Jan 4

[Peter Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford]


LONDON, January 4, 1712.

Dear Brother,

[... 238 ... 242 ...]

I was at a place yesterday and there came in a lady and said

she was just come from the Dutchess of Marlborough, and

there was a message came from P—— E—— [Prince Eugene] to know if

the Duke was at home, but upon inquirery I found he was

not come this morning.  If he comes before to morrow there

will be a crowding to see him at the opera.[1]




Jan 11

[Peter Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford]


LONDON, January 11, 1712.

Dear Brother,

[...] You have heard that P. [Prince] Eugene

had an audience of the Queen Sunday at six a clock; he did

not stay above a quarter of an hour with her.  He has show’d

himself much to the Ladies, for a Munday night he was at

Lady Betty Germain’s Assemblee, and there were ladys came

there that had never been there before to see Lady Betty,

which made a crowd; the next was Lady Harvey’s and there

was the like company.  Wednesday was the Opera and there

he brought a great crowd, so much that Operas are to be

perform’d thrice a week whilst he stays here.  He has been

to return all the vissits of the ministry, they say he’s to dine

with Lord Treasurer to-morrow.  He was at the Dutchess

of Shrewsbury’s assemblee last night where I had stairing

enought [sic] of him, but I had more modesty then most of the

ladies, for I saw none of them scruple as fast as they cou’d

get up to see him, to look him full in the face, tho’ he was

looking at them.  He sup that night at the Duke of [247]

Shrewsbury’s; Nicholinia [sic] sung. [...][2]




Jan 18

            Mr. SPECTATOR,

‘YOU will forgive Us Professors of Musick if We make a second Application to You, in Order to promote our Design of exhibiting Entertainments of Musick in York-Buildings.  It is industriously insinuated that Our Intention is to destroy Operas in General; but we beg of you to insert this plain Explanation of our selves in your Paper.  Our Purpose is only to improve our Circumstances, by improving the Art which we profess.  We see it utterly destroyed at present; and as we were the Persons who introduced Operas, we think it a groundless Imputation that we should set up against the Opera in it self.  What we pretend to assert is, That the Songs of different Authors injudiciously put together, and a Foreign Tone and Manner which are expected in every Thing now performed amongst us, has put Musick it self to a stand; insomuch that the Ears of the People cannot now be entertained with any thing but what has an impertinent Gayety, without any just Spirit or a Languishment of Notes, without any Passion or common Sense.  We hope those Persons of Sense and Quality who have done us the Honour to subscribe, will not be ashamed of their Patronage towards us, and not receive Impressions that patronising us is being for or against the Opera, but truly promoting their own Diversions in a more just and elegant Manner than has been hitherto performed.

We are, SIR,

Your most humble Servants,

Thomas Clayton.

Nicolino Haym.

Charles Dieupart.

            There will be no Performances in York-Buildings, til after that of the Subscription.[3]




Jan 21

AT the Queen’s Theatre in the Hay-Market, on Wednesday next, being the 23d of January, will be performed an Opera call’d Rinaldo. The Part of Argantes to be perform’d by Mr. [Salomon] Bendler, newly arriv’d, the Part of Godofredo [sic] by Signora Margarita de L’Espine, the Part of Eustacio by Mrs. Barbier. The Pit and Boxes to be put together. No Persons to be admitted without Tickets, which will be delivered out at Mrs. White’s Chocolate-house and at the Theatre at half a Guinea each. The first Gallery 4 s. upper Gallery 1 s. 6 d. To begin exactly at Six. No Persons to stand on the Stage.[4]




Mar 11

[Lady to Strafford to the Earl of Strafford]


ST. JAMES’S SQUARE, March 11, 1712.


.... Here is nothing talked about but men that goes in

partys about the street and cuts peaple with swords or knives,

and they call themselves by som hard name that I can nethere

speak nor spell [Mohocks]; but a Satturday night coming from the

opera they asalted Mr. Davenant and drew there swords upon

him, but he took won of them and sent to the round house,

but ’tis thought ’twas sombody that would have been known

and they gave mony and made their eskape, but what was

the great jest about town was they said they had cut of his

head of hare. [...][5]




Mar 21

[Lady to Strafford to the Earl of Strafford]


ST. JAMES’S SQUARE, March 21, 1712.


[... 280 ...] To morrow here is an opera for Nicolina’s benifit,

I believe all the town will be there; Lady Dartmouth and I

goe together, and Mrs. Hill, Lady Massam’s sister. [...][6]




Mar 28

[Lady Strafford, 28 March 1712]


Lord Scarsdale is so angry

that he has noe place that he declares he’ll turn whigg, and as a mark of

that he led the Duchess of Marlborough out of the Opera.[7]




Easter (April)

Ostern 1712

Dienerbesoldungen bei Hofe [Hannover]. Musicanten.

Von Ostern 1711 biß Ostern 1712 dem Capellmeister Georg Friedrich Hendel gantzjährig von Johannis 1711 biß Johannis 1712 1000 Thlr., wovon ihm aber der Invaliden Abzug als 83 thlr. 12 mgr., welcher im vorigen Jahre hätte decoutiret warden müßen, gekürtzet und also nur gezahlet 916 Thlr. 24 gr.[8]





Hanover Chamber Accounts

payments to “Georg Friedrich Hendell”

Midsummer 1712

500 Thaler, for six months’ salary, paid in arrears in 1715[9]




Oct 21

J. D. Brandshagen aus London an Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz


Die Signora Pilota ist noch nicht über kommen, u. weilen mir der Hannoversche Capellmeister Hr. Händel sagete, daß sie schon auf der reise u. sehr verlanget, weilen die Opera balt angehen würden, war ich willens meine antwordt biß auf dero überkunfft zu verffahren, alleine der Freundt R. A. davon vorhero eine Schrifft übersendet, hat mir diesen nachmittag einliegenden Brieff an Ihre Churfürstl. Durchl. gegeben mit bitten solchen so balt möglich überzusenden, welches dan auch nicht versäumen wollen, u. weilen die Zeit zu kurtz (indem die Post nach Hollandt diesen abent abgehet), muß ich die andern sachen biß künfftig wan die Sign. Pilota ist überkommen, anstehen lassen, zu schreiben.[10]




Nov 20

Never Perform’d before.

AT the Queen’s Theatre in the Hay-Market, on Saturday next, being the 22d Day of November, will be presented a new Opera call’d The Faithful Shepherd. Compos’d by Mr. Hendel. The Parts to be performed by Signior Cavaliero Valeriano Pellegrini, Signor Valentino Urbani, Signiora Pilotti Schiavonetti, Signiora Margaretta de l’Epine, Mrs. Barbier and Mr. Leveridge.[11]


[1] The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 238-42.

[2] The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 246-47.

[3] The Spectator, no. 278, Friday 18 January 1711, [2]; repr. Deutsch, 48.

[4] The Spectator, no. cclxxx, Monday 21 January 1721, [2].

[5] The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 277.

[6] The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 279-80.

[7] The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. by James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 282, n.

[8] Händel Handbuch, 57.

[9] Donald Burrows, “Handel and Hanover,” in Bach, Handel, Scarlatti Tercentenary Essays, ed. Peter Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 35–60: 40.

[10] Händel Handbuch, 57.

[11] The Spectator, no. dxli, Thursday 20 November 1712, [2].