Born: September 10, 1748, Chinley, Derbyshire, England.
Died: November 4, 1810, Manchester, Lancashire, England (of dropsy).
Buried: Cross Street Chapel, Manchester.
Ralph was the son of William Harrison, minister at a rural chapel for over 27 years.
In 1763, he entered the Warrington Academy. After ordination as a Presbyterian minister, he began serving at the Presbyterian Chapel, High Street, Shrewsbury, in 1769. He moved to Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, in 1771.
In 1774, he began a school, and gained such repute as a master that when the Manchester Academy was established in 1798, Harrison was appointed a professor there.
He was also a classical tutor at the academy, a distinguished teacher of ancient languages, and an amateur musician and composer.
About 1780, he planned to bring together a collection of tunes for use in the Manchester district, especially in his own chapel.
No local collection had been issued for a long time, and after he had, as he said in the preface, been trying in vain to induce others to undertake the work, he began it himself, though he said he
boasts no extraordinary talent in music.
Harrison also produced an English Grammar and other works.
If you know where to get a good picture of Harrison (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you send us an e-mail?