Warwick's West Gallery Quire

Thomas Jarman






Thomas Jarman  (1776  - 1861) 

The following is adapted from Hymn Tunes and their Story by James T Lightwood, and amended by reference to Stephen J Weston's preface to a booklet of music containing his edited versions of two anthems by Thomas Jarman [1]:

The man and his background

Thomas Jarman was born on 21st December 1776 in Clipston[2], a small village near the northern border of the County of Northampton[3]. His father was not only a Baptist lay preacher, but also a tailor, and Thomas was brought up in the same trade, although his brother, John, followed his father’s calling to become a minister.


His natural taste for music, however, considerably interfered with his work, and he was frequently reduced to dire straits, from which only the extreme liberality of his publishers relieved him. He was a man of fine, commanding presence, but self-willed, and endowed with a considerable gift of irony, as choirs frequently found to their cost. Weston quotes from Kant[4] that Jarman neglected his work and ‘this kept him poor and soured his temper’.


He joined the choir of the Baptist chapel in his native village when quite a youth, and soon became the choirmaster there. He adopted music as a profession (with occasional returns to his old trade), and was engaged as teacher of harmony and singing in many of the neighbouring villages. He was a successful choir-trainer, spending several years at Leamington, and conducted concerts as well as services, for which he was ‘constantly composing works’. The village choir festival held under his direction at Naseby, in 1837, is said to have been the talk of the district for long after. He spent some six or seven years at Leamington, during which time he enjoyed the friendship of C. Rider, a wealthy Methodist who did much good for the psalmody of Lancashire and elsewhere some fifty or sixty years ago.


Local quires and bands

Stephen Weston, who has carried out considerable research[5] into the quires and bands in the area at the time, comments that the village is in the centre of a highly concentrated area of 18th and 19th century Anglican choir bands, although it was Clipston Baptist chapel, opened 12th October 1803, which was more important in that respect, even though the Parish church also had an active quire.  His competitor in the village was W Bonsor, who also arranged concerts, and built the church organ between 1817 and 1825. This succeeded a barrel-organ[6] with two barrels of 11 psalm tunes each, which in turn replaced an active church band comprising ‘first fiddle, bass viol, tenor fiddle, [possibly viola] serpent, clarinet and oboe’[7]. It would appear that stringed instruments were used together with the organ until 1867, but the choir was apparently abolished about the time the barrel-organ was installed (see below). Fisher[8] went on to confirm that the church quire sat in the gallery, and that the old people from the hospital sat in the lower gallery.


In contrast to this, Weston suggests that from the way Jarman wrote continuo parts with a running bass and two treble parts often in thirds, the Baptist chapel choir might possibly only have been accompanied by two fiddles and ’cello, or a similar arrangement for wind instruments.  The chapel organ was only installed in the 1940s, the previous accompaniment being a harmonium installed ‘towards the end of the 19th century’.


All was not happy between church and chapel at Clipston, and it is worth quoting here the same illuminating passage from Kant[9] that Watson quotes:


"The music and the harmony at Clipston was moiled by the arrival in 1820 of the Rev. John Bull[10], who was appointed master of the grammar school and curate of the parish. He took up residence in the rectory house and advertised for boarders. He had his own views about music in public worship and he promptly abolished the church choir. The affairs were in ferment. Jarman, who prided himself on his ability as a rhymester, though he hardly ever deserved the name, dipped his pen in gall and wrote doggerel against the cleric, and what was worse, set he words to music. Clipston youth eagerly caught the strains and delighted in lusty singing within earshot of the rectory.


"It became unbearable. Several had to make an appearance before the magistrates and pay the fines imposed on them. Jarman escaped and wrote more verses and ore tunes. One set was about Josephus, the clerk, performing the offices of the church choir. The clergyman played the same game. He wrote verses himself and got them published in the Northampton Mercury, conscious that they were immensely better than any Jarman could produce.


"Jarman retorted in scurrilous verse which the Mercury refused to publish. Consequently others were written and circulated in the village and district, finding fault with the curate’s theology in approved fashion. So the contest wore on until the combatants were worn out, and Mr Bull removed from the village. He died in London in 1852."


The only comment here is that Jarman used several of Bull’s lyrics for his own purposes, including those of Bethlehem’s Star, the words and music of which we found in manuscript form set on foolscap music paper in a second-hand bookshop in Oxford, and which now forms part of Immanuel’s Ground’s[11] Christmas repertoire.


Thomas Jarman’s music

Jarman published an enormous quantity of music, including over six hundred hymn-tunes, besides anthems, services, and similar pieces. Temperley[12] records his pre-1820 publications as:

  • Jarman, Thomas, of Clipstone, Northamptonshire. Sacred Harmony, comprising select hymns . . . with two anthems. The last of which was expressly composed for the opening of Clipstone New Chapel. London: For the author by Henry Thompson, [1803-1805].  Copy in Northampton RO. 20 tunes (mostly in less than four parts), 2 set pieces. 1821 copy of this book in BL, Ref: A.666.b.(1)., which has additional music.


    • This contains NATIVITY (M. App. 7), a tune which Methodists not only sing, but sing with all their might and main, and feel all the better for it. It was originally set to – ‘Mortals, awake, with angels join, and chant the solemn lay’.[13]  This fuguing tune, probably the most popular of all Jarman’s hymn tunes, was included in the Baptist Church Hymnal. The later name of LYNGHAM has been used in many publications, the original having been forgotten.


  • Jarman, Thomas, of Clipstone. Second Book. Sacred Music, comprising thirty six select hymns, [etc.]. London: James Peck [bef.1812]. Also includes one motet and two set pieces. Copy in BL, Ref: A.666.b.(2).

  • Jarman, Thomas, of Clipstone. Sacred Music, consisting of a third set of psalms, hymns and anthems. London: J Peck, [bef.1813]. 43 tunes, 3 anthems. Copy in BL, Ref: A.666.b.(3).

  • Jarman, Tho[ma]s. Sacred Music. A Fourth Book, containing psalms, hymns and set pieces.  London: James Peck, [bef.1821]. Copy in Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, Ref: -VM 2040 C55

Other known works by Thomas Jarman include:

  • Northamptonshire Harmony
    This can be found in the Northamptonshire RO, and is considered to be his main work.

  • Devotional Melodist.

  • The Voice of Melody

  • Harp of Judah

  • The Wesleyan Melodist

Lightfoot comments further: 'Many of his anthems were very popular, and a correspondent at Wellingborough has called to mind a wonderfully effective rendering of a piece called EMANCIPATION, written to celebrate the emancipation of slaves. He says:

'How beautiful I thought it, as John Randall, one of our noted singers, gave out the recitative in sonorous tones, and then the united choirs of Cheese Lane, West End, and Salem flung themselves on the chorus:


'Lo, Heaven at length has heard their cry,
This day shall chain and fetters fly.'


As noted above, amongst his many anthems written for special occasions there is one for the opening of the new Baptist chapel at Clipston.  Another is a MAGNIFICAT for Dr Marsh's Episcopal chapel at Leamington, where Thomas Jarman was called to assist the quire in their study and performance of psalmody.


Thomas Jarman lived to the good old age of eighty-five, dying in 1861, and lies buried in the graveyard attached to the Baptist chapel at Clipston in Northants. His grave is marked by a stone, to the left of the chapel front, bearing the following inscription:



to the memory of


The Northamptonshire Composer of

Sacred Music

Born at Clipston Dec. 21, 1776

and died there February 19, 1861.

In admiration of his genius, a few

friends caused this stone to be

erected over his grave

in the year 1891.

‘Sweet Soul of Song

though lowly was thy lot

Thy honoured memory
ne’er shall be forgot.


Sarah his wife

who died March 26, 1862

aged 85 years.


It is worthwhile looking at the Reverend John Bull's lineage and family, as he seems to have been Thomas Jarman's main antagonist from the Anglican church.

For further and fuller details of the Bull’s and the Wrathall’s earlier family trees,  and their children,  see:



 (Rev.) John BULL MA (Oxon), b. 10 Aug 1777, Cubley, Derbyshire, d. 27 Feb 1852. Parents were John Bull and Elizabeth Goodall. He died 27 June 1852 Clapham

  •  m. Elizabeth Wrathall on 2 Jul 1801 in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. Elizabeth died 12 Nov 1837, and was buried in Clipston on 16 Nov 1837. Her parents were Thomas Wrathall and Elizabeth Kell and she was baptised 27 March 1777 at Handsworth, Yorkshire.


  • Elizabeth (Eliza) BULL  bapt: 12/6/1802 St. Paul's Cray, Kent. m: 24/8/1840 London to Jean-Pierre LAGIER.

  • John Wrathall BULL b. 23 Jun 1804 and chr. St Paul’s, Cray, Kent.  Died in College Park, a suburb of Adelaide, on 21 Sept 1886 (Link here for details of his career).  He introduced a "comb & beaters" wheat harvesting mechanism around 1843.

  • Dr. Daniel BULL  b: 5/7/1806 Downe, Kent; d: 11/11/1852 Bedford. m: Mary Ann WATSON.

  • Rev. Thomas BULL  b: 4/4/1808 Downe, Kent; d: 15/4/1868 Sibbertoft, Warwick.   m: Mary Eleanor SLATER.

  • Henry BULL  b: 11/6/1809 Downe, Kent; d: 30/5/1840 Long Buckby, Northants.

  • James BULL  b: 8/1/1811 Downe; d: 23/6/1832 Clipston, Northants.

  • William BULL  b: 20/12/1812 Downe; d: July 1813 Downe.

  • Cornelius BULL  bapt: 3/6/1814 Downe; d: 9/1/1822 Clipston, Northants.

  • Dr. George BULL  bapt: 21/9/1815 Leicester; d: 12/5/1874 Moonta SA.
    m:1849 Walkerville SA to Euphemia BIRRELL

  •  Joseph BULL  bapt: 11/8/1816 Leicester; d: 10/1/1857 Strathalbyn SA. m: 1841 SA to Jane RUNDLE.

  • Emily BULL  bapt: 19/11/1817 Leicester. (lived in Geneva with sister Eliza)

  • Lucy BULL  b: 8/3/1819 Leicester; d: 15/9/1887 North Adelaide SA. m: 1840 Adelaide SA to Thomas Hudson BEARE.

  • Edwyn BULL  bapt: 8/8/1820 Clipston, Northamptonshire; d: Oct 1820 Clipston.

  • Mary BULL  bapt: 13/7/1826 Clipston, Northants. m: Mr BOON.

Read more of the family history here.


[1] Two Anthems by Thomas Jarman, edited by Stephen J Weston, published by Oecumuse, London 1990. The preface goes into considerable detail, quoting excerpts from local, contemporary, and other sources.

[2] Quite often also found written as ‘Clipstone’.

[3] Refer here to map of area.

[4] Article in Northamptonshire County Magazine, Vol IV, by P Kant: ‘Thomas Jarman, a chapter in Clipston History’, 1931, p61.

[5] ‘Choir-Band Instrumentation: Two County Surveys’, The Galpin Society Journal, Vol. 52, Apr., 1999 (Apr., 1999), pp. 305-313

[6] Surprisingly, this is not referred to in Boston N. and Langwill L.G.: Church and Chamber Barrel-Organs, 2nd Ed. Edinburgh 1970, which is the most comprehensive survey of known instruments to date.

[7] Watson quotes this from a History of the Anglican Choir, by Ethel Lucie Fisher, Clipston, Kettering, 1926, p12.

[8] E L Fisher, op. cit.

[9] P Kant, op cit.

[10] For Rev’d John Bull’s genealogy, see here.

[11] Immanuel’s Ground – Warwick’s west gallery Quire, formed in 2001.

[12] Nicholas Temperley, The Hymn Tune Index, OUP, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1998, and on-line.

[13] Lightfoot’s words.



Here are some of Kelly Jane Sullivan's Wrathall family data; her sources are the Linton-in-Craven parish records, and another Bull family descendant in England.
Marmaduke WRATHALL
parents: Robert Wrathall
baptism: 21 February 1701/02 Burnsall, Yorkshire or 21 February Linton in Craven
marriage: 31 January 1730/31 Linton-in-Craven
spouse: Jane JACKSON
(this marriage also recorded in Burnsall records)
children: (all recorded in Linton records as children of Marmaduke Wraythall, Taylor of Thorpe)
(1) Elizabeth WRATHALL (bapt: 11/9/1732 Linton-in-Craven)
(2) Mary WRATHALL (bapt: 7/4/1734 Linton-in-Craven)
(3) Grace WRATHALL (bapt: 2/1/1735 Linton-in-Craven)
(4) Anne WRATHALL (bapt: 27/12/1737 Linton-in-Craven)
(5) Thomas WRATHALL (bapt: 21/10/1739 Linton-in-Craven)
(6) Jane WRATHALL (bapt: 27/12/1742 Linton-in-Craven)

parents: Marmaduke WRATHALL & Jane JACKSON
baptism: 21 October 1739 Linton-in-Craven, Yorkshire
death: January 1781 Yorkshire
marriage: 10 October 1770 Ravensfield, Yorkshire
spouse: Elizabeth KELL
birth: 1741
death: 1811
(1) Jane WRATHALL (b: 1771 Handsworth; bapt: 13/9/1771 Sheffield; m: 1791
Robert WASS. Children: Rev. William WASS; John WASS; Harriott WASS; Rev. Samuel WASS).
(2) Thomas WRATHALL (b: 1774 Handsworth; bapt: 24/8/1774 Sheffield. d: Yorks.)
(3) John WRATHALL (b: 1775 Handsworth; bapt: 4/1/1776 Handsworth; d: Yorks.)
(4) Elizabeth WRATHALL (b: 1777 Handsworth; bapt: 27/3/1777 Handsworth; d: 12/11/1837 Clipston, Northamptonshire).

Elizabeth WRATHALL
parents: Thomas WRATHALL & Elizabeth KELL
birth: 1777 Handsworth, Yorkshire
baptism: 27 March 1777 Handsworth
death: 12 November 1837 Clipston, Northamptonshire
marriage: 2 July 1801 Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire (see Note 1 )
spouse: Rev. John BULL, M. A. (Oxford)
parents: John BULL & Elizabeth GOODALL
birth: 10 August 1777 Cubley, Derbyshire
baptism: 25 August 1777 Cubley
death: 27 June 1852 Clapham
(1) Elizabeth (Eliza) BULL (bapt: 12/6/1802 St. Paul's Cray, Kent. m: 24/8/1840
London to Jean-Pierre LAGIER. Children: Caroline, Emily)
(2) John Wrathall BULL 
(b: 23/6/1804 St. Paul's Cray, Kent
d: 21/9/1886 College Park, South Australia.
m: c1833 Mary Brant BOWYER. arrived in SA: 1838.
Children: John Bowyer BULL; Robert Peel BULL; daughter (d: infancy); James Osmond BULL; Charles William BULL (d: inf.); Mary Annie BULL; Lucy Lakin BULL; Elizabeth Jane BULL (d: inf.); George BULL (d: inf.); Fanny Yatala BULL).
(3) Dr. Daniel BULL (b: 5/7/1806 Downe, Kent; d: 11/11/1852 Bedford. m: Mary Ann WATSON. Children: Alfred Hope BULL; Cornelius BULL; Emily BULL; Mary Ann BULL; William BULL; Lucy BULL; George BULL; Henry BULL).
(4) Rev. Thomas BULL (b: 4/4/1808 Downe, Kent; d: 15/4/1868 Sibbertoft, Warw.
m: Mary Eleanor SLATER. no children)
(5) Henry BULL (b: 11/6/1809 Downe, Kent; d: 30/5/1840 Long Buckby, Northants.)
(6) James BULL (b: 8/1/1811 Downe; d: 23/6/1832 Clipston, Northants.)
(7) William BULL (b: 20/12/1812 Downe; d: July 1813 Downe)
(8) Cornelius BULL (bapt: 3/6/1814 Downe; d: 9/1/1822 Clipston, Northants.)
(9) Dr. George BULL (bapt: 21/9/1815 Leicester; d: 12/5/1874 Moonta SA.
m:1849 Walkerville SA to Euphemia BIRRELL. Children: Emily Euphemia BULL: George Andrew BULL: Clarence BULL; Blanche Ada Augusta Sophia BULL).
(10) Joseph BULL (bapt: 11/8/1816 Leicester; d: 10/1/1857 Strathalbyn SA. m: 1841 SA to Jane RUNDLE. Children: Emily BULL; Henry BULL; Charles BULL; Lucy Jane BULL; George BULL; Frederick Horace BULL; Amelia BULL.
(11) Emily BULL (bapt: 19/11/1817 Leicester. (lived in Geneva with sister Eliza)
(12) Lucy BULL (b: 8/3/1819 Leicester; d: 15/9/1887 North Adelaide SA. m: 1840 Adelaide SA to Thomas Hudson BEARE. Children: Thomas Henry BEARE (d: infancy); Emily BEARE (d: inf.); Emily BEARE; John George BEARE (d: inf.) Thomas BEARE (d: inf.); John James BEARE; Martha Elizabeth BEARE; Edwin Arthur BEARE; Sir Thomas Hudson BEARE).
(13) Edwyn BULL (bapt: 8/8/1820 Clipston, Northamptonshire; d: Oct 1820 Clipston).
(14) Mary BULL (bapt: 13/7/1826 Clipston, Northants. m: Mr BOON).

The ancestors of Rev. John BULL are as follows:
Thomas BULL (c1560) and Ellen PLYMMER -
Thomas BULL and Margaret -
Robert BULL (c1613) and Ann BLOOD -
Robert BULL (c1639) and Ann BOYNER -
Joseph BULL (1679) and Mary/Elizabeth (2nd wife) -
John BULL (c1723) and Mary GOODALL -
John BULL (1748) and Elizabeth GOODALL -
Rev. John BULL (1777) and Elizabeth WRATHALL. 

There are many more known descendants...... Many descendants of the Bulls in Australia were given the middle name Wrathall. One of the difficulties is that Marmaduke Wrathall seems to have been in many parishes at once!
Note 1: In Sept. 2004, Trevor Bramley , who can be reached at TLBram(at)xtra(dot)co(dot)nz, mentioned the following:
I found a reference to a Marriage between John Bull & Elizabeth Wrathall, of the city & diocese of London, on 2 July 1801 at Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. It was on an Archive CD of the Phillimores Nottingham Parish Registers of Marriages Index.

Last updated on 03/07/2006 22:31:32
E-MAIL: wrathall(at)rawbw(dot)com