English family of musicians. Items in collections are often identified only as by ‘Wainwright’, making it impossible to make firm ascriptions. Except for hymn tunes, which include (in addition to those cited for (1) John Wainwright) ‘Wainwright’, ‘St Gregory’, ‘Manchester’ and ‘Liverpool’, the church music of the Wainwrights has long been out of use.
(b Stockport, bap. 14 April 1723; bur. Stockport, 28 Jan 1768). Church musician and composer. About 1766 he published A Collection of Psalm Tunes, Anthems, Hymns and Chants which included the celebrated Christmas hymn Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn, based on a text by Dr Byrom of Manchester. This hymn, composed perhaps about 1750, had previously been printed in Caleb Ashworth's A Collection of Tunes (London, 1761). He also wrote the hymn tunes ‘Stockport’ and ‘Yorkshire’. On 12 May 1767 he was named organist and singer of the Manchester Collegiate Church (later the Cathedral), where he had previously been deputy organist.
(2) Robert Wainwright
(b Stockport, bap. 17 Sept 1748; dLiverpool, 15 July 1782). Organist and composer, son of (1) John Wainwright. In 1768, on his father’s death, he was appointed organist of the Collegiate Church in Manchester. He took the BMus and DMus degrees at Oxford on 29 April 1774; for the occasion he composed a Te Deum. He moved to Liverpool, where he was organist at St Peter’s from 1 March 1775. Besides church music and the oratorio The Fall of Egypt, performed in Liverpool in 1780 and revived in 1801, Wainwright produced instrumental music in the fashionable genres of the day: sonatas for keyboard with violin accompaniment, string duos and quintets. The quintets have a concertante cello in addition to the bass part; the parts are disposed much as in English keyboard concertos of the period, alternating tutti and solo with all essential material doubled in the keyboard. Although competent and occasionally engaging, Wainwright’s music is of little consequence.
Sacred: The Lord is Risen, A Favourite Anthem, or Hymn, for Easter Day (London, c1770); TeD, 29 April 1774, GB-Ob; chants, Lbl Add.35024; The Fall of Egypt (orat), Liverpool, 1780, lost [incl. in sale catalogue for the library of ‘a professor of music’ (1813), GB-Lbl]
Other vocal: The Favourite Songs and Cantata sung by Mrs Weichsell at Vaux-Hall-Gardens, 1v, bc (London, c1778)
(bap. Stockport, 8 July 1757; d Liverpool, 20 Aug 1825). Organist and composer, son of (1) John Wainwright. He was organist at St Ann’s, Manchester; in 1775 he succeeded his brother (2) Robert Wainwright at the Collegiate Church, and in September 1782 he again succeeded him at St Peter’s, Liverpool. He subsequently spent about a decade at Preston, then went to St James in Toxteth Park, Liverpool, and finally resumed his position at St Peter’s in 1813, remaining there until his death. In addition to a collection of hymns, he published several individual songs; the glee Life’s a bumper was extremely popular.
New Britania (song), 1v, bc (London, c1790); Our Topsails Atrip (song), 1v, bc (Liverpool, c1790), also for fl
Life’s a bumper (glee), 3vv, in The Harmonist (London, c1805)
A Collection of Hymns, as originally composed for the children of Liverpool Blue Coat Hospital (Liverpool, 1809)
Other works in GB-LVu, Mp
(4) William Wainwright
(b Stockport; d Manchester, 2 July 1797). Singer and instrumentalist, son of (1) John Wainwright. He was a singer at the Collegiate Church, Manchester, and a double bass player. For a time he had a music shop with Sidlow in Manchester.
J.E.West: Cathedral Organists, Past and Present (London, 1899, 2/1921)
A Quincentenary Celebration: the Ancient Collegiate Church of Manchester, 1421–1921 (Manchester, 1921)
S.Sadie: British Chamber Music, 1720–1790 (diss., U. of Cambridge, 1958), 195, 218–19, 231
N.Temperley: The Music of the English Parish Church (Cambridge, 1979)
S.Sadie: ‘Music in the Home II’, Music in Britain: the Eighteenth Century, ed. H.D. Johnstone and R. Fiske (Oxford, 1990), 313–54