Procesión de Semana Santa en la Calle Mateos Gago, Sevilla, 1896, Manuel García Rodríguez
Thomas Gainsborough. Detail from Thomas Linley the Elder, 1760.
Linley the Elder (1733-1795) was the head of a very musical family. The son of a carpenter, he made his name in Bath as an organist at the Abbey and playing the harpsichord at the Assembly Rooms; in that city, Linley was a fierce rival of the Hanoverian William Herschel, who famously supported his astronomical hobby through musical performances. In 1752 he married a equally talented lady by the name of Mary Johnson (1729-1820), before becoming part of the management at Drury Lane Theatre in 1774, where he employed his children to great effect, though they were believed to be considerably overworked. His eldest daughter Elizabeth eloped with the playwright MP Richard Brinsley Sheridan. The Gentleman’s Magazine wrote in his obituary:
His works are not distinguished by any striking marks of original genius, but they uniformly manifest taste, feeling, and a full knowledge of his art. The publick are indebted to him for many beautiful airs; he has harmonized with great judgement the melodies of former writers; and, if it was not in his power to astonish by sublime effects, his compositions always soothe and charm by delicacy, simplicity and tenderness. (ODNB)