1749 - Mus. Doc. William Boyce.
Born in 1710; was educated at
St. Paul's School, and was a chorister of St. Paul's, under
Charles King. He was afterwards articled to Maurice
In 1734 he became Organist of Oxford Chapel,
Vere Street, now St. Peter's. He was at this time a pupil
of Dr. Pepusch, and had a wide reputation as a teacher of
In 1736 he succeeded Keiway at St.
Michael's, Cornhill, and was in the same year sworn in as
composer to the Royal Chapel.
In 1737 he was appointed
Conductor of the Three Choirs Festival. In 1749 the degree
of Mus. Doc. was conferred on him, on the occasion of the
installation of the Duke of Newcastle as Chancellor of the
University of Cambridge, for which ceremony he composed
music to Mason's Ode. On the following day an anthem
by him, with orchestral accompaniments, was performed at
St. Mary's Church as his exercise. In the same year he
became Organist of All Hallows', Thames Street. In 1755
he succeeded Greene as Master of the King's Band, and
Conductor of the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy.
suffered all his life from deafness, and this increased so
much, that in 1758 he retired to Kensington, where he occupied himself with editing his famous "Cathedral Music,"
the materials for which had been left him by Greene. The
first volume was published in 1760.
He died in 1779, and
was buried under the dome of St. Paul's.
are very numerous, and take an important place in English music. His masque "Peleus and Thetis" was performed
by the Philharmonic Society in 1734, his Oratorio "David's
Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan" by the Apollo Society
His best-known work is a serenata, "Solomon,"
composed in 1743. Among his other works are twelve
Sonatas for two violins and cello, or harpsichord; "Lyra
Britannica," a collection of songs and cantatas, in six
volumes; several masques and operettas; a large number
of Odes for the King's birthday and New-Year's Day are
preserved in the Music School at Oxford; anthems and
additional accompaniments to Shakespeare's plays. "Hearts
of Oak" is one of his songs.
Extract: A short historical account of the degrees in music at Oxford and Cambridge.
(Williams, C. F. Abdy)