Thomas Dallam

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This article is about the first Thomas Dallam. For his grandson of the same name, see Dallam family.

Thomas Dallam (ca. 1570 – after 1614) was an English organ-builder from Dallam, Lancashire. A number of his descendants were also organ-builders.

Dallam was a member of London's Blacksmiths' Company, but travelled frequently in connection with his work.

Organ of King's College. This instrument has been rebuilt since Dallam's time, but it is believed that some of the case is original.


During 1599 and 1600 Dallam went on a voyage from London to Constantinople in order to deliver an organ to the sultan Mehmet III.[1][2] The instrument was a large one which could be played normally or by clockwork. It was commissioned as a present from Queen Elizabeth I. Dallam kept a diary of his journey, which was published in the nineteenth century by the Hakluyt Society.[3][4]

Dallam afterwards built many important organs, including that of King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Unfortunately, much of his work was destroyed by people hostile to church organs following the outbreak of the English Civil War In the case of King's College Chapel, the existing instrument is the product of successive rebuilds, and it is not known for certain whether it contains any of Dallam's work, but it is believed that some of the case is his.


  1. ^ Malcolm, Noel (2004-05-02). "How fear turned to fascination". Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  2. ^ Jean Giullou: Die Orgel. Erinnerung und Vision.Christoph Glatter-Götz 1984 p. 35 with image
  3. ^ Early voyages and travels in the Levant: I. The diary of Master Thomas Dallam, 1599-1600...
  4. ^ Carrington, Dorothy (1949) The Traveller's Eye. London: Pilot Press; p. 81

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