Thomas Bateson wrote church music but is chiefly remembered for his madrigals, of which he published two volumes — the First Set of English Madrigals (1604, 29 songs for 3 to 6 voices) and Second Set of English Madrigals (1618, 30 songs), both reprinted in “The English Madrigal School”, volumes 21–22, edited by E.H. Fellowes — which included some fine serious pieces that show an excellent taste in poetry. His Madrigal “When Oriana walked to take the ayre” was composed for inclusion in Thomas Morley “The Triumphes Of Oriana” (1603) but not included in that famous florilegium. The quality of his madrigals is generally regarded as somewhat inferior to those of Morley himself and Thomas Weelkes.
This English composer was born in Cheshire, a central English county on the Welsh border. After serving from 1590 as organist at Chester Cathedral (the county’s capital) Thomas Bateson went to Holy Trinity (now Christ Church) Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, as vicar choral (singer) and organist in 1609, and became master of the choristers in 1618; in 1615 he became — alledgedly the first — Dublin B.Mus, and M.Art (Trinity College, Dublin) in 1622.
This contribution is based on N. Slominsky’s Concise Edition of Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (8th ed. NewYork, Schirmer Books, 1994) and the HOASM site, linking below.