Croft, William

, a musician, was born at NetherEatington in Warwickshire, about 1657. He was educated in the royal chapel under Dr. Blow, and became organist at St. Anne’s, Westminster. In 1700 he was admitted a gentleman-extraordinary of the chapel royal, and in 1704organist of the same. In 1708 he succeeded Dr. Blow as master of the children, and composer to the chapel royal, and also as organist at Westminster-abbey. In 1712 he published, but without his name, “Divine Harmony, or a new collection of select anthems;” to which is prefixed, “A brief account of Church Music.” In 1715 he was created doctor in music at Oxford: his exercise for that degree was an English and also a Latin ode, written by Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Joseph Trapp, which, with the music, were published with the title of “Musicus apparatus Academicus.” In 1724 he published by subscription a noble work of his own, entitled “Musica Sacra, or Select Anthems in score,” in 2 vols, the first containing the burial service, which Purcell had begun, but lived not to complete. He died Aug. 1727, of an illness occasioned by attending upon his duty at the coronation of George II; and there is a monument erected for him in Westminsterabbey, by his friend Humphrey Wyrley Birch, esq. a gentleman of the bar, of a whimsical character, and extremely fond of funeral music. The character of Croft’s musical compositions is given in our authorities. 2


Hawkins’s Hist, of Mus:c. Barney’s Hist. vol. III.