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date: 25 August 2019

Birchall, Robertlocked

  • Frank Kidson
  • , revised by William C. Smith
  •  and Peter Ward Jones


(b London, c1750; d London, Dec 19, 1819). English music seller, instrument dealer and publisher. From his early imprints it appears that he had been apprenticed to Walsh’s successors, William Randall and his wife Elizabeth. In 1783 he was in business with T. Beardmore as Beardmore & Birchall (or Birchall & Beardmore). From 1783 to May 1789 he was in partnership with Hugh Andrews as Birchall & Andrews; he also issued publications under the name Birchall & Co., and established a circulating music library. He then continued alone in the firm until 1819, though John Bland appears to have had some association with Birchall after he sold his own firm in 1795, until about 1801.

Birchall managed the series of Ancient Concerts and most of the benefit concerts of the time. In 1783 he proposed a complete reissue of Handel’s works in 80 folio volumes, but the project never materialized, though Birchall subsequently published many Handel items. In addition to glees, country dance books and much Italian vocal music, his publications included the first English edition of J.S. Bach’s ...

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O.W. Neighbour and A. Tyson: English Music Publishers' Plate Numbers (London, 1965)
F. Kidson: British Music Publishers, Printers and Engravers
C. Humphries and W.C. Smith: Music Publishing in the British Isles
Journal of the Royal Musical Association