NameSarah GOOSE , GGGG Grandmother
Birthabt 1766, Spilsby, Lincolnshire
Baptism5 Apr 1766, Baumber, Lincolnshire
Death16 Feb 1861, Pancras, London, England
FatherRobert GOOSE (1742-)
MotherMary ABBOTT (1746->1788)
1John DANBY , GGGG Grandfather
Death16 May 1798, London, Middlesex, England
Burial22 May 1798, St. Pancras, London, England
OccupationSinger, Organist, Professor Of Music, Composer
FatherRichard DANBY (-1761)
MotherHannah CAFFREY (-1793)
Marriage4 Apr 1788, St. Martin in the Fields
ChildrenLouisa Christiana (1790-1792)
 Louisa Mary (1792-1859)
 John Jaubert (1793-1793)
 Caroline (1795-~1796)
 Marcella (~1796-1863)
 Caroline Melissa (1797-1857)
 Teresa (1799-1867)
2Joseph Mallord William TURNER , Step GGGG Grandfather
Birth23 Apr 1775, 21 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London
Baptism14 May 1775, St. Paul, Covent Garden, London
Death19 Dec 1851, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea
BurialSt. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England
FatherWilliam Gay TURNER (1738-1829)
MotherMary Mallord MARSHALL (1739-1804)
ChildrenEvelina (1801-1874)
 Georgiana (1811-1843)
Notes for Sarah GOOSE
Baptism information from Selby Whittingham.

IGI Christening Records
Sarah Goose christened April 5, 1766 Baumber, Lincolnshire, father Robert Goose, mother Mary.

My transcription of original document provided by Margaret Hiles
St. Mary, Lambeth, Surrey.
John Danby a bachelor of the parish of Saint Martin in the Fields in the County of Middlesex and
Sarah Goose of this parish spinster
were Married in this Church, by License
the fourth Day of April 1788
By me John Lloyd Curate
In the presence of Roch Jaubert and Henry Weedall

End of transcription

A letter to her was written by John Danby dated June 5, 1789. She was staying with a great uncle George Smith (1711-1806) at Fulbeck, a village between Grantham and Lincoln, where he lived in a “capital mansion house” and is commemorated by a memorial in the church. He owned land there and was perhaps, like a deceased elder brother, a maltster. Taken from “A letter from John Danby Found” by Selby Whittingham.

From the May 25, 1798 edition of the London Times

MRS. DANBY, Widow of Mr. JOHN DANBY, has the honour to return her warmest acknowledgements to her numerous Friends, who kindly patronized the Concert at Willis’s Rooms, on Wednesday 16th inst. for the benefit of her late Husband, who died at the close of the same, and to the Professional Ladies and Gentlemen who liberally contributed their services. At the same time begs leave to solicit their Patronage and Support on a future Occasion, being advised by her most particular Friends to have a CONCERT in the course of the ensuing Winter, for the Benefit of Herself and Three Infants.
No. 46 Upper John Street, Fitzroy Square, May 21, 1798.

In the 1841 census Civil Parish of St. Pancras, Ossulstone Hundred, Middlesex, St. Pancras registration district, sub district Regents Park.
Sarah Danby was living on William Street her age is listed as 70 [remember adult ages were rounded to the nearest 5 years in the 1841 census] as an Independent. She was not born in the county.
Marcella Danby age 45 is listed as a school mistress. She was born in the county.
Also in the same residence are John Bingham age 50 plumber and
Sarah Bingham age 45
as well as Rebecca Ball [or Bill] age 15 female servant.

1851 census entry. William Street, Marylebone, St Pancras Parish. The there is no street number but the next one is 30 and the previous one is 29.
Sarah Danby, head, widow age 85, annuitant, born Lincolnshire Spilsby?.
Daughter Martha [must be Marcella], unmarried, age 54, teacher of Music, born Middlesex, London.
Granddaughter Louisa Symondson age 15, scholar at home, born Middlesex, London.

The 1861 Death Index January to March quarter lists Sarah Danby Pancras District, London, Middlesex volume 1b page 87.

From Weekly return of births and deaths (infectious diseases, weather) in London
Pancras; Somers Town - at 34 George Street, on 16th February, widow of a music composer, aged 100 years, “old age” The registrar writes: _ The deceased was Sarah Danby widow of John Danby, music composer. She was the daughter of a farmer, and was born 1st April 1760 at Caythorpe, Lincolnshire. Her husband died in 1798, aged 41 years. Deceased lived in London for more than 60 years, and ate a beef-steak for dinner and her tea the day before . . .

National Probate Calendar
14 March 1861 Letters of Administration of the Personal estate and effects of Sarah Danby late of 34 George-street Euston-square in the County of Middlesex Widow deceased who died 16 February 1861 at George-street aforesaid were granted at the Principal Registry to Marcella Danby of 34 George-street aforesaid Spinster on of the Children of the said Deceased she having been first sworn. Effects under $200 pounds.

From Dictionary of Artists Models (Editors: Jill Berk Jiminez, Joanna Banham) article by Aimee Marcereau
Born Sarah Goose in London 1760 or 64[other sources say Lincoln]. Her family was probably from Lincolnshire. Brought up in Lambeth; started work as a singer and actress. Married the glee composer and organist John Danby (1757-98), 4 April 1788: four children born. Lived with Danby in Convent Garden; neighbour to the artist J.M.W. Turner 1780’s. Widowed when 2 months pregnant, May 1798. Supported by a widow’s pension from the Royal Society of Musicians. Gave birth to two daughters: Evelina, born 1800 or 1801, and Georgiana, born some time later, both of whom it has been suggested, were fathered by Turner. Started living with Turner about 1809, at his home in Harley Street and later in Queen Anne Street. On Turner’s death in 1851, her inheritance from him turned out to have been revoked in his will, while her niece Hannah Danby, worked as a servant to Turner, received a significant annuity and custodianship of his pictures; Evelina and Georgiana received small bequests from the Turner estate. Died in Euston, London 16 February 1861.
Associated works Turner J.M.W. Turner, Sheet of Erotic Figure Subjects c. 1805, pencil and sepia wash, Tate Gallery (London).

CONNECTION to the artist. J M W Turner

After John Danby’s death Sarah Danby had 2 children by J M W Turner.

It is thought Turner supported Sarah Danby and her children.


Turner took his first mistress in the year 1800. Sarah Danby was recently widowed but she was a fine figure of a woman with a talent towards acting.

In his will J M W Turner left the following, To Hannah Danby his old housekeeper, niece of John Danby, musician, 50 pounds a year for her natural life; to the housekeeper’s aunt, Sarah Danby, 10 pounds a year; and to Evelina and Georgiana Danby, daughters of Sarah Danby, 50 pounds a year each. In a codicil all legacies to his uncle’s nephews and to Georgiana and the other Danby’s was revoked. (From the Life of J M W Turner) [Thus Hannah Danby would a daughter of John Danby’s brother. Could she be the daughter of Charles Danby?]

Other supporting evidence.
That Theresa Danby was the daughter of Sarah Danby (1766? - 1861) and John Danby (1756/7 -1798). The reasons that lead me to suspect this are

1) In the 1851 census Louisa Symondson age 15 is not living with her mother. The only Louisa Symondson of that age in the census is living with her grandmother Sarah Danby in St Pancras. The grandmother is a Danby, which matches with Teresa’s maiden name. The other family member in the house is Martha Danby age 54 teacher of music, born in London, she is unmarried. Teresa Danby was also born in London.
2) In this census this Sarah Danby a widow was 85 and born in Lincolnshire as was the Sarah Danby above. This was the only Sarah Danby of this age listed in the census. The Sarah Danby above was also living in London at the time.
3) The John Danby was a musician he composed music, he was an organist at the Spanish Embassy Chapel and was Roman Catholic.
4) Two descendants of John Danby are Rose Symondson a musician and Reverend Anthony Symondson (Society of Jesus)
5) Sarah Danby had 4 daughters with John Danby and 2 daughters with J.M.W. Turner, the artist.
6) Convincingly Theresa Danby Symondson is named in a lawsuit dealing with J M W Turner’s will. Among the numerous others named were Marcella Danby and Caroline Malissa Nixon. Marcella and Caroline are older daughters of Sarah & John Danby.
Notes for John (Spouse 1)
Transcription of a scan of an original document held by the Royal Society of Musicians.
To the Governors of the Society for the Support of
Decayed Musicians and their Families.
I beg leave to recommend Mr. John Danby
Musician, as a proper person to be a Member of this Society,
he has no Family, being unmarried –
Served a Regular Apprenticeship to me
has practiced Music for a [1 or 2 words missing as there is hole in the paper] more than
7 years is 28 years of age and not likely to become chargeable to this Society.
I am,
Your humble Servant,
S. Webbe
2 Jan: 1785
His present Engagements are Drury Lane Theatre – Concert of Ancient Music
Oratorios, Academy of Ancient Music, at all of which he sings in Chorus
has several Scholars & a variety of other Engagements.
[The standard comment about John Danby not likely to become chargeable to the Society could not have been more wrong. John’s future wife Sarah received a pension for more than 60 years as well as suppliments for her young children. She probably received more from the society than anyone else!]

Parish Records St Pancras
John Danby Aged 41 years died May 16 1798 buried May 22 Head and Foot Stone name Danby May 20

From Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22, Craik to Drake, page 459
DANBY, JOHN (1757-1798), musician was born (according to the date on his tombstone) in 1757, but nothing is known of his parentage or education. He was probably a member of the Yorkshire family of the same name. He seems to have been connected with the musical performances at Vauxhall and Ranelagh, for which many of his earlier songs were written. At this time he was living at 8 Gilbert’s Buildings, Lambeth, but he afterwards moved to 26 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. On 6 March 1785 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Musicians. Between 1781 and 1794 Danby gained 10 prizes from the Catch Club for his glees and canons; his best known composition of the former class, “Awake AEolian Lyre”, gained a prize medal in 1788. Danby who was a catholic, held the post of organist to the chapel of the Spanish embassy, for which he wrote several masses, motets, and magnificats, which are preserved in the chapel music library. These works are mostly written for two or three parts, and are inferior to his glees, which are the best of their kind. During the latter part of his life he lost the use of his limbs, from having slept in a damp bed. A concert was given for his benefit at Willis’s Rooms on 16 May 1798, but at half-past eleven the same night Danby died at Upper St John Street, Fitzroy Square. He was buried near the south wall of the western part of Old St. Pancras churchyard. The inscription on his tomb is now nearly illegible, but was printed in Roffe’s “British Monumental Inscriptions” (i No. 44), in the appendix to which a sketch of the grave is given.

Danby published several songs; the following are his most important works: Glees, book 1 (op. 1); La Guida alla Musica Vocale,” op. 2;Glees, book ii. op 3; book 3, op. 4; “La Guida della Musica Instrumentale,” op 5; Glees, op. 6. The last collection of glees was published posthumously by subscription for the benefit of his widow and four infant children.

From Music Encyclopedia

(b c 1757; d London, 16 May 1798). English composer. A pupil of Webbe, he was a Roman Catholic and organist of the Spanish Embassy chapel. He is notable chiefly as a composer of glees, catches and other partsongs, of which he wrote nearly 100; he won eight Catch Club prizes and produced polished, graceful and sometimes original pieces. He also wrote masses, motets and vocal and instrumental tutors.

One publication describes him as being from Yorkshire.
Roman Catholic
Elected professional member of Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Catch Club in 1787.
Published first and second books of catches, canons and glees in 1785 and 1789.

From The Times March 3, 1788 [an example of numerous entries in the London Times where John Danby performed]
By Subscription,
(Second Night, and Last but one this Season)
At ???????ason’s Hall
On Tuesday, March 4, 1788
at Seven o’clock
Reading? and Music
Part I
Alexander’s Feast
. . .
Glee “Awake AEolean Lyre” _ J. Danby

A Musical Directory for the Year 1794
John Danby
Occupation - Composer of Music
Address 7 Gilbert’s Buildings, near the Asylum.London
Societies - Royal Society of Musicians, Academy of Ancient Music and Concert of Ancient Music

From Vincent Novello (1781-1861): Music for the Masses
John Danby obtained considerable celebrity, as a Glee Writer, in the latter part of the last Century. [Late 1700’s] After receiving Lessons in Composition from Mr. Webbe, he became the Organist of the Spanish Ambassador’s Chapel near Manchester Square, for which he wrote several Masses and other Pieces of Sacred Music that were much admired for their simple elegance of melody and appropriate harmony. In the course of a journey, on Professional business, he was incautiously allowed to sleep in a damp bed, in consequence of which, he lost the use of his limbs: and after remaining a cripple during the remainder of his life, he at last died during the performance of a Concert that was given by some of his friends, for his benefit. His private virtues were of the most amiable kind and endured him to all who knew him.

from A Collection of Epitaphs and Monumental Inscriptions, Ancient
St Pancras
In memory of
Mr. John Danby
Professor of Music
Died, May 16, 1798; aged 41.

Reader! if in excellence in music’s art,
By turns, to sadden, or to cheer the heart;
Whether by playful catch, or serious glee,
Or the more solemn canon’s harmony:
If genius such as that can raise a sigh,
Or draw the trickling tribute from thine eye,
Pause o’er this spot, which now contains the clay
Of him, of whom those talents lately lay.
The spirit fled to join its native skies,
Here all that now remains of Danby lies;
Rest much respected, much lamented earth,
Remnant not more of science, than of worth;
And tho’ thy works, have wrought a better fame,
This record is but justice to thy name.

The Burdett-Coutts Memorial Sundial unveiled in 1879 at Pancras Road, St Pancras Gardens has a memorial to some people buried nearby including John Danby musician who died in 1798. Some or all of these graves may have been dug up to make way for a new rail line. [In the church gardens there is tree referred to as the Hardy Tree, named for the novelist Thomas Hardy. At the time Hardy was an assistant to the architect who was responsible for the exhumation. Hardy was given the job of unenviable task of exhuming the bodies. There are a number of gravestones placed by this tree that may from this time and may contain the headstone of John Danby.] [Old St Pancras is thought to be the site of the oldest church in England circa 315 AD and possibly Christendom, although it has been rebuilt several times. It was near a Roman encampment][A number of Catholics are buried in this churchyard]
See the photos and information


Among Turner’s close friends in the 1790s was the composer John Danby (1757 – 1798). When Danby died, his widow, Sarah, went to live with Turner. There is no record of their having married, but a daughter was born to them in 1801. Turner biographer James Hamilton mentions the artist’s enjoyment of Danby’s glees and catches, which were published in 1798 in three volumes as a memorial tribute to the composer.

London Land tax Records 1795 , 1797 and 1798
Upper John Street, Fitzroy Square, St. Pancras, Camden
John Danby, 12 shillings

From the London Times April 8, 1795
For the BENEFIT of Mr. ? DANBY, Who has been confined more than 7 months by a severe illness. At WILLIS’S ROOMS on FRIDAY, the 10th of April, 1795, will be a CONCERT of VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. Etc
[Several of the songs such as “Stay, Silver Moon” and the Catch “The merry peal” were by J. Danby. Also The Principal Glee Performers included Mr. Danby and Master Danby]
His address is on Upper John Street

From His Oxford Biography by Selby Whittingham
- Sang bass parts
- On April 10, 1795 he had been ill for seven months
- Two years later his fingers were drawn quite crooked by a paralytic stroke

Obituaries - Catholic Record Society (1913)
”Laity’s Directory” Obituaries
Mr. John Danby, Organist to the Spanish Chapel
Age 41, Upper St. John Street, Fitzroy Square

From the Monthly Magazine printed by R. Phillips, 1821
The NOBLEMAN”S CATCH CLUB, at the Thatched House Tavern, is very difficult to access. It has been kept up with great spirit for sixty years. The society consists of forty-four members, among whom are two princes, twelve nobles, with several baronets and honourables. It is a law, that each member shall possess 500 pounds, a year in land, and sufficient talent to take part in a glee. The members dine together every Tuesday from January to June, and twenty-two of the first professional singers are admitted as honourary members at this Anacreontic board. It is not wonderful, that in so illustrious a company, the genius of Webbe, Cooke, Danby, Paxton, and Calcot, should have been stimulated to produce those admirable compositions, which this society has rewarded by their gold medal. These meetings had their origin in the time of Charles II.

Link provided by Mary Hughes
A link to notAmos to play, print or buy some of John Danby’s music
Notes for Joseph Mallord William (Spouse 2)
Note: My genealogy program uses the term Step GGGG Grandfather. As Turner and Sarah were never married and their situation was not publicly acknowledged, I much prefer to describe the situation as my GGGG Grandmother had a relationship with Turner. Their children Evelina & Georgiana would be half-cousins.

England Select Births and Baptisms
Joseph Mallard William Turner baptism May 14, 1775 at St. Paul, Covent Garden, Westminster, London, father William Turner, mother Mary.

Note the 1851 census 2 Cremorne Road Chelsea South District 1, Chelsea Middlesex, has
Head Sophie C. Booth, widow, age 52, fund holder, born Dover Kent. [Cremorne Road is at the end of Cheyne’s Walk, near the corner with Lots Road. JMW Turner is not listed. The census was taken on May 30.]

Listed in the October to December 1851 death index, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Chelsea district, Greater London, Middlesex, volume 3, page 48.

The date of his birth is suspect as he may have claimed to have the same birthday as St. George and William Shakespeare.

Never married.
Member of the Royal Academy of Arts.
One of Britain’s most well known artists.
Many of his paintings from the “Turner Bequest” are shown in the Tate Gallery in London, where one wing of the museum is dedicated to him.
Was a friend and neighbour of John and Sarah Danby.
His relationship with Sarah Danby was secret and not known until after his death as she was mentioned in his will.

See Turner a book by James Hamilton for more information on JMW Turner. The Danby’s are mentioned in the book on a few pages.

web sites see
Last Modified 22 Nov 2016Created 4 Aug 2017 using Reunion 10 for Macintosh