Composer and builder
1740 - 1796
Atterbury enjoyed some success as a singer and composer and performed as a member of the Madrigal Society from 1765. In 1770, as joint proprietor of Marylebone Gardens, he acquired, for £5-5s, the copyright of some pieces including a Burletta; “The Revenge” from Thomas Chatterton (1752-70). This musical extravaganza, first called “Amphitryon” may have been performed at Marylebone Gardens in 1777. The original manuscript carries Chatterton's receipt dated 6 July 1770; he died on 24 August. Marylebone Gardens was a popular centre for musical entertainment, closing in 1778. Atterbury was one of the original subscribing members of the Glee Club, founded in 1787.
He was appointed a Musician in Ordinary to George III and sang in the chorus at the Handel commemoration in 1784. His oratorio Goliath was performed at the Haymarket Theatre, and at West Wycombe church on 13 August 1775 on the occasion of the burial in the mausoleum of the heart of Paul Whitehead, an event 0rganised by Sir Francis Dashwood, Lord Le Despencer (1708-81). The oratorio had not been a success but Atterbury was known to Sir Francis: in 1773 and 1775 he carried out surveys of Mill End Farm on the Dashwood estate. In 1780 Sir Francis engaged him to build the rectory (later Mere House) at Mereworth, Kent, to the design of Nicholas Revett (1720-1804). This was Atterbury's only recorded new building and he had occasion to complain about the quality of Revett's drawings. He also worked for Le Despencer in 1780 at Hall Place, Bexley, Kent.
Atterbury died, apparently while singing at a concert in London, on 11 June 1796.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Leslie Stephen (ed), Dictionary of National Biography (for Thomas Chatterton)
Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, Yale, 3rd edition 1995
The Gentleman's Magazine, vol 69 pt 1, p385, 1799
P A Ching and others, The Houses in Teddington, 1800 to 2000, Teddington Historical Publications, 1999, pp15/16