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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2010

Dana T. Marsh*
Girton College, Cambridge


This study focuses on the ritual ‘conservatism’ of Henry VIII's Reformation through a new look at biblical exegeses of the period dealing with sacred music. Accordingly, it reconsiders the one extant passage of rhetoric to come from the Henrician regime in support of traditional church polyphony, as found in A Book of Ceremonies to be Used in the Church of England, c.1540. Examining the document's genesis, editorial history and ultimate suppression by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, it is shown that Bishop Richard Sampson, Dean of the Chapel Royal (1522–40), was responsible for the original drafting of the musical paragraph. Beginning with Sampson's printed commentaries on the Psalms and on the Epistles of St Paul, the literary precedents and historical continuities upon which Sampson's topos in Ceremonies was founded are traced in detail. Identified through recurring patterns of scriptural and patristic citation, and understood via transhistorical shifts in the meaning of certain key words (e.g. iubilare), this new perspective clarifies important origins of the English church's musical ‘traditionalism’ on the eve of the Reformation. Moreover, it reveals a precise species of exegetical method – anagogy – as the literary vehicle through which influential clergy were able to justify expansions and elaborations of musical practice in the Western Church from the high Middle Ages to the Reformation.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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1 A study by Fiona Kisby provides a notable exception; see ‘“When the King Goeth a Procession”: Chapel Ceremonies and Services, the Ritual Year, and Religious Reforms at the Early Tudor Court, 1485–1547’, Journal of British Studies, 40 (2001), pp. 44–75, citing evidence from BL Add. MS 71009, a portion of which is transcribed in her ‘Religious Ceremonial at the Tudor Court: Extracts from Royal Household Regulations’, in I. Archer (ed.), Religion, Politics, and Society in Sixteenth-Century England (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 1–33. Relevant points are also put forward in G. W. Bernard, The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church (New Haven and London, 2005), pp. 288–90, 490–2, 494–7, 580–1.

2 See G. W. Bernard, ‘The Piety of Henry VIII’, in M. Amos, A. Pettegree and H. van Nierop (eds.), The Education of a Christian Society (Aldershot, 1999), pp. 62–88, and id., ‘The Making of Religious Policy, 1533–1546: Henry VIII and the Search for the Middle Way’, Historical Journal, 41 (1998), pp. 321–49; contrasting views in R. Rex and C. Armstrong, ‘Henry VIII's Ecclesiastical and Collegiate Foundations’, Historical Research, 75 (2002), pp. 390–407; D. MacCulloch, ‘Henry VIII and the Reform of the Church’, in MacCulloch (ed.), The Reign of Henry VIII: Politics, Policy and Piety (Basingstoke, 1995), pp. 159–80; and P. Marshall, Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England (Aldershot, 2006); Introduction.

3 Central to the discrepancies has usually been the religious partisanship of contending historians. The final exponent of the so-called ‘Whiggish’ (John Foxe/John Strype) line of Reformation historiography was A. G. Dickens, The English Reformation (London, 1964; 2nd edn, 1989); revisionist views emerged from the late 1970s, led by historians such as J. Scarisbrick, The Reformation of the English People (Oxford, 1984); C. Haigh (ed.), The English Reformation Revised (Cambridge, 1987); id., English Reformations: Religion, Politics and Society under the Tudors (Oxford, 1993); E. Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (New Haven and London, 1992; 2nd edn, 2005) et al. Political historians have variously disagreed about the apparent shifts and reversals of power within the Henrician regime during the early Reformation, characterising the king either as succumbing to the intrigues of factionalised courtiers, or as maintaining steady resolve in the face of the upheavals taking place around him. Scholarly dispute on these matters became acrimonious during the 1990s, leading Steven Gunn to characterise the field as having been pervaded by an ‘atmosphere of trench warfare’; see Gunn, ‘The Structures of Politics in Early Tudor England’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser., 5 (1995), pp. 59–90.

4 A good deal of that evidence is contained in the large volume BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, comprising eighty-seven assorted documents all relevant to the Henrician Reformationc. 1536–c. 1540. Although successive acts of reform could come in apparent contrast – labelled sometimes as ‘radical’ on the one hand (The Ten Articles 1536), and reactionary or ‘conservative’ on the other (Royal Proclamation November 1538) – they nevertheless shared forceful rhetoric in defending a sacrosanct status for traditional church ritual. See Documents of the English Reformation, ed. G. Bray (Cambridge, 1994); Tudor Royal Proclamations, ed. P. L. Hughes and J. F. Larkin, 3 vols. (New Haven and London, 1964–9); for example, i, no. 188, pp. 278–80.

5 For some brief comments and a revealing example of the partisan handling of documentary evidence in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, see J. Carley, The Books of Henry VIII and his Wives (London, 2004), p. 152.

6 Sampson was the first to write an official defence of the Royal Supremacy, which was widely disseminated on the Continent; see Richard Sampson, Oratio quae docet hortatur admonet omnes potissimum Anglos regiae dignitati cum primis ut obedient … (London, 1534), STC 21681; commentary in A. Chibi, ‘Richard Sampson, His “Oratio”, and Henry VIII's Royal Supremacy’, Church and State, 39 (1997), pp. 543–60; also R. Rex, ‘The Crisis of Obedience: God's Word and Henry's Reformation’, Historical Journal, 39 (1996), pp. 863–94; for its ‘staged’ distribution abroad, see T. Sowerby, ‘“All our books do be sent into other countreys and translated”: Henrician Polemic in its International Context’, English Historical Review, 121, no. 494 (2006), pp. 1271–99.

7 The issue involves two motets attributed to an ‘M Sampson’ in BL Royal MS 11.E.XI, fols. 3v–9r and 11v–13r. Frank Ll. Harrison originally referred to this as the ‘Sampson-Benedictus’ manuscript, in Music in Medieval Britain (1958; 4th edn, Buren, 1980), pp. 338–40; see also P. le Huray, Music and the Reformation in England, 1549–1660 (Cambridge, 1967; 2nd edn, 1978), p. 58; earlier reference in W. H. Grattan-Flood, ‘New Light on Early Tudor Composers: Richard Sampson’, Musical Times, 61 (1920), pp. 242–3; most recently accepting Sampson's musical authorship are A. Parsons and N. Sandon (eds.), The Crowned Rose: Motets for Henry VIII from London, British Library, Royal MS 11 E. XI (Moretonhampstead, 2006); more neutral is F. Kisby, ‘Chapel Ceremonies and Services’, p. 70. Due scepticism in R. Bowers's article in New Grove II, ‘Sampson [first name unknown]’. Sampson's authorship is rejected in T. Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court and International Musical Relations (Aldershot, 2007); see also Dumitrescu's online commentary, ‘A Choirbook for Henry VIII and his Sisters’, <>. For a refutation based on biographical evidence, see D. Marsh, ‘Music, Church and Henry VIII's Reformation’ (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 2007), pp. 214–16. There was also a contemporaneous ‘Samson’ composing on the Continent, whose polyphony survives in a retrospective set of printed German partbooks dating from the 1530s and 1540s. On stylistic grounds, this figure is far more likely to have been the composer of the motets in BL Royal 11.E.XI. I am grateful to David Skinner for his insights pursuant to an examination of these works.

8 P. Doe, ‘Latin Polyphony under Henry VIII’, Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 95 (1969), pp. 81–95, at 86.

9 Ibid., p. 84.

10 He undertook a stylistic comparison of works by John Taverner (as well as contemporary examples in the Henrician Peterhouse Partbooks) with similarly scored works on the Continent. Doe was sceptical of Harrison's claim that Lutheran ritual influence, ‘while strong, was indirect until … 1549’; see The New Oxford History of Music, iv (London, 1968), p. 465.

11 R. Leaver, Goostly Psalmes and Spirituall Songes: English and Dutch Metrical Psalms from Coverdale to Utenhove, 1535–1566 (Oxford, 1991); on the Henrician influence of Coverdale, cf. Marsh, ‘Music, Church, and Henry VIII's Reformation’, pp. 121–5.

12 See P. Marshall, ‘Is the Pope a Catholic?’, in id., Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England, pp. 170–97; D. MacCulloch, Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation (London, 1999), pp. 2–4.

13 Marshall, Religious Identities, pp. 3–5.

14 Henry was indeed open to negotiation with the broader alliance of German states represented by the League of Schmalkalden and his favour leaned towards Philipp Melanchthon, who, despite his close involvement with Luther, was revered as a learned scholar in his own right and no mere slavish ‘Lutheran’ disciple. Melanchthon was the only theologian who might have overcome Henry's objections to essential tenets of ‘Lutheranism’ had the German not turned down repeated invitations to the English court. See R. McEntegart, Henry VIII, the League of Schmalkalden, and the English Reformation (Woodbridge, 2002).

15 See R. Rex, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Basingstoke, 1993), pp. 117–19; Marshall, Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England, pp. 3–5.

16 Oxford, Bodleian Library MSS Mus.Sch.e. 420–2; see J. Wrightson, The Wanley Manuscripts: A Critical Commentary (New York and London, 1989).

17 le Huray, Music and the Reformation in England, p. 11; the conduct of religious ritual in the royal household chapel had never been de facto subordinate to the authority of the Papal See or the Archbishop of Canterbury in any case. Indeed, royal household regulations stipulate that the Archbishop should celebrate Mass by default only when the Dean of the Chapel was not himself a bishop, or when the king's bishop-confessor (typically Durham) was not otherwise present. This ordinance was established during Edward IV's reign in Liber Niger Domus Regis Angliae … EDW IV (1474); printed in A Collection of Ordinances and Regulations for the Government of the Royal Household, Made in Divers Reigns (Society of Antiquaries; London, 1790), p. 35; recent musicological work on the subject in F. Kisby, ‘Officers and Office-Holding at the English Court’, Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 32 (1999), pp. 1–22.

18 Doe, ‘Latin Polyphony under Henry VIII’, pp. 86, 93–4. Kisby first questioned this assumption against the suggestive evidence of royal household regulations copied in BL Add. 71009; see ‘Chapel Ceremonies and Services’, pp. 74–5, 68–70. Musicologists have commonly assumed that the Chapel Royal set the ritual and musical standard for the national church. An anachronistic assumption, it has been based chiefly on two pieces of evidence originally cited by historians in contexts unconnected with musical issues: first, a letter written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to Thomas Cromwell in 1538 (see below); and secondly, a letter written by Protector Edward Somerset in the first year of Edward VI's reign advising the Chancellor of Cambridge University that ritual observance throughout the realm should thereafter follow the example set by the Chapel Royal (Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 106, fol. 493a); in le Huray, Music and the Reformation in England, pp. 8–10.

19 Early on in Music and the Reformation, le Huray cites A. G. Dickens's work as ‘a good general account of the English Reformation’, p. 29, n. 2. The term ‘Protestantisation’ was originally coined by Dickens following the vogue in ‘Whiggish’ historiography that viewed history as a purely evolutionary model, setting the ‘present’ at the pinnacle of progress: e.g., ‘democratisation’, ‘industrialisation’, ‘class formation’; see S. Gunn, History and Cultural Theory (Harlow, 2006), p. 172.

20 Doe, ‘Latin Polyphony under Henry VIII’, p. 84.

21 P. Ayris, ‘Thomas Cranmer and the Metropolitical Visitation of Canterbury Province 1533–35’, in S. Taylor (ed.), From Cranmer to Davidson: A Church of England Miscellany (Woodbridge, 1999), pp. 3–25; see also D. MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer: A Life (New Haven and London, 1996), p. 135.

22 LP vii, no. 32; MacCulloch, Cranmer, p. 114.

23 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 300r; also printed in J. Strype, Memorials of the Most Reverend Father in God Thomas Cranmer (Oxford, 1840), ii, p. 729. LP xii, pt. 2, no. 592.

24 A notable example comes with the ‘six-preacher’ arrangement at the new cathedral foundation of Canterbury in 1541, split equally between evangelical and traditionalist clergy. The inherent potential for conflict under that arrangement exacerbated a legal battle that was ultimately brought before the king himself in the so-called Prebendaries Plot (1543).

25 G. Redworth, In Defence of the Church Catholic: The Life of Stephen Gardiner (Oxford, 1990), p. 117. I differ, however, with Redworth's reductive vision of Henrician reform as ‘Catholicism without the Pope’.

26 The preceding February had seen injunctions coming from the conservative Bishop John Veysey of Exeter (an elderly absentee) advocating experimentation on a form of the Mass in both English and Cornish; LP xiii, pt. 1, no. 1106 (Veysey's Injunctions). These were all but certainly pushed forward by the radical new Dean of Exeter, Simon Heynes; see E. Duffy, The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (New Haven and London, 2001), pp. 96–9.

27 Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, 396; LP xii, pt. 2, no. 567.

28 LP xiii, pt. 2, no. 1150; see also S. Wabuda, Preaching in the English Reformation (Cambridge, 2003), p. 172. The Rye conflict centred on the curate, William Inold, who had just been dismissed from his position; see G. Mayhew, ‘Religion, Faction and Politics in Reformation Rye: 1530–59’, Sussex Archaeological Collections, 120 (1982), pp. 139–60.

29 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 304r. LP xiii, pt. 2, no. 147.

30 See above, n. 23.

31 See above, n. 29.

32 Richardi Sampsonis nuper Cicestriae, nunc vero Lichfeldiae Episcopi, in D. Pauli epistolam ad Romanos atq(ue) in priorem ad Corinthios breuissima explanatio (London, 1546), STC 21678, fol. 217v: ‘Non mandat apost(olus) vt quae seorsum orant ecclesiae ministri & psallunt, vulgata lingua psalla(n)t. Orat enim minister non ignota sibi lingua, pro se & pro populo. Orat populus seorsu(m), ne confusae & inordinatae sint orationes & cantiones.’

33 Richardi Sampsonis Episcopi Cicestr. in priores quinquaginta psalmos Dauiticos, familiaris explanatio iam primu(m) aedita (London, 1539), fol. 57v; STC 21679: ‘Neq(ue) non com(m)odissimi sunt nostri quoq(ue) externi nonnulli ritus, & ceremonię, tam ad ministerij decore(m), quam ad ordine(m), & tranquillitatem…’.

34 ‘When historians write of the church as if it could be separated from secular history, they are simply repeating the mistake made by medieval ecclesiastical reformers, who were never more clearly the captives of their environment than when they spoke of their freedom from it’: R. W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (Harmondsworth, 1970), pp. 15–16; cited in B. Thompson, ‘Introduction: Monasteries in Medieval Society’, id. (ed.), Monasteries and Society in Medieval Britain (Harlaxton Medieval Studies, 6; Stamford, 1999), p. 1.

35 Rex, ‘The Crisis of Obedience’, pp. 863–94.

36 Richardi Sampsonis … in priores quinquaginta psalmos Dauiticos, familiaris explanatio …, fol. 57v: ‘Vult enim apost(olus) omnia ordine fieri. Neq(ue) sine ordine seruari quoquo modo posset pax, et tra(n)quillitas, in populoru(m) contionibus, & ecclesiis.’ (Marginal note: 1 Cor. 14.)

37 Ibid.: ‘In his quoq(ue) externis quibusda(m) ritibus, paedagogiae quaedam sunt, uulgo (inquam) non inutiles, quibus & docentur, & uelut manu ducu(n)tur populi, & in ordine continentur rudes, & indocti, qui neq(ue) possent sine his externis ritibus, in ordine contineri. Neq(ue) non cito nimis absq(ue) rerum praescripto ordine in barbariem immanem quandam plane euaderent.’ (Marginal note: Ceremonię necessarię.)

38 See R. Strong, Coronation: A History of Kingship and British Monarchy (London, 2005), pp. 134–5; R. N. Swanson, Religion and Devotion in Europe, c.1215–c.1515 (Cambridge, 1995), p. 49.

39 This is to say nothing of the overlap between ‘orthodox’ Christian and regional folkloric (or so-called ‘pagan’) customs, still integral to the practices of popular piety. Eamon Duffy has drawn notable attention to these characteristics in primers such as The Kalendar of Shepherds, in use from the early Henrician period well into the reign of Elizabeth I; see Stripping of the Altars, pp. 46–52, at 49–50; also C. Marsh, Popular Religion in Sixteenth-Century England (Basingstoke, 1998), pp. 146–54; for a broad history of the shifting interactions between the Western church and such traditions, see V. Flint, The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe (Princeton, 1991).

40 See A. Fletcher and D. MacCulloch (eds.), Tudor Rebellions (4th edn; Harlow, 1997), especially chapter 4. Although northern rebellions erupting before and after the ‘Pilgrimage of Grace’ were purportedly reactions against the new religious policies, there was a host of more mundane matters to settle as well. Rebellion against ‘tyranny’ and ‘religious injustice’ supplied useful ideologies under which to rally a broad range of unresolved social grievances, providing legal mobility for those who otherwise had little or no recourse; see M. L. Bush, ‘The Tudor Polity and the Pilgrimage of Grace’, Historical Research, 80 (2007), pp. 47–72.

41 Typically unconsidered is another cross-section of the laity that did not hold strong religious convictions, yet felt compelling political ties with the surrounding religious conflicts and a shared sense of personal stake in their resolution. See E. Shagan, Popular Politics and the English Reformation (Cambridge, 2003).

42 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 298r. David Wilkins, Concilia Magnae Britanniae, iii (London, 1737), pp. 825–6. Calendared in LP xi, no. 1110.

43 Ibid.

44 Ibid.

45 Tudor Royal Proclamations, i, no. 188, pp. 278–80.

46 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 298r.

47 Bernard, The King's Reformation, p. 291.

48 Sampson, … D. Pauli epistolam … ad Corinthios breuissima explanatio, fol. 217r: ‘Et ideo qui loquitur lingua. Peregrina. Oret vt interpretetur. Petat a deo vt interpretandi gratiam accipiat in ecclesiae vtilitatem’ (‘And therefore let him who speaks in a tongue. A foreign one. Pray that he may interpret. Ask God that he may receive the gift of interpreting for the benefit of the church’). Bold type indicates text from the Latin Vulgate printed large in the source; normal face indicates Sampson's interpretative commentary, printed in smaller type immediately beneath.

49 The particular inflection which Henry offered that parody has been the subject of a thoughtful study by P. Marshall, ‘Mumpsimus and Sumpsimus: The Intellectual Origins of a Henrician Bon Mot’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 52 (2001), pp. 512–20; revised in id., Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England, pp. 157–68.

50 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 304r.

51 Sampson, … D. Pauli epistolam … ad Corinthios breuissima explanatio, fol. 218r; ‘Gratias ago deo, quod omniu(m) vestrum lingua loquor. Mihi igitur licet apud populu(m) loqui, Lingua populari … Sed in ecclesia, In fidelium congregatione. Volo, Potius, Quinque verba sensu meo loqui, Hoc est quae ego sic intelligo, vt ea facile explicare valeam in praesentis ecclesiae vtilitatem, hoc est …’.

52 For example, see Mirk's Festial: A Collection of Homilies, by Johannes Mirkus (John Mirk). Part I, ed. T. Erbe (London, 1905; repr. 1997).

53 Richardi Sampsonis … in priores quinquaginta psalmos Dauiticos, familiaris explanatio …, fol. 57v: ‘Sic docet apost(olus) psalmos, hymnos, et canticos spirituales cantari debere in cordibus nostris deo. Frustra quidem labijs oramus, nisi animo & corde deum contemplemur, ut ait Euang(elista). Qui sic orat, deu(m) orat in spiritu.’ (Marginal notes: Collos. 3; Math. 15.)

54 An exhortation vnto prayer thought mete by the kinges maiestie, and his clergy, to be read to the people in euery church afore processyions. Also a letanie with suffrages to be said or song in the tyme of the said processions (London, 1544), STC 1062.

55 Richardi Sampsonis … in priores quinquaginta psalmos Dauiticos, familiaris explanatio …, fol. 57v: ‘Neq(ue) minus orat in spiritu, si uerba orationis, & petitionis proferat. Spiritu(m) uero feruentiorem efficit, uocis oratio, praeparato quidem animo, precari oportet. Qui bene orat, spiritu, ad dei praesentiam accedit, & quae optat uerbis exprimit, deum spiritu alloquitur, spirituq(ue) illa uerba offert … Haec fieri debent hylari animo, sed humili, prostratoq(ue) …’.

56 Ibid.: ‘Ad indicandam uero illam hylaritatem, cithara, lyris, tympanis, cymbalis, & alijs instrume(n)tis musicis coram domino canebant in uetere testamento, externis illis rebus animum indicantes, & populu(m) ad eandem hylaritatem excitantes.’ (Marginal note: 1. Paral. 13.)

57 Ibid., fols. 165v–166r: ‘psallas in uociferacione opus est, hoc est, certa fide, toto animi affectu, feruente spiritus ardore, pleno gaudio, ex toto corde, ex toto mente, & ex tota anima tua. … psallite animi tanta laeticia, tanto affectu, tantoque ardore ut uerbis explicare nequeas …’.

58 Ibid., fol. 166r: ‘Effusum eni(m) & quodda(m) ineffabile animi gaudium indicat uerbu(m) iubilare, uel iubilum.’ (Marginal note: Iubilum.)

59 See J. McKinnon, ‘Preface to the Study of the Alleluia’, Early Music History, 15 (1996), pp. 213–49. McKinnon revised the musicological definition introduced in the eighteenth century by M. Gerbert, in De Cantu et Musica Sacra (St Blasius, 1774), p. 59, sustained later in P. Wagner, Introduction to the Gregorian Melodies, trans. A. Orme and E. G. P. Wyatt (London, 1901), p. 32. See also W. Apel, Gregorian Chant (Bloomington, Ind., 1958), pp. 380–1, and R. Hoppin, Medieval Music (New York, 1978). A synonymous definition persisted in Grove articles through to K. Schlager, ‘Jubilus’, New Grove II, ix, pp. 744–5.

60 McKinnon, ‘Preface to the Study of the Alleluia’, p. 214.

61 J. McKinnon, ‘Christian Antiquity’, in id. (ed.), Antiquity and the Middle Ages: From Ancient Greece to the 15th Century (Man and Music Series, 1; London, 1990), pp. 68–87, at 78. See also id., ‘The Patristic Jubilus and the Alleluia of the Mass’, in Cantus Planus, Papers Read at the Third Meeting, Tihany, Hungary, September 1988 (Budapest, 1990), pp. 61–70. For an ethnographic perspective of the term's etymology, the classic article is W. Wiora, ‘Jubilare sine verbis’, in H. Anglés et al. (eds.), Gedenkschrift für Jacques Handschin (Strasburg, 1962), pp. 39–65. The first extant appearance of the verb iubilare in Christian literature came with the earliest Latin versions of the Psalter, translated not from the ancient Hebrew texts but from the Greek Septuagint. McKinnon argued that iubilare was, in effect, a defective linguistic offshoot of its Septuagint correlate, ἀλαλαγμός, which carried no literary associations with Alleluia or textless chants in any formal liturgy. Although in pre-Christian Roman literature iubilare signified the joyful, ‘rustic’ cry of agrarian labourers, the Septuagint ἀλαλαγμός denoted the triumphal shout of an army, victorious in battle. This divergence led McKinnon to posit his corollary notion of ‘the jubilus fallacy’, which he argued distorted proper understanding of the Alleluia's ‘liturgical assignment’ henceforward from the time of the early church. His key witness was St Hilary of Poitiers (d. 367), who drew attention to the Latin/Greek variance in the first surviving patristic psalm commentary. Judging from the evidence supplied by McKinnon, however, Hilary was merely displaying his erudition as a linguist. He exerts no rhetorical force to imply that iubilus is a faulty, inadequate or deceptive term. He offers no apology other than to advise that iubilus is used simply for the ‘purposes of translation’; see McKinnon, ‘Preface to the Study of the Alleluia’, p. 216, n. 13.

62 McKinnon asserted that the Alleluia of Christian antiquity served only as a response to the psalm, particularly to those superscribed with that Hebrew term. It was not a free-standing ceremony; neither did it function to herald the reading of the gospel, as would be the case centuries later.

63 McKinnon, ‘Preface to the Study of the Alleluia’, p. 216. It should be pointed out that there are numerous words from the Septuagint carrying greater potential for misunderstanding through translation that have nevertheless survived the hazards of misinterpretation. It cannot be positively established that Augustine was unaware of the Greek meaning in any case – he frequently read and cited Hilary of Poitiers. As the church father who originated the doctrine of the ‘just war’, it seems all the less plausible that his omission of the Septuagint resonances owed more to ignorance than intention.

64 B. Warfield, Calvin and Augustine (Philadelphia, 1956), p. 332; cited in MacCulloch, Reformation, p. 111.

65 MacCulloch, Reformation, p. 111.

66 ‘De musica’, ed. R. Taliaferro, in Writings of Saint Augustine (Fathers of the Church, 2; New York, 1947).

67 Confessions 10. 33 (§§49–50).

68 Saint Augustine: Expositions on the Psalms, ed. J. Rotelle, trans. M. Boulding, i (New York, 2000), Exposition on Psalm 32, pp. 400–1.

69 As Diarmaid MacCulloch has pointed out, the early church ‘was settling on one model of authority in monarchical episcopacy and the threefold ministry: the Montanists placed against that the random gift of prophecy. The two models have a long history of conflict in subsequent Christian centuries’; A History of Christianity, pp. 139–40.

70 In a well-known polemical exchange, Tertullian challenged his adversary Marcion to exercise his own gifts of the Holy Spirit: ‘to produce a psalm, a vision, a prayer’; but with the caveat, ‘only let it be of a spirit, while in ecstasy, that is a state beyond reason’; Adversus Marcionem 5. 8. 112; cited in McKinnon, ‘The Fourth-Century Origin of the Gradual’, Early Music History, 7 (1987), pp. 91–106, at 96–7.

71 The church's initial reactions against charismatic sects also reflected tensions from the first century between urban Christianity, progressively establishing leadership around one man in a city congregation, and a new expansion of Christian enthusiasm in rural culture; see MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, p. 139.

72 Although the terms neuma and pneuma carry distinct definitions in Classical sources, these meanings are joined to harmonious effect in medieval ritual commentary; see L. Krukenberg, ‘Neumatizing the Sequence: Special Performances of Sequences in the Central Middle Ages’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 59 (2006), pp. 243–317, at 256, n. 18.

73 Cited in M. Fassler, Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 61–2.

74 Ibid., p. 44.

75 Krukenberg, ‘Neumatizing the Sequence’, pp. 290–1. See also C. Bower, ‘From Alleluia to Sequence: Some Definitions of Relations’, in S. Gallagher, J. Haar, J. Nádas and T. Striplin (eds.), Western Plainchant in the First Millennium: Studies in the Medieval Liturgy and its Music (Aldershot and Burlington, Vt., 2003), pp. 351–98, at 367–8. From the quarters of chant scholarship, Richard Crocker, Thomas Forrest Kelly and David Hiley have also written extensively on the sequence, e.g. Crocker, The Early Medieval Sequence (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1977); Kelly, ‘Neuma triplex’, Acta musicologica, 60 (1988), pp. 1–30; Hiley, ‘The Sequence Melodies Sung at Cluny and Elsewhere’, in P. Cahn and A. Heimer (eds.), De musica et cantu: Studien zur Geschichte der Kirchenmusik und der Oper; Helmut Hucke zum 60 Geburtstag (Hildesheim, 1993), pp. 131–55.

76 T. Thibodeau, ‘Enigmata Figurarum: Biblical Exegesis and Liturgical Exposition in Durand's Rationale’, Harvard Theological Review, 86 (1993), pp. 65–79.

77 Biographical insights into Durandus of Mende are indebted to Timothy M. Thibodeau and his critical edition and translation, Guillelmi Duranti Rationale divinorum officiorum, ed. A. Davril and T. M. Thibodeau (Turnhout, 1995–).

78 Thibodeau: ‘Durand's treatise was by design an encyclopaedic compendium of a remarkable variety of texts, from radically different genres (often composed centuries apart). … It superseded all previous liturgical commentaries within only a few years of its publication (c.1292–1296). By the end of the fifteenth century it had become one of the most widely disseminated treatises of its kind in Western Europe.’ See The Rationale divinorum officiorum … a New Translation of the Prologue and Book One (New York, 2007), editor's introduction.

79 In c. 1372–4 versions of Book 4 of the Rationale (dealing with the Mass) were produced in Middle French by the Carmelite Jean Golein. High Middle German translations followed in the 1380s; see The Rationale divinorum officiorum of William Durand, ed. Thibodeau, p. viii.

80 Ibid., p. 7. Even the advocate of ritual uniformity in England, Thomas Cranmer, emphasised a similar view as late as 1538, asserting that church ceremonies ‘need not be identical everywhere, or even very similar. They have always been diverse, and may vary according to region and custom’; from Cranmer's ‘Thirteen Articles with Three Additional Articles’, in Documents of the English Reformation, ed. Bray, p. 190.

81 As Durandus illustrates: ‘Jerusalem is understood historically as that earthly city that pilgrims seek; allegorically it represents the church militant; tropologically, any faithful Christian soul; anagogically, the heavenly Jerusalem, or our homeland’; The Rationale divinorum officiorum, ed. Thibodeau, p. 7.

82 Ibid., pp. 6–7.

83 As Durandus provides the summa of liturgical exegesis, Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica offers the magnum opus of theological exposition. Aquinas too provides generous licence for music: ‘The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion’; Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 3 vols. (New York, 1947), ii, pp. 1590–1.

84 C. Page, Discarding Images: Reflections on Music and Culture in Medieval France (Oxford, 1993), chapter 3; recent research in J. Haines and P. DeWitt, ‘Johannes de Grocheio and Aristotelian Natural Philosophy’, Early Music History, 27 (2008), pp. 47–98.

85 See E. Aubrey, ‘Genre as a Determinant of Melody in the Songs of the Troubadours and the Trouvères,’ in W. Paden (ed.), Medieval Lyric Genres in Historical Context (Urbana and Chicago, 2000), pp. 275–6.

86 J. Peraino, ‘Re-Placing Medieval Music’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 54 (2001), pp. 209–64, at 224.

87 Page, The Owl and the Nightingale: Musical Life and Ideas in France 1100–1300 (London, 1989). Recent music historiography tentatively suggests that the ramifications of this ritual conflict on music in the church would reach a notable boiling point by the 1470s in continental Europe; see R. Wegman, The Crisis of Music in Early Modern Europe, 1470–1530 (New York and Abingdon, 2005).

88 E. Rohloff, Die Quellenhandschriften zum Musiktraktat des Johannes de Grocheio (Leipzig, 1972), p. 164.

89 Page, ‘Johannes de Grocheio on Secular Music: A Corrected Text and a New Translation’, Plainsong and Medieval Music, 2 (1993), p. 26, n. 38; cited in Peraino, ‘Re-Placing Medieval Music’, p. 224, n. 46.

90 Peraino, ‘Re-Placing Medieval Music’, p. 224.

91 See p. 60 (my italics).

92 Fassler, Gothic Song, p. 64.

93 De officiis ecclesiasticis, ii. v. 19, cited in McKinnon, ‘Jubilus’, New Grove II.

94 The Ordinal and Customary of the Abbey of St Mary York, ed. J. Tolhurst, 3 vols. (Bradshaw Society; London, 1936–51), i, pp. 14–15; see also Harrison, Music in Medieval Britain, p. 63, n. 3.

95 Grandisson's formative career as a protégé of Pope John XXII – well known for his cautionary injunctions against elaborate polyphony – notably contrasts with his own musical predilections as Bishop of Exeter. Also as a pupil of the future Pope Benedict XII against the backdrop of religious culture in Paris, Grandisson was variously situated in close proximity to liturgical practice at the summits of the hierarchy of the Western Church.

96 Harrison, Music in Medieval Britain, p. 109; further discussion in P. Tudor-Craig, ‘Bishop Grandisson's Provision for Music and Ceremony’, in M. Swanton (ed.), Exeter Cathedral, a Celebration (Exeter, 1991), pp. 137–44. For much of his career, Harrison's interest in the Exeter Ordinal as a musicological document surpassed the more vaunted Salisbury Rite; see ‘Music and Cult: The Functions of Music in Social and Religious Systems’, in B. Brook, E. Downes and S. Van Solkema (eds.), Perspectives in Musicology: The Inaugural Lectures in the Ph.D. Program at the City University of New York (New York, 1972), pp. 307–34, at 315.

97 Ordinale Exon, ed. J. Dalton, 4 vols. (Bradshaw Society; London, 1909–40), i, p. 19: ‘In duplicibus ergo festis maioribus antiphona(m) super psalmos, nunquam tamen ipsos psalmos iubiletis, id est discantetis, responsoria eciam, non uersiculos nec Gloria, ympnum, et psalmum Nunc Dimittis cum antiphona.’

98 Ordinale Exon, i, pp. 19–20; Heading: ‘De modo psallendi et modulandi discantandi aut organizandi.’

99 N. Carpenter, Music in the Medieval and Renaissance Universities (Norman, Okla., 1958), p. 91; also Dumitrescu, The Early Tudor Court and International Musical Relations, p. 59.

100 For example, Ordinale Exon, i, p. 20: ‘Ex licencia, si placet senioribus, loco Benedicamus ad Uesperas et ad Matutinas, et ad Missam post Sanctus, poterunt organizare cum uocibus uel organis.’

101 Harrison, Music in Medieval Britain, p. 109.

102 R. Wegman, ‘From Maker to Composer: Improvisation and Musical Authorship in the Low Countries, 1450–1500’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 49 (1996), pp. 409–79, at 424. See now the new edition and translation of the musical passages below, in the article by Klaus Pietschmann and Steven Rozenski.

103 Ibid., pp. 424–5; et id., ‘New Music for a World Grown Old: Martin Le Franc and the “Contenance Angloise”’, Acta Musicologica, 75 (2003), pp. 201–41. Recent discussion also in M. Bent, ‘The Musical Stanzas in Martin Le Franc's Le Champion des Dames’, in J. Haines and R. Rosenfeld (eds.), Music and Medieval Manuscripts: Palaeography and Performance (Aldershot, 2004), pp. 91–127; cf. Reinhard Strohm's comments on Martin Le Franc: ‘Music, Humanism and the Idea of a “Rebirth” in the Arts’, in Strohm and B. J. Blackburn (eds.), Music as Concept and Practice in the Late Middle Ages (New Oxford History of Music, 2nd edn, iii/1; Oxford, 2001), pp. 368–85.

104 Harrison, Music in Medieval Britain, p. 258; H. Benham, Latin Church Music in England, c. 1460–1575 (London, 1975), p. 3. Tinctoris's comments have been variously subjected to interpretation: ‘Nor can the English, who are popularly said to jubilate while the French sing, bear comparison with them. For the French invent songs in the newest manner for the new times, while the English always use one in the same manner of composition, which is a sign of the poorest talent’; translation in R. Wegman, ‘Johannes Tinctoris and the “New Art”’, Music & Letters, 84 (2003), pp. 171–88, at 182. See also Johannes Tinctoris, Opera theoretica, ed. A. Seay, 2 vols. (Corpus Scriptorum de Musica, 22; n.p., 1975–8), ii, pp. 11–157; B. Blackburn, ‘Music and Festivities at the Court of Leo X: A Venetian View’, Early Music History, 11 (1992), pp. 209–20; R. Woodley, ‘Renaissance Music Theory as Literature’, Renaissance Studies, 1 (1987), pp. 209–20; R. Strohm, ‘Music, Humanism, and the Idea of a Rebirth in the Arts’, pp. 346–405; id., ‘The Humanist Idea for a Common Revival in the Arts, and its Implications for Music History’, in M. Jabloński and J. Steczewski (eds.), Interdisciplinary Studies in Musicology (Poznań, 1997). Rob C. Wegman has identified the earliest extant source for this topos in a miscellany of literary works compiled in the early fifteenth century by John Shirley, tutor to Henry VI (1428–30) and a long-time associate of the Beauchamp family: Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R.3.20, p. 9: <>.

105 See especially C. Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe (Cambridge, 1995; 2nd edn, 2006), p. 33; also R. Black, ‘Humanism’, in The New Cambridge Medieval History, 7 vols. (Cambridge, 1998), vii, pp. 243–77.

106 Rex, ‘The Role of English Humanists’, p. 39.

107 Among the types emphasised is improvisation above a cantus firmus (super librum/à point d'orgue), stated in long notes; see That Liberal and Virtuous Art: Three Humanist Treatises on Music, ed. R. Strohm and D. Cullington (Newtonabbey, 2001), pp. 31–57, at 13–14. Lesser vicars of Cambrai Cathedral were required to demonstrate a requisite standard of extempore counterpoint; see Wegman, ‘From Maker to Composer’, p. 424; C. Wright, ‘Performance Practices at the Cathedral of Cambrai, 1475–1550’, Musical Quarterly, 64 (1978), pp. 295–328, at 322.

108 Three Humanist Treatises on Music, p. 34. The second claim holds that music ‘tempers mental passions’; third, it ‘calms physical passions’; fourth, ‘drives away devils’; fifth, ‘music earns the visitation of the Holy Spirit’; and finally, it ‘earns the companionship of the angels’. Reinhard Strohm pointed out that Johannes Tinctoris's Complexus effectuum musices (1474/5) evinces ‘numerous overlaps of content and language’ with Carlerius's work. Although such commonalities were not necessarily atypical, the biblical citations in both cases derive from matching variants of the Vulgate; see Three Humanist Treatises on Music, pp. 10–18. Crucially, however, Rob C. Wegman has more recently identified the earliest extant antecedent for the Complexus – a thirteenth-century exposition on the rule of St Augustine written by Humbert de Romans, fifth master general of the Dominican Order, which also plausibly influenced Carlerius's ‘special claims’: see Wegman, ‘Tinctoris's Magnum Opus’, in J. Bloxam, G. Filocamo and L. Holford-Strevens (eds.), Uno gentile et subtile ingenio: Studies in Renaissance Music in Honour of Bonnie J. Blackburn (Turnhout, 2009), pp. 771–82; id., The Crisis of Music, p. 53, n. 10: Humbert de Romans, Opera de vita regulari, ed. J. J. Berthier, 2 vols. (Turin, 1956), i, pp. 187–8.

109 Journal of the House of Lords, i (London, 1802), p. 129.

110 Of the six bishops appointed to the ceremonies committee, Sampson was in the highest political favour at the time. The balance strongly favoured conservatives. Its members included John Clerk (Bishop of Bath and Wells, then on a German embassy) and two bishops lately replacing the resigned evangelicals Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Shaxton: John Bell (Worcester) and John Capon (Salisbury). Toeing the evangelical line were Thomas Goodrycke (Ely) and Robert Holgate (Llandaff; President of the Council of the North). While it is not possible to determine conclusively the ultimate complexion of the working committee, circumstantial evidence suggests Goodricke, Bell, Capon, Sampson and Holgate.

111 London, Lambeth Palace Archiepiscopal Library MS 1107, fols. 167–202 (working draft); BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fols. 268–93 (incomplete presentation draft); transcribed and edited in The Rationale of Ceremonial, 1540–1543 with Notes and Appendices and an Essay by C. S. Cobb, trans. and ed. C. Cobb (London, 1910). Although Cobb's chosen title for his transcription appears nowhere in the original documents, it was deliberately selected to reflect Durandus's eponymous work – testimony to its influence during the nineteenth-century high church movement in England. The pioneering liturgical historian Bishop Walter Howard Frere was particularly effusive about the Rationale, calling it ‘that great text-book of the later Middle Ages’ in The Principles of Religious Ceremonial (London, 1906), p. 179. John Mason Neale undertook the first English translation of Book 1, given its wealth of historical precedent supportive of the architectural agenda of the Cambridge ecclesiological movement, of which Neale was a founder. See The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments: A Translation of the First Book of the Rationale divinorum officiorum / written by William Durandus. With an introductory essay and notes by John Mason Neale and Benjamin Webb, ed. J. Neale and B. Webb (3rd edn; London, 1906).

112 Cobb, in Rationale of Ceremonial, p. xlviii, suggests Cranmer; H. L. Parish's article in the ODNB, ‘Holgate, Robert (1481/2–1555)’, suggests Holgate and Goodrycke..

113 See Benham, Latin Church Music in England, 163–4; J. Stevens, Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court (London, 1961), p. 90.

114 Documents of the English Reformation, ed. Bray, pp. 171–4, 176, passim; there are instances where the word ‘sing’ is used, but only as an intoned alternative to speaking.

115 Rationale of Ceremonial, ed. Cobb, p. 62. The force of Cobb's speculation is seriously diminished by Diarmaid MacCulloch's observation that he mistook the document The Right Use of Images (included within the same BL Cotton manuscript) as having been devised in tandem with Ceremonies. It was, in fact, an early draft of a section from the Ten Articles, datable to four years earlier – an error that misled scholars including Eamon Duffy; see Stripping of the Altars, pp. 428–9; MacCulloch, Cranmer, p. 276, n. 128.

116 MacCulloch, Cranmer, pp. 268, 277–8.

117 Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials, i, pt. 1, p. 553.

118 LP xv, no. 651.

119 The text continues: ‘The ministers say a book will shortly be issued under authority of Parliament, in which will be determined all that is to be held in religion; not according to the doctrines of the Germans or the Pope, but of the ancient councils of the church …’; LP xv, no. 697.

120 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E. v, fol. 308v; LP xv, no. 758.

121 Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials, i, pt. 1, pp. 503–4.

122 MacCulloch, Cranmer, p. 276, n. 129.

123 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 267v.

124 MacCulloch, Cranmer, p. 269.

125 Lambeth MS 1107, fol. 179r.

126 Ibid., fol. 179r–v.

127 Pseudo-Dionysus, The Celestial Hierarchy, ch. 2; in Complete Works, trans. C. Luibhéid (Mahwah, NJ, 1987), p. 149; quoted in Fassler, Gothic Song, p. 44.

128 Richardi Sampsonis … in priores quinquaginta psalmos Dauiticos, familiaris explanatio …, fol. 227r: ‘Iubilum ingens gaudiu(m) est … gestu applaudentium, omnisq(ue) uocis alacritate, exprimitur. … sed eam in exultatione annunciate alijs, ut a uobis discant illi.’ (Marginal notes: Iubilum; Iubilare voce; Iubilare deo.)

129 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 275r–v; brackets are mine and indicate words added to the corrected Lambeth source.

130 For example, the letter to Henry in 1544 in PRO, State Papers 1/208, fols. 169–70; ‘As concernyng the Salva festa dies, the Latten note (as I think) is sobre and distincte enough …’. Cranmer's directions for performing the King's Litany emphasised a delivery of the text ‘soberly and distinctly’; An exhortation vnto prayer (London, 1544) STC 1062.

131 MacCulloch, Tudor Church Militant, passim.

132 There are notable exceptions. For example, Stephen Gardiner wrote a polemical response to a popular tract written by the radical exile William Turner, criticising his citation of 1 Corinthians 14 in a clever argument that offered first-hand anecdotal evidence describing contemporary church music in Germany; see Marsh, ‘Music, Church and Henry VIII's Reformation’, pp. 112–14. Bishop John Longland's sermon on Good Friday 1538 makes reference to a variety of musical practices on important ecclesiastical feasts both inside and outside the royal household chapel; ibid., pp. 168–9. John Fisher deployed musical metaphor in unmistakably non-reformist terms in a sermon he gave at St Paul's Cathedral in the mid-1520s; ibid., p. 118.

133 I include ‘ecclesiastical polity’ here because Sampson indeed took exegetical liberties, referring directly to contemporary politics: Richardi Sampsonis … in priores quinquaginta psalmos Dauiticos, familiaris explanatio …, e.g. fols. 58r (remarks on Melanchthon), 66r (Luther, Melanchthon and reference to Anabaptists). Richard Rex's well-known article on Henrician religion and the Royal Supremacy depended in part on rhetoric found in one of Sampson's psalm commentaries. Rex is, to date, as far as I am aware, the only historian to have cited that source in supporting a coherent view of Henrician religion; ‘The Crisis of Obedience: God's Word and Henry's Reformation’, p. 889; citing Sampson's explanatio, fol. 72v.

134 McEntegart, Henry VIII, the League of Schmalkalden, and the English Reformation, p. 198.

135 MacCulloch, Cranmer, p. 269.

136 PRO E 315/24, fol. 35.

137 After Cromwell's fall and execution, Sampson was pardoned in August 1540. We hear little of him until 1543, when he resurfaces as President of the Council in the marches of Wales (until 1548) and also as Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, the post in which he would remain until his death in 1554.

138 The inclusion of Nicholas Heath among the divines Sampson names is of some interest as he had recently been confirmed as Bishop of Rochester. Heath's concern to retain traditional religious ceremonial is preserved in extant royal injunctions of 1544 delivered to Rochester Cathedral; see The Use of Sarum, ed. W. H. Frere, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1898–1901; repr. Farnborough, 1969), ii, pp. 234–6.

139 BL Cotton MS Cleopatra E.v, fol. 308v.

140 Ibid. Further to Gardiner's promotion of traditional church ritual, seeThe Letters of Stephen Gardiner, ed. J. Muller (Cambridge, 1933), p. 217; also LP xxi, pt. 1, no. 51.

141 Lambeth MS 1107, fol. 202r-v, modernised spelling from The Rationale of Ceremonial, p. 43.