Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1743-1795 - Poland Street (Soho)

Violinist Francis Pasquali (place and date of birth are unknown) arrived in London from Italy about 1743, following in the footsteps of his elder brother Nicolò, also a musician. A concert at the Haymarket Theatre (1 April 1745) featured Nicolò performing a violin solo and Francis (known as Pasqualino’) playing a concerto on the violoncello. Following a period in Dublin, Francis returned to London where from about 1760 he was a music printer and publisher in Poland Street, near Great Marlborough Street, and also achieved prominence as a double bass player.

In 1772 he opened the New Rooms for Concerts and Assemblies on Tottenham Street (later known as the Prince of Wales’s Theatre), which were successful as home to the concerts of ancient music from 1776. He was also connected with the King’s Theatre during the 1780s, possibly as an assistant to his son-in-law, the stage designer Michael Novosielski. Pasquali’s fortunes took a serious turn for the worse when the concerts of ancient music moved to the King’s Theatre in 1794. No details of his death are known. He was living in St Pancras in 1786 and listed as delinquent’ in the rate books of 1795.

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