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Robert Braunche Nuremberg Town Band 1449, 1519 & 1500 Engagement of St. Ursula & Prince Etherius 1520 Trumpets   Sackbut 1538 Crumhorn players 1551 Female Sackbut Player Leuven 1564 Amsterdam 1604 Graz 1568 Trumpeter 1568 Graz Town Band Antwerp 1582 Spring Picnic - Lucas van Valkenborch 1587 Brussel 1594 Leuven 1594 Pipere 1555

Antoon Sallaert 1615 Dresden 1709 Hautbois Du Roi 1715 Feldmusik 1720 Regimental bands, 1750s City of London Waits 1761 King's Lynn Yeomanry 1782 George III sea-bathing City of London Waits 1805 a Wait 1815 Christmas Waits 1872 Punch cartoon 1881 Christmas Waits 1886 Punch cartoon 1890 Leicester Waits c.1900 Lincoln Waits 1908

(click to enlarge images)

The Robert Braunche (or Peacock) Brass

St Margaret's Church, King's Lynn

Braunche: musicians on the left     Braunche     Braunche: musicinas on the right

Pictures from the feast scene at the foot of the Robert Braunche brass.
Braunche was mayor of Lynn in 1349 and again in 1359. He died 15th October 1364. In 1349 King Edward III and Queen Phillipa visited Lynn and Braunche is reputed to have given them the magnificent peacock feast commemorated here.

Nuremberg Town Band

(see Notes & Queries for more details)

Pfeifferstuhl by Georg Eberlein


Original mural by Dürer c1500


A pre-1640 copy of a picture of the Nuremberg Stadtpfeifers circa 1449, playing for a dance by the city's butchers' guild at their annual Schembart Carnival.


Nuremberg Stadtpfeifers circa 1519, again playing for a dance by the city's butchers' guild at their Schembart Carnival.


Heinrich Aldegraver (1502-1555)

Trumpets & Sackbut 1538

Ensemble of two slide-trumpets and a trombone: Heinrich Aldegrever (1502-1588), woodcut, 'Music for a wedding dance', from The Great Dances

trumpets & sackbut

Crumhorn Players, 1551

(NB same date as publication of 'Dancerye').
These chaps have livery cloaks and badges so, surely, they're stadtpfeiffer? JM.


Detail from The Engagement of St. Ursula and Prince Etherius

A painting by the Master of Saint Auta Altarpiece, Spain (1520).

The Engagement of St. Ursula and Prince Etherius

Female Sackbut Player

from a tablecloth (160 x 180cm) made circa 1562-68, with silk, gold and silver embriodery depicting, in the middle, Count Poppo of Henneburg and his wife Sophie of Brunswick. The pair are framed by a setting by Martin Agricola of Luther's 'Ein Feste Burg" and two rows of musicians. Amongst the musicians is the woman trombone player illustrated.

Female Sackbut Player

Female Slide Trumpet Player
Female Slide Trumpet Player

Stadtgeiger and Stadtpfeiffer from Leonhard Flexel.

Grazer (i.e. from Graz) Schutzenbuch (1568). In Early Music Aug. 1989 p. 409.

Stadtgeiger and Stadtpfeiffer

Graz Town Band 1568

Graz Waits

"Lobsprach des furstlichen Freischeissens" by Leinhard Flexel, Innsbruck, 1569. According to Trevor Herbert in his new book, "The Trombone", they are the Stadpfeifers of Graz.
See also the image above, which is obviously a different version of the same scene.

Spring Picnic by Lucas van Valkenborch 1587

Spring Picnic - Lucas van Valkenborch

Speellieden bij een promovendus op de Oude Markt van Leuven

(P. Diveaus, Res Lovaniensis, 1564).

LEUVEN 1564     detail

De vier Leuvense
pijpers in de jaalijkse ommegang

(W. Boonen, Geschiedenis van Leuven, 1594, deel 2).


Trumpeter with Instrument Case 1568

by Jost Ammann, a Swiss artist (1539-1591).
See entry in bibliography: Awouters, M, de Keyser, I & Vandenberghe, S
See also Notes & Queries.

Note the instrument case at his feet.

Intrede van de hertog van Anjou in 1582 to Antwerpen

(Brussel, Koninklikje Biblioteek, VH 30876C en VH 27833C).


Intrede van Ernest van Oostenrijk in 1594 te Brussel

(Brussel, Koninklikje Biblioteek, VH 26662’)


The Lepers Festival, Amsterdam, 1604

What certainly appear to be the Amsterdam Stadpeipers. The Livery is apparently the City's (note the XXX upon the Lace, the main charge on the City Arms). In the Amsterdam Historical Museum.
For more on this picture, go to Notes & Queries.

The Lepers Festival, Amsterdam 1604

Detail on sleeve
Detail showing the X's from the arms of Amsterdam on the sleeve of the livery coat.

Picture from Hans Mons' website

Antoon Sallaert, "Archduchess Isabelle and Archduke Albert at the procession of the maids of the Sablon", 1615 Galleria Sabauda, Turin, Italy,

    Detail of band

Town Pipers of Dresden?

Dresden 1709
Three oboes and one bassoon rather than two and two. Good evidence of the oboe-bassoon waits in the 18th c.

Les Douze Grands Hautbois Du Roi

Hautbois Du Roi
The Royal wind band of oboes, tenor oboes and bassoons, at the coronation of Louis XV.

Die Feldmusik (Hautboisten) eines Regiments

Kupferstich von Christof Weigels Witwe, Nürnberg. Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Wien

Netherlands Army 1751

Swiss Guard     Dutch Guard

Band of the First Foot Guards, 1753

Foot Guards

See Notes & Queries for details.

The City of London Waits, 1761

London Waits.

Published according to Act of Parlt   Novr 16 1761
Novr 17. 1761    Sold by I Smith at Hogarth's Hd Cheapside
A VIEW of CHEAPSIDE as it appeared on LORD MAYOR'S DAY laft
How their Majesties King George the 3rd and Queen Charlotte viewed the civic procession from Mr Davd Barclay's House opposite Bow Church.

London waits detail.

Detail from the picture on the left, showing the City of London Waits playing just below the Royal Box. (except for the horn player on the left, who is having a quick tipple!)

Review of the King's Lynn Yeomanry with band, 1782

King's Lynn Review of Troops

Detail of the band

review detail

King George III bathing in the sea to musical accompaniment at Weymouth 1789

Royal Dipping

Of purest air and healing waves we tell,
Where, welcome maid, Hygeia loves to dwell.

(London, Pubd. by Willm. Holland, No. 50, Oxford Street, July 15, 1789

In Holland's Exhibition Rooms may be seen the largest collection of humorous prints. Admittance, one shilling.

A contemporary account of the occasion by Fanny Burney states: "Think but of the surprise of his Majesty the first time of his bathing; he had no sooner popped his royal head under water, than a band of music, concealed in a neighbouring machine, struck up 'God save Great George our King'."

Attached is probably the (Nixon) original of the (Holland) print we already have on the site of George III bathing at Weymouth, accompanied by wet musicians. Both are dated 1789. You will notice that the Nixon is the mirror image of the one retailed by Holland, which appears to have been engraved from the former, hence printed reversed. It is difficult to confirm musically which is the correct way round, as the oboist's hands are correct on the Holland version but the bassoonist's hands are correct on the Nixon one, or were upper/lower hand positions still not fixed at that time? I think that both versions merit a place on the website. Regards, Alan.

City of London Waits on the Lord Mayor's Barge, c1805

Lord Mayor's Barge

barge waits.

For more on the Lord Mayor's Barge and the City Waits, see
Notes & Queries and Pills to Purge Melancholy

A Wait of 1815
from Berwick
Based on a painting of James Wallace, last of the Berwick Waits.

berwick wait 1815 (monochrome)     berwick wait (colour)

James Wallace, the last Waite of Berwick, who appears to have been blind, being led throught the streets by a wee laddie. He carries his instrument (a fiddle?) in his left hand. See Notes & Queries

James Wallace

Christmas Waits

Harper's Weekly January 6, 1872
What once was the wassail is now less poetically known as caroling, some also refer to it as the Christmas Waits. Pictured is a scene of traveling musicians serenading a crowd of elegant ladies and gentlemen. A maid pours drinks while a cellist plays, a boy sings and another plays the accordion.
The page measures 11 x 16 and is in excellent condition and is currently for sale at

Christmas Waits

PUNCH cartoon, 22 January 1881

Obviously the cartoon refers to the public bewilderment at Whistler's impressionistic "Nocturnes". I wonder if Whistler is an "occupational" surname for a Wait? David Jackson.

The Diffusion of Aesthetic Taste

See Notes & Queries.

St Stephens Review Presentation Cartoon, Dec 25th 1886

A single illustration plate - possibly taken from a book or magazine (unknown) portraying another group mof Christmas Waits.
Submitted by Tom Hughes.

Christmas Waits: St Stephens Review Presentation Cartoon Dec 25th 1886

PUNCH cartoon, December 1890

Everything comes to him who waits.

Everything comes to him who waits

"Christmas Eve, Highcross Market, Leicester - in the sixteenth Century (c.1900)"

This painting of Leicester Town Waits is by Henry Reynolds Steer (1858-1928)
Original in Leicester City Museum.
This painting shows the High cross, which stood at the junction of present day names of High Cross Street and High Street.
The Towns Waits, or civic musicians, are playing Christmas carols and their boy apprentice holds the music.
Not a bad Victorian representation of Renaissance Waits -
although the instruments they are playing - oboe, vox humana (tenor or alto oboe) or some sort of hybrid recorder, and some sort of 'cello or viol, are more late 18th/early 19th century.

Leicester Waits

Early 20th century impression of Lincoln Waits

from a Christmas Card sent by the High Constable of Lincoln, December 1908

Lincoln Waits

For the full story behind this image, and the tradition of "Crying Christmas", visit the Lincoln Waits research website.

Pipere (c.1555)

Woodcut of three trumpeters a flautist and a taborer, found in the German language version of Wikipedia: Link. Wikipedia suggests that this is a picture of "Pifferbrüder" and associates the name of Olaus Magnus and the date of 1555 with the image. In southern Germany, Stadtpfeifferei guilds were referred to as "Piper Brothers" ("Pifferbrüder").

Olaus Magnus Gothus (b. 1490, d.1558) became Archbishop of Uppsala in 1554. Later, he became canon of St Lambert in Liége. He wrote "Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus" (History of the Northern Peoples), printed in Rome 1555. This book was a mixture of the folklore and the history of Sweden. As he travelled widely through europe, visiting Netherlands, Poland and Italy, it is difficult to say what nationality these musicians were.