Born: June 13, 1816, So­ho, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Died: Sep­tem­ber 26, 1876, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Buried: High­gate Ce­me­te­ry, Lon­don, Eng­land.


Edward was the son of Ste­phen Fran­cis Rim­bault, or­gan­ist at St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Lon­don.

After learn­ing the el­e­ments of mu­sic from his fa­ther, he be­came a pu­pil of Sam­u­el Wes­ley, and at age 16 was ap­point­ed or­gan­ist to the Swiss Church in So­ho.

In 1838 he lec­tured in Lon­don on the his­to­ry of mu­sic, a rare sub­ject then, and two years lat­er he, with Ed­ward Tay­lor, Gre­sham pro­fess­or of mu­sic, and Will­iam Chap­pell, helped found the Mu­sic­al An­ti­quar­i­an So­ci­e­ty, of which he be­came sec­re­ta­ry, and for which he ed­it­ed a num­ber of works.

At the same time he as­sist­ed in the foun­da­tion of the Per­cy So­ci­e­ty, of which like­wise he was sec­re­ta­ry. In 1841 he be­came ed­it­or of the Mo­tet So­ci­e­ty’s pub­li­ca­tions. A year lat­er he was elect­ed F.S.A. and a mem­ber of the Aca­de­my of Mu­sic, Stock­holm.

Rimbault was award­ed a PhD by Göt­ting­en Un­i­ver­si­ty, and was of­fered, but de­clined, the chair of mu­sic at Har­vard Un­i­ver­si­ty in Am­er­i­ca.

In 1842 he ed­it­ed for the Per­cy So­ci­e­ty Five Po­et­i­cal Tracts of the Six­teenth Cen­tu­ry. In 1844 he joined the com­mit­tee of the Han­del So­ci­e­ty, for which he ed­it­ed the Mes­si­ah, Saul, and Sam­son.

In 1848, Ox­ford Un­i­ver­si­ty gave him a de­gree by in re­cog­ni­tion of his ser­vic­es in the ar­range­ment of the mu­sic in the mu­sic school; in the same year he lec­tured at the Roy­al In­sti­tu­tion. Sub­se­quent­ly he oc­cu­pied him­self with du­ties as or­gan­ist of var­i­ous church­es, i­nclud­ing St. Pe­ter’s, Vere Street, and St. John’s Wood, and in ed­it­ing mu­sic­al jour­nals and ar­rang­ing mu­sic.