Smith, John Stafford



English organist, composer and tenor singer; born at Gloucester, the son of the organist of the Gloucester Cathedral. He studied under his father and Dr. Boyce, and became a gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1784. In 1795 he was appointed lay vicar of Westminster Abbey, and in 1802 succeeded Dr. Arnold as organist of the Chapel Royal. From 1805 to 1817 Smith held the post of master of the children of the Chapel Royal. He died in London. Smith composed numerous anthems; chants; songs; and glees; and edited Musica Antiqua, a selection of music of England and other countries from the beginning of the Twelfth to the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, which comprises some of the earliest and most curious motets and madrigals, and is one of the best collections of ancient music extant. He also edited a collection of English songs and materially aided Sir John Hawkins with his history of music by loaning many valuable manuscripts. A large part of his valuable library and collection of manuscripts was lost after his death.