Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Info. on the Waytes can be found at:http://www.waits.org.uk/kingslynn/history.htm
From the Glossary. municipal musicians.On this date jul 27 63., they were singers only , no musical instruments.spelling waytes,waits
OED Forms: 3-7 wayte, waite, (5 wayet, whayte), 4-7 wayt, 4, 7 weyte, (6 weytte, wette), 5-6 wate, (5 watte), 6 waytte (waitte, wayght, weyght, wyethe, whet), 7 waight, (weight), 4- wait. I. The action of WAIT v.1
wayte one of the many versions of use of wait: b. A watchman attached to the royal household who sounded the watch, etc., by the blowing of a pipe, trumpet, or other wind-instrument. c. A municipal watchman. 8 a. pl. A small body of wind instrumentalists maintained by a city or town at the public charge. Also sing., a member of this body. Obs.They played for the daily diversion of the councillors, on ceremonial and festive occasions, and as a town or city band they entertained the citizens, perambulating the streets, often by night or in the early morning. 1617 MORYSON Itin. IV. IV. i. (1903) 301 In like sorte many Cittyes mantayne at publike charge Musitians, vsing Sagbutts, Hoboyes, and such loude Instruments, which wee call the waytes of Cyttyes, and these play at the publicke house of the Citty each day at Noone, when the Senatours goe to dinner, and at all publike Feasts. a1625 FLETCHER Captain II. ii, Jac. Hark, are the Waits abroad? Fab. Be softer prethee, 'Tis private musick...Jac. Well I will hear, or sleep, I care not whether. 1667 Lond. Gaz. No. 189/1 The Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council of this Town, after a Sermon Preached to them, went to the Market-Cross in their Formalities, the Waytes playing before them. 1670 Moral State Eng. 132 The Weights of the Town who played upon Cornets and Haut-bois.later a band :b. pl. A band of musicians and singers who perambulate the streets by night at the approach of Christmas and the New Year playing and singing carols and other seasonable music for gratuities. 1773 Waiter:1. One who watches, or observes closely; one who is on the look-out. Obs
There be many versions of wait
A more extensive explanation of Waits can be found at the Waits Website: http://www.waits.org.uk/
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