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A Choirbook for Henry VIII and his Sisters
ed. Theodor Dumitrescu

The manuscript Royal 11 E.xi of the British Library in London can be numbered among the most unusual Flemish-style choirbooks of the early sixteenth century. Ghent-Bruges-style illuminations, an opening full-page illustration in honor of the Tudor line, an elegant and enigmatic double-canon notated in two circles, and modern continental polyphony for the English royal family all come together in a richly symbolic luxury product tailored to the person of Henry VIII. Events at the English royal court in 1516, the year of the manuscript's production, provide a specific context for the iconography and textual programs in the book and point to its origin as a New Year's present in 1516/17. Featuring music by Henry VIII's new Italian privy chamber organist Benedictus de Opiciis, as well as a more elusive "Sampson," this extraordinary gift offers a window onto the international tastes which permeated the artistic life of the early Tudor court.



Edited Compositions

No. Title Composer


No. Abbrev. Full Siglum
London, British Library, Department of Manuscripts, MS Royal 11 E.xi
[Lofzangen ter ere van Keizer Maximiliaan en zijn kleinzoon Karel den Vijfden] (Antwerp, 1515)


The choirbook whose musical contents appear in the present edition recalls a unique period in the history of English musical culture.[1] As is commonly rehearsed in our music histories, the land which Henry Tudor took for himself and his heirs in 1485 had in the earlier 15th century attained the height of its international musical prestige - a period when English polyphony appeared frequently in continental collections, and the influence of English musical style (whether compositional or performative) did not go unmarked by contemporaries. The situation by the time of Henry VII's power, however, had undergone significant alterations; the music by which the island kingdom was still known in continental Europe was the work of earlier generations, conspicuously out of date if still admired. It is only too easy to characterize the musical life of England during the first decades of the Tudor reign with a vocabulary of isolationism and conservatism, a perspective encountered in numerous studies which have shaped modern views of the period. This approach nevertheless downplays the existence of international musical links which continued throughout the changes of dynasty of the later 15th century, affecting in particular the leading cultural establishment of the country, the royal court. Such links - historical, biographical, repertorial, intellectual - reveal a shift in the direction of influence, as English musicians came gradually to draw on the ideas explored first by foreign practitioners. That this long process was not solely a historical accident is suggested by the discernable programs, set in motion by Henry VII and continued with vigor by Henry VIII, to match the English royal court to the fashions and practices of the greatest European centers. Alongside the foreign scholars, tutors, and artists imported by Henry VII, musicians from the continent began to find permanent and semi-permanent employment at the Tudor court in ever increasing numbers. Manuscripts containing new foreign polyphony began to enter the country, and the insular sources themselves started to mix foreign works into their repertories more regularly. Entertainments at the royal court were modelled specifically upon the famous Burgundian celebrations of the 15th century, and later upon new "Renaissance" styles current in France and Italy.

It is in this international courtly environment that we can find a natural and fitting context for two significant musical importations of Henry VIII. One of these was a virtuoso organist from the cathedral of Antwerp, the composer of the first polyphony printed in the Low Countries and known on various occasions to the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I as well as to Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands. The other was an elegant illuminated parchment choirbook, containing examples of a rare species: Franco-Flemish-style music composed specifically in honor of the English monarch. This presentation book, LonBLR 11 E.xi, offers a unique opportunity to link a surviving polyphonic source definitively to one of Henry VIII's foreign musicians, Benedictus de Opiciis, and with this information to arrive at a close dating and context relating to events at the Tudor court.

Physical characteristics and origin

At present, the earliest known reference to the book is in Casley's 1734 catalogue of the Old Royal manuscript collection, stored at the time in the dormitories of the Westminster School.[2] None of the surviving catalogues of Henry VIII's libraries lists an item matching the choirbook, but the iconographical and textual materials in the manuscript leave no doubt that it was originally presented to the English monarch. A single explicit hint of the book's date and donor are offered by the early 16th-century inscription on a front flyleaf (now fol. 1r): "Me fieri ac componi fecit PO 1516" [P. O. caused me to be created and put together, 1516.] The fortunes of the book in between its creation and its presence in the 18th-century royal collection (and thereafter the British Museum) remain a mystery, but its origins and the historical circumstances of its presentation to Henry VIII can be elucidated with the aid of contemporaneous documentation.[3]

The manuscript currently measures 49cm by 35.5cm and is bound in a set of covers dating from 1757, when George II moved the collection of Royal manuscripts to the British Museum. A pair of new paper flyleaves appears at the beginning of the manuscript, and a similar pair at the end; the single parchment leaf following the front set (with the 1516 inscription) is probably original, and was certainly part of the book before it received its present binding. The main corpus consists of two gatherings of eight folios each, separated by the stubs from a third gathering which has been cut out, whose leaves were one centimeter shorter than the rest in the book (either inserted for binding purposes, or originally another set of music). Physically, then, there are two decidedly separate surviving sections. Comparing this structure with the written contents of the book in Table 1, it becomes clear that this format matches a separation of the music into two groups; the distinctions between these sets will become more pronounced upon closer inspection.

Table 1: Physical structure and contents of LonBLR 11 E.xi

Gathering Folios Contents
original flyleaf 1 "Me fieri ac componi fecit PO 1516"; pressmarks
1 2r Opening illustration
Attribution Number of voices Incipit
2v-3r 4 (ex 2) Salue radix
3v-9r .M.Sampson. 4 Psallite felices
- [one gathering cut out]
2 10v-11r .B.opicius. / Benedictus dE Opicijs 4 Sub tuum presidium
11v-13r Sampson. 5 Quam pulcra es
13v-15r 4 Hec est preclarum vas
15v-17r 3 Beati omnes qui timent Dominum

Nothing in the musical and textual construction of the choirbook points to anything less than a professional production. The texts of the manuscript were all copied in lettre bâtarde by a single hand, with two exceptions (fols. 1r and 11r) discussed elsewhere. The music, likewise, was entered by one copyist, although certain constructive elements suggest that the individual gatherings were planned out in a professional manner and not simply copied front-to-back.[4] Left and right vertical frame-rules appear on all non- blank pages starting at fol. 3v, drawn variously from top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top. Staves are rastrum-ruled, excepting fols. 2v-3r (Salve radix), where the music is notated on two circular staves; the ruling becomes noticeably sloppier towards the end of the book, much like the manuscript's decorative elements.

In artistic terms, the illustrations and decorations of LonBLR 11 E.xi belong unambiguously to the tradition of Ghent-Bruges manuscript illumination, represented most famously in music manuscripts by the products of the music scribes associated with the Habsburg-Burgundian court (Petrus Alamire and his associates).[5] Unique among early 16th-century choirbooks, however, is LonBLR 11 E.xi's circular staff notation of Salve radix and full-page illustration opening the manuscript (fol. 2r). The decoration work leaves many possibilities of origin open, and does not even exclude the book from having been produced in England. Backhouse saw in the style of the manuscript decoration and script the work of Henry VII's Flemish librarian Quentin Poulet;[6] but it is unclear how far this presumed attribution can be supported by specific elements, rather than general style. Specific aspects such as scribal hands cannot be matched between LonBLR 11 E.xi and Backhouse's examples of Poulet manuscripts.

Dunning's affirmation that the choirbook represents the work of the Habsburg- Burdundian court music scribe Petrus Alamire is at first glance an attractive hypothesis, given the level of professionalism exhibited in the script, decoration, and production aspects of the manuscript.[7] Rejected by experts on the complex of music manuscripts produced by Alamire and his associates,[8] the idea has recently been proposed again in the introduction to the edition by Parsons and Sandon, who suggest that "the choirbook has as much right to be called an 'Alamire manuscript' as any of the sources already associated with him."[9] These last writers suppose that the explicit exclusion of LonBLR 11 E.xi from the Netherlands court complex in the Census Catalogue was a mistake based ultimately on repertorial grounds: "One possible reason for this is that the manuscript was considered and rejected after due appraisal of the palaeographical evidence. Another and perhaps more likely reason is that it was excluded because its contents are not typical of most Alamire sources, which contain Masses, motets and chansons by Josquin, de la Rue, Mouton and their contemporaries; this may be the implication of the comment 'not part of Netherlands court complex' in the Census-Catalogue entry."[10] Major elements which connect LonBLR 11 E.xi to the collection of Netherlands court music manuscripts, according to Parsons and Sandon, include the following: page size and layout; style of painted initials; and details of notation and script. They go as far as to suggest that the scribe of the London book could well have been Alamire himself, and the "P O" symbol on the flyleaf a monogram representing the name "P[ierre] v[an] t[en] [H]o[ve]".[11]

As with Backhouse's conjecture of participation by Quentin Poulet in the manufacturing of LonBLR 11 E.xi, the idea that Alamire produced the book cannot be supported with specific matches of scribal characteristics. Warmington's survey of scribal hands in the collection of Alamire books has produced a comprehensive account of their various scripts, cross-referenced with allowable manuscript datings to trace the activities of different scribes to particular periods.[12] Although the script samples presented in the exhibition catalogue clearly cannot cover the entire output of the scriptorium, specific forms encountered in LonBLR 11 E.xi (a book which can be dated closely) are entirely absent from the Alamire corpus. Herbert Kellman notes, for instance, several distinguishing characteristics of the hand in LonBLR 11 E.xi: the characteristic and unusual form of the traditional F-clef employed consistently in the source - nowhere to be found in the Alamire books; the "cut-C" mensuration sign with a long, thick stroke; the rounded version of the F-clef, with only a slight curve in LonBLR 11 E.xi; the continuation sign (fols. 15v-16r), again in a form unique to this manuscript.[13] Parsons and Sandon venture only to state that the music hand of LonBLR 11 E.xi is "closest" to Warmington's scribes X and C; many of the characteristics of the music and text hands noted by them are in fact too common to those script types to be considered distinguishing features (e.g., "the long ascender of the 'd', swept back to the left").[14] There is no specific evidence, therefore, that either Alamire or Poulet had a hand in the writing of the book, and it would stand as a unique item in terms of content, layout, and script among the manuscripts associated with either man.

If the search for scribal and artistic work matching the contents of LonBLR 11 E.xi has turned out to reveal no more than general similarities to the output of known bookmakers, a point of entry into the manuscript's origins is still offered by the symbolic program on display therein. The full-page illustration which opens the book[15] - highly unusual for a music manuscript - acts as an allegorical introduction to the dedicatory first gathering. The lower half of the image depicts a walled island with four towers flying flags bearing the arms of England, the arms of Castile, and the cross of St. George (twice). Within the circle of the island stands a gateway with portcullis, accompanied by three creatures: a lion with a dragon to the left and a greyhound to the right. A pomegranate bush grows on the right side of the island, underneath a Castilian banner. From the center of the garden, a more fanciful plant sprouts: a single root gives birth to several types of flowers, of which the most prominent is a rose miraculously combining red and white petals. In addition to other solid red roses (and buds) are a marguerite and marigold, on either side of the root where it splits two ways. For the most part, these are standard examples of Tudor iconography found in numerous manuscripts and descriptive sources: the walled island depicts England, whose Tudor rulers are represented by a flower combining the red and white roses of the houses of Lancaster and York. The dragon, lion, greyhound, and portcullis are likewise all images employed by Tudor monarchs, mainly in heraldic contexts; and the pomegranate was associated with Katherine of Aragon. Not all elements of the illustration are standard, however, in particular the combination of other flowers with the Tudor rose; we will have occasion to return to this peculiarity later, which provides an indispensable key to pinpointing the context of the book's creation.

The repertory, the composers, and the commissioner

Three separate texts are integrated into the pictorial material of fol. 2r. At the bottom of the scene, the phrase "Salue felix Anglia" adorns the gateway structure and makes explicit the identification of the island with England. Woven around the branches of the plant on top of the edifice is a scroll bearing the inscription "Salue radix varios producens germine ramos / Quos inter ramus supereminet altior vnus." These two hexameters form a portion of the text of the double-canon composition on the following opening, Salve radix, describing the plant itself in an allegorical celebration of the Tudor line and Henry VIII in particular. The main text in the illustration, however, is the thirty- four-line poem in elegiac couplets, Psallite felices, whose verses stretched between the curved branches of the plant are clearly intended to evoke the form of a lyre. The text is a paean to the red and white rose, equated explicitly with Henry VIII. Both in allegorical language related to the rose and in literal statements of unabashed directness, the verses laud the English monarch in no uncertain terms. As with the Salve radix text, Psallite felices is related directly to the illustration in which it appears. Note, for example, the reference to the "shining" fleurs-de-lys in the petals of the rose, depicted with gold in the crowned central rose of fol. 2r and representing the English claim to France. Other verses recall Salve radix in describing the plant with its variety of flowers. Like the other text, Psallite felices is set to music in the first gathering of the manuscript, in an extensive motet ascribed to a certain Sampson.

In contrast to the two topical secular motets of the first gathering, the four remaining compositions in the choirbook set more typical sacred texts. The set consists of three Marian or pseudo-Marian works, as well as a complete setting of Psalm 128, notable in the present context for its references to family and offspring. These texts, although generic, were well-suited to the English royal couple, still eagerly hoping for sons to be born in the 1510s. Quam pulcra es, a text drawn from scattered verses in the Song of Songs, can be read in a literal sense as a love poem; although the Marian antiphons and responds with the same incipit have similar texts, none matches the particular form encountered in this motet. The rare Hec est preclarum vas, although textually a straightforward Marian song, was used commonly in the Low Countries as a prayer for protection against the plague.[16] This second gathering of LonBLR 11 E.xi, then, has none of the direct references to England and the Tudors which characterize the first section - but one could make a case that all of the works represented there held special significance for the recipients: Sub tuum presidium as a motet by Henry VIII's new organist Benedictus de Opiciis, with a prayer for a king attached to it; Quam pulcra es and Beati omnes qui timent dominum as songs of romantic love, family, and lineage; and Hec est preclarum vas as an invocation against the sickness which was already beginning to sweep London in 1516 and which would drive Henry and Katherine to the countryside in the summer of 1517.[17] What is also missing here, as in the first gathering, is any unambiguous or specific reference to the birth of Henry's daughter Mary Tudor, which has previously been taken to be the reason for the manuscript's creation.[18] The clear emphasis throughout the manuscript is on dynasty and family in a larger sense.

Musically speaking, all of the compositions in LonBLR 11 E.xi are unproblematic as specimens of Franco-Netherlandish polyphony from the early 16th century. No hint of specifically English characteristics presents itself, nor even a sign that any of the composers was uncomfortable with the continental contrapuntal style demonstrated in these works. Psallite felices frequently exhibits a type of syllabic declamation on repeated pitches which is to be found often as well in the three final motets of the manuscript (Sampson's Quam pulcra es, the anonymous Hec est preclarum vas and Beati omnes qui timent dominum). These works share other features which are not encountered in Opiciis's Sub tuum presidium or in the opening canon, e.g., a tendency to switch between imitation by successive fifths (e.g., the opening point of Hec est preclarum vas, stated on A, D, G, and C) and more standard "tonal" imitation (at the fourth or fifth, with occasional inversion);[19] or the use of closely related sequential motives in Quam pulcra es and Beati omnes qui timent dominum.[20] It is quite possible that the ascription of Quam pulcra es to "Sampson" is intended to imply to the subsequent anonymous works as well. The rose-canon Salve radix which opens the musical sections of the manuscript belongs to a tradition of double-canons at the upper fourth which was most popular in the first decades of the 16th century, but appears to be modelled most closely upon Josquin's En lombre dung buysonnet.[21]

The entirely non-English character of the musical contents of LonBLR 11 E.xi raises numerous questions about the composers represented in the book and their connection to Tudor concerns. For the composer "M. Sampson," the only identification which has been suggested in the literature is Richard Sampson, one of Thomas Wolsey's agents, later Dean of the Chapel Royal and Bishop of Lichfield.[22] The well-documented biography of this ecclesiastical figure includes various periods on the Continent for educational and diplomatic purposes, but no indication of musical ability. The present editor concurs with recent assessments in considering Richard Sampson a highly unlikely candidate for identification with the composer in the London choirbook. Bowers's entry on "Sampson [first name unknown]" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001) is rightly skeptical, noting that "his known career was that of a lawyer, and then a diplomat and trusted official of Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, for whom composition can at best have been no more than a hobby."[23] Dana Marsh, who has most recently assessed Richard Sampson's published writings in the context of Henrician liturgical reform, reaches a similar conclusion: "that Richard Sampson might have become an accomplished practitioner of continental compositional techniques during his years in Tournai and on trade commissions to Antwerp (1514) and Burgundy (1515), in order to flatter his employer, seems highly doubtful at best."[24] Among the most telling indications that Richard Sampson is not the man indicated in the choirbook ascriptions is the simple fact that he had already taken his first doctorate in 1513, several years before the assembly of the choirbook; therefore, even if the "M" of "M. Sampson" is to be interpreted as "Magister" or "Master" (a usage encountered only in British music manuscripts), this would not have been the appropriate title for Wolsey's agent.

With Benedictus de Opiciis (c. 1470-1524), the other composer named in LonBLR 11 E.xi, there is considerably firmer biographical evidence. Known primarily to English-language scholarship as Henry VIII's privy chamber organist from 1516 to 1524 whose father Petrus had business dealings with both Henry VII and Henry VIII, much of the documentation of his family's activities survives in continental centers. Early 20th-century studies concerning Opiciis focused mainly on the composer's activity in Antwerp, taking as a starting point an untitled 1515 book printed to commemorate the joyous entry of Charles, King of Castille (the future emperor Charles V) into the city.[25] The print contains, amidst its celebratory texts, two motets by Opiciis, as well as several remarks on the musician's family. We learn that Peter Opicius had more than one child, was a "domesticus et negotiorum gestor" of Maximilian I, and was of origin "montiferatensis." A term which would ordinarily refer to the Monferrato region of northern Italy, this word has been interpreted by musicologists as a literal translation of "Eisenberg" in an attempt to place the composer's origins within Germanic imperial territories[26] - a hypothesis which can be disproven definitively with the documents presented below. The early investigations were able to demonstrate a period of employment as the organist for the Confraternity of Our Lady at the Cathedral of Antwerp. Other studies have presented evidence mainly pertaining to the English years of Benedictus, fitting the musician into the regular patterns of employment at the court, and pointing to occasional earlier monetary transactions between his father and the English kings.

Table 2: Primary references to Benedictus de Opiciis and his family

Jun 1483Peter de Opiciis (a "broker") and Benedictus de Opiciis, Italians, are resident in Candlewick Street Ward, London (Alien Subsidy Roll)
20 Dec 1494The sons of noble Johannes de Opiciis of Cremolino (Guillelmus, Petrus, Benentinus, and Georginus) appear in Casale Monferrato, agreeing to split their inheritance evenly
21 Dec 1494Petrus de Opiciis consigns English cloth to Bastianus Buranchus of Vignuli to repay a loan from "magnificus dominus" Defendus Suardo
9 Nov 1497Defendus Suardo declares Georginus, Petrus, and Benentinus de Opiciis (represented by only Georginus) free of all debts to him
1497Presentation of volume of classicizing verse in honor of Henry VII, by "Johannes Opicius"
1 Oct 1505Peter de Opiciis is listed among thirteen creditors of Mattheeus Ketel in Antwerp
4 Aug 1507Loan from Henry VII to Peter de Opiciis: "Item delyuerd vnto petre de Opicijs merchaunt of monferra by way of lone to be Repaied vpon' an oblig'" £100
14 Mar 1508Peter de Opiciis is listed as a sworn broker of the English Merchant Adventurers in Antwerp
1508The sons of Petrus de Opiciis perform at the princely convocation at Cambrai
c. 1510-15Peter de Opiciis is listed as foreign broker in London, among "Ytalians, Venecians and Florentynes and Lukeses"
1510Peter de Opiciis is listed among Henry VIII's debtors, in association with John Treguram, for £100
12 Oct 1511Henry VIII writes to Margaret of Austria, recommending Peter de Opiciis and his children; the letter specifies Benedictus as the bearer
12 Mar 1511/12Peter de Opiciis is in a legal dispute with Petro Paulo de Negro in Antwerp
Feb 1513Peter de Opiciis and Treguram repay £50
Oct 1514Peter de Opiciis and Treguram repay £50
1515Benedictus de Opiciis ("meester Benedictus") is made prince of the St. Lucas guild in Antwerp
21 Jul 1515Payment to Benedictus de Opiciis at the Onze- Lieve-Vrouwe-Lofkapel, Antwerp
Aug 1515Creation of print Lofzangen (1515), in honor of Maximilian I and Archduke Charles, with two motets by Benedictus de Opiciis and mention of Petrus de Opiciis and his sons in the introductory text
2 Feb 1516 (retr. from 1514 and 1515)Payment to Benedictus de Opiciis at OLV-Lofkapel, Antwerp
16 Feb 1516Payment to Benedictus de Opiciis at OLV- Lofkapel, Antwerp, mentioning that he has left for England
1 Jul 1516 (retr. from 1 Mar 1516)Warrant appointing Benedictus de Opiciis to wait on Henry VIII in his chamber
1516Creation of presentation manuscript LonBLR 11 E.xi, with motets by Benedictus de Opiciis, M. Sampson, and anonymi
24 Dec 1516Licence for Benedictus de Opiciis to export 1000 quarters of wheat
12 Nov 1517Licence for Benedictus de Opiciis to export 1000 quarters of wheat
3 Jan 1517/18Payment to "one Sygemond Skeyf an almayn for an instrument called a Regall bought of him by the king and payd to thands of B. deopiciis"
26 May 1518Licence for Benedictus de Opiciis to import 350 tuns of Toulouse woad or Gascon wine
6 May 1519Licence for Benedictus de Opiciis to import 200 tuns of Gascon wine or Toulouse woad
1 Jan 1519/20Benedictus de Opiciis rewarded 40s on New Year's Day by Henry VIII
1520Benedictus de Opiciis joins Fraternity of St. Nicholas, London
4 Apr 1520Licence for Benedictus de Opiciis to export 300 tuns of beer
Aug 1520Albrecht Dürer takes portrait of "den Walchen mit der krummen Nasen ... mit Namen Opitius" in Antwerp
1 Jan 1520/1Benedictus de Opiciis rewarded 40s on New Year's Day by Henry VIII
4 Apr 1521Licence for Benedictus de Opiciis to export 300 tuns of beer within two years
14 Oct 1522Licence for Benedictus de Opiciis to export 200 tuns of beer
Aug-Sep 1524Benedictus de Opiciis ("Benedict Odiciys") draws up his will on 19 Aug, proved on 16 Sep with royal trumpeter Franciscus Franco as executor

Table 2 offers a listing of all currently known primary source references to Benedictus de Opiciis and his immediate family, a collection which turns out to be considerably larger than has appeared in previous studies.[27] It is primarily the business transactions of Benedictus's father Petrus which allow the family to be traced over several decades, leaving documentary remains in Casale Monferrato, Antwerp, Lille, and London, and in some cases shedding light on the career trajectory of Benedictus. The reference in the Alien Subsidy Roll of 1483 represents the first mention of Benedictus or Petrus, demonstrating their residence in the North over two decades earlier than previously known. Since only those who were at least twelve years of age and had lived in London at least six months were required to pay the subsidy, we can now estimate that Benedictus was born before June 1471 - but probably not too long before, as he was still a dependent of his father.[28] The specification in this document of the family's nationality - Italian, among a largely Germanic tax-paying foreign population in their quarter - is not to be dismissed lightly ("an early-sixteenth-century Englishman was probably no better than his modern counterpart at distinguishing one species of foreigner from another"[29] ). In alien subsidies, as in the listing of foreign brokers to which the preceding quotation refers, foreigners of different origins and occupations could receive different rights and exemptions, and so the correct identification of nationalities was a matter affecting crown revenues. For the case of the Opicius family, at any rate, there is not a single piece of evidence that they were German, but numerous unambiguous testimonies of their origins in northern Italy: the references of 1483, 1507, 1510-15, possibly August 1520, and, not least, the documents from Monferrato itself.

The notarial records from Casale, capital of the marquisate of Monferrato (in northern Italy between Milan and Turin, today part of Piemonte), reflect a brief visit of Petrus to his home region in 1494 to deal with the estate of his late father and settle outstanding debts (paying with English cloth surely acquired in connection with his business in London and Antwerp). From these documents we learn that Petrus and his three brothers hailed from the hilltop town of Cremolino, not far from Acqui Terme; that the standard Latinized forms of their surname were Opicius and De Opiciis; and that the name of their father was Johannes (Giovanni). This last fact dovetails neatly with the recent conjecture that one of Petrus de Opiciis's sons was a Johannes Opicius who was not yet twenty years old when he offered an Italianate manuscript of classicizing verse to Henry VII in 1497 (on whom, see below).[30]

Legal documents show that Petrus Opicius was conducting business in Antwerp at least from 1505 to 1512. His early contact with the English court, where he borrowed money in 1507, can probably be explained with a 1508 reference to the merchant as an official broker of the English Nation in Antwerp; that is, as a middleman in Anglo- Flemish trade, at a point when Antwerp was one of the main centers of English commercial dealings on the Continent. Since two English documents also list Opicius as a broker in 1483 and c. 1510, we can surmise that this was the Italian's official line of business and that his description in the 1515 Antwerp print as "negotiorum gestor" refers to this role, rather than that of an ordinary merchant. In 1511, we have further evidence of personal contact with the English king, in the form of a letter from Henry VIII to Margaret of Austria recommending Peter Opicius and his children.[31] By naming Benedictus as the bearer, the letter points to the organist's presence at court in 1511, over four years before his permanent hiring. Although presumably only there temporarily, Benedictus, through his father's connections, was already at this stage known in some capacity to the English king. More striking yet, the timing coincides neatly with the musician's supposed date of entry into a position as organist for the Confraternity of Our Lady (Broederschap van O.L.V. Lof) in the cathedral at Antwerp, occasioning a scandal with the organist Jacob van Doirne, who had not been warned of his replacement and who continued to receive a salary from the guild during Benedictus's tenure.[32] It is not difficult to see the role of political pressures in this remarkable sequence of events, and to guess that the regent of the Netherlands may have forced the hand of the Confraternity in the matter.

Benedictus's years serving in Antwerp saw contact between the Confraternity and leading musicians of the region such as Harry Bredemers and Petrus Alamire, but the crowning achievement for the Italian organist must have been his participation in the joyous entry of Charles of Castille (the future Charles V) into Antwerp in 1515. Working with the Guild of Saint Luke (the artists' guild of Antwerp), the sons of Petrus de Opiciis produced the first examples of printed polyphony in the Low Countries, the jewels of a festival book printed by Jan de Gheet.[33] In March 1515/16, Benedictus left Antwerp to take up permanent employment at the English royal court (as noted in both the Confraternity records and the accounts of Henry VIII's court, where he was hired after a brief trial period, like many Tudor court players). A possible return visit to Antwerp in 1520, shortly following the English court's sojourn on the French-English border for the "Field of Cloth of Gold" festivities, is suggested by an entry in Albrecht Dürer's well- known journal. The German master, during his stay in Antwerp of that year, recorded that he took a portrait of "the crooked-nosed Italian named Opitius" in August;[34] even if not Benedictus, there is every possibility that this was a member of his well-connected family. The final documents relating to Benedictus, a copy of his will and execution documents from 1524, point to a rapid final illness, given the space of less than a month between the creation of the will and the composer's death.

The preceding detailed excursion into the biography of Opiciis and his close family should serve not only to clear up certain confusions which linger even today in the standard reference works, but also to demonstrate the vital role which family and court connections played in the organist's professional endeavors. Petrus de Opiciis apparently went to great lengths to secure favors and positions for his children from the most powerful magnates he knew - indeed, the most powerful rulers of his day. It was no doubt beneficial to the father to be able to offer up the fruits of his sons' poetic and musical talents, and it is with this idea of family creation and advancement in mind that we can make sense of the connections between the presentation books of 1515 and 1516 containing Benedictus's music.

The introductory texts of Lofzangen (1515) do indeed laud the virtues of Petrus de Opiciis on account of his sons' opera contained therein, noting the similarity of the father and his children.[35] As Benedictus's name appears above both motets in the print, the natural assumption is that another of Petrus's children was responsible for the text of Summe laudis o maria, a substantial work composed "In gloriam & honorem beatissime virginis Marie / Ac rutulantis atque splendissime pacientie mundi monarche domini nostri Maximiliani recommendationem" ["Unto the glory and honor of the most blessed virgin Mary, and the praise of the shining monarch of the world, of most brilliant patience, our lord Maximilian"]. This hypothesis that Benedictus had a brother endowed with a training in classical Latin fits very well with the recent literary analysis of the poems of Johannes Opicius, which Lena Wahlgren-Smith has demonstrated are linked to the text of Psallite felices and the opening illustration of LonBLR 11 E.xi.[36] With this link established, more signs begin to appear revealing the hand of the Opicius family in all three of these display books (the Opicius poems, Lofzangen, and LonBLR 11 E.xi).

Benedictus's motet Sub tuum presidium appears both in the 1515 Antwerp print and in LonBLR 11 E.xi. In the latter source we find the peculiar and, to my knowledge, unique addition at the bottom of the opening, the text of a versicle, response, and collect. These texts are nowhere else associated with a setting of Sub tuum presidium, but their appearance on the page following the motet in the Antwerp print makes it clear that this was their source for the London version (see the Editor's Commentary to Sub tuum presidium for the probable musical anteriority of the readings in the print). The virgin and child woodcut illustration on this page of prayers in the print finds itself recopied with minor modification in an illuminated initial of the London version of Sub tuum presidium (fol. 10v). Elsewhere, the motto "Salve felix Anglia" in LonBLR 11 E.xi's opening illustration echoes the phrase "Salve felix andwerpia" in a woodcut from the 1515 print, and a different illustration provides a phrase connecting to one of Wahlgren- Smith's excerpts linking LonBLR 11 E.xi and LonBLC B. iv.[37] The final confirmation comes from the suspicious double appearance of Benedictus de Opiciis's name on the opening with Sub tuum presidium in LonBLR 11 E.xi. In the hand and ink which has written all of the book's composer attributions above the music, the name ".B. opicius" appears in the standard position (fol. 10v) - but this orthography has been created by erasing the top of a "t" in what was originally ".B. opitius". The second appearance of the name, at the end of the Bassus voice (fol. 11r), was written by a hand and pen not encountered elsewhere in the book, and it is definitely an Italian script contrasting sharply with the Flemish style of the rest of the manuscript. Here too a change of name has occurred, from the inexplicable "benedictus di Opicijs" to "benedictus dE Opicijs". The evidence for orthographic correction and the clearly exceptional addition of the second version of the name in an Italian hand suggest nothing if not the direct intervention of the composer himself.

The evidence, then, suggests in numerous ways that the Opicius family, explicitly connected with Lofzangen (1515), was equally active in the creation of LonBLR 11 E.xi. The "P O" who was responsible for the assembly of the London manuscript can have been no other than Petrus Opicius, father of the composer Benedictus and familiar of Henry VIII and Maximilian I, a man with both the monetary resources for the book's creation and professional advantages to gain from its presentation, and who had already exhibited such activities in 1515 with the book for Maximilian.[38] This leaves us with a donor for the book, but there is more to be said about the specific circumstances surrounding its creation, and here the documents of the Tudor court in 1516 will provide the explanatory elements.

The dedicatory context

The early months of 1516 were eventful times for the Tudor family. On the 18th of February, Queen Katherine gave birth to a daughter, the future Queen Mary I, who would prove to be Katherine's only child to survive infancy. For Henry, of course, the birth of a daughter rather than a son was a cause of some disappointment (no celebratory tournament and entertainments were ordered as for the birth of the prince in 1511), but at this early stage of his reign and marriage the king's optimism and appetite for festivity remained as healthy as they would ever be. Equally significant for the king, however, was his reunion in May with his two sisters Mary and Margaret, which brought together the children of Henry VII for the first time in nearly thirteen years. Mary Tudor had been married in late 1514 to Louis XII of France to seal an Anglo-French peace. When her royal husband passed away less than two months later, the new French queen lost no time in returning to England. After Henry VIII pardoned her for secretly remarrying without his permission, she was often at court with her husband Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk and a close friend of Henry's. Margaret Tudor, on the other hand, had left England in 1503 to marry James IV of Scotland. Ironically, it was English troops who killed the Scottish king at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513, and from that point Margaret's position in Scotland had become increasingly perilous, in the midst of a bitter struggle for supremacy. Henry had been attempting for some time to ensure the safety of his sister when she was finally forced to flee the country and accept her brother's invitations to London in 1516.

The May celebrations ordered by the English king upon the return of Margaret Tudor to the royal court would have been notable for the monarch as a personally motivated event, lacking the diplomatic elements which characterized so many Tudor entertainments. Margaret made her entry into London at the head of a triumphal procession on the 3rd of May, and further celebration during the month included a great tournament on the 19th and 20th. Charles Brandon had known for several months that Henry was preparing Maytime entertainments.[39] Musical preparations for the spectacles must have been underway as well, with the rapid addition to the court establishment of a number of professional musicians from the Low Countries. It was at precisely the same time that Benedictus de Opiciis and four Flemish sackbut players, companions of Hans Nagel, arrived at court, at the beginning of March.[40] Henry and his agents had been pushing for months to obtain the wind players, and the sudden appearance of five professional musicians from the Low Countries broke with the considerably more gradual hiring process normally observed at the court before that point.

The May 1516 celebrations were extraordinary, then, for a number of reasons. Their main peculiarity, however, was the reunion of Henry with his two sisters, and it is this aspect which leads back to the presentation choirbook. Considering the opening illustration on fol. 2r once more, the idiosyncrasies of the image can now be explained. Backhouse identified the three types of flowers in the plant as the Marguerite, Rose, and Marigold, even making the connection with the Tudor family: the Marguerite represents Margaret of Scotland, the Rose, Henry VIII, and the Marigold, Mary of France.[41] Tracing up from the root where the marguerite and marigold sit on either side, it becomes clear that the two side branches and roses of the plant are intended to represent the king's sisters; the entire three-branched structure encloses the three children of Henry VII. The text on the scroll, describing the plant, points out that one flower rises higher than the others, which is depicted quite clearly with Henry's crowned red and white Rose. The link to Margaret is emphasized further by the appearance of the thistle, emblem of Scotland, at the beginning of Sampson's Psallite felices. This is a combination of iconography which does not appear elsewhere in manuscripts for Henry VIII; and at no time other than 1516 would it have been appropriate to the situation at court.

The secular motet text Salve radix now yields new interpretations. It is not, as some earlier discussions of the manuscript have claimed, a commemoration of a birth, more specifically, that of Princess Mary - nor does the manuscript yield any specific iconographical support for that idea. The first three lines of the poem are a straightforward description of the plant in the opening illustration, with the root representing the Tudor line. The more enigmatic final couplet brings in the figures of Peace and Justice, as well as the idea of casting out the old. These are allegorical figures and concepts which made appearances both in early Tudor "disguisings" and in the court tournaments, where on various occasions Henry himself and companions such as Charles Brandon would enter the lists in the guise of old hermits, only to tear off their false white beards and reveal their youthful vigor.[42]

This idea that the decidedly bizarre text of Salve radix can be explained by reference to a courtly entertainment context, moreover, is not pure speculation: the second great set of Tudor entertainments of 1516 relates specifically to our manuscript. A lavish round of celebrations was devised for one of the court's main annual festivals, the Feast of Epiphany or Twelfth Night, ending the Christmas season (still 1516 by the English style of dating). For the feast in 1516, we are fortunate to have the account of the event as reported in Hall's The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre & Yorke, demonstrating that this was a year when an intriguing new garden pageant made an appearance:

"This yere the king kept his Christmas at his maner of Grenewiche, & on the.xii.night,according to the old custome,he & the quene came into the hall,& when they were set,& the quene of Scottes also, there entred into the hall a Gardeyn artificial,called the Gardeyn of Esperance. This Gardeyn was towred at euery corner,& rayled wit rayles gilt,al ye bankes were set wit floures artificial of silke & golde,ye leues cut of grene sattyn,so yat they semed uery floures. In ye middest of this Gardeyn was a piller of antique worke,al golde set wit perle & stone,& on the toppe of the piller,which,was a louer or an arche embowed,crouned with golde:within which stoode a bushe of Roses red & white,all of sylke and golde,& a bushe of Pomegranates of lyke stuf. In this gardeyn richely appareyled,and then they discended and daunsed many goodly daunses,& so ascended ye gardeyn agayn,and were conueighed oute of the hall, and then the kynge was serued of a great banket."[43]

Undoubtedly, the "Gardeyn of Esperance" bears a generic resemblance to garden pageants encountered on occasion throughout the period, but the connection is much more specific here to the opening illustration of LonBLR 11 E.xi. The artificial garden is walled, with towers at every corner; on a pedestal in the center (represented by the gate structure in the illustration?) sits a bush of red and white Tudor roses, and a pomegranate bush is present as well. The construction served to convey twelve dancers into the hall, whose music would probably have been provided by musicians hidden somewhere within the structure. The previous garden pageant at court, the "Golldyn Arber in the Arche yerd of Plesyer" of 1510/11, offers a striking contrast with its much less specific layout and collection of flora: "it was solempne and ryche,for euery post or piller therof, was couered with fryse golde, therein were trees of Hathorne,Eglantines,Rosiers,Uines and other plesaunt floures of diuers colours,with Gillofers and other herbes all made of Satyn, damaske, silke syluer and gold,accordingly as the natural trees,herbes,or floures ought to be."[44]

The convergence of symbolic elements and court records brings the choirbook to one particular time and place; the two major Tudor celebrations in the year 1516 both exhibit characteristics which are reflected in the royal manuscript. In fact, the opening illustration can be described as combining the salient elements of each: the garden of the Twelfth Night entertainment is modified so that the generic Tudor bush of red and white roses is transformed into the peculiar plant described in Salve radix, symbolic of the king's springtime reunion with his sisters. The entire dedicatory section of the manuscript seems to act as a memorial of the year's entertainments, offered at a season when the English king habitually received such gifts.[45] The handsome choirbook containing music by Henry VIII's own recently recruited organist, as well as illustrations and texts flattering him in no uncertain terms, was a much more specific offering than more generic music books such as LonBLR 8 G.vii. The story of LonBLR 11 E.xi is tied intimately to the story of a successful businessman, his humanistically and musically trained sons, and the events of a unique year of reunion for the children of Henry VII. For Henry VIII, whose later years would be marked by the greatest personal and public turmoil, we have few equally eloquent testimonies to the enthusiasm, optimism, and sheer joie de vivre which bloomed in the garden of his youth.

[1] For the remarks summarized here, see Theodor Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court and International Musical Relations (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming, 2007), which is a revision of id., Anglo-Continental Musical Relations, c. 1485-1530 (D.Phil. thesis, University of Oxford, 2004). For remarks useful particularly for the present introduction, I am grateful to Herbert Kellman and Dana Marsh.

[2] David Casley, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the King's Library (London, 1734); Sir George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King's Collections (4 vols, London: Oxford University Press, 1921), vol. 1, pp. xxx-xxxi, 360 ("Not in the old catalogues").

[3] The present discussion is based largely upon that in Chapter 4 of Theodor Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court; certain updated information and arguments are presented for the first time here, however. The only article dealing primarily with the manuscript is Janet Backhouse, 'A Salute to the Tudor Rose', in Anny Raman and Eugène Manning (eds), Miscellanea Martin Wittek: Album de Codicologie et de Paléographie offert à Martin Wittek (Louvain and Paris: Peeters, 1993), pp. 1-10. During the preparation of the present edition, a transcription of LonBLR 11 E.xi was published by Anna Parsons and Nick Sandon: The Crowned Rose: Motets for Henry VIII from London, British Library, Royal MS 11 E. XI, ed. Anna Parsons and Nick Sandon, Antico Edition: Renaissance Church Music, 30 (Moretonhampstead: Antico Edition, c. 2006). Other brief references and discussions include: Census Catalogue of Manuscript Sources of Polyphonic Music, 1400-1550, ed. Charles Hamm and Herbert Kellman (5 vols, Neuhausen- Stuttgart: American Institute of Musicology, 1979-88), vol. 2, p. 104; James Roland Braithwaite, The Introduction of Franco-Netherlandish Manuscripts to Early Tudor England: the Motet Repertory (Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University, 1967), pp. 57-9; Iain Fenlon, 'La diffusion de la chanson continentale dans les manuscrits anglais entre 1509-1570', in Jean-Michel Vaccaro (ed.), La chanson à la Renaissance: Actes du XXe Colloque d'Etudes Humanistes du Centre d'études supérieures de la Renaissance de l'Université de Tours (Tours: Van de Velde, 1981), pp. 172-89, at 176-7; Albert Dunning, Die Staatsmotette, 1480-1555 (Utrecht: A. Oosthoek, 1970), pp. 121- 8; and Frank Ll. Harrison, Music in Medieval Britain (London: Routledge and Paul, 1958), pp. 338-40.

[4] Particularly striking are the instances where left and right sides of a single opening exhibit consistently different features, even though the copyist remains the same: consider, e.g., fols. 3v-4r, where a noticeably different staff gauge on each page produces slight differences of sizing; or the ending section of Psallite felices, where voices on the left- hand side use a mensuration sign/numeral combination to show sesquialtera, whereas the voices on the right use simply the numeral 3 (see mm. 289-90). Other marks confirm the systematic production process of the book, e.g., brown Xs at the outer margins of several pages, probably markers for use in arranging the bifolia during assembly of the gatherings, which were meant to be cut off during binding and trimming.

[5] See Herbert Kellman (ed.), The Treasury of Petrus Alamire: Music and Art in Flemish Court Manuscripts 1500-1535 (Ghent: Ludion, 1999).

[6] 'A Salute', p. 7.

[7] Die Staatsmotette, pp. 124-5.

[8] See Census Catalogue, vol. 2, p. 104. LonBLR 11 E.xi does not appear at all in the recent exhibition catalogue of all manuscripts in the complex: Kellman (ed.), The Treasury of Petrus Alamire.

[9] The Crowned Rose, pp. x-xii.

[10] Ibid., p. x.

[11] Ibid., p. xiv.

[12] Flynn Warmington, 'A Survey of Scribal Hands in the Manuscripts', in Kellman (ed.), The Treasury of Petrus Alamire, pp. 41-52.

[13] Personal communication, 9 December 2006.

[14] Parsons and Sandon, The Crowned Rose, p. xi.

[15] Fol. 2r. This page has been reproduced numerous times: see Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court; Parsons and Sandon, The Crowned Rose, p. i; Backhouse, 'A Salute', p. 11; Dunning, Die Staatsmotette, Abb. 1; Neville Williams, 'The Tudors: Three Contrasts in Personality', in A.G. Dickens (ed.), The Courts of Europe: Politics, Patronage and Royalty, 1400-1800 (London: Thames & Hudson, 1977), pp. 146-67, at 146.

[16] See Ike de Loos, "Een overclaer vat: een Maria-antifoon uit de late Middeleeuwen," Tijdschrift voor Gregoriaans, 27 (2002): 2-8; republished online in Jubilate, May and September 2004.

[17] For a few of the numerous 1515 and 1516 references to the sweating sickness, see Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII, ed. J.S. Brewer (2nd edn revised and enlarged by R.H. Brodie, London: H. M. Stationery Off., 1920), vol. 2, nos. 338, 1815, 1832.

[18] See Braithwaite, The Introduction, p. 58; Fenlon, 'La diffusion', pp. 176-7.

[19] The judgment which Braithwaite passes on these pieces, thinking them English and seeing in their imitation at successive fifths "the application of a modern device without assimilation of a feeling for it" (The Introduction, p. 123), can only be accepted at the expense of ignoring general trends in early 16th-century imitative writing: consider such sophisticated parallel cases as Obrecht's Salve crux and Laudes cristo, or various sections of Josquin's Pange lingua mass.

[20] Compare Quam pulcra es, mm. 46-49 and 88-94 with Beati omnes qui timent dominum, mm. 97-100.

[21] See Dumitrescu, 'Constructing a Canonic Pitch Spiral: The Case of Salve radix', in Katelijne Schiltz, Bonnie J. Blackburn, and Ignace Bossuyt (eds), Proceedings of the International Conference: Canons and Canonic Techniques (Leuven, 4-6 October 2005) (Leuven: Peeters, forthcoming, 2007); and the summary analysis in the Editor's Commentary to Salve radix.

[22] Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, ed. Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee (22 vols, London: Oxford University Press, 1921- 27), vol. 17, pp. 719-21.

[23] Roger Bowers, 'Sampson [first name unknown]', in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie (2nd edn, 29 vols, New York: Grove's Dictionaries and London: Macmillan, 2001), vol. 22, p. 219.

[24] I am grateful to Mr. Marsh for providing me with portions of his doctoral thesis in progress at the University of Oxford.

[25] Lofzangen ter ere van Keizer Maximiliaan en zijn kleinzoon Karel den Vijfden (Antwerp, 1515; facs. ed. by W. Nijhoff, Gravenhage, 1925); here abbreviated as Lofzangen (1515). The title was given to the print by Nijhoff.

[26] Annelies Wouters and Eugeen Schreurs, 'Het Bezoek van keizer Maximiliaan en de blijde intrede van Aartshertog Karel (Antwerpen, 1508-1515)', Musica Antiqua, 12 (1995): 100-110, at 102; and the entries on Opitiis in the various editions of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

[27] This table represents an abbreviated version of materials which appear in Dumitrescu, Anglo-Continental Musical Relations, vol. 1, p. 95; revised/expanded in Chapter 3 of Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court, where all source references are specified. Verheyden prints two supposed references not included here, which would appear to refer to the Benedictus at Mass rather than to the organist (and they date from after Benedictus's departure from Antwerp): "betaelt Jan.N. die blazer die benendictus blies ... L 1 s- d-"; "gegeven een blaezer die benendictus geblaessen hadde ... L - s. 3 d-"; Prosper Verheyden, 'De drukker en de componist van het Maximiliaanboek', Antwerpsch Archievenblad, 3 (1928): 268-82, at 278. Three references first mentioned by Dénes Bartha (Benedictus Ducis und Appenzeller [Berlin: P. Funk, 1930], p. 9) cannot refer to the Opicius family (and were already questioned by Albrecht in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. Friedrich Blume [17 vols, Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1949-86], vol. 1, 1633): 1491, "Maister Peter" with sons Hans and Peter, all pipers, are mentioned in records of Maximilian I's court at Innsbruck; c. 1491, "Pitt pfeiffer" paid (for three people) at the Innsbruck court; 1492, a father with three sons (the youngest of which, less than sixteen years old, plays organ), musicians of Maximilian, play in Strasbourg. The age of the son in these documents cannot be reconciled with the firm dating evidence for Benedictus discussed below (to say nothing of the names!); nor is it possible in any way to identify Peter de Opiciis as a professional "piper," when every reference to his career over a span of more than thirty years calls him a broker or a merchant, and a fairly successful one at that.

[28] On the regulations concerning which foreigners were taxed in 1483, see the introduction to The Alien Communities of London in the Fifteenth Century: The Subsidy Rolls of 1440 & 1483-4, ed. J.L. Bolton (Stamford: Richard III & Yorkist History Trust and Paul Watkins, 1998).

[29] Parsons and Sandon (eds), The Crowned Rose, xiv.

[30] This book (LonBLC Vespasian B.iv) has been the subject of numerous studies in recent years, and its entire contents have now been published among the following articles: Lena Wahlgren-Smith, 'An Early Tudor Political Pastoral: the Dialogus of Johannes Opicius', in Hans Aili and Peter af Trampe (eds), Tongues and Texts Unlimited: Studies in Honour of Tore Janson on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Anniversary (Stockholm: Stockholms Universitet, Institutionen för klassiska språk, 2000), pp. 243-60; id., 'Heraldry in Arcadia: The Court Eclogue of Johannes Opicius', Renaissance Studies, 14 (2000): 210-34; David R. Carlson, 'The "Opicius" Poems (British Library, Cotton Vespasian B.iv) and the Humanist Anti-Literature in Early Tudor England', Renaissance Quarterly, 55 (2002): 869-903; id., 'The Italian Johannes Opicius on Henry VII of England's 1492 Invasion of France: Historical Witness and Antique Convention', Renaissance Studies, 20 (2006): 520-46. I remain skeptical of Carlson's redating of the manuscript to 1492, originally based on a conjecture that the 1497 date at the close of the text was a later addition. Since the ink and paint indicates with little doubt that the date was original to the manuscript, we should need some sort of specific evidence that it is incorrect. Carlson's newer conjecture that the scribe could have simply misread the date in his source ('The Italian Johannes Opicius', 521 n. 5) presupposes a hardly believable situation: that a professional scribe making a book to be presented to Henry VII at Christmas in 1492 blindly wrote a date five years in the future because that was how he read his source text.

[31] Transcribed in Appendix A of Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court.

[32] Verheyden, 'De drukker', pp. 279-81; Guido Persoons, De Orgels en de Organisten van de Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk te Antwerpen van 1500 tot 1650 (Brussels: Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België, 1981), p. 62.

[33] Lofzangen (1515). See n. 25 above.

[34] "Auch hab ich den Walchen mit der krummen Nasen konterfet, mit Namen Opitius." Albrecht Dürer, Tagebuch der Reise in die Niederlande, ed. F. Bergemann (Leipzig: Insel, [1933]), pp. 19-20; translation from id., Dürer's Record of Journeys to Venice and the Low Countries, trans. Roger Fry (New York: Dover, 1995), p. 41.

[35] Lofzangen, f. Dr.

[36] 'Heraldry in Arcadia', 228-9.

[37] Lofzangen, fol. Ar: "Concio nostra tibi qui mundi regna gubernas ..."

[38] It is interesting, in this regard, to note how well Opicius fits Parsons and Sandon's characterization of a possible donor of LonBLR 11 E.xi, even though their conclusions regarding the identity of the donor differ significantly from those presented here: "The ideal candidate will be somebody of moderate rather than great wealth, in contact with one or more of the men associated with the choirbook, cognizant of and sympathetic to the political stance of Henry VIII and his government, and with something specific to gain from a well-timed and well-chosen gift to the king" (The Crowned Rose, p. xiv).

[39] Letters and Papers, vol. 2, no. 1605.

[40] Andrew Ashbee, David Lasocki, Peter Holman, and Fiona Kisby, A Biographical Dictionary of English Court Musicians, 1485-1714 (2 vols, Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998), vol. 1, pp. 28-30, 436-37; vol. 2, pp. 1160-61; Records of English Court Music, ed. Andrew Ashbee (9 vols, Aldershot: Ashgate, 1986-96), vol. 7, p. 222. See also Chapters 2 and 3 of Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court.

[41] Backhouse, 'A Salute', p. 3.

[42] The Great Tournament Roll of Westminster: A Collotype Reproduction of the Manuscript, facsimile edn by Sydney Anglo (2 vols, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), vol. 2, pp. 54, 61, and 71.

[43] Edward Hall, The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre & Yorke (London: Grafton, 1548), sig. kkk.v.r-v.

[44] Ibid., sig. bbb.iiii.v.

[45] The lists of rewards offered by the king at New Year's grow with every year in the accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber, and in fact we know that Henry rewarded the Chapel Royal composer Robert Fayrfax for new books of polyphony presented at this time every year from 1515 to 1518; see Records of English Court Music, vol. 7, pp. 221, 227, 234, and 240.

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