Stoney Middleton, a list of Singers (1717)

Transcription by Rosemary Lockie, with amendments from Glenn Trezza
© Copyright 1999-2002

From the Stoney Middleton Parish Register 1715-1812

April 16. 1717: “An account of the Names of the Singers who were Equally concerned in the charge of the Building of the Loft in Middleton Church for their own use.”

   Tenns pt. (Tenors)    Basus (Bass)
Joseph HALLOM, Senr.Joseph HALLOM, Junr.
ffrancis HALLOM, Senr.James HEATON
Edward BARKERffrancis HALLOM
Wm. TOMBLENSINEzra COCKER
John TOMBLENSINJoseph THORNILLY
Robert OVERTONThomas MASON
Wm BAGSHAW 
Joseph BRAND   Trible (Treble)
Joseph BAMFORTHRichard BOWER
 Joseph HALLOM
   Contra Tenn.Thomas HALLOM
Henry FLETCHERCornelius HALLOM
Jonathon HALLOMPaul ffLETCHER
John THORNILLYBenj. HALLOM
John THORNILLY 
James BAGGALY 

A Contra Tenor (or counter-tenor) would be a male singing voice whose vocal range is literally contra-tenor - higher than the normal range, in comparison with Bass being lower. No doubt music buffs can supply better classical examples, but my first thought would be Barry Gibb's harmonies as part of the Bee Gees. Trebles would most probably be boy singers, or teens with high voices, thus giving an indication of the ages of those so named.

It must have been quite something when music at church was made by the people, rather than by one individual playing an organ - something for them all to be proud of taking part in.
Are your ancestors amongst them?

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, with amendments from Glenn Trezza.

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