Robert King (1676-1728)

Robert King was appointed to Charles II’s Private Music in 1680, and prior to that some songs of his had appeared in print in Tripla Concordia in 1677 but little is known of his life before then. He was a violinist, a recorder player and harpsichordist, and a prolific composer. He continued in the Private Music until 1726, and may have died shortly after that. He wrote music for a number of plays, some devotional and celebratory works, and numerous songs, as well as keyboard and other instrumental music. It is likely that one of his patrons was Lord Burghley, 5th Earl of Exeter, as he composed a birthday ode for him in 1693, and prior to that, in 1686, had arranged a dinner party for the Earl and his Lady in the music room at York Buildings. He also enjoyed the patronage of William and Mary, being granted a license in 1698 to promote public concerts, which continued at least until 1702.

A Pastorall Elegy