Marbeck or Merbecke, John
Marbeck Or Merbecke, John, the composer of the solemn and now venerable notes set to the "Preces" and Responses in use in the cathedrals of England, to our day with only slight modifications, was organist of Windsor during the reigns of Henry VIII and his successor. A zeal for religious reformation led him to join a society in furtherance of that object, among the members of which were a priest, a singing-man of St. George's Chapel, and a tradesman of the town. Their papers were seized, and in the handwriting of Marbeck were found notes on the Bible, together with a concordance, in English. He and his three colleagues were found guilty of heresy, and condemned to the stake. The others were executed according to their sentence; but Marbeck, on account of his great musical talents, and being rather favored by Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, was pardoned, and lived to witness the triumph of his principles, and to publish his work, which appeared under the title of The Boke of Common Pralier, noted. The colophon is "Imprinted by Richard Grafton, printer to the kinges majestic, 1550, cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum" (a verbatim reprint was given by John Pickering, London, 1848, sm. 4to). In the same year appeared also his Concordance of the Whole Bible (1550, folio), the first complete work of the kind in English; and, in 1574, The Lives of Holy Saints, Prophets, Patriarchs, and others; and, subsequently, his other books connected with religious history and controversy. See Allibone, Dict. of British and Amer. Authors, vol. 2, s.v.; English Cyclop. s.v.