Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 08.djvu/36

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Busby
Bush
32

Angier, daughter of Mr. Charles Angier of Earl's Court, Kensington. After his marriage he lived in Poland Street, where he was much in request as a teacher of Latin, French, and music. A few years later he moved to Battersea. In 1786 Busby and Arnold brought out a 'Musical Dictionary,' the success of which induced the former to issue a serial entitled 'The Divine Harmonist,' consisting of twelve folio numbers of music, partly selected and partly original. In this work are included some fragments of an oratorio by the editor, 'The Creation.' The 'Divine Harmonist' was followed by 'Melodia Britannica,' which was to be a collection of English music, but the work was unsuccessful, and was never completed. About the same time Busby completed a translation of Lucretius into rhymed verse. In 1798 he was elected organist of St. Mary Woolnoth. In the spring of 1799 his efforts to get an important musical work performed were crowned with success, and his early oratorio was produced by Cramer under the name of 'The Prophecy,' probably in order not to provoke comparison with Handel's 'Messiah.' The oratorio seems to have been well received, and Busby set to work upon settings of Gray's 'Progress of Poesy,' Pope's 'Ode on St. Cecilia's Day,' and a cantata from Ossian, 'Comala;' but it is doubtful whether any of these were performed. A so-called 'Secular Oratorio,' 'Britannia' (words by John Gretton), was more fortunate, as it was sung at Covent Garden in 1801 with Mara as the principal soprano. In the preceding year Busby wrote music for Cumberland's version of Kotzebue's 'Joanna,' which was produced at Covent Garden 16 Jan. 1800, without much success. Shortly afterwards he brought out 'A New and Complete Musical Dictionary,' and started the first musical periodical in England, 'The Monthly Musical Journal,' of which four numbers only saw the light. In June 1801 Busby obtained the degree of Mus. Doc. at Cambridge, for which purpose he entered at Magdalen College. His exercise on this occasion was 'A Thanksgiving Ode on the Naval Victories,' the words of which were written by Mrs. Crespigny. In 1802 he wrote music to Holcroft's melodrama, 'A Tale of Mystery,' the first play of this description which appeared on the English stage. It was produced at Covent Garden 13 Nov. 1802, and was very successful. In the following year Busby wrote music for Miss Porter's musical entertainment, 'The Fair Fugitives' (Covent Garden, 16 May 1803), but this was a failure. His connection with the stage ceased with Lewis's 'Rugantino' (Covent Garden, 18 Oct. 1805). The music to all these plays was published, and shows Busby to have been but a poor composer, even for his day, when English music was at a very low ebb. From this time until his death he devoted himself more to literature. The translation of Lucretius was published in 1813, and was followed by an attempt to prove that the Letters of Junius were written by J. L. de Lolme (1816), 'A Grammar of Music' (1818), 'A Dictionary of Musical Terms,' 'A History of Music,' 2 vols. (1819) a work which was successful in its day, though it is entirely a compilation from the Histories of Burney and Hawkins, 'Concert-room Anecdotes,' 3 vols. (1825), an amusing and useful collection, and a 'Musical Manual' (1828). In his latter years Busby lived with a married daughter at Queen's Row, Pentonville, where he died, aged eighty-four, on Monday, 28 May 1838. He was not an original genius, but a clever, hard-working man of letters. According to an obituary notice of him he was eccentric, and held 'loose notions on religious subjects.'

[Public Characters for 1802-3, 371; Concert-room Anecdotes, i. 93; Musical World for 1838, 80; Genest's Hist. of the Stage, vii.; Times, 30 May 1838; British Museum Catalogue; Graduati Cantab. 1760-1856.]

W. B. S.

BUSH, PAUL (1490–1558), bishop of Bristol, according to Wood, was born in Somerset, 'of honest and sufficient parents,' in 1490. He studied at the university of Oxford, taking his degree of B.A. about 1517, by which time he was 'numbered among the celebrated poets of the university' (Wood). He subsequently read divinity, studying among the 'Bonhommes' (a reformed order of Austin Friars introduced into England from France by the Black Prince), whose house stood on the site of Wadham College. He also applied himself to the study of medicine, and gained the reputation of 'a wise and grave man, well versed both in divinity and physic, and not only a grave orator, but a good poet' (Cole MSS. x. 76). He took the degrees of B.D. and D.D., and having become a friar of the order, 'superstitiosus monachus,' according to Bale, he 'displayed his varied learning in the publication of many books,' 'superstitiose satis.' He rose to be provincial of the Bonhommes, and became provost of the house of this order at Edington, near Westbury, Wiltshire. He held the prebendal stall of Bishopston in Salisbury Cathedral, about 1539, and became one of the residentiary canons (Jones, Fasti Eccl. Sarisb. p. 446). He obtained royal favour and was made chaplain to Henry VIII, who, on the foundation of the bishopric of Bristol, selected Bush as the first bishop of the new see (Rot. Parl. 34 Hen. VIII, p. 2). His consecration