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Thomas Linley the elder

Thomas Linley the elder (17 January 1733 – 19 November 1795) was an English bass singer and musician. He began his musical career at age 11 in Bath, becoming apprentice to the organist Thomas Chilcot. Linley married in 1752 and fathered eight children, supporting the family by working as a music teacher. As his children grew he developed their musical talent and was able to draw an increasing amount of income from their concerts. When the Bath Assembly Rooms opened in 1771, Linley became musical director and continued to promote his children's careers. He was eventually able to move to London with the thousands of pounds which he had amassed from their concerts. In addition to his children Linley taught tenor Charles Dignum, singer and actress Anna Maria Crouch, and novelist Frances Sheridan. He collaborated with his son Thomas Linley the younger in penning the comic opera The Duenna, with libretto by his son-in-law Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

This picture is an oil-on-canvas painting created around 1770 by Thomas Gainsborough, showing Linley holding his "Elegies for Three Voices". It is owned by the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Painting: Thomas Gainsborough

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