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Messiah, oratorio by G. F. Handel. Part 1, 1742

MS. Tenbury 346

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This manuscript, mainly in the hand of John Christopher Smith, Handel's amanuensis, contains certain numbers, as well as several annotations and corrections, in the composer's hand. The pencil notes giving the names of singers etc. are also in Handel's hand. This was the conducting score used by Handel at the first performance of the work on 13 April 1742 in Dublin. It was fully described by Friedrich Chrysander in the preface to 'Messiah' in the German Handel Society's Edition (vol. XLV; Leipzig, 1902), and all the passages and notes in Handel's writing were included by Chrysander in his facsimile reproduction of 'Messiah' published in 1892. For further details see W. Shaw A textual and historical companion to Handel's 'Messiah' (London: Novello, 1963).


  • 1742


2 Volumes

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted access. Readers are advised to consult Handel's conducting score of 'Messiah': reproduced in facsimile from the manuscript in the library of St Michael's College, Tenbury Wells (London: Scolar Press for the Royal Musical Association, 1974) available on open shelves in the Weston Gallery at MUS. FACS. 8 (1).


MS. Tenbury 346

Custodial History

The manuscript would seem to have passed at Smith's death into the hands of Mr William Young Ottley, at whose death in 1836 it was bought by his nephew Edward J. Ottley, who in 1867 presented it to Sir Frederick Ouseley. The original covers were retained on the cases which were made for the volumes when they were re-bound. These covers have since been pasted inside the new covers, and new cases have been made.


11 3/8 x 8 1/8 inches obl.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom