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DEATH
MR. F. GUNTON. We regret to have to record the death of one of the oldest residents in this city, Mr. Frederick Gunton, which took place early last Saturday morning at Rimmersfield. Mr. Gunton was born in Norwich in the year 1813. and received his early musical education from Mr. Pettitt, who was himself a pupil of the well-known Dr. Beckwith.
At the age of 21 he was appointed organist of Southwell Minster, where his great ability soon attracted general notice, and particularly that of Dean Anson, who was at the time a Prebend of Southwell. On the promotion of Dr. Anson to the Deanery of Chester Mr. Gunton was shortly offered the post of organist of Chester Cathedral, which he accepted and retained for 36 years.
The deplorably low and stagnant condition of Church music in Cheater before his arrival was lamentable. The few who can remember what the Cathedral services were at that time may justly pay a tribute of admiration to the memory of the deceased for the wonderful change he effected. What has been recently said of Wesley may well be applied to Mr. Gunton that "When he came out in all his power it was the stride of a giant, dwarfing all else into little- ness."
On the opening of the Cathedral after the first restoration by Dean Anson, celebrities from all parts of the world, in visiting Chester, were one and all unanimous in their praise of the service as in the highest degree solemn and devotional.
Mr. Gunton's unsurpassed ability as an executant, combined with breadth of reading and marked by exquisite expression and finish, rapidly placed the services of our Cathedral on a level with those of the very first rank in the kingdom.
On the opening of the Nave for evening service by the late Dean Howson, services which have been since continued with such great success, Mr. Gunton lent his own private organ, as long as it was required, without fee or reward, and it continued to be used until the present magnificent organ, built by the now celebrated local firm of Whiteley under his immediate superintendence, was completed - an organ which may fairly be considered a material memorial of him in the Cathedral to which he devoted the best part of his active life.
No notice of the late Mr. Gunton would be complete which did not mention the remarkable modesty and the utter absence of self-assertion which characterised him amongst all with whom he came in contact during his professional career - a modesty only equalled by his thorough conscientiousness in the selection of his assistants, with whom he divided equally the salary of his appointment. It was to Mr. Gunton that Chester was in this way indebted for the appointment of Mr. Irons, the gifted nephew of Sir George Elvy, and later for the services of Dr. Bridge, who also first came to Chester as Mr. Gunton's assistant, and who has since deservedly gained so distinguished a position in the musical world.
At the time of Mr Gunton's withdrawal from public life in 1877 he was presented with a splendid testimonial subscribed for by his many personal friends. The testimonial bears this inscription from Milton :
His volant touch
Instinct through all proportions low and high,
Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue.

Since then he has lived in domestic retirement at Rimmersfield, enjoying good health till within a few days of his death.
Mr Gunton has left a widow, two unmarried daughters and three sons, two of the latter being clergymen in the Church of England ; the eldest the Rev. Frederick Gunton, vicar of Crewe Green and chaplain to Lord Crewe, wasw Fellow and Dean of Magdalen College, Cambridge. The greatest sympathy is felt for the whole family in their sorrow.

Cheshire Observer
Saturday 13 October 1888
(www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)


WILL
The will (dated Nov. 21, 1882) of Frederick Gunton, late of the city of Chester, who died on Oct. 6, was proved on Nov. 23 at the District Registry of Chester, by the Rev. Frederick Gunton and the Rev. Charles Forster Gunton, the sons and executors, the value of the personal estate exceeding £27,000. The testator gives his consumable stores and wines, and the use, for life, of his household furniture to his wife, Mrs. Julia Gunton ; and certain gifts of silver plate to his three sons, with a wish that they will keep them in the family. The residue of his real and personal estate he leaves, upon trust, for his wife for life, and at her death between his children-viz. Frederick, Charles Forster, Thomas Octavius, Lucy Amelia' Elizabeth Julia, and Edith Emma, in equal shares.

Illustrated London News
Saturday 15 December 1888
(www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)


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