Philip van Wilder (Weldre, Welder, Wylder, Wyllender, de Vuildre, Wild, Wildroe; c. 1500 – February 24, 1554) was a Franco-Flemish lutenist and composer, active in England.

Like Peter van Wilder, who also worked in the Tudor court and was presumably related to him, Philip was probably born in Millam, near Wormhout, or in the nearby village of Wylder ("Wilder" in Dutch). A note in Italian in the Jacobean scorebook anthology GB-Lbl Egerton 3665 describes him as "Master Philip of Flanders, musician to King Henry VIII, who lived in England around the year 1520". He was certainly in London by 1522, living in the parish of St Olave's Hart Street (close to the Tower of London) and having £60 "in goodes" and £48 "in fees". The court account books for the year 1525-26 describe him as "mynstrell"; he was later designated "lewter". Van Wilder steadily advanced his position at the Tudor court. By 1529 he was a member of the Privy chamber, the select group of musicians who played to the king in private. He was also active as a merchant, being given a licence to import Toulouse woad and Gascon wine, and in purchasing instruments for the court. He taught the lute to Princess (later Queen) Mary, who rewarded him with a gift on the occasion of his marriage to a woman named Frances in 1537. Later he also taught Prince Edward (later Edward VI), who wrote a letter to his father in 1546 thanking him for "sending me your servant Philip, as excellent in music as he is noble ... that I might become more excellent in striking the lute".

In 1539 Van Wilder became a denizen, which allowed him to own land. This enabled him to profit from the dissolution of the monasteries and engage in a number of lucrative property deals with the Crown. At various times he was granted leaseholds on former monastic properties in London, as well as in Middlemarsh (in the parish of Minterne Magna) and Littlebredy in Dorset, previously owned by Cerne Abbey. By 1540 he was a Gentleman of the Privy chamber, a prestigious position that enabled him to accept financial inducements to raise legal issues and private grievances with the King. At the time of Henry VIII's death in 1547 Van Wilder was Keeper of the Instruments and effectively head of the Court instrumental musical establishment, a post later known as Master of the King's Music.

Van Wilder continued to enjoy royal favour during the reign of the boy-king Edward VI (reigned 1547–53). At Edward's coronation he was placed in charge of a special group of nine singing men and boys. He was granted a coat of arms and a crest, and in 1551 was given powers of impressment to recruit boys for the Chapel Royal from anywhere in England. On his death, which took place in London on 24 February 1554, Van Wilder was buried on the south side of the choir in his parish church of St Olave's Hart Street. His tomb was still in existence in 1733, but has since disappeared. An elegy in the poetry anthology known as Tottel's Miscellany (1557) praises Van Wilder's skill as a lutenist:

Bewaile with me all ye that have profest
Of musicke thart by touch of courde or winde
Laye downe your lutes and let your gitterns rest
Phillips is dead whose like you can not finde ...

Four sons and a daughter survived him; the eldest son, Henry, also became an instrumentalist in the Court establishment. The musicians Matthew and Peter Van Wilder, who also worked in the early Tudor court, were probably related to Philip (it is possible that Matthew, Peter and Philip were a father and two sons).

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Robin Is to the Greenwood Gone Paul O'Dette 1
1991 The Field of Cloth of Gold Musica Antiqua of London 1
1994 Pastyme With Good Companye: Tudor Music from Hampton Court I Fagiolini & The Forbury Consort 2
1996 Chansons et Danceries: French Renaissance Wind Music Piffaro, The Renaissance Band 1
1996 All the King's Men I Fagiolini & Concordia 1
2008 Birds on Fire: Jewish Music for Viols Fretwork 1
2012 An Emerald in a Work of Gold: Music from the Dow Partbooks The Marian Consort, Rory McCleery, Rose Consort of Viols 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1998 The French Ambassadors: Music Based on Holbein's Painting of "The Ambassadors" (Frottola) Various Artists 1

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