III. LETTERS TO STOW
Note.— The majority of these letters are contained in Harley MS. 374,
ff. 9–24. No. 12 is from Harley MS. 247. Nos. 13 and 14 are from
Harley MS. 530, f. I and f. 76*. No. 9 from Tanner MS. 464 (iv), f. I.
1. From Henry Savile.
[The allusion to Matthew Parker—' my lordes Grace'—shows that the
date was at the latest I May, 1575. Savile's father lived at Halifax.
Mr. Hare is Robert Hare (d. 1611) the antiquary, who presented two
volumes of his collections on the Privileges of the University to Oxford.
See Dict. Nat. Biog., xxiv. 373.]
After my most hartie commendacions being verie glad and desirous
to heare from you, trustinge in our lorde that you be in good healthe,
or els I might be hertelye sorie, for that I have founde at all tymes
good favoure of you, since our first acquaintance; and other acquaintance in London I have none, but that I have by your meanes, as
good Mr. Hare, with whom I pray you commende me and desyre
him to lett me vnderstande in what towardeness his good workes
for the privilleges of Oxforte is. And forther I beseche you to
certifye me if Wigornensis (fn. 1) is printed, and wheare I may send to buye
it, and the price. And gladlye of all other I would vnderstande that
your last booke (fn. 2) weare forthe, that I might sende vnto you for one
or two for my money. Forther I woulde vnderstonde if my Lordes
grace be aboute to print Roger Howden, Maulbesburie, (fn. 3) and Huntington, and in what forwardnes they be. Good owlde ffrend let me have
your letter in the premisses, and God willinge it shalbe recompensed
or it be longe. And I must forther desire yowe to have answer by
this bearer. At this tyme from Halifaxe, this first of Maye.
By your loving ffrende
To my most speciall good friend Mr. Iohn Stowe deliuer this in
Cornewall (fn. 4)
2. From Robert Glover.
Thanking him for the loan of a copy of Marianus Scotus. 'It is
one of the best bookes I handled a great while. I wishe it were
your owne, for so do I wishe welle vnto myself. Fare ye Hartely
well. From my house this Wensday the xith of September 1577.
Your lover and freende
R. Glouer, Somersett.'
3. From Thomas Hatcher.
[Dated 15 Jan. 1580 (1581 N. S.). A long letter filling the whole of
f. 14. Thomas Hatcher (d. 1583) was a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. See Dict. Nat. Biog., xxv. 151.]
Returning' John Blakeman's treatise of Henrie the sixt'. As to
history of King's College. Wishes Stow to publish whatever he has
of Leland. And also his own Antiquities under the title of Stow's
Storehouse. Desires him to speak to 'Mr. Cambden, yor frend, the
vsher of Westminster School', about publishing the history of Tobit
in Latin verse. Intends to give an account of the authors cited by
Stow in his Chronicle: for this purpose he desires Stow's help, and
also sight of Leland De Scriptoribus. Inquires as to author of Book
De Episcopis Cantuariensibus, which Archbishop Parker had printed.
4. From William Claxton.
[As his letters show, Claxton was a northern antiquary, and man of
position and repute. He was the owner of Wynyard in Durham, whence
he wrote these letters. He died in May, 1597 (Durham Wills, ii. 272,
Surtees Soc.). The date of this letter is 20 April, 1582.]
Asks for the return of a book by his nephew Thomas Layton the
bearer. Promises his help in what concerns the bishopric of Durham.
'To his assured ffrynd Mr. Iohn Stowe, Chronicler, at his house in
Leaden haull in London.'
5. From the same.
[Dated 4 Jan. 1584. 'To Mr. Iohn Stowe dwelling by ye Ledon Hall.']
Thanks him for his courteous letter. ' I am glad to heare of your
good proseading in these two notable workes you haue in hand, and
I wish my abilitie were of credyt to doe you eny good therein.' Asks
for the safe return of the book which he had lent. 'I haue also sent
you an Inglysshe crowne by Robert Layton for a remembraunce,
wishyng yow to assure your selfe yt so long as I lyue yow shall not
want a friend to the vttermost of his power.' Encloses some notes
6. From the same.
[Unsigned and undated, but in Claxton's writing.]
Returns a book, and tells Stow that he has in store for him a
parchment life of Edward the Confessor, together with Alured of
Beverley. 'Where as yt appeareth by yor letter that yow had
acquaynted the lord Howerd (fn. 5) wt some of our procedynges, I am
very sory that I did not see his lordsh. at his being in ye countrey, to
whome I would haue done my dewtye, beynge thereunto reythar
bound for that I was brought vp by suche as were allyed to his Lp.
7. From John Dee.
[The celebrated astrologer and antiquary. The only date is 4 Dec.
Possibly the occasion was the publication of the Chronicles in 1580, or of
the Annales in 1592.]
'Mr. Stow, you sall vnderstond that my frende Mr. Dyer did
deliuer your bokes to the two Erls, who toke them very thankfully.
But (as he noted) there was no return commaunded of them. What
sall hereafter, God knoweth. So could not I haue done. —Hope,
as well as I.—As concerning your burgesses for the Cinq
ports, &c.' As to Stow's copies of Asser and Florence of Worcester
8. From his daughter, John Foster.
[Joan Foster is mentioned in her father's will; see p. xlv above. The
hospital is the Hospital of St. Michael outside Warwick, as stated in some
notes written by Stow on the letter. John Fyssher, clerk, was made
keeper, master or governor of the house or hospital of St. Michael,
Warwick, by a grant from Henry VIII, on 14 Nov. 1541 (Letters and
Papers, xvi. 1391 (41)). Dugdale has no mention either of Fisher or
After my most hartest commendacions vnto you and to my mother,
trusting that you bothe be in good healthe as I and my husband
were at my wrytting hereof. Thankes be to God therefor. This is
to desyer yowe, father, of all yor fryndly fryndsheppe that you can or
maye to pleasure a very ffrynd of myn dwellyng here in Warwyck for
to seche owt for the foundacion of a hospetall or spettell house of
Warwyck founded by the earelles (fn. 6) of Warwyck in this parte. And
yf yow may healpe him ther vnto he wold reward you verye well for
yor paynes, and also you shall do me great pleasure therein, for yt he
is my verie ffrynd and neyghbour. It is supposed that you shall fynd
the foundacion hereof yn the Tower of London, therefore good father,
now agayne I pray you take some paynes therin. The hospital
house is at the northe syd of Warwyck, the said hospetall was last
given by kynge henrye the eyght to a Iohn ffisher master of the said
hospetall for ye terme of hys lyffe, and sence his deathe the sayd
hospytall was given to my aforsaid neyghbour and frynd Olyver
Brooke, who yet leveffe, and is dryven now for to syke oute the
foundacion thereof, which and you can helpe him herevnto you shall
do him greate good, and I praye you so soon as you have found out
any thing to do him good therin send worde to me wt as much spyd
as by. And he will Repair vp vnto you wt what spyd he maye. And
thus in haste I committ yow to God, from Warwyke the 3 daye of
december by yor loving daughter during lyffe to remaine.
To my loving ffather Mr. Iohn Stowe benethe Leadon hall neare
vnto the Thrye Towenes in London, gyve this.
9. From Thomas Newton.
[Thomas Newton (1542 ?-1607) was a poet of some eminence, a
physician, and rector of Little IIford, Essex, whence this letter was written
on 29 March, 1586. See also p. lii above and Dict. Nat. Biog., xi. 402.]
Returns the copy of Leland's Epigrams and thanks him 'for many
other your curtesies, frendlie amities many tymes showed vnto me, as
namely at this tyme for this yor boke of Mr. Leland his poetries'.
Newton, in his Encomia Illustrium Virorum (ap. Leland, Collectanea,
v. 177), has an epigram addressed to his friend William Hunnis, the
De Io. Stoëo Chronigrapho.
Anglica scire cupis solide quis Chronica scribat?
Stous id egregia praestat, Hunisse, fide.
Quottidie e tenebris is multa volumina furvis
Eruit, is mandat plurima scripta typis.
Ex nitida illius deprompsi ego Bibliotheca
Plurima, quae nobis nocte dieque patet.
10. From Henry Ferrers.
[Henry Ferrers (1549–1633), a Warwickshire antiquary and country
gentleman of Roman Catholic inclinations. Dict. Nat. Biog., xviii. 385.
Mr. Stowe, because I will breake promesse with you no more I have,
although it be late, first put you these pamphlets, and therwith youre
other booke, which I borrowed last, and desyre you to lend me youre
bede and yor pedigree of kinges, and so till or next meeting I bid you
Yor loving friend,
11. From Thomas Martyn.
[Thomas Marten (d. 1597) a Roman Catholic controversialist, and
fellow of New College, Oxford. See Dict. Nat. Biog., xxxvi. 320. The
date must be 1592.]
Likes his Annales and 'the great paynes taken therein'. Offers
some criticisms. 'My founder is bound to you, but that tale of Alice
Peers is slaunderous, and in my conscience most vntrue.'
'To my well beloved and very freend Mr. Stowe at his house
beyonde Leadenhall in London.'
12. From Thomas Wicliffe.
[There is a fragement of a letter, refering to 'Purpool' (Portpool) and
Stow's Chronicle in Harley MS. 247, f. 211. The address and a postscript, apparently of the same letter, are on f. 210, as below. There is no
date. I find nothing as to the writer.]
'To his assured ffrynd Mr John Stow, chronyclar, dwellinge in the
Leaden haul at London. d. d.'
Sr. I besech you of yor answer of this lre. for the within named
hartely desireth to here from yow.
13. From Henry Savile.
[As to Mr. Hare see note on I. Lord William Howard's edition of
Florence of Worcester, and the first edition of Stow's Annales were about
Mr. Stow. After my hertie commendacions. Yor L[ette]re dated the
tenthe of maye I receaved at Halifax wt thankes, and synce I am
come to Oxford, where I have made enquirie to knowe where the
booke showld bee that Mr Hare showlde send hyther, yor L[ette]re dyd
ymporte, and as yet I cannot here of the same. Therefore I desyre
you to goo vnto the good gentleman Mr Hare in my name, and
requeste hym to let me vnderstonde by whome and abowte what
tyme hee sent the booke, and to what place he made his direction,
and whoo showlde have the custodie therof; for greate pitie yt weare
that so worthie woorke showlde be embeazled, and I pray ye wt
speede to certefye me in writynge, and delyver yor L[ette]re at the syne of
the Owle, that yt maye be delyvered vnto the carier, Richard Edwardes,
whome commythe homeward on Wednys daye next. And further I
praye ye let me know whoo is the printer of Wygorniensis, and wheare
hee dwellethe; and whoo is the printer of yor booke. I haue heere sente
yo a mild sixpence to drynke a qwarte of wyne in yor travell. This
wisshynge yor healthe I byd ye farewell. Oxon. this sondaye Trinite,
21 May 1592.
Your lovinge frend,
Directe yor l[ette]res I praye to Mr. Henrie Shirbourne over agaynste
Merton Colledge, to be delyvered to me. Mr Blanksome, God
wyllynge, wyll be at London (fn. 7)
14. From William Camden.
[This is without date or address.]
Mr Stow, yff I might finde so much fauor att your handes as to
lend me the foundations of the Abbayes in Lincolnshyre, Warwickshire, Darbyshire and Nottinghamshire, you should pleasure me
greatly. You shall receaue them againe this day before night.
Yr Louing freende,
15. From William Claxton.
[The writer of 4, 5, and 6. Dated Wynyard 10 April, 1594.]
Thanks Stow for the receipt of a book and his letter. Encourages
him to proceed 'to the publishing of such grave histories and
antiquities' … 'I perceiue also by yor letter, that you haue
awgmented your booke of foundacions, whereof I ame hartelie glad,
and doe most earnestly request that you would let me haue a copie of
the best sorte wth your newe augmentacions, which trewlie I would
make no small accounte of, and keape as a token of your manifeste
kyndnes vnto me; and ye more earnest I am to haue it, as in yor
letter you said there is no coppie of it but yor owne, wh:, if owght
should come vnto you butt good, might happelie be neuer regarded
and spoyled, or neuer come to light, and so all yor paynes frustrate;
whereas yf I haue a coppie of it, I hope so to vse it and dispose of it,
as it shall be extant to all posterities, and amongst them a neuer
dying same for you, who bestowed suche paynes in collecting the
certentie thereof together. What charge so euer you be at in gettinge
it copied fwrth for me, I will repaie vnto you with thankes'…
Postscript. 'The greater your augmentacions are, the greater your
same and commendacions be' …'I would also request when you
publish your great volume (fn. 8) mentioned in your last booke you sent me,
you would let me haue one booke of the same'. Asks for return of
three books which he left in Stow's study, when last there. They are
not his own.