MERBECK (or MARBECK), JOHN (d. c. 1585), English theological writer and musician, was organist of St George's, Windsor, about 1540. Four years later he was convicted of heresy and sentenced to the stake, but received a pardon owing to the intervention of Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, though Gardiner had himself censured Merbeck for compiling an English Concordance of the Bible. This work, the first of its kind in English, was published in 1550 with a dedication to Edward VI. In the same year Merbeck published his annotated Book of Common Prayer, intended to provide for musical uniformity in the use of the First Prayer Book of Edward VI., which was several times reprinted in the 19th century. Merbeck wrote several devotional and controversial works of a strongly Calvinistic character, and a number of his musical compositions are preserved in manuscript in the British Museum, and at Oxford and Cambridge. He died, probably while still organist at Windsor, about 1585. His son, ROGER MERBECK (1536-1605), a noted classical scholar, was appointed public orator in the university of Oxford in 1 564, and in- 1 565 became a canon of Christ Church and was elected provost of Oriel; he left Oxford on account of an unfortunate marriage, and took to medicine as a profession, becoming the first registrar of the College of Physicians in London, and chief physician to Queen Elizabeth.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)