The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Marbeck, John

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MARBECK, John, an English composer, born early in the 16th century, died about 1585. He was one of the earliest composers of the reformed church of England. About 1544 there were formed at Windsor associations in support of the Lutheran doctrines. Marbeck, then organist at St. George's chapel, Windsor, lent his support to one of these, and with three other members was seized on a charge of heresy. An examination of his papers discovered a concordance to the English Bible, complete as far as the letter L. The special charge against him was for copying an epistle of Calvin's against the mass. All four were condemned to be burned, but Marbeck was saved through the influence of the bishop of Winchester, and resumed his post as organist. He finished his “Concordance,” the first complete one ever made, and published it (fol., London, 1550). He also published “The Boke of Common Praier, noted” (4to, 1550), the oldest published for the use of the Anglican church. Robert Jones of Ely cathedral issued a new edition of this work, entitled “Marbeck's Book of Common Prayer for voices in unison, arranged for modern use, with an ad libitum organ bass accompaniment.” The work unaltered was reprinted in London in 1844. Smith's Musica Antiqua, in the collection of the British museum, contains a Te Deum and a mass for five voices by Marbeck. His other works are: “The Lyves of Holy Sainctes, Prophets, Patriarches, and others” (4to, 1574); “The Holie Historie of King David, drawn into English Meetre” (4to, 1579); and “A Ripping up of the Pope's Fardel” (8vo, 1581).