Dykes, John Bacchus

Composer

b Kingston-upon-Hull 1823, d Ticehurst, Sussex 1876. Son of a musical banker, he learned violin and piano but loved the organ best. An organist at 10 at St John’s Hull where his grandfather ministered; his first tunes (now lost) were for its Sunday School. Educated Kingston College and Wakefield, followed by St Catherine’s Hall Cambridge where he studied classics and became known as a solo singer, also helping to found the Cambridge Univ Musical Society. BA 1847, ordained (CofE) 1848; he was briefly a curate at Malton, Yorks, then from 1849 served in various musical and clerical roles, including Organist, at Durham Cathedral. He established the annual Music Festivals in the city, and was awarded an Hon DMus in 1861; from 1862 to 1867 he was Vicar of St Oswald’s. But he clashed with Bishop Chas Baring and retired early as a sick man; his family not being provided for, the same bishop raised a large fund for their support. Many published sermons, articles and anthems; best known for his 300-plus hymn tunes published from 1857 onwards, including 7 in the 1861 A&M. He was the leading musical contributor to its 1889 edn with 60 tunes in all, and held that position with 31 in 1950; he was seen as the most successful of Victorian hymn composers. Nos.23C, 159, 210, 312=930=970, 408, 463, 526, 527, 605, 654, 657, 682, 691, 823=915, 928.