Born: Au­gust 12, 1825, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Died: Ap­ril 6, 1889, Here­ford, Eng­land.

Buried: St. Mi­chael and All An­gels church­yard, Ten­bu­ry Wells, Eng­land.

National Portrait Gallery

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Gore-Ouse­ley was edu­cat­ed at Ox­ford Uni­ver­si­ty (BA 1846, MA 1849, DMus 1854), and was or­dained in 1849.

In 1855, he was ap­point­ed Ox­ford Pro­fess­or of Mu­sic, suc­ceed­ing Hen­ry Bi­shop. At that time, Ox­ford mu­sic de­grees were ea­sy to ob­tain, as there were no con­di­tions of re­si­dence. Can­di­dates on­ly had to sub­mit a mu­sic­al com­po­si­tion (e.g., for choir or or­ches­tra). This was then ap­proved by the ex­am­in­er, re­hearsed and per­formed to a small, se­lect au­di­ence at Ox­ford.

As far as Ou­se­ley was con­cerned, this on­ly meant two or three trips to Ox­ford each year, usu­al­ly for two or three days each time, as there was no mu­sic taught in the uni­ver­si­ty and ve­ry lit­tle in Ox­ford its­elf at the time.

Also in 1855, Ou­se­ley was ap­point­ed pre­cen­tor of Here­ford Ca­thed­ral, a post he held for the next 30 years, be­fore be­com­ing a can­on there.

Although the­o­re­tic­al­ly in charge of the ca­thed­ral choir, Ou­se­ley on­ly had to be in re­si­dence at the ca­thed­ral two months each year, and he ar­ranged these to take place dur­ing the sum­mer va­ca­tion, when he was not re­quired to be at his Col­lege. Such was his com­mit­ment, though, that he did make re­gu­lar vi­sits to the ca­thed­ral, which was on­ly 18 miles from his col­lege at St. Mi­chael’s.

His Col­lege of St. Mi­chael’s, Ten­bu­ry, a mo­del choir school, op­ened in 1856, most­ly at his own ex­pense. He found­ed the col­lege and was its first war­den, which was the great­er part of his work for the next 33 years.


Ouseley com­posed op­eras, songs, cham­ber mu­sic and or­gan piec­es, and wrote the fol­low­ing trea­tis­es: