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therein. 10. At fifty years of age, bidding farewell to the world, he became a Benedictine at Deleware in Lorraine.
Thus far Pitseus (acquainting us that he was alive 1611); on whose stock give me leave to graft what followeth.
This Dr. Gifford was advanced archbishop of Rheims by the favour of the duke of Guise, who is shrewdly suspected to have quartered too heavily on the profit of that place.
However, our Gifford gained so much, as therewith to found not only a convent for English monks at St. Maloes in France, but also at Paris for those of the same profession. Remarkable charity, that an exile (who properly had no home of his own) should erect houses for others.
BENEFACTORS TO THE PUBLIC.
This county, I confess, is exceeded by her neighbours in this particular; and I meet with few either ancient or eminent benefactions therein. Yet, besides a fair school at Wolverhampton, built by Sir Stephen Jennings, lord mayor of London, and another erected by Mr. Thomas Allen at Utceter,* I am credibly informed, that
MARTEN NOEL, Esq. born in the county town of Stafford, bred scrivener in London, hath fairly built and largely endowed an hospital in Stafford aforesaid.
The crown-mural amongst the Romans was not given to every soldier who scaled the walls, but only to him who footed them first: on which account a garland of glory is due to this gentleman, whose foundation (as I am certified) is the first [considerable] fabric of that kind in this county. It is to be hoped that, as "the zeal of Achaia provoked many," so this good leader will-invite many followers to succeed him, living in London this present 1660.
[REM.] THOMAS TARLTON.-My intelligence of the certainty of his birth-place coming too late (confessed by the marginal mark), I fix him here, who indeed was born at Condover in the neighbouring county of Shropshire, where still some of his name and relations remain. Here he was in the field, keeping his father's swine, when a servant of Robert earl of Leicester (passing this way to his lord's lands in his barony of Denbigh) was so highly pleased with his happy unhappy answers, that he brought him to court, where he became the most famous jester to queen Elizabeth.
Many condemn his (vocation I cannot term it, for it is a coming without a calling) employment as unwarrantable. Such maintain, that it is better to be a fool of God's making, born so into the world, or a fool of man's making, jeered into it by gene
+2 Corinthians ix. 2.
ral derision, than a fool of one's own making, by his voluntary affecting thereof. Such say also, he had better continued in his trade of swine-keeping, which (though more painful, and less profitable) his conscience changed to loss, for a jester's place in the court, who, of all men, have the hardest account to make for every idle word that they abundantly utter.
Others allege, in excuse of their practices, that princes in all ages were allowed their åpnróλoyo, whose virtue consisted in speaking anything without control: that jesters often heal what flatterers hurt, so that princes by them arrive at the notice of their errors, seeing jesters carry about with them an act of indemnity for whatsoever they say or do: that princes, overburdened with state-business, must have their diversions; and that those words are not censurable for absolutely idle which lead to lawful delight.
Our Tarlton was master of his faculty. When queen Elizabeth was serious (I dare not say sullen) and out of good humour, he could un-dumpish her at his pleasure. Her highest favourites would, in some cases, go to Tarleton before they would go to the queen, and he was their usher to prepare their advantageous access unto her. In a word, he told the queen more of her faults than most of her chaplains, and cured her melancholy better than all of her physicians.
Much of his merriment lay in his very looks and actions, according to the epitaph written upon him :
"Hic situs est cujus poterat vox, actio, vultus,
Indeed the self-same words, spoken by another, would hardly move a merry man to smile; which, uttered by him, would force a sad soul to laughter.
This is to be reported to his praise, that his jests never were profane, scurrilous, nor satirical; neither trespassing on piety, modesty, or charity, as in which plurimum inerat salis, multum aceti, aliquid sinapis, nihil veneni. His death may proportionably be assigned about the end of queen Elizabeth.
JAMES SANDS, of Horborn,* (nigh Birmingham, but) in this county, is most remarkable for his vivacity; for he lived 140 and his wife 120 years. He outlived five leases of twenty-one years a-piece, which were made unto him after his marriage. Thus is not the age of man so universally contracted, but that Divine Providence sometimes draweth it out to an extraordinary length; as for other reasons, so to render the longevity of the primitive patriarchs more credible. He died about the year
WALTER PARSONS, born in this county, was first apprenticed to a smith, when he grew so tall in stature, that a hole was made
• Doctor Hacwill in his Apology, p. 283.
for him in the ground, to stand therein up to the knees, so to make him adequate with his fellow-workmen. He afterwards was porter to king James; seeing as gates generally are higher than the rest of the building, so it was sightly that the porter should be taller than other persons. He was proportionable in all parts, and had strength equal to height, valour to his strength, temper to his valour; so that he disdained to do an injury to any single person. He would make nothing to take two of the tallest yeomen of the guard (like the gizard and liver) under his arms at once, and order them as he pleased.
Yet were his parents (for ought I do understand to the contrary) but of an ordinary stature; whereat none will wonder who have read what St. Augustine reports of a woman which came to Rome (a little before the sacking thereof by the Goths) of so giant-like a height, that she was far above all who saw her, though infinite troops came to behold the spectacle. And yet he addeth, "Et hoc erat maximæ admirationis, quod ambo parentes ejus," &c., (this made men most admire that both her parent were but of ordinary stature.)
This Parsons is produced for proof that all ages afford some of extraordinary height, and that there is no general decay of mankind in their dimensions; which if there were, we had ere this time shrunk to be lower than pigmies, not to instance in a less proportion. This Parsons died anno Domini 162..
1. William Taylor, son of John Taylor, of Eccleston, Grocer,
2. Stephen Jennings, son of William Jennings, of Wolverhampton, Merchant Tailor, 1508.
3. Richard Pipe, son of Richard Pipe, of Wolverhampton, Draper, 1578.
4. James Harvey, son of William Harvey, of Cottwalton, Ironmonger, 1581.
5. Stephen Slany, son of John Slany, of Mitton, Skinner, 1595. 6. William Rider, son of Thomas Rider, of Muclestone, Haberdasher, 1600.
7. Hugh Hamersley, son of Hugh Hamersley, of Stafford, Haberdasher, 1627.
THE NAMES OF THE GENTRY OF THIS COUNTY,
RETURNED BY THE COMMISSIONERS IN THE TWELFTH YEAR OF KING HENRY THE SIXTH, 1433.
William bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, Humphry earl of Stafford; Hugh Ardeswyk, and Thomas Árblastier, (knights for the shire);-Commissioners to take the oaths.
De Civitate Dei, lib. xv. cap. 23.
Johannis Sutton, chev. Johannis Bagot, chev. Rogeri Aston, chev. Johannis Gruffith, chev. Johannis Gresley, chev. Thomæ Stanley, arm. Radulphi Egerton, arm. Radulphi Basset, arm. Roberti Harecourt, arm. Philippi Chetwynd, arm. Richardi Bagot, arm. Roberti Whitgrave, arm. Thomæ Barbour, arm. Willielmi Grevel, arm. Thomæ Detheck, arm. Thomæ Goyne, arm. Johannis Miners, arm. Tho. Oker, arm. sen. Tho. Oker, arm. jun. Johannis Minerel, arm. Richardi Peshale, arm. Hugonis Wrotesley, arm. Richardi Harecourt, arm. Sampsonis Ardiswick, arm. Johannis Winesbury, arm. Thomæ Swinerton, arm. Willielmi Newport, arm. Johannis Hampton, arm. Humphry Low, arm. Richardi Lone, arm. Willielmi Lee, arm. Willielmi Everdon, arm. Willielmi Leveson, arm. Nicholai Warings, arm. Jacobi Leveson, arm. Rogeri Wirley, arm. Cornelii Wirly, arm. Johannis Whatecroft, arm. Gerardi de Ringeley, arm. Richardi Pety, arm. Willielmi Hexstall, arm. Edwardi Doyle, arm. Richardi Selman, arm. Davidis Cawardyn, arm. Thomæ Swynfen, arm. Richardi Rugeley, arm. Johannis Broghton, arm. Johannis Atwell, arm.
Thomæ Cotton, arm. Johannis Cotton, arm. Aymeri Cotton, arm. Thomæ Wolseley, arm. Johannis Colwich, arm. Roberti Swinerton, arm. Rogeri Swineshede, arm. Tho. Whitington, arm. Joh. More, arm. Thomæ More, arm. Joh. Askeby, arm. Joh. Mollesley, arm. Joh. Horewold, arm. Will. Saltford, arm. Will. Leventhorpe, arm. Will. Corbyn, gent. Joh. Corbyn, gent. Thomæ Walton, arm. Reg. Bro de Oake, arm. Johannis Sheldon, arm. Radulphi Frebody, arm. Will. Bradshaw, arm. Joh. Bonghay, gent. Joh. Burton, gent. Roberti Stokes, arm. Joh. Cumberford, arm. Nicolai Thiknes, arm. Ægidii Swinerton, arm. Thomæ Wolaston, gent. Hugonis Holyns, gent. Thomæ Lokewood, gent. Thomæ Stafford, gent. Nicolai Norman, gent. Richardi Snede, gent. Willielmi Orme, gent. Hugonis Greneway, gent. Humfridi Clerkeson. Rogeri Bealchier. Willielmi Sondbache. Johannis Brennere. Richardi Vicarus. Johannis Wylot. Thomæ Bowyer. Johannis Ruggeley. Petri Goldsone. Nicholai Flaxale. Thomæ Brette. Thomæ Neweno.
Humfridi Walker, of Kes- Hugonis Bertam.
1 Milo de Gloucest.
2 Robertus de Stafford, for
13 Hen. Stratton, for eighteen
31 Thomas Noel, for three years.
Willielmi Bowdel, of the Me.
6 Tho. Erdington, et Robertus de alta Ripa. 7 Idem.
8 Tho. de Erdington, for nine years together.
1 Ranul. Com. Cestr. et Hen.
de Aldicheleia, for four years together.
5 Ranul. Comes Cestr. et Phil. de Kinton, for three years together.
8 Ranul. Com. Cestr.
9 Joh. Bonet, for three years
12 Hen. de Aldich, et
13 Hen. de Aldich, et Will.
17 Robertus de Haga, for four
32 Thomas Corbet.
34 Rober. Grendon, for six
40 Hugo de Acovere.
41 Hugo de Acovere.
42 Will. Bagod, for three years
45 Will. de Covereswel, et
46 Jaco. de Aldahell, for six
1 Radul. de Mortuo Mari, for