The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Anthems for Christmas Day
In Four Parts
With Variety of Hymns and Carrols
For That Joyful Festival

(Never Before Published)

William Knapp (1698-1768)

Author of a Set of New Psalm-Tunes and Anthems, In Four Parts, On Various Occasions

London: Robert Brown, et al., 1744

Table of Contents

An Anthem for Christmas Day, Luke II
Behold, Behold, I Bring You Glad Tidings, pp. 5-14

A Hymn for Christmas Day:
What Words! What Voices Can We Bring?, p. 15

A Hymn for Christmas Day:
Hark! Hear You Not A Cheerful, Cheerful Noise, p. 18

A Christmas Carrol
A Virgin Most Pure - Knapp (1744), p. 20

A Carrol
Hosanna To The Highest Joy Betide, p. 22

A Christmas Hymn
Rejoyce, Rejoyce, Ye Mortals All Rejoyce, p. 24

A Hymn for Christmas Day
Immortal Babe, Who On This Day, p. 28

A Christmas Hymn
Hark! Hark What News The Angels Bring! p. 30


On p. 32, there was an announcement of a Second Edition of A Set of New Psalm-Tunes, On Various Occasions, by William Knapp.

Although little known today, Knapp was well known in his time. Due to lax copyright laws, his work was widely reprinted without his permission, sometimes in a changed condition. As such, he is said to have been a major influence in the musical forms of his day.

The source document, Anthems for Christmas-Day, is extremely rare. There is no entry for it in WorldCat, which tells me that there is no lending library in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, or the U.S. that has a copy. A single copy was located at the website The Boston Athenĉum, Anthems for Christmas-Day. It has been reprinted by Benjamin Bloomfield, with newly transcribed sheet music, and available at and elsewhere (Amazon and Barnes & Noble).

His three published collections were very popular, often reprinted (except Anthems), and believed to be a considerable source of income. They are:

There is a biography for him at the ChoralWiki, William Knapp. See also William_Knapp_-_The_Dorset_Composer from Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, Volume 47 (circa 1927), and see William Knapp and the Country Psalmody Tradition by Dave Townsend <>, accessed Nov. 14, 2016.

Additional Christmas content from his other two collections include:

A Sett of New Psalm-Tunes and Anthems:

New Church Melody:

On page 159, Knapp wrote "Here follow four Excellent Hymns and an Anthem for the Nativity."

Free sheet music is available for most of these pieces for non-commercial use from Roding Music, both vocals and vocals with keyboard. They have a page dedicated to Knapp's Anthems for Christmas Day; these are links to pages of Sibelius sheet music. The following pages have additional links to music sung in the West Galley tradition by category:

Finally, there is a Numerical List Of All Pieces that can be searched for other titles.

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