Samuel Arnold (composer)

Samuel Arnold (10 August 1740 – 22 October 1802) was an English composer and organist.

Samuel Arnold

Arnold was born in London (his mother is said to have been Princess Amelia; his father was Thomas Arnold).[1][2] He began writing music for the theatre in about the year 1764. A few years later, he became the director of music at Marylebone Gardens, for which he wrote much of his popular music. In 1777, he worked for George Colman the Elder at the Little Theatre, Haymarket. In 1783, he became organist at the Chapel Royal and in 1793 he became the organist at Westminster Abbey, where he was eventually buried. He also wrote the earliest version of Humpty Dumpty. He was a close friend and associate of Haydn.


Arnold's best-known works include:

"O Give Thanks" in the hand of Thomas Barrow

He is also known for producing the first collected edition of the works of George Frideric Handel between 1787 and 1797, published in 180 parts. This was the most comprehensive collection of Handel's music prior to the appearance of the Händel-Gesellschaft edition in the next century.[4]


  • Panton, Kenneth J. (2011). Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy. Scarebrow Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8108-5779-7.


  1. ^ Panton 2011, p. 45.
  2. ^ Robert Hoskins: "Samuel Arnold", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Retrieved 19 February 2009), (subscription access)
  3. ^ The European Magazine (1784) p.8
  4. ^ Winton Dean, The New Grove Handel. NY: Norton, 1982, p. 116. ISBN 0-393-30086-2; "Composers: Samuel Arnold (1740 – 1802)" article at Archived 14 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine

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Cultural offices
Preceded by First Organist of the Chapel Royal
Succeeded by
Cultural offices
Preceded by Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey
Succeeded by