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Return to: Contemporary Sources

The British Magazine (1746-1751), June 1750

As the dispute between the master of Vaux-Hall Gardens, and his band of musick, has been a good part of this month the subject of discourse, especially in the companies of the gay and polite, we shall endeavour to give our readers an impartial account of the rise and progress of that quarrel.

This important dispute first began on Wednesday, May 23, between Mr. Reinhold, one of the singers at Vaux-hall, and one Tilt, a waiter there; and as the particulars thereof have been published in what the band call their case, we presume we may give it our readers for authentick, as it was sworn before a magistrate. It is as follows:

Appeals to the public, on every trifling occasion, having appeared so frequent, the present requires some apology; and our only apology is our unwillingness to forfeit that share of the good opinion of the public, which so justly claims our gratitude, and our future study to preserve.

On Wednesday the 23d of May last, one Tilt a waiter, belonging to Mr. Tyers at Vaux-Hall, having used Mr. Reinhold very ill, for no other reason than his eating his supper in the Orchestra, at a time when the rest of the band were removed to the Amphitheatre, and he had nothing to do; Mr. Reinhold, [p253] applied to Mr. Tyers for redress, but not receiving any, he complained to Mr. Collet, the leader of the band; who promised to speak to Mr. Tyers about it; but in the mean time seeing Tilt, he kindly expostulated with him about his behaviour to Mr. Reinhold; but not meeting with the return he expected, the next evening Mr. Collet, with Mr. Reinhold, waited on Mr. Tyers at the bar, and said, "Sir, when you are at leisure I should be glad to speak two or three words with you. - About what, Sir, replied he, in a rude manner - Mr. Reinhold, tells me (says Mr. Collet) one of your waiters has affronted him, I desire you would hear what he has to say. - By G-d I'll hear no more (answered Mr. Tyers in a great passion) - Why, Sir (says Mr. Collet) do you put yourself in this passion - if you will hear what he has to say, it may be put to rights in a few words. - Whereupon Mr. Tyers turn'd to Mr. Reinhold, and said you are a troublesome fellow, with more to the same purpose, and you may go about your business. - If this be all our redress, replied Mr. Collet, he will not go alone - Then said Mr. Tyers, you may all go and be damned together; and abruptly left the bar, and went into a room.

Mr. Collet and Mr. Reinhold followed him, and when they came there, Mr. Collet said, "Sir, I don't come to quarrel with you, I have been with you fifteen years, and pray hear what Mr. Reinhold has to say, if he has used Tilt ill, he will make him satisfaction, and I think that Tilt should do the same."

But this not being complied with, Mr. Collet went and took leave of the band, and withdrew to the Royal-Oak Inn, and was soon after followed by most of the performers: where, after staying some time, Mr. Worgan came twice from Mr. Tyers, and said he had turned away Tilt, and desired the gentlemen to return, which they did accordingly; declaring they did not desire the waiter to be turn'd away, but only that they might be heard. From which time Mr. Tyers continually abused the whole band, and spoke many false and scandalous things of them; and particularly he declared to Mr. Richard Vincent, "that the music (to use his own words) were a parcel of rascals and scoundrels, and that honester men than they had been hang'd at Tyburn". - His next extraordinary step was, he took Tilt again into his service, without farther enquiry or submission - then turned him away - then took him again - and further to incense the band, dismissed Mr. Reinhold without any provocation; to which proceeding the whole band could not fail to express their dislike, it being unprecedented to discharge [p.254] an unoffending performer in the midst of a season; and at length tired with repeated ill usage the band desisted to perform on Friday the first of June, and the night following; but in the mean while kept themselves in readiness to return, in hopes Mr. Tyers would redress them.

On the Monday following, Mr. Lowe and Mr. Snow (two of the band) meeting with Richard Dawson, Esq; a friend of Mr. Tyers's desired him to mediate the difference between the band and Mr. Tyers, which office Mr. Dawson kindly accepting of, Mr. Tyers proposed to Mr. Lowe and Mr. Snow, in that gentleman's presence, "that the waiter should ask Mr. Reinhold's pardon, and that Mr. Reinhold should declare, that he was sorry for what had happened; and that all things should be buried in oblivion, that he would immediately pay off, and discharge the new performers (being then only five or six in number who had played) and that the old band should be re-instated that night, they indemnifying him from all future demands of the new performers." Accordingly the same evening the old band, by Mr. Tyers's appointment, met at the Vine, where Mr. Dawson himself was pleased to communicate to them Mr. Tyers's proposal, which they all unanimously agreed to, and at the same time that gentleman the reason of their being appointed to meet there was, that Mr. Collet and one or two of the old band should go to the new performers, and acquaint them of their agreement with Mr. Tyers; and that the old band were to perform that evening. But before this could be done, Mr. Tyers's son came and said, that "as the new performers were gone up to play, it would be pity to disturb them for that evening," but did assure them that the old band should be reinstated the next night, which was agreed to.

Notwithstanding which Mr. Tyers has hitherto refused to perform his promise.

Westminster, to wit,
9th of June, 1750,
Henry Theodore Reinhold,
Richard Collet,
Richard Vincent,
Thomas Lowe, Valentine Snow,

Be it remembered, that this day came before me Thomas Lediard, Esq; one of his Majesty's justice of the peace for the city and liberty of Westminster, Henry Theodore Reinhold, Richard Collet, Richard Vincent, Thomas Lowe, and Valentine Snow, and severally made oath, that all, and every the facts herein contained, are true, according to the best of their knowledge and belief.

T. Lediard.

[p.255] After giving their case verbatim, as they themselves have printed it, we have only to add, that Mr. Tyers finding the new band he had provided, gave satisfaction to the nobility and gentry, who frequented his gardens, was determined, by the advice of his friends, to continue them rather than submit to those, who by his pay he so generously rewarded for their labours, and who, as they were in fact servants to him and the public, it was said, ought not to have left him on so trifling a dispute. Finding therefore no expectation of a reconciliation, they now exhibit in the great assembly room, at the Old Gun at Mile-End.