(b Warwickshire, 1809; d Dublin, 1885). Irish organ builder. He established himself as William Telford, Organ Builder, in 1830, with the name of the firm changing in 1847 to Telford & Telford, and in 1870 to Telford & Sons. The firm built a number of organs during this period, ranging in size from the 47-stop instrument for St Peter's College, Radley, to small church barrel organs. Other important organs include those for Trinity College, Dublin (1838), Killala Cathdral, Co. Mayo (1838, still in original condition), the church of St Malachy, Belfast (1847), and St Eugene's Cathedral, Londonderry (1872).

Although the bulk of his work was in Ireland, Telford was known and respected in England and abroad. He was a close personal friend of the French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, having attended the inauguration of the organ of Ste Marie-Madeleine in Paris in 1847. Two organs were built by Telford for churches in New Zealand. He was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Dublin Society in 1847 for his work and in 1851 he was one of the adjudicators of musical instruments at the Great Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace, where the first prize was awarded to the young and talented organ builder Henry Willis.

Related Material


Leahy, Anne. “William Telford: Organ Builder.” Thesis, St Patrick's College. Maynooth, 1987)

Gillen, G. ‘William Telford and the Victorian Organ in Ireland’. Irish Musical Studies 2 vols. Ed. G. Gillen and H. White Dublin: 1993. II, 108–28.

Last modified 29 January 2013