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W. E. TAYLOR, Music Teacher at Clarence School
published by Pat Hase on Sat, 05/02/2022 - 22:21

In 2008 I wrote an article for Buckets & Spades which finished with a request for help in finding more about W. E. TAYLOR, who apparently was teaching music at Clarence School in 1895  See  Weston-super-Mare & District Family History Society (wsmfhs.org.uk 

I am now in the process of sending the baton to Canford School in Dorset and still want to know more about W E TAYLOR as I know very little.  The entry in the newspaper at the end is possibly is about a concert in December 1895 at which the baton may have been presented to Mr TAYLOR, but someone else was conducting a concert by the pupils of Clarence School the following year so he may not have stayed very long.

The school thinks he may have been

"W E Taylor FRCO who went on to become the organist at St Thomas Church, Manchester (c1912-1925) before going to St Sidwells Wesleyan Chapel, Exeter and then to St Mary Major, Exeter which he left in 1939. From 1926 he was the secretary of the Exeter Organists Association. He is not the William Edward Taylor FRCO (1867-1911) who was organists at Dunedin Cathedral in New Zealand for many years"

But, they are not sure about this and think that he may have been a  peripatetic music teacher 

The Royal College of Organists have this information about this man:

"William Edwin Taylor

Date of entry: 17 July 1925

Address (at entry?): 6 Clinton Ave, Exeter

Post (at entry?): St Sidwell's Wesleyan Church, Exeter

ARCO: Jan 1935

Resigned: 30 June 1968"

There are more resources online since 2008 so I am hoping that someone can help me identify him this time.

I am toying with the idea that he might be a William TAYLOR born in 1857 in Kidderminster where his father, Samuel TAYLOR was a Musician and music teacher and William is also a musician in Bristol in 1891.  

Any suggestions will be welcome!

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Comments ..

Submitted by gricharduk on Tue, 08/02/2022 - 9:28

Hi Pat,

I hope you are well. I do not think it can be William Edwin Taylor (as Canford School believes), living at 6 Clinton Avenue, Exeter, as the 1939 register notes he was born 2 May 1888 i.e. too young to be teaching music in the 1890s. He is listed as a builders merchant in the register, and according to this report on p. 7, Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 3 July 1929, he was a commercial traveller living at 6 Clinton Avenue in 1929. Consequently, I think his organ playing for St Sidwell's was more of a hobby.

I had some vague idea that the music teacher might be William Emery Taylor (perhaps born around 1849) as (perhaps) his nephew, Herbert Hampden Taylor, attended the school. See this obituary on Herbert in The Lancet. I will see if I can get anywhere with that. However, I also think your idea that he might be William Taylor, born in 1857 in Kidderminster, is a very strong possibility.

Best regards,

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Submitted by Pat Hase on Tue, 08/02/2022 - 14:29

Many thanks for that Richard - You've given me some food for thought and I will forward your findings about William Edwin TAYLOR to the School. 

I like the possible idea of the music teacher's nephew being a pupil at the school - have you proved that relationship yet? It looks as if Herbert Hampden TAYLOR's parents, Robert & Louisa, were married at Christ Church in Clifton, Bristol in 1875. 

I'm still working on the Kidderminster William TAYLOR, he's the right age, has musical connections, but at the moment no middle name.

I'm really grateful and so will be the Archivist at the school for your assistance. Thank you!



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Submitted by gricharduk on Thu, 10/02/2022 - 9:19

Hi Pat,

I did not get anywhere with William Emery Taylor. You probably have this on your tree, but do you think William Taylor, born in 1857 in Kidderminster, is the same person as the one listed in the 1891 census for Stapleton, Bristol, at 4 Glen Park? He is a musician, aged 34, states a middle initial of "E" (not sure if that is made up), born in Kidderminster, and is married to Elizabeth (born in Madrid, Spain). If so, I think he died in 1897, aged 40:

p. 8, Western Daily Press, 17 July 1897

William Death Announcement

(Note, he played in the Bristol City Band). This matches with the transcript from the Bristol & Avon Family History Society which states that he was interred at Avonview Cemetery on the 18 July 1897. It also explains why I cannot find anything about him after 1897. Lastly, I cannot find a probate record for him.

He may have been the secretary for the band based on a report from page 3 of the Bristol Times and Mirror for 6 July 1894, where again, they use the middle initial "E" to describe William.

I have no idea who his wife was and what happened to her after William's death!


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Submitted by Pat Hase on Fri, 11/02/2022 - 12:43

Thanks again, Richard.  I have heard from the school that they also had eliminated William Emery TAYLOR as being a relation of the boys who they had as pupils.  

You are correct - the William E TAYLOR in Glen Park in Bristol in 1891 is the one I am interested in.  Coincidentally, in later years members of my own family lived in Glen Park and as I know that their children were christened in the Eastville Church of St Thomas I looked to see if I could find any baptism for TAYLOR children there but no luck.

Looking at the death of a W E TAYLOR in 1897 I found an account which noted that the funeral left from 135 Stapleton Road.  In 1901, at 137, Stapleton Road was a Joseph ARMSTRONG who was a Professor of Music with a son (another Joseph ARMSTRONG) who was a Bandsman so I wondered if there might be a family connection - but as yet have drawn a blank.

I'm sending the baton this weekend but will keep looking for the elusive W E TAYLOR.  Thanks for your interest and help.

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Submitted by Richard Manning on Tue, 15/02/2022 - 14:32

Hi Pat,

I came across the following references some of which seem to refer to the W E Taylor that was at St Thomas'

You probably already know them but just in case. It seems to point to him being born in 1878 and therefore not being the one at the school.

The Musical Times 1/9/1899

At the Midsummer examination of the Royal College of Organists, the following candidates were successful :— Associate: W. E. Taylor (Radcliffe)


The Musical Times 1/12/1921

RADCLIFFE (near MANCHESTER).—The two days’

Festival on April 8 and 9, arranged by the Education Committee of the Radcliffe and Pilkington Co-operative Society, attracted good entries. Three choirs sang Stanford’s ‘The bluebird’ in the open choral class, the Radcliffe Co-operative Choir (Mr. W. E. Taylor) being first. The adjudicators were Mr. Frederick Green and Dr. T. Keighley.

Dictionary of Organs and Organists 1912

MANCHESTER. ST. THOMAS' CHURCH, RADCLIFFE. Built 1904 by Hill. Opened by W. Mullineux, F.R.C.O. 3 manuals, 36 speaking stops, 11 other stops, 2,232 pipes. Blown by electric motor. Organist: W. E. Taylor, F.R.C.O.



Marriage: 15 Nov 1924 St Thomas, Radcliffe, Lancs.

William Edward Taylor - 46, Professor of Music, Widower, Carlton House, New Rd., Whitefield

Alice Yates - 33, Clerk, Spinster, 484 Bolton Rd., Radcliffe

    Groom's Father: William Taylor, Traveller

    Bride's Father: Anthony Yates, (deceased), Paper Manufacturer

    Witness: Edward Hargreaves; Louisa Grace Hargreaves

    Married by Licence by: Heber Marks, Vicar

    Register: Marriages 1915 - 1928, Page 194, Entry 388

    Source: Manchester Central Library




Richard M

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