John Peacock

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John Peacock


 Given name:     John
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Peacock
 Place of birth:     Morpeth
 Place of death:     Newcastle upon Tyne
 Year of birth:     1756
 Year of death:     1817
 Profile:     Musician
 Source of information: Peacock %28piper%29

Biographical notes[edit]

John Peacock (c. 1756 – 1817) was one of the finest Northumbrian smallpipers of his age, and probably a fiddler also, and the last of the Newcastle Waits. He was born in Morpeth about 1756, and died in Newcastle, 'in distress'. He studied the smallpipes with 'old' William Lamshaw, of Morpeth, and later with Joseph Turnbull, of Alnwick. His playing was highly regarded in his lifetime: Thomas Bewick, the engraver, who also lived and worked in Newcastle, wrote Some time before the American War broke out, there had been a lack of musical performers upon our streets, and in this interval, I used to engage John Peacock, our inimitable performer, to play on the Northumberland or Small-pipes; and with his old tunes, his lilts, his pauses, and his variations, I was always excessively pleased. William Green, piper to the Duke of Northumberland, considered him the best small pipes player he ever heard in his life.

He was probably the first player of the instrument to play an extended keyed chanter. Such chanters were developed in the first decades of the 19th century, by John Dunn, in association with Peacock, and by Robert Reid. Thomas Bewick encouraged Peacock to teach pupils to become masters of this kind of music; one of these pupils was Bewick's own son, Robert Eliot Bewick.