1765–1838

November 23, 1765, London, England.

March 24, 1838, at his home in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, England.

Under the organ in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England.

Son of a musician, Att­wood became a chorister in the Chapel Royal at age nine, and was a pupil of Nar­es and Ayr­ton.

At age 16, he went to It­a­ly to study, staying in Na­ples (1783), and later in Vi­en­na, Aus­tria, where he studied under Mo­zart.

Returning to Eng­land in 1787, he began playing the organ at as assistant to Rein­hold at St. George the Martyr, Queen Square, Hol­born, London, and was one of the Chamber Musicians and Page, to the Prince of Wales. He became music teacher to the Du­chess of York in 1791, to the Prin­cess of Wales in 1795, organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1796 (succeeding Jones), and composer to the Chapel Royal in 1796 (succeeding Dr. Dupuis). He became organist at the King’s private chapel in Brigh­ton, 1821, and organist at the Chapel Roy­al in 1836.

Attwood used to say with reference to the Dignitaries of St. Paul’s and his appointment there: It is all very well that they agree to pay me for playing, for if they did not, I should be happy to pay them for letting me play.

Mendelssohn, when in England, frequently accompanied his friend Att­wood to St. Paul’s, and played on the Organ. It is said that on one occasion, when he was playing at the end of an afternoon service, the vergers experienced such difficulty in dispersing the congregation, that they caused the bellows to be stopped in the midst of his performance, much to his disgust and that of his hearers.

West, p. 73

  1. Attwood
  2. Chelsea
  3. St. Paul

where to get Attwood’s picture