Hawes, William (1785-1846) (DNB00)
HAWES, WILLIAM (1785–1846), singer and composer, born in London in 1785, was a chorister of the Chapel Royal from 1793 to 1801, and a gentleman of the same chapel from 1805. In the interval he played the violin at Covent Garden Theatre, and in 1803 acted as deputy lay vicar of Westminster. He sang at Gloucester shortly after the festival of 1811. He was one of the original associates of the Philharmonic Society on its foundation in 1813, and in 1814 became almoner, vicar-choral, and master of the children at St. Paul's. On the death of Samuel Webbe in 1816, he competed unsuccessfully for the prize offered for the best setting of a memorial ode by W. Linley. On 1 July 1817 he was appointed master of the children and lutenist of the Chapel Royal, and in the same year became lay vicar of Westminster, a post which he retained until 1820. In 1818 he edited in score the great collection of English madrigals, called ‘The Triumphs of Oriana,’ first published in 1601, prefixing an introduction of some antiquarian value, together with biographical notices of the composers. His estimate of the merit of the music was very high, and was considerably more just than that of Burney or of the majority of musicians at the date of republication (see Quarterly Musical Review, 1818, p. 500). He became connected with the Royal Harmonic Institution in the Argyll Rooms, Regent Street, a kind of publishing company which ultimately failed, and Hawes and one Welsh were left as the only representatives of the original promoters of the scheme. Hawes freed himself from the concern by the commission of an act of bankruptcy, and afterwards set up as a publisher on his own account in the Strand. In 1822 he tried to establish exclusive rights in one of twelve Scotch songs which he had edited and published; but the suit he brought against the proprietors of the ‘Gazette of Fashion’ with this object was dismissed by the lord chancellor. During Arnold's management of the English Opera House at the Lyceum Theatre, Hawes, who was Arnold's intimate friend, gave him much assistance. It is said that the production of ‘Der Freischütz’ in July 1824 was mainly due to Hawes. He certainly wrote several songs which were, according to the barbarous fashion of the day, interpolated in Weber's score. It has been stated (Grove, Dictionary) that he was musical director for several years; but neither the contemporary accounts of the performances nor the advertisements mention him except as adapting foreign works to the English stage. The operas arranged by him were Salieri's ‘Tarare,’ 1825; Weber's ‘Natur und Liebe,’ 1825; Winter's ‘Unterbrochene Opferfest,’ 1826; Paer's ‘Fuorusciti,’ 1827; Mozart's ‘Così fan Tutte,’ 1828; Ries's ‘Räuberbraut’ and Marschner's ‘Vampyr,’ 1829. In 1825 he directed a series of Lenten oratarios at Covent Garden, and in 1830 engaged in similar undertakings at both the patent theatres. In 1828 he managed a festival at Brighton, 29–31 Oct. He was for many years conductor of the Madrigal Society, and organist of the Lutheran church in the Savoy. Hawes died at his house in Adelphi Terrace on 18 Feb. 1846. His daughter, Maria Billington Hawes, attained distinction as a singer. Besides his songs introduced into plays, his works comprise ‘A Collection of Five Glees and one Madrigal,’ ‘Six Glees,’ a monody on the death of Princess Charlotte, 1817, and a requiem for four voices. His glee, ‘The Bee, the golden Daughter of the Spring,’ gained the prize at the Glee Club in 1836. He edited a collection of madrigals of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the glees of Spofforth, and Chants, &c., in seven numbers or parts.
[Grove's Dict. i. 82, 698, iv. 387; Quarterly Mus. Rev. iv. 102, vii. 195, x. 169; H. Phillips's Musical and Personal Recollections (1864), i. 81; Lysons's Origin and Progress of the Meeting of the Three Choirs (1865), p. 93; Athenæum, No. 956, p. 205.]