Harris, Renatus

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Dates Active in Dublin: 



[London - may not have visited Dublin]


Harris agreed on 12 August 1695 to build a new organ for St Patrick's Cathedral which was completed in 1697. Cuvillie is thought to have been involved in building this instrument. In May 1697, one week after finishing the St Patrick's instrument, he was engaged to build a new organ for Christ Church Cathedral. Part of this instrument was the organ that Harris had used for the famous 'battle of the organs' with Bernard Schmidt ('Father Smith') in London. Grindle suggests that 'it is probable that this organ was not set up at Christ Church by Harris's men, but that on delivery from London it was assembled by the Dublin builder John Baptiste Cuvillie'. It is possible that Harris may not have visited Dublin in person.

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  • Organ: St Patrick's Cathedral, 1695–77 [remained in St Patrick's until c. 1861–65] (Bumpus) ; [Willis is said to have incorporated some of Harris's diapasons in his new organ build in 1902] (Thornsby)
  • Organ: Christ Church Cathedral, 1697 [remained in Christ Church until 1752 when it was moved to S. John's in Wolverhampton] (Bumpus)
  • Organ: St Mary's Church, c. 1706 (Boydell, Calendar)
  • Organ: St Bride's Church, c. 1730 [now in the National Museum of Ireland] (Boydell, Calendar)
  • See Also: 

    Flood, W.H. Grattan, 'Irish Organ-Builders from the Eighth to the Close of the Eighteenth Century', The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 5th ser., 40.3 (30 September 1910), 229–34 (p. 232)

    'Provincial Organs', in Dictionary of Organs and Organists, ed. by Frederick W. Thornsby, 2nd edn. (London: Geo. Aug. Mate & Son, 1921), pp. 165–285 (p. 202)

    Holmes, John, 'The Trinity College Organ in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries', Hermathena, 93 (1972), 40–48 (p. 48)

    Boydell, Brian, A Dublin Musical Calendar 1700–1760 (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1988), p. 260

    Grindle, W.H., Irish Cathedral Music: a History of Music at the Cathedrals of the Church of Ireland (Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, 1989), pp. 134, 140

    Boydell, Barra, 'John Baptiste Cuvillie, Ferdinand Weber, and the Organ of Trinity College Chapel, Dublin', The Organ, 72.283 (1992), 15–27 (p. 19)

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Byfield (2)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <http://dublinmusictrade.ie/card-index>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Byfield (3)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <http://dublinmusictrade.ie/card-index>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Byfield Family’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <http://dublinmusictrade.ie/card-index>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Cuville, Jean-Baptiste (2)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <http://dublinmusictrade.ie/card-index>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Harris, Renatus Sr (1)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <http://dublinmusictrade.ie/card-index>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Harris, Renatus Sr (2)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <http://dublinmusictrade.ie/card-index>

    Last Update: 21-03-2018