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(such the swiftness of his pen), though I confess brachygraphy was not then, nor many years after, invented. But he, though a quick scribe, is but a dull one, who is good only at fac-simile, to transcribe out of an original; whereas our Robert left many books of his own making to posterity. He flourished anno Domini 1180, and lieth buried before the doors of the cloister of his convent.

Peter of RIPPON was canon of that college, built anciently therein by Saint Wilfred, purposely omitted by us in our catalogue of Saints, to expiate our former tediousness concerning him in our “Church History.” Jeoffrey archbishop of York not only delighted in but doted on our Peter. He wrote a book of the life and miracles of Saint Wilfred. How many suspected persons did prick their credits, who could not thread his needle ! This was a narrow place in his church, and kind of purgatory (save that no fire therein), through which chaste persons might easily pass, whilst the incontinent did stick therein,-beheld generally as a piece of monkish legerdemain.

I am sorry to hear that this collegiate church (one of the most ancient and famous churches in the north of England) hath the means and allowance appointed for the repair thereof detained; and more sorry that, on the eighth of December, 1660, a violent wind blew down the great steeple thereof, which, with its fall, beat down the chancel (the only place where the people could assemble for divine worship), and much shattered and weakened the rest of the fabric; and I hope that his majesty's letters patent will meet with such bountiful contributions as will make convenient reparation.

Our Peter flourished anno 1190, under king Richard the First.

William of NewBOROUGH was born at Bridlington in this county;* but named of Newborough, not far off, in which monastery he became a canon regular. He was also called Petit, or Little, from his low stature; in him the observation was verified, that little men (in whom their heat is most contracted) are soon angry, flying so fiercely on the memory of Jeffrey of Monmouth, taxing his “ British Chronicle” as a continued fiction, translated by him indeed, but whence ?-from his own brain, to his own pen, by his own invention. Yea, he denieth that there was ever a king Arthur, and in effect overthroweth all the Welsh history. But learned Leland conceives this William Little greatly guilty in his ill language, which to any author was uncivil, to a bishop unreverent, to a dead bishop uncharitable. Some resolve all this passion on a point of mere revenge, heartily offended because David prince of Wales

Bale, de Scriptoribus Eritannicis, Cent. iii. num. 53.

denied him to succeed Geffrey of Monmouth in the see of St. Asaph,* and therefore fell he so foul on the whole Welsh nation. Sure I am, that this angry William, so censorious of Geffrey Monmouth's falsehoods, hath most foul slips of his own pen; as when he affirmeth, “ that in the place of the slaughter of the English, nigh Battle in Sussex, if peradventure it be wet with any small shower, presently the ground sweateth forth very blood;”+ though indeed it be no more than what is daily seen in Rutland after any sudden rain, where the ground Howeth with a reddish moisture. He flourished anno 1200, under king John.

Roger Hoveden was born in this county, of the illustrious family of the Hovedens, saith my author;# bred first in the study of the civil, then of the canon law; and at last, being servant to king Henry the Second, he became a most accomplished courtier. He is the chiefest (if not sole) lay-historian of his age; who, being neither priest nor monk, wrote a “ Chronicle of England,” beginning where Bede ended, and continuing the same until the fourth of king John. When king Edward the First laid claim to the crown of Scotland, he caused the “Chronicles” of this Roger to be diligently searched, and carefully kept many authentical passages therein tending to his present advantage. This Roger flourished in the year of our Lord 1204.

John of Halifax, commonly called De Sacro Bosco, was born in that town, so famous for clothing; bred first in Oxford, then in Paris, being the prime mathematician of his age. All students of astronomy enter into that art through the door of his book “De Sphæra.” He lived much beloved, died more lamented, and was buried with a solemn funeral, on the public cost of the university of Paris, anno 1256.

ROBERTUS PERSCRUTATOR, or ROBERT the SEARCHER, was born in this county ;|| bred a Dominican, a great mathematician and philosopher. He got the surname of Searcher, because he was in the constant quest and pursuit of the mysteries of Nature; a thing very commendable, if the matters we seek for, and means we seek with, be warrantable.

Yea Solomon himself, on the same account, might be entitled Searcher, who, by his own confession, “applied his heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things.”

Godwin, in the Bishops of St. Asaph.
Cited and confuted by Camden, in Sussex.-F.

Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. iii, num. 55.
$ Bale, out of Leland, Cent. vi, núm. 93.
|| Pits, de Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 419. Eccles. vii. 25.

But curiosity is a kernel of the forbidden fruit, which still sticketh in the throat of a natural man, sometimes to the danger of his choking. It is heavily laid to the charge of our Robert, that he did light his candle from the devil's torch, to seek after such secrets as he did desire; witness his work of “ Ceremonial Magic,” which a conscientious Christian would send the same way with the Ephesian Conjuring Books, and make them fuel for the fire. However, in that age, he obtained the reputation of a great scholar, flourishing under king Edward the Second, 1326.

some

Thomas CASTLEFORD, born in this county,* was bred a Benedictine in Pontefract, whereof he wrote a history, from Ask, a Saxon, first owner thereof, to the Lacies, from whom that large lordship descended to the earls of Lancaster. I could wish able pen

in Pontefract would continue this chronicle to our time, and give us the particulars of the late memorable siege, that, though the castle be demolished, the fame thereof may remain. Leland freely confesseth that he learnt more than he looked for by reading Castleford's “ History,” promising to give a larger account thereof in a book he intended to write of " Civil History," and which I suspect he never set forth, prevented by death. Our Castleford flourished about the year of our Lord 1326.

John Gower was born, saith Leland, † at Stitenham (in the North Riding in Bulmore Wapentake) of a knightly family. He was bred in London a student of the laws, till, prizing his pleasure above his profit, he quitted pleading to follow poetry. He was the first refiner of our English tongue, effecting much but endeavouring more therein. Thus he who sees the whelp of a bear but half licked, will commend it for a comely creature, in comparison of what it was when first brought forth. Indeed Gower left our English tongue very bad, but found it very, very bad.

Bale makes him “Equitem auratum et poetam laureatum," proving both, from his ornaments on his monumental statue in Saint Mary Overy's, Southwark. Yet he appeareth there neither the laureated nor hederated poet (except the leaves of the bays and ivy be withered to nothing since the erection of the tomb), but only rosated, having a chaplet of four roses about his head. Another author unknighteth him, allowing him only a plain esquire; though in my apprehension the collar of sós, about his neck speaks him to be more. Besides (with submission to better judgments) that collar hath rather a civil than military relation, proper to persons in places of judicature; which makes

• Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. iv. num. 100.
† Ibid. Cent. vii. num. 23.
# Stow, in his “ Survey of London," in Bridge Ward without.

me guess this Gower some judge in his old age, well consisting with his original education.

He was before Chaucer, as born and flourishing before him, (yea by some accounted his master); yet was he after Chaucer, as surviving him two years, living to be stark blind, and so more properly termed our English Homer. Many the books he wrote, whereof three most remarkable, viz. “Speculum Meditantis," in French : “Confessio Amantis," in English: “Vox Clamantis," in Latin. His death happened 1402.

John MARRE, (by Bale called MARREY, and by Trithemius Marro) was born at Marr,* a village in this county, three miles west from Doncaster, where he was brought up in learning. Hence he went to Oxford, where (saith Leland) the university bestowed much honour upon him for his excellent learning.

He was by order a Carmelite ; and in one respect it was well for his memory that he was so, which maketh John Balet (who generally falleth foul on all friars) to have some civility for him, as being once himself of the same order, allowing him subtily learned in all secular philosophy. But what do I instance in home-bred testimonies? Know, reader, that, in the character of our own country writers, I prize an inch of foreign above an ell of English commendation; and outlandish writers, Trithemius, Sixtus Senensis, Petrus Lucius, &c. give great encomiums of his ability; though I confess it is chiefly on this account, because he wrote against the opinions of John Wickliffe. He died on the eighteenth of March, 1407; and was buried in the convent of Carmelites in Doncaster.

THOMAS GASCOIGNE, eldest son to Richard (the younger brother unto Sir William Gascoigne, lord chief justice), was born at Huntfleet in this county; bred in Baliol College in Oxford, where he proceeded doctor in divinity, and was commissioner of that university anno Domini 1434. He was well acquainted with the maids of honour, I mean humane arts and sciences, which conducted him first to the presence, then to the favour of divinity, the queen. He was a great Hieronymist, perfectly acquainted with all the writings of that learned father, and in expression of his gratitude for the good he had gotten by reading his works, he collected out of many authors, and wrote the life of Saint Hierom. He made also a book called “ Dictionarium Theologicum,” very useful to, and therefore much esteemed by, the diviness in that age. He was seven-and-fifty years old, anno 1460; and how long he survived afterwards is unknown.

• Pits, de Angliæ Scriptoribus, in anno 1407.

De Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. vii. num. 32. | Brian Twine, Antiq. Oxon. in hoc anno.

Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. viii. num. 12.

John HARDING was born (saith my author*) in the northern parts, and I have some cause to believe him this countryman. He was an esquire of ancient parentage, and bred from his youth in military employment: first under Robert Umfrevil, governor of Roxborough Castle, and did good service against the Scots. Then he followed the standard of king Edward the Fourth, adhering faithfully unto him in his deepest distress.

But the master-piece of his service was his adventuring into Scotland, not without the manifest hazard of his life; where he so cunningly demeaned himself, that he found there, and fetched thence out of their records, many original letters, which he presented to king Edward the Fourth. Out of these he collected a history of the several solemn submissions publicly made, and sacred oaths of fealty, openly taken from the time of king Athelstan, by the kings of Scotland, to the kings of England, for the crown of Scotland; although the Scotch historians stickle with might and main, that such homage was performed only for the county of Cumberland, and some parcels of land their kings had in England south of Tweed. He wrote also

a Chronicle of our English kings, from Brutus to king Edward the Fourth,” and that in English verse; and, in my judgment, he had drank as hearty a draught of Helicon as any in his age. He was living 1461, then very aged; and I believe died soon after.

HENRY PARKER was bred from his infancy in the Carmelite convent of Doncaster; afterwards doctor of divinity in Cam. bridge. Thence he returned to Doncaster; and well it had been with him if he had staid there still, and not gone up to London to preach at Paul's-cross, where the subject of his sermon was, to prove, “ That Christ's poverty was the pattern of human perfection; and that men professing eminent sanctity should conform to his precedent, going on foot, feeding on barley bread, wearing seamless woven coats, having no houses of their own," &c. He drove this nail so far, that he touched the quick, and the wealthy clergy winced thereat. His sermon offended much as preached, more as published, granting the copy thereof to any that would transcribe it. For this the bishop of London put him in prison, which Parker patiently endured (in hope, perchance, of a rescue from his order), till

, being informed that the Pope effectually appeared on the part of the Prelates, to procure his liberty he was content at Paul'scross to recant;} not, as some have took the word, to say over the same again in which sense the cuckoo, of all birds, is properly called the recanter), but he unsaid, with at least seeming sorrow, what he had said before. However, from this time we

* Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent viii, num. 30. † Pits, de Scriptoribus Angliæ, anno 1470.

Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis, Cent. viii. num. 29.

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