6 Annotations

First Reading

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Latham & Matthews on Thomas Blagrave

AGE: Born about 1613, he died at about the age of 75 in 1688. In early 1659/60, Blagrave would have been about 47 years old.

CAREER: A violinist and composer, he became a royal musician in 1638, playing for Charles I's "Sagbutts and hautboyes," then for Cromwell (at least in 1658), and then for Charles II as of 1660. Also on his resume:
--clerk of the cheque, Chapel Royal, 1662;
--master of the choristers, Westminster Abbey, 1664.

OTHER: He lived in Westminster, was married and had a pew in Whitehall Chapel. He also sang and played the flageolet -- and almost certainly the lute Pepys redeemed from him on 18 March 1660.

-- L&M Vols. 10 (Companion), 11 (Index)

David Quidnunc  •  Link

The Brothers Blagrave

Blagrave appears for the first time in the diary on 18 March 1660, but a note for that entry in L&M (Vol. 1) states that this Blagrave might be either Thomas or his brother, Robert, both of whom later become royal musicians.

The L&M Index (Vol. 11) indicates that the Blagrave of 18 March is Thomas after all, and both the Index and Companion (Vol. 10) only have entries for Thomas.

Keep in mind that the L&M volumes were published at different times. Also, the Companion entry and the note in the 1660 diary entry each have different initials at the end, indicating different authors.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Thomas Blagrave.—Of an ancient Berkshire family. Eldest son of Richard Blagrave, member of the royal band of Charles I. (eldest son of John Blagrave of Bui- marsh, Reading, co. Berks. by his third wife, Anne, daughter of Tho. Mason of North- wood, Isle of Wight, Gent.) Appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal at the restoration of Charles II. Hawkins tells us that " upon the revival of choral service, in the Royal Chapel especially, they were necessitated, for want of treble voices, to make use of cornets, and on particular occasions sackbut sand other instruments were also employed." Blagrave, he says. was a performer on the cornet (Hist. of Music, 767, edit. 1853). Some of his songs are printed in Select Ayres and Dialogues, 1669, and in other of Playford's numerous publications. His portrait is in the Music-School, Oxford. He died Nov. 21, 1688 (p. 18), and was buried in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey on the 24th of the same month. His wife, Margaret, was buried in the same grave. Hatton notices these burials, but says the dates are illegible on the monument. (New View of London, ii. 533.)

Edward Francis Rimbault ed.,'The Old Cheque-book: Or Book of Remembrance, of the Chapel Royal, from 1561-1744' Camden Society, 1872 vol. 3, p. 212.

Glyn  •  Link

Possibly related to another Thomas Blagrave who at this time was the prosperous owner of the Crown in Threadneedle Street (several Diary entries from 31 January 1665 until 26 April 1668).

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

BLAGRAVE, THOMAS (d. 1688), musician; gentleman of the chapel, 1661; clerk of the cheque, 1662; member of Charles II's private band; author of some songs published in contemporary collections.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.