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Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 3 December 1585 by the Gregorian calendar then in use) was an English composer who occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered one of England's greatest composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporary portrait of Tallis survives: that painted by Gerard Vandergucht (illustration), dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no reason to suppose that it is a likeness. In a rare existing copy of his black letter signature, the composer spelled his last name "Tallys."