Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

12 August 1838 A.D. Joseph Barnby Born—Anglican Musician, York Minster & Royal Academy of Music

12 August 1838 A.D.  Joseph Barnby Born—Anglican Musician, York Minster & Royal Academy of Music

Joseph Barnby (1838 to 1896)

Church of England

Choirmaster at Fourteen.

Joseph Barnby was born at York, England. As a boy he was a precocious chorister at York Minster, becoming an organist at twelve and a choirmaster at fourteen. He received the Fellowship degree at the Royal Academy of Music, served two churches as organist and choirmaster, and was appointed musical advisor to Novello and Company in 1861. He wrote 246 hymn tunes. Outstanding among them are those to which we sing "When Morning Gilds the Skies," "Just As I Am, Thine Own to Be," "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart," and "We Give Thee but Thine Own."

12 August 1838 A.D.  Joseph Barnby Born—Anglican Musician, York Minster & Royal Academy of Music

Sir Joseph Barnby (12 August 1838 – 28 January 1896), English musical composer and conductor.


Barnby was born at York, as a son of Thomas Barnby, who was an organist. Joseph was a chorister at York Minster from the age of seven, was educated at the Royal Academy of Music under Cipriani Potter and Charles Lucas, and was appointed in 1862 organist of St Andrew's, Wells Street, London,[1] where he raised the services to a high degree of excellence.

He was conductor of "Barnby's Choir" from 1864, and in 1871 was appointed, in succession to Charles Gounod, conductor of the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society, a post he held till his death. In 1875 he was precentor and director of music at Eton College, and in 1892 became principal of the Guildhall School of Music, receiving the honour of knighthood in July of that year. His works include an oratorio Rebekah, The Lord is King (Psalm 97), many services and anthems, and 246 hymn tunes (published in 1897 in one volume), as well as some partsongs (among them the popular Sweet and Low), and some pieces for the pipe organ.

He was largely instrumental in stimulating the love for Gounod’s sacred music among the less educated part of the London public, although he displayed little practical sympathy with opera. On the other hand, he organized a remarkable concert performance of Parsifal at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1884. He conducted the Cardiff Festivals of 1892 and 1895. He died in London and, after a special service in St Paul's Cathedral was buried in West Norwood Cemetery.

A possibly apocryphal story about him got as far as New Zealand: A young contralto at the end of a Handel solo put in a high note instead of the less effective note usually sung. The conductor, Barnby, was shocked, and asked whether Miss – thought she was right to improve on Handel. "Well, Sir Joseph, said she, I’ve got an 'E' and I don’t see why I shouldn’t show it off". "Miss –," rejoined Barnby, "I believe you have two knees, but I hope you won’t show them off here".[2]


  1. Jump up ^ St Andrew's Wells Street was moved to north London in 1933 and is now St Andrew's Church, Kingsbury. See Kingsbury’s Recycled Church by Brent Council.
  2. Jump up ^ "Local and General". Wairarapa Daily Times. 19 August 1897. p. 2. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 


External links

 Free scores by Joseph Barnby in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)

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