Warwick's West Gallery Quire

Local Composers



Immanuel's Ground try to include local composers in their repertoire whenever possible, and the choice so far in Warwickshire is from:

  • William Beasley, of Brinklow, near Coventry, fl. 1789 - a mystery composer.

  • Capel Bond, organist at Coventry, (1730-1790)

  • Michael Broome of Birmingham (b. ca. 1700 Abingdon, Berks)

  • Rev'd G Burder of Coventry, fl. 1777

  • Richard Drayton, of Coventry, fl. 1727

  • Rev'd John Eagleton, born Coventry 1785, d. 1832

  • John Geary, organist at Caldecote, fl.1780

  • John Hill, (also of the same period as Joseph Key), who started his musical life in Kent, at Lydd, but who moved to Rugby where much of his music was written

  • Joseph Key of Nuneaton, whose accomplished settings of Psalms and Anthems stem from an earlier part of the west gallery period - the last third of the 18th century

  • John Moreton of Birmingham

  • William Perry - who for some time was Organist and Quiremaster at the Congregational Church, Brook Street, Warwick (then known as Cow Lane Chapel)  and his son William Henry Perry

  • William Tanzer (although he spelled it "Tans'ur")  baptised 1706 in Dunchurch

  • Joseph Watts of Fenny Compton, fl. 1749, who was one of the earliest local composers to use fuguing tunes

(Click on the highlighted names to reach further information and history)


from just over the border into Northamptonshire:

  • Thomas Jarman (1776-1861) from Clipston(e)

  • Francis Timbrell, fl 1717 (although he moved around a lot)

from Leicestershire:

  • John Arnold, who wrote The Leicestershire Harmony in 1759 (but who in fact came mainly from Great Warley, in Essex). The full title of the book is: The Leicestershire Harmony. Containing a Set of Excellent Psalm-Tunes and Anthems, Entirely New. Also Two New Chanting-Tunes for Te Deum and Magnificat. The Whole composed, in Modern Taste, for Four Voices, By an Eminent Master of the County of Leicester; And now first published For the Use of Country Churches.

    • Link here to a history of the west gallery and other secular music of John Arnold and his connection with my family church at Great Warley, Essex.   

    • Pictures here of the 1904 Arts and Crafts Church at Great Warley

  • John Valentine (fl 1735-1792)

and again into Oxfordshire:

  • Michael Beesly, b. 1700 fl. 1740, who published early books of music, in both Oxford and Blewbury (now Berkshire but then Oxford) including some of the first printed 'fuguing' tunes

  • Francis Saunders, of Thame, Oxfordshire, (1817-c.1875), who published The Oxfordshire Melodist in 1844

  • Amram Taylor, of Ambrosden, Oxfordshire (1802-1855), who published The Sacred Harp in 1842

  • Matthew Wilkins, of Great Milton, Oxfordshire, (1704-1772)

  • Daniel Warner, of Ewelme, Oxfordshire

Works by newly discovered composers from just over the border in Oxfordshire, Amram Taylor of Ambrosden, nr. Bicester, and Francis Saunders of Thame, were included in the 2006 Mid-Shires' Quires' Day at Byfield, together with more well-known composer Thomas Jarman, from Clipstone in Northamptonshire. They continue to be firm favourites.