Ludford is known for his festal masses, which can be found in the Caius and Lambeth choirbooks (1521-27) and the Peterhouse partbooks (1539-40).
His biographer David Skinner described Ludford as "one of the last unsung geniuses of Tudor polyphony".
Here are some more facts about Nicholas Ludford:
- He was born in c.1490, but little is known of is beginnings and background. He was renting lodgings from Westminster Abbey in 1517.
- Ludford had joined the fraternity of St Nicholas, the London Guild of Parish Clerks, by 1521.
- By the early 1520s, he was working at the royal collegiate chapel of St Mary and St Stephen in the Palace of Westminster.
- In 1527, Ludford was appointed verger at the chapel.
- In 1548, when the chapel was dissolved, Ludford received an annual pension.
- In the early 1550s, he was a churchwarden of St Margaret's, Westminster.
- In 1552, his first wife, Anne, was buried at St Margaret's, and he went on to marry Helen Thomas.
- David Skinner notes that "His musical style owes much to his earlier contemporary Robert Fayrfax (1464–1521), who was instrumental in refining cyclic mass composition in England."
- Ludford does not seem to have continued composing church music following the Reformation.
Here is a playlist of Nicholas Ludford's compositions:
Also on this day in Tudor history...
Image: A photo of St Margaret's, Westminster, by Reinhold Möller, Wikimedia Commons.
Notes and Sources
- Skinner, D. (2004, September 23). Ludford, Nicholas (c. 1490–1557), composer. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 5 Aug. 2023, from https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-37695.