20 October 2011

A letter from the Queen

Well, not quite.

Back in August I decided to send a letter to the Royal Archives to see if they could confirm for me that Jean Gaspard Weiss was Principal Flautist for King George III. I wasn't sure if they would be able to say yes as it depended on whether he was employed by the King or by the Court. But even if they couldn't confirm it I would still get a letter from the Royal Archives!

Here is the reply, received today. I've put a photo of the envelope as well, mainly because it has the Queen's stamp on it!

And the letter itself in detail:

The diary extract the letter refers to from my original letter is this:

The Diary of James Harris (1709-80) as Secretary to Queen Charlotte, 3 May 1774, notes: "When I came into the Japan-wainscot room, I found it to my surprise filled with all the capital musicians - Bach & Abel, Cramer the celebrated violin, five or six violins, Gordon, and another violoncello, 2 opera double basses, hautboys, horns, tenors, Beir the clarionet, Richter the bassoon, Weiss the German flute, Fisher the houtboy, Millico & Grassi, & the chorus singers. When the concert began, the royal children (the younger part) stood arranged in the same room with the music - the King sometimes came out, & the Queen also..."

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