Boyce, William (1710-1779), English composer. He was born in London, became a chorister of St. Paul's, was composer to the Chapel Royal (1736), and organist (1758). From 1755 he was master of the king's band, and in 1749 he received the degree of Mus. Doc. from the University of Cambridge. He is best known by a collection he made of the church music of old masters. He also composed oratorios, symphonies, motets, and some theatrical music. Among the latter may be mentioned the song, Hearts of Oak, which used to be sung on going into action by such crews as had not a band, during the naval wars of last century and the beginning of this. His services and anthems are still extensively used.