Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Composer, b. in the County of Norfolk, England, about 1475; d. at Boston, England, 1535 or 1536. He was organist of Boston Parish Church from 1500 to 1525, when he was appointed master of the choristers at Cardinal College, Oxford, by Cardinal Wolsey. His fame as organist and choirmaster was fully equalled, if not eclipsed, by his powers as a composer of masses and motets. He continued at Oxford till 1533, and then retired to Boston. On the strength of a statement of Foxe, in his so-called "Book of Martyrs ", Taverner has been branded as a heretic, but it is more than probable that Foxe confounded the composer with John Taverner, a correspondent of Cromwell, or else with Richard Taverner, a Canon of Wolsey's College, Oxford, who revised Matthew's Bible. He wrote nothing for the English Service, but he has bequeathed eight masses, as well as fragments of others, and Latin Magnificats, that stamp him as a composer of the first rank. His beautiful four-part "In nomine" has been altered to fit two English anthems, "O give thanks", and "In trouble and adversity", in Day's "Morning and Evening Prayer" (1565). He contributed three songs to Wynkyn de Worde's English song book, printed in 1530; but by far the greater part of his work is sacred. His "Gaude Maria Virgo", for three voices, and his "Mater Christi", for five voices, are good examples of his style, but he is best known by his "Western Wynde" mass. Although obsessed by the conventions of the early sixteenth century, Taverner showed some good pioneer work, which was afterwards successfully developed by Shepherd, Byrd, Tallis, and Whyte. He must not be confounded with a later John Taverner, who was appointed professor of music at Gresham College in 1610.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:32--5:8
32 Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:10-17
10 One Sabbath day he was teaching in one of the synagogues,11 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2016 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was ... Read More