Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Whitaker, John (1776-1847)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

WHITAKER, JOHN (1776–1847), composer, and a member of the music publishing firm of Button, Whitaker, & Co., St. Paul's Churchyard, was born in 1776. He was a teacher of music, and organist to St. Clement's, Eastcheap. In 1818 Whitaker collected and published ‘The Seraph,’ two volumes of sacred music, for four voices, of which many pieces are original. He was better known as a writer of occasional songs introduced in musical plays at the principal theatres between 1807 and 1825. Among those which attained great popularity were: ‘Fly away, dove,’ sung by Miss Cawse on her début in the ‘Hebrew Family;’ ‘O say not woman's heart is bought,’ ‘Go, Rover, go,’ ‘Remember me,’ ‘The Little Farmer's Daughter,’ ‘My Poor Dog Tray,’ ‘The Lily that blooms,’ ‘Paddy Carey's Fortune,’ and ‘Hot Codlins.’

A more lasting claim to celebrity is afforded by Whitaker's beautiful glee, originally written for three voices, ‘Winds, gently whisper.’ He died at Thavies' Inn, Holborn, on 4 Dec. 1847.

[Grove's Dict. of Music, iv. 450; Genest's Hist. of the Stage, vols. viii. ix.; Quarterly Musical Magazine, 1825, p. 259; Gent. Mag. 1848, i. 105; Whitaker's preface to ‘The Seraph.’]

L. M. M.