The Scourge Of St Paul's

In the early 19th century a young member of the congregation of St Paul's Cathedral, Miss Maria Hackett, was given charge of the welfare of the 7 year old, fatherless Henry Wintle.

She imagined that being in the St Paul's choir would be just the start in life he needed.

Soprano Emma Kirkby tells the story of how this spirited spinster discovered that the choristers' welfare, education and musical training had been grossly neglected, while the clergy had grown richer and richer.

Her determination to put things right led to a campaign on behalf of choristers throughout the land.

The reforms for which Maria Hackett argued laid the foundations of the British choral tradition now admired worldwide.

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In the early 19th century a young member of the congregation of St Paul's Cathedral, Miss Maria Hackett, was given charge of the welfare of the 7 year old, fatherless Henry Wintle.

She imagined that being in the St Paul's choir would be just the start in life he needed.

Soprano Emma Kirkby tells the story of how this spirited spinster discovered that the choristers' welfare, education and musical training had been grossly neglected, while the clergy had grown richer and richer.

Her determination to put things right led to a campaign on behalf of choristers throughout the land.

The reforms for which Maria Hackett argued laid the foundations of the British choral tradition now admired worldwide.