Samuel Christian Frederic Baumgarten

Sometimes known as Samuel Christopher Frederick Baumgarten

Born: Abt 1724, probably in Germany
Death: July 1798, St Mary, Hendon, Middlesex, England

Father: Johann Nicolaus Friedrich Baumgarten, dates unknown
Mother: Unknown

Spouse: Mary Joynes, About 1729-1770 
Married on 6 June 1751 at St George's Chapel, Mayfair, Middlesex, England.


Biographical information
In the musical literature, Samuel Baumgarten is frequently confused with Karl Frederick Baumgarten, who - though also being a musician - is a totally different individual, and no relation. Karl Frederick Baumgarten was from Lübeck, Germany, and played the organ, violin, and was a composer. Samuel Baumgarten was a bassoonist, did not compose, and all my research suggests that his family was not from Lübeck, Germany, but more likely much further south.

He was born around 1724, most likely in Germany, and at some stage travelled to England. The first record of him in England has him being admitted to the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain on 3 June 1750.

On 6 June 1751, he married Mary Joynes, the daughter of Henry Joynes, the Clerk of Kensington Palace.

Samuel Baumgarten was a professional bassoonist, who performed in concerts in England, usually in London, but also occasionally in other locations, such as Liverpool. According to newspaper articles and advertising of the time, Baumgarten first performed in a concert in London, for the benefit of Mr John Richter, in February 1752. As a member of the Royal Society of Musicians, he regularly performed in benefit concerts for members of the society and their families. He also performed in many subscription concerts, and later in his career, in a number of operas. Newspaper advertising suggests that the last concert he played in was in May 1791. Jarvis says that Baumgarten was also a teacher of the bassoon, and although I consider this very likely, I have not found any evidence to concur with this.

Daub (1988) noted that he was one of seven "hautbois" (oboes, a similar instrument to the bassoon) who signed for new liveries in June 1755, as a member of the First Regiment of the Foot Guards. I can find no other reference to Samuel Baumgarten being in the military for any length of time. However, according to newspaper advertising there is a break of five years between April 1756 and March 1761 when he did not feature in any advertised musical performances. This happens to coincide with the Seven Years War, in which Great Britain was allied with Prussia, so it is possible that he was serving in the Foot Guards during this time. His wife Mary did give birth to some children during this time though, so perhaps he did remain on British soil. Daub (1988) also noted that there was a Baumgarden (misspelling of Baumgarten?) who played the bassoon at the funeral of King George II in 1760, which fits with his possible military duties.

During the 1750s and 60s Samuel Baumgarten lived in Cursitors Alley (corresponding to today's Cursitor Street), however, after that, until the 1790s, I can find no records with details on where he lived. He did still live in London though, at least for part of the time, because Gaspard Weiss' autobiography says that he visited him at his home in London, where he had the opportunity to met and court his future wife, Marie, Samuel's daughter. At the time of Marie's marriage to Gaspard Weiss, her residence was given as Craven St, in the Strand, which possibly was the family home. In 1796, he was recorded as paying rent in Leeson St (Lisson St) Marylebone.

When the Royal Society of Musicians was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1790, Samuel Baumgarten was listed as a member of the Court of Assistants for life.

Samuel Christian Frederic Baumgarten died in July 1798. He was buried on July 16, 1798 in St Mary's Hendon churchyard. The burial register records his age as 74. Most published records suggest his year of birth was about 1729, but this suggests it could have been 1724.

His will is interesting: he made his daughter Charlotte Potter the administrator of the will (no executor or residual legatee was assigned), and left everything to one "Elizabeth Cannon, his faithful servant for her over and above diligence and attention during her service for and with the said Samuel Christopher Frederick Baumgarten". I have no idea who Elizabeth Cannon was, but must assume that he felt his own children had enough money and possessions, and didn't need to inherit any of his. Between 1772 and 1783, Samuel Baumgarten, along with most of his surviving children, was involved in legal action against his firstborn son Samuel Henry Baumgarten. Samuel the son had inherited all of his mother's wealth (which was considerable) upon her death, and Samuel the father disputed this in court, saying that all the children of Samuel and Mary Baumgarten deserved an equal share of the money - this was eventually upheld in court, and the money was split seven ways amongst the surviving children and their heirs.

Daub, P.E. (1988). Music at the Court of George II (r1727-1760). University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.