February 24, 1766: Samuel Wesley is born on Charles Street in Bristol, United Kingdom, the son of Charles Wesley, Methodist minister, poet, and composer, and Sarah Gwynne, daughter of a wealthy landowner. He is one of eight children, but the youngest of only three to survive infancy.
March 30, 1780: String Quartet in C by Samuel Wesley (14) is performed for the first time, at a Wesley family concert at their London home.
April 26, 1781: Violin Concerto in D by Samuel Wesley (15) is performed for the first time, in London, the composer as soloist.
January 31, 1782: Sinfonia obbligato in D by Samuel Wesley (15) is performed for the first time, at one of the many Wesley family concerts in their London home.
May 22, 1784: Samuel Wesley (18) completes his Missa de spiritu sancto, composed to express the seriousness of his conversion to Catholicism. In September he will send a copy to its dedicatee, Pope Pius VI. The Pope will express his pleasure.
September 15, 1784: Before thousands of spectators, including the Prince of Wales, Italian Vincenzo Lunardi ascends in a balloon from London with a dog, a cat, and a pigeon, setting down about 50 km to the north at Ware in Hertfordshire. In honor of the event, Samuel Wesley (18) composes the piano piece Lunardi’s March.
April 14, 1785: Violin Concerto in B flat by Samuel Wesley (19) is performed for the first time, in London, the composer as soloist.
April 24, 1787: Quintetto in A for organ, two violins, viola and bass, with horns in the last movement, by Samuel Wesley (21) is performed for the first time, at a Wesley family concert in London.
April 5, 1793: Samuel Wesley (27) marries Charlotte Louisa Martin in St. Paul’s, Hammersmith. She is the daughter of a surgeon (now deceased), and an assistant teacher at a private school in Marylebone where Samuel gives piano lessons. The two object to marriage, having lived out of wedlock since October, but are driven to it by Charlotte’s unexpected pregnancy. The wedding is in Hammersmith presumably because neither are known there. None of the Wesley family are present.
February 22, 1799: Begin the noble song, also known as Ode to St. Cecilia for chorus and orchestra by Samuel Wesley (32) to words of his grandfather of the same name, is performed for the first time, at Covent Garden. It is the first important work by Wesley to be performed in London.
April 21, 1800: Samuel Wesley (34) is soloist in one of his own organ concertos played between sections of an early London presentation of Haydn’s (68) The Creation. It is probably the Organ Concerto in D.
December 27, 1806: Samuel Wesley’s (40) third setting of Dixit Dominus, for three voices, is performed for the first time, at a meeting of the Concentores Society, London.
March 29, 1807: Responses to the Litany for chorus by Samuel Wesley (41) is performed for the first time, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. They were intended for last Christmas but were postponed until Easter, today.
October 30, 1808: Te Deum and Jubilate for chorus and organ by Samuel Wesley (42) is performed for the first time, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.
January 19, 1809: The Bath Chronicle announces that Samuel Wesley (42) is in town and is waiting for an invitation to give an organ concert.
March 10, 1809: Samuel Wesley (43) begins a series of lectures on a variety of musical subjects at the Royal Institution, London.
May 19, 1810: Two works by Samuel Wesley (44) are performed for the first time, at the Hanover Square Rooms, London: In exitu Israel for chorus and organ, and Father of Light and Life for chorus.
August 14, 1810: Samuel Sebastian Wesley is born at No.1 Great Woodstock Street in London, United Kingdom, first of seven illegitimate children born to Samuel Wesley (44), musician and composer, and his housekeeper, Sarah Suter. Wesley also has three legitimate children by Charlotte Louisa Martin from whom he is now estranged.
April 27, 1811: Two new works by Samuel Wesley (45) are performed for the first time, at a concert for his benefit at Hanover Square Rooms, London: Trio for three pianofortes and the glee O Delia, every charm is thine to words of Pindar. The composer plays one part in the trio.
March 25, 1812: Samuel Wesley (46) and his wife Charlotte Louisa Martin Wesley execute a deed of separation.
June 5, 1812: Grand Duet for the Organ by Samuel Wesley (46) is performed for the first time, at the Hanover Square Rooms, London by the composer and Vincent Novello.
October 21, 1812: Samuel Wesley (46) writes to his mother in Brighton asking for money. Since she has recently come to his aid, he asks for half of his inheritance. See 4 November 1812.
November 4, 1812: Samuel Wesley (46) writes to his mother once again to inform her that if he does not receive £100 immediately, he will be sent to jail. See 21 October 1812.
March 17, 1813: Samuel Wesley’s (47) Organ Concerto in B flat is performed for the first time, in London, the composer at the keyboard.
May 4, 1813: The Piano Concerto by Samuel Wesley (47) is performed for the first time, at his benefit in London.
May 12, 1813: Behold, how good and joyful for three voices and organ by Samuel Wesley (47) to words of Psalm 133 is performed for the first time, at the installation of the Duke of Sussex as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of All England (Masonic).
December 29, 1813: At the final vote of the General Committee of the Foundling Hospital to hire an organist, Samuel Wesley (47) finishes tied for third.
March 9, 1814: Samuel Wesley’s Organ Concerto in C is performed for the first time, at Covent Garden. It was intended for a concert on 4 March but was not ready. Wesley finished it 5 March and he and Vincent Novello spent the night copying parts. The manuscript date is 8 March.
August 28, 1816: Despondent over the death of a child and unable to work, Samuel Wesley (50) writes to his brother and sister pleading for a loan, secured against his inheritance.
May 3, 1817: Greatly depressed and highly agitated, fearful of arrest, Samuel Wesley (51) goes to stay with his mother in her London home. His sister Sarah is so worried about him, she hires someone to watch him.
May 6, 1817: Imagining himself to be chased by creditors sent by his ex-wife, Samuel Wesley (51) throws himself out of an upper-story window of his mother’s house in London. Although sustaining serious injuries, he will survive.
May 23, 1817: Having recovered sufficiently from his suicide attempt, Samuel Wesley (51) is moved from his mother’s house to a temporary abode in Chapel Street, London to continue his treatment.
June 3, 1817: Samuel Wesley (51) moves to Southend where he will stay for a month continuing his recovery from a suicide attempt.
August 23, 1817: William Kingston meets for five hours with his friend Samuel Wesley (51) at Blacklands House, the lunatic asylum in Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea. Wesley does not feel his actions of earlier this year warrant his treatment as a lunatic.
December 25, 1823: Two works for chorus and organ by Samuel Wesley (57) are performed for the first time, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis.
April 3, 1824: Morning and Evening Service for chorus and organ by Samuel Wesley (58) is performed completely for the first time, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.
July 15, 1824: Camden Chapel is dedicated by the Bishop of London, with music provided by its organist, Samuel Wesley (58).
October 11, 1824: The Times of London runs an article about the newly published biographical dictionary of musicians from Sainsbury and Co. Their article on Samuel Wesley (58) states that he died in 1815. The Times points out that Wesley is very much alive.
March 18, 1825: The Senate of the University of Cambridge votes to grant Samuel Wesley (59) the right to publish any part of the collection of manuscripts bequeathed to it by Lord Fitzwilliam in 1816. He must do it at his own expense and risk.
May 2, 1825: Samuel Wesley (59) is arrested for failure to pay £25 maintenance to his estranged wife. He will be released on 7 May.
May 4, 1826: Confitebor tibi, Domine for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Samuel Wesley (60) is performed for the first time, in the Argyll Rooms, London.
November 16, 1829: The house of Samuel Wesley (63) is set upon by several law officers sent by his creditors. Wesley manages to escape to a friend’s house.
November 17, 1829: Samuel Wesley (63) once again avoids his creditors by traveling to Watford in Hertfordshire where he is to give a concert.
January 27, 1830: Samuel Wesley (63) gives the sixth and last lecture in his final lecture series, in Bristol.
August 7, 1834: Samuel Wesley (68) gives his last public performance, accompanying his own anthem All go unto one place, in Exeter Hall, London. It is a funeral anthem for his recently departed brother Charles.
September 12, 1837: Samuel Wesley (71) attends a recital by Felix Mendelssohn (28) at All Saints, Newgate Street, London. After the concert, Wesley is asked to play. He does so and receives praise from Mendelssohn. “The frail old man improvised with great artistry and splendid facility, so that I could not but admire. His daughter was so moved by the sight of it all that she fainted and could not stop crying and sobbing.” (Eatcock, 63) Wesley replies to Mendelssohn’s praise, “You should have heard me forty years ago.”
October 11, 1837: 16:20 Samuel Wesley dies after a short illness, in London, United Kingdom, aged 71 years, seven months, and 17 days.
October 17, 1837: A funeral service in memory of Samuel Wesley takes place in Old Marylebone Church, London, following which his mortal remains are laid to rest in the family vault in St. Marylebone, (now East Finchley) Cemetery.