Byrd, William (?1539–1623), a leading composer of Renaissance
England. Of a London family migrated from Essex. Perhaps, like his
elder brothers, a member of the Chapel Royal choir as a boy. Appointed
organist and choirmaster at Lincoln Cathedral in 1563 but fell foul of
the authorities, perhaps for his lack of reformist austerity. Moved to the
Chapel Royal in 1572, where he had Thomas Tallis as a colleague. For a
time, the two held a virtual monopoly of music publishing in England.
In 1577, moved to Harlington, Middlesex, where he was known for his