Howorth, David

Composer

b 1866, d 1947. A music-lover from his early years and soon a pianist, he was brought up in the CofE but later joined the Particular Baptist Ch at Tong, Bacup, Lancs, and was baptized in Dec 1892. His first career was as a joiner, but after an itinerant preaching ministry of some 24 yrs beginning c1904 he was called to be pastor at Baguley Chapel, where he remained for the next 18. He also served on the committee of the Strict Baptist Northern Union, of which he also became secretary. He composed his first hymn tune at the age of 10 and in his teens wrote DANIEL, named after his father. The SBs began an annual Friendly Gathering in 1891 and David soon became involved. DANIEL was first sung there in 1895; two years later he was its organist, and in 1913 its conductor. He joined the committee in 1908, became president in 1936, and chaired its meetings with kind serenity. 15 of his tunes were sung; he usually composed on scraps of paper or even on the pieces of wood with which he worked. He would then sit at his piano in the evening and complete the harmony, usually naming his tunes after ministers and chapels in Lancs. The northern SBs’ Choirs’ Gathering also drew many hundreds, and David Howorth’s tunes were regularly sung there. When The Companion Tune Book to Gadsby’s Hymns was planned, he was an original member of the editorial committee and founder member of the Trust; 18 of his tunes feature in the book. One was a last-minute choice, as a gap remained under SM. DH offered OLIVE, his first-ever tune, and on finding that they had reached the letter W he changed its name to WEST STREET. Another notable tune is ETERNITY, composed for an Isaac Watts hymn. No.103A.

Tunes and arrangements by Howorth, David

Tune Name
Melodious Sonnet