Andrew Tait - Organist at Aberdeen

Personal data

Died 1778

Long-time organist of St Paul's Chapel, Aberdeen. In 1748, he founded the Aberdeen Musical Society, and he is the reputed composer of several psalm tunes, including St Paul and When Languor and Disease Invade.

In 1766, Tait was the winning party in a case decided by the Court of Sessions, which was reported by Boswell's friend Lord Hailes. According to the court documents, a Mr. John Sligo possessed a shop in Aberdeen, belonging to Andrew Tait. Tait informed Sligo of his intention to disposess him of the shop on Whitsunday 1766, leaving possession of the shop to a Mr Byres instead. Sligo then took Byres's old shop as well as intending to remain in the shop belonging to Tait, claiming that he had received no formal warning to remove from the premises. The court decerned in the removing, but apparently Boswell's father, Lord Auchinleck, dissented, stating that "Warning is as necessary in boroughs as in the country. When the proprietor supposes that the tenant will go away willingly, he uses no warning. If he is mistaken in this supposal, the tenant will sit."1

Life with Boswell

On August 22, 1773, Boswell went with Dr Johnson and the local Professor Thomas Gordon to the English Chapel in Aberdeen, writing in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides that "[w]e found a respectable congregation, and an admirable organ, well played by Mr Tait."