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 • St Lawrence Little Stanmore Churchyard
 • Edgware
 • London Borough of Barnet
 • Greater London
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William "The Harmonious Blacksmith" Powell
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Birth: 1702
Death: Feb., 1780

"In memory of William Powell, the Harmonious Blacksmith, who was buried 27th. February 1780, aged 78 years. He was Parish Clerk during the time the immortal Handel was organist of this church. Erected by subscription, May 1868." Handel's Suite for Harpsichord in E (1720) was given the name of "The Harmonious Blacksmith" because of the story that the composer took shelter from the rain in a smithy, and was inspired to write his tune upon hearing the hammer and the anvil. Unfortunately, it is quite untrue. The legend began three-quarters of a century after the composer's death, when an anonymous writer to the Times started the falsehood. This was compounded by two men named Henry Wylde and Richard Clark, who found an old anvil in a smithy near Whitchurch and fabricated a story to identify William Powell as the fictitious Blacksmith. They even raised a subscription for a wooden memorial to him. In 1868, the people of Whitchurch subscribed again for the current stone memorial. Note the hammer and the anvil on the carving. Nor was Handel ever the organist of St. Lawrence's, as the inscription claims, although this is repeated by a plaque on the instrument, which reads : "HANDEL was organist at this church from the year 1718 to 1721 and composed his oratorio ESTHER on this organ." Both of these claims are quite untrue, although he was in the service of the Duke of Chandos at Edgware, only a mile or so to the East. "The Harmonious Blacksmith" was, of course, never given that title by Handel, but it appears that William Lintern, a blacksmith's apprentice from Bath, was very fond of the tune and sang it so often that his friends called him The Harmonious Blacksmith ; and, eventually, the term began to be applied to the tune, as well. Sadly, there is no connection at all with William Powell.  (bio by: Iain MacFarlaine) 
 
Burial:
St Lawrence Little Stanmore Churchyard
Edgware
London Borough of Barnet
Greater London, England
 
Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
Record added: Oct 23, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6870791
William The Harmonious Blacksmith Powell
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
William The Harmonious Blacksmith Powell
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
William The Harmonious Blacksmith Powell
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
 
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 Added: Jul. 27, 2008

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 Added: Jun. 27, 2006

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 Added: Sep. 8, 2005
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