Ogden, Jonathan Robert (DNB00)
OGDEN, JONATHAN ROBERT (1806–1882), musical composer, son of Robert Ogden (d. 1816), was born at Leeds on 13 June 1806. His father while living at Leeds was in partnership with Thomas Bolton, a Liverpool merchant. Ogden was educated at iceds, partly under Joseph Hutton, LL.D., minister of Mill Hill Unitarian Chapel. He became a unitarian, though his parents were members of the church of England. For a short time he was placed in the office of Thomas Bolton at Liverpool, but had no taste for mercantile life, and showed an early bent for music. When very young he played the violoncello at a concert, but his instrument was the piano. To forward his musical education, his mother (whose maiden name was Glover) removed to London. Here Ogden became a pupil of Ignaz Moscheles, and later of August Kollman [q. v.] He studied for a year at Paris under Pixis, and for three years at Munich under Stuntz; in 1827 he visited Vienna. After his marriage (1834), he settled in the lake district, at Lakefield, Sawrey, Lancashire. Here he lived the life of a country gentleman; he was fond of angling, and developed a considerable talent for drawing. James Martineau, D.D., when compiling his 'Hymns for the Christian Church and Home,' 1840, invited Ogden to supply tunes of unusual metre. Ogden, after much persuasion, assented. The result was his 'Holy Songs and Musical Prayers,' published by Novello in 1842. A feature of the volume which evoked criticism was the adaptation as hymn tunes of pieces by Beethoven and others. From the seventh and much enlarged edition (1872) the adaptations are omitted. The style of Ogden's original music is not ecclesiastical, nor are his compositions well adapted for ordinary congregational use; but they possess great beauty, and their spirit is rightly indicated in the title of the volume.
Ogden, though a shy man in society, was beloved by his friends, and a most congenial host. He was methodical in his habits, and, as a J.P. for Lancashire, made an excellent magistrate. He had a keen sense of humour, and could 'stand an examination in Dickens.' He died at Lakefield on 26 March 1882, and was buried on 31 March in Hawkshead churchyard. He married in 1834 Frances, daughter of Thomas Bolton, who survives him; his son died before him, leaving a daughter.
[Inquirer, 1 April 1882 p. 207, 22 April pp. 261 seq. (memoir by William Thornely).]