Monday, June 09, 2014

A "less than ringing endorsement"

Humility is the first of the virtues, so say the spiritual writers.  Pipers, I'm told, are also occasionally in need of lessons in humility.  One James Ritchie received such on 6 April 1739 in a petition from his father to the Town Councillors who employed James Smith as their town piper:
Unto the Council of Peebles shews your ser[vant] John Ritchie That whereas I have put my son to learn to play on the pipes to your piper he not being fit for other work, and I not being able to buy him a pair of pipes Beseeches your Honours to give me some small thing to the end fore[said].

That "he not being fit for other work"  must have done the trick for the Council record is endorsed:

The Council grants Warrant to their treasurer to give the petitioner John Ritchie five Shillings Ster for the use mentioned in the petition.

(from Keith Sanger's article on the history of Peebles Burgh pipers in the June 2014 number of Common Stock, the journal of the Lowland and Border Pipers Society.)