Sir Samuel Hellier to John Rogers, 18th January 1767



I Wrote a Long Letter in answer to your

Last which hope you Received safe. I Likewise sent down the

Charity School Book &c which hope you also got safe.

I have now sent you a French Horn in the Key

of D. a Mouthpiece to it likewise  But as Every —

Performer on that Instrument ought to suit their Lip's

to the mouthpiece I would therefore ^ have you send ^ if what I have sent should

not suit send to the Toy Shop's at Birmingham[1] &

you may please yourselves I would recommend a Silver one

They are not Dear & prevent the Lips from Cankering.

When you see how you are likely to go on let me

Know & I will send Down an other Horn but 'till

you are a Little Settled one will do. You should Bind

The Horn on the Bottom with some Green Terret[???] or

Silk Binding to prevent its bruising. —

I have also sent Two Hautboy's both Exceeding good ones

That with your Brothers name wrote on the paper I —

Make him a Present off to Encourage him & the Reed

Case but he must Procure some Reeds to suit his Lips —

from Mark Beaman at WolverHampton. The other Hautboy

I Bought for myself But will Lend it your People to learn upon

& when I come into the Country will take this myself &

Make them a Present off an other which I have by me. The Reed

Case I make them a Present off. So mind & take Care to keep this

Hautboy safe your Brother should have some Green Base Basso [??] made


with Petitions or Little Pockets so then unscrew your

Hautboy’s & keep them secure. I have looked over —

Stanley's Voluntaries[2] & fear they are too Difficult for

you at Present so have not sent them But would. have

you apply to Mr. Wm. Bond at Wolver hampton ^ as you are to Commence Organist so Soon ^ & beg —

him to write you Down Two or Three Easy ones

to shew the Trumpet Stop, the Cornet, & the

French Horn which is Done by Playing ye French Horn[3]

manner with the Stop & open Diapasons & has a

Pretty Effect have sent a Book which I make you a

Present off for that Purpose full of Ruled Paper

& a new Song which is much admired here. Send

word the names of who are to Learn Hautboy's, Horn's &c.

They may get Mr. Eller as he goes Every month to the

assembly at Stourbridge[4] to give them Some Written Directions

& now & Then go over to him at Birmingham There's no

great Matter in it then they will Learn right for if

They attempt to Learn without a Master they will get

a Bad Habbit of Playing & never play well ^ It is impossible to play well without a Master ^

I have sent Down an Oxford Almanack Bid Nanny

give you the almanack Frame take ye old one out

& put in this new one. — In your Red Musick

Book is a Band as a Pattern for the Children. It is —

A very bad one & by no mean’s what I mean, only

I would have them in form Like it & not Cut

Uneaven But Level & Strait about a full Inch Longer

& a Hem Broader the Double Part which the Strings are

fastned to must be full as I Design it to keep their

neck’s warm & would have the whole made of


Some Kind of Lawn & Tape Strings. — The Person

who makes their Surplices will Do it. or any —

Milliner at WolverHampton But you know I like to

See things done well, Quite well, For ye reason

I refer myself to you. — I desire the Gardnor

would send word if he has any Renunculus, anemony’s

Junquills, Crown Imperialls, Tulips, Hycynths Narcissus etc and what other Things we have not

Got in the garden[5] & the Proper Time to send

Them & I will furnish him, Tell him I Expect

The wood full of Flowers, & now Wiliam Dalton [Walton?] is

gone in great order & Every thing Else — How do the

Bees go on is any Care taken of them? —

The Ducks Lay I hope. Whatever Laurels & Ever greens

Ye gardnor Can get by all mean’s Distribute [them]

About the wood were wanted Especially at ye N[page torn]

Place at the first Entrance or going into the [wood]

Let me hear from you soon &c —

am yours &c Sincerely

S. Hellier


We have it Strongly reported in

Town that Lord Dudley is Dead, Let me

hear[?], if true great alterations must

no Doubt soon appear at Himley.[6]

Remember my Curtain Rod to the Seat in the Church

is mended where Broke you never send word

how matter’s go on

I see by the news Papers that miss Rattleby is married at Bath

ask Mr. Jorden if she is well married.


6. Sir Samuel Hellier to John Rogers London 31st January 1767.

ADD K1.6


January 31st. 1767



Your's of the 26th inst[ant] is arrived safe &c

I hope you have Received the Hautboy's & French Horn 

safe in the Box with them I sent a long Letter which

desire you would answer soon. The Severe frost & hard

weather has been Universally felt but we here begin

to find an alteration for ye better it being much —

gone. As ye snow has been so deep I desire you would Examine

the Roof of the Musick Room & have it Thoroughly

cleared away & the Pipes unstopp'd. & look at the

Bee house the Temple Seat & other out of Door

Ornaments lest any Damage has been done them — 

The Boat house also examine. ^ I hope ye Coach House where ye new Boat is is kept Locked for fear of Frost ^ — The Dragon is not

yet arrived when it does Mr. Bannon shall Directly

alter it being a Matter of no sort of dificulty to

Those who know how to go about it you shall have

it sent Down as soon as Possible & then Pray down

with the Scaffolds Directly it Looks so unfinished as it is.

I'm pleas'd you sent me the form of ye Cap Stone I'm

fearfull it looks Clumsy & heavy — but you are the

best judge who are on the Spot & have seen it let me

know what you think in your next as we will alter any

imperfection Discernable to the Eye. As There are 13

Boys belonging to the Charity School Tell Nanny there must be

one more Surplice made Making ye number Seven as it will

appear odd one Boy should be different from the Rest. Tell Nanny

to take Care of the Boat Cussions that Mr. Kent made & also —

get those from ye seat in the Church keep them airing &c.

The Organ is the next Thing this you will have by Easter.


You will find ^ its ^ answer Every good purpose & very Lively

& Strong[.] Its height about 9 feet bredth in Proportion

& The place to sit & play need not take much Room

& will Certainly Stand in the Arch. — My thoughts of the

Faculty are these that you need have no Faculty at all

for 'tis a Voluntary ass[..]??? of the Parish to which the organ

Solely belong's to Dispose or do whatever they by a —

Magority of Voices at a meeting legally Call'd Determine

They do not break ye Church wall, nor stir the ground

& infringe on any one Cannonical Law or Rule

so 'tis not cognizable in the Ecclesiastical Court &c.

However to be on the Sure Side & Make all Things

Easy I desire you would apply Directly for a Faculty,

& State no Exact Dimentions — if required that may

afterwards be added but be sure get Room Enough —

better too Much than too Little. Let good fires be —

made in the Musick Room. — I would have your Brother

Paint of a Mehogony Colour the Moulding of the jocond

-ing Board from the Pulpit & Streak with Black as

The Book Case in the Studdy is Done & underneath

where the glony[???] is over the Parson’s head paint of

a very Light Sky Blew & Diserita the Glory & Hebrew

Letters a fresh as they now are, also would have him

Paint Mehog[on]y Colours ye Front of the ^ of ^ gallery it will

Look a Little Lively & neat against our Organ Comes.

So Do not neglect it if its Done with Drying Spirits

Tibile[???] Easily Dry any weather. ^ Pray see how the vault stands ye weight? ^ I would have Nanny

Kill the Pig and of hand & send my the Harelet &c

as Last year Let him be singed the same as before


Sparibs taken out ^ & kept on ^ & Exactly as the Last was —

I would Cox of Orton is the man to do it. I should like

A few of the Pig Puddings made of Each sort Black

& white the Rest let be given to poor people.

& Desire he may be nicely Settled. — Pray Remember to do the

Little Jobs I mentioned & put a new leg to ye Drum Desk.

& Hurry Harry Noakes to Do what he was to Do in the

House & the Paveing. Do in your next send word how

Much in length, Height, &c the Curtain sh[ould] be to hide

the Organist. I mean it only in Front ’Twill look

very neat. Pray tell Nanny to let ye Fiddle Cases

& those up Stairs with in a moderate Distance of the

Fire to air. — I wish you would write out & learn

the other Coronation anthem you'll find it in the

Studdy Cover'd with blue paper & not bound, I mean

that which begins "Let thy hand be strengthened &c.[7]  

My Poor Swan I grieve at his loss Sure you m[ust]

find out how he Dyed. Let the Gardnor diligently

[inquire?] for an other I got there from Burton on Trent

However I desire some Pains may be taken to get me

an other against Spring The Gardnor may go over on purpose

this pair cost me only a single guinea but I was ­—

befriended. — Send word if any Parcel or Packet has

been left for me. & Tell Nanny to send to Mr Crour

at Kingswinford & get home me Sheriffs Javellins &c.

At Present shall take no body in … Place is Let

The young man known. as to Roses Puppy I would have Nanny —

give it away not Distroy it. we have too many Dogs.

I have Cross’d out what I mentioned of Seven Surplices I made a

Mistake would only have Six made & Those very Neat.

Let me hear soon & am yours &c

S. Hellier

I have wrote to Mr. Jorden

when are the Charity

Children to be Cloathed?


[1] The toy industry in Birmingham produced ancillary items, usually in metal, such as buttons, buckles and hinges. The most important figure was Matthew Boulton, by had opened his Soho Manufactory in 1765.

[2] There is a copy of Stanley’s Voluntaries, opp. 5-7 in the Shaw-Hellier Collection, SH45. This is an anthology edition thought to be published around 1755.

[3] This is presumably a mistake as the French horn was usually replicated by using stopped and open diapasons with a trumpet or cornet stop.

[4] ‘Stourbridge Assembly will begin on Monday the 18th of September next, and be continued Monthly, as usual. WALTER NOEL, Esq; Steward.’ Aris’s Birmingham Gazette, Monday, 4th September, 1769. The Stourbridge Musical Society may have been involved with these events.

[5] Ranunculus = Buttercups; Jonquils are similar to Narcissus (Dafodils); Crown Imperials = Fritillaria imperialis.

[6] Himley Hall was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Dudley and Ward.

[7] Handel’s Coronation Anthem, ‘Let thy hand be Strengthened’, HWV 259, first performed at the coronation of George II, 1727.

Sir Samuel Hellier to John Rogers, 18th January 1767
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