For Voice & Viols

William Lawes, 1602-1645 *

Reproduced by the kind permission of the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, U.K.


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* The portrait is by an unknown artist and belongs to the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford.

Lawes was commissioned to the king's personal Life Guards in the English Civil War, and killed by a gunshot at the siege of Chester, 1645.

Charles I, "hearing of the death of his deare servant William Lawes, he had a particular Mourning for him when dead, whom he loved when living, and commonly called the Father of Musick".

A contemporary, anonymous, Royalist commentary:

When pestilential Purity did raise Rebellion 'gainst the best of Princes
And Pious Confusion had untun'd the Land
Then by the fury of the Good Old Cause
Will Lawes was slain by those whose Wills were Laws.

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