Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1531-1630 - Mark Lane (City of London)

Between 1531 and 1539 five Bassano brothers from Venice settled London without the Doge’s permission. The family stemmed from Bassano Del Grappa and was of Jewish origin. The brothers were all musicians and instrument makers. Henry VIIIs Venetian agent Edmund Harvel had praised their skills. The Bassanos formed a six-member group of recorders that was staffed largely by their descendants until the amalgamation of the wind consorts into one group in the 1630s. It is the only permanent recorder consort known before the twentieth century. In 1552 they set up an instrument making shop on Mark Lane, near the Tower of London. The Bassanos prospered in England. Their instruments (particularly recorders, but also horns, flutes, lutes, and viols) were in demand both in England and on the Continent.

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