Randal, John

, music professor in the university of Cambridge, was probably a native of London, where he was born in 1715. He was brought up in the king’s chapel, and was one of the children of that choir who first performed in Handel’s oratorio of Esther, at the house of Bernard Gates, master of the boys in James-street, Westminster, on Wednesday, February 23, 1731, when it was performed in action, previous to its having been heard in public, or any where but at Cannons, the magnificent seat of the duke of Chandos, for whose chapel it was composed in 1720. Dr. Randal was never rated very high in his profession, but was regarded as a slight organ-player, and had never distinguished himself as a composer. He obtained his degree at the installation of the duke of Grafton in the university of Cambridge, for which he composed the ode written by Gray. To the astonishment of all the musical profession, he undertook to have this composition performed by the musicians resident in the university, without the expence of additional hands and voices from London, as Drs. Greens and Boyce had thought necessary on former occasions at Cambridge, and Dr. William Hayes at Oxford. As Dr. Randal’s professional life was unmarked by talents, his death, which happened March 18, 1799, in the eightyfourth year of his age, was hardly noticed, except by the candidates for the professorship, and his organist’s places. 2

2

By Dr. Burney in Rees’s Cyclopædia.