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Bull, John

Bull, John (b ?Old Radnor, c.1562; d Antwerp, 1628). Eng. composer and virginalist. In Hereford Cath. choir 1573. Choirboy in Queen Elizabeth I's Chapel Royal from 1574. Org., Hereford Cath. 1582–5, Gentleman of Chapel Royal 1586; D.Mus., Oxford and Cambridge, and first Gresham Public Reader in Mus., London 1597. Granted pension by James I in 1605. Active as org.-builder 1609. In 1613, accused of adultery and fornication, he fled from Eng. to Belg., becoming organist, Chapel Royal, Brussels, and of Antwerp Cath., 1615 until his death. Friend of Sweelinck.

His importance is as a highly skilled performer on and ingenious composer for the virginals, as in his Walsingham (30 vars. on a theme). He ranks as one of the founders of kbd. perf. and the kbd. repertory. He contributed to Parthenia, 1611. One of his comps. is called God Save the King but bears no resemblance to the nat. anthem; however, another untitled piece by Bull is a possible source of this melody.

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John Bull

John Bull. The character of John Bull was invented by John Arbuthnot in a series of pamphlets, Law is a Bottomless Pit, published in 1712. Bull's sturdy honesty contrasted with the wily Frenchman Lewis Baboon. He became popular with cartoonists in the early 19th cent. and acquired the Pickwickian squat top hat and the Union Jack waistcoat. His heyday was the later Victorian period, when he appeared in countless Punch cartoons. A popular magazine, taking the name, was founded in 1906 by Horatio Bottomley.

J. A. Cannon

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John Bull

John Bull Symbolic representation of the typical Englishman and, by extension, of England itself. The name was popularized by Dr John Arbuthnot's History of John Bull (1712).

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John Bull

John Bull • n. a personification of England or the typical Englishman, represented as a stout, red-faced farmer in a top hat and high boots.

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John Bull

John Bull: see Arbuthnot, John.

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