RA58

GB-London, British Library, Royal Appendix 58

DATE: c1530

Page measurements: 150 x 205 mm[1]

Household or personal anthology in oblong quarto (or octavo?) format. John Ward dates the lute music in the bookc1540, apparently solely on the title of the Duke of Somerset's Dump. However, an unpublished study by Dietrich Helms[2] exposes many anomalies in the dating proposed by Ward: firstly, there are in fact two music manuscripts that becamebound together as the single source, Royal Appendix 58, one inserted inside the other some considerable time after theirrespective compilations--possibly at the time they became part of the Royal collection in the British Museum. The outer portions of RA58, the part of the MS containing the lute music, was written throughout by the same scribe, though it is difficult to see this as the tablature section has little text with which tocompare the other music, and the manuscript is suffering badly from the effects of fading. This section of the MS isa collection of tenor voice parts, and the original parchment cover was marked 'Tenor' by its owner. The inserted book was a collection of medius and contratenor parts, indicated by its scribe writing 'medius' at the top of the first page.

Apart from the clearly differentiated state of wear of the two parts of the MS, thewatermarks also show them to be unrelated. It appears that the point where the second MS was inserted into the first was chosen arbitrarily where the original MS fell open--perhaps to protect it until the two could be properly bound,subsequently leading the two sources to be bound together.

The non-lute music can be dated before 1515 or even as earlyas 1503. This dating can be confirmed by concordances of four songs with GB-Lbl Add.31922 (which Helms dates c1515), by the lifetime of the composers and by the wedding song for Margaret Tudor who married James IV of Scotland in 1503. The single tenor voices in RA58 seem to be earlier than their concordant polyphonic songs in Add.31922. John Ward's dating of the lute music according to the title of the Duke of Somerset's dump is around 1550, but a compilation span of 35-50 years for a manuscript of this type in this period seems far more unlikely than that the dating may be inaccurate.

'Pastime' was copied into GB-Lbl Add.31922about 1515, into GB-Lbl Add.5665 perhaps even earlier--c1510. 'Warda mut' appears for the first time in England in mensural notation in Add.31922 and on the continent in the Brussels/Tournai partbooks around 1511. The first 16 bars of 'The duke of Somerset's Dump', a series of variations, can be found in Vincenzo Capirola's Lute Book (c1517). Simplegrounds like the P.A. or romanesca were known in England before 1520, and the style of the remaining lute pieces is not unlikely for the 1530s.

There was another, earlier Duke of Somerset: Henry Fitzroy, natural son of Henry VIII, who was created Duke of Richmond and Somerset in 1525 and died in 1536. This Duke was a friend of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, whose poems gave the titles to two of the lute pieces. They lived together for some time, and stayed in Paris until September 1533. The remaining pieces are all concordant with sources in the first two decades of the century, and were still being copied into sources at the end of the 1500s, so they may all have been current enough to be copied into this source in about 1530.

However, Henry Fitzroy was usually referred to as Richmond and he signed his letters with this name (at least while he lived at Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire). Although the Duke of Somerset was one of his titles, references to him making useof it are as yet unknown. If this was Fitzroy--and equally, if a Dump is a mourning piece--then there are several occasions in his life that might have occasioned the writing of a dump: His leaving the court for Sheriff Hutton, for example.However, Fitzroy died in 1536 at the age of 17, reason enoughto play a 'Duke of Somerset's Dump' 15 years before Ward's suggested date.

Despite his conclusions regarding the dating, Ward does state (in Ward 1960) that the style of the rhythmical notation coincides with the Attaignant prints issued around 1530. He also describes the book (in Ward 1992) as 'the commonplace-book of a professional musician with court connections' although he also suggests that the tablature is 'clearly the work of amateurs'.

Bibliography: John Stevens: 'Early Tudor Songbooks' PhD diss. U. of Cambridge (1953), 222-6
Lumsden 1957A
Ward 1960
John Stevens: Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court Cambridge Studies in Music (Cambridge, 1961 repr. 1979)
Ward 1992


folio
original ascription
title
composer
cons. &cogs.
51v-52/1
The duke of Somersetts Dompe
The Duke of Somerset's Dump


52/2
In wynters just returne
Fifth Galliard/In Winter's just return
?Francesco da Milano
Le Roy 1568 38v-39
52/3
If care cause men to crye
If Care Do Cause Men Cry

Stowe389 120/2
52/4 & 55v
Heven & earth
Heaven and Earth/King's Pavan

Sampson 4/1
Osborn 1v-2v/1
Thistlethwaite 87v-89
54v/1

Queen Mary's Dump [P.A.]

cf: Ballet 4-5/1
2764(2) 1-2
Folger 1/2
Dallis 192-193
54v/2

Ough Warder Mout


55/1
Pastyme
Pastime


55/2
[obscure]
Poor Man's Dump



[1] I am most grateful to Mr Conway, the Superintendent of the Manuscript Students Room in the British Library, for confirming these measurements.
[2] I ammost grateful to Dr Helms for allowing me to include his unpublished research here.


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