John Hilton 'the elder' (c. 1560-1608) was Organist of Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1594 until his death. His surviving works were all for sacred use apart from a contribution to The Triumphs of Oriana (1601). Confusingly for scholars, his son was also named John Hilton. Hilton fils (1599-1657), who became Organist of St Margaret's, Westminster in 1628, composed both sacred music and secular vocal and instrumental works.
Five services attributed to 'John Hilton' survive: the present setting 'in Gamut', a 'Whole' Service, a further Short Service published in a collection of 1847, a Te Deum laudamus for men's voices (the only service specifically ascribed - to 'the younger' Hilton) and a Verse Service for which only the organ part remains. None of the sources dates from before c. 1630 so the works' authorship, whether by father or son, must be attributed on stylistic grounds. Since all display features characteristic of the Stuart period, they can almost certainly be assigned to the younger Hilton.