Samuel Arnold (composer)

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Samuel Arnold

Samuel Arnold (10 August 1740 – 22 October 1802) was an English composer and organist.

Arnold was born in London (his mother is said to have been Princess Amelia; his father was Thomas Arnold), and began writing music for the theatre in about 1764. A few years later he became director of music at the Marylebone Gardens, for which much of his popular music was written. In 1777 he went to work for George Colman the Elder at the Little Theatre, Haymarket. In 1783 he became organist at the Chapel Royal, and in 1793 he became organist at Westminster Abbey, where he was eventually buried.


Arnold's best-known works include:

"O Give Thanks" in the hand of Thomas Barrow

He is also known for producing the first collected edition of the works of George Frideric Handel between 1787 and 1797, published in 180 parts. This was the most comprehensive collection of Handel's music prior to the appearance of the Händel-Gesellschaft edition in the next century.[2]


  1. ^ The European Magazine (1784) p.8
  2. ^ Winton Dean, The New Grove Handel. NY: Norton, 1982, p. 116. ISBN 0-393-30086-2; "Composers: Samuel Arnold (1740 - 1802)" article at Archived 14 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
James Nares
First Organist of the Chapel Royal
Succeeded by
John Stafford Smith
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Cooke
Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey
Succeeded by
Robert Cooke