Edward Bunting, 1773-1843

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Edward Bunting (1773-1843) is remembered as the foremost collector of Irish folk music of his age. A capable musician in his own right (he had, by the age of 11, begun to deputise as organist at St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast), he was responsible for recording, for the first time, the repertoire of the traditional Irish harpist. Engaged on this service by the organisers of the Belfast Harper's Festival of 1792, he spent the next number of years touring the length and breadth of Ireland talking to the principal harpists of his generation, most notably Arthur O'Neill of Co Tyrone and Denis Hempson of Magilligan, Co. Derry, transcribing their sounds and songs for posterity. His seminal collection of Irish airs was then published in 1796 with subsequent revisions appearing in 1802 and 1840. Married in Belfast in 1819, Bunting shortly moved with his family to take up his responsibilities as organist of St. George's Church, Dublin. He died in that city on 21st Dec 1843 and is buried at the Cemetery of Mount Jerome.

From the guide to the Bunting Manuscript Collection, 1791-1856, (Queen's University, Belfast)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Bunting Manuscript Collection, 1791-1856 Queen's University, Belfast
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bunting Anthony Older brother of Edward Bunting person
associatedWith Bunting Edward 1773-1843 person
associatedWith Hempson Denis person
associatedWith Lynch Patrick 19th cent. Irish scholar person
associatedWith McDonnell James person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Ireland History 19th century
Ireland History 18th century
Harp music


Birth 1773

Death 1843

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