The Waterhouse Manuscript

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General information

Title: The Waterhouse Manuscript

Compiler: Susanna Heath

Publication date and place: 1780 –1781 . – Manuscript
Description: A manuscript copied by Suki (Susanna) Heath, who lived in Brookline, Massachusetts until her marriage in 1783 (Crawford and McKay 1974). The works in the manuscript were apparently copied during or soon after singing-schools, perhaps some with William Billings himself. Some pages are dated, the earliest is May 30, 1780, and the latest May 17, 1781. The book is dated July 1, 1782.

External websites:


  • Crawford, Richard, and David P. McKay. 1974. Music in Manuscript: A Massachusetts Tune-Book of 1782. Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 84:43-95.
  • Kroeger, Karl. 1982. William Billings's Music in Manuscript Copy and Some Notes on Variant Versions of his Pieces. Notes 39(2):316-345.

List of works

No. Title Composer Text Copied Comments
1 Hatfield William Billings Though beauty grace the comely face 30 May 1780 Law 1786; Shumway 1793; Psalm-Singer's Amusement ca.1804; Ingalls 1805
2 Barrington Anonymous Stay my beloved with me here 30 May 1780 Otherwise unknown; Crawford and McKay say Anonymous composer
3 Europe William Billings No text Billings 1770
4 Solitude Lemuel Babcock My flesh shall slumber in the ground 9 May 1781 Stone & Wood 1795; Psalm Singer's Amusement ca. 1804
5 Moriston Susanna Heath Man has a soul of vast desire Probably not by William Billings; tune otherwise unknown, not in HTI*
6 Weymouth William Billings Shall we go on to sin Billings 1794
7 Holliston Anonymous Ye tribes of Adam join 10 March 1781 Otherwise not known; not in HTI*
8 Lexington Eben Heath White shepherds watched their flocks by night Otherwise unknown, not in HTI*
9 Spencer William Billings No text "Variant of Bolton (Billings 1778)" – Kroeger 1982
10 Congress Anonymous To thine almighty arm we owe 10 March 1781 Otherwise unknown, not in HTI*
11 Morpheus William Billings Sleep downy sleep Billings 1779; Federal Harmony 1790,91,92,93; French 1802
12 Hackers Hall William Billings Ye people all with one accord Otherwise unknown
13 Maxwell Anonymous Cause us to hear with joy 12 March 1781 Otherwise unknown, not in HTI*
14 Albany William Billings Billings 1770
15 Brattle Street William Billings Billings 1770
16 New Kittery Anonymous While shepherds watched their flocks by night Otherwise unknown, not in HTI*
17 Bennington William Billings Shepherds, rejoice, lift up your eyes "Variant of Friendship", Billings 1770 (Kroeger 1982)
18 Germantown William Billings Why do we mourn departing friends 16 March 1781 TB here, SAT in The Shepard Fish Manuscript (Mass. Hist. Soc. Ms. S-290)
19 Raynham William Billings Teach me the measure of my days Later published as Cobham, Billings 1794
20 New Haven William Billings Come now my soul, my heart and tongue 16 March 1781 Duxborough of Billings 1770-1778, improved
21 Bradford William Billings O for a shout of sacred joy
22 Plymouth William Billings Lift up your heads ye everlasting doors 17 May 1781 French 1802
23 Dartmouth William Billings Let every mortal ear attend 17 March 1781 New composition here
24 Victory William Billings To thine almighty arm we owe Billings 1794
25 Fair Hebe Fair Hebe I loved with a cautious design August 1780 Secular
26 General Wolfe No text 21 October 1780 Secular
27 British Muse Oh could the various force of sound 28 February 1781 Secular. Select Songster 1786; Belknap 1809
28 Corydon and Phyllis Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay 6 April 1781 Secular
 *. The Hymn Tune Index

Works at CPDL

Title Composer Lyricist No. Genre Subgenre First Line Meter Vo. Voices
Albany William Billings 14 Sacred Psalm-tunes 4 SATB
Barrington Anonymous Elizabeth Rowe 2 Sacred Set pieces Stay, my beloved with me here 88. 88 (L.M.) 4 SATB
Bolton William Billings Charles Wesley 9 Sacred Hymn tunes Rejoice, the Lord is king 66. 66. 88 4 SATB
Brattle Street (1770) William Billings Isaac Watts 15 Sacred Psalm-tunes Just are thy ways, and true thy word 88. 88. D (L.M.D.) 4 SATB
Cobham William Billings Isaac Watts 19 Sacred Psalm-tunes Teach me the measure of my days 86. 86. D (C.M.D.) 4 SATB
Congress Anonymous Isaac Watts 10 Sacred Psalm-tunes To thine almighty arm we owe 86. 86. D (C.M.D.) 4 SATB
Consolation William Billings Henry Playford 21 Sacred Psalm-tunes He's come, let every knee be bent 86. 86 (C.M.) 4 SATB
Dartmouth William Billings Isaac Watts 23 Sacred Set pieces Let every mortal ear attend 86. 86 (C.M.) 4 SATB
Duxborough William Billings Isaac Watts 20 Sacred Psalm-tunes In vain the wealthy mortals toil 88. 88 (L.M.) 4 SATB
Europe William Billings Isaac Watts 3 Sacred Let every mortal ear attend 86. 86 (C.M.) 4 SATB
Friendship William Billings Isaac Watts 17 Sacred Psalm-tunes 66. 86 (S.M.) 4 SATB
Germantown William Billings Isaac Watts 18 Sacred Psalm-tunes Why do we mourn departing friends 86. 86 (C.M.) 4 SATB
Hackers Hall William Billings John Hopkins 12 Sacred Psalm-tunes Ye people all, with one accord 86. 86 (C.M.) 2 TB
Hatfield William Billings Anonymous 1 Sacred Psalm-tunes 86. 86 (C.M.) 3 STB
Holliston Anonymous Isaac Watts 7 Sacred Psalm-tunes Ye tribes of Adam, join 66. 66. 44. 44 4 SATB
Maxwell Anonymous William Billings 13 Sacred Psalm-tunes Cause us to hear with joy 66. 86 (S.M.) 4 SATB
Moriston Susanna Heath Isaac Watts 5 Sacred Psalm-tunes Man has a soul of vast desires 88. 88 (L.M.) 4 SATB
Morpheus William Billings Thomas Flatman 11 Sacred Awake my soul, awake mine eyes 88. 88 (L.M.) 4 SATB
New Kittery Anonymous Nahum Tate 16 Sacred Psalm-tunes While shepherds watched their flocks by night 86. 86 (C.M.) 4 SATB
Plymouth New William Billings Tate and Brady 22 Sacred Set pieces Erect your heads, eternal gates 86. 86 (C.M.) 4 SATB
Solitude Lemuel Babcock Isaac Watts 4 Sacred Psalm-tunes 88. 88 (L.M.) 4 SATB
Victory William Billings Isaac Watts 24 Sacred Psalm-tunes To thine almighty arm we owe

Ye sons of men, a feeble race

86. 86. D (C.M.D.) 4 SATB
Weymouth William Billings Isaac Watts 6 Sacred Set pieces Shall we go on to sin 66. 86 (S.M.) 4 TB