I’ve been quite absorbed by the memory of William Cranford’s Fantasy a4 from two days ago, especially the bizzareness of the opening notes and first section. Summary of current online information as follows:

William Cranford (late 16c to 1650/75; fl.1620-1640).  Lay vicar at St Paul’s Cathedral at the time of Charles I. He contributed two settings to Ravenscroft’s 1621 psalter and wrote the well-known Anglican hymn tune “Ely”. His His verse anthem O Lord, make thy servant Charles,also known as The King shall rejoice,must have been written in the early part of the reign of Charles I, and was apparently his most popular work of this kind: it is in a simple, semi-polyphonic style. Most of his church music survives in imperfect or fragmentary form. More than twenty compositions for viols are known, many perhaps dating from the period of suppression of choral services. A total of nine three-voice catches are contained among Hilton’s and Playford’s publications (HOASM).

Published Music for gambas

Stewart McCoy edited Supp. Pub.161 for VdGS UK – Fantasy a5 no.2 trtrTTB.

PRB Productions. Consort Music a3 (ttB/tTB) VC029; Consort Music a4 (ttTB) VC033; Consort Music a5 (3 for ttTTB, 1 for ttTBB) VC031; Six Fantasias a6 (ttTTBB) VC027. Wm Cranford, Ives, Bosley and Sherly: Dance Music for two lyra viols ed. by Joelle Morton.

References in journals and newsletters of gamba societies

Chelys 27 (1999), VdGS UK. David Pinto, “Marsh, Mico and Attributions” p.39f.

VdGS UK Newsletter No.124, Jan.2004. Review of Wm Cranford, Ives, Bosley and Sherly: Dance Music for two lyra viols ed. by Joelle Morton. PRB.

VdGS UK Newsletter No.115, Oct.2001. Review of Consort Music for 3 and 4 viols. Ed. Virginia Brookes. PRB VC029 and 33.

 Manuscript sources

Dublin Marsh Library MS24.2.16. MS fantasias by Ch Gibbons, Lupo,. Cranford and White. Dublin Marsh’s Library MSS Z.33.4.7-12: Consort Music, c1630-50.

British Library Fantasia MSS Add 39550-554. Southgate Coll. Vol.1-V. Five-part fancies by John Ward, Wm White, Tho Ravenscroft, Wm Cranford, Al Ferrabosco, Rich Deering, Wm Bird, Gio Coperario Tho Lupo.

Academic journal articles

Oliver Neighbour. Review of Peter Philips: complete keyboard music by Peter Philips; David J Smith, in Music & Letters vol.82 no.3 Aug.2001, pp.498-501.

Christopher D S Field, Stephen Bing’s copies of Coprario fantasia-suites, in Early Music 1999 vol.27 no.2, pp.311-318.

Andrew Ashbee, Instrumental music from the library of John Browne (1608-1691), clerk of the Parliaments, in Music and Letters 1977(58), 43-59.


The Baltimore Consort has recorded one of his (bawdy) songs, “Here dwells a pretty maid”. The Art of the Bawdy Song, Dorian 90155, 1993.