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Fancies and divisions for viols by English composers

 Single Item
MSS. Mus. Sch. c. 59-60 (Former reference: Music School B. 6. 37-38)

  • Request

Fancies and divisions for two bass viols and (nos. 39-42) for treble and bass viols. All copied apparently by Francis Withy at different times:

1-7: Coperario. Fancies for 2 Basses. i, 'T[reble]'; ii, B[ass].

12-23: Mr. John Withey. For 2 Basses.

24-30: Mr. John Jenkins. For 2 Division Basses to a Ground.

31-34. Mr. Christopher Simpson. For 2 Division'violls to a Ground. Nos. 32-4 were marked 'Wor' or 'Wo' in i.

35-38: Mr. John Jenkins. For 2 Division Viols to a Ground. No. 38 was 'ex. by Mr. Huttons Booke' (p. 55).

39-42: Mr. Ch. Simpson. For a Division Treble and Basse to a Ground. (Viola da Gamba Society 1-4)

44-46: Three grounds (A minor, F major and B flat).

  1. Coperario. G minor [VdGS 11-7]. i and ii, p. 1 (published, Musica Britannica ix, 1955, p. 182).
  2. Coperario. G minor [VdGS 11-9]. i and ii, p. 2.
  3. Coperario. A major [VdGS 11-1]. i and ii , p. 3 (published, Musica Britannica ix, 1955, p. 181-182).
  4. Coperario. A major [VdGS 11-2]. i and ii , p. 4.
  5. Coperario. D minor [VdGS 11-3]. i and ii, p. 5.
  6. Coperario. D minor [VdGS 11-4]. i and ii, p. 6.
  7. Coperario. D major [VdGS 11-5]. i and ii, p. 7.
  8. John Jenkins. Pavan. A minor [VdGS 9-1]. i and ii, p. 8.
  9. Mr. John Warde. D major [VdGS 6-3]. i and ii, p. 9.
  10. Mr. John Tomkins. C major [VdGS 5]. i and ii, p. 9 .
  11. Mr. Tho. Ford. F major [VdGS 1]. i and ii, pp. 10-11.
  12. J. Withy. D minor [VdGS 1-20]. i and ii, p. 12.
  13. J. Withy. G minor [VdGS 1-21]. i and ii, pp. 12-13.
  14. J. Withy. F major [VdGS 1-9]. i and ii, p. 14.
  15. J. Withy. F major [VdGS 1-11]. i and ii, p. 15.
  16. J. Withy. D major [VdGS 1-22]. i and ii, p. 16.
  17. J. Withy. F major [VdGS 1-7]. i and ii, p. 17.
  18. J. Withy. F major [VdGS 1-10]. i and ii, p. 18.
  19. J. Withy. F major [VdGS 1-8]. i and ii, p. 19.
  20. J. Withy. D minor [VdGS 1-4]. i and ii, p. 20.
  21. J. Withy. D minor [VdGS 1-5]. i and ii, p. 21.
  22. J. Withy. D minor [VdGS 1-2]. i and ii, p. 22.
  23. J. Withy. D minor [VdGS 1-3]. i and ii, p. 23.
  24. John Jenkins [VdGS 11-11]. C major, 6 variation 'Give see by Dr. Dentry' (ground on p 29). i, pp. 26-27; ii, pp. 27d-e, cancelled page 27g.
  25. John Jenkins [VdGS 11-12]. C major, 10 variations (ground, ii, p. 31). i, pp. 28-29; ii, pp. 28-30.
  26. John Jenkins [VdGS 11-13]. C major, 10 variations. i, pp. 31-32; ii, pp. 30-31.
  27. John Jenkins. 'No. 1', A minor, 6 variations [VdGS 10-14]. i, pp. 33-34; ii, pp. 32-33.
  28. John Jenkins. 'No. 2', E minor, 6 variations [VdGS 10-15]. i, pp. 35-37; ii, pp. 34-36.
  29. John Jenkins. '3', B flat major. 6 variations [VdGS 11-16]. i, pp. 37-39; ii, pp. 36-38.
  30. John Jenkins. '4', F major. 6 variations [VdGS 11-17]. i, pp. 39-40c; ii, pp. 38-41.
  31. Christopher Simpson. A major, 12 variations [VdGS 3-23]. i, pp. 24-25; ii, 42-43.
  32. Christopher Simpson. C major, 12 variations [VdGS 3-24]. i, p. 41; ii, p. 44.
  33. Christopher Simpson. A minor, 8 variations [VdGS 3-25]. i, pp. 42-43; ii, pp. 45-46.
  34. Christopher Simpson. F major, 6 variations [VdGS 3-26]. i, pp. 43-44; ii, pp. 46-47.
  35. John Jenkins. A major, 12 variations [VdGS 12-18]. i, pp. 45-46; ii, pp. 48-49.
  36. John Jenkins. A minor, 10 variations [VdGS 12-19]. i, pp. 47-48; ii, pp. 50-51.
  37. John Jenkins. A minor, 14 variations [VdGS 12-20]. i, pp. 49-50; ii, pp. 52-53.
  38. John Jenkins. D major, 16 variations [VdGS 12-21]. i, pp. 51-52; ii, pp. 54-55.
  39. Christopher Simpson. A minor, 12 variations [VdGS 3-1]. i, p. 53; ii, p. 56.
  40. Christopher Simpson. A minor, 8 variations [VdGS 3-2]. i, p. 54; ii, p. 57.
  41. Christopher Simpson. A minor, 12 variations [VdGS 3-3]. i, pp. 55-56; ii, pp. 58-59.
  42. Christopher Simpson. A minor, 17 variations [VdGS 3-4]. i, pp. 57-58; ii, pp. 60-61.
  43. [Christopher Simpson's Pavan a 3 in D major], opening notes only in treble only, headed 'Welbeck' [VdGS 6-1]. i, p. 59.
  44. [H. Butler]. Ground, A minor [VdGS 1-14, fragment]. ii, p. 68.
  45. Ground, F major [VdGS A-DI-1-17]. ii, p. 68.
  46. Ground, B flat major [VdGS A-DI-2-33]. ii, p. 68.


  • Creation: 2nd half of 17th cent.


1 box (2 volumes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Mus. Sch. c. 59, pp. 1-2].

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MSS. Mus. Sch. c. 59-60 (Former reference: Music School B. 6. 37-38)

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 17534


Fancies and divisions for two bass viols and (nos. 39-42) for treble and bass viols, 2nd half of 17th cent.

Biographical / Historical

Francis Withy (c 1645-1727) was a Cathedral singer, string player, music copyist, teacher and composer. Details of his life and work and of the composers represented here can be found in Grove Music Online.

Other Finding Aids

Robert Hake, [Catalogue of the Music School Collection], c 1850-1855. No. XXXIV.

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. V, nos. 26424-26425.

Viola da Gamba Society Thematic index of music for viols [online] (VdGS)

RISM 800262717

Custodial History

The Music School collection of printed and manuscript music was originally bequeathed to the University of Oxford by William Heather (c 1563-1627), and gradually added to until the end of the 18th century.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Bodleian in 1885.


  • Ashbee, Thompson and Wainwright, The Viola da Gamba Society index of manuscripts containing consort music (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001-2008) [and online (VdGS)], vol. 2, pp. 133-137.

Physical Facet

2 part-books: vi + 72 and vi + 78 pages, respectively, bound before copying. Original quiring, probably in fours, obscured by modern repair. A leaf (MS. Mus. Sch. c. 60, pp. 27e-f) was added, and others were removed, by the copyist. Watermark, coat of arms, somewhat resembles Heawood 425, 428. 10 staves to a page and red marginal ruling; a quire of unruled leaves of the same paper is at the beginning and end of each volume. Binding, calf, with gold fillets and ornaments. At the back of MS. Mus. Sch. c. 59 is a note (in Withy's hand(?)) 'May 17 1708. Mr. Baron has ye Booke belonging to this'.


Upright folio

Fancies and divisions for viols by English composers
EAD version 2019
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom