Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/551

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


Royal under Dr. Ayrton, but was withdrawn from the choir in 1798 and became a pupil of John Ashley. In 1800 lie sang at the Oratorios, Ranelagh, etc. Upon the breaking of his voice he acted as deputy organist for Knyvett and Stafford Smith at the Chapel Royal, and soon afterwards became organist of Croydon Church. In 1807 he was appointed organist of Welbeck Chapel. He composed the music for the follow- ing dramatic pieces: 'Yes or No,' 1809; 'The Tourist Friend,' and 'Hit or Miss,' 1810 ; 'Any- thing new,' 1811; and 'How to die for Love.' In 1815 he appeared, with success, at the Orato- rios as a baritone singer. In the next year he settled in Liverpool, where he resided for many years. He composed many songs and ballads, the best of which is The Battle of Hohenlinden.' He ultimately retired to Crediton, Devon, where he died Nov. 22,1856. [W.H.H.]

SMITH, FATHER, the usual appellation of BERNARD SCHMIDT, a celebrated organ-builder, born in Germany about 1630, and came to Eng- land in 1660 with two nephews, Gerard and Ber- nard, his assistants. To distinguish him from these and express the reverence due to his abilities, he was called Father Smith. His first organ in this country was that of the Royal Chapel at Whitehall, which Pepys mentions in his Diary as having heard it on July 8, 1660. Subsequently he built one for Westminster Abbey, one for St. Giles's-in-the-Fields (1671), and one for St. Mar- garet's, Westminster (1675), of which in the fol- lowing year he was elected organist at a salary of 20 a year. He was now rapidly acquiring fame and was appointed Organ maker in ordinary to the King, apartments in Whitehall being al- lotted to him, called in the old plan ' The Organ- builder's Workhouse.'

In 1682 tlie treasurers of the societies of the Temple had some conversation with Smith re- specting the erection of an organ in their church. Subsequently Renatus Harris, who had warm supporters amongst the Benchers of the Inner Temple, was introduced to their notice. It was ultimately agreed that each artist should set up an organ in the church, and in 1684 both instru- ments were ready for competition. In 1685 the Benchers of the Middle Temple made choice of Smith's organ ; but those of the Inner Temple dissented, and it was not until 1688 that Smith received payment for his instrument, namely 1000.

In 1683 he contracted for the organ of Durham Cathedral. In consequence of the reputation he had acquired by these instruments, he was made choice of to build an organ for St. Paul's Cathe- dral, then in course of erection. This instrument was opened on Dec. 2, 1697. Smith became Court organ-builder to Queen Anne, and died 1 708.

According to Hawkins and Burney the two nephews of Schmidt, as above mentioned, were named Bernard and Gerard. But Horace Walpole alters Bernard's name to Christian. These two are very little known, although they built several fine instruments.

In 1 755 a Mr. Gerard Smith was organ-repairer

��SMITH. 539>

to Chelsea Hospital. This was probably a grand- nephew of Father Smith, since from the date he could hardly have been his nephew.

CHRISTOPHER SCHRIDER or SCHBEIDER (possiUy Schroder), was one of Father Smith's workmen, and previous to 1708 had become his son-in-law. After Smith's death he succeeded to his business, and in 1710 was organ-builder to the Royal Chapels. Hia organs do not appear to be very numerous, that of Westminster being his chef- d'oeuvre. It was built for the coronation of George II. in 1727, and was presented to the Abbey by the King (Chrysander's Handel, ii. 174. note). He put up another organ in Henry the Seventh's Chapel for the funeral of Queen Caroline, Dec. 17, 1737, when Handel's noble anthem, 'The ways of Zion,' was first sung to its accompaniment (Ibid. 437, note; Stanley's 4 Westminster Abbey,' p. 1 66). [V. de P.]

SMITH, GEORGE TOWNSHEND, son of Edward Woodley Smith (born May 23, 1775, chorister of St. Paul's Cathedral, afterwards lay vicar of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, from 1795 until his death, June 17, 1849), was born in the Horse- shoe Cloisters, Windsor, Nov. 13, 1813. He re- ceived his early musical education as a chorister of St. George's, Windsor. On quitting the choir he became a pupil of Highmore Skeats, the Chapel organist, and afterwards came to London and studied under Samuel Wesley. He next obtained an appointment as organist at Eastbourne, whence he removed to King's Lynn on being chosen or- ganist there. On Jan. 5, 1843, he was appointed organist of Hereford Cathedral. As such he be- came, ex officio, conductor of the Meeting of the Three Choirs at Hereford, besides discharging the duties of which office he voluntarily undertook the laborious office of honorary secretary to the festival, and by his untiring and energetic exer- tions, in the course of the 12 triennial festivals which he directed, raised it musically, from a low to a very high condition, and financially, from a heavy loss to a gain. He composed an 8-voice anthem and a Jubilate for the festivals, and other church music. He died, very suddenly, Aug. 3, 1877, universally beloved and respected.

His brother, MONTEM, was also educated in the choir of St. George's. On quitting it he be- came a tenor singer, and is a lay vicar of West- minster Abbey, and a gentleman of the Chapel Royal (1858). He is distinguished as a ballad singer, for which his clear and distinct enuncia- tion of the words eminently qualify him, and for his skill in ' speaking ' recitative. He is moreover an excellent musician. He owes his singular bap- tismal name to the circumstance of his having been born on a Whit-Tuesday during the per- formance of the now abolished Eton College ceremony of ' Montem.'

Another brother, SAMUEL, was born in Eton in 1821. In 1831 he was admitted as one of the children of the Chapel Royal under William Hawes. Shortly after leaving the choir he ob- tained the appointment; of organist at Hayes Church, Middlesex, and was subsequently organ- ist at Eton and Egham. In 1857 he became

�� �