the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

England: history of the pipe and tabor

18th century players

early 18thc Wentworth Castle, ceiling painting
monkey players
17371737 France monkey player paintingpainting
orchestra18th century monkey orchestra, France 18th century18th century, France
FranceFrance monkeymonkey
harpsicord playermodern harpsicord painting the harpsicordthe harpsicord


“The Tabor-and-Pipe are two musical Instruments that always accompany each other ; and are mostly
used at Wakes by Country People, and at their Dancings and innocent Diversons -, and often with
Morris Dancers ; and sometimes in Concerts, if well perform'd by such as are skill'd in musick…”

‘The elements of musick display'd; or, Its grammar, or ground-work made easy: rudimental, practical, philosophical, historical
, and technical ..’ by Tans'ur, William

Record of payments to BOUGHTON, John ('John a Stunsfield') for playing the pipe and tabor:

1699 December Aynho, gave J: of ?Stonesfield for play a day in Xmas on  the taber + pipe    10-9
Northamptonshire Record Office, ML. 1306,
Cartwright Papers, Account book, October 1691 to 1722

1700 December Aynho, gave to J: of Stansfield ye taberer at Xmas        1-0-0
Cartwright Papers, Account book, October 1691 to 1722

1710 15 August Sherborne, To Jack of Stunsfield                   - 2  6 
Gloucestershire Archives, D 678/148B, Dutton family accounts,
Account book beginning 1708, f.16

1710 16 August Sherborne, To Jack of Stunsfield             - 10 –
Dutton family accounts, Account book beginning 1708

John Boughtonsource

17021702 Bible drawing 18th century pipe18th century pipe
1705 America and West Indies:

“… they have prevail'd with the Governour to make Thomas Burton Attorney Generall,
formerly a fidler to a known pyrate or privateer…”

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 22, 1704-1705

1710. April 1,Tatler. No. 153
Addison touches lightly on faults that spoil the pleasures of social intercourse:

“I look upon myself, during the course of many years, to have resembled a tabor and pipe. I have since
very much endeavoured at the sweetness, of the lute but in spite of all my resolutions, I must confess with
great confusion, that I find myself daily degenerating into a bagpipe; whether it be the effect of my old age,
or of the company I keep, I know not.”

BOUGHTON, John ('John a Stunsfield'), 1681 - 1753, played the taber and pipe in Gloucestershire, a taberer.
17201720 woodcut


" The second time, Fryer Bungy and he went to sleepe, and Miles alone
to watch the brazen head; Miles, to keepe him from sleeping, got a
tabor and pipe, and being merry disposed, sung this song to a Northern tune "

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics

1721 fidler thief trial account:

“ The Prosecutor depos'd, that the prisoner (being a Fidler) was sent for, to play at his House,
at which time he took an opportunity to convey away the Salt. That missing the Salt the next Day,
his Wife, upon enquiry, found it at a Goldsmiths, where the prisoner had sold it”

Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 6th December, t17211206-21

1720’s - 'Dixton Harvesters', a painting in Cheltenham Art Gallery showing how the harvest was gathered.
The pipe and tabor player accompanied all the different activities.
[ed. The painting has poor lighting and is high up on the wall so difficult to photograph ]
Dixton Harvesterspart of the painting
dancingdancing scythingscything
gathering haygathering hay leading a lineleading a line of workers  
morris dancers leading morris men
out of the picture

1723 November 1. Thomas Herbert of Eglwysilan, gentleman left in his will

“To Thomas Morgan Lewis, ' ye fidler,' the little yellow mare.”

Wills: 1719-1778 Cardiff Records: Volume 3. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1901.

1724, London

“Masters of various instruments flock here,
The Scottish pipe and British harp appear;
Lutes and guitars do form a beauteous line,
Whilst dulcimers with pipe and tabor join;”

‘The Session of Musicians, In Imitation of the Session of the Poets.

1726 playing in pantomime:

“Mr Harwood was paid I0s.6d. "pipſe}. & tabor; for his attendance this nt." at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre
on 17 October 1726 when the pantomime 'Jupiter and Europa' was played. A month later, on 17 November,
he received 15s. 6d. for "pipe; & tabor; & trav[el?]"...


.”Miss Harwood performed in the chorus of Country Lads and Lasses, with pipe; and tabor;, in 'The Burgomaster Trick'd', a pantomime acted by a cast of children at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre on 6 January 1738.”

‘A biographical dictionary of actors, actresses, musicians, dancers, managers & other stage personnel in London, 1660-1800,’
by Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans. v.7
1737 dictionary 1737'An early music dictionary : musical terms from British sources, 1500-1740' by Strahle, Graham
17401740 1630 copycopy of 1630 book illustration Harlequin and childrenharlequin playing for children
17421742 Illustration from Histoire des jouets

Vaucason's mechanical figures were on display in London. He was a French inventor. One is a pipe and tabor player


mechanical pipeand tabor player on display
Vaucanson advert
17331748-1756 print playercopy cushionmid 18th century
emboidered cushion
Painting by LancretPainting by Lancret

1752 - died: Mr. Harwood, the celebrated Performer on the Tabor and Pipe at Covent-Garden Theatre.

Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal Wed 06 May 1752

1750's Isabella Wilkinson

Isabella Wilkinson

A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers ... By Philip H. Highfill, Kalman A. Burnim, Edward A. Langhans

1771 advertisement in the Derby Mercury - Friday 15 March 17711771 A1771 B

“the oldest of all London spas was the Islington Spa, or New Tunbridge Wells, now known as Sadler's Wells.
It was in 1684 that Mr. Sadler discovered in the grounds of his house a chalybeate spring….
The proprietor had the grounds fenced in and planted, engaged a lady to discourse sweet
sounds on a dulcimer in an artificial glen, and a man to play on a pipe and tabor in a shell-work
grotto for those who loved to dance...”

1902The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) Saturday 9 August 1902 - Page 4

Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel, 1738 – 1822: a German-born British astronomer and composer.
Born in the Electorate of Hanover, William Herschel followed his father into the military band
of Hanover. [There is some difference of opinion as to whether he played the pipe and tabor
or the oboe in this band.] He emigrated to Great Britain in 1757 at the age of nineteen.
In addition to the oboe, he played the violin and harpsichord and later the organ. He composed
numerous musical works, including 24 symphonies and many concertos, as well as some church music.

17601760 drawing, London

1766 Goldsmith, 'The Vicar of Wakefield'

"Being apprized on our approach,
the whole neighborhood came out to meet their minister,
drest in their finest cloaths, and preceded by a pipe and tabor:..."

1766 'Cymon' A Dramatic Romance as it is Performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
The pipe and tabor were used as a simile for the romantic rural idyll. poem - one verse

1772 advertisement 1772 band advertisementNewcastle Courant - Saturday 28 November 1772

between early 1768 and 1781
Samuel Hellier, The Wodehouse, Staffordshire, a keen musician who also purchased music and instruments
for the use of his estate and house workers, had some of his band's instruments stolen. In 1781 he wrote
"I have so very little Comfort of being down there and being so ill used, & my Things stole from me I almost
determine never to come into the Country any more". After this created a catalogue of instruments which
“• Winds: 2 Flutes, 1 Flute, 2 Piccolos, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 3 Bassoons, 1 Pipe & Tabor

Music in Country Houses of the English Midlands, 1750–1810 by Martin Perkins


"I have drunk with Piping Pebworth, Dancing Marston,
Haunted Hillborough, Hungry Grafton..."

25 years later Samuel Ireland wrote:

" the people of Pebworth are still famed for their skill
on the pipe and tabor; Hillborough is now called
Haunted Hillborough; and Grafton is notorious for
the poverty of its soil"
Samuel Ireland, Picturesque Views on the Upper or Warwickshire Avon. 1795, p. 233

Theatre Royal Drury Lane between November 1767 and December 1768 the pipe and tabor
was hired 12 times for dancing and for plays. Between November 1774 and November 1775,
the pipe and tabor was used for 127 nights during the plays they put on in the theatre.

In a newspaper review in September 1775 readers were told:
“The music was well composed, and among other instruments were introduced the pipe and tabor

17761776 18th century child18th century child singletonengraving wallpaintingwall painting
17851785 from a satrical print

17881788 Haarlem, Holland

fan stickson fan sticks scrimshawon scrimshaw late 18thc clocklate 18th century clock
Bronze statuetteBronze statuette Bronze statuetteBronze statuette, side  

John Randall was born 1764 in New Haven, Conn. North America, died in Australia. 
John Randall, a Negro laborer, was tried at Manchester on 14 April 1785 for stealing a watch chain on the docks at Liverpool. Sent to the Ceres hulk in 1786, aged 21; sentenced to 7 years transportation.

He was a crack shot.  He was made an official game keeper by governor Phillip and killed the first Emu seen by Europeans.  In June 1799 Randall was accused of theft of plates and glasses from the governor, but was forgiven. Randall was about 6 feet and well built. He played the flute and tambour.

1783 teacher:1783Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 31 March 1783

1787 Charles Dibdin Senior 1787'A Social History of the Fool' by Billington, Sandra

17931793 diary entryExtracts of the Journals and Correspondence of Miss Berry From the Year 1783 to 1852

advertisement card player

for more on the 18th century see:
morris dance


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