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  1. There has been some discussion recently of Buxtehude’s “elderly ugly daughter” and I have questioned on what evidence her “ugliness” has been assumed. There are other beliefs, positively stated in many books (most of which might have copied others without checking facts) which are based on assumption and not on firm evidence. So when did Handel die? A newspaper of the time announced his death on Good Friday, 13th April 1759. According to the New Grove he died at 8 am on Saturday 14th April . According to the Dictionary of National Biography “died at his home in Brook Street, Hanover Square, Westminster, about 8 a.m. on 14 April (Easter Saturday).” According to Stanley Sadie, “about eight o’clock in the morning”. According to Oxford Music Online, “He died at ‘a little before Eight o’clock’ on 14 April.“ According to Edward Dent, he “died during the night between the 13th and 14th of April.” Who should we believe? The newspaper was premature; he was failing rapidly and expected to die during the day, and the paper, not wishing to miss a scoop, announced his death prematurely. Yet perhaps it was accurate. He took leave of his friends on Friday morning, and said that he desired to see nobody except the doctor, the apothecary, and James Smyth. At 7 o’clock in the evening he took leave of Smyth and said “We shall meet again”, but told his servant not to let him “come to him any more, for that he had now done with the world.” His servant was the last person to see him alive that evening and apparently the servant went to see him next at 8 am on Saturday and found him dead. Did he die before midnight, on the 13th, or in the early morning of the 14th? So, Edward Dent who cautiously wrote ““died during the night between the 13th and 14th of April.” is the only writer who did not go beyond the known facts.
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