The Musical Marchants

Marchant Family Tree

  The Marchant Family in 1894
Back row: Stanley, Joseph Frank, Walter
Seated: Frank Masie, Emily Louisa

Front: Eva, Horace
Unborn : Lillian


Stanley was a boy chorister at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate and the quality of his voice lead to an invitation to sing as a soloist in the Three-Choirs Festival at Hereford. His studies in the organ began in earnest when his voice broke and he became organist at Kemsing Parish Church, Kent at the age of 16. He won the John Goss Scholarship enabling him to attend the Royal Academy of Music for three years. Whilst there Sir George Martin invited him to help at St Paul’s Cathedral and he also won composition and organ prizes.

In 1903 he became organist of Christ Church, Newgate Street, but continued his association with St Paul’s working at the Choir School with Charles Macpherson. He took on the post of organist and choirmaster of St Peter’s Eaton Square and became Organ Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1914.

On the death of Sir George Martin in 1917, Stanley became Sub-organist and Master of the Choristers at St Paul’s, and on the death of Charles Macpherson in 1927 became Organist of the Cathedral. He remained there until 1936 when he was offered the post of Principal of the Royal Academy of Music which he held until his death.

Among honours given to him, were that of King Edward Professor of Music, University of London, Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford and Alsop Lecturer of Music, University of Liverpool. He served many public bodies including the Arts Council, the BBC’s Advisory Panel and the Royal Opera House as a trustee. He was also Chairman of the Royal School of Church Music and Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

His funeral took place on 7 March 1949 at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.


Church compositions include: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in C (1915), Te Deum in D (1930) and Te Deum in G (1935), anthem ‘Judge Eternal’. Secular compositions include ‘Nonsense Songs’


Like his brother, Horace was a boy chorister. In 1902 he sailed with his choir from Lancaster gate to the Far East for 6 months touring Australia, New Zealand and giving concerts. They even visited Japan.

An accomplished pianist, he made his living in the 1920's and 1930's as an Entertainer playing and singing the popular hits of the day. He had a music shop in Folkestone, Kent, for a while although his business enterprises were never a great success.

His love of music, particularly church music, was matched by his sense of humour, expertise on local beers, and less serious approach to life than his brother. He was church organist and choirmaster at his local parish church where he is buried in Sandhurst, Kent.