Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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44
ENGLISH MINSTRELSY.
excepted). "This," says Percy, "seems to have some resemblance to the Earl Marshal's court among the heralds, and is another proof of the great affinity and resemblance which the minstrels bore to the College of Arms." Walter Halliday, above mentioned, had been retained in the service of the two preceding monarchs, and Edward had granted him an annuity of ten marks for life, in 1464.
In this reign we find also mention of a Serjeant of the minstrels, who upon one occasion did his royal master a singular service, and by which his ready access to the king at all hours is very apparent: for " as he [K. Edward IV.] was in the north contray, in the Monneth of Septembre, as he lay in his bedde, one named Alexander Carlile, that was Sarjaunt of the Mynstrellis, cam to him in grete hast, and badde hym aryse, for he hadde enemyes cumming for to take him, the which were within six or seven miles," &c.
Edward seems to have been very liberal to his minstrels. He gave to several annuities of ten marks a year (6 Pari. Rolls, p. 89), and, besides their regular pay, with clothing and lodging for themselves and their horses, they had two servants to carry their instruments, four gallons of ale per night, wax candles, and other indulgences. The charter is printed in Rymer, xi. 642, by Sir J. Hawkins, vol. iv., p. 366, and Burney, vol. ii., p. 429. All the minstrels have English names.
"When Elizabeth, his queen, went to Westminster Abbey to be churched (1466), she was preceded by troops of choristers, chanting hymns, and to these succeeded long lines of the noblest and fairest women of London and its vicinity, attended by bands of musicians and trumpeters, and forty-two royal singers. After the banquet and state ball, a state concert commenced, at which the Bohemian ambassadors were present, and in their opinion as well as that of Tetzel, the German who accom­panied them, and who has also recounted their visit to England, no better singers could be found in the whole world,* than those of the English king. These ambassadors travelled through France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and parts of Germany, as well as England, affording them, therefore, the widest field for comparison with the singers of other countries.
At this time every great family had its establishment of musicians, and among them the harper held a prominent position. Some who were less wealthy retained a harper only, as did many bishops and abbots. In Sir John Howard's expenses (1464) there is an entry of a payment as a new year's gift to Lady Howard's grandmother's harper, "that dwellyth in Chestre." When he became Lord Howard he retained in his service, Nicholas Stapylton, William Lyndsey, and fc little Richard," as singers, besides " Thomas, the harperd," (whom he provided with a "lyard," or grey "gown"), and children of the chapel, who were succes­sively four, five, and six in number at different dates. Mr. Payne Collier, who edited his Household Book from 1481 to 1485 for the Roxburghe Club, remarks
* Tetzel says, " Nach dem Tantz do muosten des      Korgesang, das alls gesatzt was, das lleblich zu horen
Kunigs Cantores kumen und muosten slngen . . . . ich      was."—lb. p. 158.
meln das, in der Welt, nit besser Cantores sein." "Dei         Leo Von Rozmital, brother of the Queen of Bohemia
bohmiscken Herrn Leo's von Rozmital Hitter,Hof tind      says, "Musicos nullo usplam in loco jucundioTes et
Pitger—Retee, 1465-1467," #c,8110., Stuttgart, 18+4, p.157.      suaviores audivimus, quam ibi: eorum chorus sexaginta,
Again Tetzel says, " Do horten wlr das aller kostlichst      circiter cantoribus constat."'—lb. p. 42.