Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Essex, Timothy

ESSEX, TIMOTHY (1765?–1847), composer, born in or about 1765 at Coventry, Warwickshire, was the son of Timothy Essex of that town. He commenced playing on the flute and violin at thirteen years of age for his own amusement, but the rapid progress which he made induced his father to let him study music as a profession. In 1786 he established himself as a teacher of the pianoforte, organ, and flute. In order to better his position he matriculated at Oxford as a member of Magdalen Hall 10 Dec. 1806, and took the degree of bachelor of music on the following 17 Dec. He proceeded doctor of music 2 Dec. 1812 (Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 215). Essex was an able teacher, and obtained some popularity as a composer. His ‘Musical Academy’ was at 38 Hill Street, Berkeley Square; he was also organist, composer to, and director of the choir of St. George's Chapel, Albemarle Street. Among his best works are: 1. ‘Eight English Canzonetts for a Single Voice’ (1800). 2. ‘A Grand Military Sonata for the Pianoforte, with an accompaniment ad libitum for a violin’ (1800). 3. ‘Six Duets for Flutes or Violins’ (1801?). 4. ‘Eight Lessons and Four Sonatinas on a Peculiar Plan, intended to establish a proper method of fingering on the pianoforte’ (1802). 5. ‘Six Canzonets, the words from the poems of the late Mrs. Robinson’ (1804). 6. ‘Introduction and Fugue for the Organ’ (1812). 7. ‘Harmonia Sacra. being a collection of sacred melodies for the 150 Psalms of David’ (1830?). He also published a set of slow and quick marches for the pianoforte, with the full scores added for a military band, a variety of rondos for the pianoforte, and pianoforte and flute, and many single songs. He died 27 Sept. 1847, aged 82, in York Buildings, New Road, London (Gent. Mag. new ser. xxviii. 551).

[Georgian Era. iv. 528-9; Music Cat., Brit. Mus., where he unaccountably appears as 'Thomas' Essex; James D. Brown's Biog. Dict. of Musicians, p. 235.]

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