Courteville, Raphael (or Ralph)


b London c1675–76, d 1735. A Chapel Royal chorister who in 1691, aged 15, became a notable organist, and the first, of St James’ Westminster (Piccadilly). It was thought at one time that he served in that capacity for over 80 years (possible but unlikely); while there are confused and confusing accounts, it seems probable that Raphael, already bearing the same name as his father, was succeeded by his son, a third Raphael, who died in 1772. The two organists probably gave a combined concert in 1720; the uncertainty remains, but a deputy was appointed from 1753. In 1697 RC senr published Select Psalms and Hymns for the Use of the Parish of St James’ Westminster; 2 dozen other songs are definitely his. (His son’s firmly pro-government politics were expressed in The Gazetteer, a journal he edited, defending the Walpole administration and earning him the nickname ‘Court-Evil’; he wrote Memoirs of Lord Burleigh and composed sonatas for violin and flute, songs and other church music.) See also the entry in Grove. No.933.

Tunes and arrangements by Courteville, Raphael (or Ralph)

Tune Name
St James