Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/294

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
282
BUNTING.
BULL.

health, and during his absence was permitted to substitute as his deputy, Thomas, son of William Byrd. He travelled incognito into France and Germany, and Antony à Wood tells a story of a feat performed by him at St. Omer's, where, to a composition originally in forty parts, he added forty more in a few hours. After the death of Elizabeth, Bull retained his post in the Chapel Royal, and his fame as an organist was widely spread. [App. p.568 "His name occurs in a list of persons to whom James I. ordered 'Gold chains, plates or medals' to be given, Dec. 31, 1606. (Devon's 'Issues of the Exchequer,' 1836, p. 301.)"] On Dec. 15, 1606, Bull was admitted into the freedom of the Merchant Taylors' Company by service, having been bound apprentice to Thomas, Earl of Sussex, who was free of the Company. On July 16, 1607, when James I and Prince Henry dined at Merchant Taylors,' Hall, the royal guests were entertained with music, both vocal and instrumental. And while His Majesty was at table, according to Stowe, 'John Bull, Doctor of Musique, one of the organists of His Majesties Chappell-royall, and free of the Merchant-taylors, being in a citizen's gowne, cappe, and hood, played most excellent melodie upon a small payre of Organes, placed there for that purpose onley.' (Chronicles, edit. 1631, p. 891.) On Dec. 22, 1607, Bull obtained[1] from the Bishop of London a marriage licence for himself and 'Elizabeth Walter of the Strand, maiden, aged about 24, daughter of Walter, citizen of London, deceased, she attending upon the Rt. Hon. the Lady Marchioness of Winchester.' They were to marry at 'Christ Church, London.' In the same month [App. p.568 "Two days before"] he resigned his professorship at Gresham College, which was tenable only so long as he remained unmarried. In 1611 he was in the service of Prince Henry, and his name stands first on the roll of the Prince's musicians, with a salary of £40 per annum. The old Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal records under date of 1613 that 'John Bull, Doctor of Musicke, went beyond the seas without license, and was admitted into the Archduke's service.' No valid reason can be assigned for his leaving the country, but it seems he had been preparing for the step some months previously. In the British Museum (Add. MSS. No. 6194), is preserved a letter from Dr. Bull to Sir M. Hicks, wishing his son's name to be inserted instead of his own in some patent dated April 26, 1612; and the same MS. contains an extract from Mr. Trumbull's letter to James I concerning the Archduke's receiving Dr. Bull, the king's organist, into his chapel without permission, dated May 30, 1614. [App. p.568 "Concerning Bull's residence abroad, it should be added that he went to Brussels and became one of the organists of the Chapel Royal under Géry de Ghersem. (Dict. of Nat. Biog.)"] The subsequent life of Dr. Bull has been hitherto simply conjecture, but the writer is fortunately enabled to clear up the latter part of it from a letter written by the Chevalier Leon de Burbure some few years back, in answer to certain inquiries. The Chevalier says, 'I do not know that the Cathedral of Antwerp ever possessed any MSS. of Dr. John Bull, but at all events there have remained no traces for a long time. The only facts relative to John Bull that I have discovered are, that he became organist of Notre Dame at Antwerp in 1617, in the place of Ruinold Waelrent deceased; that in 1620 he lived in the house adjoining the church, on the side of the Place Verte, in which the concierge of the cathedral had lived; that he died on March 12 or 13, 1628, and was buried on the 15th of the same month in the cathedral where he had been organist.' Specimens of Bull's compositions for voices may be found in Barnard's and Boyce's collections and in Sir William Leighton's 'Teares or Lamentations of a Sorrowfull Soule,' 1614, fol. He joined Byrd and Gibbons in contributing to the Parthenia, a collection of pieces for the virginals, printed early in the 17th century, and a large number of his instrumental movements are extant in the volume in the Fitzwilliam Museum known as Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book, and in other MSS. See a curious list in Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors, pp. 203–8. To Bull has been attributed the composition of the popular tune, 'God save the King,' but the claim made on his behalf has met with but partial acceptance. [See God save the King.] A portrait of Bull is preserved in the Music School at Oxford. It is painted on a board and represents him in the habit of a bachelor of music. On the left side of the head are the words, 'An. Ætatis evæ 26, 1589,' and on the right side an hour-glass, upon which is placed a human skull, with a bone across the mouth. Round the four sides of the frame is written the following homely distich:—

      'The bull by force in field doth raigne:
       But Bull by skill good will doth gayne.'

[ E. F. R. ]

BUNN, Alfred, [App. p.570 "date of his birth was probably April 8, 1796 or 1797,"] manager and dramatic author, was for a quarter of a century director, and during the greater part of that time lessee, of Drury Lane Theatre. Elliston gave him his first appointment as stage-manager of Drury Lane in 1823, when he was quite a young man; and he first obtained a certain celebrity as a manager by endeavouring some dozen years afterwards to establish an English Opera. [App. p.570 "In 1826 he was manager of the Birmingham Theatre, and in 1833 held the same post at Drury Lane and Covent Garden."] 'The Maid of Artois,' and a few years later 'The Bohemian Girl,' 'The Daughter of St. Mark,' and other operas by Balfe, were produced at Drury Lane under Mr. Bunn's management; and for the first of these works Mme. Malibran was engaged at the then unprecedented rate of £125 a night. Mr. Bunn also brought out Mr. (now Sir Julius) Benedict's 'Brides of Venice' and Vincent Wallace's 'Maritana.' For most of these operas Mr. Bunn himself furnished the libretto, which however was in every case of French origin. He was the author or adapter of a good many dramas and farces, including 'The Minister and the Mercer,' a translation of Scribe's 'Bertrand et Raton,' which, on its first production, obtained remarkable success. Long before his career as manager had come to an end [App. p.570 "In 1840"] he published a volume of memoirs, under the title of 'The Stage.' [App. p.580 "He was declared a bankrupt on Dec. 17, 1840. In later life he became a Roman Catholic, and died of apoplexy at Boulogne, Dec. 20, 1860. (Dict. of Nat. Biog.)"]

[ H. S. E. ]

BUNTING, Edward, son of an English engineer and an Irish lady, born at Armagh in February 1773. He was educated as an organ and pianoforte player, and distinguished himself for his love of Irish music, of which he published three collections. The first, containing Irish airs 'never before published,' came out in 1796. A

  1. This fact has never before been noticed. I am indebted for it to Colonel J. L. Chester. [G.]