Open main menu


BRYNE, ALBERTUS (1621?–1669?), organist and composer, was born about the year 1621, and was educated by John Tomkins, organist of St. Paul's. It was probably on the death of the latter that Bryne succeeded him as organist of the cathedral, a post he seems to have held throughout the reign of Charles I. At the restoration Bryne petitioned Charles II for the post of organist at Whitehall Chapel. In this document he stated that ‘yor Maies late Royall ffather of blessed memory was pleased in his life time to make choyce of yor peticonr to bee Organist of the Cathedrall Church of St Paule, London, in which said place hee was by yor said late Royall ffather confirmed when yor petr was but about the age of 17 yeares, And since then hath soe industriously practised that science that hee hath very much augmented his skill and knowledge therein.' This petition seems to have been answered by his being reinstated as organist at St. Paul's, where he remained until the fire of London. After this Bryne was organist of Westminster Abbey. There are no records of these appointments extant at either the cathedral or the abbey, but it is believed that Bryne remained organist at the latter church until 1669, when he was succeeded by Dr. John Blow [q. v.] It has been stated that he died in this year, and was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, but the burial registers do not contain his name, A morning and evening service (in G major) by Bryne is found in several manuscript collections; the words of anthems by him are in Clifford's ‘Divine Services and Anthems usually sung in His Majesties Chappell,' and in the Oxford Music School Collection are several dances, &c., by him, besides two ‘grounds,' one for the organ, and the other for the organ or harpsichord. The Christ Church Collection contains a copy of his service, and an instrumental saraband and air. His name is sometimes spelt Brian, Bryan, Brine, or Breyn.

[Harl. MS. 7338; Bingley's Musical Biography, i. 187; Clifford's Divine services, &c. (1664 ed.); Bodl. Lib., Wood. 19 D (4). No. 106; Catalogues of Music School and Ch. Ch. Collections; State Papers (Chas. II. Dom. ii. 91); infomation from Miss Bradley and the Rev. W. Sparrow Simpson.]

W. B. S.