The early life of John Sheppard (c.1515-1558) remains a mystery. Tradition holds that he was a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, but the first time he appears with any certainty is on his appointment to the post of Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1543. He left Magdalen in 1548 to become a ‘Gentleman of the Chapel Royal’, though the exact date of his taking up this post is uncertain. He seems to have maintained some unofficial association with Magdalen in the 1550s, though he is not to be confused with the unruly Richard Shepper, a fellow of Magdalen, whose violent physical abuse of young boys on two occasions in 1555 has at times been erroneously attributed to the composer. Sheppard can certainly be counted amongst the latecomers in the modern revival of sixteenth-century music; it has only been in the last two or three decades that his music has been performed or recorded in any quantity, and even now his reputation still has a good deal of catching-up to do. This is in stark contrast to his contemporary in the Chapel Royal Thomas Tallis, for example, whose music has been in the British choral repertoire for over a century.