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Return to 'The Works Of Francis Pilkington' page 1.
Go to a page with , Notes and Lyrics to Some of Francis Pilkington's Songs. - page 3.

A Brief Life History of Francis Pilkington
English Madrigalists Francis Pilkington (-1562 - 1638)

People looking for Madrigalists Francis Pilkington this is a fairly good Pilkington web site but this is the unfinished junk page I do not really want you to look at - shocked - Google brings you hear! Please go to
'The Works Of Francis Pilkington' page 1.
1st posted c. January 12, 2003 - Quick update March 29 2011.

?Julia Craig-McFeely's thesis Pilkington, Francis [c1570-1638]

Francis Pilkington I have haphazard put a few things I have found I look forward to seeing a good Francis Pilkington site.
Robert Jones Compared To Francis Pilkington

Francis Pilkington and Robert Jones have much in common. Pilkington and Jones both received a B. Musical degree from, Oxford, Pilkington in 1595 and Jones in 1597. Beside Thomas Morley, they were the only composers to publish both books of airs and books of madrigals. Pilkington publish his only book of airs the same year (1605) as Jones publish his third book of airs. In these books they both set Thomas Campian's 'Now let her change' and Anthony Mundy's 'Beauty sat bathing'.

Both composers contributed songs to Sir William Leighton's The Tears and Lamentations of a Sorrowful Soul.

Patrick Thomas Connolly June - October, 2002

Michael Cavendish Madrigals (1598 and 1601) EM36
Coming from what is still one of the most beautiful villages in England, 'Michaell', gentleman of Cavendish, Suffolk, dedicated his eight joyful madrigals to his cousin Lady Arabella Stuart. They are really a set of musical love letters.
Thomas Greaves Madrigals and Songs (1604) EM36
A lutenist serving a distant cousin of Cavendish, Greaves included four madrigals in his Songs of Sundrie Kindes and four Songs of Sadness, which Philip Brett edited to add to this book ‚ Fellowes¼ last. It also contains the famous madrigal by Richard Edwards, In going to my naked bed.
Wilbye, Cavendish and Greaves served, if distantly, the same family. The next two composers served the same church at the same time, Chester Cathedral. -----------------------------????????????????

The English Madrigalists
Edmund H. Fellowes (1870‚1951) began his 36 volumes of The English Madrigal School in 1913 ... ‚ the books were published by Stainer & Bell , ... the åfinal¼ volume appeared in 1923. Five years after Fellowes died, Thurston Dart began a complete revision of the edition as The English Madrigalists, .... Ý

... two composers served the same church at the same time, Chester Cathedral.
Thomas Bateson Madrigals (1604 and 1618)

Francis Pilkington Madrigals and Pastorals (1613 and 1624)
These 45 settings employ many lute-song texts, making for interesting comparison with music collected in Stainer & Bell¼s The English Lute Song series. Two examples, O softly singing lute and Care for thy soul, are amongst the very best of English madrigals. Back in London, the home of Shakespeare at the time, two books of madrigals had links with theatre companies through their composers:
John Farmer Madrigals (1599)
Robert Jones Madrigals (1607)
" Jones was a famous lutenist and one of the musicians responsible for training the 'children of St. Paul's', who acted and sang in Elizabethan and Jacobean court plays. His 27 madrigals are mostly to texts about birds ‚ birds merry, sweet, shrill, crowing or melancholic. "

Thurston Dart

The 'Here Of A Sunday Morning' website of WBAI 99.5 FM by Chris Whent gives this summery of Francis Pilkington's life.

Francis Pilkington (c.1565-1638) [was a] English composer, lutenist and singer. Francis Pilkington received the B. Mus. degree from Lincoln College, Oxford in 1595. He became a Singing Man at Chester Cathedral in 1602, was ordained as a minor canon in 1612. He took holy orders and became a 'full minister' in 1614, subsequently serving as a curate at various local churches until he was appointed precentor of the cathedral in 1623, and was active in the choir. In 1631 he became rector of Aldford, near Chester. Though connected with the church, he was mainly a composer of secular music. He published three volumes, one of first rate ayres--The First Booke of Songs or Ayres(1605)--and two of madrigals The First Set of Madrigals and Pastorals(1613) and The Second Set of Madrigals and Pastorals(1624), including balletts in the style of Thomas Morley, and lute songs. He also wrote music for viol and for lute (the latter probably early pieces, in the main), and is represented in Leighton's Tears. A keyboard setting of 'My choice is made, and I desire no change' by Robert Hall exists.
The composers were sometimes professionals, connected with cathedrals, sometimes stewards or tutors in the house, or gentlemen amateurs. Thomas Bateson .... Francis Pilkington was precentor of Chester, and a gifted lutenist. He dedicated a First Set of madrigals, 'from my mansion in the monastery of Chester', to Sir Thomas Smith of Hough; his second to Sir Peter Legh of Lyme. It included a pavan for olpharion made by William, Earl of Derby (we remember, from Aubrey, that Ralegh's brother, Carew, had a delicate clear voice and played skillfully on the olpharion). Various verses paid tribute to 'Thine and the Muses' friends of Chester'; so there was a musical circle there, around the cathedral. Not far away, in Lancashire, Ralph Assheton was the patron of a gifted madrigalist in John Bennet.


-------------- Robert Jones A Lutinest?
"Robert Jones was the most famous lutenist, after Dowland, and an exquisite and prolific composer of songs". The NY radio Station looking at the number of books and stuff came out stating that Robert Jones was second best lute player, next to John Dowland. That is what one would think since after all Robert Jones did write more lute songs than anyone else. Ok any modern lute players before you go into cardiac arrest,
CD Robert Johnston, Frances Pilkington yet another rehash of 'Rest sweet nymphs ignoring Robert Jones of whos work they played two compositions

#"The composers represented on this CD, such as Robert Johnson, Thomas Campion, Frances Pilkington and John Dowland, are all generally regarded as masters of the English-lute song-genre" - Kenji Sano (English Translation by Stephen Gibbs)
#- English Lute Songs Chloris Sigh'd by Mamiko Hirai (soprano) and Kenji Sano (lute), Recorded at Gifu at Salamanca Hall, Japan, September, 2000. AEolian Records, 2001, AEO-518. Tokyo, Japan.
A virtuoso lutinist like Denis? O‰fDell? is not likely to fine much interesting about Robert Jones. Tectonically there were many lutinests better than Robert Jones. You do not find many pieces of lute music in manuscripts that were composed by Robert Jones. But even though Robert Jones wrote more lute songs than anyone else who said he was a lutenest?. David Greer warns - songs were found mostly written out with singing notation and notes for the bass viol. Jones writes that he practiced singing ever since he started talking. The manuscript we have in his own hand is the same as most of the song manuscripts we have singing notes and bass viol. Fellows says the melody and bass parts to Jones's songs are usually very good but it is the lute arrangement where his music runs into trouble.
#Some composers of the time, Robert Jones in particular, wrote prefaces to their publication countering expected criticism, which seem only to indicate a lack of confidence, Dowland, however, outstripped them all with his "To the Reader" of A Pilgrim's Solace, 1612. To bolster his injured pride he listed eight foreign cities where his music had been published, "(yea and some of them also authorized vnder the Emperours royall priuiledge,)" and lambasted the young "professors of the Lute, who vaunt themselves, to the disparagement of such as have beene before their time, (wherein I my selfe am a party) that there neuer was the like of them ... here are ... diuers strangers from beyond the seas, which auerre before our owne faces, that we have no true methode of application or fingering of the Lute". --------------------------- #Robert Spencer (From a CD by harmonia mundi FRANCE #907161 "John Dowland Complete Lute Works, vol. 2, Paul O'Dette, lute")
John Dowland

------------------------------------- Complied or written by Patrick Thomas Connolly ©. All materials are copyright.
© Patrick T. Connolly - 1st posted c. January 12, 2003 - Quick 1st update March 29 2011.
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Page Bibliography

$ English Madrigal Verse 1588-1632 by Edmund H. Fellowes. Revised & Enlarged by Fredrick W. Sternfeld and David Greer. 3rd Edition 1967, Oxford at the Clarendon Press. (1st ed. 1920. 2st ed. 1929.)

Edward Doughtie's 'Lyrics From Elizabethan Airs , 1596-1622' Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1970.

Greaves (1604, III) and John Danyel (1606, I) A site created by Harald Lillmeyer that can be found at;
Look under 'Downloads'.

English Song-Books 1651-1702 by Cyrus Lawrence Day and Eleanore Boswell Murrie, London 1940.

Old English Popular Music by William Chappell, revised by H. Ellis Wooldridge, 2 vols., London, 1893 (reprinted New York, 1961).

*Chris Whent, Producer of the 'Here Of A Sunday Morning' website for WBAI 99.5 FM
120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005
Julia Craig-McFeely's Thesis
#Robert Spencer (From a CD by harmonia mundi FRANCE #907161 "John Dowland Complete Lute Works, vol. 2, Paul O'Dette, lute") # John Dowland