BRYNE, ALBERTUS (1621?–1669?), organist and composer, was born about the year 1621, and was educated by John Tomkins, organist of St. Paul's. It was probably on the death of the latter that Bryne succeeded him as organist of the cathedral, a post he seems to have held throughout the reign of Charles I. At the restoration Bryne petitioned Charles II for the post of organist at Whitehall Chapel. In this document he stated that ‘yor Maies late Royall ffather of blessed memory was pleased in his life time to make choyce of yor peticonr to bee Organist of the Cathedrall Church of St Paule, London, in which said place hee was by yor said late Royall ffather confirmed when yor petr was but about the age of 17 yeares, And since then hath soe industriously practised that science that hee hath very much augmented his skill and knowledge therein.' This petition seems to have been answered by his being reinstated as organist at St. Paul's, where he remained until the fire of London. After this Bryne was organist of Westminster Abbey. There are no records of these appointments extant at either the cathedral or the abbey, but it is believed that Bryne remained organist at the latter church until 1669, when he was succeeded by Dr. John Blow [q. v.] It has been stated that he died in this year, and was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, but the burial registers do not contain his name, A morning and evening service (in G major) by Bryne is found in several manuscript collections; the words of anthems by him are in Clifford's ‘Divine Services and Anthems usually sung in His Majesties Chappell,' and in the Oxford Music School Collection are several dances, &c., by him, besides two ‘grounds,' one for the organ, and the other for the organ or harpsichord. The Christ Church Collection contains a copy of his service, and an instrumental saraband and air. His name is sometimes spelt Brian, Bryan, Brine, or Breyn.
[Harl. MS. 7338; Bingley's Musical Biography, i. 187; Clifford's Divine services, &c. (1664 ed.); Bodl. Lib., Wood. 19 D (4). No. 106; Catalogues of Music School and Ch. Ch. Collections; State Papers (Chas. II. Dom. ii. 91); infomation from Miss Bradley and the Rev. W. Sparrow Simpson.]
BRYNKNELL. [See Brinknell.]
BRYSKETT, LODOWICK or LEWIS (fl. 1571–1611), poet, translator, and Irish official, is stated to have been the son of ‘a natural Italian,' but of his early life nothing definite is known. He was generally believed to have relations in Florence, Where he certainly had many correspondents. He matriculated as a pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge, 27 April 1559, but left the university without proceeding to a degree. On 7 April 1571 Burghley was informed that Bryskett was temporarily filling the office of clerk of the council in Ireland under Sir Henry Sidney. Before 1572 he had become the intimate friend of Sir Henry Sidney’s son, Philip Sidney, and he was young Sidney’s companion on a three years' continental tour through Germany, Italy, and Poland (1572–1575). In 1577 he became clerk of the chancery for the faculties in Ireland, an office in which he was succeeded by Spenser. Afterwards (1582) he received from Lord Grey de Wilton the appointment of secretary of the Munster council. About the same time he made the acquaintance of the poet Spenser, Lord Grey’s secretary, and Spenser relieved the tedium of official life by teaching his new friend Greek. Bryskett remained in Munster for many years. In 1594 he sought to be reappointed clerk of the Irish council, but failing to obtain that post he was granted the ‘clerkship of the casualties’ in the following year. In 1600 Sir Robert Cecil wrote to Sir George Carew in his behalf, and described him as ‘an ancient servitor of the realm of Ireland, and now employed by her majesty beyond the seas.’ He had an interest in the abbey of Bridgetown, which Cecil asked Carew to secure to him. In 1606 he was reputed to hold large estates in Dublin, Cavan, and Cork. He is stated to have been been alive in 1611.
Bryskett is more interesting as the friend of Sidney and Spenser than as an Irish official. His chief original literary work was a translation from the Italian of Baptista Giraldo’s philosophical treatise, which he entitled, ‘A Discourse of Civill Life, containing the Ethike Part of Morall Philosophie.' It was not published till 1606, but was certainly written full twenty years earlier. (There are two editions, both dated 1606—one printed for W. Aspley and the other for E. Blount.) The book is dedicated to Lord Grey, and opens with an Introduction which is of unique interest in English literature. Bryskett describes a party of friends met at his cottage near Dublin, among whom were Dr. Long, archbishop of Armagh, Captain Christopher Carleil, Captain Thomas Norris, Captain Warham St. Leger, and Mr. Edmund Spenser, ‘once your lordship's secretary.' In the course of conversation Bryskett says that he envies ‘the happinesse of the Italians' who have popularised moral philosophy by translating and explaining Plato and Aristotle in their own language.