Past Organists:

John Jones MUSD 1797 - 1816

Born Armagh? 1767, died Armagh 21 March 1820. Details of his early life are uncertain. He was writing master to the boys from 1768 to 1788 V and a stipendiary choirman at Armagh. Clarke-Whitfeld, who would have known him, said he had been a pupil of Samuel Arnold (organist of Chapel Royal & Westminster Abbey} .

On 19 July 1796 he was appointed a Vicar Choral of Armagh I followed the next year by the position of organist. In 181 I he gained degree of MusD from Trinity College, Dublin { the certificate of this degree is to be found in the Chapter Room at Armagh}. This would indicate that he remained a very competent musician during his time at Armagh. Records show he was a substitute for Dr Allott c.1795. He also visited London for 12 weeks and purchased music. As was customary with his predecessors, he boarded 3 choirboys. In 1815 his sons [?] Thomas and Robert were choirboys.

In July 1816 he resigned his appointment and was replaced by Horncastle. A letter of Horncastle claims that Jones left as the result of an unspecified grievance with Richard Allott, the Archbishop's Commissioner. A fine oil portrait of Dr Jones was donated in 1957 by Mr R M Rogers of Belfast and was hung in the Music Hall; it has since been transferred to the Chapter Room. His tombstone in St Mark's Churchyard Armagh, in a family plot on the north side, bears the following faint inscription:

Here lieth the body / of / John Jones Mus. D. / late Organist and Master of the Boys / in this Cathedral / which office he filled for upwards of twenty years / in such a manner / as to secure the approbation / and conciliate the esteem / of all / who could properly appreciate / the zeal talent and fidelity / with which he discharged his important duties / I In the various relations / of private life / he was equally meritorious and exemplary / contributing while here / to the happiness of his friends / and promoting the welfare / of his fellow creatures / He departed this life / on the 21st of March / 1820 / in the 53rd year of his age.

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