Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Loosemore, Henry

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LOOSEMORE, HENRY (1600?–1670), organist and composer, was born about 1600 in Devonshire. He was a chorister, and afterwards lay clerk, in one of the Cambridge College chapels (Grove), and graduated Mus. Bac. in 1640 (Cole, Athenæ). He was at one time organist of King's College. From about 1652 to 1660 Loosemore seems to have been resident organist and teacher of music at Kirtling, Cambridgeshire, where the grandchildren of Dudley, third baron North, then resided (cf. Jessopp, Introduction to Autobiography of Roger North, p. vi.) In 1660 he became organist of Exeter Cathedral. He died in 1670 suddenly, according to Wood, in a priory house abroad.

Two of Loosemore's Latin litanies (G minor and D minor) are printed in the second volume of Jebb's ‘Choral Responses.’ The compiler draws attention to the fact that services were occasionally performed in Latin at Peterhouse, Cambridge, before the rebellion, and surmises that these litanies were written for King's. Loosemore's English litany, in D minor, is essentially the same as the Latin in the same key. It was scored by Jebb from the manuscript organ copy in Ely Cathedral, and printed in vol. i. of ‘Choral Responses,’ without the ‘desk’ part, which has only lately been discovered at Ely.

In manuscript are: 1. Anthem, a 4, ‘Put me not to rebuke,’ at Ely. 2. Whole service in D minor, a 4, 5, and 6, at Ely, and in Tudway's ‘Collection,’ vols. i. and ii. (Harl. MSS. 7337 and 7338). 3. Anthem in G minor, a 2, with chorus a 4, ‘O, that mine eyes,’ at Ely, and in Flackton's ‘Collection,’ No. 92 (Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 30932); the same duet, without chorus, is copied in A minor in Novello's ‘Collection’ (ib. 33234). At Ely Cathedral, more or less complete, are also 4. Anthem, ‘O God, my heart is ready’ (organ part); ‘Praise the Lord, O my soul’ (tenor part); ‘Tell the daughter of Zion;’ and ‘Unto Thee I lift up.’ At Peterhouse, Cambridge, are manuscripts of the above anthems, apparently in the author's autograph. Clifford's ‘Divine Services’ includes other anthems by Loosemore: ‘O, sing unto the Lord,’ ‘The Lord hath done,’ ‘Give the King Thy Judgments,’ ‘To Jesus Christ.’

Loosemore's son, George Loosemore (fl. 1660), organist and composer, was under his father as a chorister at King's College, Cambridge (Grove). In 1660 he was appointed organist to Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1665 he graduated doctor of music (Grad. Cant.) In 1660 he also appears to have succeeded his father as organist at Kirtling, assisting John Jenkins [q. v.] in his teaching of Baron North's family until 1666. His anthem ‘Glory be to God,’ G minor, is in vol. iii. of Tudway's ‘Collection’ (Harl. MSS. 7339); the organ part of ‘Hear my crying’ is in manuscript in Ely Cathedral Library.

[See authorities under John Loosemore.]

L. M. M.