Thomas Helmore

7 May 1811–6 July 1890

THOMAS HELMORE, writer on music and composer, born at Kidderminster on 7 May 1811, son of a dissenting minister, was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (B.A. 1840, M.A. 1845). He served for two years as curate in the parish of St. Michael, Lichfield, and in 1840 was appointed to a priest-vicar’s stall in Lichfield Cathedral. In 1842 he became vice-principal, and in 1846 precentor of St. Mark’s College, Chelsea. In the latter year he succeeded William Hawes as master of the choristers of the Chapel Royal, St. James’s, of which in 1847 he was admitted one of the priests-in-ordinary. He was presented by the crown in 1872 to the rectory of Beverstone, Glouestershire, but he resigned it immediately after his appointment. In 1877 he received a retiring pension from the National Society, after thirty-five years’ service as clerical precentor of St. Mark’s College, Chelsea. He died at his residence in St. George’s Square, London, on 6 July 1890.

Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 25 (1891)

Related Hymns and Tunes:

O come, O come, Emmanuel

Published Works:

The Psalter Noted

1st ed. (1849): WorldCat
Accompanying Harmonies (1850): WorldCat
American ed. (1856): PDF
Accompanying Harmonies, with Appendix, 4th ed. (1857): WorldCat
with Appendix I & II (1871): WorldCat
with Appendix I–III (1880): WorldCat

The Canticles Noted

1st ed. (1850): WorldCat
Canticles Noted: Te Deum Laudamus VII & VIII (1867): WorldCat
2nd set (1871): WorldCat

A Brief Directory of the Plain Song

A Manual of Plain Song (1850): PDF
Accompanying Harmonies (1853): HathiTrust
American ed. (1855): WorldCat
with Appendix I & II [Magnificat settings] (1873): WorldCat
Second Appendix [Te Deum settings]: HathiTrust
American ed. 2 (1871): HathiTrust
with Appendix I–III (1880): WorldCat
A Fuller Directory of the Plain Song (1881): WorldCat
Appendix [Miserere mei Deus] (1882): WorldCat

The Hymnal Noted

Melody edition: Part I (1851) & Part II (1856) Combined: PDF
A Short Commentary on the Hymnal Noted (1852): PDF
The Words of the Hymnal Noted, Parts I & II (1855): PDF
Accompanying Harmonies: Part I (1852) & Part II (1858) Combined: PDF
Words … with an appendix revised and greatly enlarged (1863): WorldCat
Music of the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted (ca. 1865): WorldCat

Note: This collection is often dated erroneously, including in Julian. See this guide, prepared by Joe Herl: PDF

Carols for Christmas-tide (1853/54): PDF
Carols for Easter-tide (1854): WorldCat

“Choir and chorus singing,” The Musical Times, vol. 5, no. 119 (March 1854): PDF (JSTOR)

A Treatise on Choir and Chorus Singing (trans. from F.J. Fétis, 1854): WorldCat

A Practical Lecture on Plain Song (1854): WorldCat

S. Mark’s Chant Book (1863): PDF

Cadences for the Order of the Administration of the Lord’s Supper (1866): WorldCat

Hymns for Use During the Cattle Plague (1866): WorldCat

Short Graces Before and After Meals (n.d): WorldCat

Paper on Church Music (1868): WorldCat

The Canticles Accented: For Use with All Chants (1870): WorldCat

The Psalter Accented (1872): WorldCat | PDF

Plain Song [Primer] (1878): WorldCat

A Catechism of Music (1878): WorldCat

The Responses, Psalms and Canticles for Evensong on Easter Day (1881): WorldCat

Related Resources:

Frederick Helmore, Memoir of the Rev. T. Helmore (London: Masters & Co., 1891): PDF

“Thomas Helmore,” Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Leslie Stephen & Sidney Lee, vol. 25 (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1891), p. 371.

Bernarr Rainbow, “Thomas Helmore and the Anglican Plainsong Revival,” The Musical Times, vol. 100, no. 1400 (Oct. 1959), pp. 548-549: JSTOR

Bernarr Rainbow, “Thomas Helmore II: The mystery of VENI EMMANUEL,” The Musical Times, vol. 100, no. 1401 (Nov. 1959), pp. 621-622: JSTOR

Bernarr Rainbow, “Thomas Helmore and the revival of carol singing,” The Musical Times, vol. 100, no. 1402 (Dec. 1959), p. 683: JSTOR

Bernarr Rainbow, The Choral Revival in the Anglican Church 1839-1872 (London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1970): WorldCat

Dale Adelmann, The Contribution of Cambridge Ecclesiologists to the Revival of Anglican Choral Worship 1839-62 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997): WorldCat

Bennett Zon, The English Plainchant Revival (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999): WorldCat

Joel W. West, “Neale’s Hymnal Noted and its impact on twentieth-century American hymnody,” The Hymn, vol. 69, no. 3 (Summer 2018), pp. 14-24.

Bennett Zon, “Thomas Helmore,” Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:

Thompson Cooper & David Golby, “Thomas Helmore,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

Bernarr Rainbow, “Thomas Helmore,” Grove Music Online:

Thomas Helmore,