Píobaire, An, Volume 9, Issue 5, Page 26

Píobaire, An, Volume 9, Issue 5, Page 26
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
An Píobaire
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Píobaire, An 9 5 26 20131126 26 control of Westminster. 16 Within a few years, in 1793, the pipes were being referred to in the Dublin newspapers as ‘our favourite national in- strument’. 17 One other musician who played at Castletown may have been a piper. On 16 August 1800 a harper with a German surname, Henry Gieselar, was paid £3/8/3 for ‘Music, & playing on the Harp at the Dances in Castletown’, and on the same day there a Patrick Gallaher was paid £1/2/9 for likewise ‘playing at the Dances’ on an unspecified instrument. On the slender grounds only that by 1800 it had become com- mon for Irish pipers in London to play with Ger- man harpers, 18 and that the Conollys (or Gieselar) may have wished to follow this fash- ion, Gallaher may have been a piper playing be- tween dances with the harper. 19 There is one other Castletown piping connection. Louisa Conolly’s older sister Emily, married to James Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare and later Duke of Leinster, was the mother of the United Irish- man Lord Edward Fitzgerald, who died aged 34 in 1798 from wounds received while being arrested in Dublin for treason. The Conollys and Fitzger- alds were neighbours in Kildare and Dublin and the families were close. Edward Fitzgerald was the owner of a set of ivory Egan bellows pipes. 20 Whether he was himself a player, like many other young men of fashion, or had simply bought the pipes because of his national and democratic sym- pathies is not known. With thanks to the staffs of the Irish Architectural Archive and Trinity College Dublin Manuscripts and Archives Research Library. Irish Traditional Music Archive NOTES 1 I am obliged to David Griffin, Director of the Irish Ar- chitectural Archive, for informing me in 2011 that fid- dlers, pipers and other musicians are mentioned in the Castletown accounts. An illuminating study by Karol Mullaney-Dignam which utilises the accounts – Music and Dancing at Castletown, County Kildare, 1759– 1821 – has since been published (Maynooth Studies in Local History Number 98, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2011). See also Patrick Walsh & A.P.W. Malcomson, The Conolly Archive, Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 2010. 2 Trinity College Dublin MS 3955, f. 89r, 26 Dec. 1783. 3 TCD MS 3955, f. 78r, Christmas quarter 1782. 4 TCD MS 3955, f. 34r. 5 TCD MS 3955, f. 43r. 6 TCD MS 3955, f. 46r. 7 TCD MS 3955, f. 58r. 8 TCD MS 3955, f. 62r. 9 TCD MS 3955, f. 70r. 10 TCD MS 3955, f. 141r. This would be a payment for Christmas 1785. Another set of accounts (TCD MS 3956, f. 2v) seemingly has another entry for this event: 18 March 1786, ‘To the Piper, at X’mas’, £5/13/9. 11 See Nicholas Carolan, ‘McDonnell’s Uilleann Pipes’, Ceol. A Journal of Irish Music, vol. VI, no 2 (Apr. 1984): 59–61; Keith Sanger, ‘Mr McDonnell’, An Píobaire vol. 4, no 37 (Sept. 2006): 22–4; Nicholas Carolan, ‘Courtney’s “Union Pipes” and the Terminol- ogy of Irish Bellows-Blown Bagpipes’, www.itma.ie, 14 May 2012: 28, 42. 12 More typical entries are ‘Paid Meehan the Fidler for Servants Ball’ (TCD MS 3953, f. 62r, Sept. 1772), ‘To Higgins the Fiddler’ (TCD MS 3955, f. 11r, 26 Dec. 1778), and ‘for Crawley the Fiddler’ (TCD MS 3956, f. 42r, 9 Apr. 1790). 13 Nicholas Carolan, ‘Cutting a Dash: Uilleann Pipes in the 1760s and 1770s’, An Píobaire vol. 4, no 35 (May 2006): 18–23. 14 Carolan 2012: 24. 15 It may be significant that the first mention of the exis- tence of a regulator for the pipes comes from the 1780s and from Kildare (Carolan 1984: 61). 16 These efforts succeeded in 1782, with the establish- ment of the so-called ‘Grattan’s parliament’, and be- long to an associated period of cultural nationalism which included musical activity. 17 Carolan 2012: 37. 18 Denis Courtney had begun the fashion there in 1791 with the German harpers Charles Meyer and John Er- hardt Weippert. John Murphy and P. O’Farrell also played with Weippert, and O’Farrell also with a harper Duchatz (see Carolan 2012: 30–62 passim). 19 TCD MS 3941: f. 330—1. Gieselar signed his name; Gallaher made his mark. 20 Seán Donnelly, ‘Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s Pipes’, Ceol. A Journal of Irish Music, vol. VI, no 1 (Apr. 1983): 7–11.
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An Píobaire, Volume 9, Issue 5

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