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


"After mentioning the various stringed instruments he continues:
 "So there were some again, in this their learned strife,
Loud instruments that loved, the Cornet and the Fife,
The Hoboy, Sackhut deep, Recorder, and the Flute,
Even from the shrillest Shawn unto the Cornemute.
Some blow the Bagpipe up, that plays the country round
The Tabor and the Pipe some take delight to sound."

Polyolbion and The harmony of the church, Michael Drayton in the Story of the Bagpipe

17021702 Bible drawing 18th century pipe18th century pipe

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.”



" 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
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.
( The painting has poor lighting and is high up on the wall so difficult to photograph [frances] )
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

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.

Vaucanson advert1742 Vaucason's mechanical figures were on display in London. One
is a pipe and tabor player.
mechanical pipeand tabor player on display
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


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.

poem - one verse

The pipe and tabor were used as a simile for the romantic rural idyll.

1759-17681759-1768 vase
Bowes Museum
1770-17801770-1780 plate vasevase V&A Museum probably 18th century18th century? painting

"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

17761776 18th century child18th century child singletonengraving wallpaintingwall painting
Between November 1774 and November 1775, the pipe and tabor was hired by Theatre Royal Drury Lane for 127 nights for 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
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  
1772 advertisement 1772 band advertisementNewcastle Courant - Saturday 28 November 1772

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


1793 diary entryExtracts of the Journals and Correspondence of Miss Berry From the Year 1783 to 1852


for more on the 18th century see:
morris dance


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