Gouter, James (DNB00)

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GOUTER or GAULTIER, JAMES (fl. 1636), lutenist, was a Frenchman in the service of Charles I. A warrant dated 28 Nov. 1625 directs the payment of ‘the sum of one hundred pounds due to him at Christmas next, and likewise a hundred pounds a year until such time as his Majesty shall make him a grant under the Great Seal of England, of the like value, during his life.’ By later warrants, dated 21 Oct. 1629 and 26 March 1631, this annuity was confirmed and arrears ordered to be paid (Sign Man. Car. I, vol. i. No. 133, and vol. xiii. No. 2). In the returns, dated October 1635, to the privy council by the justices of the peace of ‘Straungers borne,’ dwelling within Westminster and the liberties thereof, among those of the parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster, occurs the entry, ‘Mr. Gottiere, a frenchman, householder, Musician’ (State Papers, Dom. ccc. 75). In the charter, dated 15 July 1636, granted by Charles to Nicholas Lanier, ‘Mounsieur Gaultier’ is mentioned among the fifty-two musicians hereafter to be ‘the musicians of us, our heirs and Successors,’ and ‘by force and virtue of theis p'sents, a body corporate and politique in deed, fact and name, by the name of Marshall, Wardens and Cominalty of the Arte and Science of Musick in Westm' in the County of Midd'.’ (Patent Rolls, ii. Car. I, Nona pars, 4). A petition of Michael Burton to the privy council dated 30 April 1637, shows that Gaultier had incurred a debt to one Sara de Lastre; that Burton had solicited her cause in the court of arches, and had obtained judgment against him for 66l. 13s. 4d. Sara de Lastre had disappeared without paying her solicitor; and it was ordered that her debt of 16l. to Burton should be paid out of Gaultier's wages ‘payable in the exchequer’ (State Papers, Dom. cccliv, 131 and ccclvii. 59). There is an etched portrait of him by Jan Livius, holding a theorbo or arch-lute, and with a Latin inscription. In the print-room of the British Museum is an impression of this etching in a very early state of the plate. The face is somewhat Dutch in character, with long, full hair; the eyes are large and penetrative, and the nose and mouth finely modelled; in this state it is a noble portrait. Gaultier is chiefly interesting from the two allusions made to him by Herrick, once in a ‘Lyrick to Merth’ (Hesperides, 1648, p. 41), where he is coupled with John Wilson, ‘the best at the lute in all England,’ according to Wood; and again in the verses (ib. p. 326) addressed to Henry Lawes.

[Authorities cited in text.]