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I was reading the blog of Will http://willyorwonthe.wordpress.com on his entry Musical Wednesday’s. So I went on to look for music by Samuel Wesley (1766-1837).


Born in Bristol, he was the son of noted Methodist and hymn-writer Charles Wesley, the grandson of Samuel Wesley (a poet of the late Stuart period) and the nephew of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church.

Samuel informed his mother, Sarah Wesley, of his philosophical conviction that his marriage had been constituted by sexual intercourse, precluding any civil or religious ceremony, but after a scandalous delay he married Charlotte Louise Martin in 1793, and they had three children. A book recently published provides a fascinating account of how Samuel Wesley’s marriage to Charlotte finally broke up with her discovery of Samuel’s affair with the teenage domestic servant Sarah Suter. Samuel and Sarah never married but had four children together, among them Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810–1876) who was a cathedral organist and notable composer.

In 1784, Wesley privately converted to Roman Catholicism, to the dismay of his uncle John Wesley. To celebrate his conversion, Samuel composed an elaborate mass, the Messa dello Spirito Santo, dedicating it to Pope Pius VI.

All this to say that his Gavotte on organ is delightful.

Here you have the pipe organ from the Nunnery Chapel in Douglas on the Isle of Man recently restored by Peter Jones and rebuilt in the Catholic Church in Castletown. Gareth Moore plays the Gavotte by Samuel Wesley.