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DAMASCENE, ALEXANDER (d. 1719), musician, was of Italian origin, but by birth a Frenchman. Obliged to quit France on account of his religion, he came to England and obtained letters of naturalisation on 22 July 1682 (Agnew, Protestant Exiles, 2nd edit. i. 42, iii. 37). He gained a livelihood as an alto singer and teacher of music. On 6 Dec. 1690 he was appointed a gentleman extraordinary of the Chapel Royal, being preferred to a full place 10 Dec. 1695 in the room of Henry Purcell, deceased (Old Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal, Camden Soc. pp. 19, 21). He died 14 July 1719 (ib. p. 29; Historical Register, Chron. Diary, iv. 32). His will, in which he describes himself as ‘of the parish of St. Anne's, Westminster, gentleman,’ was dated 16 May 1715, and proved 27 July 1719 (registered in P. C. C. 126, Browning). Therein he devised his estate to Sarah Powell, his daughter-in-law, and appointed her sole executrix. Damascene composed numerous songs, many of which were published in the various musical miscellanies of the day, such as ‘Choice Ayres and Songs,’ 1676–84; the ‘Theatre of Musick,’ 1685–7; ‘Vinculum Societatis,’ 1687–91; the ‘Banquet of Musick,’ 1688–92; ‘Comes Amoris,’ 1687–94; ‘The Gentleman's Journal,’ 1692–4.

[Old Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal, Camd. Soc., p. 225; Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 428.]

G. G.