Bevin was reputedly a pupil of Thomas Tallis and was teacher in his turn of William Child. Organist at Bristol Cathedral from 1589 until dismissed in 1637, he was also a member of the Chapel Royal from 1605. In Archbishop Laud's "Visitations" (1634) Bevin is described as "a verie old man", past work. Anthony a Wood asserts that Bevin lost both his posts upon accusations of Romanism. This statement cannot now be proven since the Chapter books of Bristol, Wood's authority, were destroyed with the rest of the Cathedral library during the Reform Riots in 1831.
The entry in Cathedral Music, Volume 1 (William Boyce) reads:
Elway Bevin was Organist of the Cathedral Church at Bristol, and in 1605 was admitted Gentleman Extraordinary of the Royal Chapels to King James the First. He publish'd, in 1631, a Book entitled, A brief and short Introduction to the Art of Musicke, which he dedicated to the Right Rev. Dr. Goodman, Bishop of Gloucester.
In this elaborate Work were contain'd a great Number of Canons, of various Parts, and profound Invention.
List of choral works
- Benedictus in D minor
- Kyrie in D minor
- Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle?
- Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Dorian)
- Nicene Creed in D minor
- Te Deum in D minor
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