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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 10-12-2012, 05:28 AM   #1
Vivien
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Default Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Hello; not sure if this is the right section of the forum to ask this but...does anyone have a high- (or at least decent-)definition image of the 1684 painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"? I even tried contacting the Museum but they never got back to me. I don't know of any book which has an image large enough for me to scan and get satisfactory results.
Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:01 AM   #2
K Sanger
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Good luck, Roddy Cannon and I have been trying to get a decent full colour copy from the museum for some years with no success. Though given modern techniques for 'testing' paintings what it needs is a full examination, but as that will have a cost implication the museum is unlikely to do it itself. Time for a whip round perhaps?

The accounts for the Scottish Regiment sent to Tangiers exist and are in the English Treasury books. Although the Scottish forces at that period, pre 1707were under the Scottish parliament of the time, being canny the parliament were happy to 'loan' a regiment but passed on the cost of running it to the English Parliament.

Unlike England the Scottish Parliament first legislated for paying regimental pipers in 1641, (a regiment to be raised by Lord Sinclair), confirmed for all Scottish regiments in 1649. Although the fact that provison was made for paying them did not mean the regiments had to have them. The English Treasury accounts for the Tangier payrolls though only show one piper for that regiment and he was in the colonels company.

Keith
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:57 AM   #3
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Is it still in the The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich?
While I was still living near London getting a good image of the Mole pipers was high on my "to do" list and I visited the museum in person on several occasions trying to find someone who could help me out. Emails and phone calls had yielded no result, but neither did personal entreaty.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:40 AM   #4
Geology-George
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

I do believe that my education has been sorely neglected. What is this painting about. From the above references, i believe that it is a painting of some pipers on the mole, but what is the historical context of the mole?
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:11 AM   #5
aboode
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

This is probably a "different" Mole at Tangiers (no pipers to be seen), but I thought I would make the link all the same : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tangier_Mole.jpg
Aad
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:19 AM   #6
K Sanger
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
Is it still in the The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich?
While I was still living near London getting a good image of the Mole pipers was high on my "to do" list and I visited the museum in person on several occasions trying to find someone who could help me out. Emails and phone calls had yielded no result, but neither did personal entreaty.
It is still listed as being there Adam, and they do seem to own it which in theory should make getting a copy more straight forward. Though even getting an answer from them would be a start. Way back when he first published his 'Highland Bagpipe and its Music' Roddy Cannon had permission to publish a copy, but it is small and black and white.

I think it was David Murray in his book on the Music of the Scottish Regiments who first quoted the suspicion that the four pipers were 'not quite right' and were perhaps a later addition. It was also as the illustrated cover of his book that he used another early picture of a regimental piper, the painting circa 1769-71 of Lady Lennox with her husbands regiment the 25th at Minorca.

That is also hard to get copies of as although it is at the National Army Museum they do not own it and so requires permission from its owner. Oddly though that one is actually 'online' on the Museum website with an enlarging button, if you google the relevant parts. (Lady Lennox, Minorca and 25th).

Interesting set of pipes with drones as would fit with that period or slightly earlier. I like the fact that the piper seems to be trying to shove his bass drone into the ear of the drummer in front. Seems an apt visual statement, at least from the pipers point of view.

Keith
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

The BBC have also had an online copy of the 25th at Minorca for some time.
Here is the link, for anyone interested.

Geology-George, the painting of the 25th Regiment of Foot shows us exactly what a British army bagpiper looked like circa 1769.

If we could get a good close look at the painting the "Mole at Tangier" by Dirck Stoop from 1683, we would be able to examine the 4 pipers depicted in more detail. We would see exactly how a British army bagpiper dressed in 1683, and what kind of instrument he played.

Or, we may see a later addition.

Without a close examination, it's impossible to give anything but speculation.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

There is an enlargement of the piper in the 25th at Minorca painting on this website:

http://42ndrhr.org/blog/?p=63
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:18 PM   #9
K Sanger
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
Geology-George, the painting of the 25th Regiment of Foot shows us exactly what a British army bagpiper looked like circa 1769.

If we could get a good close look at the painting the "Mole at Tangier" by Dirck Stoop from 1683, we would be able to examine the 4 pipers depicted in more detail. We would see exactly how a British army bagpiper dressed in 1683, and what kind of instrument he played.

Or, we may see a later addition.

Without a close examination, it's impossible to give anything but speculation.
As I suddenly have had a change of plan and so have some spare time on my hands and am feeling in a heretical mood, lets speculate since documentory evidence does exist.

While 1769 would count as being the British Army I hope Adam that it was just a slip in terminology when refering to a 'British Army Piper' in 1683? At that time there were two separate parliaments and so two separate armies. The Scottish Military forces are fairly well covered in terms of records, covering that period from when the parliament in Edinburgh made provision for paying pipers the records in terms of company muster rolls from then until circa 1700 amount to nearly 5000 individual documents at the National Archives of Scotland catalogued under E100.

In addition to that there are numerous rolls among the papers of the commanding officers of the time. For example, the rolls for regiment raised for the parliament in 1640 by Lord Montgomery are among the Eglinton papers at GD3 and they show the pipers of the time to have been a William Jack, Mathew Lightbody, Thomas Stevenson, Johne Binnet and John Simpson, the latter being the son of the better known Habbie Simpson. But every single one of them you will notice a Lowland Piper.

It is also an interesting regiment to follow for anyone wishing to speculate on the transmission of tunes, as after being raised it went to the Newcastle area before then heading to Ireland.

The 'regular' Scottish regiments of that time did not operate as Highland or Lowland regiments and the rolls show that while the names of the soldiers lean towards the areas asssociated with their senior officers the regiments were well mixed. The dress for all of them was breeks, a factor which clothing accounts even into the post 1707 period show to have continued.

Turning now to the regiment 'loaned' for the Tangiers expedition, it comprised one Scottish Regiment of Foot under the command of Major Robert Douglas, as colonel. It was composed of 20 companies, a Colonel, Lieut-colonel, major, chaplain, adjutant, quartermaster, chirurgeon and mate, drum major, piper, 20 captains, 40 lietenants, 20 ensigns, 60 sergeants, 60 corporals, 40 drummers, 1000 soldiers and 1 company of Grenadiers. If there were any other pipers they certainly were not paid and there is also no reason to assume that any of them were highlanders or even that the piper to the colonel's company was either, or would have been playing anything other than a large bagpipe which was not specifically highland or lowland.

Likewise the piper in highland dress in the 25th Foot at Minorca like the regiment may not have been all he seemed. At that time the 25 were the Edinburgh Regiment but just a few years after that picture was painted they turned into an English Regiment due to the Colonel, Lord Lennox switching recruiting to his estates in the South of England. (then of course post 1800 they switched back to being a Scottish regiment and became the KOSB's.).

The piper may have first been 'introduced' when the regiment was under Lord Semple, a Lowlander who had previously commanded the 43rd or Black Watch. and had taken a piper with him, possibly the son of his then piper a James Macnab who was involved in a complicated court action with the the estate of the local postman in Killin, John Macfarlane in 1745 where it seems a new chanter/bagpipe was ordered via the postman but which the piper still had not paid, and the estate wanted either payment of 20 Scots or the chanter. The son called John was stuck in the middle as the father was with Lord Semple and the son and his mother were acting on his behalf. (NAS GD112/17/12/19)

Records lovely records and this does not even scratch the surface of what is out there and covered let alone still to be searched.

Keith
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by K Sanger View Post
I hope Adam that it was just a slip in terminology when refering to a 'British Army Piper' in 1683?
Yes Keith, as simple as that. Surprising it slipped by me, as 1707 is being mentioned so frequently these days.

Please feel free to add more heresy when you get the urge.
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