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Simon Tunsted



English Minorite, b. at Norwich, year unknown; d. at Bruisyard, Suffolk, 1369. Having joined the Greyfriars at Norwich he distinguished himself for learning and piety and was made a doctor of theology. He filled several important ecclesiastical charges, being at different times warden of the Franciscan convent at Norwich, regent master of the Minorities at Oxford (1351), and twenty-ninth provincial superior of his order in England (1360). He wrote a commentary on the "Meteora" of Aristotle, improved the "Albeon" of Richard of Wallingford; and is the reputed author of another work, the "Quatuor Principalia Musicae", a clear, practical, and very valuable medieval treatise on music. Davey gives a thorough discussion of the authorship of this work, which has been ascribed by different writers on the history of music to Tunsted, to John Hanboys, and to Thomas of Tewkesbury; but the arguments brought forward by Davey show that it is certainly not the work of either Hanboys or Thomas of Tewkesbury, whilst his conclusion with regard to the first-named writer is that "the grounds for ascribing it to Tunsted are admittedly insufficient; and internal evidence point to the author being a foreigner either by birth or education".

DAVEY in Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v.; IDEM, Hist. of English Music.

Edward C. Phillips.








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