Handel said: ‘Mr. Worgan shall sit by me; he plays my music very well at Vauxhall.’ Richard Cecil [q. v.] wrote: ‘Admiration and feeling are very distinct from each other. Some music and oratory enchant and astonish, out they speak not to the heart. . . . Dr. Worgan has so touched the organ at St. John s that I have been turning backward and forward over the prayer-book for the first lesson in Isaiah and wondered that I could not find Isaiah there!’ Martin Madan (1726−1790) [q. v.], in a satirical song upon Joah Bates [q. v.], issued anonymously, and set to music by Samuel Wesley (1766−1837) [q. v.], entitled ‘The Organ laid open, &c.,’ placed him as a player upon an equality with Handel:
Let Handel or Worgan go thresh at the organ.
Burney refers to him as ‘a very masterly and learned fuguist on the organ.’
As a composer Worgan was not great. His compositions, now forgotten, include two oratorios: ‘Hannah’ (King's Theatre, Haymarket, 3 April 1 764) and ‘Manasseh’ (Lock Hospital Chapel, 30 April 1766); ‘We will rejoice in Thy salvation,’ a thanksgiving anthem for victories (29 Nov. 1759); many songs for Vauxhall Gardens, of which thirteen books (at least) were published; psalmtunes, glees, organ music, and sonatas and other pieces for the harpsichord. Some of his manuscripts are in British Museum Addit. MSS. 31670, 31693, 34609, and 35038.
Worgan is persistently credited with having composed the Easter hymn. As a matter of fact the tune appeared (anonymously) in ‘Lyra Davidica’ (1708) sixteen years before Worgan was born.
[Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review, v. 113 (a very full memoir); Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, iv. 486; biographical preface to Rev. Henry Parr's Church of England Psalmody; Barney's Hist, of Music, iv. 665; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Musical Times, August 1888, p. 490, for a reference to Worgan's grandson, George Worgan.]
WORLIDGE or WOOLRIDGE, JOHN (fl. 1669−1698), agricultural writer, who resided at Petersfield, Hampshire, is of interest in the history of agricultural literature as the compiler of the first systematic treatise on husbandry on a large and comprehensive scale. He was a correspondent of John Houghton [q. v.], who gives in his ‘Letters’ (1681) two contributions by ‘the ingenious Mr. John Worlidge of Petersfield in Hampshire,’ on ‘a great improvement of land by parsley,’ and on ‘improving and fyning of Syder.’
Worlidge's ‘Systema Agriculturæ, or the Mystery of Husbandry discovered ... by J. W., Gent.,’ first published in 1669, went through a number of editions (1675, 1681, 1687, 1716) before it was supplanted in popular favour by the numerous agricultural reference books which are a feature of the eighteenth century. He appears to have carefully studied the writings of his predecessors, Fitzherbert, Sir Richard Weston, Robert Child, Walter Blith, Gabriel Plattes, Sir Hugh Plat [q. v.], and the anonymous writers whose works were published by Samuel Hartlib [q. v.] Worlidge's system of husbandry may be regarded as gathering into a focus the scattered information published during the period of the Commonwealth.
Besides the ‘Systema Agriculturæ,’' Worlidge wrote (mostly under the initials of ‘J. W., Gent.’) the following: 1. ‘Vinetum Britannicum, or a Treatise of Cider,’ 1676; 2nd edit. 1678; 3rd edit. 1691, dedicated to Elias Ashmole. 2. ‘Apiarium, or a Discourse of Bees,’ 1676. 3. ‘Systema Horticulture, or the Art of Gardening,’ 1677. 4. ‘The most easie Method of Making the best Cyder,’' 1687. 5. ‘The Complete Bee Master’ (a revised edition of No. 2), 1698.
[Houghton's Letters, 1681, pp. 136, 163; Cuthbert Johnson's Farmer's Cyclopædia, p. 1311; Worlidge's works cited above; Brit. Mus. s.v. ‘J. W., Gent.’]
WORLIDGE, THOMAS (1700−1766), painter and etcher, born at Peterborough of Roman catholic parents in 1700, studied art in London as a pupil of a Genoese refugee, Alessandro Maria Grimaldi (1659−1732) (Huber and Martin, Manuel des Curieux et des Amateurs de l'Art, 1808, ix. 132). He painted portraits of his master Grimaldi and his master's wife about 1720. He married Grimaldi's daughter, and long remained on intimate terms with Alexander Grimaldi, his master's son. Subsequently he received instruction from Louis Peter Boitard [q. v.] About 1736 Worlidge and the younger Grimaldi are said to have visited Birmingham, where Worlidge reintroduced the art of painting on glass. For a time, too, he seems to have practised portrait-painting at Bath.
About 1740 Worlidge settled in London in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden, where he remained for the rest of his life. At one time Worlidge's address was ‘at the Piazza, Covent Garden.’ He afterwards resided in Bedford Street and King Street in the same neighbourhood. Though his portraits in oil and pastel enjoyed some vogue, his first reputation was made by his miniature portraits. In middle life his