The History of Lincoln Waites
Richard Milhouse, Instrument Maker
Newark 1753 - 1775
This is the first Richard in the Milhouse dynasty. Two more Richards were instrument makers, as well as William.
Richard Milhouse was a wood turner in Newark before becoming a maker of musical instruments. The bassoons were constructed from stained maple or fruit woods. The keys and ferrules are of brass. This bassoon has been modified by an amateur. It has an extra piece of wood, which plugs into the instrument, before the crook, and adds approximately 50mm to it's length. It is made from a different wood, which is unpolished and untreated, and it is finished with a rusty iron ferrule. It is not unusual to see old instruments with crude repairs. Musicians often did a quick repair - especially if the musician had to make a special journey to an instrument maker/repairer in another town. As long as the instrument sounded alright, it may never have been taken for the repairs to be carried out professionally.
One of the Milhouse Bassoons in the Newark collection was purchased by Newark Museum in 1983 form Bassingham P.C.C. (Parochial Church Council), where it had been played in the Church Band to accompany singing.
The Tenor Oboe (Vox Humana) has rather nice ivory mounts and brass keys. Although the wood is very dark it is not ebony, but appears to be a cured or stained fruit wood - probably pearwood from one of the orchards in the Newark area. The (William) Milhouse flute is shown for size comparison. The oboe dates from the same period as the bassoons, but the flute was made later - possibly between 1787 and 1837.
Thanks to Newark Museums for allowing us to photograph these instruments.