Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Shrubsole, William (1760-1806)

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SHRUBSOLE, WILLIAM (1760–1806), composer, youngest son of Thomas Shrubsole, farrier, was born at Canterbury, and baptised on 13 Jan. 1760. He was a chorister in the cathedral from 1770 to 1777, and organist at Bangor Cathedral from 1782 to 1784, when he was dismissed for frequenting ‘conventicles.’ He became organist of Spa Fields Chapel, London, and held that post till his death on 18 Jan. 1806. He was a successful teacher in London, and among his pupils were William Russell (1777–1813) [q. v.], organist of the Foundling Chapel, and Benjamin Jacob [q. v.] of Surrey Chapel. The 1794 ‘Musical Directory’ describes him as an alto singer, and in that capacity he is said to have sung at Drury Lane and Westminster Abbey. Shrubsole composed the famous hymn-tune known as ‘Miles Lane,’ set to the hymn by Edward Perronet [see under Perronet, Vincent], ‘All hail! the power of Jesus' Name.’ He became intimate with Perronet at Canterbury, and Perronet, besides making him one of his executors, left him a substantial share of his property. Shrubsole is buried at Bunhill Fields, London, and the first strain of ‘Miles Lane’ is cut on his tombstone.

[Parr's Church of England Psalmody; Love's Scottish Church Music; Musical Opinion, March 1896; Quiver, May 1896, where there is a facsimile reproduction of ‘Miles Lane’ as it first appeared in the Gospel Magazine, November 1779; note by Mr. F. G. Edwards; records of Bangor Cathedral.]

J. C. H.