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Francis Pilkington (1570 - 1638)

Francis Pilkington (1570-1638) came from a family of musicians in Lancashire. It is possible that he had little to do with London, though his only collection of ayres was printed there in 1605. He was a church musician at Chester. He started there as a "Singing man" but was ordained and rose through the ranks. He became a "Minor canon" in 1614 and by 1624 he was "Precentor" or "Chaunter". He must have been a thorough professional and, of course, performed his songs himself since he was proficient on the lute. Two of his madrigal collections survive but it is possible that much has been lost. He was 68 when he died. At the age of 25 when he became a "Bacheler of Musicke" at Lincoln College, Oxford he could claim 16 years of musical education.


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