Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Butler, Thomas Hamly

BUTLER, THOMAS HAMLY (1762?–1823), musical composer, the son of James Butler, a musician, was born in London about 1762. He was for nearly ten years a chorister of the Chapel Royal under Dr. Nares, and subsequently studied in Italy for three years under Piccini. On returning to England, he was engaged by Sheridan as composer for Covent Garden Theatre; but owing to a quarrel the engagement was not renewed. Butler wrote music to Cumberland's five-act play, ‘The Widow of Delphi,’ which was produced at Covent Garden 1 Feb. 1780, and only acted six times. Soon afterwards he settled at Edinburgh, where he first lived at Bishop's Land, High Street, and subsequently at 24 Broughton Street and 3 Catherine Street. He enjoyed considerable reputation as a teacher, and wrote a quantity of music for the pianoforte—marches, arrangements of Scotch airs, sonatas, &c., all of which are now forgotten. Butler died in Edinburgh in 1823.

[A Dictionary of Musicians, 1827, i. 125; Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 386 a; Genest's Hist. of the Stage, vi. 146; British Museum Music Catalogue.]

W. B. S.