William William’s Book

Manuscript Music, 1818


The handwritten music and lyrics in this book evoke entertaining evenings at home or at the local hostelry singing to the accompaniment of a fiddle or piano. The selection of popular 18th and 19th century songs includes ballads and operatic pieces. Ninety songs are listed on the inside front board though the first page and last three pages of the book are missing. There is plenty of choice nonetheless including ‘Jockey & Jenny’, ‘The Jolly Toper’, ‘The Female Phaeton’ and ‘The Fair Thief’.

Two previous Welsh owners have inscribed the book: ‘William William’s Book / Sept the 21st 1813 / William Williams Cabinetmaker’ ; ‘Thomas Llewelyn his [sic] my name and new bridge is [my] nation’.

The latter inscription is undated but Thomas warns that if he catches anyone stealing his book they should ‘prepare for Cardiff Jail’!

TheĀ  book is in remarkably good condition and is bound in calf with later tape repairs to the spine and corners. The laid paper inside is watermarked LVG for Lubertus van Gerrevink, an eighteenth century Dutch papermaker. A few pages have been repaired with archival tape and the last page is partly missing.

Item Ref. 7003

Size: when closed, 185 x 250mm