Feb 2

H. More to her Sister

ADELPHI, Feb. 2, 1779.

                  We…went to Charing Cross to see the melancholy procession [Garrick’s funeral].  Just as we got there we received a ticket from the Bishop of Rochester, to admit us into the Abbey….[/66]…[they were put] in a little gallery directly over the grave, where we could see and hear everything as distinctly as if the Abbey had been a parlour.  Little things sometimes affect the mind strongly!  We were no sooner recovered from the fresh burst of grief than I cast my eyes, the first thing, on Handel’s monument and read the scroll in his hand, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”  Just at three the great doors burst open with a noise that shook the roof: the organ struck up, and the whole choir, [/67] in strains only less solemn than the “archangel’s trump,” began Handel’s fine anthem.  The whole choir advanced to the grave, in hoods and surplices, singing all the way: then Sheridan, as chief-mourner; then the body (alas! whose body!), with ten noblemen and gentlemen, pall-bearers; then the rest of the friends and mourners; hardly a dry eye—the very players, bred to the trade of counterfeiting, shed genuine tears.[1]




Feb 7

On Sunday Evening died at his House at Kensington, Dr. William Boyce, Organist, Composer, and Master of his Majesty’s Band of Music.[2]




Feb 11

Yesterday the Right. Hon. the Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain of his Majesty’s Household, appointed Mr. Stanley, the Organist, to be Master of his Majesty’s Band of Music in the Room of Dr. Boyce, deceased.[3]




Feb 16

This Morning the Remains of Dr. William Boyce will be carried from his House at Kensington to St. Paul’s in order to be interred; the Corpse will be carried into the Choir, where it will remain until the Morning Service is over; the Gentlemen of the Choir will attend.[4]




Feb 19

Drury-Lane Theatre. / The Oratorio of Judas Maccabaeus was last Night performed at Drury-Lane Theatre to a brilliant Audience with great and deserved Applause.  Miss M. Linley’s Performance was charming, and she is perhaps as perfect a Singer as ever appeared in the Situation she now possesses.  Mrs. Kennedy’s Voice must ever affect and give Delight, and we think her much improved in this Stile of Singing.  Mess[.] Norris, Webster, &c. performed in a distinguished Manner.  Miss Wright has a beautiful Voice, and sung very pleasingly.  The great Addition in the Female Chorusses we much approve and admire, and think it will be productive of [?y/v]e[page is cut] [4] [?the]atre.  Mr. Richards led the Oratorio with Spirit and Exactness: Mr. Cramer’s Solo Performances was equal to the great Reputation he deservedly possesses, and the Whole of the Entertainment was such as must give Delight to all Lovers of Music.[5]




Feb 26

At the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, / This Day will be performed / ACIS and GALATEA. / Composed by Mr. HANDEL. / The principal Vocal Parts by / Miss M. LINLEY, / Miss Draper, Miss Wright, (being her 3d Appearance in Public) Mrs. Kennedy, (late Mrs. Farrell) Mr Norris, / And Mr. WEBSTER. / First Violin by Mr. Richards[.] / End of the First Part, a Cantata, by Mrs. Kennedy. / End of the Second Part, a Solo on the Violoncello by Mr. Cervetto. / The Third Part will consist of Songs, Chorusses, &c. selected from the Works of the late Henry Purcell. / Tickets to be had and Places for the Boxes to be taken of Mr. Fosbrook, at the Stage Door of the Theatre at Half a Guinea each. / Pit 5s.  First Gallery 3s. 6d.  Second Gallery 2s. / The Doors to be opened at Half past Five o’Clock, and to begin at Half past Six. / Vivant Rex & Regina.[6]




Mar 11

[11 March]


DAVID GARRICK, Esq. Late Manager of this Theatre, of whom we have already spoken, having [77] died January 20, 1779, a MONODY written on his much lamented death, by R. B. SHERIDAN, Esq. Was recited by Mrs. YATES, March 11.  The stage was disposed nearly in the form as at Oratorios, with the difference only of a vacancy being left for Mrs. YATES to speak the Poem.  Before the organ a monument was erected, which was executed with great taste and judgment.

The Monody began in soft elegiac strains, depicting energetically the great loss they had lately sustained, the imitative arts of the painter, sculptor, poet, and actor, were then nicely touched in most beautiful poetic numbers, pointing the permanent effects of all those arts except that of acting.

It was generally remarked, that if Mrs. YATES had not been obliged (through want of time, as was supposed) to read several passages, itwould have had a still finer effects; however all acknowledged that she did justice to her author, as might have been expected from the then, or since, most pathetic speaker on a stage!

The Monody was divided into three parts, between each of which, and at the conclusion, airs of a solemn nature were sung by Mr. WEBSTER, Mr. GAUDRY, a young lady, and Mrs. WRIGHTEN, supported by a band of choristers.[7]




Mar 31

For the Benefit of the CHARITY. / AT the Lock Hospital Chapel, near Hyde Park Corner, This Day the 31st Inst. will be performed / RUTH, / An Oratorio.  Set to Music by Mr. Giardini.  The Vocal Parts by Miss Linley, Miss Wrighten, Signor Tenducci, Mr. Norris, Mr. Champnes, and others.  End of the First Part a Concerto Violoncello by Mr. Crosdill.  And after the Second Part a Concerto by Mr. Giardini.  F No Persons to be admitted without Tickets, which may be had at the following Places, at Half a Guinea each: St. James’s Coffee-house, St. James’s-street; the Mount Coffee-house, Grosvenor-street; George’s Coffee-house, Temple-bar; Rainbow Coffee-house, Cornhill; and at the Hospital.[8]





[account of an extraordinary gentleman performer]


[...] he accompanied it [i.e. the violin] with his voice in so surprising a manner that any person at a little distance might have taken it for an organ, and several voices performing cathedral worship: after tis, he changed his imitations to the different instruments in a concert, and I heard the French horn, trumpet, kettle drum, bassoon, and three distinct voices with an organ accompanyment [sic], so natural, that I cannot but think the finest musical judges might have been deceived: he played several parts of Handel’s Te deum and the Hallelujah chorus in a pleasing and astonishing way indeed; [...][9]




Aug 14

[first performance: 14 August 1779.]



SCENE I.—A Chamber in Old Cranky’s Housetable and chairs, c.



Ce[c].  Father[,] sir! do pray come out;--I fear he’ll do some mischief there.


Cra.  Ah, ha! upon my word, very well; very pretty, indeed.

Cec.  Pretty! say elegant, my dear papa.  Show me such another orchestra for a private concert—you have seen Drury Lane, at an oratorio.

Cra.  Not I, child.

Cec.  If you had, you must indisputably, nay, certainly, would own, that I have fitted out my little room in a far superior style: a stranger would imagine, nothing would produce such an effect but the taste of a Cornely.

Cra.  Ah! like enough, child, like enough.

Cec.  Ah, my dear papa! what inexpressible delight would it give me, if you had but a little taste for music.

Cra.  Why, I have, Cecilia; I have a very great taste for music.

Cec.  Indeed!

Cra.  Yes, I have; for I stopped upwards of two minutes the other day, in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, listening to the man playing on the little sticks.

Cec.  Oh! Orpheus defend me.

Cra.  I like a good song, or a good tune upon the fiddle, but at your confounded concerts, as you call them, [12] they set up such a roaring, scraping, and piping, that confound me, if I can hear one for the noise of the other.

Cec.  Ha, ha!  But, my dear papa, if I could prevail upon you to stay at home only this evening.

Cra.  I can’t, child, it’s club night.

Cec.  You’ll be inspired with such a gusto.

Cra.  A good song and a bottle, that’s my gusto.  I am an Englishman, Cecilia.  I like an English song, and I’d rather hear the simple nervous strains of an honest tar, in praise of a Rodney, a Hood, a Howe, or a Nelson, than all the squallini concerts in Italy.  Oh, girl! if you was but to hear a song at our club.

Cec.  Over a bottle?

Cra.  Ay, girl, over a bottle. […][10]




Oct 21

[Louisa to Emma, Her Friend in the East-Indies, 21 October 1779.]



Now expectation’s fervour rose, to hail

The youthful master of this quite vale,

My blooming brother—from Oxonia’s towers,

Who sought, with tender haste, his native bowers.

’Twas noon, and ripen’d summer’s fervid ray

From cloudless ether shed oppressive day.

As on this shady bank I sat reclin’d,

My voice, that floated on the waving wind,

Taught the soft echoes of the neighbouring plains

Milton’s sweet lays, in Handel’s matchless strains.

Presaging notes my lips unconscious try,

And murmur—“Hide me from day’s garish eye!”

Ah! blest, had Death beneath his sable shrine

Hid me from all the woes that since were mine![11]




Oct 30

[first performance: 30 October 1779.]


[Flourish of drums----trumpets----cannon, &c. &c.  Scene changes to the sea——the fleets engage——the musick plays ‘Britons strike home.’---Spanish fleet destroyed by fire-ships, &c.---English fleet advances---musick plays ‘Rule Britannia.’---The procession of all the English rivers and their tributaries with their emblems, &c. begins with Handels [sic] water music---ends with a chorus, to the march in Judas Maccabaeus.---During this scene, Puff directs and applauds every thing——then] [sic]


Well, pretty well—but not quite perfect—so ladies and gentlemen, if you please, we’ll rehearse this piece again to-morrow.






Nov 5

[The Countess Cowper to Mrs Port, 5 November 1779]


Miss Williams’s health is much mended, and her conduct good and her voice delightfull [sic].  She is greatly improved in her singing by having had some lessons of Mr. Snow, who is a capital musician, a second Handel; I tell him I am certain he dropp’d him his mantle.  He doats on his music, and worships his memory.  He is the son of the famous trumpetor [sic] Snow, who always was of Mr. Handel’s orchestra.  I hope you have not laid aside your music, ce seroit dommage!  You must not turn a goody, tho’ that appellation belongs to yu without ye y.[13]



[1] Hannah More, The Letters of Hannah More, selected and ed. R. Brimley Johnson (London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1925), 65-67.

[2] The Public Advertiser, Tuesday 9 February 1779, [3].

[3] The Public Advertiser, Friday 12 February 1779, [3].

[4] The Public Advertiser, Tuesday 16 February 1779, [3].

[5] The Public Advertiser, Saturday 20 February 1779, [3-4].

[6] The Public Advertiser, Friday 26 February 1779, [1].

[7] [Walley Chamberlain Oulton], The History of the Theatres of London, 2 vols. (London: Martin and Baines, 1796), 1:76-77.

[8] The Public Advertiser, Wednesday 31 March 1779, [1].

[9] The London Magazine or Gentleman[]s Monthly Intelligencer 48 (1779): 196.

[10] John O’Keeffe, The Son-In-Law: A Comic Opera (London: JohnCymberland, ca 1833); facsimile reproduction in The Plays of John O’Keeffe, edited by Frederick M. Link, 4 vols. (New York & London: Garland, 1981), 1:11-12.

[11] Anna Seward, Louisa.  A Poetical Novel.  In Four Epistles, in The Poetical Works of Anna Seward; with Extracts from her Literary Correspondence, ed. Walter Scott, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Ballantyne and Co., 1810), 2:225.

[12] Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic: Or, A Tragedy Rehearsed (London: T. Becket, 1781), 98.

[13] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, second series, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1862), 2:486.