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

XIII. Thomas Farthing

IN the valuable list of old English composers printed by Morley, in 1597, as an Addendum to his Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, appears the name of Farthing. Many specimens of Farthing's powers as a composer have survived, and one of them, 'In May, that lusty season', is quoted by Dr. Ernest Walker in his History of Music in England ( 1907). Yet, strange to say, up to the present no musical historian has attempted to lift the veil which hid the identity of this early Tudor composer. Not even a fairly approximate date has been furnished for the period of his musical activities, save merely a haphazard statement that he probably flourished 'under Henry VII and Henry VIII'--a period of sixty-two years--rather vague, indeed. As to his personality not a hint has previously been given. Hence it is with special pleasure I present the following definite information regarding the composer of 'The thought within my breast', 'With sorrowful eyes', 'I love truly', and a nameless three-part piece. The three last named are in the British Museum (Add. MS. 31922).

Thomas Farthing (the name is variously written Farding and Farthyng) was born circa1475, and in 1508 we first meet with him as a singer in the chapel of the Countess of Richmond and Derby, the mother of King Henry VII. On the decease of this noble and philanthropic lady we find that she bequeathed annuities to her retainers, including Hugh Aston, Thomas Farthing, and others. Late in the following year ( 1509) Farthing was given a post as Gentleman of the Chapel Royal under William Cornish; and his name appears among those who received mourning livery for the funeral of Prince Henry, who died on February 22, 1511. On July 8, 1511, Thomas Farthing had confirmation from

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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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