(bap. Durham, 17 May 1571; bur. Durham, 11 Feb 1634). English composer. It seems likely that White was the chorister of this name at Durham between 1580 and 1587, then becoming a king’s scholar until 1590. White was among the singing-men of Westminster allowed mourning livery at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth I (28 April 1603). Around this time nine of them (including White) petitioned against Edmund Hooper for arrears. No other mention of him at Westminster is known and it may be significant that his name is absent from the list of Westminster singing-men at the funeral of James I (5 May 1625), although ‘Robert White, pettycanon’ does appear. Thomas Tomkins dedicated a song to him in his 1622 publication and seems to have been a friend with whom White exchanged music. In a manuscript in Durham Cathedral (GB-DRc A1, f. 280) the copyist Henry Palmer wrote ‘Will: White of Durham’ after Behold now praise the Lord. It is reasonable to suppose that White returned to Durham in his later years: James Mickleton, a local historian writing later in the century called him ‘a celebrated doctor who lived in Elvet’ (in Durham), perhaps a reason for him forsaking a singing career.
14 pieces of consort music for viols from two to six parts are contained in several late-Jacobean and Caroline sources; those of five and six parts were especially popular. They are of very good quality and exhibit a high degree of contrapuntal skill, flexibility of texture and idiomatic invention; in style they are similar to those by Orlando Gibbons, but they lack his individual harmonic and melodic traits. All were written by about 1630, since they appear in copies by Myriell and in manuscripts owned by John Browne. It seems unlikely that catches by ‘Mr White’ that appeared in John Hilton’s collection of 1658 and in other collections by John Playford between 1663 and 1673 are by William.
3 fantasias, a 5, EIRE-Dm, GB-LBl, Ob, Och; 2 ed. G. Dodd, ‘Diapente’: Two Fantasies a 5 (Meyer nos.1 and 3) (London, 1973); 1 ed. P. Connelly, William White: Fancy a 5 (Meyer no.2) and Two Pavans a 6 (Albany, CA, 1992)
6 fantasias, a 6, 2 pavans, a 6, EIRE-Dm, GB-Lbl, Ob, Och, US-NH; ed. D. Beecher and B. Gillingham, William White: the Six Fantasias in 6 Parts (Ottawa, 1982); ed. P. Connelly, William White: Fancy a 5 (Meyer no.2) and Two Pavans a 6 (Albany, CA, 1992)
D.Stevens: Thomas Tomkins (London, 1957, 2/1967)
C.Monson: Voices and Viols in England, 1600–1650: the Sources and the Music (Ann Arbor, 1982)
NORMAN JOSEPHS/ANDREW ASHBEE
Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
Since 1968 the official name of a bellfoundry located in Whitechapel Road, east London. The lineage of the foundry can be traced back to at least 1420. From 1570 its bells have been produced by master bellfounders of the following families: Mot (16th century); Carter, Bartlett and Clifton (17th century); Phelps, Lester, Pack, Chapman and Mears (18th century); Mears, Stainbank and Lawson (19th century); and Hughes (from 1904). From 1865 to 1968 the foundry was known as Mears & Stainbank. It has been principally engaged in making tower bells, both single and in short-range diatonic series: the latter mostly for swinging in the manner of English change-ringing, but some to be rung hanging stationary, as chimes. From the early 19th century or before, it also made musical handbells. At first these were mostly sets of 8 to 12 bells in diatonic series for practising change-ringing; but with the increasing popularity of handbell music in the 20th century (seeHandbell) it began to produce sets of 25 to 60 bells in chromatic series. Early in the 20th century the firm made sets of hemispherical bells, but has since given this up. It has also produced several carillons.
The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is now widely known for the fine tone and tuning of its handbells. In tuning large bells for change-ringing, its present founders (along with others in England in the first part of this century) replaced the dissonant augmented 7th interval between the lowest two partials with a full octave. Many older ringers complained that changes on such bells did not sound so pleasing (seeBell (i), §2), and it was found particularly inappropriate to extend or replace parts of an old set with parts of a new one. Consequently the Whitechapel foundry now usually adheres to a refined form of the old standard when restoring or enlarging peals of bells.
The two most famous individual bells by Whitechapel founders are the first Philadelphia Liberty Bell (cast 1752, cracked in the same year) and the second Big Ben of Westminster (cast 1858, still in use). Big Ben weighs 13.5 tonnes and is the largest bell ever cast by this foundry. Whitechapel continues to cast bells for sites throughout the world. In 1999 it was making 58 bells to replace those of the carillon at the Riverside Church, New York, for proposed installation in the year 2000.
(b Peterborough, 10 July 1887; d Amherst, NS, 1 April 1974). Canadian organist, choir director, composer and teacher of English birth. Taught by C.C. Francis and Haydn Keeton, both of Peterborough Cathedral, and later by A.E. Hull, he moved in 1912 to Canada, where his chief posts were at St Peter’s, Sherbrooke (1915–22), Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal (1922–47) and Trinity-St Stephen’s United Church, Amherst (1953–71). From 1947 until his retirement in 1953 he was head of music at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick. He took the degrees of BMus (Toronto) and DMus (McGill), and the diplomas of FRCO (with which he was awarded the Lafontaine Prize) and FCGO (1913, the first Fellow by examination in the new guild, which had been formed in 1909 and some ten years later became a college), and was awarded several honorary degrees. He was president of the (Royal) Canadian College of Organists (1930, 1935–7), honorary vice-president (1972) and honorary president (1973). An organist and choirmaster of distinction, Whitehead composed over 400 choral works in a traditional but individual and expressive idiom and some organ pieces. Well over 100 of his works were published and achieved widespread distribution throughout North America; the sacred music in particular is of high rank. As a choir director and teacher he combined consummate technique and high standards with unfailing courtesy and good humour. He became the leader of Montreal’s Protestant church music and his Cathedral Singers frequently performed with the city’s major orchestras. In addition to his musical interests, Whitehead was an authority on some aspects of philately and a noted painter. (EMC, G. George)
Choral: Bell Carol (L.M. Bowman), SATB (1928); Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (St Bernard of Clairvaux, trans. E. Caswall), SATB, 1930; Christ the Lord is Risen (I. Watts), SATB, org (1932); Evening Hymn, SSAA, 1932; Golden Grain, Harvest Bringing, SATB, org/pf (1932); Most Glorious Lord of Life (E. Spencer), double SATB, opt. org (1932); Almighty God, Whose Glory (Bible), SATB (1933); Awake! The Morn is Here (Gk. Service Bks, trans. J.B. Lee), SATB, org, 1933; Light's Abode, Celestial Salem (St Thomas à Kempis, trans. J.M. Neale), SATB (1933); Watchman, from the Night Beholding (Pss xxii, xxvii, cxviii, hymns), S, Bar, SATB, org, 1933; Benedicite, omnia opera, SATB, org (1936); O Mighty Soul of England (F. Scott), SATB, org/pf (1936); If Ye Then Be Risen With Christ (Bible: Colossians), S, Bar, SATB, org (1937); Praise Him, Ye that Fear Him (Bible: Revelation), S, C, T, B, SATB (1937); I Beheld a Great Multitude (Bible: Revelation, after J. Rheinberger: Vision), 1938; I Have Longed for Thy Saving Health (Ps cxi, arr. W. Byrd), SATB, 1940; Now God Be With Us (P. Herbert, trans. C. Winkworth, Franklin), SATB, org (1940); The Gate of Life Stands Wide (Franklin), SATB, org (1943); Eternal Ruler of the Ceaseless Round (J.W. Chadwick), SATB, org (1944); Challenge to Free Men (J. Lowell), unison chorus, org (1951); House to Let (Franklin), unison chorus, 1964; God of Mercy, God of Grace (H. Lyle), SATB, org (1970); arrs. of folksongs, hymn tunes and carols
Org: Prelude on Winchester Old, 1937; Prelude on a Theme by Orlando Gibbons, 1940; arr. of H. Purcell: The Westminster Suite