Historical Images of Waits – Undated

On This Page:

17th century Waits
18th century waits
18th century Oboe and Bassoon Band
19th century Christmas Waits
Anthony of Dornstatt
Johan Ambrosius Bach
J S Bach
Carfax Conduit
Doncaster Mansion House
Dunmow Flitch
A Florentine Wedding
Gabriel Schütz
Gawthorpe Hall
German Stadtpfeifers
King Henry VIII’s Wind Band
Bartholomew Johnston, Scarborough Wait
James Livingstone, town piper of Haddington
Geordy Sime of Dalkeith

Portrait understood to be James Livingstone, town piper of Haddington

James Livingstone was an old soldier, said to have fought at the battle of Fontenoy (1745); he secured a position as Haddington Town Piper, one of the town officers. This painting is one of the few detailed illustrations of such a functionary.
This is a gilt wood and plaster framed oil on canvas. The subject is the upper body of a man wearing a jacket and Highland bonnet, carrying lowland pipes under his arm. 1907 auction note on the reverse.
In the eighteenth century most Scottish lowland towns employed both a piper and drummer. Both had the duty of patrolling the streets whilst playing to rouse the townsfolk in the morning (at 4am) and at 8 pm to signal a reasonable time for going to bed. The practice fell away as watches and clocks became more widespread.
East Lothian Museum, acquisition Number – 2000.293

Anthony of Dornstätt

The man with the banner is the Emperor’s personal fifer, Anthony of Dornstätt.

This picture is one of the woodcuts commissioned by Emporer Maximilian I in 1512, to preserve the memory of his reign.
Over half of the original 135 woodcuts were created by German painter and printer Hans Burgkmair,
who worked on this project for over 10 years.

The youthful Johann Sebastian Bach (1605 – 1750)

Anonymous portrait at the Erfurt Museum

The Dunmow Flitch

See Notes & Queries for further details.

Three German Stadtpfeifers

Gottfried Reiche (1667-1734)   Georg Abraham Schneider (1770-1839)   Johann Schop (1590-1664)

See the History section for more information.

Les stadtpfeiffers de Germersheim

A drawing entitled “Les stadtpfeiffers de Germersheim” from a web page which has now expired, playing soprano and alto shawms, cornetto and curtal, which suggests that such a group must exist or must have existed recently. Germersheim is in the Rhineland Palatinate, very close to the French border, so that may explain why the image is on a French site.
See Notes & Queries for more information.

Carfax Conduit, Oxford

Carfax Conduit
See Oxford in the history section for further details

Geordy Sime, Piper of Dalkeith

Geordy Sime
See Notes & Queries for details of him and other bagpiping Waits.

This picture dates from 1789 and the artist was John Kay.

Town Drummers

Doncaster Mansion House Ballroom

See Photos page for present-day pictures.
See also Galleries page for comments.

Musicians at a Florentine Wedding

(mid-fifteenth century)

King Henry VIII’s Wind Band

in the musicians’ gallery at Hampton Court, by Holbein

De pijpers op de Sint-Kruispoort te Brugge

A panel from a carved wooden lectern in the Bieck Museum, Poland.

Gawthorpe Hall

The 17th century musicians’ gallery in the dining room of Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire.

17th Century Waits

Waits playing three hautboys and a sackbut, from a drawing in London & Westminster Prints and Drawings Volume II, Pepys Library, Magdalen College, Cambridge.

A typical 18th c. waits band

of 3 oboes & 2 bassoons, just as in York”

(see Notes & Queries)

An 18th c. Oboe and Bassoon Band

provenance unknown

Another 18th century band

“I think it’s very important, though perhaps not of waits. I lost the source. I’ve removed some horn players to use the picture elsewhere. Perhaps we could ask website folk to try and find the original or a properly labelled copy in a book.” James Merryweather.
STOP PRESS! See Notes & Queries for the answer to James’ prayer!

Gabriel Schütz (1633-1710)

stadtpfeiffer of Nuremberg, apparently described by Johann Mattheson in Das neu-eröffnete Orchestre (Hamburg, 1713) as: “one of the greatest masters of his time in the Holy Roman Empire”.

gabriel schütz

Johan Ambrosius Bach

Father of J S Bach. See Notes & Queries and The Bach Family

Johan Ambrosius Bach

Bartholomew Johnston, Scarborough wait 1710 – 1814


Two portraits, one when he must be in his 70s and another post 100 years.
See Notes & Queries for more details.

Christmas Waits

“Great Northern Christmas” by J. Keith Proud, Discovery Guides Limited, Middleton in Teesdale, 1983, ISBN 0 86309 009 5. The book doesn’t provide attributions.

Baffled VengeanceClaypod Waits