1713. Mus. Doc. - William Croft, of Christ Church.
Born in 1677 or
1678, was a pupil of Dr. Blow† at the Chapel Royal.
In 1700 he was appointed Organist of St. Anne's, Westminster,
and resigned this post in 1711 in favour of John Isham.
In 1700 he and Jeremiah Clark were sworn Gentlemen Extraordinary of the Chapel Royal, and in 1704 joint-Organists, in
succession to Francis Piggott.
In 1707 Croft became sole
Organist at the Chapel Royal on Clark's death.
In 1708 he succeeded Blow as Organist of Westminster Abbey, and
Composer at the Chapel Royal, in which capacity it was his
duty to produce anthems for State occasions.
His degree exercise consisted of two Odes on the peace of Utrecht,
written by Joseph Trapp. It was afterwards published under
the title of "Musicus Apparatus Acadernicus."
In 1716 he was
appointed tuner of the regals, an office which was abolished
in 1773‡ He was an original member of the Academy of
Vocal Music, founded in 1725.
He died in 1727, aged 50,
and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
are overtures and act tunes for "Courtship a la mode," pro-
duced 1700; the "Funeral and Twin Rivals," 1702; "The
Lying Lover," 1703; Anthems written for State ceremonies,
Etc.; two folio volumes of sacred music, published 1724; Six sonatas for two flutes; some songs, and six theatre airs.
Some of his anthems are in the Tudway and other collections in the British Museum.
† Blow is supposed to have been made Mus. Doc. by Archbishop Sancroft, about 1675; but a MS. Anthem formerly existing at the Oxford Music School, and now lost, suggests his having been an Oxford graduate. There is, however, no record of his having matriculated or entered his name at any College. (See "Dict. Nat. Biog.") Wood, in the Ashm. MSS., D. 4, speaks of him as Mug. Doc., Cantuar; and as they were contemporary, Wood ought to have known if he had graduated at Oxford.
‡ This was formerly an important office. Henry VIII.'s musical establishment contained thirteen single and five double regals. The regal was a portable organ, the sound of which being produced by "beating" reeds in very small pipes, the instrument required constant tuning. There are three or four regals at present in England, in private collections.