Past Organists:

Frederick William Horncastle 1816 - 1822

Born London, 1790?, died 1850. Horncastle was a chorister of the Chapel Royal, London, and then organist of Stamford Hill Chapel and Berkeley Chapel, London. III He was appointed organist of Armagh in 1816. Evidence suggests that he became a little careless in his attitude to his duties, absenting himself frequently to make excursions to Warrenpoint and Rostrevor. These absences together with Horncastle's unwillingness to take part in weekly choral concerts in the Music Hall led to a dispute with Richard Allott. Further problems of the same nature led to a visitation held by the Archbishop in November 1822, purely to conduct a disciplinary hearing. Subsequently certificates of expulsion bearing the Primate's seal were fixed to Horncastle's residence and the Chapter Room door at the cathedral:

Therefore We, John George, Archbishop aforesaid and Visitor of said College of Vicars and Organist, on account of the turbulence, contention, insolence and contumacy of said Frederick William Homcastle do pronounce and decree that the said Frederick William Homcastle be removed from his said office of Organist and Master of the Choiristers [sic] and that the licence or Patent heretofore granted to him be revoked, cancelled and declared null and void, the peace and good order of said College of Vicars in said Cathedral so requiring.

His expulsion from his post is unique at Armagh. The correspondence, charges, dismissal etc. are preserved in a collection of letters in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Horncastle returned to London and became a gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1826. He was composer of a mass, glees, songs, pianoforte pieces, etc. In 1828 Horncastle collaborated with T Cooke, Stansbury, Parry, Clifton and Taylor in a work entitled "The Passions" for the Melodists' Club.

A Mr Garbett officiated as organist during the interval between Horncastle's expulsion and Turle's appointment.

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