Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sedding, Edmund

SEDDING, EDMUND (1836–1868), architect and musician, son of Richard and Peninnah Sedding of Summerstown, near Okehampton, Devonshire, was born on 20 June 1836. John Dando Sedding [q. v.] was his younger brother. He early displayed antiquarian tastes, which led to his visiting cathedrals, abbeys, and churches in England and France. In 1853 he entered the office of George Edmund Street [q. v.], where he devoted himself to the study of Gothic architecture. For some time he resided as an architect in Bristol, and, after again spending a period in London, removed about 1862 to Penzance, where he obtained a large practice. In Cornwall he built or restored the churches of Gwithian, Wendron, Altarnun, North-hill, Ruan, St. Peter's, Newlyn, and St. Stephen's, Launceston, while he had in progress at the time of his death a new church at Stockport, a rectory, and two churches in Wales, the restoration of Bigbury church, and a mansion at Hayle for Mr. W. J. Rawlings.

Sedding was a performer on the harmonium and organ, and an admirer of ancient church music. He was for a time precentor of the church of St. Raphael the Archangel, Bristol, and organist of St. Mary the Virgin, Soho. He greatly exerted himself in the revival of carol singing, and his books of Christmas carols were very popular. In 1865 his health failed, and he died at Penzance on 11 June 1868, being buried at Madron on 16 June. He married, on 18 Aug. 1862, Jessie, daughter of John Proctor, chemist, Penzance, by whom he left four children.

His chief musical compositions were:

  1. ‘A Collection of Nine Antient Christmas Carols for four voices,’ 1860; 6th edit. 1864.
  2. ‘Jerusalem the Golden: a hymn,’ 1861.
  3. ‘Seven Ancient Carols for four voices,’ 1863; 2nd edit. 1864.
  4. ‘Five Hymns of ye Holy Eastern Church,’ 1864.
  5. ‘Sun of my Soul: a hymn set to music in four parts,’ 1864.
  6. ‘Litany of the Passion,’ 1865.
  7. ‘The Harvest is the end of the World,’ 1865.
  8. ‘Be we merry in this Feast: a carol,’ 1866.

To F. G. Lee's ‘Directorium Anglicanum,’ 2nd edit. 1865, he supplied fifteen quarto pages of illustrations.

[Julian's Hymnology, 1892, pp. 211, 212; Western Morning News, 17 June 1868, p. 2; Church Times, 1868, vi. 230, 241; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. 1878–82, pp. 641, 1334; Street's Memoir of G. E. Street, p. 20.]

G. C. B.