Travers, John (DNB00)

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TRAVERS, JOHN (1703?–1758), musician, born about 1703, received his early musical education in the choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor. By the generosity of Henry Godolphin [q. v.], dean of St. Paul's and provost of Eton College, he was apprenticed to Maurice Greene [q. v.] He afterwards studied with John Christopher Pepusch [q. v.], and copied, says Burney, ‘the correct, dry, and fanciless style of his master.’ On Pepusch's death Travers succeeded, by bequest, to a portion of his fine musical library. About 1725 he became organist of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, and afterwards of Fulham church. On 10 May 1737 he succeeded Jonathan Martin (1715–1737) [q. v.] as organist of the Chapel Royal, a post which he held until his death in 1758.

Travers wrote much church music, including ‘The whole Book of Psalms for one, two, three, four, or five voices, with a thorough bass for the harpsichord’ (1750?). His service in F and his anthem ‘Ascribe unto the Lord’ are still in frequent use. Of his secular compositions the best known are his ‘Eighteen Canzonets,’ the words being from the posthumous works of Matthew Prior, which enjoyed great popularity in their day.

[Georgian Era, iv. 515; Burney's General History of Music, iii. 619, iv. 639; Grove's Dict. of Music and Musicians, iv. 162.]

R. N.