Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Padua, John of

PADUA, JOHN of (fl. 1542–1549), architect, received two royal grants, in 1544 and in 1549 respectively. In the earlier grant an annual wage or fee of two shillings per day was given to ‘our well-beloved servant Johannes de Padua,’ ‘in consideration of the good and faithful service which [he] has done and intends to do to us in architecture and in other inventions in music.’ The fee was to commence from the feast of Easter in the thirty-fourth year of Henry VIII; and he is further described as ‘Devizer of his majesty's buildings.’ Walpole states that ‘in one of the office books which I have quoted there is a payment to him of 36l. 10s.;’ but this book has not been identified. No documentary evidence of any work to which his name can be attached seems accessible, although it is clear, from the terms of these grants, that both Henry VIII and Edward VI benefited by his skill in architecture as well as in music. Attempts have been made to identify him with Sir John Thynne [q. v.] of Longleat, John Thorpe [q. v.], the leading architect of the Elizabethan period, and Dr. John Caius or Keys (1510–1573) [q. v.] of Cambridge, but the results reached as yet may safely be ignored. Canon J. E. Jackson claimed that Henry VIII's Johannes de Padua was identical either with John Padovani of Verona, a musician (who published several works on mathematics, architecture, &c., between 1563 and 1589), or with Giovanni or John Maria Padovani of Venice, a designer in architecture and musician.

[Rymer's Fœdera, fol. 1713, xv. 34, gives the patent 36 Henry VIII, p. 21, m. 30, and the patent 3 Edward VI, p. 4, n. 21, in xv. 34; Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, 4to, 1762; Jackson, in Wiltshire Archæological and Natural History Magazine, 1886, vol. xxiii.; Builder, 20 June 1868. Adam Gielgud, in a paper on ‘Cracow,’ mentions the buildings there by ‘a’ or ‘the’ John of Padua; see English Illustrated Magazine, November 1889.]

W. P.-h.