MILLER, Edward. The Psalms of David for the Use of Parish Churches the Words selected from the Version of Tate & Brady by the Revd George Drummond … London Publish’d by W. Miller … and to be had at all the Music Shops … [1790].
4to (261 × 181 mm), pp. [2], xlvii, [1], 142; with an etched and engraved title vignette by Charron, featuring a portrait of Miller; preface and subscribers’ list printed in letterpress, the music engraved; some light spotting to the title; near-contemporary (American?) tree calf, a little offsetting from the turn-ins, joints cracked but the cords still firm, spine a little creased, and chipped at extremities, corners worn, morocco label lettered gilt.
First edition, with over 3000 subscribers. This is the issue without ‘Finis’ on the last page; some copies in ESTC have four pages of ‘Addenda containing some additional favorite tunes’ at the end, but this copy has never had them. The title-page states that ‘Books of the Words only at 6d and 1s 6d each’ were also published (the music book cost 10s 6d), but this is unrecorded in ESTC. Miller (1735–1807) signs his preface from Doncaster, and dedicates the book to the Archbishop of York, who took ten copies. Miller’s father was a paviour in Norwich, ‘and he was apprenticed to that trade but absconded and studied music under Charles Burney; he played the flute in Handel’s oratorio orchestra during the 1750s. On 15 July 1756 he was elected organist of Doncaster, in succession to John Camidge, on the recommendation of James Nares. In 1779, when the post of Master of the King’s Band of Musicians became available on Boyce’s death, the Marquis of Rockingham applied to the Duke of Manchester on Miller’s behalf, but the position was given to John Stanley. In Doncaster Miller came to know Herschel, later the Astronomer Royal, and helped bring him out of obscurity. He played an active part in musical life in his native East Anglia and in the Doncaster region, and directed the Sheffield Festival of 1788 … In The Psalms of David he attempted a reform of metrical psalmody; this volume includes the tunes “Rockingham” [“When I survey the wondrous Cross”] and “Galway”, and had what has been claimed as the largest number of subscribers for any musical publication in England’ (New Grove).
BUCEM, p. 676; RISM Recueils, p. 294. ESTC records 5 copies of this issue (BL, Innerpeffray, York Minster, SMU, Turnbull Library), compared to 17 copies of the other (with ‘Finis’ on p. 142).
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