c. 31st July 1596
Thomas Whythorne was an English composer who wrote what some consider to be the earliest surviving autobiography in English. Born in Somerset (Whythorne was a Somerset spelling of the surname "Whitehorn") to a wealthy family, Whythorne attended and matriculated from Magdalen College School, Oxford. He did not inherit enough to live a life of leisure however and so found employment as a music tutor to various members of the gentry. Chafing against his treatment by some employers as a mere servant (whom he considered below him due to his background and education), Whythorne searched for a patron to allow him to concentrate on composing. His musical manuscripts indicate that near the end of his life he found a patron in Francis Hastings, but little is known of this relationship despite Whythorne's lengthy preface.