Mary was an accomplished musician with a, “facility for rapid and intricate passage work.” This was a talent she shared with her father. The Venetian organist Dionysius Memo became a teacher of hers and by the time she was three or four she was playing the virginals. She became as proficient on the regals and the lute. During the many betrothals of her childhood she would show off this talent to the delight of foreign ambassadors. As an adult her enjoyment of music and dancing became a release from the stresses of her life. The samples below are a small selection of musical genres from the 16th century of the type that Mary would have recognized:

Le Petit Gentilhomme: Lute Solo

(Anon. 16th cent MS. arr Robert Spencer)


(Claude Gervaise: Quartet livre de danceries 1550 arr. David Munrow)

My Lady Carey’s Dompe

(British Museum R. App. 58 arr. David Munrow/Christopher Hogwood)