Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Chilmead, Edmund

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CHILMEAD, EDMUND (1610–1654), miscellaneous writer (erroneously mentioned as Edward in several books), was born in 1610 at Stow-in-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. He became one of the clerks of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1625, and copied out music-books for the college choir in 1632 and 1634. He graduated B.A. in 1628, and M.A. in 1632, and became in the latter year one of the chaplains of Christ Church, Oxford. He was ejected in 1648 as a royalist, and came to London in great necessity. Here he took lodgings with Thomas Este, the musician and printer of music. In a large room at the Black Horse, Aldersgate Street, Este’s house, he started a weekly musical meeting. He added to the income thus earned by translating. While at college, in 1636, he drew up ‘Catalogue MSS. Græcorum in Bibl. Bod.’ for the use of students, considered the most complete of its time, and in 1640 he published) ‘A Treatise of the Essence, Causes, Symptoms, Prognosticks, and Cures of Love or Erotique Melancholy,’ Oxford, 8vo, from Dr. James Ferrand's Latin work ‘Erotomania.’ In 1650 he published translations of Gaffarel's ‘Curiosites inouyes,’ and of Leo Modena's work upon the Jews. He helped Sir Henry Holbrooke in his translation of Procopius in 1663. Edward Bysshe, Garter king-at-arms (although a parliamentarian), assisted him and his friend John Gregory with money and recommendations to others. Chilmead died on 19 Feb. 1653-4 in London, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Botolph without, Aldersgate. An ‘address to the reader’ by Chilmead is prefixed to a translation of Campanella's ‘Discourse touching the Spanish Monarchy,’ published in 1654. At the end of the Oxford edition of Aratus, 1672, 8to, is a curious dissertation by Chilmead, ‘De Musicâ Antiquâ Græcâ,’ and his ‘Annotationes in Odas Dionysii,’ which were found by Dr. Bernard among the papers of Archbishop Ussher. In this work he gives the ancient Greek musical characters rendered in the notes of Guido's scale. Wood mentions a treatise of his 'De Sonis,' which was never published. In 1691 there appeared at Oxford, with Latin notes and translation (from the Greek) by Chilmead, together with a preface by Humphrey Hody and a letter by Bent ley, an edition of 'Joannis Antiocheni cognomento Malalee Historia Chronica.' Chilmead's contributions to this volume have been frequently reprinted in the continental collections of Byzantine historians. In the British Museum (Add. MS. 29396) is a volume of rare old English songs, chiefly in the handwriting of Edward Lowe, ofjjanist of the Chapel Royal. Of these 'Coy Celia dost thou see?' is signed Edm. Chilmead; the words, however, are Randolph's; and 'Drinke to-daye and drowne all sorrowe' has Chilmead's music, but the words are from Fletcher's 'Bloody Brother.' There are also some trios by Chilmead in Addit. MS. 31429. 'A learned Treatise of Globes both Celestiall and Terrestriall . . . written first in Latine by Mr. Robert Hues ... Illustrated with notes Inr lo. Isa. Pontanus, and now lately made English ... by John Chilmead, Mr. A. of Christ Church in Oxon.,' London, 1038, 8vo, is usually attributed to Edmund Chilmead with apparent correctness.

[Chilmead's Works; Hawkins's History of Music, 1853, p. 712; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 350; Nichols's Illust. iv. 79; Bloxam's Reg. Magd. Coll. ii. 69-61, 281-2.]

J. W.-G.