Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jones, Robert (fl.1616)

JONES, ROBERT (fl. 1616), musical composer, after sixteen years' musical study, obtained at Oxford, as a member of St. Edmund Hall, a grace for the Mus. Bac. degree 29 April 1597. In 1616 he occupied a house within the precinct of Blackfriars, near Puddle Wharf, and a patent was granted to him in conjunction with Philip Rossetor, Philip Kingman, and Ralph Reeve, permitting them to erect on the site of Jones's house a theatre for the use of the Queen's children of the revels. The lord mayor and aldermen, however, procured from the privy council an order prohibiting such use being made of the building; the patentees were therefore obliged to dismantle the house and surrender their patent. Jones published: 1. ‘The First Booke of Ayres,’ London, 1601, including the song, ‘Farewell deere Love,’ alluded to by Shakespeare in ‘Twelfth Night,’ which is reprinted in J. S. Smith's ‘Musica Antiqua.’ 2. ‘The Second Booke of Songs and Ayres, set out to the Lute, the Base Violl, the Playne Way, or the Base by Tablature after the Leero [lyra] fashion,’ London, 1601, including the song, ‘My Love bound Me with a Kisse,’ also reprinted in Smith's ‘Musica Antiqua.’ 3. ‘The First Set of Madrigals of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 parts, for Viols and Voices, or for Voices alone, or as you please,’ London, 1607. 4. ‘Ultimum Vale, or the Third Booke of Ayres of 1, 2, and 4 Voyces,’ London, 1608. A unique copy of this is preserved in the library of the Royal College of Music. Several of the songs included in it were first printed in Davidson's ‘Poetical Rhapsody;’ others have been printed in Rimbault's ‘Ancient Vocal Music of England.’ 5. ‘A Musicall Dreame, or the Fourth Booke of Ayres; the first part is for the Lute, two voyces and the Viole de Gambo; the second part is for the Lute, the Viole, and four voyces to sing; the third part is for one voyce alone, or to the Lute, the Base Viole, or to both if you please, whereof two are Italian Ayres,’ London, 1609. 6. ‘The Muses' Garden of Delights; being songs set to Music,’ London, 1610. In 1812 a copy was in the library of the Marquis of Stafford, and Beloe printed six of its songs in his ‘Anecdotes,’ vol. vi. No copy of this book seems now accessible. Jones contributed the madrigal, ‘Faire Oriana, seeming to wink at folly,’ to Morley's ‘Triumphs of Oriana,’ 1601; and three pieces to Leighton's ‘Teares or Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule,’ 1614. He is also one of the contributors to a manuscript collection of ‘Sacred Music for 4 and 5 voices’ in the British Museum (App. to Royal MS. 63).

Many of Jones's songs are poems of a high order of beauty; a few have been printed by Mr. A. H. Bullen's in his ‘Lyrics from Elizabethan Song Books,’ and in his ‘More Lyrics’).

[Grove's Dict. of Music, ii. 39, 40; Preface to Mr. A. H. Bullen's Lyrics from Elizabethan Song Books; Watt's Bibl. Brit. ii. 554; Cat. of Sacred Harmonic Soc. Lib.; Jones's Works in Brit. Mus.]

R. F. S.