WELDON, GEORGINA, was born at Clapham, May 24, 1837. Her maiden name was Thomas, which was afterwards changed to Treherne. On April 21, 1860, she married Captain Weldon, of the 1 8th Hussars. For many years she was known in society as the possessor of a lovely voice, but she afterwards adopted music as a profession on charitable grounds, and made her first appearance in public in 1870. She undertook a tour in Wales with her pupil, Miss Gwendoline Jones, and became a member of Leslie's choir, in which she sang the solo in Mendelssohn's 'Hear my prayer,' on March 9, 1871. She afterwards sang at the Popular Con- certs, the Crystal Palace, the Philharmonic, and elsewhere. In 1872 she took the solo soprano part in Gounod's ' Gallia ' at Notre Dame, the Ope'raComique and the Conservatoire, Paris. Her romantic friendship with Gounod is well known. She assisted in training his choir in London, and established an orphanage at her residence, in order to give musical instruction to poor children, with objects and on principles which she has fully described in a letter to the Menestrel,' and with a zeal and energy rarely equalled. She also published songs by Gounod and other composers in aid of her orphanage, among which mention must be made of Clay's beautiful setting of The Sands o' Dee.' She has also composed songs translated from the French by herself, viz. ' Choses du Soir,' ' Le Chant du Passereau,' 'Le petit Garfon et le Nid du Rouge- gorge ' ; also ' The Brook ' (poetry by Tennyson), etc. In 1879 she sang at Riviere's Promenade Concerts, with a female choir trained and directed by herself. This transaction gave rise to a pro- tracted law-suit, which was matter of consider- able notoriety. Her last professional engagement was at a popular music hall in 1884, where her selection of songs was of a higher order than its habitue's are accustomed to hear. Other points in Mrs. Weldon's chequered career, not being connected with music, cannot be touched upon in this Dictionary. [A.C.]
WELDON, JOHN, born at Chichester, was educated at Eton College, and whilst there studied music under John Walter, the college organist. He afterwards became a pupil of Henry Purcell. In 1694 he was appointed organist of New College, Oxford. In 1700 he gained the first of the four prizes offered for the best compositions of Congreve's masque, 'The Judgment of Paris,' the others being awarded to JOHN ECCLES, DANIEL PURCELL, and GODFREY FINGER. [See those names.] Weldon's music was not printed, and is now unknown, with the exception of Juno's song, ' Let ambition fire thy mind,' the air of which was adapted by Arne to the opening duet of ' Love in a Village.' On June 6, 1701, Weldon was sworn in a Gentleman extraordinary of the Chapel Royal. In 1702 he resigned his appoint- ment at New College. Upon the death of Dr. Blow in 1708, Weldon was appointed his successor as organist of the Chapel Royal, and on Aug. 8, 1715, upon the establishment of a !
��second composer's place there he was sworn into it. He was also organist of St. Bride's, Fleet Street and in 1726 was appointed to the same office at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. He died May 7, 1736, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Paul, Covent Garden. Wel- don's principal compositions are for the Church ; he published, under the title of 'Divine Har- mony,' six solo anthems composed for Richard Elford; other anthems are printed in the col- lections of Boyce, Arnold, and Page, and many are still in manuscript in the books of the Chapel Royal and some of the cathedrals. The two anthems printed by Boyce 'In Thee, Lord,' and ' Hear my crying,' are admirable compositions, combining pure melody, fine har- mony, and just expression. They have a certain anticipation of the sweet natural melody of Stern- dale Bennett. Weldon published three books of his songs, and many other songs are contained in the collections of the period. A song by him, 'From grave lessons,' is printed in Hawkins's History. [W.H.H.]
WELL - TEMPERED CLAVIER. [See
WELSH MUSIC. With regard to the source whence the ancient Britons derived their music and musical instruments, the general belief in the Principality is that they were brought from the East, either by the inhabitants in their original migration, or by the Phoenicians, who, as is well known, had commercial intercourse with Britain from the earliest times. Of this however there is no historical proof, nor do the arguments sometimes adduced from an alleged similarity of musical terms in Hebrew and Welsh bear the test of examination.
In ancient Welsh works, ' to play upon the harp' is expressed 'to sing upon the harp' Canu ar y Delyn. The same expression is used in regard to the Crwth, an old Welsh instrument, which was so popular in Britain in olden times as to have been mistaken, by historians of the 6th century, for its national instrument. [CRWTH.]
The harp, of all instruments, is the one which has been held in the most general esteem, and has for ages been the companion of Prophet, King, Bard, and Minstrel. In the 7th century, according to the Venerable Bede, it was so generally played in Britain that it was customary to hand it from one to another at entertainments ; and he mentions one who, ashamed that he could not play upon it, slunk away lest he should expose his ignorance. In such honour was it held in Wales that a slave might not practise upon it ; while to play upon the instrument was an indis- pensable qualification of a gentleman. The an- cient laws of Hywel Dda mention three kinds of harps : the harp of the King ; the harp of a Pencerdd, or master of music ; and the harp of a Nobleman. A professor of this instrument en- joyed many privileges ; his lands were free, and his person sacred.
With regard to the antiquity of the Welsh music now extant, it is difficult to form a con- jecture, excepting when history and tradition