1586. Mus. Bac. — John Bull, who had practised music fourteen years.
"This person, who had a most prodigious hand on the organ, and was famed throughout the religious world for his Church music, was trained under an excellent master, Blitheman, organist to Queen Elizabeth."
After taking his degree at Oxford he proceeded Mus. Doc. at Cambridge, and incorporated at Oxford in 1592; he would have proceeded Doctor in the ordinary course at Oxford "had he not met clowns and rigid puritans, who could not endure Church music."
In 1582 he was appointed Organist of Hereford Cathedral ; 1585, member, and 1591, Organist of the Chapel Royal; 1596, first Gresham Professor, which post he was obliged to resign on his marriage in 1607. In 1601 he went abroad and greatly increased his reputation as an organist and composer. At St. Omer's, while travelling incognito, he is said by Wood to have added in a few hours forty parts to a composition already written in forty parts, whereupon the composer "swore by the great God that he that added those parts must either be the Devil or Dr. Bull." In 1611 he appears as a member of the household of Henry, Prince of Wales, brother of Charles I., with a pension of £40. In 1613 he "went abroad without license," became Organist at the Chapel Royal at Brussels, and afterwards succeeded Waelrent at Notre Dame, in Antwerp, in which post he apparently continued till his death in 1628.
Many of his compositions, both vocal and instrumental, are extant: in Leighton 's "Teares and Lamentacions" ; in "Parthenia," in the so-called "Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book" § in the Fitzwilliam Museum ; in Peterhouse Library, at Christ Church, and the Music School at Oxford; in a collection published by Phalese, at Antwerp, 1629, entitled "Laudes Vespertina B.M. Virginis"; in Boyce's Cathedral music; of the compositions, and, in one case, the organ stops, are given.
His supposed authorship of the National Anthem was discussed in the Musical Times in 1878.
A very complete account of his life is given in the "Dictionary of National Biography," Vol. VII.

Extract: A short historical account of the degrees in music at Oxford and Cambridge.
(Williams, C. F. Abdy)