William Mundy, (±1528–1591): O Lord, the Maker of all thing

John Rutter and The Cambridge Singers Captioned 383x271 O Lord, the Maker of all thing is one of the earliest vernacular English prayers. This particular setting seems to have been by William Mundy (±1528 – ±1591) not very much us known about him he is believed to have been a Londoner born and bred and was musically active in London at such venues as Westminster Abbey (1543)  where he was head chorister, St. Martin, Ludgate (1547),  St Mary-at-Hill (1548 – 1558), and St. Paul’s Cathedral (1559) where he was appointed one of the St Paul’s lay vicars choral. (Which means he must have signed his agreement to the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity ).  In 1564  Mundy was elected a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal where he held the position of sub-dean. He died some time before 12 October 1591 the date upon which he successor was appointed. Many of his anthems are early examples of  secular forms making their way into religious music. His setting (SATB) of ‘O Lord, the Maker of all thing’ which is in the common bipartite form with optional repeat of the second section is very typical of the austerely spare style of early post-reformation anthems, it’s also a good example of how secular forms were starting to make their way into religious music. In the performance below by The Cambridge Singers conducted by John Rutter the simple beauty of the piece can be heard to its best advantage. It’s a performance I play several times a year and enjoy each time. Enjoy :-).



Text: O Lord, the Maker of all thing

Early Modern EnglsihModern English
O Lord, the maker of all thing,
We praie Thee nowe in this evening,
Us to defende through Thy mercie,
From all deceite of our enemie. Let
neither us deluded be, Good Lord,
with dream or fantasie; Our harts
waking in Thee Thou keepe
That we in sinne fall not on sleepe.
O father, through Thy blessed sonne,
Grant us this our peticion,
To whom, with the Holy Ghost
In heaven and earthe be laud and

Source: (The King’s Primer, 1545)

O Lord, the Maker of all thing,
We pray thee now in this evening
Us to defend through thy mercy
From all deceits of our enemies;
Let neither us deluded be,
Good Lord, with dream or fantasy,
Our hearts waking in thee thou keep,
That we in sin all not on sleep.
O Father, through thy blessed Son
Grant us this our petition,
To whom with the Holy Ghost always
In heaven and earth be laud and praise. Amen.

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