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appears to me no more than a plain knight, or a knight bachelor; but were it in the power of my pen to create a banneret, he should, for the reason premised, have that honour affixed to his memory, who, as we conjecture, died about the middle of the reign of king Henry the Sixth.
John DUDLEY, duke of Northumberland (where born uncertain) was son to Edmund Dudley, esq. (of whom before*), and would willingly be reputed of this county; a descendant from the lord Dudley therein, whose memory we will gratify so far as to believe it.
He lived long under king Henry the Eighth, who much favoured him; and the servant much resembled his master, in the equal contemperament of virtue and vices, so evenly matched, that it is hard to say which got the mastery in either of them. This John was proper in person, comely in carriage, wise in advising, valiant in adventuring, and generally (till his last project) prosperous in success. But he was also notoriously wanton, intolerably ambitious, a constant dissembler, prodigiously profuse; so that he had sunk his estate, had it not met with a seasonable support of abbey land; he being one of those who well warmed himself with the chips, which fell from the felling of monasteries.
King Henry the Eighth first knighted, then created him, Viscount Lisle, Earl of Warwick,t and Duke of Northumberland. And under queen Mary he made himself almost king of England, though not in title, in power, by contriving the settling of the crown on queen Jane his daughter-in-law, till success failed him therein. And no wonder if that design missed the mark, which, besides many rubs it met with at hand, was thrown against the general bias of English affection. For this his treasonable practice he was executed in the first of queen Mary, much bemoaned by some martial men, whom he had formerly endeared in his good service in the French and Scottish wars. He left two sons, who survived to great honour; Ambrose earl of Warwick, heir to all that was good, and Robert earl of Leicester, heir to all that was great, in their father.
The BAGNOLS.—Something must be premised of their name and extraction. The Bagenhalts (commonly called Bagnols) were formerly a family of such remark in this county, that before the reign of king Henry the Eighth there scarce passed an ancient piece of evidence which is not attested by one of that name. But (see the uncertainty of all human things) it afterwards sunk down (to use my author's language) into a plebeian
* In the LAWYERS of this county, p. 132.
Sampson Erdeswicke, MS.
condition.* But the sparks of their gentle blood (though covered for a time under a mean estate) have since blazed again with their own worth and valour, when Ralph and Nicholas, sons to John Bagnol of Newcastle in this county, were both knighted for their good service, the one in Musselburgh fight, the other in Ireland. Yea, as if their good courage had been hereditary, their sons Samuel and Henry were for their martial merit advanced to the same degree.
SEAMEN. WILLIAM MINORS. – Reader, I remember how, in the case of the ship-money, the judges delivered it for law, that, England being an island, the very middle-land shires therein are all to be accounted-as maritime. Sure I am, the genius even of land-lock counties acteth the natives with a maritime dexterity. The English generally may be resembled to ducklings, which, though hatched under a hen, yet naturally delight to dabble in the water. I mean, though born and bred in in-land places, (where neither their infancy nor childhood ever beheld ship or boat) yet have they a great inclination and aptness to sea-service. And the present subject of our pen is a pregnant proof thereof.
This William, son to Richard Minors, Gent. of HallenburyHall, was born at Uttoxeter in this county; who afterwards coming to London, became so prosperous à mariner, that he hath safely returned eleven times from the East Indies: whereas, in the days of our grandfathers, such as came thence twice were beheld as rarities; thrice, as wonders; four times, as miracles.
Much herein (under Divine Providence) is to be attributed to the make of our English ships, now built more advantageous for sailing than in former ages. Besides, the oftener they go, the nearer they shape their course, use being the mother of perfectness.
Yet, whilst others wonder at his happiness in returning so often, I as much commend his moderation in going no oftener to the East Indies. More men know how to get enough, than when they have gotten enough, which causeth their covetousness to increase with their wealth. Mr. Minors, having advanced a competent estate, quitted the water to live on the land; and now peaceably enjoyeth what he painfully hath gotten, and is living in or near Hartford at this present year 1660.
WRITERS. John STAFFORD, born in the shire town of this county, was bred a Franciscan ;-no contemptible philosopher and divine ;
Sampson Erdeswicke, in his Description of the Town of Bagenhalt.
but considerable historian, who wrote a Latin History of England's Affairs. Authors are at an absolute loss when he lived, and are fain by degrees to screw themselves into a general notice thereof.
He must be since the year 1226, when the Franciscans first fixed themselves in our land.
He must be before John Ross, who flourished anno 1480, under Edward the Fourth, and maketh honourable mention of him.
Therefore with proportion and probability he is collected to have written about 1380.
WILLIAM de LICHFIELD, so termed from the place of his nativity,* applied himself to a study of divinity, whereof he became doctor, and afterwards rector of All-hallows the Great, in Thames-street, London. He was generally beloved for his great learning and godly life. He wrote many books, both moral and divine, in prose and verse; one entitled “The Complaint of God unto sinful Men.” There were found in his study after his death three thousand four score and three sermons of his own writing.t He died anno Domini 1447, being buried under a defaced monument in the choir of his own church.
ROBERT WHITTINGTON, born at Lichfield, I was no mean grammarian. Indeed, he might have been greater, if he would have been less; pride prompting him to cope with his conquerors, whom he mistook for his match. The first of these was Will. Lillie, though there was as great difference betwixt these two grammarians as betwixt a verb defective and one perfect in all the requisites thereof. The two other were William Horman and Alderedge, both eminent in the Latin tongue: but some will carp at the best, who cannot mend the worst line in a picture,—the humour of our Whittington, who flourished 1530.
SINCE THE REFORMATION. HENRY STAFFORD, baron of Stafford in this county, was son unto Edward duke of Buckingham, attainted and beheaded under king Henry the Eighth. This our Henry, though losing his top and top-gallant (his earldom and dukedom) in the tempest of the king's displeasure, yet still he kept his keel, his barony of Stafford. The less he possessed of his father's lands, the more he enjoyed of himself. It was not sullenness or revenge, but free choice, which made him betake himself to his studies, wherein he became eminent.
I place him confidently not å trans but cis-reformation man, • Pits, de Angliæ Scriptoribus, in Appendice, p. 854.
Stow's Survey of London, p. 251.
for translating the book of Dr. Fox bishop of Hereford (a favourer of Luther) into English, “ Of the Difference of the Power Ecclesiastical and Secular."
A subject profitable in all, seasonable (not to say necessary) in our times : for, as the water and earth, making but one globe, take their mutual advantages to enlarge themselves; so these two powers, united under one king in our land, wait their opportunities to advance their respective jurisdictions, the right stating whereof would conduce much to the public peace. This lord died (I dare not say the more the pity) some months before the beginning of queen Elizabeth, anno 1558.*
SAMPSON ERDESWICKE, Esq., was born at Sandon near Stafford in this county, of a right worshipful and ancient extraction. He was a gentleman accomplished with all noble qualities, affability, devotion, and learning. 'Tis hard to say whether his judgment or industry was more in matters of antiquity.
Bearing a tender respect to his native county, and desiring the honour thereof: he began a description (entitled “ A View of Staffordshire,”) anno Domini 1593, continuing the same till the day of his death ;-a short, clear, true, impartial work, taken out of ancient evidences and records; the copies whereof in manuscripts are deservedly valued for great rarities. This is he who, when I often groped in the dark, yea, feared to fall in matters concerning this county, took me by the hand (oh for the like conductors in other counties !), and hath led me safe by his direction. He was much delighted with the decency of God's house, which made him on his own cost to repair and new glaze the church of Sandon, wherein (to prevent neglect of executors) he erected for himself a goodly monument of freestone, with his proportion cut out to the life, and now lieth therein interred.' He died April 11, 1603; and let his elegy of Mr. Camden serve for his epitaph, “ Venerandæ Antiquitatis fuit cultor maximus.”+
Thomas ALLEN was born in this county, deriving his original from Alanus de Buckenhole, lord of Buckenhole, in the reign of king Edward the Second. He was bred in Gloucesterhall in Oxford; a most excellent mathematician, where he succeeded to the skill and scandal of friar Bacon (taken at both, but given I believe by neither,) accounted a conjuror. Indeed vulgar eyes, ignorant in optics, conceit that raised which is but reflected, fancy every shadow a spirit, every spirit a devil. And when once the repute of a conjurer is raised in vulgar esteem, it is not in the power of the greatest innocence and learning to allay it. He was much in favour with Robert earl of Leicester;
† Britannia, in this county. Sampson Erdeswicke, MS.
and his admirable writings of mathematics are latent with some private possessors, which envy the public profit thereof. He died, a very aged man, towards the end of the reign of king James.
WILLIAM and ROBERT BURTON, brethren, and eminent authors in their several kinds, were, as some say, born at Falde in this county. But Leicestershire, pretending some probability to their nativities, hath by the alphabetical advantage prevented this shire, and carried away their characters therein.*
Besides these deceased WRITERS, reader, I have three in my eye, who are (and long may they be) alive, as different as eminent in their liberal inclinations :
EDWARD LEIGH,t of Rushwell hall, Esq., whose “ Critica Sacra," with many other worthy works, will make his judicious industry known to posterity.
Elias AshmoLE,I Esq., born in Litchfield, critically skilled in ancient coins, chemistry, heraldry, mathematics, what not?
John Lightfoot,§ D.D. who, for his exact insight in Hebrew and Rabbinical learning, hath deserved well of the Church of England.
But forgive me, reader, I have forgot myself, and trespasssd on my fundamental rules.
ROMISH EXILE WRITERS. William GIFFORD.—Though this ancient and worshipful name be diffused in several counties, I have satisfied myself in fixing him here, as an extract of the family of Chillington. He was a man of much motion; and my pen is resolved to follow him, as able to travel with more speed, less pain, and cost :
1. From his father's house he went to, and lived four years in, Oxford. 2. Thence (with his schoolmaster) he went over to Louvain, where he got lauream doctoralem in artibus,|| was made master of arts. 3. Then, studying divinity there under Bellarmin, was made Bachelor in that profession. 4. Frighted hence with war, went to Paris. 5. Removed to Rheims, where he eleven years professed divinity. 6. Doctorated at PontMuss in Lorraine. 7. Highly prized by Henry duke of Guise, and cardinal Lewis his brother, who gave him a pension of two hundred crowns a-year. 8. After their death, he went to Rome, where he became dean of St. Peter's in the Isle for ten years. 9. Returning to Rheims, he was made rector of the university
See, in Leicestershire, “ WRITERS since the Reformation." † Sir Edw. Leigh died in 1671,
He died in 1675.-ED.