Born 1765 Died 1838
Thomas Attwood, the son a of a coal merchant who had musical tastes, was born in London on the 23rd of November 1765. At the age of nine he came a chorister in the Chapel Royal, where he remained for five years. In 1783 he was sent to study abroad at the expense the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV), who had been favourably impressed by his skill at the harpsichord. After ending two years at Naples, Attwood proceeded to Vienna, were he became a favourite pupil of Mozart.
On his return to London in 1787 he held for a short time an appointment one of the chamber musicians to the Prince of Wales. In 1796 was chosen organist of St Paul's, and in the same year he was made composer to the Chapel Royal. His court connection as further confirmed by his appointment as musical instructor the duchess of York, and afterwards to the princess of Wales. For the coronation of George IV he composed the anthem, The King shall rejoice, a work of high merit. The king, ao had neglected him for some years on account of his connection with the princess of Wales, now restored him to favour, and in 1821 appointed him organist to his private chapel at Brighton. Soon after the institution of the Royal Academy of Music in 1823, Attwood was chosen one of the professors.
He was also one of the original members of the Philharmonic Society, founded in 1813. He wrote the anthem, 0 Lord, Grant the King a Long Life, which was performed at the coronation of William IV, and he was composing a similar work for e coronation of Queen Victoria when he died at his house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, on the 24th of March 1838. He was buried under the organ in St Paul's cathedral.
His services and anthems were published in a collected form after his death by his pupil Walmisley
. Of his secular compositions several songs and glees are well known and popular. The numerous operas which he composed in early life are now practically forgotten.
Of his songs the most popular was The Soldier's Dream
, and the best of his glees were In peace Love tunes the shepherd's reed
, and To all that breathe the air of Heaven
. Attwood was a friend of Mendelssohn
for whom he professed an admiration a time when the young German's talent was little appreciated of the majority of English musicians.
Being the entry for ATTWOOD, THOMAS in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.