Henry John Gauntlett (9 July 1805, Wellington, Shropshire – 21 February 1876, London) was an English organist and songwriter known in British music circles for his authorship of a large number of hymns and other pieces for the organ.
He was intended for a career in law, and he remained a lawyer until he was almost forty years of age, when he abandoned the profession and devoted himself to music.
He was organist at a number of leading London churches, including St Olave's in Tooley Street, Southwark from 1827 to 1846, where he designed a new grand organ which was built, installed and perfected to his satisfaction between 1844 and March 1846, and Union Chapel, Islington from 1852 - 1861.
Eventually the degree of Mus. Doc. was conferred on him by the Archbishop of Canterbury, he being the first to receive such a degree from that quarter for over 200 years. He did much to raise the standard of church music both mechanically and musically.
In 1852 he patented an "electrical-action apparatus" for organs. He wrote much music and over 1,000 hymn tunes, and edited a large number of hymn books. His most famous tune is "Irby", the tune to which the Christmas carol, "Once in Royal David's City" is usually sung.
- "Henry John Gauntlett". Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Henry Gauntlett, who was curate at Olney (1811-1815) and vicar (1815-1834), wrote An Exposition of the Book of Revelation London: Seeley (1821).
- Free scores by Henry Gauntlett in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
- Free scores at the Mutopia Project
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