Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Heighington, Musgrave

HEIGHINGTON, MUSGRAVE (1690–1774?), musical composer, was son of Ambrose Heighington of White Hurworth, Durham, and of his wife, who was one of the four daughters of Sir Edward Musgrave, first baronet, of Hayton Castle, Cumberland. From the facts that his wife was an Irish lady, and that one of his most important works, ‘The Enchantress, or Harlequin Merlin,’ was produced in Dublin, it is supposed that he was settled there as a professor of music for some time. In 1738 he was appointed organist at Yarmouth, and was admitted a member of the Gentlemen's Society at Spalding. He was organist at Leicester in 1739, and while there composed the anniversary ode for the Spalding Society. In 1745 it appears from the rules of the Spalding Society that he was in the habit of giving concerts in the town hall there. He was organist before 1760 at the English episcopal chapel in Dundee. Bishop Pococke, in his ‘Tour through Scotland’ (Scottish History Society, 1887), when visiting Dundee in 1760, wrote: ‘They have a neat Chapel and Organ, of which Dr. Heyington, a very eminent Musitian (who took his degree in Musick at Oxford and Cambridge, and is about 80), is the Organist.’ His name, however, does not occur in the lists of Oxford and Cambridge graduates. Heighington died at Dundee about 1774. Besides the two works already named he published ‘Six Select Odes of Anacreon in Greek and Six of Horace in Latin, set to Music,’ said to have been performed in Fleet Street in 1745. He is described in the title as ‘sometime of Queen's College, Oxford.’ He also wrote several songs, and took an active part in the formation of the Dundee Musical Society, one of the earliest Scottish societies engaged in the study of classical music.

[Grove's Dict. of Music and Musicians; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. vi. 11, 32, 87; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. i. 435, 543; local information.]

A. H. M.