Espinette is the French term for a small harpsichord, at that time called in England a spinet. It was named from a fancied resemblance of its quill plectra to spines or thorns.
This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.
"A stringed keyboard instrument resembling a harpsichord but with only one manual, and one set of jacks and strings. The spinet is closely related to the virginal, but it is strung diagonally, and is generally wing-shaped rather than square. It is of Italian origin, but was very popular in England in the late 17th century."
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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.