[Jan] [Bouville, Bonville, Jean]
(b ?Old Radnor, Radnorshire, 1562–3; d Antwerp, 12–13 March 1628). English composer, organist, virginalist and organ builder, probably of Welsh birth, active also in the southern Netherlands. He was one of the leading keyboard virtuosos of his time and an important composer of keyboard music.
The date of birth above derives from the Oxford portrait of Bull (see fig.1 and §4) and is probably more reliable than the one some three years earlier deducible from his marriage licence in 1607 (see §2). Wood stated that Bull was descended from a Somerset family but provided no evidence. It is more likely that he was born in Radnorshire, where, in and about Harpton (or Herton), several families with the surname Bull resided. This assumption is based on the existence of his petition to the queen in 1589 for a lease in reversion of Radnor Forest (see below) and of a pedigree submitted in the Court of Chancery in which one party claimed to be descended from ‘the musician, Dr. John Bull of Old Radnor’, which may well refer to him....