Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gawler, William

GAWLER, WILLIAM (1750–1809), organist, teacher, and composer, son of a schoolmaster, was born in 1750 in Lambeth. His Op. 2, a collection of varied pieces for harpsichord or pianoforte, with instructions, was published by Preston in the Strand in 1780. ‘Harmonia Sacra,’ containing psalm tunes, anthems, hymns, and a voluntary, appeared in 1781. In 1784 Gawler was appointed organist (with a salary of 63l.) to the Asylum for Female Orphans, Lambeth; he composed for their chapel music (Op. 16) to ‘Twelve Divine Songs’ by Dr. Watts, and collected the psalm tunes in use there in 1785; two sets of voluntaries for the organ (Grove); and some patriotic songs. He was parish clerk at Lambeth for many years, and died 15 March 1809. His sister married Dr. Pearce, lecturer at St. Mary's, Lambeth, master of the Academy, Vauxhall, and afterwards sub-dean of the Chapel Royal.

[Allen's Lambeth, pp. 86, 336; Register of Wills, P. C. C., Legard, fol. 134; Gawler's works in Brit. Mus. Library; Gent. Mag. xl. 542; Nichols's Lambeth, p. 153; parish register of Lambeth; information kindly supplied by Mr. George Booth, secretary, Female Orphan Asylum, Beddington.]

L. M. M.