Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mudd, Thomas

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MUDD, THOMAS (fl. 1577–1590), musical composer, born about 1560, was probably son of a London mercer, and was educated at St. Paul's School. After matriculating as a sizar from Caius College, Cambridge, in June 1577, he held from 1578 to 1584 the Pauline exhibition reserved for mercers' sons, at the suit of Dean Nowell [q. v.] (Gardiner, St. Paul's School). He proceeded B.A. from Peterhouse 1580, M.A. 1584, and was elected fellow of Pembroke Hall. He was still living, and a fellow, in 1590. Mudd was the author of a lost comedy in which, it was complained, he 'had censured and too saucily reflected on the Mayor of Cambridge.' The vice-chancellor accordingly, on 23 Feb. 1582, committed Mudd to the Tolbooth for three days; on the 26th he, at the vice-chancellor's command, acknowledged his fault before the mayor, and asked his pardon, which was freely granted (Cooper, Athenæ, ii. 59).

Meres, in his Palladis Tamia' (1598), writes of 'M. Thomas Mudd, some time fellow of Pembroke Hall in Cambridge,' as one of sixteen excellent contemporary musicians. He was probably the composer of:

  1. A series of pieces written for four viols, Ayres, Almaine, Corrantos, and Sarabands (Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 18940-4).
  2. An In Nomine in four parts (ib. 31390, fol. 116 b).
  3. A full anthem in four parts, 'O God which hast prepared' (Tudway's collection, ib. Harl. MS. 7340, p. 79).
  4. Fragments of a service in D minor or F.
  5. Anthems, ' Bow down Thine Eare,' 'I will alway,' and 'We beseech Thee' (all at Ely Cathedral).

Other compositions by Mudd are at Lichfield, Hereford, and Peterhouse. There is mention of Mudd's 'I will sing the Mercies' in Clifford's 'Words of Anthems.'

In the catalogue of Ely manuscripts a John or Thomas Mudd is said to have been organist at Peterborough between 1580 and 1620. But the Peterborough organist is doubtless identical, not with the Cambridge composer, but with Mudd, an unruly organist of Lincoln, who held office there in 1662 and 1663.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabrigienses, ii. 59; Gardiner's Registers of St. Paul's School, pp. 26, 399; Hawes and Loder's Framlingham, p. 24; Dickson's Catalogue of Ely Manuscripts; Reports of the Lincolnshire, &c., Archæological Society, xx. 42, 43; information kindly supplied by Mr. H. Davey of Brighton.]

L. M. M.