An Indigenous London Flute-Making Practice in the Early Eighteenth Century: The Case of Patrick Urquhart.

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Abstract

This article considers the evidence for a significant indigenous London-based woodwind making practice, established by around 1689, which provided instruments for other ‘makers’ and resellers in significant volume. The workshop of Patrick Urquhart, son of eminent Westminster violinmaker Thomas Urquhart, may well have produced the instruments sold by Pierre Jaillard (Bressan) following the latter’s arrival in England, and contributed to the emergence of a characteristic ‘London style’ of transverse flute by the early 1720s which is widely associated with Thomas Stanesby Junior. The research considers similarities of style and manufacture noted between a number of surviving instruments bearing different stamps. It juxtaposes the inventories taken at Bressan’s and Urquhart’s deaths, placing the findings from these in the context of evidence of workshop continuities provided by a chain of apprenticeships linking Patrick Urquhart’s ‘master’, Mary Wollstonecraft, through Urquhart himself to another flute maker, William Cotton. A continuity of allegiance to the Merchant Taylors Company also links their practice, and Cotton’s workshop continues production into the 1820s through his son Robert and great-nephew John.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalGalpin Society Journal
Volume74
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2021

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