1712. St. Magnus, London Bridge. Jordan.
The first Swell.
In 1712 the Jordans (Abraham, sen. and jun.) built an organ for the church at the opposite end of London Bridge to St. Saviour's, namely St. Magnus, which deserves special notice as being the first instrument that contained a Swell. This organ also had four sets of keys, the fourth no doubt being a counterpart of the third (Echo) but 'adapted to the act of emitting sounds by swelling the notes,' so that passages played with expression could be contrasted with those played without. A list of the stops in the Swell has not been preserved; but we know from those subsequently made, that its compass and capacity must have been very limited, though sufficient to illustrate the importance of the improvement.
1716. St. Chad's, Shrewsbury.
Swell and Choir on one Manual.
Four years after the invention of the Swell, in 1716, Thomas Schwarbrook adopted a device in his organ at St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, which afterwards became a veiy favourite one with the builders of the last century, namely, that of attaching to the choir manual a few treble stops enclosed in a swell-box. This, in a small way, foreshadowed the combination 'swell to choir' which remains a frequent and favourite one to this day. The Echo organ contained a 'Flageolet,' the earliest example that we have met with.
|Great organ. 13 stops.|
|4.||Octave to middle C.|
|8.||Lesser Tierce (19).|
|Choir organ. 6 stops.|
|14.||Open Diapason, to middle C.|
|17.||Flute, to middle C.|
|19.||Trumpet, to middle C.|
|Nos. 14 and 19 were enclosed as a Swell, and the box was opened by a pedal.|
|Echo. 7 stops.|
|Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG, short 8ves, to D in alt, 52 notes.
Echo, middle G to in alt, 27 notes.
Drum pedal, sounding G and F♯.
Schwarbrook's masterpiece was at St. Michael's, Coventry. It originally contained a Harp, Lute, and Dulcimer; but the strings and action were so liable to get out of order that they were removed in 1763.
1722–4. St. Dionis Backchurch.
Renatus Harris, Jun.
Many Reed Stops.
This admirable organ, made by one of the fourth generation of Harrises, who died young, was remarkable for the number and excellence of its reed-stops, as well as for the general goodness of its Flue-work. [See Fluework.] This organ had several stops 'by communication,' either wholly or partially, and from different notes. The introduction of the GG♯ was an unusual feature. It appears to have been the earliest organ to contain a 'French Horn' stop. 'Tenor D' was a peculiar note for it to be terminated upon; but it nevertheless remained the standard note for special stops for many years. The Swell had no separate Principal. Where this was the case, the Principal was included in the Cornet.
|Great organ. 13 stops.|
|8.||Sesquialtera, 4 ranks||224|
|9.||Cornet to mid. C, 5 ranks||135|
|11.||French Horn to tenor D||37|
|13.||Cremona, from Choir Organ, by communication||00|
|Choir organ. 7 stops.|
|14.||Open Diapason to middle C, by communication below||27|
|15.||Stopped Diapason to gamut G, by communication below||44|
|22.||Clarion, from Great Organ, by communication||00|
|Swell organ. 1 stops.|
|25.||Cornet, 4 ranks||128|
|Compass, Gt. and Chr. GG with GG♯ to D in alt, 56 notes.
Swell, Fiddle G to D in alt, 32 notes.
1726. St. Mary Redclif, Bristol.
First Octave Coupler.
In 1726 John Harris and John Byfield, sen. erected a fine and imposing-looking organ for the church of St. Mary Redcliff, Bristol, which had a '16ft. speaking front.' The compass of this instrument was in some respects unusually complete, the Great Organ descending to CCC, including CCC♯, and the Choir Organ going down to GG with GG♯; the Swell consisted of the unusual number of nine stops. Four of the Stops in the Great Organ descended to GG only; and one of the open Diapasons had stopped-pipes to the last four notes. There was 'a spring of communication' attached to the Great Organ, by which CC was made to act on the CCC key, and so on throughout the compass. The Redcliff organ therefore contained the first 'octave coupler' that was ever made in England; in fact, the first coupler of any kind with which any organ in this country was provided. Some old printed accounts of this organ state that the Swell originally went to tenor C, with the lower notes of the reeds very fine; and that it was afterwards shortened to the fiddle G compass; but Mr. Vowles, organ-builder of Bristol, who a few years ago reconstructed the organ, and had all its original mechanism under his eye, assures the present writer that the statenent was erroneous, and probably took its rise from the circumstance that the key-maker, doubtless by mistake, made the Swell Manual down to tenor C, and that the seven extra keys were therefore allowed to remain as 'dummies.'