Neal, William

Dates Active in Dublin: 



Christ Church Yard, c. 1723–41
Neal's Music Hall, Fishamble Street, c. 1745–69


Son of John Neal.

From 1723 to 1733 William published together with John Neal.

He described himself in legal documents (1732–42) as 'musical instrument maker'. Rice states that 'the Neale family helped to establish a tradition of music printing in Dublin which exploited the absence of copyright law in Ireland'.

From 1734 to 1741 he published seven volumes of music, between 1740 and 1744 in partnership with William Manwaring (Boydell, Calendar).

By 1740 he was treasurer of the Charitable Musical Society, in which capacity he was responsible for building the Music Room in Fishamble Street. After 1741, when he became the first manager-director of the Fishamble Street hall, William Neal was involved in only one other music publication: two numbers of The Monthly Masque, a series that began c. 1744, in which he was associated again with William Manwaring.

Mark [could be John or William's]: 'NEALE/MAKER (heart pierced by two arrows)' (Waterhouse).

[Details differ according to sources: Humphries & Smith and Munter gives the dates as 1734 to 1741. Munter erroneously states that William joined his father John in business in 1734. Note: Berry gives the partnership of Neal & Manwaring at Corelli's Head College Green in 1737, Boydell (Calendar) gives the partnership dates as 1740 to 1744 and Munter gives them as 1740 to 1741.]

Select Product/Work List: 


  • Tenor recorder/voice flute: Boston. Inventory number 17.1804 [attributed to John by Waterhouse but could be by either John or William] (Waterhouse)
  • Published (as listed in Carolan)

  • 'A choice collection of the newest airs and minuets proper for the violin, German flute or hautboy / [a Choice Collection of the newest airs, minuets, and play house tunes; faithfully corrected by the best masters here]', 28 December 1723
  • 'A colection [sic] of the most celebrated Irish tunes proper for the violin, German flute or hautboy', before 22 August 1724
  • 'A collection of the most celebrated Scotch tunes for the violin, being all different from any yet printed in London and carefully corrected by the best masters', before 22 August 1724
  • '[A collection / book of Irish and Scotch tunes for the flute]', before 22 August 1724
  • 'A musicall entertainment for a chamber. Sonatas for violin, flute, violoncello and six-string bass with a thorough bass for the harpsichord or bass violin. Lastly a Scotch cantata with the instrumental parts after the Italian manner. Dedicated to His Grace James, Duke of Hamilton and Brandon. Composed by Lorenzo Bocchi. Opera prima', 27 July 1725
  • '[The songs and dances in Faustus] / [The entertainment of Faustus]', before 8 February 1726
  • '[The songs, dances and airs, in the new musick, of the entertainment call’d the Inchanter, or Harlequin Merlin, consisting of above 20 folio plates. The vocal part compos’d by Dr Heighington, and by him carefully corrected], 8 February 1726
  • 'A choice collection of country dances with their proper tunes, whereof many never before publish’d, and in an easier method to be understood than ever yet printed. Gathered, composed and corrected by many of the best masters of this kingdom', before 8 November 1726
  • 'A set of the most celebrated airs and play-house tunes as performed at the theatre, being collected from the works of Corelli, Venturini and others, carefully corrected and figured for ye harpsichord or spinet', 8 November 1726
  • 'The Rudiments or Principles of the German Flute, explaining after an easy Method every Thing necessary for a Learner thereon, to a greater Nicety than has been ever thought before, wrote in French by the Sieur [sic] Hotteterre le Aomain, Muficiano in Ordinary to the late French King, and faithfully translated into English: To which is added a Collection of familiar Airs for Examples', 8 November 1726
  • '[Mr. Percivall’s concertos]', c. 1726
  • 'A second collection of English airs and minuets with several favourite airs out of the late operas of Otho, Julius Caesar, Vesparsian and Rodelinda all sett with a bass, being proper for the violin, German flute, harpsicord [sic] or spinet, 4–7 November 1727
  • 'The whole music to the songs in the Beggar’s Opera carefully adapted for the violin or German flute', 29 April – 3 May 1729
  • 'The whole musick and songs of the second part of the Beggar’s Opera sett with basses proper for the violin, German flute, harpsichord or spinet. Carefully corrected from the London edition', 29 April – 3 May 1729
  • 'The most celebrated airs chose out of all ye operas compos’d by Mr. Handel fitted for the violin, German flutf [sic], harpsichord or spinnet &c.', 11–14 October 1729
  • '[A collection of airs and minuets, with divisions on the Black Joak, together with several of the airs composed by Mr. Dubourg for his Majesty’s birthday, being proper for the violin, German flute, harpsichord and spinet. All set with basses and carefully figur’d]', 14–17 November 1730
  • '[A collection of English songs]', before 28 August – 1 September 1833
  • '[A collection of the most celebrated Scotch songs, with the musick and basses, carefully transpos’d for the flute at the bottom]', 28 August – 1 September 1733
  • 'A second collection of the most celebrated airs chose out of all the latest operas compos’d by Mr. Handel fitted for the violin, German flute, harpsicord [sic] or spinnet &c.', 22–26 January 1734
  • '[A second collection of country dances]', before 12–16 November 1734
  • '[A third collection of country dances]', 12–16 November 1734
  • '[A fourth collection of country dances]', 8 November 1737
  • '[A fifth collection of country dances]', 6–10 November 1739
  • 'A collection of ye favourite songs out of the celebrated masque of Comus and yue oratorio of Athalia, with several of the choicest balat songs', 8–11 November 1740
  • 'A second collection of ye celebrated songs out of the masque of Comus, with several of the choicest balat songs sung by Mrs. Clive &c.', 4–8 August 1741
  • 'The monthly masque or an entertainment of music. Consisting of four celebrated songs set for the violin, German flute and harpsicord [sic]. By the best masters', nos 4 and 6, c. 1744
  • Source(s): 

    Dublin Journal, 11–14 February 1744, p. 3

    Berry, Henry F., 'House and Shop Signs in Dublin in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries', The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, 5th ser., 40.2 (30 June 1910), 81–98 (p. 87)

    Flood, W.H. Grattan, ‘John and William Neale, Music Printers, 1721–1741’, The Bibliographical Society of Ireland: Short Papers, 3.8 (1928), 85–89

    Dix, E.R. McC., ‘Some Dublin Music Printers and Music Sellers of the Eighteenth Century’, The Irish Book Lover, 18.1 (January/February 1930), 26–28 (p. 27)

    Humphries, Charles and William C. Smith, Music Publishing in the British Isles, from the Beginning until the Middle of the Nineteenth Century; a Dictionary of Engravers, Printers, Publishers, and Music Sellers (London: Oxford University Press, 1970), p. 242

    Boydell, Brian, 'Music, 1700–1850', in Eighteenth-Century Ireland 1691–1800, ed. by T.W. Moody and W.E. Vaughan, A New History of Ireland, IV (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), pp. 568–627 (p. 591)

    A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes Proper for the Violin, German Flute or Hautboy, [ed. by] John and William Neal, facs. edn by Nicholas Carolan (Dublin: John and William Neal, 1724; repr. Dublin: Folk Music Society of Ireland, 1986)

    Boydell, Brian, A Dublin Musical Calendar 1700–1760 (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1988), p. 259

    Munter, Robert, A Dictionary of the Print Trade in Ireland: 1550–1775 (New York: Fordham University Press, 1988), p. 194

    Rice, John Kenneth, 'The Life and Work of Thomas Perry' (unpublished doctoral thesis, St Patrick's College Maynooth, 1993), p. 17

    Waterhouse, William, The New Langwill Index: a Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors (London: Tony Bingham, 1993), p. 279

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Manwaring, William (1)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Neal(e), John and William (1)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Neal(e), John and William (2)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Neal(e), John and William (3)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <>

    Boydell, Brian, ‘Neal(e), John and William (4)’, Dublin Music Trade Card Index <>

    Last Update: 12-02-2017