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Thomas Arne

ARNE, Thomas Augustine. b. London, 12 March 1710; d. London, 5 March 1778. Born into a wealthy family of London upholsterers, Arne was brought up a Roman Catholic owing to his mother's allegiance to that faith. Well educated, Arne nevertheless threw off a career in the law in favour of music and, in particular the theatre. With the family nose for business, he was assisted by his father in setting up a theatre company for performances of opera at the Haymarket with John Frederick Lampe*. After splitting from Lampe, he eventually moved to Drury Lane where his reputation, enhanced by his sister (the finest tragedienne of her time) and his wife, the soprano Cecilia Young, burgeoned, especially...

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