John Naylor (organist)

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Memorial by George Frederick Bodley to John Naylor, Organist of York Minster. In the north transept of the minster.

Dr. John Naylor (8 June 1838 - 15 May 1897) was a composer and organist of York Minster from 1883- 1897.[1]


He was born in Stanningley, Leeds. His brother George Frederick Naylor was also an organist. He married Mary Ann Chatwin on 26 December 1865. The children from the marriage were:

He died whilst on a voyage to Australia and was buried at sea, between Tenerife and the Cape, on 15 May 1897. A memorial was erected in York Minster on 29 June 1903, designed by George Frederick Bodley.[2] The inscription reads:

Ad Majorem Gloriam Dei et in piam Memoriam Johann Naylor Mus. Doc, Orgaistae et Choragi Hujus Ecclesiae Cathedralis 1883-1897 Hanc effigiem David Dulcis Psalmistae Israelis P C Consanguinei et Amici Nonulli MDCCCCIII


He was a chorister at Leeds Parish Church and studied organ under Robert Senior Burton. He was deputy organist at Leeds Parish Church for a time. He later held two organist's posts in Scarborough. He was appointed organist of York Minster in 1883.[3] He resigned from York Minster on 7 April 1897.[4]

Whilst organist of York Minster he was also the conductor of the York Musical Society.

He was appointed an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in 1895.




  • Jeremiah 1883
  • In the Wilderness; or, The Soul's Life 1895
  • The Brazen Serpent
  • Meribah
  • Manna

He also composed church services, anthems, part-songs, pieces for organ, and a book of chants.[5]


  1. ^ The Succession of Organists. Watkins Shaw. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1991. ISBN 0198161751
  2. ^ The Musical Times, 1 August 1903
  3. ^ Yorkshire Gazette - Saturday 29 December 1883
  4. ^ Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough - Saturday 17 April 1897
  5. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular. 1 July 1897