A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Hobbs, John

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HOBBS, John William, was born Aug. 1, 1799, at Henley-on-Thames, where his father was bandmaster of a volunteer corps. He sang in public at the early age of three years, and at five was admitted a chorister of Canterbury Cathedral, of which his father was a lay vicar. The beauty of his voice attracting the attention of Goss, the alto singer and singing master, young Hobbs was articled to him. He appeared as principal singer at a Musical Festival at Norwich in 1813. On arriving at manhood his voice had developed into a tenor of limited compass, but of remarkable purity and sweetness. He became a member of the choirs of King's, Trinity and St. John's, Cambridge, and afterwards of that of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, of which his father was already a member. In 1827 he was appointed a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and in 1836 a lay vicar of Westminster Abbey. Hobbs long held a prominent position as a concert-singer. His singing was distinguished by taste, refinement and expression. He was the composer of a very large number of songs, several of which gained prizes from the Melodists' Club, and many were highly popular, especially 'When Delia sleeps,' 'My ancestors were Englishmen,' and 'The captive Greek girl.' He died at Croydon, Jan. 12, 1877. [App. p.677 "Add that 'Phillis is my only joy' is by him."]

[ W. H. H. ]