King, Robert (fl.1684-1711) (DNB00)


KING, ROBERT (fl. 1684–1711), composer, was a member of the band of music to William and Mary under the mastership of Nicholas Staggins. He was the composer of several songs in ‘Choice Ayres, Songs, and Dialogues,’ 1684, and wrote the music for the songs in Crowne's most popular comedy, ‘Sir Courtly Nice.’ These were printed separately in the ‘Theater of Musick’ (vol. ii. ed. 1685). King was also a contributor to ‘Comes Amoris,’ 1687–93; ‘The Banquet of Musick,’ 1688–92; the ‘Gentleman's Journal,’ 1692–4; and ‘Thesaurus Musicus,’ 1695–6. In 1690 he set Shadwell's ode on St. Cecilia's day, ‘O Sacred Harmony;’ and in 1693 ‘an ode on the Rt. Hon. John Cecil, earl of Exeter, his birthday,’ commencing ‘Once more 'tis born the happy day,’ the words of which were written by Peter Anthony Motteux [q. v.] In 1696 he took the degree of Mus. Bac. from St. Catharine College, Cambridge, and subsequently served in the band of music to Queen Anne. There are two songs by King, ‘With thee for ever’ and ‘Only tell her,’ among the manuscript collections of the Sacred Harmonic Society (Catalogue, p. 233), and a collection of twenty-four songs by him, entitled ‘Songs for one, two, or three Voices, composed to a Thorough Basse for ye Organ or Harpsichord, engraved on copper, was published by John Walsh (the elder) in 1711. King appears to have been living at this date, but the time of his death is not known.

[Groves Dict. of Music, ii. 57;, Fétis's Biog. Universelle des Musiciens, v. 33; Brown's Biog. Dict. of Musicians, p. 359; Graduati Cantabrigienses, p. 275.]

T. S.