Mrs Papendiek On the Death of J. C. Bach

[1782] ... my father prevailed upon [Mr. Papendiek] to hasten to the Queen, with the news of Bach being so near his end. This roused him, and after this painful mission, he obtained leave to return to his friend, who had just passed away when he reached this room of mourning. The creditors poured in, but Mr. Papendiek, with the assistance of Bach's faithful coachman, who had driven him, I believe, from the first of his coming to England, kept them from disturbing the corpse. The Queen, by the hand of my father, sent the widow a sum for mourning and other necessities, and mourning also for Miss Cantilo, with permission to Mr. Papendiek to remain and report proceedings. Schroeder, Cramer, and one or two others came to see and to hear, but no one among his musical associates came forward with any offer of respect, either public or private, and this great patron was carried to the grave and buried with the attendance only of four friends, my father, Mr. Papendiek, Zoffany, and Bautebart, but they were indeed sincere mourners. They deposited their charge, who was a Roman Catholic, in St. Pancras' churchyard. The Queen, finding how things were, could not undertake the debts, but the funeral expenses she discharged, and gave the coachman the 100 pounds which he had lent to his master. ...

Madame Bach, having given up her whole to be divided among those who would not relinquish their claims, now lived among her friends until the time of year arrived that she could return to Italy, her native place. ... The widow, with one friend and the faithful coachman, quitted England in due course for Italy, the Queen allowing her 200 pounds a year for life, and giving her 100 pounds for her journey. ... Madame Bach lived but a short time to enjoy the feeling kindness of the Queen. ...


Excerpt from Court and Private Life in the Time of Queen Charlotte: being the Journals of Mrs Papendiek, Assistant Keeper of the Wardrobe and Reader to Her Majesty. Edited by Mrs Vernon Delves Broughton. London, 1887. (2 v.), v.1, p. 151-153.


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