Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Marshall, William (1806-1875)

MARSHALL, WILLIAM (1806–1875), organist and musical composer, son of William Marshall, a musicseller of Oxford, was born in that city in 1800. He gained his musical education as chorister of the Chapel Royal under John Stafford Smith and William Hawes. In 1825 he was appointed organist to Christ Church and St. John's College, Oxford, and also for some time officiated as organist at the church of All Saints. He took the degree of Mus. Bac. on 7 Dec. 1820, and that of Mus. Doc. on 14 Jan. 1840.

At the instance of his friend, Dr. Claughton, then professor of poetry at Oxford, and for a long .period vicar of the parish church of Kidderminster, Marshall was induced in 1846 to resign his Oxford post in favour of that of organist and choir-master to St. Mary's, Kidderminster. In that town, which became his headquarters for the rest of his life, he devoted his spare time to giving instruction in music. He is spoken of as a fine organist, and as being specially admirable as a teacher and conductor. On various occasions he conducted the rehearsals of the Philharmonic Society in London with great success. His musical activity lasted throughout his life, for he was professionally engaged in Liverpool within a month of his death, which took place at Handsworth, Birmingham, on 24 Aug. 1875.

His published compositions were: 'Three' Canzonets,' London, 1825, and 'Cathedral Services,' Oxford, 1847. A manuscript of his music is preserved in the Music School at Oxford. He was the author of 'The Art of Heading Church Music,' Oxford, 1842. He edited in 1829, in collaboration with Alfred Bennett, 'A Collection of Cathedral Chants,' and published at Oxford in 1840 'A Collection of Anthems used in the Cathedral and Collegiate Churches of England and Wales,' to which an appendix was added in 1851; it reached a fourth edition in 1862.

His younger brother, Charles Ward Marshall (1808–1876), born in 1808, achieved some success on the London stage as a tenor singer about 1835, under the assumed name of Manvers. In 1842 he turned his attention to concert and oratorio singing, in which he met with greater approbation. Some six or eight years afterwards he withdrew from public life, and died at Islington on 22 Feb. 876.

[Grove's Dict. of Music, ii. 221; Brown's Biog. Dict. of Music, p. 416; Cat. of Oxford Graduates, p. 438; Musical World, liii. 607; Brit. Mus. Catalogues.]

R. F. S.