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Wooden fife used by a soldier of the Royal Manx Fencibles

Date made: late 18th-early 19th century

Maker: unknown

Description: This fife was used by a soldier named Quirk, from Patrick in the west of the Isle of Man.

This musical instrument consists of a simple wooden tube with finger holes.

The fife was the mainstay of military music of the 18th century. It was small, portable and together with the drum, well suited for marching music. Tunes like 'Brighton Camp' and 'Lily Bolero' , both ideal for the fife, would have been staples of the Royal Manx Fencibles. It is recorded that, "March 17th [1812] — Being the anniversary of St. Patrick, the Irish gentlemen in Douglas had several dinner parties. The dawn was ushered in by the regimental fifes and drums, who beat 'St Patrick's Day in the morning' through the town, and the evening closed with the same by the old band of the Manx Fencibles."

Measurements: 36.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm

Materials: TT Organic, fibre: vegetable, leather, wood

Object name: fife

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1954-2543

Subject tags : SHIC 1.819 - Warfare and defence, Army & SHIC 2.851 - Hobbies, crafts and pastimes, Music


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