He was born in St David’s in Pembrokeshire. His father was also a musician, a vicar choral of the cathedral of St Davids, and organist there; his three half-brothers were musicians as well, but none attained the fame of Thomas. In 1596 he was appointed as a choral instructor at Worcester Cathedral. He almost certainly studied with William Byrd for a time in London, as he dedicated a madrigal to him as his teacher. While in London he probably met Thomas Morley, as Morley included one of Tomkins’ madrigals in his important collection The Triumphs of Oriana in 1601.
He became a Gentleman Ordinary of the Chapel Royal some time before 1620, and became senior organist there in 1625. He appears to have withdrawn from the post in about 1628. Apparently he was still employed by Worcester Cathedral for the next two decades, but when the city was captured by Parliamentary forces in 1646, during the Civil War, he lost his job, though he was allowed to continue living near the cathedral. Music (with the exception of the singing of metrical psalms) was abolished in all churches, and the Worcester Cathedral organ (which Tomkins had commissioned in 1614) was destroyed and the choir disbanded. Tomkins moved in with his son, and lived with him until his death on 9th June 1656.
Edited by Grosseteste on 18 Jul 2010, 09:24
Registered users can edit this page. Sign up now, it’s free and you will discover so much great music :)
Generated from facts marked up in the wiki.
No facts about this artist
You can also view a list of all recent wiki changes.
From other sources.