John Merbecke

d. c.1585. English musician and theologian. He was organist of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, from 1541 until at least 1565. A Calvinist, he was sentenced to the stake in 1544 for his writings against the Six Articles* and for his compilation of the first biblical concordance in English (thus threatening the use of Latin for worship). He was pardoned evidently because Bishop Stephen Gardiner had a high regard for his musicianship. Merbecke dedicated that concordance later to Edward VI. That same year (1550) came also his Book of Common Prayer Noted, an adaptation of the plain chant to Edward VI's first liturgy (1549), issued to prevent diversity in “saying and singing.” He wrote many theological works, a hymn for three voices, and Mass for five.