Purcell J. Mansfield (1889-1968)

Former Principal of Victoria College of Music, Torquay born composer Purcell J. Mansfield was also a prolific composer for voice, piano and organ. LMP are the holders to several of his works and we are able to make these available for study in digital format.

For more details on his works see here.


On his return from active service in 1916, he continued at Park Church and married his first wife Marie. In March 1919 he was appointed organist and choirmaster of Paisley Abbey and the Clark Town Hall. He was also the singing master at the John Neilson Institute in the same town, a post he held for 27 years. Now living in a house in Mosspark, conveniently situated near the tram routes for both Paisley and Glasgow, he was able to take in music students for piano lessons. 1923 brought another new appointment, this time at Pollokshields Parish Church in the South Side of Glasgow which was specially wired by the BBC to enable live and recorded radio broadcasts. Purcell performed guest organ recitals all over Britain including Westminster Cathedral in London.

PJM was a powerful supporter and Vice President of the Incorporated Association of Organists, a member of the Glasgow Organ Society for over 50 years and its President in 1921. In his middle thirties, he began to give recitals for the Organist's Benevolent League, which over the years brought in over £1000. In 1956, he was paid a special tribute from the I.A.O. when they appointed him President for a period in August when over 200 delegates converged on Glasgow for their annual conference.

In his life Purcell published many works including six concert overtures, over 60 scherzos and miscellaneous pieces for the organ and countless choral arrangements, many of which were sung by The Glasgow Phoenix Choir and his own Purcell Mansfield Ladies Choir.

His sixth and final move in 1949 was to Hyndland Parish church in the West End of the City, a post he held for 19 years. He had many musical interests - teacher, adjudicator, examiner, recitalist, composer and conductor, but his first and all consuming interest was Church music. He continued playing and adjudicating and was at the organ on the Sunday before his death on the 24th September 1968, aged 79 years. His work lives on however with many of his compositions and arrangements still available. Only recently the Canadian Celtic Choir recorded a CD 'Here's to Song' with an arrangement by Purcell: 3. Scots Wha Ha'e, Robert Burns, Scottish Air.

With thanks to the Mansfield family.