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Arnold, Samuel (1740–1802), composer, was born in London on 10 August 1740, the son of Thomas Arnold; he may have been the Samuel Arnull, son of Thomas and Mary Arnull, baptized at St Martin-in-the-Fields on 21 August that year. During his time as a choirboy in the ...

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Attwood, Thomas (1765–1838), composer and organist, was born on 23 November 1765, probably at 20 Eaton Street, Pimlico, Middlesex. He was the second of the six children of Thomas Attwood (d. 1825), a coal merchant and musician who played trumpet, horn, and viola in the king's band, and his wife, ...

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Bennett, Sir William Sterndale (1816–1875), composer, was born at 7 Howard Street, Sheffield, on 13 April 1816, the third child and only son of Robert Bennett (1788–1819) and his wife, Elizabeth, née Donn (1791–1818). Bennett's grandfather, John Bennett (1754–1837), was a bass lay clerk in the choir which at that time served the ...

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Bishop, Sir Henry Rowley (1786–1855), composer, the son of Samuel Bishop, a watchmaker and later haberdasher, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Wigley, was born at 83 Great Portland Street, London, on 18 November 1786. His early education was at Dr Barrow's academy at ...

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Blow, John (1648?–1708), musician and composer, was baptized at St Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, on 23 February 1649. The record of his doctorate at Lambeth Palace confirms the identification; the age on his marriage allegation suggests that he was born in 1648. He was the second of three children of ...

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Boughton, Rutland (1878–1960), composer, was born in Bicester Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on 23 January 1878, the elder son in a family of two boys and one girl of William Rutland Boughton (1841–1905), a grocer at 37 Buckingham Street, and his wife, Grace Martha (1845–1924)...

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Boyce, William (bap. 1711, d. 1779), composer, organist, and music editor, was born in Maiden Lane, London, and was baptized on 11 September 1711 at St James Garlickhythe, the youngest of four children of John Boyce (1673–1752), joiner and cabinet-maker, and his wife, ...

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W. G. Alcock

revised by Judith Blezzard

Bridge, Sir (John) Frederick (1844–1924), organist and composer, was born on 5 December 1844 at Oldbury, Worcestershire, the eldest son of John Bridge, of Oldbury, and his wife, Rebecca Cox. After moving to Rochester, John Bridge was appointed a vicar-choral at the cathedral. ...

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Bull, John (1559x63–1628), composer, was born either in 1562 or 1563 (according to a 1589 portrait) or, less plausibly, in 1559 or 1560 (according to his marriage licence of December 1607), probably in Hereford or the surrounding area but possibly in Radnorshire; nothing is known of his parents. On 31 August 1573 he was admitted as a choirboy of ...

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Busby, Thomas (1754–1838), composer and author, was born on 26 December 1754 in Westminster, the son of Thomas Busby, a coach painter, and his wife, Ann. As a boy he had a fine treble voice and attempted at the age of twelve or thirteen to join the choir of ...

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Butterworth, George Sainton Kaye (1885–1916), composer and folk dancer, was born on 12 July 1885 at 16 Westbourne Square, Paddington, London, the only child of Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth (1854–1946), a solicitor and later general manager of the North Eastern Railway Company, and his wife, ...

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Callcott, John Wall (1766–1821), composer and music teacher, was born on 20 November 1766 at The Mall, Kensington Gravel Pits, London, the son of Thomas Callcott, builder, and his second wife, Charlotte, née Wall; his brother was the painter Sir Augustus Wall Callcott...

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Child, William (1606/7–1697), composer and organist, was born in Bristol, and, according to Anthony Wood (Wood, Ath. Oxon., 2.265), educated under Elway Bevin, the cathedral organist. There is, however, no evidence that he was a chorister at the cathedral, although on 5 April 1620 he was apprenticed to one of the lay clerks, ...

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Coates, Eric [formerly Frank Harrison Coates] (1886–1957), composer, was born on 27 August 1886 at Watnall Road, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, the youngest of the three daughters and two sons of William Harrison Coates (d. 1935), a surgeon, and his wife, Mary Jane Gwynne, ...

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Coward, Sir Noël Peirce (1899–1973), playwright and composer, was born at Helmsdale, 5 Waldegrave Road, Teddington, Middlesex, on 16 December 1899, the second in the family of three sons (the eldest of whom died at the age of six) of Arthur Sabin Coward (1856–1937)...

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Croft, William (bap. 1678, d. 1727), organist and composer, was born presumably at the Shirley Manor House in Nether Eatington, Warwickshire, the fourth of seven children of William Croft (1614–1690) and his wife, Jane Brent, daughter of the late vicar of Nether Eatington...

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Crotch, William (1775–1847), composer and organist, was born on 5 July 1775 at Green's Lane, St George Colgate, Norwich, the only child of Michael Crotch (1735–1813), a carpenter, and his second wife, Isabella (1737–1830); he had two older half-brothers, the children of his father's first marriage to ...

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Davies, Sir (Henry) Walford (1869–1941), composer and organist, was born on 6 September 1869 in Willow Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, the seventh child and fourth surviving son of John Whitridge Davies (d. 1885), accountant, and his wife, Susannah, daughter of Thomas Gregory, jeweller. After attending ...

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Dering [née Harvey], Mary, Lady Dering (bap. 1629, d. 1704), composer, was baptized at St Laurence Pountney, London, on 3 September 1629, the daughter of Daniel Harvey (1587–1647), merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Kynnersley (bap. 1601, d. 1655). Her father was described by his son-in-law as '...

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Dibdin, Charles (bap. 1745, d. 1814), actor, composer, and writer, was baptized privately (possibly because he was sickly at birth) on 4 March 1745 at Southampton, and again publicly on 26 March at Holyrood Church, Southampton, where his father, Thomas Dibdin, was parish clerk; his mother's name has been given as ...