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  • Patrizio Barbieri (a1) and Michael Talbot (a2)

John Ravenscroft (1664/5–1697) is today best known for the fact that in 1695 he published a set of church sonatas that closely imitate Corelli in their style. The discourse around Ravenscroft has ever since focused on these twelve sonatas and the significance of their relationship to their illustrious model, to the exclusion of a later set of sonatas of different kind but equal merit. Ravenscroft's fascinating and unusual biography has likewise been totally ignored. The article examines the background of his distinguished, Catholic-leaning family in England during a long, turbulent period when Catholics were severely disadvantaged and his short but productive period spent in Rome, aided by newly discovered archival documents and a rich variety of other sources, both old and more recent, most of which have previously been overlooked by music historians.

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1 M. Talbot, ‘Et in Italia ego: Musicians and the Experience of Italy, 1650–1750’, paper read to the concluding conference of the research project MUSICI (Rome, 19–21 Jan. 2012).

2 P. Barbieri, ‘Ravenscroft and Pasquini: The Art Collections and Instruments of Two Musicians in Late-Baroque Rome’, Music in Art, 36 (2011), pp. 257–74.

3 J. Hawkins, A General History of the Science and Practice of Music, 5 vols. (London, 1776), iv, p. 311. Surprisingly, there is no mention at all of John Ravenscroft in Charles Burney's A General History of Music (London, 1776–89).

4 Hawkins, A General History, iv, p. 318.

5 Besides Ravenscroft, the contemporary English imitators of Corelli's trio sonatas included Matthew Novell, William Topham and James Sherard. Italian imitators of Corelli were more numerous, but on the whole less epigonistic.

6 See below, n. 92.

7 W. S. Newman, ‘Ravenscroft and Corelli’, Music & Letters, 38 (1957), pp. 369–70, at 370.

8 Newman, ‘Ravenscroft and Corelli’, p. 370.

9 W. S. Newman, The Sonata in the Baroque Era (Chapel Hill, NC, 1959), pp. 311–12.

10 F. Zanzotto, ‘Fortune e sfortune dell'epigonismo corelliano: Il caso Giovanni Rederi – Giovanni Ravenscroft, Inglese’, in G. Morelli (ed.), L'invenzione del gusto: Corelli e Vivaldi. Mutazioni culturali, a Roma e Venezia, nel periodo post-barocco, ‘Ex Libris del Festival Vivaldi’, 1 (Milan, 1982), pp. 77–92.

11 S. Durante, ‘Ancora del “vero” e “falso” Corelli: Un confronto con i movimenti fugati di Ravenscroft’, in P. Petrobelli and G. Staffieri (eds.), Studi corelliani IV. Atti del quarto congresso internazionale (Fusignano, 4–7 settembre 1986), Quaderni della Rivista Italiana di Musicologia/Società Italiana di Musicologia, 22 (Florence, 1990), pp. 275–301.

12 P. Allsop, Arcangelo Corelli: New Orpheus of our Times (New York, 1999), pp. 156–7.

13 Many variant forms of the surname are documented: these include Rangcroft, Ranscroft, Ravencroft and Ravenscraft. Some of the variants appear to originate in pure scribal caprice.

14 See W. Ravenscroft, Some Ravenscrofts (Milford-on-Sea, 1929), p. 6. This family history and a similar earlier study by the same author and the Revd R. Bathurst Ravenscroft, The Family of Ravenscroft (London, 1915), give a useful overview of the family and its numerous branches but tend towards the anecdotal and contain many inaccuracies.

15 Allusion is made to the emblem of three ravens’ heads in the composer Thomas Ravenscroft's four-part setting of the traditional ballad The Three Ravens included in his collection Melismata (London, 1611), which is dedicated, appropriately, to his distinguished relatives Thomas and William Ravenscroft of Bretton.

16 Dates from English sources before the calendar reform of 1752 follow the Julian calendar (Old Style), which in the seventeenth century was ten days behind the Gregorian calendar adopted in all Catholic countries in 1582 or shortly thereafter. In the present article these dates are left unadjusted. A more serious problem arises from the fact that in England prior to 1752 the year commonly advanced on Lady Day (25 Mar.) rather than 1 Jan. Where the day and month (or, in the case of Jan. and Feb., simply the month) are known, the year can tacitly be adjusted, as has occurred throughout this article. Where they are not known – as in the present case, the year of birth of Ralph Ravenscroft – the year is left as it stands, accepting the small but real risk that the true year according to the Modern Style is the following year.

17 For details of the identity and descent of the composer Thomas Ravenscroft we are indebted to David Mateer, co-editor (with John Morehen) of a forthcoming critical edition of Ravenscroft's Rounds, Canons and Songs from Printed Sources, to be published as vol. 93 of the Musica Britannica series, who very kindly let Michael Talbot have advance sight of his preface and corresponded with him over the question.

18 W. Bell Jones, ‘The Memorial Inscriptions in Hawarden Parish Church’, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 67 [=ns 31] (1915), pp. 169–206, at 173. See also Ravenscroft and Bathurst Ravenscroft, The Family of Ravenscroft, p. 9.

19 On this issue, see I. Payne, ‘Thomas Ravenscroft: A Biographical Note’, Musical Times, 127 (1986), pp. 707–9.

20 A particularly useful source of information on anti-Catholic legislation and Catholic education during this period is A. F. C. Beales, Education under Penalty: English Catholic Education from the Reformation to the Fall of James II, 1547–1689 (London, 1963).

21 The list in Beales, Education under Penalty, pp. 273–4, names thirty-four such institutions founded between 1568 and 1667.

22 On Fold Farm and its environs, see F. T. Baker, A History of the County of Middlesex (Victoria History of the Counties of England, 5; London, 1976), pp. 271–82.

23 J. and J. A. Venn, Alumni cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge from the Earliest Times to 1900, 2 parts in 10 vols. (Cambridge, 1922–54), i/3, p. 424.

24 Information from The Inner Temple Admissions Database (, consulted on 1 Sept. 2011. The Inner Temple was one of four Inns of Court in London, to one of which all barristers had to belong. James's unmarried brother John followed him first to Cambridge (Trinity College) and then to the Inner Temple.

25 This summer retreat was in fact in the neighbouring village of Alconbury Weston.

26 In J. Gillow, A Literary and Biographical History and Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from the Break with Rome, in 1534, to the Present Time, 5 vols. (London, 1885–1902), v, p. 393, we read: ‘In the course of the Civil Wars he suffered much for his loyalty, both in person and in estate.’

27 D. Hughson, London; being an Accurate History and Description of the British Metropolis and its Neighbourhood, 6 vols. (London, 1805–9), iii, p. 517.

28 Gillow, A Literary and Biographical History, v, p. 393.

29 Hughson, London, vi, p. 136. The charitable trusts disbursing the funds, named respectively the Chancel Trust and the Jesus Charity, still exist.

30 We are grateful to Brian Tierney (Curator and Archivist, Provincial Grand Lodge of Hertfordshire) and Peter Aitkenhead (Assistant Librarian at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London) for looking into this matter on our behalf.

31 Gillow, A Literary and Biographical History, v, p. 393.

32 There is also a tract entitled ‘Christian Oeconomy – Containing the Good Government of the Family’, preserved in the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society Collection (shelfmark: DD\SAS\C/795/HV/111) at the Somerset Heritage Centre, Norton Fitzwarren.

33 R. Trappes-Lomax, The English Franciscan Nuns, 1619–1821, and the Friars Minor of the same Province, 1618–1761 (Publications of the Catholic Record Society, 24; London, 1922), pp. 29, 140, 193 and 246.

34 The Douay College Diaries: Third, Fourth and Fifth, 1598–1654, ed. E. H. Burton and T. L. Williams, 2 vols. (Publications of the Catholic Record Society, 10–11; London, 1911), ii, pp. 441 and 502.

35 Gillow, A Literary and Biographical History, v, p. 393, claims that George took the oath in 1650, became a priest and was stationed in Lincolnshire and Rutlandshire, dying in 1702. It appears that Gillow is here confusing George with his younger brother James, who died in 1703 or 1704 and was certainly a priest.

36 The literature on George Ravenscroft, particularly in connection with his glass-making, is vast. A good starting point is his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, consultable online at <>. See also Rosemary Rendel, ‘The True Identity of George Ravenscroft, Glassman’, Recusant History, 13 (1975–6), pp. 101–5.

37 On George's glass-making and collaboration with da Costa, see especially D. C. Watts, A History of Glassmaking in London and its Development on the Thames South Bank (Barnet, 2009), and Samuel Kurinsky, The Glassmakers: An Odyssey of the Jews: The First Three Thousand Years (New York, 1991).

38 See above, n. 35.

39 The Douay College Diaries: Third, Fourth and Fifth, ed. Burton and Williams, ii, p. 494.

40 Douai College Documents, 1639–1794, ed, P. R. Harris (Publications of the Catholic Record Society, 63; St Albans, 1972), p. 15.

41 The entry for Edward Ravenscroft in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (see above, n. 36) is very informative on his literary output.

42 The hall was built in the 1570s by Ferdinando Paris, a leading recusant who reportedly harboured a Catholic priest.

43 The National Archives, Kew, PROB 11/502, fols. 150–1.

44 Since Orange Street, named after the new king, was not built until the 1690s, John cannot have been born in the same house. Thomas must therefore have had at least one earlier London address.

45 The National Archives, PROB 18/30/102, Richardson v. Ravenscroft and Ravenscroft.

46 T. Webb, A New Select Collection of Epitaphs, 2 vols. (London, 1775), ii, p. 89.

47 Bibliotheca Ravenscroftiana, or a Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Ravenscroft Esq. deceas'd Containing many very Ancient and Modern Books in Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and English, in Divinity, History, Philology, &c. (London, 1709). Worcester College Library, Oxford, shelfmark LRB 6.7 (9). The authors are very grateful to Harry Johnstone for providing information on this volume in private correspondence.

48 Some of the books in Italian were probably purchased by the composer John in Italy. One example is a Bolognese edition (1689) of Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Le pitture di Bologna.

49 Beales, Education under Penalty, pp. 138 and 145. In 1632 a certain Robert Bowerman was teaching both singing and the violin to the Douay students. Since Ravenscroft was in Rome by his early twenties, one naturally wonders whether his place of study was not the English College there (where the students employed aliases in similar fashion) rather than Douay. But his name is not listed among its students in W. Kelly, Liber Ruber Venerabilis Collegii Anglorum de urbe: Annales collegii, I: Nomina alumnorum 1631–1783 (Publications of the Catholic Record Society, 40; London, 1943).

50 Wiltshire and Swindon Archives, 409/9.

51 The ‘Battista’ following ‘Giovanni’, which appears (in its English form, ‘Baptist’) in none of the English documents concerning Ravenscroft, is an assertion, doubtless very deliberate, of Catholic identity. One can only speculate whether John was christened with this additional name or whether he adopted it later.

52 L. Iannattoni, Roma e gli Inglesi (Rome, 1945), pp. 34 and 40; E. Chaney, ‘Il Grand Tour e l'evoluzione del libro di viaggio’, in A. Wilson and I. Bergamini (eds.), Grand Tour: Il fascino dell'Italia nel XVIII secolo (Milan, 1997), pp. 99–133, at 119. Figure 1 shows on the left the Caffè degli Inglesi, on the right the inn Ville de Londres. Since this drawing was prepared with engraving in mind, the position of the two buildings is reversed, as if reflected in a mirror.

53 [W. Bromley], Remarks in the Grande Tour of France & Italy. Lately Performed by a Person of Quality (London, 1692), p. 210.

54 Rome, Archivio Storico del Vicariato (hereafter I-Rvic), Parrocchia di S. Maria del Popolo, Liber mortuorum, 1663–1700, fol. 352r. There is today no tombstone or other memorial to Ravenscroft in this church.

55 Rome, Archivio di Stato (hereafter I-Ras), 30 Not. Cap., uff. 9, vol. 538, fol. 624 (15 Dec. 1699): The nomination by Innocent XII speaks of a ‘dilecto filio Odoardo Vualdegrave Clerico Londinense … et continuo commensali mei’ (‘my dear son Edward Waldegrave, a cleric of London … and a regular table companion of mine’).

56 I-Rvic, Parrocchia di S. Maria in Via Lata, Liber mortuorum, 1660–1766, fol. 53r–v (20 Apr. 1702). Four days later, a certain Bartolomeo Massei was appointed by Clement XI as his successor as prior of S. Maria in Via Lata: I-Ras, 30 Not. Cap., uff. 9, vol. 548, fol. 126 (24 Apr. 1702); I-Rvic, Capitolo di S. Maria in Via Lata, vol. 81, fol. 5v (24 Apr. 1702). By way of postscript, it may be mentioned that Waldegrave was among the students from Douay College who travelled to Magdalen College, Oxford, in Oct. 1688 (his subject of study was to have been Logic), but, for reasons explained earlier, had to beat a hasty retreat. See Gillow, A Literary and Biographical History, iii, p. 169.

57 Reckoned according to the traditional Italian timekeeping system (ore italiane), in which the 24-hour day commenced at nightfall. On this system, see M. Talbot, ‘Ore italiane: The Reckoning of the Time of Day in Pre-Napoleonic Italy’, Italian Studies, 40 (1985), 51–62.

58 R. Lassels, The Voyage of Italy or, A Compleat Journey through Italy, in Two Parts (London, 1686), ii, pp. 155–6.

59 H. J. Marx, ‘The Instrumentation of Handel's Early Italian Works’, Early Music, 16 (1988), pp. 496–505, at 496.

60 R. North, Memoirs of Music, ed. E. F. Rimbault (London, 1846), p. 129.

61 RISM R 446. The sonatas proved popular: Estienne Roger brought out his own edition in Amsterdam in 1698 (RISM R 447: later issues have the catalogue number 253). There is a possibility (arising from an entry in his catalogue of c. 1698) that Marino Silvani in Bologna produced an independent edition, although the probability is that he merely marketed an existing edition, perhaps Roger's. We commented earlier on the partial and somewhat modified reprint by Le Cène under Corelli's name (RISM R 447a / C 3896). It is interesting that one of the four extant contemporary manuscript sources of the sonatas (I-Fc, MS B. 1606) already credits the authorship to Corelli, while another (D-Bsb, Mus. ms. 18146/8) makes Caldara the composer, and a third (A-Wn, EM 84) is headed ‘Del Sig[no]re L. D. J. M.S.’, describing the author as ‘Inglese allievo d'Arcangelo Corelli’. Was the string of initials perhaps a misinterpretation (as a personal name) of a pious Catholic gesture in the form of a religious motto such as ‘Laus Deo Jesu Mariaeque Semper’?

62 Zanzotto, ‘Fortune e sfortune dell'epigonismo corelliano’, p. 82. The title page, dedication and preface of Op. 1 are transcribed also in C. Sartori, Bibliografia della musica strumentale italiana stampata in Italia fino al 1700 (Florence, 1952), p. 585. The full phrase reads ‘il quale esce da una penna dilettante non professoria’ (‘which is the product of an amateur, not a professional, pen’).

63 I-Ras, 30 Not. Cap., uff. 8, vol. 225 (not. successor quondam Josephi Pasquarucci). fol. 669r (9 Oct. 1697). The property list is transcribed in full in Barbieri, ‘John Ravenscroft and Bernardo Pasquini’, forthcoming.

64 A. D'Ovidio, ‘Sonate a tre d'altri stili: Carlo Mannelli violinista nella Roma di fine Seicento’, Recercare, 19 (2007), pp. 147–203, at 158–9 and 193: ‘uno [violino] di Cremona, l'altro di Paolo Maggini, e due di Mattia Albano con quattro archi di serpentario’ (‘one [violin] from Cremona, the other by Paolo Maggini, and two by Mattia Albano with four bows of snakewood’).

65 L. Lindgren, ‘Nicola Cosimi in London, 1701–1705’, Studi Musicali, 11 (1982), pp. 229–48, at 247. The inventory of the property left by Nicola Cosimi to the Oratorian fathers of the Chiesa Nuova is preserved in I-Ras, Notai A.C., vol. 5150, fol. 601 (24 May 1717). This lists two violins without mentioning the maker's name and (fol. 619v) ‘Un flauto di canna d'India, et avorio con sua saccoccia di tela’ (‘a flute [or recorder?] of Indian cane and ivory with its canvas bag’). Further (fol. 620r), ‘Diversi libri di sonate, parte legati, e parte sciolti, e parte manoscritti, e parte impressi in diverse forme’ (‘Various books of sonatas, partly bound and partly unbound, partly manuscript and partly printed in different ways’): their titles are not given, however. Cosimi's will (dated 7 Dec. 1714) was opened on 31 Mar. 1717, together with a codicil of 20 Feb. 1717 (I-Ras, Notai A.C., vol. 5149, fols. 647r and 651r respectively). On fol. 647r Porfirio and Angelo Cosimi declare: ‘heri circa horam secundam cum dimidio noctis, sicuti Altissimo placuit, D. Nicolaum Hieronimum de Cosimis eorum fratrem uterinum naturae debitum persolvisse’ (‘yesterday around the second hour and a half of the night, as it pleased the Almighty, Signor Nicola Girolamo Cosimi their brother by the same mother passed away’). Bearing in mind that the hour of death was described according to ore italiane (see above, n. 57), we may assert that the exact time of Nicola Cosimi's death, previously unknown, was the evening of 30 Mar. 1717. Among the persons mentioned in the will is ‘Pietro Paolo Bencini maestro di cappella della Chiesa Nuova’, to whom Cosimi leaves a tobacco pouch as a ‘piccola memoria della nostra ammicitia’ (‘small souvenir of our friendship’).

66 L. Forino, Il violoncello … (2nd edn, Milan, 1930), pp. 99–100 (label seen by him on ‘un bel violino autentico’). On this maker, see also R. Vannes, Dictionnaire universel des luthiers (2nd edn, Brussels, 1951), p. 4 (‘Alban ou Albani Mathias’), and C. Beare, ‘Albani, Mathias’, in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edn, ed. S. Stanley and J. Tyrrell, 29 vols. (London, 2001), i, p. 282.

67 See S. Franchi, Le botteghe d'arte e la topografia storico-urbanistica di una zona di Roma dalla fine del XVI secolo a oggi (Rome, 2001), p. 19, and the slightly more recent article by B. Hentrich, ‘Nuove notizie sui liutai tedeschi operanti a Roma’, Recercare, 13 (2001), pp. 249–55, at 254. Until 2001 the presence in Rome of this maker was not established: see Vannes, Dictionnaire universel des luthiers, p. 4 (‘Alban ou Albani Mathias’), and Beare, ‘Albani, Mathias’.

68 I-Rvic, Parrocchia di S. Lorenzo in Lucina, Status animarum, anno 1693: fols. 52v and 92v respectively. On these makers, see P. Barbieri, ‘Cembalaro, organaro, chitarraro e fabbricatore di corde armoniche nella Polyanthea technica di Pinaroli (1718–32). Con notizie sui liutai e cembalari operanti a Roma’, Recercare, 1 (1989), pp. 123–209, at 186 (Ceroni, Cerroni) and 189 (Ertlè, Ertel, Erkle), also viewable at <>.

69 Barbieri, ‘John Ravenscroft and Bernardo Pasquini’ (on the 156 pictures left by Pasquini); D'Ovidio, ‘Sonate a tre d'altri stili’, pp. 188–200 (on the many pictures left by Mannelli, none of great commercial value, among which are various portraits). On Cosimi's inventory, see above, n. 65; this lists a portrait of Corelli and two of Cosimi himself, as well as ‘un ritratto ovato rappresentante il milord Bedford in habito militare di un palmo in circa’ (‘an oval portrait representing Milord Bedford in military dress measuring about a palm’) – this being the person in whose service he had been during his sojourn in England.

70 See above, n. 61.

71 On Haim and Cosimi, see Lindgren, ‘Nicola Cosimi in London, 1701–1705’, and the same author's ‘The Great Influx of Italians and their Instrumental Music into London, 1701–1710’, in G. Barnett, A. D'Ovidio and S. La Via (eds.), Arcangelo Corelli fra mito e realtà storica: Nuove prospettive d'indagine musicologica e interdisciplinare nel 350o anniversario della nascita. Atti del congresso internazionale di studi, Fusignano, 11–14 settembre 2003 (Historiae musicae cultores, 111; Florence, 2007), pp. 19–484, at 447.

72 On the violinist Visconti, a pupil of Corelli who arrived in London in the summer of 1702, see Lindgren, ‘The Great Influx’, pp. 447, 460–1 and 473. In 1701–2 ‘Gasparo Visconti suonator di violino’ is recorded as living in Rome with Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj: I-Rvic, Parrocchia di S. Maria in Via Lata, Status animarum, anno 1700 (fol. 129v), and anno 1701 (fol. 138r). There is an extensive literature on Visconti's productive sojourn in London (1702–6), where in 1704 he married Ebenezar (Cristina) Steffkins, from a famous family of viol players. See especially P. Barbieri, Enharmonic Instruments and Music, 1470–1900 (Latina, 2008), p. 176, in relation to his participation, together with Cristina's father and uncle, in a demonstration at the Royal Society of a new system of fretting for the viol. Visconti's London address after his marriage was ‘in Fetter Lane at Mr Hoskins house next door to the White Horse Inn by Holborn’ (letter from Haim to Humphrey Wanley, GB-Lbl, Harley 3779, fols. 30–1).

73 It is described and discussed in detail in Barbieri, ‘Ravenscroft and Pasquini’, pp. 259–62 and 271.

74 A lyre similar to the one depicted in Figure 2 occurs in another work by Chiari, ‘Musica’. See B. Kerber, ‘Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari’, Art Bulletin, 50 (1968), pp. 75–86, Fig. 12.

75 Recorded in the will of Filippo Lauri, ‘pittore celebre in Roma’, drawn up in his house in Via dei Greci (I-Ras, 30 Not. Cap., uff. 10, vol. 719, fol. 443 (17 Sept. 1694), as first noted in L. Pascoli, Vite de’ pittori, scultori, ed architetti moderni, ed. V. Martinelli (Perugia, 1992), p. 589. On the contents of the inventory, see I-Ras, 30 Not. Cap., uff. 10, vol. 310, fol. 274 (11 Dec. 1694). This inventory covers only the artist's studio (in addition to ‘un cimbalo con cassa bianca à doi registri con suoi piedi’, it lists various drawings and seventy-one paintings by unspecified artists). The location of Lauri's house is given in I-Rvic, Parrocchia di S. Lorenzo in Lucina, Status animarum, anno 1693, fol. 33r, as ‘Strada delli Greci verso il Corso mano destra’ (‘on the right-hand side of Strada dei Greci as one goes towards the Corso’); in that year, a widowed sister and a forty-year-old niece are listed for the same address.

76 On Lauri's style, see G. Sestieri, Repertorio della pittura romana della fine del Seicento e del Settecento (Archivi di arte antica, 1; Turin, 1994), p. 104.

77 I-Ras, 30 Not. Cap., uff. 29, vol. 291, fol. 601 (20 Apr. 1702), ‘Inventario dei beni del q[uondam] Odoardo Vualdegrave’, prepared at the request of ‘Eques Ioannes Chirichelli’, his executor. The list contains only paintings of small value, which include ‘Un ritratto di N. S. Clemente XI e un altro di Innocentio 12’ (‘A portrait of His Holiness Clement XI and another of Innocent 12’), these being the two popes he had served. His quarters in the papal palazzo on the Quirinale comprised a three-room apartment (one room was for servants), a kitchen and a stable (for which two horses and a saddle are listed).

78 I-Rvic, Parrocchia di S. Maria del Popolo, Status animarum, anno 1695, Via del Babuino: ‘no 58: Giovanni Remigij fiamengho; Claudia Romana qm Giorgio Simonetti moglie, [anni] 62; Ferdinando figlio, 23; [two other sons]’.

79 See previous note.

80 Transcribed in The Visitation of Norfolk anno Domini 1664 made by Sir Edward Sysshe Knt. Clarendon King of Arms, ed. A. W. Hughes Clarke and A. Campling, 2 vols. ([London], 1934), pp. 155 and 180. Heraldic visitations were periodic tours of inspection of counties to establish the right of persons to bear arms.

81 F. Blomefield [continued by C. Parkin], An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, 5 vols. (Fersfield, then Norwich, then London, 1739–75), iii, p. 805n.

82 RISM R 448. The wording of the advertisement is taken directly from the title page.

83 RISM R 449; Smith 377.

84 RISM R 450. Later examples have the catalogue number 326 engraved on the plates.

85 Rebecca Herissone, ‘The Origin and Contents of the Magdalene College Partbooks’, RMA Research Chronicle, 29 (1996), pp. 47–95, at 47 and 94.

86 Hawkins, A General History of the Science and Practice of Music, v, p. 80.

87 Ibid., pp. 566–9. The identification of this composer with the John Ravenscroft of Smithfield, variously described as a victualler, vintner and wire-drawer in legal reports of the period 1747–50 concerning his imprisonment for bankruptcy, needs further confirmation.

88 GB-Lbl, R.M. 23.a.18. The manuscript is written on wove rather than laid paper, which automatically places it in the second half of the century. The catalogue of the Royal Music Collection dates it to the ‘late 18th century’. The RISM Online Catalogue of Musical Sources ( is more precise, placing the date of copying in the last decade of the century and specifying viol consort as the intended instrumentation. The second statement is definitely incorrect, for reasons that will become apparent from the discussion below. The keyboard destination is confirmed by the fact that the free-standing first fugue appears in score (employing six lines for each of the two staves), headed ‘Pr Mr. John Ravenscroft’, in a keyboard miscellany also containing works by Frescobaldi and Froberger (GB-Cfm, MU MS 652, fols. 11v–22v, at 11v–13r); we are grateful to Andrew Woolley for drawing our attention to this source, which is discussed in Geoffrey Cox, Organ Music in Restoration England, 2 vols. (New York and London, 1989), i, pp. 127–8 and 202–3, and transcribed complete in ii, pp. 229–34. This author observes justly (p. 202) that this fugue (for which he chooses the title ‘Voluntary’) ‘makes a more systematic use of invertible counterpoint than any other Restoration organ work’ and that its ‘systematic use of inverted themes … is not characteristic of Restoration organ works’; he earlier (p. 199) associates these features with Italian practice. In fact, as we shall see, the piece is certainly Italianate, but probably not English.

89 Battiferri's Ricercari a 4–6 for organ, Op. 3 (Bologna, 1669), offer a good comparison.

90 We are most grateful to John Collins for sharing this information with us. As a sad but inevitable result, the edition of the fugues under Ravenscroft's name has been withdrawn from circulation. The music of Klemm's complete collection of 1631, including also its matching sets of two-part and three-part fugues, has been published in a modern edition by John O. Robison in the series Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era, 2 vols. (Madison, 1998). Alexander Silbiger's article on Klemm in the New Grove (xiii, pp. 667–8) provides an excellent introduction to this little-known composer's distinctive style.

91 See above, n. 88.

92 Newman, The Sonata in the Baroque Era, p. 311.

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