The Prize Grace
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

In 1904 Charles Wood, Cambridge lecturer of Gonville and Caius College, won the competition for a new Grace to be sung before formal Company Dinners. In 1933 his widow (Charlotte) donated a bound manuscript to the Company, but it transpired that this gift contained a different setting of the same words. However, the Guildhall Library also contains a score published by J.B.Cramer & Co. called Oculi Omnium and this is understood to be the true Prize version and is shown below.

The 1905, 2nd Edition and the 1915, 3rd Edition of the first Company Handbook (Click Here to see more on the handbooks) presented the winning Grace entry and it does indeed match the published pages given below. The Prize Grace is still performed regularly at Company Functions.

The framed score shown above, hangs in the Company Office and is the same setting of the Grace as the printed version, albeit a slightly different edition. Below are images of the 4 printed and published pages of Oculi Omnium. The Grace is presented twice; the second time with English words. The image on the extreme right is the setting as published in the 1905 Company Handbook (referred to above).

The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

The images below are of a bound score, held in the Library, identified on the spine as the Prize Grace by Charles Wood. It contains only 1 page of manuscript. It appears that 5 pages have been cut-out and are missing (although it is also possible that these 5 apparent missing pages were simply packing pieces used by the bookbinder to pad out the spine and allow just one page to be 'bound' - see picture below right). The single page of handwritten manuscript is indeed a setting of the Grace, but is very different from the printed version (above) which is thought to be the actual prize winner. It is presumed that this bound score is the one donated to the Company by Charlotte Wood and referred to in her letter of 6th May 1933 (see bottom left of this page). A subsequent letter from her, dated 14th May 1933, is also shown below but refers to a Charles Wood 'morning service' - which is apparently lost.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Pages cut out, or bookbinder's packing strips?

Below are the two letters from Charles Wood's widow, Charlotte G Wood that refer to the bound Prize Grace - Click on the image to enlarge.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Letter from Charlotte Wood - May 14th 1933

Letter from Charlotte Wood - 6th May 1933

The Musicians' Company Archive Project

A setting of the Grace was also done by Arthur Henry Brown - scored purely for male voices. No autograph manuscript is known to exist for this setting, but it was presented alongside Charles Wood's winning entry in the second (and indeed third) edition of the first Company Handbook. Click on the image right to enlarge.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project

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