the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

England: history of the pipe and tabor

Victorian Literature (1830 - 1869)


The pipe and tabor were known throughout Victorian times. Many newspapers
had literature or poetry columns. Sometimes advertisements were placed
in newspapers advertising amusements to take place locally.
Stories and plays
menioned the pipe and tabor in passing.


1826 historical story

“What use of doctrine could be derived from a pipe and tabor?
Or was there ever aught like wisdom in a bagpipe?”


1827 opera

1827 opera A1827 opera BStar (London) - Wednesday 03 January 1827

1830 poem1830 poem

1830 Sir Walter Scott1830 poem

1831 play 'The Fire Raiser!'

[pipe and tabor heard in distance.]

" Arise, awake!—be glad, be gay'
For here are the merry sons of May !
Step, Squeak, pipe—beat, tabor—and bellow,…
Ruth. I thought I heard the sound of pipe and tabor ; —’tis melted into air like joy,
who seldom comes, and when he comes he stays not!...

[pipe and tabor heard, again].
But ’tis May-time, I must be merry—Ha ! the pole is ungarnished yet, I must away for blue-bell and primrose…”

‘The fire raiser! or, the Prophet of the moor! : a melo-drama, in three acts / by George Almar, Esq. author of Pedlar's acre... ; printed from
the acting copy, with remarks, biographical and critical, by D-G. ; to which are added, a description of the costume,-cast of the characters,
entrances and exits,-relative positions of the performers on the stage,-and the whole of the stage business, as performed at the Theatres Royal,
London ; embellished with a fine engraving from a drawing taken in the theatre.’by Almar, George

1832 play

“…There, there, get you gone all to the lawn, and be as merry as good cheer, strong beer,
and the pipe and tabour can make you….”

'The Agreeable Surprise' : a comic opera, in two acts by John O'Keeffe

1832 poem

1832 poemClonmel Herald - Saturday 17 November 1832

1833 Newspaper article

“…Even there Genius was happy, and diffused happiness ;
at its bidding was heard pipe, tabor, and dulcimer ;
and to its lips “warbling melody” life floated by, in the
midst of all oppression…”

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 1833-10: Vol 34

1833 comic opera:

Chorus of Villagers.

“Come, Hymen calls, no longer stay;
The hour is come, we must be
While pipe and tabor gaily play,
To mirth and pleasure let us on !...”

‘Fra-Diavolo, or, The inn of Terracina : a comic opera in three acts’,
by Auber, D. F. E., Lacy, M. Rophino,;Scribe, Eugène, page 63

1833 poem 'I LOVE THE VILLAGE CHURCH'.1833'The Souvenir Minstrel: A Choice Collection of the Most Admired Songs,
Duets, Glees, Choruses, &c ... by Cornelius Soule Cartée
1833 poem 1833'The Souvenir Minstrel: A Choice Collection of the Most Admired Songs,
Duets, Glees, Choruses, &c ... by Cornelius Soule Cartée
1833 poem ‘The Farmer’s Family’1833'The Emigrant's Tale : a poem, in two parts : and miscellaneous poems'
18331833 play 'The Tempest' by Shakespeare

1835 play
1835‘The sixes, or, The devil's in the dice! : a romantic melo-drama in two acts’  by Thomas Dibdin, Esq., author of The cabinet and [12 more] ;
printed from the acting copy, with remarks biographical and critical, by D.-G. ; to which are added a description of the costume,-cast of the
characters,-entrances and exits,-relative positions of the performers on the stage, and the whole of the stage business ; as now performed at
the Metropolitan Minor theatres ; embellished with a fine engraving, by Mr. Bonner, from a drawing taken in the theatre, by Mr. R. Cruikshank.

1835 story 'The Overseer’s Daughter - CHAPTER II. SEEK AND FIND.

“…a field hard by was crowded with booths, tents, caravans, stalls, and other appendages of a fair. The sounds,
likewise, that fell upon her ear all denoted a scene of revelry and dissipation. Drums were beating, clarionets sounding,
bugles ringing, fifes screaming, and the pipe and tabour were heard only at intervals over the shouts of children, and
the loud murmur of hundreds of talkers….”

‘The Chronicles of Waltham’ by Gleig, G. R. (George Robert)

1836 poem 1836‘The deaf and dumb or A collection of articles relating to the condition of deaf mutes : their education and the principal…’ Mann Edwin John
1837 poem 1837‘Francis Abbott, the recluse of Niagara ; and Metropolitan sketches’ : second series
by James Bird
1840 story ‘The Recollections of a Hackney Coach’1840The Odd Fellow - Saturday 28 March 1840
1840 story 'The Barred Bride' 1840The Rhine : the most interesting legends, traditions, histories : from Cologne to Mainz : in two volumes / by Joseph Snowe, Esq.

1840 essay‘On the Origin of the Romance Literature of the 12th and 13th Centuries chiefly with reference to its Mythology’

“…the pipe and tabor, and all manner of minstrelsye,'' are constantly heard under the green shade,
" when the wethur is cler and bryght,"

Two lectures read before the Essay Society of Exeter College, Oxford, by Richard John King , Exeter College (University of Oxford ). essay soc

1840 play review: ‘Glencoe ; or, the Future of the Macdonalds ; a Tragedy in Five Acts.’ by T. N. 'Tatrourp;
first represented the 23rd of May, 1840.
“…he well knew what would please the frequenters of the theatre, and what himself. There is one character in it,
that is the one character, to which all the rest must play up. Macready knew that it would be his—that he would
be as the man playing the pipe and tabor to the dancing dogs around him….”

The Metropolitan 1840-07: Vol 28 Iss 111

1841 ‘The Pope’s Promise’ a story set in Italy: 1841The Odd Fellow - Saturday 30 January 1841
1841 poem 18411841'Poems and Songs' by John Imlah 1841 ‘Ode for April’1841Worcester Journal - Thursday 08 April 1841
1841 ‘All Right to the tune of Packington Pound’1841Bucks Herald - Saturday 21 August 1841
1841 ‘The Comic Annual for 1842’ by T Hood1841Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 24 November 1841
1841 1841James Hatfield and the Beauty of Buttermere: A story of modern times. Volume 1 James Hatfield page 39

unknown date:

“The next was a young shepherd, a buxom young lad, 
And many's the frolic together we've had,
He used me so kindly, he shoved it in tight,
And he played a sweet tune on his Tabarin pipe.”

1842 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin'
by Robert Browning in 'Dramatic Lyrics'

 XIV The place of the children's last retreat,
They called it the Pied Piper's Street,
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labor.

1842 1842Critical and Miscellaneous Essays - Volume 2 Page 181 by John Wilson · 1842
1840's illustrating Shakespeare 1840's The TempestThe Tempest, Ariel
1843 story ‘Adolphe and Annette or a Tale of Langudoc’1843Lloyd's Companion to the Penny Sunday Times and Peoples' Police Gazette - Sunday 06 August 1843
1843 poem: 1843Derbyshire Courier - Saturday 14 October 1843

1843 story1843

1843 story

1843 play at Haymarket Theatre, London:

‘The pipe and tabor summon to
the amusements all...’

Pictorial Times - Saturday 26 August 1843

1843 song ‘The Two Lieutenants’

“…Then take thy pipe and tabor, boy,
And strike me up a merry tune—
For I was born in peascod time,
All in the merry month of June!...”

Anglo-American Magazine 1843-03: vol 1


1843 poem ‘INVOCATION’
“…While afar, but thither borne,
Swelling sound of sylvan horn,
Pipe, and tabour minstrelsy,
Tell of jollity and glee,…”

'Beads from a Rosary' by Westwood, T.


1844 ‘Young Englandism’ a political essay1844Liverpool Albion - Monday 17 June 1844

1844 story ‘The Friar’s Study’
“…A sudden flourish from the pipe and tabor of Miles interrupted the Friar, who silenced the Minstrel
by an angry look:… flourish from the pipe and tabor of Miles momentarily distracted his attention;…”

‘Truths and Fictions of the Middle Ages: The Merchant and the Friar’ by Sir Francis Palgrave

1845 story

“…Then a dance was called for  and the Brigadier's daughter and Handsome Hervey were commanded
to tread a measure. To make things as characteristic as possible, Philip Dormer had provided himself
with a pipe and tabor, and a pretty rustic dance was now danced to that very rustic accompaniment…
.Each shepherd danced a measure with his shepherdess, and the pipe and tabor player was kept in pretty
active employment providing music for them….”

'Maids of Honour: A Tale of the Court of George I.' by Robert Folkestone Williams

1846 poem

“…For few may smile, as round the echoing drum,
With pipe, and tabor, piercing, shrill, and clear,
Falls on the heart, they vainly seek to cheer….”

‘Pleasures of homes : Domestic scenes and affections circle round the hearth’ by Farquharson, Stuart

1846 poem 1846‘The Prince Albert Vocalist’ by  W.S. Johnson,
1846 poem ‘Solution of the Enigma‘1846Western Times - Saturday 14 November 1846
1847 'Stanzas' 1847Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper - Sunday 15 August 1847

1848 ‘The White Lady of Avenel’
‘The opera commences with a chorus: "So gaily, so gaily the pipe and tabor sound," sung by
the peasantry, who are about to celebrate the christening of Dickson's (Mr. O'Donnell) child,
an exceedingly animated and sprightly composition.’

Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper - Sunday 13 August 1848

1848 ‘An Uninvited Guest’; report of a Court Hearing:
‘passionate love for music and dancing. was going home through the Hotwell-Road when ” The sound of minstrelsy;
The pipe and tabor and the tinkling cymbal struck on his ear." He could not resist the temptation; the sounds
evidently issued from a window some fifteen feet above him ; but. in such cause, difficulties were as nothing,
and so, hoping that the window might be connected with a tavern, he began to clamber the wall, and attained
the required elevation. His appearance through the aperture was differently hailed—one cried. Come in. drink
and be merry,” while others shouted, Peck him over,” Down with the window and chop his head off,” and
fearing that one or other of the threats against him might put into execution, he made his way into the room....’

Bristol Mercury - Saturday 01 January 1848

1848 poem ‘A Voice of Encouragement A New Year’s Lay’1848Dublin Weekly Nation - Saturday 01 January 1848

1848 operetta


“Laws we heed not, priests we need not,
While our hands are free ;
Fools may labour,—pipe and tabor,
With the bowl for me.”

The Andalusian; or, the young guard : an original operetta, in two acts / by George Soane, A. B

1849 ‘The Trumpeter’s Wedding’ at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London

“The parties march to the church to the sound of pipe and tabor
Globe - Thursday 22 March 1849

1849 ‘The True Workman’ verse 11849Nottingham and Newark Mercury - Friday 27 July 1849
1850 Derby Day:1850Illustrated London News - Saturday 01 June 1850
1850 poem 1850The Musical World 1850-06-01: Vol 25 Iss 22

1850 essay‘The Polka’

‘..‘ Do you think, because you have corns, there shall
be no more pipe and tabor?” Poor Virtus indignans,
touched in so tender a point, limped off to its proper
sphere in the back drawing-room: where it finds rest
for its sore feet beneath the Card-table;…”

The Musical World 1850-06-29: Vol 25 Iss 26

1851 poem

Stanzas written on New Year’s Eve
“Wake then, ye minstrels, pipe and tabor,
And flutes and cymbals – softly-softly
Bid men arose to manly labour
And in its scabbard sheathe his sabre
And love his God, and love his neighbour.”

Durham Chronicle - Friday 03 January 1851

1851 A Christmas Garland 1851 poemBolton Chronicle - Saturday 20 December 1851
1851 story about a bear: 1851Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Saturday 15 March 1851
1851 essay: 1851Leamington Advertiser, and Beck's List of Visitors - Thursday 24 July 1851
1851 poem' Illustrated Proverbs' by John Wade Clinton1851Worcestershire Chronicle - Wednesday 22 October 1851
1851 Christmas Rhyme 1851Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette - Saturday 27 December 1851

1852 poem ' The Love of Song' by John B Pedler1852North Wales Chronicle - Friday 06 August 1852

1852 poem: "Lines to an old TUNE, suggested by
the London Art-Union print of " An English
Merrymaking in the Olden Time."

“…England's lads and lasses meet.
To trip along on nimble feet ;
While fiddle, pipe, and tabor sound.
To aid them in the joyous round.”
Isabel C.

The Builder volume 10 issue 474 page 13

1852 'Amateur Theatricals - ‘A Wonderful Woman’ at Bath Theatre'1852Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 15 January 1852

1852 commentary on ‘White Magic’
a two-act comic operetta produced
at the Haymarket, London:

"the chorus Let pipe and tabor, with its
double subjects, is ingenious and effective."

Illustrated London News - Saturday 20 March 1852

1852 operetta 'White Magic' 1852Words of the songs, duets, and trios, sung in White magic: an operetta, in two acts, as originally performed at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, March 17, 1852 by Biletta, Emanuele

1852 poem

“…He join*d the dance on summer eves,
Neighbour crossing hands with neighbour
To the merry pipe and tabor
The church where he his sabbaths  kept,
The graves -where once his fathers slept,…”

'Democritus in London: With the Mad Pranks and Comical Conceits
of Motley and Robin Good-fellow' ... by George Daniel

1852 poem

" Then, why should I give way to grief ?
Come, strike up pipe and tabor ;
He that affecteth God in chief.
And as himself his neighbour,
May still enjoy a happy life.
Although he lives by labor.''

This was the Song of Wither when at the age of seventy two,
broken in fortune, and a prisoner in Newgate !

'Democritus in London: With the Mad Pranks and Comical Conceits
of Motley and Robin Good-fellow' ... by George Daniel



1853 1853The Works of John Bunyan: Allegorical, figurative, and symbolical
b y John Bunyan ·Page 304
1853 The Fancy Ball1853Coleraine Chronicle - Saturday 07 May 1853

1854 story - wedding processiosn

“…The merry notes of the pipe and tabour, the roll of the drums
, and the flourish of the wind-instruments, mixed with the pealing
of the bells, and the joyful acclamations of the peasantry announcing
the near approach of Lord Mowbray and his bride…”

‘ELLEN CLARE’.by Miss Agnes Strickland,.Chambers's Pocket Miscellany
by Chambers W. and R ., ltd


1854 poem 'Song for Holmfirth feast' 1854 poemHuddersfield Chronicle - Saturday 27 May 1854

1854 newspaper article:
"In truth there is no end to the vanity of some men.1854Leamington Spa Courier - Saturday 24 June 1854

1854 Song 1854Manchester Times - Wednesday 28 June 1854

1854 essay ‘Oranges and Lemons’
“…with the bright blue sky above, the rich green turf
below, the Merry sound of pipe and tabor, the song
of birds of gorgeous plumage, the laugh of children
around and about, the fragrant perfume of orange,
and citron, and myrtle…”

Household Words. A Weekly Journal.
Conducted by Charles Dickens 1854-04-01: Vol 9 Iss 210

1855: The newspaper reviewer is bewildered by versification
as incoherent as the following:1855 poem

Review of the 1855 edition of Bentley's Miscellany: 1855Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 07 February 1855

Bentley's Miscellany cover

1855 book review

YEAR-BOOKS. ‘Literally Literal Diversion’. (J. & C. Mozley.)

“…the compiler writes :‘‘ No light labour to the sound of pipe and tabour the present compilation !—a labour truly still of love, as cooing (wooing) is to dove, and eke of exultation (though not of exaltation) as the author’s own creation! His time to fill up, and to fill up old Time!” With this introduction we quit him, unable to guess why a book so ridiculous should have been published….”

The Athenaeum 1855-12-15: Iss 1468

1856 The Witches Sabbath
 “They dance to the sound of the tabor and flute, and
sometimes with the long instrument they carry at the neck,
and thence stretching to near the girdle, which they beat
with a little stick”


1856 poem 'THE WORKINGMAN'

“…Wouldst thou be an idle drone,
Living on another's labor ?
Be a giant lazzarone^
Nodding to a pipe and tabor?...”

'Poems' by B. Hallock

1856 Christmas Song 1856Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 27 December 1856 1856 ‘The Death of the Old Year’1856Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Tuesday 30 December 1856
1856 ‘Celebrated Women No. 3 Fair Rosamund’1856Commercial Journal - Saturday 19 July 1856

1856 poem 'Didactic?'
“…They must want who will not labour ;
Action hath no time for fear ;
Joy attends not " pipe and tabor
Purpose high, alone, can cheer….”

"I TOO" by Beelzebub


1857 essay A JOURNEY IN SEARCH OF NOTHING. - NOTE THE FIRST. TRYING FOR QUIET.1857Household Words Vol. 16 by  Dickens, Charles.

1857 story

"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

1857 'A Song for Christmas': 1857Birmingham Journal - Saturday 03 January 1857
1857 ‘Anticipation of Spring’ 1857Longford Journal - Saturday 07 February 1857
1858 poem ‘Roger Merryweather’1858Durham County Advertiser - Friday 08 January 1858
1858 Criticism of hymn: 1858Cheltenham Examiner - Wednesday 29 September 1858
1858 poem 'Behind the Scenes’ 1858Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 18 December 1858 and ' Household Words. A Weekly Journal'. Conducted by Charles Dickens 1858-12-04: Vol 19 Iss 454
1859 Mythological Reception - newspaper story: 1859Nottinghamshire Guardian - Thursday 31 March 1859

1859 poem ‘Castle-Building’

“…And festive rites beneath the moon
Were held, and like to concords sweet,
The pipe and tabor played in tune,
And round and round the jewelled feet
Of dancing girls the marbles beat ;…”

'Judith and other poems' by Mills, Francis

1859 report on a religious ceremony in Italy: 1859Globe - Tuesday 27 September 1859

1860 opera, from the Flower Duet:
“No more of this—you see they come,
With cheerful pipe and tabor drum,
To hail my love their vintage queen.
And garland her with crown of green.”

The night-dancers, a grand romantic opera, partly founded on the story of Giselle
... as performed at the Royal English Opera, Covent Garden by Soane, George

1860 ‘Spring Flowers’ poem by Sidney Dobell1860Gloucestershire Chronicle - Saturday 21 April 1860
1860 ‘Lord Haddo and the Morality of Art’1860Brighton Gazette - Thursday 24 May 1860

1860 poem1860Illustrated London News - Saturday 02 June 1860

1860 song from ‘The May Queen’1860Worcester Journal - Saturday 15 September 1860

1861 Prologue  at the Princes Theatre, Glasgow:

1861 play


“in the retirement of his own apartment had spent his evening
as calmly among his books as if the sound of pipe and tabor 
had fallen on a deafened ear.”

Richmond Times Dispatch, November 1862

1862 poem1862 poem

1862 hymn : 'Those eternal bowers'

"What! with pipe and tabor
Fool away the light,
When He bids you labour,—
When He tells you,—‘Fight!’ "

1862 'Autumn' 1862Coventry Standard - Saturday 25 October 1862
1862 poem 1862

'Railway Horace' by Oxenden, G. Chichester

1863 - 'Ode' by John Holland

1863 Ode

1864 At the Assembly Room in the Guildhall, Worcester,
in aid of the distressed weavers of Coventry:  Prologue:1864Worcestershire Chronicle - Wednesday 03 February 1864
1864 sermon1864 sermon Birmingham Daily Gazette  - Tuesday 01 November 1864

1864 poem 'Ode toWinter' by John Greet 1864Leamington Spa Courier - Saturday 24 December 1864

1865 'The Poets Pilgrimage' by Tom Hood

1865 poemSoulby's Ulverston Advertiser and General Intelligencer - Thursday 20 April 1865

1865 West Middlesex Herald - Saturday 09 September 1865
1865 ‘A Game of Romps with my Boys’ by Charles Kent1865Sun (London) - Thursday 09 March 1865

Amateur Concert in aid of the Cathedral Restoration Fund 1865Chichester Express and West Sussex Journal - Tuesday 25 April 1865

1865 ‘Confessions of a Wanderer’1865Blackburn Times - Saturday 29 April 1865

1865 The Witches Sabbath
 “They dance to the sound of the tabor and flute,
and sometimes with the long instrument they carry
at the neck, and thence stretching to near the girdle,
which they beat with a little stick”

1865 poem 'The Swallow’s Farewell'

“…Children beneath me are sporting there,
Their voices rise clear it the evening air.
Pipe and tabor merrily sound,
Merrily swings the dance around ;…”

‘The Quadliteral: Poems’ by Campbell Mackinnon


1866 historical play

“…Sir Maurice Chudleigh, pedler, is my foster-brother, and will
ere long grace my wedding with his presence. With him come
most of his servingmen to foot it merrily to pipe and tabour…”
”…And you, lads and lasses, whose bells are tinkling and whose
feet are ready for a merry measure, fall to, and foot it your best
for the honour of Devonshire. Strike up, Pipe and Tabour !
[A party of Morris-dancers then advances . After saluting the bride and bridegroom , an ancient English Morris-dance is gone through….]”

‘True to the Core, a story of the Armada’ by Angiolo Robson Slous


18681868Oxford Times - Saturday 10 October 1868
1869 'April Fancies'1869Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams - Thursday 01 April 1869
1869 story: ‘A Legend of the Wansbeck’ by W H Short1869Morpeth Herald - Saturday 21 August 1869
1869 1869'King George's Middy' by William Gilbert page 293
unknownVictorian copy of Vicar of Wakefield
date unknown
unknownband on the hillside.[ed. here for
Regency original, 1817]
1868 A conversation between a botany lecturer and their pupil: (page 182) 1868'Man of Science, A; or, The Botanist's Grave' by Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton

'Sections 9ÔÇô10' - by John Edmund Reade

“...With his wallet stuffed, and eye
Twinkling through its corner sly.
There the Minstrel, with his tabor,
And his tabor-stick and pipe,
Calls up each rejoicing neighbour
For the song and revel ripe....”

date unknown

'A Chanted Calendar' by Sydney Thompson Dobell

“…Then came the daisies,
On the first of May,
Like a banner'd show's advance
While the crowd runs by the way,
With ten thousand flowers about them they came trooping through the fields,
As a happy people come,
So came they,
As a happy people come
When the war has roll'd away,
With dance and tabor, pipe and drum,
And all make holiday….”

date unknown

'Master Hugues Of Saxe-Gotha'
by Robert Browning

“Who thinks Hugues wrote for the deaf,
Proved a mere mountain in labour?
Better submit; try again; what's the clef?
'Faith, 'tis no trifle for pipe and for tabor---
Four flats, the minor in F….”





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