Born: No­vem­ber 23, 1765, Lon­don, En­gland.

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

Buried: 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, first in Na­ples (1783), the 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 as 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



where to get Att­wood’s pic­ture