FRANCIS RAINE WALTON
THE organist of Glasgow Cathedral was born in 1869 at Thirsk in Yorkshire, and is the eldest son of James Walton, schoolmaster and organist of the parish church in that town. At the age of eight he became a chorister in his father's church, and from that time onward played the organ at the week-day services, of course with the manuals only, as his legs were too short to reach the pedals. At the age of twelve he obtained his first appointment, at the church of Shipton on Swale, and two years later he became organist at the church of Kirkby-Wiske, where the future Bishop of Richmond was vicar. At the same time he studied organ, pianoforte, and harmony under the late Dr. Naylor, organist of York Minster. At Easter, 1886, he entered the Royal College of music in London. There in 1887 he gained an open scholarship tenable for three years for organ-playing, and during those years studied composition, theory, organ and pianoforte playing, etc., under Sir Walter Parratt, Dr. Hubert Parry, Sir J. F. Bridge, and other distinguished musicians of the day. At the same time he frequently acted as accompanist to leading singers and players. In 1890 the Earl of Aberdeen appointed him his private organist, and in 1893, having declined a tempting offer to go with the Earl to Canada, he became organist and choir-master of St. Mark's Church, Leeds, with a large teaching connection. Three years later he was one of the five selected candidates for the post of organist to the Corporation of Liverpool, and took part in the competition in the Royal Albert Hall, London, in January, 1897, in connection with the appointment. Dr. Peace, the organist of Glasgow Cathedral, was the successful candidate, and in the following May Mr. Walton was unanimously elected to fill Dr. Peace's vacant place at Glasgow. He holds the diploma of an Associate of the Royal College of Music for organ-playing. At Glasgow Cathedral he plays upon a magnificent Willis organ of four manuals, which cost some £6,000.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)