I. Thomas, an English composer, born at Wells about 1725, died in London in 1795. After completing his musical education he established himself in Bath, where he was very successful in teaching and giving concerts. His two elder daughters, afterward Mrs. Sheridan and Mrs. Tickell, added greatly to the attractions of his concerts as singers. On the retirement of Christopher Smith, who had been Handel's amanuensis, he removed to London to take the management of the oratorios, first in conjunction with Stanley the blind composer, and afterward with Dr. Arnold. In 1775 he set to music the opera "The Duenna," by his son-in-law Richard Brinsley Sheridan; its unparalleled success induced him to join the latter in purchasing an interest in Drury Lane theatre, the musical department of which he conducted for many years. He was the author of 12 ballads and a madrigal which are considered among the finest specimens of their class. His death was hastened by grief at the loss of his eldest son, Thomas, a musician of great promise and an intimate friend of Mozart. H. William, youngest son of the preceding, also a composer, born about 1767, died in 1835. He was for many years in the East India company's service, and having accumulated a handsome competency, he devoted the remainder of his life to literary pursuits and music.
He was the author of numerous glees, canzonets, and miscellaneous pieces, distinguished by grace and feeling, and compiled "The Dramatic Songs of Shakespeare " (2 vols, fol.), in which are several of his own compositions. He also wrote two comic operas and several novels.