Isaac Smith

SMITH, Isaac. b. 1733/4, d. Newington, Surrey, 20 December 1805, aged 71. He may have come from East Anglia, judging by the names of many of his tunes. By trade a linen draper, he became clerk of the Alie Street Baptist meeting house, Whitechapel, London. Musically gifted, he led the unaccompanied singing there, while collecting, adapting and composing tunes for his choir and congregation. He is believed to have been the first dissenting precentor to have received a salary (£20 per annum). From 1755 onwards his tunes began appearing anonymously in printed tunebooks. Three of the most popular were EAGLE STREET, NEW EAGLE STREET, and FUNERAL THOUGHT (HTI 2379, 2381, 2931), all of which were...

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