Samuel Wesley (24 February 1766 – 11 October 1837) was an English organist and composer in the late Georgian period. Wesley was a contemporary of Mozart (1756–1791) and was called by some "the English Mozart".
Born in Bristol, he was the son of noted Methodist and hymn-writer Charles Wesley, the grandson of Samuel Wesley (a poet of the late Stuart period) and the nephew of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church. His early musical education mostly took place in the family home in Bristol, where Sarah Wesley, his mother, sang and played the harpsichord. He also had lessons from David Williams, the organist of All Saints' Church, Bristol.
He showed his musical talent early in life. As a boy, he was recognised as a child prodigy by the British musical establishment, along with his elder brother, Charles. He quickly mastered the violin, harpsichord and organ. By the age of eight, he was becoming known for his composing and improvisational skills.
He is the father of the famous cathedral organist and composer, Samuel Sebastian Wesley, born out of wedlock by teenaged domestic servant Sarah Suter.
Wesley worked as a conductor as well as a music teacher and lecturer. He seems to have been one of the pioneers of the British organ recital: prior to his time, entertainment was not considered appropriate for a church building. Despite a reputation as the best improviser on the organ in England, he never succeeded in obtaining an organist's post.
Wesley's compositional style was eclectic, with influences from the late Baroque era, Classicism and, later, early Romanticism.
He was a staunch advocate of the music of J. S. Bach, hence, the middle-name of his more famous son!
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of a portrait of Samuel Wesley.
Musical notes are given in the First Comment.