Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hingston, John

HINGSTON, JOHN (d. 1683), composer and organist, a pupil of Orlando Gibbons [q. v.] (Hawkins), was a musician in the service successively of Charles I, of Cromwell (at 100l. a year salary), and of Charles II. It is said (Wood, MS. Notes) that after the Protector brought the Magdalen College (Oxford) organ to Hampton Court he would listen with delight to Deering's songs performed by Hingston and two boys; that Cromwell's daughters had lessons from Hingston, and that Cromwell himself would frequently enjoy music at Hingston's house. Sir Roger L'Estrange, in his ‘Truth and Loyalty vindicated,’ 1662, writes: ‘Being in St. James's Park I heard an organ touched in a little low room of one Mr. Hinkson's; I went in and found a private company of five or six persons; they desired me to take up a viol and bear a part. I did so. … By and by, without the least colour of a design, or expectation, in comes Cromwell. He found us playing, and, as I remember, so he left us.’

From 1661 to 1666 Hingston was among the gentlemen of the Chapel Royal; in July 1663 his office is specified as ‘keeper of ye organs.’ He wrote ‘fancies,’ and is said by Hawkins to have been Blow's earliest master. He died in 1683, and was buried in St. Margaret's, Westminster, 17 Dec. His nephew, Peter Hingston (b. 1721), was teacher and organist at Ipswich. Hingston gave his portrait to the Oxford Music School.

A few of Hingston's compositions are preserved in the British Museum Addit. MS. 31436: (1) A set of twelve fantasias named from the months, in four parts; (2) A set of four fantasias, ayres, and galliards named from the seasons, in four parts; and (3) Fantasias and almands for three bass viols. (4) A manuscript set of fancies in six parts is in the Music School, Oxford.

[Wood's manuscript Lives of Musicians; State Papers, Charles II, Dom. Ser.; Hawkins's Hist. of Music, ii. 577; Rimbault's edition of O. Gibbons's Fantasies; Gutch's Oxford, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 891; Bloxam's Registers, vi. 251; Dict. of Musicians, 1827, i. 368; Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 741.]

L. M. M.