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John Blanke (fl. 1507–1512) by unknown artist, 1511 [detail from the Westminster Tournament Roll] College of Arms, Westminster Tournament Roll. Reproduced by permission of the Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants of Arms.

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Blanke, John (fl. 1507–1512), royal trumpeter, was employed as a musician at the courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII, making his first recorded appearance there in 1507. He is thought to have been of African descent, but his age, place of birth, and parentage are unknown. His surname may have originated as a nickname, derived from the word ...

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Cavendish, Michael (c. 1565–1628), composer and courtier, was the youngest of three children of William Cavendish, landowner, and his wife, Ann Cox, and a grandson of George Cavendish (b. 1494, d. in or before 1562?), the biographer of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. The family, which can be traced back to the thirteenth century, lived at the manor of ...

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Cornysh [Cornysshe], William (d. 1523), composer and court impresario, is of unknown parentage. It is likely that he was close kin, perhaps even a son, of William Cornysh [Cornysshe] (d. 1502), composer, also of unknown parentage. Nothing is known of the elder ...

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Duwes [Dewes], Giles [pseud. Aegidius de Vadis] (d. 1535), musician and royal tutor, was perhaps of Norman origin; the village of Le Vey on the plain of Caen was then called Wez and Latinized as Vadum. One of the many useful foreigners who served ...

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Riccio, David (c. 1533–1566), musician and courtier, was born at Pancalieri, near Turin, in the duchy of Savoy, the son of an impoverished musician. Possessed of an excellent singing voice and presumably trained by his father, he seems to have been employed by the archbishop of ...