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WILLIAM SHRUBSOLE  1760-1806

The family tree of William Shrubsole can be seen here


William Shrubsole was the youngest son of Thomas Shrubsole, a farrier & his wife Mary Godden; he was born at Canterbury, Kent, England and baptised on 13 January 1760 at All Saints Church, Canterbury.  He was  educated as a chorister at the Cathedral Choir School at Canterbury Cathedral from 1770 to 1777 (aged 10-17), he became organist at Bangor Cathedral (aged 22-24), from 1782 until 1784, when he was dismissed for attending nonconformist meetings (as can be seen from the extracts below).

[Extract from October 1783: ' Mr. William Shrubsole, the organist of the Church, having given great offence to the Dean and Chapter, by his close connexion with one Abbot, late of this place, as by his frequenting conventicles, that Mr. Dean be impowered to discharge the said William Shrubsole from his place of organist, if the said Abbot (who is supposed to have gone to reside in Dublin), shall at any time hereafter return in order to abide in the town of Bangor, or the neighbourhood thereof, or if the said William Shrubsole shall be found to frequent any conventicle or religious assembly, where anything is taught which is contrary to the Doctrine or Discipline of the Church of England.'
Extract from December 1783: 'That William Shrubsole be employed to play on the organ of our Cathedral Church till Lady-day next and no longer; that in case it should not be convenient for him to continue in that employment till Lady-day next, he shall be at liberty to leave it before that time, and shall be paid the full allowance to Lady-day next notwithstanding'. Ref: Lightwood, James Thomas. Hymn-Tunes and Their Story. London: Charles H. Kelly, 1905.]

He composed the tune known as "Miles Lane" when he was about 18 years old.  It was set to the hymn by Edward Perronet, All Hail The Power of Jesus' Name.  He knew Perronet at Canterbury, and Perronet left him property when he died. {Transcript of Perronet's Will is given below}.  

After leaving Bangor he became organist of Spa Fields Chapel, London, and held the post until his death on 18th January 1806.  He was a successful teacher in London, and among his pupils were William Russell and Benjamin Jacob.  The 1794 Musical Directory describes him as an alto singer, and in that capacity he is said to have sung at Drury Lane and Westminster Abbey.  He is buried at Bunhill Fields, London.   Buried with him are the great-great-grandparents of J.R.R. Tolkien, John Benjamin and Mary Tolkien.   The first notes of "Miles Lane" were cut into his tombstone.

[Bunhill Fields, London was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery.  It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage in 1964-5. The latter scheme involved clearing the tombs in the cemetery's northern enclosure; William Shrubsole's tomb was one of those selected for retention.

635-1/0/10241 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND 21-FEB-11 Monument to William Shrubsole, North section GV II Headstone of William Shrubsole, 1806, relocated 1964-5

LOCATION: 532642.4, 182300.8      MATERIALS: Sandstone.  DESCRIPTION: The monument is a simple upright slab with a shaped top. The inscription names Shrubsole as 'Composer of Miles's Lane' and is carved with the opening bars of the song represented on a musical stave. A secondary inscription records the burials of John and Mary Tolkien.

A TRANSCRIPT OF THE WILL OF EDWARD PERRONET TAKEN FROM: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mrawson/index.html#home


Will of Edward Perronet

of Canterbury, Kent


Source: Prerogative Court of Canterbury Prob11/1230
Submitted by
Ros Dunning


In the Name & Presence of God Amen I Edward Perronet of the Palace of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury do here make my last Will and Testament in manner and form following Imprimis

I hereby Give and Bequeath to my Dear and Affectionate Wife Duriah Perronet all my Estate or Estates both Real and Personal during the Term of her natural Life under the Conditions Limitations and Restrictions hereunto injoined
1 That my decent Funeral Expences be paid and all my other Creditors whether by Bonds Bills Notes to be punctually and as speedily discharged as the Incumbrance of my present situation will admit
2 but as my own property in hand is not sufficient I hereby request and intreat of my Dear Wife that as her Property has ever been willingly and chearfully at my Service So I do hereby wish and Request as I would be glad to have all Just Debts and Demands speedily as well as fully paid off that she would on this Consideration as well as out of Regard to my Memory consent to the taking out of the Stocks or Funds or wherever else her own property (for I know nothing of it) is disposed of so much as will discharge the Mortgage on my Estate at Wandsworth with the Interest due at the time of my Decease and all other Debts Incumbrances or other Demands which may be lawfully made by Bonds Bills Notes and in this Case whatever she thus Discharges as on my account she be hereby entitled to seven Per Cent instead of her present low Interest for the same
But 3 In Case my dear Wife either from her own apprehensions or the advice of Ignorant or self Interested Agents should refuse to Comply with this request it is my most serious firm and determined wish and Injunction that my Moiety of the aforesaid Estate at Wandsworth be set to sale to the highest Bidder and then as I would both do all the Justice in my Power to every Creditor & yet at the same time evidence every Principle of Affection to my Dear Wife my Will and request is my Will and request is that all Debts due from the time of the sale of her Estate I believe at Michaelmas 1785 to the time of my Decease be punctually and as fully and as speedily may be discharged
observing 4 That on this Account some Considerable part of the Money received by my Executors for the Sale of my Estate before mentioned will necessarily be expended in the various Discharges here ...... my Dear Wife neither can reasonably Expect nor can she have that enlarged allowance I have ever intended for her
Therefore 5 Instead of 50:60 or 70 £ per Annum added to her own for Life she must (tho’ it much Afflicts me) be contented with having the Debts already incurred entirely discharged and what will then remain I hereby order and enjoin to be disposed of as follows Vizt.


To my Servant Elizabeth Atwood who lived with us for 5 or 6 & 30 Years 5 Guineas for Mourning and in Lieu of any other Legacy except only 10 Guineas Per Annum during the Term of her natural Life & To the dear Child (Sarah Rogers Daughter of Mr John Rogers) now of Palace Street in the City of Canterbury the said Sum of 10 Guineas per Annum

the longest liver of the two last mentioned to take both during the Term of their natural Lives & in Case she should outlive them to my Dear Wife aforesaid & after her Decease as hereafter mentioned


7 To my Cousin Salome Daykins Pepin Perronet daughter of my late Uncle Mr Dennis James Louis Perronet now Deceased any Sum or Sums my Executors hereafter mentioned may Judge proper but not exceeding the Sum of 5 Guineas per Annum for the Term of her natural Life & no longer

My Wearing Apparel I leave and Bequeath to be equally Divided among the following Poor but honest Men Mr Thomas Atwood now of Burgate Patten Maker Mr James Martin Junr of St Dunstans Shoemaker Mr Edward Tremaine now of North Lane Silk Weaver and Mr William Crawley now of St Mildred’s Baker


8 my Books Manuscripts Letters & Prints in the long Drawer of my Book Case with Green Blinds in my Bed Chamber with all my Books I here Give and Bequeath to Mr William Shrubsole Youngest Son of Mr Thomas Shrubsole Farmer now or late of Best’s Lane in the City of Canterbury save only such to the number of 20 that my Dear Wife may Chuse A Dozen or thereabouts to the aforesaid Sarah Rogers to be at her own use and Disposal and all my French Books (such only excepted as are partly in Lattin I hereby Give and Bequeath as a Testimony of Friendship and Regard to Mrs Mary Leawine late of Lamb Lane in the City of Canterbury & now of Westgate without Woolcomber and Shopkeeper for her sole use and disposal) and a Ring Value One Guinea to my own Relations (many of whose names persons or callings I know not)


I hereby Give and Bequeath agreeably to the Example of my late highly valued and valuable Brother Mr Charles Perronet and my late Eldest Sister Mrs Damaris Perronet to their Aged and most respectable Father the late Revd Mr Vincent Perronet of Shoreham the most Valuable of all Legacies my most sincere and hearty Prayers for all their Temporal & Spiritual Happiness here and hereafter praying them & all others to Forgive and Forget all and every Act of Unkindness Injustice or Ingratitude I may have at any time been Guilty of to them of their Heirs only wishing they may all live thro’ Life with more happiness and go out of the World with more Honour than I shall do


But that I may not seem to forget all I hereby do give & Bequeath to my only Surviving Sister Mrs Elizth Briggs now or late of Hoxton Square near London a Gold Mourning Ring which I hope she will accept and dispose of as she pleases


Lastly I do Give and Bequeath all and every property I am at this time or may at the time of my Decease be Possessed of both Real & Personal to the aforementioned Mr William Shrubsole Youngest son of Mr Thos Shrubsole aforesaid and now or late of the Parish of Saint Brides in London and to the Male Heirs of his Body lawfully begotten to be by them (subject to the Dividends aforementioned) Possest enjoy’d and dispos’d as they shall plece for ever in Consideration of his respect for me his services to me and that pure and disinterested Affection he has ever shown me from our first acquaintance even when from a Proverb of Reproach cast off by all my Relations Disinherited unjustly and left to Sink or Swim as Afflictions and God’s Providence should appoint


But in Case the aforesaid Mr William Shrubsole should die single or leave no Male Heirs by Marriage at his Decease my Will and order is that all and every Species and Degrees of Property I am at this time or at the time of my Decease may be Possest of shall in that Case become the sole and absolute Property of Mr William Brominger salesman now or late of Houndsditch in the Parish of Aldgate in the City of London in as full and ample a Manner as intended for the aforesaid Mr William Shrubsole & at his Decease to the Heirs of his Body lawfully begotten for ever in Consideration of his looking on me in my low Estate and Freely bestowing on me unasked as undeserv’d a handsome present to Cother my then Cold and ill Furnished destitute person


I now hereby constitute and appoint my dear Wife Duriah Perronet the aforesaid Wm Shrubsole & Mr John Halbot now or late of Saint Peter’s or of Westgate in the City of Canterbury the whole and sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament believing as I have endeavoured clearly and fully to express my Real and Determined Resolutions that they will easily understand my intentions and as Punctually execute my Requests and for and in Consideration for the Many Favors my Wife and Self have for many Years experienced from and at the hands of the above mentioned
And Mr Halbot I beg him to accept the Sum of ten Guineas as a small token of the Grateful Remembrance & respect I have ever had for him in particular .... for the Tenderness Concern and Consideration of himself and the First Executor Mr William Shrubsole..


... conclude this my last Will and Testament and revoking all other Wills Codicils I hereunto set my hand and Seal in the presence of the .... subscribing Witnesses _ Perronet Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us whose names are underwritten this Fourth day of October in the Year of our Lord 1789

Richd Knott _ Stephen Rogers _ Anthony Knott


Proved at London 12 March 1793


{Edward Perronet (1726-1792) was born in Sundridge Kent. His father Vincent Perronet was vicar of Shoreham by Sea. The family were Huguenots who fled first to Switzerland and then to England.
They were very closely involved with the Wesleys but Edward later broke with them because of his hostility towards the Church of England. For a while he was associated with Lady Selina Hastings but she distanced herself later because of the intemperance of his language towards the C of E. Edward wrote the hymn “All hail the Power of Jesus Name” for the Coronation of King George III}


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