Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Randall, William

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652070Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 47 — Randall, William1896Henry Davey

RANDALL, WILLIAM (fl. 1598), musician, is included by Meres in his list of England's ‘excellente musitians.’ He was in early life a chorister of Exeter Cathedral. In 1584 he entered the Chapel Royal as epistler. There he remained till 1603, when Edmund Hooper ‘was sworne the first of March in Mr. Randoll's roome.’ Of Randall's compositions there remain a good ‘In Nomine’ in the part-books of the Oxford Music School, and an anthem in six parts, ‘Give sentence with me,’ in Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. 17792–6, f. 144 b. A word-book of anthems (Harl. MS. 6346), written just after the Restoration and probably intended for the Chapel Royal, contains the words of two verse-anthems by Randall, ‘If the Lord Himself’ and ‘O Father deare,’ the latter in metre. The music of neither of these is known to exist; and as none of Randall's works appeared in Barnard's ‘Selected Church Musick’ (1641), it is probable that his title to rank, as Meres puts it, among ‘excellente musitians’ rested more upon his powers as an executant than as a composer. Among the vicars-choral of Exeter in 1634 was a G. Randall, probably of the same family.

[Cheque-Book of the Chapel Royal, in Camden Society's Publications; Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. p. 137; Meres's Palladis Tamia, f. 288 b, manuscripts quoted.]

H. D.