Thomas Weelkes (baptised 25 October 1576 – 30 November 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.
Weelkes was baptised in the little village church of Elsted in Sussex on 25 October 1576. In 1597 his first volume of madrigals was published, the preface noting that he was a very young man when they were written; this helps to fix the date of his birth to somewhere in the middle of the 1570s. Early in his life he was in service at the house of the courtier Edward Darcye. At the end of 1598, at the probable age of 22, Weelkes was appointed organist at Winchester College, where he remained for two or three years. During his Winchester period, Weelkes composed a further two volumes of madrigals (1598, 1600). He obtained his B. Mus. Degree from New College, Oxford in 1602, and moved to Chichester to take up the position of organist and informator choristarum at Chichester Cathedral at some time between October 1601 and October 1602. While Weelkes was there the Choir of Chichester Cathedral was often in trouble with the authorities for poor behavior, and appears to have become an alcoholic. He was dismissed from his position, but had be reinstated by 1622. He died in London in 1623, and has a memorial stone in Chichester Cathedral.
He is best known for his vocal music, especially his madrigals and church music. Weelkes wrote more Anglican services than any other major composer of the time, mostly for evensong. Many of his anthems are verse anthems, which would have suited the small forces available at Chichester Cathedral. It has been suggested that larger-scale pieces were intended for the Chapel Royal.
This piece, which shows the "vocal style" of his writing, is played on the Principal 8' of the