Item 0054 - Fragment of letter from Charles Burney to Keane Fitzgerald

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Fragment of letter from Charles Burney to Keane Fitzgerald

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CA RBD MS Burney-0054

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1 sheet ; 7.7 x 11.3 cm

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Biographical history

Charles Burney was an organist and music historian born on April 7, 1726, in Shrewsbury, England. He studied music and was first apprenticed as an assistant to his half-brother James, who worked at St. Mary's Church, Shrewsury, as an organist. In 1744, Charles became apprenticed to composer Thomas Arne and in 1746 was employed as a musician by Fulke Greville until his marriage to Esther Sleepe (approximately 1725-1762) in 1749. After his marriage, Burney worked as an organist and music instructor. Esther Burney died in 1762 and Charles Burney married Elizabeth Allen (1728-1796) in 1767, with whom he had two children. Burney recieved a DMus from Oxford University in 1769 after which he left on a musical tour of the European continent. As a music historian, he published numerous volumes throughout the 1770s and 1780s on European music. He suffered from ill health beginning in the 1790s and experienced a stroke that paralysed one hand in 1807. He died in 1814 in Chelsea.

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Scope and content

Consists of an address panel, likely a fragment of a letter. The four corners are clipped. Addressed to Keane Fitzgerald Esq., Mitre Court Buildings, Inner Temple. The fragment contains a later biographical note: "from Dr. Burney who wrote 'History of Music.' Father of Madame D'Arblay author of Cecilia.'

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Purchased from James Cummins, Bookseller, May 2014. Purchased in lot with items 0052, 0053, 0055, and 0056.


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  • English

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