Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/King, Matthew Peter

KING, MATTHEW PETER (1773–1823), musical composer, born in 1773, studied musical composition under Charles Frederick Horn. He lived mainly in London, where he died in January 1823.

King wrote the music to a number of dramatic pieces, most of which were produced at the Lyceum Theatre. These include: ‘Matrimony,’ comic opera, words by James Kenney [q. v.], 1804; ‘The Invisible Girl,’ and ‘The Weathercock,’ 1806; ‘False Alarms,’ comic opera, music by King and Braham, words by J. Kenney, 1807; ‘One o'Clock, or the Wood Demon,’ comic opera, music by King and Kenney, words by M. G. Lewis, 1807; ‘Ella Rosenberg,’ melodrama, by J. Kenney, 1807; ‘Up all Night, or The Smugglers' Cave,’ comic opera, words by S. J. Arnold, 1809; ‘Plots, or the North Tower,’ melodramatic opera, words by S. J. Arnold, 1810; ‘Oh! this Love,’ comic opera, words by J. Kenney, 1810; ‘The Americans,’ music by King and Braham, 1811; ‘Timour the Tartar,’ romantic melodrama, by M. G. Lewis, 1811; ‘Turn him out,’ musical farce, words by J. Kenney, 1812; ‘The Fisherman's Hut,’ music by King and Davy, 1819.

King composed a number of glees, ballads, and pianoforte pieces, as well as an oratorio, ‘The Intercession,’ which was produced at Covent Garden in 1817. In this, Eve's lamentation, ‘Must I leave thee, Paradise?’ became very popular.

He was the author of ‘Thorough Bass made easy to every Capacity,’ London, 1796; ‘A General Treatise on Music, particularly on Harmony or Thorough Bass,’ a work of considerable repute, London, 1800, new edit. 1809; ‘Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Singing at First Sight,’ London, 1806; and he edited ‘The Harmonist, a Collection of Glees and Madrigals from the Classic Poets,’ London, 1814.

His son, C. M. King, published some songs in 1826.

[Grove's Dict. of Music, ii. 57; Brown's Dict. of Music, p. 359; Brit. Mus. Catalogues.]

R. F. S.