This chamber organ was made by England & Son Organ Builders of London, England in 1790. The organ was originally the property of Sir William Bagshawe, M.D., of Sheffield, England, who was a friend of Haydn. It is therefore quite possible, although hard to prove, that Haydn played it on one of his visits to England. The organ was installed in the dining room of the Bagshawe country house where it remained for over one hundred and fifty years until the house and its contents were sold by auction in 1984. It was brought to Canada by the Ontario philanthropist Gordon Jeffrey. It was restored by Wolff et Associés and installed in Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral, Quebec City to mark its Bicentennial in 2004.
“It was built only 10 years before work started on the Quebec cathedral, and so belongs to the same Georgian period as the church itself and many of its furnishings,” says organist Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. “The organ is an extremely rare surviving example of a late 18th century English chamber organ.” It is tuned using a meantone temperament that gives a particular purity to the sound, and suits it to baroque and classical repertoire.
The purchase of this organ was made possible by a generous anonymous donor.