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CAMIDGE, JOHN, the elder (1735–1803), organist and composer, was born at York in 1735. His early musical education was obtained as a chorister of York Minster under Dr. Nares, to whom he was articled for seven years, after which he studied in London under Dr. Greene, and received some lessons from Handel. On his return to Yorkshire, Camidge became a candidate for the post of organist at Doncaster parish church, but the Dean of York hearing him play offered him the appointment of organist to York Minster, where he entered upon his duties on 31 Jan. 1756. Camidge was the first cathedral organist to introduce into the service, as anthems, selections from Handel's oratorios, an innovation which at the time was thought very bold, as the style of Handel's music was considered too secular for performance in churches. He was a florid and brilliant organ-player, and his extempore performances were celebrated. Camidge remained at York all his life. His wife was a Miss Mills, daughter of the chapter registrar, by whom he had a son Matthew [q. v.] He resigned his organistship 11 Nov. 1799, and died 25 April 1803.

[Authorities as under John Camidge the younger.]

W. B. S.