John Hingston

John Hing(e)ston (c.1606-1683)

by William Dobson

Born in York, the organist and composer John Hingston was a pupil of the composer Orlando Gibbons, ('my ever hono'rd Master'), and served as a musician to Charles I, Oliver Cromwell and Charles II.

During the Interregnum, he became organist to Oliver Cromwell until the Protector's death in 1658. After the Restoration, he joined the gentlemen of the Chapel Royal and became keeper of King Charles II's wind instruments and 'keeper of ye organs'. One of his apprentices in this role was the young Henry Purcell.

Hingeston was a prolific composer, and much of his instrumental music was acquired by the Music School here in Oxford.
The painting is by the English portraitist, William Dobson, described at the time by the writer John Aubrey as 'the most excellent painter that England has yet bred'. He was discovered by Anthony van Dyck, the leading court painter in England, and introduced to King Charles I who asked Dobson to paint himself and his sons. His portrait of the 12-year old boy who would become King Charles II is arguably his finest work.