skip to Main Content

William Croft (1678–1727)

William Croft is now remembered chiefly for his church music, and in particular for a setting of the burial sentences probably written for the funeral of the Duke of Marlborough in 1722 and sung at almost every state funeral since. He also produced a good deal of secular vocal music, and there is much fine keyboard and other instrumental music as well. Born in Nether Ettington, Warwickshire, in 1678, Croft was brought up as a chorister of the Chapel Royal under John Blow, whom he succeeded in October 1708, not only as Composer and Master of the Children of the Chapel, but also as organist of Westminster Abbey.

As Composer to the Chapel Royal he was later forced into competition with Handel who, at the instigation of George I, was given an identical title in February 1723. But such was Croft’s natural modesty and unassuming nature that there was never, it seems, any real friction between them. In the ordinary course of events, the music at the coronation of George II ought to have been Croft’s responsibility, but as the composer died on 14th August 1727, just two months before the actual ceremony, it was Handel who took charge of the occasion.

Showing all 14 titles

Back To Top