"The purpose of this dissertation is to determine the role that Walter Willson Cobbett (1847-1937) played in the British Musical Renaissance by his initiation of a series of chamber music competitions, beginning in 1905, each of which required the composition of a phantasy. The phantasy was Cobbett's reinvention of an older genre, the fancy, or fantasia, which had been popular in sixteenth- and seventeenth- century England. A vast number of new British chamber compositions was generated from these competitions. After examining the events of Cobbett's life that contributed to his involvement and passion for music, the paper discusses some of the events and issues that caused England to experience a musical renaissance. This leads to a discussion of the history of the fancy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Cobbett's reinvention of the genre and some of the reactions to it are subsequently examined. The competitions themselves are presented in great detail with the results and descriptions and/or reviews of some of the winning compositions. Other important contributions of Cobbett are shown, such as his eleven commissions for phantasies, his sponsorship of prizes at the Royal College of Music, and the endowed medal for services to chamber music issued each year by the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Concluding statements portray the lasting legacy Cobbett has had on British chamber music."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.