Gibbons, Edward (DNB00)

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GIBBONS, EDWARD (1570?–1653?), musical composer, supposed to have been son of William Gibbons, one of the ‘waits’ at Cambridge, was brother of Orlando [q. v.] and uncle of Christopher Gibbons [q. v.] He received the degree of Mus.B. at Cambridge, and on 7 July 1592 was incorporated in the same degree at Oxford. At midsummer in that year he became organist and master of the choristers at King's College, Cambridge, succeeding Thomas Hammond, who returned to the duties in 1599. Between those two dates the ‘Mundum Books’ of the college contain entries showing that Gibbons, or ‘Gibbins’ as he is more usually called, received 20s. a quarter as his own salary, and 11s. 8d. for the tuition of the choristers. He had to provide for the making, mending, &c., of the choristers' clothes. About the beginning of the century he went to Bristol, being appointed cathedral organist, priest-vicar, sub-chanter, and master of the choristers. In 1611 he was given the post of organist and custos of the college of priest-vicars at Exeter Cathedral, and he remained there until 1644. In 1634 a complaint was made that he was in the habit of neglecting his duties, and he, with two other of the vicars-choral, replied to the charge (Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. Appendix, pp. 137, 139). Hawkins states, but only as a matter of hearsay, that on the outbreak of the civil war he advanced a sum of 1,000l. to the king, and that in consequence of this he was deprived of a very considerable estate by those afterwards in power, and was, with his three grandchildren, driven from his house, though he was then over eighty years of age.

In the Music School at Oxford a few manuscript compositions by him are preserved, and in the Tudway collection (Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 7340) his ‘How doth the city sit solitary’ is included.

[Wood's Fasti Oxon. vol. ii. col. 258; Mundum Books of King's College, Cambridge, vol. xx.; Lib. Communarum, ib. vols. xxi–xxiii.; Grove's Dict. i. 594 (the dates of his appointment at Exeter are given in Grove, without reference to authoritative documents of any kind); Hawkins's Hist. ed. 1853, p. 573. The Cathedral Registers at Bristol date back only to 1660, so that the exact date of his appointment there cannot be discovered.]

J. A. F. M.