Monastery Archive Discoveries – Discovery Week 4

Our latest rediscovery in the archive collection follows a musical theme. For a recent specialist tour of the archives and library, pieces of music were put on display. One of these was written by Count Joseph Mazzinghi (1765-1844), a famous Italian composer who was a member of the Royal Society for Musicians and taught the future Queen Caroline, wife of George IV the pianoforte when she was Princess of Wales

Throughout his illustrious career Mazzinghi wrote many operas and ballets, and was responsible for arranging the music at Carlton House, the home of the Prince Regent from 1791. His most famous work is ‘Ye Shepherd’s, Tell Me’ among many others. 

Mazzinghi’s son, George, was a pupil at Downside from 1814-1820 and was one of the first to be a pupil at the newly established college in Somerset after its move from Shropshire. In 1823 the monks of Downside opened their new chapel and school buildings built by Henry Edmund Goodridge. For the occasion of the opening of the chapel, Joseph Mazzinghi wrote a piece of music especially for the event entitled ‘Mass for Three Voices’ in 1821, well in advance of the opening. 

The document we have discovered is the original piece written by Count Mazzinghi and we are looking at the possibility of getting the music played once more in the Old Chapel. Watch this space! 

To find out more about the archives and library click here. To book a tour of the archives and library email here.