Nothing illustrates Byrd’s facility as a composer better than the time and energy he was able to devote to matters other than the writing of music. Among them was the cultivation of well-heeled patrons, friends, and acquaintances. Most of the friends we know about were Catholics, and it seems likely that, fairly early in his life, Byrd was admitted to the circles in which the Catholic nobility moved. The willingness of these men to assist Byrd, and to accept him as a companion, conveys much about his personality and demeanour. No matter how little they may have stood on their position in society, it undoubtedly required more than Byrd’s faith and musical abilities for him to be accepted as an intimate. His considerable accomplishments must have included social acumen, skills and graces of a high order. But quite how the intimacy worked is unclear. The documents do not tell us whether Julian Byrd accompanied her husband to the homes of his wealthy friends, or whether any of them called on him. The only member of Byrd’s immediate family to be mentioned in connection with such people is his son Christopher, who joined him in visiting the Petres at Thorndon Hall.1