Early Tudor Composers: Biographical Sketches of Thirty-Two Musicians and Composers of the Period 1485-1555

By W. Henry Hadow; William H. Grattan Flood | Go to book overview

XXIX. John Gwynneth, Mus.Doc.

REGARDING this distinguished Tudor composer the biographical data are very scant. Even Davey thus dismisses him:

Gwynneth, a secular priest, was presented to a London vicarage--St. Peter's, Cheap--in 1543; he resigned in the reign of Mary, when he published tracts against the Protestants. His only known work is the song in Wynkyn de Worde's book.

He adds that Gwynneth 'was licensed to proceed Mus.Doc., Oxon., in 1531', and quotes Anthony à Wood's remarks.

Considering that Gwynneth is included in Anthony à Wood's list of famous Oxford composers, as well as in Morley's oft-quoted list, and that he is mentioned by Dr. Burney, it is strange that his biography has never been adequately explored by English musicologists. The inclusion of his song, 'My love mourneth', for four voices, in Wynkyn de Worde's printed Song-Book, dated October 10, 1530, is ample proof of his reputation as a composer at that date.

From the Register of the University of Oxford we learn that John Gwynneth, on supplicating for the degree of Mus.D. on December 9, 1531, set forth that he

. . . had composed all the Responses for the year, in cantis crispis aut fractis, ut aiunt, and many Masses, including three Masses of 5 parts, and five Masses of 4 parts, as well as Hymns, Antiphons, &c.

Evidently his abilities must have been recognized, for we read that he was licensed to graduate as Doctor of Music on payment of a fee of 20d. ( Oxford Register, i. 167).

John Gwynneth was born circa 1498, and was an exhibitioner

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Early Tudor Composers: Biographical Sketches of Thirty-Two Musicians and Composers of the Period 1485-1555
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Note 7
  • Preface 8
  • Contents 11
  • I. Gilbert Banaster 13
  • Ii. David Burton 17
  • Iii. William Cornish 20
  • Iv. William Crane 23
  • V. William Newark 27
  • Vi. Hugh Aston 30
  • Vii. Richard Pygot 34
  • Viii. Robert Fayrfax 37
  • Ix. John Browne 40
  • X. Richard Hygons 43
  • Xi. Richard Bramston 46
  • Xii. John Taverner 49
  • Xiii. Thomas Farthing 52
  • Xiv. Thomas Ashwell 55
  • Xv. Richard Davy 60
  • Xvi. Robert Cowper, Mus.D. 64
  • Xvii. John Lloyd 66
  • Xviii. Robert Jones 69
  • Xix. Nicholas Ludford 72
  • Xx. Sir William Hawte 76
  • Xxi. William Pasche 79
  • Xxii. Richard Sampson 83
  • Xxiii. Simon Burton 86
  • Xxiv. William Whytbroke 89
  • Xxv. Thomas Knight 92
  • Xxvi. John Redford 95
  • Xxvii. Thomas Appleby 100
  • Xxviii. John Dygon 104
  • Xxix. John Gwynneth, Mus.Doc. 108
  • Xxx. Richard Edwards 112
  • Xxxi. Edward Higgins 116
  • Xxxii. William Parsons 119
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