Lampe, John Frederick

Musician, born in Saxony. He came to England c. 1725 as a bassoon-player at Covent Garden Theatre and in Handel's band. He was one of the finest bassoonists of his time, published books on music and composed several burlesque operas (the most successful being The Dragon of Wantley) and many songs. He met Charles Wesley at the home of John Rich towards the end of 1745 and they became friends. He became interested in Methodism and spent some time with John Wesley, who recorded in his Journal for 29 October 1749 that after many years as a Deist he had been brought 'to a better mind' by reading the Earnest *Appeal. He wrote 24 hymn tunes, of which four are in Hymns and Psalms and collaborated with Charles Wesley on Hymns on the Great Festivals (1746; 1996 reprint, Madison NJ), and published A Collection of Hymns and Sacred Poems (Dublin, 1749). Many of his tunes are in the florid style of the day, but were popular with the Methodists. Only two survive in Hymns and Psalms. He died in Edinburgh on 25 July 1751 and was buried in the Canongate churchyard. Charles Wesley wrote a lyric ode in his memory.

  • WHS Proceedings, 3 pp.237-9; 8 pp.155-6
  • Oxford DNB