chapter  2
44 Pages

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor was born in Norwich on 18 May 1781. Little is recorded of his childhood and youth before he moved to London at the age of fifteen. He was educated partly by his mother, and partly at a local dissenting day school run by the Rev. John Houghton and his son. An ‘excellent grammarian and a severe disciplinarian’,1 Houghton schooled Taylor in the classics and also introduced him to the sciences. An undated exercise book containing some of Richard’s ‘earliest writings’ contains notes in Greek, Gothic, Runic and Anglo-Saxon characters, though he does not appear to have begun a serious study of medieval Latin and Italian poetic literature and of the French, Flemish, AngloSaxon and old Teutonic languages until his apprenticeship. Both Richard and Edward sang in the choir which their greatgrandfather had established at the Octagon Chapel, where Richard also played the organ. Although it was Edward who became the professional musician, Richard Taylor appears to have kept up musical interests as an adult-he belonged, for example, to a madrigal group attached to the Purcell Club of London and the firm executed some music publishing in the 1840s.2