Archive 2002

A to I

J to R

S to Z

American Waits
V A Austin
Christmas Waits
Colchester Waits
Curtal – make your own
Curtals – a book
Early Spring Clean
International gathering of Pipers
International Guild of Town Pipers
Internet Score Exchange Library
Irish Waits
Leeds Waits Wassail
Leicester Waits
Lincolnshire Waits
Municipal Corporations Act
New Pages
New website
Norwich Lysard
Norwich Waits
Radford, Alan: Leeds & Leicester
Ripon Waits
Shawm fingering
Soprano shawm wanted
Stamford Waits revival
Surrey waits
Trumpet – make your own
Winchester Waits
Worcester Waits
Update to York Music
York Music
York Waits Website

Christmas Waits

I am trying to track down a specific song aboutChristmas waits, and although my search of the internet didn’t find the song, it did leadme to your website. The song is a humorous tale of some amateur carol singers, and has a chorus that begins ‘Good King Wenceslas looked out, sings we with raging power;Several neighbours looked out too to see what all the row were”.
Have you ever heard of this? If so, any information about publishers or anything elserelevant would be gratefully received. Many thanks in advance for your help.]]>

Sorry, haven’t met this one. Sounds possiblyVictorian (when the meaning of ‘Waits’ changed, to mean itinerant (and frequentlyunmusical) carol singers, rather than the proper meaning of civic musicians. Would beinterested to know if you succeed in tracking it down. Chris Gutteridge

Many thanks for your prompt reply. You are quite right that it uses the term ‘Waits’ in the sense of unmusical carol singers rather than civic musicians. I did manage to track down the song in the end. It is called ‘The Carol Singers’, with words by Hayes and music by Sterndale-Bennett. It is published by Cramer Music in London (020 7240 1612) in the original version, and there is also an arrangement for 4-part male voices by Alan Simmons Music in Huddersfield (
Best wishes for a musical Christmas

Irish Waits

I come from a small town in the west of Ireland, Castlebar. At Christmas, “The Waits” still go around playing songs and shouting out the time of night. In Ireland, Castlebar is the only town I know where such a tradition is kept up.
The English army used be stationed in Castlebar so I expect the tradition was brought from England by them or perhaps by the local Lord’s, the Binghams whose most famous (or infamous) son was Lord Lucan.
Anyway just though I’d drop a note to make you aware of this “incarnation” of the Waits.
A discussion on The Waits is currently taking place at the website for my town which is given below.
Alan Mee

Hi! My name is Brian Hoban and I come fromCastlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland. I thought you would be interested to read the link on the custom of the waits in our town. the Url is :[email protected]@.ee873c0
Kind regards and a merry Christmas. I found your site v. interesting.

Great news from ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Dear Chris,
How are you. We have yesterday a great reception with our sponsors at the Cityhall. Our Lord Major Rombouts was the host. Now we have four new sackebuts (1 alto-, 2 tenor and 1 bass) and 11 tabberts [Outer coats – Chris].
You can see our new website: The website is yesterday opened by the Royal Commissioner of Noord Brabant mr Houben. It was a great event.
The Major says: The Citypipers are the cultural ambassadors of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
It is realy great. We are very very happy. You can understand I think.
Great news from ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
Best wishes.
Marcel Ploegmakers

Book on Curtals

Waits may be interested in this email, which was originally posted on Hans Mons’ Dulcian List (see details).

This weekend I visited the London instrument fair to get my new bass shawm. Besides this beautiful new instrument, my biggest surprise was that I found there Maggie Kilbey (formerly Maggie Lyndon-Jones) selling her new book on dulcians. This 300 page book contains probably everything that is currently known about the surviving original dulcians and in addition lots of iconography and information of the history and repertoire for the dulcian. Needless to say that we had a long discussion and that I immediately bought the book. Highly recommended.
Title: Curtal, Dulcian, Bajon: A History of the Precursor to the Bassoon
Author: Maggie Kilbey
ISBN 0 9543492 0 2
Orders to Maggie:]]>.

Ripon Waits

Attached is a summary for the waits’ website of my recent investigations into the waits of Ripon.
Go to our Essayssection to find Pamela Radford’s essay on the Ripon Waits – another valuable piece of research to add to our collection.

Update to ‘York Music’

James Merryweather has made the update to his book,’York Music’, available for downloading from this site. This document is packed full offascinating information on The York Waites, and other notable musicians of York. When lastwe checked there were only a handful of copies of ‘York Music’ left in stock at thepublishers. For details of the book, click here.For James’ update, click here.

International gathering of Town Pipers at York

The York Waits were hosts to the Stadspijpers van ‘s-Hertogenbosch and two members of the King’s Lynn Waites for the weekend of 20th – 22nd September.
Apart from music workshops, sightseeing and plenty of excellent food and drink, they were treated to a visit to the organ of York Minster and an extremely impressive arrangement of the traditional anthem of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, ‘Hertog Jan’, specially written and performed by the Minster organist.
On Sunday 22nd the Lord Mayor’s procession through the streets of York was lead by the York Waits as usual, with the Stadspijpers bringing up the rear, and the King’s Lynn Waites in the middle.
Pictures of the weekend can be found on the Stadpijpers’ website at

Alan Radford: the effect of the MCRA on Leeds & Leicester

Alan Radford, of the Leeds Waits, has sent us some interesting research on the effect of the Municipal Corporations Reform Act on Waits, and the fate of their badges and chains, in Leeds and Leicester:

From Percy Robinson’s “Relics of Old Leeds”, 1896:
“In 1834 a Royal Commission was instituted to inquire into the condition of the Municipal Corporations throughout the Kingdom, and on the 19th December one of the Commissioners appointed attended the Court Houser, Leeds …..”
“One of the most notable reforms in the government of the town was effected by the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act, which received the Royal assent on September 9th 1835. In pursuance of this Act the lists of Burgesses were revised, the Borough wasdivided into wards, and a number of councillors assigned to each ward as follows…..”
Maurice Beresford in “East End, West End” refers also to an 1837 report of a Commission to report and advise on the boundaries and wards of certain boroughs andtownships, which incudes a section on the township of Leeds, so that seems to date the previous quote from Robinson.
Robinson cites developments in Leeds in the late 1830’s and early 40’s which he attributes to the change in municipal government following the Act, so implementation in Leeds must have occurred in 1837-8.
It was almost instantaneous according to Burt and Grady, “The Illustrated History of Leeds”, 1994, who state that:
“When the reformed Leeds Corporation or council met for the first time in December 1835….”

The fate of the Leicester Waits’ badges:
One of the most unusual sales that James Windram conducted was that of selling the Corporation Plate in 1836. The new Reform Council had just been elected and one of their first actions was to rid themselves of all signs of the corrupt ways of the old Tory Corporation and to this end they decided to sell off all the ‘paraphernalia and appurtenances which symbolized the dignity and extravagance of the old order’.
Commencing on Wednesday 27 January at 10 o’clock ‘to the minute’ the sale took place in a crowded Guildhall. Examples of items that went under the hammer included a silver cup and cover, which had been presented to the Corporation by Sir Nathan Wright who had been Borough Recorder in 1680. This cup was purchased by one-time mayor James Rawson for twenty guineas. A tobacco box, which had been presented by George Bent, mayor in 1681 and founder of Bent’s Hospital, was sold for eleven pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence. The three silver waits’ collars were knocked down to William Derbyshire, a silversmith of Gallowtree Gate, for five pounds and fourteen shillings.
This comes from a page on the Leicester History website at
Alan Radford]]>

P.S. At least one of the Leicester Waits’ collars has survived and is in the museum atLeicester. Photographing it for this site is one of the many things on my list of thingsto do!
P.P.S. The photo is now in the cognizances section. C.

Winchester Waits

Dear colleagues
Following recent TV filming in Winchester by a crew from Rome, in response to an email from the British Trade delegation in Rome The Winchester Waytes has been reformed to continue an ancient tradition of music-making in the Ancient Capital ofEngland (formerly Venta Belgarum and Wintanceaster).
The 12th century Moot Horn, currently residing in the Winchester City Museum, has been replicated and is played on Ceremonial Occasions by myself or members of The Wessex Brass Quintet in partnership with The Winchester Music School at King Alfred’s College, Winchester. The City Museim Service and the Head of Tourism and I are keen to have The history of The Waytes fully documented. Any assistance, historical facts ordetails of any kind regarding the Waytes in Winchester would be gratefully received.
Many thanks for your assistance with this matter. Full details regarding the Mediaeval Moot Horn (or Warder’s Horn) may be found at .The replica which is taken to schools, colleges et al was made by David Edwards inpartnership with the Winchester City Museum Service and The Winchester Music School. Dohave a look at website.
Yours sincerely
Tim Norris BEd(Hons) LRSM
Please visit the following web sites:

Leicester Waits

The Lord Mayor of Leicester has recently appointed The Longslade Consort to be herofficial Waits. Leicester holds the record for the latest date at which Waits werefulfilling their official function. After their disbandment due to the Corporations Act of1835 (see below), they almostimmediately re-formed, and went on playing until 1947!
John Bence, Director of the Longslade Consort and Festival Director of Leicester Early Music Festival, writes:
…..when we appear as The Leicester Waits, following the Lord Mayor’s decision tooffer waits from other periods, we perform as 18th C (i.e. Baroque) Waits. The LongsladeConsort does also play indoor renaissance music – i.e. recorders, crumhorns and otherrenaissance wind, but in general what they really want is background and baroque iseasiest (and cheapest) to staff. Full details of The Longslade Consort may be found on theLeicester Early Music website: please]]>for our contact email

Soprano Shawm wanted

King’s Lynn Waites are looking for a second-hand soprano shawm in C. If you haveone for sale, contact Chris Gutteridge]]>

American Waits

My name is John Phillip Waits. I am an American who wishes to indulge in the art of the Waits and learn to play the shawm and/or recorder. If any of you can help or guide me to the path I need to follow; I am of the Cornwall, Woodbourough and Hants lineage of Waits. I have played the recorder in the past and I wish to continue my matriculation amongst the mongrel hordes of the supposed English lineage in order to differintiate myself. I seek identity amongst the liberal hordes and wish to remaina conservative bastion for all of those that follow.
John Phillip Waits

Stamford Waits Revival

Myself and another member of the King’s Lynn Waites spent a fun day in Stamford, Lincolnshire at their Town Hall open day on Saturday, 29th June. Apart from playing in the Waits gallery in the Town Hall, on the terrace outside the front door, and in the dungeons, we met a gentleman who owns a shawm and wants to revive the Stamford Waits (see his message below). Stamford is a beautiful Georgian town, steeped in history, and with a strong tradition of Waits.

Dear Chris
After seeing you at Stamford on Saturday I have decided to have ago at starting a Stamford Waites. If you can put out a message on the web I would be very grateful. I have a sop. shawm in C, bagpipes in G and a selection of recorders etc.Thank you for your help
Mike Brown Email:]]>


Follow this link that James found to see the band of the Swiss guard at theVatican, and hear their march. Shame they don’t play instruments of the same period astheir uniforms!

York Waits Website

The York Waits Website been undergoing a total re-design. New features include a page of pictures of the YorkWaits in action, a performance schedule, giving details of when and where to see and hearthe York Waits perform, and a mailing list for those who wish to be kept abreast ofdevelopments. Well worth a visit!


We have an enquiry from a certain Purple-Peg, a button collector in the USA, about a button which may interest us because a) it features a musican with mandolin, lute or other and b) among its numerous names are The Waits or The Singing Waits.
Peg writes: is from before much before I do not know…
no idea of origin..(it has no backmark) I live in Idaho but this is a common button in the U.S.A.
Button collectors have button books and like I said this button has been in those books as ..Inno & Nello…The Waits…The Singing Waits..andjust plain ..girl basket, boy mandolin.

I’ve tried to discover the meaning and significance of Inno & Nello and the best I can do is that they are Italian words meaning, respectively HYMN and IN THE, not exactly revealing.
Can anyone help to solve this puzzle?
Date? Origin: USA or Italy? Who are the characters? Is it a mandolin? Why call it The Waits?
James Merryweather [Click here to see the button]

Dear Peg,
A friend, Tony Barton, one of The York Waits with me andothers, just ‘phoned with some thoughts about that button. He has certain diverse wisdoms and knows a lot about historical clothing.

  1. Possibly early – mid 19th century?
  2. Possibly Italian?
  3. Waits/Singing Waits – possibly terms originally applied to any itinerant musician(s) when the button was popular, which is probably after the original waits (town musicians) had gone out of fashion and were abolished. The word was still around (even in the USA), used in England by carol singers, and so its meaning could well have become a lot looser than before 1835 when waits went out.
  4. Inno & Nello – Tony wonders if there is no relation to those words in their modern sense (hymn & in the) and that they may be a) derived from Italian dialect or b) are diminutions of the characters’ names (for instance Inno could be short for Innocente).

That’s all for now, but maybe somebody else will come up with more thoughts. Ihope this is progress!

Colchester Waits

James Merryweather told me I should get in touch to let you know that Britain’s oldest recorded town has an official waits group – The Colchester Town Waits. We have the Mayor’s approval to use the Town coat of arms, Town council backing and are in the process of raising cash for sponsorship.
I will forward a JPG of the Town arms and our badge in the next week or so. I will also forward some details about the revival – which actually goes back to 1974 when I founded the New Colchester Waits to perform a musical entertainment about Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General.. We are now essentially an Elizabethan group, playing music mainly from the 16/17th C – although I have plans to update the tradition for special events andnew music wirtten in the style of the time is constantly emerging from our pool of musicians. If there is anythng else I can do to help please let me know. I will keep you in touch with developments/gigs etc.
We are marching out this Saturday (22/6) to escort the Mayor and the Town Watch on the annual walk around the Town Walls and can be heard most weeks accompanying the Town Watch on Sunday Mornings at Colchester Castle.
Best regards
Phil Manchester
Master of Colchester Town Waits.

V A Austin

Hi Chris,
I gave my paper today at the University of Floridamusicology lecture series — it went very well!
One of the questions posed was about the drummer sitting near the Waites on the Lord Mayor’s barge (on the website). Folks wanted to know if there was any record of drumming with the Waites groups. I said I had found no record of anything like that, and hypothosized that the drummer in the painting might actually be beating time for the rowers…
Another question — one which I have asked myself many times, dealt with the lack of actual musical sources from the English waites repertoire. Is there anything?? Also, I found some interesting quotes in David Whitwell’s “Renaissance Wind Band and Wind ensemble.” [this has now been added to our bibliography] They aren’t on the website and I wonder if the book is available in England (I lived in Ireland for a year and found that many books commonly used here were not available there, and vice verse). I’ll be glad to send some along if you are interested (though I have not double checked the references).
Yours, Valerie [email protected]
PS…Say, why don’t we have a worldwide Waites/town band gathering? We could do it here in Florida — nice vacation spot — in St. Augustine, which is the oldest city in the US. We could aim for 2004! Think there might be some interest?

Hi, Valerie.
Will answer your points below (as best I can!) one at a time:
One of the questions posed was about the drummer sitting near the Waites on theLord Mayor’s barge. Folks wanted to know if there was any record of drumming withthe Waites groups.
From what James and I have found so far, it seems that drummers were usually employed seperately, to play with the Waits when required – i.e. in processionsparticularly. York had its own drummer and trumpeter, who were not members of the Waits,but joined forces with them when required.
I said I had found no record of anything like that, and hypothosized that the drummer in the painting might actually be beating time for the rowers…
This copy of the picture was obtained for me by my friend, David Jackson, who is an expert on ceremonial and military uniform. He says the musicians are definitely in civic robes,but the drummer looks to be in the uniform of a militia regiment. As the date is quite late for Waits (1805), he wonders if the entire band might be Militia men, and the wind players have been dressed in the old Waits coats and hats, but the drummer would have found it difficult to play in a long coat. All conjecture, of course. As in so many areas of this subject, more research is desperately needed! Waits often acted as Militia bands as well, so the whole thing is very blurred. As to beating time for the rowers, I think he would have been on the other end of the cabin roof, facing them.
Another question — one which I have asked myself many times, dealt with the lack of actual musical sources from the English waites repertoire. Is there anything??
Something we are working on, slowly! There are occasional references to Waitsplaying specific tunes, usually folk ballad tunes:- ‘Lilleburlero’, ‘Room for Company’, ‘Let Caeser LiveLong’, etc.. As far as I know, there are no specific arrangements of any tunes known tohave been played by English Waits. Then there is the vexed question of Waits’ ‘signaturetunes’. Some of these are Victorian ‘Merrie England’ pastiche, others are old tunes towhich the Victorians added mawkish words about Waits (see the ‘Waits Song – The Moon Shines Bright’in the music section). Others are 17th and 18th century tunes, but most of those are notsuitable for a Waits band, and seem to have been written about the Waits, rather than for them. One possible exception is the splendid tune, ‘The Waits’, by Jeremy Savile, 1667, which exists in its original four-part arrangement (see the music section for this, as well).
All the best, Chris.

Waits in Surrey

I was wondering whether I could ask a favour.
I am interested in starting a waits group here near Guildford in Surrey. Recently a loose coalition of players have joined me in performing as “Waits and Measures” with tunes from Playford onwards. Performance style is more important than re-creating the past but unfortunately this group is not their first commitment which makes booking gigs nigh on impossible.
Would it be possible to use your website for “advertising” for other interested players in the Surrey area, with a view to starting a waits group. I don’t intend to ally it to a particular town for the present but do want to present a wind/drum band costumed initially in 1630’s style.
Can you help?
regards and keep up the excellent work
Keith Knight

Leeds Waits Wassail

Attached is a midi file of the Leeds Waits Wassail, aninteresting modal relative of a standard carol, which stays in 6:8 throughout, whichshould be added to your colletion of tunes associated with waits. Actually, if youlook in A&M for the standard version with the 4:4 second section, the name of the tuneis given as “Leeds”. The earliest published source of the tune I’m aware of is about 1800, but the tune sounds much older.
Regards, Al

Here’s a good onefor you:

The Shalme and musicke, resemble the mirth and melody of Angels.
[from The Meaning of Yule in Yorke. Bodleian ms. vet. A1 a.5(1). c. 1570]

New Pages

This site is growing so rapidly that we are having to keep re-thinking it as we go along. To stop this page filling up too quickly, and making it impossible to see the wood for thetrees, (see the number of ‘new’ tags on the index above!) I have started a ‘latest additions to the site‘ page, which will be the best place to start for regular visitors. This Notes & Queries page will continue to be used forodd snippets of information, and questions for which people are seeking an answer, so keepcoming back here as well so that you don’t miss anything! For the first-time visitor, wenow have a welcome page which explains what we’re about,and the basic structure of the site.

Norwich Lysard

See the Photographs page for pictures of the Lysard kept at Strangers Hall, Norwich (a Medieval merchant’s house with a musicians’ gallery and a glorious accoustic). This instrument is said to have belonged to the Norwich Waits in 1608.

P.S. Also at Norwich: Was just looking at this found:
The Music House in King Street is the oldest domestic dwelling in Norwich. It was built in 1175 by Isaac Jurnet, a wealthy Jewish merchant and money-lender, and was used by the City Waits for music rehearsals from the 16th to the 18th century. It is now part of Wensum Lodge, an adult education centre. Nearby Dragon Hall is the only medieval merchant’s trading hall known to survive in western Europe.

Municipal Corporations Act

James and I have for some time been trying to pin down this elusive legislation, which is important to us as it marked the end of Waits as town and city officers. Apart from anything else, the date is variously given as 1835 or 1836. Below are the results of James’ recent research:

Chris, I’ve attached a document with some search results. Also a rather fine, ancient watchman.
I had a hunt in the Morrell Library and leafed through many dusty pages of the Commons Journals where there are loads of references to our act which is properly called

An Act to provide for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations in England and Wales
or, abbreviated in the margin
Municipal Corporations Bill

5 June 1835
Lord John Russell presented a Bill to provide for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations in England and Wales : And the same was read for the first time; and ordered to be read a second time upon Monday the 15th day of this instant June.
Ordered, that the Bill be printed.

15-16 June 1835
Second reading.

22 June 1835
A petition of Freemen and Inhabitants of York were presented and read; taking notice of the Municipal Corporations Bill; and praying, That the same may pass into law. [Also other towns and cities incl. Lincoln, Bath, Beverley in this entry. There are lots of entries like this one, and I expect King’s Lynn was there somewhere, but I missed it.]

York’s response can be read in the council records of 1836 and 1837.
The number of City Waits was formerly five, but is now reduced to two, the vacancies occasioned by death not having been supplied. Mr Christophee Brown and Mr Daniel Hardman are thesurvivors. Their salaries are £4 per annum each, with Livery Coats and Hats found once insix years, the expense whereof has averaged £1:1:0 per annum each.
Your Committee are of the opinion that the Waits and the Tipstaves may be dispensed with, and they recommend those offices to be abolished.
8th February 1836
Resolved…. that bonds be given under the Common Seal to Mr Daniel Hardman and Mt Christopher Brown, late City Waits, for securing the payment of an Annuity of £2:13:4 to each of them, for his life, being compensations directed by the Lords of the Treasury to be paid to them respectively for the loss of their said office.
13thFebruary 1837

I failed to find a copy of the bill itself and will have to try harder, but objections and ammendments occur well into 1836. My question is at what point did the bill become law, and I guess it was some time in 1835 but I haven’t located it.
Only a few search results gave the bill as being in 1836, most gave 1835. If only I could find that definitive date when the bill was first passed and became law.


James and I have just come back from a day in Stamford, Lincolnshire, where we were made very welcome by the Mayor and his staff at the Town Hall. We saw and photographed the six Waits’ badges for the Cognizances page, I tried out the Waits’ Gallery in the main hall, and we had a quick look through the archives, ably assisted by the ‘ex-officio archivist’, Bob. We found a heap of Waits history, which will find its way onto the site in due course. To start with, have a listen to the ‘Bull Tune’, which was played by the Waits at the Stamford Bull Run.

Norwich Waits

Norwich has had an excellent revival band of Waits for some time, and I have now made contact with them. Follow the link on our Extant Bands page for details.

Worcester Waits

I just turned up the following entry from The Chamber Order Book of Worcester for 17 November 1642:
“It is ordered that John Browne and his companie of musicians called the waites be suppressed from playing of their instruments about the citty in the morning, and that they may not expect any recompence for their paynes and that the chamberlaynes are desired to give notice to them of this order.”
The modern source is Worcester Historical Society New Series, vol 8, “The Chamber Order Book of Worcester 1602-1650”, ed. Shelagh Bond (1974).
There is no other mention of waites or music in the whole volume.
Regards, Allan Radford (Leeds Waits)

Shawm fingering

Hans Mons recently received an enquiry via his Dulcian List about fingering for a Moeck soprano shawm. Below is his reply, which may prove of interest to other shawm players:
Suppose this is a c soprano shawm. The usual fingering for d’ on a c soprano is 123 456- with a leaking 1. The all open note is either close to c’ or to c#’. A first approximation to a soprano shawm fingering chart is:
C:  123 4567
C#: 123 456/
D:  123 456-
Eb: 123 45/-
123 45-7
E:  123 45–
F:  123 4-5-
F#: 123 4–7
123 -5–  Sometimes with a “shaded” 4 if it is a little sharp
G:  123 —-
G#: 12- 4—
A:  12- —-
Bb: 1-3 —-
B:  1– —-
C:  -1- –6-
-1- —-
— –6-
— —-
c#: -23 4567  or anything in between these two with an open 1
— —-
d:  /23 456-  / is not a half hole here, just some leakage
eb: 123 45/-
123 45-7
e:  123 45–
f:  123 4-6-
123 4—
f#: 123 -5–
123 4–7
g:  123 —-
g#: 12- 4—
a:  12- —-
bb: 12- 456-
1-3 —-
b:  1-3 45–
1– —-
c:  1– 45–
-2- —-
To join the Dulcian List, and for masses of information on dulcians (curtals) and otherearly double reed instruments, visit Hans’ splendid Dulcian website:


I was idly leafing through the Katalog of the Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen (you know, the way one does) when I came across the whole page of the trumpeter I’ve known as just the picture for ages in a book of copyright free images – no source given.
Turns out to be a print by Jost Ammann (1568), a Swiss artist (1539-1591). What has always impressed me is the instrument case at his feet which shows him to have been a player of numerous wind instruments, in fact he might be some sort of Stadtpfeifer as well as Imperial Trommeter!
The title is Imperatoris tubicen.Feldtrometer. with a tilde (~) over the ‘m’ implying a repeated letter: Feldtrommeter. There’s a load of text too, in latin, here with a translation into German. I’ll extract the text.
There are four similar instrument cases (known to have belonged to the stadspijpers) in Bruges which I must put together as another feature of the website like cognizances and coats, and we must continue to search for other waits’ instrument cases.
We must vigorously pursue the search for a) this picture and b) the next page which is signalled in the old style by the first word of the next page: Fistu- which must mean Fistulatores or Fistulatoribus = pipers = shawm players = WAITS! I tried some web searches and found a lot of refs. to our Jost but not what we want. It seems he depicted a number of trades and folk like that.
Aye well, on with the hunt.

Waits of Berwick

News of James’ communications with Berwick re: Waits:-
‘Here’s my scan of his scan (curator Chris Green) [of the Berwick Wait, dated 1815]. His letter most encouraging and a trip to Berwick is called for! They have records from 16th C.
He says: “. . . . head of the waits from 1735 until his death in 1758 was John Oswald, formerly town drummer of Crail. His son James Oswald (1710-1769) achieved notable success in Edinburgh and London becoming a court composer”. Another famous wait relative to add to Bach and Gibbyns.
He’s sending a B& W of the original pic. of James Wallace, last of the Berwick waits [on which the print above is based – this has now arrived. Click here]. There is also a statuette, it and the pic. by John Wilson, lighthouse keeper.’
See also here

Make Your Own Trumpet

Trumpet-making workshops are taking place in Edinburgh in 2002.
The instructors, Bob Barclay and Rick Seraphinoff, are leaders in the field of historical instrument making, and have successfully run this course several times in the past. An added attraction this time is the Edinburgh Historic Musical Instrument Collection with its extensive holdings of trumpets and other brasswinds.
Arrangements have now been completed and details are now on the web at:
I can post these details by snailmail on request.
Participants should end up not only with their own playable natural trumpet, but also with a deeper appreciation of the craft of brass instrument making.
Arnold Myers
Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments
Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square, EDINBURGH EH8 9AG, U.K.

York Music

James tells me that there are now only 247 copies of this excellent book left. If you haven’t got one, hurry while stocks last! It tells the complete history of the original York Waits, as well as other prominent York musicians, and throws light on a lot of general Waits subjects. It’s also an excellent read.
Merryweather, James W (1988). York Music. York, Sessions Book Trust. ISBN 1 85072 034 7. Available via the internet: Update available from this site. Click here.


James has started to photograph Waits’ cognizances for the site,to replace the old black and white photos we are presently using, and we met the other day in Lincoln to photograph the Wait’s chain and scutcheon in the Stonebow there. This lead us to the Lincolnshire archives, to see what we could find. James has since discovered that James Stokes has been very busy on all the Lincolnshire Waits. He has already published (1998). The waits of Lincolnshire. Early Theatre. 1: 75-111, and is putting the finishing touches to a Lincolnshire entry in R.E.E.D. Records of Early English Drama as well as other articles.
In view of all this, James and I returned to the archives and spent a day concentrating on the later Lincoln Waits, which are outside James Stokes’ remit. We were delighted to discover that four Waits were still employed by Lincoln CityCouncil in 1836 when the Corporations Act, which abolished Waits, came into force. Much more remains to be done here, as elswhere!
Chris Gutteridge.

Early Spring Clean

The Waits Website has been having an early spring clean. Notes & Queries and the Pictures page have been tidied up and sub-divided to make them less cumbersome as they grow ever bigger. Have a look at the splendid action picture of The York Waits on the march on the new photographs page.
Also new are the page of quotes on Christmas Waits, the first item in our essays section, the section on music and the collection of James Merryweather’s spreadsheets. All these new sections are destined for vast expansion when we can find the time to gather the information together and convert it into the right formats, so keep returning for updates, or join the mailing list to be kept informed by emailing]]>[email protected]. Happy New Year!
Chris Gutteridge.

Internet Score Exchange Library

Philip Perry is working on a scheme for the free exchange of none-copyright music, or music where the copyright holder is happy for its free exchange, over the internet – especially early music. The idea is still at an early stage, but examples can be found at his website Philip writes:-
“I would be grateful if you could mention the ISEL scheme to any of your musical friends or contacts if you think they might be interested. The advertising budget is precisely £0! If the ISEL scheme is a useful thing it will grow and succeed… if not, well no harm is done – except a gentle hissing from a deflating ego. 🙁
Best regards, Philip Perry.”

Make your own Dulcian or Curtal!

Dear all,
For those interested to make their own dulcian. In January and April Eric Moulder will again give workshops in making early wind instruments. Information can be found on Have fun,
Hans Mons

International Guild of Town Pipers

Following on from the recent very successful meeting between The York Waits and de stadspijpers van ‘s-Hertogenbosch (see archive 2001) it has been decided that all bands who are re-creations of the Medieval and Renaissance town or city wind bands of Britain and Europe should be invited to join the International Guild of Town Pipers. Details are not available yet, but advantages would include the exchange of ideas and knowledge, a link or contact details from the Waits Website, and the opportunity to take part in a planned gathering of bands. If you have a band which you think fits the criteria, please get in touch.