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Salisbury And Parkend


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As I stated to NPOR at the time when I gave them more information on the history of Salisbury Cathedral's organs (record R00908), we knw that John Burward carried out a rebuild in 1635 which entailed enlarging the Great Organ and adding a choir organ to it; repairs were also undertaken; paid £220; Burward's choir organ was "according to the model and fashion of the Choir Organ of St. Paul's Church [Cathedral?], London".


In the 1640s we aproach time times of the Civil Wars. In 1643, the Dean & Chapter of Salisbury "deemed it prudent, in order to save the organ from destruction and in the hope of better times, to have it taken down and the material safely preserved". Four men were each paid 4s to dismantle John Burward's organ.


After a 17-year gap in Salisbury Cathedral's organ records we see that Burward's organ from 1635 was re-errected by Thomas Harris in 1660. In 1679, there is an entry in the records of Salisbury Cathedral that reads: "For the organ sold at Bristol not paid for hitherto £050-00-00."


The NPOR record for N05754 (St. Paul's, Parkend, Gloucestershire) states: "Organ said to have come from Salisbury Cathedral - originally built 1668?" by T. (or R.) Harris. This record dates the case to as early as 1660. However, in place of any more logical explanation, I assume that:


1. The organ at St. Paul's, Parkend mentioned in N05754 and built by Thomas or Renatus Harris was, in fact, the John Burward organ of 1635 from Salisbury Cathedral. The Burward organ of 1635 at Salisbury is the organ that was sold in Bristol for £050-00-00 in 1679 by the cathedral authorities at Salisbury. It was purchased by Parkend for St. Paul's.


and therfore also:


2. The case that the NPOR dates to 1660-68 at St. Paul, Parkend might even have dated to 1635 (when Burward rebuilt Salisbury Cathedral's organ) or possibly even earlier. It is not recorded that when Thomas Harris re-errected the 1635 Burward organ in 1660, a new case was provided at the same time.


Technically it is very possible that the case could even have dated to before 1600. The case at St. Nicholas, Stanford- upon-Avon, has been dated to 1580. John Burward's work at Salisbury in 1635 is described as an "enlargement" rather than a rebuild.


It is a pity that, according to NPOR records, the organ given in N05754 no longer exists. If a piece of that casing had been given to a wood expert we might well have been able to establish what year the tree was felled to make the case.


Can anyone think of any better explanation? If so then I will be interested to hear your thoughts.



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