Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/602

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worship of God Do Ordain That all representations of the Trinity, or any Angel etc., etc. in and about any Cathedral, Collegiate or Parish Church or Chapel shall be taken away, defaced and utterly demolished, etc. etc.

And that all organs and the frames and cases wherein they stand in all Churches and Chapells aforesaid shall be taken away and utterly defaced, and none other hereafter set up in their places.

And that all Copes, Surplices, superstitious Vestments, Roods, and Fonts be likewise utterly defaced etc. etc.

In consequence of this ordinance collegiate and parochial churches were stripped of their organs and ornaments; some of the instruments were sold to private persons, who preserved them; some were totally and others partially demolished; some were taken away by the clergy to prevent their being destroyed, and some few escaped injury altogether. Two extracts will be sufficient to indicate the kind of result that frequently followed on these acts of wantonness. 'At Westminster Abbey,' we are told, 'the soldiers brake down the organs and pawned the pipes at severall ale-houses for pots of ale'; while at Mr. Ferrer's house at Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire the soldiers 'broke the organ in pieces, of which they made a large fire, and at it roasted several of Mr. Ferrer's sheep, which they had killed in his grounds.'

Organs having been banished from the churches, every effort was made to discourage their use even in private houses. At a convocation in Bridgwater in 1655 the question was proposed 'whether a believing man or woman, being head of a family, in this day of the gospell, may keepe in his or her house an instrument of musicke playing on them or admitting others to play thereon?' The answer was 'It is the duty of the saintes to abstaine from all appearance of evil, and not to make provision for the flesh to fulfill ye lusts thereof.'

Among the organs that nevertheless escaped destruction or removal were those of St. Paul's, York, Durham, and Lincoln Cathedrals; St. John's College, Oxford; Christ's College, Cambridge, etc. Cromwell himself had some love of music, and 'made provision for the flesh' by having the 'double organ,' which Evelyn heard in the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford, in July 1654, taken down and removed to Hampton Court, where it was placed in the great gallery, and frequently played upon, to Cromwell's great content. In 1660 (the date of the Restoration) it was returned to the college; £16 10s. being paid for its transference thither.

During the sixteen years that elapsed between the date of the ordinance already quoted and that of the Restoration, most of the English organ-builders had been dispersed, and compelled to work as ordinary joiners, carpenters, etc.; so that at the expiration of the period just mentioned, there was, according to Sir John Hawkins, 'scarce an organ-maker that could be called a workman in the kingdom,' excepting the Dallams (three brothers); Thamar of Peterborough, concerning whom however nothing is known; Preston of York, who repaired the organ in Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1680—and who, among other doings, according to Renatus Harris (1686), spoiled one stop and several pipes of another; and Henry Loosemore of Exeter, who built the organ in the cathedral of that city. Inducements were therefore held out to encourage artists from the continent to settle in this country; and among those who responded to this invitation were a German, Bernhardt Schmidt, known as 'Father Smith,' with his two nephews, Christian and Gerard; and Thomas Harris, an Englishman, who had taken refuge in France during the troublous times, together with his son Renatus, a young man of great ingenuity and spirit.

Smith and the Dallams had for some years the chief business of the kingdom, the Harrises not receiving an equal amount of encouragement; but on the death of Robert and Ralph Dallams, in 1665 and 1672 respectively, and of the elder Harris shortly after, Renatus Harris became a formidable rival to Smith.

Smith seems to have settled at once in London, was appointed 'organ-maker in ordinary' to King Charles II, and put into possession of apartments in Whitehall, called in an old plan of the palace 'The Organ-builder's Workhouse.' The Harrises appear to have taken up their abode at 'Old Sarum,' but on the death of the father, Renatus removed to the metropolis.

In order to follow the narrative of the successive improvements that were effected in organ-building in England, it is necessary to bear in mind that the instruments made in this country previous to the civil wars consisted of nothing beyond Flue-stops of the Foundation species with the exception of the Twelfth;—no Mixtures, Reeds, nor Doubles, and no Pedals. To illustrate the gradual progress from this starting ground, a description will now be given of a series of representative organs, the accounts of which are derived from sources not now generally accessible, including notices of many historical instruments which, since the time of their original construction, have either been much altered or removed altogether.

1660. Banqueting Boom, Whitehall.

Bernhard Schmidt (Father Smith).

Compound and Flue stops, and Echo.

Smith, immediately on his arrival, was commissioned to build an organ for the Banqueting Room, Whitehall, not for the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, as is generally stated. The Chapel Royal, where Pepys attended on July 8, 1660, and 'heard the organs for the first time in his life,' stood east of the present chapel, and was destroyed 'by that dismal fire on Jany 4th, 1697.' The Banqueting Room was not used as a Chapel Royal until 1715.

From the haste with which Smith's first English organ was put together, it did not in some respects quite come up to all expectations; but it nevertheless contained a sufficient number of novelties beyond the contents of the old English specifica-