WILLIAM CAMDEN was born in the Old-Baily, in London, May 2, 1551 ** Diary.. His Father, Sampson Camden, was a Painter in London; whither he was sent very young, from Lichfield, the place of his birth and education. His mother was of the ancient Family of the † † See that County under the title Workinton; and a MS. in Cott. Lib. sub Effigie Jul. F. 6.Curwens of Workinton, in the County of Cumberland.
When Mr. Camden was twelve years of age, he was seiz’d by the Plague ** Peste correptus Islingtoniæ. Diar., and remov’d to Islington, near London; and being fully recover’d, he was sent to Paul’s School, where he laid the foundation of that accuracy in the Latin and Greek Tongues, to which he afterwards arriv’d.
About that time, Dr. Cooper (successively promoted, first to the Bishoprick of Lincoln) and then to that of Winchester) was Fellow of Magdalen-College in Oxford, and Master of the School belonging to it. To his care he was recommended; and by his means, probably, admitted Chorister; but missing of a Demy’s Place, and being thereby disappointed of his hopes in that rich and ample Foundation, he was oblig’d to seek a new Patron, and to frame a new Scheme for his future Fortunes.
The next Encouragement that he found, was from Dr. Thomas Thornton. By him he was invited to
Broad-gate Hall (since call’d Pembroke-College,) where he prosecuted his Studies with great
application; and the Latin Graces, us’d by the College at this day, are said to be of his compiling. Among his
other Acquaintance, he was particularly happy in the two Carews, Richard and George; both of
this Hall, and both addicted to the Study of Antiquities.
For although the first was a Member of Christ-church, * * Wood’s Athen. vol.1. p.384.he had his
Chamber in Broad-gate hall; and Sir † † Baronage, T.3. p.419.
Brown’s additional notes to a catalogue of Scholars in University-College.William Dugdale’s affirming the second to have been University-College, might be occasion’d by two of the sirname being Members of this house, about the same time. And it is very probable, that Mr. Camden’s more settl’d inclination to Antiquities, is to be dated from this lucky familiarity and correspondence; mankind being generally determin’d by some such accidents to the particular Studies and Professions of their Lives.
Here he continu’d almost three years: in which time he had, by his diligence and probity, establish’d himself so far in the good opinion of his Patron, Doctor Thornton, that when he was advanc’d to a Canonry of Christ-church, * * See his Britannia, p.164.he carry’d Mr. Camden along with him, and entertain’d him in his own Lodgings. He was then scarce twenty Years old; an age, at which the study of Arts and Sciences usually excuse young persons from concerning themselves in Religious Controversies. And yet then, the Knowledge which he had attain’d in those matters, cost him a remarkable disappointment. For, being a Candidate for a Fellowship of All-Souls College; the Popish party (such, at least, whose inclinations lay that way, whatever their Profession was) apprehending that his advancement would not make for their cause, oppos’d it so zealously, that it was carry’d against him. Many years after, upon an imputation of Popery (which we shall have occasion to speak to by and by,) † † Epist. 195.among other testimonies of his fidelity to the Church of England, he urg’d that instance as one; and for the truth of it, he appeal’d to Sir Daniel Dun, then Fellow of the College, and a person, whose prudence and integrity recommended him more than once to the choice of the University, in their Elections for Members of Parliament.
After five Years spent in the University, and two remarkable disappointments in his endeavours to settle himself there; his Circumstances put him under a necessity of leaving that place. Whether he had taken the Degree of Batchelor of Arts, does not certainly appear. That in June, 1570, he supplicated for it, is evident from the * * KK. fol. 95. b.Register of the University; but no mention is there made, of what followed upon it. 1573.Three Years after, he supplicated again for the same Degree, and seems to have taken it, but never compleated it by Determinations. However, in the year 1588. † † Wood’s Athen. vol.1. p.409.we find him supplicating the Convocation (by the name of William Camden, Batchelor of Arts of Christ-Church) That whereas from the time he had taken the Degree of Batchelor, he had spent sixteen years in the study of Philosophy and other Liberal Arts, he might be dispens’d with for the reading of three solemn Lectures, and be admitted to Proceed. His Supplication was granted,1613. on condition that he stood in the following Act; which, it seems, his other occasions would not permit him to do, nothing appearing of it in the Publick Records of that time. When he attended the Funeral of Sir Thomas Bodley, he had the Degree of Master of Arts voluntarily offer’d him by the University, but whether he declined, or accepted it, does not appear.
This was the relation that Mr. Camden bore to the University of Oxford, which he left in the year 1571. From thence, he removed immediately to London; but with what prospect he went, or what encouragement he found there, we have no distinct account. It should seem, that he did not presently fall into any particular Employment; because himself has told us, that, upon his leaving the University, he survey’d a considerable part of England: Relictâ Academiâ, studio incitato, satis magnam Angliæ partem fide oculatâ obivi, are his own words, in his * * In the beginning of that Treatise.Answer to Mr. Brook. relicta academia angliae oculata By which, he must probably mean that interval of four or five years, between his bidding-adieu to Oxford, and his advancement to the second Mastership of Westminster School. His natural genius lay so strong towards the Study of Antiquities, (a) that even when he was a Schoolboy (as himself tells us) he could neither hear nor see any thing of an antique appearance, without more than ordinary attention and notice. While he was in the University, all his spare hours were employ’d in the same way. After he came to be engag’d in the laborious business of teaching School, (b) he would fain have weaned himself from those Enquiries, and have confin’d his thoughts entirely to the business he had undertaken. But whenever a Vacation gave him liberty to look abroad, the thirst returned, and he declares it was not in his power to restrain himself from making Excursions into one quarter or another, in quest of Antiquities.
(a) Ex quo primùm animum studiis excolere coepi, inclinatione nescio quâ ad investigandam Antiquitatem totus propendi: velim nolim huc me natura tulit; adeò ut puer in Schola, quæcunque huc spectare videbantur avidè arripuerim; adolescens in Academiâ cum Philosophicis pensis vacuus essem, omnes cogitationes motusque animi huc contulerim. Answer to Brooke, pag. 1.
(b) Posteà ad urbem accessi; ubi etsi laboriosissimo docendi munere fungebar, & hoc Antiquarium Studium exuere volebam, minimè tamen potui. Neque enim potest quisque nostrûm subito fingi, aut natura converti. Animum semper in hæc tanquam arcum intentum habui: cùm feriarer, non potui non hæc studia recolere, & subinde in has vel illas Angliæ partes exspatiari. Ibid.
This propensity of nature was seconded by the importunity of Friends, and receiv’d very early encouragement from persons of the best rank. † † Answer to Brooke.The noble Sir Philip Sidney was ever engaging him in those Pursuits, whilst in Oxford; and, after his removal, (c) the two Goodmans (Gabriel and Godfrey, Doctors in Divinity) supplied him with Books and Money. The interest also which the former of these had in the Collegiate Church of Westminster, procur’d him the place of second Master in that School.
(c) Britannia in Middlesex.
We may well imagine, that his Fame spread throughout the Kingdom, in proportion to his knowledge of it; and cannot doubt but a person of so great attainments in that way, had applications from many hands to undertake the Antiquities of his native Country. But the difficulties, on one hand, appear’d so great, and the helps, on the other, so inconsiderable, that nothing could prevail with him to engage in an Undertaking, which (all things considered) seemed almost insuperable. So that the Collections and Observations which he had hitherto made, seem only design’d for private satisfaction, and to satisfy a secret Thirst, which he had brought with him into the World. In the mean time, Ortelius ( * * Answer to Brooke.the great restorer of Geography, as he terms him) came over into England, and apply’d himself particularly to Mr. Camden, as the best Oracle he could consult, in relation to the History of these Kingdoms; and the regard which he had for the Honour of his Country, seconded with the authority and perswasions of this great Man, wrought him by degrees into some sort of compliance; and at last, over-rul’d him into a resolution to improve and digest his Collections.
He enter’d upon it with all the disadvantages, that could attend an Undertaking. It was a sort of Learning, that was then but just appearing in the world; when that heat and vehemence of Philosophy and School-Divinity (which had possess’d all hearts and hands for so many hundred years) began to cool.
Italy was the place, where these Topographical Surveys were first attempted, for the more easie and delightful Reading of the Roman Histories; and there the difficulty was very inconsiderable. The express remains of the old names, preserved in the new ones, was a sufficient direction in many cases; and, where that guide fail’d, they were led to them by their Histories, as by a thread; which being so many, and withal so minute in every the least circumstance, point out the Places in the plainest manner, and render all Geographical Enquiries a very easy task. France, Spain, and Germany had not this advantage in so high a degree; but, as they were subdued by the Roman Arms, so had they the good fortune to fall under the notice of the Roman Historians; who being sufficiently acquainted with their Affairs, by their nearness to Italy and their long subjection to the Roman Empire, did describe them with tolerable exactness. But Britain was another world to them; and accordingly when they undertook to write of our Affairs, and to give descriptions either of People, or Places, their Accounts were unavoidably confused and imperfect. In the case before us, the best direction seems to be the Itinerary of Antoninus; and yet this, as a heap of bare names without any circumstances of Action, is but a poor guide, in such Enquiries.
However, it had been a much more comfortable bottom to embark on, had it been sound and entire. But he found it so mangled, by the Transcribers negligence, or ignorance, or both, that he plainly saw he must rectifie that, before he could possibly proceed. Most of the ancient Writings of any note, have been sufferers in this way; but that kind (in which miles and distances are compendiously express’d by figures) is particularly expos’d to the ill treatment of Librarians.
To remedy this Evil, he left no corner unsearch’d, from which he might reasonably promise himself any Manuscript or printed Copy, of Antoninus’s Itinerary, Ptolemy’s Geography, or the Notitia; so far as they related to Britain. His Learned Acquaintance at home were desired to make diligent search every where; and we find his Correspondents abroad,1 Ep.25. 2 Ep.64. 3 Ep.129. 4 Ep.147, 155, 193, 218, 247. 5 Ep.55. 1Ortelius, 2Merula, 3Sweertius, 4Puteanus, and 5others, earnestly sollicited to contribute their assistance. He had also heard of some Itinerary Tables in the Library of Conrade Peutinger, a Noble-man of Auspurg; and he rested not till he had obtained that part of them, which belongs to Britain. These are since published by Velser, under the name of the Peutingerian-Tables; the Authority of which, Mr. Camden makes use of where-ever they afford help, throughout the Britannia.
After he had fix’d that point, and begun to trace the ancient Towns and Stations; he consider’d, that the Romans did not frame a new name for every place they conquer’d, but generally contented themselves with the name they found; only filing off the roughness, and giving it a Roman Termination; so that, in truth, the names and places mention’d in Britain by Latin-Authors, as easie and elegant as they sounded, were generally barbarous, and of a pure British extraction. This was a language, which he had no knowledge of; and so, in settling the ancient places, he must be continually jealous that something was lodg’d in the meaning and import of the name, which (if known) might either destroy the notion he had advanc’d, or confirm him in his present opinion. This brought a new task upon him, and a very heavy one; the learning a Tongue which had no relation to any of those that he was master of before: However, he had the comfort to think, that it was a living language, and that he wanted not Friends, who were Criticks in it.
At his entrance upon the Saxon-affairs, he must soon be convinced, that the knowledge of this Language also was necessary to his design; as much, if not more than that of the British. These later Conquerours were not so modest, as the former. The glory and extent of the Empire, was what the Romans aim’d at; and if the Britains would be content to submit, they might enjoy what they had, and live as quietly as they pleas’d. But the Saxons (whatever they pretended) came over on another errand: their business was not Dominion, but Possession; and when they had gain’d their end, by driving out the poor Britains, their next business was, to root out all memorials of them. The ancient names were chang’d, new methods of Government fram’d, and in a short time every thing had a Saxon appearance. So that now, almost all our names of Places are originally Saxon; and Mr. Camden must be sensible, that it was as vain an attempt to write the Geography of Britain without this help, as to take a Survey of Greece, or Italy, and all the while be an utter stranger to their ancient Language.
The Britains carried their Language with them into the Western parts of the Island, and there defended both it and themselves against any mixture of foreigners. It was only transplanted, and the change of Soil made little alteration in it; so that to this day it is preserv’d entire, except some few words of Latin original, which had crept in by their long intercourse with the Romans. Had the Saxons taken the same course upon the Norman Invasion, and, when they found themselves out-match’d, had resolv’d upon a retreat, and stood it out to the last; their’s also might have been a living Language, and learnt (as we do French, Spanish, or Italian) with a little study and conversation. But their submission to the Norman, was the loss of their Language as well as their Liberty. William, after he had wrought himself in to a kind of Settlement, and thought he might practise upon the English with safety, expressly order’d, That all Publick Pleadings should be in French, That their Charters and Writings should run in the same Language, and, that Children should not be instructed in their Mother tongue, but in the Norman only. And the reign of Edward the Confessor had in some measure prepared the Nation for this change. For the Normans bore such a sway even in his Court, as to give the Customs and Language of their own Country some sort of Credit and Authority in England: and it began to be thought a point of good breeding, to be Master of the French Modes and Language, and to despise the English, as rough and barbarous. When the way was thus prepared and open’d before-hand; we need not be surpriz’d, to find in the next reign so very few † † Ingulph. p. 98.who could even read the Saxon Character; or to hear, that it was the great objection against Wolstan, Bishop of Worcester, * * Mat. Par. sub An. 1095.that he did not understand the French Tongue. In short, the Saxon Language grew out of request a-pace: and * * Chron. Sax.their writings about the latter end of Henry the second’s reign, might pass even at this day for broken English.
After it was disus’d in Conversation we cannot suppose that the Books in that Language could be much regarded. The Monks indeed were concern’d to preserve their Charters; but they who seiz’d their Lands at the Dissolution of Monasteries, were as much concern’d to destroy them. And to do it more effectually, they burnt whole Libraries together; or, if they sav’d them from the fire, it was with no other design, than to send them into the Shops of Mechanicks.
A Language then, which had lain dead for above four Hundred Years, was to be reviv’d; the Books, wherein it was bury’d, to be (as it were) rak’d out of the ashes, and (which was still worse) those Fragments, such as they were, exceeding hard to be met with. Almost all the Remains came into three Collections; that of Archbishop Parker, given to Bennet-College in Cambridge; Archbishop Laud’s, given to the Bodleian Library; and Sir Robert Cotton’s, now the richest and most valuable Treasure of that noble Library.
Nor was this peculiar to the Saxon Monuments: for, in truth, our English Historians were left in the same condition upon the Dissolution of Monasteries, i.e. dispersed, and unregarded; and yet these were of absolute necessity to the Design in view.
It was a true sense of the usefulness of such Histories, and of his own great misfortune in not being better furnish’d, that induced him afterwards to publish an entire Volume of them. Sir Henry Savil collected another: and these two have been since follow’d by the learned Editors of the Decem Scriptores, and by Dr. Wats, Mr. Fulman, Dr. Gale, and Mr. Wharton. Had he enter’d upon his Work with these advantages, he had met with his Materials in a much narrower compass, and found his Task infinitely more easie.
The old Itinerary being settled, the British and Saxon Tongues in a good measure conquer’d, our ancient Historians perus’d, (d) and several parts of England survey’d; he now began to think of reducing his Collections to method and order. It had been above ten years in growing, when the first Edition came out, An. 1586. dedicated to that eminent Statesman William Lord Burghley, Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth. How well it was receiv’d, we may gather from the number of Editions; for, in the compass of four years, there were no less than three at London, besides one at Francfort in 1590; another also in Germany; and again another in London in the year 1594.
(d) Besides his Travels before he came to Westminster, and his frequent Excursions, so often as his business in the School would give him leave; in April 1582. he took a Journey into Yorkshire through Suffolk, and return’d through Lancashire. See his Diary.
Most of these Editions had been revised, enlarged, and corrected by the Author: but after that of 1594, he resolv’d the Work should rest for some time, in order to the larger Improvements which he had in view. In order to these, he took a journey to Sarum, and Wells, and return’d by Oxford; and two years after, he travell’d as far as Carlisle, accompany’d by his learned and dear friend, Sir Robert Cotton. But in the midst of those preparations for a more compleat Edition, he was unexpectedly interrupted; and, instead of laying out his Endeavours after new discoveries, was call’d to a defence of what he had already publish’d.
The occasion of it was this. * * Dr. Smith’s Life of Camden, p. 34.In the year 1597. upon the death of Richard Leigh Clarenceux King at Arms, Sir Fulk Grevil recommended Mr. Camden to the Queen, as a person every way qualified for that Office, and one who had highly deserv’d of Her Majesty and Her Kingdoms. The Queen immediately gave him the grant of it, and Mr. Camden was created, Octob. 23. in the same year; having the day before been made Richmond-Herald, because, by the Constitution, none can be King at Arms, but who has been first Herald. At that time, Mr. Brooke was York-Herald, who, upon Leigh’s death, doubted not but the station which he had already in the College, would entitle him to the Succession. But, having miss’d of it; his first business was, instead of acquiescing in Her Majesty’s Choice, to find a fair opportunity to show his Resentment. Mr. Camden, at the end of each County had drawn the History of the respective Earls; and Brooke thought, probably, that if any Errors could be found in his Accounts of Families, an Accusation upon that head would be most suitable to his present purpose. As it would have shown Mr. Camden’s forwardness in engaging on a subject which he was not Master of; so would it have convinc’d the Government of their unreasonable choice, in preferring a person who knew little, and rejecting another who was a Critick in the work. After two years study, he publish’d1599. a Book with this title, A Discovery of certain Errors publish’d in print in the much commended Britannia, &c. without licence, and without name, either of Printer or Bookseller.
Before we enter into the merits of this Cause, be pleas’d to observe, by the way, the different temper and behaviour of these two Persons. It seems to have been some opinion of merit, that rais’d in Mr. Brooke a confidence of succeeding, and then an uneasiness when his expectation was not answer’d. But so far was Mr. Camden from this, that, till the whole business was over, he did not so much as think of the thing, but the news of his Success was a surprise to him. And when the Lord Burleigh (who was his great Patron) express’d his dissatisfaction, that he had not apply’d to him upon that occasion; he return’d this answer, That it was purely a thought of Sir Fulk Grevil, without so much as his knowledge.
It was not for the reputation of Mr. Brooke, to lay aside his true name, BrokesmouthIbid., and to take that of Brooke, as one of greater vogue and dignity. Perhaps, Mr. Camden had as little temptation to be fond of a Family, on account of any Eminence it could pretend to; especially on the Father’s side. And yet so far was he from being asham’d of his Name or Parentage, that even out of respect to his Father’s Calling, he left a gilt Bowl of sixteen Pounds to the Company of Painter-stainers in London, with this Inscription, Gul. Camdenus Clarenceux, filius Sampson’s, Pictoris Londinensis, dono dedit.
After Mr. Camden became a member of the College, he discharged his Office with great integrity, and maintain’d an amicable correspondence with all his Brethren.
How far his Adversary had a claim to this Character, let the following instance witness. * * Ibid.Upon a private pique against one of the College, he contrived such a malicious piece of revenge, as is not commonly heard of. He employ’d a person to carry a Coat of Arms to him ready drawn, who was to pretend that it belong’d to one Gregory Brandon (a Gentleman who had formerly liv’d in London, but was then in Spain,) and to desire he would set his hand to it. The man does his errand; and, that there might be no time for consideration, pretends that the Vessel that was to carry it, was just ready to sail. He, not in the least suspecting any design, without more ado receives his Fee, and puts the Seal of the Office, with his own Name, to the Paper. Presently, Brooke carried it to Thomas Earl of Arundel (then one of the Commissioners for the Office of Earl Marshal) and assured him that these were the Arms of the Kingdom of Arragon with a Canton of Brabant; and that that Brandon, to whom he had granted them, was a mean inconsiderable man. The Earl acquainted the King with the whole matter; and His Majesty resolv’d, that the Person who had set-to the Seal, should be turn’d out of his place, and, upon a hearing in the Star-chamber, be severely fin’d for his affront to the Crown of Spain; but, at the intercession of the Earl of Pembroke, his Majesty grew more calm, and was prevail’d with to refer it to the Commissioners. When they came to a hearing, the Gentleman who had been thus impos’d on, submitted himself entirely to the mercy of the Court; but withall, desir’d their Lordships to consider, that it was a mere over-sight, and that it was the importunity of the messenger which led him, contrary to his usual method, to pass it without deliberation. Brooke, on the other hand, declar’d openly in Court, that it was from beginning to end a contrivance of his own, to gain an opportunity of convincing their Lordships of the sordidness of the other, who for the sake of a Fee, would be guilty of so gross a knavery. They were amaz’d at the confidence of the man; and when His Majesty heard the circumstances of the case, he order’d both to be committed to prison; one for treachery, and the other for negligence.
But, to return. From hence, the Reader will be apt to suspect, that it was not a serious concern for Truth, or for the Honour of the English Nobility, which induc’d him to lay open what he called the Errors of Mr. Camden; but rather a vein of ill nature, which was so familiar to him. And the success was answerable; for, the next year, Mr. Camden re-printed his Britannia, and at the end of it publish’d a learned Defence of himself and his Work. He modestly declares, That it is very possible, he might fall into several Errors; that, for his part, he never pretended to be exempt from the common failings of mankind; but conceives, however, that allowance ought to be made for some few Errors, where Writers are to deal in such a variety of matter: that he thinks himself, notwithstanding, very harshly treated; and to demonstrate at once the impudence, as well as weakness, of his Adversary, he clears himself from the objections upon undeniable authorities; and then shows, into what palpable mistakes this great Reformer had fal’n, in the midst of his Criticisms.
Another branch of Mr. Brooke’s accusation against Mr. Camden, was Plagiarism; that whoever would be at the trouble to compare and examin, would find the summe and substance of what was said in the Britannia, among the posthumous Papers of Glover and Leland: From whence it would follow, if true, that Mr. Camden had no further share in that Work, than the ranging some loose Papers into method and order.
The first of these,Smith, p.27. Mr. Glover, was Somerset-Herald, and so eminent a master in his Profession, that (in Sir William Dugdale’s opinion) Mr. Camden and He were the two greatest men that had ever been of the College. Had he liv’d longer, he would have made a greater figure in the world, and we at this day might have enjoy’d the fruit of his Labours; but he was cut off at forty five years of age,Apr. 14, 1588. and left behind him a confus’d mass of Collections, which were purchas’d by the Lord Burleigh, and communicated to Mr. Camden. Of what use they were, or could be, to him, any one may be easily satisfied, by comparing the Britannia, with those Papers, which were reposited in the Archives of the College of Heralds. But if they had been as serviceable to him as his Adversary would suggest, I cannot see how he could be fairly charg’d with ingratitude or injustice, after he had more than once afforded Mr. Glover such an * * Defence against Brooke, p.6. Britannia in Barkshire.advantageous and honourable character.
As the Itinerary of Mr. Leland has gain’d a greater name and esteem, so it will be more difficult to remove that branch of the Objection. Far be it from me to injure the memory of that great man. He was the very first who turn’d the eyes of the Nation upon this kind of Learning; and let it be said to his honour, that what he did was faithful, and what he design’d very great and noble.
In the year 1533. (25 Hen. 8.) he had a Commission under the Broad Seal, by which he was empower’d to search the Libraries of all Cathedrals, Abbies, Priories, Colleges, &c. And in the 28th year of the same King, he obtain’d a special dispensation to keep a Curate at Poppeling, where he was Rector; having represented to His Majesty the great advantage that might be made, by travelling over England, upon such a Search. When he had got together large Collections, he fix’d in London, with a design to compose such Books, as he had encourag’d the King to expect, when he obtain’d his Dispensation. Also, in the 37th of Henry the eighth, he presented the same King with a Scheme of the several projects he had laid, under the title of a New-years-gift; wherein he promis’d a Description of Britain, as under the Romans; a Survey and History of each County, in sixty Books; a Survey of the British Isles, in six Books; and a work concerning the Nobility of Britain, in three Books. But the very next year (out of apprehension, as most think, that he should not be able to compleat what he had undertaken) he fell distracted, and, continuing so to his dying day, left his Papers in confusion. The greatest part of these are now in the publick Library at Oxford, having been presented to it by Mr. William Burton Author of the Antiquities of Leicestershire, into whose possession they had at last come, through several other hands.
The main charge against Mr. Camden, was grounded upon the Survey of Britain, and of the Isles; for any one will readily excuse him in what relates to the Romans, who considers what strange work they made, who undertook to settle the ancient Towns in Britain, before Mr. Camden. But, the splendid title of an Itinerary, and a number of Books answerable to the number of the Counties of England, and Mr. Leland’s affirming that he had provided ample Materials for the Work; all this look’d very specious, and was an excellent handle for Censure and Ill nature.
But all impartial men will consider, at what a low ebb Learning was in Leland’s time, and how little was then understood of the Geographical History of England. To describe the course of a River, and the distance of one Town from another; or to tell whether a Bridge was of wood or of stone, or how many arches it had; was reckoned an useful instruction at that time when travelling was little in fashion; and the Counties of England were possibly greater strangers to the affairs of their neighbours, than the Nations of Europe have since been to one another. They would not be at the pains to View, and they had no Maps to let them see at a distance; so, every thing that inform’d, was kindly receiv’d, and a Work look’d upon as a mighty Performance, that at present would be very coldly receiv’d. This was really the case between Mr. Leland and Mr. Camden: the different face of things, in the times of these two Writers, had render’d a good part of the Itinerary of the one altogether unuseful to the Britannia of the other. The contrivance of Maps in the mean time, had given them at once a view of the whole Kingdom, and the correspondence (occasion’d by the improvement of Trade and Commerce) had inform’d every Mechanick, in what before would have been accounted a Discovery among learned Men.
That Mr. Camden had seen the Itinerary of Mr. Leland, he does not deny or conceal. That he likewise made use of it, is plain, because he has told us so in several parts of his Book. But (say his Adversaries) does not the Britannia oft-times speak the very same things that the Itinerary had done before, without the least mention of Leland’s name? It is very true, it does so: but suppose I say, That Canterbury is a City, That there is a stately Castle at Windsor, That Oxford is an University; am I therefore a Plagiary, because Leland or any man else has said so before me? Suppose also, I observe that St. Austin repair’d an old Church at Canterbury, or that St. Cuthbert was the Saint of Durham; will any one blame me, because I make use of Bede’s authority, rather than Leland’s? Mr. Camden enter’d upon his Work, with a prodigious stock of Learning, almost in all kinds; he survey’d the greatest part of England in person, had access to all Libraries and Records, and had the assistance of Learned men both at home and abroad; and if any one will still believe, that he made no use of these opportunities, but chose rather to spend thirty years in piecing the scatter’d remains of others, let him enjoy his own opinion. All I shall say further, is, that Leland’s Itinerary is now published, and that Publication is the best defence of Mr. Camden. In the year 1607. he put the last hand to his Britannia; which gained him the titles, of the Varro, the Strabo and the Pausanius of Britain, in the Writings and Letters of Learned men. Nor did it ever after meet with an Enemy that I know of; only, * * Letter to Bp. Usher.Sir Simonds D’Ewes encouraged us to expect Animadversions upon the Work, after he had observ’d to a very great man, that there was not a page in it without a fault. But this was only Threatening; and neither the World was the better, nor Mr. Camden’s Reputation the worse for it.
To leave the Britannia, and proceed to his other Works. His Predecessor, Dr. Edward Grant, had compos’d a Greek Grammar for the use of his School. This, Mr. Camden, by long experience, had found to be in several things deficient, and, in the whole frame, not so well suited to the design, as one would desire. Whereupon, he contriv’d a Scheme of his own, the effect of two and twenty years observation; the method of which appear’d upon the publication, to be so clear, easie, and compendious, that it has ever since been received and taught in most Schools, as the best Introduction to that Language.
After the fatigue of the School, he diverted himself among the ancient Monuments of the Kings, Queens, and Nobility of England, in the Cathedral Church of Westminster. And that it might not be in the power of Time to deprive Posterity of the same pleasure, he copy’d them all, and publish’d them in the year 1600, with an Historical Account of the Foundation of that Church. He had also taken some pains in collecting the Monuments in the Churches and Chapels of the University of Oxford; as appears from the Fragments of them still remaining.
But this was only his Diversion, and the concern of a particular place. The next publick Service, was his Volume of English Historians, printed at Francfort in the year 1603, and dedicated to his Patron Sir Fulk Grevil, as an acknowledgment of the good office he had formerly done him, when he was promoted to be King at Arms. Part of them were never publish’d before; and such as had seen the light, he now sent abroad much more correct and accurate.
The next year gave him the like opportunity to pay a publick Respect to his great Friend and Acquaintance Sir Robert Cotton, by the edition of his Remains. It appears by the Original, that at first he had design’d to dedicate this Work to Sir Fulk Grevil; but the Volume of Historians having already given him an occasion to make his acknowledgments there, he now chose to show his gratitude to Sir Robert, a Person, whose Conversation, and Library, were the great supports of his Studies.
The discovery of the Gunpowder Plot gave him the next occasion of employing his Pen in the Service of the Publick. His Majesty did not think it enough to appoint a solemn Thanksgiving for that deliverance, but also judged it necessary to convince foreign Nations of the justice of his proceedings, and to give the Reformed Churches abroad timely notice to be upon their guard, against those inveterate Enemies of the Protestant Religion. Mr. Camden was pitch’d on as a person best qualified to draw up the whole case, in Latin, and in a stile agreeable to the subject;Index Librorum Prohibitorum & Expurgatorum. which was publish’d in the year 1607, and is rank’d among the Books expressly prohibited by the Church of Rome, in the year 1667.
The Grammar, the Westminster-Monuments, the Volume of Historians, the Remains, and lastly the Proceedings against the Conspirators, were only the fruits of his spare Hours; and the last being publish’d the same year that he finish’d his Britannia, he was now at liberty to set about in earnest what had been in his design for ten years before, namely, the Annals of Queen Elizabeth.
This Work was begun in the year 1597, at the instance of William Lord Burghley; who had an entire Veneration for the Queen, and by his constant favours had deservedly a great authority over Mr. Camden. But he dying the very next year, and the difficulties of the Work sensibly encreasing, Mr. Camden did not prosecute it with so much resolution as before; and this coolness was encreas’d by the death of the Queen, which happened some years after. But when he saw, that none who had more strength and leisure, would undertake the Task; now the care of his Britannia was over, he began to digest his Materials in the year 1608; and having carry’d his Accounts to the year 1589, he publish’d that History, as far as he had gone.
praefixa It had been long expected, and earnestly desir’d; and it met with an agreeable reception from all hands; as appears by the several Letters of Thanks from the greatest Persons of that time. And a very eminent Writer of our own Nation, scruples not to affirm, that this, and the Lord Bacon’s History of Henry the seventhSeld. Epist. præfixa Libro Augustini Vincentii., are the only two Lives of the Kings or Queens of England, that are equal to the dignity of the Subject, either in fulness of matter, or beauty of composition.
The pleasure which the first part afforded, encreas’d the applications of his Friends, and made them the more importunate with him, to remember, that the Infirmities of old Age were drawing on, and that he could not better employ the remaining part of his time, than in finishing what he had begun: Especially, considering that himself had been an eye-witness of the latter part of the Queen’s reign, and that he had maintain’d an intimate correspondence with some, who had born the greatest share in the Government. But the Censures which he met-with in the business of Mary Queen of Scots, and the private resentments of some persons who thought him too severe in the Character of their Ancestors; made him peremptorily resolve, that the second part should not see the light, till after his death. The whole was finish’d, in the year 1617, as appears from his * * Epist.147. & 155.Epistles; yet he persisted in his former resolution, against all the importunities of Friends. And lest the common fate of Posthumous Papers should be urg’d by them, he took care that a fair Transcript should be † † Puteani Vit. p.50. Camd. Epist. 247.deposited in the hands of his intimate Friend Petrus Puteanus; and kept the Original by him, which is now in the Library of Sir John Cotton. By this means, the second Tome did not see the light, till the year 1625.
* * Dr. Smith’s Life of Mr. Camden.The Records and Instruments out of which he extracted his Annals, are, most of them, if not all, in the Cottonian Library. We learn from a Manuscript of Dr. Goodman’s (who was afterwards Bishop of Glocester) that He desir’d them of Mr. Camden, as a Legacy, when he dy’d; but receiv’d this answer, That no person whatever should have commanded them more freely, if they had not been already promis’d to, Dr. Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury. Upon whose death, he transferr’d the title to his Successor Dr. George Abbot (for he had undertaken to publish them;) and the Bishop tells us, in the same Manuscript, that he heard Archbishop Laud say, they were deposited in the Palace at Lambeth. It is probable, that these were only such as related to the Ecclesiastical Affairs of that time, which Mr. Camden did not think himself so immediately concern’d in. But what they were, cannot now be known: having probably been destroy’d or lost, when the Library of Archbishop Laud was ransack’d by Prinne, Scot, and Peters; for, after diligent search made by Archbishop Sancroft, upon his promotion to the See of Canterbury, not one Paper of that kind could be found.
From the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, to his own death, he kept a † † Since publish’d with his Epistles.Diary of the remarkable passages in the reign of King James; being desirous to contribute all the assistance he could, to any, who should do the same honour to the reign of King James, that had been done by himself to that of Queen Elizabeth.
Thus far of his Works. As to the several Stations or Promotions which he enjoyed; He began with the second Mastership of Westminster-School, in the year 1575, and continu’d in it till the death of Dr. Grant Head-Schoolmaster (which happened in 1593,) to whom he succeeded. But, before that, viz. two years after the first edition of his Britannia, he had the Prebend of Ilfarcomb, in the Church of Salisbury, bestow’d on him by Dr. John Piers, Bishop of that See. As to the School; how great a satisfaction it was to him to see the fruits of his Labours there, we learn from his own expression of it, in a Letter to Archbishop Usher: At Westminster (says he) God so blessed my Labours, that the now Bishops of London, Durham, and St. Asaph, to say nothing of persons employ’d in eminent place abroad, and many of especial note at home, of all degrees, do acknowledge themselves to have been my Scholars. Here he liv’d frugally, and * * Epist.195.by his long labours in the School, gathered a contented sufficiency for his life, and a Supply for many charitable benefactions at his death. He refus’d a Mastership of Requests, when offer’d; and kept his School, till the place of King at Arms was confer’d upon him, without his own application, or so much as his knowledge.
These were all the Preferments, that he was ever possess’d of. We might have added another, if the following project had succeeded. In the year 1609, Dr. Sutcliff Dean of Exeter, resolv’d to build a College at Chelsey, for a certain number of Divines, who were to make it their whole business to confute the Errors of the Church of Rome. The ProposalMay 10. 1610. was highly approv’d by King James, who accordingly nominated the Dean, first Provost of the College; and seventeen eminent Divines, under the title Fellows. And because it was evident, that matters of History would of course fall-in with Controversies in Religion, they concluded it necessary to provide for such occasions, and pitch’d upon two excellent Historians, Mr. Camden, and John Hayward, Doctor of the Civil Law. * * See Middlesex under Chelsey.They began to build, but found the Revenue fall short; and so the whole Design drop’d.
How useful and honourable a Correspondence he had settl’d, both at home and abroad, and with what candour and goodness he maintain’d it, will best appear from his Letters.
Brissonius, Prime Minister of State in the French Court, being sent into England by his master King Henry the third, to treat of a match between his brother the Duke of Anjou and Queen Elizabeth, would not return, a stranger to Mr. Camden; who, though but second School-master of Westminster, and not full thirty years of age, had those qualities which recommended him to the friendship and conversation of that great man. Some of the Servants of the Elector Palatine (who came over, about the match with Elizabeth eldest daughter to King James) were reprov’d by Gruter, for neglecting to do themselves that honour. He wonder’d how they could stay so many months in England, and all that while, Neque consulere ejus Oraculum unicum, neque adspicere ejus astrum primum, Not consult its only Oracle, nor see the brightest Star in it. With Gruter himself, Mr. Camden kept a constant correspondence, while he liv’d; and when he dy’d, left him five Pounds for a Ring, as a Memorial of their old Friendship.
Peireskius (the universal Patron of Learning) understood the value of Mr. Camden’s friendship; and as he was always ready to lend him the utmost assistance he was able, so did he find him highly serviceable in whatever related to the Affairs of England. Particularly, Monsieur du Chesne, in his Preface to the Norman Writers, gratefully acknowledges, that the Elogium Emmæ, the Writings of Guleilmus Pictaviensis, and several Catalogues of the Norman Nobility who came over with the Conquerour, were all communicated by Mr. Camden; and that they were procur’d for him by the interest of Peireskius.
His acquaintance with Thuanus was late; but being once begun, was very intimate, and lasted till the death of that Glory of France, and the Prince of modern Historians, as Mr. Camden afterwards stil’d him. * * Diary.The first Letter he sent him, was by the hands of Mr. Lisle, in the year 1606. Whether the subject of it was the affair of Mary Queen of Scots, I know not; but it is certain, if Thuanus had taken Mr. Camden’s advice, he had not given so much offence to the English Court, by that part of his History.
That he desir’d Mr. Camden’s information upon that head, is plain from his Letter to him; but what particulars were return’d, we know not: only thus much in general, That he should by all means be very tender in the relation of that matter. Thus far we learn from Thuanus’s own Letter sent the next year after, with the second Tome of his History: Sed valde vereor (says he) ut temperamentum illud, de quo monueras, in rerum Scoticarum narratione ubique servaverim. Wherein he further tells him, That if the Scotch Affairs of that time could have been wholly pass’d over, he was sensible how much odium and ill-will he had avoided; but that, being so very notorious, and so much in every body’s mouth, it had been an unpardonable crime in an Historian to omit them. He adds, That he had deliver’d every thing, upon the authority of several of that Kingdom, who had been eye-witnesses; and had laid no further stress upon what Buchanan had said, than as he found it confirm’d by them. For which reasons, he desires, that if any reflections should be made upon it at our Court, Mr. Camden would do him the friendly office, to clear him from all suspicion of being an Enemy to the English or Scotch Nation, and to satisfie every one that he had acted in it with the utmost integrity. But King James was extremely offended, to find the Account run so much to the disadvantage of his mother; and the more, because he knew several of the matters of fact, upon which the charge was grounded, to be utterly false. Whereupon, he employ’d Mr. Camden to draw up * * Since printed by Dr. Smith, at the end of his Epistles.Animadversions upon that part of the History, and to transmit them to Thuanus; which, indeed, make the Story much more fair on the Queen’s side, than either he or Buchanan had represented it.
He established an intimate acquaintance with Hottoman, Secretary to Robert Earl of Leicester; after whose return into France (where he was employ’d on an Embassy into Germany) these two held a constant correspondence. Nor must we forget the learned Franciscus PithœusPithaeus, who settl’d a very early familiarity with him; nor Petrus Puteanus, of whose fidelity he had so great confidence, that when he had taken a resolution to suppress the second part of the Annals of Queen Elizabeth till after his death, * * Dr. Burnet says, it was committed to Monsieur de Thou. Answer to Mons. Varillas.he thought he could not deposit the Copy in a safer hand.
At home: Mr. Thomas Savil of Oxford was one of the first of his Acquaintance; whose untimely death, in the flower of his age, was a very sensible loss to Mr. Camden: But this was in some measure repaired by the friendship of his brother Sir Henry Savil; who was so great an admirer of Mr. Camden’s Learning and Goodness, that he would fain have prevail’d with him, to spend his latter days at his House in Eaton-College. I am sure († † Camden’s Ep.251.says he) you might make me a happy Man in my old age, without any discontent, I hope, to your self. I dare say we would all do our best that you should not repent of your living here. The same Sir Henry was exceeding serviceable to him * * Ep.251, & 252.in the settlement of his History-Lecture in Oxford; having experienc’d the difficulties of that Work, by his establishment of an Astronomy-Lecture in the same University, a little before.
Archbishop Usher consulted him on many occasions, and in return † † Ep.61.gave him great assistance in the Affairs of Ireland; * * See the several Epistles to Mr. Camden.as did the learned Dr. John Johnston of Aberdeen, in the Antiquities of Scotland.
Sir Robert Cotton was his Companion, both in Studies and in Travels: His journey to Carlisle, in the year 1600, was render’d much more pleasant as well as profitable, by the company of so true a friend, and so great a master of Antiquities. And Dr. Francis Godwin, first, Bishop of Landaff, and then of Hereford, did him the same favour, in his journey into Wales.
Dr. James (the first Keeper of Sir Thomas Bodley’s Library) was very useful to him in his studies, as we learn from divers Letters which he receiv’d from him. I am willing to take this opportunity of publishing them, because they all relate to the Affairs of Learning; and we cannot doubt, but if these had come to hand, the excellent Editor of his Epistles would have allow’d them a place among the rest.
My loving and good Mr. James,
YOUR great pains to satisfie my desire, omitting thereby your private Business, hath been far more than I could wish you should have undergone, and much more than I can deserve; and therefore requireth greater thanks than in words I can remember: but assure your self I will register them up in a most thankful mind. As soon as ever the year openeth, with God’s grace, I will take a Journey to Cambridge, to satisfie my self with Essebiensis, and some other specified in your Catalogue, albeit that I see in matters before the Norman Conquest, in the paucity of Writers, they do all trace one another, and therefore few especial Notes do occur in them. In the mean, with a million of hearty thanks to you, and my hearty commendations to Mr. Causton, I rest, greatly indebted to you,
Your loving Friend,
Good Mr. Causton, and my good Mr. James,
LET it not seem strange, that I should conjoin you two thus jointly in one, when as love and good liking, with the mother of friendship similitudo studiorum, hath so assuredly link’d you together. I most heartily thank you both, the one for opening the passage and entrance, and the other for admitting me into his amity. And verily, in this behalf, I do congratulate inwardly to my self, that I have now gotten so good a Friend, unto whom (I solemnly vow) I will most willingly perform all offices of true friendship whatsoever. Only I am sorry that I was then absent, when I should have enjoy’d his presence the last Week at London. But more sorry am I, that the good opportunity of those Angliae Bristoliae good Manuscripts hath overslipp’d me; for the Printer, who is impatient of stay, is now already forward, and my occasions will not permit me to come now to Cambridge. I have long since seen Fordon, Gervasius Tilburiensis, Gualterus Conventrensis, and Trivet: some Copies are here extant amongst my friends; and lately I happen’d upon Talbot’s Notes in Antonini Itinerarium: only I desire you to look into that Exameron Angliæ and Notabilia Bristoliæ, and Worcester, if there be any special Observations; as also in the Historical Epitome of Alexander Essebiensis. As for his Poem of the Festival days, I long since read it over. Thus commending my self to your good love conjointly, and you both to the gracious protection of the Almighty, I heartily bid you farewell, resting
Yours most assuredly,
MY ancient good Friend Gasper Gevartius living now at Paris, a Man by his Works not unknown to you so conversant among Books, hath written to me as much is herein enclosed. My desire is, that you would satisfie him by me, if there be in your Library any such Manuscript of Manilius Astronomicon. I have been inform’d, that there is one, and that a Learned Student of your University hath conferr’d it with Scaliger’s Edition. If this be true, I most earnestly request you to communicate thus much with him, and to understand whether he be purpos’d to set it out himself: if not, whether he will be content to impart Variantes Lectiones with Gevartius, who (I presume so much of his candour) will not defraud him of the honour due to his Labour and Learning; if not, I will send you a Copy of Scaliger’s Edition, and desire you to get some Student to confer it with the Manuscript, and I will satisfie him to his full contentation, and shall rest indebted to you for your care herein.
Your loving Friend assuredly,
W. Camden, Clarenceux.
Westm. 22 Jan.
Sir Henry Spelman calls himself his * * Ep. 226.ancient Friend; and in his account of a Society of Antiquaries which was about that time settl’d in London, makes Mr. Camden one of the chief. The Account, in the Author’s own words, will not be unseasonable in this place; since it gives us a further light into Mr. Camden’s Acquaintance (the head which we are now treating of) and shows us what that age took to be the most effectual method, for the improvement of Ancient Learning.
ABOUT 42Sir Henry Spelman’s Preface to his Law-Terms. Years since, divers Gentlemen in London, studious of Antiquities, fram’d themselves into a College or Society of Antiquaries, appointing to meet every Friday weekly in the Term, at a place agreed of, and for Learning-sake to confer upon some questions in that faculty, and to sup together. The place, after a meeting or two, became certain at Darby-House, where the Herald’s Office is kept, and two Questions were propounded at every meeting, to be handled at the next that follow’d; so that every man had a se’night’s respite to advise upon them, and then to deliver his Opinion. That which seem’d most material, was by one of the company (chosen for the purpose) to be enter’d in a book, that so it might remain unto prosperity. The Society encreas’d daily; many persons of great worth, as well noble as other Learned, joyning themselves unto it. Thus it continu’d divers Years; but as all good uses commonly decline, so many of the chief supporters hereof, either dying or withdrawing themselves from London into the Countrey, this among the rest grew for 20 Years to be discontinu’d. But it then came again into the mind of divers principal Gentlemen to revive it; and for that purpose upon the — day of — in the Year 1614. there met at the same place Sir James Ley Knight, then Attorney of the Court of Wards, since Earl of Marlebury, and Lord Treasurer of England, Sir Robert Cotton Knight and Bar. Sir John Davies His Majesty’s Attorney for Ireland, Sir Richard St. George Knight, then Norrey, Mr. Hackwell the Queen’s Sollicitor, Mr. Camden, then Clarencieux, my self, and some others. Of these, the Lord Treasurer, Sir Robert Cotton, Mr. Camden, and my self, had been of the Original Foundation, and to my knowledge were all then living of that sort, saving Sir John Doderidge Knight, Justice of the King’s Bench.
We held it sufficient for that time to revive the Meeting, and only conceiv’d some Rules of Government and Limitation to be observ’d amongst us, whereof this was one; That for avoiding Offence, we should neither meddle with matters of State nor of Religion. And agreeing of two Questions for the next Meeting, we chose Mr. Hackwell to be our Register, and the Convocator of our Assemblies for the present; and supping together, so departed.
One of the Questions was, touching the Original of the Terms; about which, as being obscure and generally mistaken, I bestow’d some extraordinary pains, that coming short of others in understanding, I might equal them if I could in diligence. But before our next meeting, we had notice that his Majesty took a little mislike of our Society, not being inform’d that we had resolv’d to decline all matters of State. Yet hereupon we forbare to meet again, and so all our labours lost. But mine lying by me, and having been often desir’d of me by some of my Friends, I thought good upon a review and augmentation to let it creep abroad in the form you see it, wishing it might be rectify’d by some better judgment.
Thus much of Mr. Camden’s Education, his Works, his Promotions, and his Friends. Let us now view him in his Retirement; for the sake of which, when he was towards sixty years of Age, he took a house at Chesilhurst, some ten miles from London; where he liv’d till his dying day, and compil’d there the greatest part of the Annals of Queen Elizabeth.
About two years before his death, when the pains and infirmities of old Age had made him, in great measure, uncapable of Study, he enter’d upon another method of serving the Publick, by establishing a History-Lecture; a thing, that he had resolv’d many years before: Witness the Conclusion of his Britannia, Nihil aliud nunc restat, &c. quàm ut Deo Opt. Max. & Venerandæ Antiquitati Anathema consecrarem, quod libens merito nunc voveo, &c.
This was his pious Vow; and he was willing to see it discharg’d, e’re he dy’d. Where to bestow this Charity, was a circumstance that did not cost him much thought: his Education gave the University of Oxford a kind of title; so that, having settl’d it in due form of Law, he sent his Gift to that University, by the hands of his intimate Friend Mr. Heather. On the seventeenth of May, in the year 1622. Dr. Piers Dean of Peterburrow, and then Vice-Chancellor, declar’d in Convocation, That Mr. Camden had founded a History-Lecture, and, for the Maintenance of a Professor, had transfer’d all his right in the Manour of Bexley in Kent, to the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars: With this Proviso, That the Profits of the said Manour (valu’d at about four hundred Pounds per Annum) should be enjoy’d by William Heather, his Heirs and Executors, for the term of ninety nine years, to begin from the death of Mr. Camden; during which time, William Heather should pay to the Professor of History in Oxford, the Sum of one hundred and forty Pounds yearly.
Hereupon, the University sent him a publick Letter of Thanks; and because they understood that Mr. Heather was a person for whom he had a singular respect, they voluntarily confer’d on him the Degree of Doctor of Musick; as also upon Mr. Orland Gibbons, another of Mr. Camden’s intimate Acquaintance. This Civility procur’d them a new Benefactor; for afterwards, Mr. Heather, as an acknowledgment of this favour, founded a Musick-Lecture, and endow’d it with the Annual Revenue of sixteen Pounds six Shillins and eight Pence.
The first History Professor was Mr. Degory Whear; being nominated by Mr. Camden, upon the recommendation of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, and other Learned Persons. His first Essay was, a General Direction for the Reading of Histories; which he dedicated to his Patron. Mr. Brian Twine, a person exceedingly well vers’d in the Antiquities of England, procur’d a Grant from the Founder, to succeed Mr. Whear; but he dying before, the right of Election devolv’d upon the University for ever.
The little that he had left, he dispos’d of by WillMay 2. 1623. (which he drew up with his own hands, about six Months before his death) in Charities to the Poor, and Legacies to his Relations, and some small Memorials to his particular Friends. All his Books of Heraldry he gave to the Office; and the rest, both Printed and Manuscript, to the Library of Sir Robert Cotton. But, upon the erection of a new Library in the Church of Westminster, the printed part was remov’d thither by the procurement of Dr. John Williams, Lord Keeper of England, Bishop of Lincoln, and Dean of that Church; who laid hold of an expression in the Will, that was capable of a double meaning.
He liv’d and dy’d a Member of the Church of England; and gave such clear proofs of his entire affection to it, that it is a wonder, how a certain Romish Author could have the face to insinuate, * * Analect, de Rebus Catholic. in Hibernia.That he only dissembled his Religion, and was allur’d so to do with the prospect of Honours and Preferments. His zeal against Popery † † See above.lost him a Fellowship in Oxford, and brought most of his Works under the Censure of the Church of Rome, and * * Epist. 194.expos’d him to the lash of Parsons, Possevinus, and others. Many of his Scholars became eminent Members of our Church; and he converted several Irish Gentlemen from Popery, as the Walshes, Nugents, O-Raily, Shees, the eldest Son of the Archbishop of Cassiles, and others. Whether these look like the actions of an Hypocrite in Religion, or the effects of a firm perswasion and a well-grounded zeal, let the World judge. After so many testimonies, Mr. Camden might well say, † † Epist.194.My Life and my Writings shall apologize for me: and despise the reproaches of one * * Ibid.Who did not spare the most Reverend and Learned Prelates of our Church; † † Epist.195nor was ashamed to bely the Lords Deputies of Ireland, and others of honourable rank.
He dy’d at Chesilhurst, the ninth Day of November, 1623. in the * * By mistake, on his Monument, 74.73d year of his Age. Being remov’d to London, on the nineteenth of the same month he was carry’d to Westminster-Abbey in great pomp. The whole College of Heralds attended in their proper Habits, and great numbers of the Nobility and Gentry accompany’d the Corps, and, at their entrance into the Church, the Prebendaries and the other Members receiv’d the Corps in their Vestments, with great Solemnity, and conducted it into the Nave of the Church. After the Funeral-Sermon (preach’d by Dr. Sutton, one of the Prebendaries) he was buried in the South Isle, near the learned Casaubon, and over against our incomparable Poet Chaucer.
Over the place, is a handsom Monument of white Marble, with his Effigies to the middle, and in his hand, a Book, with BRITANNIA inscrib’d on the Leaves. Under which, is the following Inscription:
QUI. FIDE. ANTIQUA. ET. OPERA. ASSIDUA.
SIMPLICITATEM. INNATAM. HONESTIS.
ANIMI. SOLERTIAM. CANDORE. ILLUSTRAVIT.
AB. ELIZABETHA. R. AD. REGIS. ARMORUM.
(CLARENTII. TITULO.) DIGNITATEM.
HIC. SPE. CERTA. RESURGENDI. IN
OBIIT. AN. DNI. 1623. 9 NOVEMBRIS.
ÆTATIS. SU Æ. 74.
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