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dedicated to king Edward the Sixth. His patron was Henry lord Stafford 8.
George Ferrers, a man of superior rank, was born at Saint Albans, educated at Oxford, and a student of Lincoln's-inn. Leland, who has given him a place in his ENCOMIA, informs us, that he was patronised by lord Cromwellh. He was in parliament under Henry the Eighth ; and, in 1542, imprisoned by that whimsical tyrant, perhaps very unjustly, and for some cabal now not exactly known. About the same time, in his juridical capacity, he translated the MAGNA CHARTA from French into Latin and English, with some other statutes of England'. In a scarce book, William Patten's Expedition into Scotlande of the most woorthely fortunate prince Edward duke of Somerset, printed at London in 1548), and partly incorporated into Hollinshed's history, it appears from the following passage that he was of the suite of the protector Somerset: "George Ferrers a gentleman of my lord Protectors, and one of the commissioners of the carriage of this army." He is said to have compiled the history of queen Mary's reign, which makes a part of Grafton's CHRONICLE. He was a composer almost by profession of occasional interludes for the diversion of the court: and in 1553, being then a member of Lincoln's-inn, he bore the office of LORD OF MISRULE at the royal palace of Greenwich during the twelve days of Christmas. Stowe says, "George Ferrers gentleman of Lincolns-inn, being lord of the disportes all the 12 days of Christmas anno MDLI LIII', at Greenwich: who so pleasantly and wisely behaved himself, that the king had great delight in his pastymes"." No common talents were required for these festivities. Bale says that he wrote some rhymes, rhythmos aliquot". He died at Flamstead in Hertfordshire in 1579. Wood's account of George Ferrers, our author, who, misled by Puttenham the author of the ARTE OF ENGLISH POESIE, has confounded him with Edward Ferrers a writer of plays, is full of mistakes and inconsistencies. Our author wrote the epitaph of his friend Thomas Phayer,
See supr. p. 159.
Ut infr. He wrote also Three bookes of Moral Philosophy, and The Lives and Sayings of Philosophers, Emperors, Kings, etc. dedicated to lord Stafford, often printed at London in quarto. Altered by Thomas Palfreyman, Lond. 1608. 12mo. Also, Similies and Proverbs; and The Use of Adagies. Bale says that he wrote "Comoedias etiam aliquot." pag. 108. [He was appointed to "set forth a play before the king in the year 1552-3." See Mr. Chalmers's Apology for the believers in the Shakspeare papers.-PRICE.]
b Fol. 66.
1 For Robert Redman. No date. After 1540. At the end he is called George Ferrerz. In duodecimo. Redman printed Magna Charta in French, 1529. Duodecim. oblong.
the old translator of the Eneid into English verse, who died in 1560, and is buried in the church of Kilgarran in Pembrokeshire.
Baldwyne and Ferrers, perhaps deterred by the greatness of the attempt, did not attend to the series prescribed by Sackville; but inviting some others to their assistance, among which are Churchyard and Phayer, chose such lives from the newly published chronicles of Fabyan and Hall, as seemed to display the most affecting catastrophes, and which very probably were pointed out by Sackville. The civil wars of York and Lancaster, which Hall had compiled with a laborious investigation of the subject, appear to have been their chief
These legends with their authors, including Sackville's part, are as follows. Robert Tresilian chief justice of England, in 1388, by FerThe two Mortimers, surnamed Roger, in 1329 and 1387, by Baldwyne [Cavyll]. Thomas of Woodstock duke of Gloucester, uncle to Richard the Second, murdered in 1397, by Ferrers. Lord Mowbray, preferred and banished by the same king in 1398, by Churchyard [Chaloner]. King Richard the Second, deposed in 1399, by Baldwyne [Ferrers]. Owen Glendour, the pretended prince of Wales, starved to death in 1401, by Phaer. Henry Percy earl of Northumberland, executed at York in 1407, by Baldwyne. Richard Plantagenet earl of Cambridge, executed at Southampton in 1415, by Baldwyne. Thomas Montague earl of Salisbury, in 1428, by Baldwyne. James the First of Scotland, by Baldwyne. William de la Poole duke of Suffolk, banished for destroying Humphry duke of Gloucester in 1450, by Baldwyne. Jack Cade the rebel in 1450, by Baldwyne. Richard Plantagenet duke of Yorke, and his son the earl of Rutland, killed in 1460, by Baldwyne. Lord Clifford, in 1461, by Baldwyne. Tiptoft earl of Worcester, in 1470, by Baldwyne. Richard Nevil earl of Warwick, and his brother John lord Montacute, killed in the battle of Barnet, 1471, by Baldwyne. King Henry the Sixth murthered in the Tower of London, in 1471, by Baldwyne. George Plantagenet, third son of the duke of York, murthered by his brother Richard in 1478, by Baldwyne. Edward the Fourth, who died suddenly in 1483, by Skelton. Sir Anthony Woodville, lord Rivers and Scales, governor of prince Edward,
fin. where Warton has maintained the
ous adventure of Richard Ferris and others who undertooke to rowe from Tower wharfe to Bristowe in a small wherry-boate, Lond. 1590. 4to. I believe the names of all three should be written FERRERS.
P Hall's Union of the two noble and illustrious families of Yorke and Lancaster was printed at London, for Berthelette, 1542. fol. Continued by Grafton the printer, from Hall's manuscripts, Lond. 1548. fol.
Printed in his Works, But there is an old edition of this piece alone, without date, in duodecimo.
murthered with his nephew lord Gray in 1483, by Baldwyne'. Lord Hastings betrayed by Catesby, and murthered in the Tower by Richard duke of Gloucester, in 1483. Sackville's INDUCTION. Sackville's Duke of Buckingham. Collingbourne, cruelly executed for making a foolish rhyme, by Baldwyne. Richard duke of Gloucester, slain in Bosworth field by Henry the Seventh, in 1485, by Francis Seagers. Jane Shore, by Churchyard". Edmund duke of Somerset, killed in the first battle of Saint Albans in 1454, by Ferrers. Michael Joseph the blacksmith and lord Audely, in 1496, by Cavyl.
It was injudicious to choose so many stories which were then recent. Most of these events were at that time too well known to become the proper subject of poetry, and must have lost much of their solemnity by their notoriety. But Shakspeare has been guilty of the same fault. The objection, however, is now worn away, and age has given a dignity to familiar circumstances.
This collection, or set of poems, was printed in quarto, in 1559, with the following title:-" A MYRROVRE FOR MAGISTRATES, Wherein may be seen by example of others, with how greuous plages vices are punished, and howe frayl and vnstable worldly prosperitie is founde, euen of those whom Fortvne seemeth most highly to favour. Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum. Anno 1559. Londini, in ædibus Thomæ Marshe." A Mirrour was a favorite title of a book, especially among the old French writers*. Some anecdotes of the publication may be collected from Baldwyne's DEDICATION TO THE NOBILITIE, prefixed. "The wurke was begun and parte of it prynted in Queene Maries tyme, but hyndred by the Lord Chancellour that then was": nevertheles, through the meanes of my lorde Stafford, the fyrst parte was licenced, and imprynted the fyrst year of the raygne of this our
The Seconde Parte begins with this
* Subscribed in Niccols's edition," Master D." that is, John Dolman. It was intended to introduce here The two Princes murthered in the Tower, "by the lord Vaulx, who undertooke to penne it, says Baldwyne, but what he hath done therein I am not certaine." fol. cxiiii. b. Dolman above mentioned was of the Middle Temple. He translated into English Tully's Tusculane Questions, dedicated to Jewel bishop of Salisbury, and printed in 1561, duodecimo.
A translator of the Psalms, see supr.
"In the Prologue which follows, Baldwyne says, he was "exhorted to procure Maister Churchyarde to undertake and to penne as many more of the remaynder, as myght be attayned," &c. fol. clvi. a.
[In the British Museum occur-Miroir des Pecheurs, en vers, 1468. Miroir de la Redemption humaine, 1482.
Miroir de l'Ame pecheresse, 1531.
This chancellor must have been bishop Gardiner. [Herbert disproves this, by remarking, that Gardiner died November 13, 1555; and Sackville formed the plan of this book in 1557 (see p. 183). Dr. Heath, archbishop of York, succeeded him in the chancellorship on the new year's day following.-PARK.]
* Henry lord Stafford, son and heir of Edward last duke of Buckingham, a scholar and a writer. See Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 108. One of his books is dedicated to the Protector Somerset. Aubrey gives us a rhyming epitaph in Howard's chapel in Lambeth church, written by this nobleman to his sister the duchess of Norfolk. Surrey, vol. v. p. 236. It is subscribed "by thy most bounden brother Henry lord Stafford." Bale says that he was "vir multarum rerum ac disciplinarum notitia ornatus," and that he died in 1558, par. post. 112.
most noble and vertuous queeney, and dedicated then to your honours with this preface. Since whych time, although I have been called to another trade of lyfe, yet my good lord Stafford hath not ceassed to call upon me to publyshe so much as I had gotten at other mens hands, so that through his lordshyppes earnest meanes I have now also set furth another parte, conteyning as little of myne owne as the fyrst parte doth of other mens"."
The plan was confessedly borrowed from Boccace's DE CASIBUS PRINCIPUM, a book translated, as we have seen, by Lydgate, but which never was popular, because it had no English examples. But Baldwyne's scope and conduct, with respect to this and other circumstances, will best appear from his Preface, which cannot easily be found, and which I shall therefore insert at large. "When the printer had purposed with himselfe to printe Lydgate's translation of Bochas of the FALL OF PRINCES, and had made pryvye therto many both honourable and worshipfull, he was counsayled by dyvers of them, to procure to have the story contynewed from where as Bochas left, unto this present time; chiefly of such as Fortune had dalyed with in this ylande.— Which advyse lyked him so well, that he requyred me to take paines therin. But because it was a matter passyng my wit and skyll, and more thankles than gaineful to meddle in, I refused utterly to undertake it, except I might have the help of suche, as in wit were apte, in learnyng allowed, and in judgement and estymacyon able to wield and furnysh so weighty an enterpryse, thinkyng even so to shift my handes. But he, earnest and diligent in his affayres, procured Atlas to set under his shoulder. For shortly after, divers learned men, whose manye giftes nede fewe prayses, consented to take upon them parte of the travayle. And when certaine of them, to the numbre of seven, were through a general assent at an appoynted tyme and place gathered together to devyse thereupon, I resorted unto them, bearing with me the booke of Bochas translated by Dan Lidgate, for the better observation of his order. Which although we liked wel, yet would it not conveniently serve, seeing that both Bochas and Lidgate were dead; neither were there any alive that meddled with like argument, to whom the UNFORTUNATE might make their mone. To make therefore a state mete for the matter, they all agreed that I should usurpe Bochas rowme, and the WRETCHED PRINCES complayne unto me; and take upon themselves every man for his parte to be sundry personages, and in their behalfes to bewaile unto ME their greevous chances, heavye destinies, and wofull misfortunes. This done, we opened such bookes of Cronicles as we had there present. And maister Ferrers, after he had found where Bochas left, which was about the ende of Kinge Edward the Thirdes raigne, to begin the matter sayde thus.
Z Signat. C. ii. [Mr. Haslewood remarks, that this dedication and the fol
lowing extract from Baldwyne's preface, are taken from the edition of 1563.PRICE.]
"I marvayle what Bochas meaneth, to forget among his MISERABLE PRINCES such as wer of our nacion, whose numbre is as great, as their adventures wunderfull. For to let passe all, both Britons, Danes, and Saxons, and to come to the last Conquest, what a sorte are theya, and some even in his [Boccace's] owne time, or not much before ! As for example, king Richard the Fyrst, slayne with a quarle' in his chyefe prosperitie. Also king John his brother, as sum saye, poysoned. Are not their histories rufull, and of rare example? But as it should appeare, he being an Italian, minded most the Roman and Italike story, or els perhaps he wanted our countrey Cronicles. It were therefore a goodly and a notable matter, to search and discourse our whole story from the first beginning of the inhabiting of the yle. But seeing the printer's minde is, to have us folowe where Lidgate left, we will leave that great labour to other that may intend it, and (as blinde Bayard is alway boldest) I will begyn at the time of Rychard the Second, a time as unfortunate as the ruler therein. And forasmuch, frend Baldwyne, as it shal be your charge to note and pen orderlye the whole proces, I will, so far as my memorie and judgemente serveth, sumwhat further you in the truth of the storye. And therefore omittinge the ruffle of Jacke Strawe and his meyney, and the murther of manye notable men which therby happened, for Jacke, as ye knowe, was but a poore prynce; I will begin with a notable example which within a while after ensued. And although he be no Great Prynce, yet sithens he had a princely office, I will take upon me the miserable person of syr ROBERT TRESILIAN chyefe justyce of England, and of other which suffered with him. Therby to warne all of his authoritye and profession, to take hede of wrong judgements, misconstruynge of lawes, or wresting the same to serve the princes turnes, which ryghtfully brought theym to a miserable ende, which they may justly lament in manner ensuing."" Then follows sir ROBERT TRESILIAN'S legend or history, supposed to be spoken by himself, and addressed to Baldwyne.
Here we see that a company was feigned to be assembled, each of which, one excepted, by turns personates a character of one of the great Unfortunate; and that the stories were all connected, by being related to the silent person of the assembly, who is like the chorus in the Greek tragedies, or the Host in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The whole was to form a sort of dramatic interlude, including a series of independent soliloquies. A continuity to this imagined representation is preserved by the introduction, after every soliloquy, of a prose epilogue, which also serves as a prologue to the succeeding piece, and has the air of a stage-direction. Boccace had done this before. We have this interposition, which I give as a specimen, and which explains the method of the recital, between the tragedies of king RICHARD the SECOND and OWEN GLENdour. "When he had ended this so wofull
how many they are.
b Iquarell, the bolt of a cross-bow,
• multitude, crew.
Signat. A. ii.