Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 15.djvu/12

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Dibdin
Dibdin
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time than all the press-gangs could. Exclusive of the ‘entertainments sans souci,’ commenced in 1797, with their 360 songs, he wrote more than seventy dramatic pieces, and set to music productions of other writers. He claimed nine hundred songs as his own, of which two hundred were repeatedly encored, ninety of them being sea-songs, and undoubtedly his master-work. He was a rapid worker. No one of his entertainments cost him more than a month; his best single songs generally half an hour, e.g. his ‘Sailor's Journal.’ Music and words came together. His portrait was painted by Devis, showing his handsome face, his hearty boisterousness. It has been several times engraved.

[Professional Life of Mr. Dibdin, written by Himself, with the Words of Six Hundred Songs, 4 vols., 1803; Benjamin Crosby's Pocket Companion to the Playhouses, pp. 99–105, 1796; Dibdin's own Royal Circus Epitomised, 1784, a full account of his difficulties and imprisonments in the Fleet and the Bench; A Brief Memoir of Charles Dibdin, by (the late) Dr. William Kitchener, with some Documents supplied by his (Dibdin's) Granddaughter, Mrs. Lovat Ashe, London, n.d. (1823), a very slight work, 24 pp.; Recollections of John O'Keeffe, written by himself, ii. 322, 323, 1826; Biographia Dramatica, ed. 1812, i. 187; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. x. 415, 4th ser. v. 155, &c.; The London Stage, 1826–7, 4 vols.; Bell's British Theatre; Cumberland's Plays; G. H. Davidson's Songs of Charles Dibdin, with Memoir by George Hogarth, 2 vols. 1842 and 1848, very inaccurate and ill-edited throughout, many songs being given that were written by Colley Cibber, long before Dibdin touched ‘Damon and Phillida,’ and by other older and well-known writers; Annual Register, lvi. 137; Dibdin's own books, above mentioned; N. S. F. Hervey's Celebrated Musicians, Appendix, p. 32, 1883–5; Musical Times, March 1886; Gent. Mag. lxxxv. 285 (1815); European Mag. July 1810.]

J. W. E.

DIBDIN, HENRY EDWARD (1813–1866), musician, the youngest son of Charles Dibdin the younger [q. v.], born at Sadler's Wells 8 Sept. 1813, was taught music by his elder sister, Mary Anne (b. 1800), afterwards Mrs. Tonna, who was an excellent harpist and musician, and the composer of several songs and instrumental pieces. Dibdin studied the harp with her, and afterwards with Bochsa. He also performed on the viola and organ. His first public appearance took place at Covent Garden Theatre on 3 Aug. 1832, when he played the harp at Paganini's last concert. In 1833 he settled at Edinburgh, where he remained for the rest of his life, holding the honorary post of organist of Trinity Chapel, and occupied with private teaching and composition. In 1843 he published (in collaboration with J. T. Surenne) a collection of church music, a supplement to which appeared in the following year. His best known work is the ‘Standard Psalm Book’ (1852), an admirable collection, with a useful historical preface. In 1865 he also compiled another collection, ‘The Praise Book.’ His remaining published works, about forty in number, consist of songs, pianoforte and harp pieces, and a good many hymn tunes. Dibdin was also a skilled artist and illuminator. His death took place at Edinburgh 6 May 1866.

[Information from Mr. E. R. Dibdin; Crawford and Eberle's Biog. Index to the Church Hymnal, 3rd ed. 1878; Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 444.]

W. B. S.

DIBDIN, THOMAS FROGNALL (1776–1847), bibliographer, son of Thomas Dibdin, elder brother of Charles Dibdin the song-writer [q. v.], was born in India in 1776. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Compton. His father, a captain in the navy, died in 1780 on his way to England; his mother soon afterwards at Middelburg in Zeeland. Brought up by his uncle, William Compton, the boy was educated first at Reading, at a small school kept by a Mr. John Man, then at a school at Stockwell, and afterwards at a school near Brentford, kept by Mr. Greenlaw. From this he went to St. John's College, Oxford, and passed his examination for his degree in 1797, though he did not take it till March 1801. He proceeded M.A. on 28 April 1825, and B.D. and D.D. on 9 July 1825. He at first chose the bar as his profession, and studied under Basil Montagu. He married early in life, and went to reside at Worcester, intending to establish himself as a provincial counsel. He, however, soon abandoned all thoughts of the law, and determined to take holy orders. He was ordained deacon in 1804, and priest in 1805 by Bishop North of Winchester, to a curacy at Kensington, where he spent all the earlier portion of his life.

While quite a young man he became an author; after some scattered essays in the ‘European Magazine,’ and in a periodical called ‘The Quiz,’ put forth by Sir R. K. Porter and his sisters, which came to an untimely end in 1798, he published a small volume of poems in 1797, and two tracts on legal subjects. He began his career as a bibliographer in 1802 by an ‘Introduction to the Knowledge of rare and valuable editions of the Greek and Latin Classics,’ which was published in a thin volume at Gloucester. It is chiefly founded on Edward Harwood's ‘View’ of the classics (1790); but it was the means of introducing him to Lord Spencer, who even then was known as the possessor of one