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HOLCOMBE, HENRY (1690?–1750?), musical composer, was born about 1690, probably at Shrewsbury, and was a chorister there. While still a boy he came to London, and took part in the ‘Anglo-Italian’ operatic performances at Drury Lane. His two recorded impersonations are Prenesto in ‘Camilla’ in 1706, and again in 1708, and the Page in ‘Rosamund,’ 1707. He left the stage when his voice broke, and became a successful teacher of singing and of the harpsichord. He died in London about 1750.

He published two collections of songs, ‘The Musical Medley; or a Collection of English Songs and Cantatas set to Musick,’ London, 1745, and ‘The Garland; a Collection of eleven Songs and Cantatas,’ London, 1745. He was also the composer of ‘Six Solos for a Violin and Thorough Bass, with some pieces for the German Flute and Harpsichord,’ London, 1745.

Two of his songs, ‘Happy Hour all Hours Excelling’ (printed in the ‘Musical Miscellany’), and ‘Arno's Vale,’ enjoyed much popularity.

[Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 743; Fétis's Biog. Univ. des Musiciens, iii. 357; Holcombe's music in British Museum.]

R. F. S.