BHO

The artistic establishment: Masters and Conductors of the Music

Pages 184-185

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. Originally published by University of London, London, 2006.

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Master of the Music 16601837

Also known under Charles II as master of the king's violins, the master of the music was appointed by lord chamberlain's warrant. (fn. 1) In addition to administering the various royal musicians, he was also responsible for composing, 'fair writing and pricking' royal birthday and New Year's odes when no other musician had been given the commission. (fn. 2) Prior to 1782, he received a salary of 200 from the treasurer of the chamber. By that date, he also received 25 for writing the annual ode for the King's birthday and 39 6s for the musical preparations for that event (and the same again for the Queen's birthday). Prior to the appointment of a separate conductor of music he received 100 for this service. (fn. 3) By the end of the period, he held for life at a salary of 265 plus fees of honor. (fn. 4)

1660 10 June Lanier, N.
1666 June Grabu, L.
1674 15 Aug. Staggins, N.
1700 30 June Eccles, J.
1735 14 Jan. Greene, M.
1757 27 June Boyce, W.
1779 11 Feb. Stanley, J.
1786 Parsons, W.
1817 20 July Shield, W.
1829 26 Jan. Kramer, C.
1834 19 Feb. Cramer, F.

Conductor of Music c. 17651837

This officer was called the 'assistant master of music' in 1765. The conductor of music made 100 from 1787 to the end of the period. By the end of the period, he held for life. (fn. 5)

By 1765 Wiedemann, C. F.
1782 1 June Stanley, J.
By 1787 Parsons, W.
1817 20 July Kramer, C.
1829 26 Jan. Calkin, J.

Footnotes

  • 1. See RECM I, 140 citing LC 5/140, p. 518; LC 3/3: 'Places in Disposall of the Lord Chamberlain of His Mats Household'.
  • 2. See RECM II, 46, 83, 87, 89, 9293, 94, 106, 145, 146, 148, 150, 157; D. J. Burrows, Handel and the English Chapel Royal During the Reigns of Queen Anne and George I (Open University Ph.D. thesis, 1981) I, 14042.
  • 3. LC 5/204, p. 204 in 1705; p. 202 for 1779; CSPD 16656, p. 482; CTB XVII, 920, 1016; ibid. XXX (2), 1813; Shelburne MSS 125, p. 181. The master of the music was also allowed 5s per diem in riding wages: RECM II, 5 citing LC 3/30.
  • 4. LC 3/72, p. 276. Fees of honour were estimated to yield 4 2s 6d in 1836 (Ibid.).
  • 5. RK [1787], p. 90; LC 3/72, p. 282. The conductor was also entitled to fees of honour estimated to be worth 2 1s 3d.