Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ferebe, George

FEREBE, or FERIBYE, or FERRABEE, GEORGE (fl. 1613), composer, son of a Gloucestershire yeoman, was born about 1573, and matriculated at Oxford 25 Oct. 1589, aged 16 (Clark). He was a chorister of Magdalen College until 1591. He was admitted B.A. 1592, licensed to be M.A. 9 July 1595, and became vicar of Bishop's Cannings, Wiltshire. Wood relates how Ferebe found and ingeniously made use of an opportunity to display his talents before Queen Anne, the consort of James I, on her way from Bath, June 1613. In the dress of an old bard, Ferebe, with his pupils in the guise of shepherds, entertained the royal lady and her suite as they rested at Wensdyke (or Wansdyke) with wind-instrument music, a four-part song beginning ‘Shine, O thou sacred Shepherds' star, on silly [or seely] Shepherd swains,’ and an epilogue. This quaint and courtier-like action earned Ferebe the title of chaplain to the king.

Nichols mentions the publication, on 19 June same year, of ‘A Thing called “The Shepherd's Songe before Queen Anne in four parts complete musical, upon the Playnes of Salisbury.”’ In 1615 appeared ‘Life's Farewell, a sermon at St. John's in the Devises in Wilts, 30 Aug. 1614, at the Funerall of John Drew, gent., on 2 Sam. xiv. 14,’ 4to.

[Wood's Fasti, 1815, i. 270; Nichols's Progresses of James I, ii. 668; Bloxam's Register of Magdalen College, Oxford, i. 23; Oxf. Univ. Reg. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), ed. Clark, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 172, and pt. iii. p. 171.]

L. M. M.