Richard Garbett was baptised at Exeter Cathedral on 31 May 1789, the son of William Garbett and Elizabeth (née Geare).
A book of the texts of Anthems performed at St. Mary Arches Church, Exeter, selected by R. Garbett, Organist, published in Exeter by E. Woolmer, at the Gazette Office, in 1816, indicates Richard Garbett's post at that date and the range of music in use.
The book consists of texts only, but with attributions of the music used to composers, and with indications of voicing (such as recitative, air and chorus). The texts of 48 anthems are included, representing composers including James Kent of Winchester, William Mason of York and Robert Creighton of Wells. Many texts are for excerpts from Handel's oratorios, or are psalm texts marked 'Bond, from Handel', referring to Hugh Bond's arrangements in his Twelve Anthems.
Richard Garbett had taken up the post of organist of St. David's, Exeter by 1818, as he describes himself as such on the title page of his Sacred Harmony, which he published that year.
In 1821, Richard Garbett married Elizabeth Prout at St. Paul's parish church, Exeter.
In 1822, 'Mr. Richard Garbett, Organist, Tavistock, Devon' was among the subscribers to Twenty Five Original Melodies by Bennett Mintern Swaffield of St. Austell: two of the tunes had previously been published in Garbett's Sacred Harmony.
List of choral works
- Bless God, my soul
- Continue, Lord, to hear my voice
- Erect your heads, eternal gates
- God is our refuge in distress
- Let Israel trust in God
- The Lord hath spoke, the mighty God
- Lord, hear my prayer, and to my cry
- With my whole heart, my God and King
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Sacred Harmony (1818)
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