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us: Morley, Thomas, 1557-1603?



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    • found: New Grove, 2nd ed. WWW site, 08-10-01 (Morley, Thomas; b. Norwich, 1557 or 1558; d. London, early Oct. 1602; English composer, editor, theorist and organist. A note, "Thomas Morley aetatis suae 19 ano. Domini 1576," appended by John Sadler to one part of his copy of Domine, non est exaltatum cor meum, is the sole record of Morley's date of birth. On Oct. 7, 1602, George Woodson was sworn in as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal "in Thomas Morley's room." Some writers have suggested that Morley resigned from the chapel at this time on account of increasing ill-health. The appearance of his name on the title page of Dowland's Third and laste booke of songs (1603) and the republication of the 1593 Canzonets in 1606 with "some Songs added by the Author" have been taken to support the conclusion that he died at some later date before 1608, when Weelkes included in his Ayres a "Remembrance of my friend M. Thomas Morley," Death hath deprived me of my dearest friend. Yet there is no indication of anyone else's having left the Chapel Royal in such a manner, posts there being held (often long past a time when the occupant could be expected to serve usefully) for life; and the references in 1603 and 1606 are misleading, the first being the result of the three-year contract with East, the second copied from the title-page of the 1602 edition. The question is most likely resolved by the discovery during research for this entry in the Act Book of the London Archdeaconry Court of letters of administration dated Oct. 11, 1602 to "Suzunne Morley." The parish named is that of St Andrew's, Holborn, rather than St Helen's, Bishopsgate, and there are many other Thomas Morleys in the city records of the time; but the widow's first name and the proximity of the date to that of the Chapel Royal reference seem more than mere coincidences, and it is reasonable to assume in the absence of further evidence that the musician died early in Oct. 1602)
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