Goss wrote a musical drama, The Serjeant’s Wife
, which ran at the London Lyceum for a hundred nights from 24 July 1827. He took to writing church music in later life. The anthem If we believe that Jesus died
was written for the funeral of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, who died at Walmer Castle, Kent, on 14 September 1852. He lay there in state until 10 November and then in Chelsea Hospital until his burial. The funeral was held at St Paul’s on 17 November and ‘Arthur, Duke of Wellington’ was buried in the crypt. According to Marjie Bloy’s contribution to The Victorian Web
, Wellesley had declared himself in favour of Catholic emancipation as early as 1825 and, despite unpopularity in his political policies, in later years he was remembered for his military greatness as a general. His personality and inherent honesty impressed a whole generation and so it is no surprise that the sombre event in St Paul’s that marked his passing should have had a suitably sober setting of the words from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.
The opening phrase of Goss’s anthem is quoted on his memorial tablet in the Chapel of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the crypt of St Paul’s. The inscription reads: ‘His genius and skill are shewn in the various compositions with which he has enriched the Music of the Church. His virtues and kindness of heart endeared him to his pupils and friends who have erected this monument in token of their admiration and esteem.’
from notes by William McVicker © 1999