John Hunsley

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John Hunsley was a bagpiper from Manton, North Lincolnshire and last known player of the Lincolnshire bagpipes, which he played until shortly before his death at around 1850.[1]

Hunsley's music was described as unrefined, or "unmelodious",[2] but popular amongst his peers. Hunsley was known to play for riotous parties where guests "danced until the brick dust came through the soles of their feet."[3] One commentator noted that Hunsley's bagpipe was "little more than the Oaten Pipe improved with a bag."[4] Organologist Anthony Baines notes that Hunsley used to send his pipes to be "tuned" in Edinburgh.[5] Another reference claimed that he took the pipes himself, on a white pony. The same authority recorded that he was a champion boxer and wrestler, defeated only once in his life.[6]


  1. ^ A commentator the 1881 Oxford Journals' Notes and queries noted that Hunsley played the pipes up until shortly before his death, which occurred "between twenty and thirty years ago."
  2. ^ Oxford Journals (Firm) (1881). Notes and queries. Oxford University Press. pp. 95–. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Lincolnshire famed for its sausages, flat landscape, cathedral and... bagpipes?. Lincolnshire Echo, 30 December 2010
  4. ^ Christopher R. Wilson, Michela Calore. Music in Shakespeare: a dictionary. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005. ISBN 0-8264-7846-8, ISBN 978-0-8264-7846-7. Pg 33
  5. ^ Anthony Baines (1979). Bagpipes. Pitt Rivers Museum. p. 134. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Binnall, P.B.G. "A Man of Might" in FOLKLORE, Vol.52, pp.52-74, 1942