Heseltine, James (DNB00)

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HESELTINE, JAMES (1690–1763), organist and composer, a pupil of Dr. Blow, was in the early part of the century organist to St. Katharine's Hospital, near the Tower (Grove). In 1710 he was elected organist of Durham Cathedral. A misunderstanding between him and the dean and chapter led him to destroy his compositions, but he held the post of organist until his death on 20 June 1763, and was buried in the Galilee of the cathedral. Early in 1730 Heseltine married a daughter of Sir George Wheler, canon of Durham. His portrait is in the Music School, Oxford. He died a widower without family, and his property was claimed by a nephew and niece in America.

Heseltine's anthem, ‘Unto Thee will I cry,’ in his own handwriting, and dated ‘September ye 17th, 1707,’ is in the British Museum Library (Addit. MS. 30860). Other manuscript pieces by him are in the Lambeth Palace Library.

[Hutchinson's Durham, ii. 238; Hist. Reg. xv. 22; Georgian Era, iv. 542; Dict. of Musicians, 1827, i. 363; Grove's Dict. i. 733; P. C. C. Admon. Grants, June 1765.]

L. M. M.