William Chappell (20 November 1809 – 20 August 1888) was an English writer on music, a partner in the London musical firms of Chappell & Co. and later, Cramer & Co.
He was the eldest son of Samuel Chappell (d. 1834), who co-founded the business. William Chappell is particularly noteworthy for his starting the Percy Society and the Musical Antiquarian Society (both in 1840), and his publication of the standard work Popular Music of the Olden Time (1855-1859) an expansion of a collection of national English airs made by him in 1838-1840. The modern revival of interest in English folk songs owes much to this work, which has since been re-edited by Professor H. E. Wooldridge (1893).
Chappell was in partnership with the Beale family in the firm of Cramer & Co. from the 1840s until 1861. His brother, Thomas Patey Chappell (d. 1902) largely extended the publishing business of Chappell & Co., and started (1859) the Monday and Saturday Popular Concerts at St James Hall, which were successfully managed by a younger brother, Samuel Arthur Chappell, till they came to an end towards the close of the century.
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“Pain with the thousand teeth.”
—Sir William Watson (18581935)