Clergyman, composer and poet. John Darwell was born at Haughton, Staffordshire. He attended the Manchester Grammar School and at the age of 14 went on to Brasenose College at the University of Oxford. After graduating in 1756 he was appointed curate of St. Matthew's Parish in Walsall, later becoming vicar. In 1766 he was married (for the second time) to Mary Whateley who was already a published poet and who had been living in the town since 1760. Mary Darwall (1738-1825) ran a printing press with her husband and wrote songs for his congregation.
John Darwall was an accomplished amateur musician. The work for which he will be remembered is music for Psalm 148 which was composed and sung at the inauguration of a new organ at his church in 1773. He was also a poet and some of his work was published in the Gentleman's magazine. He died in December 1789, having spent his whole career in Walsall.
Page created 10 March 2002 and last updated 28 October 2002
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