John Dowland (1563–1626) was an English, possibly Irish-born, composer, singer, and lutenist. Very little is known of Dowland's early life, but it is generally thought he was born in London, or possibly Dublin. It is known that he went to Paris in 1580 where he was in service to the ambassador to the French court. He became a Roman Catholic at this time, which he claimed led to his not being offered a post at Elizabeth I's Protestant court. (However, he had told nobody of his conversion.) He worked instead for many years at the court of Christian IV of Denmark.