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GOSTLING, JOHN (d. 1733), chorister, was born, probably at Canterbury, about the middle of the seventeenth century. Thomas Purcell, the uncle of the composer, wrote a letter dated 8 Feb. 1678–9 to Gostling, in which he says that the composer was engaged on a work which would cause Gostling, then at Canterbury, to be sent for to London (see Grove, Dictionary). Accordingly, on 25 Feb. Gostling was sworn a gentleman extraordinary of the Chapel Royal, and on the 28th was admitted in ordinary on the death of William Tucker. The entry in the Cheque Book describes him as ‘a base from Canterbury, Master of Arts.’ It is fairly certain that he is the John Gostling who took the degree of B.A. from St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1672. Gostling was famous for the compass and power of his voice. The opening passages of Purcell's ‘They that go down to the sea in ships,’ an anthem written for Gostling, and at his own request, is a lasting witness to its compass. Gostling officiated as one of the ministers at the coronations of James II and William and Mary. He afterwards became a minor canon of Canterbury, vicar of Littlebourn, sub-dean of St. Paul's, and prebendary of Lincoln (25 Oct. 1689). He died 17 July 1733. His son William is noticed below.

[Grove's Dict. of Mus. i. 148, iii. 47, 49, iv. 652; Hawkins's Hist. ed. 1853, p. 707; Old Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal; Chamberlayne's Angliæ Notitia, 1704; Graduati Cantabr.]

J. A. F. M.