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date: 24 August 2019

Abell, John(i)locked

  • Ian Spink

Extract

(b Aberdeenshire, 1653; d ?Cambridge, after 1716). Scottish countertenor, composer and lutenist. The first occurrence of his name in official records is on 1 May 1679, when he was admitted ‘extraordinary’ then ‘in ordinary’ to the Chapel Royal. From the same time he is listed among the musicians of the King’s Private Musick as one of the lutes and voices and also as a violinist, though the latter post was probably a sinecure. Between 1679 and 1688 he received considerable sums of ‘bounty money’ for undisclosed services to the king while travelling abroad. Evelyn recorded (27 January 1682):

After supper came in the famous Trebble, Mr Abel, newly returnd from Italy, & indeed I never heard a more excellent voice, one would have sworne it had been a Womans it was so high, & so well & skillfully manag’d.

He graduated MusB at Cambridge in 1684...

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J. Hawkins: A General History of the Science and Practice of Music (London, 1776)
I. Spink: English Song: Dowland to Purcell (London, 1974, repr. 1986 with corrections)
Journal of the Royal Musical Association
A. Ashbee: Records of English Court Music (Snodland/Aldershot, 1986-95)
Music & Letters
Hinrichsen's Musical Year Book
Oxford, Bodleian Library
A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800 (Carbondale, IL, 1973-93)
A. Ashbee and D. Lasocki, eds.: A Biographical Dictionary of English Court Musicians, 1485-1714 (Aldershot, 1998)
R.M.A. [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle