Nicholas Lanier (1588-1666) was a composer, the court musician to King Charles I and Charles II. He was the first to hold the title of ‘Master of the King’s Music’, an honour given to musicians of great distinction; the musical equivalent to the title of Poet Laureate.
He was a singer in the King’s Consorte, played the lute in the King’s Orchestra, and played the viola da gamba.
Lanier was a descendant of a French Huguenot family of royal musicians, the Lanière family. His family fled France to escape persecution and arrived in England in 1561.