John Young was a music seller and instrument maker at the sign of the Dolphin and Crown, in St. Paul's Church Yard, at the west side and at the corner of London House Yard.
He must have been established in the last years of the seventeenth century, and though so far as I have seen he published nothing on his own account, yet his name occurs on the imprints of several of the music printers and publishers of his day. The earliest which I know is a half-sheet song in the British Museum, "The Scotch Wedding, or the Lass With the Golden Hair," circa1700, "printed for and sold by I. Walsh, musical instrument maker to his Majesty, at ye Golden Harpe and Hoboy ... and I. Hare, at ye Golden Viall, in St. Paules Church Yard ... and I. Young, musicall instrument maker, at ye Dolphin and Crown, in St. Paules Church Yard."
His name is on the 1707 edition of "Pills to Purge Melancholy" ; Chr. Simpson's "Compendium of Practical Musick," 1714; "The Merry Musician," volume 2 (circa 1728); The Dancing Master," third volume (circa 1728), and the 4th edition of the second volume of the same work.
This last is dated 1728. It is probable that Young died about this period, for I have found no later imprints. One of Young's trade labels now before me runs:-" Sold by John Young, Musical Instrument Seller, at the Dolphin and Crown, at the west end of St. Paul's Church, where you may be furnished with all sorts of Violins, Flutes, Hautboys, Bass-Viols, Harpsicords, or Spinets, likewise all books of Tunes and Directions for any of these Instruments, also al sorts of Musick, Rul'd Paper, and Strings, at Reasonable rates." Hawkins says that he had a son named Talbot who had attained great proficiency on the violin. This notice of Young may be fitly concluded with the clever and oft quoted catch as printed in the "Second book of the Pleasant Musical Companion, London, printed by Wm. Pearson, for Henry Playford, 1701; it is generally given as from the 1726 edition:
A CATCH UPON MR. YOUNG AND HIS SON Dr. Caesar
You scrapers that want a good fiddle well strung,
You should go to the man that is old while he's Young.
But if this same fiddle you fain would play bold,
You must go to his son, who'll be Young when he's old.
There's old Young and young Young, both men of renown.
Old sells, and young plays the best fiddle in town.
Young and old live together and may they live long.
Young to play an old fiddle, Old to sell a new song.
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