John Brimley 1541-76
At Masses held in the Cathedral at the time of
the North (1569) John Brimley played the organ 'in the
loft over the
door' and was subsequently called to account, but
afterwards he was
and no action was taken against him.
William Browne 1576-88
His gravestone in the Galilee Chapel says:
John Brimleis body here doth li
Who praysed God with hand and voice
By musickes heavenlie harmonie
Dull myndes he maid in God rejoice
His soul into the heavens is lyft
To prayse him stil that gave the Gyft
Obiit Ao.Dni.1576 Octo.13.
William Smith 1589-98
Wm Smythe repaired 'one paire of orgaynes wh.
the Quere doore...' in Sept.1589.
William Browne (again) 1598-1607+
Not to be confused with another of the same name
a minor canon but not organist, who was the composer
of the celebrated
Preces & Responses by Smith of Durham.
Edward Smith 1608-12
Richard Hutcheson 1613-Interregnum (died 1646)
The Chapter Minutes report that in April
John Foster 1660-77
'In regard of Richard Hutchinson frequent haunting of
Aile houses and
Divers other his evill demeaners, and especially for
breaking of the
of Toby Broking one of the Singing men of this church
in an Ailehouse wounding him verie dangerously ...' He
was warned that
time, but a month later was suspended [until November]
to mend his ways!
The new organ by George Dallam was first
played on by
Forster on St.Stephen's Day 1662.
Alexander Shaw 1677-81 (died 1706)
William Greggs 1681-1710
The completion of Father Smith's new organ, with two
James Heseltine 1711-63
notes per octave ("quarter tones"), required 'a person
with this peculiar keyboard to avail himself of
use'. Greggs was given leave for three months in 1686
to London to improve himself in the Skill of
In January 1711 James Hesletine of London was
aged 19, at £70 per annum from Lady Day, increased
Thomas Ebdon 1763-1811
Appointed on a salary of £80 pa,
in 1783, "[plus] 5/- per day when he attends the
and evening" (1802].
Charles Clarke 1811-13
NB. George Ashton and Wm. Evance were paid for
deputising for Ebdon in
1805/6, and again Evance during Ebdon's final illness.
Appointed aged 15, on "the same salary as Mr.
William Henshaw 1814-62
Appointed aged 22 on "the same salary (without
allowance) as Mr.Clarke"- who had moved to Worcester
In a report of the Parliamentary Commissioners at the
time of the
Act 1840, the Durham Organist's salary of £209 was
noted as "the
Philip Armes 1863-1907 [link
to longer article
written for centenary of his death]
[The Dean's income became £3000 as a result of the
lived at 13 Bow Lane, resigned on a pension for life of
and died in 1878.
on a salary of £260 pa, increased to
pa in 1870. As a result of national pressure
through a Statement from
Royal College of Organists concerning the
position of Cathedral
Armes salary increased from £191 per
quarter to £210 per
in 1898. Armes lived at 20 North Bailey from
1864 to 1872, then 17
Bailey. He retired on a pension of £250 pa
pre-arranged in 1905.
Arnold Culley 1907-32
John Dykes Bower 1933-36
Conrad Eden 1936-74
Richard Lloyd 1974-85
Lancelot from 1985
F.E.Leatham (in 1901 during Bennett's
William Ellis 1903 (to Newcastle Cathedral)
Maine Autumn 1918 - May 1919.
Appointed at £150pa [Act Book] - to
Cyril Maude 1919
pupil of Sir Walter Parratt, he served under
three Organists. In 1939,
when Conrad Eden went to war Maude assumed full
duties for the
duration,, maintaining his other work as
Organist of St.Margaret's
Church, teacher at Neville's Cross and St.Hild's
Colleges, and the
Durham Girls' Grammar School, with private
tuition and war-time duties
with the choir men in the Royal Observer Corps.
Choristers of that time
remember him with great affection, his Yorkshire
wit, often sarcastic
but delivered with a twinckle in the eye, and
his insistence on high
standards at all times.
service sheet at the
dedication of a music desk in his memory: 18th
Bruce Cash 1968
Alan Thurlow 1973 (to Chichester Cathedral)
David Hill 1980 (toWestminster
Ian Shaw 1982 (to a post in Opera)