Linley, John

, an eminent mnsic professor and organist, long resident at Bath, where he had served an apprenticeship under Chilcot, the organist of that city, was a studious man, equally versed in the theory and practice of his art. Having a large family of children, in whom he found the seeds of genius had been planted by nature, and the gift of voice, in order to cultivate this, he pointed his studies to singing, and became the best singing-master of his time, if we may judge by the specimens of “his success in his own family. He was not only a masterly player on the organ and harpsichord, but a good composer, as his elegies and several compositions for Drury-lane theatre evinced. His son Thomas, who was placed under Nardini at Florence, the celebrated disciple of Tartini, was a fine performer on the violin, with a talent for composition, which, if he had lived to develope, would have given longevity to his fame. Being at Grimsthorpe, in Lincolnshire, at the seat of the duke of Ancaster, where he often amused himself in rowing, fishing, and sailing in a boat on a piece of water, in a squall of wind, or by some accident, the boat was overset, and this amiable and promising youth was drowned at an early age, to the great affliction of his family and friends, particularly his matchless sister, Mrs. Sheridan, whom this calamity rendered miserable for a long time; during which, her affection and grief appeared in verses of the most sweet and affecting kind on the sorrowful event. The beauty, talents, and mental endowments of this” Sancta Caecilia rediviva," will be remembered to the last hour of all who heard, or even saw and conversed with her. The tone of her voice and expressive manner of singing were as enchanting as her | countenance and conversation. In her singing, with a mellifluous-toned voice, a perfect shake and intonation, she was possessed of the double power of delighting an audience equally in pathetic strains and songs of brilliant execution, which is allowed to very tew singers. When she had heard the Agujari and the Danzi, afterwards madame le Brun, she astonished all hearers by performing their bravura airs, extending the natural compass of her voice a fourth above the highest note of the harpsichord, before additional keys were in fashion. Mrs. Sheridan died at Bristol in 1792.

Mrs. Tickel, her sister, was but little inferior to her in beauty and talents; and Mr. Linley’s other daughters continued to excite the admiration of all who knew them, in a manner worthy of the family from which they sprang.

Mr. Linley, the father of this nest of nightingales, from being assistant manager of Drury-lane theatre, lived to become joint patentee, and for some time sole acting manager; in which capacity he gave satisfaction, and escaped censure, public and private, by his probity and steady conduct, more than is often allowed to the governor of such a numerous and froward family. This worthy and ingenious man died November 1795. 1


Rees’s Cyclopædia, by Dr. Burney.