Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gilmour Jenkins

Letter No.: 

Dear Mr Chairman1

I am with you all in the spirit tonight - though indeed not such spirit as I hope you are all enjoying at your famous place of entertainment.
First greet for me with affection and admiration our guest of honour. Next give my love to all the Orianas whether fair or dark. I ask them however to remember that in art as in life Oriana cannot prosper unless accompanied by the gallant Essex. As the madrigal you have so often sung has it Up & down he wandered while she was missing.  May the end be as entirely satisfactory as the madrigal indicates.2


1. i.e. to the Chairman of the Oriana Madrigal Society, of which VW was an honorary member. This society gave the first performance of Holst's “Personent Hodie”.
2. From John Farmer, ‘Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone’, which ends ‘When he found her, oh then they fell a kissing’.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/19, ff.31-32
General notes: 

This was probably sent at the time of the Oriana Madrigal Society’s Christmas party in 1951.

Original database number: