English organist, composer, violinist, conductor and music lecturer Samuel Wesley, 'the English Mozart', was born in Bristol on 24 February 1766, the son of preacher and hymn writer Charles Wesley, grandson of the poet Samuel Wesley and nephew of the founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley. In 1784 he became a Roman Catholic, and in 1788 a freemason.
There was scandal in his personal life, involving the delay in his marriage to and subsequent separation from Charlotte Louise Martin, and his affair with Sarah Suter, a domestic servant who bore him four children, including Samuel Sebastian Wesley.
He wrote much music for the church, and also secular works.
He died on 11 October 1837 and was buried at St Marylebone Parish Church in London.
A Welcome Return - Jennifer Bate plays the Derby Cathedral organ, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Controversial Figure - Choral works by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Soloists and choral singing are of the utmost quality ...'