Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 08.djvu/130
first set, cannot be mended by the best Italian of them all.’ In addition to the works already mentioned, Byrd wrote three masses, for three, four, and five voices respectively. These were all printed without title-pages, probably in 1588, and have been published in modern editions. Manuscript compositions by Byrd are to be found in the British Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Buckingham Palace, Lambeth Palace, Music School (Oxford), Christ Church (Oxford), and Peterhouse (Cambridge) collections. According to an old tradition (alluded to in some prefatory verses to Blow's ‘Amphion Anglicus’) a canon by Byrd is preserved in the Vatican, engraved on a golden plate; this has generally been supposed to be the well-known ‘Non nobis, Domine,’ the authorship of which is usually ascribed to Byrd.
Byrd's arms were three stags' heads caboshed, a canton ermine, and not those engraved in the Musical Antiquarian Society's edition of the mass. By his wife, Ellen Birley, he had six children: 1. Christopher, who married Catherine, daughter of Thomas Moore of Bamborough, Yorkshire, and had a son named Thomas, who was living at Stondon in 1634; 2. Thomas, who was a musician, and lived at Drury Lane; he acted as deputy to John Bull [q. v.] at Gresham College and was alive in 1651; 3. Elizabeth, who married twice (her husbands' names were John Jackson and Burdett); 4. Rachel, who married (1)—Hook, by whom she had two children, William, and Katherine, wife of Michael Walton, and (2) Edward Biggs; 5. Mary, who married (1) Henry Hawksworth, by whom she had four sons, and (2) Thomas Faulconbridge; and 6. Anne, who died young. A portrait of him—which was probably imaginary—was engraved by Vandergucht for a projected ‘History of Music’ by N. Haym, a work which never appeared.[The documents quoted above from the State Papers and Archidecanal Records were printed by the writer in the Musical Review (1883), Nos. 19, 20, 21; Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal (Camden Soc. 1872), pp. 2, 10, 183; information from the Rev. A. R. Maddison and Mr. W. H. Cummings; Registers of Harlington; authorities quoted above.]
BYRHTFERTH, less correctly written BRIDFERTH (fl. 1000), mathematician, was a monk (in priest's orders) of the abbey of Ramsey, and studied under the celebrated Abbo of Fleury, who taught there for two years. Leland mentions that Byrhtferth was described by some as a monk of Thorney, and it has been conjectured that he may have originally belonged to that monastery, and migrated to Ramsey soon after the foundation of the abbey there about 970. He subsequently became the head of the Ramsey school, and his extant works have for the most part the appearance of being notes of his lectures to his pupils. From a passage in his commentary on Bæda's work, ‘De Temporum Ratione,’ it appears that he had travelled in France, as he mentions an observation on the length of shadows which he had made at Thionville (‘in Gallia in loco qui Teotonis villa dicitur’).
The only undisputed writings of Byrhtferth which have hitherto been printed are his commentaries on four treatises of Bæda (‘De Temporum Ratione,’ ‘De Natura Rerum,’ ‘De Indigitatione,’ and ‘De Ratione Unciarum’), which may be found in the edition of Bæda published at Cologne in 1612. Considering the age in which they were written, these commentaries display a surprising degree of scientific knowledge, and the wide range of classical reading which they exhibit is perhaps still more remarkable. Some interesting extracts from them are given in Wright's ‘Biographia Britannica Literaria.’
Bale ascribes to Byrhtferth two works, entitled respectively, ‘De Principiis Mathematicis’ and ‘De Institutione Monachorum.’ Of these writings no trace is known to exist; but a manuscript in the Bodleian Library (Ashmole, 328) contains a treatise of Byrhtferth's, bearing the title ‘Computus Latinorum ac Græcorum Hebræorumque et Ægyptiorum necnon et Anglorum.’ This work is written in Latin, with an Anglo-Saxon translation at the foot of each page. From the account given of this manuscript by Dr. Stubbs in the introduction to his ‘Memorials of St. Dunstan,’ it would appear to be well worthy of publication, as affording valuable information respecting the state of scientific knowledge among the Anglo-Saxons, and the methods of teaching adopted in their schools. It contains the following couplet, which is interesting as being probably the earliest attempt at imitating the classical hexameter in English:
Cum nu, Hálig Gást! Bútan the ne bist thu gewurthod.
Gyf thine gyfe thære tungan the thu gyfst gyfe on gereorde.
From the terms in which Abbo is mentioned (‘Abbo dignæ memoriæ’), it may be inferred that this work was not written until after his death, which occurred in 1004; and the reference to ‘Eádnoth the bishop’ (of Dorchester) seems to point to a date a few years later.
Another work which is usually attributed