Samuel Webbe (I)

WEBBE, Samuel (I), the Elder. b. London, 7 October 1740; d. London, 25 May 1816. Born into an initially wealthy, but later poorer, family, Webbe received intermittent formal education. He was apprenticed for seven years to a cabinet maker from the age of 11, subsequently compensating for his lack of education with a rigorous programme of self-teaching, including the acquisition of many foreign and ancient languages. He worked as a copyist at Peter Weckler’s music shop in Gerrard Street, Soho, where he met Charles Barbandt, organist of the Bavarian Embassy Chapel, becoming his pupil and converting to Roman Catholicism, possibly at the same time. Although he was also an organist, bass singer...

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