Music – Thomas Morley

Born 1558 died 1603. As a young man, Organist of St. Giles’, Cripplegate, later of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and also, finally, a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. As Byrd was in danger as a Roman Catholic, so Morley was in danger as a Protestant. It appears that he went abroad on some secret service. See a letter by one Paget, a Catholic agent in Flanders :

‘ Ther is one Morley that playeth on the organies in poules that was with me in my house. He seemed here to be a good Catholicke and was reconsiled, but notwith-standing suspecting his behaviour I entercepted letters that Mr. Nowell [presumably the Dean of St. Paul’s] wrote to him wherby I discovered enoughe to have hanged him. Nevertheless he shewing with teares great repentance and asking on his knees forgiveness, I was content to let him go. I here since his comming thether he hath played the promotor and apprehendeth Catholickes.’

Morley wrote a large numbe1 of Madrigals, in which he frequently showed a gay and light-hearted spirit. He also wrote some Church

Music and Keyboard Music. In 1597, being ill and obliged to keep his house, he occupied himself usefully in writing a popular text-book, the Plaine and Easie Introduction to Musick.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. G. E. P. Arkwright’s article in Grove’s Dictionary; chapter in Fellowes’ English Madrigal Composers ; passages in Walker and in Davey, in Bridge’s Twelve Good Musicians and Anderton’s Early English Music.

PRINTED MUSIC. The complete MADRIGAL writings have been edited by Dr. Fellowes (Stainer & Bell, 4 vols., I2s. 6d., 8s. 6d., 9s., 7s. 6d? ; the separate Madrigals are published at prices from 2d. to 6d.). The KEYBOARD MUSIC is not easily available. A little SOLO VOCAL MUSIC may be found in albums, e. g. O Mistress Mine and It was a Lover, in Bridge’s Songs from Shakespeare (Novello, 4s.).

GRAMOPHONE RECORDS. Ballet, Now is the Month of Haying (H. M. V. ; Gibbons’ Silver Swan on back) ; printed copy, Stainer & Bell (3d.).