ALTHOUGH it is known that Edward Higgins composed some Masses and Motets in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, yet none of his works have come down to us. However, he deserves inclusion in the present series of articles as the writer of the magnificent full-choir book now in Caius College, Cambridge, known as the Gonville and Caius College MS. 667-- a really splendid parchment measuring 28 in. by 20 in. At the end of the manuscript is written, 'Ex dono et opere Eduardi Higgons hujus ecclesie Canonici'.
Strange to say, none of our musical historians could find any clue to the biography of this musical Canon, but Mr. Henry Davey surmises that the Caius MS. was written 'circa 1510-20'. The Right Rev. Dr. Frere is of opinion that the handwriting of this manuscript is the same as that of the famous Lambeth MS., but other experts are not of the same way of thinking. In fact, the tradition of Lambeth is that the manuscript came from St. Albans Abbey, and that the scribe was none other than Dr. Fayrfax himself, whose exercise for his Mus.Doc. is included therein.
Fortunately, my researches have resulted in a goodly number of entries from official sources relating to Higgins, who, as will be seen, was not only a musician, but also a D.C.L. of Oxford, and a Canon of St. Stephen's Chapel Royal, Westminster, and of Lincoln.
Edward Higgins--whose family came from Exeter--was born about the year 1488, and graduated B.C.L. of Oxford in 1507, proceeding to D.C.L. on February 3, 1510/II. On August 1, 1511, he was presented to the Church of Lanteglos-juxta-Stratton ( Cornwall), void by the death of Thomas Moreton (Patent Rolls, 3 Henry VIII, p. 1, m. 8). Seven months later ( March 9, 1512) he was admitted a Master in Chancery, void by the death of