John Christian Mantel

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, South Benfleet, Essex


Early years
John Christian Mantel is the anglicised name of Johann Christian Scheidemantel who was born in Erfurt-Gispersleben in Germany on 13th May 1706.

1725 (Age 19)
Mantel’s father and grandfather were Lutheran pastor-musicians.  Mantel studied theology at Erfurt University from 1725 until 1732.

1738 (Age 32)
Losing both of his parents by the time he was 26 may have acted as a spur to travel and to seek a living outside of his native town and country.
We know for certain that by 1738 he was living in England as he is named as a subscriber to Handel’s opera Faramondo.
Around this time he was made organist of the church of St. Mary the Virgin, South Benfleet, Essex at a salary of £30 per annum.

1743 (Age 37)
In 1743 his opus one was published in London, being his six setts of lessons for harpsichord or organ.

1748 (Age 42)
In 1748 Mantel moved to Norfolk to become organist at the church of St Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, on an increased salary of £40 per annum.
He directed not only the music in the church but also that of local civic entertainments and his own annual benefit concerts.

Cover of Mantel’s opus 2 set of violin sonatas

1761 (Age 55)
Mantel died on 28th December 1761 aged 55 and was buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas.

Works discovered so far are:

6 Setts of Lessons for harpsichord/organ op.1, London, 1743
6 Solos for violin and continuo, op.2, London, before 1748
6 Concertos for harpsichord/organ, op.3, London, 1752
Chamber Cantatas for Soprano and continuo.

Lost manuscripts, listed in Mantel‘s will:
Trio sonatas for 2 flutes & continuo
organ voluntaries

Awaiting validation:
Trio sonata, for 2 oboes & continuo
Chorale preludes for organ on Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her, and Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht.