Several attempts have been made to present the waits' history to the world. This website is just the latest and, we hope, the best - until it is superceded. Many papers contain interesting leads for the researcher to follow up, just as we did when exploring the York, King's Lynn, Leeds, Doncaster and other waits' histories years/decades ago, but we have all had to wade through unsupported (sometimes bogus) statements, inaccuracies and misconceptions and sort the wheat from the chaff. Plagiarism has been a frequent fault of many authors, but when you've read them all you can tell which are original, who has copied whom and root out repeated errors (e.g. the infamous Neckham 'quote' and inconsistencies in the Liber Niger sources. We have already discovered one case of deliberate misquotation that proved the worth of checking everything - see Bridge).
There is no good reason why new researchers should have to undergo the same time wasting processes as they accumulate experience if we who have gone before leave our appraisal of important documents for their use. Therefore, rather than accept blindly or dismiss wholesale all previous work, we have begun to collect these fundamental texts here, annotated to expose recognisable pitfalls so that you can make up your own mind, guided by us. Most of these papers have some value, but note that we assert most. Some are awful, but you must judge for yourself in case we are wrong (mind you, we'll guide you anyway).
The html versions of these papers contain numerous links to relevant material within this site, and elsewhere on the internet. However, should you desire a hard copy, we have also posted them as Word documents for you to save to your computer.
|Secular Musicians in Late Medieval England - Thesis by Professor Richard Rastall|
|The origin of The Town Waits, and the myth of the watchman-turned-musician, by Professor Richard Rastall||.doc|
|Town Waits And Their Tunes, by Professor Joseph C. Bridge||webpage||.doc|
|Dublin "City Music" from 1456 to 1786, by W H Grattan Flood||webpage||.doc|
|The Waits, by F A Hadland||webpage||.doc|
|The Waits, A Short Historical Study, by Lyndesay G Langwill||webpage||.doc|
|The Waits of Edinburgh, by Lyndesay G Langwill||webpage||.doc|
A Point of View - An Eye For Detail, Professor Lisa Jardine
(A Warning for Researchers)
This annotated list is very select. It contains only the most important books and articles that should help you with particular problems in archival work on town waits.
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