While the overwhelming majority of published works in the Dataset of Subscribers were produced by professional musicians, a few were composed by those who did not rely on music as their main source of income. One of the most intriguing of this group is the vicar composer, a fraternity whose vocation should have restricted the time available for other activities. Nevertheless, large numbers of ministers were musically trained and had been involved in musical life at university. Many continued to make music after ordination, playing in concerts, and were members of a local musical society.
While works produced by vicar composers are few in number, their subscription lists provide a unique glimpse into the links that they forged, not only with other musicians but also with members of the aristocracy and fellow ministers. Two of the most important examples are William Felton, who issued two sets of keyboard concertos by subscription in 1744 and 1761, and John Pixell, who published two collections of vocal music. Their lists reveal links between the composers and their local communities, and provide an insight into the much wider musical circles in which they moved. While some links are already known from other sources, this study not only reinforces the importance of these connections, but gives an insight into those links for which no other known evidence survives.