Thomas Dallam was born in Dallam, Lancashire, sometime around 1570. He joined the Blacksmith’s Company to learn the trade of organmaking, and was admitted as a liveryman. After building the mechanical organ described in the text, along with his journey accompanying it to Constantinople, Dallam returned to England, where his son Robert was born in 1602 (the date of his marriage is not known). In 1605 he was commissioned to build an organ for King’s College Chapel, Cambridge; either Dallam or one of his sons continued to tune this organ until 1641. In 1613 he was commissioned to build double organs for Worcester Cathedral and in 1617 for the Chapel Royal at Holyrood House, Edinburgh. From 1624 to 1627 he collaborated with his son Robert on an organ for Durham Cathedral. Dallam had a second son, Ralph, as well as a daughter, whose name is unknown. Both Ralph and Robert, as well his daughter’s son, Rene Harris, followed Thomas Dallam in his trade; the family were perhaps the most important organmakers in seventeenth-century England.
The excerpts from his diary printed here are taken from J. Theodore Bent, ed., Early Voyages and Travels to the Levant, by the Hakluyt Society, no. 87 (London, 1893).
—Mary C. Fuller
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- 2.On Algiers as “corsair capital,” see Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995)Google Scholar
- Sir Godfrey Fisher, Barbary Legend: War, Trade, and Piracy in North Africa, 1415–1830 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957).Google Scholar