Archive footage of 'Casting the new tenor for Cornhill'
The Organ
Holy Communion Service
Programme of Services
Weekly Organ Recitals

A brief history - continued

In 1906, the parishes of St. Peter le Poer and St. Benet Fink were united to St. Michael’s upon the demolition of the former church, the latter having been united to the former after its demolition in 1846; hence the practice of appointing six churchwardens, two for each parish. The Church was fortunate to escape serious damage in the Second World War. The interior was restored in 1960, with the roofs and the nave of the tower being renewed in 1975.

Detailed information concerning the Church's fine musical tradition can be found on the Music page. Famous organists of St. Michael's have included: Obadiah Shuttleworth (1723-1734): Composer and violinist who played at concerts organised by Thomas Britton ('the musical small coal man') in Clerkenwell and at the Swan Tavern in Cornhill. He was also organist at the Temple Church. William Boyce (1736-1768): One of the foremost English composers of the 18th century, he was also appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1755 and organist at the Chapel Royal in 1758. His eight symphonies, anthems and odes are well known.

Theodore Aylward (1769-1781): Composer who became Gresham Professor of Music in 1771, and organist of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in 1788. He was involved in the organisation of both the Shakespeare Jubilee Procession of 1769 and the Handel Commemoration of 1784.

Richard John Samuel Stevens (1781-1810): Composer mainly of glees who succeeded Aylward as Gresham Professor of Music in 1801. He also served as organist at the Inner Temple and Charterhouse. His memoirs, which have been published in a modern edition, present a fascinating insight into the musical world of Stevens' time.

Richard Davidge Limpus (1849-1875): Founder of the [Royal] College of Organists, which was originally based at St. Michael's, in 1864. Some of the College's early fellowship and associateship examinations took place at the Church.

Harold Edwin Darke (1916-1966): Composer best known for his setting of 'In the Bleak Midwinter' and his Communion settings. He made famous a series of Monday lunchtime recitals that continues to the present day, and founded the St. Michael's singers in 1919. During the Second World War, he served as acting organist at King's College, Cambridge.

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© 2013 St Michael's Cornhill in the City of London, St Michael's Church Vestry, Cornhill, London EC3V 9DS