Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Camidge, John (1790-1859)

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CAMIDGE, JOHN, the younger (1790–1859), organist and composer, grandson of John Camidge the elder [q. v.] was born at York in 1790. He received his musical education from his father, Matthew Camidge [q. v.], and in 1812 graduated at Cambridge as Mus. Bac., taking his doctor's degree in 1819. About 1825 he published a volume of cathedral music of his composition, and he also adapted much classical music for use in the Anglican service, but he was principally known as a masterly executant. From his youth up he played on the organ at York Minster, and was retained at a high salary by the dean and chapter as assistant to his father. After the fire in the cathedral in 1829, Camidge devoted much attention to the construction of the magnificent new organ, which for many years was one of the finest in the world, and which was mainly built under his direction. On his father's retirement he was appointed organist of the cathedral (15 Oct. 1842), a post he held until his death, which took place at Gray's Court, Chapter House Street, York, 29 Sept. 1859. On 28 Nov. 1848 he became paralysed while playing the evening service, and never afterwards touched the organ. Camidge left one daughter and three sons, Charles, John, and Thomas Simpson. The two latter followed their father's profession, Mr. T. S. Camidge, now (1886) organist of Hexham Abbey, having acted as his deputy at York from 1848 until his death. A son of Mr. T. S. Camidge is now organist of Beverley Minster, the fifth generation of organists which this remarkable family has produced.

[Chapter Records of York Minster, communicated by Mr. C. W. Thiselton; Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 300; Gent. Mag. xxvi. 92, lxxiii. 484; Musical World for 1 Oct. 1859; information from Mr. T. S. Camidge.]

W. B. S.