Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Harington, Henry (1727-1816)

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HARINGTON, HENRY, M.D. (1727–1816), musician and author, born at Kelston, Somersetshire, in September 1727, was the son of Henry Harington of that place. Sir John Harington [q. v.] was an ancestor. On 17 Dec. 1745 he matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford, and graduated B.A. in 1749, M.A. in 1752 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886, ii. 608). While residing at Oxford he joined an amateur musical society, established by Dr. William Hayes (1708–1777) [q. v.], to which those only were admitted who were able to play and sing at sight. Abandoning his intention of taking orders he commenced the study of medicine, and in 1753 established himself as a physician at Wells. He accumulated his degrees in medicine in 1762. In 1771 he removed to Bath, where he devoted his leisure to composition, and founded the Bath Harmonic Society. The Duke of York appointed him his physician. He was also an alderman and magistrate of Bath, and served the office of mayor. Harington died on 15 Jan. 1816, and was buried in Bath Abbey. Two sons by his wife, Miss Musgrave—Sir Edward Harington and Henry Harington, D.D.—are separately noticed.

He published: 1. 'A Favourite Collection of Songs, Glees, Elegies, and Canons.' 2. 'A second Collection of Songs, Glees, Elegies, Canons, and Catches.' 3. 'A third Collection of Trios, Duetts, single Songs, Rotas,' 4. 'Songs, Duetts, and other Compositions ... never before published,' 1800, edited by his daughter Susanna Isabella Thomas. These had been preceded by several compositions issued separately, such as 'Eloi! Eloi! or the Death of Christ,' a sacred dirge for Passion week; 'Old Thomas Day;' 'Give me the Sweet Quaker's Wedding;' 'The Stammering Song;' and 'The Alderman's Thumb' (glee). Harington's compositions, whether sacred or humorous, are remarkably pleasing.

His round, 'How great is the pleasure,' and duet, 'How sweet in the woodlands,' were once very popular. He was also author of: 1. 'Ode to Harmony.' 2. 'Ode to Discord.' 3. 'The Witch of Wokey.' 4. 'A Treatise on the Use and Abuse of Musick.' 5. 'The Geometrical Analogy of the Doctrine of the Trinity consonant to Human Reason,' 1806.

[Gent. Mag. 1816, pt. i. pp. 185-6, 352, 640; Public Characters, 1799-1800, pp. 494-506; Georgian Era; Reuss's Alphabetical Register, pt. i. p. 451; Dict. of Living Authors, 1816, pp. 145- 146; Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 691; J. D. Brown's Biog. Dict. of Musicians, p. 303.]

G. G.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.147
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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384 ii 20-19 f.e. Harington, Henry (1727-1816): for in Bath Abbey. read in the chancel of Kelston Church.