Born: Between Jan­ua­ry 1 and 13, 1760, Can­ter­bu­ry, Eng­land.

Died: Jan­ua­ry 18, 1806.

Buried: Bun­hill Fields, Lond­on, Eng­land. Bur­ied with him are the great-grand­par­ents of J. R. R. Tol­kien, au­thor of The Lord of the Rings.



William was the son of far­ri­er Tho­mas Shrub­sole.

Shrubsole was a cho­ris­ter at Can­ter­bu­ry Ca­thed­ral for se­ven years. He be­came or­gan­ist at Ban­gor Ca­thed­ral around 1780, but his sym­pa­thies for the dis­sent­ers were not well re­ceived there, as evi­denced by these re­cords:

October 1783. Mr. Will­iam Shrub­sole, the or­gan­ist of the Church, hav­ing giv­en great of­fence to the Dean and Chap­ter, by his close con­nex­ion with one Ab­bot, late of this place, as by his fre­quent­ing con­ven­ti­cles, that Mr. Dean be im­pow­ered to dis­charge the said Will­iam Shrub­sole from his place of or­gan­ist, if the said Ab­bot (who is sup­posed to have gone to re­side in Dub­lin), shall at any time here­af­ter re­turn in or­der to abide in the town of Bang­or, or the neigh­bour­hood there­of, or if the said Will­iam Shrub­sole shall be found to fre­quent any con­ven­ti­cle or re­li­gious as­sem­bly, where any­thing is taught which is con­tra­ry to the Doc­trine or Dis­ci­pline of the Church of Eng­land.

December 1783. That Will­iam Shrubsole be em­ployed to play on the or­gan of our Ca­thed­ral Church till Lady-day next and no longer; that in case it should not be con­ven­ient for him to con­tin­ue in that em­ploy­ment till Lady-day next, he shall be at li­ber­ty to leave it be­fore that time, and shall be paid the full al­low­ance to La­dy-day next not­with­stand­ing.

Lightwood, p. 167–68

After leav­ing Ban­gor, Shrub­sole be­came or­gan­ist at Spa­fields Chapel, Lon­don, in 1784, and re­mained there un­til his death.

According to Nut­ter, p. 465, this is a dif­fer­ent man from Will­iam Shru­bsole the hymn writ­er .



Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Shrub­sole (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),