John Avery (organ builder)
John Avery (c. 1755 - 1807) was one of the main organ builders in England during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The organ builder John Avery was mainly based in London. He had a reputation as a colourful character, occasionally falling foul of the law, being declared bankrupt in 1775 and again in 1801, and having a reputation as a ‘shocking drunken character’. Despite this he was responsible for some important organs, including those in King’s College, Cambridge and Winchester Cathedral.
He appeared at the Old Bailey as a witness in two trials in 1797:
- on 12 July 1797 in the trial of Henry Gray, who was accused of stealing a handkerchief from John Avery's pocket.
- on 20 September 1797 in the trial of Joseph Robson, who was accused of stealing John Avery's tools.
He died in Giltspur Street Compter.
A list of new organs built by Avery includes:
- Ditton Parish Church, Kent 1774
- St Stephen's Church, Coleman Street, London 1775
- St Michael's Mount, Cornwall 1786 (originally constructed for John Lemon, MP for Truro)
- Sevenoaks Parish Church 1788
- Quebec Chapel, Westminster 1788
- Coggeshall Parish Church, Essex 1790
- All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames 1793
- Croydon Parish Church 1794
- Lambeth Asylum, 1797
- Stroud Parish Church, 1798
- Winchester Cathedral 1799
- Christ Church, Bath 1800
- King's College, Cambridge 1803
- St Margaret's Church, Westminster 1804
- Carlisle Cathedral 1806
- The Making of the Victorian Organ. Nicholas Thistlethwaite. 1999
- Hampshire Chronicle - Monday 27 November 1775
- Morning Chronicle - Monday 14 December 1801
- The History of the English Organ. Stephen Bicknell, Cambridge University Press. 1999
- Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.0, 26 March 2013), July 1797, trial of HENRY GRAY (t17970712-70).
- Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.0, 26 March 2013), September 1797, trial of JOSEPH ROBSON (t17970920-67).