Shrubsole, William


b Canterbury, Kent 1759, d London 1806. A chorister at Canterbury Cathedral 1775–82, he then became organist of Bangor Cathedral but was dismissed a year later because of his Free Church (dissenting) sympathies; technically ‘for frequenting conventicles’. He then moved to the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion congregation at Spa Fields Chapel in Clerkenwell, London, remaining as organist and music teacher there (and at nearby St Bartholomew-the-Less, Smithfield Gate) for the remainder of his life. His broad musical sympathies found him singing alto parts at both Drury Lane Theatre and Westminster Abbey. He apparently wrote only 4 hymn-tunes. (He must be distinguished from his namesake of 1759–1829 who wrote Arm of the Lord! awake, awake! Put on thy strength, which is notable for its final couplet, ‘Let adverse powers before thee fall,/ and crown the Saviour Lord of all’; and for the stz ‘Arm of the Lord, thy power extend;/ let Mahomet’s imposture end:/ break superstition’s papal chain,/ and the proud scoffer’s rage restrain.’) A musical phrase from the composer’s one immortal tune is inscribed on his tombstone in London’s Bunhill Fields. No.281(i).