A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Clark, Richard

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CLARK, Richard, was born at Datchet, Bucks, April 5, 1780. At an early age he became chorister at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, under Dr. Aylward, and of Eton College under Stephen Heather. In 1803 he succeeded his grandfather, John Sale, the elder, as lay clerk at St. George's and Eton College; these appointinents he held until 1811. In 1805 he officiated as deputy in the metropolitan choirs, and in the same year was appointed secretary to the Glee Club. He subsequently obtained the places of lay vicar of Westminster Abbey, and vicar-choral of St. Paul's, and in 1820 succeeded Joseph Corfe as a gentleman of the Chapel Royal. In 1814 Clark published a volume of the poetry of the most favourite glees, madrigals, rounds, and catches, with a preface containing an account of the song 'God save the King,' the composition of which he there attributed to Henry Carey. A second edition of this work appeared in 1824, but the subject of the popular tune was omitted, Clark having in 1822 published a separate volume assigning its composition to Dr. John Bull. [See God save the King.] Clark distinguished himself by his assiduity in endeavouring to procure for the various cathedral and collegiate choirs a restitution of their statutory rights and privileges. He was the composer of a few anthems, chants, and glees, and the author of several pamphlets on 'Handel and the Harmonious Blacksmith, etc.'; Handel's 'Messiah'; the derivation of the word 'Madrigale.' Musical pitch, etc. He died Oct. 5, 1856.

[ W. H. H. ]