English lutenist composer. Son of John Johnson. He entered the service of the Lord Chamberlain, Sir George Carey, as "allowes of covenant servaunt, for seven years" beginning in 1596; he became a royal lutenist in the King's "Private Musick" from 1604, lutenist to Prince Henry (d. 1612) 1611-12, and continued in the service of Charles I, adding the title of composer for 'lute and voices' in 1628, a successor being appointed in 1633. He was deeply involved in stage productions composed instrumental music for masques, and songs in dramatic style for plays by Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher and others produced by the King's Men, who were under the patronage of Sir George Carey. He was employed for the King's Men from 1609.
He is represented in Leighton 's Teares and Simpson 's and Brade 's consort anthologies. He published The First set of Madrigals and Mottets of 5 Parts: apt for Violls and Voyces (1612) and music for Gypies Metamorphos'd by Ben Jonson with Nicholas Lanier (1621).