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date: 19 September 2019


  • Fritz Spiegl
  •  and Sara Cohen


City in north-west England on the Mersey estuary.

Fritz Spiegl

The earliest reference to music in the Town Books occurs in 1541, when the mayor and corporation resolved that ‘theare shalbe hired a clercke that can syng his playne song and pryck songe and play the organs’. From then until the second half of the 18th century town musicians were frequently mentioned in the records, often for being troublesome. The duties of the Liverpool Waits included attendance at the houses of returning sea captains in addition to their normal work of sounding curfew and providing music for civic dignitaries. Waits are last mentioned in 1764 and were presumably disbanded not long after. The first music festival appears to have taken place in St Peter’s Church in 1766 under Dr Hayes of Oxford, with an orchestra from London.

Among local musical societies, or convivial clubs based on musical activities, were the Ugly Face Club (...

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