Born in Ashford, Kent, he was largely self-taught. He was awarded an FRCO in 1921, and a DMus in 1928. From 1930 he was Professor of Harmony at the Royal Academy of Music and later, from 1956 to 1962, was Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of London. From 1958, having moved from Park Chapel he was organist of the City Temple in London, a Congregational Church. He was a keen advocate of amateur music-making and in the 1960s was the conductor and Musical Director of the Purley Choral Society. The choir changed its name to The Chandos Choir in 1969. He wrote much educational music for piano and other instruments, as well as music for church choirs, some of which is still performed.
Thiman's list of published works numbers about 1,300. These include a large number of partsongs and many anthems and carols. Most of his church music was written for the non-conformist churches, but he also wrote anthems and canticles for Church of England Choirs.
Thiman (like Rowley) is another one of "those guys" that I have largely discounted, because he wasn't Anglican. However, every one of his that I have performed has been well-written.
"A Lenten Sarabande on 'Rockingham'" was published by G. Schirmer in 1967. It is the third in the set of "Four Occasional Pieces."
Thiman sets the famous tune in an ever-flowing manner, with much chromaticism and several opportunities for brief phrases played upon the Solo clarinet, and later on the fabulous strings. The pedal, except for some "legato lines," moves along in a mostly "detached manner," as in an orchestral bass part.
The work is satisfying and original, and while the work is "moderate" in difficulty, I wouldn't suggest sight-reading this and trusting to luck, as you may get some SURPRISES if you do! :-)
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Eric Thiman and of the City Temple where he served as organist.