Philip Armes

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Memorial to Philip Armes in the cloister at Durham Cathedral

Philip Armes (1836 – 10 February 1908) was an English organist, notably holding posts at Rochester, Chichester and Durham Cathedral.

Musical career[edit]

Armes was a chorister at the cathedral of his native city, Norwich, between 1846-48. He then became a chorister at Rochester Cathedral where his father sang bass in the choir, from 1848–50. He was an articled pupil of John Larkin Hopkins, organist of Rochester Cathedral.[1]

He transitioned from a chorister to assistant organist at Rochester in 1850. He spent four years as organist of St Andrew's Church, Wells Street, London before he became Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chichester Cathedral in 1861. Following the collapse of the cathedral's central tower and spire, Armes moved to the more lucrative Organistship at Durham Cathedral, in 1862 – a post he held for 45 years.

Armes taught at Durham University, was resident examiner from 1890 and became Professor of Music there in 1897.[2]

He had married, in 1864, Emily Jane, the daughter of Sir Henry Davison, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court;[3][4] they had two sons, Augustus and Algernon, and two daughters, Emily and Alice.[5]

Academic qualifications[edit]


Armes wrote oratorios, cantatas, church music,[6] madrigals and two organ pieces ('Introduction and Fugue' and 'Pastorale').

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Organs and Organists of Chichester Cathedral
  2. ^ Biographical Dictionary of the Organ | Philip Armes
  3. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review, vol. 216, ed. Sylvanus Urban, 1864, p. 247
  4. ^ Dictionary of National Biography (1912 supplement), ed. Sidney Lee, vol. I, 1912, pp. 53-54
  5. ^
  6. ^ ChoralWiki article
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Henry R. Bennett
Organist and Master of the Choristers
of Chichester Cathedral

Succeeded by
Edward Thorne