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Consort music by Thomas Tomkins, Alfonso Ferrabosco II and others

 Single Item
MS. Mus. Sch. e. 415-418 (Former reference: Music School B. 4. 4-7)

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Four part-books from a set of five, containing 5-part pavanes etc., by Thomas Tomkins, Alfonso Ferrabosco II and others, copied 1641-1642 by a variable hand in books which formerly contained 'A Messelania of / Madrigals Songes Sonets & Villanellas / of fyve partes' (title on wrappers); the leaves on which were copied have been cut out. The parts are: i, 'Canto'; ii, 'Conteralto'; iii, 'Tenore'; iv, 'Basso'. One treble book is missing. The copyist's numbering is consistent and is used for reference below. The hand of Francis Withy annotated two pavanes by Tomkins as 'Made for J. Withy' (iv, fols. 17, 25v) and wrote in iii, fol. 31v, 'Mr. Thos Tomkins Mr. Humphry Withy 1642'.

Not on the 1682 list of the Music School collection.

1-8: Pavans:

1. A.F. [Ferrabosco]. [VdGS A.F.II-6, no. 1], published, Musica Britannica IX, p. 104.

2. Mr. T. Tomkins. [VdGS TOMKINS-3].

3. Alfonso [Ferrabosco]. 'The 4 note Pavan', [VdGS A.F.II-6, no. 4], published, Musica Britannica IX, p. 102.

4. Mr. T. Tomkins. [VdGS TOMKINS-3]. Copied by a different hand in ii and iii.

5. Alfonso [Ferrabosco]. [VdGS A.F.II-6, no.3].

6. Mr. Nicholson. [VdGS NICHOLSON-2].

7. 'Mr. Wm. White' [in fact R. Mico - VdGS MICO-4, no. 2]. Attribution corrected by another hand in iii.

8. 'Mr. White', [in fact R. Mico - VdGS MICO-4, no. 1].

9-13: Anonymous music:

9-11. Pavan, Almane and Coranto [VdGS A1671-1673]. Much corrected in iii, where the leaf was cut out but was replaced by pinning to the stub.

12-13. Pavan, Almane [VdGS A1674-1675].

14-16. Pavane, Almane and Coranto, added later, for consort with 2 basses [VdGS A1676-1678]. The Coranto was completed on a spare piece of paper in all parts: i, ii, fol. 11; iii, fol. 12; iv, missing. 1st bass in iii; '2° Bassus' in iv.

17. 'Mr. [R.] Browne'. Pavan [VdGS R.BROWNE-1].

18-23. Almanes by Ferrabosco, formerly numbered 33-37 [VdGS A.F.II-8, nos. 5-10], apparently copied at a different time from the preceding and following pieces. 'Finis 1641' after 23 in iv.

24-25. Pavanes by T. Tomkins [VdGS TOMKINS-3, nos. 2-3], the second headed '2 Trebles' in iv.

26. Mr. [W.] Younge [Young]. Pavan [VdGS YOUNG-6].

27-30. Mr. [W.] Younge [Young]. Pavan, Almane, Coranta, Sarraband [VdGS YOUNG-6]. Headings only in iii.

31-41. 4 anonymous suites, Pavan, Alman, Coranta [VdGS A1679-1689], the first lacking Coranta.

42. Mr. Tho. Tomkins. Pavan, 'Ut re my fa sol la' [VdGS TOMKINS-3, no. 4], 'exa. Mr. T. T.' in i; 'made for J. Withy in Francis Withy's hand, iv.

43. Mr. T. Tomkins. Pavan, '9 October 1641' [VdGS TOMKINS-3, no. 5].

44. 'Myco' [R. Mico]. Pavan [VdGS MICO-4, no. 4].

45. 'Alfonso' [Ferrabosco]. Pavan [VdGS A.F.II-6, no. 9].

46. Claudio Monteverde. Là tra'l sangue. '2nd part' [of 'Vattene pur crudel', from Il 3° Libro dei Madrigali (1592)]. Not identified in i; unnumbered in iii, where 46 is a 2nd part by Mico [VdGS MICO-4].

47. Mr. T. Tomkins. Pavan [VdGS TOMKINS-3, no. 6]. Second treble part copied in ii; alto missing. In C minor, published in A minor in Musica Britannica IX, p. 111.

48. [M. Borchgrevinck]. Pavan [VdGS BORCHGREVINCK-1, no. 1]. Published: London Pro Music Edition, 1998 (Early Music Library, 333).

49. 'A.F.' [Ferrabosco]. Pavan [VdGS A.F.II-6, no. 2].

50. 'Alfono' [sic, Ferrabosco] Allman [VdGS A.F.II-8, no. 1], copied by a different hand, which had to rule blank leaves in i and iii.


  • Creation: 1641-1642


4 Volumes

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Mus. Sch. e. 415, fols. 1-2].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. Mus. Sch. e. 415-418 (Former reference: Music School B. 4. 4-7)

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 17578


Four part-books from a set of five, containing 5-part pavanes etc., by Thomas Tomkins, Alfonso Ferrabosco II and others, copied 1641-1642.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656) was a composer and a member of the Tomkins family of church musicians and composers. See Grove Music Online for further details.

Alfonso Ferrabosco II (c 1575-1628) was an English composer and viol player of Italian descent. See Grove Music Online for further details.

Other Finding Aids

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

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. 26535-26538.

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

RISM 800273182

Custodial History

This item is part of the Music School collection of printed and manuscript music, which 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. 178-181.

Physical Facet

Now 29, 29, 32 and 33 leaves, formerly each 9 gatherings of 4 ruled leaves within end-papers of the same paper. Watermark, Pot, somewhat resembling Heawood 3560, initialled DB. Ruled with 6 staves to a page, marginal ruling in the same ink. Binding, white limp vellum. Thonged through the quires.


Small upright quarto

Consort music by Thomas Tomkins, Alfonso Ferrabosco II and others
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