Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Batten, Adrian

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BATTEN, ADRIAN (fl. 1630), organist of St. Paul's, the dates of whose birth and death cannot be ascertained, was educated in the choir of Winchester Cathedral under John Holmes. As Holmes left Winchester in 1602, the date 1592 is the latest that can reasonably be assigned for Batten's birth. In 1614 he was appointed vicar-choral of Westminster, and in 1624 he removed to St. Paul's, where he held the post of organist in addition to that of vicar-choral. He composed a large number of anthems, and a morning and evening service. Of printed compositions by him there are six contained in Barnard's collection and two in Boyce's ‘Anthems.’ Manuscripts of his compositions are contained in the British Museum (Harl. MS. 7337), in the libraries of Christ Church and the Music School, Oxford, of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, and in Purcell's and Blow's collections in the Fitzwilliam. There is no doubt that Batten's works show great contrapuntal skill and considerable ingenuity and inventiveness; though Burney's depreciatory remarks on them would lead us to suppose that they were in no way remarkable. Batten is commonly supposed to have died about 1640; but Burney, on what authority we know not, states that he flourished during the reigns of Charles I and II, which would place his death at least twenty years later.

[Burney's History; Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians; manuscript music in British Museum and in collections in Oxford and Cambridge.]

J. A. F. M.