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Hewitt, James ( June 1770–02 August 1827), conductor, composer, and publisher, was born in Dartmoor, England, the son of John Hewitt, a captain in the British navy. (His mother’s name is unknown.) Details of his childhood are sketchy, but sources indicate that he occupied 12 Hyde Street in the Bloomsbury section of London during 1791–1792. Although it is impossible to verify his family’s claim that Hewitt was leader of the King’s Band of Musick, it is known that around this time he was a member of the orchestra at Astley’s Amphitheatre in London, one of the forerunners of the modern circus. In 1790 Hewitt married Louisa Lamb; they had one child, but both mother and child died shortly after the baby’s birth....