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Samuel Webbe



English composer, born in England in 1742; died in London, 29 May, 1816. He studied under Barbaudt. In 1766 he was given a prize medal by the Catch Club for his "O that I had wings', and in all he obtained twenty-seven medals for as many canons, catches, and glees, including "Discord, dire sister", "Glory be to the Father", "Swiftly from the mountain's brow", and "To thee all angels". Other glees like "When winds breathe soft", "Thy voice, O Harmony", and "Would you know my Celia's charms" are even better known. In 1776 he succeeded George Paxton as organist of the chapel of the Sardinian embassy, a position which he held until 1795: he was also organist of the Portuguese chapel. His "Collection of Motetts" (1792) and "A Collection of Masses for Small Choirs" were extensively used in Catholic churches throughout Great Britain from 1795 to the middle of the last century. If not of a very high order, they are at least devotional, and some are still sung. He also published nine books of glees, between the years 1764 and 1798, and some songs. His glees are his best claim on posterity.

BUTLER, Hist. Mem. of Eng. Cath. (London, 1819); GROVE, Dict. of Music and Musicians (London, 1910), s.v.; WARD, Dawn of the Catholic Revival in England (London, 1909).

W. H. Grattan-Flood








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