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Adeste, fideles

Adeste, fideles. Latin, 18th-century, attributed to John Francis Wade* (1711/12-1786). The origin of this Latin Christmas hymn, translated as ‘O come, all ye faithful’*, is obscure, but it is linked to the name of John Francis Wade, who worked as a plainchant copyist and teacher of plainchant at the English College, Douai. Wade was well known in English Catholic circles, and connected with leading Catholic musicians at the embassy chapels in London. Few details of his life are known; documentary evidence about him is likely to have been lost when the college was dispersed at the French Revolution. There are manuscript sources of the tune, probably in Wade’s hand, the earliest being from...

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