Horsley, William

Composer

b Mayfair, C London 1774, d Kensington, W London 1858. Studied somewhat unhappily under a London pianist, T Smith ‘from whom he received little tuition and much ill-treatment’—W Milgate. In 1794 he became organist of Ely Chapel, Holborn, and 4 years later at the Asylum for Female Orphans, first as deputy to his former tutor John W Calcott, in 1802 as his successor, and later becoming his son-in-law. He published a collection of hymns with tunes for the Asylum in 1820. Other posts were at Belgrave Chapel, Grosvenor Place (1812) and the Charterhouse in London (1837). With his wife and her father he formed ‘Concentores Sodales’ who made music together, writing and singing, from 1798 to 1847. A member of the Royal Society of Musicians from 1797, in 1813 he was also a founder of the Philharmonic Society. He composed glees (his most successful work), canons, ballads, books on music theory, and edited 7 vols of Vocal Harmony (1730) and 2 vols of Psalm tunes (1828, 1844). A stickler for the rules of musical grammar, and sometimes taken to task for pedantry, he was a close friend of Mendelssohn. Oxford BMus, 1800; RAM Stockholm 1847. Nos.437, 562.

Tunes and arrangements by Horsley, William

Tune Name
Belgrave
Horsley