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John William Harmston

Help Requested

Much information has already been accumulated on John William Harmston from a wide range of sources. However, there are still many gaps in the information and any help you may be able to provide in filling these gaps would be much appreciated.

The following are particular areas where help is sought but are not exclusive.

Birth of John William Harmston

No English records of John William Harmston’s birth have been found although German archive data and census records provide a date of birth and baptism.

Sheet Music

I am slowly accumulating copies of sheet music for John William Harmston (see list) and any additional ones would be most welcome.


After much searching, I have finally obtained a recording of one of John William Harmston’s work (Chant du Soir) and have commissioned another piece (La Reine du Cœur). Ave Maria and Ein Veilchenstrauss, played by Phillip Sears, are both available on YouTube. Please let me know if there are any more out there.

Help Requested

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Proklamations Register 1850

Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck

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Although a large number of his works have been identified there are still many gaps (see Musical Works). For some pieces, an opus number has not been identified although there is a title for the work.

Other Composers Named Harmston

Whilst researching John William Harmston, several references have been found to another composer, Edward Harmston whose works date around the end of the 19th century. So far 17 pieces have been identified, none with opus numbers. The works of John William and Edward are inter-mixed in at least one source of information.

One reference has been found to an opera, Die Sonnwendnacht, written in two acts by B Harmston and Friedrich Wilhelm Otto Spengler. Evidence strongly suggests that B. Harmston was Bernhard, son of John William. A copy has been obtained. Reference has also been found to Weihnachts-Elegie : ein Melodienstrauss ; op. 7 by C. Harmston. A copy of this has also been obtained.

Further information on either Edward Harmston, B. Harmston or C. Harmston would be appreciated.