John Speller's Web Pages Now Autumn strews on every plain

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Now Autumn strews on every plain:
A Hymn for Harvest Thanksgiving

Elizabeth Stirling (Mrs. F. A. Bridge) was born at Greenwich on February 26, 1819 and died in London on March 25, 1895. She was a private pupil of William B. Wilson and Edward Holmes (organ and pianoforte); and James Alexander Hamilton and George Alexander Macfarren (composition), all of whom were also professors at the Royal Academy of Music. She submitted a setting of Psalm CXXX for five voices and orchestra for the Oxford BMus. It was accepted, but not performed because women were not eligible for degrees at that time. She was appointed organist of All Saints', Poplar in 1839 and was organist of St. Andrew's, Undershaft, 1858-1880. The leading London organist of her day, she is believed to have been the first person to perform Bach's Prelude & Fugue in E Flat (St. Anne) at a recital in England. She stunned the audience by her virtuoso performance at a recital in connection with the opening of the Alexandra Palace in 1862. She published a number of choral compositions and works for organ.

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St. Andrew's, Cornhill, where Elizabeth Stirling was organist, is nicknamed "Undershaft" from the former custom of erecting a shaft or maypole outside the church
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