This book is the scarce first American edition of this 18th and early 19th c. music work. The purpose of the first two London editions of this collection of psalms and hymns and of this first American Edition, was with varying success the charitable support of the Chapel of the London Lock Hospital, an English institution that opened in 1747 as the first clinic in London dedicated to the medical care of women afflicted by venereal disease. Later the hospital developed a maternity ward and gynecological services. A Lock Asylum for the Reception of Penitent Female Patients was opened in London in 1792. "Lock" denotes the nonvoluntary nature of therapeutic residence. Medical healing for these women was not complete without spiritual healing. The Chapel in which “fallen women” could find spiritual healing resonated with sermons, song and music from The Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes. This hymnal soon provided musical sustenance to other souls seeking uplift and healing in other 19th century Protestant churches throughout England and America. The first two hymns are titled "Patient's Tune." and "Lock Tune."
The introductory text in this first American Edition (1809) explains the moral hazard of the first English edition (1769) and of the reaction by the English Hospital Governors twenty-three years later as expressed in the second English edition (1792). The issue was unauthorized publishing of music texts and in particular of music from this hymnal. The Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes Sung at the Chapel of the Lock Hospital introduces the reader to the legal history of literary copyright in its observance and in its breach.
“To the Most Noble Peregrine, Duke of Ancaster, Perpetual President" Reverend Madan's introduction begins, addressed as well as to the seven Lords and Knight of Bath who served as Vice-Presidents
"To whom the entire copy of the Collection of Hymn and Psalm Tunes is presented as a benefaction to the Hospital, that the profits arising from the sale of it may be applied for the benefit of the Charity.... I should hope that all Music-Sellers and Printers will observe, that the property of the Music is now vested in you for the benefit of the Charity, and that the poor objects who are sharing your bounty will have no reason to complain of their being injured by surreptitious and piratical impressions.” M. Madan, Knightsbridge, 1769
However, all did not go as hoped by Rev. Madan.
" the Governors of this Hospital complain before the public, that this little source of profit ...hath been repeatedly plundered by the lawless invaders of literary property. Many of the tunes have been published in a complete form by piratical Printers of Music while another class of men, actuated alike by vanity and avarice, by altering and mutilating the Music, have attempted at once to defraud the several Composers of their honour, and the indigent of their subsistence...."
The Governors of the Hospital dedicate the second English edition as the lawful, new and correct edition intending that the profits from the sale of the sacred music would be paid to the Charity for its intended beneficiaries.
Enter the first American edition of 1809 against this moral, legal and financial backdrop. The U.S. Constitution, new to international law, contained a provision for legal copyright by an author. The Advertisement to the first American Edition of this hymnal explains that the American Editors have the pleasure of presenting a work "Of celebrity...though scarcely a copy has lately been found for sale, even in London. The avidity with which many good judges seized the occasion of promoting the republication of this Collection, induced us to hazard an ample edition: trusting for our remuneration to the taste and liberality of a discriminating public..."
The goal of the American publishers is to diffuse "...a taste for correct and refined composition and by its animating and pathetic melodies promote the fervour of Christian devotion..." and to maintain their intellectual property rights in the process.
Today the value of this early 19th c. American book lies well beyond the musical content. The Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes Sung at the Chapel of the Lock Hospital, first American edition is a Whose Who of America's early 19th century leading Protestant clergy, teachers and influential men from the early Eastern states. The noted geographer and minister Jedidiah Morse of Charlestown was a sponsor. Daniel Chaplin of Groton, Massachusetts purchased eight copies for the Middlesex Music Society. The American subscribers are listed alphabetically by name, with their town and the number of copies purchased. Subscribers came from throughout Massachusetts, and the New England states and from New York. John Hubbard, of Hanover, New Hampshire subscribed to the most, sixteen copies. Please see the Original Antique Maps inventory in The Back Room for Hubbard's published collection of sacred music. The honor of being listed in the Subscriber List in this book translated into influence over sales suggesting the aim of the Subscriber List was to promote financial fervour as well.
One scholar on the status of early 19th century American women explains that the majority of American Protestants were women.1/ The "ample edition" of this American hymnal therefore was primarily marketed to American women. The logic is that American women would have been a naturally sympathetic audience for the 1809 American edition of The Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes Sung at the Chapel of the Lock Hospital: namely to support a hospital dedicated to the care of women and women's health and to the care of indigent women in particular. Practicing their religion and joy of song far from the confines of a "locked" therapeutic chapel, early19th century American women were an audience for The Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes Sung at the Chapel of the Lock Hospital free to explore the religious and charitable ideas it embodied and plant them in American soil.
This book is an early example of the trans-Atlantic crossing from England to America of charitable ideas devoted to women's medical health. This theme may ultimately be its greatest historical contribution.
1. Please see, The Bonds of Womanhood: Women's Sphere in New England 1780-1835, Amy S. Cott, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997