|Short Name:||Thomas Jarman|
|Full Name:||Jarman, Thomas, 1776-1861|
Thomas Jarman was born on 21st December 1776 in Clipston, a small village near the northern border of the County of Northampton. His father was not only a Baptist lay preacher, but also a tailor, and Thomas was brought up in the same trade, although his brother, John, followed his father’s calling to become a minister.
His natural taste for music, however, considerably interfered with his work, and he was frequently reduced to dire straits, from which only the extreme liberality of his publishers relieved him. He was a man of fine, commanding presence, but self-willed, and endowed with a considerable gift of irony, as choirs frequently found to their cost. Weston quotes from Kant that Jarman neglected his work and ‘this kept him poor and soured his temper’.
He joined the choir of the Baptist chapel in his native village when quite a youth, and soon became the choirmaster there. He adopted music as a profession (with occasional returns to his old trade), and was engaged as teacher of harmony and singing in many of the neighbouring villages. He was a successful choir-trainer, spending several years at Leamington, and conducted concerts as well as services, for which he was ‘constantly composing works’. The village choir festival held under his direction at Naseby, in 1837, is said to have been the talk of the district for long after. He spent some six or seven years at Leamington, during which time he enjoyed the friendship of C. Rider, a wealthy Methodist who did much good for the psalmody of Lancashire and elsewhere some fifty or sixty years ago.
Jarman published an enormous quantity of music, including over six hundred hymn-tunes, besides anthems, services, and similar pieces.
Amongst his many anthems written for special occasions there is one for the opening of the new Baptist chapel at Clipston. Another is a MAGNIFICAT for Dr Marsh's Episcopal chapel at Leamington, where Thomas Jarman was called to assist the quire in their study and performance of psalmody.
Thomas Jarman lived to the good old age of eighty-five, dying in 1861, and lies buried in the graveyard attached to the Baptist chapel at Clipston in Northants.