Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Addison, John (1766?-1844)
ADDISON, JOHN (1766?–1844), composer and performer on the double bass, was the son of a village mechanic, and as a child showed considerable musical capability, learning to play on the flageolet, flute, bassoon, and violin. He became member of the Royal Society of Musicians 7 Oct. 1753 (Records of Royal Soc. of Musicians). He married, about 1793, an orphan ward of his parents, Miss Willems, who was a niece of the bass singer Reinhold, and after her marriage sang herself with success at Vauxhall. She soon afterwards obtained an engagement at Liverpool, where her husband adopted the musical profession, playing first violoncello and then double bass in the orchestra. The Addisons then went to Dublin, and in 1796 Mrs. Addison appeared at Covent Garden in ‘Love in a Village.’ In 1797 they went to Bath, and then to Dublin and Manchester, where John Addison for a time abandoned music for mercantile speculations which resulted in the loss of a considerable sum. Resuming his original career, he made himself known by composing several now forgotten operas for Covent Garden and the Lyceum, the most successful of which were the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (1805) and the ‘Russian Impostor’ (1809). He played the double bass for many years at the opera, and at the Ancient and other concerts, besides achieving some success as a teacher of singing. He died at Camden Town 30 Jan. 1844.
[ Grove's Dictionary of Music, i. 30; Musical Examiner for 10 Feb. 1844; The Georgian Era (1834), iii. 530; Gent. Mag. 1844.]