Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Marsh, Alphonso (1627-1681)

MARSH, ALPHONSO, the elder (1627–1681), musician, the son of Robert Marsh (died before 1662), one of the musicians in ordinary to Charles I, was born before 28 Jan. 1627. He was said by Wood to be a great songster and lutenist (Manuscript Lives). Marsh alternated with John Harding in singing the words of Pirrhus, a bass part in D'Avenant's 'Siege of Rhodes,' 1666 (Chappell, Popular Music, ii. 478). He was appointed gentleman of the Chapel Royal about 1661, and was present at the coronation of Charles II on 23 April in that year. He died on 9 April 1681. He married at St. Margaret's, Westminster, 8 Feb. 1647-8, Mary Cheston. His will, by which he left a clear third of his arrears of pay to his son Alphonso [q. v.], and the residue to his second wife Rebecca, was proved by the widow on 19 April. Marsh's printed songs are in John Playlord's collections: 1. Eight songs in 'Select Ayres and Dialogues,' bk. ii. 1669, pp. 60-4. 2. Five songs in 'Choice Songs and Ayres for one Voice to the Theorbo-lute,' bk. i. 1673, pp. 5-37 passim. 3. Three songs in 'Choice Ayres ... to sing to Theorbo-lute or Bass-viol,' bk. i. 1676, p. 84, and bk. ii. 1679, p. 34.

[Grove's Dictionary, ii. 221; North's Memoires, p. 98; Old Cheque-book of the Chapel Royal, pp. 17, 21; Chamberlayne's Angliæ Notitia; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. Charles II, 1662 vol. lii., 1663 vol. lxxvi.; Will in Registers P. C. C., book North, fol. 60; Chester's Registers of Westminster Abbey, p. 230.]

L. M. M.