Jan 4

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Ann Granville, 4 January 1736-7]


To-morrow I go to the opera with Lady Chesterfield,

and on Thursday stay at home to receive Lady Sarah

Cowper and her sister Anne. [...][1]




Jan 8

[Edward Holdsworth in Horton to Charles Jennens]


I had the honour to dine one day this week at Ld Shaftsbury’s 2 miles from hence. His Lordship enquir’d very affectionately after you, & rejoic’d to hear of your health, and I am perswaded shew’d me greater civilities than I cou’d otherwise have expected upon yr account; So much credit it does me to have so good a friend. I had the pleasure to meet there your friend Mr Harris & his Bror. They all desire their humble service to you, and as they are zealous Handelists were extremely pleas’d to hear from you that He has so fair a prospect of having a successful winter. His Lordship proposes to be in town [1v] the latter end of next week, & hopes soon to meet you at the Opera. […][2]




Jan 8

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Ann Granville, 8 January 1736-7]


I was this morning regaled with Mr. Handel’s new

opera called Arminius, it was rehearsed at Covent

Garden; I think it is as fine a one as any he has made, as I

hope you will, ’tis to be acted next Wednesday.  From

the rehearsal I came home with my neighbour Granville!





Jan 8

[Lord Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford]

London Janry: ye 8 1736-7




[... 133v ...] there is a new Opera

at the Hay Market to night & Mr: Hamilton

says it is much worse then [sic] Siroes but he is

but an impartial Judge & was it a good he

would be for Blackening it’s Carecter; [...][4]



[Lady Lucy Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford]


LONDON, January 8, 1737.

Dear Papa,


.... My mama has been so good to give me leave

to goe to the Opera to night with Lady Anne.  ’Tis to be a

new one call’d Meropy, but the foolish Buffo’s are to be left

out which I am very glad of, but am sorry they are to have

five hundred pound a piece for acting that silly stuf two

nights, if one may beleive Mr. Hamilton.  The Opera is to

be heard but once for he says ’tis the worst that ever was

composed.  Lady Anne was last wensday at Mr. Hendle’s

house and she likes the new man much better then Conte’ [529]

who she does not at all approve of. [...][5]




Jan 11

[Lord Wentworth to Lord Strafford]

London January ye 11 1736-7


[... 135v ...] Lady

Anne Has seen the new opera at the Hay Market

& She likes it very well for there is a very fine

song of Farinelli’s own composing; Mr Handle is to have

a new opera to morrow it is call’d Armenius & Mr

Hamilton says a very fine one; [...][6]




Jan 11

[Harriet Wentworth to Lord Strafford]

London Janry 11th: 1736-7


Dear Pappa


[...] impatiance for the Kings arriveal & the

Prince was at the play two or three nights agoe and the

poepole call out crown him (as they did once before)

upon which he went directly out of the house [...]

Mr Hendle is to have a new opera [139v]

to morrow and Mr Hamilton hopes it will be very full [...][7]




Jan 13

[Anne Conolly to Lord Strafford, 13 January 173[7]]


Their [sic] is a new opera at both houses, that at the Hay Market I think a very pritty one, Mr Handle’s I haven’t heard, but Mr Hamilton says tis a miracle [“Meracle”].[8]




Jan 15

This Morning her Majesty will go to Kew; and in the Evening to the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden to hear the Opera of Arminius.




[...] Last Sunday there was a vast deal of musick at Church, too much I think, for I doubt it spoilt every body’s devotion, for there was drums and Trumpits as loud as an Oritoria. [...] They have begun to act the Buffo’s again and I believe will perform before his majesty to [531] night for the first time, for he was not at the Opera a saterday as most people thought he wou’d to show he was safely arived. [...][9]




Jan 19

To write to you of the present State of

Things in Town, and to say nothing of

Dramatick Entertainments, would be to

confess want of Taste in myself, for to arraign

your’s [sic]: We have them, Sir, of all Sorts,

or rather, we have the Places where they

should be Opera-Houses and Theatres in

abundance. As to the former, Sir, you

know, they depend entirely on the Performance,

for the Opera is a sort of Bauble [sic]

which has no intrinsick Value. The French,

in this respect, are wiser than We; they are

fond of their own Musick, and we despise

ours, though the Compositions of Purcell

are admired Abroad, and the best Judges

agree that Lawes set English better than it

is like to be set in haste. There is a

Harmony adapted to a Nation; but I should

be sorry to think that the Italian Harmony

suited ours, because I should be from thence

led to believe that the English Genius was

changed; and that, as M. Voltaire said,

the present Generation of Britons resemble

their Fore-fathers as little as the Italians do

the ancient Romans. Musick was always [43]

thought, and I am content it should be

always thought, a genteel Amusement; but

to make it the Business and Study of a

Nobleman, that, I think, is carrying it too far.

We hear little of Nero’s Virtues, or of his

Learning, though many Virtues and much

Learning he had, but of his Fiddling and

Harping, who has not heard? Themistocles

answered some-body, who wondred [sic] that he

could not play on an Instrument that was

offered him, I cannot indeed tune a Fiddle,

but of a small City I can make a great;

which, with submission to our modern

Lovers of Musick, I think the more important

Business of the two. While Italy is

cantoned out among foreign Princes, I think

its Natives cannot do better than go and

Sing, and Fiddle where-ever they can do

it with Freedom; but for the Britons, for

a Nation that holds the Ballance [sic] of Europe,

and sends her Fleets to the most distant Parts

of the World, to assert, whenever it is

disputed, her Dominion over the Main; for

the Chiefs of such a Nation to pique

themselves on being Minstrels, would be a

terrible Thing, a Scandal to themselves, and

a luckless Omen to their Country. Avert

it, Heaven! and let us turn our Eyes to a

fairest Prospect.

You know, Sir, as well as I, that the

Plays of late Years, excepting the Beggar’s

Opera and one or two more, have been a [44]

sort of weakly Children, which have just

scream’d, and died. Many have attributed

this to the want of Taste in the Town, but

I doubt that; this I am sure of, that the

Beggar’s Opera was intended to ridicule

Operas, rather than to introduce a new Sort,

which are however still more bearable than

the old, however they may be laughed at by

our Connoisseurs. True Dramatick Poetry

is certainly noble and instructive, and of

consequence ought to be encouraged; but

when Tragedy rants, or Comedy dwindles

into Farce, it ought to be condemned. The

Plays chiefly esteemed at present are old

ones, and, I believe, for the most part, as

good as any in the British Tongue. [...][10]




Jan 27 [?NS]


THURSDAY, Jan. 27.  We hear from Paris, that one of the dancers at the Opera, call’d La Salle, so remarkable for her chastity as to have obtain’d the name of Vestal, has at last surrender’d to a young English Nobleman, who was introduced to her at an Assembly in woman’s apparel, and so far insinuated himself into her favour, as to be permitted to take part of her bed.  DA.[11]




Jan 18

[Lady Lucy Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford]


LONDON, January 18, 1737.

Dear Papa,

[...] Last Sunday there was a vast deal of musick

at Church, too much I think, for I doubt it spoilt every body’s

devotion, for there was drums and Trumpits as loud as an

Oritoria. [...] They have begun to act the

Buffo’s again and I believe will perform before his majesty to [531]

night for the first time, for he was not at the Opera a saterday

as most people thought he wou’d to show he was safely

arived. [...][12]




Jan 18

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 18 January 1737]


I was at Arminius last Saturday where I had the pleasure to meet many of our

musical friends[;] Sir Wyndham Knatchbull was of the number & I think looks

very well.  Mr Handel has a much larger orquestre (I know not how to spell that

word) than last year & the loss of Castrucio is abundantly supplied by Martini

who plays immediately above Clegg where Castrucio us’d to sit.  The overture is

a very fine one & the fuge I think as far as I can tell at once hearing not unlike to

that in Admetus[;] it (the overture) ends with a minuet strain[.]  The first song is

a duet between Annibali & Strada & is but short[,] but like the whole piece in

every respect excellent & vastly pleasing.

To tell you my real opinion of Annibali I found him widely different from the

idea I had conceiv’d of him but it was on the right side that I was mistaken for he

prodigiously surpass’d my expectations.  His voice it must be confess’d is not so

good as some we have had[;] the lower noates of it are very weak & he has not

the melowness of Senesino (nor as far as I can guess) the compass[,] but the middle

part of it is clear strong & manly & very tunable.  It must be owing to the songs

in Porus being too low for him that my Couzin Hooper could imagine he sung out

of tune[,] for though I did not hear him I will venture to contradict it[,] as he is by

far a greater master of musick than any man I ever heard sing on a stage.  He is as

exact in his time as Caporali who plays the base[,] though he sings with the greatest

ease imaginable & his closes are superiour to them all (but Strada)[;] he comes

to them in the most natural rational way[,] always keeps within the air & scarce

ever makes two alike throughout the opera.  One is never in any pain about him[,]

he enters so thoroughly into what he is about both as to action as well as the song.

His action indeed is incomparable & he sings with all the passion his voice will

admitt. — Upon the whole he pleases me the best of any singer I ever heard without


I need but mention Strada’s name[,] you know her excellencies[.]  She has a

charming part.  As for Conti he sings I think better than last year in that he keeps [23]

more within his voice.  Martini has a solo upon the hautboy with only Conti

singing to it.  Indeed Martini exerts himself mightily through the whole opera.

Beard has but two[,] though two too many[,] songs for he is absolutely good for

nothing: Bertolli’s & Negri’s songs are pleasing firm compositions & they perform

them extremely well.  The base has but one song.

The opera is rather grave[,] but correct & labour’d to the highest degree & is

a favourite one with Handel.  The bases & accompaniment if possible is better

than usual.  But I fear ’twill not be acted very long.  The Town dont much admire

it.  But as my father says “Harmony is Harmony though all the world turn

Goths”, & I add, or fine gentlemen.  This delightfull peice of musick will come out

by the middle of next month at the same price to subscribers as Atalanta was &

under Mr Handel’s inspection.  I am afraid I have tired you already but I cannot

leave this agreable subject without repeating my commendations of the opera: I

think there is rather more variety & spirit in it than in any of the preceeding ones

& tis admirably perform’d.  There is a life & vigour in Annibali I am sure you will

like.  Experto credite quo turbine torqueat hastam? may be applicable to him with

regard to the vigour of his action. . . . Most people (not Sir Wyndham[,] Mr

Jennens &c) are of a quite different opinion as to Annibali &c from myself but

when you come you will determine it.

P:S Mr Handel has just this minute been with me[;] he is in high spirits and tells

me he has now ready & compleated two more operas & can have something else

this winter besides if there is occasion.[13]




Jan 27

[Edward Holdsworth in Winton to Charles Jennens]


[…] as I look upon his Ldship [Lord Shaftesbury] to be a man without guile I must give credit to him, & think him sincere in his professions. Perhaps he may not quite reach to the same standard in Politicks, but he seems to me to be a very virtuous good man, and values you as such. And I have reason to believe, from the little conversation I had wth him, that He wou’d be very glad to cultivate a more intimate friendship wth you.

I am very sorry to hear that Mr Handel has had no better success; but our tast[e] is vitiated in ev’ry thing, & musick must bear it’s share; nor can it be expected yt Handel [1v] and Hurlothrumbo shou’d both be admir’d in the same age. If your spleen does not rise high enough to attack them, I wish Mr. Pope wou’d. He might find Heroes enough amongst the Directors, and I doubt not but you cou’d furnish him with sufficient materials.[14]




Feb 5

[Earl of Egmont’s Diary, Saturday 5 February 1736-7]


I dined at home and then went to Drury Lane Playhouse, where

I was agreeably entertained with a new farce of one act, called

“King John and the Miller,” wrote by a bookseller in Pall Mall,

who was formerly a footman.  It is chiefly a satire on the Court

and courtiers and gives good lessons to Kings.  The Prince when

he saw it was much pleased and gave public approbation of it.[15]




Feb 7

[Earl of Egmont’s Diary, Monday 7 February 1736-7]


In the evening I visited [my] son Hanmer, and found him so well

that he was in the morning at the rehearsal of Handel’s new opera.

But all this is the flattery of his distemper.[16]




Feb 7

[Lord Chamberlain’s Records]


These are &c. to Mr: Christop[her] Shrider Organ Maker in Ordinary to His Majesty

the Summ of One Hundred Sixty Three Pounds for taking down the great Organ in

St. James’s Chapel and for provid[in]g a new Organ and placeing the same over the

Altar for the Marriage of the Prince of Wales; Also for mending and repairing the old

Organ and putting it up again after the Marriage and taking down the new One, as

appears by a Bill of particulars hereunto annexed Certifyed by Mr: Bern[ar]d Gates

Tuner of the Regals.  And &c. Given &c. this 7th: Day of Feb[rua]ry 1736/7. in the

Tenth Year of His Maj[es]ty’s Reign. {613}

To the Lord Hobart &c.                                              Grafton

Marginal entry: Mr: Shrider for the Use of an Organ for the Marriage of the Prince of

Wales & for mending and repairing the Old One

s  d





Feb 7


Feb. 7, 173[7].                                                            J. B.


A Modern Polite CONVERSATION, between Miss COURTLY, Miss FIDGET, Mr. SPRITELY, Miss TRIFLE, Miss EDGING, and Miss WELDON.


            Fidg.  [...] Oh! Miss Trifle, when are you and I to go to the new Opera?  Will you go next saturday?

            Trif.  Lord!  Mem, I have seen it.

            Fidg.  Indeed! and how do you like it?

            Trif.  Oh! most violently! the finest Thing!—’tis full of Adagio.

            Fidg.  Oh! that dear Adagio!—I am charm’d with the Adagio, ’tis so quick and nimble; and keeps up one’s spirits—I detest any thing dull—Lord! what do you think I heard last night?

            Trif.  Lord! what? I don’t know.

            Fidg.  Tho’ I swear, I don’t believe there’s any thing in it.

            Trif.  Well! but what?

Fidg.  Why, that Farinelli is going away.

            Trif.  Oh, good God!  I hope not—I would not have him go, without seeing him once more in * Arti sursi for all the world.

            Fidg.  Oh! there is the sweetest Song in that dear Opera, that begins Sunkinevi chitati.

            Sprite.  Oh! that’s Miss Fairlove’s favourite Song; she’s always humming it.

            Fidg.  Lord! Mr. Spritely, she can’t sing—I never heard any body make such a terrible noise in my life.

            Sprite.  I assure you, Mem, she learns of Dr. Pepusch; he comes home to her three times a week.

            Fidg.  Indeed! well, I think the money, and time too, are thrown away upon her—— [...]


            Edg.  Pray have you heard the new singer?

            Fidg.  No, but I will to morrow [sic] night; pray, how do you like him?

            Edg.  I don’t know—so, so—I don’t think him so good as Conti.

            Fidg.  Lord!  I heard a Gentleman say last night, that understands music very well, that he’s better than Conti; what do you think, Mr. Spritely?

            Sprite.  Oh! no, indeed, Mem, not so well as Conti.

            Edg.  Do you understand music, Mr. Spritely.

            Sprite.  Oh! nothing to speak of, Mem.

            Fidg.  Yes, indeed, Mr. Spritely plays very finely upon the German flute; he learns of Weediman.

            Edg.  Lord!  That is a dear creature, that Weediman.

            Fidg.  Oh! but Martini is my favourite, the fine haut-boy.

            Edg.  Oh! no; I like Jemmy Nani best—I heard that Mr. Handel should say, that he thought Jemmy Nani the best violin in the world.[18]




Feb 19

[Mr. Pennington to Mrs Catherine Collingwood in Bath]


[19th Feb. 1736-7.]


[...] Partys run high in musick, as

when you shone among us. Mr. Handel has not due

honour done him, and I am excessively angry about

it, which you know is of vast consequence.[19]




Mar 3

            On Thursday last there was a very numerous Assembly at the Opera-House in the Hay-Market; it’s reckon’d there were about 1200 Ladies and 300 Gentlemen. […][20]




Mar 8

[Mrs. Ann Granville to her mother Mrs. Granville, 8 March 1737]


[...] Penny and I extremely long for [meeting you at Cotswold],

notwithstanding the allurements of the operas, ridottos, etc.  Music

is certainly a pleasure that may be reckoned intellectual,

and we shall never again have it in the perfection it is

this year, because Mr. Handel will not compose any more!

Oratorios begin next week, to my great joy, for they are

the highest entertainment to me. [...][21]




Mar 12

[“Died”] In Catherine-street, Mr. John Walsh, Musick-printer and Instrument-maker to his Majesty, which place he had resigned some time since to his son.  DP.——On saturday, in his 71st year.  DJ.  G.——Said to have died worth 20,000 l.  LP.[22]




Mar 15

[Edward Holdsworth in Winton to Charles Jennens]


[…] I am sorry Mr Handel is like to be a sufferer notwithstanding all the pains he has taken to please; and yt he must be convinc’d by such dear-bought experience what a perverse, stupid, & incorrigible race of mortals we are. He wou’d do very well I think to ly quiet for a year or two, and then I am perswaded yt his enemies will sink of course, and many of them will court him as much as now they oppose him. What has min’d our Dissenters, but letting them alone, & leaving them to their own Stupidity? Disputing [1v] with them kept up their perverse spirits, and was the chief support of their faction. But I am chiefly concern’d for you, for I fear whilst Handel retires you’l have the Hyp. And that is of more consequence than all the musick in the world to

Dear Sr.

Your most affectionate humble Servt.

E Holdsworth.[23]






            THO’ the following ORATORIO is in several curious Hands, it is not Publick; therefore if you have the same Opinion of its Merit with me, you’ll oblige your numerous Readers therewith the first Opportunity.

                                                Yours,              G.S.




[index: “by Mr Hoadley, not by Mr Burnet”]

Set to Musick by Dr GREENE.


[JEPHTHA, / AN ORATORIO. / In TWO PARTS. / Composed by Dr. GREENE.][24]




Apr 14


Being the Feast Day of the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy, the Stewards collected in the Church 114l. 14s. and in the Hall 437l. 10s.  At the Rehearsal of the Anthem, Musick, &c. perform’d at St. Paul’s on Tuesday the 12th, the Collection amounted to 282l. 13s. which is more than was collected at the Doors last Year by 46l. 6s. 6d.  The whole Collection amounts to 834l. 17s.[25]




Apr ?15

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, ?15 April 1737]


I am extremely obliged to you for letting me see the ingenious performance

inclosed in your letter. . . . Your observation on the inferiority of musick to either

of its sister arts, & especially to poetry in respect of imitation, or rather I would

say description (for immediate imitation, or what can be represented of a minute

of time, indeed painting excells them both in) but I speak of description, is, I

think, to be illustrated for instance, in the complaint many persons even of judgment

have made that Mr Handel has fallen short of the spirit of the Ode in setting

it to musick: which mistake arises entirely from the not considering the superiority

of the one to the other art as to description, which I conceive to take in many

complex & different ideas in the same space of time; & I conceive it to be impossible

for any kind of musick to seperate or decompound ideas at least foreign to

itself. — Tho’ I know very well that the base part of musick raises or gives us at

the same time other ideas or coincides with the treble in point of time: but I only

mention this to explain (as well as I can) what I mean by different ideas not foreign

to its self.[26]




Apr 16

Spectator, April 16, 1737.  No. 445.

Of false Taste.


THere is an acquaintance of mine who thinks himself, and would be thought by others, to be a man of taste and breeding; but whether a ridiculous pride is not construed into taste, you may judge from his following character:

            Will. Wronghead, with a very little fortune, and less understanding; with little knowledge of the world, but great acquaintance with persons, an immoderate ambition of being thought polite, and to have an elegancy in his taste: to fix his character as a man of taste, he talks of none but of lords and persons of distinction as his intimates, and is as prone to belie their acquaintance as he is to [236] make false reports of ladies favours; without the least ear for musick he is a prodigious connoiseur [sic] at the operas; and though he has but a guinea in his exchequer, he will give half of it to be in the pit the first night of one of Mr. Handell’s oratorio’s; nor is he an inferior critick in dramatic poetry than he is in dramatic musick: the damning, or at least endeavouring to damn, every new play or farce that comes out is a considerable drawback from his moderate annuity: [...][27]




Apr 19

[James Harris to 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, 19 April 1737]


Your Lordships observation on the Ode is certainly very just.  People came

with an expectation that music was to give them a prospect of Persepolis on fire.

But this indeed was to expect pomegranates from an orange tree.  The tree certainly

produces fruit full as delicious, but still the fruit is nothing but oranges.  Tis

the same with music — such imitations are absolutely impossible.  And though (as

your Lordship observes) different ideas may be associated together in music (for

the ideas of a base are different from those of a treble) yet these are ideas, which

in the same scholastic way of speaking differ only as individuals of the same

species, not as those of one species from another.  And the truth indeed is that[,]

excepting it’s own narrow bounds of sound and motion, music is intirely excluded

from every other imitation.  No wonder then it should be in this excelled by

poetry, which has the spatious field of language to range in, & gather from thence

of every species conceivable.  Tis in the affecting part only that music should be

cultivated, in the raising of passions, & affections suitable to the genius of the

poem.  And here indeed it should be inquired how the artist has succeeded.  For if

he has failed here, he can have but small claim to praise.  His compositions will be

either like the light capricio’s of the present Italians, or like learned riddles, such

as the canons & deep works of the composers of the last age.

It always gives me infinite pleasure when I find a man of rank declare him self,

as your Lordship does in your letter, in favour of arts and sciences, when I see him

have courage enough to pass over that foolish pageantry at which so many stop,

and proceed to something which has a beauty and merit founded in truth and

nature.  The great are certainly of right the natural patrons of arts & sciences.

Next to a free government their countenance is the greatest happiness which can

befall them.  It is expected at their hand to bring artists into the public.  Nor need

they dislike the office.  It is in my opinion the only real superiority of happiness

they enjoy above others, that without the drudgery of pains and application they

can command the company of artists & the enjoyment of their arts in what degree

and as often as they please.  There is nothing wanting on their own parts but just

so much pains as will go on forming a tolerable taste.  The foundations of this by

proper care are easily laid, & the completion follows insensibly, & is of all labours

the most agreable, as nothing more is required than a frequent conversation with

that which in every art is most capital and exquisite.  This good fortune has made

your Lordships happiness in the musical way by sending us Handel.[28]




Apr 20

Yesterday at a Rehearsal at S. Paul’s, of the anniversary musick for the Feast of the Sons of the Clergy, to be held To-morrow at Merchant Taylors Hall, there was a numerous appearance of persons of distinction, and a large collection made.  G.——282 l.  DP.——282 l. 13 s.  DA.——Which is more than collected at the doors last year by 46 l. 6 s. 6 d. the sum then collected being 236 l. 6 s. 6 d.  LP.[29]




Tuesday was the Rehearsal of the Anthem, Musick, &c. at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was to be perform’d at the Feast of the Sons of the Clergy.  There were a very great Appearance of Ladies of Fashion; and the Collection at the Doors amounted to 282 l. 13 s. which is to be applied to the putting our poor Clergymen’s Daughters Apprentice.  And,

            On Thursday was held their Annual Feast, when after an excellent Sermon suitable Occasion, preach’d by the learn’d Dr. Berriman, and an Anthem compos’d by Mr. Handel, at the Performance whereof all the celebrated Masters of both Vocal and Instrumental Musick assisted, striving to outvie each other, they marched thro’ the City in grand Procession to Merchant-Taylors Hall in Threadneedle street, where a sumptuous Dinner was provided for their Entertainment.  The Collection in the Church amounted to 114 l. 14 s. and in the Hall 437 l. 10 s. so the Money at the three Collections amounted to 834 l. 17 s.[30]




FRIDAY, Apr. 22.  Yesterday the rev. Dr. Berryman preach’d an excellent sermon at St. Paul’s before the Sons of the Clergy, on which occasion there was collected in the church 114 l. 14 s.  DP.  DA.  G.——An Anthem compos’d by Mr. Handel was perform’d.  DP.  It was not, tho’ much the greater part of the Company desired and expected it.  Dr. Green’s was perform’d instead of it.——They walked in procession to Merchant Taylors Hall, where an elegant entertainment was provided.  DA.  DP.——There was collected in the Hall 437 l. 10 s. and both days in the church 399 l. 17 s.  DA.[31]




Apr 26

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 26 April 1737]


I was near an hour with Handel yesterday[;] he is in no danger upon the whole

though I fear[,] or am rather too certain[,] he will loose a great part of his execution

so as to prevent his ever playing any more concertos on the organ.  He submitts

to discipline very patiently & I really believe he will be orderly for the time to

come[,] that this unhappy seisure may possibly at last be the occasion of prolonging

his life.  Handel is in excellent spirits & is exceeding thankfull his desorder[,]

which is rhumatick palsie[,] did not attack him till he had done writing.  ’Tis his

right arm that is struck which was taken ill in a minute.

I have been slaving for the Author’s Bill which Lord Hervey & Lord

DeLawar oppose violently.  But I hope by our unwearied endeavours some regard

will be had at last to merit[;] surely I may say to merit when the opposition to the

Bill is founded upon personal pique to Mr Pope & Mr Handel.  To what a condition

is learning reduced when such persons are singled out for persection &


The opera of Dido (in my opinion a very heavy one) will be acted but once

more tomorrow only, & then comes on[,] viz the Wednesday following[,] Justin

& after that the charming Berenice which we all hope will bring you up.  The new

woman at the Haymarkett I hear falls far short of what was expected though they

themselves commend her mightily[,] but they don’t pretend that she understands

much of musick.[32]




Apr 29

            The Musical Entertainment of the Spring Gardens, Vaux-Hall, will be open’d on Monday next, the second of May, the fine Organ, which has been so long preparing for and erecting there, being quite finish’d, as likewise the Edifice in which it is enclos’d.  The Concert will begin at five, and end at nine every Evening.[33]




Apr 29

[dedication: “April 29th, 1737”]




[… 10]

When Silvia treads the smiling Plain,

How glows the Heart of ev’ry Swain,

  By pleasing Tumults tost!

When Handel’s solemn Accents roll,

Each Breast is fir’d, each raptur’d Soul

  In sweet Confusion lost.

[… 23]




[… 25]


In Silvia’s Spinnet, ever-pleasing,

  Thy tributary Aid is known:

When, Poet’s Harmony increasing,

His Fame Thou raisest,——and Thy own.



Potent, when Handel’s Touch obeying,

  Thou can’st to Heav’n exalt the Mind:

Yet more, when, Charming Silvia playing,

  In her alone an Heav’n we find!





Apr 30

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 30 April 1737]


Mr Handel is suprizingly mended[;] he has been on horseback twice[.]  Parry

was with him two hours the day before yesterday & he tells me[,] by his vast

strength of constitution which is able to bear all the rough remedies they have

given him[,] he will recover again presently.[35]







COME hark our ditty, which shall not be long,

For we’ve nothing new, Sirs, your time to prolong;

So we have made nothing ye theme of our song,

Which nobody can deny.


Of their purses and gold the French have been free

To reward Farinelli—By this we may see

Other climes are as much charm’d with nothing as we,

Which nobody can deny.





May 5

[James Harris to 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, 5 May 1737]


Your Lordship’s information concerning Mr Handel’s disorder was the first I

received — I can assure your Lordship it gave me no small concern — when the

fate of harmony depends upon a single life, the lovers of Harmony may be well [28]

allowed to be sollicitous.  I heartily regrett the thought of losing any of the executive

part of his meritt, but this I can gladly compound for, when we are assured

of the inventive, for tis this which properly constitutes the artist, & separates him

from the multitude.  It is certainly an evidence of great strength of constitution to

be so soon getting rid of so great a shock.  A weaker body would perhaps have

hardly born the violence of medicines, which operate so quickly.

I rejoice to hear from your Lordship that the Author’s Bill is like to succeed,

and I am sure the lovers both of letters & of harmony ought to be thankfull to

your Lordship for the pains you have taken in solliciting it.  Tis a bad proof w[ha]t

remains of Gothic barbarity we have still amongst us that the Bill should have

been opposed on account of Mr Pope & Handel.  It may however for our comfort

be remembred that even in the Augustan Age when Virgil & Horace were alive,

at the same time lived Bavius & Maevius.  The success of this Bill will I hope give

us the Ode, which I have a vast desire to be possessed of.  If Mr Handel gives off

his opera, it will be the only pleasure I have left in the musicall way, to look over

his scores, and recollect past events — here Strada used to shine — there

Annibale — this was an excellent chorus, and that a charming peice of recitative —

In that I shall amuse my self much in the same manner as Virgil tells us of the

Trojans, when upon the supposed retreat of the Greeks & the end of the war they

all came out of the town to gratify their curiosity in viewing the past scene of

action. . . . Their pleasure however was of short continuance: the war your

Lordship knows was renewed with double earnestness & vigour.  May my pleasure

find the same fate, & be lost by the return of that Harmony which I have

given over, supported & carried on by the same spirit & resolution.[37]




May 11

Married yesterday, at Oxford Chapel, Dan. Handell, Esq; to Miss Fane, a near relation to the Earl of Westmoreland, a young lady of fine accomplishments, and a plentiful fortune.  DP.[38]






Daniel Handell, Esq; to Miss Lane, a Relation to the E. of Westmoreland.[39]




May 12

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 12 May 1737]


I am much obliged to you for your letter of the 5th instant, which I receiv’d in

due course.  I will begin the little I have to say, with what is likely to be most disagreeable to you; & that is — to tell you, the Author’s Bill was thrown out last

Tuesday, by eight majority: we had (I think) clearly the best of it in the debate,

though we did not prevail.  The pique Lord H[erve]y bore to Mr Pope was the

business that demolished us: the only speakers were Lord Hervey & Lord Hinton

on one side, Lord Bathurst & a friend of yours (who pretends no other merit than

that of being an admirer of great men[,] with little abilities of his own) on the

other.  But however[,] thus much for your comfort, the Ode will be printed & subscriptions are now actually taking in at Mr Handel’s.

I find Mr Handel designs to play hardly more than five times this season[,] or

I should (I fear) rather say any more at all.  I was at the rehearsal of the charming

Berenice this morning, when I received an inexpressible delight.  The overture is

excellent[,] a good fuge & after it a pleasing air in the taste of that at the end of the

overture in Ariadne, with a sprightly air after it, which concludes this overture;

the first act is mostly in the agreable strain, full of exquisite genteel airs & quite

new.  The second is more in the great taste & may (I think) properly be call’d

sublime: in it there is as fine a peice of accompanied recitatif as ever was made with a

most exceeding capital song, to which is an admirable simphony, & a laboured

base throughout: Annibali shines in this song.  The third act opens with a short but

good prelude, & this act is a mixture both of great & pleasing; there is a delightfull

song in it of Strada’s accompanied & in some places echoed by Martini’s

heautboy, the voice & that alternately: & there is a pretty duett in the sprightly

way between Conti & Negri; the last song in the opera is a very good Scicilian of

Conti’s.  The chorus is of a peice with the rest.  Enough & I am afraid you’l think

I have said too much on this head.  I really proposed to have wrote you something

more than a dry account of musick, but the time permits me to add no more.


[P.S.] My coz Thomas dined at my mother’s to day.  He is very well & tells me he

wrote to you last post when he told you Berenice was to be performed next

Wednesday[,] which account I can now confirm.

Mr Handel is better though not well enough to play the harpsicord himself[,]

which young Smith is to do for him.[40]




May 16

Newcastle upon Tyne,

May 16th, 1737.



            I doubt not but it will surprize you, if I tell you there are People in this Kingdom, who think of us Northerns, as but a Degree removed from the barbarous Hottentots, and who (whenever Occasion occurs) speak of our Country as an obscure Corner, that has nothing to induce any to live in it, who have the least Spark of Taste or Politeness to boast of.  But believe me, Sir, whoever are our Slanderers, they deceive themselves much more than, I hope, they can prejudice us; for amongst the great Number of our Northern Nobility and Gentry, there are few, I dare say, but will allow us a tolerable Notion of what is what. [...]

[... 135 ...]

[...] I shall add the distinguishing Encouragement here given to all ingenuous Professors of the liberal Arts. [...] We have also a very good Concert of Musick, which affords us an Opportunity of improving our Taste in that delightful Science; and that the Benefit and Entertainment of it may be indiscriminately given to all Lovers of Harmony, it is carry’d on by Subscription, and at so easy an Expence as to admit a poorer Man, than one whose highest Ambition would be to hear a Play from the eighteen-penny Gallery.

            These, Sir, are Conveniences in Life, so truly valuable, that, as a North-Country Man, I cannot help reflecting on the great Worth of each of them; and heartily rejoice that we, who are so far distant from the Muses Seat, have such noble Advantages, as are abundantly sufficient to make us content with our Situation.  And tho’ we hear no Oratorio’s from Handel, no new Entertainment from Drury-Lane, not yet a favourite Song from the enchanting Farinelli, we are pleased in being good Subjects, and equally protected with all true Englishmen, under our present happy Establishment.

                                                                                                I am, Sir, Yours,

                                                                                                                        J. P.[41]




May 17, 18

            Last Night the King, Queen, and Princesses, went to the Opera in the Haymarket.

            And this Evening their Majesties will be at the Opera in Covent Harden.[42]




May 21

[“SATURDAY, May 21.”]

We hear that the Directors of his Majesty’s Opera-house, have engaged, for the ensuing season, the famous Gaffariello, reputed the best singer in Italy.  LP.[43]




May 30

[Elizabeth Harris to James Harris, 30 May 1737]


In truth I coud not imagine when with so many friends and good acquaintances,

with the fine and elegant entertainment you have from Mr Handel, you

could be down as you proposd when you left Sarum.






To the Hon. Mrs. H—, inviting her to

Vaux-Hall Gardens before she leaves England.


COme Mira, Idol of the swains,

So green the sprays, the sky so fine,

To bow’rs, where gracious Flora reigns,

And Orpheus warbles airs divine.


Come, ev’ry sprightlier joy to taste,

That rural art and nature boast;

Fly thither with the lightning’s haste,

And be the universal toast.


A scene so beauteous can’t be shown,

Tho’ thou shou’d’st ev’ry realm survey;

As all, where’er thou com’st, own,

Thy graces claim the highest sway.

J. L.[45]




Jun 1

Last Night their Majesties were at the Theatre in Covent Garden, and saw an Opera, call’d, Dido.[46]




Jun 4

[“The Craftsman, June 4.  Numb. 1. | Restraining the liberty of the stage impolitick.”]


However, if this bill must pass; if the court is still so short of power, that it cannot support itself against the people, without taking away the liberty of the stage, or listing it intirely on that side; I hope our Italian opera’s will fall the first sacrifice, as they not only carry great sums of money out of the kingdom, but soften and enervate the minds of the people.  It is observable of the antient Romans that they did not admit of any effeminate musick, singing, or dancing, upon their stage, till luxury had corrupted their morals, and the loss of liberty follow’d soon after.  If therefore it should be thought necessary to lay any farther restraint upon the most useful sort of dramatical entertainments, the worst ought certainly to receive no encouragement.[47]




Jun 4

[“SATURDAY, June 4.”]

Signior Farinello is so very ill with a cold, that he is not able to perform in the Operas.  DA.——He is perfectly well.  LP.  June 6.[48]




Jun 7

[“TUESDAY, June 7.”]

We hear several eminent gentlemen are about raising a sum of money to build an Hospital for the relief of foundlings, and that abundance of gentlemen and persons of great distinction have resolv’d to contribute largely to the undertaking.  G.——Have these gentlemen and persons of great distinction resolv’d to contribute largely to the Support or Filling of this Hospital?[49]




Jun 9

[“THURSDAY, June 9.”]

We hear that Signior Farinello intends to set out for the Court of Spain, and stay till the Operas begin here next season.  DA.[50]




Jun [10/]21 [NS?]

[W. B[ristow] to the Countess of Denbigh]


[“1737, June 21. Naples.”]


“Vous scavés apparemment que mylady Wallpole avoit

fort gouté cette ville, et un chanteur castrato qui s’appelle

Gaferelli, Neapolitain. La dame est je ne sçai où à present;

quelqu’un m’ayant dit qu’elle venoit de quitter sa retraite

dans la campagne de la petite republique de Lucques. Le

chanteur, qui est veritablement beau, est toujours ici, mais

s’est engagé pour l’Angleterre l’année qui vient, a 1,200

guineas. Je l’ai entendu plusieurs fois; sa voix n’est pas

fort estimée dans sa ville, quoi qu’elle soit fort belle, mais

elle est petite et ne vaut que pour la chambre; au théatre

l’on a de la peine à l’entendre, sans quoi la Cour, qui cherche

un bel Opera, ne le laisseroit pas sortir du pais. Toute la

famille de Shadwell fait deja la sçavante en musique; vous

sçavés que c’est la folie qu’attrapent les Angloises en Italie.

Miss Molly, qui passe pour jolie et qui chante, ne peut pas [218]

manquer d’etre admirée pour sa belle voix, quoiqu’elle fait

du plus mediocrement. C’est une coquette à l’Angloise. [...][51]




Jun 11

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 11 June 1737]


In answer to the first question you ask of me concerning Handel’s agreement

with the Goths[,] I believe it is not yet perfected though I really do not see what

can obstruct it unless tis Lord Cowper & Lord DeLawar’s invincible obstinacy[,]

but the other undertakers are so desirous of hearing good music that I dare say

things will turn out well.  The terms proposed are two opera’s for which Handel

is to receive a thousand pounds.

The Play House Bill was read a 3rd time in the House of Lords last

Monday[;] there was no debate but Lord Stanhope upon putting the question [32]

divided the House[;] the division was — contentt 37[,] not contentt 5.  It happened

while I was gone out to speak to a person hard by.

I was at the opera of Alcina last night[:] was incomparably performed.  There

is hopes that of the undertaker’s hiring Strada for next year.[52]




Jun 13

[“MONDAY, June 13.”]

We hear, that the managers of the Opera in the Hay-market have contracted with Signior Caffaral, a famous singer at Rome, who was brought up with Signior Farinello, to sing in our Operas here the next winter, and that Mr. Handel is to compose the musick.  DA.[53]




Jun 18

[“SATURDAY, June 18.”]

His royal highness the Prince has been pleas’d to appoint the celebrated Mr. Powel to be his harper, with a salary of 100 l. per ann. and an allowance for his table.  He is allowed to have the finest singer that musick of any man in the kingdom.  DP.[54]




Jun 26

[Edward Holdsworth in Winton to Charles Jennens]


[…] I forgot when I was in town to buy some good Ballads for a little Miss, a daughter of Mr Shut, who has a pretty voice, & delights much in signing. But in truth I have not musick enough in me to judge of a Ballad and I wou’d not put such an affront upon you to desire you to choose some for me, tho’ I know most of the Ballad-singers in town frequent your Door. […][55]








WHAT art, my friend, and industry can do,

We see, and, if we please may learn from you,

How a few acres are a plenteous store;


Driv’n from the faithless chambers of the great,

You sought a fruitful, but a small retreat:

To a kind soil, and salutary air,

You follow’d liberty, and found her there.


Here, planted by thy own industrious han[d,]

The regimented tress in order stand:

Once natives all of France, or in French pay;

But now thy orders they, with pride, obey.


Oh Charles! relieve thy friend, oppress’d with care,

With Brompton Burgundy, and Brompton air:

[... 383]

Nor shall our reason, or our taste, be lost

In the mad bumper or insipid toast:

We’ll talk with freedom, as we drink, yet none

Descends to the low scandal of the town;

Nor meanly meddles with domestick strife,

Nor opens the close wounds of private life:

Employ’d on nobler themes, we hardly know

What in your bustling busy world they do:

Whether your theatres will fall or rise;

Which, with new Pantomimes, will most surprize;

Nor whether Rolli dances ill or well;

Nor which of Handel’s capons does excel.





Jul 7 NS


THURSDAY, July 7.  A letter from Paris says, that the famous and most illustrious Italian songster, Farinello, who glean’d some thousands of Louis-d’ors from the folly of the French about a year ago, after the golden harvest he had made among the English, return’d to that city the 9th instant, N. S. where he intends to carry a few days for picking up some more loose corns, especially if the French Queen happens to be brought to bed of a Duke of Anjou.  When he has got as much as he can expect there, our Correspondent says, he intends to go and see what crop he can find at Madrid, where he designs to fix his abode untill [sic] the winter season and the heaviness of our purses invite him back again to London.  But if our brains were not as heavy as out purses, such shameless fellows would have no business among us.  Farinello, what with his salary, his benefit night, and the presents made him by some of the wise people of this nation, gets at least 5000 l. a year in England, and yet he is not asham’d to run about like a stroller from kingdom to kingdom, as if we did not give him sufficient encouragement, which we hope the noble Lords of the Hay-market will look upon as a great affront done to them and their country, and consequently send all the Italian strollers a packing out of the nation.  DP.[57]




Jul 27

Temple, July 27, 1737.




When first through Lombard-street I bent my way:


I saw a lovely girl, I think a maid.


Deep sunk her blooming image in my breast,

My pensive walk, looks, sighs, my love confest.


But there I saw, with anguish saw, pert Beaux,

By nonsense privileg’d and gaudy cloathes,

Now o’er the counter lean, now ogling stand,

And now—with saucy freedom seize her hand:


What shou’d I do? [...]


Too cruel fair! my thoughts the live-long day

To my fond aching heart thy form convey;


Have I for this th’ Attorney’s Guide forsook,

And conn’d the Gamut o’er instead of Cook?

Thrown careless all my Presidents aside,

And to my fiddle with such warmth apply’d?

Not GEMINIANI’s air, nor HANDEL’s strain,

Can move her heart, or mitigate my pain.





Aug 5

[“FRIDAY, Aug. 5.”]

Yesterday Mr. Handell set out for the Bath for the recovery of his health, he having been struck with a dead palsy on one side.  DA.[59]




Aug 7 /18 NS


THURSDAY, Aug. 18.  Our correspondent at Paris says, that from the 18th instant, N. S. the pictures made by the gentlemen of the Academy of painting, have been expos’d in the great salon of the Lovre [sic], where the concourse of people to see them is every day so great, that there is no getting in without the greatest difficulty: and indeed, says he, nothing can be finer or more magnificent than those pieces.  It would be more for our honour if the French had our Opera, and we their Academy of painters.  DP.[60]




Aug 15

[“MONDAY, Aug. 15.”]

’Tis with the greatest pleasure we can assure the publick, that the report which was spread concerning Mr. Handel’s being seiz’d with a dead palsy on one side, is altogether groundless, that gentleman being now at Tunbridge in good health.  DA.——It was the DA. that first spread this report, on Aug. 5.[61]




Sep 1

[John Upton to James Harris, 1 September 1737]


I have been at Tunbridge for a fortnight, where I got acquainted with Mr

Handel, we dind together every day in the week; when I goe to town I promisd to

renew my acquaintance with him.  He talkd to me much in your praises.  Laudari

à laudato viro, you know is real praise.[62]




Sep 2

[Lord Chamberlain’s Records]


These are &c. to pay or cause to be paid to Mr: Barnard Gates Tuner of his Ma[jes]ty’s

Regals and Organs the Sum of Five Pounds for his ext[raordina]ry Attend[an]ce at the

Chapel Royal at St: James’s and giving Directions for fixing the Organ in the Musick

Gallery there, on Account of the Nuptials of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales

and his attendance at several Rehearsals of Musick And &c. Given &c. this 2d. Day of

Sep[tembe]r 1737. in the Eleventh Year of his Majesty’s Reign.

To the L[or]d Hobart &c.                                                       Grafton.

Marginal entry: Mr: Gates, Tuner of the Organs &c. for Ex[traordina]ry Disbursem[en]ts

& Attend[an]ce on acco[un]t of the Nuptials of the Prince of Wales.





Sep 17 [?NS]


[“SATURDAY, Sept. 17.”]

From Madrid, that Signior Farinello, the famous Italian singer, is arriv’d from England at St. Ildefonso, where lodgings were prepar’d for him by order of the King.  Their Majesties have been so charm’d with his singing, that they have desir’d Mr. Keene to write to London to engage the directors of the Opera to permit him to stay the next winter in Spain.  DA.——We hear, that the King of Spain has created him a Knight, and made him Yeoman of the mouth, with a pension of 18,000 crowns.  G.[64]




Sep 21

Inner-Temple, Sept. 21, 1737.                        J. B.

To Miss H———



Was ever way-ward fate like mine,

Or growing joy so early crost?

Thy angel-voice and skill divine,

Just known and just belov’d, are lost.



At BROSCHI’s song while crowds expire,

Or the shrill sound of STRADA’s throat;

Be it my praise and my desire,

To hear and love thy sweeter note.






Sep 26

Tunbridge-Wells, Sept. 26, 1737.                               H. B.


Finical.  [...] Dear Miss Tattle, what tune is’t you’re humming?  Lord!  I think ’tis very dismal.

Tattle.  ’Tis a lamentation for SINZINNO.

Finical.  O dear! it can’t be too dismal for that.  Lord! they say he’s condemn’d to the Gallies in France for killing a man.

Clack.  Dear Mem, there’s nothing in’t.—O lack-a-day, who has heard HANNIBALI’s Singing?  Lord I love him, he has something very sweet in his voice.

Tattle.  O that’s a dear creature! well, if I cou’d not go every night to hear him! [...][66]




Oct 18

[The Dowager Lady Cardigan to her son the Earl of Cardigan]


Oct. 18, Hammersmith.—“I beg you will be so kind to

let me know if I can’t without being too particular (?) avoid taking out my

silver ticket, as your sister can’t just now go (though I hope it won’t be

very long before she may), and as Farenelo is gone, which I own

makes a great alteration in my thoughts as to the Opera. Lord Cadogan

did ask me to subscribe, and I told him I would. So pray give me your

thoughts upon this affair by the very next post. I have another reason

for not caring to subscribe, which I will tell you when I see you; it is

in regard to the expense, which I should be glad to save, if I can do it

with credit.”[67]




Oct 26 [premiere]

Gub[bins].  Most mighty Moore, what wonders hast thou done!

Destroy’d the Dragon, and my Margery won.

The Loves of this brave Knight, and my fair Daughter.

In RORATORIOS shall be sung hereafter.

Begin your Songs of Joy; begin, begin,

And rend the Welkin with harmonious Din.



Sing, sing, and rorio,

An Oratorio

To gallant Morio,

Of Moore Hall.


To Margereenia

Of Roth’ram Greenia,

Beauty’s bright Queenia,

Bellow and bawl.





Marg.                          Huz————————za!



Omnes.            HUZZA!                      HUZZA!                      HUZZA![68]




Oct 29

[“MONDAY, Oct. 31.”]

On saturday night their Majesties were at the Opera in the Hay market, where the celebrated Sig. Caffarielli perform’d for the first time with universal applause.  DA.[69]




Nov 2

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 2 November 1737]


The opera I hear was but thin at its opening & the new man did not please

extreamly[;] they say nothing will go down after Farinello.  It was an old opera

they performed called Arsaces.[70]




Nov 9

FRIDAY, Nov. 11.  On wednesday her Majesty, after breakfasting at the Library by the Park, was taken very ill with a pain in her stomach; was blooded, and yesterday thought to be much better.  DA.[71]




Nov 12

[Thomas Harris to James Harris, 12 November 1737]


We had some musick Thursday last [10 November] at Mr Kent’s lodgings, of

which he will I suppose give you an account soon: Gaffarelli sung one song only, [39]

and I can’t pretend to give my judgment from that, though I believe he will prove

inferiour to Faranelli.  Nothing has been talked of here in Town to day but the

Queen’s disorder: she is now so bad we every hour expect to hear of her death.[72]




Nov 25

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 25 November 1737]


I hear people in Town are in a great bustle to get their mourning for the late

Queen.  The mourning begins Sunday next & will be as close as possible. . . . Tis

not yet settled whether a public or private funeral tho’ I imagine the latter. — No

plays, operas (which are[,] I am told[,] quite run down) &c are to be performed

for a long time.[73]




Nov 30

            The Queen being so often reported dead when she was alive, made me desire you wou’d not believe her dead till you heard it from me, [...][74]




Dec 1

[Thomas Harris to James Harris, 1 December 1737]


The Ode won’t be published till the 12th of January.  Walsh has printed the

opera’s of Ariadne and Ptolemy entire, of which before there were only favourite





Dec 17

            On Saturday Night the fine Anthem of Mr. Handel’s was perform’d in Henry the Seventh’s Chapel, about Nine o’Clock, at her Majesty’s Funeral Service: The Vocal Parts were perform’d by the several Choirs of the Chapel Royal, Westminster-Abbey and Windsor, and the Boys of the Chapel-Royal and Westminster-Abbey; and several Musical Gentlemen of Distinction attended in Surplices, and sung in the Burial Service.  There were near 80 Vocal Performers and 100 Instrumental from his Majesty’s Band, and from the Opera, &c.[76]




Dec 17

[Francis Hare, Bishop of Chichester, to his son Francis Naylor]


1737, December 18. London. [...] I came

from the Vache on Thursday (wither I shall return to-morrow) to

attend her funeral, which was performed last night with great order, and

was over two or three hours sooner than I thought it would.. The Lords

were all summoned to attend, and the procession went through the

Prince’s chamber through a scaffold across the old Palace Yard, to [237]

the north door of the Abbey, then down the north aisle to the west

end, and from thence up the south aisle into Henry the 7’s chapel.

There was no blundering or disorder. Princess Amelia was chief

mourner. The procession began to be marshalled between five and six,

and before seven the service in the Abbey was actually begun; and the

whole was finished before nine, and I was at home before ten. The

funeral service was performed by the Bishop of Rochester as Dean of

Westminster. After the service there was a long anthem, the words by

the Sub-dean, the music set by Mr. Handel, and is reckoned to be as

good a piece as he ever made: it was above fifty minutes in singing.





Dec 16 [NS?]

[J. S[tanhope] to Lady Denbigh]


1737, Dec. 16. Paris. [...]

“I might I fancy as well tell you Queen Elizabeth is dead

as that Queen Caroline is so; [...]

“They say she died very heroically and at the same time

with all the resignation imaginable, took leave of his Majesty

and all her children except His Royal Highness with the

greatest firmness and resolution that can be conceived. We

have divers reports in regard to her behaviour to the Prince

in her last moments, but all that can be depended upon is

that she certainly did not see him though ’tis sure he sent

often to beg to see her; the answer was that she was not in

a condition to see anybody at all, but that if she died she

had left a paper for him seal’d up which wou’d certainly be

delivered to him. I don’t find that anybody pretends to know

the contents of it, though I imagine it easy enough to be

guess’d. I mean ’tis to advise him to be a good boy and

dutifull to his father. The King and Royal familly are

inconsolable. Princess Caroline is so ill as to be in great danger.

All plays and operas are forbid for three months, which will

make our capital the most dismal of all places, for which

reason I shall [stay] here the greatest part of the winter, having

no affairs of my own that call me home, and a single dumb

vote is not of consequence enough to the publick to engage [226]

me to leave a place where I divert myself as well as I desire

to do, in order to go to a place where I shall tire I am sure

prodigiously. . . .[78]




Dec 17

[“MONDAY, Dec. 19.”]

The funeral of her late Majesty was perform’d between the hours of six and nine last saturday night, from the Prince’s chamber to King Henry the seventh’s chapel, with great solemnity, peace and order; [.../3...] The fine Anthem of Mr. Handel’s was perform’d about nine.  The vocal parts were perform’d by the several choirs of the Chapel royal, Westminster-abbey and Windsor, and the boys of the Chapel-royal and Westminster-abbey; and several musical Gentlemen of distinction attended in surplices, and sung in the burial service.  There were near 80 vocal performers, and 100 instrumental from his Majesty’s band, and from the Opera, &c.  DA.[79]




Dec 27

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury to James Harris, 27 December 1737]


{...} I have spoke to my wife concerning a picture of Handel to send

you[.]  The great hurry she as well as all of us are under at first coming to Town

& providing mourning. . . has put a stop to all other considerations.[80]




If Raphael’s Pencil bids the Canvas live,

And Sense, and Motion to the Figures give;

Or Rysbrack’s Art has equal Wonders shown;

Breathes in the Busto, and informs the Stone.

If Burlington’s majestic Structures rise,

And Beauty, and Proportion fill our Eyes.

Or Cobham’s rude, devoted Acres grow

In all the Taste, and Elegance of Stow.

If Handel’s Fingers strike the tuneful Strings;

Cuzzoni soft, or Farinelli sings;

The speaking Canvas, and the breathing Stone,

The finish’d Edifice, a Wonder grown;

The Temples, Vista’s, and the soft Cascade,

The op’ning Prospect, and embow’ring Shade; [20]

The melting Music, and melodious Note

From the sweet Concert, or the warbling Throat,

Regale EUGENIO’s Taste, and raise his Heart

To the great Source of Beauty, and of Art![81]




[“THE LADY of TASTE: OR, F----------------’s LEVEE.”]


In Musick Handel’s Fancy she approves,

His Notes inspired by all the little Loves;

Titian’s warm Colours on her Wainscote glow,

And neat French Prints adorn the Space below;[82]


[1] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:586.

[2] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 1,” item 43, f. 1; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 98–99.

[3] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:587.

[4] British Library, Add. Ms. 31145, f. 133; repr., Ruth Loewenthal [= Smith], “Handel and Newburgh Hamilton: New References in the Strafford Papers,” The Musical Times 112 (1971): 1065.

[5] The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 528-29.

[6] British Library, Add. Ms. 31145, f. 135; repr., Ruth Loewenthal [= Smith], “Handel and Newburgh Hamilton: New References in the Strafford Papers,” The Musical Times 112 (1971): 1065.

[7] British Library, Add. Ms. 31145, f. 139; repr., Ruth Loewenthal [= Smith], “Handel and Newburgh Hamilton: New References in the Strafford Papers,” The Musical Times 112 (1971): 1065.

[8] Ruth Loewenthal [= Smith], “Handel and Newburgh Hamilton: New References in the Strafford Papers,” The Musical Times 112 (1971): 1065; see also, Winton Dean, “Handel and Newburgh Hamilton” (letter to the editor), The Musical Times 113 (1972): 148.

[9] Lady Lucy Wentworth, London, 18 January 1737: The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 530-31.

[10] Memoirs of the Times; In a Letter to a Friend in the Country (London: Anne Dod, 1737), 42-44; advertised in The Daily Gazetteer, no. 491, Wednesday 19 January 1737, [2].

[11] The Grub-street Journal, no. 371, Thursday 3 February 173[7], [3].

[12] The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 530-31.

[13] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 22–23.

[14] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 1,” item 44, f. 1; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 99; (second paragraph) Händel Handbuch, 275.

[15] Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont: Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival).  Vol. II. 1734-1738 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), 339.

[16] Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont: Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival).  Vol. II. 1734-1738 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), 342.

[17] Donald Burrows, Handel and the English Chapel Royal (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 612-13.

* Artaxerxes.

Son qual nave agitata.

[18] The Grub-street Journal, no. 373, Thursday 17 February 173[7], [1]; repr. as “A Modern Polite CONVERSATION, as it really pass’d between 5 young Ladies and a young Gentleman...Publish’d with a Design to expose the Insipidness of such Conversation,” in The London Magazine: And Monthly Chronologer 6 (1737), 90-91; Chrissochoidis, 721-22.

[19] Third Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1872), 257.

[20] The London Evening-Post, no. 1451, Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 March 1737, [1].

[21] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:594.

[22] The Grub-street Journal, no. 377, Thursday 1[7] March 173[7], [2].

[23] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 1,” item 45, f. 1; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 100; Händel Handbuch, 277.

[24] The Gentleman’s Magazine 7 (1737), 144-47; repr. in A Miscellany of Lyric Poems, the Greatest Part written for, and performed in The Academy of Music, held in the Apollo (London: printed for the Academy, 1740), 1-17; Chrissochoidis, 722.

[25] The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737), 261 [April].

[26] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 24.

[27] The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737), 235-36 [April].

[28] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 25.

[29] The Grub-street Journal, no. 382, Thursday 21 April 1737, [2].

[30] Read’s Weekly Journal, Or, British-Gazetteer, Saturday 23 April 1737, [3]; Chrissochoidis, 723.

[31] The Grub-street Journal, no. 383, Thursday 28 April 1737, [2].

[32] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 26.

[33] The Daily Advertiser, nr. 1953, Friday, 29 April 1737, [1].

[34] William Shenstone, Poems upon Various Occasions.  Written for the Entertainment of the Author, And Printed for the Amusement Of a few Friends, Prejudic’d in his Favour (Oxford: Leon Lichfield, 1737), 8, 10, and 23, 25; Chrissochoidis, 723.

[35] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 27.

[36] The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737), 257 [April].

[37] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 27–28.

[38] The Grub-street Journal, no. 385, Thursday 12 May 1737, [2].

[39] The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737): 326 [May].

[40] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 29.

[41] The London Magazine: And Monthly Chronologer 6 (1737), 313-15; Chrissochoidis, 724.

[42] The Daily Gazetteer, no. 59[1], Wednesday 18 May 1737, [1].

[43] The Grub-street Journal, no. 387, Thursday 26 May 1737, [2].

[44] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 30.

[45] The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737): 323 [May].

[46] The Daily Gazetteer, no. 60[4], Thursday 2 June 1737, [2].

[47] The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737), 344 [June].

[48] The Grub-street Journal, no. 389, Thursday 9 June 1737, [2].

[49] The Grub-street Journal, no. 389, Thursday 9 June 1737, [2].

[50] The Grub-street Journal, no. 390, Thursday 16 June 1737, [2].

[51] Report on the Manuscripts of the Earl of Denbigh. Preserved at Newnham Paddox. Warwickshire. (Part V.) (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1911), 217-18.

[52] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 31–32.

[53] The Grub-street Journal, no. 390, Thursday 16 June 1737, [2].

[54] The Grub-street Journal, no. 391, Thursday 23 June 1737, [2].

[55] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 1,” item 48, f. 1v; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 100.

[56] The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737), 382-83 [June].

[57] The Grub-street Journal, no. 394, Thursday 14 July 1737, [3].

[58] The Grub-street Journal, no. 397, Thursday 4 August 1737, [1].

[59] The Grub-street Journal, no. 398, Thursday 11 August 1737, [2].

[60] The Grub-street Journal, no. 400, Thursday 25 August 1737, [3].

[61] The Grub-street Journal, no. 399, Thursday 18 August 1737, [2].

[62] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 36.

[63] Donald Burrows, Handel and the English Chapel Royal (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 613.

[64] The Grub-street Journal, no. 404, Thursday 22 September 1737, [3].

[65] The Grub-street Journal, no. 405, Thursday 29 September 1737, [1]; repr., The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Monthly Oracle (1737), 640 [October].

[66] The Grub-street Journal, no. 409, Thursday 27 October 1737, [1].

[67] Report on the Manuscripts of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, K.G., K.T., preserved at Montagu House, Whitehall. Vol. 1 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1899), 393. The editor’s suggested year “c. 1740” is too late to account for the Farinelli reference.

[68] Henry Carey, The Dragon of Wantley.  A Burlesque Opera.  As perform’d at the Theatres with Universal Applause.  Set to Musick by Mr. John-Frederick Lampe ([London:] the proprietors, [1737]), 18; slightly contracted, The Dragon of Wantley.  A Burlesque Opera.  The Musick by Mr. John Frederick Lampe, and performed at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden, 2nd edition (London: J. Shuckburgh, 1737), 24; Chrissochoidis, 724-25.

[69] The Grub-street Journal, no. 410, Thursday 3 November 1737, [2].

[70] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 38.

[71] The Grub-street Journal, no. 412, Thursday 17 November 1737, [2].

[72] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 38–39.

[73] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 39.

[74] Peter Wentworth, Kensington, 30 November 1737: The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 532.

[75] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 39.

[76] The Daily Advertiser, nr. 2153, Monday, 19 December 1737, [1].

[77] The Manuscripts of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, the Earl of Lindsey, the Earl of Onslow, Lord Emly, Theodore J. Hare, Esq., and James Round, Esq., M.P. (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1895), 236-37.

[78] Report on the Manuscripts of the Earl of Denbigh. Preserved at Newnham Paddox. Warwickshire. (Part V.) (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1911), 225-26.

[79] The Grub-street Journal, no. 417, Thursday 22 December 1737, [2-3].

[80] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 42.

[81] [Thomas Beach], Eugenio: Or, Virtuous and Happy Life.  A Poem.  Inscrib’d to Mr. Pope (London: R. Dodsley, 1737), 19-20; Chrissochoidis, 725.

[82] A Collection of Miscellany Poems, never before Publish’d (London: the authors, 1737), 156; Chrissochoidis, 725-26.