Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Lockey, Charles

1532485Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement, Volume 2 — Lockey, Charles1912Frederick Corder

LOCKEY, CHARLES (1820–1901), tenor vocalist, son of Angel Lockey of Oxford, was born at Thatcham. near Newbury, on 20 March 1820. After being a choir-boy at Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1828 to 1836, he studied singing with Edward Harris at Bath, and afterwards became (in 1842) a pupil of (Sir) George Smart, then the fashionable 'coach' for singers. Lockey sang in the choirs of St. George's chapel, Windsor, and Eton College chapel. In 1843 he became a vicar-choral of St. Paul's Cathedral. His first public appearance in oratorio was in October 1842, when he sang in Rossini's 'Stabat Mater' for the Melophonic Society with excellent success. In 1848 he was appointed a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and for the next ten years was much in demand at provincial festivals. The most noteworthy incident of his career was his being chosen to create the tenor part at the first production of Mendelssohn's 'Elijah' at Birmingham on 26 Aug. 1846, when he elicited the warmest praises of the composer. On the same occasion he sang at first sight a recitative which Mendelssohn had to vamp up hastily for an anthem of Handel (cf. Musical Times, 1846). Lockey retired from public life about 1862 on account of a throat affection, and entered into business at Grave send and Dover. He nominally held his position at St. Paul's till his death, but for forty-three years Fred Walker, Joseph Barnby, and Edward Lloyd were his deputies. He died on 3 Dec. 1901 at Hastings. On 24 May 1853 he married Martha Williams, an excellent contralto singer, who predeceased him in 1897, leaving one son, John.

[Notice, by son, in Grove's Dictionary; private information.]

F. C.