July 12, 1764: The Massachusetts Gazette publishes a letter from William Billings (17) attesting to the importance of the human voice and the music written for it.
October 2, 1769: William Billings (22) and an associate open a singing school in Boston “where any Person inclining to learn to sing may be attended upon at said School with Fidelity and Dispatch.”
October 7, 1770: This date is appended by William Billings to the preface of his New England Psalm Singer in Boston. It is his 24th birthday.
December 10, 1770: William Billings (24) advertises his The New England Psalm-Singer in the Boston Gazette.
July 14, 1772: Both houses of the Massachusetts legislature pass “An act for Granting to William Billings (25) of Boston the Sole privilege of printing and vending a Book by him Composed consisting of a Great variety of psalm-tunes, Anthems, & Canons in two Vols.-” Thomas Hutchinson, royal governor of Massachusetts, will refuse to assent to the bill, perhaps owing to the political situation and Billings’ friendship with Samuel Adams.
July 26, 1774: William Billings (27) marries Lucy Swan, daughter of Major Robert Swan, in Stoughton, in the Colony of Massachusetts.
December 7, 1778: The Independent Ledger, Boston reports as “just published” the collection by William Billings (32) entitled The Singing Master’s Assistant.
April 1, 1780: William Billings (33) finds himself in a financial situation sufficiently comfortable to buy a house in Boston.
November 15, 1781: The Independent Chronicle, Boston reports as “just published” William Billings’ (35) collection The Psalm-singer’s Amusement.
March 13, 1785: I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me, We Will Go Into The House Of Ye Lord, an anthem by William Billings (38), is performed for the first time, in First Church, Boston.
March 24, 1786: The selectmen of the Town of Boston allow William Billings (39) to teach singing in a public building.
June 8, 1786: The Independent Chronicle, Boston reports as “just published” William Billings’ (39) collection The Suffolk Harmony.
April 4, 1787: The Massachusetts Centinel reports as “just published” William Billings’ (40) Anthem for Easter and a Hymn for Good Friday .
May 13, 1790: The Bird and the Lark by William Billings (43) is reported as “just published” by the Independent Chronicle, Boston.
December 21, 1790: A concert of sacred music takes place at the Stone Chapel for the benefit of William Billings (44) “whose distress is real.” Since the mid-1780s he has been trade inspector, street cleaner, coal inspector, hogreeve and sealer of leather for the Town of Boston.
October 16, 1793: Publication of Universal Praise, an anthem by William Billings (47), is advertised in the Columbian Centinel, Boston.
February 1, 1794: The Columbian Centinel, Boston reports as “just published” the collection Continental Harmony by William Billings (47).
September 26, 1800: William Billings dies in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, aged 53 years, eleven months, and 19 days.
September 28, 1800: The earthly remains of William Billings are laid to rest in Boston in an unmarked grave, usually reserved for paupers or social outcasts.