The British Institute of
Organ Studies


Past Event


John Marsh's organ


John Marsh's House organ

Day conference at St Mary's Church, Bleasby, Nottinghamshire        

Saturday  8 July  2017

John Marsh (1752-1828) had a house organ built by John Hancock in 1783, installed firstly at Nethersole House in Kent and then, from 1787 until his death, at his house in Chichester. Much detail of this organ is recorded in Marsh's Journals (edited Brian Robins Vol 1 (1998) & Vol 2 (2013). However, the subsequent history of the organ was not widely known until recently.

It has transpired that the organ passed firstly to Marsh's second son and thence to his grandson, both ordained clergy. They moved it around the country until it arrived at Bleasby vicarage in 1863 and then, in 1869, St Mary's Church, Bleasby. Although much modified during Marsh's lifetime and, somewhat thereafter, the organ retains its distinctive case and much of the original pipework. The meeting will review the history and archaeology of this unique instrument in the context of John Marsh's life as organist and composer 


  • An encounter with John Marsh, gentleman composer - Brian Robins
  • The history and archaeology of John Marsh's house organ Martin Renshaw
  • The Perambulations of John Marsh's house organ - David Shuker
  • Discussion - options for the restoration/conservation of the Bleasby organ - Chaired by Alan Thurlow  
  • Music by John Marsh for two players at one organ -  David Ponsford & Martin Renshaw



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