Corelli Windeatt, 1868-1947, "a violinist of rare talent"
THIS PAGE: [Tree] [About Corelli] [Parents] [Royal College of Music] [Early Career] [Weston Super Mare] [Photo on the Pier] [Marriage & Family] [London] [Death] [Descendants]
Charles A.=Sarah HAWKINS (married 1830) | ____|__________seven other brothers and sisters | CORELLI E.B. = KING, I.F | 18681947 L
Corelli Ernest Bere WINDEATT (1868-1947)
Corelli's strange name?
All three Christian names are unusual in the WINDEATT families. I had assumed that Charles, his father, had called him after his favourite composer . . . .but we have now found that there was an Arcangelo Corelli Collard BERE who was born in Tiverton, Devon in 1821 but who married and lived in Kensington, London.
Arcangelo BERE was an organist and lived on a private income. He would have been about 47 when Corelli WINDEATT was born and was probably either a sponsor or a tutor of Charles Allen WINDEATT, Corelli's father, and Charles must have named his new born son after Arcangelo BERE.
Corelli lived up to his famous name by showing a precocious talent as a violinist and in October 1879, aged only 11, (although claiming to be 9), he went up to London as a boarder to study the violin at the Royal Academy of Music.
Academician & Soloist
The Royal Academy has his age recorded as 9 when he began his studies there in 1879 but he was actually 11. I suspect Charles, his father, massaged his age to make him appear even more of an infant prodigy?
He won prizes and accolades for his performances and those we know about are listed in chronological order below.
Later life as a musician
Corelli eventually became a well-known Dance Band Leader and a composer of light orchestral works, first in Weston Super Mare and later in London. See various newspaper and other references below.
WARNING: The information below mainly guesswork. It has been put together from secondary census and BMD index data. We only have Corelli's birth certificate.
Birth and Parents
1868 Birth in the Sub-district of Teignmouth in the County of Devon
|When & Where||Name||Sex||Name and Surname of Father||Name, surname and maiden surname of mother||Occupation of father||Signature, description and residence of informant||When registered|
|27th June 1868 |
|Corelli Ernest Bere||Boy||Charles Allen WINDEATT||Sarah WINDEATT formerly HAWKINS||Jeweller||C.A. WINDEATT|
Fore Street, West Teignmouth
|6th August 1868|
- Charles Allen WINDEATT and Sarah HAWKINGS and their children [ More . . . ]
Corelli was born in Devon, the fourth son of a jeweller but this all changed over the next decade. Probably as the result of some kind of sponsorship, the family moved to Weston Super Mare in Somerset and Corelli's father became a full-time musician, band-leader and music teacher.
1879 Baptism and Entry into the Royal Academy of Music
On September 10 1879, aged 11, Corelli was baptised in Christ Church Weston-Super-Mare along with three of his younger siblings. I wondered what had impelled Charles and Sarah to suddenly get four of their children christened but obviously it must have been a requirement of the Royal Academy that pupils were baptised members of the Church of England.
According to information received from the Royal Academy of Music:
"in October 1879, Corelli Windeatt entered the Royal Academy of Music aged 9, recommended by Mr Rutson, to study violin as principal subject . . . the 1886 published Prize list (page 3) lists as amongst the 13 pupils in the Male Department "having received all the Annual awards [in previous years], have satisfied the Examiners with their continued progress....
Violin Bronze medal: 1883
Silver medal :1884
Certificate of Merit : 1885
. . ."
More information may be available from the Academy. Please leave a message on the Message Board if you would like to find out further information about his studies.
- External link to some information about John RUTSON (1829-1806) from the Royal Academy of Music web pages.
John RUTSON appears to have been quite well off. In 1861 he was single and living in Newby Hall, Newby Wiske with his brother and seven servants. He must have funded a scholarship for poor, but musically talented boys to study at the Royal Academy and Corelli benefited from this according to the Dancing Times biography.
1881 Census taken 3rd April © Crown Copyright
Here's Corelli in London living with the Wilsons at 1 Rochester Villas, St. Pancras, London. Presumably Charles WILSON was one of the teachers at the Royal Academy and Corelli was boarding with him [PRO Ref RG11/0212 Folio 78 Page 18].
|Charles WILSON||Head||M||62||F||School Master||Westminster, Middlesex|
|Caroline W. WILSON||Wife||U||58||F||Liskeard, Cornwall|
|Charles R. WILSON||Son||U||18||M||Scholar||Old Charlton, Kent|
|Frances A. WILSON||Daur||U||15||M||Scholar||Old Charlton, Kent|
|John ARMSTRONG||Pupil||U||19||M||Lieut Militia Royal Westmorland||Cockermouth, Cumberland|
|Ernest GOUHAULT*||Pupil||U||18||F||Scholar||Expernay, France|
|Corelli WINDEATT**||Pupil||11||Scholar||Teignmouth, Devon|
|Sara POOLE||Serv||W||30||F||General Serv Domestic||Cheshunt, Hertford|
* Ernest GOUHAULT (or GOUBAULT?) from Expernay: Perhaps he was the Ernest Goubault mentioned in an article in praise of great champagnes and named as "one of Champagne’s greatest winemakers for giving us the 1921 Moët & Chandon, a wine so special that it was transvasaged into a fancy 18th-century replica bottle to become the very first vintage of Dom Pérignon." (See Wine Makers - Simply the Best from http://www.wine-pages.com/guests/tom/greatest.pdf). Epernay is in the heart of the champagne country and Ernest would have been about 60 in 1921.
**mistranscribed as Carelli WINDEATH
1884-1887 Early Musical Career
1884 Age 16 and performing on tour as a violin soloist . . .
BIRMINGHAM MUSICAL ASSOCIATION.
A miscellaneous concert was given in the Town Hall on Saturday, at which the following artists appeared: Miss Madeline HARDY, Miss Frances HIPWELL, Mr. T. W. HANSON, Mr. Alfred MOORE, Master Corelli WINDEATT (violin soloist) and Mr. Albert H. FOX (solo pianoforte and conductor). There was a very large audience, and, judging from the hearty applause and frequent recalls, the performance was highly appreciated. Miss HARDY sang in capital style Gounod's, "Changez, Ma Belle" - the violin obbligato to which was played by Master WINDEATT - and Hamilton EVAN's "Only a Story." Miss HIPWELL gave an effective rendering of COWEN's "Never Again" and Pinsuti's 'Dream of Peace'.
- Birmingham Daily Post (Birmingham, England), Monday, October 27, 1884; Issue 8213.
1886 Age 17 and winning prizes. . .
The competition for the Sainton-Dolby Prize at the Royal Academy of Music, took place on Saturday. The examiners were Messrs. John FOSTER, M. MAYBRICK, and Lewis THOMAS (chairman. There were 18 candidates, and the prize was awarded to Helen SAUNDERS. The competition for the Bonamy Dobree Prize also took place. The examiners were Messrs. William BOOLE, G. D??LIS, and B. ALBERT (CHAIRMAN). There were four candidates, and the prize was awarded to John CARRODUJAN. The Hine gift was also competed for, the examiners being Messrs, F, MOIR, Milton WELLINGS, and Michael WATSON (chairman). There were four candidates, and the gift was awarded to Corelli WINDEATT.
-The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, England), Friday, December 24, 1886; Issue 15199
1887 Age 18 and causing a "furore" in the provinces . . .
DISTRICT INTELLIGENCE - SUDBURY
EVENING CONCERT.- A grand evening concert in aid of the funds of the Stour Boar Club was given in the Corn Exchange on Tuesday evening, when there was a fashionable, but not-very crowded audience. The vocalists were Mrs. SPARROW, Miss SPARROW, Rev. W.E..DIXON, and Mr ROBERTS; piano soloist, Mrs, HENRY; violin ditto, Mr. Corelli WINDEATT, R.A.M.; clarionet [sic], ditto, Mr. J. GARRETT. Mrs. HENRY achieved a great success in her pianoforte solo, which was played in a brilliant style; as accompanist also her execution was fine and her touch sympathetic. Mr. Corelli WINDEATT, a medalist [sic] of the Royal Academy, who is quite young man, caused quite a furore by his wonderful execution of the violin and his splendid style. His playing was almost faultless, and he several times received the well-deserved plaudits of an appreciate company. We are glad to find that we are likely to have him again in the town, as he has entered into an engagement with Mr. G. L. ANDREWES to assist in "St. Paul," which will be given next Easter. .. . . .
- The Ipswich Journal (Ipswich, England), Thursday, February 17, 1887; Issue 8635
1890 Return to Weston Super Mare
By 1890 Corelli had returned to Weston Super Mare where he was living with his brothers and sisters.
A short extract from an article from the Weston and Somerset Mercury explains this move:
. . . Nor must one forget the brilliant contribution to Grand Pier and Weston music generally over many years of Corelli Windeatt. He was a violinist of rare talent who studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Prosper Stanton (Court violinist to Queen Victoria). Although only in his teens, he won Royal Academy of Music medals and diplomas and achieved fame as a solo violinist. He was also engaged for concert tours with famous artistes.
Corelli's father was a Weston music teacher and concert performer. Affectionately known as 'Old Boy Windeatt', he was rarely seen without his fiddle box. He taught at the Weston College and other schools and founded and conducted the Weston Orchestral Society. Sometimes at local concerts there were as many as seven members of his clever family in the orchestra.
A breakdown in the health of his father brought Corelli back to Weston to carry on his teaching connections. He also had his own orchestra, which he conducted for seasons at both Piers and at many events in the district, including the balls arranged by Squire Smyth Pigott at his Brockley manorial residence.
Eventually Corelli returned to London and formed a dance band that became famous the country over and was in great demand for society balls and garden parties. It was featured at the Chelsea Arts Ball at the Albert Hall and at fashionable polo gatherings at Ranelagh . . .
- Weston & Somerset Mercury, 17/10/08, edited article originally published on February 7, 1969
© The Western and Somerset Mercury by kind permission.
- Link to the full article: Golden Entertainment Era of the New Pier Scroll down the page to access the above four paragraphs. However, it’s worth reading the whole article to get a flavour of the importance of the seaside pier in the life of folks in times past.
- Link to more about Corelli's father, Charles Allen WINDEATT, Music Teacher
MR CORELLI WINDEATT's CONCERT - We would remind our readers of the grand evening convert to be given, under distinguished patronage, to-night in the Blind Asylum Music room. The artists include Mme Probert GOODWIN, Mr. E. T. MORGAN, Mr. Montague WORLOCK, Mrs. Viner POMEROY, Mr. K. POMEROY, Mr. Corelli WINDEATT, R.A.M., and Mr. Fredolph WINDEATT, R.A.M.
- The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post (Bristol, England),
Monday, September 22, 1890; Issue 13217.
1891 Census taken 5th April © Crown Copyright
In 1891 Corelli’s father was in the Somerset and Bath Asylum as a patient - we don’t know when he was admitted nor why. It would be useful to see if there are any patient records that can be accessed. However the rest of the family were living at home with Sarah and a small four-year-old visitor from Devon who may have been a relation:
1892 Marriage & Family with Bella KING (c.1868-1964)
The GRO index records the marriage in the September quarter of 1892 [Axbridge 5c 849] to Isabelle Florence KING. Corelli and his younger brother, Fred, (see picture above) married two sisters (Bella and Henrietta KING).
Thanks to some information from a kind correspondent we now know a little more about Bella and Henrietta KING.
- Link to a page on the KING family
Corelli and Isabella had had the following children by the time of the 1911 census.
1. Stanley Ernest Corelli WINDEATT (1893-?)
Stanley Ernest He was a musician born in the June quarter of 1893. His army discharge document dated 9.2.1919 is available from which we can see that before joining the Army in 1916, he was a musician working at the Alhambra Theatre and that he was married and had one child. There is also a Pensions document available in the National Archives. Further details are available but are not posted here in line with the hundred year guideline. Please leave a message on the message board for further information.
2. Phyllis Rita (1898-?)
Rita was born in the March quarter of 1898 in the Kingston, Surrey Register Office district. She appears the 1901 census aged 3 and again in 1911 aged 13
3. George Alan (1901-?1959)
George was born in the March quarter of 1906 in the Kingston, Surrey Register
Office district. There are quite a few references to George Alan WINDEATT on the web.
He was an orchestra director, composer and arranger of dance and jazz music.
He appears in the 1901 census aged two months and in the 1911 census aged 10.
Here is a clip from The Observer "Dramatis Personae" column. 22.05.38, kindly supplied by Phil Windeatt, a relation:
"The orchestra director of the Victoria Palace Mr George Windeatt has come to the conclusion that theatres "God Saves the King" that winds up performances is treated with undue perfunctoriness. He has accordingly rescored it and has it played in full solemnity at all performances and with great effect. The Victoria Palace musical-comedy "Me and My Girl" has now run for six months and is still playing to about £4000 a week - one of the biggest post-war musical successes."
George was still writing or arranging popular songs throughout the Second World War. Here is a link to the cover of a piece of sheet music composed at this time (also courtesy of Phil Windeatt):
After the second world war, George also became involved in composing or arranging music for films.
- Link to the British Film Institute site
- Link to an entry on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database).
- Link to a search of holdings at the British Library
Barbara Sybil WINDEATT (1906-?)
Barbara was born in the September quarter of 1906 in the Kingston, Surrey Register Office District. She appears in the 1911 census, aged 4
Alfred Phillip WINDEATT (1909-?)
Philip was born in the June quarter of 1909 in the Kingston, Surrey Register Office District. He appears in the 1911 census, aged 2.
We don't know about the other two children which Corelli declared on the 1911 census form had died before 1911, but probably the Florence Dorothea Windeatt who died, aged 0, in the Axbridge Register Office district in the December quarter of 1899 [GRO 5c 359] is one of them.
According to information received, Bella (full name Florence Isabella or sometimes Isabella Florence) lived to the ripe old age of 94 as did her sister Hettie/Hynda. Hettie lived even longer and died aged 97 in Richmond upon Thames.
1901 Move to London
1901 Census (taken 31st March) © Crown CopyrightLiving at no 4, Palmer Crescent, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey [RG13/663 Folio 57, Page 29, Schedule 187]
|Name||Rel||Status||Age||Occupation||Employment||Working at home||Where Born|
|Corelli Windeatt||Head||M||31||Musician||Employer||Yes||Somersetshire, Weston*|
|Isabell Windeatt||wife||M||31||America US British Subject|
|Stanley Windeatt||son||7||Somersetshire, Weston|
|Rita Windeatt||daur||3||Surrey, Kingston|
|George A Windeatt||son||2 mos||Surrey, Kingston|
|Lydia WIGGINS||serv||S||19||General Serv - |
I wonder why Corelli gave his birthplace as Weston-Super-Mare rather than Teignmouth? Perhaps the enumerator made a mistake?
Here they are in 1911 still living at 4 Palmer Court, Kingston
upon Thames (which he declared was a six-roomed house). We know, from a
telephone directory entry, that they were still living there in 1920.
According to his declaration they had been married 19 years and had seven children born alive of whom two had died.
|Name||Rel||Age||Status||Occupation||Industry||Working on Own account||Working at home||Where Born|
|Corelli Windeatt||Head||42||M||Musician||Theatre||Employer||-||Devonshire, Teignmouth|
|Isabell Windeatt||wife||41||M||-||& Employed*||-||Newport, Mon|
|Stanley Windeatt||son||17||S||Student Music||-||Somerset, Weston S Mare|
|Rita Windeatt||Dau||13||-||School||-||Surrey, Kingston|
|George Windeatt||son||10||-||School||-||Surrey, Kingston|
|Barbara Windeatt||Dau||4||-||-||-||Surrey, Kingston|
|Phillip Windeatt||Son||2||-||-||Surrey, Kingston|
|Lillian Windeatt**||Niece||20||Single||-||Somerset, Weston S. Mare|
|Gwendoline Windeatt**||Niece||19||Single||Assistant||Music Shop Dealers||Somerset, Weston S. Mare|
* it rather looks as though the words "& Employed" relate to Corelli rather than his wife.
**Lillian and Gwendoline WINDEATT were the daughters of Frank Benjamin WINDEATT, Corelli's elder brother, whose wife had died when the children were quite young.
Here is a list of those of Corelli’s compositions that I have found referenced online:
- 1887: Summer Voices, song, words by M. Howitt, Publisher: R. Cocks & Co.
- 1894: Romance in C for violin & pianoforte. Op. 25., Publisher: Beal & Co
- 1898 :Three Dances. For Piano Solo By Corelli Windeatt, Piano Solos, Publisher: Chappell & Co.
- 1899: Rêve de Bonheur. Valse lente for the pianoforte.Publisher: Beal & Co
- 1903: Berceuse in G, for Violin & Pianoforte, Publisher: Beal & Co
- 1905: Dans le Bois. Valse lente. Publisher: Chappell & Co.
- 1905: En Joie. Polka. Publisher: Chappell & Co.,
- 1908: Badinage for the Pianoforte, Publisher: Chappell & Co.
- 1911: Top Dog, One Step, Publisher: Francis, Day & Hunter
- 1911: Canzona, for the Violin with Pianoforte accompaniment, etc. Publisher: J. Williams
1911: Nydia, Valse
NOTE: This piece of sheet music is attributed to F.C. WINDEATT but, although there was a Frederick Corelli WINDEATT, he would only have been about five at the time, so this must be a mistake for C.E. Windeatt, i.e. Corelli. Link to a rather lovely illustration on its front cover
- c.1912: Artists’ revels: two step, Piano, Publisher: John Church Co.,
- c.1912: Titania, waltzes for piano solo, Publisher: Francis Day & Hunter
- c.1913: Serenade Espagnol, Piano & Violin, Publisher: Hawkes & Son.
- c.1914: Versailles, valse, Piano Solos, Publisher: Francis Day & Hunter.
- 1920: When you love, you live: waltz, piano, Publisher: G. Ricordi & Co
- c.1922: Arrangement of John Peel composed by Charles RAWLINGS.
Here is a link to a search of British Library holdings
1911-1920s Dance Band Leader
During this period Corelli became an increasingly famous Dance Band Leader. See:
- 1911 Feature Article from The Dancing Times
- Extract from Social Dance: A Short History by A.H. Franks, 1963
Here are a few references I have found to his work in the early twentieth century:
- 1911, THE SHAKESPEARE BALL
There are two accounts of this Ball which by all accounts was quite some event:
1921,THREE ARTS BALL
"The Three Arts Club Ball, . . . took place last night at Covent Garden. Over 1,600 guests were present, and over 600 applications for tickets had to be refused. . . . the Of the 28 items on the programme by the Corelli WINDEATT band, eight were played for the first time" - The Times, December 9th, p. 7, col A.
1922, THE WEDDING BALL
"The Wedding Ball . . . held last evening at the Royal Albert Hall, . . . was enjoyed by over 3,000 dancers . . . In front of the organ . . . and above Corelli WINDEATT's orchestra, a huge wedding bell was hung, illuminated within . . ." - The Times, March 1, p.12, col. C
1922, COURT CIRCULAR
". . . the two-day Fancy Fair and Thé Dansant, which will open on Thursday at the Hyde Park Hotel in aid of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals of the Poor. Corelli WINDEATT's Orchestra will play . . ." - The Times, Oct 24, p. 15, col B
1923 LADY DENMAN
"Lady Denman gave a reception last night at 43 Upper Grosvenor-street, W., for Liberal members of both Houses of Parliament to meet Mr. Asquith and Viscount Grey of Fallodon. Some two hundred guests were present . . . Corelli WINDEATT's orchestra played during the evening." - The Times, Feb 13, p. 14, col.C
1923 THREE ARTS BALL
"The Three Arts Club Costume Ball at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, last night was a triumph of beauty and enterprise . . . The dancing began at 10 o'clock, music being provided by Correlli WINDEATT's Orchestra . . ." - The Times, Dec. 7th, p. 15, col C.
1923 COURT CIRCULAR
December 21 . . . Pendle Forest Hunt Ball, Queen's Hall, Clitheroe (Corelli WINDEATT's band) - The Times, Dec 10th, p.17, col D.
1925 Mr. Baldwin's Speech Tonight
"The speeches to be made to-night by the Prime Minister and Mr. J. H., THOMAS, M.P., at the dinner of the National Institute of Industrial Psychology at the Trocadero Restaurant will be broadcast from the London station, beginning at 9 o'clock . . . . .At midnight the dance music at the Royal Northern Hospital Ball at the Albert Hall, played by Corelli WINDEATT's band will be broadcast from all stations until 2 a.m." - The Times, November 12th, p.8, col D.
In 1923 Sir Arthur Bliss composed a 'One Step' which he dedicated to Corelli Windeatt. and which was to be played at a Punch and Judy Ball at the Savoy Hotel.
Link to page about Sir Arthur Bliss' composition, 'One Step'.
Corelli Windeatt’s Band on the Pier at Weston Super Mare
Below is a photo of Corelli Windeatt and his Band also from the Weston and Somerset Mercury, reproduced here by kind permission, from their 2004 feature celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Grand Pier. This photograph came from the Pier Picture Special page (now no longer available) and was captioned : "Corelli Windeatt and his band during the 1920s".
I’m assuming Corelli is the guy in the centre. And, because he looks so like him even down to the pair of glasses, I imagine the guy to his left is his brother Fredolph (known as Alf), the violinist. Corelli is standing awkwardly and looks as if he has a bad back? If this *was* taken in the 1920s then Corelli would have been in his fifties.
© Weston & Somerset Mercury
His death is recorded in 1947 in the Wandsworth Register Office District.
There are probably living descendants of Corelli and Bella. Please make contact via the Message Board if can contribute any more information about this family or if you can correct any of the information.