Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Helmore, Thomas

HELMORE, THOMAS (1811–1890), writer on music and composer, born at Kidderminster on 7 May 1811, son of a dissenting minister, was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (B.A. 1840, M.A. 1845). He served for two years as curate in the parish of St. Michael, Lichfield, and in 1840 was appointed to a priest-vicar's stall in Lichfield Cathedral. In 1842 he became vice-principal, and in 1846 precentor of St. Mark's College, Chelsea. In the latter year he succeeded William Hawes as master of the choristers of the Chapel Royal, St. James's, of which in 1847 he was admitted one of the priests-in-ordinary. He was presented by the crown in 1872 to the rectory of Beverstone, Gloucestershire, but he resigned it immediately after his appointment. In 1877 he received a retiring pension from the National Society, after thirty-five years' service as clerical precentor of St. Mark's College, Chelsea. He died at his residence in St. George's Square, London, on 6 July 1890.

He was author, editor, or composer of the following works:

  1. ‘The Psalter Noted,’ London [1849], 8vo.
  2. ‘The Canticles Noted.’
  3. ‘A Manual of Plain Song,’ London, 1850, 8vo.
  4. ‘Carols for Christmastide, … set to ancient melodies,’ London [1853], fol.
  5. ‘Carols for Easter-tide, set to ancient melodies,’ London [1855], fol.
  6. ‘A Treatise on Choir and Chorus Singing’ [1855], 8vo; translated from the French of F. J. Fétis.
  7. ‘St. Mark's Chant Book: being the Chants used in the Collegiate Chapel of St. Mark's, Chelsea,’ London, 1863, 8vo.
  8. Two papers on ‘Church Music,’ read at the Church Congress, one at Wolverhampton in 1867, and the other at Swansea in 1879.
  9. ‘A Catechism of Music … based … on Dr. Hullah's Educational Works,’ London, 1878, 8vo.
  10. ‘Plain Song,’ London, 1878, 8vo, being one of Novello, Ewer, & Co.'s ‘Music Primers.’
  11. ‘A fuller Directory of the Plain Song of the Holy Communion Service,’ London, 1881, 8vo.
  12. ‘The Hymnal Noted,’ published under the sanction of the Ecclesiological Society.
  13. The music to three of Dr. John Mason Neale's translations of ‘Hymns of the Eastern Church,’ viz. ‘Peace, it is I,’ ‘The Day is Past and Over,’ and ‘'Tis the Day of Resurrection.’

[Men of the Time, 11th edit.; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1890; Times, 9 July 1890, p. 5; Grove's Dict. of Music.]

T. C.