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and fortified castle-wise, with great expence. He much ingratiated himself with the country people by disforesting Mendip; beef better pleasing the husbandman's palate than venison. He sat bishop thirty-four years; and, dying August 14, 1363, lieth buried in his cathedral, where his statue is done to the life; "Vivos viventes vultus vividissimè exprimens," saith my author.*
ROBERT MASCAL was bred (saith Bale in) and born (saith Pitst positively) at Ludlow in this county, where he became a Carmelite. Afterwards he studied in Oxford, and became so famous for his learning and piety, that he was made confessor to Henry the Fourth, and counsellor to Henry the Fifth; promoted by the former, bishop of Hereford. He was one of the three English prelates which went to (and one of the two which returned alive from) the council of Constance. He died 1416, being buried in the church of White-Friars in London, to which he had been an eminent benefactor.
RICHARD TALBOTE was born of honourable parentage in this county, as brother unto John Talbote, the first earl of Shrewsbury.§ Being bred in learning, he was consecrated archbishop of Dublin in Ireland 1417. He sat two and thirty years in that see (being all that time a privy counsellor to king Henry the Fifth and Sixth), twice chief justice, and once chancellor of Ireland.
He deserved well of his church (founding six petty canons, and as many choristers, therein); yea, generally of all Ireland, writing a book against James earl of Ormond,|| wherein he detected his abuses during his lieutenancy in Ireland. He died August the 15th, 1449; and lieth buried in Saint Patrick's in Dublin under a marble stone, whereon an epitaph is written not worthy the inserting.
The said Richard was unanimously chosen archbishop of Armagh, a higher place; but refused to remove, wisely preferring safety, above either honour or profit.
GEORGE DAY was born in this county, and successively scholar, fellow, and provost of King's College in Cambridge; which he retained with the bishopric of Chichester, to which he was consecrated 1543. A most pertinacious Papist, who, though he had made some kind of recantation in a sermon (as I find it entered in king Edward the Sixth's own diary); yet either the same was not satisfactory, or else he relapsed into his
Godwin, in the Bishops of Bath and Wells.
+ De Illustribus Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 591. Godwin, in Bishops.
Jacobus Wareus, de Præsulibus Lageniæ, p. 28.
Idem, de Scriptoribus Hiberniæ, p. 131.
Parker, in his Skellitos Cantabrigiensis, in the Provosts of King's College.
errors again, for which he was deprived under the said king, and restored again by queen Mary. He died anno Domini 1556.
PRELATES SINCE THE REFORMATION.
WILLIAM DAY was brother to the aforesaid George Day. I find no great difference betwixt their age; seeing George Day was admitted in King's College, anno 1538; William Day was admitted in the same college anno 1545.*
Yet was there more than forty years' betwixt the dates of their deaths;-George Day died very young, bishop of Chichester, anno Domini 1556; William Day died very old, bishop of Winchester, anno 1596.
But not so great was the difference betwixt their vivacity, as distance betwixt their opinions; the former being a rigid Papist, the latter a zealous Protestant; who, requesting of his brother some money to buy books therewith, and other necessaries, was returned with this denial, "That he thought it not fit to spend the goods of the church on him who was an enemy of the church."+
However, this William found the words of Solomon true, "And there is a friend who is nearer than a brother," not wanting those who supplied his necessities. He was proctor of Cambridge 1558, and afterwards was made by queen Elizabeth (who highly esteemed him for his learning and religion) provost of Eton and dean of Windsor, two fair preferments (parted with Thames, but) united in his person. The bishopric of Winchester he enjoyed scarcely a whole year; and died as aforesaid,
Sir THOMAS BROMLEY was born at Bromley in this county, of a right ancient family, I assure you; bred in the Inner Temple, and general solicitor to queen Elizabeth. He afterwards succeeded Sir Nicholas Bacon, in the dignity of lord chancellor, April 25, 1579.
Now, although it was difficult to come after Sir Nicholas Bacon, and not to come after him; yet such was Sir Thomas's learning and integrity (being charactered by my author, "vir jurisprudentiâ insignis;"§ that court was not sensible of any considerable alteration. He possessed his place about nine years, dying anno 1587, not being sixty years old.|| Hereby the pregnancy of his parts doth appear, seeing by proportion of time he was made the queen's solicitor before he was forty, and lord chancellor before he was fifty years old. Learning in law
* Mr. Hatcher, in his Manuscript Catalogue of Fellows of King's College. † Bishop Godwin, in his Catalogue of the Bishops of Winchester. Proverbs xviii. 24.
§ Camden, in his Elizabeth, anno 1587.
may seem to run in the veins of that name, which since had a baron of the Exchequer of his alliance.
Sir CLEMENT EDMONDS was born at Shrawardine in this county; and bred Fellow in All-Souls College in Oxford, being generally skilled in all arts and sciences; witness his faithful translations of, and learned illustrations on, Cæsar's Commentaries. Say not that comment on commentary was false heraldry, seeing it is so worthy a work, that the author thereof may pass for an eminent instance to what perfection of theory they may attain in matter of war, who were not acquainted with the practical part thereof, being only once employed by queen Elizabeth, with a dispatch to Sir Francis Vere, which occasioned his presence at the battle at Newport: for he doth so smartly discuss pro and con, and seriously decide many martial controversies, that his judgment therein is praised by the best military masters.
King James, taking notice of his abilities, made him clerk of the Council, and knighted him; and he was at last preferred secretary of state, in the vacancy of that place, but, prevented by death, acted not therein. He died anno 1623; and lies buried at Preston in Northamptonshire, where he purchased a fair estate, which his grandchild doth possess at this day (1660),
CAPITAL JUDGES, AND WRITERS ON THE LAW.
EDMUND PLOWDEN was born at Plowden in this county; one who excellently deserved of our municipal law, in his learned writings thereon: but consult his ensuing epitaph, which will give a more perfect account of him:
"Conditur in hoc tumulo corpus Edmundi Plowden, Armigeri.
parentibus, apud Plowden in comitatu Salop, natus est; à pueritiâ in literarum studio liberaliter est educatus, in provectiore verò ætate legibus et jurisprudentiâ operam dedit. Senex jam factus, et annum ætatis suæ agens 67, mundo valedicens, in Christo Jesu sanctè obdormivit, die sexto mensis Februar. anno Domini 1584."
I have rather inserted this epitaph inscribed on his monument on the north side of the east end of the choir of Temple church in London, because it hath escaped (but by what casualty I cannot conjecture) Master Stow, in his "Survey of London." We must add a few words out of the character Mr. Camden gives of him: "Vitæ integritate inter homines suæ professionis nulli secundus." And how excellent a medley is made, when honesty and ability meet in a man of his profession! Nor must we forget how he was treasurer for the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, anno 1572, when their magnificent hall was builded; he being a great advancer thereof.
Sir JOHN WALTER, son to Edmund Walter, chief justice of
So his near kinsman informed me -F.
+ His Elizabeth, anno 1584.
South Wales, was born at Ludlow in this county; and bred a student of our common laws, wherein he attained to great learning; so that he became, when a pleader, eminent; when a judge, more eminent; when no judge, most eminent.
1. Pleader.-The character that learned James Thuanus* gives of Christopher Thuanus his father, being an advocate of the civil law, and afterwards a senator of Paris, is exactly agreeable to this worthy knight:-"Ut bonos à calumniatoribus, tenuiores à potentioribus, doctos ab ignorantibus, opprimi non pateretur;" (that he suffered not good men to be borne down by slanderers, poor men by more potent, learned men by the ignorant.)
2. Judge. Who (as when ascending the bench, entering into a new temper) was most passionate as Sir John, most patient as judge Walter; and great his gravity in that place. When judge Denham, his most upright and worthy associate in the western circuit, once said unto him, "My lord, you are not merry!" "Merry enough," returned the other, "for a judge!" 3. No judge.-Being ousted of his place, when chief baron of the Exchequer, about the illegality of the loan, as I take it.
He was a grand benefactor (though I know not the just proportion) to Jesus College in Oxford; and died anno 1630, in the parish of Savoy, bequeathing £20 to the poor thereof.†
EDWARD LITLETON, born at Mounslow in this county, was the eldest son to sir Edward Littleton, one of the justices of the Marshes, and chief justice of North Wales. He was bred in Christ Church in Oxford, where he proceeded bachelor of arts, and afterwards one of the justices of North Wales, recorder of London, and solicitor to king Charles. From these places he was preferred to be chief justice of the Common Pleas, when he was made privy counsellor; thence advanced to be lord keeper and baron of Mounslow, the place of his nativity. He died in Oxford, and was buried in Christ Church, anno 1645.
Sir JOHN TALBOT was born (as all concurring indications do avouch) at Black Mere in this county, the then flourishing (now ruined) house, devolved to his family by marrying the heir of lord Strange of Black Mere.
Many honourable titles deservedly met in him; who was, 1. Lord Talbot and Strange, by his paternal extraction. 2. Lord Furnival and Verdun, by marriage with Joan, the daughter of Thomas de Nevil. 3. Earl of Shrewsbury in England, and Waterford in Ireland, by creation of king Henry the Sixth.
• Obituarium Doctorum Virorum, in anno 1565, in vitâ Joan. Grollierii. Stow's Survey of London, in the Rem. p. 910.
So am I informed by his two surviving brothers, the one a serjeant-at-law, the other a doctor in divinity.-F.
This is that terrible Talbot, so famous for his sword, or rather whose sword was so famous for his arm that used it; a sword with bad Latin* upon it, but good steel within it; which constantly conquered where it came, insomuch that the bare fame of his approach frighted the French from the siege of Bordeaux. Being victorious for twenty-four years together, success failed him at last, charging the enemy near Castilion on unequal terms, where he, with his son the lord Lisle, were slain with a shot, July 17, 1453. Henceforward we may say, "Good night to the English in France," whose victories were buried with the body of this earl, and his body interred at White Church in this county.
Sir JOHN TALBOT, son to Sir John Talbot aforesaid, and viscount Lisle in right of his mother. Though he was slain with his father, yet their ashes must not be so huddled together, but that he must have a distinct commemoration of his valour. The rather, because a noble pent hath hinted a parallel betwixt him and Paulus Æmilius the Roman general, which others may improve.
1. Æmilius was overpowered by the forces of Hannibal and Asdrubal, to the loss of the day.
2. Cornelius Lentulus entreated Æmilius (sitting all bloodied upon a stone) to rise and save himself, offering him his horse and other assistance.
3. Æmilius refused the proffer; adding withal, "that he would not again come under the judgment of the people of Rome."
1. The same sad success attended the two Talbots, in fight against the French.
2. The father advised the son, by escape to reserve himself for future fortune.
3. His son craved to be excused, and would not on any terms be persuaded to forsake his father.
In two considerables Talbot far surpassed Æmilius: for Æmilius was old, grievously, if not mortally wounded; our lord in the flower of his youth, unhurt, easily able to escape. Æmilius accountable for the overthrow received; the other no ways answerable for that day's misfortune, being (as we have said) the 17th of July 1453.
ROBERT of SHREWSBURY.-Take, reader, a taste of the different spirits of writers concerning his character:
Leland's Text.-" Eâdem operâ et religionem celebrabat et literas" (with the same endeavour he plied both religion and learning.")
"Sum Talboti pro vincere inimicos meos."
† Sir Walter Raleigh, in History of the World, lib. v. p. 455.