Scope and Content
Title: A history of my private life : an autobiography in journal form for the years 1752-1828
Collection Number: mssHM 54457 (Volumes 1-37)
37 volumes in three boxes
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Abstract: The thirty-seven-volume journal of the amateur English composer and musician John Marsh of Chichester, Sussex; in which he
records the important events of his eventful life and of the life around him.
Language of Material: The records are in English.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material,
nor does it charge fees for such activities.
The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with
[Identification of item], HM 54457 (Volumes 1-37), The Huntington Library, San
Gift of Mrs. Homer Crotty through purchase from Christie’s Sale 4420, Lot 285, February 14, 1991.
John Marsh (1752-1828) was born in Dorking, Surrey on May 31, 1752; educated at Greenwich Academy, he was destined for a career
in law despite having an obvious interest and aptitude for music. In 1768 he was articled to a solicitor in Romsey; at the
same time he began violin lessons and after becoming proficient, taught himself the cello, oboe, and organ as well as composing
music. In 1774 Marsh married Elizabeth Catherine Brown (1756/7-1819) and they had five sons and one daughter of whom only
Edward Garrard and Henry reached adulthood. After Marsh inherited a large family estate he left the legal profession and concentrated
on his music, including playing, composing and managing subscription concerts in Salisbury, Canterbury and Chichester. John
Marsh died after a short illness on October 31, 1828 .
The volumes are arranged chronologically.
Scope and Content
The journal volumes are arranged chronologically in three boxes: Box 1 Volumes 1-12 (1752-1789, Aug.) ; Box 2 Volumes 13-25
(Aug. 1789-1806) ; Box 3 Volumes 26-37 (1806-1828). The journals comprise thirty-seven volumes in white vellum covers, all
in good condition. After 1778, at the end of each year, many of the volumes include lists of musical compositions and publications,
major events, journeys, marriages, births and deaths. The majority of the volumes were written by John Marsh except the very
end of volume 37 which was finished by his son Edward Garrard Marsh; also, the volumes contain the pencil edit markings and
notes made by E.G. Marsh for his heavily edited early edition of the journals.
The journals have been published: The John Marsh Journals, edited, introduced and annotated by Brian Robins, Pendragon Press,
Marsh, Edward Garrard, 1783-1862
Marsh, John, 1752-1828
Composers –- England, Southern –- Biography
Families –- England –- History -- 18th century
Families –- England –- History -- 19th century
Music –- England, Southern -- 18th century -- History and criticism
Music –- England, Southern -- 19th century -- History and criticism
Chichester (England) –- 18th century
Chichester (England) –- 19th century
England, Southern -– Description and travel
England, Southern –- Social life and customs –- 18th century
England, Southern –- Social life and customs –- 19th century
Diaries –- England –- 18th century
Diaries –- England -– 19th century