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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Thomas Morley
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0406  Friday, 4 March 2005

[1]     From:   Hannibal Hamlin <
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        Date:   Friday, 25 Feb 2005 14:59:38 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0385 Thomas Morley

[2]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Friday, 25 Feb 2005 20:04:34 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0385 Thomas Morley

[3]     From:   Norman Hinton <
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        Date:   Friday, 25 Feb 2005 21:45:07 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0385 Thomas Morley


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hannibal Hamlin <
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Date:           Friday, 25 Feb 2005 14:59:38 -0500
Subject: 16.0385 Thomas Morley
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0385 Thomas Morley

There seems to be no full biography (on a par with, say, Diana Pouton's
life of Dowland), but as much seems known about Morley as about anyone
else in his position from the period.  Michael W. Foster's essay in the
New Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is quite informative,
noting, for some particularly tantalizing tidbits, that Morley was
apparently a spy for Walsingham, and that he may (repeat, may) have
collaborated with Shakespeare.  The two apparently both lived for a time
in the parish of St. Helen's Bishopsgate, and "O mistress mine" (Twelfth
Night) and "It was a lover and his lass" (As You Like It) appear in
Morley's works.  Thurston Dart's foreword to the Norton edition of
Morley's A Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music is also
interesting, focusing on Morley's musical life (in addition to his
importance as a composer and church musician, he was also a major figure
in the development of music publishing, which lagged quite a ways behind
literary publishing).  The Plain and Easy Introduction is itself
interesting to scholars of literature, since it is a treatise cast in
the literary form of the dialogue, so popular in the Renaissance.

Hannibal

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Friday, 25 Feb 2005 20:04:34 -0000
Subject: 16.0385 Thomas Morley
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0385 Thomas Morley

Judy Prince asks ...

 >Apart from his songs, his books, and C.V. salients, what do we know
 >about Thomas Morley's life?

We know he was a secret Catholic involved in anti-government activities.
This is from a letter dated 3 Oct 1591 from notorious double agent
Charles Paget to Thomas Phellippes, secretary to Elizabeth's spymaster
Sir Francis Walsingham....

"Ther is one Morley that playeth on the organes in poules [St Paul's]
that was with me in my house.  He seemed here to be a good Catholicke
and was reconsiled, but notwith-standing suspecting his behaviour I
entercepted letters that Mr. Nowell [possibly the Dean of St Paul's or
Henry Nowell, a courtier] wrote to him Wherby I discovered enoughe to
have hanged him. Nevertheles he shewing with teares great repentaunce,
and asking on his knees forgiveness, I was content to let him goe".

Phellippes's draft reply confirms Morley's activity: "It is true that
Morley the singing man employeth himself in that kind of service . and
hath browht diverse into danger".

Peter Bridgman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman Hinton <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 25 Feb 2005 21:45:07 -0600
Subject: 16.0385 Thomas Morley
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0385 Thomas Morley

Here's a little information about Morley:

http://home.sprintmail.com/~cwhent/Morley.html

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