Wade, John Francis
- Bennett Mitchell Zon
(b ?England, 1711/12; d ?England, 1786). English plainchant scribe and publisher . He is best known as the composer and author of Adeste fideles. He was almost certainly a convert to Roman Catholicism and attended the Dominican college at Bornem (Belgium) where, presumably, he learnt to copy plainchant. His extant works, which date from the period 1737–74, divide into three types: plainchant manuscripts, printed books with hand-notated plainchant, and printed liturgical books without plainchant. The manuscripts, which substantially outnumber his other works, serve a wide range of functions and include antiphonals, graduals, vesperals, offices for the dead and books of diverse chants. The printed books with plainchant comprise a gradual, psalter and confraternity handbook; printed liturgical books without plainchant include two vesperals, one for general use and another for Holy Week. Internal evidence in the manuscripts suggests that they were used in practically all of London's foreign embassy chapels; by extension it can be assumed that Wade volumes circulated among many Catholic aristocratic families. Wade's influence is considerable in contemporary and later manuscript and printed sources, from ...