English composer. He is remembered for the music he wrote for masques such as James Shirley's Cupid and Death (1653), and his incidental and vocal music for plays, notably Psyche (1675). He was a vigorous and acrimonious defender of ‘modern music’, writing in 1666 a pamphlet defending his church music and in 1672 opening a controversy with Thomas Salmon. Purcell wrote an elegy on his death.
He was a choirboy at Exeter Cathedral under Edward Gibbons. In 1648 he visited the Netherlands, and having returned to London collaborated in Shirley's masque Cupid and Death performed before the Portuguese ambassador in 1653. In 1656 he wrote the Little Consort for viols in three parts for William Wake's pupils and the same year he was one of the composers who took part in the setting of William Davenant's The Siege of Rhodes (1656). He was Composer in Ordinary to the King and for Charles II's coronation in 1661 he wrote instrumental music for the procession. In 1663, having turned Roman Catholic, he became organist to Queen Catherine.
WorksStage operas Davenant's The Siege of Rhodes (with Coleman, Cooke, Hudson, and H Lawes, 1656) and Psyche (with G B Draghi, 1675); masque, Shirley's Cupid and Death (with C Gibbons, 1653); incidental music to Stapylton's The Stepmother, Shakespeare's Macbeth (altered by Davenant and containing material from Middleton's The Witch), and for Shadwell's version of Shakespeare's The Tempest (1674); song in Durfey's The Fool turned Critic.
Other Kyrie, Credo, anthems, Latin hymns; consorts for viols in three and four parts; songs in three parts, duets; songs for one voice with accompaniment.
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Sang at Exeter Cathedral under Edward Gibbons. Traveled to the Netherlands in the 1640s, perhaps with exiled royalists;...