Hanboys, John (DNB00)

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HANBOYS or HAMBOYS, JOHN (fl. 1470), doctor of music, was the author of a Latin treatise on music (Add. MS. 8866, fol. 64), which has been printed by Coussemaker (Script, music, med. aev. i. 416). Bale (Script. Cat. Basel, 1559, p. 617) says that Hanboys received a liberal education from an early age, but was chiefly devoted to the study of music, with which most of his life was occupied. He was eloquent and accomplished, and after studying for many years in the schools of his country, the degree of doctor of music was bestowed upon him 'communi suffragio.' He adds that he was the most noted man of his day in England, and is said to have flourished in the reign of Edward IV, about 1470. Pits (Rel. Hist. 1619, p. 662) practically repeats Bale's statement, but does not include Hanboy's name in either his lists of Oxford and Cambridge graduates or of monastic authors. Holinshed (Chron. ed. 1587, iii. 710) says that he was 'an excellent musician, and for his notable cunning therein made doctor of musicke.' His name is not mentioned by Morley. The treatise by which he is now known is a commentary on the works of the two Francos, with much original additional matter. It begins: 'Hic incipit Musica Magistri Franconis cum additionibus et opinionibus diversorum,' and at the end is entitled 'Summa Magistri Johannis Hanboys Doctoris Musicæ reverendi, super musicam continuam et discretam.' The manuscript is preceded in the British Museum volume by another musical treatise known as 'Quatuor Principalia Musicæ,' beginning: 'Quemadmodum inter triticum et zizaniam,' two other copies of which—containing slight textual differences—are preserved in the Bodleian Library (Digby 90, and Bodl. 515), from one of which it was printed by Coussemaker (op. cit. iv. 200). Bale, who evidently knew the British Museum manuscript, did not discover that the volume contains two separate works, and attributes the 'Quatuor Principalia Musicæ' to Hanboys, although it is dated August l351,and in this mistake he has been followed by Pits and several later writers, notably by Tanner (Bibl. Brit. Hib. ed. 1784, p. 373), who increased the confusion by dating the 'Quatuor Principalia' a hundred years later, so as to agree with the accepted tradition as to the period at which Hanboys flourished. Burney (Hist. of Music, ii. 395) upon very insufficient evidence, attributes the 'Quatuor Principalia' to Simon Tunsted [q. v.], under whose name it has been printed by Coussemaker. In addition to the treatise, Hanboys is said by Bale to have written' Cantiones dulcissimse,' and many other works, all of which are now lost.

[Authorities quoted above; Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 647 a, iv. 664 a; Cat. of Digby MSS. Bodleian Library; information from Mr. F. Madan.]

W. B. S.