Thomas Weelkes (baptised 25 October 1576 ? buried 1 December 1623) was an English composer and organist. He became organist of Winchester College in 1598, moving to Chichester Cathedral. His works are chiefly vocal, and include madrigals, anthems and services.
Thomas Weelkes is recorded to have been baptised in the little village church of Elsted in Sussex on 25 October, 1576. At the age of 22 years he was appointed organist at Winchester College receiving the salary of 13s 4d per quarter. His remuneration included board and lodging. After obtaining his B. Mus. Degree from New College Oxford in 1602, he moved to Chichester to take up the position of organist and instructor of the choristers at the Cathedral, being paid £15 2s 4d annually. The following year he married Elizabeth Sandham, from a wealthy local family. They had three children and it was rumoured that Elizabeth was already pregnant at the time of the marriage.
Weelkes was constantly in trouble with the Cathedral authorities for his heavy drinking and immoderate behaviour. In 1617 the Dean and Chapter dismissed him for being drunk at the organ and using bad language during divine service. He was however reinstated and remained in the post until his death.
He died in London, in the house of a friend, and was buried on 1 December, 1623. Despite having married into a wealthy family Thomas Weelkes died a relatively poor man, his small estate being divided between his three children.
In Chichester Cathedral in the south of England there is a memorial stone with the following inscription:
Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)