William Edmund was a little known native born composer of the American Colonies who lived and worked his entire life in . He seems to have been a later descendent of the large Edmund clan known to have first settled in New England beginning with a John Edmonds who was living in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 and also Thomas Edmund who settled in Virginia in 1654 . Works for harpsichord were first discovered by him in early 2009 in a bundle of loose papers at one time housed in the Dedham Historical Society.
The style of the music though most likely the work of an amateur shows a surpisingly firm grasp of the musical language which was currently popular in the England of his day. One may assume that the composer had access to contemporary scores of English and European keyboard works, though currently there is no direct evidence of this. Town records show William Edmund to have been both a soldier and physician, but this is the first evidence found of his musical abilities. Intriguingly with a dates written by hand on the scores as well as corresponding dates amongst surrounding pages, these pieces by Edmund appears to be some of the earliest extant keyboard music written in North America.