalter Besant

18801880 inaccurate painting by J W Dawson Italian Garden roundelItalian garden, Kensington Palace, London player  
1890's romantic poem1890's part of a romantic poem from the
Illustrated London News, Christmas Edition
Bringing in the boar's head at Christmasbringing in the boar's head at Christmas Shakespeares singing fairiesShakespears singing fairies; A Midsummer
Nights Dream Act Two Scene Two.
By the 1890's a revival began.
1884 Newbury Art and Industrial Exhibition as reported in the Reading Mercury - Saturday 27 September 18841884 exhibition
18931893 newspaper cuttingSouth Wales Daily News - Saturday 30 December 1893

Sporting Life - Friday 14 December 1894
Review: A musical instrument exhibition at the Royal Aquarium included a pipe and tabor.

Oxfordshire Weekly News - Wednesday 14 August 1895
Music and musicians of the 18th century, a lecture by  Mr F Cunningham Woods, showed a pipe and tabor  
otherwise known as ‘ whittle and dub’  formerly belonging to an inhabitant of Hailey.

The pipe and tabor were played in an 1897 production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Musical direction by Arnold Dolmetsch
(The Goldsmith’s Hall, London: 13 November 1897).

The Dodo was Really a Phoenix: The Renaissance and Revival of the Recorder in England 1879-1941 Alexandra Mary Williams

In The Era of Saturday 27 November 1897 the reviewer describes the pipe and tabor as played in The Tempest. 

1898 Derby Choral Union gave a concert which included a pipe and tabor prelude.  The reviewer remarked:1898 newspaper cuttingDerbyshire Advertiser and Journal - Friday 25 November 1898
pipe and tabor used to bring to mind the picturesque rural idyll:
1861 1861Durham County Advertiser - Friday 22 March 1861
1861 1861Greenock Advertiser - Saturday 03 August 1861
18671867Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Tuesday 16 April 1867
1869 newspaper comment concerning developing South Africa:1869Cape and Natal News - Tuesday 23 February 1869, London, England
18701870Shields Daily News - Saturday 28 May 1870
18721872Globe - Friday 05 July 1872
1872 Kingston Town Regatta 1872Surrey Comet - Saturday 24 August 1872
1873 ‘Racing at Wye’1873Daily News (London) - Friday 23 May 1873
1881 in a story called ‘The Red House in Blank Street’1881Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 30 December 1881
18961896Truth - Thursday 24 December 1896
pipe and tabor means:

1861 enjoyment:1861Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Tuesday 31 December 1861

1869 Description of a painter’s new light-hearted style in an exhibition at The Royal Academy:1869Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) - Saturday 22 May 1869
1880 1880Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) - Monday 02 August 1880


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