Imatges de pÓgina


John Bale. v. 1'95. d. 1 63.

and librarian to king Henry VIII. He was educated at St. Paul's School, and subsequently studied at Cambridge, Oxford, and Paris. Henry was wont to call Leland his antiquary,' and in the year 1533 he gave him a commission to search after England's antiquities and pursue the libraries of all cathedrals, abbeys, priories, colleges, and places where records, writings, and secrets of antiquity were deposited, to the intent that the monuments of ancient writers, as well of other nations as of our provinces, might be brought out of cloudy darkness to lively light.' As the result of his researches, Leland presented to king Henry, in the year 1545, his wellknown Collectanea. The work remained in manuscript until a century and three quarters later, when it was edited and printed by Hearne, the antiquary; it may be looked upon as the basis of all similar productions in

this country. Leland's Commentarii de Scriptoribus

Brittanniae is a kind of supplement to the Collectanea.

Next in order comes JOHN BALE, bishop of Ossory, the compiler of Illustrium Majoris Britanniae Scriptorum, hoc est, Angliae, Cambriae, ac Sectiae, Summarium. Of this work the first edition, dedicated to king Edward VI., was printed at Ipswich in 1549, and comprised only five centuries of writers; but the third edition, of 1559, contains four additional centuries and a list of 900 writers. It is professedly a biographical dictionary of British authors, though many names are included which have no claim to a place in such a category. A convert from Romanism to Protestantism, and protected and favoured by Thomas Cromwell, Bale was distinguished by the rancour of his attacks upon eminent members of the party which he had deserted. By Fuller, the Church historian, he is designated as 'biliosus Balaeus ;' nor can

De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea, ed. Hearne, 6 vols. 8vo. Oxou. 1715. Reprinted at London, 1770.

it be denied that he rarely hesitates to impute the worst motives to his antagonists or to give currency to the most extravagant assertions that tended to injure their reputation. But, notwithstanding, his work has been largely used and much praised as an authority by Protestant Church historians, although, in the opinion of the late Sir T. D. Hardy, its merits are neither so many nor so eminent as is generally supposed.'

The spirit in which Bale pursued his labours served to call forth a corresponding production from the party whom he attacked, and in the year 1619 appeared the de Illustribus Angliae Scriptoribus of JOHN PITS, the fourth volume of a series of which the first contains lives of the English monarchs, the second, of the bishops, the third, of the apostolic members' of the English Church.1 Pits was educated at the English College in Rome, and his volumes were compiled during his residence abroad, while he was confessor to the duchess of Cleves. He was largely indebted to Bale, though he professed to have derived his information from Lela the manuscript of whose work he had probably never seen. As a partisan, he is even more violent and unscrupulous than his predecessor, and he does not hesitate altogether to suppress the names of many eminent Protestant writers. But, on the other hand, he was induced by the same motives to insert the names of distinguished members of his own communion, and his work affords, in consequence, information which we should otherwise lack concerning many Roman Catholic writers who left

The fourth volume only has been printed, under the title of Joannis Pitsei Angli, S. T. D., Liverduni in Lotharingia Decani, Relationum Historicarum de Rebus Anglicis Tomus primus; Paris, 1619. It is, however, generally cited with the title above given. The other three volumes of Pits' compilations are preserved in the original manuscript at the colle⚫ giate church at Verdun.


John Pits.
b. 1560.
d. 1615.




Cave. b. 1637. d. 1713.

Sir James Ware. b. 1594. d. 1666.

Thomas Tauner. b. 1674. d. 1735.

England during the reign of Elizabeth and settled at the principal centres of learning in Belgium, France, or Italy.

A far more scrupulous and trustworthy writer than either Bale or Pits was WILLIAM CAVE, an eminent divine of the English Church in the seventeenth century. Educated at Cambridge, and subsequently vicar of Isleworth in Middlesex and a canon of Windsor, he devoted a long life to the study of Church history. It was his design to extend the treatment of his subject, as commenced in his Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Litteraria a Christo nato usque ad Saeculum XIV, to the whole

Europe, but his work comes down only to the commencement of the fourteenth century. It was afterwards continued to 1517 by Henry Wharton and Robert Gery. A distinguished contemporary of Cave, the Irish antiquarian SIR JAMES WARE, published in 1639 his de Scriptoribus Hiberniae. His impartiality as a writer is admitted by all parties, and as the friend of Ussher, Selden, and Sir Robert Cotton, he enjoyed advantages of which he availed himself with considerable industry. His researches in his special field were, however, thrown into the shade by the great work of TANNER, bishop of St. Asaph, whose Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica appeared in 1748. Tanner himself died before its publication, and it was edited by Dr. Wilkins. It contains an account of English, Scotch, and Irish writers, compiled not only from Leland, Bale, and Pits, but from numberless other authorities in print or in manuscript. 'On all questions,' says Sir T. D. Hardy, 'connected with the early literature of our nation, Tanner's Bibliotheca, notwithstanding its many omissions, defects, and redundancies, is still the highest authority to which the inquirer can refer. As a storehouse of historical materials, it is invaluable; although the vast information

contained in it is badly arranged and requires a careful and critical revision.'


A small volume entitled Manual of British His- Later Pub lications. torians, was published in 1845 by MR. MACRAY, then Mary. Масгау. sub-librarian of the Bodleian, but it contains little more than a chronological enumeration of the original authorities, together with a statement of the period covered by their respective narratives. Professor H. MORLEY'S English Writers, from Chaucer to Dunbar, is Prof. a careful and able compilation embodying the results. of the most recent and valuable criticism. For our medieval history, however, the great work of SIR THOMAS DUFFUS HARDY, A Descriptive Catalogue of Sir. T. D. Manuscripts relating to the History of Great Britain and Hardy. Ireland (3 vols., 1862-71), supplies the most complete guidance, furnishing a detailed critical account of the sources for British history, whether printed or unprinted, from the earliest times to the year 1327. In the present pages, the writer has been frequently indebted to this most valuable and laborious production.

b. 1504.

We now proceed to note what has been done towards EDITORS. rendering the texts of the original writers more accessible to the student, and here a grateful tribute is due to the labours of ARCHBISHOP PARKER. Amid the distractions of a busy life he found time to form a highly valuable collection of manuscripts which he bequeathed d. 1575 to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; he was also the editor of the first editions of the Historia Major of Matthew Paris and the Historia Anglicana of Walsingham. Unfortunately he was not acquainted with the most trustworthy manuscripts of these works; while, in the case of Matthew Paris, he took unwarrantable liberties with the text in his endeavour to improve the Latinity of his author.


The Scriptores post Bedam,' edited by SIR HENRY SAVILE, contains the most important historical writers Sir Henry of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; but the collection is seriously wanting in typographical accuracy, while the inclusion of Ingulphus must now be regarded as that of an almost worthless forgery.

Savile. 3. 1549. d. 1622.



The Collection known as Decem Scriptores2 had the Scriptores. advantage of being presented to the world under the

auspices of SELDEN, USSHER, and TWYSDEN, and is an edition of considerable merit; it is usually referred to under the name of the last-mentioned editor.

Henry Wharton. b. 1664. d. 1695.


b. 1678.

d. 1735.

The Anglia Sacra3 of HENRY WHARTON, published in two folio volumes in 1691, contains the lives of the English archbishops and bishops from the introduction of Christianity to the year 1540.

The various authors edited in the first half of the eighteenth century by THOMAS HEARNE obtained for him a larger amount of credit than he appears to have actually deserved. His texts were selected without discrimination as regards their comparative value, and were reprinted with a servile adherence to the manifest. blunders of transcribers.

1 Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores post Bedam praecipui, ex vetustissimis codicibus manuscriptis nunc primum in lucem editi, Frankfurt, 1601. This contains the de Gestis Regum, the Historia Novella, and the de Gestis Pontificum of William of Malmesbury; Henry of Huntingdon, 8 books; Rogeri Hovedeni Annalium pars prior et posterior; Chronica Ethelwerdi; Ingulphi Abbatis Croylandensis Historiarum, lib. 1.

2 Historiae Anglicanae Scriptores Decem, London, 1652. This contains Simeon Monachus Dunelmensis, Johannes Prior Hagustaldensis, Ricardus Prior Hagustaldensis, Ailredus Abbas Rievallensis, Radulphus de Diceto Londiniensis, Johannes Brompton Jornallensis, Gervasius Monachus Dorobornensis, Thomas Stubbs Dominicanus, Gulielmus Thorn Cantuariensis, Henricus Knighton Leicestrensis.


Anglia Sacra sive Collectio Historiarum antiquitus scriptarum de Archiepiscopis et Episcopis Angliae a prima Fidei Xtianae susceptione ad annum MDXL. London, 1691. For List of Contents see Hardy, D. C. i. 691-694. • For contents, see Hardy, ibid. i. 807–10.

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